There is something special at the Japanese domestic scene, and it seems that it gives amazing fights on an incredibly regular basis. There are, of course, some poor fights in Japan but there's a lot of great fights and a lot of those manage, some how, to go under the radar of the wider boxing public. Some bouts from Japanese domestic scene do however get an international following on the cult scene, and today we at one of those rare bouts that has gotten some international attention among hardcore fans.
Takefumi Sakata (17-0-1, 7) vs Trash Nakanuma (20-2, 8) I
In one corner was Japanese Flyweight champion Takefumi Sakata, who was seeking his 4th defense of the title. Sakata, known as "Burning Fist", was unbeaten and the only mark on his record was his controversial draw with Daisuke Naito in 2001, so controversial that one of Naito's team mates ended up getting suspended by the JBC for his protest which went well beyond the realms of a typical protest. Up to this point the 22 year old had proven himself a talented individual, with a lot of promise but very much bubbled below the limelight. Whilst he would, later on, win a world title he was never a huge star but was often a very fun fighter to watch, and he combined toughness and will to win, with under-rated skills and stamina. A lack of power certainly prevented him from being a big star, but he certainly left his mark on the sport.
Aged 27 Trash Nakanuma is one of those many fighters from the International Boxing Gym who had a name that stood out. The gym had a knack of having fighters adopted names, and it certainly helped the gym's fighters get attention. Like many of those "re-named" fighters Nakanuma was a real talent. He was physically strong, had under-rated ability and incredible fitness. He had turned professional in 1993 and despite losing 2 of his first 4 bouts he had really found his form, reeling off 18 straight wins. Up to this point his most notable victory was against the then unbeaten Panieng Poontarat, who was 24-0, but it was clear he had ability, promise and was coming into his physical prime. Despite being 27 he was a physically "young" 27 having spent almost 2 years out of the ring following a battle with meningitis.
Straight from the opening bell Sakata came out firing, pressing Nakanuma backwards and putting the challenger on to the ropes. Nakanuma used his footwork to get off the ropes but the intention from Sakata was clear. He was going to look to dictate the pace, and we weren't going to get a feeling out round. Just a minute into the bout the two men stood head to head and looking to fight on the inside. Nakanuma was the one showing the more versatile skills, mixing it on the inside and getting away, but it was the fire of "Burning Fist" that burned brightly and he was the one forcing the bout.
The opening round flew with the thrilling we got, 3 minutes of pure intensity. That intensity continued in round 2, though Nakanuma was beginning to hold his feet more, battle on the inside more and picked some fantastic body shots, trying to extinguish the fire of Sakata's attacks. Sakata wasn't having it, and fired back, giving us another 3 minutes of intense and brilliant action.
Needless to say the hunger, desire and work rate of the two men didn't slow down, with the two men fighting tooth and nail round after round in a breath taking bout that saw two men match each other step for step in a sensational war of desire.
For those who love phone booth wars, all action bouts and incredible intensity this is well and truly worthy of a watch. It is such a great fight and is a perfect example of what to expect in Japanese title fights.
These two would clash in a rematch, in what was another amazing battle, and interestingly both of these men would go on to fight for world titles. Sakata would go on to win the WBA Flyweight title whilst Nakanuma twice came up short, but the fact both men went on to fight at that level shows just how good they were, and having them battle for a domestic title was brilliant.
This is incredible, exciting, competitive and wonderfully intense. There isn't a bad minute in the fight and it truly is something very special.
By: Eric Armit
-Oscar Valdez scores dramatic kayo win over champion Miguel Berchelt to lift the WBC super featherweight title
-Adrian Broner returns with a points win over Jovanie Santiago but does not impress
-Vic Saludar wins the vacant interim WBA minimumweight title with points victory over fellow-Filipino Robert Paradero
-David Avanesyan stops Josh Kelly to retain the European welterweight title
Otto Wallin decisions Dominic Breazeale to keep alive a faint hope of a heavyweight title shot-sometime.
-Former title holders Robert Easter and Rau’shee Warren score wins
-Top Rank prospects Gabriel Flores, Elvis Rodriguez and Xander Flores all record victories.
-Fedor Chudinov looks lucky to escape with a draw against Isaac Chilemba
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Oscar Valdez (29-0) W KO 10 Miguel Berchelt (38-2). Middle: Esquiva Falcao (28-0) W RTD 4 Artur Akavov (20-4). Super Feather: Gabriel Flores Jr (20-0) W TKO 6 Jayson Velez (29-8-1).Super Light: Elvis Rodriguez (11-0-1) W PTS 8 Luis Veron (18-3-2). Welter: Xander Zayas (7-0) W PTS 6 James Martin (6-2).
Valdez vs. Berchelt
Valdez outboxes and outpunches Berchelt scoring two knockdowns before finishing the fight in the tenth with a left hook that levees Berchelt face down on the floor out cold.
Close opening round as Valdez comes forward behind a high guard try to get inside. Berchelt, taller works on the back foot with his jab. Valdez misses with some swings and the better work with his jab just gives Berchelt the round
Score: 10-9 Berchelt
Berchelt on the front foot stalking Valdez but short with his jabs. Valdez circling behind a high guard and then darting in quickly with hooks. Not much in it but Valdez just does enough.
Score: 10-9 Valdez TIED 19-19
Berchelt piling on the pressure coming forward behind his jab. Valdez boxing skilfully on the retreat bobbing and weaving around Berchelt’s punches. Berchelt lands a heavy right to the head but Valdez then firing jabs throught Berchelt’s guard to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 29-28
Valdez was boxing beautifully on the back foot slipping Berchelt’s punches and stabbing fast, accurate jabs home. As they traded punches Valdez landed a left hook to the temple and Berchelt was hanging on. When the referee split them Berchelt went staggering back on wobbly legs and a left hook sent him tumbling into the ropes hardly able to keep upright. Valdez rocked Berchelt twice more and the referee stepped in and applied a standing eight count as Berchelt tottered around. One more punch would have finished the fight but the bell went a second after the count and that saved Berchelt. No knockdown but definitely a 10-8 round for me.
Score: 10-8 Valdez Valdez 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 38-37 Berchelt, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 39-36 Valdez, Judge Dave Moretti 39-36 Valdez
Berchelt pressed again in the fifth but his punches lacked any snap and Valdez was too quick and accurate with his jabs. Berchelt tried to stage a strong late finish but Valdez had no trouble avoiding Berchelt’s shots.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 49-45
A much closer round. Berchelt had some success early as Valdez chose to stand and trade. Berchelt also finished the round strongly but for most of the round Valdez was again spearing Berchelt with jabs and connecting with left hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 59-54
A huge effort from Berchelt in this round. He literally pursued Valdez around the ring flinging punches. A lot missed but a lot didn’t, Valdez was kept busy dodging Berchelt’s punches and although he cracked Berchelt with some good shots late in the round Berchelt did enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Berchelt Valdez 68-64
Two fast jabs and two rights to the head were the way Valdez started this round. He then went on the back foot with Berchelt chasing in vain swishing empty air and getting caught with counters from Valdez.
Score: 10-9 Valdez Valdez 78-73
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 77-74 Valdez, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 79-72 Valdez, Judge David Moretti 78-73 Valdez
Berchelt was shadowing Valdez but was too slow and Valdez was snapping home jabs and firing quick hooks and getting away. Valdez stood his ground in the centre of the ring and then landed a right hook to the chin and a right and a left which sent Berchelt down. Berchelt was up quickly and tried to take the fight to Valdez but was shaken twice more.
Score: 10-8 Valdez Valdez 88-81
Berchelt was being caught by punches early in the round but kept trying to march forward. He just could not pin Valdez down and just before the bell as Berchelt marched forward again he was wide open and a devastating left hook to the head saw him pitch forward face down on the canvas with the referee immediately waiving the fight over.
Valdez wins the WBC super featherweight to become a two-division champion. He showed class skills and great power and tactical awareness. A fight with unbeaten Shakur Stevenson would be a huge draw as would a unification match against WBA title holder Gervonta Davis so exciting times ahead. This was Berchelt’s seventh defence of the WBC title but it was a bad, worrying knockout with Berchelt in considerable distress before recovering. He went to hospital for checks but was not detained. With 31 wins by KO/TKO Berchelt had the power but had no answer to the combination of skill, speed and power of Valdez .
Falcao vs. Akavov
Falcao brutalises Akavov and forces a fourth round retirement. Akavov was competitive in the first but it was all downhill from there. Falcao hammered Akavov with punches over the next three rounds. He was pinning Akavov against the ropes and banging home shots to head and body with Akavov showing no real offence and just taking a beating. After the end of the fourth his corner pulled him out of the fight citing what looked like a broken nose and some problems with the vision in his left eye. Brazilian southpaw Falcao,31, registers win No 20 by KO/TKO. He is rated IBF 5(3)/WBO 5/WBC 8 so a shot at IBF champion Gennady Golovkin is a possibility later this year. Akavov has had two shots at the WBO middle title losing a close decision to Billy Joe Saunders and being stopped in the twelfth round by Demetrius Andrade.
Flores vs. Velez
Flores stops experienced Velez in six rounds. Not a renowned puncher Flores was showcasing his skills and outboxing Velez. He was comfortably in front on the three cards and it looked as though it was going to be a seventh points decision in a row for the young fighter from Stockton until he exploded in the sixth. A left hook unhinged Velez’s legs and he fell forward to the canvas. He managed to get up but still looked rocky. He was allowed to continue. Flores jumped on him and put him down again and the fight was stopped. Only the seventh inside the distance victory for Flores who has been set some testing challenges over his last six fights. Third loss in a row for Velez who was coming off a tenth round stoppage against Oscar Valdez July. Velez a real rest as he has wins over Juan Manuel Lopez, Orlando Cruz and Victor Terrazas and went the distance in losing to Ryan Garcia.
Rodriguez vs. Veron
Rodriguez goes past the fourth round for the first time and gets some useful ring work against Argentinian Veron. The visitor came to fight but was badly outgunned. Rodriguez made a studied start with Veron willing to come forward and trade punches over some close rounds. The superior power of Rodriguez slowly broke down Veron’s resistance. He shook Veron in the sixth and by the eighth Veron was badly marked up but lasted to the end. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74. Good learning fight for the 25-year-old Dominican southpaw who will go onwards and upwards. Veron, the Argentinian No 4, was 17-0-2 but it is a different picture when he fights outside Argentina and losses to Michael McKinnon and Taras Shelestyuk in challenging fights have put a dent in his record.
Zayas vs. Martin
Zayas, the next big Puerto Rican star, had to go the distance for the first time but won every round. He was too quick both in attack and defence for Philadelphian-based Martin. Zayas movement, hand speed and flashing combinations dazzled Martin but the Philadelphian stayed in there and apart from looking unsteady after a right in the fifth was never in real trouble. The 18-year-old Zayas, he signed with Top Rank at the age of 16, had taken less than eleven round for his first six wins so useful work here. Martin had won his last two fights.
Binan City, Philippines: Minimumweight: Vic Saludar (21-4) W PTS 12 Robert Paradero (18-0). Super Bantam: Carl Martin (17-0) W TKO 5 Joe Tejones (13-7).
Saludar vs. Paradero
Saludar outpoints Paradero in an all-Filipino clash to pick up the vacant WBA title.
In the first Paradero came out throwing bombs trying to blow Saludar away with left hooks and wild overhand rights. Saludar tried to box but was caught by a savage left hook. He absorbed it well and countered and they swapped swinging hooks at the end of fiery first round. Saludar boxed coolly in the second scoring with his jab and stepping back from the fierce attacks of Paradero. A clash of head saw Paradero cut over his right eye. It’s all or nothing with Paradero. He is either dancing out of distance or flying in trying to take your head with wild swipes and he unsettled Saludar enough to take the third round. Saludar brought his experience into play over the fourth, fifth and sixth. He took control of the centre of the ring picking Paradero off at distance and anticipating and avoiding Paradero’s wild attacks. Paradero had a bit more success with his assaults in the seventh and eighth but Saludar was countering him cleverly. Saludar outboxed Paradero in the ninth with Paradero’s forays becoming rarer and Saludar was scoring well with both hands. Paradero had some success in the tenth with body punches but it was a final fling. He had spent so much energy dancing around Saludar that he had tired and Saludar won the last two rounds. . Scores: 116-112 and 115-113 for Saludar and a strange 118-110 for Paradero. Giving Saludar only two rounds is ridiculous. I had it 116-112 for Saludar. A former WBO title holder at minimumweight Saludar now picks up the interim WBA title. Paradero was dangerous at times but his attacks were crude head down swipes. How Paradero qualified for the No 5 spot in the WBA ratings puzzles me. Well not really as it is the good old untrustworthy WBA. Paradero was unrated in January 2018, won an eight round fight against someone with a 5-2-1 record in April 2018 and one fight in April 2019 against a fighter with a 5-2-2 record. Shameful but then the WBA have no shame.
Martin vs. Tejones
Another inside the distance victory for “Wonder Boy” Martin. The unbeaten southpaw was too quick and too skilful for the pedestrian Tejones. After outboxing Tejones for three rounds Martin upped his pace in the fourth rattling-off punches to head and body too fast for Tejones to block or counter. In the fifth he hunted Tejones down before landing a rib-bending right hook to the body that put Tejones down in agony and he was counted out. Fifteenth quick win for the 21-year-old prospect and the twelfth in his last thirteen fights. There are still some flaws to be worked on but he looks good. Tejones, also a southpaw suffers his third inside the distance defeat.
Uncasville, CT, USA: Welter: Adrien Broner (34-4-1) W PTS 12 Jovanie Santiago (14-i-1). Heavy: Otto Wallin (22-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Dominic Breazeale (20-3). Super Light: Robert Easter Jr (23-1-1) W PTS 12 Ryan Martin (24-2). Bantam: Rau’shee Warren (18-3) W PTS 10 Sharone Carter (12-4). Super Light: Juan Jose Velasco (23-2) W PTS 10 Zachary Ochoa (21-2).
Broner vs. Santiago
Broner gets the win on his return to the ring but did not impress and the decision was controversial.
The first round saw so little action that the CompuBox people could almost be heard snoring. What little success there was went to Santiago with his jab. Broner did better in the second throwing a few more punches and connecting with his jab to even things up. Santiago took the third. He was coming in behind his jab getting close and whacking Broner to the body with both hands. The fourth saw Santiago in charge. He was quick and accurate with his jab and scoring inside. Broner was still just sending out probing jabs and not committing himself . Santiago ruined his good work with a punch after the bell which cost him a one point deduction. Broner was handing rounds to Santiago with a low output and Santiago was outworking him and hustling Broner into a non-fighting retreat. Broner let the fifth, sixth and seventh slip away and was facing an uphill task. His timing and distance were off as he showed in a burst of wild punches at the end of the seventh. However he was finally shedding two years of rust. He started to control the fight in the eighth. Now it was his jab dictating the fight as he constantly pumped it into Santiago’s face. He was using his right more and when Santiago did come forward Broner was either standing and catching him on the way in or stepping back and countering him when Santiago came up short. Broner also swept the ninth, tenth and eleventh and I had them even going into the last. All Broner had to do was what had won him the previous four rounds but instead he forgot about his jab, spent too long just standing in front of Santiago and not letting his punches go and I gave the last to Santiago. That counts for nothing as the official scores were 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 all for Broner which was a very controversial decision. The win leaves Broner free to look for some big pay days with Regis Prograis being mentioned as a possible next step. Puerto Rican Santiago can consider himself unlucky. This was a huge step for him in quality of the opposition but hopefully his showing will get him some good fights in the future.
Wallin vs. Breazeale
Wallin outboxes Breazeale on the way to a very wide points victory. Wallin boxed mostly on the back foot with Breazeale plodding after him but rarely catching up. The Swedish southpaw was able to fire home quick jabs and straight lefts and slip along the ropes out of harm’s way. Breazeale had some success when he was able to catch Wallin against the ropes but that was a rare occurrence. As his confidence grew Wallin was taking some chances standing and exchanging punches but Breazeale was too slow to take any advantage that might have given him. Breazeale's reflexes are slow so Wallin was able to constantly slot jabs through Breazeale’s guard and land hard rights. Breazeale kept rumbling forward but his balance is poor so any lateral movement from Wallin was enough to help the Swede avoid trouble. The attention from Wallin’s jabs had Breazeale’s right eye swelling and it was almost closed by the end of the fight. Breazeale had his best round in the ninth and did well in the tenth when Wallin slowed and seemed to want to stand and trade punches. Wallin was never in any great danger. He outscored Breazeale in the eleventh and back pedalled in the last as Breazeale padded after him. Breazeale connected with a good left hook that was his best punch of the fight but it was far too late to change things, Scores 118-110, 117-113 and 116-112 for Wallin. A useful win for Wallin who is hoping somehow to work himself into a return with Tyson Fury but not much chance of that until the Fury vs. Joshua fight is over. Breazeale was having his first fight since being flattened in the first round by Deontay Wilder in May 2019. There will be plenty of heavyweight fights to be had so he may decide to continue.
Easter vs. Martin
Easter gets in some needed ring time as he outpoints Martin. Knowing he would be picked off at distance Martin continually tried to take the fight inside. After a close opening round Easter was working well with his jab and adding in straight rights. It was messy at times and bad tempered but Easter stuck to his boxing and mixed his punches well to head and body. Martin upped his pace in the fourth and fifth and had some success but Easter was quicker and more accurate with his punches and connected with a powerful right late in fifth. Martin continued to press but was being outscore by Easter in the sixth and seventh. A clash of heads in the eighth led to a cut over Easter’s left eye but it was never a factor. Martin pressed hard and took the ninth but boxing comfortably on the back foot Easter took the tenth and then coasted to the end of the twelfth. Scores 118-110 twice and 117-111 for Easter. The former IBF lightweight title holder is hoping for a title shot later this year and looked comfortable in his second outing at super light. A setback for Martin. He had been stopped in seven rounds by Josh Taylor in November 2018. He tested positive for a banned substance after the fight and was then inactive until June last year winning two low level outings since then.
Warren vs. Carter
Low key return for Warren as he decisions Carter. In his first fight for a year Warren put a lot of effort in early against Carter to take a commanding lead. Carter had a strong spell over the middle rounds. A nose fracture complicated things for Warren and he looked to be flagging at the end but was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 all for Warren. The former WBA bantam title holder is No 3 with the WBA so a title shot is not out of the question. Carter was coming off an eight round decision over former IBF super flyweight title holder McJoe Arroyo last month.
Velasco vs. Ochoa
Minor upset as Argentinian Velasco edges past favoured Ochoa on a split decision. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Velasco and 96-94 for Ochoa. Third time lucky in the USA for Velasco having been beaten inside the distance in no chance of winning fights against Regis Prograis and Mario Barrios. Ochoa had been rebuilding well running up five wins after being halted in seven rounds by Yves Ulysse in 2017
London, England: Welter: David Avanesyan (27-3-1) W TKO 6 Josh Kelly (10-1-1). Super Light: Gabriel Valenzuela (23-2-1) W PTS 10 Robbie Davies Jr (20-3). Feather: Jordan Gill (26-1-0) W PTS 10 Cesar Juarez (25-10).Welter: Florian Marku (8-0-1) W TKO 8 Rylan Charlton (6-1-1).
Avanesyan vs. Kelly
English-based Russian Avanesyan makes a successful third defence of the European title as he hassles and hustles with pressure all the way before stopping Kelly in the sixth round
Both connected with some good shots in the opener with a burst of punches seeing Kelly edge the round. A big left hook from Kelly sent Avanesyan staggering back in the second and he plastered Avanesyan with punches but Avanesyan recovered and Kelly suffered a cut to the back of his head when Avanesyan curved around there. Avanesyan tried to march inside but walked on to stiff jabs from Kelly who took the round. Having the shorter reach Avanesyan was having to take chances to get inside and in the third Kelly was spearing him with jabs and tying him up inside. Kelly got the better of the exchanges in the fourth standing and trading with Avanesyan. Kelly complained to the referee after a clash of heads which opened a cut over Kelly’s right eye. He was getting too confident with his arms down and taunting Avanesyan. In the fifth Kelly tried to brawl with Avanesyan before going back to his boxing. Avanesyan switches guard constantly and effortlessly and he was piling forward getting caught with counters but a succession of head punches he landed showed he was finally having some success. Avanesyan was hunting relentlessly in the sixth and connecting regularly. Kelly was forced to stand and exchange and was caught by a series of four head punches which saw him bend low at the waist and touch the floor with his gloves. After the eight count Avanesyan jumped on Kelly and connected with a couple of hard head shots. As Kelly retreated he stumbled and went down on his hands and knees and the towel came in from Kelly’s corner. Avanesyan, 32, a former holder of the interim WBA title who beat Shane Mosley in one of his defences is in great form having twice disposed of Spanish hope Kevin Lejarraga. He is rated IBF 6/WBC 7/WBA 9/WBO 10 and it would be great to see him get a title shot but the welters are super hot right now and there is the suggestion of a fight with unbeaten Connor Benn. Kelly looked in command but finally crumpled under the pressure. He has lots of talent and is only 26 but the manner of his losing was disappointing.
Valenzuela vs. Davies
Mexican Valenzuela floors and outpoints Davies. Both fighters were looking to stand and trade punches early with Davies just edging in front. In the third Davies rocked Valenzuela with a strong jab but Valenzuela fired back and a right put Davies down. In the fourth Valenzuela was deducted a point for hitting on the break. After a close fifth with plenty of exchanges Davies was rocked with a right in the sixth but rebounded to outboxed Valenzuela in the seventh. A right from Valenzuela rocked Davies in the eighth but Davies landed some good combinations in the ninth. The fight was there for the taking and Valenzuela produced the stronger finish to collar the decision and the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title. Scores 96-95 twice for Valenzuela and 94-94which hopefully will go some way to easing Eddie Hearn’s concerns over British judging after the Zelfa Barrett vs. Kiko Martinez controversy. Valenzuela, 26, is now 20-0-1 in his last 21 fights. Despite those impressive figures his opposition had been low key making him a reasonable risk for Davies. Where Davies goes now is open to question but there are plenty of good fights to take for the former undefeated European champion.
Gill vs. Juarez
Gill makes his score 1-1 against Mexican opposition as he boxes his way to a unanimous decision over Juarez. Gill built a quick lead as Juarez took a little while to comer to the boil. Once Juarez began to get into the fight he was exerting plenty of pressure and giving Gill some unpleasant moments. Juarez had a good sixth where he was able to corner Gill and work him over. From there Juarez slowly tired and Gill was able to work at distance with his jab and smother Juarez’s efforts inside. The Mexican remained dangerous but Gill fought a smart fight over the closing round to get the win. Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 96-94 for Gill who undoubtedly won but the scores looked a bit too wide. Gill collects the WBA International title with his third consecutive win since an inside the distance loss to Mexican Mario Tinoco in May 2019.
Marku vs. Charlton
After a slow start Marku climbs off the canvas to stop Charlton. The first two rounds saw Charlton on top and it was the third before Marku took control. He had Charlton in deep trouble at the end of the fourth and dominated the fifth. Charlton showed he was not finished by flooring Marku with a left hook in the sixth. The seventh swung back towards Marku and with Carton cut over his left eye and reeling under Marku’s attack his corner threw in the towel. Sixth win by KO/TKO for the London-based Albanian southpaw, a former kickboxer. Marku just punched too hard for novice Charlton.
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Middle: Vladimir Shishkin (12-0) W PTS 10 Sena Agbeko (23-2). Welter: Janelson Figueroa Bocachica (17-0) W PTS 10 Mark Reyes Jr (14-1).
Shishkin vs. Agbeko
Russian Shishkin much too good for Ghanaian Agbeko. Shishkin had too much skill for the aggressive but limited Agbeko. The only concern for Shishkin was a cut opened over his left eye in the fifth round. He was examined before the start of the sixth but was allowed to continue and finished strongly with a good eighth and rocking Agbeko in the ninth. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Shishkin. He is building on an extensive time in the amateurs where he was Russian Under-22 champion and won gold medals at the World Cup of Petroleum Countries and the prestigious Istvan Bocskai Tournament. He is being guided well but at 29 needs to make his move soon. Agbeko came in the back of eight wins but all against modest opponents.
Bocachica vs. Reyes
Detroiter Bocachica extends his winning run with a majority decision over Reyes. It was a close fight all the way. After an even start Bocachica seemed to build a winning lead over the middle rounds and in a strong ninth. Reyes scored well with left hooks but that drop of activity in the middle rounds undid him and even though he took the last as Bocachica coasted it was not enough to close the gap. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Bocachica and 95-95. First real test for the lanky 22-year-old Bocachica. Reyes, 24, had won his last nine fights by KO/TKO but was also untested-but then testing young talent is what ShoBox is all about.
Bolton, England: Light: Gavin Gywnne (13-2) W TKO 7 Sean McComb (11-1). Welter: Samuel Antwi (13-1) TKO 6 Darren Tetley (20-2). Super Feather: DP Carr (12-0-1) W PTS 10 Dean Dodge (9-1-1).
Gwynne vs. McComb
Gwynne upsets the odds with win over southpaw prospect McComb. Gwynne tried to exert pressure in the first but McComb “The Public Nuisance” boxed well. More pressure from Gwynne in the second as he hurt McComb with a hard body shot and a clash of heads opened a cut over McComb’s right eye. McComb steadied himself over the third and fourth but could not keep Gwynne out. Gwynne suffered an unusual cut in the fifth when he ducked under a punch from McComb and McComb’s elbow opened a cut on the back of Gwynne’s head. Big sixth for Gwynne as McComb began to wilt under the pressure and had to absorb some heavy shots. In the seventh a tired looking McComb was again under pressure and when he turned his back to walk away from Gwynne the fight was stopped. Welshman Gwynne’s losses have come in very tough asks against world rated fighters Joe Cordina and James Tennyson but this is a big win for him and he collects the vacant Commonwealth title. Huge blow for McComb both in losing and in the way he surrendered.
Antwi vs. Tetley
Another surprise in this one as Antwi stops Tetley. Antwi made a great start against the taller Tetley connecting with a series of body shots in the first that dropped Tetley. He beat the count and survived the round. From there it was a close contest but Antwi was getting the better of the exchanges. In the sixth he rocked Tetley with a couple of head punches and then drove him to the floor with body punches. Tetley made it to his feet but the referee stopped the fight. Londoner Antwi gets his sixth victory by KO/TKO and collects the vacant English title. Second consecutive loss for Tetley
Carr vs. Dodge
Carr outpoints Dodge. No love lost between these two in a bitter but entertaining battle. Carr just had the edge in skills and boxed his way to victory. Referee’s score 97-93. Carr retains the BBB of C Southern Area title and moves forward as this was also an eliminator for the English title. First ten round fight for Dodge.
Anguillara Sabazia, Italy: Super Welter: Damiano Falcinelli (14-0) W TKO 10 Christian Segura (12-5).
Falcinelli beats down Segura to win the vacant Italian title. For the first three rounds the better boxing of Segura put him in front. From the fourth the strong, aggressive Falcinelli took over. He landed a couple of left hooks in the fifth before putting Segura down with a right hook. Falcinelli had Segura on the back foot and under pressure in the sixth, seventh and eighth and then drove him to the canvas twice with a series of punches in the ninth. It was over early in the tenth when the referee stepped in as Falcinelli was bombarding an unresponsive Segura with punches. Seventh inside the distance win for the young fighter from Rome. Dominican-born Segura suffers his third loss in his last four fights
Krasnogorsk, Russia: Super Middle: Fedor Chudinov (23-2-1) DREW 10 Isaac Chilemba (26-7-3). Light: Alexander Devyatov (9-0) W TKO 1 Otto Gamez (19-5). Cruiser: Server Emurlaiev (23-0-1) W TKO 2 Ajmal Zarif (1-1).
Chudinov vs. Chilemba
Chudinov gets fortunate draw against Chilemba. In the first Chudinov was rolling forward and had some success when he took Chilemba to the ropes but Chilemba stopped Chudinov in his tracks twice with jabs. They both scored well inside in the second and Chilemba continued to find gaps for his jabs and quick counters in the third and fourth. Chudinov had been too slow coming forward and not throwing enough punches but he upped his pace in the fifth and had his best round. Chilemba was getting his punches off first and his movement was leaving the slower Chudinov a pace or two behind. Chilemba took the sixth and the seventh but Chudinov used his strength to wrestle Chilemba to the ropes more in the eighth and took that round. The ninth again saw the Malawian outbox Chudinov but the Russian put in a big effort in the last catching Chilemba with clubbing punches to head and body but Chilemba never looked in trouble. Scores 97-93 Chudinov, 97-94 Chilemba and 95-95 but for me Chilemba was a clear winner. The draw breaks a ten-bout winning streak for Chudinov, the WBA Gold title holder, but he was lucky here. Chilemba has had to travel a really tough road. He was 2-5 going into this one but the losses were against Eleider Alvarez, Sergey Kovalev, Olek Gvozdyk, Dmitry Bivol and Maxim Vlasov. It does not get much tougher than that.
Devyatov vs. Gamez
Devyatov destroys Gamez in quick time. Devyatov had the Venezuelan down four times before the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Fifth early win on the trot for the 23-year-old Russian. Careful matching saw Gamez’s record at 18-1 but 4 losses in 5 fights have painted a more accurate picture.
Emurlaiev vs. Zarif
A strange one this as Emurlaiev returns to the ring for the first time since November 2012 and stops newcomer Zarif in the first round. Zarif was way out of his depth. He was trapped on the ropes with Emurlaiev unloading punches when the towel came in from Zarif’s corner. He was furious at his corner throwing in the towel and he and his second argued and tried to exchange punches but the his second outside the ring on the arena floor that was like handbags at twenty paces. The stoppage stood. Now 35 Emurlaiev’s last fight which was back in 2012 ended in a split verdict loss to Stanislav Kashtanov for the vacant interim WBA super middleweight title. Russian-based Afghan Zarif turned pro in December and won his fight in 26 seconds.
Miami, FL, USA: Welter: Harold Calderon (24-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Eniz (25-15-1). Middle: Kanat Islam (28-0) W KO 7 Jayson Minda (14-4-1).
Calderon vs. Eniz
Calderon wins this clash of southpaws as he easily outpoints Eniz. The Honduran’s jab was the basis for his victory. Eniz tried to put Calderon under pressure but too often was kept on the outside by fast jabs from Calderon who took no chances. Eniz has a very ordinary record but wins over former IBF title holder Cesar Cuenca and Danish hope 21-1 Deniz Ilbay show he can be a threat on his night-this was not his night. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Calderon. He will be looking to work his way into the welterweight ratings but will need to face stronger opposition to do that. Fourth loss in his last five fights for Calderon.
Islam vs. Minda
Islam floors and halts Minda in seven rounds. Islam employed his usual war of attrition tactics from the start looking to beat the resistance out of tall Ecuadorian Minda. The Ecuadorian, a late substitute , proved a tough opponent and was able to connect with strong counters as Islam drove forward with not much thought of defence. The first sign of a crack in Minda’s hopes came in the fourth when a right from Islam put him down. Islam then ruined his advantage by landing a punch when Minda was on the floor. Islam took two points for the knockdown and was deducted two points for that late punch. Islam kept up the pressure on in the fifth and by the sixth an exhausted Minda was hardly able to raise his arms to protect himself. In the seventh Minda stumbled back to the ropes and was already going down as Islam threw a punch but Islam stopped the punch before he got himself in more trouble. Minda got up and after the count stood up to Islam but when an overhand right saw him drop to one knee the referee stopped the fight over protests from Minda. That makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO for the 36-year-old Chinese-born Kazak. This is the first fight for sixteen months for the WBO No 4. His name never comes up when looking at potential title challenges and at 36 he is not in a position where he can afford to wait much longer.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Light: Jonathan Barros (43-7-1) W PTS 10 Jorge Barrios (53-5-1,1ND).
Barros wins the clash of aging former title holders with a comfortable points victory over Barrios. The first round was taken by Barrios with some sharp jabbing,. A clash of heads saw Barros suffer a cut on his left eyebrow. From there ii was downhill for Barrios. In the second Barros took control of the centre of the ring and dominated the fight. Barrios just could not break through and although he clearly took the sixth a left hook from Barros in the eighth dumped him on the canvas. Barrios survived and Barros boxed conservatively in the ninth and tenth to get the win. Scores 99-91 ½ twice and 98-93 for Barros. Now 37 the former holder of the secondary WBA title at featherweight went on to lose in subsequent shots at the WBA, IBF and WBC feather titles. This was his first fight since September 2019. The 44-year-old Barrios “ The Hyena”, was once a holder of the WBO featherweight title. He was convicted of negligent homicide in 2010 when the car he was driving went through a red light and killed a 20-year-old pregnant woman. After various appeals Barrios was in prison from 2014 until 2017. This is his fourth fight since returning.
Arroyo Seco, Argentina: Super Light: Gustavo Lemos (26-0) W TKO 1 Demian Fernandez (13-3).
Lemos retains the IBF Latino title with 94 second demolition of Fernandez. Lemos went after Fernandez from the first bell. He forced Fernandez to the ropes and bombarded him with punches. Fernandez slid along the ropes trying to punch back but he lacked the power. Lemos was a bit wild with his punches but with Fernandez against the ropes a wicked left hook and a right sent him crashing down and the referee stopped the massacre. Sixteen wins by KO/TKO by the 24-year-old “El Electrico”. Fernandez had lost only one of his last eleven fights.
Hamburg, German: Heavy: Zhan Kossobutskiy (15-0) W KO 4 Onoriode Ehwarieme (18-2). Light Heavy: James Kraft (19-0-1) W RTD 2 Malkhaz Sujashvili (12-14). Super Middle: Toni Kraft (16-1-2) DREW 8 Rostam Ibrahim (6-0).
Kossobutskiy vs. Ehwarieme
Easy night for Kossobutskiy as he knocks out Nigerian Ehwarieme in the third round to win the vacant WBA International title. Ehwarieme is 6’7” but that is all he has going for him. He is very slow with a poor defence. Kossobutskiy floored the Nigerian at the end of the third round with Ehwarieme only just making it to his feet before the bell saved him. In the fourth a right to the head sent Ehwarieme down heavily and even though his corner immediately threw in the towel the referee decided to waste time by counting to ten. Fourteen inside the distance victories for Kossobutskiy whose promoters Universum have been spreading all sorts of rumours about who has been avoiding the 42-year-old Kazak southpaw but he will have to beat better opposition than this to prove himself. Ehwarieme came in as a late replacement. He has scored his wins over very sub standard opponents and when he “stepped-up” he was knocked out in one round by 12-7-2 Rodney Hernandez in 2019
Kraft vs. Sujashvili
No chances being taken here as Kraft forces a second round retirement against poor Georgian Sujashvili. The 6’3” younger of the Kraft brothers has ten wins inside the distance. Sujashvili suffers his tenth loss in his last eleven fights.
Kraft vs. Ibrahim
Kraft was looking to rebound from his first pro loss but instead had to settle for a majority draw against novice Ibrahim. In Kraft’s last fight in November 2019 he lost a close unanimous decision to unbeaten Leon Bauer. Ibrahim of Syrian descent fought well above expectations.
Fight of the week (Significance): Oscar Valdez’s victory over Miguel Berchelt opens up exciting possibilities at super feather
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Valdez vs. Berchelt
Fighter of the week: Oscar Valdez for power and class show against Berchelt
Punch of the week: The left hook from Valdez that put Berchelt face down on the canvas
Upset of the week: Mexican Gabriel was an outsider against Robbie Davies but sprung a surprise by flooring and outpointing Davies
Prospect watch: Filipino Super Bantamweight Carl Martin 17-0 is worth following
Just to clarify when I give an IBF ratings such as 7(5) it means that the fighter is No 7 in the ratings but there are two slots ahead of him which are “vacant” so effectively he is the fifth named boxer in the ratings.
Very strange. Three twelve round fights on the show in Uncasville and not a single title involved. The sanctioning bodies missed out on fees somehow.
Not too often you get a fighter and his second exchanging punches as happened in Krasnogorsk. As the boxer Ajmal Zarif was stopped in the first round perhaps the second should have been the one wearing the gloves.
Why does boxing attract the unattractive. On the show in Krasnogorsk you had one boxer described as a “white supremist, convicted criminal and former kickboxer and another described as “renown for an 18 year jail term for murder as well as subsequent jail for drug trafficking-and for once wrestling with a bear”. We don’t need any outside enemies we have enough inside the sport.
With Kanat Islam flooring Jeyson Minda with an illegal punch Islam lost two points for the illegal punch and Minda had a knockdown against him I am assuming the round would have been scored 8-8 which must be a rarity.
More rubbish ratings from the WBA. Filipino Robert Paradero was rated No 5 by the WBA before fighting Vic Saludar for the interim minimumweight title. Paradero was unrated in January 2018, won an eight round fight against someone with a 5-2-1 record in April 2018 and won one fight in April 2019 against a fighter with a 5-2-2 record and that’s the WBA ratings. Shameful but then the WBA have no shame. If you like fiction have a look at the WBA Rules and Regulations: https://www.wbaboxing.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/World-Boxing-Association-Rules
You will find they have 12 pages of tables ( pages 59 to 71) on how every single position in the ratings is calculated. I wonder when was the last time anyone at the WBA actually looked at those pages. All those complex calcuations and they don’t even have a separate section on how to rate fighters promoted by Don King!
Controversies in boxing really do come in so many shapes and forms. Be it alleged glove tampering dodgy officiating, poor scoring, the bell ringing early and the drug failures. Rarely, however, will they result in a TKO via headbutt. Today that's exactly what we bring you courtesy of a bout from 2008. Not only was the headbutt clear, but it wasn't the only headbutt in the fight, it resulted in a very controversial win, and also began one of the most amazing runs of a female world champion history.
Oh yeah this was a controversy that helped make a female fighter into a rather big deal, giving her a world title that she dominated for around a decade!
Momo Koseki (5-2, 1) Vs Winyu Paradorn Gym (6-1-1, 1) II
We need to start this looking back a little bit rather than looking at the fight in question.
In 2006 Winyu Paradorn Gym had began her career, she lost her second bout, to Samson Tor Buamas, but bounced back with two wins to earn a shot at the WBC Atomweight title, with the Thai looking to become the title's first holder.
In 2007 Japan's Momo Koseki began her professional career and after winning 3 bouts in a row and made up the other part of that inaugural WBC Atomweight title bout.
That bout took place on August 31st 2007 in Ayutthaya, Thailand and went the scheduled 10 round, taking us to the judges. The result of the scorecards saw Winyu taking a really close decision, 96-94 on two cards, both from Thai judges, and a 96-95 score from Thai based Swiss judge Franz Marti.
Although it's not known, it's probably fair to assume Koseki had felt stitched up.
We now fast forward August 11th 2008, almost a year to the date of their first bout, and the two women would clash again. This time in Japan, with Koseki having home advantage agaianst Winyu, who was still the WBC champion.
With almost a year of anger and resentment Koseki wanted revenge and likely didn't want the judges to have any involvement at all. From the off she pushed forward, not really giving a hoot about anything Winyu threw. This caused some real messy action, and numerous headclashes. Less than 90 seconds in Koseki was told off about the use of her head, but that didn't seem to stop her. The clashes continued.
Whilst headclashes are commonplace in bouts pitting southpaws, like Koseki, against orthodox fighters, there was a lot of them here. And Winyu was feeling everyone of them.
Just over 30 seconds into round 2 the Thai was dropped after a big clash of heads. She was in agony though bravely tried to climb to her feet whilst the referee counted. She managed to get her feet, but was stumbling all over the place as the referee stopped the contest. Koseki then began to celebrate before having her arm raised as the winner, by 2nd round TKO. It was a win that netted her the title, a title she likely felt should have been hers a year earlier.
Whether it was an intentional tactic, clumsiness, anger or something else it was clear this bout had ended due to the headclash. Winyu had been knocked silly by the clash and whether she wanted to continue or not was pretty irrelevant, though bout should have been stopped and ruled a technical draw.
The controversy grew and the WBC would order the two ladies to fight again. That rematch never occurred though. Instead of an immediate third clash Winyu returned to Thailand and lost a decision to Teeraporn Pannimit, retiring afterwards.
What became of Koseki? Well she ended up holding the title from August 11th 2008 to her retirement in 2018, having defended it 17 times and unified it with the WBA title.She would also go on to claim the WBC female Minimumweight title and become one of the most significant female fighters in Japan. Although she was always capable of being rough this was her at her most questionable.
Sadly we weren't able to find the broadcast version of the fight, though what we did find was video that did include a decent portion of the fight, including the fight ending headclash.
We know we've picked some real hidden gems and forgotten treat of fistic fury in this series and today we talk about another of the more obscure fights. We say obscure, though it was a world title fight from 1992, and by world title fight we do mean a fight for one of "the big 4". So whilst it is obscure it is a significant fight, as well as a fantastic one, featuring a rather forgotten Korean world champion from the early 1990's taking on one of the many tragic figures from boxing's history.
Young Kyun Park (20-1-1, 11) vs Seiji Asakawa (19-2-1, 14)
Korean fighter Young Kyun Park is, sadly, not a name we suspect many will be too familiar with. Evn hardcore fans of the lower weights and the Korean scene may not really remember too much about Park, who was a solid and fun to watch Featherweight. He fought between 1986 and 1995 and won the Korean titles at Super Bantamweight and Featherweight before later winning OPBF and WBA titles, both at Featherweight. He won the WBA belt in 1991, when he beat Antonio Esparragoz, and is probably best known for his 3 fight series with Eloy Rojas, which was a brilliant trilogy of fights. In his third defense of the WBA Featherweight title Park took on Japanese title challenger Seiji Asakawa.
Asakawa is one of the many fighters who've life ended before it's time, though his death had nothing to do with boxing. Asakawa would sadly drown in 2001, at the age of 33, whilst fishing in Tsukuhara Lake. That was notably after his career ended, though still came tragically early. As a fighter Asakawa had, prior to facing Park, held the Japanese Featherweight title, twice, and had scored a noteworthy title defense against Koji Matsumoto. This was his first world title bout, and his first bout out of Japan. On the domestic scene he had proven to be a dangerous puncher, but he had been stopped in both of his losses and stepping up to world class was going to be a test of his durability.
Unlike most bouts this one didn't start slowly and build to something exciting. Instead, this one started hot, with the Inchon Indoor Gymnasium playing host to one amazing opening round. From the first bell the men just met each other and unloaded bombs. The local favourite was getting the better of it, but the challenger roared back giving us a totally breath taking opening round of unadulterated violence. The round may have only been 3 minutes long but it swung one way, then the other, then back and back again. This was an incredible round of action.
It would have been easy for the tempo to drop from the first round, but it didn't. Instead the two continued to wage war in round 2, with Asakawa eventually hitting the deck part way through the round. Park went for finish, but Asakawa saw out the storm, and made it to round 3. With the minute break he seemed to come out fresh as the action continued to be just as incredible, exciting and intense as it had been in the first two rounds.
This was a war right through to the end, and is a truly brutal bout. Fantastic action.
If you want to watch a real hidden gem, this is well worth your time...and unlike most bouts this doesn't actually have commentary, instead it's just the crowd noises. Whilst it's not always great we actually like the lack of commentary, especially given the action here really speaks for it's self.
Enjoy a true Closet Classic!
By Eric Armit:
-Brian Castano outpoints champion Patrick Teixeira to win the WBO super welterweight title
-Joel Diaz fails to make the weight so loses his IBF super featherweight title but the fight against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov goes ahead and finishes in a majority draw so the title remains vacant
-Former IBF lightweight champion Richard Commey returns to action with stoppage of Jackson Marinez
-Mexican Mauricio Lara springs a major surprise as he stops unbeaten former IBF featherweight champion Josh Warrington in nine rounds
- Huge controversy over the scoring as Zelfa Barrett outpoints Kiko Martinez
-Leigh Wood wins the vacant British Featherweight title with stoppage of Reece Mould.
-Ronny Rios and Azat Hovhannisyan keep their title hopes alive with comfortable wins
-Adam Lopez takes majority decision over Jason Sanchez and heavyweight prospect Jarred Anderson makes it eight inside the distance wins in eight fights.
World Title/Major Shows
Indio, CA, USA:. Super Feather: Joseph Diaz (31-1-1) DREW 12 Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0-1). Super Welter: Brian Castano (17-0-1) W PTS 12 Patrick Teixeira (31-2).Super Bantam: Ronny Rios (33-3) W PTS 10 Oscar Negrete (19-3-2). Super Bantam Azat Hovhannisyan (19-3) W TKO 8 Enrique Bernache (24-13,1ND). Middle: Shane Mosley Jr (17-3) W RTD 5 Cristian Olivas (20-8).
Diaz vs. Rakhimov
Diaz loses the IBF title on the scales as he comes in 3.6lbs over the limit but Rakhim fails to win the vacant title in a very close contest as the fight finishes as a majority draw
Fast-paced start as Rakhimov took the fight to fellow-southpaw Diaz. Rakhimov was busier but Diaz was blocking well and was finding gaps. Diaz landed a quick right-left combination and just did enough to take a close round
Score: 10-9 Diaz
Again Rakhimov was bustling forward throwing lots of punches from both hands. Diaz was cleverly blocking Rakhimov’s shots and countering well. Diaz rocked Rakhimov with a left and had Rakhimov under fire. Rakhimov staged a late rally but not enough to offset the more accurate work from Diaz.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Diaz 20-18
Rakhimov took this one. He was pumping out a continuous stream of punches. Not all of them landed and there was not a lot of power behind them but enough were getting through to allow him to dominate the exchanges in what was turning into an entertaining fight between two well-match boxers.
Score: 10-9 Rakhimov Diaz 29-28
Rakhimov continued to set a reckless pace. He was putting together five/six punch combinations and Diaz was having to spend time blocking or dodging the stream with little time to counter. When Diaz came on strong at the end of the round Rakhimov showed some good defensive skills.
Score: 10-9 Rakhimov TIED 38-38
Diaz changed tactics and took the fight to Rakhimov. He was coming in behind a high guard and connecting with right jabs and lefts to the head. Rakhimov was still throwing plenty of punches but Diaz’s guard was good enough to block most of them and Diaz landed some crisp lefts.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Diaz 48-47
Brilliant boxing from Rakhimov. He was now darting in landing four or five punches and then getting out before Diaz could counter. Diaz was stalking the fast-moving Rakhimov but unable to cut the ring off and Rakhimov continued his quick attacks with some success.
Score: 10-9 Rakhimov TIED 57-57
Rakhimov was again throwing bunches of punches with Diaz just looking to land big lefts. Diaz tried to up his own work rate as the round progressed but the quick footwork and sheer quantity of punches from Rakhimov gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Rakhimov Rakhimov 67-66
Diaz applied more pressure in this round. He began to find the range with his lefts to the head and rocked Rakhimov with a combination. That prompted Rakhimov to stand and fire back but Diaz got the better of the exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Tied 76-76
Diaz totally outworked Rakhimov in this round. He was coming forward and letting his punches go more than he had previously. Rakhimov’s punch output dropped as Diaz applied more and more pressure.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Diaz 86-85
Now Diaz was the one firing bursts of punches. He had discarded the high guard and was moving in firing punches with both hands. He was also anticipating Rakhimov’s attacks and either stepping back out of range or catching the oncoming Rakhimov with counters.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Diaz 96-94
A close round. Diaz started well coming forward and putting together some accurate combinations. He then seemed to tire and Rakhimov raked Diaz with a couple of lefts and just did enough to come out ahead.
Score: 10-9 Rakhimov Diaz 105-104
In a low-key last round Rakhimov simply outworked Diaz who never applied any real pressure and fought as though he was already confident of victory.
Score: 10-9 Rakhimov TIED 114-114
Fighting for the first time since January 2020 Diaz was making the first defence of the IBF title and indicated he had weakened himself making the weight and is now likely to move up to the talent-packed lightweights. Tajik-born Russian “Shere Khan” Rakhimov will now be hoping to get another shot at the title.
Castano vs. Teixeira
Castano wins the WBO title with wide unanimous decision over champion Teixeira. Castano was conceding height and reach to the tall Brazilian but from the first the ferocious Argentinian battler was fighting his way inside and pinning Teixeira to the ropes whilst unloading hooks and uppercuts. Teixeira just could not keep Castano out. He was firing counters particularly hard right hooks but Castano was blocking or just walking through the Brazilian’s punches and belabouring him to the body. After four rounds Castano was in front 40-36 on two cards and 39-37 on the other. Teixeira managed to find some space to work in the fifth and early in the sixth and snapped back Castano’s head with some hooks but apart from that short period the pattern of the fight did not change much with the centre of the ring a “no man’s land” for Teixeira as Castano hustled and harried him around and around the perimeter of the ring. Teixeira had scored 22 inside the distance wins but his punches were just bouncing off Castano. There are no clever tactics or Plan B for Castano just relentless pressure. Teixeira tried to stand and trade punches at the start of the eighth refusing to be driven back but he was getting the worse of the exchanges and by the end of the round Castano was rocking him with hooks and uppercuts. The snap had gone out of Teixeira’s punches and Castano had extended his lead being in front 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75. In the ninth Teixeira again tried to outpunch Castano but he was now the one walking onto counters. Both fighters slowed in the tenth but Castano again regained control and he continued to dominate the action through the eleven and twelfth. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-111 for Castano. After retaining the secondary WBA title with a draw against Erislandy the 31-year-old Argentinian relinquished the title over disputes regarding a return fight with Frenchman Michel Soro but is title holder again. Teixeira had originally won the interim title but was upgraded to secondary champion and this was his first defence.
Rios vs. Negrete
Rios too strong for a game Negrete and works his way to a wide unanimous decision. Rios was coming forward working the body from the first bell. Negrete was having to absorb some wicked hooks in the first but fought back hard in the second as they traded punches in the centre of the ring and Rios was cut over the left eye in a clash of heads. They went toe-to-toe for much of the third and fourth but Rios was the harder puncher and Negrete was getting the worse of the exchanges. Over the middle rounds Rios continued to dominate with his superior power and the body punches slowly weakened Negrete. In the late rounds Negrete was walking forward throwing lots of punches but getting more and harder back from Rios and although tired he made it to the bell. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Rios. He is rebuilding well after losing to Rey Vargas in a challenge for the WBC super bantamweight title and a stoppage loss to Azat Hovhannisyan. This is his fourth win including an impressive sixth round stoppage of unbeaten Diego de La Hoya. He is No 3 with the WBC. Yet another tough fight for Colombian Negrete who just lacked the power to match Rios.
Hovhannisyan vs. Bernache
With a title shot this year a strong possibility Hovhannisyan could not afford to take any chances against Bernache and in the end it proved an easy night for the Armenian. He took the opening round and then stamped his authority on the fight by flooring Bernache in the second. Heads clashed throughout the fight and both fighters were quickly showing facial damage but the stronger Hovhannisyan beat Bernache down and had him out on his feet in the eighth when the fight was halted. Rated No 2 by the WBA and with five inside the distance wins on the trot Hovhannisyan is keeping his name very much in the frame. It’s now three losses and a NO Decision in his last four fights for Mexican Bernache but he only lost on a split decision against Can Xu the current holder of the secondary WBA title at featherweight.
Mosley vs. Olivas
Mosley continues his strong run with a victory over Olivas. Mosley did most of the scoring and his accurate jabs quickly had a swelling developing by the right eye of Olivas. Mosley continued to make the injury his target over the fourth and fifth and with the swelling growing Oliva retired at the end of the fifth. The win gets Mosley the WBO NABO title belt with his seventh victory in his last eight fights. Mexican Olivas had won three of his last four and this is the first time he has lost inside the distance.
London, England: Feather: Mauricio Lara (23-2) W TKO 9 Josh Warrington (30-1). Feather: Leigh Wood (24-2) W TKO 9 Reece Mould (13-1). Super Feather: Zelfa Barrett (25-1) W PTS 12 Kiko Martinez (41-10-2). Super Light: Dalton Smith (7-0) W RTD 3 Ishmael Ellis (11-4).
Lara vs. Warrington
Huge upset as Lara stops Warrington in the ninth round of a savage battle. Warrington tried to blow Lara away with a fierce attack in the first but Lara fired back and was scoring with left hooks to the body. Warrington was looking apprehensive in the second. He was landing some hard rights but Lara was putting him under pressure and scoring with left hooks and straight rights and worrying for Warrington Lara was out-jabbing him. Warrington did better in the third as he seemed to be getting into his stride but Lara was still dangerous with left hooks. A series of head punches from Lara had Warrington staggering in the fourth and a Lara left hook dropped him. Warrington got up but looked totally dazed and took more punishment before the bell. He staggered and stumbled on the way back to his corner and the fight should have been stopped then. Still looking a bit dazed Warrington battled back in the fifth and sixth as they traded shots. The fight was fast-paced and entertaining but Warrington was going to war instead of boxing and although Lara was showing bumps around both eyes he was landing the harder punches. Warrington was rocked again with left hooks in the seventh and was on the back foot for most of the eighth. Not by choice but under the pressure from Lara. The growing lump under Lara’s left eye was threatening to hamper his vision and he was looking tired with his work sloppy at times. Lara ended in the ninth as he connected with four successive left hooks to the head than sent Warrington down heavily and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Huge win for Lara. He was ranked 8 (7) by the IBF but had never faced a name opponent. Now he will be hoping to get an early shot at the winner of Kid Galahad vs. James Dickens for the vacant IBF title. Warrington reportedly suffered a fractured jaw in the fight. Having relinquished the IBF title and now suffering this crushing defeat he needs to work out what went wrong and then fight his way back into contention
Wood vs. Mould
Wood wins the vacant British title as he proves to powerful for less experienced Mould. The first two rounds were close and Mould made his mark when he shook Wood with a strong left hook in the third. That was the high point for Mould. In the fourth a fierce attack from Wood had Mould reeling and rocking under a storm of punches until an uppercut put Mould down. He beat the count and survived to the bell but he was shaken and bloody. Mould managed to stay competitive in the fifth and sixth but only just as Wood was in control and getting through with some hurtful shots. Mould began to fade badly in the seventh and took heavy punishment in the eighth. In the ninth as Mould set himself to throw a punch Wood got there first with a booming left hook that dropped Mould face first to the canvas. He struggled to his feet and the fight should have been stopped then but the referee decided to let Mould continue and Wood landed a series of punches that sent Mould down again and the fight was stopped. Former Commonwealth champion Wood was rebounding from a majority decision loss against James Dickens in February last year where a win would have put him in line for a shot at the IBF title. This was just too big a leap in class for Mould.
Barrett vs. Martinez
Barrett gets hotly disputed unanimous decision over Martinez. Being much the smaller man Martinez was coming forward bobbing and weaving in the first with Barrett on the back foot firing jabs and with both fighters having some mild success. Martinez upped his pace in the second scoring with lefts and rights knocking Barrett into the ropes with Barrett doing more moving than punching. Martinez was again coming forward in the third dodging Barrett’s jabs to get inside but Barrett evened things up with some quick hooks late in the round. The scene was the same in the fourth with Martinez doing the scoring but with Barrett stopping him in his tracks with a right before the bell. Neither fighter was about to change his tactics so Martinez was chasing Barrett down in the fifth and sixth getting through with left hooks. In the seventh a clash of heads saw Barrett’s troubles increase as it opened a cut over his right eye. Martinez was attacking strongly in the eighth but Barrett started to catch him with quality counters. The ninth was Barrett’s best round so far as he was firing quick punches with both hands and not letting Martinez close the distance. Barrett was moving and jabbing in the tenth with Martinez chasing in vain slowing and being unable to pin Barrett down. The eleventh was close but Barrett put together some flashing combinations late in the round to edge it and for me he outboxed Martinez in the last. I felt that Barrett’s stronger finish was not quite enough to swing the fight his way after Martinez had built a substantial lead over the first eight rounds-but then came the scores 118-110 twice and 116-113 all for Barrett. He moves to six wins in a row. Former IBF super bantamweight champion Martinez had won his last two fights and to me he made it three here. I did not agree with 116-113 so felt the other two scores were way out. Eddie Hearn was incensed saying that decisions like this will make it harder to get overseas boxers to come to Britain.
Smith vs. Ellis
Smith marches on as Ellis retires after three rounds. Smith handed out plenty of punishment over the first two rounds. Heavy rights from Smith had Ellis bloody and beaten and the retirement was a sensible decision. Six inside the distance victories in a row for the 24-year-old “Thunder”. Third loss in a row for Ellis.
Las Vegas, NV, USA. Light: Richard Commey (30-3) W TKO 6 Jackson Marinez (19-2). Feather: Adam Lopez (15-2) W PTS 10 Jason Sanchez (15-3). Heavy: Jarred Anderson (8-0) W TKO 6 Kingsley Ibeh (5-2-1).Middle: Troy Isley (1-0) W PTS 4 Bryant Costello (1-2).
Commey vs. Marinez
Commey batters Marinez to defeat to show he is still a force in the lightweight division. In his first fight for fourteen months Commey made a slow start but then gradually dialled up the pressure against Dominican Marinez. Once Commey was into his stride he was exerting heavy pressure putting Marinez on the back foot. Marinez stood his ground and traded punches occasionally but the danger in Commey’s rights forced Marinez to send most of the time on the back foot. Commey was breaking Marinez down bit by bit and much of the fight had gone out of Marinez by the end of the fifth round. Marinez was holding more and more trying to smother Commey’s attacks. Commey ended it brutally in the sixth. He drove Marinez to the ropes and sent him to his knees with two big rights. Marinez made it to his feet but after the count Commey strolled across the ring and delivered a pile driver of a right cross that floored Marinez heavily and the referee dispensed with the count. The former IBF champion was having his first fight since losing his title on a second round stoppage against Teo Lopez in December 2019 and is aiming for another title shot this year. Marinez was also coming of a loss after being beaten controversially on points by Rolando Romero for the WBA interim title in August.
Lopez vs. Sanchez
Lopez won the NABF title last year on a majority decision and in this entertaining and competitive fight he retained it on a majority decision. Sanchez went out in the lead but with Lopez clawing his way into the fight and building a slight lead of his own and then only just holding on to get the win. Sanchez was the busier and Lopez the more accurate but all of the rounds were close and the decision could have gone to either fighter without much complaint. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Lopez and 95-95 which keeps alive Lopez’s hope of a title shot this year. He lost a majority verdict to current WBO super bantamweight champion Stephen Fulton and had Oscar Valdez on the floor in a non-title fight in 2019 so has form. Sanchez lost on points to Valdez for the WBO title in June 2019. He was coming into this one on the back of a loss having been outpointed by Chris Diaz last June.
Anderson vs. Ibeh
Anderson notches up another inside the distance win. The unbeaten 6’4” prospect was taken past the fourth round for the first time and that gave him the chance to show that his boxing in developing nicely to compliment his undoubted power. He worked well with his jab against the unorthodox style of Ibeh and finished in style. In the sixth as Ibeh was swinging wildly Anderson landed two rights and a left hook which put Ibeh down flat on his back and the fight was waived off. The 21-year-old from Toledo has taken less than 18 rounds for his 8 wins. Ibeh was coming off a majority draw with unbeaten hope Guido Vianello.
Isley vs. Costello
Yet another top amateur moves into the professional ranks with Top Rank. Isley had too much of everything for inexperienced Costello. Isley showed impressive skills punching with power and outclassing Costello who had edges in height and reach but was never able to make use of them. Scores 40-36 to Isley on the three cards. The 22-year-old from Washington DC is one for the future. Puerto Rican Costello never in with a chance.
Hunlingham, Argentina: Super Bantam: Alberto Melian (8-2) W RTD 9 Luis Molina (8-6-1)
Former amateur star Melian wins the vacant WBA Fedebol title with victory over Molina. Melian was in control from the start being quicker and more accurate with his work. Molina soaked up plenty of punishment and only just survived a torrid fifth. Melian systematically dismantled Molina over the sixth, seventh and eighth and Molina did not come out for the ninth. Now five inside the distance wins for Melian who competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He won the Argentinian title in only his second pro fight but then lost decisions in the USA against Leonardo Baez and Oscar Negrete. First loss by KO/TKO for Molina who is just a four and six round prelim fighter.
Livorno, Italy: Super Bantam: Jonathan Sannino (13-1-1) W TKO 6 Giovanni Tagliola (7-6).
Home town fighter Sannino stops Tagliola in six to lift the vacant Italian title. Sannino started well circling the slower Tagliola and jumping in with quick attacks. From the second Tagliola exerted more pressure and connected with good hooks and uppercuts. Sannino slowed and changed his tactics trying to walk forward behind a high guard which allowed Tagliola to score with same hard hooks as Sannino advanced. Tagliola scored heavily with hooks and uppercuts digging hard to the body in the fourth but rights from Sannino sent Tagliola’s mouthguard flying at the end of the round. They traded punches throughout the fifth with Sannino now looking the stronger. Tagliola was staggered by a left hook in the sixth and Sannino sensing his chance opened up with a fierce attack and with Tagliola pinned to the ropes Sannino connected with a huge right that sent Tagliola down heavily. He made it to his feet but was unsteady and the referee waived the fight over. Fourth win in a row for Sannino and second KO/TKO loss for Tagliola who was having his second shot at the title.
Merida, Mexico: Super Feather: Daniel Lugo (23-1) W PTS 10 Luis Guzman (8-15). Super Light: Omar Salcido (12-0) W PTS 8 Jesus Acosta (15-1-1).
Lugo vs. Guzman
Lugo much too good for very late substitute Guzman. After a slow opening round Lugo raked Guzman with body punches and handed out a steady beating to Guzman who bled heavily from the nose for much of the fight. Although outclassed Guzman refused to crumble and made it to the final bell. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Lugo. The Hermosillo fighter, often a sparring partner for Miguel Berchelt, extends his winning streak to 20. Guzman came in at less than 24 hours after Diego Andrade was ruled out by a positive COVD-19 test.
Salcido vs. Acosta
Salcido comes off the floor to win the war between undefeated fighters. Salcido was floored early by a left hook but recovered quickly and banged back to put Acosta down. His superior power put him in front and Salcido decided the outcome with another knockdown to take the unanimous decision. Good test for the 21-year-old from Hermosillo. Acosta was up at eight rounds for the first time.
Orlando, FL, USA: Welter: Shinard Bunch (13-1,1ND) W TKO 1 Ariel Vasquez (14-29-3). Cruiser: Richard Rivera (19-0,1ND) W TKO 1 Ulisses Jimenez (24-27-1). Super Light: Branden Pizarro (16-1-1) W TKO 1 DeWayne Wisdom (7-55-2).
Bunch vs. Vasquez
In a horrible mismatch New York prospect Bunch gets yet another first round win as he floors poor Vasquez twice then flattens him with a thunderous right cross with the referee not bothering to count. Now twelve inside the distance wins with eight coming in the first round for the 21-year-old from Queens. Nicaraguan Vasquez is 1-13-1 in his last 15 fights.
Rivera vs. Jimenez
Colourful “Popeye” Rivera makes it fourteen quick wins as he puts Jimenez down and out with a left hook to the head. All over in 69 seconds in another poor excuse for a match. Mexican Jimenez, 37, moves to 19 losses by KO/TKO.
Pizarro vs. Wisdom
Pizarro blows away feeble Wisdom inside a round. The 21-year-old hope from Pennsylvania drove Wisdom to the ropes and just kept unloading punches on the dreadfully inept Wisdom until the referee stopped the fight. Pizarro is 8-0-1 in his last 9 fights. Wisdom has now lost his last 19 fights.
Passso Corese, Italy: Cruiser: Luca D’Ortenzi (15-1) W PYS 10 Matteo Rondena (9-6).
D’Ortenzi decisions Rondena for his seventh win in a row and picks up the vacant IBO International belt. D’Ortenzi used his longer reach to control the early action scoring well with his left jab and counter rights. Rondena managed to get inside and had a good third round but D’Ortenzi was back in control in the fourth. The fifth was close with Rondena working hard but a left to the body had him in trouble in the sixth. Rondena had some success over the closing rounds but D’Ortenzi’s better skills and accuracy saw him emerge a clear winner. Scores 96-94 twice and 99-91 all for D’Ortenzi who is a former undefeated Italian heavyweight champion. Second consecutive loss for Rondena as he was outpointed by Roman Fress for the vacant German International title in January last year.
Paniqui, Philippines: Fly: Bienvenido Ligas (13-1-1) W PTS 12 Alphoe Dagayloan (14-3-6,1ND).Super Feather: Charly Suarez (5-0) W PTS 10 Jon Jon Estrada (11-8-1).
Ligas vs. Dagayloan
Ligas just edges past Dagayloan in a scrap for the vacant Philippines title. Ligas looked on his way to an early victory as he staggered Dagayloan a couple of times in the first round. Dagayloan has yet to lose inside the distance and he came through that early crisis. Despite Ligas having the better skills and the power southpaw Dagayloan was rolling forward applying plenty of pressure and taking the edge off the young prospect’s attacks. He made the fight close but a strong finish from Ligas was enough to get him the verdict. All three judges had it 115-113 for 22-year-old Ligas who has won his last seven fights. Dagayloan had lost only one of his last thirteen fights.
Suarez vs. Estrada
Former Olympian “King’s Warrior” Suarez gets in some useful ring time as he outpoints Estrada. Suarez was too quick and too skilful for Estrada and won all the way in a fight that lacked any real highlights. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Suarez. He had spent less than eight rounds registering his first four wins so effectively doubled his ring time here. Now 32 Suarez competed at the 2016 Olympics and the 2007,2009, and 2011 World Championships and is still a member of the Philippines amateur squad. Four losses in a row for Estrada.
Fight of the week (Significance): With the fight between Joseph Diaz and Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov ending in a draw the IBF title remains vacant leaving a gap at super featherweights to be filled
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Mauricio Lara vs. Josh Warrington provided quality competition all the way.
Fighter of the week: Mauricio Lara for his upset win over Josh Warrington
Punch of the week: The straight right from Richard Commey that flattened Jackson Marinez
Upset of the week: Lara’s win over Warrington was a huge shock.
Prospect watch: I will keep an eye on Troy Isley but a bit early to say how far he can go.
Not a good weekend for title fights with Max Vlasov testing positive for COPVID-19 leading the cancellation of his fight against a disappointed Joe Smith for the vacant WBO light heavyweight title and Joseph Diaz failing to make the weight for his defence of the IBF super featherweight title against Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov taking some of the edge out of that fight.
The Philippines title fight between Bienvenido Ligas and Alphoe Dagayloan is the first use of the “bubble” approach to putting fights on there so hopefully it might lead to an increase in activity.
Eddie Hearn was very upset over the decision in the Zelfa Barrett vs. Kiko Martinez fight saying it might make it more difficult to get boxers to come to Britain. I guess you will just have to pay them more Eddie!
Christy Martin promoted the show in Orlando on Friday but I hope she was not responsible for the match making. Three fighters with combined records of 46-2-1 took less than a round each to put away three opponents with 108 losses between them but let’s not forget a Commission passed all three bouts as acceptable
Next Week’s Action:
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Middle: Vladimir Shishkin (11-0) vs. Sena Agbeko (23-1). Welter: Janelson Figueroa Bocachica (16-0) vs. Mark Reyes Jr (14-0).
Bolton, England: Light: Sean McComb (11-0) vs. Gavin Gywnne (12-2). Welter: Darren Tetley (20-1) vs. Samuel Antwi (12-1).
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Miguel Berchelt (37-1) vs. Oscar Valdez (28-0). Berchelt defends WBO title in all-Mexican duel. Middle: Esquiva Falcao (27-0) vs. Artur Akavov (20-3). Super Feather: Gabriel Flores Jr (19-0) vs. Jayson Velez (29-7-1).
London, England: Welter: David Avanesyan (26-3-1) vs. Josh Kelly (10-0-1) Avanesyan defending the European title. Super Light: Robbie Davies Jr (20-2) vs. Gabriel Valenzuela (22-2-1). Feather: Jordan Gill (25-1-0) vs. Cesar Juarez (25-9).
Uncasville, CT, USA: Welter: Adrien Broner (33-4-1) vs. Jovanie Santiago (14-0-1). Heavy: Otto Wallin (21-1) Vs. Dominic Breazeale (20-2). Super Light: Robert Easter Jr (22-1-1) vs. Ryan Martin (24-1). Bantam: Rau’shee Warren (17-3) W Sharone Carter (12-3). Super Light: Zachary Ochoa (21-1) vs. Juan Jose Velasco (22-2).
Santa Fe, Argentina: Super Light: Gustavo Lemos (25-0) vs. Demian Fernandez (13-2)
Binan City, Philippines: Minimumweight: Robert Paradero (18-0) vs. Vic Saludar (20-4) Vacant WBO title
Krasnogorsk, Russia: Super Middle: Fedor Chudinov (23-2) vs. Isaac Chilemba (26-7-2).
Miami, FL, USA: Welter: Harold Calderon (23-0) vs. Jonathan Eniz (25-14-1). Middle: Kanat Islam (27-0) vs. Obodai Sai (35-3-1).
Another month is here and we get another chance to dip into the subject of boxers being involved in commercials and adverts. As people familiar with this series will know, this isn't something to take too seriously but is a bit of fun and a chance to see fighters in some interesting roles outside of the ring.
Guts Ishimatsu - Ricoh Printer
A show on to kick off with but one featuring a favourite of this series, former Lightweight world champion Guts Ishimatsu. Ishimatsu was involved numerous adverts, having a long post-boxing career as an actor and talent, and one of his many assignments was Ricoh Printers, featuring in two Ricoh Printer adverts. This one sees Ishimatsu walking in to an office with a before some confused looking colleagues. We're sure the advert makes sense to those able to speak Japanese but to us, it's just amusing to see Ishimatsu, once again, showing brilliant presence on screen and being involved in a humourus role.
Tomomi Takano - Christian & Co
Another regular in this series is female fighter Tomomi Takano, who had the natural aura to draw eyes and attention to anything she was promoting. That's seen here in an advert for Christian and Co. The advert is very modern, very basic and a bit boring if we're being honest, yet it's almost impossible to look away from Takano who really does act as the main factor in an overly artsy commercial. This is very style over substance, and is supposedly the "simple version" of the advert, suggesting there is a more complex version out there, despite us not yet coming across it.
Manny Pacquiao - Anta
Another boxer who has been in numerous commercials over the years is Filipino sensation Manny Pacquiao, who has put his face to pretty much everything and anything. Here is a commercial he filmed for Anta Sports Products entitled "I am a Fighter". The entire video focuses more on Pacquiao and his career than the product he's selling, which is a bit strange. In fact almost the entire advert is based on Pacquiao with Anta barely getting an actual mention in the video. Very odd for the brand awareness if we're being honest.
Gennady Golovkin - GGG Energy Drink
Kazakh boxer Gennady Golovkin is undeniably the greatest professional boxer from Kazakhstan so far. He's also the only one to have an energy drink emblazoned with his his name, or rather his initials. Sadly the advert here is a very weird one being mostly training with the energy drink coming at the very end of the video. We understand the idea behind it, with the energy drink fuelling Golovkin's great training, but it very much feels like a missed opportunity and it would have made more sense to push the product at the start of the video, or during the middle of it, rather than flash it at the end of the advert for a few seconds.
Katsunari Takayama - BODYMAKER
We suspect long term fans of Japanese boxing will remember the "Bodymaker Colosseum", and that was a deal where sports where company Bodymaker bought the naming rights for the Osaka Prefectural Gymansium for a number of years. Bodymaker also had a number of notable athletes promoting their clothing, such as Katsunari Takayama, who featured in a number of commercials for them. They included this very basic one of him sprinting in their clothing as part of one of his work outs. Again a very simple advert, but one where we at least see the brand's logo during the advert as well as at the end. We can at least understand what Bodymaker are here, even if the advert isn't the most artistic one out there.
For today's Closet Classic we turn our attention Stateside for a bout that pit an unbeaten "interim" world champion against a very talented, and often over-looked, Filipino. For the champion it was his US debut whilst the challenger was getting his first world title fight and both men wanted to leave an impression. And they did so!
Czar Amonsot (18-2-1, 10) vs Michael Katsidis (22-0, 20)
Filipino fighter Czar Amonsot isn't someone we expect fans to be too familiar with. The talented Filipino really never got a chance to make a big name for himself, or even really capitalise on this bout. He was a very under-rated boxer with a good boxing brain, decent speed and countering, and whilst he wasn't a huge puncher he certainly had enough on his shots to get the respect of his opponents. Prior to this bout both of his losses had come by TKO to Simson Butar Butar of Indonesia, including an opening round blow out just 10 months before this bout. On paper he really shouldn't have been fighting for a "world title", and was expected to be blown out early on by the heavy handed champion. He did however, likely get this shot due to a short lived reign as the WBO Asia Pacific champion, which would have given his ranking a boost coming into the bout.
The unbeaten Michael Katsidis had won the WBO "interim" Lightweight title around 5 months earlier, in the UK, when he won a tremendous 5 round war with Graham Earl in London. Prior to the Earl bout little was really known of Katsidis on the international stage, however hardcore fans, and Australians, knew he was a talent. He began his career in a 10 round title bout, for the Queensland State Lightweight title, his team were confident of his ability and he won the Australian title in just his second bout. Prior to facing Earl however he hadn't really faced anyone of any real note, and the Earl bout was his coming out party so to speak. He was aggressive, exciting, heavy handed, a bit raw but a thrill a minute fighter who was made for TV.
This started hot from the off with Katsidis doing what he would gain a reputation for, and coming forward, applying pressure and looking to open. Amonsot was quickly backed up but showed some nice ring craft to fight off the back foot and showed some very nice skills and counter punching, to try and keep Katsidis honest. Sadly for Amonsot he couldn't slow the Aussie in the first round and was dropped in round 2 by Katsidis seemed hungry for an early finish.
In Katsidis's rush to impress the US TV viewers he managed to end up taking some big shots himself and was left with some brutal looking bruising and swelling around his left eye by the end of round 2, and a nasty bruise under his right eye as well. Despite his good start, the eye was looking like it would be a ticking time bomb, with an almost inevitable feeling that it would begin to bleed, everywhere.
After being knocked down Amonsot changed his tactics, looking to create space to work from whilst Katsidis had to try and protect the eye. The eye was a mess by the middle rounds as the bruising burst, leaving Katsidis with half of his face covered in claret. The Aussie was, for the most part, the attacker but was being out boxed in large stretches by the Filpino, who was putting in a much, much better performance than anyone expected.
The fight wasn't one of the best Katsidis fights, but it was bloody, dramatic, competitive, exciting, and showed a mix of styles as Amonsot's excellent boxing skills went up against the power and aggression of Katsidis. A really good, often over-looked modern classic, that deserves a lot more attention than it gets. We had heart, determination, excitement, momentum shifts and drama. A brilliant fight!
By Eric Armit:
-Former champion Austin Trout returns with a win
-Former champion Carlos Molina scores a win on own promotion
-Argentinian banger Matias Rueda moves his % of inside the distance wins to 86.11 with kayo of Claudio Echegaray
Chihuahua, Mexico: Welter: Austin Trout (33-5-1) W PTS 10 Juan Armando Garcia (21-8-2). Fly: Bryan Mosinos (20-2) W PTS 10 Jesus Lemus (11-3).
Trout vs. Garcia
Former WBA super welterweight champion Trout returns with a win. The veteran southpaw looked sharp against the modest Garcia. Trout dominated all the way and finished strongly looking to end the fight inside the distance but Garcia lasted the full distance. Scores 99-91 for Trout from all three judges. First fight for Trout since a low level win in February last year. Garcia’s last fight was a one round stoppage loss against Canadian Jessie Wilcox in June 2018.
Mosinos vs. Lemus
Mosinos extends his winning run to eight with a points verdict over Lemus. Mosinos had no problems handling the tall Lemus but his lack of power allowed Lemus to survive to the end.
Patzcuaro, Mexico: Middle: Carlos Molina (37-11-2) W PTS 10 Edgar Ortega (18-12). Super Welter: Adrian Granados (21-8-2,1ND) W KO 2 Nestor Garcia (23-23-1).
Molina vs. Ortega
Molina takes unanimous decision over Ortega in ten entertaining rounds. Molina adopted a hands down style using upper body movement to sway under Ortega’s punches. Ortega was more upright with a strong jab. They traded punches throughout the fight with hardly a clinch. Molina’s faster hands and greater accuracy gave him the edge but Ortega fought back hard with strong jabs and right crosses finding the target. The longer the fight went the more of a war it became. Molina was throwing bunches of punches with Ortega taking the punishment and then coming straight back with shots of his own. At times it looked as though Molina might overwhelm Ortega but that never happened and he was still there and punching at the final bell although Molina was the clear winner. Eight wins in a row for the former IBF super welterweight champion. This was another show which Molina also promoted. It had been 5 losses in his 6 fights for Ortega but he made Molina work hard for his victory.
Granados vs. Garcia
Easy win for Granados. He had no trouble dealing with the crude attacks of Garcia and in the second a wicked left hook to the ribs sent Garcia down rolling in agony and he was counted out. In his first fight since October 2019 the Illinois-born “Tigre” returns to the winning column after consecutive losses to Danny Garcia and Robert Easter. Now eight defeats in a row for Garcia six by KO/TKO.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Super Feather: Matias Rueda (35-1) W KO 4 Claudio Echegaray (22-5-2). Light: Fidel Ruiz (15-1) W KO 2 Sergio Blanco (9-40-4)
Rueda vs. Echegaray
“Little Cobra” Rueda stops “Snake” Echegaray in four rounds. Rueda was coming forward in the first but southpaw Echegaray was scoring with crisp uppercuts and rocked Rueda with a left hook and took the round. Echegaray connected with a left at the start of the second which knocked Rueda off balance. Rueda looked to have touched the canvas with a glove to steady himself but no count was applied. They then traded punches with Echegaray going down on one knee. He protested it was a slip but the referee gave him a count. Rueda attacked hard in the third and then dropped Echegaray early in the fourth with a left hook to the body. Another left to the body saw Echegaray go down on his hands and knees and the towel came in from Echegaray’s corner but the referee completed the ten count. Rueda lifts the vacant WBO Latino title with win No 31 by KO/TKO as he rebuilds with his ninth victory since being stopped in two rounds by Oscar Valdez for the vacant WBO featherweight title in 2016. Echegaray goes to 1-5-1 in his last 7 fights.
Ruiz vs. Blanco
“King” Ruiz returns to the ring for the first time in almost three years and floors and kayos Blanco in two rounds. The former South American champion moves to twelve wins by KO/TKO. Poor Blanco has lost his last ten fights but this is only the third time he has lost inside the distance.
Perez, Argentina: Bantam: Kevin Munoz (11-0) W PTS 10 Carlos Sardinez (16-4).
“The Diamond” Munoz retains the South American title with wide decision over southpaw Sardinez. The first round saw Sardinez drop briefly to one knee under pressure from Munoz but he was not seriously shaken and easily beat the count. In the second a clash of heads resulted in Munoz suffering a cut but it never really troubled him in the fight. His speed and accuracy saw him win by a wide margin on the three cards with scores of 100-89, 100-91 and 100-93. First defence of the title for 22-year-old Munoz the Argentinian No 2 super flyweight. Sardinez a former South American champion slides to 4-4 in his last 8 fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): There may be some good paydays out there for Austin Trout after his win over Juan Armando Garcia
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Carlos Molina and Edgar Ortega provided plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Austin Trout as he wins on his return
Punch of the week: The body punch from Adrian Granados was a vicious fight finisher
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: No new names
Observations: Quietest week since the return of boxing
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Light Heavy: Joe Smith (26-3) vs. Maxim Vlasov (45-3) vacant WBO title. Light: Richard Commey (29-3) vs. Jackson Marinez (19-1). Feather: Adam Lopez (14-2) vs. Jason Sanchez (15-2).
Indio, California, USA: Super Feather: Joseph Diaz (31-1) vs. Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (15-0). Diaz defending IBF title. Super Welter: Patrick Teixeira (31-1) vs. Brian Castano (16-0-1) Teixeira defending WBO title. Super Bantam: Ronny Rios (32-3) vs. Oscar Negrete (19-2-2). Super Bantam: Azat Hovhannisyan (18-3 vs. Enrique Bernache (24-12). Middle: Shane Mosley Jr (16-3) W Cristian Olivas (20-7).
London, England: Feather Leigh Wood (23-2) vs. Reece Mould (13-0) for vacant British title. Feather: Josh Warrington (30-0) vs. Mauricio Lara (21-2) first fight for Warrington since relinquishing the IBF title. Super Feather: Zelfa Barrett (24-1) vs. Kiko Martinez (41-9-2)
When we talk about robberies we rarely see the local fighter on the wrong end. In 2017 however we saw a really poor decision go against an unbeaten local star. Not only was the local man robbed, but he was the new face of the country's boxing scene and he was an Olympic champion. It seemed like he had dominated the bout but was still, some how, seeing his opponent get their arm raised. The bout was among the very worst decisions of the year, and lead to a rematch being ordered and judges, for once, being punished. At least for a little while.
Ryota Murata (12-0, 9) Vs Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam (35-2, 21) I
The fans who had crowded into the Ariake Colosseum in May 2017 had expected the event to be a huge one for Japanese boxing. It was a triple title show and Japanese fighters Kenshiro Teraji, then fighting as Kenshiro, and Daigo Higa had both won titles earlier in the show. It was now time for the country to have it's second Middleweight world champion as Ryota Murata took on Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam for the vacant WBA Middleweight title.
On paper this was a huge step up for Murata, who had won an Olympic gold medal in 2012, but was regarded as a winnable bout against the talented N'Dam N'Jikam. Murata had proven himself to be a physically strong and imposing fighter, but technically quite limited, quite slow, flat footed and someone who often relied on his physicality and strength rather than his skills. Despite his limitations he was a nightmare to face and when he put his foot on the gas he had shown glimpses of being very special.
As an Olympic champion Murata was pretty much put on the fast track not just to a title but super stardom in Japan. He had his pro-test bout televised and had linked up with Bob Arum, Teiken and Misako who all worked alongside Dentsu to help handle a Japanese boxing super commodity.
Although a very talented fighter N'Dam N'Jikam was best known for his heart and determination, often picking himself off the canvas in his losses. He was dropped numerous times by Peter Quillin and David Lemieux, but had shown his desire by finishing both bouts, and being competitive when he remained on his feet.
Just 5 months before this bout N'Dam N'Jikam had won the "Interim" WBA Middleweight title with a brutal KO win over Alfonso Blanco. Rather than being upgraded to the "regular" champion N'Dam N'Jikam was taking on Murata for the vacant title.
From the first round Murata took the centre of the ring, applied consistent, effective and direct pressure on N'Dam N'Jikam who moved around the outside of the ring throwing mostly single shots, moving away from the Japanese fighter. Early on Murata didn't do too much, he certainly gave away from rounds, but when he got going he began to dominate, landing all the heavy shots. Those heavy shots saw him dropping N'Dam in round 4.
N'Dam N'Jikam showed real heart, something we all knew he had, but was rocked time and time again. It didn't seem like a competitive bout at times in the middle rounds, but N'Dam's desire and toughness kept him in it. Somehow. By the middle rounds it seemed less and less like N'Dam N'Jikam was trying to win, and instead trying not to be stopped.
After 12 rounds it seemed a foregone decision. There was no logical way to see anything but a Murata win. He had, at worst, lost the first 3 rounds, and gone on to drop N'Dam N'Jikam before dominating the final 8 rounds.
Some how the judges saw something different. Gustavo Padilla managed to some how, score the bout 116-111 to N'Dam N'Jikam whilst Hubert Earle had given it to N'Dam N'Jikam with a score of 115-111, over-ruling a 117-110 card in favour of Murata from Raul Caiz Sr. Some how N'Dam N'Jikam had got the split decision, in a bout that seemed impossible to give him in Murata's home of Japan. It was one of those incredibly rare robberies against the unbeaten local. And it was a result that still, 3 years on, makes no sense.
The two judges who scored the bout for N'Dam N'Jikam were suspended for 6 months, the head of the WBA scored the bout himself, scoring 117-110 for Murata, and then a rematch was ordered. The rematch saw Murata stopping N'Dam N'Jikam, who retired after the 7th round, to claim the title he should have got here.
Every so often we enjoy fights that should get serous amounts of attention over the years, but for whatever reason, they seem to end up just being forgotten into the annals of time. The forgotten wars, the under-ground thrillers, the bouts that simply remain under the radar, despite how amazing they were. Today we roll the clock back to 1999 to bring you one such amazing fight from Thailand for the WBA Flyweight title.
Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym (16-0, 13) vs Leo Gamez (32-6-1, 24)
The 25 year old Sornpichai Kratingdaenggym, aka Sornpichai Pisanurachank, was an unbeaten Featherweight hopeful who had shown a lot of promise very early in his career. In just his 8th bout he travelled to Italy and beat the then 12-0 Luigi Castiglione, to claim the lightly regarded WBU title, just weeks later he beat former world title challenger Willy Salazar and began his climb towards a world title fight. That title fight came in 2009 when he clashed with veteran Leo Gamez. By this point the Thai had got a reputation for being exciting and dangerous, with 8 straight stoppages coming into this bout. Despite being dangerous this was still seen as a massive step up in class.
Leo Gamez was a veteran by this point. He had 39 fights to his name, was a 3-weight world champion and had fought all over the globe. He had not only fought at home, in Venezuela, but also had success in South Korea, Japan, Panama and Thailand prior to this fight. He was 36 years old at this point, but still a very capable fighter who had become the WBA Flyweight champion in March 1999 and had taken the WBA "interim" Supder Flyweight title in May, as he plotted his move further up the scales. Gamez was one of the few fighters from the time who had managed to move through the lower weights successfully. Sadly though there was, quite clearly, a feeling that he had cherry picked his way to some of the titles, beating the relatively limited Hugo Rafael Soto for the Flyweight title.
The bout was held in front of a massive outdoor crowd at the Mukdahan Grand Hotel Arena in blistering sun. The conditions looked less than ideal for a great fight, in fact they looked horrific for a fight. Despite that the men provided something special.
After a few moments of the two men feeling each other out, getting behind their jab and seeing what the other had to offer, the bout slowly moved through the gears. By the end of the first round it was clear the Thai challenger was going to be the one applying the pressure and Gamez was going to have to use his skills and speed to neutralise it.
In round 2 Gamez tried to turn the table, taking the fight to Sornpichai to begin with. The Thai wasn't going to stay away for long and began to come forward again before the round was over, and landed a beauty of a body shot that forced a response, with Gamez landing one of his own soon afterwards.
Sornpichai continued to press in round 3 but the wily veteran skills of Gamez saw him soaking it up, until eventually the pressure told and Gamez was sent to the canvas, for the first knockdown of the fight. From there the pace picked up up, the action intensified and Sornpichai hunted a finish. Gamez saw out the storm and as the fight went on he managed to find success of his own, and had Sornpichai looking ready to go at one point.
We won't ruin the bout any further, but this really is a lost classic. Not a Fight of the Year contender for 1999 but a damn good fight, and certainly among the better ones in Asia for the year. A real gem and a dramatic fight with one of the most eye catching finishes you'll see!
When we have some free time we're hoping to add a series of fun articles to the site. Hopefully these will be enjoyable little short features