By Eric Armit
-Jaime Munguia remains unbeaten as he stops D’Mitrius Ballard in the third round and lightweight William Espinoza (25-0) has to overcome a knockdown to beat Luis Viedas in the third
-Zaur Abdullaev comes from behind to floor Jorge Linares twice for a last round stoppage and Angel Rodriguez outpoints Mark Urvanov in a WBA super featherweight eliminator
-Kell Brook outclasses Amir Khan and stops him in six rounds and Natasha Jonas wins the vacant WBC Female super welterweight title as she beats Chris Namus in two rounds
-Arslan Makhmudov stops Mariusz Wach in the sixth for win No 14 by KO/TKO and Simon Kean climbs off the canvas to halt Shawndell Winters in nine rounds
World Title/Major Shows
Tijuana, Mexico: Middle: Jaime Munguia (39-0) W TKO 3 D’Mitrius Ballard (21-1-1,2ND). Light: William Zepeda (25-0) W KO 3 Luis Viedas (29-12-1). Super Light: Diego Torres (14-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Martinez (8-3-1). Feather: Rafael Espinoza (18-0) W KO 1 Alie Laurel (18-7-1). Fly: Arely Mucino (31-3-2) W TKO 2 Marisol Sanchez (12-10). Feather: Christian Olivo (19-0-1) W PTS 6 Miguel Mateos (12-5). Super Welter: Jorge Garcia (23-3) W KO 3 Jesus Rodriguez (19-9-2). Super Fly: Argi Cortes (22-2-2) W PTS 6 Mario Andrade (16-15-7).
Munguia vs. Ballard
Munguia makes a slow start and then floors and stops Ballard in the third. Both just stuck with probing jabs in the first with neither committing themselves to a punch until Ballard landed a couple of rights and Munguia countered with one of his own. A left hook from Munguia in the second caused Ballard to blink. The action heated up with a couple of exchanges but Munguia started to let his punches go. He scored with a left to the body and a right to the head but Ballard picked him off with a series of jabs and also landed right to the head. Munguia finally launched a big attack in the third landing a left hook to the body that hurt Ballard and another to the head but again Ballard boxed his way out of trouble. A left hook to the body and another to the head staggered Ballard into a corner and a series of punches sent him face down on the canvas. He was up at six but when another left to the head rocked him the referee stopped the fight. Win No 31 by KO/TKO for Munguia. He has worked hard on his boxing skills and is a much better boxer than he was when he first burst on the scene. He is WBC1/WBO 1/WBA 2/IBF 12(10) and a fight with Jermall Charlo for the WBC title would be a big seller. Ballard goes back to basics. He just did not have the punch to deal with Munguia but showed some good skills.
Zepeda vs. Viedas
Zepeda suffers his first knockdown as a pro but makes it fifteen consecutive wins by KO/TKO as he beat Viedas in three rounds. Viedas was down in the first but from a slip and he seemed to injury his knee as he went down. He was given recovery time but had to soak up some heavy lefts from Zepeda. In the second Zepeda forced Viedas to the ropes and Viedas dropped to one knee after a right from Zepeda. After the count they stood and traded punches with Viedas connecting with two good rights. Zepeda chased Viedas to the ropes but ran onto the left counter that dropped him to his knees. Zepeda was up at six and when Viedas rushed in to try to capitalise on the knockdown he was met by a flying elbow from Zepeda and went down. There was no count and Zepeda was deducted a point for the elbow smash. It was all over in the third as Zepeda battered Viedas to the canvas twice. Zepeda landed two punches after Viedas was on his knees for the second knockdown and Viedas was counted out. The 25-year-old southpaw has only been taken the distance twice. He is rated WBC 2 and WBO 6 at super lightweight but Josh Taylor has a busy dance card. Viedas came in as a very late substitute and suffered his seventh inside the distance defeat.
Torres vs. Escobedo
Torres holds off a strong second half effort from Escobedo to take the unanimous decision. Torres dominated early and Escobedo suffered a cut over his left eye from a punch and had swelling around his right. Escobedo survived two inspections of his injuries and the thought of a stoppage loss fired him up and he fought hard with an exhausted and cut Torres losing a point for spitting out his mouthguard in the ninth but fighting hard enough to be a clear winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 98-91 for Torres. This is the first time Torres has gone past the sixth round for a win. Escobedo is 2-2-1 in his last five fights all of which have been against unbeaten nighters.
Espinoza vs. Laurel
The 7” taller Espinoza demolishes Laurel inside a round. A right to the head sent Laurel down early in the round. He beat the count but was pawing at his right eye and when he dived in trying to land on Espinoza he slipped and a left to the temple put him down and he was counted out. Ten inside the distance victories in his last eleven fights for the 6’1” Espinoza. Third loss in a row for Laurel.
Mucino vs. Sanchez
Mucino extends her current unbeaten run to ten with a second round stoppage of Sanchez. The referee halted the fight in the second round with Sanchez taking too much punishment. The 32-year-old Mucino is a former IBF, WBC and WBO flyweight champion. Sanchez was a replacement and suffers her fifth defeat in her last six bouts.
Olivo vs. Mateos
Fourteen wins in a row for Olivo as he tales the decision over Mateos who was yet another late change. Olivo was in charge in every round and came close to halting Mateos in the last. Scores 60-54 on the three cards. Olivo celebrated his twenty-third birthday on Friday.
Garcia vs. Rodriguez
In a battle of boxers from Los Mochis Garcia stopped Rodriguez in the third round Garcia put Rodriguez down and when Rodriguez tried to rise he tumbled to the canvas again and the fight was over. Nineteen wins by KO/TKO for Garcia. Rodriguez is 2-6-1 in his most recent action.
Cortes vs. Andrade
Ignacio Beristan trained Cortes extended his unbeaten run to 22 fights as he outboxed experienced Andrade on the way to a win on scores of 59-55 twice and 60-54.
Manchester, England: Welter: Kell Brook (40-3) W TKO 6 Amir Khan (34-6). Super Welter: Natasha Jonas (11-2-1) W TKO 2 Chris Namus (25-7). Super Middle: Germaine Brown (12-0) W PTS 10 Charlie Schofield (17-2). Light: Adam Azim W TKO 3 Jordan Ellison (13-34-2). Middle: Bradley Rea (12-0) W TKO 1 Craig McCarthy (89-1-1).Heavy: Frazer Clarke (1-0) W TKO 1 Jake Darnell (0-1).
Brook vs. Khan
Brook destroys Khan in a disappointingly one-sided bout.
An ominous start for Khan. He was flitting about throwing lots of light punches with Brook just patiently tracking him around the ring. When Brook did let go he rocked Khan badly twice with rights and with a left late in the round. The story was similar in the second with Khan throwing lots of punches without much accuracy. Brook always looked dangerous and again looked to stagger Khan with a right to the head. Khan had most success when he jabbed and moved and landed a couple of nice shots early in the round but he could not get away from Brook’s pressure and over the closing minute Brook handed out some fierce punishment with Khan holding to survive. The fourth was a messy round without much scoring from either boxer with Brook doing what good work there was connecting with a solid right to the head and Khan clinching more. The fifth was a dominant round for Brook. He connected with a right to the head and then drove Khan around the ropes landing more rights. Khan was just moving trying to stay out of trouble but still being caught with more rights and a stoppage looked close. Khan was staggered by a left jab at the start of the sixth and as Brook piled on the pressure with Khan not punching back the referee made a good stoppage. Brook was having his first fight since losing to Terrence Crawford in November 2020. It is possible that this win may encourage him to try for another run at the top fighters and already there have been challenges thrown his way. For Khan on this non-showing retirement has to be the sensible choice.
Jonas vs. Namus
Jonas wins the vacant WBO Female title with stoppage of Namus. Jonas put her stamp on the fight early in the first round putting Namus down heavily with a right hook. Namus made it to the bell but was badly shaken. In the second Jonas stormed into Namus who tried to stand and trade punches but was sent down again from a left and although she was up quickly her corner threw in the towel. Jonas, 37, had drawn with Terri Harper for the WBC and IBF featherweight titles and lost a very close unanimous decision (95-96 twice and 94-96) to Katie Taylor in May last year for the IBF,WBA,WBC and WBO lightweight titles so third time and third division saw her successful. Uruguayan Namus, 34, is a former IBF title holder.
Brown vs. Schofield
Brown wins the English title with points victory over defending champion Schofield. Brown’s aggression overcame the reach advantage of the 6’3” Schofield. Brown bobbed and weaved his way inside banging away to Schofield’s body. Schofield just could not get the range and quickly fell behind. He tried to take the fight to Brown more over the second half of the bout but was outlanded and faded out of the fight. Scores 99-92 twice and 98-92 for Brown.
Azim vs. Ellison
Highly touted hope Azim stops experienced journeyman Ellison in three rounds. Azim floored Ellison with a body shot in the first and ended the fight with a left hook in the third. The former British Junior and English Youth champion is trained by Shane McGuigan.
Rea vs. McCarthy
Rea wipes out McCarthy in the first round. After shaking McCarthy with a couple of rights to the head Rea ended the fight with a stunning left hook that sent McCarthy down with McCarthy’s corner throwing in the towel. Five wins by KO/TKO for Rea.
Clarke vs. Darnell
A waste of ring space and time as Clarke stops Darnell in the first round. Darnell had never had a pro fight in fact his experience consisted of a bare knuckle fight and white collar bouts. Clarke was scoring with thudding body shots and to his credit Darnell took the punishment and tried an occasional jab. Clarke quickly brought blood from Darnell’s nose with a right and when another right snapped Darnell’s head back his corner threw' in the towel. Darnell was only approached to take part in this dangerous farce on Thursday but hey! The show must go on. Clarke is 30 and a winner of a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and silver at the Tokyo Olympics so adds another interesting ingredient to the heavyweight mix but boxing should be ashamed at putting the interests of a TV company above the interests of the sport. The world would not have ended if Clarke did not fight on the show.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Light: Zaur Abdullaev (15-1) W TKO 12 Jorge Linares (47-7). Super Feather: Angel Rodriguez (20-1) W PTS 12 Mark Urvanov (20-3-1). Super Light: Ivan Kozlovsky (5-0) W PTS 10 Zoravor Petrosian (12-2).
Abdullaev vs. Linares
Abdullaev pulls of a dramatic last round victory. Both started cautiously just probing with jabs and hiding behind tight guards. Good second round from Linares as he was shooting jabs through the guard of Abdullaev and cracking home shots to the body with both hands. The third and fourth also went to Linares. He was stabbing stiff jabs home and letting fly with bursts of punches with Abdullaev too slow to counter. Abdullaev did a bit better in the fifth getting through with some body punches. He was always advancing but not throwing enough punches to put Linares under pressure. Abdullaev let his hands go more in the sixth and cracked Linares with a couple of rights to the head but Linares consistently pierced Abduallaev’s guard with jabs. Both scored with jabs and body punches in an even seventh. Linares boxed beautifully on the back foot early in the eighth but Abdullaev connected with two heavy rights over the closing seconds. Abdullaev had his best round so far in the ninth. He was forcing Linares to the ropes and working him over with both hands and Linares was moving slower and not throwing as punches. Abdullaev maintained the pressure in the tenth connecting with a series of head punches. Linares regrouped and outboxed Abdullaev over the second half of the round. Linares worked his jab hard in the eleven but there was no snap in it and Abdullaev was finding the target persistently with rights to the head. Linares was forced to stand and trade with Abdullaev in the twelfth and was nailed by a big left hook that sent him down on his back. He was up; early but then was dropped again by another strong left hook. He made it to his feet and indicated he wanted to continue but he was pinned to the ropes with Abdullaev unloading heavy punches and the fight was stopped with just over thirty seconds remaining in the round. Huge win for the 27-year-old Russian. He was No 4 in the WBC ratings but lost in four rounds against current title holder Devin Haney in September 2019 and Vasyl Lomachenko and Ryan Garcia are in front of him in the queue. With his only other ranking No 10 with the IBF there is no clear path to a title shot. Linares had given Haney a tough night in a title challenge in May last year. This the first time in the last nine years that Linares has lost successive fights. He stills has great skills but at 36 things are not going to get any easier so retirement has to be considered.
Rodriguez vs. Urvanov
Rodriguez gets split decision over Urvanov in WBA eliminator. There was a contrast in styles with Rodriguez very orthodox and Urvanov with hands low and punching from a variety of angles. Rodriguez had a good second round when he shook Urvanov badly with a right to the head and although Urvanov recovered quickly Rodriguez connected a couple more times with his right and rattled Urvanov with some sweeping hooks in the third. Urvanov upped his output in the fourth and it developed into a fast-paced entertaining contest. Urvanov was quicker and busier with Rodriguez picking his shots well and landing the harder punches. It was difficult to separate them with both having dominant spells. Urvanov pressed hard throughout the fight but Rodriguez had him shaken again with a left hook in the eighth. Relentless aggression from Urvanov made Rodriguez work hard for three minutes in every round but he had a good eleventh as Urvanov tired from the pace he had set and outlanded Urvanov in the last. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 for Rodriguez and 115-113 for Urvanov. Important win for seasoned pro Rodriguez who with Urvanov being rated No 3 moves into line for a shot at the WBA title and therefore a blow for Urvanov but at 25 be can and will climb back again.
Kozlovsky vs. Petrosian
Southpaw Kozlovsky retains the WBC Asian Boxing Council belt with split decision over Ukrainian Petrosian. The silkier skills of Kozlovsky saw him outboxing Petrosian getting his punches off first and using good defensive work to pocket the opening rounds. Petrosian was switching guards and landing crisp body punches to start to eat into Zalovsky’s early lead and with Kozlovsky suffering a cut over his right eye the gap narrowed. Kozlovsky then produced a stronger finish to restore his advantage and just did enough to finish in front. Scores 96-94 twice for Kozlovsky and a strange 99-91 for Petrosian. Kozlovsky, 24, is a former World Youth gold medallist
Montreal, Canada: Heavy: Arslanbek Makhmudov (14-0) W TKO 6 Mariusz Wach (36-8). Heavy: Simon Kean (21-1) W TKO 9 Shawndell Winters (13-7).
Makhmudov vs. Wach
Makhmudov given a tough test by Wach but in the end the strength of the Russian “Lion” proves too much for the Pole and the fight is stopped in the sixth round. From the first bell Makhmudov marched forward throwing punches as usual. Wach tried to use his jab to keep Makhmudov out but Makhmudov marched past the jab forcing Wach to the ropes and landing clubbing rights to the head. Makhmudov has very little in the way of a guard and Wach was able to halt his march in the second with a series of left jabs and straight rights. He did even better in the third scoring with hard rights and backing Makhmudov up with Makhmudov losing his mouthguard. Makhmudov rebounded and landed overhand rights in the fourth and fifth with Wach looking exhausted at the end of the round. Makhmudov launched a ferocious attack in the sixth connecting with a series of clubbing rights to the head-three of which landed on the back of Wach’s head-and the big Pole collapsed to the canvas. He arose but after the eight count the referee waived the fight over with no protest from Wach. Fourteen inside the distance victories in fourteen fights for Makhmudov who has only once had to go past the sixth round for a win. He is immensely strong but also very crude and really needs to step up against some rated opposition. Wach, 42-rated No 48 in the BoxRec rankings-has lost every time he has tried to move up but tested Makhmudov’s chin a few times.
Kean vs. Winters
Kean gets off the floor to stop Winters. Kean made an uncertain start. His jabbing has improved but his defence is still leaky. He shook Winters with a right to the head in the second and made use of his longer reach to outscore Winters over the next three rounds. In the sixth Winters moved in with a beautiful left hook that put Kean down. Kean went head over heels and then climbed up and floored Winters with a ramrod of a jab. Winters got up and both landed heavily in the seventh and Kean dropped Winters twice with rights in the ninth and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’5” “Grizzly” gets win No 20 by KO/TKO but his handlers are careful to avoid any risky fights as he is very vulnerable. Fifth consecutive loss for Winters
Ontario, CA, USA: Feather: Horacio Garcia (35-5-1) W PTS 8 Isaac Zarate (16-6-4) W. Light: Ruben Torres (18-0) W TKO 6 Cristian Mino (20-5-2).
Garcia vs. Zarate
Garcia gets a majority verdict over Zarate in his first fight since September 2018-when he lost a split decision to Zarate. The fight was close over the opening four rounds with Zarate just having a slight edge. From the fifth Garcia started to pull away and he finished much the stronger and looked a clear winner but one judge disagreed. Scores 80-72 and 79-73 for Garcia and 76-76. Mexican Garcia won his first 29 fights but has been a patchy 6-5-1 since then including a points loss to Carl Frampton in 2017 in which Frampton took a count in the seventh round. Californian southpaw Zarate was having his first fight for 29 months.
Torres vs. Mino
“Ace” Torres is just too big and punches too hard for little Mino. The 5’11” Torres towered over Mina forcing the Argentinian to take punishment to get inside. There was more punishment for the Mino inside but he stuck to his task. Torres slowly broke Mina down and in the sixth put him on the canvas with a right. Mina managed to get up but a body shot put him down again and the referee halted the fight without a count. Eight inside the distance wins in his last nine fights for the Santa Monica boxer. Mina gets easy fights at home and tough ones away-but the away money is better.
Orlando, FL, USA: Light: Jamaine Ortiz (15-0-1) W PTS 10 Nahir Albright (14-2). Super Welter: Paul Kroll (9-0-1) DREW 8 Marquis Taylor (12-1-2,1ND).
Ortiz vs. Albright
Ortiz remains unbeaten as he outpoints Albright. Ortiz went into the lead early as he was on the front foot taking the fight to Albright. He continued to boss the action building on his early aggression and looked to have swept the first six rounds. Albright finally had some success over the seventh and eighth but Ortiz had a good ninth and then settled for staying out of trouble in the tenth. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 for Ortiz. In his last fight in APRIL 2021 Ortiz climbed off the floor twice to get a draw against unbeaten Joseph Adorno. He was an elite level amateur but just failed to make it through the US Trials for the 2016 Olympics. Albright lost his first pro fight but then won 14 in a row including a victory over prospect Michael Dutchover in September.
Kroll vs. Taylor
When two scores are close and the third a long way different there might be a tendency to assume the different score is the controversial one but not here. Taylor looked to dominated all the way. He was quicker and more accurate than Kroll made good use of his longer reach and lasted the distance better. It was close early but then Taylor got the better of the exchanges and by the sixth Kroll was already showing signs of tiring and Taylor looked to have won the seventh and eighth. One judge gave it to Taylor 80-72 which seemed a fair reflection of the fight but one judge had it 77-75 for Kroll and the third scored it 76-76 for a split draw. Taylor is unbeaten in his last twelve fights. Kroll won his way through the US Trials for the Rio Olympics but failed to qualify losing at the Americas, World and APB/WBS qualifiers.
Bolton, England: Welter: Jack Rafferty (18-0) W TKO 3 Evgenii Vazem (9-23).
Rafferty stops an overmatched Vazem in three rounds. Rafferty was controlling the fight with his jab in the first digging in hurtful body punches and clubbing rights to the head. There was not much coming back from Vazem. A right to the temple shook Vazem in the second and when still under fire he took a knee later in the round. Rafferty battered Vazem around the ring in the third until the referee stepped in to save Vazem who was just taking too much punishment. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Rafferty, 25, who is ready for stiffer tests. Thirteen consecutive losses for British-based Russian Vazem
Turnberry, Scotland: Cruiser: David Jamieson (8-1) W PTS 10 Samo Jangirov (7-3-1). Super Welter: Kieran Smith (17-1) W PTS 8 Gabor Gorbics (26-24-2). Super Welter: Michael McGurk (13-0) W KO 2 Jan Balog (15-54-1). Feather: Nathaniel Collins (10-0) W RTD 3 Uriel Lopez (13-18-1).
Jamieson vs. Jangirov
Scot Jamieson wins his first pro title as he moves up to ten rounds and takes a unanimous decision over Sweden’s Jangirov. Jamieson dominated the action with the exception for a short period in the sixth when Sangirov’s counters had him dialling back on his aggression. He adjusted and then eased his way to the win. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Jamieson. He collects the IBO International title. Azeri-born Jangirov won the Swedish title last year.
Smith vs. Gorbics
Just a keep busy night for prospect Smith. He won every round against a survival specialist in Gorbics. Smith tried hard to finish it early but just could not find a punch to put Gorbics away. The referee scored it 80-72 for three-time Scottish amateur champion Smith whose only loss has come against unbeaten Troy Williamson. Hungarian Gorbics drops to 0-12-2 in his last 14 appearances.
McGurk vs. Balog
In his first fight since March 2019 McGurk got the job done quickly. After putting Balog under heavy pressure in the first he floored Balog twice in the second with body punches with Balog being counted on the second knockdown. Fourth inside the distance victory for McGurk a former Scottish Youth champion. Czech Balog, 40, had been beaten in five rounds by Kieran Smith in 2019.
Collins vs. Lopez
Commonwealth champion Collins far too good for Mexican Lopez who retires after three one-sided rounds. Fifth victory by KO/TKO for Collins and third consecutive loss against British opposition in his last three fights for Lopez.
Hinckley, MN, USA: Cruiser: Al Sands (22-4-1) W KO 2 Marcus Oliveira (28-7-1).
In his first fight for two years Sands kayos Oliveira in two rounds. He rattled Oliviera with a left hook in the first and then ended the fight in the second. Sands floored Oliveira with a right and although Oliveira managed to get to his feet another right put him down and he was counted out. Nineteenth inside the distance victory for Sands. Sixth defeat in his last eight bouts for Oliveira who was 25-0-1 before losing to Juergen Braehmer for the secondary WBA cruiser title way back in 2013.
Monte Hermoso, Argentina: Super Feather: Kevin Acevedo (21-4-3) W PTS 10 Javier Herrera (17-6-1). Middle: Jonathan Sanchez (20-5-1) W KO 1Gabriel Diaz (11-23).
Acevedo vs. Herrera
Acevedo retains the Argentinian title with repeat victory over Herrera. Acevedo was giving away 6” in height but he was able to get past the longer reach of Herrera and score inside. A punch from Herrera in third started a swelling over Acevedo’s left eye. Further punches added to the swelling but the aggression and body punching from Acevedo slowed Herrera and Acevedo dominated the closing rounds. Acevedo was a clear winner but had to settle for a majority decision on scores of 99-93 and 97-93 with the third judge scoring it 95-95; Acevedo had beaten Herrera on a tight unanimous decision to win the national title in March 2020.
Sanchez vs. Diaz
Sanchez overwhelms Diaz. Sanchez was marching forward from the outset ignoring Diaz’s attempts to counter and landing heavily to head and body. Diaz tried to punch with him but was soon wilting under the onslaught and a solid left hook to the body dumped him writhing in agony on the canvas and he was counted out. Fifth victory in his last six contests for Sanchez who having lost in two attempts at the national title will be hoping this win will get him a third shot. Diaz also on a good run winning 7 of his last 8 fights.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Super Welter: Adrian Sasso (18-3) W TKO 5 Nicolas Veron (8-8-1).
The power and accuracy of Sasso too much for a gritty Veron and he wins in the fifth round. Veron made an aggressive start rolling forward taking the fight to the taller southpaw Sasso and connecting with rights. In the second and third Sasso took over battering Veron to the body and using hooks and uppercuts when Veron tried to get inside. Both fighters showed signs of tiring in the fourth with Sasso scoring with powerful lefts but also getting caught with rights from Veron. In the fifth a series of lefts from Sasso saw the referee give Veron a standing count. After the count Sasso bombarded Veron with punches and the referee stopped the fight. Both Veron and his corner protested strongly over the stoppage. Sasso wins the vacant South American title and is now 11-1 in his last 12 contests. Second inside the distance defeat for Veron.
Les Mureaux, France: Feather: Christ Esabe (11-0) W TKO 8 Nicolas Botelli (10-6). Light: Rima Ayadi (7-0) W PTS 10 Olena Medvedenko (11-9).
Esabe vs. Botelli
Home town fighter Esabe retains the WBC Francophone title with stoppage of Argentinian Botelli. Esabe used his superior skills to win this one until the fight was stopped in the eighth with a huge swelling closing Botelli’s left eye.
Ayadi vs. Medvedenko
French champion Ayadi outclasses Ukrainian Medvedenko taking every round on scores of 100-90 twice and 100-89. Ayadi did not take up boxing until she was 26 and is now hoping to get a shot at the European title. Medvedenko had won her last four fights and holds the European super light title but that was not on the line here.
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Jose Larduet (8-0,1ND) W RTD 7 Dusan Veletic (5-1-1). Welter: Freddy Kiwitt (21-3) W KO 2 Merab Turkadze (6-14-1) (12-0).
Larduet vs. Veletic
Larduet wins the vacant WBC International Silver title with victory over Veletic. The Cuban pressed the fight from the start. Veletic was able to use his longer reach to land some jabs but Larduet just kept stepping up the pressure with a focused body attack. Veletic landed a strong right cross at the end of the second and had Larduet bleeding from his nose but gradually Larduet found his way inside more and more. He hounded Veletic in the third connecting with overhand rights with Veletic flagging and not having the power to keep Larduet out. The Cuban was carrying too much weight and was slow but kept plugging away and it was Veletic who was exhausted in the seventh hardly able to even hold up his gloves and he retired at the end of the round. Larduet was 178lbs when he won a gold medal at the World Youth Championships but now he weighs around 260lbs so saying he is slow is being kind to him but he is strong. Serbian Veletic had scored an upset victory over German hope 17-1 Albon Pervizaj but did not have the power to trouble Larduet.
Kiwitt vs. Turkadze
Easy job for Kiwitt as he disposes of substitute Turkadze in two rounds. Kiwitt chased down the skitter Georgian in the first hurting him late in the with a body punch. Kiwitt continued to attack the body in the second and a left to the ribs sent Turkadze down on his hands and knees and he was counted. Liberian-born German Kiwitt gets his twelfth inside the distance victory and his fourth win in a row. Eighth defeat by KO/TKO for Turkadze.
Wroclaw, Poland: Cruiser: Artur Mann (18-2) W PTS 10 Nikodem Jezewski (20-2-1,1ND). Super Middle: Osley Iglesias (5-0) W TKO 1 Robert Racz (25-3).
Mann vs. Jezewski
Mann outboxes Jezewski on his way to a unanimous decision. Mann was content to box on the back foot letting the taller Jezewski walk forward and countering him. Mann was quicker and busier finding gaps for his jabs and putting together some quick combinations. Jezewski marched forward for the whole ten rounds and had some good spells but Mann’s better skills and quicker hands always gave him the edge and he won convincingly. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Mann. The 31-year-old Kazakh-born German has lost to Kevin Lerena for the IBO title and Mairis Breidis for the IBF belt. Jezewski lost on a second round stoppage against Lawrence Okolie in December 2020 when he came in as a short-notice substitute.
Iglesias vs. Racz
Iglesias massacres Racz. Flashy southpaw Iglesias shook Racz with a left to the head in the first minute then landed a series of slashing hooks before flooring Racz with a right uppercut. Racz was up quickly but promptly floored by another right hook. When Racz got up Iglesias jumped on him and when Racz went down for the third time the fight was waived off. The five wins by Iglesias have taken less than seven rounds to accomplish and he is ready for much higher level opposition. You might say Racz’s record is remarkable-remarkable they found 25 people he could beat.
Melrose, MA, USA: Super Middle: Yamaguchi Falcao (20-1-1) W KO 2 Fernando Farias (10-2-2). Super Light: Gonzalo Dallera (10-15) W TKO 1 Joseph Fernandez (14-4-3). Middle: Connor Coyle (15-0) W RTD 5 Rodrigo Lopes (8-2).
Falcao vs. Farias
Falcao takes another step along recovery road as he gets a second round kayo of Argentinian Farias. Fourth win on the trot for Falcao since stumbling with a loss to Chris Pearson and a draw with D’Mitrius Ballard in 2019. Falcao is the brother of Esquiva Falcao and won a bronze medal at the London Olympics where he beat Meng Fanlong and Julio Cesar De La Cruz. Two quick kayo losses in succession for Farias.
Dallera vs. Fernandez
Dallera registers a win for Argentina as he halts Fernandez in the first round. Much needed win for Dallera who had been beaten in 5 of his last 6 fights. Southpaw Fernandez had a seven-bout winning streak snapped.
Coyle vs. Lopes
Ireland’s Coyle stays busy with a win over Rodrigo Lopes who retired at the end of the fifth round. Coyle is scheduled to fight for the NABA title on 19 March and he is hoping a win there will get him a rating. First fight in three years for Brazilian Lopes who was knocked out in nineteen seconds in that last fight.
Hanover, MD, USA: Super Middle: Demond Nicholson (25-4-1) W KO 5 Gabriel Pham (15-2). Super Feather: Jordan White (13-1) W PTS 10 Brandon Valdes (14-3).
Nicholson vs. Pham
Nicholson proves too strong for lanky southpaw Pham. Nicholson floored Pham in the first and Pham only just made it to his feet at nine. Pham recovered and made it to the bell. The 6’2” Pham then made good use of his longer reach to keep Nicholson out and was tying up when he made it past the jab. Pham slowed and in the fifth Nicholson was able to connect with a burst of hooks and uppercuts inside which sent Pham down on his knees. Pham managed to stagger to his feet but just too late to beat the count. Nicholson was stopped in two rounds by Jesse Hart but is the only fighter to have gone the distance with Edgar Berlanga and is a good test for any fighter aspiring to a rating. Pham had been 9-1 in his last 10 fights.
White vs. Valdes
White wins the vacant WBC US belt with split decision over Valdes. White had Valdes down in the fourth but then had to fight hard all the way to come away with the decision. Scores 97-92 and 96-93 for White and 95-94 for Valdes. Ninth win in a row for White. Valdes was a late replacement and made White work hard for his win.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Light: Javier Fortuna (37-3-1) W TKO 1 Rafael Hernandez (32-15-3). Middle: Jeison Rosario (22-3-1) W TKO 5 Jesus Perez (12-6-1).
Fortuna vs. Hernandez
Fortuna wins this all-southpaw clash in the opening round. A right to the head staggered Hernandez early in the fight then Fortuna blitzed him with lefts. Hernandez was turning side-on away from Fortuna’s lefts but Fortuna drove Hernandez down by swinging his left wide and the last punch was a full blooded one to the back of Hernandez’s head. Hernandez got up but was again sent to the canvas under a barrage of rights and the refereed stopped the contest. First outing for the former holder of the secondary WBA lightweight title since losing on points against Joseph Diaz for the interim WBC belt in July. Tenth inside the distance defeat for Venezuelan Hernandez.
Rosario vs. Perez
Rosario floors and stops Perez. Rosario led all the way before flooring Perez late in the third. Perez made it to the bell but was taking a beating in the fifth and the fight was stopped. Second victory for Rosario who is putting his career back on track after losing his IBF and WBO super welter titles against WBC champion Jermell Charlo in a unification fight and then being knocked out by Erickson Lubin. Third defeat in four months for Venezuelan Perez.
Fight of the week (Significance): The win for Jamie Munguia means he is there as a threat to all of the belt holders.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Angel Rodriguez vs. Mark Urvanov gave plenty of entertainment and honourable mention to Zaur Abdullaev vs. Jorge Linares which provgided such an a franmatic finishUrvanov vs. Rodriguez
Fighter of the week: Zaur Abdullaev for his come from behind win over Jorge Linares
Punch of the week: Both left hooks from Abdullaev in the twelfth were memorable.
Upset of the week: None this week
Prospect watch: None at this time
Rosette: Jorge Linares showing even at 36 he is still a class boxer with exquisite skills and a great heart.
Red Card: SKY for putting on Frazer Clarke vs. Jack Darnell a fighter whose reported experience amounted to a bare knuckle fight and reputedly some white collar shows. It seems the guy didn’t even have a licence on Wednesday but fights a world class amateur on a major TV show on Saturday-if true disgraceful and where would those involved have hidden if something had gone horribly wrong.
Some strange scoring at the weekend:
One judge had Kevin Acevedo beating Javier Herrera 99-93 and another had it a draw
One judge had Horacio Garcia beating Isaac Zarate 80-72 and one judge had it 76-76
Best or worst of all two judges had Ivan Kozlovsky beating Zoravor Petrosian 96-94 and the third had Petrosian winning 99-91.
Only in boxing!
By Eric Armit
-John Ryder outpoints Daniel Jacobs in WBA super middleweight eliminator
- Felix Cash survives two knockdowns to outpoint Magomed Madiev as middleweight
-IBF’s top rated super bantamweight Lee McGregor is held to a draw by Argentinian Diego Ruiz
-Noel Gevor out points Youri Kayembre Kalenda at cruiserweight
-Danny Dignum stops Grant Dennis
World Title/Major Shows
London, England: Super Middle: John Ryder (31-5) W PTS 12 Daniel Jacobs (37-4) . Middle: Felix Cash (15-0) W PTS 10 Magomed Madiev (15-1-2). Super Bantam: Ellie Scotney (4-0) W PTS 10 Jorgelina Guanini (9-4-2). Middle: Austin Williams (10-0) W TKO 6 Javier Maciel (33-16). Super Bantam: Hopey Price (7-0) W TKO 4 Ricardo Roman (14-13-3).
Jacobs vs. Ryder
Huge result for Ryder as he takes controversial split decision over Jacobs in a WBA eliminator. A quiet opening round saw Jacobs doing what scoring there was as he jabbed well and connected with a couple of rights. The pattern continued in the second as Jacobs continually circled away from Ryder’s powerful left and found the target with a left to the head and a straight right late in the round. In both the third and the fourth Jacobs just kept sliding jabs through the middle of Ryder's guard and adding in an occasional right with Ryder just not quick enough and not letting his hands go. Ryder just could not get into the fight as he was finding Jacobs too slick and quick and Jacobs did the scoring again in the fifth. Ryder changed tactics in the sixth. Now he was storming forward throwing punches and he landed a straight left to the head, his best punch so far, but he also had to absorb some heavy hits from Jacobs. Ryder took the seventh again getting inside and scoring with clubbing punches and the eighth saw him hunting down a vulnerable looking Jacobs scoring with a series of head punches with Jacobs switching to southpaw to try to stem the tide.. More of the same in the ninth, Jacobs scored with a couple of counters but now he had slowed and was having to stand and trade with Ryder and getting the worst of the exchanges and Ryder was even out jabbing him. The tenth was close but Ryder finished it with a strong attack and Jacobs looked to have edged the eleventh. There was not a great deal of action from two tired boxers in the last with Jacobs again probably just taking it. Scores 115-113 twice for Ryder and 115-113 for Jacobs. With Jacobs having taken the first five rounds clearly and finished just the better he can consider himself unlucky but if Ryder had started his charge earlier then he would have been a clear winner. Ryder was No 4 with the WBA and Jacobs No 9 so I am not sure how much this win will advance Ryder to a title shot as Saul Alvarez calls the shots on his fights and of course the WBA no longer have interim titles so it is a waiting game for Ryder. This was only the second fight in 15 months for Jacob and he undeniably struggled and floundered under Ryder’s pressure at times. At 35 he can’t afford any defeats so he will need to find a way back and soon.
Cash vs. Madiev
Cash has to take two counts and overcome a point deduction to take the unanimous decision over Madiev. Cash used his longer reach to score in the first and also landed some sharp left hooks to the body. Cash seemed to be boxing comfortably in the second when Madiev darted past his jab and connected with a sharp left hook that knocked Cash off balance and he went down on his hands and knees looking shaken. He was up immediately but in deep trouble as Madiev pounded him with left hooks to the body and neck-snapping uppercuts and he had to hold. For a few seconds a stoppage looked possible but by the end of the round Cash was standing and trading and landed two solid rights before the bell. Cash outscored Madiev in the third landing jabs to head and body and digging in some hurtful body punches but Madiev scored with a big right to the head late in the round. Cash also took the fourth, fifth and sixth using his reach to spear Madiev with jabs and working to the body with Madiev not closing Cash down quickly enough or throwing enough punches. The pace slowed in the seventh but Cash worked systematically with his jab over the eighth and ninth with Madiev too static and just not throwing enough punches. Cash was down early in the tenth as he tumbled back into the ropes from a punch from Madiev. He clutched the ropes so did not go down but was given a count. The punch had opened a bad cut over the left eye of Cash and Madiev sensed an opportunity and raced forward throwing punches with Cash clinching to smother the attacks and being deducted a point for holding. Cash steadied himself and they brawled to the final bell. Scores 95-92 twice and 94-93 for Cash. He collects the vacant WBC International belt. Cash outboxed Madiev for much of the fight but the two knockdowns made him look vulnerable particularly as Madiev-just four wins by KO/TKO-is not rated as a puncher. This was Madiev’s first fight outside of Russian and he looked strong but limited.
Scotney vs. Guanini
Scotney takes tight unanimous decision over Argentinian Guanini in an entertaining scrap and a good showcase for female boxing. Fireworks from the first bell as Guanini, the shorter boxer, tried to overwhelm Scotney with punches in the first. Scotney stood and traded with her but was being outworked. Scotney rocked Guanini with rights in the second. Scotney had a good third as she moved and boxed instead of brawling but was cut over her left eye in a clash of heads. The fight was conducted at a fast pace Scotney was at her best when she stuck with her boxing but Guanini kept up her swarming attacks. Scotney just had the edge as she was able to score at distance and she finished the stronger but ruined that when losing a point in the last round for holding. Scores 96-94 twice and 95-94 for Scotney who wins the vacant WBA Female Inter-Continental belt. Third loss in a row for former IBF Female super fly title holder Guanini.
Williams vs. Maciel
Williams uses a focused body attack to wear down and stop seasoned Argentinian pro Maciel. It all started brightly for Maciel as he opened the first round by scoring with a couple of rights to the body but then Williams connected with solid body punches of his own and had Maciel backing off. A straight left sent Maciel tumbling into the ropes and down. Maciel was up quickly but then spent a painful last minute as Williams connected with a series of body punches. There was nothing competitive about the fight. Maciel soaked up heavy punishment in each round but always did enough to convince the referee to let the fight continue and was dangerous with an occasional wild overhand right. Williams put Maciel down with a left to the body in the sixth. Maciel was up at seven but went down again under a series of punches. He was up again but looked finished and did not hold up his gloves when asked to do so. Instead the referee lifted them for him and then stopped the fight as Williams was unloading on Maciel again. Houston-based Williams, 25, was a good level amateur and this is his eighth inside the distance win as a pro. Maciel, 37, has lost his last ten fights but this is only the third time he has been beaten by KO/TKO.
Price vs. Roman
Price stops Mexican Roman in four rounds. Price had height and reach against Roman who had no idea how to overcome that. A straight left dropped Roman less than a minute into the fight. Roman survived but Price landed heavily to head and body over the second and third with Roman doing well to stay on his feet. Two lefts to the body forced Roman to one knee in the fourth and Price was lucky not to get disqualified for hitting Roman whilst he was on one knee. Roman made it to his feet but was trapped on the ropes just covering up when the referee stopped the mismatch. The 21-year-old Price won gold medals at English, British and European Junior level and gold at the Youth Olympic Games and silver at the Youth World Championships. Roman no sort of test as he has had just one fight each in years 2018,2019, 2020 and 2021and this is his sixth loss by KO/TKO
London, England: Middle: Danny Dignum (14-0-1) W TKO 6 Grant Dennis (I7-4). Super Bantam: Lee McGregor (11-0-1) DREW 10 Diego Ruiz (23-4-1).
Dignum vs. Dennis
Dignum retains the WBO European title with stoppage of Dennis. Southpaw Dignum put Dennis under pressure from the start with Dignum doing most of the scoring but Dennis showing some clever defensive work and countering well. Dignum suffered a cut on his left eyelid when their heads clashed in the third. Dignum was controlling the action with powerful jabs and connected with hard lefts in the fourth and fifth with Dennis struggling to stay off the ropes and in the fight. Early in the sixth a left from Dignum forced a badly shaken Dennis down on one knee. He beat the count but was very shaky and Dignum dropped him twice more with lefts. Dennis made it to his feet each time but the fight was stopped. Third successful defence for Dignum who is rated No 4 with the WBO which owes more to his having fought for their European belt than the quality of his opposition having been held to a draw by Andrey Sirotkin in his last fight in April last year. Dennis was stopped in eight round by Sirotkin in October 2020 and had won two four round fights in 2021
McGregor vs. Ruiz
Disappointment for McGregor as he has to settle for a draw against what should have been just a moderately competitive keep busy fight. McGregor came out punching and Ruiz spent much of the opening round fight with his back against the ropes. McGregor continued the pressure in the second but Ruiz found gaps for some useful counters. McGregor got through with some heavy shots in the third but was shaken by a left hook letting him know he was in a fight. McGregor dialled back the pressure in the fourth and fifth boxing and outscoring Ruiz. The Argentinian fired back and looked to have edged the sixth. The seventh and eighth were hard fought and both close with Ruiz looking to have taken the seventh and McGregor the eighth. From there McGregor had more left and finished the stronger and looked to nave enough to get the decision but the referee scored it 95-95. Following wins over Kamil Guerfi and Vincent Legrand McGregor is rated No 6 with the WBA and No 7 by the WBC but is actually the highest rated contender in the IBF ratings at No 3 as the first two positions are vacant. He is a long way from being ready to challenge Naoya Inoue and this result leaves him with some work to do to validate any of those high ratings. Ruiz had been stopped in nine rounds by Michael Conlan in 2019 but he should not have presented any real threat as he had lost 99-91 to 8-0 Shabaz Masoud from Stoke in November.
New York, NY: Super Bantam: Ariel Lopez (17-1-1) W PTS 8 Winer Soto (22-9). Super Feather: Jose Gonzalez (16-0-2 W PTS 6 Aaron Lopez (6-6).
Lopez vs. Soto
Lopez continues to rebuild with a unanimous decision over Colombian Soto on scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73. Second consecutive win for Lopez who was unbeaten in his first 16 fights before losing on points against Chilean Jose Velasquez in May last year. In his next fight Velasquez lost in a challenge to Murodjon Akhmadaliev for the IBF and WBA titles. Born in Mexico Lopez moved to New York with his parents when quite young and won a New York Golden Gloves title but his immigrant status is unsettled so that hangs over him even now. Fifth loss in his last six fights for Soto.
Gonzalez vs. Lopez
Southpaw “Chocolatito” Gonzalez remained unbeaten with a comfortable win over Lopez. Scores 60-54 twice and 59-55. Eighth consecutive win for Gonzalez but as with Soto five losses in his last fights for Mexican Lopez.
Concordia, Argentina: Super Feather: Ayrton Gimenez (14-0,1ND) W PTS Jonathan Arena (11-11-1).
Gimenez makes it seven consecutive victories as he decisions Arena. Gimenez boxed on the back foot over the first half of the fight scoring constantly with accurate counters and blocking nor dodging Arena’s attacks. From the sixth Gimenez took the fight to Arena and despite suffering a cut in the tenth emerged a comfortable winner. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for 22-year-old . The No Decision came in a fight that was abandoned due to a riot. Arena was coming off an unexpected win over useful 20-3-3 Kevin Acevedo.
Riga, Latvia: Cruiser: Noel Gevor (26-2) W PTS 12 Youri Kayembre Kalenga (27-7).
Gevor boxes his way to a clear victory over Kalenga in a fight that never really generated much heat. Kalenga did the better work in the first round landing a couple of meaty hooks as Gevor flitted around the ring just prodding with his jab. Gevor was more positive and stronger with his jabs in the second and drilled home some straight rights. Kalenga upped the pressure in then third and shook Gevor with a left nook just before the bell and Gevor was showing a small cut over his right eye. Kalenga applied plenty of pressure at the start of the fourth but over the second half of the round Gevor had his jab working well and just edged the round. Gevor had his best round so far in the fifth. He was finding gaps for his jabs catching the oncoming Kalenga with right counters and sliding away from Kalenga’s attacks. He then outboxed the slower Kalenga over the sixth and seventh. Kalenga looked to be tiring and from the eighth Gevor began to take some chances and stood trading punches scoring with hooks from both hands. That allowed Kalenga to also score and make the eighth close but Gevor’s more accurate punching gave him the ninth clearly. There was little that Kalenga could do to change things. He was just too slow and too tired and Gevor stuck to his back foot boxing slotting home jabs and scoring on the advancing Kalenga with straight rights and boxed his way comfortably to the last bell . Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 for Gevor. Gevor wins the vacant WBC Silver title. His losses have come against Krzys Wlodarczyk and Mairis Briedis. Despite fourteen months of inactivity he is No 4 with the WBC but I can’t see him as a threat to any of the current title holders. The Armenian-born German has stuck with Noel for his first name but is using his birth-name of Mikae3lyan also now. Kalenga, the WBC No 10, is powerful but slow and never really threatened Gevor in this fight.
Berazategui, Argentina: Super Bantam: Hector Sosa (13-0) W PTS 10 Mauro Barrios (5-5).
Sosa beats late substitute Barrios despite a last round knock down. Sosa was in control early with some choice body shots and looked close to ending the fight in the fifth. A standing count allowed Barrios a chance to recover. The pace slowed over the next three rounds with Sosa still having the edge but Barrios did enough to take the ninth and floored Barrios in the tenth with Sosa hanging on to the bell. Scores 97-91 twice and 96-94 for Sosa. He was supposed to defend his South American title but his original opponent pulled out very late and Barrios, the son of former WBO super feather champion Jorge Rodrigo Barrios, came in as a substitute having his first fight for two years.
Hyeres, Frane: Middle: Bruno Surace (21-0-2) W PTS 8 Victor Garcia (8-11-4).
French champion Surace, 23, keeps busy with comfortable win over Garcia. No real problems for Surace as he took the decision on scores of 79-73 twice and 78-74. After a couple of early draws he has won 18 in a row. A former French Universities champion he is still studying Law at Aix University. Garcia has won just one of his last twelve bouts.
Malaga, Spain: Light: Samuel Molina (19-1,1ND) W TKO 5 Victor Julio (16-3).
Third win in succession for Molina as he rebuilds after an inside the distance defeat against Artem Harutyunyan in September. Colombian Julio showed some good defensive work at the start of the fight but bit by bit Molina upped the pressure and finished the fight in the fifth as Julio went down under a series of punches and the fight was stopped. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Molina but he blotted his copy book having a win changed to a No Decision in a Spanish title fight when he tested positive for a banned substance. Three fights outside Colombia in a row and three losses in a row for Julio.
Badiadel Valles, Spain: Light: Frank Urquiaga (16-2-1) W PTS 6 Engel Gomez (8-5-1).
In his first fight for eleven months Peruvian-born Spaniard Urquiaga floored Nicaraguan Gomez in the first round but failed to finish the fight then and had to go the full six rounds for the win on a unanimous decision. Third fight for Urquiaga since losing a majority decision against Anthony Crolla in Manchester in November 2019. Fifth loss in a row for Gomez.
Brentwood, England: Super Light: Billy Allington (10-1-3) W PTS 10 Jamie Robinson (11-5-2).
Allington wins a split verdict over Robinson to collect the vacant English title. This was a classic small hall fight with not a great deal between them. After an aggressive start Allington then worked on the back foot slotting jabs through Robinson’s defence and landing right counters as Robinson came forward. Robinson had his success when he could get past Allington’s jab and when he could force Allington to stand and trade punches. They maintained a fast pace for the full ten rounds with Allington’s better skills and accurate jabbing just giving him the edge. Allington rocked Robinson twice with rights in the tenth as they both finished battered, bloodied and bruised. Scores 97-93 and 97-94 to Allington and 97-94 to Robinson. These two had fought to a draw lover eight rounds in March last year and they are well matched.
Sheffield, England: Heavy: Kash Ali (21-1) W TKO 6 Rhys Kaney (2-2).
Ali gets an inside the distance win but not much credit to be gained out of this one. He broke down and floored novice Kaney twice in the sixth for the stoppage. Sixth win in a row for Ali and his twelfth victory by KO/TKO but he needs much better opposition if he is going to break into the strong British heavyweight picture.
Fight of the week (Significance): John Ryder vs. Daniel Jacobs was the highest profile fight but its significance is difficult to measure as Saul Alvarez is not looking to defend any of the super middleweight titles he holds.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): A small hall ten rounder but Billy Allington vs. Jamie Robinson provide plenty of entertainment over the ten rounds.
Fighter of the week: John Ryder for his win over Daniel Jacobs.
Punch of the week: The left hook to the chin from Magomed Madiev that forced Felix Cash to take a count was spot on
Upset of the week: Lee McGregor only getting a draw against Diego Ruiz was unexpected
Prospect watch: Middleweight Austin Williams 10-0 is worth watching.
Only the poverty of major cards this week with just the Ryder vs. Jacobs fight anything like a top liner. It seems to be a feast or famine week by week this year.
By Eric Armit
The world changes around us. For the first time a clash between two female boxers will head a card at the iconic Madison Square Garden. There are other firsts associated with the fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano such as the first guaranteed seven figure purse for female boxers, which will be further increased by pay-for view, such as Taylor having scored a win over Serrano’s sister Cindy, such as Serrano being in the Guinness Book of Records for the most world titles won in different divisions (seven) by a woman, such as Taylor being in the first sanctioned woman’s boxing match in Irish history when still only 15 and so much more. Who would have thought as they sat watching Ali vs. Frazier I and II that for the Garden, which over its various reincarnations has staged so many great fights, one of the most significant fights in its history would be between two female boxers. It is a huge event for female boxing probably the highest profile female fight to date so let’s hope it helps interest in female boxing climb to an even higher level.
It is always good to see a young fighter break through and Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez certainly did that. Just 22 he came in at short notice to fight Carlos Cuadras for the vacant WBC super fly title. He had only 15 pro fights behind him with Cuadras having had 44 with eight of those being title fights of which he had lost only one. What was even more remarkable is that Rodriguez was really a light flyweight. In his last six fights he had weighed 109 ¼ , 109, 111, 109 ¼ , 110 ½ and in last fight before meeting Cuadras in October 109 ¼ with the WBC having No 6 in the light flyweight division before allowing him to jump him two divisions to fight for their super flyweight title. Risky but it worked out more the okay.
Good to see Errol Spence will be back in the ring on 16 April facing Yordenis Ugas with Spence’s IBF and WBC titles and Ugas putting up his WBA title. So another step along the way to a unified division. Terrence Crawford is in the wings with his WBO title but with Spence vs. Ugas for April he will have to wait another eight months at least for any unification effort and of course the No 1’s with the IBF, WBA and WBC will be pressing their cases for a shot at Spence or Ugas so no certainty of a unification fight for Crawford. I am still waiting to find out who was whispering in Crawford’s ear but when he played the race card I though Don King must be back on the scene or perhaps it was Crawford having studied the Don King playbook.
Briefly on the subject of change. The Scottish government has made it clear that it will bring in legislation with regard to gender defining. Without going into a great detail one of the proposals is that a person will be able to redefine their gender not through an invasive regime of medical tests etc. but through a simple declaration-based system. There are certain condition to be followed i.e. living as their new gender for a limited period of time prior to their declaration being effective but for sport it does open the possibility of a male/female athlete/boxer changing gender and certainly in Scotland providing the declaration process has been followed it would probably be illegal to stop that person competing as a male/female whichever is appropriate. If it becomes law-and looks certain to do so in Scotland-then that will be a situation the British Boxing Board will have to study carefully and although right now it is a Scottish/British matter it is anticipated that Trans gender athletes is something that many more countries will have to find non-invasive non-degrading ways to recognise and accommodate.
How embarrassing it must have been for the IBF as they toted their heavyweight eliminator around trying to find someone interested in fighting “favoured” Filip Hrgovic. Hrgovic’s team had been challenging anyone to fight him in an IBF eliminator and Tony Yoka took them up on that challenge but instead has had to go through with an already contracted fight against Martin Bakole. With Yoka being No 6 in the IBF ratings and Bakole No 15 if their fight takes place before Hrgovic vs. Zhilei bout the winner would qualify to fill one of two top spots in the IBF ratings which in theory with Luis Ortiz already filling the no 2 place would slam the door in Hrgovic’s face. Unbeaten Australian Demsey McKean was also in the frame to face Hrgovic but he reportedly declined so the job has gone to No 13 Zhang Zhilei. I used the word “embarrassing” and “favoured” because Hrgovic has climbed to No 3 with the IBF without every facing any fighter in the IBF top 15-and in fact is rated No 37 by BoxRec. The real disgrace will be if Hrgovic does beat Zhilei-ranked No 13-then climbs to No 1 above Ortiz –who beat then No 2 Charles Martin-then that will have the stink of blatant manipulation.
It is intended that Hrgovic vs. Zhang will be a supporting role under Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua II. Yoka vs. Bakole is now scheduled for May 14 at the Accor Arena in Paris. The original plan was for 15 January but with the pandemic restrictions would cut the possible attendance figures but the hope is that those will be lifted by the May date and that the attendance will be much higher as the Accor Arena has a 20,000 capacity.
News of another eliminator, this time for the WBO, Tim Tszyu has decided to put his No 1 position with the WBO at risk in a fight against Terrell Gausha at the Los Angeles Crypto.com Arena on 19 March. Gausha is not currently in the WBO top 15 but don’t bet on that not changing. Risky for Tszyu but he may have decided he needs to up his profile in the USA to strengthen his case for fighting the winner of the Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano four-title unifier. Right now Tszyu is just one of four different No 1’s who will all want a shot at the new champion.
Also treading on Tim’s heels in a different way is his younger brother Nikita who is scheduled to make his pro debut as a middleweight on March 12 in Brisbane. Nikita gave up boxing about five years ago to work as an architect but Tim’s success has rekindled Nikita’s love of boxing.
The fight for the secondary WBA cruiserweight title between champion Ryad Merhy 30-1 and Evgeny Tischenko 9-1 in Ekaterinburg Russia on 26 March will also feature a good super welterweight match between Magomed Kurbanov 22-0 and former WBO interim super welter title holder Patrick Teixeira 31-2. Kurbanov is No 2 and Teixeira No 4 with the WBO so the winner will be treading on the heels of the Tszyu vs. Gausha winner.
Felix Sturm remains a draw in Germany but at 43 and with some of his legal troubles still not totally resolved who knows for how long the former two-division champion can carry on. His next fight will be an attractive “seniors” match with 39-year-old Hungarian Istvan Szili (25-2-2) in Dortmund on 26 March in an IBO eliminator with Sturm having his eyes on another title.
It is going to be Pacquiao vs. Maidana on 26 February in Las Vegas. Manny and Marcos never met as pros but they will be fighting “by proxy” on the 26th. Manny is the manager of IBF super flyweight title holder Jerwin Ancajas and “El Chino” of the challenger Fernando Martinez who competed for Argentina at the 2016 Olympics and 2015 World Championships. I go for A Filipino double. Martinez has benefitted from some IBF rankings parachuting as he jumped into the ratings in November 2021 after in August beating 19-21-2 Gonzalo Garcia in his only fight that year.
Just for curiosities’ sake approximately how many active male boxers do you think there are right now? By active I am talking about having had at least one fight in the past twelve months. Eight thousand? ten thousand?, fifteen thousand, twenty thousand ? Well if you went for twenty thousand you were the closest. Of course it is a snapshot as every day some boxers return to activity and some slip outside the twelve month measure. My snapshot found 20,808 listed as active boxers. Next test. Which three divisions have the most active boxers? Well my snapshot showed 1,960 lightweights, 1,916 super lightweights and 1,839 welterweights. The least? Not surprisingly the minimumweight division with 181 followed by light flyweight with 316 and flyweight with 573. How about female boxers how many and which divisions are the most/least populated? How many? Five hundred, eight hundred, one thousand, one thousand five hundred? Well the last figure is marginally closest with 1389 by my count. Most populated figures head south for the Female boxers with 178 flyweights, 158 featherweights and 145 bantamweights. Those ladies of larger disposition do not seem to be as keen on boxing as the least populated are light heavyweight 7, heavyweight 12 and a great big zero for cruiserweights! It is with grateful thanks to my friends at BoxRec that I compiled these figures.
As I said just for curiosity. What it proves beyond any doubt is-THAT I HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS!!
By Eric Armit
-Jesse Rodriguez springs a massive upset as he outpoints Carlos Cuadras to win the vacant WBC super flyweight title
-Keith Thurman returns to action with a wide unanimous points victory over Mario Barrio
- Leo Santa Cruz and Luis Nery get points wins on their return to activity
-Chris Eubank floors Liam Williams four times on the way to a unanimous decision
Claressa Shields retains he four title with victory over Ema Kozin
-Jamie Mitchell stops Carly Skelly in defence of her WBA Female bantamweight belt
-Rene Cuarto retains the IBF minimumweight belt with technical decision over Pedro Taduran
World Title/Major Shows
Phoenix, AZ, USA: Super Fly: Jesse Rodriguez (15-0) W PTS 12 Carlos Cuadras (39-5-1). Feather: Ray Ford (11-0-1) W PTS 10 Edward Vazquez (11-1,1ND). Bantam: Jamie Mitchell (8-0-2) W KO 4 Carly Skelly (4-1-1). Fly: Fernando Diaz (11-1-1) W PTS 10 Lorenzo Smith (10-1).
Rodriguez vs. Cuadras
In a major upset late stand-in Rodriguez wins the vacant WBC title with comfortable unanimous decision over Cuadras
Cuadras was quickly off the mark. He was jabbing strongly and firing hooks to the body with Rodriguez looking tentative., Rodriguez settled and landed a good straight right to the forehead but again Cuadras was getting through with body punches
Score: 10-9 Cuadras
Cuadras must have realised this was not going to be an easy night when Rodriguez took control in this round. He was firing right jabs through the centre of Cuadras guard and following with straight lefts. He put together some sharp combinations switching his attack from head to body. Cuadras banged back hard but was mostly kept on the back foot.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez TIED 19-19
Once again Rodriguez was full of confidence. He had the quicker hands and was finding gaps for his jab. He suddenly stepped around Cuadras and landed a right uppercut that dumped Cuadras on his rump. Cuadras was up immediately and stood and traded punches with Rodriguez. Again Rodriguez was slotting fast punches through Cuadras guard but Cuadras was banging back to the body. There was a pause in the action after a punch from Rodriguez went low and Cuadras ended the round with a strong attack
Score: 10-8 Rodriguez Rodriguez 29-27
Rodriguez’s speed was giving him a big edge. He was piercing Cuadras guard with shots to the head and then clouting him with hooks to the body from both hands forcing Cuadras on to the back foot. Cuadras kept throwing hooks to the body most of which Rodriguez was blocking. Cuadras was warned for a low punch and seconds later Rodriguez also went low and was warned.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Barry Lindenman 39-36 Rodriguez, Judge Steve Morrow 39-36 Rodriguez, Judge Dennis O’Connell 39-36 Rodriguez
Cuadras was more positive in this round. He was stabbing out strong jabs and then letting fly with bunches of hooks and connected with two sharp uppercuts. Rodriguez was snapping punches through gaps in the guard of Cuadras but although often wild Cuadras was throwing more punches and he finished the round with a strong burst of shots.
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Rodriguez 48-46
Good round from Rodriguez. He was just too quick with his right jab/straight left combinations and had Cuadras backing up. When they went toe-to-toe Rodriguez was getting the better of the exchanges and he scored with a series of hard lefts before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 58-55
Cuadras came back into the fight in this one. He was using his jab more and on the front foot more. He was landing beefy hooks to the body and some choice uppercuts. Rodriguez was moving less and throwing less
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Rodriguez 67-65
Rodriguez took this round easily. He was firing fast accurate jabs and sending lefts through Cuadras leaky guard. He was constantly moving, changing angles and getting his punches through, over and around the guard of Cuadras and rocked Cuadras with a big left.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 77-74
Official Scores: Judge Barry Lindenman 77-74 Rodriguez, Judge Steve Morrow 77-74 Rodriguez, Judge Dennis O’Connell 78-73 Rodriguez.
Cuadras had been consistently throwing more punches than Rodriguez but they were missing or being blocked. On the other hand Rodriguez hardly wasted a punch. Spearing jabs, scything body shots and particularly a beautiful right uppercut in this round typified the action as Rodriguez collected the points again.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 87-83
Some encouragement for Cuadras here. He made better use of his jab and was not so wild with his hooks. He kept Rodriguez under pressure and although Rodriguez connected with a series of punches in the middle of the round Cuadras was able to trap him against the ropes and work to the body for the first time in the fight.
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Rodriguez 96-93
Rodriguez took this one clearly. He was back to constantly changing angles and scored time and again with lefts to the head. Cuadras was lunging forward throwing punches wildly and paying for that in the coin of precise counters from Rodriguez.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 106-102
Cuadras tried to stage a strong finish. He threw lots of punches but as with the story of the fight much of it was just aimless and inaccurate. Rodriguez stayed cool finding gaps firing quick punches and moving before Cuadras could find the target as he wrapped up the decision.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 116-111
Official Scores: Judge Barry Lindenman 115-112 Rodriguez, Judge Steve Morrow 117-110 Rodriguez, Judge Dennis O’Connell 117-110 Rodriguez.
The new champion has already talked about going down to his flyweight as he had weighed inside that division limit and even the light flyweight limit in his last six fights. Rodriguez was drafted into face Cuadras for the vacant title when former champion Srisaket had to pull out due to illness. Rodriguez was not even rated in the WBC’s top 40 flyweights and in fact was in their light flyweight ratings at No 6 so was jumping two divisions and was probably selected partly for being available and unbeaten but also being a southpaw like Srisaket. Before turning pro he was twice US Youth champion and a silver medal winner at the World Junior Championships. We will have to wait to see whether Rodriguez wiil go down to flyweight or chose to face Srisaket the fighter he replaced. This was Cuadras first fight since his eleventh round stoppage loss against Juan Estrada in October 2020 and only his second fight since September 2019. Although still only 31 he looked an old fighter in this one but will probably fight on hoping for another title shot.
Ford vs. Vazquez
Ford holds off an aggressive Vazquez and gets a split decision victory. Vazquez was looking to get inside in the first with Ford jabbing and moving with neither really asserting themselves. Vazquez closed Ford down well in the second lunging past Ford’s jab to work with body punches. Ford had better skills but in the third he was letting Vazquez hustle him and Vazquez was piling forward pumping out punches. In the fourth Ford was warned for holding but used his reach and quicker hands to make room to work and took the fourth but Vazquez had enough success to make the fifth close. Ford was able to score with jabs and following rights in the sixth and seventh whilst keeping Vazquez on the outside. Vazquez drove forward in the eighth with Ford using plenty of slick footwork and sliding home jabs before scoring late with a good left to the head. Ford did the scoring at the start of the ninth round again snapping out southpaw jabs but Vazquez was able to work to the body inside as the round closed. Ford wrapped up the decision with the better work in the last round firing bursts of punches going for quantity rather than power. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Ford and 96-94 for Vazquez with the 98-92 looking too generous to Ford. The 22-year-old former National Golden Gloves champion retains the WBA Continental Americas belt-a belt that ridiculously gets him a No 9 ranking with the WBA irrespective of his opposition. Texan Vazquez was going ten rounds for the first time.
Mitchell vs. Skelly
Mitchell dismantles a plucky Skelly in four rounds in defence of her WBA Female title. Mitchell floored Skelly late in the first round and then again at the end of the second. Mitchell bombarded Skelly with punches in the third but Skelly did not crumble. When Mitchell continued to score heavily in the fourth the referee stepped in and halted the fight. “ The Miracle” Mitchell, 37, won the title in October with a majority decision over Shannon Courtney in Liverpool. Shannon had forfeited the title when she failed to make the weight for a defence against Mitchell. Liverpudlian southpaw Skelly had won the vacant WBC Female International title in October.
Diaz vs. Smith
Diaz gets a close unanimous decision over Smith. The first round clearly went to Smith and things did not look good for Diaz. He settled and then boxed well. Diaz suffered a shock knockdown in from a left hook in the fifth but recovered and edged in front getting the better of the action in the eighth only for Smith to fire back strongly in the ninth and they put everything into a frantic last. Scores 96-93 twice and 95-94 for Diaz who was in his first ten round fight. He wins the WBC US title. Smith’s record padded to the extreme with not one of his ten victims having won a fight.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Keith Thurman (30-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Mario Barrios (26-2). Feather: Leo Santa Cruz (38-2-1) W PTS 10 Keenan Carbajal (23-3-1). ). Super Bantam: Luis Nery (32-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Castro (27-1).Welter: Lucas Santamaria (13-2-1) W PTS 10 Abel Ramos (27-5-2Super Welter: Jesus Ramos (18-0) W TKO 6 Vladimir Hernandez (13-5). Super Light: Omar Juarez (13-1) PTS 10 Ryan Karl (19-4).
Thurman vs. Barrios
Thurman returns to the ring in impressive fashion as he outscores and outclasses Barrios. The fight started at a fast pace as both fighters sought to dominate the action. Thurman connected with some tasty left jabs but Barrios just took the round scoring with straight rights and Thurman was already showing a bruising under his left eye. Barrios connected with a right at the start of the second but Thurman had the better of the exchanges shaking Barrios with a left hook and finishing the round strongly. Thurman took over completely in the third rocking Barrios with left hooks and hurting him with a right late in the round. In the fourth a right and a left from Thurman drove Barrios back and Barrios was dripping blood from his mouth before being shaken by a left just before the bell. Thurman scored heavily as they traded punches in the fifth and by the end of the round Barrios was dripping more blood from his mouth and also now from his nose. Barrios was more competitive in a quieter sixth but was badly hurt by a crunching left hook to the body. Thurman eased his pace in the seventh but still outboxed Barrios and a right from Thurman added further damage opening a cut over Barrios’ left eye. The only upside in the round for Barrios was a left to the body which stopped Thurman in his tracks and was his best punch of the fight to that point. Thurman continued to hand out heavy punishment in the ninth but Barrios banged back strongly and looked to have done enough to win the round. Thurman dialled his output down in the tenth but was still getting through with some heavy single shots. Barrios continued to shed blood from his nose in the eleventh which was a close round as again Thurman seemed to be saving himself for a big effort in the last. Thurman did go down in the round but it was correctly ruled a slip. Thurman stepped up his pace again in the last and did enough to pocket the round before easing up to the bell. Thurman took the decision on scores of 118-110 twice and 117-111. Thurman was having his first fight since losing a split decision to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019 and on this form he is definitely a threat in the division. Barrios was moving up in weight after having lost his secondary WBA super lightweight belt on a stoppage against Gervonta Davis in June last year.
Santa Cruz vs. Carbajal
Santa Cruz returns to the ring and puts on a vintage performance as he takes every round over Carbajal in Carbajal’s home city. Having been out of the ring for fifteen months Santa Cruz spent the first round just rumbling forward getting his jab working and finding his range. The second round was an unfortunate round for Santa Cruz. Although he won it clearly he suffered a cut under his left eye in a clash of heads. Something he did not need having been out for such a long time. Santa Cruz began to find his rhythm in the third but they bumped heads again in the fourth and Santa Cruz was cut on his right eyelid with the doctor inspecting the damage but letting the fight continue. Carbajal worked hard to make the fifth close but Santa Cruz picked up the pace in the sixth keeping Carbajal on the back foot and driving home hooks to the body but again the action was halted as the doctor took another look at Santa Cruz’s injuries and cleared him to continue. Santa Cruz put Carbajal under relentless pressure over the remaining rounds rocking him a couple of times but never looking likely to end it early. Scores 100-90 from the judges for Santa Cruz. After his dramatic kayo loss against Gervonta Davis Santa Cruz needed to win this one and he did it in some style. The cuts will delay him but he will be looking to get back into some title action and a fight against George Kambosos or Devin Haney would be attractive as would a clash with Vasyl Lomachenko if politics allowed. Carbajal had won his last eighteen fights but against mediocre opposition and Santa Cruz was a few bridges too far.
Nery vs. Castro
Nery takes a split verdict over Castro in a flat and uninspired performance. It looked as though it might be an early night when Nery put Castro down with a solid left just 47 seconds into the fight. Castro sat on the canvas until the count reached eight and then jumped to his feet. Nery launched a frenetic attack but despite having his neck snapped by another left Castro made it to the bell. Castro settled in to his boxing in the second and third using his longer breach to score at distance and it helped that Nery was playing the part of a cagey counter-puncher and not exerting much pressure. The danger signs were there again in the fourth as Nery rocked Castro with a right but Nery seemed content to sit back and only fight in bursts. Castro kept marching forward behind his jab but was being frustrated by bobbing and weaving by Nery and rarely found the target with his rights but Nery was throwing very little in a fight that never really caught alight. Castro was outworking Nery without doing very much and was being gifted rounds. Nery finally came to life over the ninth and tenth finding the target with powerful lefts and only just edged the decision. Scores 96-93 and 95-94 for Nery and 95-94 for Castro. This was Nery’s return to the ring for the first time since losing his WBC super bantamweight title on a seventh round kayo against Brandon Figueroa in May last year. He wins the WBC Silver belt. He said he wanted to show he could box and was not just a wild slugger but he took that too far here and but for the first round knockdown it would have been a very different outcome. Castro has impressive statistics and was No 2 with the WBC but that seems to be a quantity rather than quality rating as there are no rated fighters on his list of victims.
Santamaria vs. Ramos
Santamaria takes unanimous decision over Ramos in a fierce ten round battle. Good start for Ramos as he connected with a left hook to the temple in the first minute which sent Santamaria stumbling across the ring to the ropes. Ramos rushed to capitalise on that and landed a couple of rights but Santamaria recovered and found the target with jabs and right hands. Ramos looked to outscore Santamaria in the second and staged a storming attack in the third hounding Santamaria pinning him to the ropes and sending his mouthguard flying with a solid right. The fourth was close with Santamaria switching guards and defending well. A great fifth round saw lots of fiery exchanges but with accurate jabbing and greats countering giving Santamaria the round. Some of the fire went out of Ramos in the sixth and seventh. He battled back in the eighth but Santamaria was the one storming forward in the ninth scoring with scorching uppercuts with Ramos now on the back foot and under pressure. They both had good moments in the tenth and the decision could have gone either way. Judges scores 96-94 twice and 98-92 all for Ramos with the last score totally unjust to Ramos. Santamaria had convincingly beaten Devon Alexander in his last fight in August and came in at two weeks’ notice to replace an injured Josesito Lopez . This was advertised as a WBC eliminator but a rating is the most Santamaria is likely to get out of this win. Ramos had lost a split verdict to Yordenis Ugas for the vacant secondary WBA title in 2020 but rebounded with a stoppage of Omar Figueroa Jr. in May and had been hoping this might open the door to a title shot but this verdict slammed the door in his face.
Ramos vs. Hernandez
Ramos stops Hernandez in an all-southpaw war. Hernandez put Ramos under pressure with a swarming attack at the start of the first but Ramos began to find the target with his longer reach over the last minute of the round and probably did enough to edge it. Hernandez continued to come forward throwing hooks and uppercuts in the second and third. Ramos was countering with short shots inside but was being outworked. Ramos did better in the fourth. He was blocking many of Hernandez’s punches and upped his own output scoring with right hooks as Hernandez came forward. The fifth was a slower round with neither fighter landing many clean shots but the better defensive work from Ramos gave him the edge. The sheer volume of Hernandez’s punches had him on top in the sixth until late in the round when a big right from Ramos stopped him in his tracks and had him wobbling. Ramos jumped on him and battered Hernandez across the ring to the ropes and he was bouncing punches off Hernandez head when the referee made a well times stoppage. The 20-year-old 5’10” Ramos moves to 15 wins by KO/TKO. Neither fighter was in the ratings but Ramos was coming off victories over 24-2 Jesus Bojorquez, experienced Javier Molina and 19-1 Brian Mendoza and Hernandez over Alfredo Angulo and Julian Williams.
Juarez vs. Karl
Juarez gets a split decision over Karl. Juarez buckled Karl’s knees with the first punch he threw but Karl shook off the effects quickly and outworked Juarez for the rest of the round. Karl hustled Juarez in the second but again rights from Juarez shook him a couple of times and although Karl worked hard in the third he was staggered by a left hook. Karl scored well to the body in the fourth and just outworked Juarez but Juarez more accurate punching and better defence gave him the sixth. Karl battled his way back into the fight as he pressured Juarez throughout the sixth. Juarez lost a point for an elbow smash in the seventh with Karl badly cut over his left eye and Juarez winning the round making it a 9-9 round. Karl kept storming forward over the closing rounds trying to overwhelm Juarez by volume but with Juarez connecting with counters on the always open Karl it was going to be close on the cards. The scores were 96-93 and 95-94 for Juarez and 95-94 for Karl. Juarez had lost a majority decision against useful Philippines champion Al Rivera in June with a ninth round knockdown costing him the decision. Karl is a fans fighter with a belligerent lay it all on the line style who was kayoed in six round by Mario Barrios in October 20
Cardiff, Wales: Middle: Chris Eubank Jr (32-2) W PTS 12 Liam Williams (23-4-1). Middle: Claressa Shields (12-0) W PTS 10 Ema Kozin (21-1-1). Welter: Samuel Antwi (14-1) W PTS 10 Conah Walker (10-1-1). Welter: Chris Jenkins (23-4-3) W PTS 8 Julius Indongo (23-5). Heavy: Otto Wallin (23-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Kamil Sokolowski (11-25-2). Super Light: Harlem Eubank (13-0) W RTD 5 Viorel Simion (22-8). Light: Caroline Dubois (1-0) W PTS 6 Vaida Masiokaite (I2-25-4).
Eubank vs. Williams
Eubank scores four knockdowns on his way to taking the unanimous decision after a nasty bad tempered scrap. Williams was looking to take the fight to Eubank from the start. He scored with a good right early but was caught by some sharp jabs. As he powered forward late in the round a powerful jab put him down. He was up quickly and after the count went after Eubank but was caught with a couple of rights. Williams came forward again throughout the second but Eubank found a gap for a right to the side of the head and clipped Williams on the temple with a left as he went down. This time Williams was shaken but he again tried to take the fight to Eubank getting caught with a couple of counters. Eubank boxed cleverly in the third and as things heated up they swapped punches after the bell with Eubank being given a warning. The referee lectured both boxers at the start of the fourth. Eubank was taunting Williams and as Williams ploughed forward once more he ran onto a left jab and went down for the third time. Williams did better in the fifth but Eubank was boxing cleverly and picking his punches well. In the sixth Eubank spent too much time taunting the supporters of Williams and Williams pressed hard for the full three minutes and probably just edged the round. This really was no fight for the faint hearted with plenty of animosity between the fighters and plenty of rough stuff going on with the referee having to work hard to keep control. Williams' all-out aggression and Eubank’s tendency to only fight in bursts allowed Williams to get into the fight over the middle rounds. Eubank picked up the pace in the tenth upping is work rate and taking the fight to Williams for a change. He then effectively settled the fight by flooring Williams for the fourth time in the eleventh. A body punch caused Williams to lose his balance and he stumbled down. He was up immediately protesting the knockdown but he was given a count. Eubank danced and dodged his way through the last still taunting Williams who just could not catch him. Scores 117-109, 116-108 and 116-109 for Eubank. An important win but not a pretty one for Eubank. He again showed his talent and his ability to frustrate opponents and fans. Eubank is rated No 1 by the WBA so should get a shot at Ryota Murata this year but he is also No 3 with the WBC so that might be another route for him. Williams had a thoroughly unpleasant and frustrating night. He lost on points against Demetrius Andrade for the WBO title in April last year and this loss will badly effect his current ranking with the WBC, WBA and WBO leaving him with a serious rebuilding job to do.
Shields vs. Kozin
Shields proves to be a good few levels above unbeaten Kozin and wins every round. After a useful opener Shields began to unload on Kozin in the second and then dominated from there. She kept rolling forward scoring with hurtful body punches and southpaw Kozin could not keep her out and spent much of the night against the ropes or trapped in a corner. Kozin work hard in the sixth trying to get a toe-hold in the fight and Shields eased up a little in the seventh but had Kozin backing up under pressure and continued to land hard, accurate shots to the end. Scores 100-90 for Shields on all three cards. Shields retains the IBF, WBA and WBC titles but would have been looking for a more spectacular victory with a fight with unbeaten WBO title holder Savannah Marshall the aim. They exchange enough insults here to drum up plenty of interest although with all four titles on the line and Shields looking to avenge a loss to Marshall in the amateurs this one sells itself. Kozin has held five minor versions of the super middleweight and middleweight titles but was out of her league against Shields.
Antwi vs. Walker
Antwi holds on to the English title with a majority decision over Walker. This was a close, hard-fought contest all the way. Early aggression from Walker saw him take the first two rounds but Antwi began to counter effectively from the third and those accurate shots saw him reverse the position by taking the next three rounds. Walker continued to press hard and took the sixth to even things up before a strong finish from Antwi was just enough to see him take the majority decision. Scores 97-94 and 96-94 for Antwi and 95-95. Seventh successive win for Antwi who was making the first defence of the English title. Midlands Area champion Walker deserves a return as many saw him come out ahead in this one.
Jenkins vs. Indongo
Former Commonwealth and British champion Jenkins too good for a very faded Indongo. Jenkins pressed the fight from the start with Indongo having to work hard to keep Jenkins out. Jenkins continually stepped up the pace and Indongo was already looking tired and had to use all of his experience to stay in the fight. A hand injury forced Jenkins to box with a bit more caution letting Indongo score well in the sixth and seventh but Jenkins ended the fight strongly and was a clear winner. Referee’s score 78-75 for Jenkins. First fight for the Welshman since suffering broken ribs in his loss to Ekow Essuman in July. Now 38 former IBF and WBA super lightweight champion Indongo gets his third successive defeat.
Wallin vs. Sokolowski
Sweden’s Wallin would have been looking to put on an impressive show here but this fight never caught fire. Wallin was able to use his edges in height and reach to outscore Sokolowski. The Pole had performed well in six recent fights against unbeaten opposition but Wallin was a better class than those opponents and was never troubled but never sparkled. Referee’s score 79-74 for Wallin. Despite a good showing against Tyson Fury and wins over Travis Kauffman and Dominic Breazeale Wallin is not currently rated and he will have to take some risks if that is to change. Durability is Sokolowski’s forte and he has only been beaten inside the distance three times.
Eubank vs. Simion
Eubank pushes Romanian Simion a little further down the hill. Once an elite level amateur and an unbeaten pro Simion is now just there for the money. Eubank was too young too quick and too busy for Simion. Eubank dominated the action putting together some impressive combinations. Simion flared into action briefly in the fourth but that quickly died out and Eubank piled on the pressure and connected with some hurtful body shots in the fifth. Simion retired at the end of the round. Fifth victory by KO/TKO for Eubank who is the cousin of Chris Jr. Now 40 Simion has lost five in a row four of them inside the distance.
Dubois vs. Masiokaite
Dubois wins her first professional fight as she takes all six rounds against Lithuanian Masiokaite. Dubois had her right jab working and on target from the first bell. Dubois came close to a knockdown as she buckled Masiokaite’s knees in the third but Masiokaite managed to stay on her feet and Dubois dominated the rest of the way. Referee’s score 60-54 for Dubois. Caroline, the 21-year-old sister of Daniel Dubois, was Youth Olympic champion, World Youth Champion and 4-time European Youth Champion and a quarter-finalist in Tokyo so an exciting addition to the pro ranks. Eighth loss on the bounce for Masiokaite.
Digos City, Philippines: Minimumweight: Rene Cuarto (20-2-2) W TEC DEC 7 Pedro Taduran (14-4-1,1 ND ).
Cuarto retains the IBF title with technical majority decision over Taduran. In an untidy fight Taduran was the one driving forward but too often head first and with wild punches. Cuarto was doing a lot of holding to stop Taduran working inside. Cuarto shook Taduran with a couple of uppercuts in the first and was credited with a dubious knockdown in the second when an off balance Taduran touched the canvas with his gloves. In an exciting third they stood and traded body punches. Taduran looked to be getting the better of the exchanges and Cuarto delivered a deliberate butt opening a cut over Taduran’s right eye and he was deducted two points for that infraction. Taduran continued to hound Cuarto in the fourth with Cuarto having to hold to smother Taduran’s punches and getting a warning. After four rounds with the knockdown of Taduran and the two points deduction against
Cuarto all three judges had it 37-37 each. The action was frantic in the fifth with Taduran chasing Cuarto down. Cuarto was scoring with counters but was again warned for holding. Taduran was down again in the sixth but it also was a questionable knockdown as he went down on one knee after missing with a punch and Cuarto did not land a punch. There was concern over Taduran’s cut and the doctor examined him in the sixth but let the fight continue. Just seconds into the seventh the referee again asked the doctor to examine Taduran and after lots of confusion it was confirmed the doctor had advised the fight be stopped and it went to the cards with Cuarto winning on scores of 66-64 and 65-44 for Cuarto and 65-65. Cuarto had won the title with a very close unanimous decision over champion Taduran a year ago but with the two questionable knockdowns Taduran could consider himself unlucky.
Moscow, Russia: Super Light: Yauheni Dauhaliavets (8-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Eniz (27-17-1,1ND). Super Middle: Mikhail Dauhaliavets (6-0) W KO 2 Victor Exner (7-9-1). Super Light: Georgi Chelokhsaev (20-2-1) W TKO 2 Mukhaamadsalim Sotvoldiev (7-6-2).
Dauhaliavets vs. Eniz
A good night for Belarusians as both Dauhaliavets brothers scored wins here but in very different ways. Despite his mediocre record Argentinian Eniz is a clever boxer and he came to win this one. He surprised Dauhaliavets with a quick, confident start showing plenty of movement and scoring well with hooks and uppercuts. From the second Dauhaliavets used his superior strength to bull Eniz around stepping inside with strong jabs and clubbing head shots and moved in front. Eniz did enough to keep it close and then despite a cut outworked Dauhaliavets and built a good lead. Dauhaliavets produced a strong finish over the ninth and tenth. It did not seem enough but the judges gave the decision to Dauhaliavets with no scores announced. Dauhaliavets, represented Belorussia at the European Games, European Championships and World Championships and has wins over Fedor Papazov and Georgi Chelokhsaev who scored a victory on the undercard. Eniz has faced some tough nights on his travels losing to Batyrzhan Jukembayev and Subriel Matias and at home to Jeremiah Ponce.
Dauhaliavets vs. Exner
Elder brother Mikhail has an easier night. He had Exner shaken a number of times in the first without scoring a knockdown. In the second he staggered Exner twice with southpaw rights to the head and then dropped him with a right hook. Exner made it to his feet but went down on his knees under a series of punches and was counted out. Mikhail had over 100 amateur contests and competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. This is his sixth win by KO/TK. Fourth inside the distance loss for Argentinian Exner who was overmatched.
Chelokhsaev vs. Sotvoldiev
Chelokhsaev blows away Sotvoldiev in two rounds. This was one-sided as Chelokhsaev dropped Sotvoldiev to his knees with a right to the head in the first. He then used the same punch to floor Sotvoldiev in the second and the fight was stopped. Russian Chelokhsaev put together a 14-bout unbeaten streak before losing a split decision to Yauheni Dauhaliavets in November 2020 and this is his first ring appearance since then. A return with Dauhaliavets looks to be the next step. Fourth defeat in a row for Sotvoldiev.
Canuelas, Argentina: Light: Claudio Daneff (14-2-1) W TKO 3 Gustavo Pereyra (11-14-4). Welter: Leandro Fonseca (10-0-1) W TKO 8 Ramon De La Cruz (23-32-3).
Daneff vs. Pereyra
Daneff destroys Pereyra in three rounds. From the opening bell the local fighter put Pereyra under pressure landing jabs and hooking strongly with both hands. The fight continued to be one-sided in the second with Daneff scoring with southpaw lefts to head and body. It was all over in the third as Daneff drove Pereyra around the ropes and with Pereyra reeling under the onslaught the referee halted the fight. The 25-year-old Argentinian champion wins the vacant WBC Latino title with his eighth victory by KO/TKO. Poor Pereyra is now 1-9 in his most recent fights.
Fonseca vs. De La Cruz
Fonseca much too good for a badly sliding De La Cruz. Fonesca controlled the fight from the start with De La Cruz having to use all of his experience to stay in the fight. Fonseca landed heavily over the fifth, sixth and seventh and closed the show in the eighth. A fierce attacking spell saw De La Cruz forced to take two standing counts and his corner threw in the towel with just five seconds remaining in the round. The lanky “Hurricane” gets his ninth consecutive win. Seventh inside the distance defeat for De La Cruz who is 1-16-1 in his last 18 contests.
Isere, France: Feather: Jordan Rodriguez (5-0) W TKO 6 Jean Alvarez (7-46-2). Super Welter: Yanis Mehah (10-0) W PTS 8 Mykhailo Sovtus (4-8).
Rodriguez vs. Alcaraz
Home town fighter gets a keep busy win over southpaw Alvarez. Former French amateur champion Rodriguez won the French pro title in only his fourth fight. He missed out on Tokyo due to injury and the pandemic. Alvarez has lost his last ten fights.
Mehah vs. Sovtus
Mehah makes it a double for Boxing Team Berjallien and gets some useful ring time as he decisions Ukrainian Sovtus on scores of 78-73 on the three cards. Mehah was four-time French amateur champion. Sovtus had won 2 of his last 3 fights.
Borgo San Lorenzo, Italy: Light Heavy: Vigan Mustafa (24-5) W PTS 10 Luca Spadaccini (7-2-3).
Kosovon-born former champion Mustafa lifts the vacant Italian title with unanimous decision over Spadaccini. The 42-year-old used his better skills to set the tempo for the fight and Spadaccini could do little to change things as he was comprehensively outboxed by the more experienced Mustafa. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Mustafa who has won 5 of his last 6 fights. Second unsuccessful title shot for Spadaccini.
Tokyo, Japan: Bantam: Kyosuke Sawada (15-2-2) W TEC DEC 5 Kenshin Oshima (7-2-1).
After numerous postponements and disappointments Sawada wins the vacant Japanese title with technical decision over Oshima. The first round went to Oshima as he overcame a slow start to end the round strongly. In the second Oshima did well early rocking Sawada but a right from Sawada sent Oshima reeling into the ropes which held him up and he was given a count. As heads banged together in the third Sawada suffered a bad cut high above his right eye which bled heavily. Oshima looked to have had the better of the exchanges in the fourth and Sawada survived an examination of the cut by the doctor. The fight continued but with blood streaming from the cut the fight was stopped early in the fifth and went to the cards. The knockdown proved decisive. Scores of 48-46 and 48-47 for Sawada and 48-46 for Oshima. Sawada, top level amateur who won 61 of his 85 fights, had two title shots cancelled due to the pandemic and a third shot ended in a technical draw. He lost his first two pro fights so is unbeaten in his last 17. Oshima, who was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds, had won his last seven.
Aktau, Kazakhstan: Middle: Meiirim Nursultanov (16-0) W RTD 5 Andrey Sirotkin (19-2-1). Light Heavy: Bekzad Nurdauletov (4-0) W TKO 9 Chico Kwasi (5-1-1).
Nursultanov vs. Sirotkin
Nursultanov records another win as Sirotkin’s team pull their man out of the fight after the fifth round. Sirotkin got off to a good start. He was working well with his right jab constantly piercing Nursualtanov’s guard and following behind his jab with straight rights. Nursultanov was countering well but being outworked. Nursultanov stepped up the pressure in the third and Sirotkin’s work became untidy as he was forced onto the back foot. By the end of the fourth Sirotkin was showing a growing lump under his left eye from heavy rights from Nursultanov and had stopped using his jab. Nursultanov piled on the punches in the fifth driving Sirotkin around the ring with Sirotkin reeling in to the ropes and just looking to survive and although he made it to the bell his corner pulled him out due to the damage around his right eye. Oxnard-based Nursultanov, 28, wins the vacant WBO International title. He was star of the Worlds Series of Boxing putting together an 11-1 record including wins over Arlen Lopez and Troy Williamson. Sirotkin's only previous loss was against John Ryder and he drew with WBHO No 4 Danny Dignum in April last year.
Nurdauletov vs. Kwasi
Kazak Nurdauletov beats Kwasi due to injury. Nurdauletov had early problems with the long arms and awkward style of the Dutchman. However, Kwasi was getting no leverage in his punches and showed poor footwork and Nurdauletov was able to get past Kwasi’s jabs to score to the body. Nurdauletov kept putting Kwasi under pressure and by the eighth Kwasi was flagging badly. In the ninth as Kwasi threw a straight right he shouted in pain and twisted down to the canvas. He had obviously suffered an injury to his should and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Nurdauletov, 23, wins the vacant WBO Youth title. He was World Amateur champion in 2019 beating Cuban Julio Cesar De La Cruz on the way to the gold medal and boxed at the Tokyo Olympics. Kwasi, also 23, started out at kickboxing and his lack of boxing technique showed here.
General Santos City, Philippines: Fly: David Apolinario (16-0) W RTD 4 Mike Kinaadman (7-15-2). Super Fly: Vince Paras (16-2) W TKO 4 Reymark Taday (10-15-1). Bantam: Ben Mananquil (18-2-3) W RTD 5 Crison Omayao (24-23-5).
Apolinario vs. Kinaadman
Apolinario pounds out Kinaadman. Apolinario connected with slashing hooks and uppercuts in the first and shrugged off a hard right from Kinaadman in the second and floored Kinaadman with a right to the head. Kinaadman was down again in the third with a right to the body and he put Kinaadman on the floor twice with body punches in the fourth and Kinaadman did not come out for the fifth. Eleventh inside the distance finish for the 23-year-old “Doberman” who is No 7 with the WBA. Kinaadman is consistent-as a loser with only one win in his last thirteen bouts.
Paras vs. Taday
Former IBF minimum title challenger Paras stopped overmatched Taday in four rounds. Paras, who lost to Hiroto Kyoguchi for the IBF minimumweight belt in 2018,was having his first fight since September 2019. Taday falls to 1-10 in his last eleven appearances.
Mananquil vs. Omayao
Local southpaw Mananquil returned to action with a win as “Cowboy” Omayao retired after five one-sided rounds. Mananquil had an eight-bout unbeaten streak going until he lost on a tenth round stoppage against Yuki Kobayashi in Osaka in May 2019 and this is his first fight since then. Omayao is without a win in his last eight bouts and has been beaten inside the distance in six of those fights.
Cancun, Mexico: Super Fly: David Cuellar (21-0) W KO 6 Ricardo Blandon (15-5).
Local prospect Cuellar wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox title with kayo of Nicaraguan Blandon. Cuellar scored two knockdowns Blandon survived an early visit to the canvas but was counted out after going down from a body punch in the sixth. Cuellar, 20, gets win No15 by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week (Significance): Both the win for Thurman over Barrios and Rodriguez over Cuadras open further possibilities.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Lucas Santamaria vs. Abel Ramos provided plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Jesse Rodriguez for the way he handled more experience Carlos Castro despite jumping two divisions
Punch of the week: The Rodriguez right that dropped Cuadras was sharp and precise
Upset of the week: Has to be Rodriguez beating Cuadras
Prospect watch: The talent that Caroline Dubois displayed in her first pro fight could take her far.
Rosette: For the undercard to Thurman vs. Barrios that included some good matches for the fans and viewers.
Red Card: For the referee off the Cuarto vs. Taduran fight who counted two dubious knockdowns, constantly interrupted the action and caused so much confusion at the end of the fight that none of the boxers or their team or, the other officials realised the fight was over for minutes after it was stopped.
-The Kazakh amateur ranks keep turning out more and more talent for the pro ranks. Meiirim Nursultanov did not win any major titles as an amateur but his 11-1 record in the World Series of Boxing included victories over Olympic, World and Pan American gold medallist Cuban Arlen Lopez and Troy Williamson and Bekzad Nurdauletov was 2019 World Amateur champion. Both looked good in wins at the weekend.
- If you are looking for a fight then don’t pick on Ukrainian middleweight Andrey Sirotkin. Apart from his 19-2-1 record he has also been a world Full Contact Kickboxing champion, a Police Officer unarmed combat champion and Sambo self-defence champion- a martial art that was tested in Tokyo and will be included in the next Games
-We are all sure there are too many titles floating about in professional boxing but with so few boxers chasing so many titles the picture can get ridiculous in Female boxing. Claressa Shields and Ema Kozin her opponent on Saturday have owned a store full of titles.
Shields holds/has held in order:
WBC Silver super middleweight
IBF super middleweight
WBC super middleweight
WBA super middleweight
WBC Diamond middle,
WBO super welter
WBC super welter
WBA super welter
Slovenian Kozin’s tally is:
WBC International middle
Global Boxing Council middle
WBFederation super middle
WBC Silver super middle
IBA super middle
Global Boxing Union super middle
WBC interim middle
22 titles between and them and counting!
By Eric Armit
-Ilunga Makabu retains the WBC cruiser title with split decision over Thabiso Mchunu
-Trevor Bryan scores split decision over Jonathan Guidry in defence of WBA secondary heavyweight title.
-Robinson Conceicao gets unanimous decision over Xavier Martinez
-Sergio Martinez continues his campaign for a title shot with points win over Macaulay McGowan.
-Thomas Faure wins the vacant European Union light-heavyweight title with decision over Kevin Cojean.
-Francisco Fonesca and Cristofer Rosales register wins in Managua.
World Title/Major Shows
Warren, OH, USA: Cruiser: Ilunga Makabu (29-2) W PTS 12 Thabiso Mchunu (23-6). Heavy: Trevor Bryan (22-0) W PTS 12 Jonathan Guidry (17-1-2). Cruiser: Johnnie Langston (10-2,1ND) W TKO 5 Nick Kisner (22-6-1,1ND). Heavy: Dacarree Scott (7-0) W PTS 10 Ahmed Hefny (13-2). Middle Moore (19-3) W PTS 10 Anthony Lenk (17-8-0). Welter: Tre’Sean Wiggins (13-5-3) W TKO 3 y Wilson (10-3).
Makabu vs. Mchunu
Makabu retains the WBC title with a controversial split verdict over Mchunu in a clash of southpaws.
Mchunu had quicker hands and was more mobile than Makabu. He was snapping fast jabs from a low guard and then shifting before the slower Makabu could counter. Makabu landed a good left to the body but Mchunu did most of the scoring.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu
A good round for Makabu. He upped his place trapping Mchunu against the ropes and scoring with thumping shots to head and body. Mchunu was standing static in front of Makabu and paid for that as Makabu continue to score with body punches.
Score: 10-9 Makabu TIED 19-19
Another strong round for Makabu. He was bludgeoning Mchunu with body punches and landing heavily to the head. Too often Mchunu was standing trading punches instead of using his speed to box.
Score: 10-9 Makabu Makabu 29-28
This was a close round. Mchunu started out using his quicker hands to spear Makabu with jabs and scoring with uppercuts. Makabu was missing with lots of shots but also landing some heavy hits. Mchunu was slotting home jabs and moving and although Makabu finished strongly it was Mchunu’s round
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Tied 38-38
Official Scores Judge Steve Weisfeld 40-36 Makabu, Judge Nathan Palmer 39-37 Makabu, Judge Jamie Garayua 40-36 Makabu
Mchunu’s hand speed made the difference here. He was getting his punches off first and Makabu was off target with his counter. A left hook from Mchunu sent sweat flying off Makabu’s head and he blocked or dodged the big stuff from Makabu.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 48-47
Again Mchunu was scoring with quick hooks and uppercuts inside. He did not have the power of Makabu but he was on target whilst Makabu was missing with big lefts. Makabu rocked Mchunu with a left late in the round but Mchunu had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 58-56
This round went to Makabu. He was taking that extra step forward behind his jab and banging home some hurtful body punches. Mchunu’s output was low and he found himself pinned to the ropes on occasion which allowed Makabu to score with more body punches.
Score: 10-9 Makabu Mchunu 67-66
Makabu also took this one. His powerful jabbing had Mchunu constantly on the back foot. He was tracking Mchunu around the ring and scoring with body punches and rights to the head. Mchunu scored with a powerful left hook but did little else.
Score: 10-9 Makabu Tied 76-76
Official Scores: Steve Weisfeld 77-75 Makabu, Nathan Palmer 77-75 Makabu, Jamie Garayua 79-73 Makabu
Good boxing from Mchunu as he moved inside to cancel out Makabu's jab and out worked him in close. He got through with a couple of sharp right hooks and although Makabu came on late in the round it was not enough to swing it his way.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 86-85
A close round with neither fighter having a great deal of success. Makabu landed the heavier punches but Mchunu was sharper drawing Makabu’s jab then darting inside to score with hard right uppercuts and just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 96-94
Mchunu took this one. He was again drawing Makabu’s jab and then stepping smartly inside and connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Makabu was ponderous with his punches and Mchunu was able to score with a series of right hooks. Although Makabu again had some success late it was Mchunu’s round.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 106-103
Mchunu started the round firing right hooks and straight left as he moved around Makabu then the pace dropped as neither fighter did much until a little flash in the form of a couple of hooks from Mchunu which gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 116-112
Official Scores: Steve Weisfeld 115-113 Makabu, Nathan Palmer 115-113 Mchunu, Judge Jamie Garayua 116-112 Makabu.
Second successful defence for DRC’s Makabu which may now lead to a big money fight with Saul Alvarez. Makabu had knocked out Mchunu in eleven rounds in 2015 but for me Mchunu just won this one. Makabu is not overly tall at 6’” but if the Alvarez fight does come off then as the bigger man, a natural 200lbs fighter with 25 wins by KO/TKO ,Makabu might pose problems for Alvarez but he is not quick so that might be a leveller. South African Mchunu deserves a return but won’t get one anytime soon and this was not a great fight so there might not be much incentive for a return
Bryan vs. Guidry
Bryan holds on to the secondary WBA belt with a split decision over Guidry with one judge see a different fight to most people. Bryan made full use of his longer reach and his 5” height advantage to take the first round with some solid jabbing. He also took the lead in the second but Guidry showed some fire and scored with a couple of left hooks. Bryan again used his physical edges to take the fourth but Guidry came alive in the fifth and Bryan was forced to stand and trade punches which was a good round for Guidry. Bryan used his skills more over the sixth and seventh and with Bryan also having a 28lbs pull in weight and Guidry looked to be tiring in the eighth and there was a growing swelling under his right eye. Guidry showed he was still there by rocking Bryan with a right in the ninth. Neither fighter had much left over the closing round but Bryan nearly ended just before the last bell flooring Guidry with a series of punches but Guidry made it to his feet. Scores 118-109 and 116-111 for Bryan and a totally strange 115-112 for Guidry from highly experienced judge Steve Weisfeld. Bryan made this a much harder fight than it should have been and his performance makes any though of a fight against Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua laughable. Instead he will now have to defend his WBA belt against Daniel Dubois and he will start a rank outsider in that fight. Guidry did better than expected but then expectations were very low. He will probably get a few more fights on the back of going the distance in this one.
Langston vs. Kisner
Langston just too quick for a faded Kisner. Langston mixed his punches well scoring with good shots to head and body and outscored Kisner over rounds one and two without really dominating. Kisner got into the fight more in the third but it was all over in the fourth. Langston put Kisner down twice with right hooks to the body and for the third time with a series of head punches and the fight was stopped. Langston, who was stopped in three rounds by Jared Anderson in June 2020, wins the vacant NABA title. Kisner suffers his third defeat by KO/TKO and was having his first fight for almost two years.
Scott vs. Hefny
Scott has a run of five first round wins in a row broken as he has to go the full ten rounds to outpoint Hefny. Although four inches shorter than the 6’2” Hefny at 5’10” Scott was 60lbs heavier and used that extra weight to force Hefny onto the back foot over the first two rounds. Hefny found the distance with his jab in the third and looked to have taken that round. A clash of heads in the fourth saw Hefny cut over his left eye and Scott took that round and the fifth as Hefny seemed affected by the cut. Hefny steadied himself in the sixth and they then fought on even terms over the last four rounds making it close. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Scott and 96-94 for Hefny. Scott, 23, had never gone past the second round before but had only fought very poor opposition and is going to need to shed some weight if he wants to be taken seriously. Egyptian Hefny has also been matched with only third rate foes.
Moore vs. Lenk
Moore takes unanimous decision over Lenk. Scores 99-91 on the three cards for Moore. He came in over the weight for the fight for the vacant NABA title so could not claim the belt. First fight for 27 months for Moore. Southpaw Lenk’s only fight in the last two years was a win over a guy with a 0-5 record.
Wiggins vs. Wilson
Wiggins scores three knockdowns and halts Wilson in three rounds. Wilson did enough to make the opening round close but as he tried to put the 5’ 11” Wiggins under pressure in the second he walked on to a counter and was dropped. He was on the floor again in the third from two lefts and although he beat the count as Wiggins landed another left the referee stopped the fight. Wilson protested and it did look a very questionable stoppage. Southpaw Wiggins collects the vacant NABA title with his seventh inside the distance. Second defeat by KO/TKO in his last three fights for Wilson.
Tulsa, OK, USA: Super Feather: Robson Conceicao (17-1) W PTS 10 Xavier Martinez (17-1). Light: Giovanni Cabrera (19-0) W PTS 8 Juan Tellez (16-2). Heavy: Stephen Shaw (16-0,1ND) W TKO 8 Joey Dawejko (21-10-4). Middle: Nico Ali Walsh (4-0) W KO 2 Jeremiah Yeager ((1-2-1). Super Feather: Carla Torres (7-6) W PTS 8 Kalliopi Kourouni (11-3).
Conceicao vs. Martinez
Conceicao outpoints previously unbeaten Martinez with all three cards showing him a clear winner. Conceicao has built on the improvement he showed when giving Oscar Valdez such a tough time in the WBC title fight in September. He had in the past looked to be going for quantity and not worrying too much about accuracy or defence. Against Martinez he was still a busy fighter throwing plenty of combinations but working more with his jab and showing a much improved defence. Martinez was coming forward but Conceicao was feeding him plenty of jabs and then firing rapid combinations and Martinez was having trouble finding his range. Conceicao stayed in the pocket too long in the third and was stunned by a left hook to the temple but he paid Martinez back with a long looping right uppercut in the fourth which shook Martinez. Conceicao was just too quick for the plodding Martinez and dominated round after round for a comfortable victory in what looked a real test before the first bell. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Conceicao. The only rating Conceicao held before this fight was No 4 with the WBC. Martinez was No 4 with the WBA and 14 and 15 respectively with the WBC and WBO so at least Conceicao should get promotion
Cabrera vs. Tellez
Cabrera overcomes a feisty Tellez to take the points. Southpaw Cabrera boxed cleverly from the start making good use of his 5” height advantage and his longer and reach as Tellez always dangerous was looking to come forward. Tellez pressed hard in the second getting through with some good body punches but Cabrera countered his rushes well in the third. Tellez almost fell out of the ring after missing with a wild punch in the fourth but recovered and ended the round strongly. Cabrera outscored Tellez over the fifth and sixth and they both landed some good punches in a close seventh with Cabrera rocking Tellez in the last to wrap up the decision. Scores 78-74 twice and 77-75 for Cabrera. Good win for the 19-year-old prospect that had not fought for 27 months. Tellez only previous loss was against unbeaten Michel Rivera and a sixth round kayo of then unbeaten Carlos Balderas showed his danger. These two were supposed to fight other opponents on the card but Tellez came in 5lbs over weight for his fight so was shifted to face Cabrera.
Shaw vs. Dawejko
After a studied start Shaw was in total control of this one. He was bigger, quicker and the harder paunches and landed heavy shots over the early rounds. Dawejko rumbled forward but rarely troubled Shaw. In the sixth he twice rocked Dawejko with powerful rights and he built on that in the seventh. It could have been stopped then but Dawejko pleaded to be allowed to come out for the last round and a series of punches saw the referee stop the fight to save Dawejko early in the eighth. The 29-year-old 6’4” gets his twelfth inside the distance victory. A former National Golden Gloves bronze medallist he looks a new threat in any already crowded division. Dawejko is a fight anyone anywhere type but is 2-6 in his lost eight fights and this is his third loss by KO/TKO.
Walsh vs. Yeager
Walsh scores spectacular stoppage of Yeager. No way this was going tom last as they both unloaded heavily in the first. In the second Walsh connected with an overhand right and then nailed Yeager with a perfect left hook that sent Yeager flying into the ropes and down on his back. Yeager did well to get up and defied Walsh’s attempts to put him away until Walsh pinned him against the ropes late in the round. Walsh wound up his punches, fitted in an “Ali shuffle”, then landed a left hook that had Yeager slumping in the ropes and the fight was stopped. Second inside the distance win for the Grandson of the late Muhammad Ali and a great improvement over his majority win over Reyes Sanchez in his last fight.
Torres vs. Kourouni
Puerto Rican Torres took a majority decision over Greek southpaw Kourouni on scores of 80-72 and 77-75 for Torres and 76-76. These two clashed at the weigh-in but stuck to the rules in the fight. Both are former Female title holders Torres with the IBA title holder and British-based Kourouni
Madrid, Spain: Middle: Sergio Martinez (55-3-2) W PTS 10 Macaulay McGowan (14-3-1). Feather: Bernard Torres (16-0) W PTS 10 Mauro Perouene (13-5-1).
Martinez vs. McGowan
Martinez scores two knockdowns on the way to a unanimous decision over McGowan. Martinez was on the canvas in the first but he overbalanced when missing with a punch and it was rightly rules a slip. Martinez was holding his hands down and piercing McGowan’s defence with right jabs. Martinez outscored McGowan over the second and third but McGowan applied plenty of pressure and looked to have edged the fourth and made the fifth close. Martinez dominated the sixth and put McGowan down in the seventh with a left to the body that saw McGowan take a count on one knee. Martinez rocked McGowan a couple of times in the eighth and ninth and then floored McGowan for a second time with a left to the head in the tenth but McGowan beat the count and lasted out the remaining few seconds. Scores 99-89 twice and 98-90 for Martinez. Even at 46 Martinez is hoping for another title shot with WBA title holder Ryota Murata as his target. McGowan had lost his previous two fights in tough pairings against Tursynbay Kulakhmet and Kieran Conway but gave Martinez ten useful rounds of work. McGowan was ranked No 342 by Box Rec so winning this fight hardly represents an achievement for Martinez.
Torres vs. Perouene
In a clash of southpaws Philippines-born Norwegian Torres was given a harder than expected night by Argentinian Perouene. Torres took the lead early but Perouene came into it over the middle rounds. With both fighters cut Torres staged the stronger finish and took the split decision on scores of 96-94 and 96-95 and 96-94 for Perouene. Torres wins the vacant IBO IberoAmerican belt (yes another new title). He was expected to do better than this but Perouene had lost only two of his last 15 fights.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Super Bantam: Steven Bagwasi (7-1) W PTS 10 Koos Sibiya (23-17-5). Super Bantam: Ellen Simwaka (9-5-2) W TKO 4 Gabisile Tshabalala (10-6-1).
Bagwasi vs. Sibiya
Botswanan Bagwasi takes a split decision over more experienced Sibiya. In a closely contested bout the youth and speed of Bagwasi saw him outbox Sibiya early. Sibiya looked to be pacing the fight better as he pulled ahead over the middle rounds but age caught up with him and Bagwasi was able to edge in front before the final bell and win on scores of 96-94 and 96-95 with the third judge seeing Sibiya the winner 96-94. Third win in a row for 27-year-old Bagwasi, Sibiya, 40, a pro for almost 22 years, has had four unsuccessful shots at winning a South African title.
Simwaka vs. Tshabalala
Malawian Simwaka made it a bad night for the home fighters as she stopped Tshabalala in four rounds. This looked a competitive match on paper but Simwaka was the harder puncher and she hunted down Tshabalala scoring repeatedly with hard rights until the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round. Simwaka lost to Kristen Fraser for the Commonwealth title in 2018 and this victory is her seventh by KO/TKO. Fifth loss in her last six fights for Tshabalala.
Tijuana, Mexico: Fly: Adrian Curiel (19-4) W PTS 10 Hugo Hernandez (18-6-1). Super Welter: Alexis Salazar (24-4) W PTS 8 Valentin Martinez (10-3-1). Light: Francisco Lopez (14-0-1,1ND) W TKO 4 Guillermo Garcia 9-11-1
Curiel vs. Hernandez
Curiel takes split verdict over Hernandez in an exciting, brutal slugfest. The first two rounds went to Hernandez. Curiel was taking the fight to Hernandez coming forward throwing punches but southpaw Hernandez was more accurate. Curiel kept marching forward but now had his jab on target and was connecting with hard left hooks to the body. With both throwing so much leather the rounds were close but Curiel, occasionally switching to southpaw, was outlanding Hernandez over the middle rounds. Hernandez banged back with a good eighth round but Curiel was bossing the action over the ninth and tenth and looked a clear winner. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Curiel and 96-94 for Hernandez. Curiel, 23, gets his third victory in a row. Hernandez drops to 3-3-1 in his last seven fights.
Salazar vs. Martinez
Salazar boxes his way to a unanimous verdict over late choice Martinez. The tall Salazar ha a big edge in skill but Martinez is a tough attacking fighter. Salazar basically stuck with the strong jab and right cross approach. He outscored Martinez over the first three rounds but swarming attacks saw Martinez do enough to take the fourth. Although forced to fight inside more than he liked Salazar swept the next three rounds with Martinez putting in a big effort in the last. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 all for Salazar. He had put together a thirteen-bout winning streak before being stopped in three rounds by Carlos Adames in June last year and this is his first fight since then. Martinez was having his first fight since March 2018 and the rust and experiencing his first eight round fight played against him.
Lopez vs. Garcia
Lopez stops Garcia in four rounds. Bigger and stronger Lopez dominated the action punishing substitute Garcia over the first two rounds. Garcia just kept rolling forward throwing punches but in the last ten seconds of the third he was stopped in his tracks by a counter right in the third. His legs turned to rubber and flopped about until he staggered back across the ring to the ropes virtually out on his feet. He should not have been allowed to come out for the fourth. Lopez hurt Garcia with a left hook to the body and then poured on the punches until Garcia dropped to the canvas with the towel being thrown in by Garcia’s corner. Ninth win by KO/TKO for the 5’11” Lopez. Garcia too game for his own good has lost his last five fights
Hialeah, FL, USA: Bantam: Michell Banquez (20-1) W RTD 6 Joahnys Argilagos (8-1). Super Bantam: Jorge de Jesus Romero (22-0-1) W RTD 5 Lucas Baez (37-21-5). Heavy: Ricardo Aguero (1-0) W TKO 2 Brandon Grundy (0-2).
Banquez vs. Argilagos
Cuban prospect Argilagos suffers his first defeat as he retires after six rounds against Venezuelan Banquez. From the start Banquez was taking the fight to Argilagos. The Cuban was moving well and countering but was being forced on to the back foot and too often fighting with his back to the ropes. Banquez began to dominate the action with Argilagos fading but the ending was a surprise. Banquez landed a good right late in the sixth but Argilagos did not look shaken. In the interval there seemed to be an argument between Argilagos and his team with his chief second walking out of the ring and indicating Argilagos had decided to quit. Banquez had been out of the ring since July 2019 but the danger signs were there as in that July fight he outclassed unbeaten Prince Patel. There have been questions over Argilagos stamina but his management claimed he had suffered stomach pains from the start of the fight. Argilagos is just 25 and won gold at the World Championships in 2015 and 2017 and a silver at the 2016 Olympics but those medals were at light flyweight so he is having difficulty adjusting but is 25 so has time on his side.
Romero vs. Baez
Romero continues unbeaten as he uses his trade mark body punching to wear down Argentinian Baez. Left hooks to the body floored Baez three times and he retired at the end of the fifth round. Despite his impressive statistics this is the first time Romero has been in a fight scheduled for ten rounds so its time he took a risk. Eleventh inside the distance defeat for Baez.
Aguero vs. Grundy
Yet another giant heavyweight enters the pro ranks as 6-8” Cuban Ricardo Aguero stops Brandon Grundy in two rounds
Aguero had six inches in height and lots of weight over total novice Grundy. Aguero drove Grundy to the canvas twice in the second round and the fight was waived off. Aguero has extensive amateur experience without ever winning a Cuban title but when Ernesto Savon, Lenier Pero and Jose Larduet to face that is not surprising.
Light Heavy: Franco Acosta (10-0) W PTS 10 Walter Sequeira (24-9-1). Super Fly: Kevin Munoz (13-1,1ND) W PTS 10 W Abel Silva (7-8-3).
Acosta vs. Sequeira
Acosta wins the vacant national title with a unanimous decision over experienced Sequeira. The 6’ 3 ½” tall Acosta had lots of height and reach over the 5’8” Sequeira and was able to score from distance but Sequeira was more than willing to walk through the punches to get in close. Acosta looked good when he boxed patiently and put his punches together but his jab lacked power. He was shaken badly in the third and suffered a cut over his left eyebrow in a clash of heads but his better skills saw him win most of the rounds. Scores 100-90 ½ 99-91 and 98 ½ -94. Acosta, 25, had scored seven wins by KO/TKO and never had to go past six rounds for victory. Sequeira was a much tougher test than the mediocre guys Acosta had beaten in the past having been in with Avni Yildirim, Anthony Yarde and Kevin Lele Sadjo.
Munoz vs. Silva
Munoz makes a third successful defence of the South American title with a unanimous points win over Silva but it was close as Silva took the fight to Munoz in every round. Both had periods of domination in a fierce scrap but Munoz was busier and more accurate. He was given a standing count in the seventh when he almost dropped to his knees under a strong attack from Silva but recovered well. Scores 95-94 twice and 98-92 for Munoz. Both fighters were coming off a loss with Munoz being stopped in five rounds by Angel Aquino for the IBF Latino bantam belt and Silva outpointed by Pablo Gomez in a shot at the vacant South American bantamweight title.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Super Bantam: Marianela Ramirez (8-7-2) W TKO 1 Natalia Alderete (4-7).
Ramirez wins the vacant South American Female title with first round stoppage of Alderete. Ramirez dropped Alderete twice and the fight was stopped with less than 90 seconds gone in the round. Ramirez, 37, is 4-1-2 in her last 7 fights which includes a previous draw for this title and a points defeat against Daniela Bermudez for the WBO Female bantam title. Alderete was having her second shot at a South American title.
Chateauroux, France: Light Heavy: Thomas Faure (21-4-1) W PTS 12 Kevin Cojean (27-11-2).
Local boxer Faure wins the vacant European Union title as he scores a points victory over tough and experienced Cojean in an all-French contest. Faure said he had been working hard on his jab and his fitness and both of these proved vital factors. These two had fought a draw for the French title in January last year but this time Faure had taken the lessons on board from that fight and was a clear winner. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111. Faure is 12-1-1 in his last 14 fights and the plan is to defend the EU title and then challenge for the EBU title. Cojean had won the vacant French title in November with a stoppage of Hugo Kasperski.
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Feather:
Francisco Fonseca (29-3-2) W KO 2 Franco Gutierrez (11-7-2). Fly: Cristofer Rosales (32-5) W DISQ 5 Jerson Ortiz (17-5,1ND).
Fonseca vs. Gutierrez
Former IBF title challenger Fonseca hits too hard for Gutierrez. Fonseca dished out some punishment in the first and then put Gutierrez down three times in the second to end the fight. Fourth consecutive inside the distance victory for Fonseca after his first round stoppage loss against Ryan Garcia in February 2020. He lifts the WBA Fedelatin belt. Only one win in his last seven fights for Gutierrez.
Rosales vs. Ortiz
This was never going to be much of a test for Rosales but the win comes with some controversy. Bigger, quicker and the harder puncher Rosales scored well in the first but Ortiz rebounded to win the second with some crisp body punches. Rosales had Ortiz down in the third but Ortiz got up and then landed some punches to the back of the head without being warned. The fourth turned nasty as Rosales landed a punch to the back of Ortiz’s head and Ortiz responded with an elbow smash. It all boiled over in the last seconds of the fifth. Once again Ortiz struck with his elbow and Rosales delivered a punch to the back of Ortiz’s head. The Referee deducted a point from Rosales for the punch to the back of the head and disqualified Ortiz for the elbow offence. Former WBC fly champion Rosales was having his fight in fourteen months. Third loss in his last four bouts for Ortiz
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Light: Fedor Papazov (24-4) W PTS 10 Akzhol Sulaimanbek (16-2)
Papazov gets the win as he stages a strong finish to take the split decision. After studying each other in the first round hostilities broke out in the second and the battle was fierce from there. Sulaimanbek had built a lead until a huge ugly swelling on his forehead above his right had him fighting more defensively over the ninth and tenth which allowed Papazov to just edge in front. Scores 97-93 and 95-94 for Papazov and 95-95. Papazov wins the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title and is now a modest 3-2 in his last 5 outings. Kyrgyzstan-born southpaw Sulaimanbek won his first 15 fights before being knocked in seven rounds by Mark Urvanov in 2020 for the WBO Gold belt.
Vitoria, Spain: Bantam: Fran Mendoza (13-0) W PTS 8 Anuar Salas (21-13-1).
Mendoza gets the unanimous decision in a clash of two Colombian’s. A great start for Mendoza as he had Salas down in the first. Salas survived and fought back hard turning this into an entertaining scrap. Mendoza’s better skills saw him through but Salas was competitive to the last. The 24-year-old locally-based Mendoza has had all of his fights in Spain. Salas was 20-3 at one time but drops to 1-10-1 in his last dozen fights.
Merida, Mexico: Super Light: Omar Aguilar (23-0) W KO 2 Ricardo Banuelos (17-7-1).
After an even first round Aguilar exploded in the second sending Banuelos down twice with left hooks. Aguilar sent Banuelos flying to the ropes and onto the canvas for the first knockdown. Banuelos only just made it to his feet and another left hook put him down heavily and the count was waived with Banuelos need some medical attention before getting up. Twelfth consecutive inside the distance win for Aguilar and his twenty-second in total. The 22-year-old from Ensenada is ready for stiffer tests. Five losses by KO/TKO for Banuelos.
Fight of the week (Significance): Ilunga Makabu’s win over Thabiso keeps alive Makabu’s hope of a fight with Saul Alvarez.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Adrian Curiel vs. Hugo Hernandez was war from bell to bell
Fighter of the week: Ilunga Makabu remains WBC champion
Punch of the week: The left hook from Nico Ali Walsh that put Jeremiah Yeager down was a beauty
Upset of the week: No biggies
Prospect watch: Mexican super lightweight Omar Aguilar 23-0 22 wins by KO/TKO could be worth following.
Rosette: A real bit of good news for boxing-Don King is said to have retired but at least he went out with an undercard in Warren that reminds me why I won’t miss him
Red Card: Don King goodbye-I hope.
-Not sure about Sergio Martinez looking for another title shot. He is 46 now but will be 47 next month. He has mentioned Ryota Murata as a target. After six years out of the ring wins over Jose Fandino rated by Box Rec No 256, Jussi Koivula inactive for 18 months after being stopped by Conor Benn, Brian Rose plenty of experience but rated No 100 and Macaulay McGowan rated No 341 hardly seem the sort of fights to prepare for a world title shot but that hasn’t stopped the Worst Boxing Association from ranking him No 4!.
-Tanzanian Said Mbwela has certainly touched base with a number of weight divisions. He weighed 142 lbs in his first fight in 2007 and was 167lbs in his most recent fight. Not too outside the realms of possibility but at one time was 191 ¾ lbs. I wonder which leg he cut off to get down to 167.
- I guess any fighter has a right to boast about being a boxer as it takes guts to climb through the ropes whether you win or lose. Unless he decides to fight again South African middleweight Khodani Nephalane might hesitate to tell his kids about his career. He was knocked out in 17 seconds in his only fight so far. How long was your boxing career dad? “Seventeen”. “Um.. seventeen years, months, weeks, days? No seconds”
By Eric Armit
This year we will see Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk, Artur Beterbiev vs. Dmitry Bivol, Saul Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin III, Terrence Crawford vs. Errol Spence, George Kambosos vs. Devin Haney, Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Gervonta Davis, Oscar Valdez vs. Shakur Stevenson, Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire II and other great fights. I absolutely guarantee it. By the end of 2022 there will be just one champion per division, no sanctioning bodies, no exclusive promotional contracts, and no exclusive TV/Streaming contracts none of those things that have been put forward as reasons/excuses for the fights everybody wants to see not happening-marvellous! The bell is tolling right now for the sanctioning bodies and….no hang on that’s my alarm clock-oh no I’ve been dreaming I was back in the 1950’s again!
As I write on Thursday 27 January the WBC has given a final extension until tonight for the teams of Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte to come to an agreement and if there is no agreement then the fight will be auctioned on Friday 28. The interesting thing will be the purse split. According to the WBC rules the follow applies:
“ 2.16 Division of Proceeds in a Purse Offer. The net purse offer (after deduction of all sanction fees payable to the WBC hereunder) shall be divided as follows: (a) first, 10% of the total shall be set aside as a bonus for the winner of the contest, then, of the remainder, (b) 70% of the remaining 90% shall be for the champion and 30% of the remaining 90% shall be for the challenger in title bouts; and (c) 50% of the remaining 90% to each contender in the case of vacant titles or elimination bouts; provided, however, that the WBC Board of Governors, may by a majority vote, authorize a modification of the division of purse offer proceeds between boxers in a purse offer in particular cases, such as consideration of outstanding marketing value of one of the boxers, as the WBC shall determine in its sole discretion. The modification of the split of the remainder shall be limited to 60-40% and 55-45%, except in the most exceptional circumstances, in which the split may be modified to 50-50% at the WBC's sole discretion. “
So the WBC can alter the split however they like although it is interesting that the other splits mentioned all give the challenger a bigger share and nowhere does it imagine the challenger getting less than 30% but you can be sure that somewhere in the small print there is a bit that says irrespective of anything anywhere in these documents we can change whatever we want to change whenever we want to change it. Standard clause for all sanctioning bodies but when Jose Sulaiman tried to screw Graciano Rocchigiani out of the light heavyweight title he sued the WBC and forced it to file bankruptcy so perhaps not so watertight a get-out clause.
Mentioning the Japanese “Monster” Naoya Inoue earlier he is aiming to fight again in June in Japan. The plan is for him to face either Nonito Donaire or John Riel Casimero but if they are not available then he will look to move up and try for a shot at a version of the super bantamweight title to make himself a four division champion.
Whilst George Kambosos and WBC champion Devin Haney are in talks over a unification fight at lightweight Argentinian sources say that the IBF eliminator between No 3 lightweight Gustavo Lemos and No 4 Lee Selby will go on in Buenos Aires perhaps at the famous old Luna Park.
Former undefeated IBO cruiser champion Kevin Lerena is aiming to pick up his first title as a heavyweight when he faces Romanian Bogdan Dinu for the WBA Inter-Continental title in Kempton Par on 26 March. Lerena has a 15 bout winning streak going including seven IBO title fights. Dinu is 20-3 with his losses coming inside the distance against Jarrell Miller, Kubrat Pulev and in June last year to Daniel Dubois. Dinu is 6’5” and was 260lbs against Dubois whereas Lerena is 6’1” and was 211lbs in his last fight against Patrick Ferguson in December 2020 so a “big” test for Lerena. Also on the card Jan Roux will defend the national heavyweight title against Josh Pretorius and Shervantaigh Koopman puts his South African super welterweight title on the line against Jami Webb.
If EBU activity is any measure then boxing is certainly well on the road to recovery from the pandemic. There are still some delays and cancellations but as an example of what will be a busy day at the EBU office on February 16 in Rome bid purses, Jason Cunningham’s EBU super bantamweight title defence against Frenchman Terry Le Couviour, Italian Mauro Forte’s EU title featherweight defence against 28-0 Kamil Laszczyk and for Melania Sorroche’ s defence of the EBU Female bantamweight title against Delphine Mancini. Already agreed is the fight for the vacant EBU flyweight title between Angel Moreno and fellow-Spaniard Jairo Noriega marking only the third time that two Spaniards have fought each other for this title, Karim Guerfi putting his title on the line against England’s Jordan Gill on 27 February. A date is yet to be settled for Marco Huck vs. Agit Kabayel for the vacant EBU heavyweight title. Purse offers were also due on 16 February for David Ayanesyan’s welterweight title defence against unbeaten 28-0 Jordy Weiss but instead Avanesyan will make a voluntary defence against Finn Oskari Metz in March with a new date to be set for Avanesyan vs. Weiss.
Dubai continues to build as a boxing venue with Guillermo Rigondeaux facing Filipino Vincent Astrolabio for the vacant WBC International bantam belt on 26 February. Astrolabio is not in the WBC ratings but at this time but is No 7 with the WBO due to holding their Oriental title. Taking on Rigondeaux will be a huge jump in quality of opposition for Astrolabio.
The busy schedule in Dubai will continue on 18 March with Olympic gold medal winner Estelle Yoka-Mosely (9-0), the partner of Tony Yoka, defending her IBO light title against Argentinian Yanina del Carmen Lescano (10-1). Mossely won gold at the 2016 Games and also won gold at the 2016 World Championships beating Katie Taylor in the semi-finals. Jono Carroll is also scheduled to fight on the card.
On the following night Sunny Edwards is scheduled to defend the IBF flyweight title against Muhammad Waseem. It will be Edward’s second defence of the IBF title. Waseem lost on points to Moruti Mthalane for the same IBF belt in 2018. Regis Prograis will also be on the March 19 card against Tyrone McKenna and also on the card will be Tokyo bronze medallist Hovhannes Bachkov from Armenia who lost to Keyshawn Davis at the Olympics.
Mossely against Lescano will be the first of two unique occasions for female boxing. The Mossely vs. Lescano contest will be the first all-female title fight to be staged in Dubai and an even bigger event will see Katie Taylor defend her four lightweight belts against Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden on April 30. The first time two female boxers have been the top line attraction in the history of the Garden.
Colombia lost one their history making fighters with the death of Bernardo Caraballo at the age of 80 last week. Caraballo was the first Colombia boxers to fight for a world title. After turning professional in 1961 he was unbeaten in his first 31 fights including victories over Pascal Perez, Piero Rollo, Chartchai Chionoi and Manny Elias. When in 1964 he challenged Eder Jofre for the WBA and WBC bantamweight titles (there was no IBF or WBO then) their combined records totalled 80 fights without a loss Caraballo’s record was 29-0-1,1ND and Jofre 46-0-3. Caraballo was knocked out in seven rounds by Jofre and in 1967 lost on points to Fighting Harada for the same titles. He fought on until 1977 facing top fighters such as Chucho Castillo, Alfredo Marcano and Ernesto Marcel ending with a record of 69-18-5,1ND and was honoured with the sports stadium in Cartagena being named the Bernardo Caraballo Coliseum. RIP Bernardo.
France also lost a well respected boxer with the death at 76 of Alain Ruocco on Sunday. Alain never reached world title status with a 29-8-1 record but he was a fight anyone type of fighter with his best performance being a victory over Louis Acaries for the French welterweight title in 1978. He managed and trained his son Marc who challenged for the EBU title and Alain trained French champions Jeremy Parodi, Daniel Bicchieray and Fredric Sellier. RIP Alain.
There were wide scale protests when the Iranian Government executed wrestler Navid Afkari in September 2020. Afkari was accused of the murder of a security guard but sources outside Iran felt that the sentence was tied to his part in some political protests. Now a young local boxing champion Mohammad Javad Vafaeli-Sani, detained in 2020, has been sentenced to death under charges of arson and destruction of government buildings but also of taking part in protests. His lawyer is lodging an appeal.
Politics has also played a large part in the post-boxing life of Vitali Klitschko and he has been appealing to people in Germany for solidarity with the Ukraine at this time. Both he and Wlad have give financial assistance to Ukraine during the war there but in the shape of medical supplies etc not in the form of arms or ammunition.
Two shows in Europe on February 19 will see Artur Mann trying to get back to winning ways as he faces Pole cruiserweight Nikodem Jezewski in Warsaw. Mann 17-2 lost on a third round stoppage against Mairis Breidis for the IBF title in October and Jezewski 20-1-1 was stopped in two rounds by Lawrence Okolie. Jezewski stepped in as a late substitute when Krzys Glowacki had to pull out of his fight with Okolie for the vacant WBO title in December 2020 due to a positive COVID-19 test.
On the same night in Hamburg Kazak heavyweight Zhan Kossobutskiy 17-0 will take on Johann Duhaupas 39-6 for the vacant WBC International title. Kossobutskiy is rated No 9 by the Worst Boxing Association. Duhaupas was wiped out inside a round by Tony Yoka in September 2020 and at 40 should not pose a threat to Kossobutskiy who is being “conservatively” matched.
It is a horrifying thought but there are three NABA title fights on the undercard of Makabu vs. Mchunu featuring fighters who would hardly qualify for a main event in the boondocks e.g. Anthony Lenk rated No 251 at middleweight and Cody Wilson 273 at welterweight. With the way Don King and the Worst Boxing Association “work” so closely together these guys could find their way into the WBA ratings.
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