Today we go back the early 2000's for another Closet Classic as Thailand and Japan faced off at the Super Arena in Saitama in a bit of a forgotten classic between two men who made a mark on the boxing world but neither is too well remembered now a days, as both were only short term world champions.
Yoddamrong Sithyodthong (29-0-1, 12) vs Osamu Sato (24-1-2, 13)
Few fans from the west will remember Thai fighter Yoddamrong Sithyodthong yet the exciting Thai was a pretty notable fighter in the late 1990's and the 00's. His impact at the top wasn't huge but with over 50 bouts to his name, several against notable fighters, he is someone who certainly played a part in an interesting Super Bantamweight scene. Around the turn of the millennium he scored a notable win over Ratanachai Sor Vorapin, fought to a draw with the always under-rated Jess Maca and in 2002 he claimed the WBA Super Bantamweight title, with a win over Yober Ortega at the age of 21. In 2004 he would also go on to face the all action Mahyar Monshipour, in what was another Monshipour's many thrilling wars. Between the Ortega bout and the Monshipour bout Yoddamrong travelled to Japan and faced off with Osamu Sato, with the Thai looking to make his first defense of the WBA Super Bantamweight title.
Osamu Sato was a fun to watch Japanese fighter from the Kyoei gym. His competition, on the whole, was limited with his best results up to this point being coming in a controversial draw against Willie Jorrin, in what was a fantastic war 3 months before facing Yoddamrong, and a win over Yong In Jo for the OPBF title. Although not the most impressive man in the ring the Japanese fighter was a physically strong warrior, who had proven his heart and desire against Jorrin, where he pulled himself off the canvas twice to earn a very hard fought draw. Against Jorrin we saw Sato impress not just with his heart and desire but also his energy and stamina. At 25 years old he was coming into his physical prime but wasn't living up to the nickname of "Hulk" that he had adopted. In fact whilst he was physically strong he appear to be lacking punching power, as shown by a sub 50% TKO rate entering this bout.
After a lengthy TV build up to the bout the men then got to work and the bout started quite slowly. It wasn't a slow, slow start but Sato fought cautiously, wanting to see what the 21 year old champion was bringing to the ring. By the end of the opening round however both men were starting to open up more and it was the physical strength of Sato against the handspeed and combinations of the Thai champion. The speed of the Thai seemed to be the key in round 2 as he picked his moments to strike and let his shots fly in bursts, though that drew fire back from the Japanese fighter. Sato tried to give payback but early on he struggled to land too much clean, with the Thai's movement and speed proving to be a difference maker.
As the bout went on though Sato began to have success with his pressure, and instead of Yoddamrong getting in and out it the was Thai who was being forced backwards under the growing intensity of the challenger, who began to force a tough and tough fighter on the champion.
The bout wasn't either man's most exciting bout, but was certainly a worthy watch a very engaging war that swung one way then the other. A genuine hidden gem and a perfect Closet Classic.
In the early 1990's there was a flurry of great bouts in Japan featuring exciting, though flawed, fighters. The country had a number of fighters who were in thrilling contests fighter after fight, due in part to their flaws. Today we feature a bout with one of those flawed yet thrilling fighters as he went blow to blow with a tough, rugged Mexican warrior, in what was a bit of a forgotten classic from late 1992.
Katsuya Onizuka (20-0, 17) vs Armando Castro (39-12-2, 34)
The charismatic Katsuya Onizuka was hugely popular in the early 1990's due to his aggressive style, his unique personality, his good looks and his interesting style, both in and out of the ring. He wasn't ever the best boxer, or the greatest fighters, but his limitations, aggression and power made his bouts must watch contests. In April 1992 he won the WBA Super Flyweight title, taking a narrow win over Thai foe Thanomsak Sithbaobay, filling a vacancy that had been left by Khaosai Galaxy. Just 5 months later made his first defense, stopping Kenji Matsumura, before taking on former Khaosai Galaxy foe Armando Castro.
With a 39-12-2 (34) record Armando Castro didn't look like he belonged in the ring at world level. He was however a nightmare to go up against He was rugged, powerful, physically strong, aggressive, and a really under-rated fighter who pressed forward no matter what. Technically he was limited, but made up for those limitations with his desire, power and hunger. Despite his record he had he had gone 18-1 (13) in his previous 19 bouts, with the sole loss during that run being a decision defeat to the aforementioned Khaosai Galaxy.
What we ended up with when these two got in the ring was something brilliant. From the off Castro was looking to use his bull like strength and power to take out Onizuka. The Japanese champion was forced onto the ropes and found himself on the wrong end of Castro's heavy hooks. It wasn't the most polished or crisp of offensive work from Castro, but he very much fought like a man looking to just smash his way through Onizuka.
Onizuka wanted to show off his boxing skills but had to see off the storm, and yet fight back. Whilst his focus was on not taking too many shots he was also trying to slow down the Mexican who refused to back off. This made a brilliant, action packed dynamic between two men who both had heavy hands, very different style and and both were happy to let shots go.
This might not be too well remembered in the west but it's one that every fan should visit, whether you've seen it before or not. This is a great under-rated closet classic. It's violent, it's exciting and it sees both men landing huge shots through out. A really good, heavy handed action bout...with a young Steve Smoger as the third man in the ring!
By Marcus Bellinger (@marcusknockout)
Last week the Asia/Oceania Olympic qualifier concluded in Amman, Jordan with 63 boxers booking their place in Tokyo. Here are some observations from the tournament as a whole and a few trends that were noticeable.
First of all the standard was exceedingly high and this was in no way diminished by the inclusion of boxers from the Oceania region and actually, those who qualified from Australia and New Zealand enhanced their reputations having beaten quality opposition and those who didn’t including those from the Pacific Islands would have learned a hell of a lot going up against high calibre fighters. Were there mismatches? Sure but even in tournaments such as these that is an inevitability but some excellent boxers failed to make it through showing the strength and depth in the region is pretty sizable.
The Olympic Channel deserves praise for providing a good working stream, excellent features, news, overall coverage and full replays of every session which were invaluable. The quality of judging was generally pretty solid with some strange scoring of individual rounds but no out and out stinkers and the availability of the scores after each round provided transparency and also forced fighters to adapt their game plans when necessary.
Whilst it’s too late for this particular cycle I’ve begrudgingly come to the conclusion that the head guards must return for the men purely to prevent cuts which were a factor in Amman with some bouts halted early and a few fighters unable to compete in their next contest. Sickness and injuries are one thing but a boxer unable to compete for a medal or in a final because of a cut seems preventable and something the authorities should consider after Tokyo.
In terms of most successful Asian nations at the competition, India and Kazakhstan achieved 9 quota places, Uzbekistan with 7, China with 6, Jordan 5, Thailand and Chinese Taipei 4, Japan 3, Iran, South Korea, Philippines, Tajikistan 2, and Mongolia and Vietnam 1 quota place.
India should be absolutely delighted with their 9 guaranteed quota places which is the most they have ever had for any boxing squad for an Olympics. Realistically the country’s best chance for a gold may lie with Vikas Krishan who performed excellently and was denied a chance at winning the final by a cut. The welterweight division has lots of good fighters but no stand out elite one so Krishan has a good a chance as anyone.
Simranjit Kaur was without doubt the most fan friendly and watchable women’s boxer in Amman and will be right in the mix for a medal in a competitive lightweight division worldwide. Flyweight Amit Panghal had some tough fights and didn’t look quite at his best but has built up enough experience over the last couple of years and Lovlina Borgohain and Mary Kom are proven performers on the world stage. Even with a loss Gaurav Solanki gave the winner of the featherweight division and current world champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov a tough outing and deserves to go to the world qualifier whenever that takes place.
The Kazak men’s team showed all their experience with all 8 male spots being filled. Vassiliy Levit proved his class defeating the excellent David Nyika in the final and he’ll be aiming to right the wrong of 4 years ago where he was robbed of an Olympic gold in as abhorrent a decision as you will ever see. Middleweight Abilkhan Amankul is among the best in his weight class and Bekzad Nurdauletov backed up his world championship victory by winning the light heavyweight bracket. Zakir Safiullin and Kanshybek Kunkabayev are vastly experienced and Serik Temirzhanov acquitted himself extremely well in his first major assignment. Saken Bibossinov is an outside bet for a medal at flyweight whilst Ablaikhan Zhussupov possesses plenty of skills but might just fall a bit short at welterweight.
Uzbekistan had somewhat of a dream team 4 years ago and whilst the country is still strong a repeat of their performance in Rio is probably not going to occur. Super heavyweight Bakhodir Jalolov barely got out of first gear in Amman but should go into the Olympics as at least the warm favourite to top the podium. Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov can look a little crude at times but his phenomenal fitness and engine make him a difficult man to contain over 9 minutes and no one has managed it so far so he is rightly the favourite at featherweight. Light heavyweight Dilshod Ruzmetov losing in his first fight was a big upset and middleweight Fanat Kakhramonov also has work to do to qualify. As for Sanjar Tursunov, Elnur Abduraimov and Bobo-Usmon Baturov, medals are a possibility but all 3 will be up against it.
China and Chinese Taipei had a bit of a stranglehold of the women’s categories and both nations will expect medals in Tokyo. Featherweight Lin Yu-Ting from Chinese Taipei was the best all round female boxer on display in Jordan. Not only was she fantastic at long range but she could dig in hurtful body shots up close and there was a real snap and authority on her work. China’s Li Qian prevailed at middleweight and will be right in the mix. China’s Chang Yuan will have gained much confidence from winning at flyweight and also defeating Mary Kom and the welterweight pairing of Chen Nien-Chin and Gu Homg contested the final and have form going in with China’s Gu winning by the way.
Local support almost always give home athletes a real boost and that was certainly the case with the Jordanian boxers with the Iashaish brothers playing starring rolls. Featherweight Mohamm Abdelaziz Mohammad Alwadi reaching the final was a terrific result and to qualify for the Olympics at 34 years of age is a remarkable achievement. It was an up and down few days for Thailand who sent a squad of youth and experience but Thitisan Panmod really was the shining light. The 19-year-old fought brilliantly to defeat Shakhobidin Zoirov and the final was an unfortunate finale. Chatchai Butdee pulled out a performance when required and Atichai Phoemsap is young enough to come again.
It was a tough competition for Japan’s men with Sewon Okazawa the only male to qualify and actually their best chance of medals are with the women. Tsukimi Namiki is an excellent all round talent and was unlucky not to win her flyweight final and Sena Irie avenged her loss to Nesthy Petecio and has a chance of a medal at featherweight. The Philippines would have been hoping for more than 2 boxers qualifying but Eumir Marcial is a top contender at middleweight and prevailed in a superb bout with Abilkhan Amankul in the final. Irish Magno powered her way to qualification in a box off and Carlo Paalam and Nesthy Petecio are good enough to come through the world qualifier if it goes ahead.
The 3 hidden gems to emerge from the tournament were Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh, Australia’s Paolo Aokuso and Vietnam’s Nguyen Van Duong. Shahbakhsh is a real sharp shooter with spite in his punches and easily overcame Rex Tso in a box off and at just 19 there is a bright future for him. Aokuso caused the first notable upset dumping out world silver medallist Dilshod Ruzmetov and his hand and foot speed make him an intriguing prospect. Nguyen proved to be a real puncher and his 1 round demolition job on Chatchai Butdee was a real shocker.
Finally the fight of the tournament was undoubtedly the men’s (63kg) final between Zakir Safiullin and Elnur Abduraimov which was an absolute war and is definitely worth checking out.
By Eric Armit
-Brandun Lee shines on ShoBox and looks a high quality prospect
-Seasoned pro Tshifihiwa Munyai wins the vacant South African title
-A spate of five BBB of C Area title fights mark the temporary shutdown of boxing in Britain.
Hinckley, MN, USA: Super Light: Brandun Lee (19-0) W TKO 3 Camilo Prieto (15-3). Super Light: Brian Norman Jr (17-0,1ND) W TEC DEC 7 Flavio Rodriguez (9-2-1). Feather: Aram Avagyan (10-0-1) W PTS 8 Dagoberto Aguero (15-1).
Lee vs. Prieto
Lee much too good for Prieto and just brushes him aside. Prieto seemed to be in survival mode before he even got off his stool and stayed that way. Lee just stalked Prieto in the first rocking him with a right and marking up his face with piercing jabs as well as doing some showboating. Lee upped his pace in the second connecting with overhand rights and left hooks and ramming jabs into Prieto’s face but not really sustaining his attacks. After landing with jabs in the third Lee rocked Prieto with a right counter. He then drove Prieto around the ring landing with hooks and more rights to the head before opening up with a ferocious burst of punches that had Prieto experience some deep hurt until the referee jumped in and stopped the fight. The 5’11” tall Californian turned pro at 17 and is still only 20. He is not being rushed with his first 16 bouts spent fighting four and six rounds in Mexico, where there is virtually no lower limit as to when a fighter can turn pro, and small shows in the USA. It will be difficult to withstand the pressure to push him forward now as he has won his last ten fights inside the distance, has only been taken the distance twice and has recorded eleven first round wins. His amateur record is given as 181-9 and he is said not have lost an armature fight since 2014. Here he certainly looked impressive with his speed and power but he can’t really be fully assessed until he meets much better opposition. Prieto had won his last seven fights with a couple of experienced opponents in those seven but he fought scared here.
Norman vs. Rodriguez
Norman gets technical victory over Rodriguez. Norman was being given a reasonable test by Rodriguez but was on his way to victory until a severe bumping of heads in the seventh saw Rodriguez suffer a vertical cut over his right eye and the fight was stopped. The cards decided it with Norman getting the decision on scores of 68-65 twice and 69-64. The 19-year-old from Georgia , who also turned pro at 17, is the son of Brian Norman Sr who had 30 bouts as a pro between 2003 and 2011 facing guys such as Joe Greene, Jean Pascal, Edwin Rodriguez and Dominic Wade and ended with a 17-11,2 ND record. Young Norman has 14 wins by KO/TKO and as with Lee has done most of his fighting in Mexico. Both of Rodriguez’s losses have now been to undefeated opponents.
Avagyan vs. Aguero
In a clash of former Elite level amateurs Avagyan climbs off the floor twice to get majority decision over Aguero. It was a disastrous start for Avagyan. A thunderous right floored him heavily in the first. He survived that but when they were exchanging heavy punches in the second another strong right floored him. He made it to his feet and to the bell and then over the next six rounds clawed back the deficit from those two early floorings. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Avagyan and 76-76. The 29-year-old Armenian won bronze medals at the European Championships in 2013 and 2015 and competed at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics where he lost to Michael Conlan. This is the second time in a row he has had to climb off the floor for victory. Dominican Aguero’s record is so typical of fighters from the Republic with his first ten victims having just eight wins between them. As an amateur he was Dominican champion representing the Republic at the World Championships and the World Military Championships and won a silver medal at the Pan American Games.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Feather: Facundo Arce (12-2-2) W KO 5 Claudio Echegaray (22-4-2). Arce continues his good run as he pounds on Echegaray until finishing the one-sided fight in the fifth. Arce had Echegaray in deep trouble early in the first dropping his more experienced rival with Echegaray just surviving to the bell. Echegaray took more punishment in the second and third but was put down twice in the fourth. A fierce attack from Arce in the fifth pinned Echegaray in a corner and as Arce unloaded with heavy punches Echegaray slid to the canvas and the towel came in from Echegaray’s corner. Arce, 24, retains the WBA Fedebol title with his sixth inside the distance finish. He is 11-0-2 in his last 13 fights. At one time Echegaray was 21-0-1but 1-4-1 shows serious slippage.
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Adrian Curiel (16-3) W PTS 10 Rosendo Guarneros (16-4-2). Super Light; Jose Antonio Rodriguez (32-8) W TKO 8 Jose Andres Periban (9-7-1).
Curiel vs. Guarneros
Curiel just too clever for strong but limited Guarneros. The local youngster had the better of the opening rounds with his jabs and straight rights and after four rounds was up 40-36, 39-36 and 38-37. Over the next four rounds Guarneros struggled to get into the fight he was throwing big punches but with little accuracy and was being slowed by body punches from Curiel. It was Curiel who was stronger over the last two rounds and he ran out an easy winner. Scores 98-91, 98-92 and 96-93 for Curiel who picks up the Vacant WBC Fecombox title. Guarneros is 1-3-1 in his last 5 including a points defeat by Sunny Edwards in September.
Rodriguez vs. Periban
Rodriguez gets very late win as he stops Periban with just eleven seconds left in the fight. The 32-year-old southpaw, a former challenger for the interim WBA super feather title, has 28 wins by KO/TKO. He had a mixed year against Filipino opponents in 2019 scoring an upset ninth round stoppage of Mercito Gesta but losing a technical decision to Romero Duno. Periban was given an indefinite suspension in 2016 for assaulting a referee but despite the suspension not being lifted he has continued to fight but not too well as he is 0-4-1in his last 5.
Stoke, England: Super Middle: Nathan Heaney (10-0) W PTS 10 Christian Schembri (17-8). Neighbourhood fighter Haney wins his first title as he decisions Schembri in a contest for the vacant IBO Continental title. Haney hit Schembri with everything hooks, uppercuts right crosses but could not put the Maltese boxer away. He rocked Schembri numerous times and opened a cut over Schembri’s left eye. Schembri’s best round was the seventh when he scored to the body. Haney looked to have Schembri in trouble with a left hook in the ninth but Schembri survived. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Haney. He is looking for some bigger fights and is a big local ticket seller. First fight in Britain for Schembri. Haney drew an unusual warning from the referee as during the fight he joined in the singing with his supporters!
Bolton, England: Light: Reece MacMillan (12-1) W TKO 5 Chris Conwell (11-4). Bantam: Sean Cairns (7-2) W RTD 4 Lee Clayton (10-5,1ND).
MacMillan vs. Conwell
Good win for MacMillan as he stops a spirited Conwell for a rare inside the distance win. The 24-year-old MacMillan had won his last seven fights on points and was moving up to ten round class for the first time. Conwell just a bit too rusty after just one fight each in years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Cairns vs. Clayton
Cairns collects the vacant BBB of C Central Area title as he forces a fourth round retirement from Clayton. The 33-year-old Liverpudlian southpaw has won his last four fights. Clayton suffers his second inside the distance loss in a row in his second try at winning the Area title.
London, England: Super Welter: Dean Richardson (12-0) W TKO 7 Konrad Stempkowski (9-3). Sean Phillips (7-1-1) W TKO 1 Davis Pagan (10-3). Cruiser: Iain Martell (9-0) W PTS 10Jose Lopes (9-3).
Richardson vs. Stempkowski
Richardson wares down and halts Stempkowski in the seventh. Richardson was just too strong for Stempkowski and ended it in the seventh pinning Stempkowski to the ropes and unloading punches until the referee stepped in at the same time as Stempkowski’s corner chucked in the towel. The tall 24-year-old Londoner retains the BBB of C Southern Area title as he collects win No 9 by KO/TKO. British-based Austrian Stempkowski has lost 3 of his last 4 contests.
Phillips vs. Pagan
Phillips gets his second quick win in a row as he blasts out Pagan inside a round. Phillips attacked strongly from the opening bell before forcing Pagan into a corner and landing two vicious left hooks which sent Pagan to the floor. He managed to rise but was very shaky and the fight was stopped after just 100 seconds. Last time out Phillips stopped Josh Groombridge in the first round. Phillips is the new BBB of C Southern Area champion. Pagan was just blown away by the quick start of Phillips and has now suffered three inside the distance defeats.
Martell vs. Lopes
There were three Southern Area title fights on the card and this was the only one to go the distance. It was a hard-fought close encounter which could really have gone either way with Martell giving away height and reach to the 6’3” Lopes but the referee saw Martell the winner on his card at 97-95. First title for Martell after not turning pro until he was 27. Angolan Lopes lost a 96-95 decision to Wadi Camacho in an early shot at this same Southern Area title.
Liverpool, England: Cruiser: Damian Chambers (11-1) W TKO 2 James Farrell (9-2). Chambers looked sharp from the start. He used his longer reach to slam jabs through Farrell’s guard and landed with some hefty rights. A right from Farrell seemed to hurt Chambers but he continued to find gaps for his jab. Within seconds of the start of round two a right from Farrell crashed onto Chambers’ jaw and put him down. He was up at seven and when the action resumed Farrell walked in trying to finish things but then he found himself on the floor from a right. The referee indicated it was a slip but Farrell only came half way up then dipped at the knees before getting vertical and he looked shaky. Chambers tried desperately to find a finisher with a still staggering Farrell trying to hold. Chambers broke free and connected with a thunderous right to the head. Farrell went down backwards hitting his head on the bottom rope before it bounced from there to the canvas and it was quite some time before he was able to get up and even then he needed lots of attention. Seventh inside the distance victory for Chambers who wins the vacant BBB of C Central Area title. Farrell had been stopped inside a round in a fight in June but had won his last two contests.
Santiago, Chile: Fly: Andres Campos (9-0) W PTS 10 Pedro Villegas (12-1). Super Light: Ramon Mascarena (12-1) W PTS 8 Jesus Bravo (19-3-1).
Campos vs. Villegas
Campos manages a double whammy as he defends one title and wins another. Over the first three rounds it was Villegas on the front foot with the smaller Campos darting in with quick attacks. Eventually the attacks of Campos forced southpaw Villegas onto the back foot and Campos took control. He took Villegas to the ropes in the sixth and floored him with a left to the body but Villegas beat the count. From there some clever work by Villegas frustrated Campos but he was quicker and busier and boxed his way to the win. The judges did not all agree on how competitive the fight had been as they turned in cards of 98-91, 97-92 and 95-94. Chilean champion Campos, 23, retains the WBA Fedebol title and picks up the WBO Latino belt. First fight outside Ecuador for Villegas.
Mascarena vs. Bravo
Mascarena floors and decisions Bravo. The local fighter had no trouble dealing with the height , the longer reach or the southpaw style of Peruvian Bravo. He put Bravo down in the fourth and controlled the action against the more experienced visitor. Scores 78-72 twice and 78-73. Mascarena’s loss was a second round stoppage in a wild fight with the 25-2-1 Mexican Bryan Flores in Ciudad Juarez in June which saw both of them on the floor. This is second win since then. Bravo was 18-0-1 until he met better opposition and he is now 1-3 in his last 4.
Guatemala City, Guatemala: Bantam: Jonathan Coutino (8-0) W TKO 9 Jose Rios (15-8-1,3ND). Guatemalan southpaw Coutino gets late stoppage victory over Rios. Not a lot of class on show here in a bad tempered, scrappy fight. Coutino had slightly better technique than the limited Rios and his straighter punching gave him the edge. There was plenty of rough stuff going on inside and after numerous transgressions Rios eventually lost a point for a punch to the back of the head. This one was schedules for nine rounds and as Rios attacked wildly in the last he was walking into right after right from Coutino and was reeling and defenceless when the referee stopped the fight. The 19-year-old local collects the WBA Fedecentro title which was vacant. Nicaraguan Rios falls to 0-4, 1 ND on his current run.
Tijuana. Mexico: Super Welter: Hector Zepeda (19-1) W PTS 10 Mario Vera (6-1). Zepeda continues to ease his way back as he takes unanimous decision over Vera. The 22-year-old native of Tijuana was able to use his longer reach and better skills to outbox the aggressive but crude Vera who soaked up the punishment and kept lunging forward. Zuniga’s loss came in June when he was stopped by the 6’5 ½” Sebastian Fundora and this is his second low level win as he rebuilds. Vera is 33 but just a 4 and 6 round practitioner.
Tijuana, Mexico: Super Light: Omar Aguilar (17-0) W TKO 1 David Algeria (10-4). Feather: Alan David Picasso (13-1) W PTS 10 Jesus Quijada (16-6-2). Middle: Dubiel Sanchez (14-0-2) DREW 8 Dilan Loza (15-3-1).
Aguilar vs. Algeria
Aguilar makes it six inside the distance wins in a row as he halts Algeria in the first. Aguilar came out firing and quickly had Algeria on the retreat. He caught up with him and one left jab/left hook to the chin put Algeria down. He managed to rise but was shaky and the fight was stopped. All over in 34 seconds. The 20-year-old from Ensenada has 16 wins by KO/TKO including 12 in the first round. He collects the WBC Youth Silver title. Algeria is 1-3 in his last 4 but the win was over experienced Eduardo Escobedo.
Picasso vs. Quijada
Picasso wins the vacant WBC Youth belt with unanimous verdict over seasoned pro Quijano. Picasso used his speed, skill and accuracy to outbox the aggressive Quijada and won all the way flooring Quijada in the sixth with a body punch on his way to a convincing victory. Scores 99-90, 99-90 and 99-89 for Picasso. Now nine consecutive wins for the 19-year-old from Mexico City who has experienced Victor Proa and 17-1-1 Anthony Jimenez in his list of victims. Quijada was 4-0-1 going into this contest.
Sanchez vs. Loza
Sanchez fights back from two knockdowns to earn a draw with Loza in an all out war. Sanchez was the harder punches on paper but it was the accuracy of Loza that gave him an edge and saw him move in front with those knockdowns. Sanchez fired back hard to overcome the knockdowns and to deal with the physical advantages held by the 5’11” Loza in what might be voted the preliminary fight of the year in Tijuana. A draw looked about right. Scores 76-74 Loza, 76-74 Sanchez and 75-75. Sanchez, 20, had won his last seven fights and Loza steadied his ship after losing last time out.
Randburg, South Africa: Light: Tshifihiwa Munyai (32-6-1) W PTS 12 Siphosethu Mvula (15-4-1). Cruiser: Akani Phuzi (11-0) W KO 3 Alick Gogodo (4-5). Super Middle: Ryno Liebenberg (20-7-1) W PTS 8 Alex Kabengu (5-3-2).
Munyai vs. Mvula
Munyai wins the vacant National title with unanimous points victory. Over the early rounds the pressure came from Mvula but his attacks were uncoordinated and Munyai was rarely troubled. Mvula survived a doctor’s examination of a cut over his left eye and faded late in the fight with Munyai controlling the action. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 for Munyai. Despite the 34year-old Munyai having held the Commonwealth and WBA Pan African titles and having fought for the secondary WBA super bantam and IBO titles this is the first time in his 16 year career that he had contested the National title. Mvula, a former National super fly champion, posed some problems with his eccentric style but was just not strong enough to match the naturally bigger Munyai .
Phuzi vs. Gogodo
Phuzi gets his fifth inside the distance win as he scores third round kayo over Gogodo. Phuzi was under pressure occasionally from the crude attacks of Gogodo but had a far superior technique and was in control by the third. A clubbing right to the side of the head had Gogodo stumbling across the ring to the ropes and he dropped to one knee and was counted out. The 25-year-old South African already has victories over veterans Wilberforce Shihepo and Vikapita Meroro. Malawian Gogodo has won only one of his last six contests.
Liebenberg vs. Kabengu
Good, solid showing from the more experienced Liebenberg. He was the better boxer but Kabengu came to fight and they staged some exciting exchanges. Liebenberg had things well in hand and whilst he was helped by Kabengu losing a point in the fifth he did not need the help as he floored Kabengu in the sixth and was a clear winner. Scores 78-72, 79-71 and 77-73 for Liebenberg. At 36 Liebenberg could not afford to lose this one. He had won only two of his previous eight fights but all eight fight against high grade opposition and mostly on the other guy’s turf. Congolese Kabengu’s other losses have been to unbeaten fighters.
The Past Week in Action 10 March 2020
-Robert Helenius scores big upset as he stops unbeaten Adam Kownacki in four rounds and Efe Ajagba and Frank Sanchez score wins on the undercard
-Jonjo Carroll stops Scott Quigg and Quigg announces his retirement
-Zack Parker stops Rohan Murdock in eleven rounds
-Hughie Fury returns with stoppage of Pavel Sour
- Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov, Mark Urvanov and Magomed Kurbanov win on show in Ekaterinburg
-Norbelto Jimenez and Aliu Bamidele Lasisi draw in Dubai and on the undercard Ionut Baluta shocks former IBF champion TJ Doheny taking a unanimous decision
-Artur Szpilka gets hotly disputed decision over Serhiy Radchenko
New York, NY, USA: Heavy: Robert Helenius (30-3) W TKO 4 Adam Kownacki (20-1). Heavy: Frank Sanchez (15-0,1ND ) W PTS 10 Joey Dawejko (20-8-4). Heavy: Efe Ajagba (13-0) W TKO 9 Razvan Cojanu (17-7). Heavy: Carlos Negron (21-3) W TKO 1 Robert Alfonso (19-1-1) . Super Light: Zach Ochoa (21-1) W PTS 8 Angel Sarinana (11-9-3).
Helenius vs. Kownacki
Helenius, in some eyes a 25-1 outsider, floors and halts the previously unbeaten Kownacki. In the first Helenius tried to use his edges in height and reach to just jab and move but Kownacki was shortening the distance and scoring with jabs to the body and some overhand rights. Helenius was looking to smother Kownacki’s attacks by holding whenever he could. As usual Kownacki was walking through punches to get home his own but Helenius stopped him in his tracks in the second with some hard head punches. Kownacki regrouped and was out-jabbing and outscoring Helenius who was already looking tired and was on the ropes under pressure at the end of the round. Kownacki continued to roll forward throwing punches in the third and Helenius was not able to keep him out. By the end of the round an arm-weary Helenius looked on the way to an inside the distance loss. Kownacki, who was in front on all three cards started the fourth by forcing Helenius to the ropes. They were both throwing punches when a right from Helenius suddenly unhinged Kownacki’s legs and he dropped to one knee. He was up immediately but had to take an eight count. He looked apprehensive and Helenius landed a left and a right and another left, none of which looked too hard, and Kownacki went down. He was up quickly but looked unfocused and he floundered back as Helenius piled on the punches and with Kownacki against the ropes and under fire the referee stopped the fight. Massive win for the Swedish-born Finn. Losses to Johann Duhaupas and Dillian Whyte had derailed him and a eighth round kayo loss to Gerald Washington in July seemed to end his time in the big time. Right now in the heavyweights there is a logjam created by Tyson Fury, Deontay Wilder and Anthony Joshua which will not be cleared up until the end of this year at best but this win over Kownacki who was rated IBF 2(3)/WBO 3WBA 4 gives Helenius a strong bargaining chip. Kownacki seemed to fall apart. The right that put him down for the first time looked a genuine case for a knockdown and must have hurt Kownacki more than showed because the three punches that put him down for the seconds time were tamer than others Helenius had landed earlier in the fight and it will interesting see how such a crushing loss affects him.
Sanchez vs. Dawejko
Sanchez comfortably outpoints Dawejko. With Sanchez at 6’4” with a 78” reach to Dawejko’s 5’10” with a 70” reach it was pretty obvious how was this was going to play out. Sanchez was scoring with jabs and rights to the body. Dawejko tried to lunge inside but was not fast enough. Sanchez was finding the target with rights and together with his jab those punches put him in the driver’s seat. Dawejko has a good chin and although rocked and cut over his left eye in the fifth he never looked to be in trouble. Dawejko ploughed forward over the late rounds but he was just not quick enough or busier enough and lacked the punch to threaten Sanchez and in the end it was a flat performance from the Cuban. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Sanchez. He has been carefully steered away from any real tests and his No 11 ranking from the WBO is due to his winning their NABO title rather than any opposition he has faced. At 27 he has time to develop further. With his height Dawejko really needs to move down to cruiser or even light heavy but that would probably mean sacrificing one of his legs so he will continue to be used as a safe opponent for climbers such as Sanchez.
Ajagba vs. Cojanu
Nigerian hope Ajagba scores late stoppage over Romanian Cojanu. Although the 6’7 ½” Cojanu was taller Ajagba had the longer reach and his use of that reach to put him in control in a slow-paced fight. Luckily the pace picked up, a little, but only a little as the rounds progressed. Cojanu was able to connect with some good rights to the head but Ajagba was quicker and more accurate with his rights. Ajagba was throwing more and landing more than Cojanu but apart from a burst of punches in the sixth he was very predictable with a left jab being followed by a straight right with not a great deal of variety in his work. He was slowly breaking Cojanu down as the Romanian had no answer to Ajagba’s jab. By the seventh Ajagba was dealing out heavy punishment to a tiring Cojanu. In the eighth he was putting his punches together and Cojanu’s face was swollen with bruising around both eyes. As Cojanu tried to come forward Ajagba connected with a right to the head that first stopped Cojanu in his tracks and then saw him drop to one knee. He got up at nine and was allowed to continue. A left hook almost put him down again but he made it to the bell. Ajagba pounded on Cojanu in the ninth until a right to the head proved too much for the Romanian and he went down on one knee as the referee stopped the fight. Eleventh inside the distance win for the 25-year-old Texas-based Nigerian. He has wins over Michael Wallisch, Ali Eren Demirezen and Iago Kiladze which is about right at this stage of the 2016 Olympian’s career. California-based Cojanu has lost to Joseph Parker for the WBO title, Luis Ortiz, Nathan Gorman and Daniel Dubois.
Negron vs. Alfonso
Puerto Rican Negron breaks a two-fight losing streak as he kayos Cuban Alfonso in just 2:03 of the first round. Neither of these fighters could really afford a loss. Three in a row might have spelt the end for 33-year-old Negron. He turned pro in 2009 as a 6’6” 183lbs fighter before moving up to heavyweight and was 242lbs for this one so 59lbs heavier than when he turned pro. Moving to heavyweight did not look to be working for him after kayo losses to Dominic Breazeale and Brian Howard but this win over previously unbeaten Alonso gets him back on track. Alonso, also 33, had looked bad when only getting a split draw with Iago Kiladze last year. In the amateurs he beat Luis Ortiz, Andy Ruiz, Michael Hunter and Oscar Rivas but he will not hit the heights as a pro now.
Ochoa vs. Sarinana
Neighbourhood fighter Ochoa outpoints Mexican Sarinana. A slow start from Ochoa who was having his first fight for 18 months. In an entertaining contest Ochoa was in control when he was on the outside but Sarinana brought plenty of pressure. Sarinana was cut over his right eye in a clash of head in the third but kept coming and rocked Ochoa with a strong right in the fifth, Ochoa moved into a clear lead and it helped when Sarinana lost a point in the seventh for a butt. That point was cancelled out by a deduction from a tiring Ochoa for holding in the last. Scores 77-73 twice and 76-74 for Ochoa. His only defeat came by way of a decision against world rated Yves Ulysse back in 2017. Sarinana drops to 0-3-1 in his last 4 fights.
Manchester, England: Super Feather: Jono Carroll (18-1-1) W TKO 11Scott Quigg (35-3-2). Super Middle: Zach Parker (19-0) W TKO 11 Rohan Murdock (24-2). Heavy: Hughie Fury (24-3) W TKO 3 Pavel Sour (11-3). Super Welter: Anthony Fowler (12-1) W TKO 1 Theo Tetteh (19-8-2).Middle: Jack Cullen (18-2) W TKO 2 Tomas Andres Reynoso (13-6-1). Super Light: Robbie Davies Jr (20-2) W PTS 8 Damian Yapur (16-17-3).
Carroll vs. Quigg
Carroll brings down the curtain on Quigg’s career with an important win that could earn him another world title shot. Carroll made a confident start. He was finding gaps for his jab and connecting with some strong uppercuts. Quigg dialled up the aggression in the second trying to hustle Carroll out of his game plan. He was targeting the body but some clever boxing from Carroll was frustrating Quigg’s attacks and Quigg’s timing was off. He was not quick enough to cut off the ring to limit Carroll’s punching space and was constantly getting set to launch a punch only for a quick shift by Carroll to leave him without a target. Carroll had also been scoring well to the body and that seemed to drain Quigg. He kept trying to press hard but Carroll’s defensive work was making Quigg struggle to get into the fight in a meaningful way. Carroll was cut by his right eye but was starting to dominate the action. He upped the pace from the seventh and Quigg had to absorb some heavy punishment in the eighth with a right counter rocking him badly and only a lack of real power in Carroll’s pinches kept Quigg in the fight at that stage. Quigg put in a big effort in the ninth but he could not dent Carroll’s dominance. Fearing the fight might be stopped Quigg dug deep in the tenth but Carroll just seemed to get stronger the longer the fight went on and there was no confidence or conviction in Quigg’s work. The end came in the eleventh. Carroll manoeuvred Quigg into a corner and would not let him out. He was unloading big punches. Quigg was ducking under some but not firing back and Quigg’s corner threw the towel into the ring. Carroll needed to find a way back into the big time after his wide points defeat against Tevin Farmer for the IBF super feather title in March last year. This victory did that for him. It is tough at the top of the super feather division right now but the 27-year-old Dubliner will have taken a huge confidence boost out of this victory. Quigg has had a great career and met some of the best in the world and been in some great fight and importantly he has announced his retirement at the right time.
Parker vs. Murdock
Parker over powers Australian Murdock late in their fight to lift the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title. The fight was close over the early rounds with Parker taking the first and Murdock the second and Murdock looked to have shaken Parker with a right in the fourth. Parker just had the edge with his strong jab and some good work to the body. He switched guard occasionally but he was never able to dominate completely. Murdock was clever and quick and had a useful punch in his right. He was also not averse to roughing Parker up on the inside. Parker started to pull away from the sixth outscoring Murdock in the round and then taking the seventh with Murdock’s accuracy dropping and Parker jabbed and hooked well to take the eighth. Murdock did enough to share the ninth but after Parker switched to southpaw in the tenth he began to break Murdock down with stiff body punches and Murdock was a very tired fighter by the end of the round. Somehow Murdock managed to come out full of energy for the eleventh and Parker was doing very little. Almost taking the round off. That change late in the round when a left to the head shook Murdock. He retreated to the ropes and Parker unloaded a series of head punches. As Murdoch came off the ropes a huge left hook sent him crashing to the floor. He was up at four but after completing the eight count and taking a close look at Murdock the referee stopped the fight. Murdoch protested but it was the right decision. Good to see the 25-year-old from Derbyshire back in action but this is only his second fight in the last sixteen months and he needs to be more active. With Murdock No 1 and Parker No 2 this was effectively a final eliminator for the WBO title but any challenge will have to wait until Billy Joe Saunders sorts out any business with Saul Alvarez. Murdock was on a 22-bout winning streak but there are no real gold star names on his record. He showed enough here to believe he can recover and work his way back into contention.
Fury vs. Sour
Fury blows away big Czech in three rounds. Sour came out swinging trying to take the pressure to Fury but Fury had the winning punch in his right cross. He shook Sour a couple of times in the first and floored him at the end of the second. Another knockdown in the third from a booming right sent Sour down for the second time and the fight was stopped, Fourteenth win by KO/TKO for 25-year-old Fury who was coming off a loss to Alex Povetkin in August. His losses have been to Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev and Povetkin-some career advice to Fury-don’t fight anyone whose name begins with the letter ‘P’. A first round loss against Filip Hrgovic is the Czech’s only other inside the distance defeat, and he was outpointed in October by Jermaine Franklin.
Fowler vs. Tetteh
This was a waste of everyone’s time. Fowler blitzed poor Tetteh putting him down four times before the fight was stopped just before the bell to end the first round. Third successive win for Fowler as he moves on from split decision loss to Scott Fitzgerald in March last year. Tetteh way out of his depth in this fiasco.
Cullen vs. Reynoso
Cullen crushes Argentinian Reynoso in two rounds. Reynoso held his own in the first and even managed to tag Cullen with a good right.. Cullen repaid him for that in the second with a booming right that sent Reynoso to the canvas. Reynoso managed to get up but the referee decided he was in no condition to continue. As with Fury and Fowler Cullen was coming back from a loss having been halted in eight rounds by Felix Cash in a Commonwealth title fight in November. Next for Cash could be a fight with Jason Quigley under the Dillian Whyte vs. Alex Povetkin contest on May 2. Reynoso drops to 1-4 in his last five fights.
Davies vs. Yapur
Davies eases his way back with a points victory over Yapur. Davies had far too many skills for the limited but tough Yapur. Davies was never threatened and got eight useful rounds of work as he boxed his way to winning every round. Referee’s score 80-72 for Davies. The 30-year-old from Liverpool is a former British and Commonwealth champion but was derailed by a points loss against Lewis Ritson in October that cost him his European title. Madrid-based Argentinian Yapur is 1-10 in his last 11 fights but usually goes the distance which made him a good choice for this exercise.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Feather: Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (16-0) W PTS 12 Tomas Rojas (51-19-1,1ND). Super Feather: Mark Urvanov (18-2-1) W KO 7 Akzhol Sulaimanbek (15-1). Super Welter: Magomed Kurbanov (19-0) W PTS 10 Ismail Iliev (12-2-1).Cruiser: Evgeny Tischenko (7-0) W TKO 3 Marcos Aumada (21-8).Super Feather: Vlad Krasnoshein (8-1-1) W PTS 8 Evgeny Chuprakov (21-3) .
Yaqubov vs. Rojas
Yaqubov retains the WBC International title with a wide unanimous decision over Mexican veteran Rojas. Although Rojas started out as a light flyweight he was always very tall for the weight and at 5’8” he actually had height and reach over Yaqubov. Unfortunately the edges that Yaqubov had were more important on the night. He was 15 years younger, was quicker and more able to stand the fast pace he set in the fight. Yaqubov was able to get inside to connect with a couple of punches then slip out before Riojas could counter. Rojas was on the front foot but finding Yaqubov a clever defensive fighter and Yaqubov was buzzing around the ring pining Rojas with jabs. Despite all of his experience Rojas had very little success in cutting the ring off. It was a frustrating fight for Rojas. He had some success when he could get Yaqubov to stand and trade and he could then score to the body. His punches were enough to start a swelling over the right eye of Yaqubov but in every exchange Rojas was taking more than he was giving and he had swelling under both eyes. They were both rocked by heavy punches in the ninth but it was Rojas taking heavy punishment in the tenth. Rojas continued to walk forward through the eleventh and twelfth but it was Yaqubov who was doing the scoring as he skated through the last round to victory. Scores 119-110, 118-110 and 117-111 all for Yaqubov. The 24-year-old Russian-based Tajik, the WBC No7, is a smart, quick boxer and is still improving. At 39 the former WBC super flyweight champion Rojas showed a high level of fitness to be still pressing forward after twelve fast-paced rounds. He suffers his third loss on the bounce but the other two losses were against top level opponents in Andres Gutierrez and Miguel Roman and he seems capable of going on for a few more years yet.
Urvanov vs. Sulaimanbek
Russia’s red-head “Canelo” Urvanov built on a couple of good level wins with stoppage of Kyrgyzstan’s Sulaimanbek. Urvanov chose to fight on the back foot using quick movement and accurate counters to outbox the aggressive Kyrgyzstan fighter. Sulaimanbek boxed as a southpaw and fought out of an awkward crouch which did not give Urvanov much of a target. Urvanov was circling Sulaimanbek but was using excellent footwork to stay off the ropes and was responding to Sulaimanbek’s attacks with some crisp counters. Urvanov cut loose in the seventh meeting the advancing Sulaimanbek with a series of heavy counters. Sulaimanbek just kept coming and as he did Urvanov threw a four punch combination. The first three missed but as Sulaimanbek ducked under the third he went head first into the fourth a thunderbolt of a left hook the sent him down flat on his back on the canvas. He tried to rise but then fell back into the arms of the referee. The 23--year-old Urvanov gets win No 10 by KO/TKO. He lost to Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in 2018 but in his last two fights had outpointed useful Filipino Marco Demecillo and stopped Evgeny Chuprakov and is rated WBO 13 and WBA 15. No names on Sulaimanbek’s record but for winning and defending the WBA Asian title four times he was rated No 6 by them.
Kurbanov vs. Iliev
World rated Kurbanov given all the trouble he can handle and then some by Iliev. Kurbanov had decided he was going to take Iliev out with one big right and as a result was outworked by Iliev in the first with Iliev’s jab continually in Kurbanov's face. Iliev was taking Kurbanov on in the second standing and trading punches and getting the better of the exchanges. He was doing too well and paid for his overconfidence. With just twenty seconds remaining in the round he once again took the fight to Kurbanov and walked onto a wicked right uppercut. Iliev sagged at the knees and a couple of cuffing punches to the head helped him on his way to the floor. He was up at three and when the eight count was over Kurbanov landed some more rights but the bell went before he could do any more damage. Over the next few rounds Kurbanov moved on to the front foot and threw more punches. Iliev came back into the fight in the seventh bouncing rights hands off the head of Kurbanov and again out working him with Kurbanov cut over his right eye. Kurbanov was in control in the eighth, the ninth was close and Iliev outpunched Kurbanov in the last of a real war. Scores 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94 for Kurbanov but for me Iliev deserved at least a draw. Kurbanov, 24, has wins over Charles Manyuchi, Juan Carlos Rodriguez and former interim WBA champion Diego Chavez. He is rated WBA5/WBO 7/WBC 10. He is strong but Iliev showed his defensive weaknesses. Iliev’s only other loss was on points against the now deceased Patrick Day in Texas in February last year. In an earlier fight he had come off the floor to outpoint former European champion and WBC Silver title holder Siarhei Rabchanka.
Tischenko vs. Aumada
Tischenko takes a couple of rounds to get into the fight against fellow-southpaw Aumada but ends the contest in the third round. Aumada started well taking the fight to Tischenko over the first two rounds switching guards, showing a sound defence and outscoring the Russian. Tischenko was tentative and mechanical not throwing his punches with any conviction. It was a case of right jab straight left then start again left jab etc. He was also having trouble dodging the wild, wide swings of Aumada. Tischenko upped the pace in the third. He began to put his punches together and put some snap into them. Aumada marched forward onto the end of a right jab and after hesitating went down on one knee. After the eight count he stormed forward but Tischenko was connecting with body punches and Aumada again dropped to one knee. He did not watch the referee during the count and when he did get up the referee ruled he was too late and had been counted out. Not an impressive display by the 6’5” 28-year-old southpaw but he gets his fourth quick win and retains the WBO Inter-Continental belt. The former European, World and Olympic champion will soon have to think about making an appearance in the USA to raise his profile but he also needs to be less predictable in his style. Aumada, 33, had lost back-to-back matches against Yamil Peralta in domestic action.
Krasnoshein vs. Chuprakov
Minor upset sees Krasnoshein score a majority decision over former world title challenger Chuprakov. Despite his lack of experience southpaw Krasnoshein waded into Chuprakov unsettling the more experienced fighter. He was quicker and more accurate and continually forced Chuprakov to the ropes. Both fighters were heavily marked under their eyes with Krasnoshein looking the worse for wear but Chuprakov sporting a cut over his left eye. Chuprakov had a big fifth as he rocked Krasnoshein with an uppercut and then floored him with a bunch of punches. Krasnoshein recovered well and outboxed Chuprakov over the closing rounds and looked a good winner. Scores 78-72 and 77-73 for Krasnoshein and 75-75. With Krasnoshein coming off a domestic loss he did not look a likely threat but he pulled off an important win. Chuprakov lost to Masayuki Ito in a challenge for the WBO super feather title in December 2018 and showed he was vulnerable when being stopped in three rounds by Mark Urvanov in November.
Dubai, UAE: Super Fly: Norbelto Jimenez (29-9-5) DREW 10 Aliu Bamidele Lasisi (14-0-1). Feather: Ionut Baluta (13-2) W PTS 8 TJ Doheny (22-2). Super Feather: Nurtas Azhbenov (9-0) W TKO 1 JR Magboo (18-5-2). Super Middle: Cesar Tapia (12-0) W KO 1 Steve Collins Jr (14-4-1). Heavy: Zhan Kossobutskiy (13-0) W TKO 2 Abraham Tabul (17-4-1).
Jimenez vs. Lasisi
Lasisi holds on to the WBC International title with split draw against Jimenez. It was the longer reach, better skills and greater experience of Jimenez against the strength and aggression of Lasisi. Many of the rounds were close. Jimenez looked to have done enough to get the decision but just came up short of convincing all three officials. Scores 96-94 Jimenez. 96-94 Lasisi and 95-95. Dominican Jimenez was having his first fight since losing on points against Khalid Yafai for the WBA super fly title in June. Back in 2014 Jimenez fought a draw with Kohei Kono for the secondary WBA title so is campaigning for a third shot. For Dubai-based Nigerian Lasisi this was a huge step up in the level of his opposition and he showed he was not out of his depth. He has come quite some way from when he used to clean a local gym in Dubai.
Baluta vs. Doheny
Baluta continues his good form with an upset victory over former IBF champion Doheny. Baluta dominated in the early stages as Doheny took a while to get some traction. Doheny started to roll from the fourth but Baluta continued to box cleverly and to make good use of his much longer reach and his 5” edge in height. Doheny had been warned for throwing Baluta to the canvas in the seventh and when he did it again in the eighth the referee deducted a point from him. Doheny was unable to claw back the deficit with Baluta running out a clear winner. Scores 78-74 twice and 77-74 for Baluta. The 26-year-old Spanish-based Romanian was coming off a good win over Kyle Williams for the WBO European title where he failed to make the weight so was unable to claim the WBO belt. Australian/Irish Doheny, the former IBF super bantam champion was having his first fight since losing his title to Daniel Roman in April.
Azhbenov vs. Magboo
Kazak southpaw Azhbenov stops Filipino Magboo in the opening round. A right counter from Azhbenov had Magboo shaking his head as if he had an injury to his left eye. Azhbenov continued to press and another left again saw a reaction from Magboo indicating a concern over his vision out of that eye. Azhbenov overwhelmed Magboo with a storm of punches until Magboo turned away and lifted his arm in surrender. Fourth win by KO/TKO for 25-year-old Azhbenov who turned pro in Britain. Magboo is now 1-3 in his most recent outing with the other two being second round stoppage losses.
Tapia vs. Collins
Australian-based Mexican Tapia blitzes Collins in just 114 seconds. Tapia exploded on Collins driving him to the ropes with a series of punches. With Collins trapped on the ropes a big right had him out on his feet. His guard dropped and his neck muscle lost their rigidity and he had to take three or four hard punches before sliding to the floor with the referee a bit late in getting to the action. It was obvious that Collins was badly hurt and was not going to rise but the referee insisted on doling out the full count. Tapia, a 21-year-old from Tijuana had achieved a good win against Renold Quinlan to take the vacant Australian title in August. Second inside the distance loss in a row for Collins and this was a particularly brutal ending.
Kossobutskiy vs. Tabul
Kossobutskiy punches too hard for Ghanaian Tabul. The Ghanaian got through the first round with difficulty before two thudding body punches dropped him in the second and the fight was waived off. The 6’3” southpaw Kossobutskiy, a former Kazak amateur champion at 91kgs, has won 12 of his 13 fights by KO/TKO including seven first round finishes. Tabul gets crushed whenever he is matched with anyone who can fight having been stopped by both Evgeny Tischenko and Olan Durodola.
Tijuana, Mexico: Light Fly: Abraham Rodriguez (26-2) W PTS 8 German Valenzuela (13-1). Rodriguez overcomes an early cut to outpoint competitive Valenzuela . After comfortably taking the first round Rodriguez was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the second. From there Rodriguez’s greater experience just gave him a narrow edge and he took the majority decision. Scores 77-75 twice for Rodriguez and 76-76. Third win for the 25-year-old local since losing on a second round kayo against Angel Acosta in a challenge for the WBO light fly title in 2018. Valenzuela had won his last four fights but against very modest opposition,
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Armando Torres (26-18) W PTS 10 Juan Alejo (25-7-1). Seasoned warrior Torres picks up his fifth consecutive victory with a unanimous verdict over Alejo. Both are good punchers but it was Torres who was landing the better punches as he tried to blow Alejo away early. Alejo was hard pressed to stay in the fight and after four rounds Torres was in front 40-36 on two cards and 39-37 on the third. Alejo put in a big effort in the fifth and sixth but again it was Torres who was landing more and after eight rounds he had built a winning lead at 78-74 twice and 79-73. There was nothing Alejo could do to pull this one out of the fire and it was Torres who finished stronger. Scores 99-92 twice and 98-93 for 39-year-old Torres in his first defence of the WBC Latino belt. Torres won the belt with an upset first round kayo of former WBC light flyweight champion Ganigan Lopez which earned him a No 6 light flyweight rating from the WBC. Alejo was knocked in ten rounds by Angel Acosta in a fight for the vacant WBO light fly title in 2017 but he had only one fight in 2018 and one in 2019.
Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Troy O’Meley (11-0) W PTS 10Adrian Rodriguez (12-2-2)
State champion O’Meley takes the next step up as he decisions champion Rodriguez to lift the Australian title. This was a tough contest with both being better at attack than defence. It started out badly for O’Meley as was knocked down in the first round, which O’Meley attributed to a punch to the back of his head, and also cut over his left eye. Her recovered from that and they traded hard punches the rest of the way with O’Meley just the busier and more accurate but being forced to fight hard to the end. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-91 for O’Meley. “The Rooster” was in his first ten round fight. Queenslander Rodriguez fought hard trying to hold on to his title but was beaten by a better man on the night.
Top of Form
Brisbane. Australia: Heavy: Demsey McKean (18-0) W TKO 10 Jonathan Rice (13-5-1). Super Light: Liam Paro (19-0) W TKO 8 James Chereji (17-1).
McKean vs. Rica
After a close testing fight McKean finds the punch to end it just seconds before the final bell. Rice tested McKean severely finding the range early and landing some heavy punches that had McKean rocking at times particularly in the sixth. McKean came though that period and with Rice only having gone past six rounds once the visitor tired and McKean took control. In the last round despite blood dripping from his nose he trapped an exhausted Rice in a corner and connected with a sequence of head punches. Rice stumbled forward and went down heavily. The referee decided it was not a punch that had put Rice down. He urged Rice to get up. Rice stood on shaky legs looking out onto the crowed. The referee turned him around and surprisingly indicated the fight should continue but luckily before McKean could land another punch the referee stepped in and stopped the fight which made a mockery of his decision to let the fight continue when Rice got up. McKean, 29, a 6’6” southpaw , gets his twelfth inside the distance victory and collects the vacant WBO Asian Pacific and IBF Inter-Continental belts. Let’s not get too excited as his last four opponents have been ranked by BoxRec as Nos. 313, 240 and 471 with Rice an improvement at No 134. Rice, 33, suffers his second inside the distance loss.
Paro vs. Chereji
Brisbane southpaw Paro retains the WBO Global title with stoppage of Romanian . Paro was just too strong and punched too hard for Chereji who lacked the power to threaten Paro. The Romanian did well to stay around as long as he did but Paro gradually broke him down. In the eighth Chereji was being driven around the ring by hooks and uppercuts. He was staggered and then taken to the ropes where a left to the body dropped him to his knees and the referee waived the fight over. The 23-year-old Paro was rated No 3 in the most recent IBF ratings but with No 2 Subriel Matias having just been beaten he will edge closer to a challenge to Josh Taylor but can’t move into the No 1 spot as he has not yet beaten a rated opponent. Spanish-based Chereji has been well protected and Paro was just too big a step up form him
Melbourne, Australia: Feather: Jai Alexander (12-0) W PTS 10 Presco Carcosia (8-1-1). Light: Kayne Clarke (10-0) W KO 6 Rodynie Rafol (14-8-2).
Alexander vs. Carcosia
Local fighter “The Fire” Alexander needed that fire to take the split decision over Filipino Carcosia. Alexander made the better start in a close contest with both fighters scoring well to the body. Once Carcosia got into his stride he cut into Alexander’s lead making the fight close but Alexander held on to get the decision with the three judges coming nowhere near agreeing on what they had seen. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Alexander and 98-92 for Carcosia. Alexander picks up the vacant IBO Asia Pacific title. Alexander turned pro in 2012after winning a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games but was inactive in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Carcosia, 23, the Philippines No 13 super bantam, was having his first fight outside of his home country and made this one close enough to deserve a return or some more work in Australia.
Clarke vs. Rafol
Clarke is now the IBO Asian Pacific champion after knocking out Australian-based Filipino Rafol. The Filipino fought a very aggressive fight but was frustrated by the clever boxing of switch-hitter Clarke. The fight was fairly even until the sixth when an advancing Rafol was nailed by a left hook that put him down out cold. Fifth inside the distance finish in a row for Clarke. Rafol, 33, has been largely inactive being out of the ring from 2015 until, 2017 and with only one fight in 2018 and 2019
Sint Truiden, Belgium : Light: Hedi Slimani (33-6-1) TEC DRAW 2 Rafik Harutjunjan (13-3-1).
This contest was over almost before it started as a clash of heads in the second round saw Silimani suffer a bad cut and the fight was stopped and declared a technical draw. No satisfaction for Tunisian-born Belgian Slimani or Armenian-born, Ditch-based Harutjunjan.
Galapa, Colombia: Super Light: Roiman Villa (21-1) W RTD 4 Nestor Armas (22-6-1). Villa wins an all-Venezuelan contest as he bludgeons Armas to defeat in four rounds. With Armas moving up from lightweight Villa was naturally the bigger man and he used his strength to keep Armas on the back foot. Armas showed some nice skills but despite his 21 wins by KO/TKO showed very little power. Villa was stalking Armas behind a high guard and only throwing punches when he was able to cut off the ring but he showed his power in hooks from both hands with Armas not looking to trade punches at all. Villa handed out a tremendous beating to Armas in the fourth. Three times Armas was sent flying back by hooks and uppercuts. On each occasion the ropes stopped him going down but no count was applied. Villa had Armas under heavy fire at the bell and Armas did not come out for the fifth round. All of the 26-year-old Villa’s win have come by KO/TKO including 19 in his first 19 fights. His only loss was a very disputed decision against Marcos Villasana Jr in Mexico when Villa looked a clear winner. Armas, 24, has impressive looking figures but his record is so heavily padded he would probably bounce if he was knocked down. His 22 victims had 9 wins between them!
Accra, Ghana. Super Feather: Felix Ajom (15-2-1) W TKO 5 Abdul Malik Jabir (21-17). Cruiser: Lambert Fogoum (6-1-1) W RTD 5 Stephen Abbey (15-18). Feather: Alfred Lamptey (6-0) W PTS 6 Ray Commey (19-11).
Ajom vs. Jabir
Ajom, 25, makes a successful first defence of the National title with stoppage of veteran Jabir. Ajom won all the way flooring Jabir in the second, fourth and fifth rounds before the fight was stopped. Ajom won the National title at the third attempt and is in good form with 7 wins in his last 8 outings. Jabir is a former Ghanaian and ABU champion who lost on points to Craig Docherty for the Commonwealth title way back in 2003 and is in his nineteenth season as a pro.
Fogoum vs. Abbey
Easy night for Fogoum as he halts perennial loser Abbey. The Cameroon-born, Dubai-based Fogoum put Abbey down twice with Abbey retiring at the end of the fourth round.. Fourth inside the distance win on the trot for Fogoum who lifts the vacant UBO African title. Abbey,40, has won only two of his last eleven contests.
Lamptey vs. Commey
Excellent learning fight for young Lamptey as he has to work hard for six rounds to get by experienced Commey,. Scores 59-53 for Lamptey on all three cards. The promising 17-year-old is in his first year as a pro and this is just the kind of fight he needs. Commey, a former Ghanaian and WBA Pan African champion, is 15 years older than Lamptey.
Parral, Mexico: Super Light: Luis Alberto Hernandez (21-0) W TKO 3 Placido Ramirez (17-2). Light: Oscar Duarte (19-1-1) W KO 5 Andres Garcia (13-3-1). Light: William Zepeda (21-0) W TKO 6 Brayam Rico (13-3).
Hernandez vs. Ramirez
The strength and aggression of Hernandez are too much for Ramirez. In the first Ramirez boxed neatly on the back foot sliding jabs into Hernandez face and connecting with left hooks to the body. Hernandez was walking through the punches and was a bit wild with his own but his strength and power was evident. He was hunting Ramirez down in the second but without success and he was throwing wide, wild punches. Ramirez kept moving and jabbing and even stood and traded a couple of times but his punches lacked leverage. Hernandez launched a ferocious attack in the third trapping Ramirez in a corner and sending him down with a series of punches. Ramirez sat on the canvas and shook his head and reluctantly got up,. He was walking away from the referee who stopped him and just signalled for the fight to continue. A sledgehammer of an overhand right sent Ramirez down heavily with his body half out under the ropes. The 23-year-old “Matador” from Chihuahua lifts the vacant WBC Continental Americas belt with win No 19 by KO/TKO. His nickname is all wrong. With his style it should be “Toro” not “Matador”. He has scored a couple of useful wins but his is a wide open and at times crude style. Ramirez was allowed to take too much punishment. He was down for quite a while after that big right flattened him and the fight should have been stopped before then, He had won his last seven fights but the opposition had been weak.
Duarte vs. Garcia
Duarte breaks down an over-courageous Garcia. A lively start with plenty of exchanges in the first with Duarte exerting most of the pressure but Garcia connecting with hooks to the body. Garcia tried to box in the centre of the ring in the second but a big right from Duarte knocked him to the ropes and Duarte cut loose with a storm of punches. Garcia was shaken twice and then driven to the ropes and went down under a succession of punches a couple of which landed when Garcia was technically down. He beat the count and made it to the bell by trading punches with Duarte. Garcia was dropped by a right late in the third. Again he made it to his feet but was driven to a corner and down. He arose and when the eight count ended the bell had already gone. Duarte put Garcia on the floor again late in the fourth. When Garcia got up there were only ten seconds left in the round but the tape was flapping on Garcia’s glove so he got and extra minute recovery time as that was fixed and survived. Duarte finally ended it in the fifth,. He pinned Garcia to the ropes and crashed home a series on vicious left hooks to the body. Garcia dropped to his knees and was counted out. Local fighter Duarte wins the vacant NABF title with his fourteenth victory by KO/TKO. His loss was a split decision to a sliding but more experienced Adrian Estrella. Garcia was as gutsy as hell, No matter how much punishment Duarte laid on him he just kept punching back . He was down five times but never gave up fighting.
Zepeda vs. Rico
Rico was much taller with a big edge in reach but southpaw Zepeda was able to walk through the Colombian’s jab and work to the body. He was digging in with solid lefts with Rico having trouble staying off the ropes. Rico had nothing to stop the pressure from Zepeda. He was in trouble at the end of the fourth but survived. The one-sided fifth was brutal. Zepeda bombarded Rico with punches before dropping him with a left hook to the body. Rico got up and continued showing courage far beyond whatever he was being paid. In the sixth Zepeda continued to batter away at Rico’s body with the Colombian managing to throw an occasional punch. He was taking a savage beating and both the referee and his corner should have saved him long before the referee finally stepped in as Rico was trapped on the ropes under fire. Eleven inside the distance wins on the bounce for the 23-year-old Zepeda. Rico, 25, came in with 8 wins in his last 9 fights but had been knocked inside a round by Placido Ramirez who lost to Hernandez on this show.
Bergen, Norway: Tim Robin Lihaug (20-4) W PTS 12 Vartan Avetisyan (18-3-1). Fighting in his home city for the first time as a pro Lihaug wins the vacant WBFederation title with unanimous decision over Avetisyan. This was a real war with both fighters in trouble at various times. Avetisyan was down but the referee ruled it a push. They both had to soak some heavy right hands as the fight swung back and forth with Lihaug just doing enough to win the decision. Scores 117-111 twice and 116-112 the last which looked a better reflection of the fight. It was the first bout in almost a year for the 27-year-old former undefeated WBO European champion. After being 18-0-1 it is now three losses in a row for German-based Armenian Avetisyan.
Dzierzoniow, Poland: Light: Damian Wrzesinski (18-1-2,1ND) W Sergio Puente (28-9). Wrzesinski retains the Polish International title by outpointing Mexican Puente. No real problems here for former Polish amateur champion Wrzesinski as he easily outscores tough but limited Puente. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 99-92 for Wrzesinski .He is 7-0- 1 in his last 8 fights all of which have gone the distance. Puente headed in the other direction as his run of one win in his last nine fights illustrates.
Lomza, Poland: Heavy: Artur Szpilka (24-4) W PTS 10 Serhiy Radchenko (7-6). Middle: Fiodor Czerkaszyn (16-0) W TKO 7 Patrick Mendy (18-16-3). Light Heavy: Pawel Stepien (13-0-1m) W PTS 8 Geard Ajetovic (31-24-2).
Szpilka vs. Radchenko
Szpilka is on the floor twice and gets a very unpopular majority verdict over Radchenko. Szpilka did enough to edge the first two rounds but a right hook from Radchenko floored him in the third. It was not a heavy knockdown and Szpilka did enough to make the fourth close. The fifth saw Szpilka on the canvas again under a succession of punches from Radchenko. The visitor looked to have taken the sixth, seventh and eighth but lost a point in the ninth for using his elbow as a third glove. Szpilka put in a strong last round with Radchenko holding to survive but looking to have done enough with the two knockdowns to take the decision-but no. The scores 95-92 and 95-93 for Szpilka and 94-94 have been loudly criticised in Poland. The 30-year-old “Pin” has lost inside the distance to Deontay Wilder, Adam Kownacki and Dereck Chisora but here he was looking to build on a good victory over Fabio Turchi in October so that he could get back into some big fights. He was lucky in this one so not an impressive showing. Radchenko can’t catch a break. He has won only one of his last seven fights including four losses in Poland in one of which he put current WBO No 1 Krzys Glowacki on the canvas.
Czerkaszyn vs. Mendy
Ukrainian Czerkaszyn is starting to attract rave notices over his performances. The speed and the accuracy of his punches saw him collect the early rounds but Mendy is tough and after six rounds it looked as though Mendy would make it through the seventh and eighth as Callum Smith has been the only fighter to stop him. That hope for Mendy disappeared in the seventh as a savage left hook put the Gambian down heavily. He managed to climb to his feet but the referee stopped the fight. The 24-year-old Czerkaszyn already has useful wins over Wes Capper and Guido Pitto. As usual Mendy came in as a late substitute and is now 1-5-2 in his last 8 fights but is never an easy opponent.
Stepien vs. Ajetovic
After eight month out of the ring due to some health problems Stepien eases his way back with a unanimous decision over Ajetovic. The local boxer used a strong, accurate jab to work at distance and scored well with straight rights. Ajetovic was constantly looking to attack but was outboxed all the way by Stepien. Scores 80-72 for Stepien from all three judges. He has a win over former WBC light heavyweight title challenger Daniel Sukhotsky. Serbian Ajetovic, 39, has long since accepted the role of travelling loser and is now 0-8-1 in his last nine fights.
Pathum Thani, Thailand: Super Welter: Tommy Browne (43-7-2) W TKO 4 Yodkhunpol (20-9). Browne adds another title to his collection as he stops Yodkhunpol to win the vacant Thai title. The 36-year-old Australian has already won the UBF, UBO and WBFederation titles in the past and fought for the WBA featherweight title losing to Chris John back in 2005. Since moving down the scale in opposition he is now 16-1-1 in his last 18 fights. Southpaw Yodkhunpol (real name Uthit Punsen) has lost six in a row. At 5’4” to the 5’10” Browne he was never in with much of a chance.
Brentwood, England: Middle: Danny Dignum (13-0) W TKO 9 Alfredo Meli (17-1-1). Welter: Sam Gilley (11-0) W PTS 10 Curtis Felix Jr (10-2) Welter: Kaisee Benjamin (10-1-1) W PTS 10 Shaquille Day (10-1).
Dignum vs. Meli
Dignum retains the WBO European title with a power show that overwhelms brave Belfast boxer Meli. Dignum clearly took the first round in the all-southpaw contest before Meli fought his way in front with some clever boxing. After a close fourth Dignum’s heavier punching saw him pull away and in the seventh he put Meli down with a vicious body punch. Meli did well to beat the count and continue but he was floored again late in the eighth. Dignum ended it in the ninth with another body punch and the referee stopped the fight just as the towel came in from Meli’s corner. The 27-year-old from Essex moves to seven inside the distance victories. There are some interesting domestic fight there for Meli as he rebuilds
Gilley vs. Felix
In another well-matched BBB of C Southern Area title fight Gilley decisions useful Felix. The fight was tight and entertaining with plenty of heated exchanges. Gilley rocked Felix a coup[le of times but Felix was always ready and able to stand and trade. Gilley scored a late knockdown and that proved a decider as he finished strongly. Referee’s score 96-93. Tall Londoner Gilley was in his first ten round fight and paced it well. Second tough assignment in a row for Felix and second loss.
Benjamin vs. Day
Benjamin comes out on top in the clash of BBB of C Area champions. The hand speed and movement were the winning factors for Benjamin. Day pressed the fight hard but too often left himself wide open and when he did Benjamin made him pay with rapid-fire combinations. The power and aggression of Day kept him in the fight but Benjamin was a clear winner. The referee scored the fight 97-94 for Benjamin. The 24-year-old from Birmingham is the Midlands Area champion and Day, from one of my old stamping grounds Bexley, is Southern Area champion.
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Super Middle: Gabriel Pham (12-2) W PTS Derrick Webster (28-3) . Revenge is sweet no matter how long it takes to achieve so Pham had a satisfying night as he outpointed Webster. The fight went Pham’s way early. He scored a flash knock down in the first and a much more stated knockdown in the fourth. Webster survived but was never able to really turn the fight his way and Pham was a clear winner. Scores 78-72 twice and 77-73 for Pham. He had lost to Webster in the amateurs so he gets the win when it counts. Webster lost on points to Lennox Allen in his last fight in February 2019 and the inactivity did not help his cause.
Irving, TX, USA: Light Heavy: Israel Duffus (20-6) TKO 2 Samuel Clarkson (22-6).
Duffus destroys local fighter Clarkson. Duffus looked close to ending this in the first as he drove southpaw Clarkson around the ring belting him with right hands. Clarkson came roaring out for the second firing punches and it was Duffus who was being driven back. That storm blew itself out and Duffus took charge again dropping Clarkson twice. Clarkson made it to his feet but the referee waived the fight over. Now 17 inside the distance wins for Panamanian-born Duffus. Clarkson was stopped in four round by Dmitry Bivol in a fight for the interim WBA light heavy title in 2017 and knocked out in four rounds by Ryad Merhy in December 2018.
East London, South Africa: Bantam: Ronald Malindi (18-0) W PTS 12 Lwandile Sityatha (24-4-1). Super Fly: Yanga Sigqibo (14-1-1) W KO 7 Cris Paulino (21-5). Feather: Loreto Dlamini (14-1) W KO 5 Jeremiah Mhere (5-3). Light Fly: Sivenathi Nontshinga (9-0) W KO 5 Ivan Soriano (20-4-1). Feather: Asanda Ginggi (6-0) W PTS 10 Thato Bonokoane (9-3-3).
Malindi vs. Sityatha
This was always going to be a close fight as Malindi put his National title on the line against former undefeated IBO champion Sityatha who had won his last eight fights against a higher level of opposition. There was , never much between them in a tight battle with Malindi’s stronger finish just making the difference. Scores 116-112, 116-114 and 115-113. The 25-year-old Malindi was making the third defence of the South African title. His trainer felt he could have stopped Sityatha late but that never seemed likely as Malindi’s last five fights had gone the distance. Sityatha was the favourite here after past wins over Michael Dasmarinas the current IBF No 1 bantam, Gideon Buthelezi and IBF super bantam title challenger Ernie Saulong but this is only the third fight in over four years for Sityatha and with more activity he will be a much harder opponent for Malindi
Sigqibo vs. Paulino
Local hope Sigqibo impresses in a seventh round kayo of Filipino southpaw Paulino. The visitor tried to hustle Sigqibo out of his stride but “The Show Stopper” refused to be bullied and Philippines champion Paulino lost a point for punches to the back of the head. Sigqibo put Paulino down in the sixth and then flattened him with right in the seventh Sigqibo extends his winning run to eleven and retains the WBO Inter-Continental title in his second defence. He is rated No 4 by the WBO. Paulino was 7-1 before this one with the loss coming against Jason Moloney.
Dlamini vs. Mhere
Dlamini was to have defended his WBC Silver title on this night but his opponent dropped out and Zimbabwean Mhere came in as a late replacement with no title on the line. Dlamini ended it with a body punch in the fifth for win No 7 inside the distance. Mhere had won his last three fights but was no match for Dlamini.
Nontshinga vs. Soriano
The difference in experience was meaningless here as “The Special One” Nontshinga made in nine inside the distance victories in nine fights by putting away Soriano in the fifth round. There was concern over a rapid swelling around Nontshinga’s left eye showing in the third round. He also made that meaningless by flooring Soriano in the fifth and finishing him with a right in the fifth. The 21-year-old from East London, who is jus 4’11” tall, was defending his IBF International belt and they rate him No 7. He certainly looks a prospect but he will need some more fights before stepping up to a world title shot. First inside the distance loss for Soriano.
Ginggi vs. Bonokoane
East Cape fighter Ginggi win the vacant ABU title with victory over fellow-South African Bonokoane. Ginggi already had the fight won when he floored Bonokoane in the last round but just could not find the punch to end it then. Scores 98-91, 98-92 and 97-92 for Ginggi. The 26-year-old Ginggi had taken just seven round in total to beat his other six opponents so he almost doubled his career ring total in this fight. Former South African title challenger Bonokoane did well to give Ginggi some needed work.
Luis Guillon, Argentina: Super Feather: Kevin Leonel Acevedo (20-3-3) W PTS 10 Javier Herrera (16-4-1). Light: Jose Matias Romero (23-0) W TKO 5 Gabriel Ovejero (15-13).
Acevedo vs. Herrera
Acevedo wins the vacant Argentinian title with close unanimous decision over Herrera. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-94 ½ . Acevedo is 5-1-1 in his 7 most recent contests. Herrera was having his third shot at the title.
Romero vs. Ovejero
Romero drops Ovejero in the first round and again in the fifth on the way to a stoppage victory. The 23-year-old from Neuquen breaks a run of seven points victories in a row including two over Javier Herrera in Argentinian title fights. Poor Ovejero has won only two of his last thirteen fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Robert Helenius’ win over Adam Kownacki has shaken up the heavyweights somewhat
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Magomed Kurbanov vs. Ismail Iliev was a war
Fighter of the week: Has to be Helenius
Punch of the week: The right from Luis Alberto Hernandez that flattened Placido Ramirez was a biggie but it has to be the hook Mark Urvanov used to lay out Akzhol Sulaimanbek
Upset of the week: A tie between Helenius battening Kownacki and Ionut Baluta beating TJ Doheny,
Prospect watch: Early days but little South African light flyweight Sivenathi Nontshinga 9-0 9 wins KO/TKO could be one to watch
We bring another in our mini-series of commercials featuring boxers, and here we have an interesting mix of legends bringing us a very varied variety of products and quality of commercials.
Manny Pacquiao - Hennessy
Filipino great Manny Pacquiao was in so many adverts that it was clear some of them would be complete stinkers. We think this one for Hennessy isn't a good one. The product isn't featured at all until the final few frames and it tells us little about the product. The sense of fun Pacquiao pokes at himself in most of his adverts is gone and the whole commercial just takes it's self way too seriously.
Manny Pacquiao and Chris John - Kuku Bima Ener-G
From an overly serious advert with Manny Pacquiao to one featuring Pacquiao and Chris John selling an energy drink with tigers and dragons. This is much more the style of silly commercial we are used to seeing from Pacquiao, and it really tries to sell the product. This is a commercial that isn't taking it's self seriously and uses the people involved pretty well. We've never tried the product but on the back of this we'd like to.
Guts Ishimatsu - Ape Escape
Manny Pacquiao isn't the only Asian boxer featured in a lot of commercials. Another is Guts Ishimatsu, who's adverts really are varied from food to subscription services to video games! Here's his advert for popular Playstation video games Ape Escape, featuring Ishimatsu, and his acting chops, and a giant Ape.
Hiroki Ioka - Top Boy
Western readers will be well ahead of "Head and Shoulders" and it appears there's a Japanese product that is similar, combining Shampoo and Conditioner. That is Top Boy. Here we have a 1988 advert featuring Hiroki Ioka trying to sell the product. This is one of those commercials where the subject matter seems to come second to the people involved in what is a real 80's advert. A little camp, a little garish ans certainly not something that would help sell the product in this day and age.
Yoko Gushiken - Ishigaki Memorial Park
Someone who has done quite a lot of adverts over the years is Japanese legend Yoko Gushiken. Sometimes they really don't make the most of his ability to catch the eye, but this one does, as we see a lot of Gushiken, or is that Gushiken's, singing and trying to entice people to Ishigaki Memorial Park. This is silly, daft, and shows Gushiken having some fun. A simple but effective commercial!
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Zhilei Zhang (21-0): WBO #10 / IBF #13
The 2008 Olympic Silver medalist defended his WBO Oriental title against Andriy Rudenko (32-5).
-Muhamad Farkhan (11-0): WBA #13
Malaysian knockout artist Muhamad Farkhan stopped Pascal Abel Ndomba (25-10), back in December, to capture the WBA & WBC Asia championships.
-Meng Fanlong (16-0): IBF #1 / WBC #15
Meng will challenge Artur Beterbiev (15-0) for the IBF title, on March 28th, in Canada.
-Manny Pacquiao (62-7): WBA (Super) World champion
Pacman looks to Danny Garcia (36-2) or Errol Spence Jr. (26-0) as his potential next opponent.
-Apinun Khongsong (16-0): IBF #1 / WBA #12
Apinun is set to clash with the unified WBA (Super) & IBF champion Josh Taylor (16-0) on May 2nd.
-Daud Yordan (40-4): WBO #11
Yordan was supposed to fight in Singapore next month, but due the coronavirus outbreak, the fight was cancelled.
-Joe Noynay (18-2): WBO #4 / IBF #14
Noynay earned the biggest win of his career last summer when he dominated the 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist Satoshi Shimizu (8-1) to retain his WBO Asia Pacific title. His defence over Kenichi Ogawa (24-1) ended in a technical draw.
-Yongqiang Yang (13-0): WBO #13
The WBO Global champion was meant to face Masayuki Ito (26-2) in a world title eliminator, but due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the entire event was cancelled. Yang is also ranked #15 at the IBF Lightweight rankings.
-Xiao Tao Su (11-1): WBO #14
Tao Su dispatched Shota Yukawa (11-6) in one round to win the vacant WBO Oriental title.
-Can Xu (18-2): WBA (Regular) World champion
The Chinese star has set his sights on fighting Josh Warrington (30-0).
-Mark Magsayo (20-0): IBF #4 / WBC #5 / WBA #11
Magsayo beat the former 2 time World champion Panya Uthok (53-8) back in August. The unbeaten Filipino is now training under Freddie Roach.
-Thattana Luangphon (10-0): WBC #13
The undefeated Thai fighter had an impressive 2019, winning 6 fights as well as the WBC Asia championship. His most recent one was on March 7th against Artid Bamrungauea (26-30).
-Albert Pagara (32-1): WBO #6
The former WBO & IBF Intercontinental champion has been working as the sparring partner for Naoya Inoue since last month.
-Mike Plania (23-1): WBA #11 / IBF #12
Plania earned a unanimous decision over Giovanni Gutierrez (10-1), winning the IBF North American title in the process.
-Alie Laurel (18-4): WBO #13
Laurel stopped Jun Eraham (22-39) on February 15th.
-Jhunriel Ramonal (17-8): WBC #12
Ramonal knocked out Yusaku Kuga (19-4) on New Year’s Eve, becoming the new WBO Asia Pacific champion.
-Jeo Santisima (19-3): WBO #4
Santisima came up short in his world title fight against the WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete (31-1).
-Marlon Tapales (33-3): IBF #4
Tapales lost to Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3), on December 7th, in an interim IBF title match.
-John Riel Casimero (29-4): WBO World champion
Casimero dispatched Zolani Tete (28-4) within 3 rounds, becoming a 3 division World champion in the process. A unification fight with the WBA (Super) & IBF title holder Naoya Inoue (19-0) will take place on April 25th.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (48-1): WBC #2
Nawaphon has been undefeated in his last 12 bouts, including KO victories over former World champions Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15) as well as Amnat Ruenroeng (20-3).
-Nonito Donaire (40-6): WBC #1 / WBO #4
The 4 division World champion will meet Nordine Oubaali (17-0) for the WBC title on May 16th.
-Tasana Salapat (55-1): WBC #8 / WBA #7
Salapat scored his 40th knockout last month in Thailand, capturing the WBC Asia Diamond title as well.
-Reymart Gaballo (23-0): WBA #1 / IBF #6
The former interim WBA champion outclassed Chaiwat Buatkrathok (32-3) in his most recent fight.
-Vincent Astrolabio (15-3): WBO #10
Astrolabio defended his WBO Oriental title against Wilbert Berondo (14-5).
-Michael Dasmarinas (30-2): IBF #1 / WBO #6 / WBC #14
Dasmarinas will square off with Chaiwat Buatkrathok (33-3) on May 16th.
-Jun Zhao (13-2): WBA #14
After making short work of Jay Francis Buray (11-2) this January, Zhao put his WBA Asia title on the line once again on March 13th against Kai Chiba (12-1).
-Jerwin Ancajas (32-1): IBF World champion
Ancajas will mark his 9th title defense, against Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (21-1), on April 11th.
-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5): WBC #1 / WBO #11
The former 2 time WBC champion will finally make his in ring return on April 4th against Amnat Ruenroeng (20-3).
-Donnie Nietes (42-1): WBC #5
After missing 2019 due to a shoulder injury, the 4 division World champion is planning on making a comeback this year.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (57-4): WBA #1
The former interim WBA titlist has been 7-0 since losing to Artem Dalakian.
-Jade Bornea (15-0): IBF #7 / WBA #14
Bornea fought and beat Ernesto Delgadillo (11-1) on January 30th.
-Froilan Saludar (31-4): WBO #9
Saludar lost his WBO Asia Pacific title to Ryoji Fukunaga (12-4).
-Komgrich Nantapech (27-5): IBF #13
Nantapech has won his last 5 fights.
-KJ Cataraja (11-0): WBO #13
Cataraja stopped Crison Omayao (24-22) a few months ago.
-Giemel Magramo (24-1): WBO #1
Magramo and Junto Nakatani (20-0) were meant to clash for the vacant WBO World title on April 4th in Tokyo, but since the Japan Professional Boxing Association and Japan Boxing Commission have suspended all the fights in the country, it’s not known if the match will be postponed or change its location.
-Jayson Mama (15-0): IBF #3 / WBO #8
The undefeated Filipino had an impressive 2019, with victories over Teeraphong Utaida (39-7) and former World champion Ekkawit Songnui (49-7).
-Wenfeng Ge (12-1): WBO #7
Wenfeng earned the biggest victory of his career when he outboxed 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (60-8) to capture the WBO Global title.
-Dave Apolinario (13-0): WBA #11 / IBF #15
Apolinario added 4 more wins to his record in 2019.
-Jayr Raquinel (12-1): WBC #9 / IBF #12 / WBA #15
Raquinel returned after almost an entire year of inactivity this past summer, and stopped former world title challenger Takuya Kogawa (30-6) as well as Indonesian journeyman Jack Amisa (21-47)
-Genisis Libranza (19-1): IBF #6 / WBC #12
Libranza has been 8-0 since losing to Moruti Mthalane.
-Panya Pradabsri (32-1): WBO #2 / WBA #4 / WBC #11
Pradabsri knocked out former world title challenger Jerry Tomogdan (29-11) in less than 2 minutes. He might be next in line to fight the WBA (Regular) champion Carlos Canizales (22-0).
-Tibo Monabesa (20-1): WBC #5
Monabesa meets Toto Landero (11-4) on March 21st for the WBC International championship.
-Andika Fredikson Ha'e (17-0): WBA #2 / WBO #8
“D’Golden Boy” defended his WBA Asia title against Richard Rosales (14-12).
-Thanongsak Simsri (14-0): WBA #12
Undefeated Thai fighter Simsri won a very close decision over Christian Bacolod (12-1) in Japan.
-Edward Heno (14-1): WBO #9
Heno unsuccessfully challenged the WBO World champion Elwin Soto (17-1).
-Mark Vicelles (11-0): WBO #11 / WBC #12
Vicelles defeated Jesse Espinas (20-4) last summer.
-Christian Araneta (17-1): IBF #9
Araneta lost an IBF eliminator to Daniel Valladares (22-1).
-John Michael Zulueta (11-0): WBA #14 / IBF #15
Zulueta captured the IBF Asia title last September.
-Thammanoon Niyomtrong (21-0): WBA World champion
The undefeated Thai champion defended his crown, for the 8th time, against Norihito Tanaka (19-8).
-Pedro Taduran (14-2): IBF World champion
Taduran fought Daniel Valladares (22-1) to a technical draw.
-Chayaphon Moonsri (54-0): WBC World champion
Moonsri defends next on April 25th against Marco John Rementizo (12-3).
-Jing Xiang (17-4): WBO #1 / WBC #10 / WBA #8
Xiang won the WBO International title on his Strawweight debut.
-Lito Dante (17-11): IBF #8
The OPBF champion was meant to face Masataka Taniguchi (12-3) on March 17th but the match has cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak in Japan.
-Rene Mark Cuarto (18-2): IBF #3 / WBO #9
Cuarto defeated Jayson Francisco (5-2) 3 months ago.
-Victorio Saludar (20-4): WBO #2 / WBA #7
The former WBO champion knocked out Mike Kinaadman (7-13) last December.
-Robert Paradero (18-0): WBO #7 / IBF #6 / WBA #15
Paradero hasn’t fought since April of 2019.
-Melvin Jerusalem (15-2): WBC #1 / IBF #4 / WBO #5
Jerusalem defeated Reymark Taday (10-12) in his most recent fight.
-Samuel Salva (18-1): IBF #7 / WBO #14
Salva suffered an injury in his match with Pedro Taduran (14-2), costing him the opportunity to become the IBF champion. He bounced back with a win over Donny Mabao (23-43) on January 19th.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Alexander Povetkin (35-2): WBA #8 / WBC #10
The former Olympic & World champion will challenge Dillian Whyte (27-1) on May 2nd for the interim WBC title.
-Evgeny Romanov (14-0): WBO #8
Romanov kept his undefeated record intact throughout 2019 and also became the inaugural WBO Global Heavyweight champion.
-Sergey Kuzmin (15-1): WBA #13
Kuzmin’s fight with Zhang Zhilei (21-0) was cancelled due to the Russian suffering an injury during training.
-Aleksei Egorov (10-0): WBA Gold champion
Egorov will face combat sports veteran Vasil Ducar (8-2) on March 12th.
-Evgeny Tishchenko (7-0): WBO #7 / IBF #12
The 2016 Olympic champion successfully defended his WBO Intercontinental title, for the second time, against Marcos Antonio Aumada (21-9) this past weekend.
-Ruslan Fayfer (25-1): IBF #1 / WBC #4 / WBO #6 / WBA #12
Fayfer defeated Yury Kashinsky (19-1) to become the #1 contender for the IBF championship. He will now clash with Dmitry Kudryashov, on May 8th, in a WBC eliminator.
-Aleksei Papin (11-1): WBC #8
The former kickboxing star & 2 time IBF International champion wants a revenge match with Ilunga Makabu (27-2).
-Dmitry Kudryashov (24-3): WBC #10 / IBF #14
As mentioned above, Kudryashov will take on Ruslan Fayfer next.
-Yury Kashinsky (16-1): IBF #8 / WBA #9 / WBC #12
Kashinsky knocked out Cesar David Crenz (25-15) on February 12th.
-Artur Beterbiev (15-0): IBF & WBC World champion
The unified WBC & IBF champion defends his belts against mandatory challenger Fanlong Meng (16-0), on March 28th, in Canada. It’s also worth mentioning that, according to a representative of the Russian Boxing federation, a major event will take place at the Gazprom Arena (67K capacity), this coming August, which will be headlined by Beterbiev.
-Dmitry Bivol (17-0): WBA (Super) World champion
No news on when Bivol’s 7th defense takes place.
-Maksim Vlasov (45-3): WBO #3 / IBF #9
Vlasov defended his WBO Global title twice last year. He will take on Umar Salamov as part of a 4man tournament for the vacant WBO World championship this summer.
-Igor Mikhalkin (23-2): WBC #9 / IBF #10 / WBO #14 / WBA #12
Mikhalkin will have the opportunity to become a 2 time European champion, when he meets Callum Johnson (18-1) in Manchester, for the vacant EBU title, on March 7th.
-Rustam Tulaganov (3-0): WBA #15
The 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist defeated Norbert Dabrowski (23-9) last month to win his 1st professional title. Tulaganov is set to defend his WBA Continental belt on April 4th. (Opponent TBA)
-Umar Salamov (25-1): WBO #2 / IBF #4 / WBA #8
Salamov successfully retained the WBO International title for the 3rd time after knocking out Emmanuel Danso (32-5) back in September. As aforementioned, a fight with Maksim Vlasov will take place in summer.
-Sergey Kovalev (34-4): WBO #6 / WBC #7
The former WBA, WBC, WBO, IBF World champion will return to the ring on April 25th, when he goes up against Sullivan Barrera (22-3).
-Fedor Chudinov (22-2): WBA Gold champion
Fedor fought 4 times in 2019, capturing the WBA Gold championship in the process. He will mark his inaugural defense over 2x world title challenger Isaac Chilemba (26-7) on March 21st, in Vladikavkaz.
-Aidos Yerbossynuly (13-0): WBA #2 / WBO #8 / IBF #13
The unified WBA International, WBO Global & WBC Asia Continental champion defended his belts this past December, against Omar Garcia (15-3), whom he knocked out in the 8th round. According to his manager, Aidos has already started training for his next bout. The details will be revealed soon.
-Azizbek Abdugofurov (13-0): WBC #2
Azizbek will put his WBC Silver title on the line against the WBO International champion Lerrone Richards (13-0) on April 18th.
-Aslambek Idigov (18-0): WBO #7
The WBO & IBF European champion fought and beat former MMA fighter Ryan Ford (17-6) on February 21st to also capture the WBA Asia title.
-Bektemir Melikuziev (5-0): WBA #15
The 2016 Olympic Silver medalist made short work of Oscar Cortes (27-6) on Valentine’s Day. His next match will be in April.
-Vladimir Shishkin (10-0): WBC #12
Shishkin remained undefeated on January 17th while also ruining Ulises Sierra’s (15-1) perfect record in the process.
-Ali Akhmedov (16-0): WBC #15
Akhmedov defended his WBC International Silver title against Andrew Hernandez (20-8) a few months ago.
-Evgeny Shvedenko (13-0): IBF #7
Shvedenko earned 2 unanimous decision victories over Nadjib Mohammedi (42-8) and Nuhu Lawal (27-6) last year. He will now fight Rowan Campbell (12-0) on March 28th for the vacant IBO title.
-Gennady Golovkin (40-1): IBF World champion
Triple G will mark his inaugural IBF title defense against Kamil Szeremeta (21-0) in May or June.
-Kanat Islam (27-0): WBO #3
The 2008 Olympic Bronze medalist made his triumphant return after a 2 year hiatus and demolished Julio De Jesus (27-2) in 14 seconds to become the new WBO International champion. He then defeated former world title challenger Walter Kautondokwa (18-2) last October.
-Magomed Madiev (14-0): WBA #2
Madiev won a hard fought battle with Evgeny Terentiev (15-3) to defend his Eurasian title.
-Janibek Alimkhanuly (8-0): WBO #4 / WBC #9 / IBF #12
The 2013 AIBA World champion knocked out Albert Onolunose (24-3) in November to successfully defend his WBO Global & WBC Continental Americas titles. His next opponent will be the undefeated Issah Samir (18-0), whom he’ll face on March 28th in Canada.
-Meiirim Nursultanov (13-0): IBF #8
Nursultanov took a unanimous decision over Christian Olivas (18-6) to win the WBC US title this past November.
-Israil Madrimov (5-0): WBA #2
Madrimov dominated the former world title challenger Charlie Navarro (29-10) in a WBA final eliminator.
-Bakhram Murtazaliev (17-0): IBF #1 / WBO #3 / WBC #14
Murtazaliev has scored victories over Elvin Ayala (29-13), Bruno Leonardo Romay (21-8) and Jorge Fortea (20-2) in 2019.
-Magomed Kurbanov (19-0): WBA #5 / WBO #7 / WBC #10
The 2 time WBO International champion went to war with Ismail Iliev (12-2) on March 7th and came out victorious.
-Alexander Besputin (14-0): WBA (Regular) World champion
Besputin tested positive for a banned substance and could be stripped of his title.
-Sergey Lipinets (16-1): WBO #3 / IBF #3 / WBC #9
The former IBF Super Lightweight World champion will lock horns with the undefeated Kudratillo Abdukakhorov, on May 16th, for the interim IBF title.
-David Avanesyan (26-3): WBC #5 / IBF #6 / WBA #6 / WBO #10
Avanesyan will put his European title on the line, against the former WBA International champion Josh Kelly (10-0), on March 28th.
-Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (17-0): IBF #1 / WBC #7 / WBO #9
As mentioned above, Kudratillo will clash with Lipinets in May.
-Nursultan Zhangabayev (8-0): WBA #7 / IBF #7 / WBO #15
Zhangabayev was supposed to defend his WBA Intercontinental title against Ernesto Espana (30-2) in December of 2019 but the match was cancelled due to an injury.
-Shakhram Giyasov (9-0): WBA #7
The 2016 Olympic Silver medalist slept the former interim WBA champion Darleys Perez (34-5), in less than a minute, this past summer.
-Shohjahon Ergashev (18-0): WBA #6 / IBF #6 / WBO #12
Ergashev stopped Adrian Estrella (29-5) in the opening round of their contest, with a nasty body shot.
-Zhankosh Turarov (24-0) WBO #9
The WBO Intercontinental champion will defend his strap against Alexander Duran (20-0), on March 28th, in Almaty.
-Batyrzhan Jukembayev (18-0): IBF #8 / WBC #11 / WBA #15
Jukembayev scored a major victory, this past September, defeating longtime World Lightweight title holder Miguel Vazquez (42-9) to become the WBA Continental & IBF Intercontinental champion. He then knocked out Ricardo Lara (22-8) on January 25th.
-Eduard Troyanovsky (28-2): WBC #7 / IBF #14
The former IBF World champion faces Matias Raimundo Diaz (8-5) on March 13th.
-Batyr Akhmedov (7-1): WBA #5
Akhmedov and Mario Barrios (25-0) are very likely to meet again for the WBA (Regular) title later this year.
-Roman Andreev (23-0): WBO #4 / IBF #12
The former WBO European & Intercontinental champion has signed with Top Rank and will be making his US debut in the coming months.
-Pavel Malikov (16-1): IBF #8 / WBO #14
Malikov earned a majority decision against former world title challenger Isa Chaniev (13-3).
-Zapir Rasulov (34-1): WBA #15
The Russian knockout artist will face Augusto Pinilla (16-14) on April 21st.
-Viktor Kotochigov (11-0): WBC #11
Kotochigov defended his WBC International title against Javier Jose Clavero (27-7) this past December.
-Zaur Abdullaev (11-1): WBC #6
Zaur suffered an injury during his interim WBC title fight with Devin Haney (24-0) and couldn’t capture the gold.
-Mark Urvanov (18-2): WBA Gold champion
Urvanov delivered a stunning KO to end the undefeated streak of Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (15-1) and to become the inaugural WBA Gold champion.
-Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (16-0): WBC #7 / WBO #8 / IBF #15
Yaqubov earned the biggest win of his career on March 7th, defeating former World champion Tomas Rojas (51-19) in Ekaterinburg and retaining his WBC International title.
-Shavkat Rakhimov (15-0): IBF #1 / WBC #3
Rakhimov knocked out Azinga Fuzile (14-1) in an IBF final eliminator.
-Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (15-1): WBA #6
Uulu suffered his first loss at the hands of Mark Urvanov.
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1): WBC #3
The 2012 Olympic Silver medalist unsuccessfully challenged Gary Russell Jr. (31-1) for the WBC World championship in February.
-Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0): WBA & IBF World champion.
The 2016 Olympic Bronze medalist edged Daniel Roman (27-3) to become a World champion at the age of 25. His next opponent could be the interim IBF title holder Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3).
-Nikolai Potapov (21-2): WBO #9 / IBF #10
Potapov got the DQ victory over Nasibu Ramadhani (29-15) in October.
-Mikhail Aloyan (5-1): WBA Gold champion
The 2012 Olympic Bronze medalist made a successful in ring comeback on December 10th, besting Ronal Batista (12-2) to capture the WBA Gold championship.
-Olimjon Nazarov (22-5): WBO #9
Nazarov has been on an impressive 9 fight winning streak since 2018. His latest victory was over Orlie Silvestre (15-6) on February 29th for the vacant WBO Oriental title.
Recently we've covered quite a few fights that are well known in the West in this series. This week however we're looking at one that Western fans probably aren't too familiar with, and one that certainly didn't get mentioned in the "End of Year" awards from Western media. Despite that it was an amazing bout that pitted a rising and popular Japanese fighter against an unbeaten American world champion, and was an instant classic.
Osamu Sato (24-1-1, 12) Vs Willie Jorrin (28-0, 12)
Coming in to the bout the unbeaten Willie Jorrin was seeking his second defense of the WBC Super Bantamweight title. He had won the belt in the UK, beating Michael Brodie for the belt in Manchester, and then returned to the US for his first defense, against Oscar Larios, in what was a rather fun to watch bout. He then jetted off to Japan to face to face once beaten "Hulk" Osamu Sato. More about Sato in a moment. Aged 32 at this point Jorrin's prime was gone but he was still a talent, and with his unbeaten record and world title he wasn't just travelling over to Japan to lose. He was their to collect his paycheck, keep his title and beat up the local star whilst remaining unbeaten and building towards bigger bout down the line.
Managed by Kyoei Sato had rebounded well from an early career set back He had lost in his 5th professional bout and was once 7-1-1 (3) but had reeled off 17 straight wins over the previous 4 years to get himself in the world title mix. Not only had he been in good form but at 25 years old he was coming into his physical peak. Just 10 months before facing Jorrin Sato had won the OPBF title title, and had defended it once by the time Kyoei had put up the money to bring Jorrin to Japan. Despite his winning run there was little knowledge of Sato outside of Japan, and his biggest win was probably over Korean Yong In Jo, the man he took the OPBF title from, or the very shop worn Yasushi Araia, a former Japanese national champion who had lost 3 successive bouts before facing Sato.
The bout started with Jorrin boxing on the back foot and Sato pressuring, making for a nice meshing of styles with Jorrin turning the tables occasionally and backing up the local. The power of Jorrin, whilst not destructive, was enough to get Sato's respect whilst Sato himself struggled to close the distance and impose his fight, despite the pressure.
In round 3 things went from bad to worse for Sato, who was dropped twice by Jorrin. These knockdowns weren't hard knockdowns with Sato getting up quickly from both, but they killed the momentum he seemed to have built earlier in the round.
Finding himself in a hole Sato knew he had to turn it around, and he looked to do that immediately, pressing hard in round 4 and dragging Jorrin into a war. From here on the bout became a brutal, hard, damaging and punishing battle of attrition. The two men spent long sequences trading blows on the inside and gets fans on to the edge of their seats, and it was here that Sato's power and aggression could turn the fight around.
We won't ruin the full fight, but this was a real hidden gem, with an edge of controversy, and showed that both were world class fighters, with round 12 worthy viewing for any fan! That was brutally entertaining and beautifully violent.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Ryota Murata (16-2): WBA (Regular) World champion
The Olympic champion knocked out Steven Butler (28-2) in his inaugural WBA title defence on New Year’s Eve. A fight with Canelo could take place in December.
-Takeshi Inoue (16-1): WBA #10 / WBO #11 / IBF #14 / WBC #15
Inoue made short work of Thai veteran Komsan Polsan (40-12) to become the WBO Asia Pacific champion for a second time. He also dominated Chinese fighter Cheng Su (14-3) on January 18th.
-Keita Obara (23-4): IBF #4
Obara successfully challenged Yuki Nagano (17-3) on February 1st, winning the Japanese strap once more, this time in a different weight class.
-Yuki Beppu (21-1): WBO #14
In what was an absolute thriller, Yuki Beppu came back from 5 knockdowns and stopped Ryota Yada (19-6), capturing the WBO Asia Pacific title in the process.
-Koki Inoue (15-0): WBO #15
The unified Japanese & WBO Asia Pacific champion will put his national title on the line, against Daishi Nagata (14-2) on May 28th.
-Andy Hiraoka (15-0): IBF #15
The Japanese youngster will compete on April 25th at the undercard of Inoue vs. Casimero. (Opponent TBA)
-Shuichiro Yoshino (12-0): WBO #13 / WBC #13 / IBF #14
Yoshino knocked out Harmonito Dela Torre (21-3) in just one round to unify the Japanese, OBPF & WBO Asia Pacific belts. He then defeated Izuki Tomioka (7-3) on February 13th.
-Masayuki Ito (26-2): WBO #5 / WBC #13
The former WBO champion is currently out of action due to an injury.
-Kenichi Ogawa (24-1): IBF #3 / WBA #4 / WBO #7
Ogawa is expected to compete on April 4th in Japan.*
-Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-4): IBF #8
Nishitani beat Monico Laurente (30-17) 3 months ago.
-Tomoki Kameda (36-3): WBA #4 / WBC #14
The former WBO Bantamweight & interim WBC Super Bantamweight champion is planning his Featherweight debut.
-Musashi Mori (11-0): WBO #6
Mori defended his WBO Asia Pacific title twice in 2019, against the former champion Richard Pumicpic (21-11) as well as Takuya Mizuno (17-2). He’s now scheduled to meet Shingo Kawamura (16-5) on April 18th.
-Ryo Sagawa (9-1): WBC #7 / IBF #12
Sagawa will defend his Japanese title against Hinata Maruta (10-1) on April 9th.*
-Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3): interim IBF World champion
Iwasa secured the interim IBF title, after stopping Marlon Tapales (33-3), this past December. He is expected to unify with the new WBA/IBF champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0) later this year.
-Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2): IBF #6
Teshigawara has defended his OPBF championship 3 times in 2019, against Yuki Iriguchi (10-3), Shohei Kawashima (18-4) and former world title challenger Shohei Omori (21-3). All knockout victories.
-Yukinori Oguni (21-2): WBA #4
The former IBF champion hasn’t fought in almost a year.
-Naoya Inoue (19-0): WBA (Super) & IBF World champion
The Monster will be involved in another unification match, on April 25th, this time with the WBO champion John Riel Casimero (29-4).
-Keita Kurihara (15-5): IBF #5
Kurihara scored 2 knockout victories in 2019 over 1x world title challenger Warlito Parrenas (26-10) and the IBF Pan Pacific champion Sukpraserd Ponpitak (25-11).
-Yuki Strong Kobayashi (16-8): IBF #12 / WBO #14
Kobayashi defended his WBO Asia Pacific title against Ki Chang Go (8-4) last December.
-Takuma Inoue (13-1): WBC #7
The former interim WBC champion will resume his career in 2020.
-Kazuto Ioka (25-2): WBO World champion.
Japan’s first ever 4 division World champion broke the undefeated streak of Jeyvier Cintron (11-1) to successfully retain his WBO title on New Year’s Eve. The newly crowned WBA champion Roman Gonzalez (49-2) has expressed interest in a unification match between them.
-Kosei Tanaka (15-0): WBO #1 / WBC #3
The 3 division World champion has relinquished his WBO Flyweight belt and now aims at Kazuto Ioka.
-Kenta Nakagawa (18-3): IBF #14
The Japanese champion will defend against Yuta Matsuo (15-4) on May 16th.
-Junto Nakatani (20-0): WBO #3 / IBF #7
Nakatani scored the biggest win of his career last October, when he outclassed former IBF World titlist Milan Melindo (37-5). He will now square off with Giemel Magramo (24-1), on April 4th, for the vacant WBO World championship.*
-Ryota Yamauchi (6-1): WBA #3
Yamauchi beat MJ Bo (8-4) on Valentine’s Day.
-Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0): WBA (Super) World champion.
Kyoguchi will return to action either in April or in May.
-Kenshiro Teraji (17-0): WBC World champion.
The unstoppable Kenshiro marked his 7th title defense, on December 23rd, over former interim WBA champion Randy Petalcorin (31-4).
-Sho Kimura (19-3): WBO #6 / WBA #9
In a clash of former World champions, Kimura knocked out Merlito Sabillo (27-8) in the Philippines.
-Daiki Tomita (14-1): WBO #13
Tomita returned the WBO Asia Pacific title and was meant to meet Kenichi Horikawa (40-16) for the vacant OPBF championship on March 1st, but much like most fights in Japan, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus.
-Yuto Takahashi (11-4): IBF #6
The Japanese champion defends against Masamichi Yabuki (10-3) on April 5th.* [Editors note - This bout will now take place May 6th]
-Reiya Konishi (17-2): IBF #8 / WBC #13
Konishi takes on Rikito Shiba (4-1) on April 18th.
-Masamichi Yabuki (10-3): WBC #9
Yabuki challenges Yuto Takahashi for the Japanese belt as aforementioned.
-Tetsuya Hisada (34-10): WBC #2 / IBF #4
Hisada’s impressive 13 fight winning streak came to an end, when he challenged Hiroto Kyoguchi for the WBA (Super) title.
-Kenichi Horikawa (40-16): WBC #3 / IBF #12
As mentioned above, Horikawa’s fight with Daiki Tomita was cancelled.
-Ginjiro Shigeoka (5-0): WBA #5 / WBO #13 / WBC #14 / IBF #14
Shigeoka knocked out 1x world title challenger Rey Loreto (25-15) on December 31st to retain his WBO Asia Pacific championship.
-Masataka Taniguchi (12-3): WBO #3
Taniguchi’s match with Lito Dante (16-11) was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
-Takumi Sakae (22-3): WBO #10 / IBF #12
Sakae fought thrice last year, knocking out all of his opponents.
-Tsubasa Koura (14-1): WBC #11 / IBF #13
Koura stopped Ariston Aton (9-3) on February 27th.
-Norihito Tanaka (19-8): WBC #4 / WBO #4 / WBA #10
Tanaka failed to capture the WBA title from Thammanoon Niyomtrong (21-0).
*Recently the JBC & JPBA have announced that all boxing events in the country, until April 15th, have been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. So these fights might have to move to different date or venue.
** Editors Note - Asianboxing has been informed that Yuto Takahashi Vs Masamichi Yabuki has now been rescheduled for May 6th
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