By Eric Armit
-Kenshiro Teraji regains the WBC light flyweight title with revenge third round kayo over Masamichi Yabuki
-Sunny Edwards retains the IBF flyweight title with unanimous decision over Sunny Edwards
-Regis Prograis halts Tyrone McKenna on a cut in WBC super lightweight eliminator
-O’Shaquie Foster outpoints unbeaten Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in WBC super featherweight eliminator
-David Avanesyan destroys Oskari Metz in one round in European welterweight title defence
-Edgar Berlanga outpoints Steve Rolls
-Estelle Yoka Mossely successfully defends her IBO Female lightweight belt with points victory over Yanina Lescano
Alex Rocha stops Blair Cobbs in nine rounds in welterweight clash
-Jono Carroll stops Ghanaian Patrick Ayi Aryee in four rounds at super featherweight
-Jose Zepeda remains a threat at super lightweight as he halts Francisco Perez in three rounds
- Billy Dib keeps his lightweight career alive with disqualification win over Jacob Ng
-Tamara Demarco gets upset victory over previously unbeaten Debora Lopez for vacant WBO Female flyweight title
World Title/Major Shows
Dubai, UAE: Super Feather: O’Shaquie Foster (19-2) W PTS 12 Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (18-1). Light: Estelle Yoka Mossely (10-0) W PTS 10 Yanina del Carmen Lescano (10-2). Super Feather: Jono Carroll (22-2-1) W TKO 4 Patrick Ayi Aryee (21-1-1), Super Bantam: Shabaz Masoud (10-0) W RTD 2 Yoan Boyeaux (43-7).Heavy: Bakhodir Jalolov (10-0) W KO 5 Kamil Sokolowski (11-26-2).
Foster vs. Yaqubov
Foster starts slow but then comes through with a strong second half of the fight and floors Yaqubov in the twelfth to take the unanimous decision. Southpaw Yaqubov was pressing the fight from the first bell with Foster on the back foot using plenty of clever movement and snapping out jabs. Yaqubov was having problems chasing the fleet-footed Foster down with Foster switching to southpaw in the second. With the rounds close Yaqubov’s early aggression was giving him a slight edge as he continued to chase down the retreating Foster. This was Foster’s first fight since beating Miguel Roman in November 2020 but by the sixth he had shed any rust and he was standing in front of Yaqubov and using his superior hand speed to land straight lefts through Yaqubov’s guard. Yaqubov continued to go forward and had some success with straight rights but was finding Foster an elusive target. Foster constantly switched guards and from the seventh he was often the one coming forward and he rocked Yaqubov with a left in the eighth. Yaqubov stepped up his attacks from the tenth but was being outboxed by the quicker Foster. Yaqubov dived forward in the last desperately looking to find a punch to end the fight but walked on to chopping left hand counter and went down. After the count he still tried to march forward but Foster was too slick and eased his way to the bell. Scores 117-110 twice and 118-109 for Foster. The right decision but a little harsh on Yaqubov. The 28-year-old Texan boxed brilliantly. He was No 2 with the WBC and Yaqubov No 3 but he might have to wait until very late in the year for a title shot as WBC title holder Oscar Valdez and WBO title holder Shakur Stevenson are due to clash on 30 April and Miguel Berchelt is the WBC No 1 so Foster will probably have to wait until after the winner of Valdez vs. Stevenson faces Berchelt. Disappointment for Tajik Yaqubov but at 26 he has time to work his way to a title shot in the future.
Mossely vs. Lescano
Mossely retains her IBO Female title with split decision over Lescano. Mossely won the early rounds and looked to have been denied a knockdown in the fourth. Lescano looking bigger and stronger battled her way into the fight but Mossely constantly found the target with straight rights and despite a strong finish from Lescano Mossely gained the split decision. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Mossley and 96-94 for Lescano. Mossely, 29, who is married to unbeaten heavyweight Tony Yoka, has said the she now aims to return to the “amateurs” to fight at the World Championships before tackling fighters such as Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano. South American champion Lescano had won her last eight c bouts.
Carroll vs. Aryee
Irish southpaw Carroll stops late substitute Aryee. Carroll was just too strong for Ghanaian Aryee and dominated from the start. He handed out steady punishment to head and body with Aryee in over his head. A sustained attack from Carroll in the fourth ended with Aryee trapped in a corner and shipping some heavy shots without firing back and the referee stopped the fight at the same time as Aryee’s second climbed the ring steps to save their man. Just a keep busy fight for Carroll the WBA No 2. Aryee’s record built against very modest domestic opposition.
Masoud vs. Boyeaux
Stoke youngster Masoud too quick for Boyeaux and the Frenchman retires at the end of the second round. Masoud rocked Boyeaux in each both round with left hooks with Boyeaux close to going down a couple of times. Third inside the distance win for Masoud. Boyeaux was stopped by Naoya Inoue in a challenge for the WBO super fly title in 2017.
Jalolov vs. Sokolowski
Jalolov gets another inside the distance win as he puts Pole Sokolowski down twice on the way to a fifth round stoppage. The 6’7” former Olympic and World Championships gold medal winner was just too big and punched too hard for the durable 6’1” Sokolowski. He floored Sokolowski with a right to the head in the second and battered him to the floor again with three lefts in the fifth. Sokolowski made it to his feet and disputed the stoppage but it was over. His ten wins have taken the Uzbek less than twenty-one rounds. Only the fourth time Sokolowski has failed to last the distance
Dubai, UAE: Fly: Sunny Edwards (18-0) W PTS 12 Muhammad Waseem (12-2). Super Light: Regis Prograis (27-1) W TKO 6 Tyrone McKenna (22-3-1). Feather: TJ Doheny (23-3) W TKO 2 Cesar Juarez (27-11). Super Light: Hovhannes Bachkov (3-0) W TKO 8 Cristian Coria (29-10-2). Light: Faizan Anwar (12-0) W PTS 8 Khojiakbar Qodirokhunov (4-1-1). Super Bantam: Peter McGrail (3-0) W TKO 2 Alexander Ionita (7-11-1).
Edwards vs. Waseem
Edwards retain the IBF title with unanimous decision over Waseem. Waseem never came to terms with the hand speed, movement and clever boxing of Edwards and was not helped by two deductions for infractions of the rules.
Edwards was circling the perimeter of the ring with Waseem shadowing him but not cutting the ring down. Edwards leapt forward and landed three head punches and was away before Waseem could counter. He did that again later in the round and surprised Waseem with a burst of punches just before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Edwards
Again Edwards was just too quick for Waseem. He was darting in to connect with a burst of punches and then out and circling away from Waseem’s attempts to counter. Waseem did managed to land some body punches but Edwards was getting his punches off first.
Score: 10 9 Edwards Edwards 20-18
A close round. For much of it Edwards was his elusive self but then Waseem pinned him to the ropes and bombarded Edwards with hooks and uppercuts. Edwards decided to stay inside and trade instead of moving and Waseem took the round. Waseem was warned for dangerous head work.
Score: 10-9 Waseem Edwards 29-28
Edwards was first to the punch in this round. Waseem was pressing hard but Edwards was scoring with counters and then stepping around Waseem to land more punches and tying Waseem up inside.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 39-37
This one was close. Edwards was the quicker puncher with Waseem only having any success when he was able to get Edwards against the ropes. He scored with some impressive left hooks to the body but Edwards scored consistently with snappy right jabs and short lefts.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 49-46
A big round for Edwards. He was picking Waseem off with counters from both hands and constantly moving and switching direction and guards. A frustrated Waseem was holding to try and cut down Edwards movement and was deducted a point*. Waseem ended the round by trapping Edwards against the ropes but even there Edwards was landing the better punches.
Score: 10-8* Edwards Edwards 59-54
Edwards was picking Waseem off with fast, light punches with Waseem getting frustrated. He was warned for an elbow smash and for head work, Edwards continued to sneak home punches and when Waseem shoved his head into Edward’s face the referee again took a point off Waseem*. The challenger did enough good work over the rest of the round to deserve the points but the deduction made it an even round.
Score: 9-9* Edwards 68-63
Waseem pushed hard in this round. There was plenty of flashy footwork from Edwards but Waseem stayed focused forcing Edwards to the ropes and connecting with hooks to the body with both hands.
Score: 10-9 Waseem Edwards 77-73
Edwards was back in control. He kept moving and kept firing single shots through Waseem’s guard refusing to let Waseem get inside. Waseem was chasing Edwards down but was too often left swishing air and leaving himself open to sneaky counters.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 87-82
Waseem badly needed to win a round and he did so in this one. He chased harder, did a better job of cutting the ring off and so was able to scored with hooks and uppercuts inside with Edwards output dropping
Score: 10 9 Waseem Edwards 96-92
Edwards boxed his way through the round. Plenty of fast footwork and changes of direction. He was sliding jabs through Waseem’s guard catching him with straight lefts and never getting pinned down with Waseem a step behind for the full three minutes.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 106-101
Edwards gave away the last round. Confident he had the decision in the bag he danced around the ring with Waseem chasing and landed what few punches were thrown but never looking like getting the kayo he needed.
Score 10-9 Waseem Edwards 115-111
The 26-year-old southpaw again showed his outstanding skills. No thunder and lightning with Edwards but plenty of his hit and not get hit approach and plenty to admire in his slick counter punching. Ricardo Sandoval 20-1 (15) is his mandatory challenger and he will be quicker and punch harder than Waseem so a big test for Edwards. Pakistani Waseem, 32, was having his second shot at the IBF title having lost a very close decision to Moruti Mthalane in 2018.
Prograis vs. McKenna
Prograis beats a brave McKenna who is stopped due to a bad cut over his right eye caused by a punch. Prograis looked sharp in the first round. After a short period of study he had McKenna backing up and was connecting with jabs and straight lefts. The sound of the bell had hardly faded in the second when Prograis put McKenna down hard with a stunning left cross. Prograis tried to end the fight then showering McKenna with hooks and uppercuts but despite the punishment McKenna did not crumble and made it to the bell. Prograis was hunting McKenna down in the third with McKenna focusing on survival. McKenna showed remarkable fighting spirit in the fourth standing and trading with Prograis actually forcing him back and twice after Prograis had landed fierce combination McKenna just urged Prograis to do his worst but McKenna was having to absorb some wicked body punches and neck-snapping uppercuts. McKenna had a good fifth walking forward throwing punches and landing some hard shots. Prograis was on the bock foot countering with jabs and quick flurries of punches in a fairly even round. Prograis cut loose in the sixth but McKenna was trying to punch with him. Suddenly a punch opened a cut over McKenna’s right eye. The referee stopped the fight and the doctor indicated the cut was too severe for McKenna to continue. Prograis again showed his class and deserves another title shot to try to reverse the majority points loss to Josh Taylor in 2019 but with Taylor holding all four belts there is quite a queue lining up to get a title chance. McKenna had lost to very close decisions to Jack Catterall and Ohara Davies but had rebounded with a good win over Jose Felix in August.
Doheny vs. Juarez
Doheny wipes out experienced Juarez in two rounds. After having Juarez under constant pressure in the first Doheny put Juarez down heavily with a left hook in the second. The Mexican climbed to his feet but was being bombarded with punches and the referee waived the fight off. The former IBF super bantam champion had scored just one win in his last four fights so needed to impress. Fifth inside the distance defeat for Juarez.
Bachkov vs. Coria
Bachkov pounds Argentinian Coria to defeat in seven rounds. The powerful Armenian raked Coria with punches with his left hooks to the body slowly sapping Coria’s resistance. Coria did well to last as long as he did but caved in under the relentless pressure in the seventh and the fight was halted. With his strong amateur achievements-he won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, three bronze medals at the World Championships as well as gold at the European Games and European Championships-he is looking to move up rapidly. Veteran Coria, 39, was knocked out in six rounds by Alberto Puello for the WBA interim belt in December 2020 which is his only other loss by KO/TKO.
Anwar vs. Qodirokhunov
Indian prospect Anwar continues his winning ways with a points victory against Uzbek Qodirokhunov. Scores 80-72 twice and 78-74. Seven points wins in his last eight fights for the 20-year-old from Calcutta. All of Qodirokhunov’s previous opponents were having their first pro fights.
McGrail vs. Ionita
McGrail’s class much too much for Ionita. McGrail dazzled the Romanian with the speed and variety off his work in the first then handed out a beating to Ionita in the second with Lopez not coming out for the third round. Second KO/TKO win for the Liverpool southpaw. Ten losses in a row for Ionita.
Leeds, England: Super Bantam: Jack Bateson (16-0) W TKO 3 Stefan Nicolae (3-31-2)
Just some paid sparring for Bateson. He punished the limited Nicolae with right leads and thudding body punches bin the first and put him down with a body shot at the end of the second. Nicolae took two more counts in the third and was taking a beating when the fight was mercifully stopped. Only the fourth inside the distance victory for the local fighter who is English champion. Poor Romanian Nicolae is 0-13-2 in his last 15 bouts.
Kyoto, Japan: Light Fly: Kenshiro Teraji (19-1) W TKO 3 Masamichi Yabuki (13-4).
Teraji revenges his only loss and regains the WBC title with third round stoppage of Yabuki. Teraji was letting his hands go from the beginning. He was coming forward stabbing out jabs firing straight right and left hooks to the body. Yabuki was on the back foot the whole round throwing lots of jabs but not using his right until thee traded punches just before the bell. Teraji was steaming forward again on the second. connecting with straight rights and hurtful hooks to the body with Yabuki again on the retreat and being outscored. Teraji scored with a series of rights at the start of the third. He then drove Yabuki back and connected with a heavy right hook that dropped Yabuki. He made it to his feet at eight but looked unsteady and the fight was stopped. Teraji, 29, had lost the title to Yabuki on a tenth round stoppage in September.
London, England: Welter: David Avanesyan (29-3-1) W TKO 1 Oskari Metz (15-1). Middle: Hamzah Sheeraz (15-0) W KO 2 Jez Smith (13-5-1). Light: Mark Chamberlain 10-0) W RTD 5 Jeff Otori (11-4-1).
Avanesyan vs. Metz
Avanesyan blows away overmatched Metz in the first round.
Metz came out firing punches taking the fight to Avanesyan but when Avanesyan began to score with shots to the body Metz was quickly backing up. Metz tried switching guards but that was like throwing a cup of water on a volcano as Avanesyan walked through Metz’s punches before staggering him and sending him tumbling along the ropes and down. Metz was up at eight but reeling and clutching Avanesyan. The fight should have been stopped but instead the referee gave Metz a standing count but at least had the sense to count the full ten. Fifth defence of the European title for Avanesyan and fifth inside the distance win in those defence. Although unbeaten Metz was a poor challenger and it was a poor match.
Sheeraz vs. Smith
Sheeraz wins the vacant WBC International title as he blasts out Smith in two rounds. A left hook from Sheeraz floored Smith in the first round. He survived to the bell but a savage combination put him down early in the second and he was counted out. Nine consecutive inside the distance wins for Sheeraz.
Chamberlain vs. Otori
Chamberlain remains unbeaten as in his first scheduled ten round fight he beats Otori on a fifth round retirement for his seventh quick victory. Otori falls to 1-3-1 in a run of tough contests
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Alexis Rocha (19-1) W KO 9 Blair Cobbs (15-1-1). Light Heavy: Bektemir Melikuziev (9-1) W KO 2 David Zegarra (34-8). Welter: Michael McKinson (22-0) W PTS 10 Alex Martin (17-4).
Rocha vs. Cobbs
Rocha batters a tricky Cobbs to defeat in nine rounds. In a fast-paced start both fighters had good moments with Cobbs letting fly with bursts of punches and Rocha throwing less but with more accuracy. Cobbs was ca tricky opponent but Rocha was getting in close and scoring with hooks and uppercuts and he landed some useful shots in the second with Cobbs countering well in the third. The pace remained hot as they traded punches through the fourth and fifth with Rocha going to the body to slow Cobbs and Cobbs switching to southpaw. Rocha’s pressure began to tell and he began to jolt and jar Cobbs with Cobbs punch output dropping off as he focused on stemming Rocha’s attacks. Cobbs did better in the seventh rocking Rocha with a left. Rocha closed Cobbs down in the eight driving him to the ropes and dropping him with a right hook. Cobbs was up at six but was staggering under heavy attacks from Rocha and was pinned in a corner under fire with the referee poised to step in as the bell went. Rocha ended it in the ninth. He sent Cobbs staggering to the ropes with a right hook and then exploded with a volley of savage shots until the referee jumped in to save Cobbs. Third win over good level opposition for Rocha since losing a close verdict against Rashidi Ellis in October 2020. Cobbs was coming off a stoppage win over Brad Solomon in June.
Melikuziev vs. Zegarra
After a studied start that had the crowd restless Melikuziev gave them what they wanted as he connected with a wicked left hook to the body that put Zegarra down for the count in the second. The Uzbek southpaw gets his second win since a shock kayo loss to Gabriel Rosado in June last year. Five consecutive losses for Peruvian Zegarra four of them by KO/TKO.
McKinson vs. Martin
A double disappointment here for McKinson. He was to have faced Vergil Ortiz in a huge fight for the Portsmouth boxer but then Ortiz had to withdraw. Instead McKinson ended up facing a replacement for a replacement in a poor fight. There was not a great deal of action over the first three rounds which McKinson won but the crowd were already baying for more action. Martin never really got into the fight but even the rounds McKinson was winning easily were low action affairs and he had to settle for a unanimous decision instead of a high profile fight against Ortiz. Scores 99-91,98-92 and 97-93 for McKinson. Not the fight or the performance McKinson would have wanted on his first appearance in an American ring. Ortiz is No 1 with both the WBC and WBO so now McKinson will need to seek another top match to move towards a title shot. Martin was coming off wins over a couple of reasonable level opponents in 21-0 Luis Hernandez and 23-4-3 Josec Ruiz but came into this one as a very short notice replacement for Jose Perez who was far too heavy to be accepted as a replacement for Ortiz.
New York, NY, USA: Super Middle: Edgar Berlanga (19-0) W PTS 10 Steve Rolls (21-1). Super Light: John Bauza (17-0) W PTS 8 Tony Luis (29-5). Super Welter: Xander Zayas (13-0) W PTS 8 Quincy LaVallais (12-3-1). Super Feather: Henry Lebron (15-0) W TKO 7 Josec Ruiz (23-6-3). Super Feather: Bruce Carrington (3-0) W KO 5 Yeuri Andujar (5-5-1).
Berlanga vs. Rolls
Berlanga gets the unanimous decision over Rolls but shows he still has a lot to learn. Not much action in the first round as Rolls boxed on the retreat firing the occasional jab and Berlanga stalked him only letting a couple of rights go just before the bell with those few jabs enough to give Rolls the round. The second was more of the same with Rolls super cautious and Berlanga unable to cut the ring off and not throwing much. The crowd were expecting the usual fireworks from Berlanga and were getting restive. The third and fourth were low action rounds. Berlanga used his jab and scored with a couple of body shots and a right counter but Rolls was in permanent reverse gear looking to steal rounds with an occasional punch. The fifth was a frustrating round for Berlanga. He just followed Rolls around the ring with Rolls snapping out jabs and then trying Berlanga up inside and for me Rolls was 3-2 up in rounds. Berlanga just did enough with his jab and some hooks to take the sixth but there was no fire in the fight. The seventh was a good round for Rolls. He was consistently spearing Berlanga with jabs and then following in with straight rights with Berlanga hardly landing a punch. Berlanga briefly tried switching to southpaw to no effect. Berlanga took the eighth but it was close. Rolls was still sticking out his jab and firing rights but Berlanga was taking an extra step forward enabling him to score with hooks and he connected with a right to the head late in the round. Berlanga chased Rolls down hard in the ninth and landed well to the body to just have the edge and then produced a stronger finish in the tenth. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Berlanga. I thought the 96-94 was about right but would not have argued if it had been scored a draw. Berlanga gets his third consecutive points victory and wins the WBO NABO belt but it was an uninspired performance. The blood and thunder of his 16 consecutive first round wins is what people still expect. It is good for his development to go ten rounds with a tricky opponent but he has to be careful not to lose the raging fire he had as this fight showed he is not a great tactical fighter and he failed to put Rolls under enough pressure. It was a fight based on “negative” tactics from Rolls but he was there to win and for me he nearly succeeded.
Bauza vs. Luis
Puerto-Rican born southpaw Bauza gets his second good win in a row as he decisions seasoned veteran Luis. Bauza was able to score with some crisp southpaw rights over the early rounds of what was a bed tempered bout at times. Luis tired to put Bauza under lots of pressure but Bauza boxed smartly and built a solid lead before boxing his way pat Luis over the closing rounds. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 for Bauza. A composed, cool display by Bauza, a former US Youth champion, who had stopped 19-0 Michael Williams in four rounds in December. Canadian Luis, a former WBA interim title challenger, had won ten in a row before losing on points to 23-0 Arnold Barboza in his last fight in August 2020.
Zayas W LaVallais
Zayas again showcases his outstanding talent. He won every round but LaVallais showed true grit in going the distance. It looked to be a quick night as Zayas hammered LaVallais for the whole of the second round. It was one-sided enough for two judges to score it a 10-8 round but LaVallais took the hammering and survived. He became a bit more competitive without ever coming close to winning a round and although rocked a couple more times he took Zayas the full eight rounds. Valuable experience for Zayas as he was going eight rounds for the first time. LaVallais did his job well and keeps his record free of any inside the distance loss.
Lebron vs. Ruiz
Puerto Rican southpaw Lebron outboxed and outscored Ruiz before stopping him the seventh round. The speed and power of Lebron’s punching saw him winning every round. By the end of the fifth despite the one-sided nature of the fight it looked likely that Ruiz would maintain his claim of never losing inside the distance. That looked less likely after Lebron scored heavily late in the sixth. When Lebron continued to get through punishing shots in the seventh the referee stopped the fight despite strong protests from Ruiz Lebron breaks a run of three points wins to collect his tenth inside the distance victory.
Carrington vs. Andujar
Carrington brutalises Andujar before finishing their fight with a booming kayo in the fifth. Carrington was scoring heavily from the first round nailing Andujar with straight rights and uppercuts. Andujar was cut over his right eye in the third but survived a doctor’s inspection. There was more punishment for Andujar in the fourth before the dramatic ending in the fifth. Carrington stepped inside with a right to the head and then followed that with a devastating left hook that put Andujar down and out on his back. Second KO/TKO win for the 24-year-old from Brooklyn. Dominican Andujar falls to 0-3-1 in his most recent action with this his third loss by KO/TKO in that run.
Brisbane, Australia: Light: Billy Dib (48-6,2ND) W DISQ 6 Jacob Ng (15-1). Feather: Vegas Larfield (5-0) W PTS 10 Luke Martin (1-5). Welter: Blake Minto (14-2-2) W PTS Justin Frost (12-2-1).
Ng is disqualified after lifting Dib off the floor in the fifth and body slamming him to the canvas on his back with Dib unable to continue. Ng had a 4” edge in height and being the bigger man was using his strength to force Dib back. He was driving Dib to the ropes and scoring with some wicked body shots. Dib showed his experience and was able to duck under some of Ng’s shots. During a period in the fourth round whilst with his back against the ropes Dib ducked, bobbed and weaved around Ng’s punches and then forced Ng back with a series of hooks. Dib had a good fifth getting past Ng’s reach and working to the body with a frustrated Ng not able to use his physical advantages. Early in the fifth as Dib moved in Ng, with his head under Dib’s arm, lifted dib off his feet and body slammed him to the canvas. The referee stopped the fight and once it was clear that Dib could not continue Ng was disqualified. Dib wins the IBF International and WBO Oriental titles. Ng was rated No 5 by the WBO and No 9 with the IBF so at 36 Dib sees good reason to keep fighting. A ridiculous moment of madness from Ng and it cost him his rating spots.
Larfield vs. Martin
The Australian National Boxing Federation are determined to keep their national titles moving which is why two such inexperienced boxers were contesting the featherweight title. Larfield, 19, was just too good for Martin and won a wide unanimous verdict on scores of 99-90 twice and 98-91. Larfield had won his other four fights inside the distance taking eight rounds to do that so he more than doubled his previous ring time in this fight. Martin’s losses have all come on points.
Minto vs. Frost
Minto wins the vacant IBF Asia Oceania belt with split decision over Frost. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Minto and 96-94 for Frost. Only one loss in his last ten fights for Minto. Frost had won the Australian title and this same IBF title previously but a year out of the ring cost him both titles.
Berlin, Germany: Super Welter: Abass Baraou (12-1) W TKO 6 Brian Chaves (14-12). Cruiser: Kai Robin Havnaa (17-0) W TKO 2 Ervin Dzinic (10-4). Heavy: Mourad Aliev (2-0) W TKO 2 Milos Veletic (2-1). Light: Murat Yildirim (1-0) W TKO 5 Sandro Hernandez (15-22-3).
Baraou vs. Chaves
Baraou has too much class and power for southpaw Chaves. He was on target early dominating the first two rounds before flooring Chaves in the third. Chaves survived but was bombarded by accurate shots in the fourth and fifth with Baraou ending it in the sixth putting Chaves on the floor with a body shot with the fight being stopped. Third win for Baraou since losing a split decision to Jack Culcay in August 2020. Fifth defeat by KO/TKO for Chaves.
Havnaa vs. Dzinic
Havnaa shakes off some dust with second round stoppage of overmatched Bosnian Dzinic. First fight for the 33-year-old Norwegian since November 2019. Fourteenth inside the distance victory but to date Havnaa’s opposition has been modest at best so he will have to move up soon.
Aliev vs. Veletic
The 6’7” Aliev towered over the overweight Veletic. He was able to land jabs at distance and Veletic dropped to his knees from a head shot at the end of the first. Veletic went down under a series of straight punches in the second with Aliev’s last punch landing when Veletic had both knees on the floor. He got up but the referee waived the fight over. The 26-year-old Russian-born Frenchman Aliev, a European Championships silver medallist, beat Frazer Clarke in the European Olympic Qualifying Tournament but was disqualified for butts when he fought Clarke in Tokyo.
Yildirim, another former top level amateur, turned pro with a fifth round stoppage of Venezuelan Sandro Hernandez. Yildirim had Hernandez on the canvas in the fourth and again in the fifth with the fight being halted.
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: Super Light: Jose Zepeda (36-2,2ND) W TKO 3 Francisco Perez (18-13-1). Super Light: Pedro Campa (34-1-1) W TKO 3 Carlos Sanchez (22-0). Super Bantam: Israel Rodriguez (24-5) W TKO 4 Jesus Riegos (15-1).
Zepeda vs. Perez
Easy night for Zepeda. He stalked Perez through the first round connecting with straight lefts to head and body with Perez just in survival mode from the start. Zepeda got the job done early in the second. He drove Perez along the ropes with a series of rights and Perez fell to his knees. He arose but went down twice more and the fight was stopped. Zepeda hardly broke a sweat. He is No 2 with the WBC behind Jose Ramirez who took a majority decision over Zepeda in a WBC title defence back in 2019. Perez no threat.
Campa vs. Sanchez
Good first round from Sanchez as he boxed on the back foot reddening Campa's face with jabs and putting together some combinations. Campa upped his pace in the second and put Sanchez on his back on the canvas with a perfect left hook. Sanchez was up at five and the bell came quickly. Before any trading had taken place in the third Sanchez turned away from the action holding his right arm. The fight was stopped and after a doctor’s examination Sanchez was unable to continue. The feeling was he might have injured the arm when he was knocked down in the second.
Rodriguez vs. Rivas
Rodriguez continues his fine form with stoppage of previously unbeaten Riegos. For the first three rounds Riegos marched forward but too often left himself open to counters as Rodriguez pocketed the first those rounds. Riegos was still coming forward in the fourth when Rodriguez nailed him with a right to the head. Suddenly Riegos came apart and Rodriguez drove him to the ropes and pounded him with punches until the referee came in and stopped the fight. Nine wins in a row, eight of them by KO/TKO for Rodriguez.
Cinisello balsam, Italy: Welter: Nicolas Esposito (16-0) W PTS 10 Tobia Giuseppe Loriga (33-10-3). Super Middle: Giovanni De Carolis (30-10-1) W RTD 1 Giorgi Abramishvili (14-20-1).
Esposito vs. Loriga
Esposito retains the Italian title with a unanimous decision over veteran warrior Loriga. Giving away a little in height and reach Esposito worked well inside over the first three rounds. Loriga comes back strongly to take the fourth. Esposito was cut in the fifth and Loriga kept coming forward exerting pressure with Esposito boxing cleverly over the sixth. Loriga just kept marching forward to edge the seventh but Esposito was in charge over the closing rounds and a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Esposito who was making the second defence of the title. Loriga, 45, a former Italian champion, is 4-4-2 in national title fights.
De Carolis vs. Abramishvili
De Carolis overwhelms poor Georgian Abramishvili. De Carolis handed out some punishment in the first bringing blood from the Georgian’s nose and Abramishvili did not come out for the second round. A waste of time and not much effort from the former holder of the WBA secondary title.
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Bantam: Alexander Mejia (18-2) W TEC DEC 9 Freddy Lainez (14-3).
Mejia retains the Nicaraguan title with a technical decision over Lainez. It was Lainez who took the first two rounds before “Popeye” Mejia found his rhythm and landed some heavy body punches to even things up. Mejia moved ahead after the half way point but things changed in the eighth when Mejia was cut over his right eye as heads bumped together. Lainez was heartened by that and scored well over the rest of that round and was winning the ninth when the fight was stopped due the severity of the cut and it went to the scorecards with Mejia in front 87-84 twice and 86-85. Mejia had been fading badly and might have struggled to make it through the tenth. Mejia has won 10 of his last 11 outings. Lainez was turning his record around with five victories in a row
Lagos, Nigeria: Feather: Rilwan Lawal (15-0) W TKO 4 Emmanuel Quartey (24-4). Light Heavy: Godday Appah (10-1) W TKO 3 Kabiru Towolawi (17-5). Cruiser: Tony Salam (16-3) W RTD 4 Hussein Itaba (10-6-3). Super Welter: Taiwo Olowu (13-1) W TKO 3 Justice Addy (16-12-1).
Lawal vs. Quartey
Despite giving away height and reach Lawal punches too hard for Ghanaian Quartey and stops him in the fourth round for his eleventh victory by KO/TKO and his ninth inside the distance win in a row. He wins the vacant ABU belt. Quartey had won 10 of his last 11 bouts.
Appah vs. Towolawi
Appah stops ancient Towolawi in three rounds in an all-Nigerian contest to pick up the vacant ABU belt. Seventh victory on the bounce for Appah. Towolawi, 41, had won his last three fights.
Salam vs. Itaba
Southpaw Salam collects the vacant ABU title as he halts Tanzanian Itaba who retires after the fourth round. No youth titles here as Salam is 38 and Itaba 37.
Olowu vs. Addy
Nigerian champion Olowu stops Ghanaian Addy in three rounds. After an exchange of punches in the third Addy staggered away from the exchange clearly shaken and out of the fight which the referee then stopped.
Panama City, Panama: Super Fly: Keiver Fernandez (25-1-1) W PTS 10 Pablo Macario (7-3).
Fernandez keeps his WBA Fedelatin title as he decisions Guatemalan Macario. Fernandez had height and reach over Macario and he used those edges well. Macario piled forward and did some good work when he managed to get inside but for most of the fight Fernandez dominated with his jab and accurate counters. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 for Venezuelan Fernandez the WBA No 5. Macario is the WBC Youth champion.
Melbourne, Australia: Middle: Sam Soliman (48-16-1,2ND) W PTS 8 Jesse White (6-3).
Age no barrier to Soliman as the 48-year-old former IBF champion repeats a December victory with a unanimous decision over White. This won Soliman the Victoria State belt a long way down from an IBF title but a title and a win nevertheless.
Hamilton, Canada: Middle: Brandon Brewer (25-1-2) DREW Antonio Napolitano (5-0-1). Cruiser: Ryan Rozicki (14-1) W TKO 2 German Garcia (7-4).
Brewer vs. Napolitano
Disappointing fight for Brewer as he is held to split draw by novice Napolitano. This was originally advertised as ten rounds for the vacant WBC USNBC belt but they both came in at 173lbs and it was over eight rounds. Scores 77-75 Brewer, 77-75 Napolitano and 76-76.
Rozicki vs. Garcia
Rozicki return with a win as he stops Mexican Garcia in two rounds. First fight for Rozicki since losing on points against Oscar Rivas for the vacant WBC Bridgerweight title in October.
Corbiel, France: Hassan Amzile (4-0) W PTS 10 Abderrazak Houya (14-4). Middle: Moughit El Moutaouakil (17-2-1) W PTS 10 Franck Zimmer (11-3).
Amzile vs. Houya
Former top amateur Amzile wins the vacant French title as he outpoints Houya on scores of 98-92 on the three judge’s cards. Amzile was French amateur champion boxed in the WSB and competed at the 2016 Olympics before turning pro at the age of thirty. Houya climbed off the floor twice to go the distance with Jack Catterall in November 2020.
El Moutaouakil vs. Zimmer
Fighting in his home town El Moutaouakil retains the national title with unanimous verdict over Zimmer. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92. First defence for El Moutaouakil. Zimmer had won his last seven contests.
Stezyca, Poland: Heavy: Kacper Meyna (8-1) W KO 1 Jacek Platek (11-2).
Meyna massacres Platek. Meyna, 22, floored Platek with a left hook early in the opener and then put Platek down five more times to win the Polish title. Fourth KO/TKO victory for Meyna. For Platek, 48, second time in a row he has failed to make it past the first round having been knocked out by Viktor Vykhryst in just over two minutes in May last year.
Oldham, England: Super Middle: Mark Heffron (27-2-1) W TKO 3 Tomas Bezvoda (12-19).
Heffron continues his rebuilding as he halts Czech Bezvoda in three rounds and moves to 21 inside the distance finishes. The aim is to get a shot at the British title.
Luis Guillon, Argentina: Fly: Tamara Demarco (10-4) W TEC DEC 9 Debora Anahi Lopez (20-1-1).
Demarco wins the vacant WBO Female title with technical decision over Lopez. Demarco attacked hard from the first hustling the classier Lopez out of her stride in a poor, untidy fight that saw Demarco deducted a point in the fifth. A clash of heads in the ninth opened a bad cut over Lopez’s left eye and with Lopez unable to continue the decision went to the cards WITH Demarco winning a split decision on scores of 87-84 twice for Demarco and 86-84 for Lopez. Demarco is a former IBF light flyweight title holder. Lopez had won this title back in 2020 but had not defended it so was stripped of the title.
Fight of the week (Significance): Hopefully Sunny Edwards win over Muhammad Waseem might lead to a unification fight at flyweight
Fight of the week (Entertainment): The contrast in styles between Alexis Roach and Blair Cobbs resulted in a fast-paced contest with a satisfying ending
Fighter of the week: Kenshiro Teraji for his crushing win over former conqueror Masamichi Yabuki
Punch of the week: The right from Teraji that put Yabuki down was special but the dramatic left hook kayo of Yeuri Andrade by Bruce Carrington was even better
Upset of the week: Everything went pretty much in line with expectations.
Prospect watch: The 6’7” former Olympic and World Champion Bakhodir Jalolov 10-0 10 wins by KO/TKO looks dangerous
Rosette: David Avanesyan who just keeps on getting better. Five European title defences and five wins inside the distance.
Red Card: Jacob Ng who was disqualified for hoisting Billy Dib up and body slamming him to the canvas. A stupid way to lose a fight
-We will have to come up with a new definition for an amateur. The line is so blurred. Estelle Mosley is a professional but is now targeting the World Championships. With the competitions such the WSB and the AIBA pro tournament it is difficult to know who is a true amateur. You could simply say anyone who does not get paid to fight is an amateur but for the top level “amateurs” today through the financial aid packages they get that blurs that line. If nothing else there should be some form of age or experience criteria as to whether a fighter can switch back and forth.
-Watching Kenshiro Teraji vs. Masamichi Yabuki was a great argument for judges wearing ear muffs. Every punch Teraji threw let alone landed was greeted with loud cheers and applause and when Yabuki connected there was silence. The contrast was so marked that it could affect a judges view of the fight
-Watching Sunny Edwards slipping and sliding away from Muhammad Waseem’s punches was impressive but I can’t help but wondering how his style would have been received at the Arena Coliseo in Mexico City. I went there one night to see a show with Marcos Villasana in the main bout. Villasana trapped his opponent on the ropes. They traded hard punches with Villasana scoring heavily. His opponent slid away along the ropes and the crowd were booing. When I asked why I was told at the Arena Coliseo you are expected to stay there and punch no matter how much punishment you are taking. Corazon mi amigo!
They say love finds away and it must be true when you have 6’7 Tony Yoka married to 5’6” Estelle Yoka Mossely
By Eric Armit
- Leigh Wood climbs off the floor and comes from behind on points to stop Michael Conlan in the last round of his defence of his secondary WBA featherweight title
-Unbeaten fighters Gabriel Maestre and Taras Shelestyuk fight to a draw in WBA welterweight eliminator
-Former champions Jezreel Corrales and Anselmo Moreno win in Panama
-Jon Miguez wins vacant European Union welterweight title with points victory over Aitor Nieto
-Marc Leach outpoints unbeaten Chris Bourke to win the vacant British super bantamweight title
-Charly Suarez and Carl Jammes Martin maintain their 100% records with wins in Manila
-Gary Cully KO’s former IBF title holder Miguel Vazquez
World Title/Major Shows
Nottingham, England: Feather: Leigh Wood (26-2) W TKO 12 Michael Conlan (16-1). Light: Gary Cully (14-0) W KO 5 Miguel Vazquez (44-10). Light: Terri Harper (12-1-1) W PTS 10 Abellaneda (13-5-1). Middle: Caolmhin Agyarko (11-0) W PTS 10 Juan Rubio (18-1).
Wood vs. Conlan
Wood comes off the floor and behind on points to score dramatic last round victory
Wood was taking the fight to Conlan who was on the back foot with his left hand resting on his thigh and shooting jabs upwards and looking to counter. After one minute Conlan switched to southpaw. Wood landed some good body punches but over the last minute Conlan landed some sharp single shots before nailing Wood with a long left which put Wood down on his back. He was up at three and as the bell had gone during the count when the eight was reached Wood went back to his corner.
Score: 10-8 Conlan
Conlan attacked fiercely in the second staggering Wood again with a left and Wood was just looking to clinch as Conlan pounded him with hooks. Conlan continued to blaze away with hooks and Wood was looking to buy time and it worked as he was the one throwing punches at the end of the round
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 20-17
This was a close round. Wood was coming forward with Conlan on the back foot sliding jabs through Wood’s guard. When Wood did get inside he was firing bunches of hooks but was knocked sideways by a right hook late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 30-26
A round for Wood. He hustled Conlan driving him to the ropes and pounding away with body punches. He was getting past Conlan’s jab now and putting Conlan under steady pressure. Conlan ended the round with a right to the head that again shook Wood.
Score: 10-9 Wood Conlan 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Leszek Jankowiak 40-35 Conlan, Judge Guillermo Perez-Pineda 39-36 Conlan, Judge Bob Williams 39-36 Conlan.
Conlan was becoming over reliant on long swiping lefts and did better when he settled and used his right jab finding gaps. Wood was more effective with hooks inside and it was a close round with the cleaner work from Conlan giving him a slight edge.
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 49-45
Conlan outboxed Wood in this round. He was getting through with long lefts to the body and bobbing and weaving around Wood’s punches and clipped Wood with a sharp right hook. When Wood managed to take the fight inside Conlan was doing most of the scoring with hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 59-54
For most of the three minutes this was an untidy low scoring round. Wood worked steadily being more accurate than Conlan. Over the final thirty seconds they both left fly with hooks and uppercuts with Wood just connecting enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Wood Conlan 68-64
Wood’s best round so far. He was driving forward pumping out punches with Conlan unable to stop Wood getting inside where he was landing thumping hooks to the body. Conlan’s output dropped and with the exception of a hard right hook he was wild when he did throw punches.
Score: 10-9 Wood Conlan 77-74
Official Scores: Judge Leszek Jankowiak 78-73 Conlan, Judge Guillermo Perez-Pineda 77-74 Conlan, Judge Bob Williams 77-74 Conlan.
Conlan boxed on the retreat make good use of his jab. That and some good defensive work made the difference. Wood continued to come forward but found Conlan an elusive target and had little success
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 87-83
Big round for Wood. He piled forward taking Conlan to the ropes and scoring with hooks and uppercuts. Conlan had some success with hooks in the middle of the round but for the last minute he was often pinned to the ropes as Wood unloaded on him.
Score: 10-9 Wood Conlan 96-93
Conlan boxed well early in this round. He was getting through with right jabs and landing heavy lefts to the body with Wood not able to exert enough pressure. Finally they just stood and traded punches. With less than ten seconds remaining in the round Wood broke through with a left hook that staggered Conlan and then landed another left hook that swept Conlan’s feet from under him and sent Conlan down on his knees. Conlan jumped up claiming he had slipped on water on the ring surface but it looked a genuine knockdown. After the count as the round was already over Conlan went back to his corner with his team protesting violently that it had not been a knockdown.
Score: 10-8 Wood Conlan 104-103
Wood was taking the fight to Conlan looking to capitalise on that knockdown. He drove Conlan to the ropes connecting with a series of hooks and uppercuts. Suddenly after a right from Wood Conlan sagged, dropped both arms and collapsed at the knees going backwards out of the ring through the ropes off the ring apron and down to the stadium floor with the referee immediately waiving the fight over.
Official Scores after eleven rounds: Official Scores: Judge Leszek Jankowiak 105-102 Conlan, Judge Guillermo Perez-Pineda 104-103 Conlan, And Judge Bob Williams 104-103 Conlan.
Wood retains the secondary WBBA title with a dramatic last round win that will move him to a much higher profile. At 33 he is a late bloomer but this was a deserved win as he overcame that shock first round knockdown, never stopped taking the fight to Conlan and outlasted the younger man in dramatic fashion. Conlan was taken to hospital but messaged that he was fine. Conlan already has a profile that can get him another title shot and he wants a return with Wood but Wood may have other plans to capitalise on this dramatic win.
Cully vs. Vazquez
Cully gets a career best win as he knocks out Vazquez in the fifth round. The 6’2” Irish southpaw was just too big and too strong for Vazquez. After an even first round Cully began to find then target with his long lefts and opened a cut over Vazquez’s left eye in the second. Vazquez was down in the third but it was not a heavy knockdown and he continued but just found Cully’s height and reach too much to combat. Cully ended it in style in the fifth shaking Vazquez with a left hook and then putting him down for the count with a flashing combination. Eighth victory by KO/TKO for the 26-year-old Cully. This is only the third time that former IBF lightweight champion Vazquez has been stopped.
Harper vs. Abellaneda
Harper returns with a win as she outboxes Abellaneda. Harper boxed skilfully on the back foot spearing the Argentinian with jabs and slotting home straight rights. She used good foot work and plenty of upper body movement to avoid Abellaneda’s attacks and controlled the action over the first two rounds . From the third she stood and traded more getting the better of the exchanges. Harper switched to southpaw over the ninth and tenth and landed some strong lefts but to her credit Abellaneda never stopped walking forward and Harper had to work hard. Scores 99-91 for Harper from the three judges. Former WBC and IBO Female title holder Harper was having her first fight since losing her titles to Alycia Baumgardner in November. She won the vacant WBA Female Inter-Continental title here. Argentinian champion Abellaneda was 7-0-1 in her last eight fights.
Agyarko vs. Rubio
Agyarko goes ten rounds for the first time as he outpoints durable but limited Rubio. Agyarko took a round to sort out Rubio’s southpaw style but then shook Rubio with a right in the second and again in the fourth. Rubio did not roll over and although losing the rounds he stayed competitive. Agyarko broke though heavily again with rights in the eighth but Rubio took the shots and never looked to be in any serious trouble but not really posing a threat to 25-year-old Agyarko who won on scores of 100-90 twice and 98-92 in defending his WBA International belt. He is a former Irish amateur champion and competed in the WSB. He is showing good progress. Rubio’s record has been put together against very modest opposition and in his last fight in August was stopped in three rounds by Charles Conwell.
Montreal, Canada: Welter: Gabriel Maestre (4-0-1) DREW 10 Taras Shelestyuk (19-0-1). Light Fly: Kim Clavel (15-0) W RTD 4 Mariela Valverde (11-7). Super Light: Mathieu Germain (20-2-1) W TKO 8 Erick Inzunza (8-3).
Maestre vs. Shelestyuk
Maestre and Shelestyuk fight to a split draw in a WBA eliminator. Venezuelan Maestre was the aggressor from the start coming forward firing hooks with Ukrainian southpaw Shelestyuk choosing to box on the back foot and counter. Maestre looked to have swept the first three rounds with his aggression but Shelestyuk took a more positive approach in the fourth finding the target with straight lefts. Shelestyuk grew in confidence jabbing well and outscoring Maestre inside in the fifth and sixth to move in front. Maestre swung things his way over the seventh and eighth with some solid body work and it was hard to separate them over the last two rounds as both fought hard to clinch the verdict. Scores 96-94 Maestre, 97-93 Shelestyuk and 95-95. A draw suits neither fighter and although this was an eliminator with Maestre No 6 and Shelestyuk No 10 in the WBA ratings there is already a queue awaiting the outcome of the Errol Spence vs. Yordenis Ugas unification bout so whoever won this fight would not be looking at getting a title fight anytime soon.
Clavel vs. Valverde
Clavel outclasses Bolivian Valverde. This was an easy night for Clavel. She jabbed strongly and showered Valverde with flashing combinations. Valverde was out of her depth and shaken in every round but refused to go down before retiring after the fourth round. Clavel was making the first defence of the WBC Silver Female title and gets her fourth inside the distance win. She now hopes to go ahead and challenge WBC champion Yesenia Gomez. A good performance but none of Valverde’s eleven victims had won a fight.
Germaine vs. Inzunza
Germain returns with a win but at a cost. Germain was cut over his right eye in the second round, the first time he has been cut as an amateur or a professional. In addition he was having his first fight for ten months and late replacement Inzunza proved tougher than expected. The visitor was slow and limited but willing. Germain finally ended it in the eighth sending Inzunza down under a shower of punches. Inzunza made it to his feet but was trapped against the ropes and under fire when the referee stopped the fight. Germain had slipped from 17-0-1 to 2-2 so a welcome win but not an impressive showing. Third loss in his last four fights for Mexican Inzunza
Berlin, Germany: Middle: Vincenzo Gualtieri (19-0-1) W PTS 12 Dario Socci (14-7-2,1ND). Super Welter: Haro Matevosyan (15-0) W PTS 12 Johan Perez (27-10-2,1ND). Super Welter: Jack Culcay (30-4) W PTS 10 Khalil El Harraz (14-3-1). Heavy: Granit Shala (11-0) W PTS 10 Sine Eddine Benmakhlouf (23-7-1). Middle: Thomas Piccirillo (10-0-3) W KO 6 Leonard Carrillo (15-3). Middle: Bjoern Schicke (19-1-1) W TKO 1 Jakob Winter (5-2).
Gualtieri vs. Socci
Gualtieri makes a successful defence of his IBF Inter-Continental belt with a wide points win over Italian Socci. Gualtieri had the better skills and was busier. He outscored Socci with a selection of accurate counters to head and body and by the end was looking for a stoppage of the tiring Socci but just lacks the power. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110 for Gualtieri the European No 13. Socci had won his last two fights and he had another “win” here as he proposed to his girlfriend after the fight and was successful.
Matevosyan vs. Perez
Armenian-born German Matevosyan gave the home team another win as he comprehensively outboxed experienced Venezuelan Perez. Matevosyan took the fight to Perez throughout the contest scoring strongly to the body and outworking Perez but Perez boxed cleverly and was never in any real trouble with Matevosyan looking to have another unused gear. Scores 118-110 twice and 120-108 for southpaw Matevosyan. He is IBF No 7 due to his holding their Inter-Continental belt but a more realistic No 13 with the EBU. Perez, 38, a former holder of the WBA interim super lightweight title but is 3-5 in his most recent activity.
Culcay vs. El Harraz
Just a good workout for Culcay as he shakes the dust accumulated through eighteen months of inactivity. Culcay just had too much skill for Italian El Harraz but was made to fight hard all the way as El Harraz was more than willing to stand and trade. Much of the fight took place inside with Culcay scoring consistently and using good defensive work to blunt El Harraz’s attacks without ever looking likely to stop El Harraz. Scores 100-89 twice and 97-93 for Culcay who despite that long period of inactivity is still No 2 with the IBF and is waiting for a date for a final eliminator against No 1 Bakhram Murtazaliev
Shala vs. Benmakhlouf
Shala scores two knockdowns but has to go the distance to beat Benmakhlouf. The Algerian had been inactive in 2018, 2019 and 2021 and spent most of his career fighting at cruiserweight. He was up to 237lbs for this fight against 277lbs Shala who has been as high as 326lbs. Really Benmakhlouf was in with very little chance of winning but showed real grit to go the distance despite the knockdowns. Scores 100-89 twice and 98-91 for 25-year-old Shala.
Piccirillo vs. Carrillo
Italian-born German Piccirillo kayos Carrillo in the sixth. Piccirillo scored consistently with counters against the taller Colombian and worked well with his jab to create openings for some crisp rights. Piccirillo ended the fight in style in the sixth. He shook Carrillo with a left hook and then connected with a right to the chin to send Carrillo down and he was counted out. German champion Piccirillo, ranked No 12 by the EBU, gets his fourth victory by KO/TKO. First fight for 15 months and second successive defeat for Carrillo.
Schicke vs. Winter
Schicke ended this all-German early as just 66 seconds into the fight he put Winter down and out with a left hook. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the European No 8. Second quick defeat for Winter and the five fighters he had beaten had not won a single fight.
Panama City, Panama: Light Fly: Jessica Nery (28-2) W PTS 10 Yesica Yolanda Bopp (37-3).
Argentinian Nery ends the reign of Bopp with a split decision in a close hard-fought contest. The challenger used a focused body attack early coming forward and letting her punches fly. Bopp used good movement and landed the harder punches rocking Nery on occasion but Nery just kept coming and firing hooks to the body of the ten years older Bopp’s body. It was her constant aggression and higher output that gave Nery the edge but many rounds were close and then fight in general was close. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Nery and 97-93 for Bopp. Nery, 27, a former interim WBA title holder scored her seventh consecutive win. Bopp was unbeaten in 22 WBA title fights going back to 2009 and was also unbeaten in her reign as WBO champion before relinquishing that title. She definitely wants a return fight.
Konin, Poland: Feather: Kamil Laszczyk (29-0) W PTS 10 Ismail Gallatano (10-3-3).Super Middle: Karol Welter (10-0-1) W TKO 7 Patryk Szymanski (21-5). Super Welter: Tomasz Nowicki (11-0) W KO 2 Juan Ruiz (27-7,1ND). Welter: Lukasz Wierzbicki (21-1) W PTS 6 Edmond Zefi (9-2).
Laszczyk vs. Gallatano
In his first fight since June 2020 Laszczyk is given a tougher than expected night by Tanzanian Gallatano and had to undergo a count before winning. Laszczyk edge the first round but was shaken by a left hook. Another left knocked Laszczyk off balance in the second and he had to touch the canvas to stay upright and was given a count. He had difficulty getting through Gallatano’s guard and the visitor connected with a heavy right in the fourth. Laszczyk switched his attacks to the body from the fifth and built a small lead with a tired Gallatano letting the fight slip away. Scores 97-93, 96-94 and 96-95 for Laszczyk. The European No 9 will hope to be sharper in future fights. Gallatano was 6-0-2 in his most recent action going into this fight.
Welter vs. Szymanski
Minor upset as Welter pushes Szymanski down the road to retirement with a seventh round victory. Welter rocked Szymanski in the opening rough with a hard combination and had him bleeding heavily from the nose in the second. There was plenty of action in a close third but Szymanski was shaken again in the fourth and only just survived a painful fifth. He was floored by a body punch in the sixth and taking punishment when the fight was halted. Big win for Welter and Szymanski announced his retirement.
Nowicki vs. Ruiz
Nowicki gets second round win over Ruiz but rides his luck. After an even first round Nowicki scored with a left hook that sent Ruiz down on one knee. The local boxer then clearly landed another punch after Ruiz had his knee on the floor. Ruiz was counted out but Nowicki should have been disqualified. Fourth KO/TKO victory for Nowicki. Venezuelan Ruiz is 0-2 in consecutive fight is Poland
Wierzbicki vs. Zefi
Southpaw Wierzbicki continues his rebuild with a unanimous decision over Kosovon Zefi. A ridiculous confusion saw Wierzbicki wearing 8oz gloves and Zefi 10oz. Once that was sorted out Wierzbicki used his southpaw jab to deal with the wild attacks of Zefi to take the decision on scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55. Third win for Wierzbicki since being crushed in two rounds by Brit Louis Green. Zefi is 1-2 in his last 3 bouts.
Oviedo, Spain : Welter: Jon Miguez (16-0) W PTS 10 Aitor Nieto (25-8-1). Super Light: Luis Romero (10-5-1) W PTS 8 Jonathan Alonso (21-2).
Miguez vs. Nieto
In a fast-paced entertaining fight in Nieto’s home city Miguez wins the vacant European Union title with majority decision over Nieto. Miguez caused Nieto some problems early as he boxed southpaw taking the first round but Nieto boxed cleverly to take the next two as the action had the crowd on their feet. They battled on equal terms with first one another the other winning rounds. It was anyone’s fight after eight rounds but Miguez provided the stronger finish to earn the decision. Scores 118-111, 116-112 for Miguez and 114-114. Nieto was a big step up in quality of opposition for Miguez but he was a deserving winner. Second consecutive majority decision loss for Nieto who had been outpointed by Jordy Weiss in November.
Romero vs. Fernandez
Venezuelan Romero pulls off a shock win as he outpoints Fernandez. No scores given but a disputed outcome. Dominican-born Fernandez’s only other loss was against Alberto Puello for the interim WBA super light title and he is co-challenger for the vacant EU title. Romero, 36, had lost his last three fights.
London, England: Super Bantam: Marc Leach (18-1-1) W PTS 12 Chris Bourke (10-1).
This looked an even fight on paper but the classier skills from Leach saw him take the unanimous decision and the vacant British title in this clash of southpaws. Bourke attacked hard at the start but Leach boxed cleverly on the retreat slotting jabs home and taking the first two rounds. Bourke continued to press in the third and scored the beat punch of the fight so far with a straight left. The fourth and fifth were close but Leach’s jab was staring to cause damage to Bourke’s visage. Bourke did well in the sixth and seventh as he continued to press the fight b although Leach’s slick movement and accurate jabbing came back into play and by the end of the seventh Bourke had a swelling under his right eye and had blood trickling from his nose. Bourke got through with some heavy punches in the eighth but Leach fought back to take the ninth and tenth with Bourke more marked up and with a swelling around his left eye. Leach produced the stronger finish and was a good winner. Scores 117-111, 116-112, and 116-113 for Leach who lost his first pro fight. He is No 4 with the EBU so might turn his attention to the European title. Bourke, the European No 5, has some rebuilding to do.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Light Heavy: Albert Ramirez (12-0) W PTS 10 Facundo Galovar (13-6-2). Welter: Cristian Ayala (8-1-1) W PTS 10 Guido Schramm (13-1-1).
Ramirez v. Galovar
Venezuelan southpaw Ramirez proves too hot for local fighter Galovar. Ramirez made a fast start scoring with accurate jabs and straight rights. Galovar managed to get a foot hold in the fight in the fourth and fifth but then Ramirez again took control and had Galovar in trouble in the ninth with Galovar completing hard in the last to still be there at the bell. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for Ramirez who wins the WBA Fedelatin title. Ramirez won a silver medal at the Pam American Games and competed at the 2016 Olympics and 2015 and 2017 World Championships
Ayala vs. Schramm
Ayala wins the vacant WBO Latino title with a unanimous verdict over Schramm. Ayala controlled the fight from the centre of the ring slowly winding up the pressure on Schramm with some hard body shots. His sharp, accurate jabs had Schramm’s left eye swollen and nearly shut. Ayala was a clear winner more so than the scores indicated with the judges scoring it 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Ayala. He has won his last six fights and reversed his only loss. Schramm had put together a ten-bout winning streak.
Aberdeen, Scotland: Welter: Dean Sutherland (13-0) W PTS 10 Corey McCulloch (4-2-1).
Fighting in his home city, one of my old haunts, Sutherland scored a victory over late substitute McCullough. Sutherland led all the way. He rattled McCullough with a punch in the fourth and put him on the floor with a right in the fifth. McCullough rebounded enough to have Sutherland’s right eye affected by a swelling but Sutherland remained in control to the final bell. Referee’s score 98-90 for Sutherland who is making steady progress. Third bout in a row against an unbeaten opponent for McCullough who is 0-2-1 in those three fights.
Panama City, Panama: Light: Jezzrel Corrales (26-4) W PTS 12 Miguel Madueno (27-1). Feather: Anselmo Moreno (41-6-1) W TKO 10 Gustavo Pina (10-4-2). Super Fly: Felix Montenegro (11-9-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Leosdan Nunez (12-3). Super Welter: Johan Gonzalez (30-1) W KO 5 Elvin Ganbarov (16-1). Bantam: Liborio Solis (33-6-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Alejandro Gonzalez (10-4-2).
Corrales vs. Madueno
Corrales takes decision over previously unbeaten Madueno. Corrales was too quick and too slick for the limited Mexican but this was also a typical Corrales effort featuring his skill, lots of questionable tactics and not a lot of entertainment. Corrales was on the floor in the first but it was of the flash variety so not too badly shaken. Corrales was just too fast for Madueno but the rough stuff saw both fighters deducted a point in the third for infractions of the rules and Corrales lose another point for fouls in the eighth. Corrales dominated the action with Madueno, despite having scored 25 wins by KO/TKO, never able to apply enough pressure to threaten Corrales who took a wide unanimous decision on scores of 117-108, 116-108 and 115-109. This victory was said to make Corrales the mandatory challenger to either George Kambosos or Gervonta Davis but only the WBA know how a fight between someone rated No 7 (Corrales) and unrated Madueno qualifies as a final eliminator.
Moreno vs. Pina
No problems for Moreno as he outboxes and then stops Mexican novice Pina in the tenth round. Moreno retains the WBA Fedelatin belt. At 36 the former WBA champion is a bit long in the tooth. He is No 3 with the WBA behind Michael Conlan and Brandon Figueroa and with Conlan losing to Wood a title shot is not impossible. Pina just a modest prelim fighter.
Montenegro vs. Nunez
Panamanian Montenegro gets a majority verdict over Cuban Nunez to collect the vacant WBA Continental Americas title on scores of 98-92 and 95-94 for Montenegro and 95-95. Fifth win for Montenegro in successive fights. Only one win in his last four fights for Nunez.
Gonzalez vs. Ganbarov
Gonzalez crushes Ganbarov in five rounds. The Venezuelan has scored all thirty of his wins by KO/TKO with his only loss a split decision against Charlie Navarro in July 2019. This is only the third time he has had to go past the fourth round for a win. He collects the NABA title and will probably get a promotion from his No 8 WBA rating. Azeri Ganbarov was No 6 with the WBA thanks to winning their NABA title. He has done his fighting in Colombia and the USA.
Solis vs. Gonzalez
Veteran Solis has to get up after a knockdown in the second round and then fight hard to get a very close verdict against Mexican Gonzalez. Scores 95-94 twice and 96-93 for Solis. He was defending his WBA Fedelatin belt and is No 5 with the WBA. Former WBA super flyweight title holder Solis lost a split decision to Guillermo Rigondeaux for the vacant secondary WBA bantam title in February 2020 but at 39 poses no threat to Naoya Inoue. Gonzalez, 22, pulled off an upset when he outpointed unbeaten Scot Billy Stuart last July.
Manila, Philippines: Super Feather: Charly Suarez (10-0) W TKO 12 Tomjune Mangubat (15-3-1). Super Bantam: Carl Jammes Martin (19-0) W TKO 11 Ronnie Baldonado (15-3-1). Fly: Bienvenido Ligas (14-2-2) W PTS 12 Roland Jay Biendima (15-11). Super Bantam: Michael Dasmarinas (31-3-2) W TKO 3 Danny Tampipi (9-15-2). Feather: Jon Jon Estrada (15-8-1)W KO 4 Jess Rhey Waminal (14-5-1).
Suarez vs. Mangubat
After a slow start Suarez stops Mangubat in the last round. Over the first four rounds Mangubat was using his height and longer reach to score on the outside and looked to have taken a lead. From the fifth the superior skill and experience of Suarez put him in control. He outboxed Mangubat at distance picking his time to fire fast, accurate combinations and his defensive skills to block Mangubat’s punches. Suarez was in control and that’s how it stayed. Suarez finished the job early in the twelfth. Mangubat came forward trying to put Suarez under pressure but Suarez exploded with a huge right uppercut flooring Mangubat. When Mangubat made it to his feet Suarez drove him along the ropes landed a series of and the referee stopped the fight. The “King’s Warrior” wins the WBA Asian title. He was a top level amateur competing at the 2007, 2009 and 2011 World Champions and lost to Joe Cordina at the 2016 Olympics. At 33 he needs to move up soon. Mangubat had won his last four fights.
Martin vs. Baldonado
Martin wins but Baldonado puts a dent in the Wonder Boy’s image. Baldonado took the first round connecting with some useful rights and then floored Martin with a heavy counter right hook early in the second for Martin’s first knockdown of his career. The third and fourth were close but Baldonado seemed to have the edge. Martin won the fifth with some fierce attacks but Baldonado was back on top in the sixth and seventh with Martin looking to be struggling. Martin finally started to take control from the eighth with some heavy body punches and Baldonado faded rapidly absorbing plenty of punishment in the ninth and tenth. Baldonado could hardly stand in the eleventh as Martin teed-off on him with a series of head shots the referee stopped the fight. Martin, 22, retains the Philippines title and wins the vacant WBA Asian title. He is No 14 (12) with the IBF and has now signed up with Probellum. First fight for Baldonado under his new trained two-time world title holder Luisito Espinoza.
Ligas vs. Biendima
Ligas has much too much skill for “The Bull” Biendima. It was too easy for Ligas. Biendima lived up to his nickname boring forward trying to get inside. Ligas was able to connect with jabs and straight rights as Biendima came forward and then score with and hooks and uppercuts and back out quickly before Biendima could get off his punches. Ligas sent Biendima down with a wicked left hook to the body in the fifth but could not finish it although he continued to dominate every round. Scores 118-109 twice and 120-107 for Ligas who was defending the Philippines title. Sixth successive defeat for Biendima who showed persistence but little else.
Dasmarinas vs. Tampipi
Dasmarinas punches too hard for Tampipi. Dasmarinas was walking Tampipi down landing with cracking southpaw lefts. By the third there was heavy bruising on the right cheekbone of Tampipi. He walked away from the action to his corner and indicated he did not want to continue. Dasmarinas was knocked out in three rounds by Naoya Inoue in a challenge for the IBF and WBA bantam titles in June last year. The only loss in his last 14 bouts. Tampipi slides to 1-7 in his last 8 fights.
Estrada vs. Waminal
“Wild Man” Estrada knocks out Waminal in four rounds. Waminal was doing the boxing here with Estrada rumbling forward often head down throwing hooks. Estrada looked dangerous with ridiculously wild rights that had the whole audience ducking. It worked for him in the end as a haymaker dropped Waminal in the fourth. He beat the count and tried to punch with Estrada but a left hook put him down again and he was counted out. Fourteen of Estrada’s fifteen wins have come inside the distance. Second loss in a row by KO/TKO for Waminal.
Cardiff, Wales: Light: Craig Woodruff (12-6) W PTS 10 Ronnie Clark (21-8-2).
Woodruff gets convincing win over Scot Clark. The visitor was his usual aggressive self but Woodruff used his height and longer reach to blunt Clark’s attacks. The fight became heated at times with almost as much talk as punching and things were rough inside but Woodruff stayed focused as Clark desperately looked for a big punch to pull the fight his way and Woodruff was a good winner. Scores 100-91,99-92 and 99-91 for Woodruff who wins the vacant BBB of Celtic title and hopes to challenge for the British title later in the year. Fourth loss in a row for Clark since his highlight decision victory over Zelfa Barrett in 2018.
(99-92, 99-91, 100-91),
Woodruff 29yo Wales, 4 wins id 1 loss id, won 4 of 5
Clark 37yo SPW, 10 wins id 1 loss id, w pts Zelfa Barrett lost last 3
Philadelphia, USA: Super Feather: Christian Tapia (14-0) W PTS 10 Luis Lebron (18-3-1). Welter: Branden Pizarro (17-1-1) W KO 4 Vitor Jones (16-7,1ND).
Tapia vs. Lebron
Tapia gets unanimous decision over fellow Puerto Rican Lebron. Tapia was conceding height and reach to Lebron but continually found his way past Lebron’s jab to work inside. Lebron looked to have Tapia badly shaken in the first round but Tapia regrouped and slowly took control with a strong body attack. He built a good lead and then held off Lebron’s late attempts to swing things his way. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Tapia who collects the WBC Continental Americas belt. Tapia had won his previous eight fights by KO/TKO including victories over Mason Menard, and Iron Alvarez. Puerto Rican Lebron has tumbled from 16-0-1 to 2-3.
Pizarro vs. Jones
Pizarro handles early pressure from Brazilian Jones before scoring a fourth round kayo. Jones tried to blow Pizarro away but Pizarro boxed coolly on the back foot slowing Jones with counters. In the fourth a body punch from Pizarro sent Jones down in pain and he was unable to beat the count. Philadelphian Pizarro gets his tenth inside the distance victory. Jones has lost 5 of his last 6 fights by KO/TKO and all within four rounds.
Montpellier, France: Light: Sabri Sediri (14-2-1) W PTS 10 Sylvain Chapelle (17-31-2).
Sediri ruins the hopes of the local fans as he outpoints Chapelle to win the vacant French championship. The local fighter made a good start but over the middle rounds Sediri took control. He had Chapelle under heavy pressure over the fifth, sixth and seventh before dialling back his attacks over the last three rounds and outboxing Chapelle. No scores announced but it was unanimous decision for Sediri. Tunisian-born Sediri had lost on a one round stoppage to Jaouad Belmehdi for the vacant title in February 2021. Chapelle is now 0-6 in French title fights.
Toronto, Canada: Welter: Przemyslaw Runowski (20-2) W PTS 10 Samuel Vargas (31-8-2) W. Light Heavy: Pierre Dibombe (21-0-1) W TKO 5 Sladan Janjanin (31-10). Super Feather: Bryan Acosta (16-0,1ND) W PTS 8 Lamberto Macias (16-5-1).
Runowski vs. Vargas
Both fighters were coming off a loss so a win was a must for them. Runowski was the one who got his wish. In a tough gruelling fight which saw both fighters cut Runowski proved the stronger and floored Vargas with a left hook in the sixth on his way to victory on scores of 98-91 twice and 97-92. Runowski had won his first seventeen fights but was 2-2 in his most recent fight being floored three times in losing to Josh Kelly by a huge margin in 2019 and by a wide unanimous verdict against Michael McKinnon in August last year. Canadian-based Colombian Vargas had been knocked out by Vergil Ortiz and blasted out in 80 seconds by Conor Benn in April 2021.
Dibombe vs. Janjanin
Former undefeated European Union champion Dibombe halts Bosnian Janjanin. First pro fight outside France for Dibombe and he gets his eleventh inside the distance victory. Janjanin is a fight anyone anywhere type and he is now 0-3 in bouts in Canada with three stoppage defeats.
Acosta vs. Macias
An all-Mexican affair sees young hope Acosta box his way past more experienced Macias. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for 23-year-old Acosta.
Fight of the week (Significance): Leigh Wood’s victory over Michael Conlan adds another element to the featherweight division
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Wood vs. Conlan plenty of action and drama
Fighter of the week: Leigh Wood for his come from behind victory
Punch of the week: The left from Conlan that put Wood down in the first round was a beauty
Upset of the week: No biggies
Prospect watch: At 6’2” lightweight Gary Cully 14-0 is going to be a problem in the division
Rosette: to Wood and Conlan for a memorable fight
Red Card: No one blotted their copy book this week
-Strange how a first loss can affect a fighters confidence. It’s a bit like night and day. This week we had Venezuelan Juan Ruiz going from 21-0-0 to 6-7-0,1ND and Pole Patryk Szymanski 19-0 to 2-5
-Time catches up on all of us with the great Argentinian Yesica Bopp losing 2 of her last 3 fights after being 36-1 in her previous thirteen years as a pro. What a tremendous record going unbeaten in 21 WBA light flyweight title fights with many of those fights being unified as she was also WBO champion and five being for only the WBO title-and she is not finished yet as she wants a return with her conqueror Jessica Nery Plata. 37-years-old no problem!
- Persistence does not always win out. French veteran Sylvain Chapelle lost in a fight for the vacant French lightweight title on Saturday. That makes his score 0-6 title attempts. He must also be a leading member of the “powder puff punch” club as he has never won inside the distance in any of the 17 victories.
- It can be dangerous to take swipes at your future opponent on social media. Canadian middleweight Daniel Beaupre had been bad mouthing Derek Pomerleau who would be having his first fight against Beaupre in Montreal on Friday. When they met Beaupre rushed forward throwing punches only to run onto a punch that toppled him face down lying half way out of the ring suspended over the bottom rope. All over in just 14 seconds. Swap words or punches-don’t try to swap both
Snips and Snipes 10 March 2022
By Eric Armit
Josh Taylor’s win over Jack Catterall was certainly controversial and a great deal was made of the British Boxing Board of Control stating they would be investigating the scoring. That is overstressing the BBB of C’s decision. It is standard practice for the Board to investigate any very controversial incident be it scoring or some other matter. I scored Catterall the winner by 114-111 but many rounds were close and at times a lack of activity in some rounds meant just one or two punches were the difference. The judge’s scores were Ian John Lewis 114-111 for Taylor, Victor Laughlin 113-112 for Taylor and Howard Foster 113-112 for Catterall. Ian John Lewis is being pilloried for his score as if it was way out of line with the other judges and yet the difference between the score from Ian John Lewis and that of Victor Laughlin was the equivalent of them scoring just one round different and both Laughlin and Foster had them even after eleven rounds with Laughlin scoring the last round 10-9 for Taylor and Foster 10-9 for Catterall. Again just one round difference so Ian John Lewis was not way out of line from Laughlin and Foster so three highly qualified judges saw this as a very close fight. I disagreed with Ian John Lewis but then I also disagreed with Victor Laughlin and Howard Foster which it seems means I was right and they were wrong but when I compare their experience of scoring fights to my own than I have to be ready to admit perhaps they were right and I was wrong. Scoring in boxing is purely subjective and based on individual perception and as long as the human element is involved there will always be differing views and controversy. There are split decisions and majority decisions every week in boxing for instance on one weekend in February in Argentina one judge had Kevin Acevedo beating Javier Herrera 99-93 and another had it 95-95, in California one judge had Horacio Garcia beating Isaac Zarate 80-72 and one judge had it 76-76, best or worst of all in Russia two judges had Ivan Kozlovsky beating Zoravor Petrosian 96-94 and the third had Petrosian winning 99-91. The higher the profile of the fight the louder the roars of rage when the majority disagree with the judges scoring. I wonder how many fans actually don’t score a fight round by round. If you don’t then you are yourself judging just by “perception” over the whole span of twelve rounds and saying who you thought won which is about as subjective as it gets. Ian John Lewis, Victor Laughlin and Howard Foster are honest and very experienced judges. Even as a Scot I thought they got the scoring in this one wrong but with my 114-111 for Catterall score I was only one round different from Foster’s razor thin 113-112 for Catterall so with scores that close it would be hypocritical of me to claim Catterall was robbed. He deserves a return but that won’t happen. The WBA have already mandated Taylor to defend against Dominican Alberto Puello
Anyone who is involved in boxing or has watched boxing for any length of time will know that these controversial decisions are commonplace so it is ridiculous to see the Speaker of the House of Parliament referring the Taylor vs. Catterall result to both the Government and the police for investigation. Catterall just happened to be one of his constituents. What a totally ridiculous waste of Parliament’s time when there is a far more important business such as a war in Ukraine for the United Kingdom Parliament to deal with and it is stupid to think that the police would be better able to investigate boxing scoring that the BBB of C. Someone should report Sir Lindsay Hoyle for wasting police time.
Politician’s taking up cases of controversial scoring is not new in boxing. When James Toney outpointed Dave Tiberi in a defence of his IBF middleweight title in 1992 the scoring was 115-112 twice for Toney and 117-111 for Tiberi. The result caused uproar and a US Senator called for an investigation into boxing. Of course the decision was not changed but some of the anomalies revealed in the investigation were contributing factors towards the introduction of the Muhammad Ali Act.
Mention of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine it is having its effect on boxing. Obviously high profile boxers or ex-boxers such as Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko have been mentioned in reference to the war but it also has implications for all Ukrainian and Russian boxers. A couple of examples are Russian bantamweight Nikolai Potapov being removed by the EBU from his role as mandatory challenger to Lee McGregor and replaced by Spaniard Sebastian Perez and Anna Levina removed ex-officio as co-challenger for the vacant EBU Female light flyweight title. Travel restrictions and logistic problems also affect Ukrainians and Olek Zakhozhyi has been temporarily removed as co-challenger for the vacant EEU Heavyweight title.
There could also be implications for Russian boxers based abroad as the conflict continues. There are Russians based in both the USA and Canada and it is hard to know how the public will react to them continuing their careers there and of course both Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol could be affected. Wladimir Klitschko has insisted that Bivol’s defence of his WBA title against Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas on 7 May should not go ahead dumping a decision in the laps of the WBA and DAZN as to whether they will support the banning of Russian boxers. If the war continues then Sergey Kovalev’s proposed return to action against unbeaten Tervel Pulev in May could be in jeopardy. Some declaration of opposition to the invasion of Ukraine might appease the public. Nothing is certain except uncertainty.
The trial is beginning in Puerto Rico of five suspects in the murder of Hector “Macho” Camacho back in 2012. Camacho and a friend were sitting in car outside a bar when they were shot. Two of the men arrested were extradited from jail in Florida and two others who were implicated were killed in separate incidents some time previously.
Looks like a busy time ahead for the Charlo twins. The WBO have ordered that IBF/WBA/WBC super welter title holder Jermell’s unification match with WBO title holder Bryan Castano has to take place before 14 May and negotiations have begun for Jermall to defend his WBC middleweight title against Jaime Munguia.
Kevin Lerena will continue his heavyweight campaign by facing Bogdan Dinu in Kempton Park on 26 March. Fourteen months of inactivity has cost Lerena his world rating but a win over Dinu should get him back in the picture. On the same show Juan Rous will be defending his national heavyweight title against Josh Pretorius with the vacant ABU title also on the line.
Jordan Gill certainly sprang an upset when he came off the floor and from behind on points to kayo European featherweight champion Kamil Guerfi in the ninth round on 27 February. This was a voluntary defence for Guerfi so the EBU has already nominated Mauro Forte as his mandatory challenger with the parties in private negotiation period.
France’s Dylan Charrat (20-1-1) and Germany’s Jama Saidi (21-2) are co-challengers for the vacant EBU super welterweight title. Charrat’s promoter won the purse bidding with a figure of EU 77,797 (£65,000/ $ 85,450). It looks another excellent European title fight.
It looks like there are a couple of rematches pending. The WBA has ordered a rematch between Michel Soro and Israil Madrimov. In their eliminator in December Madrimov shook Soro badly very late in the ninth round. Neither Madrimov nor the referee heard the bell go and as Madrimov continued to unload on Soro the referee stopped the fight. Former IBF super flyweight title holder Jerwin Ancajas has said he will activate the return clause in the contract with Fernando Martinez who decisioned Ancajas last month.
Ghana always stages a boxing match to celebrate the country’s independence. This year for the 65th anniversary of independence on 6 March veteran George Ashie 33-5-1 floored unbeaten 20-1 Robert Quaye twice on the way to an eighth round kayo victory and collected the IBF Continental Africa title. In another bout Nigerian Oto Joseph beat Ghanaian Tackie Annan but Ghana’s veteran female boxer Yarkor Chavez was stopped in the first round by Zambian Lolita Muzeya.
Sad to hear of the death of Ron “The Butcher” Stander. Ron put together 1 23-1-1 record before losing in four rounds against Joe Frazier in a challenge for the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles in 1972. He went on to face all of the big names around then fighting Jeff Merritt, Rodney Bobick, Ken Norton, Gerrie Coetzee, Boone Kirkman, Scott LeDoux, Scott Frank and James Tillis finishing with a37-21-3 record. He was 77.
Some sad news from Indonesia was the reported death of lightweight Hero Tito-real name Heru Putwanto-who after being knocked out in seven rounds in a fight for the vacant Indonesian title in Jakarta on 27 February underwent brain surgery and died on 3 March at the age of 35. An experienced fighter with a 29-17-2 record Putwanto had only been beaten on KO/TKO five times previously. In 2001 the WBC became so concerned with safety standards in boxing in Indonesia that it imposed a six month ban of Indonesian boxers fighting in WBC sanctioned bouts outside the country and the Indonesian Boxing Association had tightened up their safety regulations since then.
By Eric Armit
-Josh Taylor retains the IBF,WBA,WBC and WBO super lightweight titles with controversial split decision over Jack Catterall
-Fernando Martinez ends the long reign of Jerwin Ancajas as he takes a unanimous decision to mlife Ancajas IBF super flyweight belt
-Lawrence Okolie retains the WBO cruiserweight title with points win over Pole Michal Cieslak.
-Filipino Vincent Astrolabio floors and outpoints Guillermo Rigondeaux.
-Hector Garcia decisions WBA No 1 super featherweight Chris Colbert and Gary Antuanne Russell stops former WBC super lightweight title holder champion Viktor Postol
-Jimmy Kelly scores upset win over unbeaten Kanat Islam
-In Atomweight title fights Ayaka Miyao outpoints Eri Matsuda to win the vacant IBF Female title and Nanae Suzuki decisions champion Mika Iwakawa to collect the WBO title
World Title/Major Shows
Glasgow, Scotland: Super Light: Josh Taylor (19-0) W PTS 12 Jack Catterall (26-1). Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (9-1) W TKO 3 Eric Donovan (14-2). Heavy: Nick Campbell (5-0) W TKO 7 Jay McFarlane (12-6). Cruiser: Scott Forrest (1-0) W TKO 2 Erik Nazaryan (28-26-4,2ND). Feather: Kurt Walker (1-0) W TKO 1 Jaroslav Hriadel (1-3). Welter: Paddy Donovan (8-0) W TKO 6 Miroslav Serban (13-9). Super Middle: John Docherty (11-1) W Jordan Grant (4-1).
Taylor vs. Catterall
Taylor retains the four sanctioning body belts with a very controversial split decisions that sees him on the floor for the first time as a pro.
A very cautious round with both boxers probing but not many punches thrown. Catterall rocked Taylor back on his heels early and scored to the body a couple of times and with an occasional. Taylor was searching too long for an opening in a close round. Taylor was warned for punches to the back of the head and Catterall for holding.
Score: 10-9 Catterall
Once again Catterall was throwing more punches with Taylor threatening but not committing. Catterall scored with some jabs and a hard left and although Taylor let his hands go late Catterall had pinched the round. Taylor was again warned for punches to the back of the head and Catterall twice for holding.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 20-18
A messy, untidy round with neither boxer doing much clean work. As both are southpaws by adopting a side-on approach and leaning forward Catterall was making it very hard for Taylor to land with his left and that was why some of Taylor’s lefts were swinging around behind Catterall’s head. Some quick jabs from Catterall were enough to swing the round d his way.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 30-27
Another round with very little clean action. Taylor was finally throwing a few more punches but Catterall scored with a nice combinations. Taylor pressed hard and just landed enough to have the edge but it was far from enthralling stuff.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Catterall 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Ian John-Lewis 39-37 Taylor, Judge Victor Loughlin 38-38 TIED, Judge Howard Foster 38-38 TIED
Catterall was being first to the punch and then leaping in and clinch to prevent any counters from Taylor. Catterall scored well with jabs and straight lefts. Taylor was cut under his right eye in a clash of heads and a swelling started by that eye. Catterall was doing the better work but also doing a lot of holding and tumbling in with shoulder charges.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 49-46
Catterall was on the back foot snapping out jabs and firing the occasional on target lefts with Taylor just tracking him but not throwing any volume of punches. It was becoming a lunge then hold fight with no sustained action and too many clinches with Taylor “credited” with only throwing just seven punches in the round.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 59-55
The round started with another clinch and a warning again to Catterall for holding but you have to wonder how many warnings are needed before a deduction? Taylor was just tracking Catterall again with Catterall jabbing well and landing straight lefts and then clinching again to smother Taylor inside with Taylor just not able to land cleanly. The referee warned Catterall about leading with his shoulder.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 69-64
Finally a fight broke out in the eighth round as they stood and swapped punches and two chopping lefts to the head saw Taylor drop to one knee. It was his first time he had been knocked down as a pro but he was up quickly and did not seem badly shaken. He took the fight to Catterall and had some success but Catterall scored with some useful punches before the bell.
Score: 10-8 Catterall Catterall 79-72
Official Scores: Judge Ian John-Lewis 76-75 Catterall, Judge Victor Loughlin 77-74 Catterall, Judge Howard Foster 77-74 Catterall.
Taylor finally awoke to the fact his title was in danger and threw more punches. He was making use of his right hooks and finding the target with his jab. Catterall was not as accurate or as quick with his own jab.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Catterall 88-82
Taylor continued to apply more pressure and was scoring with short hooks inside. Catterall finally pushed the referee too far and was deducted a point for holding Taylor’s head down inside. Both landed some shots at the end of the round but Taylor had done enough to take the round and with the deduction it was a 10-8 round for Taylor.
Score: 10-8 Taylor Catterall 96-92
Taylor was chasing Catterall down in the round not letting Catterall tie him up too often and doing what clear scoring there was and it was his round. After the bell as they passed each other on the way to their corners Taylor slapped Catterall on the body as he passed him. It was not by any stretch a punch but the referee deducted a point for that so a 10-9 round for Taylor became a 9-9 round.
Score: Even 9-9 Catterall 105-101
Taylor attacked with a sense of purpose that had been missing earlier in the fight and he was able to score with jabs and right hooks with Catterall just really looking to stay out of trouble presumably assuming he had a winning lead.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Catterall 114-111
Official Scores: Judge Ian John-Lewis 114-111 Taylor, Judge Victor Loughlin 113-112 Taylor, Judge Howard Foster 113-112 Catterall
Taylor retains his four belts with a controversial decision. Catterall boxed cleverly with tactics designed to nullify Taylor’s strengths and it almost worked. This was not by any means an entertaining fight with too much clinching in round after round but Taylor won’t mind that as he retains his titles. He is talking about moving up to welterweight and if he does that will start a scramble at super lightweight and lead to some big fights at welterweight. Catterall looked unlucky. As this was a mandatory WBO defence there was no return bout clause as the other three sanctioning bodies would not have stood for their leading contenders being frozen in place until the return took place. The respective styles did not mix well and this was Taylor’s least impressive fight since he moved into the top flight so he will have some work to do to find his top form again
Ramirez vs. Donovan
Perhaps his best performance to date as Cuban Ramirez outclasses Donovan. Southpaw Ramirez floored Donovan with a left in the first and kept up the pressure in the second opening a cut over Donovan’s right eye with a left hook. Ramirez continued to drive home lefts in the third forcing Donovan to the ropes and after another left shook Donovan the referee stopped the fight. The 28-year-old Ramirez is a double Olympian gold medallist scoring wins over Michael Conlan, Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Shakur Stevenson and current IBF/WBA super bantamweight title holder Murodjon Akhmadaliev in Olympic action. Donovan had over 100 amateur fights and was five-time Irish champion but has left it too late to turn pro and has had to take hard fights in an attempt to move up quickly.
Campbell vs. McFarlane
Giant Campbell wins the vacant Scottish heavyweight title with seventh round victory over McFarlane. The 6’7” Campbell looked very raw but McFarlane was carrying far too much weight and tired early. Campbell was scoring with ponderous rights but was also open to counters from McFarlane. By the sixth McFarlane was shipping some heavy rights and was on the floor in the seventh. He made it to his feet but with Campbell pounding him with punches the fight was stopped. Campbell becomes the first Scottish fighter to win the Scottish heavyweight title since George Stern beat Hugh McDonald in 1951. He is a former professional rugby player having played for a premier level team Glasgow Warriors. McFarlane weighed 200lbs when winning the Scottish Area cruiser title in 2018 but was 276lbs here.
Forrest vs. Nazaryan
Scottish hope Forrest started his pro career win a win when Belgian-based Georgian pulled out early in the second round due to an injury to his right arm. The 27-year-old South African-born Scot won a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and scored a win over Joshua Buatsi when they were both starting out as amateurs. Nazaryan has weighed as little as 140lbs but was 207lbs for this fight.
Walker vs. Hriadel
Irish southpaw Walker, 26, arrives on the pro scene with a quick win. A left hook to the body sent Czech Hriadel down and the fight was over in two minutes. Walker has outstanding amateur credentials including gold medals at the European Games and the European Union Championships and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships
Donovan vs. Serban
Southpaw Donovan was much too good for Czech Serban. Donovan’s speed and accuracy found plenty of gaps in Serban’s defence and he was cruising to victory in the sixth when the fight was stopped as a precaution due to Serban bleeding from his left ear. Donovan gets his sixth inside the distance victory. The Irish Traveller from Limerick is a former Irish Under-18 and Under-22 champion. Serban is 1-5 in his last 6 bouts but usually goes the distance.
Docherty vs. Grant
Docherty gets his second kayo victory in a week as he lands a crippling body shot that sends overmatched Grant down and out in the second. The 24-year-old southpaw is a former Commonwealth Youth gold medallist and won a bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as scoring two victories over Tokyo silver medallist Ben Whittaker.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Fly: Fernando Martinez (14-0) W PTS 12 Jerwin Ancajas (33-2-2). Super Feather: Hector Garcia (15-0,3ND) W PTS 12 Chris Colbert (16-1). Super Light: Gary Antuanne Russell (15-0) W TKO 10 Viktor Postol (31-4). Super Feather: Viktor Stavinskyi (13-0-1) W Claudio Marrero (25-5).
Martinez vs. Ancajas
Argentinian Martinez springs a major surprise as he takes wide unanimous decision over IBF champion Ancajas
Good opening round for Martinez. He had no trouble getting past the jab of Ancajas and was ripping to the body with hooks and catching Ancajas with left hooks to the head. Ancajas could not get the range right and was under pressure the whole three minutes
Score: 10-9 Martinez
A better round for Ancajas. He was connecting with solid hooks to the body and moving more making it difficult for Martinez to get inside and work. Martinez did put together a sharp combination but had lost some of his accuracy
Score: 10-9 Ancajas TIED 19-19
A great all-action round. Martinez was not using a jab at all but was bobbing under the jab of Ancajas getting inside firing hooks from both hands. Ancajas was punching with him and landing hooks to the body and it was close but Martinez just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 29-28
Ancajas change his tactics. He was standing off spearing Martinez with jabs and following with straight lefts. He was not looking to stand and trade and Martinez was finding it hard to get inside and often just eating jabs. He finished the round with a flurry of hooks but it was not enough.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas TIED 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 38-38 tied, Judge Davis Sutherland 38-38 Tied, Judge Steve Weisfeld 38-38 Tied
Three minutes of war as again Ancajas used his right jab and right cross to score as Martinez tried to move inside. With no jab of his own Martinez was having to take some punishment to get inside, Again he ended the round strongly but the earlier work of Ancajas just gave him the edge in a very close round.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 48-47
A big round for Martinez. He was relentlessly marching forward throwing hooks and uppercuts. Ancajas was forced to stand and trade and was getting the worst of the exchanges. On a couple of times Ancajas backed out of the action after absorbing a series of hooks to the head.
Score: 10-9 Martinez TIED 57-57
A hectic round. Ancajas was using his jab/right cross tactics again and scoring well. Martinez was often put on the back foot but as the round progressed he was surging forward more and more and putting together short punches inside in five and six shot bursts.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 67-66
Martinez was getting on top. He was choosing him moment to dart inside fire a salvo of hooks and uppercuts and get out too quick for Ancajas to counter and then repeating to process. By the end of the round Ancajas looked to flagging from the pace of the fight.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 77-75
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 78-74 Martinez, Judge Davis Sutherland 78-74 Martinez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 78-74 Martinez
Another round dominated by Martinez. He was snapping back Ancajas head with hooks and uppercuts and digging to the body with wicked shots. At times Ancajas fired back at other times he just soaked up the punishment as if not having the strength to match Martinez.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 87-84
Martinez rocked Ancajas with a right to the head at the start of the round and then they proceeded to try to knock lumps out of each other. Martinez was again firing clusters of punches with Ancajas standing and exchanging but Martinez was throwing more and landing more.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 97-93
This was now a survival of the fittest with both fighters just throwing hooks and uppercuts with no boxing skills on show. Ancajas was fighting hard to keep his title but he was weary and could not match the punch output of Martinez who was constantly surging forward with hooks and uppercuts and overwhelming the defence of Ancajas.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 107-102
For the final three minutes it was just a case of two magnificent dog-tired fighters head down and throwing as many punches as they could. Again Martinez threw more and landed more with Ancajas fighting hard to the last bell to try and save his title.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 117-111
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 117-111 Martinez, Judge Davis Sutherland 118-110 Martinez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 118-110 Martinez.
Great performance by Martinez as he showed extraordinary stamina to sustain the terrific pace of this fight. He brought the end to the five year rule by Ancajas as IBF champion. He had modest success as an amateur competing at the Olympic Games and Word Championships as well as the WSB and AIBI pro competitions but needed to be parachuted into the IBF ratings as he had never previously fought anyone even close to being rated. He was given the chance and took it. As Martinez was only rated No 11 there will be pressure for him to face No 1 Jade Bornea who will be looking to even the score for the Philippines. Ancajas was making the tenth defence of the IBF title but he looked flat and never made use of longer reach but too often fought the fight Martinez wanted. He will be looking to rebound.
Garcia vs. Colbert
A win for Garcia was totally unexpected but Garcia not only derailed Colbert’s plans for a title fight he outclassed Colbert and took a wide unanimous decision. Frome the start Garcia was pilling forward pumping out punches and focusing on Colbert’s body as he took the first round. Garcia continued to march forward in the second and third. Colbert scored with some heavy counters but again was outlanded and had to absorb some hefty body punches. The sheer volume of Garcia’s punches was causing serious problems for Colbert who was only effective when he could stay of the ropes and find some punching room. Things went from bad to worse for Colbert in the seventh when a left put him flat on the canvas. He made it to his feet and survived to the bell. It was more pressure from Garcia over the eighth and ninth as Colbert tried to stem the tide of punches coming his way but he was never able to stop Garcia rolling forward. Colbert needed a strong finish to have any chance but he was too often overwhelmed by the fire coming his way and Garcia was a clear winner. Scores 118-109 twice and 119-108. Dominican southpaw Garcia only took this fight at three weeks notice after WBA champion Roger Gutierrez had to pull out of his title defence against Colbert. Behind his 15 pro wins sits a time in the amateurs where Garcia had more than three hundred fights competing at the 2016 Olympics and winning a silver medal at the Pan American Games. As Colbert was No 1 with the WBA Garcia will be hoping that he now gets to face Gutierrez when the title holder recovers from the COVID-19 that forced him out of the fight with Colbert. This loss was obviously a big blow to Colbert who had scored wins over Jezzrel Corrales and Tugstsogt Nyambayar but at 25 time is on his side.
Russell vs. Postol
Russell leaves it late but stops former WBC title holder Postol with just 30 seconds left in the fight. Russell hustled and bustled in the first. Postol tried to use his longer reach and some smart footwork to stem Russell’s attacks and was warned within the first minute of the fight for holding. Postol’s jab was not strong enough to keep Russell out and Russell was able to get inside and work to Postol’s body over the first two rounds. Postol did better over the third scoring well with right hand counters. Russell upped his pace in the fourth but Postol boxed smartly on the back foot and occasionally took the fight to Russell to probably steal the fifth and make the sixth close. From there the constant aggression from Russell put him in control. He was doing a better job of cutting off the ring and landing powerful lefts to the body. Postol was still slotting home some counter rights and there was a large bump under Russell’s right eye but Postol could not keep Russell out. Russell was on target again and again with lefts to the body and Postol’s output dropped over the eighth and ninth. Russell hounded Postol in the tenth following him around the ring connecting with hooks from both hands. As they traded punches a left to the head sent Postol into retreat and Russell drove him along the ropes landing with head punches until with thirty seconds remaining in the fight the referee stopped the contest. Postol protested with some justification. He was going to lose anyway but despite being hurt he was on his feet and able to defend himself. Russell has won all of his fights by KO/TKO with former WBC title holder Postol a big step up from his previous opposition. Russell’s only rating prior to this fight was No 36 with the WBC but this win should give him a substantial boost as in his last fight in August 2020 Postol only lost on a majority decision to Jose Ramirez in a challenge for the WBC title.
Marrero vs. Stavinskyi
Marrero wins this clash of southpaw using his superior experience to outscore Ukrainian Stavinskyi. Marrero paced the fight well. He made a fast start using his longer reach, clever movement and greater hand speed and switching his attacks from head to body. Stavinskyi eventually got into the fight over the middle rounds but left himself too much to do and Marrero staged a strong finish to take the majority decision. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Marrero and 76-76. Marrero, a former IBO and interim WBA title holder is rebuilding after consecutive losses to Kid Galahad and Xavier Martinez in 2020. Marrero was a big step up in quality of opposition for Stavinskyi and he can regroup.
London, England: Cruiser: Lawrence Okolie (18-0) W PTS 12 Michal Cieslak (21-2). Feather: Jordan Gill (27-1-1) W KO 9 Karim Guerfi (30-6,1ND). Middle: Anthony Fowler (16-2) W PTS 10 Lukasz Maciec (27-4-1). Heavy: Fabio Wardley (13-0) W KO 2 Daniel Martz (20-10-1). Fly: Galal Yafai (1-0) W TKO 5 Carlos Bautista (10-5-1). Heavy: Demsey McKean 21-0) W PTS 8 Ariel Bracamonte (11-7). Light: Campbell Hatton (6-0) W TKO 6 Joe Ducker (9-9-2). Cruiser: Cheavon Clarke (1-0) W KO 2 Tony Visic (20-30-2).
Okolie vs. Cieslak
Okolie was looking to use his longer reach and shook Cieslak twice with rights in the first round but it developed into a scrappy, mauling affair. Okolie was quicker and always looked dangerous with his rights but Cieslak was tough and rough. A right to the head saw Cieslak drop to one knee in the fifth. He beat the count but was almost sent down again from another right. Okolie reach and better footwork gave him a big advantage but Cieslak proved a handful inside and rebounded to have some success in the middle rounds. Okolie continued to land heavy rights but Okolie absorbed them and kept taking the fight inside. Cieslak also tried switching guards but whatever tactics he used Okolie’s longer reach and powerful rights gave him the edge and he was ca clear if unimpressive winner. Scores 117-110, 116-110 and 115-112.
Second defence of the WBO title for Okolie. Cieslak had put in a good performance when losing on points against Ilunga Makabu for the vacant WBC title in January 2020 and had scored two creditable wins since then.
Gill vs. Guerfi
Gill wins the European title with dramatic kayo of champion Guerfi. Gill was in deep trouble at the end of the sixth and floored by a left hook in the seventh with the bell saving him. He chose to stand in a corner in the eighth which was strange tactics and saw him soak up a lot of punishment. The referee looked poised to step in a couple of time in the ninth as Gill again chose to stand in a corner and let Guerfi unload but with just seconds left a fierce right to the head saw Guerfi stumbled back and then fly backwards to the canvas with the fight immediately being stopped as there was no way Guerfi was going to get up. With only three inside the distance wins to his name this was an unexpected finish but he is now the European champion.
Fowler vs. Maciec
Fowler gets back on track with a unanimous decision over useful Pole Maciec on scores of 99-93, 99-92 and 99-91. First fight for Fowler since his stoppage loss against Liam Smith in October. Maciec had won his last five bouts.
Wardley vs. Martz
Wardley floors Martz twice and kayos him in the second round. Martz actually had some success in the first knocking Warley’s mouthguard out late in the round. A frustrated Wardley came out swinging wildly in the second dropping Martz with a left and right to the head. Martz only just beat the count and was then floored by a left to the side of the head and went down. He was clutching his right ear as if the punch had damaged his ear but he was counted out. Twelfth win by KO/TKO for Wardley but Martz no test at all.
Tokyo gold medallist Yafai has his first pro fight and gets in some rounds against Mexican Bautista. Yafai was much too quick for Bautista and handed out steady punishment. Bautista did not crumble and scored with some serious hooks when they traded punches. The fight became more and more one-sided and Bautista dropped to his knees under a series of punches. When he got up his corner waived the towel for the fight to be stopped. Yafai wins the vacant WBC International title in his first pro fight. First inside the distance loss for Bautista.
McKean vs. Bracamonte
Australian southpaw McKean has his first fight in Britain and gets a not too testing opponent. Argentinian Bracamonte was vastly overweight and slow and ponderous. McKean was able to circle Bracamonte and step in and scores when he chose with very little coming back from Bracamonte. McKean showed nothing special but it is not easy to look good against a fighter such as Bracamonte. McKean won every round. Referee’s score 80-72. Hopefully there will be stiffer tests than Bracamonte who at 6’3 ½” weighed 293lbs.
Hatton vs. Ducker
Hatton gets a late stoppage win over Ducker. Hatton was sharper scoring with quick jabs and left hooks to the body but Ducker was willing and able to stand and trade with him. It was a very fast-paced fight with both showing signs of tiring in the sixth. Finally Hatton broke through with a series of head punches that sent Ducker reeling into the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Only the second inside the distance win for 21-year-old Hatton who is still very raw.
Clarke vs. Visic
Impressive first showing by Tokyo Olympian Clarke. He showed a snappy jab, put his punches together well and drove Visic to the floor late in the opening round with a powerful right. He ended it with a booming right to the head in the second that sent Visic down heavily and he was counted out. Jamaican-born Clarke is one to watch.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Super Feather: Sibusiso Zingange (17-5-2,1ND) W PTS 12 Phila Mpontshane (15-3). Fly: Simangele Hadebe (11-3-2) W PTS 10 Halima Vunjabel (10-8-1).
Zingange vs. Mpontshane
With four successful defences of his South African title behind him Mpontshane needed to win this fifth defence to own the belt outright but Zingange ruined those hopes. The challenger was quicker with Mpontshane making a sluggish start and never recovering. Zingange scored a knockdown in the seventh and by the end Mpontshane’s left eye was almost closed as Zingange won on scores of 120-107,120-109 and 118-109. Former WBA and WBA Pan African champion Zingange gets his third win in a row. Mpontshane was having his first fight since September 2019.
Hadebe vs. Vunjabel
Hadebe wins the vacant ABU Female title with wide decision over Tanzanian Vunjabel. Hadebe was much too slick for the crude and limited Vunjabel. The Tanzanian walked onto too many punches and a swelling around her left eye from early in the fight hampered her vision. Hadebe looked close to ending early a couple of times but had to settle for a convincing points victory with the cards reading 98-92 twice and 100-90 for South African champion “Smash” Hadebe. Vunjabel has lost in challenges for the WBFederation and UBO belts.
Montreal, Canada: Super Light: Mazlum Akdeniz (16-0) W PTS Erick Encinia (15-6-1).
Akdeniz wins a split decision over Encinia. This was a close, hard-fought contest with southpaw Akdeniz not helping his case by losing a point for a butt early in the fight. His greater accuracy gave him the edge but he had to come through a rocky sixth to emerge the winner on scores of 96-93 and 95-94 with the third card reading 96-93 for Encinia. Canadian Akdeniz, 24, is of Kurdish antecedents. Encinia had registered a good win when he decisioned Pole Damian Wrzesinski (22-1-2 ) in May last year.
Plant City, FL, USA: Middle: Jimmy Kelly (26-2) W PTS 10 Kanat Islam (28-1). Welter: Peter Dobson (15-0) W PTS 10 Jose Borrego (19-4). Welter: Jonathan Eniz (28-17-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Mark Reyes Jr (14-2).
Kelly vs. Islam
None of the favourites won on this show and Kelly beating Islam was possible the biggest upset. Islam was having his first fight for a year and it showed as Kelly was quicker, more mobile and more accurate over the first two rounds with Islam looking slow and sluggish. Islam did better in the third but the rangy Kelly was outboxing him at distance and even getting the better of the exchanges inside. Islam kept marching forward and began to pick up a couple of rounds late in the fight but Kelly looked a much clearer winner than the scores suggest.. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Kelly and 95-95. Kelly collects the WBO Global belt with his biggest win so far. His losses have come against Liam Smith and Dennis Hogan. Kazakh Islam was unimpressive and the loss will have cost him is No 5 ranking with the WBO
Dobson vs. Borrego
Bronx boxer Dobson cruises to victory over a poor Borrego. Dobson outboxed Borrego over the first two rounds with Borrego scoring well to the body in the third. Dobson’s clever boxing, strong jab and some good body punching saw him stay in control and his higher work rate had him pocketing the rounds. Borrego had a decent sixth round but never threatened Dobson’s dominance and Dobson ran out a comfortable winner. Scores 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93. This is Dobson’s first ten round fight and he is making steady if unspectacular progress. A very flat performance from Borrego who had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Eniz vs. Reyes
Argentinian Eniz doubles his total of away wins as he floors and outpoints Reyes. Eniz came in to this one with just four days notice but made a good start edging the first round and then flooring Reyes with a left in the second. Reyes recovered and it developed into a close, hard fought battle but southpaw lefts from Eniz had Reyes bleeding from the nose and struggling with a swelling around his right eye. Despite that Reyes was very much into the fight until he was badly shaken by a right in the ninth and that big round for Eniz made the difference. Scores 95-94 twice and 96-93 for Eniz. The Argentinian had lost a very close verdict to unbeaten Yauheni Dauhaliavets in Moscow on February 3 and that good performance from Eniz should have been a warning for Reyes. Eniz is now 2-5 on the road. Second consecutive defeat for Reyes but he had looked unlucky in losing a majority verdict against unbeaten Janelson Figueroa Bocachica in last year.
Pilar, Argentina: Light: Agustin Quintana (16-1-1) W KO 5 Reuquen Arce (14-6-2).
Quintana wins the vacant South American title with fifth round kayo of Arce. A slow opened round went to Arce but after that it was all Quintana. He landed constantly with his jabs and scored well with straight rights and uppercuts putting Arce on the back foot. In the fifth he drove Arce to the ropes and put him down with a left uppercut and Arce was counted out. Nine wins in a row for Quintana the Argentinian No 2. Second loss by KO/TKO for Arce
Vicenza, Italy: Super Bantam: Luca Rigoldi (26-2-2) W TKO 9 Hugo Legros (14-2-2). Middle: Carlo De Novellis (9-4-1) W PTS 10 Andrea Roncon (18-7-1).
Rigoldi vs. Legros
Rigoldi collects the vacant European Union belt with stoppage of Frenchman Legros. A mixed first round saw Rigoldi put Legros down with a left hook to the body. Legros beat the count and later in the round opened a cut on Rigoldi’s left cheek. After that Rigoldi dominated the fight. He was too strong for Legros who although countering well lacked the power to threaten Rigoldi and was gradually worn down. In the ninth a body punch from Rigoldi had Legros dipping at the knees and trying to clinch but Rigoldi piled on the punches and with Legros reeling the fight was stopped. Former European champion Rigoldi lost his EBU title to Gamal Yafai in December 2020 but won the Italian title in October last year. Former French champion Legros had won his last five bouts.
De Novellis vs. Roncon
De Novellis proves age is just a number as he takes split verdict over Roncon in Roncon’s home city. De Novellis knew he would have to make a fast start against the younger Roncon and being shorter with a lesser reach he had to take the fight to Roncon. He built a lead until a cut over his left eye in the fourth slowed him somewhat and allowed Roncon to apply some pressure to eat into De Novellis’s early lead but De Novellis kept his nose in front with accurate counters and was a deserved winner. Scores 96-94 twice for De Novellis and 97-94 for Roncon. De Novellis, 41, had a spell of almost eight years out of the ring but now wins the national title at his second attempt. Roncon was also having a second shot at the title.
Tokyo, Japan: Atom: Ayaka Miyao (25-9-2). W PTS 10 Eri Matsuda (4-1-1). Atom: Nanae Suzuki (11-4-1) W PTS 10 Mika Iwakawa (10-6-1).
Miyao vs. Matsuda
Miyao wins the vacant IBF Female title with majority verdict over Matsuda. More experienced Miyao scored well against southpaw Matsuda in the opening rounds switching her attacks up and down and controlling the distance. Matsuda stepped up the pressure from the fifth with Miyao boxing on the back foot and countering with rights. Matsuda attacked strongly over the ninth and tenth but could not overcome Miyao’s early lead. Scores 96-94 twice for Miyao and 95-95. Now 38 Miyao is a former WBA title holder who made six defences before losing the title and had been 0-2-1 in three subsequent title challenges. In her short experience Matsuda had already won the OPBF and Japanese titles and drawn in a previous shot at the IBF title.
Suzuki vs. Iwakawa
Suzuki gets a revenge victory over champion Iwakawa and collects the WBO Female title on a split decision. As with the IBF title fight this was a very close one. Suzuki had the better of the early rounds taking the initiative and landing strongly with hooks to the body. The second half of the fight featured too many clinches and although Iwakawa made it close Suzuki maintained her early edge to life the belt. Scores 96-94 twice for Suzuki and 96-94 for Iwakawa. Former Japanese champion Suzuki had lost a split decision against Iwakawa in a title challenge in September 2020. Iwakawa was making the second defence of the title.
Leeds, England: Light: Jimmy First (11-0) W Justin Newell (13-1).
First scores win with dramatic second round destruction of Newell. Newell was in control in the first round scoring well with jabs and hooks to the body. A strong jab caught First off balance and sent him stumbling but into the ropes which held him up and he was given a count. Newell was boxing confidently in the second when a huge right cross to the chin sent him crashing to the canvas on his back. He struggles trying to get up but when he managed to get to his feet he stumbled and almost went down again and the fight was stopped. First, 40 did not turn pro until he was 36 and picks up the vacant BBB of C Central Area belt his first title as a pro. Newell looked in command until the bomb exploded.
Dubai, UAE: Bantam: Vincent Astrolabio (17-3) W PTS 10 Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-3,1ND).
A huge upset sees Filipino Astrolabio floor and outpoint Rigondeaux. Astrolabio made a confident start taking the fight to Rigondeaux in the first throwing and connecting with plenty of right hands with Rigondeaux slotting home jabs. It was more of the same in the second but with Rigondeaux proving a difficult target. He was landing counters but not throwing enough punches. Astrolabio maintained the pressure in the third and fourth being frustrated by the slippery Cuban and getting caught with crafty shots but throwing more and landing more. The pace dropped in the fifth with Rigondeaux again sliding punches through Astrolabio’s guard. Astrolabio picked up the pace again in the sixth hounding Rigondeaux and he did a better job of cutting off the ring in the seventh although Rigondeaux kept finding gaps for his counters and sliding around Astrolabio’s rushes. The eighth saw a critical moment in the fight. Two minutes into the round Astrolabio stepped in with a left followed by a straight right that sent Rigondeaux to the floor. He was up quickly but clearly shaken and Astrolabio drove forward landing more rights with Rigondeaux holding to make it to the bell. Great defensive work from Rigondeaux in the ninth with plenty of slick movement and sneaky counters but Astrolabio kept the pressure on over the last two rounds to take a very close decision on scores of 95-94 from all three judges with the 10-8 eighth round the difference. Filipino Astrolabio wins the vacant WBC International title. This was major surprise as Astrolabio had never fought anyone remotely near the world ratings and his No 7 rating by the WBO came as a result of his winning their Oriental title with a win over fighter rated No 207 by Box Rec. Managed by Manny Pacquiao he must be hoping for a shot at fellow-Filipino John Riel Casimero who holds the WBO belt. At 41 time is catching up on Rigondeaux. He still has exquisite boxing skills but is slowing making him more vulnerable and he won’t find it easy to get back into title contention.
Brampton. Canada: Middle: Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (10-0) W TKO 3 Jordan Balmir (11-2).
“Chakria” Bhatti wins the vacant Canadian national title with third round stoppage of Balmir. The 29-year-old locally–based Indian-born Bhatti learned his boxing in the Indian Boxing League back in the Punjab and represented India in the Asian Championships. Balmir, who was stopped in three rounds by Steven Butler, was having his first fight for 14 months.
General Santos City, Philippines: Fly: Esneth Domingo (16-1) W PTS 10 Jesse Espinas (20-5). Minimum: Melvin Jerusalem (18-2) W PTS 8 Ramel Antaran (4-16-2).
Domingo vs. Espinas
This should have been a routine win for Domingo but he injured his right hand and had to fight hard to get the decision over experienced Espinas on scores of 96-94 on the three cards. Fifth victory in succession for Domingo. Southpaw Espinas was returning to action for the first time since beating WBC minimumweight title challenger Denver Cuello in October 2019.
Jerusalem vs. Antaran
OPBF champion Jerusalem makes it seven wins in a row as he takes the unanimous verdict over Antaran on scores of 79-73 twice and 77-75. He is No 2 with the WBC so will be looking for a title shot soon. Antaran has won only one of his last twelve bouts.
Atlanta, GA, USA: Super Middle: Money Powell IV (13-1) W KO 2 Fidel Monterrosa (39-28-1,1ND). Super Feather: Albert Bell (20-0,1ND) W KO 1 Daulis Prescott (32-15,3ND).
Powell vs. Monterrosa
Powell gets his eighth win by KO/TKO with second round knockout of Monterrosa. Powell put Monterrosa down three times in the opening round and when he floored Monterrosa again in the second Monterrosa was counted out. Third victory for German-born Powell after losing a majority verdict to Vaughan Alexander in 2019. Colombian Monterrosa certainly saw a turn in his career as one time he was 19-0 and is currently 1-15.
Bell vs. Prescott
Not a big puncher Bell gets this over with one punch kayo of a very faded Prescott. Only the sixth inside the distance win for Bell but twelfth loss that was for Colombian Prescott.
Philadelphia, PS, USA: Super Welter: Ray Robinson (25-3-2) W RTD 3 Silverio Ortiz (37-29).
Robinson gets an easy win as he returns to action for the first time since a draw with Josh Kelly in June 2019. Despite his lay-off the 5’10” Robinson was too big and too sharp for 5’6” oldie Ortiz. Robinson was getting through with hard punches over the first two rounds with Ortiz having some limited success with counters. It was all Robinson in the third as he bounced punches of Ortiz’s head and the Mexican’s corner retired their man at the end of the round. The COVID break came at a bad time for 36-year-old Robinson as he had rebounded from a loss to Yordenis Ugas with very creditable draws against Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Kelly. Now 39 Ortiz started his career as a featherweight and has now been beaten in his last eight fights.
Lusaka, Zambia: Super Bantam: Kudakwashe Chiwandire (5-2-1) W PTS 10 Catherine Phiri (16-5).
Inexperienced Zimbabwean Chiwandire, 26, wins the vacant interim WBC Female title with split decision over home city fighter Phiri. Despite the difference in experience Chiwandire showed no respect to former WBC bantamweight champion Phiri and attacked hard from the start. Phiri just could not handle Chiwandire’s aggression and never really established a toe-hold in the fight finishing a clear loser and showing the signs of battle in the shape of a bad swelling around her left eye. Two judges gave it the Chiwandire 98-92 but the third somehow saw Phiri the winner 96-94. There was nothing in Chiwandire’s record to say she would be a threat to Phiri but she delivered on the night. Phiri was having her first fight in three years.
Fight of the week (Significance): Josh Taylor struggling to hold on to his four titles could see him move up to welterweight where some big fights await him.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Fernando Martinez vs. Jerwin Ancajas was a war in every round.
Fighter of the week: An unheralded Martinez for beating Ancajas who was making the tenth defence of his IBF title and was the longest reigning of the current title holders.
Punch of the week: The right counter form an under fire “non-puncher” Jordan Gill that flattened European champion Karim Guerfi.
Upset of the week: Martinez beating long reigning champion Ancajas
Prospect watch: Irish featherweight Kurt Walker looked sharp in his first fight in the professional ranks.
Rosette: Martinez and Ancajas for their stirring scrap
Red Card: The scoring in Josh Taylor vs. Jack Catterall which drew a whole raft of criticism and is being reviewed by the BBB of C
Quite a week for upsets. I chose Martinez vs. Ancajas but could just as easily picked Hector Garcia beating Chris Colbert, Jack Kelly beating Kanat Islam or Vincent Astrolabio winning over Guillermo Rigondeaux.
-The phrase fit to fight covers a very wide area-literally. You have Scottish heavyweight Jay McFarlane who at one point in his career weighed 200lbs for a fight but was 76lbs heavier for his fight against Nick Campbell on Saturday in Glasgow and on the same show Erik Nazaryan who weighed a low 140lbs in his career and was 67lbs heavier when fighting Scott Forrest and on Sunday Argentinian Ariel Bracamonte managed to pack 293lbs into his 6’3 ½” frame.
-French prospect Milan Prat was to have fought Ukrainian Bohdan Shtonda on Saturday but that was cancelled as Shtonda could not travel. I wonder how much more of impact we will see from the conflict in Ukraine.
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