Whilst we've looked at quite a lot of obscure fights in our Closet Classic series, we haven't yet looked at a fight featuring the fairer sex. With Victoriva Vol 5 coming up next week we felt this was the ideal time to change that, and look at one of the most brutal female fights out there. The bout resulted in one of the most graphic injuries in female boxing history, so forewarning there is some graphic scenes and this fight, despite being a closet classic, is certainly not for everyone.
Ju Hee Kim (13-1-1, 6) vs Jujeath Nagaowa (9-7-1, 5)
Back on September 12th 2010 in Anyang Stadium Korean fans gathered to see once beaten hopeful Ju Hee Kim continue her rise. She'd been beaten back in 2002, bu In Young Lee, but had rebuilt with 11 straight wins, taken a number of minor titles and had scored a very credible win over Tenkai Tsunami. Despite a 53 week break from the ring she was supposed to keep her winning run going as she faced off with rugged but limited Filipino journey-woman Jujeath Nagaowa, a diminutive little battler who had lost of her previous 3 by stoppage.
On paper Kim almost all the advantages a fighter could ask for. She was the slightly taller fighter, the one with real momentum, at 24 she was slightly more physically mature than the 23 year old Nagaowa, and of course had home advantage. Despite being a clear under-dog Nagaowa didn't care, and from the opening seconds she had Kim on the backfoot, forcing Kim to fight back. That allowed Kim a chance to show what she could do, as she unloaded some 2-handed combinations on the Filipino.
The good back and forth in the early going saw both fighters landing some clean headshots, and it was exciting, but it certainly didn't prepare us for what was to come.
With the two often trading combinations, and regularly fighting up close it was Nagaowa's type of fight, and by the start of round 3 her shots had already started to leave Kim with swelling around her right eye. That swelling would become a major part of the fight, with Kim's left eye beginning to swell soon afterwards.
For much of the bout, which only became more and more exciting, the Korean was fighting on heart alone, with her face resembling a Picasso painting, disfigured in a way that is just simply not seen in female boxing. It would have been easy for her to quit, citing her injuries. It would have been logical for the referee to interfere and the doctor to stop the fight. But this is Korea, and they weren't going to derail their new female hopeful who was forced to fight fire with fire through a truly grotesque injury.
Despite the injury this would still be a bout worthy of attention for the brilliant back and forth, the heart, determination and action. The injury just added to the drama and further dragged the crowd into the bout, getting them involved in doing all they could to urge Kim to dig deep.
This is a bout that won't convince people to give female boxing a shot, but shows that female boxing can be just as brutal and damaging as male boxing, and can be just as dramatic.
By - Eric Armit
-Sergey Kovalev stops Anthony Yarde in the eleventh round in WBO light heavy title defence
-Juan Francisco Estrada successfully defends the WBC super fly title with ninth round victory over Dewayne Beamon
-John Riel Casimero knocks out Cesar Ramirez in the tenth round in WBO bantam defence
-Kosei Tanaka retains the WBO flyweight title with stoppage of Jonathan Gonzalez
-Puerto Rican Wilfredo Mendez lifts the WBO minimumweight title with decision over champion Vic Saludar
-Brandon Figueroa outclasses and halts Javier Chacon and retains the interim WBA super bantamweight title
-Maximino Flores gets technical decision over Carlo Penalosa for the vacant IBO flyweight belt
-Liam Smith, Filip Hrgovic, Jono Carroll, Cristofer Rosales, Ilunga Makabu and Stephen Fulton score wins
World Title Fights and supports
Chelyabinsk, Russia: Light Heavy: Sergey Kovalev (34-3-1) W TKO 11 Anthony Yarde (18-1). Cruiser: Ilunga Makabu (26-2) W PTS 12 Aleksei Papin (11-1). Heavy: Evgeny Romanov (14-0) W TKO 1 Dario Balmaceda (19-18-2).
Kovalev vs. Yarde
Kovalev’s experience was the telling factor in this one as recovers from near defeat to outlast and stop a dangerous Yarde and retain his WBO title.
A steady opening from both fighters. The difference was the consistent accuracy of Kovalev’s jab. Yarde was confident trying some rights and clipping Kovalev with a left but sparing with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev
The pace quickened in the second with both fighters throwing more. Yarde looked dangerous with rights but again it was the nagging accuracy of Kovalev’s jab which he kept slipping through Yarde’s guard that was picking up the points.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 20-18
Yarde came forward at the start of the round and connected with a good left. He was matching Kovalev until the last minute when again Kovalev was piercing Yarde’s guard with a succession of jabs
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 30-27
A dominant round for Kovalev. Yarde had no answer to the champions jab. He couldn’t block it and he couldn’t get past it. Kovalev was coming in behind the jab with quick punches from both hands and brining his right cross into the action.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Julio Cesar Alvarado: 39-37 Kovalev, Judge Deon Dwarte 40-36 Kovalev, Judge Zoltan Enyedi 40-36 Kovalev
Yarde finally began to let his hands go in the fifth and connected with some good combinations. His attacks put Kovalev on the back foot for the first time. Kovalev was still getting through with jabs but not so many and Yarde was coming forward throwing punches at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Yarde Kovalev 49-46
Kovalev out jabbed and outworked Yarde to take this one. Yarde was looking to trade but Kovalev kept moving, kept jabbing and adding an occasional combination with Yarde just not throwing enough punches.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 59-55
Clearly Yarde’s round. He was taking the fight to Kovalev getting inside and landing with heavy lefts hooks to the body and clumping rights to the head. Kovalev was looking tired and holding to try to smother Yarde’s attacks.
Score: 10-9 Yarde Kovalev 68-65
A huge round for Yarde. He was storming forward throwing punches particularly his trade mark left hooks to the body. Kovalev was looking tired and when Yarde pinned him to the ropes and rocked him with head punches it looked possible that Yarde might stop him but Kovalev made it to the bell. One judge made this a 10-8 round for Yarde.
Score: 10-9 Yarde Kovalev 77-75
Official Scores: Judge Alvarado: 77-76 Kovalev, Judge Dwarte 78-74 Kovalev, Judge Enyedi 77-75 Kovalev
Panic over. Kovalev boxed his way through this round. Jabs, hooks, uppercuts, none heavy but all, scoring. Yarde looked to have punched himself out and his punch output dropped to almost zero as Kovalev worked effectively if not spectacularly.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 87-84
Kovalev knew he had the fight won and began to turn the screw. Suddenly he was throwing clusters of punches. Most of them were landing and there was very little coming back from an exhausted Yarde as Kovalev pummelled him in a corner at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 97-93
Yarde made a brave attempt to take the fight to Kovalev but the Russian was teeing off with rights to the head as Yarde floundered. Kovalev tossed Yarde to the floor and Yarde had nothing left. In the end it was a still left jab that put Yarde down and ended the fight.
There were signs in this fight that at 36 Kovalev is by no means the force he was and if Yarde had paced the fight better the result could have been different but on the plus side he overcame a dangerous opponent and is now hoping to get a huge payday against Saul Alvarez. Kovalev constituted a huge step up in quality of opposition for Yarde but he showed he could compete at this level and will probably land another title shot late in 2010.
Makabu vs. Papin
Makabu retains the WBC Silver title with majority decision over Russian Papin with the Congolese fighter needing a last round knockdown to hold on to that title. Papin made a promising start sending Makabu staggering back with a right and working well with his longer reach. Makabu upped his pace in the second but Papin scored well with a hook and found the distance with his jab and straight right. Makabu was rolling in the third. He was jabbing well with his right and getting inside and banging hooks to Papin’s body. It was a similar story in the fourth and fifth . Papin was scoring at distance but Makabu was coming forward and banging hurtful hooks to the body. Makabu went low with a punch in the fourth and was given a stern warning but he was still firing hurtful hooks to the ribs. Papin did some good work with his jab and light combinations at the start of the sixth but the relentless attacks and body punching from Makabu soon had the Russian in retreat. Makabu dominated the seventh rocking Papin with an uppercut and the Russian had a small cut over his right eye caused by a punch. Makabu again had Papin under pressure in the eighth and Papin slipped to the floor. It was rightly ruled a slip but he was not relishing the pressure. Papin moved more and threw more punches in the ninth and did enough to make the tenth close but for me Makabu was way in front. The eleven was a good round for Makabu. He began by out jabbing the Russian before Papin bounced back with some quick, light counters. At the end of the round Makabu knocked an exhausted Papin into the ropes and then connected with a series of hooks and uppercuts that had Papin ready to go down when the bell saved him. Papin made a bright start to the last round firing combinations through the defence of Makabu. He then ran out of steam and Makabu was forcing him back with hooks and uppercuts and a straight left sent Papin down. He was up quickly but looked unsteady . By the time the count was completed there were less than 30 seconds left in the round and to his credit Papin walked forward and drove Makabu back with punches. Scores 115-113 and 114-113 for Makabu and 114-114 which meant that before the 10-8 in the last Makabu was behind on two cards and only level on the third which just did not square with the way that Makabu had so clearly dominated much of the fight, The 31-year-old from the DRC rightly got the win. He is No 1 with the WBC and since Olek Usyk has moved up to heavy that WBC title is now vacant. The position is slightly complicated by the WBSS Tournament that is still ongoing. The WBC No 2 is Krzys Glowacki who was beaten inside the distance by WBO champion Mairis Breidis in June, No 3 is Krzys Wlodarczyk who has won his last four fights and No 4 is Noel Gevor who also lost to Breidis. Breidis is the WBC “Diamond” champion-whatever that means and I just hope the WBC don’t try to jump on the WBSS bandwagon and make the Breidis vs. Yuniel Dorticos clash for their vacant title and screw Makabu that way. This was too ambitious a match for Papin at this stage but the former World Kickboxing has the backing to get a title shot sometime.
Romanov vs. Balmaceda
Romanov blasts out poor Balmaceda inside a round. Balmaceda was using his longer reach to probe with jabs but there was no power there. Eventually Romanov managed to get past the jab and connected with a left to the head that saw Balmaceda go down on one knee. After the eight count Romanov forced Balmaceda to the ropes and the Argentinian again touched the canvas trying to avoid the punches and the referee gave him another count. Balmaceda then tried to take the fight to Romanov but as he came forward Romanov caught him with a couple of head punches that did not look hard. Balmaceda went to his knees and was counted out as he was getting up. Tenth win by KO/TKO for 34-year-old Romanov but this one was too easy. His selling point is his third round kayo of Deontay Wilder in a Russia vs. USA match back in 2008 but now he needs to make his mark in the pros. At 6’0” and with short arms he will struggle against the bigger fighters. Balmaceda was taller at 6’3” but this is his eleventh loss by KO/TKO.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Super Fly: Juan F Estrada (40-3) W TKO 9 Dewayne Beamon (16-2-1). Super Light: Shakhram Giyasov (9-0) W TKO 1Darleys Perez (34-5-2). Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (9-0) W KO 3 Mario Heredia (16-7-1). Super Welter: Liam Smith (28-2-1) W TKO 7 Mario Lozano (33-10).Super Feather: Jono Carroll (16-1-1) W PTS 10 Eleazar Valenzuela (20-11-4,1ND).Middle: Diego Pacheco (5-0) W KO 1 Jose Esparza (1-1).
Estrada vs. Beamon
Estrada retains the WBC with stoppage of a very competitive Beamon.
Estrada threw some hooks early but was short. Beamon began to find the target with his jab. He was missed with a couple of rights but continued to land the jab and had Estrada under fire at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Beamon
Beamon rushed forward firing punches in the second but Estrada landed a good right and when Beamon backed him to the ropes he put Beamon down with a counter left hook. Beamon was up immediately and looking aggrieved claiming he fell when he was off balance. After the count Beamon was looking to trade with Estrada but a right to the body and a left to the head had Beamon toppling to the side and he put his glove down to steady himself resulting in a count. Beamon was willing to exchange punches as he tried to regain some ground but Estrada was more accurate.
Score: 10-7 Estrada Estrada 19-17
Things looked bleak for Beamon as Estrada began to put his punches together. He was coming forward raking Beamon with hooks and uppercuts with Beamon on the retreat. Beamon landed a cracking right but Estrada again put together some hurtful combinations.
Score: Score 10-9 Estrada Estrada 29-26
Beamon has a busy style and he was certainly busy in this round. He was rolling forward shooting out jabs and then getting in close and connecting with short punches. Estrada was picking Beamon off on the way in but was being outworked until Beamon went onto the back foot late in the round allowing Estrada to score but it was Beamon’s round although he had picked up a small nick by his left eye.
Score: 10-9 Beamon Estrada 38-36
It was all Beamon in the fifth. He pressed his attacks hard forcing Estrada to the ropes and bombarding him with punches from both hands. Estrada was blocking or dodging many of the punches but was throwing few counters. Just to show how unconcerned he was by Beamon’s attacks Estrada on three occasions just stood at the ropes and draped his right arm over the top rope. Real cool, but no points for that.
Score: 10-9 Beamon Estrada 47-46
Beamon continued his frenzied attacks. Estrada was being forced back and although he was connecting with occasional counters once again it was Beamon throwing more an landing many of them. Estrada picked up his pace in the middle of the round but was then being forced back as Beamon showered him with punches some wild but some on target and he mockingly escorted Estrada back to his corner at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Beamon Tied 56-56
Estrada needed to get his act together as he was letting this fight slip away. In the seventh although Beamon was still attacking Estrada was jarring him with accurate punches at distance and with short hooks inside. Some of the fire had gone out of a tiring Beamon and he was being rocked by hard single shots from Estrada. In a frantic finish to the round Beamon was stumbling forward into a storm of punches from Estrada and a right to the side of the head wobbled him badly.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 66-65
A subdued Beamon connected with some rights in the round but Estrada was rocking him with savage rights and staggered Beamon a couple of times and was slowly breaking down the exhausted challenger.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 76-74
Beamon had nothing left to give and Estrada teed-off on him with lefts and rights until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. This proved a tougher fight than anticipated with Beamon very much in it until he tired. Next for Estrada could be a third bout with Thai Srisaket as they are 1-1 in their series . Beamon had done nothing to deserve a rating let alone a title shot but he showed plenty of fire and aggression and was giving Estrada a hard night before he tired and his showing may get him a shot at a title next year.
Giyasov vs. Perez
Giyasov gets this one over and finished in just 41 seconds-including the count. The Uzbek pushed out a few tentative jabs and then stepped in with a looping left hook to the chin and Perez went down on his posterior. He sat on the canvas looking bemused and had only just started to rise as the referee reached ten. The 26-year-old Giyasov won a silver medal at the 2016 Olympics and gold at the 2017 World Championships. This is his seventh win by KO/TKO. He retains the WBA International title and is there No 10. Colombian Perez, a former holder of the secondary WBA lightweight title drew then lost to Anthony Crolla in title fights and subsequently lost inside the distance to Luke Campbell and Maxim Dadashev.
Hrgovic vs. Heredia
Hrgovic gets another inside the distance win but over a sub-standard opponent who was 8” shorter and 45lbs heavier. Hrgovic was finding the target with rights from the opening minute. Heredia managed to get through with a couple of jabs but other than that was just slinging wild roundhouse punches. Hrgovic used a strong jab to keep Heredia going back and connected with overhand rights. In the second Heredia came forward constantly. Hrgovic met him with right crosses and uppercuts but Heredia managed to land a few shots, took the punishment and kept rolling forward. Hrgovic ended things in the third. He forced Heredia to the ropes with his jab and then blasted Heredia with a booming right to the head then clipped him with a left that helped him on the way to the floor. Heredia made it to his feet but was unsteady and the fight was stopped. Hrgovic retains the WBC International belt and gets his seventh inside the distance win. He is rated WBA 6/WBC 11/IBF 12(11) but as his best wins are over Kevin Johnson and Amir Mansour it is difficult to justify those ratings. He is 27, 6’6” and is strong and punches hard but is still settling into the pro ranks and we will need to see him against better opposition where his lack of speed might be a weakness. Mexican Heredia, 26, is now 2-6-1 in his last 9 fights with 6 of those losses by KO/TKO.
Smith vs. Lozano
Another win for Smith as former WBO super welter champion moves up to middleweight and keeps his hopes of another title fight alive. Smith was piling on the pressure from the opening round moving forward behind a high guard and shook Lozano with a heavy right. Lozano was mainly on the back foot but did come forward occasionally with smart hooks. Smith continued to press in the second going to the body with left hooks. Lozano was fighting in bursts throwing lots of hooks. Lozano changed tactics and came forward at the start of the third but the strength, some string jabs, and left hooks to the body soon had Smith in control again. Smith took the fifth and six scoring with left hooks to the body and clubbing rights and Lozano was slowing. Lozano put in a big effort at the start of the sixth but then Smith’s pressure had Lozano in trouble and just before the bell Lozano dropped to the floor under a barrage of punches from Smith. He just made it to his feet and Smith tried to find a finishing punch but the bell saved Lozano. The Mexican tried to punch with Smith in the seventh but Smith forced him to the ropes and two left hooks sent Lozano down and the referee halted the contest. The 31-year-old from Liverpool has lost to Saul Alvarez and Jamie Munguia in title fights but is No 6 super welter with the WBO so if Jaime Munguia moves up to middleweight then there is a good chance Smith will be in the mix for the vacant title. Lozano has been in with some high quality opposition and last time out only lost on a majority verdict to 29-1 Patrick Teixeira so was in decent form.
Carroll vs. Valenzuela
Dublin southpaw Carroll gets back into winning ways with unanimous decision over Mexican Valenzuela. The Mexican reddened Carroll’s face early with jabs but Carroll was investing in some strong body punches that would pay dividends over the later rounds. Valenzuela kept taking the fight to Carroll which suited the Irishman as he loves a fight and didn’t have to go looking for one. Movers can give Carroll trouble but Valenzuela was slow and predictable but resilient. Neither fighter cared too much about defence so there were plenty of exchanges with both landing well but Carroll had more power. He handed out some serious punishment in the later rounds but Valenzuela never really looked to be in trouble and was landing his smaller share of punches. There was quantity but not a lot of accuracy or power in the Mexican’s work and Carroll was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 for Carroll on each of the three cards. A useful ten rounds of work for Carroll in his first fight since losing on points to Tevin Farmer for the IBF title in March. Now he will be aiming to work his way back to another title challenge. Valenzuela was tough but limited but was a decent 7-1,1ND going in.
Pacheco vs. Esparza
Pacheco gets his third win in a row-all coming in the first round. Well down the in the billing and only five fights but worth drawing to your attention. The 6’4” 18-year-old won plenty of Youth titles and is one to watch. Esparza just a prelim novice so no measure of Pacheco’s potential.
Manila, Philippines: Bantam: John Riel Casimero (28-4) W KO 10 Cesar Ramirez (18-4). Bantam: Vincent Astrolabio (14-3) W TKO 5 Kevin Aseniero (9-3-1). Super Feather: Charly Suarez (3-0) W TKO 1 Virgil Puton (17-13-2).
Casimero vs. Ramirez
Casimero knocks out challenger Ramirez to retain the interim WBO title but Ramirez proved to be a very tough challenger and dominated the action at times until a great combination from Casimero ended the fight.
Ominous first round for Ramirez. Casimero was fired up and looking to end this early. He was steaming forward throwing punches as Ramirez pedalled backwards around the ring. Casimero connected with jabs and hooks to the body. Ramirez was just poking out his jab trying to use his longer reach. He rushed in with a couple of attacks late in the round but Casimero easily avoided them.
Score: 10-9 Casimero
Casimero chased Ramirez in this one but rarely caught him. Ramirez kept sticking out tentative jabs and then launching clumsy attacks. He had some success and managed to tie Casimero up inside and with Casimero off target the few punches Ramirez landed were enough for him to edge this one
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Tied 19-19
Both fighters were wild with their punches as Casimero tried to hunt down Ramirez and the challenger kept moving. Ramirez lunged forward to take the fight to Casimero and was caught with a left to the head. He staggered and his legs went in different direction as he fell to the floor. He was up at seven and evaded Casimero’s attempts to land another heavy punch
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 29-27
Ramirez’s round. He stuck to his jab and was using it to force Casimero onto the back foot. Casimero just could not get past the jab and Ramirez was scoring with long rights and banged home a crisp left hook to dominate the round.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Casimero 38-37
Ramirez was working the jab again in this one but as he launched an attack both he and Casimero missed with their punch but Ramirez stumbled and fell. The referee decided it was a knockdown and gave Ramirez a count. When the action resumed Ramirez again did the scoring. He was spearing Casimero with jabs and then unleashing combinations. Casimero was looking to throw rights and again had no answer to Ramirez’s jab. No real justice here. The knockdown was no knockdown and as Ramirez outboxed Casimero what would have been a 10-9 round for Ramirez became a 10-8 round for Casimero costing Ramirez three points
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 48-45
Casimero was finding the target with single shots until the last minute. Over the remaining minute Ramirez was piling forward driving Casimero back and showering the champion with punches from both hands. A lot of Ramirez’s punches were missing but he connected with two heavy rights to the head. Casimero was too busy defending to counter and it was Ramirez’s round
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Casimero 57-55
This was an untidy round but an important one. Casimero was finding the target early and after hurting Ramirez with a left and right to the head as he rushed forward they got tangled up and both landed on the canvas. Once they were both up Casimero was driving a stumbling Ramirez along the ropes connecting with head punches and Ramirez dropped down on the bottom rope and almost fell out of the ring. That meant another count. Ramirez was up at seven and looked unsteady. Casimero rocked him with a couple of punches but the action was stopped as Ramirez had lost his mouthguard and the break to replace it allowed Ramirez the respite he needed. I was tempted to be stupid and say if it wasn’t for the knockdowns Ramirez would be winning this fight but I am not that stupid !! Am I?
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 67-63
Clearly Ramirez’s round. After Casimero scored with a couple of hooks early in the round Ramirez took over. He was using his jab to force Casimero back and landing long rights to the head. Casimero was not throwing much and what he was throwing was wildly inaccurate. Ramirez continued to spear him with jabs and the champion looked a tired fighter.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Casimero 76-73
It was all Ramirez at the start of the ninth as he continued his jabbing and caught Casimero with a right to the head and a right uppercut. He continued to drive Casimero back but was over confident and was hurt by a left hook which sent his mouthguard flying out of his mouth. He was in trouble but stole a few seconds as his mouthguard was re-inserted and it was Casimero coming forward and landing punches to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Casimero Casimero 86-82
Ramirez had nothing left. Casimero was forcing him around the ring scoring with hooks and uppercuts and there was no sign of Ramirez’s left jab. Casimero continued to punish Ramirez and then a left hook and a booming straight right put Ramirez flat on his back and the referee waived him arms to signal the fight was over.
A much tougher night than expected for the 30-year-old former IBF light flyweight and flyweight champion but in the end his power proved too much for Ramirez. The aim now is for a challenge to the real WBO champion Zolani Tete for what would be a great match. Ramirez dominated this fight in spells but just did not have the power to exploit his advantage. He had won 10 of his previous 11 fights with the loss coming against Ryan Burnett for the WBC International title in 2016.
Astrolabio vs. Aseniero
Astrolabio holds on to the WBO Oriental belt with cuts win over fellow Filipino Aseniero. A punch opened a cut which was too serious for Aseniero to continue so Astrolabio retains the title. After losses in Malaysia and China Astrolabio gets his second win in a row. Aseniero had found a little bit of form being 3-0-1 in his last 4.
Suarez vs. Puton
Former amateur star Suarez continues to progress in the pros. Suarez floored and halted poor Puton in 101 seconds. Suarez hurt Puton with body punches and took him to the ropes before digging in a left hook to the ribs that saw Puton dropping to his knees and bending over banging the canvas from the pain. Now 31 Suarez represented the Philippines at the 2007, 2009 and 2011 World Championships, and the 2016 Olympics but it remains to be seen whether he has turned pro too late. He is aiming to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics now that pros can fight there. Puton is now 0-5 with two technical draws in his last 7 fights.
Nagoya, Japan: Fly: Kosei Tanaka (14-0) W TKO 7 Jonathan Gonzalez (22-3-1). Super Fly: Kento Hatanaka (10-0) W PTS Jayserver Abcede (19-9).
Tanaka vs. Gonzalez
Behind on the cards Tanaka comes off the floor to halt Gonzalez in the sixth defence of the WBO title
Both fighters started cautiously. Tanaka was trying to walk down Gonzalez but the southpaw challenger was moving smartly, getting his punches off first and connected with some sneaky straight lefts.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez
Once again Tanaka was tracking Gonzalez in vain. The Puerto Rican was launching darting attacks coming forward connecting with rights and lefts and getting out before Tanaka could counter.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 20-18
Tanaka upped the pressure in the third. He was getting closer and connected with some strong rights. He was anticipating Gonzalez’s darting attacks and stepping out of range. He drove Gonzalez to the ropes with a right and as Gonzalez came forward he dug in a cruel right to the body. Gonzalez hesitated for a second and then the pain kicked in and he dropped to his knees in agony with his head resting on the canvas. Amazingly Gonzalez was up quickly and the bell went too soon after the eight count for Tanaka to capitalise on that success.
Score: 10-8 Tanaka Tied 28-28
Gonzalez was looking to claw back the two points he had lost and was more positive staying close and throwing more punches. Tanaka was just looking to land another damaging right whereas Gonzalez was scoring with quick punches from both hands. Tanaka had forced Gonzalez to the ropes but as he moved in Gonzalez countered with a left hook to the head that sent Tanaka tumbling back and he had to put a glove on the canvas to stop himself going down. Tanaka was more surprised than hurt and the bell went when the eight count was finished.
Score: 10-8 Gonzalez Gonzalez 38-36
Official Scores: Judge Bill Lerch 37-37, Judge Mike Fitzgerald 38-36 Gonzalez , Judge Edward Ligas 38-36 Gonzalez
Gonzalez boxed beautifully in this one. His excellent footwork and quick hands had him threading combinations through the guard of the champion. Tanaka was just throwing single punches and mostly missing as Gonzalez sped around him.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 48-45
Tanaka hunted Gonzalez throughout the round and not always in vain. Gonzalez was still proving a shifty target and firing quick punches but he lacked the power to dissuade Tanaka who was landing less shots but heavier ones and a right to the body and a left to the head was the best combination he had landed so far.
Score: 10-9 Tanaka Gonzalez 57-55
With Gonzalez in a corner Tanaka fired home a series of rights before Gonzalez managed to wriggle his way free. Tanaka tracked him down and landed a left and a right with Gonzalez dropping to one knee. He was up at eight but Tanaka drove him along the ropes before putting Gonzalez on the floor with a left to the body. Again Gonzalez beat the count but didn’t look like a fighter who wanted to continue. Tanaka came forward and banged home three body punches that saw Gonzalez on the floor on his knees with his head against the canvas. Once again he made it to his feet but the referee waived his arms and the fight was over.
The 24-year-old champion won the WBO minimum title in his fifth fight so eight of his fourteen fights have been world title fights. Gonzalez was his mandatory challenger but with Moruti Mthalane, Charlie Edwards and Artem Dalakian holding the other versions of the title there does not seem to be much scope for a unification match. The 28-year-old 5’2” Bronx-born Gonzalez had lost inside the distance to Giovani Segura and Jobert Alvarez but had scored three wins last year over reasonable level opposition
Hatanaka vs. Abcede
After nine inside the distance victories Hatanaka finally has to go the distance for victory against Filipino Abcede. This was a fast-paced fight with Hatanaka looking to box on the outside using quick accurate jabs and Filipino Abcede trying to get close where he could score with hooks and uppercuts. Abcede staged a furious attack in the third but was open to counters and two rights from Hatanaka put him down. Abcede was up quickly and when the action resumed the pair traded punches to the bell. In the fourth a right from Abcede rocked Hatanaka and a straight left stunned him. Abcede then blazed away until Hatanaka went over. After the count Hatanaka took the fight to Abcede. They both landed some thudding punches with Abcede getting the better of the exchanges. Hatanaka looked to have Abcede in trouble with a shower of punches at the end of the fifth and he outboxed the aggressive Filipino in the sixth. A clash of heads in the seventh resulted in a cut over the left eye of Hatanaka encouraging Abcede to press hard and take the round. Hatanaka outboxed Abcede in the eighth but the Filipino made the round close. Both fighters had their moments in a hard fought ninth with the best punch a straight left from Abcede which sent Hatanaka back on his heels. In the last Hatanaka first out boxed and then got the better of some wild toe-to-toe trading to cement his victory. Scores 96-92,96-93 and 95-93 for Hatanaka. The 21-year-old from Nagoya, the son of form WBC super bantam champion Kiyoshi Hatanaka, will enter the ratings on the back of this win. Abcede ,24, played his part in making this an excellent contest and with more experience will only get better.
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Minimumweight: Wilfredo Mendez (14-1) PTS 12 Vic Saludar (19-4). Super Light: Jean Carlos Torres (17-0) W TKO 3 Miguel Zamudio (44-14-1). Light: Nestor Bravo (17-0) W KO 2 Cristian Mino (19-4).
Mendez vs. Saludar
Mendez dazzles a disappointing Saludar. He outboxes and proves far too fleet-footed for the reigning champion and wins the WBO title.
Both fighters were very cautious in the opener. When they did begin to throw punches Mendez connected with straight lefts and used nifty footwork to skip away from Saludar’s punches.
Score: 10-9 Mendez
Another cagey round. Saludar managed to get through with a couple of right crosses and Mendez was slipping home long lefts. Just before the bell Mendez fired home a series of punches to take the round
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 20-18
The fight was going the way Mendez. needed it to go. Saludar was not putting him under pressure and he was flitting around Saludar pinging him with light jabs and choosing his moment to dart inside and land a couple of harder punches. Saludar was not quick enough to cut the ring off and was missing when he tried to counter.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 30-27
A better round for Saludar. He was taking that extra step to get closer to Mendez. He was using his jab more and landed some rights. Mendez was still boxing well but threw less punches.
Score: 10-9 Saludar Mendez 39-37
Saludar was pressing hard in this one and connected early with right crosses. Mendez landed a crisp straight left but Saludar kept coming forward and then he connected with a peach of a left hook that dumped Mendez on his posterior. Mendez bounced up immediately and did not look too shaken. The bell went when the eight count was completed.
Score: 10-8 Saludar Tied 47-47
Neither fighter threw enough punches to dominate this round. Mendez was back to moving quickly, darting in with a couple of punches and out before Saludar could counter and took a close round.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 57-56
With Mendez speeding around the perimeter of the ring and constantly changing direction Saludar was tending to just get set to punch and then having to change the direction of his attacks so was throwing too few punches. Mendez landed a nice right hook to the head and was again darting in and scoring then getting out without Saludar catching him.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 67-65
A better and smarter round by Saludar. He was getting close and getting home straight rights. He was also anticipating Mendez’s darting attacks and countering and it was his round/
Score: 10-9 Saludar Mendez 76-75
Quick. Clever boxing gave this close round to Mendez. He was more accurate with his punches and Saludar was short and lunging. He lost the impetus he had garnered from the previous round and Mendez landed the better punches as they traded before the bell. That brief exchange of punches was a rare event with this being an interesting tactical fight but not an exciting one.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 86-84
More of the same. Mendez was dancing around the ring then jumping in with a series of quick/light punches with Saludar left swishing air. To put this in a dancing context Mendez was doing a quickstep whilst Saludar was doing a slow waltz and the champion was being outboxed.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 96-93
Mendez danced his way through this one. He was again darting in with quick combinations and that was another contrast as even in his best rounds Saludar had been throwing one punch at a time. Mendez was just too quick and although his punches were light they were landing which Saludar’s were not.
Score: 10-9 Mendez Mendez 106-102
Mendez knew he had the fight won so he spent the whole of the round circling the perimeter of the ring rarely moving away from the ropes and not even throwing punches. Saludar needed a knockout but he just seemed to tamely surrender his title and although Mendez gifted him the last round Saludar was an ex-champion.
Score: 10-9 Saludar Mendez 115-112
Official Scores: 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112 all for Mendez.
The 22-year-old new champion from Puerto Rico had his tactics right. He stuck rigidly to the game plan and never really looked troubled. Saludar will feel he could have done so much better but he never pressed hard and did not throw enough punches. He has lost his title in his first defence.
Torres vs. Morales
“The Wolf” wins another one inside the distance. Torres used a strong jab to take control and connected with some straight rights with late replacement Zamudio given no time to settle before a left hook to the body found him on the floor. He made it to the bell but Torres kept firing left hooks to the body in the second forcing Zamudio to take another count. They fought inside in the third until a hook hurt Zamudio who dropped to one knee and that was enough for the referee who ended the fight. It is now six wins on the spin by KO/TKO for the 29-year-old Torres the WBO No 6. A busy Zamudio, this is his fifth fight this year, rarely seems to do distance fights now as he is 7-5 in his last 12 fights including 6 wins inside the distance and 5 losses that way.
Bravo vs. Mino
Bravo disposes of Argentinian Mino inside two rounds. Bravo was looking for another first round win but just could not find the finishing punch. He had no such problem in the second putting Mino down with a hook to the body with Mino being unable to rise and being counted out. The 25-year-old Puerto Rican has 12 wins by KO/TKO with 8 of those first round endings. After being 19-0 in Argentina Mino is now 0-4 on his travels.
Edinburg, TX, USA: Super Bantam: Brandon Figueroa (20-0) W KO 4 Javier Chacon (29-5-1). Super Light: Darwin Price (15-0) TKO 2 Aaron Herrera (35-11-1). Super Bantam: Stephen Fulton (17-0) W KO 6 Isaac Avelar (16-1). Super Feather: Jaime Arboleda (15-1) W TKO 1 Victor Betancourt (26-3,1ND).
Figueroa vs. Chacon
Fighting in his home town Figueroa retains the interim WBA title against Chacon. This was a poor title fight as Chacon spent most of the time pinned against the ropes in a defensive crouch and hardly threw a punch. Figueroa provided a spectacular finish but barely moved out of second gear.
An easy first round for Figueroa. He spent the first minute just probing with jabs and then stepped inside going to the body. Chacon tried to offer as little in the way of a target as he could by bending at the waist. Figueroa just beat on the Argentinian’s defence trying to find openings.
For the whole of the round Chacon had his back against the ropes again bending double. Figueroa pounded away trying to get through to the body but it was not easy with Chacon already in survival mode and hardly throwing a punch.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 20-18
Whilst I was trying to decide whether to call this a disgrace or a farce Chacon tried a bit harder in the third. He stayed of the ropes for much of the time and attempted to walk forward and throw some punches Figueroa continued to focus on the Argentinian’s body and dug in some hurtful hooks. After twelve minutes Figueroa had landed 75 punches Chacon 13!
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 30-27
Figueroa came forward in his customary crouch and landed a couple of useful left hooks to the body. Figueroa drove Chacon to the ropes and blasted him with a series of punches to head and body until a right hook straightened Chacon up into the path of a left that dumped him on his rump. As the referee started the count Chacon spat out his mouthguard and made no attempt to get up.
The 22-yeaer-old “The Heartbreaker” was making the first defence of his title and has 15 inside the distance wins. He has beaten Oscar Escandon, Moises Flores and Yonfrez Perez and deserves better challengers than this. Chacon was 4” shorter and 16 years older so really was a no-hoper. He has a good domestic record and his other three losses have come against Anselmo Moreno and Jaime McDonnell in WBA title fights and Isaac Dogboe so on paper he looked an acceptable level but it did not turn out that way.
Price vs. Herrera
In the opener the speed of Price’s jab was impressive and he was quickly snapping his leads through Herrera’s guard and landed a good right to the head. Later in the round he staggered Herrera with a right and as he went to move inside their heads banged together. Herrera backed away pawing at his right eye and already there was some swelling around the eye. The referee halted the action and had the doctor examine the injury but the doctor indicated Herrera could continue and the bell went soon after. In the second Price rattled Herrera twice with rights. Herrera just could not cope with the speed of Price and was rocked twice more with rights and as he was walking forward Price threw a right over Herrera’s lead and onto his chin and Herrera dropped to the floor. He struggled before getting to his feet and was unsteady and despite his protests the referee rightly stopped the fight. The 5’11” Price was impressive here both in hand speed and power. A college graduate with a degree in Kinesiology (body movement-I had to look it up too) he is 30 and 15 fights in six years is just not good enough. With regular outings he could be a real threat. Herrera looked ragged around the edges here and some hard fights are catching up with him. This is his sixth defeat by KO/TKO.
Fulton vs. Avelar
In a non-title outing IBO super bantam champion Fulton outclasses a feisty but limited Avelar. Fulton took a quiet first round. He was quicker with his jab and used speedy movement to dodge Avelar’s attacks. Avelar hustled and bustled enough in the second to make it a fairly even round. It was exhibition stuff from Fulton in the third and fourth. Fast hands, jabs, straight rights, hooks, uppercuts and slick movement Fulton showcased them all and a punch in the third opened a cut over the right eye of a frustrated Avelar. Fulton was loading up more on his punches in the fifth and in the sixth a blistering left hook to the body sent Avelar down wincing in pain and he was counted out. The 25-year-old from Philadelphia gets his eighth win by KO/TKO. Mexican Avelar, 21, just could not compete with the slick skills of Fulton.
Arboleda vs. Betancourt
Panamanian prospect Arboleda blows away Mexican Betancourt in the first round. Betancourt was taller with a longer reach but Arboleda let his hands go immediately throwing a bunch of fast hooks to the body. Betancourt started to use his reach and was then the one doing the scoring until Arboleda again unleashed a series of body punches which sent Betancourt to his knees. He got up but Arboleda unleashed a bunch of hooks and when Betancourt dropped down on one knee the referee waived the fight over. The 24-year-old Arboleda gets win No 13 by KO/TKO. He suffered a kayo loss against Filipino Recky Dulay in 2017 but has returned with five inside the distance wins on the bounce. He is the youngest of three brother who have all boxed as a pro but one died in an accident and the other drifted away from boxing after spending six years in prison. Betancourt had won 10 of his previous eleven fights.
Quezon City, Philippines: Fly: Maximino Flores (25-4-1,2ND) W TEC DEC 7 Carlo Caesar Penalosa (14-2). Flores wins the vacant IBO title on a technical decision after a cut suffered by Penalosa is ruled too serious for the fight to continue. Flores was taller with a longer reach and that helped him box on the outside. However the relatively inexperienced Penalosa fought an aggressive fight and it was close all the way. The injury to Penalosa came in a clash of heads in the third round and by the end of the seventh it had worsened. It was decided on the scorecards and two judges saw it for Flores by 68-65 and 67-66 and the third had it 67-66 for Penalosa. Mexican Flores was beaten by Andrew Selby in 2017 but has recovered well from that and now he has a title. Southpaw Penalosa had won his last 7 fights 5 of them by KO/TKO. He is the nephew of former two-division world champions Dodie and Gerry.
Broken Arrow, USA: Super Middle: Vladimir Shishkin (9-0) W TKO 8 DeAndre Ware (13-2-2). Super Light: Shohjahon Ergashev (17-0) W TKO 4 Abdiel Ramirez (24-5-1). Welter: Jaron Ennis (23-0) W RTD 1 Franklin Mamani ( 23-5-1).Super Bantam: Arnold Khegai (16-0-1) W PTS 8 Vladimir Tikhonov (17-2).
Shishkin vs. Ware
Shishkin hands out a solid beating to Ware. Shishkin was four inches taller than Ware and looked much the stronger man. Ware tried to use his speed to score but had to avoid the punches from the heavy handed Russian. As early as the second Shishkin was controlling the fight with hefty jabs and left hooks to the body and Ware was having trouble being competitive. Ware stepped up his work rate in the third and had some success inside but clubbing punches from Shishkin soon doused that fire. If there is a downside to Shishkin it is that he is not quick but by the fourth Ware’s attacks were getting less and Shishkin’s power shots were breaking Ware down. Shishkin continued to pound on Ware over the fifth and sixth slowing him with body punches. Ware was on his heels and throwing very few punches. The seventh was another painful round for Ware. Shishkin was very predictable with very little variation in his work. He was just throwing his left jab and following it with a right cross but he kept connecting. The referee checked on Ware in his corner before the start of the eighth anxious to make sure Ware could continue. In the round Shishkin was bombarding Ware with overhand rights and adding in some left hooks. He had Ware pinned against the ropes and was unloading with lefts and rights and the towel came in from Ware’s corner. The 28-year-old Russian is a strong guy and a very hard puncher. He has won his last four fights by KO/TKO including a tenth round stoppage of former world title challenger Nadjib Mohammedi. Toledo fireman Ware had lost on points to unbeaten Cem Kilic but taken a majority verdict over unbeaten Ronald Ellis in February but he was just too small and not powerful enough to stand a chance here.
Ergashev vs. Ramirez
Ergashev batters a plucky Ramirez to defeat in four rounds. The 5’10 ½” Uzbek towered over the 5’5 ½”” Ramirez so controlled this one from the start. Ergashev has a solid jab and plenty of power and was teeing off on Ramirez. Ramirez was absorbing some thunderous punches but kept coming forward and managed to get past the jab and land with some hooks and rights to the head. In the second Ergashev was moving lots and firing heavy lefts with Ramirez again willing to walk into and sometimes through the bombardment. Late in the second Ergashev landed a hard left which stopped Ramirez in his tracks and then gave Ramirez a shove which sent the Mexican down. The referee probably missed the shove because he gave Ramirez a count. There looked to be a brief glimpse of hope in the third when with Ramirez still coming forward Ergashev’s punch output slowed but any hope Ramirez had was extinguished in the fourth. Ergashev was using his right as a range finder and then landing crunching lefts until the referee stepped in to save Ramirez. The tall 27-year-old Uzbek has 15 inside the distance win and was coming off a good victory over Mykal Fox in February. Ramirez has lost 4 of his last 5 but the win was against 23-1-1 Mike Perez and it was easy to see how his tenacious attacks have given him 22 inside the distance victories.
Ennis vs. Mamani
A welcome return to the ring for Ennis one of the best prospects out there. The Philadelphian was looking to end it early and was landing heavily with both hands in the first. Giving away almost 5” in height the little Bolivian Mamani was under fire and had nowhere to hide and nothing to stop Ennis coming forward with hurtful hooks. A straight right put Mamani down and although the beat the count and made it to the bell he then retired with a shoulder injury. Ennis, 22, has been side-lined for nine months over a contract dispute but is back and is going to keep busy. This victory is his 21st win by KO/TKO and his 13th in a row. He has wins over 18-0 Armando Alvarez and Ray Serrano. He beat Abraham Nova and Gary Antuanne Russell in the US Olympic Trials but lost to Russell in the final qualifier. If he continues to progress he could land a world title shot in 2020 which neither brother Farah nor brother/trainer Derrick managed in their careers. At 5’5 ½” the 32-year-old Mamani is just too small to mix with welterweights. He lost to Dejan Zlaticanin for the vacant WBC light title in 2016 and this is only his third loss by KO/TKO.
Khegai vs. Tikhonov
Khegai outscores Tikhonov with eight rounds of ceaseless aggression. Southpaw Tikhonov had slight advantages in height and reach but just could not keep Khegai out or match his work rate. Khegai was relentless bustling forward throwing hooks and uppercuts, Tikhonov was able to connect with jabs and straights rights but the terrier-like Khegai just walked through them hooking to head and body and hounding Tikhonov around the ring. Given some space Tikhonov might have been competitive but Khegai was in his face for the whole fight and controlled the contest from start to finish. Scores 80-72 on all three cards for the Philadelphia-based Ukrainian. In Thai Kickboxing Khegai was a Ukrainian, European and World champion. Wins over Jorge Diaz and Adam Lopez have seen him rated No 7(6) by the IBF. After scoring 16 wins Tikhonov lost on a stoppage against novice Jesse Hernandez in 2017 and was out of the ring until registering a win in Estonia in October
Tokyo, Japan: Fly: Jayr Raquinel (11-1-1) W TKO 8Takuya Kogawa (30-5-1). It was thought that Kogawa’s experience would give him a chance of beating the relatively inexperienced Filipino but despite a promising start it did not turn out that way. Southpaw Raquinel was aggressive in the first matching forward putting Kogawa under pressure. Kogawa was looking to counter and he connected with right to the head that floored Raquinel. The Filipino was not badly hurt but it was a 10-8 round for Kogawa. Raquinel attacked strongly over the next three rounds with Kogawa under fire and struggling to keep Raquinel out but he did land a punch in the fourth which opened a cut over the right eye of Raquinel. After four rounds all three judges had Raquinel in front 38-37. Kogawa put in a big effort in the fifth but could not stem the attacks of Raquinel. In the eighth Raquinel rocked Kogawa with a right and then landed a series lefts which dropped an exhausted Kogawa and the referee stopped the fight. The 22-year-old Filipino, the WBC No 15, was making the third defence of his OPBF title and gets his eighth win by KO/TKO. Nice rebound victory for Raquinel who was outpointed by Chinese fighter Wulan Tuolehazi for the WBC Silver title in September. It might be the end of the road for 34-year-old Kogawa. He is a former OPB champion and had two spells as Japanese champion but failed in challenges for the WBC and interim WBA flyweight titles
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Bantam: Dixon Flores (1-6-3,2ND) W TKO 2 Alex Espinoza (18-2-2). Obviously Flores did not read the script in this all-Nicaraguan contest. This was not the intended outcome as the unfancied fighter overwhelmed the favourite Espinoza inside two rounds. Flores came storming out at the first bell piling into a startled Espinoza . Flores recent form had been patchy at best and he is no puncher so Espinoza probably felt he could wait until the storm blew itself out and then take over. However Flores did not let up but kept walking inside and scoring to the body. Early in the second Espinoza managed to force Flores back and looked to be getting on top until a left hook to the body had him bending in pain and retreating to the ropes. Flores landed some heavy rights to the head and with Espinoza floundering and unsteady the referee halted the fight. Flores gets only his fifth inside the distance victory. He had been knocked out in one round by Khalid Yafai in 2016 and his record over his four most recent fights was 0-1-1, 2ND. Espinoza’s only loss was on a split decision against Mikhail Aloyan. He was No 9 with the WBA and since the questionable loss to Aloyan, had scored three useful wins over domestic opposition. This win for Flores was a major surprise.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Middle: Rowan Campbell (11-0) W TKO 7 Patrick Mukala (11-2-1).Super Welter: Roarke Knapp (9-0-1) W PTS 10 Alex Zhuravskiy (13-6-1).
Campbell vs. Mukala
Campbell retains the IBO All-African title with stoppage of DRC fighter Mukala. It was a close, competitive fight over the first two rounds but then the superior strength of Campbell began to tell. He was landing with hooks to the body in the third and out jabbing Mukala. The Congolese fighter battled back in the fourth but pressure from Campbell had him on the retreat and he was holding and wrestling more as his work rate dropped. A big right cross the head from Campbell early in the seventh was the beginning of the end for Mukala. Campbell was bullying Mukala around the ring connecting with clubbing head punches. An exhausted Mukala tried to punch back but he was too tired to lift his arms and after a few more thumping rights to the head from Campbell the referee came in to save Mukala. Seventh win by KO/TKO for the South African champion and second defence of the IBO All-African title. It is early days but I feel Campbell will struggle against a better class of opposition. Mukala had performed well in a losing on points against Ryno Liebenberg so Campbell did well to stop him.
Knapp vs. Zhuravskiy
South African Knapp moves up to ten rounds for the first time and comes away with a unanimous decision over Zhuravskiy. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 as South African No 6 Knapp,21, stays unbeaten. Kazak southpaw Zhuravskiy’s role now is that of imported loser as he is now 0-4-1 in his last five fights, four of them in different countries and all against unbeaten opponents.
Corona, CA, USA: Bantam: Edwin Rodriguez (11-5-1) W PTS 10 Saul Sanchez (12-1). Puerto Rican boxer Rodriguez pulls off good win in a hard fought close contest against local favourite Sanchez. There was never much between these two in an entertaining fight and the result could have gone either way but in the end despite a gash on his right cheek Rodriguez had a better claim to victory. Scores 96-94 twice for Rodriguez and 96-94 for Sanchez. Rodriguez, 26, is now 3-1-1 in his last five contests all against unbeaten fighters. At 22 Sanchez has plenty of time to rebound from this loss.
Everett, MA, USA: Middle: Carlos Gongora (17-0) W KO 1 Alan Zavala (15-5). Super Feather: Abraham Nova (16-0) W KO 1 Luis Castillo (20-4). Welter: Brian Ceballo (10-0) W KO 4 Luis E Florez (24-14,1ND).
Gongora vs. Zavala
Gongora blasts out Zavala inside a round. The tall Ecuadorian southpaw used some right jabs to have Zavala backing up and then began to score with hooks from both hands. A straight left floored Zavala and although he tried to climb to his feet he was too slow and was counted out. Gongora, 30, did not turn pro until he was 26. He competed at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics and three World Championships took a gold medal at the South American Games and twice won bronze at the PanAmerican Games. He also beat Yamaguchi Falcao and Terrell Gausha and fought in the World Series of Boxing. Plenty of credentials and a class boxer but probably insufficient time to make it as a pro. Third loss in a row for Mexican Zavala.
Nova vs. Castillo
Nova floors and halts useful Castillo in the first. Nova was shadowing Castillo in the trying to open up Castillo’s guard. It began to look as though no opening was going to come. However late in the round Nova forced Castillo to the ropes with a strong jab and then landed a couple of rights to the head which staggered Castillo before driving home two more rights which dropped Castillo and he was counted out. Another impressive performance from the 25-year-old Puerto Rican, a former US National champion, and his twelfth victory by KO/TKO. He retains the WBA-NABA title and is No 6 with that body. Mexican Castillo, 20, won his first 15 fights but has stumbled badly as he has been meeting better opponents.
Ceballo vs. Florez
A confident assured performance from New York prospect Ceballo as he halts seasoned pro Florez. From a hands-down style Ceballo was spearing Florez with jabs to keep him on the retreat and cracking home left and right hooks to the body. Florez managed to force Ceballo back a few times with quick attacks but Ceballo shook them off and established control again. He was tracking Florez around the ring in the fourth and then landed two left hooks. The first to the head hurt Florez but it was the hook to the body that ended the fight with Florez dropping to the canvas in agony and he was unable to beat the count. The 25-year-old Ceballos is a former National Golden Gloves, US National and National Police Athletic League champion who also competed at the Pan American Games and for the US-KO Team in the World Series of Boxing. Plenty of talent-one to follow. It was 2014 when Colombian Florez scored a first round stoppage over Miguel Berchelt but It must seem like a lifetime ago now as he gets his seventh loss by KO/TKO.
Houston, TX, USA: Super Light: Jerrico Walton (15-0) W PTs 10 Victor Terrazas (38-7-2). Walton gets a “name” on his record as he outpoints Terrazas. It was a one-sided fight with Terrazas tubby and overweight not really ever competitive but staying the distance. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73. Texan Walton was defending his interim ABF USA title but as Terrazas came in 3lbs over the contract weight he could not have won the title. At 36 former WBC super bantam champion Terrazas just turns up for the money. He had his best days when he was in the 122lbs division but he was 150lbs for this poor effort and is 1-5-1 in his last 7 fights.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Light; Gustavo Lemos (23-0) W TKO 3 Jonathan Eniz (24-12-1,1ND). Lemos dismantles Eniz to win the vacant IBF International title. Lemos just about took a close first round but then dominated the second with some powerful body punches. Eniz was not backing down so it was an entertaining round as they traded in the trenches. In the third Eniz was coming forward punching and Lemos was being forced back. As he advanced Eniz was leaving himself open and Lemos was raking him with fierce counters. Eniz was ducking under some punches but was taking too many. Lefts and rights from Lemos forced him back and down. He was up at nine but unsteady and punches from Lemos had Eniz going back and almost out through the ropes. The referee stopped the action to let Eniz untangle himself but as Lemos then rained punches on Eniz the referee stopped the fight. “El Electrico” Lemos, 23,the IBF No 6(5), makes it 8 inside the distance wins in his last 9 fights including a second round kayo of Jorge Paez Jr. Despite his modest record Eniz was coming off upset victories this year over former IBF champion Cesar Cuenca and 21-1 Deniz Ilbay so should have been a tough test for Lemos.
Sydney, Australia: Super Light: Youssef Dib (13-0) W TKO 3 Jack Asis (38-23-5). Dib keeps the family flag flying with third round stoppage of Filipino veteran Asis. A big step up in quality of opposition for the 26-year-old local in only his second eight round contest. Now 36 former IBO champion Asis has lost three tough matches on the spin following defeats against Rivan Cesaire and Bowyn Morgan.
Junin, Argentina: Fabricio Bea (14-0-1) W TKO 3 Robinson Garcia (12-10). Bea finishes Colombian Garcia inside three rounds. After a low key first round Bea went to work in the second. He moved inside and began to connect with hooks and uppercuts and late in the round floored Garcia with left to the head. In the third Bea went to the body and a vicious left hook saw Garcia take a step back and then drop to the canvas in agony and his corner immediately threw in the towel. All of “El Turbo” Bea’s wins have come by KO/TKO and after a draw in 2017 he has scored ten consecutive victories by KO/TKO. He is the South American champion but we won’t find out how good he is until he meets higher quality opposition. Garcia is 2-4 in his last 6 fights.
Richibucto, Canada: Super Feather: Joey Laviolette (12-2) W PTS 10 Dominic Babineau (11-2). Laviolette upsets the local fans as he floors Babineau twice on the way to a unanimous decision. Laviolette has now scored victories in 6 of his last 7 fights losing only to unbeaten Olympic gold medallist Robinson Conceicao. Babineau had won his last five fights by KO/TKO.
Cancun, Mexico: Light: Jose Aguirre (22-0) W PTS 12 Jampier Oses (15-5-1). Aguirre hands out a brutal beating to a plucky but under-powered Oses. The strong, aggressive Aguirre controlled this one from the start. Oses moved plenty but just could not keep Aguirre out and found himself fighting with his back to the ropes for most of the fight. Aguirre was throwing bombs with Oses occasionally firing back hurting Aguirre with a combination in the second and connecting with a crisp uppercut in the fourth but other than that he was catching not pitching and did not have the punch to be competitive. Aguirre was driving forward connecting with brutal head punches from both hands. As Oses tired over the last three rounds Aguirre was bombarding him with booming head punches and the fight could and should have been stopped well before the final bell. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109 all for Aguirre. The Californian-born Aguirre, 28, has wins over Juan Jose Martinez and Jair Lopez and it is time for him to move up to higher level opposition, Venezuelan Oses has built his record on abysmally poor opposition and was brutally exposed here.
Ongwediva, Namibia: Welter: Mikka Shonena (15-0) W PTS 12 Youil Dong (14-2-1). Super Light: Harry Simon Jr (10-0) W TKO 2 Phillip Musariri (6-2-2).
Shonena vs. Dong
Shonena makes a successful defence of the WBO African title with unanimous verdict over China’s Dong. The visitor scored a knockdown early in the fight but Shonena was not badly shaken. He used a strong body attack to get back the lost points but had to fight hard to subdued Dong. Scores 118-110, 116-113 and 115-112 for Shonena. Fourth title defence for 31-year-old Shonena but despite his WBO No 5 rating he is yet to face any significant test. Dong had reversed his only other loss. Only in the crazy sanctioning body world can a Chinese fighter compete for an African title!
Simon vs. Musariri
Simon Jr given another gift which he accepts and stops an overmatched Musariri in two rounds. Namibian champion Simon, the son of the former WBO champion Harry Snr, has eight wins by KO/TKO but don’t get too excited nine of his victims, including Musariri, had only mustered 11 wins between them and the other victim had lost his last 15 fights! Zimbabwean Musariri was 4-0-2 in his previous six fights.
Managua, Nicaragua,: Super Fly: Cristofer Rosales (29-4) W TKO 7 Eliecer Quezada (23-10-3):Light Fly: Byron Rojas (27-4-3) W PTS 8 Eliezer Gazo (18-10-2,1ND).
Rosales vs. Quezada
Rosales gets controversial stoppage win over Quezada. It looked as though this might be all over in the opening round. Rosales was attacking ferociously with Quezada under heavy pressure. Suddenly Quezada dropped to the floor holding his ankle. The referee could have counted him out but instead chose to give Quezada some recovery time and he survived further attacks from Rosales with his ankle not giving him any further trouble. The second was three minutes of war as Rosales continued to attack but Quezada was bobbing and weaving and slipping the punches from Rosales and then blazing away with punches of his own and it was Quezada who got the better of the exchanges. They went punch for punch over the third and fourth and at that point all three judges had it 38-38. Quezada looked to have edged the fifth but Rosales took the sixth and was looking stronger. Rosales was on top in the seventh drilling Quezada with straight rights. As they fought inside Quezada half turned away and Rosales landed a series of punches to the back of Quezada’s head. Quezada ducked out of the firing line pointing to the back of his head and stood against the ropes bent over. The referee just walked up to him and waived the fight over which was a very questionable decision. Rosales gets the win and is now hoping to get a return against Charlie Edwards who lifted the WBC title from Rosales with a decision in December. Quezada had lost a split decision against Rosales in 2017 and he was giving Rosales plenty of trouble here before the stoppage.
Rojas vs. Gazo
Rojas outpoints fellow-Nicaraguan Gazo . These two styles did not mix well and there was too much holding. Gazo was coming forward aggressively over the first three rounds with Rojas boxing on the back foot. From the fourth Rojas upped his work rate and got onto the front foot putting Gazo under pressure. Rojas generally controlled the action from there. Gazo was competitive but just lacked the skill to threaten Rojas but with his good start he made the fight close. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74 for Rojas. The former WBA minimumweight champion lost his title to CP Freshmart and then failed in a challenge against the Thai in November last year. He is rated No 3 by both the WBA and WBC so if he stays unbeaten he should slot into a title challenge next year. Gazo had struck some form being 5-0-2 in his previous 7 fights.
Alpine, CA, USA: Middle: Connor Coyle (11-0) W TKO 2 Rafael Ramirez (21-5-2. Welter: Santiago Dominguez (18-0) W KO 2 Fabian Lyimo (23-10-2). Super Bantam: Brandon Valdes (12-0) W Jesus Martinez (26-8).
Coyle vs. Ramirez
Northern Ireland’s Coyle wipes out oldie Ramirez inside two rounds. Coyle had Ramirez under fire in the first and put him down. Ramirez beat the count and Coyle was pressing for the finish but as Ramirez tried to duck out of a corner Coyle vigorously pushed the Mexican’s head down and was penalised a point. Coyle ended it in the second. Once again Ramirez tried to duck under Coyle’s punches but Coyle straightened him up with a left hook and then sent him tumbling along the ropes and down with a chopping right to the head. Ramirez was finished and his corner tossed the towel into the ring. Coyle was moving up to ten rounds but he did not need the other eight as he gets his fourth win by KO/TKO. First inside the distance loss for 39-year-old Californian Ramirez who was 6-0,1ND before this defeat.
Dominguez vs. Lyimo
Dominguez hits too hard for Tanzanian Lyimo. He had the Tanzanian under pressure from the outset and ended it late in the second. He hurt Lyimo with a with a left hook to the body that had Lyimo backing away. A right to the head and another left hook to the body saw Lyimo go down on one knee and he stayed there for the full count. Fort Worth-based Mexican Dominguez, 27, has 14 wins by KO/TKO. He injured both hands in this fight and may have suffered fractures so could be facing a lay off. Lyimo suffers his fifth loss by KO/TKO and is 0-3 in fights in the USA.
Valdes vs. Martinez
Not too often that you get two Colombians fighting each other in an eight rounder in California but that was what happened here. Valdes again showcased his potential as he completely outboxed the more experienced Martinez winning every round. He might even have finished the fight inside the distance if he had done less showboating. Martinez just could not handle the talented youngster and lost two points in the seventh round for head butts. Scores 80-70 for Valdes on the three cards. The 20-year-old from Barranquilla, one of five brothers, has fought his way out of poverty through boxing after both his mother and father were imprisoned at the same time for robbery . Southpaw Martinez, 38, went 23-1 in his first 24 fights before losing in four rounds to Luis Nery in 2017. Tougher fights have brought tougher times and Martinez is now 3-7 in his last 10
Ho Chi Min City, Vietnam: Fly: Olimjon Nazarov (18-5) W Ivan Soriano (20-2-1). Little Nazarov wins the vacant WBO Oriental title with unanimous decision over Filipino Soriano. The 5’1 ½” Uzbek had problems getting past the longer reach of Soriano but he was the stronger man and able to bull his way inside often enough to convince the judges. Soriano work well with his jab and straight rights but did not really have the punch to get Nazarov’s respect . The fight looked closer than the score indicate. All three judges went for Nazarov by 116-112. After three losses on a row in prelim fights in America Nazarov had put together five wins back home against poor level opposition. Soriano had lost only one of his last 18 fights .
Fight of the week (Significance): If as a result of his stoppage of Anthony Yarde gets Sergey Kovalev a fight with Saul Alvarez that will be a significant win for the Russian. Not in the same league financially but as John Riel Casimero’s win over Cesar Ramirez lands him a fight with Zolani Tete that will be one to savour.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Kento Hatanaka vs. Jayserver Abcede saw both fighters on the floor and was a fast-paced contest providing plenty for the fans to enjoy.
Fighter of the week: Sergey Kovalev as he overcame a bad patch to stop strong Anthony Yarde
Punch of the week: Shakhram Giyasov’s left hook that put Darleys Perez down and out in the first round with honourable mention to the right to the body from Kosei Tanaka which put Jonathan Gonzalez down in the third a wicked shot even if Gonzalez did get up.
Upset of the week: Dixon Flores (15-6-3) was not expected to beat 18-1-2 Alex Espinoza
Prospect watch: Super Light Darwin price was impressive in stopping Aaron Herrera
By Eric Armit
-Emanuel Navarrete crushes Francisco De Vaca to retain the WBO super bantam title
-Jessie Magdaleno continues his winning ways with technical victory over Rafael Rivera
-Tim Tszyu beats Dwight Ritchie to go to 14-0
-Johnny Gonzalez keeps alive his faint hopes of another title shot with victory over Nicaraguan Ramiro Blanco
-Vicente Feigenbutz stops Spaniard Cesar Nunez
-Ukashir Farooq retains British flyweight title with first round victory over Duane Winters
-Chris van Heerden, Arnold Barboza Jr and Janibek Alimkhanuly win on Los Angeles show
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (28-1) W KO 3 Francisco De Vaca (20-1). Feather: Jessie Magdaleno (27-1) W TEC DEC 9 Rafael Rivera (27-4-2,1ND). Super Light: Arnold Barboza Jr (22-0) W RTD 4 Ricky Sismundo (35-15-3).Middle; Janibek Alimkhanuly (7-0) W KO 5 Stuart McLellan (27-4-3,1ND). Welter: Chris van Heerden (28-2-1) W PTS 8 Aslanbek Kozaev (33-3-1).Super Light: Javier Molina (20-2) W PTS 8 Manuel Mendez (16-6-3). Welter: Brian Mendoza (18-0) W KO 1 Rosemberg Gomez (20-8-1).
Navarrete vs. De Vaca
Navarrete overpowers De Vac and stops him in three rounds in a WBO title defence.
Over the first minute Navarrete was just prodding lightly with his jab but then began to fire long hooks and straight rights. De Vaca fired a series of hooks but Navarrete blocked them and countered with hooks of his own. Navarrete was already confident enough to be regularly switching guards and was using his longer reach to put De Vaca on the back foot and landed a crisp right uppercut before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete
De Vaca made an aggressive start walking forward throwing hooks but he was either short or they were blocked and he was being caught with right counters. De Vaca continued to walk forward but was nailed by a perfectly timed right uppercut which stopped him in his tracks and was clipped on the chin with another right and dropped to the floor. He was up at three with blood trickling from his nose. At the end of the eight count there were less than twenty seconds remaining in the round. Navarrete was not in a hurry and although he landed a couple of body punches De Vaca had no trouble making it to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Navarrete Navarrete 20-17
De Vaca came out throwing punches in the third but Navarrete was ignoring them and firing right crosses and sweeping hooks. De Vaca absorbed some heavy rights and kept firing but had his back to the ropes with Navarrete loading up on every punch. A gutsy De Vaca punched his way off the ropes a few times but every time he did Navarrete drove him back and unloaded with stunning rights and lefts until the referee stopped the fight.
The 24-year-old “Cowboy” from Mexico City was making the second defence of the WBO title and moves to 24 wins by KO/TKO. His No 1 contender is experienced Filipino Marlon Tapales but a unification fight with Daniel Roman would be worth seeing. Navarrete has a languid style which makes his power deceptive but it is there for sure. De Vaca, 24, was way out of his depth and despite his 20-0 record was untested against any quality opposition.
Magdaleno vs. Rivera
Magdaleno continues his march towards a title fight with technical verdict over for WBA super feather belt challenger Rivera. It was Rivera who was in charge over the first round as he hustled and bustled the more skilful Magdaleno taking him out of his stride and connecting with rights. Magdaleno settled in the second and third rounds scoring with left jabs and quick rights and matching Rivera inside. Rivera was on the rampage again in the fourth and a clash of head saw Magdaleno cut on the bridge of his nose. Rivera was on the attack for the rest of the round as Magdaleno just tried to stay out of trouble until his corner could work on the cut. Rivera continued to press in the fifth but was being countered by right jabs and straight lefts and some good defensive work was making Rivera miss wildly but he kept attacking to make the round close. Magdaleno boxed beautifully in the sixth. Confusing Rivera with constant movement, changing angles and slotting punches through gaps in Rivera’s defence. Magdaleno had a big seventh. After outboxing Rivera early he stopped him in his tracks with a left hook. Rivera was hurt and Magdaleno switched to the attack with Rivera in trouble but he managed to cling his way to the bell. Magdaleno boxed on the retreat in the eighth. A frustrated Rivera was lunging wildly and after side-stepping a couple of Rivera's rushes Magdaleno mimicked a bull fighter with his cape and just kept threading his punches through Rivera’s defence. Rivera pinned Magdaleno in a corner in the ninth but was caught by a left counter that knocked him back and he had to put his glove on the canvas to avoid going down. When the action resumed Rivera went after Magdaleno and had some success but was still eating jabs. Just before bell as Rivera attacked his elbow opened a deep cut over the right eye of Magdaleno and after examining the cut the doctor advised the fight be stopped and it went to the cards with Magdaleno in front 89-81 on two cards and 88-82 on the other. Good win for the former WBC super bantamweight champion. He was coming off a useful victory over Rico Ramos and having moved up to featherweight he should be fighting for a version of a title in that division in 2020. Rivera proved a tough opponent but that was as expected. Rivera put together a 25-0-2 run at the start of his career but has since lost to Joseph Diaz, Joet Gonzalez and in a WBA title challenge against Leo Santa Cruz. A rough ride for any fighter.
Barboza vs. Sismundo
Whilst a galaxy of former amateur stars are making the headlines Barboza continues to do his destructive work under the radar. He was too big and too strong for the seasoned Filipino. Sismundo tried to punch with Barboza but was quickly dismantled. After punishing Sismundo over the first two rounds in the third Barboza drove Sismundo back across the ring and then sent him down with a left hook. Sismundo survived but not for long. Barboza pounded on him in the fourth trapping Sismundo in a corner and beating on him for much of the round. After the bell Sismundo went down on his haunches holding on to the ropes and looking out into the crowd. When the referee bent over to talk to Sismundo he said he did not want to continue. Barboza, a 27-year-old from Los Angeles, has beaten both Mike Reed and Mike Alvarado. He is No 4 with the WBO and No 15 with the WBC and could be fighting for the title in 2020. Japan-based Sismundo, 32, has been a good pro but at 5’5” and a former featherweight he was just too small to pose any threat to Barboza
Alimkhanuly vs. McLellan
Kazak’s Alimkhanuly (are there any fighters left at home in Kazakhstan?) proves too strong for Canadian McLellan. Southpaw Alimkhanuly used his right jab and some hefty lefts to establish control and then put McLellan down with a well-timed left uppercut in the second. McLellan was up quickly and saw out the round. Alimkhanuly continued to boss the fight with McLellan unable to avoid Alimkhanuly’s accurate jabs or match the Kazak’s power. In the fifth after stabbing home a couple of jabs Alimkhanuly connected with an overhand right and a left hook to the jaw that sent McLellan down. The punches spun McLellan around so that he landed face first on the canvas. He was up at eight but Alimkhanuly pinned him to the ropes and landed some thumping hooks to the head and the referee stopped the fight as McLellan’s corner threw the towel into the ring. Alimkhanuly retains the WBC Continental Americas title and is already No 15 with the WBO. He was an outstanding amateur beating Anthony Fowler and Jason Quigley on the way to a gold medal in the 2013 World Championships and beat Fowler again at the 2016 Olympics but was eliminated at the quarter-final stage. He also won gold medals at the Asian Championships and Asian Games and was a very successful member of the Astana Arlans in the World Series of Boxing being designated Global Champion. McLellan lost to Carl Crowley for the Canadian title in February but had scored two wins in Mexico since then.
van Heerden vs. Kozaev
van Heerden outpoints Kozaev in an entertaining but bloody match. It was the aggression of Kozaev against the skill and movement of van Heerden with the Russian piling forward and van Heerden looking to fight on the outside but also scoring with some telling body punches. A clash of heads saw van Heerden cut over his left eye in the first round which was a contributing factor in his tactics but he got some measure of success by opening a cut on the bridge of Kozaev’s nose in the third and opening a cut over the Russian’s left eye in the fifth with a punch. Unfortunately Kozaev continued to press and when their heads clashed in the same fifth round van Heerden was cut over his right eye. The doctor cleared van Heerden to continue With blood dripping from those cuts Kozaev was inspired to attack furiously but the body punches that van Heerden had applied in the earlier rounds slowed Kozaev and van Heerden was able to box his way to victory. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for van Heerden. The 32-year-old southpaw has lost only one of his last fifteen fights and that was a stoppage against Errol Spencer in 2015. After scoring two wins in 2016 he was then inactive in 2017 and had only one fight in 2018. This is his second fight this year but he has some work to do to get back in the ratings. Kozaev, 31, lost crucial fights against Ray Robinson and Taras Shelestyuk and although he had scored seven wins going into this fight he said he was now retiring.
Molina vs. Mendez
Molina much too good for Californian Mendez. Molina made a steady start boxing on the back foot with Mendez storming forward looking to cut off the ring and fight inside. Molina was moving cleverly and countering with crisp hooks and uppercuts. Mendez kept rolling but as the fight progressed Molina was standing and trading more and loading up on his punches but with this only his third fight in over three years he was probably happy to get in eight rounds of work. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74. Molina represented the USA at the 2008 Olympics and turned pro the following year, After winning 17 of his first 18 fights he then lost to Jamal James in January 2016 and was then inactive until June last year. This is his third win over decent level opposition since then. Mendez going the other way with four losses in a row.
Mendoza vs. Gomez
Mendoza extends his winning run to 18 with first round kayo of Gomez. Mendoza put Gomez down late in the round and the Nicaraguan was counted out. The 25-year-old from New Mexico has 13 wins by KO/TKO but the opposition has been mediocre at best so no real tests yet. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Gomez who was having his first fight for eighteen months.
Sydney, Australia: Super Welter: Tim Tszyu (14-0) W PTS 10 Dwight Ritchie (19-2). Middle: Aidos Yerbossynuly (12-0) W PTS 10 Rocky Jerkic (17-2). Welter: Nursultan Zhangabayev (8-0) W PTS 10 Steve Gago (11-0). Super Middle: Cesar Tapia (11-0) W PTS 10 Renold Quinlan (12-5) W Welter: Jack Brubaker (16-2-2) W TKO Danny Kennedy (8-1-1).
Tszyu vs. Ritchie
Tszyu continues to progress as he scores unanimous decision over Ritchie. It was probably the toughest test so far for Tszyu. The first two rounds were close but in the third Ritchie was cut over the left eye and rocked by a big right. Ritchie’s cut was examined by the doctor but he was allowed to continue. Tszyu was able to land with left hooks and straight rights with Ritchie struggling with the cut and Tszyu was always in control. Ritchie fought hard to the bell but was always second best as Tszyu boxed his way to victory, Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 97-93 for Tszyu. The 24-year-old Tszyu lifts Ritchie’s IBF Australasian title and wins the vacant WBO Global belt. This win moves him closer to a fight with Jeff Horn. “Fighting Cowboy” Ritchie, 27, is a former Australian and OPBF champion who had four wins chopped off his record for boxing as a pro whilst below the age limit. He has had a tough time with boxing lifting him out of a bad life path and having to twice fight off cancer.
Yerbossynuly vs. Jerkic
Yerbossynuly retains the WBA Asian and WBA International titles with points victory over Australian Jerkic. The former top amateur from Kazakhstan was quicker, stronger, busier and more skilful than Jerkic and dominated the fight. Jerkic had success with some heavy punches late but was never really a threat to the Kazak’s control of the tactics and the contest and Yerbossynuly emerged a comfortable winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91. The 27-year-old Yerbossynuly. The WBA’s No 6 super middle, retains the WBA International and WBC Asian Boxing Council titles. He was a member of the Astana Arlans team in the WSB. Jerkic took 20 months out of the ring after losing a split decision to Anthony Buttigieg for the Commonwealth title in 2017 but had returned with two wins .
Zhangabayev vs. Gago
Zhangabayev makes it a double for Kazakhstan as he wins this three-title match with unanimous verdict over Perth southpaw Gago. Zhangabayev made thins difficult for himself on the way to winning this one against the taller Gago. He needed two attempts to make the weight and then lost three points for low blows and was lucky to avoid disqualification. Zhangabayev is a tigerish aggressive fighter and he was just too good for the inexperienced Gago and won on scores of 95-92 twice and 96-91. The 26-year-old Kazak retains the WBA Inter-Continental title and collects the vacant IBF International and WBO Oriental belts. Gago, who has won fights in Beijing and Macao, showed some nice skills but just could not stem the attacks of Zhangabayev.
Tapia vs. Quinlan
Minor upset as unbeaten young Australian-based Mexican Tapia
outpoints once world rated Quinlan. Tapia used a higher work rate to win this one. Quinlan never really got into the fight until staging a storming finish in the last but that was too little too late. Tapia flirted with disqualification for hitting Quinlan on the break twice but that was as close as Quinlan came to a chance of victory. Scores 99-92, 98-92 and 97-93 for Tapia. The 21-year-old from Tijuana who emigrated to Australia and turned pro there was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and wins the vacant Australian title. Quinlan, 30, broke into the world ratings with a second round kayo of Daniel Geale back in 2016 but then lost important fights inside the distance against Chris Eubank Jr, Damien Hooper and John Buatsi.
Brubaker vs. Kennedy
Brubaker beats a game Kennedy when the fight is stopped due to a cut. It was an entertaining fight with Kennedy using his speed to match the more experienced Brubaker early but Brubaker’s superior power winning out in the end, From the sixth Kennedy was being forced to trade punches more. A punch opened a cut over his right eye and in the eighth round the doctor decided the cut was too bad for Kennedy to continue. The 27-year-old Brubaker , a former OPBF champion who holds a win over Tyrone Nurse, has lost only one of his last 13 fights and that was on a stoppage in 2017 in a Commonwealth title fight against Kris George. Kennedy, 36, was born on the Channel Island of Jersey and has had five fights in Australia and five in England.
Kansas City, KS, USA: Middle: Shane Mosley Jr (15-3) W PTS 10 Calvin Metcalf (9-3-1). Heavy; James Morrison (16-0-2) W KO 2 Sam Shewmaker (5-1).
Mosley vs. Metcalf
Mosley gets the win but is forced to fight hard by local hope Metcalf. This one was close with Mosley just having the edge but he does not have the soundest defence and the aggressive Metcalf was able to land his share of punches in an entertaining scrap. Mosley has won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss coming against Brandon Adams. This was a big step up in opposition for Metcalf who had been fighting in prelims before this bout.
Morrison vs. Shewmaker
A farce this one as Morrison crushes former Bare-Knuckle contestant Shewmaker. Morrison floored Shewmaker in the first and twice in the second for the win. Morrison, the son of Tommy, has 14 wins by KO/TKO including 6 in his last 7 fights but this was rubbish. Shewmaker was pathetic and hardly threw a punch.
Ludwigshafen, Germany: Super Middle: Vincent Feigenbutz (31-2) W TKO 8 Cesar Nunez (16-1-1). Super Welter: Ahmad Ali (15-0-1) W PTS 12 Armen Torosyan (19-7-1).
Feigenbutz vs. Nunez
Feigenbutz brushes aside Spaniard Nunez to win the vacant IBO International title and retain the GBU world title. Feigenbutz is improving little by little and he showed a more skilful approach at times. Nunez was willing to stand and trade but lacked the power to really trouble Feigenbutz and after a steady start Feigenbutz pushed the pace more from the third. He was connecting with straight rights but it was the hooks to the body that were breaking Nunez down. The Spaniard lost a point in the fifth for too many low punches. He traded punches with Feigenbutz bravely in the sixth and seventh but the strength and power of Feigenbutz were just too much for Nunez and he was hurt by a body punch at the end of the seventh. In the eighth a right to the body from Feigenbutz put Nunez down. He made it to his feet only to be floored again. After the eighth count Feigenbutz took Nunez to the ropes and pounded him as he slid along the ropes to a corner. Feigenbutz was bombing Nunez with lefts and rights and the referee stopped the fight. The former interim WBA champion has won ten in a row nine by KO/TKO. In some ways he has achieved too much too early as he is still developing and is only 23. There are good domestic fights for him against European champion Stefan Haertel and Tyron Zeuge if they can be made. Former Spanish middleweight champion Nunez just did not have the power to compete here.
Ali vs. Torosyan
Ali retains the Global Boxing Union title as he takes unanimous verdict over Torosyan in a poor fight. The German was giving away a lot of height to the 5’11 ½” Armenian but to offset that he was much quicker with both hands and feet. He used his hand speed to get his punches off first and his movement to dodge the attacks of Torosyan. The Armenian tried to turn the fight into a brawl and there was too much clinching for the fight to be entertaining with Ali blaming a cold for a disappointing performance but he was always a step ahead of Torosyan. Scores 117-109 twice and 115-113 all for Ali. He was making the first defence of the GBU title. He lost a bit out of his boxing career due to suffering a broken ankle playing football and he may struggle against better opposition. Torosyan, 35, has now dropped to 4 losses in his last 5 fights.
Mazatlan, Mexico: Bantam: Ruben Vega (15-0-1) W PTS 8 Gonzalo Garcia (17-21-2). Super Light: Miguel Parra (18-1-1) W PTS 8 Emmanuel Herrera (6-8).
Vega vs. Garcia
Vega continues unbeaten with confident display against more experienced Garcia. Vega had a much longer reach and a much bigger bag of skills and outboxed Garcia. Vega used stiff, accurate jabs and strong counters to control the action. Garcia kept trundling forward but time and again counters from Vega stopped him in his tracks. Vega’s quicker hands saw him firing bunches of combinations and getting plenty of variety in his work. Garcia kept coming and showed a strong chin and with Vega not being a big puncher he never looked in trouble but Vega was a clear winner. The 19-year-old Vega probably needs a couple more wins before he is ready to move up. With 7 losses in his last 8 fights obviously Garcia is not going anywhere but he usually goes the distance
Parra vs. Herrera
Now nine wins in a row for Parra but generally the level of his opposituion has been very low. Here Herrera showed that the thing he does best is soak up punishment. Parra’s height and reach allowed him to control the action on the outside. Herrera’s crude attacks left plenty of gaps and Parra was connecting with hooks and straight rights and bouncing Herrera around the ring but Herrera took the blows and never looked in serious trouble. Parra not really tested yet. Herrera occasionally puts in a good performance having beaten 16-1 Diego Eligio and in November 15-0 Bryan Figueroa.
Fresnillo, Mexico: Jhonny Gonzalez (68-11) W PTS 12 Ramiro Blanco (18-6-3). Gonzalez has his hands full with Nicaraguan Blanco but wins wide verdict. Blanco was aggressive in the first trying to get past or under Gonzalez’s jab and work the body. Gonzalez stuck to the jab until late in the round when he began to land left hooks to the body. The second and third followed a similar pattern. Blanco was busier with Gonzalez still staying with the jab and was more accurate. Over the fourth and fifth the strong jabbing from Gonzalez was proving more and more of a barrier for Blanco and he was also being caught with left hooks and straight rights. Blanco switched to southpaw in the seventh and jolted Gonzalez with a right but Gonzalez was stepping up his work rate and going to the body more. The pace slowed in the eighth with the more accurate shots from Gonzalez giving him the edge but Blanco kept firing back and making life uncomfortable for the former champion. Blanco slowed in the ninth and tenth as Gonzalez began to connect with some hefty rights to the head and then using almost exclusively his jab Gonzalez outscored Blanco fighting off a strong finish from the Nicaraguan to emerge the winner. Scores 119-109 twice and 118-110 all for Gonzalez who retains the WBC Fecarbox Silver title. The 37-year-old former WBO bantam and WBC feather champion has been in 16 world title fights and is close to 80 fights in his career and although he is rated No 11 by the WBC he is by no means the force he was. The scores do not reflect how hard a time the 23-year-old Nicaraguan gave him. Blanco has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights but the other three losses have come against 28-2 Patrick Kinigamazi in Switzerland and against Andres Gutierrez and Miguel Roman.
Singapore: Super Welter: Stevie Ferdinandus (20-17-1) W TKO 5 Theerawat (21-11). Feather: Muhamad Ridhwan (13-2) W TKO 3 Tommy Seran (30-18).
Ferdinandus vs. Theerawat
Indonesian oldie Ferdinandus gets his third inside the distance win in a row as he punches too hard for Thai Theerawat. Ferdinandus was much the bigger man and he was able to use his strength to keep Theerawat pinned to the ropes for much of the fight. Southpaw right hooks caused three knockdowns before the fight was stopped in the fifth round. The 38-year-old Ferdinandus collects the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title with his seventeenth win by KO/TKO. Eighth inside the distance defeat for Theerawat.
Ridhwan vs. Seran
Ridhwan was the boxer on who sparked the revival of the sport in Singapore but he is on a rebuilding exercise now after a couple of losses. He had no trouble in coping with Seran who is way down the slippery slope to register his ninth win by KO/TKO. The 31-year-old Ridhwan managed to win the UBO world title but lost a split decision against Paulus Ambunda for the vacant IBO title in September last year and then slipped up badly by losing a split verdict to Filipino Landy Cris Leon in March with Landy having a 11-18-5 record at the time. This is his second win over Indonesian opposition since then. Somehow Seran has gone from 23-2 run at the start of his career to 7-16 now.
Bang Phun, Thailand: Light: Apache Petchmanee (5-0) W PTS 10 Chonlatarn (61-5). Youth will be served-but only just as Petchmanee gets very close unanimous decision over Chonlatarn in their second meeting. In the early rounds it looked too easy for Petchmanee as he used his height and reach to work Chonlatarn over with jabs right crosses and some sharp uppercuts. Chonlatarn used his vast experience to find a way into the fight. He padded forward blocking or ducking many of Petchmanee’s punches and then connecting with hooks rattling Petchmanee with rights. Petchmanee tried to box but more and more he was being dragged into a brawl. He was still the more accurate and landing some snappy hooks and uppercuts as Chonlatarn came forward but his work became ragged under pressure from Chonlatarn. Petchmanee found the energy to move and box throughout the last and that probably was the round that won him the fight. Scores 96-94 for Petchmanee on all three cards. The 29-year-old Petchmanee wins the WBC Asian Boxing Council title. He was an elite level amateur and competed for the Bangkok Elephants in the World Series of Boxing. He had scored a close decision over Chonlatarn in an eight round fight in June so that is two tough tests in a row for him. Chonlatarn, 34, at 5’5 ½” is too small for a lightweight. At one time he was 43-0 but in world title shots he lost to Chris John, Vasyl Lomachenko and Miguel Berchelt with Berchelt the only fighter to beat him inside the distance so a big ask for Petchmanee at this stage of his career.
Glasgow, Scotland: Ukashir Farooq (13-0) W KO 1Duane Winters (11-2). Farooq gets this British title defence over early. The champion was spearing Winters with jabs and then landing quick left hooks to the body. Winters was on the retreat and Farooq was finding gaps and pinging the challenger with punches. Farooq moved Winters to the ropes and then dug in a wicked left hook to the body and Winters went down on his knees and was counted out. The 23-year-old Pakistani-born Glaswegian gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. This is his third title defence so he is now the proud owner of the beautiful Lonsdale belt. He is ready for much better opposition and will be a real threat in this division with fellow-Scot Commonwealth champion Lee McGregor an obvious target. Southern Area champion Winters was in way over his head.
Springfield.MA, USA: Light Heavy: Charles Foster (19-0) W PTS 10 Denis Grachev (19-8-1). Heavy: Devin Vargas (21-5) W TKO 5 Nail Kennedy (13-1-1).
Foster vs. Grachev
Connecticut southpaw Foster comes through a good test with unanimous decision over seasoned pro Grachev. The tall southpaw outboxed Grachev and was too young and too quick for the Russian, A cut from a clash of heads in the second round made Foster a little more cautious but he stuck to his boxing. Despite his pressure tactics giving Grachev some success Foster was always in control. Score 100-90, 97-91 and 97-93 for Foster. He retains the WBA NABA title and is No 8 with that organisation. Over 2018 and now 2019 he has scored five wins over good if not high level opposition. Grachev, 37, looked on his way to a world title chance after wins over 17-0 Ismayl Sillah and 33-0 Zsolt Erdei-being the only fighter to beat the former WBO and WBC champion-but then lost four in a row against top level opposition and has faded badly.
Vargas vs. Kennedy
Vargas gets shock win as he comes from behind to halt Kennedy. This was a tough scrap between two big men. The pace was slow with both landing heavy punches. Kennedy was outworking Vargas who spent much of the time pinned to the ropes whilst Kennedy banged away trying to find a way past the guard of Vargas. Kennedy had a big third landing some powerful rights but he was leaving himself open and Vargas was landing counters in the fourth. Vargas turned the fight around in the fifth. He landed heavily driving Kennedy to the ropes and then unleashed a series of neck-jerking head punches until the referee jumped in a stopped the fight. A big win for Vargas but at 37 it is a bit late for him to be fulfilling the promise he showed as an amateur. He dominated the heavyweight division in the US amateur ranks in the early 2000’s before Captaining the US Team at the 2004 Olympics and turned pro the same year. He won his first 17 fights before losing to then unbeaten Kevin Johnson and only boxed spasmodically being inactive in 2015 and 2016. His only loss since returning in 2017 was a first round kayo by Andy Ruiz in March last year. Kennedy was already 30 before he turned pro and this is a huge setback for him.
Ormoc City, Philippines: Feather: Albert Pagara (32-1) W TKO 1 Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-4). Feather: Jeo Santisima (18-2) W KO 1 Alvius Maufani (6-4-2). Fly: Melvin Jerusalem (15-2) W RTD 7 Reymark Taday (9-10-1). Super Fly: Jonas Sultan (16-5) W TKO 7 Salatiel Amit (11-7-2).
Pagara vs. Sawangsoda
Pagara destroys over matched Thai Sawangsoda flooring the Thai four times before the fight is stopped, The 25-year-old Filipino was on his way to a world title shot until suffering a shock kayo loss against Cesar Juarez in 2016. He has battled his way back to No 3 with the WBO and with fellow-Filipinos Marlon Tapales and Juan Miguel Elorde Nos 1 and 2 with the WBO it is a domestic line up waiting for Emanuel Navarrete-best of luck guys! Poor Sawangsoda gets his third inside the distance loss in a row,
Santisima vs. Maufani
Another very poor match was over even quicker than Pagara’s win as WBO No 7 Santisima knocked out Indonesian novice in 109 seconds. After going 2-2 in his first 4 fights the 23-year-old Santisima now has 16 wins in a row. Maufani is 0-3-1 in his last 4 fights.
Jerusalem vs. Taday
Former WBC title challenger Jerusalem halts Taday in yet another one-sided fight. Jerusalem came as close as anyone has to snapping the unbeaten streak of Wanheng. When Jerusalem lost to Wanheng in a challenge for the WBC minimum title two judges had Wanheng winning by just one point and the third judge had Wanheng up 115-113 and that fight was in Thailand! Unfortunately before he could land a return Jerusalem was beaten by fellow-Filipino Joey Canoy so this is his fourth win on a campaign to get back into a position to face Wanheng again. Taday falls to 1-8-1 in his last 10 outings.
Sultan vs. Amit
Sultan, another former title challenger, halts Amit in seven. Sultan scored a win over John Riel Casimero which landed him a shot at IBF super fly champion Jerwin Ancajas but he lost a wide unanimous decision. As with Jerusalem he also then suffered a surprise defeat being outpointed by South African Athenkosi Dumezweni in April this year. Amit slips to 1-5 in his last 6 fights.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Fly: Junior Zarate (11-2) W PT 10 Juan Jurado (15-2-3). Zarate gets revenge over Jurado and wins the national title with wide decision. Zarate was too slick and quick for the aggressive but smaller Jurado. Zarate was boxing on the back foot spearing Jurado with jabs and countering him with hooks from both hands. It was Zarate’s fight all the way. Jurado probably took the fourth when a clash of heads opened a cut on the left cheek of Zarate but other than that he was never really able to pin Zarate down and chased in vain. Jurado tried to rough Zarate up on the inside but again it was not enough as Zarate confidently boxed his way to victory. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Zarate. The 29-year-old “Demon” was the top little man in Argentinian amateur ranks for many years. He was National champion and competed at the World Championships and Pan American Games as well as being a mainstay of the Argentina Condors in the World Series of Boxing. He did not turn pro until he was 29 but with the victory over Jurado has now revenged both of his professional losses. Before losing in a very disappointing performance in a non-title fight against Luciano Baldor in June last year Jurado, 32, was 15-0-3, including a successful title defence against Zarate so has now suffered two losses in a row.
Shenzhen, China: Minimum: Jing Xiang (17-4-2) W TEC DEC 9 Jomar Caindog (10-2-1). Super Feather: Xiao Tao Su (11-1) W TKO 1 Shota Yukawa (11-6-3). Xiang Li (5-0) W TKO 7 Do Jin Lee (6-3-3).
Xiang vs. Caindog
Xiang gets technical decision over Filipino Caindog. Xiang was the better boxer but Caindog exerted enough pressure to make the fight very close. Xizang could have been more dominant if he had not decided to do so much showboating. Caindog stuck to his task and the fight was in the balance when a clash of heads saw Xiang badly cut over his right eye. The fight was halted and was decided on the cards with Xiang getting the decision on scores of 77-75 twice and 79-73.Xiang, 29, wins the vacant WBO International title. It is now nine wins in a row for Xiang including victories over former WBO minimumweight champion Merlito Sabillo and an aging former WBC light fly champion Kompayak. Caindog, the Philippines No 6, had gone 5-0-1 in his previous six fights.
Su vs. Yukawa
Su wins the vacant WBO Oriental titles with blast out of mediocre Japanese opponent Yukawa. Su rocked Yukawa early sending the Japanese fighter tumbling into the ropes with the ropes holding Yukawa up-but not for long. A thunderous left hook to the chin from Su put Yukawa flat on his back on the canvas and the referee just waived the fight over. At 5’5” Su is small for a super feather but he showed power in claiming his sixth inside the distance victory. Yukawa really just a prelim level opponent.
Li vs. Lee
Li halts Korean Lee in seven. Li looked to be on his way to a routine points win until the seventh round. He staggered Lee with a straight right and connected with two more rights that sent Lee down heavily and after counting to three the referee saw Lee was not going to get up and the waived the rest of the count. Li wins the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title and the WBO China belt. Poor Lee is 1-3-2 in his six most recent fights.
Albuquerque, NM, USA: Super Light: Fidel Maldonado (27-4-1,1ND) W KO 1 Juan Santiago (16-17-2). Maldonado finds his punch again. After two points wins in a row Maldonado blasted out Santiago inside a round. Fighting in his home city Maldonado ended this one with just two seconds left in the opening round. The 28-year-old southpaw gets his third win of the year after being out of the ring for fifteen months following a kayo loss to former WBA secondary title holder Ishmael Barroso. Ninth defeat by KO/TKO for Santiago and his first fight for two years.
Fight of the week (Significance): Emanuel Navarrete’s win over Francisco De Vaca was the only world title fight so has to be the choice
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Jack Brubaker vs. Danny Kennedy and Chris van Heerden vs. Aslanbek Kozaev pleased the crowds
Fighter of the week: Emanuel Navarrete with honourable mention to Jessie Magdaleno
Punch of the week: Xiao Tao Su’s left hook the flattened Shota Yukawa was special but so was the left hook to the body from Ukashir Farooq that ended his fight with Duane Winters
Upset of the week: No biggies although Devin Vargas stopping Nail Kennedy was unexpected
Prospect watch: Super Light Arnold Barboza Jr 21-0 is breaking through in a big way.
Many times a a card for one thing or another, and that single thing overshadows everything else. Sometimes that's fair, and the "thing" is really the only important part of a card, or a show. Other times however other great things get lost as a result, usually something on the under-card. Today's Closet Classic is a great example of that, with the bout being tucked away on a card headlined by In Jin Chi's bout with Rodolfo Lopez, a bout that not only saw Chi become a 2-time world champion but also the final bout of Chi's career. The bout we're going to be talking about isn't a particularly historic one, but is just the type of thing we love having in our Closet Classic section.
Hee Jae Cho (8-1, 4) vs Byung Joo Moon (5-5, 4)
Placed in the main support bout of Chi's contest with Lopez was a Korean Super Featherweight title bout between 30 year old challenger Byung Joo Moon and teenage champion Hee Jae Cho. On paper this looked like a mismatch, and given the attention the main event was given it was easy to ignore this one. That was, until the two men began to fight, and until they managed to put on a bout that really saw both men going through hell in pursuit of the W.
Cho had won the title 7 months prior to this bout, blowing out Dong Hoon Lim in the opening round. For him this bout was set as his first defense and a win would likely have set him on the path to some big bouts. Moon on the other hand was fighting in his first title bout, and he was the clear under-dog. Moon had lost his previous 2, and was almost a year removed from his last win. It was obvious this was supposed to be an easy defense for the fast rising teenager.
The problem for Cho is that no one had told Moon that he was there to lose, and from very early in the bout the challenger pressed the champion, unloading hard right hands and powerful left hooks on to the taller, younger and more technically well schooled champion. Cho tried to fight back, but as the fight went on he was dragged into a war with the stiff nosed and heavy handed champion.
Whilst the bout didn't start like a rocket, it built up a head of steam and by the time we gt into round 7 it was clear we were watching not just a very good bout, but a great fight. A fight that was the pure visual representation of the Korean style, focusing on aggression, heart and out put rather than defense and ring craft. Even when both were clearly exhausted they still dug deep and continued their war.
Amazingly both men would go on to fight for OPBF titles. Cho would win the Korean Lightweight title before facing Kengo Nagashima for the OPBF title, in another excellent fight, whilst Moon would go on to battle Takashi Uchiyama for OPBF Super Featherweight title, losing in 4 rounds to KO Dynamite.
The Japanese Super Bantamweight scene is one of the most deep and interesting scenes out there, and it has been for years with great fight after great fight after great fight. One of the things that has stood out has been the competitiveness of those fights, and we have been getting a really consistent run of fantastic, competitive, back and forth fights. The division really has been pouring out some absolute thrillers over the last few years, both in title bouts and none title bouts. Today we go into the Closet and draw out a brilliant Japanese Super Bantamweight title fight from 2016, and it really is a lost modern classic.
Yasutaka Ishimoto (28-8, 7) vs Gakuya Furuhashi (18-7-1, 8) II
In August 2015 Yasutaka Ishimoto, best known by US fans for his bouts in Macao against Wilfredo Vazquez Jr and Chris Avalos, scored a razor thin win over Gakuya Furuhashi in a thrilling 8 round bout. The result of that win was a Japanese title fight for Ishimoto who would narrowly beat Yusaku Kuga in a thriller to claim the vacant Japanese title. After winning the belt he would make his first defense against Furuhashi, who had fought to a draw in a previous title bout against Yukinori Oguni.
Fans outside of Japan may have heard of Ishimoto but not many will have seen him, outside of his Macao fights. To those in Japan however he was a hugely popular domestic level fighter and a man who had some of the noisiest fans in the sport at the time. When he fought the Korakuen Hall was packed, loud and had an even louder more excited atmosphere than usual. Although Ishimoto wasn't a world class talent, or a banger, his following was massive, and his style was nothing short of thrilling, with every fight being an action packed brawl.
Furuhashi wasn't quite a popular as Ishimoto, though like Ishimoto his style was based around action, brawling and fighting at a high pace, trading blows and engaging in a really fun stylistic match up. It was a style suited to fighters with more power, but one he used and one fans enjoyed. Like Ishimoto he was popular, and was popular, in part due to his ability to get involved in a tear up.
With two fighters who enjoyed a war facing off, with history from their first bout, it's self a thriller, we were expecting something special here. And it delivered!
The first round was high paced feeling out round, that got better and better as the round went on. The crowd buying into the action with applause and cheers almost from the first noteworthy punch. Through round two we were beginning to see a high tempo contest fought at mid range, both guys firing off jabs and trying to follow them up. It was a fight that suited Ishimoto and one that Furuhashi knew he had to change, and change he did stepping up the pace, and then being punished on the inside. He knew that for him to win he had to grit it out and turn it into a war, and by the mid rounds that was exactly what had happened, with Furuhashi raiding on the champion.
From there on the bout just became something special with grit and determination driving Furuhashi on, as he looked to win the title and avenge his prior loss to Ishimoto whilst Ishimoto himself sought to break down the challenger and in what was becoming a hotly contest fight. The crowd were cheering on the action, supporting a great fight and there was hardly an empty seat in the Hall as it began bouncing.
With Furuhashi pressing in the second half of the fight the it seemed like he could, potentially turn things around as the men began exchanging combinations of headshots.
In the end one man would stay standing, but both would walk out of the ring with their reputations enhanced and fans desperate to see more of both fighters, who had let it all hang out in a forgotten yet brilliant modern day war.
Please note - The sound used in this video was subdued due to the recording method, though the image should be excellent.
By Eric Armit
-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr returns with a quick win
-Vergil Ortiz continues his winning ways as he dismantles Antonio Orozco in six rounds
-Jason Sosa continues to rebuild as he stops Haskell Rhodes
-Joshua Franco and Oscar Negrete fight to a draw in the third bout of their series
-Argentinian puncher Marcelino Lopez puts away Daniel Echevarria in five rounds
-Middleweight banger Edgar Berlanga makes it twelve first round wins in a row
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Hiroaki Teshigawara (20-2-2) W TKO 12 Shohei Omori (20-3). Teshigawara retains the OPBF title with late stoppage of Omori. The challenger was competitive in the first round but Teshigawara was quicker and was scoring well with hooks from both hands and after four rounds was 40-36 up on two cards and 39-37 on the other. Omori was cut over the right eye in the fifth and Teshigawara continued to outscore him in the sixth. Omori connected well with jabs and body punches in the seventh but Teshigawara had a good eighth to stay in front 79-73 on two cards and 78-74 on the third. Omori stormed back scoring well with uppercuts and body punches over the ninth and tenth but Teshigawara was stronger at the finish and by the last was able to drive Omari to the ropes and beat on him until the referee stopped the fight. This victory in his second title defence gives “Golden Yasha” Teshigawara eight wins in a row, seven by KO/TKO. He is No 8(7) with the IBF. Former WBO bantam challenger Omori was No 15 with the WBC but this loss will knock him back as he suffers his third inside the distance loss.
Melbourne, Australia: Light Heavy: Blake Caparello (30-3-1) W TKO 8 Reece Papuni (13-3). Local southpaw Caparello makes it four wins on the trot as he stops New Zealander Papuni in eight rounds in a defence of the WBA Oceania belt. The former 32-year-old WBO light heavy title challenger is rated WBC 8/WBO 10/WBA 11 and his title hopes has to rely on getting selected as an opponent in a voluntary defence by one of the champions. Papuni was having his first fight in almost three years and suffers his third defeat by KO/TKO.
Accra, Ghana: Middle: Obodai Sai (35-3-1) DRE W 12 Mardochee Kuvesa Katembo (13-2). Feather: Felix Williams (28-1) W RTD 1 Waidi Usman (15-4). Super Bantam: Theo Tetteh (12-1) W PTS 12 Ray Commey (19-9) Super Light: Kpakpo Allotey (15-1) W KO 2 Deo Samwel (12-9-7,1ND).
Sai vs. Katembo
This one was declared a draw but ignore that. Katembo won this fight and won it easily. I have watched it twice and struggled to give Sai any round if I was feeling really generous I might have given him two at the most but even that was stretching things. Katembo ouboxed Sai from bell to bell. He was giving away lots of height and reach to the local fighter but since Sai was not using his jab that was never a handicap. Sai persisted in trundling forward behind a high guard and not throwing any punches on the way in. Katembo was constantly moving around the static Sai scoring both left and right jabs as he regularly switched stances. Apart from threading a pile of jabs though the guard of the advancing Sai he was also peppering Sai with other straight punches from both hands. For round after round Sai just walked into Katembo’s punches. They were not hard and Sai blocked many of them but Katembo landed more than Sai by quite a big margin in every round as Sai never managed to catch up with the fleet Katembo. In the last Katembo was dancing and still outboxing Sai and at the bell there was glee in Katembo’s corner and gloom in Sai’s-until the scores were read out. Sai did not celebrate like a winner and he was very fortunate to get a draw he did not deserve and retain his WBO African title. DRC fighter Katembo had won 5 of his last 6 fights. He is no world beater but Sai made him look like one.
Williams vs. Usman
This one was a farce as Williams had huge edges in height and reach and floored late substitute Usman three times with Usman retiring at the end of the opening round. The tall Ghanaian southpaw was landing with left hooks to the body with poor Usman going backwards at a fast lick hiding behind a high guard and hardly throwing a punch. Body blows saw Usman drop to the floor twice but he seemed to be looking for an excuse to go down. On the third knockdown even as the referee was kneeling in front of him giving Usman the count the Nigerian still held his gloves high in front of his face-did he think the referee was going to hit him?. After the third count Usman’s corner threw in the towel but the referee threw it out and then the bell went and Usman retired in his corner. Williams makes it 21 wins by KO/TKO and wins the vacant IBO International title. Usman was pathetic on this night but he was a late substitute and is a former ABU champion and has a decent record.
Tetteh vs. Commey
Tetteh retains the National title with wide unanimous verdict over more experienced Commey. No real problems for Tetteh apart from the second round. He had a much longer reach than the smaller Commey and outboxed him. Commey kept trying to take the fight to Tetteh but just never found a way of getting past Tetteh’s jab often enough to be in the fight. In the second Commey launches a fierce attack and had Tetteh pinned to the ropes for much of the round. He was bombarding Tetteh with punches and with little coming back from Tetteh the referee looked close to stepping in. Then Commey paid for his all-out attack as he left himself wide open and a right from Tetteh put him down. He made it to his feet and survived the round but his chance to win was gone. Scores 120-107, 120-108 and 119-109 for Tetteh. He has eleven wins in a row but against very modest opposition. Commey, 32, has won only one of his last six fights
Allotey vs. Samwell
Allotey knocks out Tanzanian Samwell in the second round. Little Samwell was coming forward aggressively in the first throwing lots of punches but Allotey stayed cool and looked dangerous with counters. In the second Samwell trapped Allotey in a corner but when he piled forward Allotey turned out of the corner and landed a series of head punches ending with right to the head that sent Samwell down on his side. He managed to climb up but had not quite made it all the way as the referee reached ten. Twelfth win by KO/TKO for former Ghanaian champion Allotey. His loss was a stoppage against unbeaten Robert Quaye in October which cost him his National title. First inside the distance loss for Samwell.
Hinckley. MN, USA: DeLorien Caraway (13-2) W PTS 10 Rondale Hubbert (13-9-2). Cruiser: Al Sands (20-4-1) DREW 8 DeShon Webster (12-2-1). Heavy: Mladen Miljas (12-0) W TKO 1 Aaron Chavers (8-9-1). Feather: Ramiro Hernandez W KO 1 Antwan Robertson (10-18-1).
Caraway vs. Hubbert
Caraway wins the Minnesota State title with unanimous decision over Hubbert. Their respective styles did not make for a good fight with too much feinting and too little fighting as they each tried to fool the other into making a mistake. Although smaller Caraway was much quicker and set a higher work rate and Hubbert never really got into the fight so there were very few highlights. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Caraway. He has won 6 of his last 7 fights. Fourth bout this year for Hubbert who is 1-2-1 in those matches.
Sands vs. Webster
Sands and Webster draw in a very low key affair. With his experience and physical edges Sands should have been able to box his way to victory but at times he was being out jabbed by the smaller man. There were plenty of exchanges but of the slow and ponderous kind with neither fight really taking control and neither able to rock the other and the draw was a fair result. Scores 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Sands. Haitian-born Sands was having his first outing for ten months after losing consecutive fights to Yury Kashinsky in Russia and Krzys Wlodarczyk. Webster has mostly spent his time in boxing backwoods such as Iowa, South Dakota and Kansas. He was3-2 in his previous 5 fights with the losses to unbeaten Ali Akhmedov and Steven Nelson.
Miljas vs. Chavers
A waste of time is the only way to describe this one. Miljas landed a couple of body punches and Chavers sped back across the ring to the ropes and quickly fell down as Miljas landed a couple more punches. He made it to his feet reluctantly and just tried to cover up. Miljas connected with a clubbing punch and Chaves slid along the ropes from one corner to another and was bent double by two more body punches and the referee stopped the slaughter. The 6’6” former undefeated Canadian champion Miljas has twelve wins by KO/TKO. A former law student he never defended the Canadian title which is unfortunate as with Simon Kean, Adam Braidwood and former victim Dillon Carman around there might have been some good fights for him but instead he is fighting some very poor opposition. Now six losses on the trot and five of those by KO/TKO for Chavers.
Hernandez vs. Robertson
Hernandez brushes aside poor little Robertson inside a round. After connecting with some left jabs Hernandez scored with a couple of rights to the body. He then forced Robertson to the ropes and landed two rights to the ribs and Robertson went down on one knee in some pain and indicated he was not getting up. Cleveland-based Hernandez goes to ten wins by KO/TKO but this was a mismatch. Robertson now has nine losses by KO/TKO.
Lincoln, RI, USA: Super Light: Jamaine Ortiz (12-0) W PTS 8 Romain Couture (8-1-1). Heavy: Steve Vukosa (12-1) W PTS 8 Joe Cusumano (18-3).
Ortiz vs. Couture
Ortiz outclasses French visitor Couture. The local prospect had too much speed and skill for a determined but limited Couture. A sparkling performance from the WBC Youth champion as he outboxed and outworked Couture in every round. Scores 80-72 for Ortiz on all three cards. The 23-year-old from Worcester was an elite level amateur. Winning a bronze medal at the US Championships earned him a place at the US Olympic Trials for Rio where he finally lost out to Gary Antuanne Russell. Couture was 8-0-1 in his last 9 fights and this was his first bout outside of France.
Vukosa vs. Cusumano
Vukosa gets majority decision over Cusumano. It was a close fight all the way. Cusumano made the better opening moves and looked to have taken the first two rounds but that lead was wiped out when a right from Vukosa floored Cusumano in the third. Cusumano fought his way back in to the contest over the middle rounds but was in trouble in the seventh and Vukosa looked to have taken the last. Scores 76-75 twice for Vukosa and 77-74 for Cusumano so it was the knockdown that gave Vukosa the verdict and the vacant WBC USNBC belt. Now 42 Vukosa “The Gentle Giant” won the National Golden Gloves super heavyweight title way back in 2000 and turned pro in 2001. He won eight fights before being inactive from 2002 until 2014. After losing to Donovan Dennis in 2015 he did not fight again until July this year. Cusumano, 31, had won 17 of his last 18 fights and came close here.
Rogoznica, Croatia: Heavy: Mark De Mori (37-2-2) W KO 1 Laszlo Penzes (10-6).Light Heavy: Hrvoje Sep (8-0) W TKO 1 Sinisa Kondic (10-13).
De Mori vs. Penzes
Australian-born Croat De Mori wipes out Hungarian oldie Penzes inside a round. As Penzes tried to take the fight to De Mori he was met with a combination of head punches and went down on his back and was counted out. The 37-year-old “Dominator” gets his seventh inside the distance win in a row since being wiped out inside a round by David Haye in 2016. His recent opposition would be flattered to be described as poor. Penzes, 40, has six losses by KO/TKO. He was issued a licence by the Croatian Federation in June although there is still an indefinite suspension by the Ontario Commission showing against him.
Sep vs. Kondic
Sep gets his sixth win by KO/TKO as he stops poor Kondic in the opening round. The 33-year-old was a top level amateur but has left it far too late to turn pro. He competed at the 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. Additionally he was a European bronze medal winner and had plenty of success fighting for the Paris United and Astana Arlans teams in the WSB. Kondic has suffered twelve losses by KO/TKO including four in his last four fights.
Olavinlinna, Finland; Light: Edis Tatli (31-3) W Berman Sanchez (29-8-3). Tatli eases his way back with points win over Sanchez. After a couple of slow rounds Tatli picked up the pace in the third but there was still not a lot of activity. Tatli was getting some work but Sanchez was mainly looking to survive and both fighters were tending to throw single shots. Tatli rocked Sanchez in the fifth and had a good seventh. He had done enough to win the earlier rounds but it was a flat performance from Tatli and a passive one from Sanchez. Scores 80-73 twice and 79-73 for Tatli. Sanchez came in 2 kg over the contract weight and although he tried he could not make the weight so there was a mutual agreement to lift the target weight slightly. Not an impressive performance in Tatli’s first fight since losing in five rounds against Teo Lopez in April but he will get sharper and having lost and won in title fights against current European champion Francesco Patera a third fight might be the aim. Nicaraguan Sanchez has brave management which has put him in with both Miguel Berchelt and Jorge Linares.
San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico: Super Middle; Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (51-3-1) W KO 1 Evert Bravo (25-11-1).
Chavez vs. Bravo
Chavez returns with a win. Bravo was brave but foolish. The Colombian chose to stand and trade punches with Chavez. He had Chavez on the back foot for a short while but then hooks and uppercuts from Chavez forced Bravo to the ropes. They traded hooks until Chavez landed a brutal left hook to the ribs. For a split second there was no reaction from Bravo but then the pain kicked in and he turned away and dropped to his knees and was counted out after just 82 seconds. Chavez was given a celebratory kiss from Chavez Snr who was working for Box Azteca at the show. Chavez, 33, weighed 175 ½ for this fight 11lbs more than in his last fight in May 2017 when he was halted by Saul Alvarez. There was no chance tonight to see how the layoff had affected him but there will be tougher tests to come. Tenth loss inside the distance for Bravo, who gets well beaten whenever he faces quality opposition,
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Feather: Jason Sosa (23-3-4) W TKO 7 Haskell Rhodes (27-4-1). Middle: Edgar Berlanga (12-0) W TKO 1 Gregory Trenel (11-5-2). Feather: Adan Gonzales (5-2-2) W PTS 4 Robeisy Ramirez (0-1).
Sosa vs. Rhodes
Sosa hunts and hounds Rhodes to defeat. Sosa applied constant pressure focusing on the body. Rhodes was forced to try to match Sosa’s work rate and power but by the end of the fourth he was starting to weaken. A left hook put Rhodes down in the fifth and he went down heavily but somehow made it to his feet. Sosa landed a series of punches and Rhodes went down again. He was in a bad way when he arose but it was too close to the bell for Sosa to end the fight. Sosa attacked strongly again in the sixth but a clash of heads opened a cut over his left eye. A left uppercut dumped Rhodes on the canvas in the seventh which should have been the end but Rhodes got up and Sosa was allowed to pound on him some more until Rhodes trainer climbed onto the apron to call for the fight to be stopped. After consecutive losses to Vasyl Lomachenko and Yuriorkis Gamboa Sosa has a rebuilding job to do and this is his third win along that path. Rhodes had won 4 of his last 5 fights but when he has tried to move up he has lost to Sergey Lipinets, Edner Cherry and Omar Douglas. This is the first time he has failed to go the distance.
Berlanga vs. Trenel
Berlanga has yet to hear the bell for the second round and he makes it twelve first round wins with stoppage of Frenchman Trenel. Berlanga put Trenel over early with a left to the head and after the French fighter beat the count Berlanga bombarded him with punches and the referee had seen enough and halted the fight with 36 seconds remaining in the round. “The Chosen One” Berlanga, 22, a fighter of Puerto Rican antecedents who was brought up in Brooklyn, made a habit of having to settle for silver medals in the amateurs. He turned pro at 18 after losing out at the US Olympic Trials for a place in Rio. He needs better opposition before we can judge how far he can go. He also needs seven more first round wins in a row to equal the record of 19 first round wins in a row held by Tyrone Brunson. First inside the distance defeat for Trenel who was 9-1-2 in his previous 12 fights.
Gonzales vs. Ramirez
Oh dear! This was not supposed to happen as Gonzalez ruins the first appearance as a pro of 25-year-old Cuban Ramirez. The Cuban had won gold medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics beating both Michael Conlan and Shakur Stevens. Gonzales threw the script away from the outset as he landed a left to the head in the first which saw Ramirez topple back and put his gloves on the floor to stop going down and was given a count. Ramirez never seemed to recover and was well beaten. Scores 40-35 and 39-36 for Gonzalez and 38-37 for Ramirez.
The 22-year-old Gonzales just really a moderate prelim fighter looked a safe ask for Ramirez now the Cuban has some questions to answer.
Grand Prairie, TX, USA: Welter: Vergil Ortiz (14-0) W TKO 6 Antonio Orozco (28-2). Bantam: Joshua Franco (15-1-2) DRE W 10 Oscar Negrete (18-3-1). Light: Hector Tanajara (18-0) W PTS 10 Ezequiel Aviles (16-4-3). Super Light: Marcelino Lopez (36-2-1) W KO 5 Daniel Echeverria (21-9).
Ortiz vs. Orozco
In front of his home town fans Ortiz marches on as he stops Orozco although for three rounds Orozco attacked hard and was a good test. Ortiz made a strong start in the first marching forward behind his jab and landing with a couple of left hooks to the body. He had Orozco under fire on the ropes and as Orozco dropped to his haunches it could have led to a count as Orozco was sitting on the bottom rope. Orozco then took the fight to Ortiz and they traded body punches to the bell. In the second Ortiz wanted to box and Orozco wanted to brawl and they both had some success. Ortiz used his jab and lots of movement to frustrate Orozco’s swarming attacks in the third and was hooking well to the body. Late in the round Orozco managed to pin Ortiz on the ropes and connected with body punches. Ortiz really found the range in the fourth as he upped his pace and began to land with heavy rights and Orozco was finding it difficult to get inside. The fifth was a slower round with Ortiz still sticking with the jab and some left hooks to the body and a lot of the fire seemed to have gone out of Orozco. Ortiz went to work in the sixth. He connected with two fierce left hooks to the body and Orozco went down on one knee. Orozco only just beat the count and then Ortiz bombarded him with lefts and rights to the head until a wicked right to the head forced Orozco to take a knee. Again Orozco was late getting up and when the action resumed another right had him dipping at the knees. He did not go down but another series from Ortiz ending with a right to the head floored Orozco and the referee waived off the fight. The 21-year-old Texan is an outstanding prospect and the way he took Orozco apart in the sixth was impressive. He has wins over experienced fighters in Jorge Salgado, who once stopped Jorge Linares inside a round, Roberto Ortiz and Mauricio Herrera and this is the first time he had had to go past the third round for a victory. Orozco lived up to his “Relentless” nickname over those first three rounds but was then just overpowered. His only other loss was on points against Jose Carlos Ramirez in a challenge for the WBC title.
Franco vs. Negrete
This is one of those pairings where they could fight each other ten times and they would all be close fights. In their two previous meeting Franco Had won the first on a split decision and they then fought to a split draw. There was never much between them here. All of the rounds were close and neither fighter was really able to dominate and the draw looked the right outcome. It was the swarming attacks of Negron against the lower punch rate but more accuracy from Franco as they traded punches from bell to bell. Scores 96-94 Franco, 96-94 Negrete and 95-95. Texan Franco was making the second defence of his NABF title and the first of his WBA International title so he still has two belts. Colombian Negrete lost on points to Rey Vargas for the WBC title in December 2017 and is now 1-1-2 in his four fights since then
Tanajara vs. Aviles
Stylish boxing from San Antonio’s Tanajara sees him outbox Aviles and retain the WBC USNBC belt. In the early rounds Aviles tried to pressure and hustle Tanajara out of his stride but the youngster stuck to his boxing using a powerful jab and clever movement to frustrate Aviles. Over the middle rounds as Aviles continued to come forward Tanajara was landing heavy counters. He is not a big puncher but had Aviles hurt a couple of times as Aviles left himself open in his desperation to land a big punch to swing the fight his way. Aviles never found that punch and Tanajara cruised to victory. Scores 100-90 for Tanajara on all three cards. The 22-year-old Tanajara already has impressive wins over 19-1-1 Roger Gutierrez and 36-2 Roberto Manzanarez so is worth following. After putting together a 14-bout unbeaten streak Aviles has now suffered three consecutive defeats.
Lopez vs. Echeverria
Seasoned Argentinian puncher Lopez makes it four inside the distance wins in his last four fights as he knocks out Mexican Echeverria. For a couple of rounds southpaw Echeverria by far the taller man boxed well on the outside against the dangerous Lopez. The Argentinian finally found openings in the fourth and put Echeverria down twice and on each occasion he also knocked Echevarria’s mouthguard out. A thumping straight right put Echeverria down in the fifth and this time he was counted out. Lopez, 33, a former Argentinian and South American champion who went 29-0-1 in his first 30 fights, has now won 7 of his last 8 contests with all seven wins coming by KO/TKO and the loss being a split decision against Michael Perez. Echeverria also made an impressive start to his career by winning his first 18 fights before tasting defeat against Jorge Paez Jr. He then lost his next seven fights but coming into this bout had scored two wins.
Accra, Ghana: Heavy: Ebenezer Tetteh (20-0) W RTD 6 Morris Okolla (11-4). Tetteh gets a win but is very far from impressive. Against an aging and portly Okolla Tetteh did not look good. Okolla proved to be a better fighter than he looked and at times out jabbed the taller Tetteh and although Tetteh downloaded some big rights in every round Okolla never really seemed to be really shaken in the fight. It was a slow paced bout with Tetteh clearly the harder puncher but lacking footwork and throwing one punch at a time. He slowly broke Okolla down and the Kenyan failed to come out for the seventh round due to bruising around his eyes and a nose injury. The 31-year-old Tetteh gets his seventeenth win by KO/TKO but he will have to improve a very great deal if he is going to give Daniel Dubois any kind of fight. Okolla, 37 had scored a low level win in December but that was his first fight in almost two years. This was a curious fight. Tetteh was to have fought Okolla on this night on the undercard of a fight between Patrick Allotey and Eric Kapai Mukadi for the WBO African super welter title at Accra Sports Stadium. However it was announced on the morning of the 10th that the show was cancelled due to “some unfortunate health issues with regard to the main bout on the card”. However the Tetteh fight did take place but in a gymnasium or small hall and not at the Stadium and I can only assume it went ahead as it was being billed as a Commonwealth title eliminator with Tetteh already announced as fighting Daniel Dubois on 27 September for the vacant title. As for the cancellation of the Allotey fight it is not impossible with Allotey just having been announced as the next challenger for Jamie Munguia that it was too risky to take this fight.
Fight of the week (Significance): I guess the return of Julio Cesar Chavez Jr might count but it was a very low key week.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Even if it was the third time they had met Joshua Franco vs. Oscar Negrete provided plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Vergil Ortiz was impressive in halting Antonio Orozco
Punch of the week: The left hook from Chavez that ended his fight with Evert Bravo was a rib-bender
Upset of the week: Only a four round fight but there is no way Adan Gonzales was supposed to beat Cuban Robeisy Ramirez
Prospect watch: lightweight Hector Tanajara 18-0 has class
By Eric Armit
Most sports fans are lucky because in most sports they know the best are going to meet the best. Whether it is the Super Bowl, the World Cup, the Olympic Games the World Series, Wimbledon or The Masters at some stage the best will be pitted against the best when the contestants are at their peak. Pity we poor boxing fans who can only watch in envy as our “best” rarely meet the “best” or when they do too often they are past their best or at least one of them is. An example is that when Floyd Mayweather Jr and Manny Pacquiao eventually fought both of them were past their peak. Still great fighters but a couple of years past their best. British examples would be Ricky Hatton vs. Junior Witter and Amir Khan vs. Kell Brook big fights at the time that never happened. There is usually more than one factor that frustrates these fights. Different TV commitments, different promotional ties, ego and of course money.
The mandated IBF middleweight title defence for Saul Alvarez against Sergey Derevyanchenko hardly compares to Mayweather vs. Pacquiao but it was interesting match and for me Derevyanchenko was capable of giving Alvarez a very tough fight. Since Alvarez did not want to give Gennady Golovkin a third match-at this time-it was as good a middleweight title fight as we could expect. But of course it is not going to happen because the respective teams could not come to a commercial agreement and the IBF stripped Alvarez of their title. So was it down to different TV commitments, promotional issues or ego. No this was purely about money. With the $300+ million contract deal Alvarez has with DAZN whoever he fights there is going to be very big money involved. If the promotion of the bout is decided on a bidding process then Derevyanchenko would be entitle to 35% of the winning bid. Golden Boy did not want the fight to go to purse offers because they would face competition from Derevyanchenko’s promoter and would therefore be forced to put in a high bid to ensure they won. Not surprisingly they chose to negotiate with Derevyanchenko’s team aiming to get Derevyanchenko’s team to accept a figure which would fall far short of the 35% in a purse bid. The IBF gave extension after extension to the date by which there needed to be an agreement as the two side played brinkmanship. You had Golden Boy’s position being we are not going to get anything like 35% but we will offer a lot more money than you have ever made for a fight and Derevyanchenko’s team saying the gap between the 35% and what you are offering is too wide we are worth more. Nobody blinked so there was no deal and with Golden Boy not interested in a purse bidding the IBF had no alternative but to strip Alvarez because his team walked away from the table making no commitment to defend the title. Oscar De La Hoya branded the IBF decision “an insult to boxing” which is a strange way to say Derevyanchenko wanted more money than we were willing to give him so we effectively gave up the title by walking away.
The two boxers are the real losers in this. Alvarez has lost a title and has no ready opponent. With the WBC “elevating” him to Franchise champion and now replacing him with Jermall Charlo as their champion he no longer has the WBC title. There would be zero interest in fighting Ryota Murata and the WBA No 1 is-Golovkin! The talk is of a fight with Demetrius Andrade to unify the WBA and WBO titles which seems logical but a very hard sell. Derevyanchenko can’t be happy at losing the chance to fight for a huge purse and might be wishing his team had blinked but it now looks like he will get a fight with Golovkin for the vacant IBF title. As the mandatory challenger he will have a strong bargaining position and for me has a good chance of beating Golovkin Money makes the world go around, world go around, world go around-the boxing cabaret but in this case the wheels came off.
Anybody want a lovely belt? The WBC had one specially made for Alvarez’s proposed fight on September 14-15 to celebrate Mexican Independence. Now there is no Alvarez fight on that date. I was going to call for bids for it but perhaps we could negotiate!
You can’t keep the heavyweights out of the news. Disgracefully Jarrell Miller says he expects to fight again in October which makes a complete mockery of all the testing. I am surprised that VADA don’t walk away or at least have a say in whether or not a boxer should be banned and for how long. That’s what the French Agency did over Tony Yoka.
So Tyson Fury is going to fight Otto Wallin and Hughie Fury is going to fight Alex Povetkin-shouldn’t that be the other way around. Wallin is better than Tom Schwarz but probably his best result was outpointing fellow Swede Adrian Granat-who was knocked out inside a round by Alex Dimitrenko. It strikes me that Tyson Fury is now having the fights he should have had before fighting Deontay Wilder but the important thing is that he does not lose between now and the return with Wilder.
Looks like it will be Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz in Cardiff on 14 December. Ruiz is saying he will choose the venue but that depends on what the small print in the original contract said.
The transition from top level amateur to pro success has not always worked out for Cuban boxers. The latest to switch over is 25-year-old Robeisy Ramirez who has his first pro fight in Philadelphia on Saturday. As an amateur Ramirez was Cuban champion five times, won gold medals at the Youth Olympics, the World Youth Championships, the Pan American Games and both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics beating Andrew Selby, Michael Conlan and Shakur Stevenson. Surely he can’t fail-can he?
Stevenson will get a world title shot some time this year. He and Joet Gonzalez have been paired to fight for the WBO feather title recently vacated by Oscar Valdez. There is talk of Jose Carols Ramirez defending the WBC super lightweight title against Jack Catterall on the same show.
Other title fights lined up in date order are John Riel Casimero defending the interim WBO bantam title against Cesar Ramirez in Manila on 24 August with the winner to meet champion Zolani Tete and on the same night in Nagoya Kosei Tanaka puts the WBO flyweight title on the line against Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez whilst in Puerto Rico Vic Saludar defends the IBF minimumweight title against Wilfredo Mendez, Josh Warrington is defending the IBF feather title on 12 October in Leeds. Takoucht is No 5 with the IBF but with the first two slots vacant he is effectively No 3 and owes that high ranking to winning the IBF International title and not the quality of his opposition. He is No 17 with the EBU. There is talk of Jerwin Ancajas facing Carlos Cuadras in October with the Filipino’s IBF super fly title on the line. Now that could be a great fight. Jamel Herring is defending the WBO super feather title against Lamont Roach on 9 November and there will be a return between Julian Williams and Jarrett Hurd on 14 December as Hurd gets a change to regain the IBF, WBA and IBO super welter titles he lost to Williams in May.
It seems to have been just one blow after another for our sport. We had the tragic deaths of Maxim Dadashev and Hugo Santillan then French boxer/actor Jean Claude Bouttier died on 3 August at the age of 74. Bouttier was one of the most popular boxers of his era. He was European champion but had the misfortune of being around at the same time as Carlos Monzon and lost twice to Monzon in world title fights. After he retired he worked as a commentator and then moved in to films and had a very successful career there. One day later former WBC flyweight champion Colombian Prudencio Cardona died on 4 August at the age of 67. He was the fourth Colombian boxer to win a world title –his brother Ricardo was the third. Prudencio had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. There was another death with Polish fighter Dawid Kostecki committing suicide by hanging himself in his prison cell and then the former WBC welterweight champion Carlos Baldomir jailed for sexual abuse of his daughter who was only eight. His crime had nothing to do with boxing but his world title was a convenient hook to make the story bigger.
On a personal level I lost a close friend in Beau Williford who died on 31 July. Beau boxed pro as a heavyweight and then trained and managed fighters but for me the defining aspect of Beau’s life was the work he did with the youth of his home town of Lafayette. He took in many problem kids and turned their lives around. He did not just teach them boxing he taught them discipline. He also insisted on responsible behaviour and that they maintained acceptable school grades. He was teaching boxing but he was also building citizens. That work is done in so many gyms around the world. I dropped into a gym in Dundee run by Greg Menzies a couple of times and saw the same commitment to the youths working there. Last weekend boxers Eric Walker and John Harding Jr had important bouts. Walker won but Harding lost-and yet they are both winners. When younger they both spent long terms in jail. Boxing changed their lives gave them a fresh start that’s a route that many other young men have followed. Yes boxing is a dangerous sport and naturally the tragedies and the bad publicity taint it but in almost every city in the world there are guys like Beau and Greg who give their time to help the local youth but good news is no news so that contribution by boxing to the citizens of the future goes unreported and largely unrecognised.
Last crime report. A mugger in Mexico City mugged a guy and stole his watch. The guy he mugged was Julio Cesar Chavez. Not sure if that counts as bravado or brainless.
There appears to be something about fights that take place in the build up to Christmas, we're not sure what but the last few years the finals days before Christmas have given us some late Fight of the Year contenders. These have included bouts like Makoto Fuchigami Vs Tomohiro Ebisu, Kompayak Porpramook Vs Adrian Hernandez I and today's Closet Classic which came from the end of 2018 and was another incredible fight. In fact this should go down as one of the rare thrillers bouts between southpaws.
Nobuyuki Shindo (20-4-1, 8) vs Akinori Watanabe (37-7, 31)
Interim titles, for the WBA, are a source of revenue, but for the JBC they are a way to keep the title picture going when there's been an issue with the champion and their health.
In May 2018 Nobuyuki Shindo won the Japanese Light Middleweight title with a narrow win over Ryosuke Maruki, to become a 2-weight Japanese champion. Despite the win he suffered an injury that would keep him out of the ring for a prolonged time. Rather than have the title sit on the side the JBC allowed Akinori Watanabe to take on the aforementioned Maruki for the interim title in August 2018, with Watanabe stopping Maruki in the opening round. The JBC then matched the two champions in December, in what turned out to be a ridiculously good fight.
Shindo, for those who are unaware, is a freakishly long and tall fighter, who's a southpaw making him even more awkward. Although not a puncher he does land quite regularly on opponent, with good accuracy and good speed. At this point he was 32 and had moved into the weight class that best suited his tall, long frame. Despite not being an out and out warrior, he had been in some fun and entertaining bouts bouts, with a lot of very close contests.
Watanabe on the other hand had a reputation as being a bit of a glass cannon. From his 7 losses entering the bout 6 were inside the distance, including 2 opening round defeats. Of his 44 bouts to this point 14 had failed to see the start of round 2, 20 had ended in the first 2 rounds and 29 had ended in the first 4 rounds. Win or lose he was going out swinging and was almost always in fun, fan friendly bouts, even if they weren't going to last long.
The fight started with Watanabe applying pressure and Shindo trying to box off the back foot, moving and making the most of his reach. On paper that was both men applying their tactics, and strangely the bout actually saw both men apply their tactics through out. Despite the tactics contrasting they managed to work brilliantly here and we ended up with a bout that built from a competitive chess into a bloody and violent war. The shots of Shindo never looked particularly hurtful but they left Watanabe's face a swollen and bloodied mess, Watanabe on the other hand always looked dangerous and it often felt like sooner or later he was going to take his man out...if his face could hold up.
What we ended up getting was something very, very special. It wasn't pretty but it was wonderful violent with some of the later action being nothing short of brutally breath taking as both men gave everything they had to unify the Japanese titles at 154lbs.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Sergey Kuzmin (15-0): WBA #5 / IBF 7
The WBA Intercontinental champion Sergey Kuzmin will clash with the WBA International champion Michael Hunter on September 14th.
-Evgeny Romanov (13-0): WBO #10
Romanov became the 1st ever WBO Global Heavyweight champion this past February and marked his inaugural title defense in June. He will be in action on August 24th. (Opponent TBA)
-Alexander Povetkin (34-2): WBC #7 / WBA #10
The former Olympic & World champion is set to return on August 31st against Hughie Fury (23-2).
-Alexey Egorov (9-0): WBA Gold champion
The 2013 European winner bested Ukranian veteran Roman Golovashchenko (20-4) within 3 rounds to be declared the new WBA Gold champion.
-Yury Kashinsky (18-0): IBF #3 / WBA #3 / WBO #4 / WBC #7
Kashinsky won the vacant IBF Intercontinental title, on June 16th.
-Evgeny Tishchenko (5-0): WBO #11
The 2016 Olympic champion dropped to Cruiserweight and won the vacant WBO Intercontinental title after stopping Abraham Tabul (16-2) in one round.
-Aleksei Papin (11-0): IBF #14
Papin finished Alexandru Jur (18-4) this June to become a 2 time IBF International champion. He will challenge Ilunga Makabu (25-2) on August 24th in Russia for the WBC Silver title.
-Ruslan Fayfer (24-1): IBF #5 / WBC #12
Ruslan defeated Serhiy Radchenko (7-4) on May 19th.
-Sergey Kovalev (33-3): WBO World champion
The Russian legend will defend his WBO title against undefeated top contender Anthony Yarde (18-0) on August 24th.
-Artur Beterbiev (14-0): IBF World champion
Beterbiev will unify with the WBC champion Oleksandr Gvozdyk (17-0) on October 18th.
-Dmitry Bivol (16-0): WBA World champion
Bivol made his 4th successful title defense in March against Joe Smith Jr. (24-3).
-Maksim Vlasov (44-3): WBO #7 / IBF #11
Vlasov defended his WBO Global title against former foe & 2 time world title challenger Isaac Chilemba (25-7) on July 20th, thus avenging his 1st professional loss.
-Umar Salamov (24-1): WBO #4 / WBA #7
Salamov successfully retained the WBO International title after knocking out Norbert Dabrowski (22-8) this past April.
-Igor Mikhalkin (23-2): WBC #3 / IBF #13
Mikhalkin earned a unanimous decision victory over Timur Nikarkhoev (21-3) as well as the interim IBO title.
-Fedor Chudinov (20-2): WBA #3 / IBF #6 / WBC #6
The former WBA World champion has fought thrice in 2019, defeating the likes of Wuzhati Nuerlang (11-3), Rafael Bejaran (26-4) and Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna (26-6).
-Aidos Yerbossynuly (11-0): WBA #6 / WBO #10
The Kazakh defeated Lukas Ndafoluma (16-2) in March, to become the WBA International champion. Aidos already holds the WBO Global & WBC Asia Continental titles as well. He will put his WBA belt on the line, against Rocky Jerkic (17-1) in Australia, on August 14th.
-Aslambek Idigov (16-0): WBO #9
Idigov picked up a majority decision over Ronny Landaeta (16-2) in April, to become the WBO & IBF European champion.
-Azizbek Abdugofurov (12-0): WBC #4
Abdugofurov won the WBC Silver title last year.
-Gennady Golovkin (39-1): WBO #1 / WBA #1 / WBC #1 / IBF #3
Triple G stopped Steve Rolls (19-1) on June 8th. Golovkin will possibly battle for the now vacant IBF title against Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-1) in October.
-Kanat Islam (26-0): WBO #8
The 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist made his triumphant return after a 2 year hiatus and demolished Julio De Jesus (27-2) in 14 seconds to become the new WBO International champion.
-Magomed Madiev (13-0): WBA #5
Madiev went to war with fellow Russian fighter Evgeny Terentiev (14-2) on July 22nd and defended his WBA Asia title for the 3rd time.
-Janibek Alimkhanuly (6-0): WBO #15
The 2013 AIBA World champion defeated Christian Olivas (16-5) to win the inaguaral WBO Global title & the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. He is set to compete on August 17th against Stuart McLellan (27-3).
-Meiirim Nursultanov (11-0): IBF #10
Nursultanov has added 2 more victories, this year, to his already perfect record. He will be back in the ring on August 24th. (Opponent TBA)
-Israil Madrimov (3-0): WBA #8
Accomplished amateur Uzbek boxer Madrimov knocked Frank Rojas (24-3) out in just 2 rounds, to defend the WBA Intercontinental title this past March. He made his successful Madison Square Garden debut, on June 8, against Norberto Gonzalez (24-13).
-Magomed Kurbanov (17-0): WBA #10
Kurbanov was meant to fight Michel Soro (34-2) on July 20th, for the vacant WBA (Regular) World championship in France, but he couldn’t make it in the country due to a visa issue.
-Bakhram Murtazaliev (16-0): WBO #4 / IBF #6
Murtazaliev defended his WBC United States championship against Elvin Ayala (29-13) this past February. He then scored a first round finish of Bruno Leonardo Romay (21-7) in April. The Russian will now go toe to toe with Jeison Rosario (19-1) in an IBF title eliminator.
-Aram Amirkhanyan (12-0): WBO #7
The unified WBO International & WBA Continental champion hasn’t fought since December of last year.
-Kudratillo Abduqaxorov (16-0): IBF #1 / WBC #4 / WBO #11
Kudratillo bested Keita Obara (21-4) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Sergey Lipinets (16-1): WBC #3 / IBF #3 / WBO #4
Lipinets stopped 2 division World champion Lamont Peterson (35-5) in March.
He added another finish to his record on July 20th after he dropped Jayar Inson (18-3) to win the vacant WBO Intercontinental title.
-David Avanesyan (24-3): WBC #8 / WBO #14
The former interim WBA World title holder defeated Kerman Lejarraga (28-1) in March and became the EBU European champion.
-Alexander Besputin (13-0): WBA #1 / IBF #4
Besputin defended his USBA title for the second time against Alfredo Blanco (20-8) on April 12. Odds are we are going to see him and Butaev fight each other for the now vacant WBA (Regular) title.
-Nursultan Zhangabayev (7-0): WBA #9 / IBF #15
Zhangabayev won the vacant WBA Intercontinental title after beating Ivan Matute (30-2) in March. He’s scheduled to make his Australian debut on August 14, against the IBF Pan Pacific champion Steve Gago (11-0).
-Radzhab Butaev (12-0): WBA #2
Butaev knocked out Lanardo Tyner (35-16) in March and then defeated Sliverio Ortiz (37-26) 2 months later. As said above, the 2 undefeated Russians might go at it for the WBA (Regular) crown.
-Batyr Akhmedov (7-0): WBA #3
Akhmedov has continued his undefeated streak in 2019, with victories over Viktor Plotnikov (33-6) as well as Francisco Gabriel Pina (14-15). The WBA has now ordered him and Mario Barrios (24-0) to fight for the Regular title.
-Zhankosh Turarov (24-0) WBO #9
Turarov stopped Mauro Maximiliano Godoy (31-5) in July, thus winning the vacant WBO Intercontinental title.
-Shohjahon Ergashev (16-0): WBA #4 / IBF #6 / WBO #8
The unstoppable Uzbek beat Mykal Fox (20-1) this past February. He now faces Abdiel Ramirez (24-4) on August 23rd.
-Shakhram Giyasov (8-0): WBA #10 / IBF #15
The 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist picked up his 8th victory as a pro this past April as well as the vacant WBA International title. Giyasov will meet former interim WBA World champion Darleys Perez (34-4) on August 24th in Mexico.
The young Russian rising star unfortunately passed away, after his fierce battle with Subriel Matias, on July 23rd. Dadashev was a true warrior inside the ring and a great family man. He will be greatly missed. Rest in peace Mad Max.
-Roman Andreev (23-0): WBO #3 / IBF #10
Top Russian contender defeated Jesus Cuadro (17-5) in May.
-Zaur Abdullaev (11-0): WBC #3 / WBO #15
The WBC Silver champion stopped Humberto Martinez (33-9) earlier this year. Abdullaev will now collide with Devin Haney (22-0), on September 14th, in a WBC title eliminator.
-Shavkat Rakhimov (14-0): WBC #4 / IBF #5
Rakhimov marked his 3rd IBO title defense, against Rofhiwa Maemu (18-9) in March.
-Akzhol Sulaimanbek Uulu (14-0): WBA #4
Sulaimanbek stopped Pipat Chaiporn (46-13) in Russia, to defend his WBA Asia championship. His next match will take place on August 24th. (Opponent TBA)
-Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (14-0): WBC #13 / IBF #14
The undefeated WBC International champion has scored 2 victories this year against Jhon Gemino (20-12) and former interim WBA World champion Emanuel Lopez (30-11).
-Denis Shafikov (40-4): IBF #9
Shafikov fought Gaybatulla Gadzhialiev (6-2), this past February, to a draw.
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-0): WBC #1 / IBF #5
The 2012 Olympic Silver Medalist defeated Claudio Marrero (24-3) in January, to earn the vacant IBO belt. King Tug is next in line for a shot at the WBC World championship.
-Murodjon Akhmadaliev (6-0): WBA #2
The 2016 Olympic Bronze Medalist made his pro debut last year and has already amassed 6 victories (5 stoppages) as well as the WBA Intercontinental title. He is now targeting the unified WBA & IBF World champion Daniel Roman (27-2). Their match will take place on September 14th.
-Nikolai Potapov (20-2): WBO #8 / IBF #11
Potapov lost to Joshua Greer Jr. (20-2) on July 13th.
By - George Delis (@Delisketo)
-Meng Fanlong (15-0): IBF #1
Meng won an IBF title eliminator in June, against Adam Deines (17-1).
-Apinun Khongsong (16-0): IBF #1
The undefeated Thai fighter stopped Japanese veteran Akihiro Kondo (31-9) with a thunderous uppercut, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Romero Duno (20-1): WBO #10
The Filipino prospect defeated world title contender Juan Antonio Rodriguez (30-8) in the States, a few months ago. A match with Ryan Garcia (18-0) is being considered to take place this Fall, probably on September 14th.
-Xiangxiang Sun (16-0): IBF #12
Sun defended his IBF Asia championship against Monico Laurente (30-15) this past March.
-Joe Noynay (18-2): WBO #5
Noynay earned the biggest win of his career on July 12th as he dominated the 2012 Olympic Bronze Medalist Satoshi Shimizu (8-1) to defend his WBO Asia Pacific crown.
-Jhack Tepora (23-0): IBF #3 / WBA #13 / WBC #14
The former interim WBA World champion got a unanimous decision over Jose Luis Gallegos (16-7) on June 1st.
-Mark Magsayo (19-0): WBC #8
Magsayo will step into the ring for the second time this year, on August 31st, when he goes up against 2 time World champion Panya Uthok (53-6) with the vacant WBC Asia & IBF Pan Pacific titles on the line.
-Marlon Tapales (33-2): WBO #1 / IBF #3
The former WBO Bantamweight World champion has 3 stoppage wins since moving up a weight class.
-Juan Miguel Elorde (28-1): WBO #2
Elorde has been the WBO Asia Pacific champion since 2015 and has defended it successfully 4 times, most recently against Shohei Kawashima (17-3).
-Albert Pagara (31-1): WBO #3
The WBO Intercontinental champion will face Ratchanon Sawangsoda (12-3) on August 17th.
-Jeo Santisima (17-2): WBO #7
Santisima fights Alvius Maufani (6-3) on August 17th.
-Nawaphon Kaikanha (46-1): WBC #4
Kaikanha marked a second successful defense of his WBC Asia title against former World champion Sonny Boy Jaro (45-15) in May and also knocked out Ryan Lumacad (14-3) on July 20th.
-Michael Dasmarinas (29-2): IBF #1 / WBC #11
Dasmarinas defeated Kenny Demecillo (14-5) this past March, to become the #1 contender for the IBF World title.
-Reymart Gaballo (21-0): WBA #4
The former interim WBA champion destroyed Japanese journeyman Yuya Nakamura (9-3) this past February. Gaballo recently signed with PBC.
-Tasana Salapat (50-1): WBC #8 / WBA #10
Since failing to capture the interim WBC title in December, Salapat has picked up 2 more wins and the OPBF Silver championship.
-Sukpraserd Ponpitak (24-10): IBF #4
Ponpitak lost to Yukinori Oguni (21-2) in May, but has already bounced back with 2 stoppages over Anucha Noithong (0-6) as well as Hamson Lamandau (10-3) and has also become the IBF Pan Pacific champion.
-Kenny Demecillo (14-5): IBF #10
Demecillo lost to Michael Dasmarinas (29-2) in Singapore, as mentioned above.
-Srisaket Sor Rungvisai (47-5): WBC #1 / WBA #2
Srisaket already finds himself again at the top of the world rankings and has recently returned back to his camp, possibly getting ready for his next match.
-Sirichai Thaiyen (55-4): WBA #4
The former interim WBA Flyweight World champion has been 5-0 since losing to Dalakian.
-Donnie Nietes (42-1): IBF #4 / WBC #4
No news yet on the 4 division world champion’s return.
-Aston Palicte (25-3): WBO #8 / WBC #9
Palicte lost to Kazuto Ioka (24-2) and failed once again to capture the WBO crown.
-Wulan Tuolehazi (12-3): WBA #3 / WBO #12
The WBC Silver champion fought Japanese standout Ryota Yamauchi (4-1) in March, to win the vacant WBA International title. He marked his first WBA defense against former OPBF champion Ardin Diale (35-14) on May 26th.
-Jayson Mama (13-0): IBF #9 / WBO #10
The undefeated Filipino prospect has had quite an impressive year thus far, with victories over Teeraphong Utaida (38-7) and former WBA Strawweight World champion Ekkawit Songnui (49-7).
-Giemel Magramo (23-1): WBO #2 / IBF #4 / WBC #5 / WBA #5
Magramo defeated Wenfeng Ge (11-1) for the WBO International title this past January. He will clash with Komgrich Nantapech (25-5) on September 7th for a shot at the IBF World title.
-Nare Yianleang (71-5): WBA #1 / WBC #7
Since losing to Kazuto Ioka in 2017, Yianleang has won 9 fights in a row.
-Komgrich Nantapech (25-5): IBF #3
As mentioned above, the Thai boxer will be involved in an IBF eliminator against Giemel Magramo (23-1).
-Edward Heno (14-0): WBO #1 / WBC #2 / WBA #2 / IBF #14
Heno made his third successful OPBF title defense in February, against Koji Itagaki (18-14). There’s a good chance that the Filipino meets the newly crowned WBO World champion Elwin Soto (15-1), possibly in October.
-Christian Araneta (17-0): IBF #3 / WBO #10 / WBC #12
Araneta will go toe to toe with fellow undefeated top contender Agustin Mauro Gauto (12-0) in an IBF eliminator, on October 6th.
-Andika Fredikson Ha'e (16-0): WBA #4
“D’Golden Boy” became the WBA Asia champion in April.
-Randy Petalcorin (30-3): IBF #9 / WBA #11
The former interim WBA World champion beat Thai journeyman Worawatchai Boonjan (14-22) on June 9th.
-Jonathan Taconing (28-4): WBC #1
Taconing failed to capture the WBC World title from Ken Shiro (16-0).
-Jing Xiang (16-4): WBO #5
Xiang successfully defended his WBC Silver Light Flyweight title against 2 division World champion Suriyan Satorn (60-7) back in January. The Chinese star will make his Strawweight debut on August 17th against Jomar Caindog (10-1) for the vacant WBO International championship.
-Samuel Salva (17-0): IBF #1 / WBO #2
Salva and Pedro Taduran (13-2) will meet on September 7th in an IBF eliminator.
-Lito Dante (16-10): WBC #8 / IBF #11
In a shocking turn of events, Dante managed to TKO top contender Tsubasa Koura (14-1) and not only become the OPBF champion but also place himself in the world rankings.
-Rhenrob Andales (10-1): WBA #5
”ArAr” captured the vacant WBA Asia title earlier this year and defended it for the first time in April against Cris Ganoza (17-3). He now challenges the WBA World champion Thammanoon Niyomtrong (18-0) on August 2nd.
-Pedro Taduran (13-2): IBF #3 / WBC #4 / WBO #8
As mentioned above, Taduran will be involved in an IBF No.1 contendership match with Samuel Salva (17-0)
-Rene Mark Cuarto (17-2): IBF #6 / WBO #15
Cuarto defeated Mike Kinaadman (6-10) on June 28th.
-Joey Canoy (15-3): WBO #9
Canoy stopped Ryan Makiputin (13-18) on July 11th.
-Mark Anthony Barriga (9-1): WBC #6 / IBF #9 / WBO #14
Barriga failed to capture the vacant IBF World Championship in December.
-Robert Paradero (18-0): WBO #3 / WBA #13
Paradero beat Jonathan Almacen (5-3) this past April.
-Melvin Jerusalem (14-2): WBC #2 / IBF #7 / WBO #10
Jerusalem hasn’t fought since November.
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