By Eric Armit
-Daniel Dubois knocks out Joe Cusumano in his US debut
- Armando Serrano retains the WBC, WBO and IBO Female titles at featherweight and Montana Love scores upset victory over former IBF super light title holder Ivan Baranchyk.
-Sam Maxwell gets controversial win over Akeem Ennis Brown to collect the British and Commonwealth super lightweight titles, Anthony Yarde wipes out Alex Theran in one round, Anthony Cacace outpoints Leon Woodstock to retain the British super feather title and Ijaz Ahmed finish all even in a fight for the vacant British super flyweight title.
-Cesar Juarez outpoints rated Dennis Contreras
-Mexican veteran Dante Jardon scores kayo victory over unbeaten Anthony Tomlinson
World Title/Major Shows
Birmingham, England: Super Light: Sam Maxwell (16-0) W PTS 12 Akeem Ennis Brown (14-1). Super Feather: Anthony Cacace (19-1) W PTS 12 Leon Woodstock (12-3). Super Fly: Ijaz Ahmed (8-2-1) DREW 12 Quaise Khademi (8-1-1). Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (21-2) W KO 1 Alex Theran (23-6). Middle: Nathan Healey (13-0) W KO 5 Konstantin Alexandrov (10-49-4). Liam Davies (10-0) W TKO 2 Raymond Commey (19-12-1).
Maxwell vs. Ennis Brown
Maxwell wins the British and Commonwealth titles with controversial victory over champion Ennis Brown. This was a poor fight with few highlights. Ennis Brown has an awkward style but an effective one. The onus was on Maxwell to solve that puzzle and the judges felt he did. Ennis Brown was utilising lots of eccentric movement, scoring with punches from some unorthodox angles and holding when Maxwell worked his way inside. That made it difficult for Maxwell to settle into the fight. Heads clashed often and Ennis Brown suffered a cut over his right eye in the fourth. Another clash in the ninth saw Maxwell cut over his left eye. Most rounds were close and the disjointed action made them difficult to score but Ennis Brown looked to have just done enough to retain his titles but not in the eyes of the judges who scored it 116-113 twice and 115-114 all for Maxwell. The former elite level amateur has said he is willing to give Ennis Brown a return.
Cacace vs. Woodstock
Cacace proves too good for challenger Woodstock and eases his way to victory in the first defence of his British title. The Belfast southpaw was in the ring for the first time since November 2019 but was sharp from the start. He outscored Woodstock in the first and then upped his pace from there. He rocked Woodstock with an uppercut in the third and floored him with a left hook in the fourth. Woodstock came through that crisis and attacked hard but the clever and cagey Cacace showed excellent defensive skills and countered accurately with Woodstock doing just enough to edge a couple of rounds but being under heavy fire late in the fight and doing well to last the distance. Scores 117-110 twice and 117-111 for Cacace. The only loss on Cacace’s record was put there by Martin Ward in a fight for the British and Commonwealth titles in 2017. Woodstock was having his first fight since losing to Zelfa Barrett for the Commonwealth title in June 2019. He fought with determination and bravery here but Cacace was just too good for him.
Ahmed vs. Khademi
Ahmed and Khademi serve up a tremendous scrap for the vacant British title with the result a split draw and a return would be welcome. The first round was fought at a suicidal pace as they both fired punches for the whole three minutes with both being shaken. The pace did not drop one iota in the second Ahmed was marching forward and was more accurate but Khademi was firing fast bunches of punches. They both boxed a bit more in the third with Khademi just having the edge as they traded hooks, uppercuts and straight shots. They were both throwing quality punches with lots of body shots and you felt one had to fade from the pace. Ahmed had good rounds in the sixth and seventh. The eighth was a messy round as tiredness began to show and Khademi boxed cleverly on the back foot in the ninth and tenth but suffered a bad cut over his right eye. Ahmed pressed hard over the last two rounds with Khademi boxing and trying to avoid any further damage to the cut. They continued to trade punches fiercely to the final bell in what has to be a candidate for British Fight of the Year. Scores 115-113 Ahmed, 115-114 Khademi and 114-114. Ahmed had taken a majority verdict over Khademi in February which shows just how well-matched these two are.
Yarde vs. Theran
Yarde brushes aside Colombian southpaw Theran inside a round. Yarde shadowed the retreating Theran scoring with long rights to the body and thumping punches to the head. Yarde connected with a left to the body and Theran went down. He beat the count but a left to the ribs saw Theran fall to the canvas on his hands and knees and he was counted out. First fight for Yarde since losing a split decision to Lyndon Arthur in December. Sixth loss by KO/TKO for Theran.
Healey vs. Alexandrov
Healy proves too big and too strong for Alexandrov. Healy used his longer reach to score from distance and pounded Alexandrov with straight rights and lefts to the body. Alexandrov was really focused on survival from the start only looking threatening with an occasional overhand right. Healey stepped up the pressure round by round before finishing the fight in the fifth. He landed tow heavy rights and then a left to the body and Alexandrov dropped to his knees and was counted out. Fifth victory by KO/TKO for Healy. Alexandrov falls to 0-9-1 in his recent bouts with this the only inside the distance loss in that run.
Davies vs. Commey
Davies stops Ghanaian Commey in an embarrassing mismatch. Davies was a whole head taller than the diminutive Commey. He was able to tee-off on Commey at distance and fed the gutsy Commey a diet of hooks and uppercuts as Commey came forward. Commey just could not get past the jab of Davies and took heavy punishment. In the second a right to the head from Davies had Commey’s legs doing a little dance and Davies moved in and floored Commey heavily with a right and the fight was stopped. Fifth inside the distance win for the English champion. Commey suffers only his third inside the distance defeat.
Cleveland, OH, USA: Heavy: Daniel Dubois (17-1) W KO 1 Joe Cusumano (19-4). Feather: Armando Serrano (41-1-1) W PTS 10 Yamileth Mercado (18-3). Welter: Montana Love (16-0-1) W RTD 7 Ivan Baranchyk (20-3). Super Welter: Charles Conwell (16-0) W TKO 3 Juan Rubio (19-0).
Dubois vs. Cusumano
Dubois crushes Cusumano inside a round. Cusumano landed flush with a right early but Dubois shrugged it off and used his jab to put Cusumano on the back foot. Dubois landed a series of rights to the head and Cusumano went down. He was up at nine and tried to punch with Dubois but was dropped again by rights. He beat the count but fell down again under more clubbing rights and the fight was stopped. It was obvious that Dubois was out to make a statement in his first fight in the USA and he got the job done handing Cusumano his first stoppage loss but there are tougher tests ahead.
Serrano vs. Mercado
Serrano successfully defends her WBC/WBO and IBO Female titles with unanimous decision over Mexican Mercado. Serrano made good use of her right jab and constantly attacked Mercado’s body and pocketed the first three rounds. Mercado was more competitive in the fourth but Serrano controlled the fifth with her jabs and by the sixth Mercado’s left eye was being affected by a swelling. The pace dropped in the seventh and Mercado had some success in the eighth as she moved inside to nullify Serrano’s jab. Serrano scored well in the ninth and with Mercado bleeding from a swollen cheek Serrano went looking for an inside the distance finish in the tenth but Mercado made it to the bell. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Serrano. The 32-year-old Puerto Rican has won her last 27 contests and has to be one of the great female fighters. Mercado came into the fight as WBC super bantam title holder and had won her last six fights.
Love vs. Baranchyk
Local fighter bats Baranchyk a win that moves him to a whole new level. Love boxed and countered as Baranchyk followed his typical tactics of storming attacks. They both landed good punches in the first. Love was finding the oncoming Belorussian an easy target and rocked Baranchyk in the second. Baranchyk attacked strongly in the third and had Love under fire against the ropes but just before the bell a short left unhinged Baranchyk’s legs. Baranchyk continued to barrel forward with Love connecting with corrosive counters. Love landed heavily in the seventh and just before the bell as Baranchyk came forward again a short left put him on the floor. He made it to his feet but was unsteady. The referee signalled for the fight to continue but the bell went and Baranchyk did not come out for the eighth. Big win for local fighter Love. He suffered a number of family tragedies and served a short spell in prison for theft and drugs offences but that is now behind him. This was a huge step up in the quality of his opposition. Former IBF super light title holder Baranchyk was coming off a fifth round kayo loss to Jose Zepeda in October. A fight that saw nine knockdowns and Baranchyk being stretchered from the ring. He was not seriously injured but that brutal battle may have contributed to this loss.
Conwell vs. Rubio
Former Olympian Conwell has been flying below the radar so far but his clinical destruction of Rubio might get him noticed more. Conwell put Rubio on the canvas in the second and was unloading on Rubio in the third when the referee stopped the fight. Conwell, 23, was US Youth champion in 2015 beating Edgar Berlanga in the final and also won a gold medal at the National Golden Gloves. He won his way through the US Trials and the America’s Qualifier but failed to medal at the Rio Games. Mexican Rubio’s record heavily padded with very modest opposition.
Humble, TX, USA: Super Feather: Eridson Garcia (14-0) W PTS 10 Armando Fraysto (9-2-1). Middle: Winfrid Harris (19-1-1) DREW 8 Vaughan Alexander (15-6-1). Light: Luis Acosta (12-0) W TKO 1 Christian Guido (4-22-2).
Garcia vs. Fraysto
Garcia wins the vacant NABF title with unanimous decision over Californian Fraysto. Scores 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93 for Garcia as the Dominican keeps his 100% record going. Both fighters were moving up to ten rounds for the first time. Fraysto was unbeaten in his last four.
Alexander vs. Harris
Alexander snaps his losing run with a well deserved split draw against 6’2” Detroit prospect Harris. Scores 78-74 for Alexander, 77-75 for Harris and 76-76. Alexander, the brother of Devon Alexander, was stopped in two rounds by Zach Parker in March. Harris is 2-0-1 as he gets back on track after losing a split decision to Dorrell Van Horn .
Acosta vs. Guido
Acosta gets his eleventh win by KO/TKO as he stops Guido in the first round. Ten of his victories have come in the opening round and so far he has fought less than eighteen rounds to get to his twelve wins. But his thirteen victims have amassed only eighteen wins between them. Italian-born Argentinian-base Guido is 1-11 in his last 12 fights.
Sheffield, England: Welter: Dante Jardon (34-7) W KO 9 Anthony Tomlinson (13-1). Super Middle: Mark Jeffers (13-0) W PTS 8 Michal Ryba (6-5). Heavy: David Allen (19-5-2) W TKO 2 Andrea Pesce (7-14-3).
Jardon vs. Tomlinson
Jardon gets late win as he scores a ninth round kayo of Tomlinson. There was a huge gap in experience here but Tomlinson was never out of his depth. He worked well with his jab and constantly took the fight to Jardon. The Mexican was looking to counter and was always dangerous with rights but Tomlinson was willing to trade shots and they both landed heavily. A frantic fifth round saw Jardon landing right after right and possibly breaking Tomlinson’s nose only for Tomlinson to fire right back and rock Jardon. The pace remained high and both were landing big shots but by the eighth Jardon looked to be in control. Jardon landed two heavy left hooks in the ninth and then staggered Tomlinson with two rights to the head. Tomlinson banged back but was doing so by instinct only and a right to the head put him down and he was counted out. Unfortunately a Tomlinson fan climbed onto the ring apron and threw a punch at Jardon. By choosing to stand and fight with Jardon Tomlinson played his part in a vibrant contest but mixing it with a guy who had 24 inside the distance wins did not make sense. Jardon will be hoping to use this win as a springboard to more fights and Tomlinson can come again
Jeffers vs. Ryba
Jeffers outpoints late choice Ryba. Jeffers won every round and floored Ryba to take the decision on the referee’s card 80-71. No tests yet for the 23-year-old but he is making steady progress. Czech Ryba has yet to lose inside the distance.
Allen vs. Pesce
Allen returns with a win. In his first fight for eighteen months Allen floors and stops an obese Pesce in the second round. In his first fight for eighteen months the “White Rhino” found the elephantine body of Pesce impossible to miss and scored two knockdowns. In the second it was a series of head punches that finally did for Pesce as he dropped to his knees and the fight was stopped. Allen is giving it another try. There are good fights for him out there but he found his ceiling in the loss against David Price. The 36-year-old Italian Pesce is 5’9” tall and weighed 261lbs so plenty of target there for Allen.
Plant City, FL, USA: Feather: Cesar Juarez (27-10) W PTS 10 Dennis Contreras (24-10-1). Heavy: Stephan Shaw (15-0,1ND) W KO 1 Nick Davis (6-3).
Juarez vs. Contreras
Juarez ends the small run of impressive victories for Contreras with a close unanimous decision in a battle of phone booth brawling. Contreras survived a torrid second round and fought well enough to edge the third and fourth but was shaken again in the fifth. Contreras had his best round in the sixth and the seventh was close but Contreras scored heavily in the eighth. Juarez then turned the fight his way with a strong finish over the last two rounds. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 for Juarez. Contreras had put together a run of four good wins scoring victories over unbeaten Fernando Garcia, stopping 20-2-1 Belmar Preciado, 20-0 Carlos Flores and 23-1-3 Hairon Socarras to get a No 8 rating from the WBA. Juarez had suffered three losses in a row against Angelo Leo, Carlos Castro and Jordan Gill so will be hoping to get a rating out of this win.
Shaw vs. Davis
Shaw obliterates Davis in the first round. Shaw drove Davis to the ropes and then dumped him on the canvas with a left hook and Dais was counted out after just 102 seconds. The 28-year-old from St Louis makes it eleven KO/TKO wins. He has a No Decision where he won a fight in New York but tested positive for a banned substance. He is a former US National and US Police Athletic League gold medal winner and National Golden Gloves bronze medallist. Davis improved over a performance in February when he was knocked out in twenty seconds.
Juarez, Mexico: Super Feather: ,Miguel Roman (63-14) W TKO 4 Sergio Puente (28-11).
In a typical Roman fight “Micky” attacked from the start and Puente found himself pinned with his back against the ropes under the hurricane-like attacks from Roman. Puente was eventually broken down by the relentless pressure and was floored in the third. He went down again in the fourth under a barrage of hooks and uppercuts again and the fight was halted. Local hero Roman seemed on his way to 100 fights but this is his first fight since being stopped in nine rounds by O’Shaquie Foster in November and only his second fight in almost two years. Eighth loss in a row for “Dandy” Puente.
San Pedro, Argentina: Middle: Gerardo Vergara (14-0) W TKO 9 Emiliano Pucheta (14-5).
Vergara wins the Argentinian title with ninth round stoppage of champion Pucheta. Vergara dropped Pucheta with a right in the second and had him staggering under fire in the fifth. It was not all one way and although Pucheta was in trouble again in the eighth Vergara’s face was a bloody mess due to a nose injury. A series of head shots in the ninth saw the referee step in and stop the bout. First fight for eighteen months and ninth victory by KO/TKO for Vergara. Pucheta was making the first defence of the national title.
Mexico City, Mexico: Jose Sanmartin (32-5-1) W PTS 10 David Carmona (22-9-5).
Colombian Sanmartin scores two knockdowns on the way to victory over Carmona on a unanimous verdict. Carmona boxed well and took the first two rounds. The fight changed in the third when a strong right put Carmona down. Sanmartin won the fourth and then floored Carmona in the fifth with another powerful right. From there Sanmartin handed out steady punishment with Carmona getting busted up and never being in the fight. Scores 98-90, 97-91 and 97-92 for “El General” Sanmartin who wins the vacant WBA Fedecentro title. He has won 12 of his last 13 fights with the loss being a twelfth round stoppage against Emanuel Navarrete. In title shots at Carmona lost on points to Naoya Inoue for the WBO belt and Khalid Yafai on a stoppage for the WBA belt.
Cuernavaca, Mexico: Super Light: Steve Claggett (30-7-2) W WKO 4 Emanuel Lopez (30-14-1).
Despite not making the weight and having to forfeit 20% of his purse Canadian Claggett looks sharp as he knocks out Lopez in four. Claggett outscored Lopez in the first and shook him badly with a right in the second. Claggett continued to boss the close-quarters action in the third and ended it in the fourth. He rocked Lopez with a couple of uppercuts and then put him down with a lightning right to the body left the head combination with the referee immediately stopping the contest. Twentieth inside the distance win for Claggett who had lost a split decision to Mathieu Germain in May. Lopez, a former WBA interim title holder at super featherweight, suffers his fourth inside the distance loss in a row.
Mragowo, Poland: Cruiser: Mateusz Masternak (45-5) W KO 3 Felipe Nsue (4-2). Super Middle: Kamil Bednarek (9-0) W PTS 8 Javier Maciel (33-14). Super Welter: Przemyslaw Zysk (17-0) W TKO 5 David Bency (14-24-1,1ND).
Masternak vs. Nsue
Easy task for Masternak in his fiftieth fight as he disposes of overmatched Nsue in three rounds. Nsue connected with a couple of good punches at the start of the opener but Masternak landed two good rights and first the ropes and then the bell saved Nsue. Masternak staggered Nsue a couple of times in the second and then ended the fight in the third. A straight left followed by a right to the chin put Nsue down and out. Masternak will just stay busy hoping for a title shot. Nsue from Equatorial Guinea but based in Spain was way out of his league.
Bednarek vs. Maciel
Bednarek comes through a useful learning fight against experience Argentinian Maciel and take the unanimous decision. Bednarek made good use of his southpaw jab and controlled the action over the early rounds. In the fifth a right hook from Maciel shook Bednarek but the Pole recovered well and upped his pace and floored Maciel with a left hook in the seventh. Maciel survived and had Bednarek in trouble briefly in the last with a solid left to the body but Bednarek saw out the round. Scores 78-73 twice and 79-72 for Bednarek who is shaping up well. Maciel, who challenged for the WBO title in ten years ago, is in a losing rut with eight defeats in a row suffered in six different countries.
Przemyslaw vs. Bency
Przemyslaw logs another victory as he floors and stops Bency. Bency constituted no threat and Przemyslaw had him on the floor late in the third. Bency beat the count but after more punishment in the fourth the fight was stopped at the start of the fifth with Bency claiming an injury. Sixth inside the distance victory for Przemyslaw and fourteen consecutive losses for Spanish-based Nicaraguan Bency.
Brandsen, Argentina: Light: Claudio Daneff (12-2-1) W PTS 10 Juan de Leon (13-4).
Southpaw Daneff wins the Argentinian title as he takes unanimous decision over champion de Leon. Daneff used his longer reach to score on the outside and floored de Leon with a right in the second. At the end of the third de Leon landed a punch to the back of Daneff’s head after the bell and was deducted a point for that as the fourth round started. Daneff continued to outscore de Leon who survived a torrid ninth to go the distance. Scores 98-90 twice and 98 ½-90 for Daneff who has won nine of his last ten fights. De Leon had won his last nine fights and was making the first defence of the title.
Ingeniero Maschwirz, Argentina: Welter: Jonathan Jose Eniz (26-15-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Hernan Comenzana (7-3).
Eniz floors and halts Comenzana in two rounds. After dominating the first round Eniz floored Comenzana twice in the second to bring the stoppage. Eleventh inside the distance victory for southpaw Eniz and a needed one after he had lost 4 of his last 5 fights. Second inside the distance defeat for Comenzana.
Vienna, Austria: Light Heavy: Mansur Elsaev (14-0) W TKO 6 Yosko Stoychev (13-1).
Elsaev retains the WBC Asian title with stoppage of previously unbeaten Stoychev. The fight began badly for Elsaev as he was floored by a right in the first round but he survived that torrid start. He slowly beat the resistance out of Stoychev and then landed a barrage of punches in the sixth which saw Stoychev slump to the floor with the fight being halted. Russian-born Elsaev makes it twelve wins by KO/TKO. Bulgarian Stoychev was in his first ten round fight.
Montreal, Canada: Light Fly: Kim Clavel (14-0) W PTS 10 Maria Vargas (15-4-1). Super Welter: Mikael Zewski (35-2) W PTS 8 Dilan Loza (15-5-1).
Clavel vs. Vargas
Local boxer Clavel wins the vacant WBC Silver Female title as she takes unanimous decision by a wide margin on the three cards. Vargas was competitive over the first three rounds but then faded out of the fight under strong pressure from Clavel who won on scores of 99-91 twice and 98-92. Clavel will now be looking to challenge the WBC title holder Yesinia Gomez. Mexican Vargas, a former challenger for the WBC Atom title, was unbeaten in her last eight fights.
Zewski vs. Loza
In his first fight since a stoppage loss against Egidijus Kavaliauskas in September and his first fight at super welter Zewski was given a real test by Loza. In a scarp largely fought inside Zewski won well enough but Loza found plenty of gaps in the Canadian defence and Zewski had to come through a rocky eighth to get the verdict. Scores 78-73, 78-74 and 77-74. A winning start for Zewski in his new division but there are tougher hurdles ahead. Loza falls to 0-3-1 in his four recent contests.
Loir-et-Cher, France: Light Fly: Joana Suarez (6-1-1) W PTS 10 Marie Connan (4-2).
In a twice-delayed fight Spanish southpaw Suarez scores two knockdowns on the way to victory over London-based French champion Connan. The first round went to Connan but a left from Juarez floored Connan in the second. Connan went down again but it was ruled a slip. Connan made the third close but another left from Juarez put her down in the fourth. Once again Connan fought her way back into contention but Juarez boxed well and Connan was unable to claw back the effect of those two knockdowns. Scores 96-93 and 95-93 for Juarez and 94-94. Connan works as a language teacher in England.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Super Light: Pedro Campa (33-1-1) W TKO 6 Abimael Cruz (5-1).
Campa grinds down and stops Cruz in six rounds. The fight started badly for Campa as a punch and a clash of heads almost closed his right eye in the first round. Campa fought back strongly handing out plenty of punishment to southpaw Cruz in the second but Cruz kept marching forward pumping out the punches in a close third. By the fourth Campa’s body punches and more accurate work had Cruz fading and taking punishment. In the fifth Campa kept bombarding Cruz with hooks, uppercuts and straight punches until the bell. In the sixth with his right eye nearly closed and with a gash on his cheekbone and being belted with punches the referee stepped in to save Cruz. Twenty-two inside the distance wins for Campa but he is not being asked to step up and they are taking no chances after he was stopped by 11-8-1 Carlos Jimenez in 2017. Cruz just a 4 and 6 round prelim fighter who showed plenty of guts but was out of his depth.
Panama, City, Panama: Super Fly: Orlando Penalba (11-0-1) W PTS 8 Gilberto Pedroza (18-7-2). Feather: Jaime Munoz (11-1-1) W TKO 5 Tony Gomez (13-8-2). Super Bantam: Leonardo Carrillo (14-0-1) W TKO 5 Nixon Ankuash (7-1-1).
Penalba vs. Pedroza
Penalba wins the vacant Panamanian title with split decision over Pedraza. In a fight of two halves in which heads kept banging together Pedraza swept the early rounds but the less experienced Penalba surprising paced the fight better and took the decision with a strong finish. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Penalba and 77-75 for Pedraza.
Munoz vs. Gomez
“Lethal Kid” Munoz lifted the vacant national title with a fifth round stoppage of Panamanian-based Venezuelan Gomez. The 27-year-old Munoz has seven quick wins.
Carrillo vs. Ankuash
Carrillo halts inexperienced Ecuadorian Ankuash in five rounds. The Panama-based Colombian collects the vacant WBA Fedelatin title with his fifth win in a row and seventh by KO/TKO. First fight outside of Ecuador for Ankuash.
Zhukovka, Russia: Light Heavy: Yusup Kediev (8-0-1) W Gasan Gasanov (17-9-1). Super Welter: Aslanbek Kozaev (33-3-1) W Viktor Plotnikov (33-12, 1ND).
Gasanov vs. Kediev
Gasanov knocks out previously unbeaten Kediev in the first round. Gasanov floored Kediev early in the round and then put him down and out cold with a right. Kediev required medical assistance and was taken from the ring on a stretcher but no update on his condition. Southpaw Gasanov was defending the Russian title. Something of an upset as Gasanov had lost two of his last three fights by KO/TKO.
Fribourg, Switzerland: Welter: Oshin Derieuw (14-0) W PTS 10 Olivia Belkacem (10-2).
In a fight rescheduled from June Belgian Derieuw wins the vacant European Female title with a close verdict over Belkacem. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 for Derieuw, 34, a former WBFoundation champion. French-born Swiss Belkacem’s other defeat came 2011 when she lost in fights for the vacant IBA and WBFederation titles. She was then inactive for eight years.
Brussels, Belgium: Light Heavy: Malik Zinad (18-0) W TKO 3 Almir Skrijelj (13-3).Super Welter: Anass Messaoudi (11-0) W PTS 8 Pablo Mendoza (10-9).
Zinad vs. Skrijelj
Zinad wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean belt with victory over Skrijelj. Zinad scored two knockdowns on the way to a third round stoppage. The Libyan-born Zinad is based in Malta. After losing his first two fights Montenegrin Skrijelj had won thirteen in a row but his victims had “amassed” just nine wins between them
Messaoudi vs. Mendoza
Promising Belgian Messaoudi rolls on. The former Elite level amateur outpointed Mendoza on scores of 79-72 twice and 78-73. Spanish-based Nicaraguan Mendoza had won only one of his last eight fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): In a very quiet week Daniel Dubois quick win may open the American market for him.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Ijaz Ahmed and Quaise Khademi fought a furious pace in their twelve round draw.
Fighter of the week: Armanda Serrano. The Puerto Rican retained her three titles and extended her winning streak to 27 contests.
Punch of the week: The right from Gasan Gasanov that flattened unbeaten Yusup Kediev was fearsome.
Upset of the week: Montana Love was an outsider against Ivan Baranchyk but did the business
Prospect watch: Super Welter Charles Conwell (16-0) is worth following
This must have been one of the quietest weeks this year without a mega show in sight and the only major show in the USA was headlined by a Puerto Rican Female fighter and a British heavyweight.
Mexican Dante Jardon illustrated the benefit of experience in his kayo of Anthony Tomlinson. Jardon’s recent form had not been impressive but never bet against a puncher-particularly a Mexican one.
Heavyweight hope Stephen Shaw (15-0,1ND) won a super heavyweight gold medal at the 2013 US National Championships-but so did Cam Awesome! In 2013 they had a championship for fighters wearing headguards and one for those not wearing headguards- an experiment not repeated.
Never ever forget how dangerous our sport is. At the weekend both Russian Yusup Kediev and Mexican female boxer Jeanette Zacarias were stretched out of the ring and taken to hospital. No update on their condition just prayers for their safety.
Closet Classics don't need to be old, and today we bring you a bout that was essentially an instant classic from Japan, pitting two of the best Bantamweights of the last decade against each other in a bout that provided everything we could possibly want in a bout. This is from almost 6 years ago and was just brilliant in every which way. It featured two of the best fighters in the division, a boxer-puncher against a pure boxer, high level skills from both, back and forth action and was left with the controversy needed to give us a rematch a year later, in what was another brilliant bout.
Shinsuke Yamanaka (23-0-2, 17) Vs Anselmo Moreno (35-3-1, 12) I
The Bantamweight division has long been closely linked to Japan thanks to a long line of Japanese greats at the weight. The likes of Fighting Harada, Joichiro Tatsuyoshi and Hozumi Hasegawa have carried the division for Japan. In the 2010's it was the turn of Shinsuke Yamanaka, the hard hitting "God's Left" who was carrying the mantle.
Yamanaka had won the title in 2011 and had reeled off 8 defenses before facing off with Anselmo Moreno. The Japanese puncher had created a reputation as a dynamite puncher, and wins over the likes of Vic Darchinyan, Tomas Rojas Malcolm Tunacao and Suriyan Por Chokchai had allowed Yamanaka to prove his ability. Sadly however a failure to secure a big bout in the US, or a unification bout was hanging over his head. Due to an inability to get a unification bout Yamanaka's team went on the hunt for the top opponent he could get, which was Moreno.
Moreno was a brilliant Panamanian fighter who had made 12 defenses of the WBA "regular" and WBA "super" titles respectively. He was a tricky, awkward, smart and intelligent fighter who really didn't get the respect he deserved until it was far, far too late. He like many fighters from outside of the more financially rewarding boxing countries, was very much a fighter who fell victim to the WBA's multiple title system. He had lost his WBA "super" title by technical decision to Juan Carlos Payano in 2014 and failed to secure a rematch. He then accepted the call to face Yamanaka in September 2015.
This was a highly anticipated clash and was one all fans of the lower weights were anticipating. And it delivered with a brilliant match up of styles, skills, drama and high level action, with a chess match feel.
From the off both men were respectful, each looking to get a read on the otherm and trying to see what the other man had to offer without taking too many risks themselves. It was Moreno who seemed to take the opening round, using his jab more effectively than Yamanaka who looked slower than the challenger. Despite being a technical battle of jabs, this saw neither man running. Both were stood in front of each other, looking to draw a mistake to counter. It was excellent, high level chess until near the end of the round when Moreno opened up and seemed to secure the round.
Yamanaka seemed to find his groove a little bit more in round 2, but again it was a battle of southpaw jabs as the two men stood in range daring the other to make a mistake. It may have been mostly jabs, but it was a high tempo battle of jabs with both starting to just open up their arsenal slightly. This was seen more in rounds 3 and 4, when both began to let hard left hands go and the bout moved into second phase.
Sadly for Moreno he was losing on the open scoring as we went into round 5 and he tried to change that around, particularly in round 6, when he began to back up the local fighter. It was clear the open scoring was encouraging the challenger to press forward, and take the fight to the champion, who began to forget about his jab. The change in aggression from Moreno saw him begin to frustrate the Japanese champion in rounds 7 and 8 and it seemed the tide was turning in favour of the Panamanian, who was equal on to of the cards after 8 rounds.
With 4 rounds left we'll leave the bout to you enjoy without any more spoilers.
It was a chess match early, it then grew into something special, momentum shifting through out, there was always a sense of drama, like a single shot could change the bout, and this was two high level boxers matching each other perfectly well at times.
In many ways however the bout was overshadowed, just a year later, by the rematch between the men, which was a lot more explosive, intense and immediately gratifying. This bout on the other hand was cerebral, high level, and much more one for the purist than their second. Both are fantastic fights, but very, very different.
By Eric Armit
-Yordenis Ugas takes unanimous verdict over Manny Pacquiao in WBA welterweight title defence
-Robert Guerrero outpoints Victor Ortiz in clash of former title holders
-Carlos Castro and Mark Magsayo score dramatic inside the distance victories
-Melvin Lopez, Andrey Mangushev and Romero Duno score wins in Miami and Avni Yildirim, Jose Larduet and Zhan Kossobutskiy get inside the distance victories in Germany
World Title/Major Shows
Bella Vista, Panama: Super Feather: Jaime Arboleda (17-2) W TKO 4 Jonathan Barros (43-78-1). Light: Humberto Galindo (14-1-1) TKO 1Darvin Galeano (10-1).
Arboleda vs. Barros
Arboleda stops Barros in four rounds. Arboleda was the bigger, younger and stronger man here and dominated the first three rounds. In the fourth Arboleda landed a right to the head and Barros stopped boxing and dropped his hands to protests that the punch had landed to the back of his head. Arboleda drove Barros to the ropes and kept him pinned there whilst he poured on the punches. Barros was taking punishment but bobbing and weaving but not punching back and the referee steeped in and stopped the fight. An enraged Barros pushed the referee a couple of times and stormed around the ring protesting but the fight was over. Panamanian Arboleda, 26, collects the vacant WBA Fedebol title in his first fight since losing to Chris Colbert for the interim WBA title in December. Barros, 37, a former holder of the WBA Secondary title, lost to Lee Selby in a challenge for the IBF feather title in 2017 but was coming off a win over Jorge Barrios in a domestic clash of former champions in February.
Galindo vs. Galeano
Californian Galindo made it an early night as he dropped Colombian Galeano twice for a first round stoppage. The 21-year-old Galindo wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox belt with his eleventh inside the distance finish. Galeano kisses his unbeaten tag goodbye.
Mexico City, Mexico: Light: Alberto Ruiz (11-3) W KO 5 Jair Valtierra (15-1).
Something of an upset as Ruiz kayos previously unbeaten Valtierra. Ruiz was forging forward from the start putting Valtierra under pressure and scoring well to the body. Valtierra traded punches with Ruiz trying to get control of the fight but after four rounds Ruiz was 40-36 ahead on the three cards. Valtierra launched a big attack in the fifth forcing Ruiz to the ropes but Ruiz unleashed a left hook that put Valtierra flat on his back and he was counted out. Ruiz had been knocked out in one round by unbeaten Ruben Aguilar in September but this victory gives him the WBC Latino belt. Crushing blow for Valtierra, 19, who had knocked out former interim WBA super feather title holder Emanuel Lopez in May.
Dar-Es-Salaam: Tanzania: Super Middle: Twaha Kasim (18-8-1) W PTS 10 Abdallah Paziwapazi (29-11-1, ND). Super Middle: Selemani Kidunda (6-0) W TKO 7 Geoffrey Kamata (9-8).
Kassim vs. Paziwapazi
Kassim overcomes a disastrous first round to decision Paziwapazi. In that opening session Paziwapazi landed a brutal straight right that dumped Kassim on the canvas on his back. He struggled to get to his feet and was still in a daze as Paziwapazi forced him to the ropes and unloaded with punch after punch until the bell saved Kassim. From there Kassim was in charge. He was rolling forward landing rights to the head and left hooks to the body and although Paziwapazi fought back in occasional bursts Kassim bossed the action and won the wide unanimous decision on scores of 98-91 from the three judges. Kassim is now 2-0-1 in three fights with Paziwapazi who was knocked out in two rounds by Rocky Fielding in 2019. No title at stake but Kassim won a new car.
Kidunda vs. Kamata
Kidunda retains the Tanzanian title with stoppage of Kamata. Kidunda had no trouble outboxing the limited Kamata and ground him down before finishing it in the seventh. A right to the head had Kamata reeling and Kidunda poured on the punches until Kamata slid to the canvas. He made it to his feet but the referee stopped the fight. First defence of the national title for Kidunda and his sixth inside the distance win in six fights. Kamata had won 4 of his last 5 fights but was well beaten here.
Dubai, UAE: Light: Apichet Petchmanee (10-0) W PTS 10 Phumiritdet Chonlathondamrongkun (7-1). Super Middle: Welter: Faizan Anwar (8-0) W PTS 8 Ricky Sismundo (35-16-3). Super Feather: Hasibullah Ahmadi (13-0) W PTS 10 Rauf Aghaev (31-11).
Petchmanee vs. Chonlathondamrongkun
Petchmanee makes a successful first defence of the WBC Asian Boxing Council belt with unanimous verdict over fellow Thai Phumiritdet (Chonlathondamrongkun). Petchmanee made a fast start against a taller but hesitant Phumiritdet connecting with deft jabs and some hard body shots. Phumiritdet was a bit more competitive over the late sessions but never enough to win a round as Petchmanee was connecting with hooks and uppercuts bringing blood from Phumiritdet mouth and all three judges scored the fight 100-90 for Petchmanee. First fight outside Thailand for the former Muay Thai exponent Petchmanee. It is not surprising Phumiritdet was undefeated as the seven fighters he has defeated had only ten wins in total but at 19 he has time to improve.
Anwar vs. Sismundo
India’s Anwar gets decision over Sismundo but looks a lucky lad to do so. Sismundo was giving away height and reach against Anwar. The Filipino was storming his way forward and after initially trying to box Anwar found himself dragged into a brawl. Sismundo floored Anwar with the first punch thrown in the fourth but the right hook landed as Anwar was going back so lost some of its power. Sismundo tried desperately to finish the fight but too desperately. He was winging wild punches and Anwar survived. With Sismundo’s head down rushing attacks it was not too surprising that Anwar was cut under his left eye in the sixth. Sismundo continued to lunge forward throwing punches most of which were off target or blocked. Although Anwar was not throwing enough to counter the volume from Sismundo somehow the judges gave him a unanimous decision. No scores announced. Anwar was moving up to eight rounds for the first time. Sismundo suffers his fifth consecutive defeat.
Ahmadi vs. Aghaev
Ahmadi made a strong start knocking Aghaev’s mouthguard flying with an olverhand right in the second and almost sending him out of the ring through the ropes but Aghaev used his experience to stay in the fight and made the young Afghan work hard for his win. Scores 98-91, 98-94 and 97-93 for the 21-year-old “Kalashnikov”. Azeri Aghayev, 38, had lost his last three fights by KO/TKO.
El Cajon, CA, USA: Super Light: Kali Reis (18-7-1) W PTS 10 Diana Prazak (14-4). Bridgerweight: Elvis Garcia (12-0) W RTD 3 Joel Shojgreen (10-3).
Reis is still the WBA Female champion but her majority decision win over Prazak was far from popular. The smaller Prazak knew she had to take the fight to Reiss and she did so. At distance Reis was able to box but Prazak was getting past Reis’ jab and scoring inside. Reis had good spells but it was the aggressive attacks of Prazak that impressed the fans most but not the judges and the decision for Reis was badly received. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Reis and 95-95. US-based Australian Prazak, 42, a former WBC super featherweight champion, was inactive from November 2014 until returning with a win in March this year. She deserves another shot.
Garcia vs. Shojgreen
Mexican Garcia gets a win over Brooklyn’s Shojgreen. Garcia won the first two rounds before flooring Shojgreen three times in the third with Shojgreen not coming out for the fourth. Ninth inside the distance victory for Garcia. After almost six years out Shojgreen had returned in March with two wins.
Miami, FL, USA: Super Bantam: Melvin Lopez (26-1) W KO 5 Daniel Lozano (15-12-1). Heavy: Andrey Mangushev (5-0) W TKO 3 Ismayl Sillah (27-7). Light: Romero Duno (23-2) W RTD 1 Ramon Esperanza (22-20-1). Heavy: Istvan Bernath (6-0) W PTS 6 Tom Hawkins (4-7).
Lopez vs. Lozano
Lopez floors Lozano three times on the way to a fifth round stoppage. Lopez dropped Lozano in the first round but was then deducted two points for hitting Lozano when he was on the floor. Lopez continued to batter a smaller, sliding Lozano until the fifth. Lopez put Lozano down twice with a left to the body brining the second knockdown and Lozano being counted out. Seventeenth inside the distance wins for Nicaraguan Lopez the WBA No 4. Once a reasonable test Lozano has fallen to 0-8-1 in his last 9 fights.
Mangushev vs. Sillah
The 6’7” Mangushev was able to use his height, reach and a 62lbs weight advantage to control this one. Sillah just could not get close enough often enough to threaten Mangushev. In the third Mangushev landed a straight right that staggered Sillah and then forced him back to the ropes with more rights. With Sillah under fire the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Russian wins the vacant NABA title with his fourth victory by KO/TKO. Ukrainian Sallah, 36, went 17-0 at the start of his career but has faded since then.
Duno vs. Esperanza
Unfortunate ending to this one as after taking punishment from Filipino Duno Esperanza retired at the end of the first round with an ankle injury. Duno is rebuilding after a first round kayo loss against Ryan Garcia in November 2019. Esperanza came in as a late substitute.
Bernath vs. Hawkins
Former top level amateur Bernath remains unbeaten after a points victory over Texan Hawkins. Hungarian Bernath used Hawkins as a punch bag for six rounds but the heavier Hawkins managed to stay on his feet to the end. The 6’4” 32-year-old Bernath was Hungarian champion four times but had no luck against British fighters losing to Tyson Fury in both the World Junior Championships and finals of the European Youth Championships and being beaten by Joe Joyce in the European Qualifier for the 2016 Olympics. Seventh consecutive loss for Hawkins.
Los Hornos, Argentina: Super Feather: Ayrton Gimenez 11-0,1ND) W TKO 7 Nicolas Herrera (7-3-2).
Gimenez stops Herrera in seven rounds in defence of the WBA Fedebol title. Gimenez was fighting on the back foot letting Herrera lunge forward and catching him with long left hooks and uppercuts. Herrera just kept walking onto the punches being rocked time and again. He was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads and with Gimenez pouring on the punches in the seventh the referee came in to save Herrera. The 22-year-old Gimenez gets only his second inside the distance win. The No Decision came when a riot erupted in his fight with Franco Sotelo in 2019 and the fight was suspended in the fifth round. Herrera game but out of his depth.
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Zhan Kossobutskiy (16-0) W KO 2 Joey Dawejko (21-9-4). Heavy: Jose Larduet (6-0,1ND) W KO 4 Santander Silgado (30-9). Middle: Avni Yildirim (22-4) W KO 1 Slavisa Simeunovic (37-52).
Kossobutskiy vs. Dawejko
Kossobutskiy beats Dawejko in two rounds. The 6’3” Kossobutskiy failed to make use of his physical advantages. He jabbed weakly but was able to score with body punches as Dawejko chose to lean against the ropes behind a high guard and lunge forward occasionally with a punch. In a messy second round Dawejko twice complained about punches to the back of his head but was ignored. It was target practice for a while as Dawejko just stood against the ropes covering up. When he moved off the ropes Kossobutskiy came forward and landed a body punch and Dawejko turned away bent double with Kossobutskiy following still punching with one punch seeming to land behind Dawejko’s left ear. Dawejko fell into the ropes and then went face down on the canvas. He staggered up leaning against the ropes protesting about being hit to the back of the head but the referee just counted him out. Fourteenth inside the distance win for Kossobutskiy who retains the WBA International title but he has plenty of flaws to be ironed out. Second inside the distance loss for Dawejko.
Larduet vs. Silgado
As with Kossobutskiy, 6’4 ½” Cuban Larduet had huge physical advantages over modest Colombian Silgado. Larduet was in charge over the first three rounds and ended it with a left hook in the fourth. The 31-year-old former star of the Cuban amateur ranks gets his fifth win by KO/TKO. The No Decision came when Larduet injured his knee in a fight and was unable to continue. Larduet wins the vacant WBC Latino title. Fifth inside the distance loss in his last seven fights for Silgado with all the losses by KO/TKO and all inside four rounds.
Yildirim vs. Simeunovic
Yildirim gets his first win for three years as he floors perennial loser Simeunovic three times with Simeunovic being counted out at the third knockdown. Losses in fights against Anthony Dirrell, Saul Alvarez and Jack Cullen have left Yildirim with a lot of work to do if he is going to get back into the big fights. Bosnia Simeunovic has lost by KO/TKO thirty-nine times.
Gdansk, Poland: Super Feather: Radomir Obrusniak (4-0) W PTS 10 Piotr Oudel (10-6-1).
Southpaw Obrusniak collects the vacant Polish title with unanimous verdict over Oudel. The fight was very balanced over the first three rounds but Obrusniak took the lead from there and floored Oudel in the seventh. Oudel kept in the fight and scored heavily in the eight with Obrusniak going down on one knee under the pressure. Obrusniak beat the count and went on to take the ninth and tenth and the decision. Scores were all over the place at 99-90, 96-92 and 95-94 for Obrusniak.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Yordenis Ugas (27-4) W PTS 12 Manny Pacquiao (62-8-2). Feather: Mark Magsayo (23-0) W KO 10 Julio Ceja (32-5-1). Feather: Carlos Castro (27-0) W KO 10 Oscar Escandon (26-6). Welter: Robert Guerrero (37-6-1) W PTS 10 Victor Ortiz (32-7-3). Light Frank Martin (14-0) W PTS 10 Ryan Kielczewski (30-6). Light: Jose Valenzuela (9-0) W TKO 4 Donte Strayhorn (12-4).
Ugas vs. Pacquiao
Ugas takes unanimous decision over Pacquiao to retain the WBA title as he finishes strongly after a close, tactical fight.
Pacquiao set the pace in the first round taking the fight to Ugas and putting the Cuban on the back foot. Pacquiao was scoring with body punches and uppercuts with Ugas countering and defending cleverly. Pacquiao was pushed to the floor by Ugas so no count.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao
Ugas brought his jab into play. He was finding the target and Pacquiao was having trouble getting past the jab. Ugas was scoring to the body and landing clever counters but was warned for holding late in the round and twice for low blows.
Score: 10-9 Ugas TIED 19-19
After an initial attacking burst from Pacquiao the pace slowed slightly. Pacquiao was still taking the fight to Ugas punching in bursts. Ugas was defending well and countering accurately but Pacquiao ended the round strongly. Pacquiao was showing a swelling by his right eye. A close round.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 29-28
Pacquiao lead the action again and Ugas was given another warning for a low blow. Both had their good moments with Pacquiao fighting in bursts and Ugas countering to the body and doubling up on his jabs. Ugas touched the canvas with a knee but it was ruled a slip and Ugas just did enough to take the round
Score: 10-9 Ugas TIED 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 38-38, Judge Steve Weisfeld 38-38, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 39-37 Pacquiao
Pacquiao moved up a gear. He was throwing lots of punches with Ugas throwing less but being more accurate. Pacquiao continued to fire in bursts and despite good work from Ugas Pacquiao stayed busier and just took the round.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Pacquiao 48-47
The pace slowed in this one which suited Ugas. He was blocking most of Pacquiao’s punches and connecting with rights to the body as they traded punches and Pacquiao was again frustrated by good defensive work from Ugas.
Score: 10-9 Ugas TIED 57-57
Ugas boxed his way through the round. He was landing jabs and scoring to the body. Pacquiao’s output dropped and he was having trouble getting through the guard of the Cuban who was setting the pace of the fight.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 67-66
A good round for Ugas. He was blocking many of Pacquiao’s punches and countering with accurate rights to heads and body. Pacquiao continued to try to press his attacks but Ugas has a solid defence and looked to be taking over the fight.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 77-75
Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 77-75 Ugas, Judge Steve Weisfeld 77-75 Ugas, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 77-75 Ugas
Ugas was warned for pushing Pacquiao over. Pacquiao did a little better here in a quiet round. He was still having trouble with rights from Ugas but the Cuban was not throwing enough punches and the busier Pacquiao took the round on effort alone.
Score: 10-9 Pacquiao Ugas 86-85
Ugas just edged this one. After being caught with a left early he was backing Pacquiao up with his jabs and scored with a couple of hard rights at the close of the round.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 96-94
Ugas controlled the action. Pacquiao was still piling forward but having trouble finding a way past the guard of Ugas. The Cuban was continually getting through with his rights and fighting with confidence even slipping in one or two shimmies.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 106-103
Ugas put in an impressive last round. Once again Pacquiao had no defence against the rights from Ugas and was cut over his left eye. Pacquiao rallied late but it was not enough.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 116-112
Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 116-112 Ugas, Judge Steve Weisfeld 116-112 Ugas, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 115-113 Ugas
It remains to be seen whether at 42 Pacquiao’s glorious career is at an end a career spread over 26 years that has seen him win world titles in six divisions. I hope he now retires as he has nothing to prove. He has given us some cherished memories and has always been a credit to the sport and to the Philippines. Ugas took this fight at only eleven days notice after an eye problem caused Errol Spence to withdraw. He showed the sort of skills that are the trademark of those who have come through the Cuban amateur ranks. Unifications fight with Spence or Terrence Crawford would be big paydays and a return match with Shawn Porter who beat him on a split decision in March 2019 would be interesting whereas a defence against WBA No 1 Eimantas Stanionis would be a very hard sell and a huge comedown from this famous victory.
Magsayo vs. Ceja
One bright spot in the evening for Pacquiao was the victory for his protégé Magsayo in a war with Mexican Ceja which saw both fighters on the floor. Magsayo got the perfect start flooring Ceja with a neat left hook in the first round. Ceja made it to his feet and was fighting back hard at the end of the round. Ceja took the fight to Magsayo in the second with a focused body attack but Magsayo boxed cleverly. Ceja continued to attack the body in the third and fourth with Magsayo seeming to slow. Ceja looked to have taken control in the fifth dropping Magsayo with a left hook. Magsayo made it to his feet and the bell went before Ceja could capitalise on that success. Ceja continued to come forward attacking with Magsayo boxing and countering. Magsayo needed to do something to get back into the fight and he produced the perfect response in the tenth. He came forward throwing punches and forced Ceja to the ropes then landed a devastating right that had Ceja virtually out on his feet and he added another as Ceja pitched forward landing face down on the canvas with the referee stopping the fight without bothering with a count. Ceja needed medical attention and was taken to the hospital as a safety measure where he was diagnosed with a fractured cheekbone but no brain injury. Magsayo, 26, makes it 17 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated WBO 3/IBF 5(4)/WBC 5 and is heading for a title shot late this year or early next. Ceja, a former WBC interim super bantam title holder, was having his first fight since fighting a split draw with unbeaten Brandon Figueroa in November 2019 when Ceja failed to make the weight.
Castro vs. Escandon
Castro takes another step towards a title fight as he halts Escandon in the last round. Escandon is naturally aggressive but he had no choice but to drive forward punching in this fight as he was six inches smaller than Castro and had to take chances to get to where he could do some damage. That he could do some damage was evident late in the first when a left hook sent Castro tumbling into the ropes. The ropes held him up so it should have resulted in a count but that was overlooked and Castro was unsteady as he walked back to his corner. Castro started to make use of his reach edge and was scoring heavily as Escandon continued to fight his way inside. Castro rocked Escandon with a right in the fourth and hammered away at Escandon when he had him pinned to the ropes in the sixth. Escandon just kept coming and there were plenty of frantic exchanges. It looked as though Castro had scored a knockdown in the seventh but after viewing a video at the end of the round it was rightly ruled a slip. Escandon had a good eighth but the punishment was taking its toll. A fierce attack by Castro in the tenth blasted Escandon to the canvas. He started to rise but then dropped to a knee and the fight was stopped. Mexican-born Castro was defending the WBC Continental Americas title for the third time. He is in the top five with the WBC, WBO and IBF. Colombian Escandon is a former interim WBC featherweight title holder and in his last fight in December 2019 knocked out 23-0 Jhack Tepora in ninety seconds.
Guerrero vs. Ortiz
Guerrero comes out on top in a scrap between two veteran southpaws. This was mainly a close-quarters battle which started at a rattling pace and then settled down to a gruelling contest. Heads banged together regularly with Guerrero rocked but not cut in a clash in the opener. Guerrero was particularly ineffective with uppercuts in the second. When heads banged together again in the third Ortiz suffered a cut over his right eye as they continued to fight inside exchanging body shots. More damage in the fifth as a swelling grew under Guerrero’s left eye. There really was not much between them in any round with Guerrero’s aggression giving him a slight edge as they fought hard over the closing rounds with all three judges seeing Guerrero the winner at 96-94. At 38 Guerrero is probably looking for one more title shot but it might be a hard sell. Former WBC welter title holder Ortiz was having his first fight since February 2018 so will probably continue his career.
Martin vs. Kielczewski
Impressive display by the “Ghost” from Indianapolis as Martin takes every round against more experienced Kielczewski who constituted a step-up in opposition for Martin. There was some early success for Martin as his accurate jabbing started a swelling over Kielczewski’s right eye in the first round. Martin’s hand speed and movement saw him edging the early rounds and from the halfway mark he was constantly popping Kielczewski with jabs and outworking Kielczewski in each round. Martin applied strong pressure over the last two rounds looking to get his fourth inside the distance win in a row but Kielczewski has never lost inside the distance and he preserved that record here. All three judges score it 100-90 for Martin. In the amateurs Martin beat Vergil Ortiz in the final of the 2016 National Golden Gloves and won a silver medal at the National Championships later that year. “The Polish Prince” Kielczewski was 22-0 at the start of his career but tougher opposition has put a dent in those figures.
Valenzuela vs. Strayhorn
Valenzuela gets another inside the distance win as he halts Strayhorn in the fourth. Valenzuela was credited with a knockdown in the first when a long right sent Strayhorn back off balance and he put his glove on the canvas. Over the second and third Valenzuela stood right in front of Strayhorn as they swopped heavy punches. He was connecting with hooks to the body and uppercuts and sent Strayhorn’s mouthguard flying but also had to show a good chin as Strayhorn landed flush with some right crosses. By the fourth Valenzuela had beaten the fight out of Strayhorn and when he unleashed a barrage of punches that had Strayhorn stumbling the fight was stopped. Fifth consecutive inside the distance victory for Valenzuela. At this time his claim to fame is dropping Teo Lopez with a body punch when they sparred a while back. First stoppage loss for Strayhorn his previously losses came in the form of two majority decision and one spilt.
Fight of the week (Significance): In beating Manny Pacquiao Yordenis Ugas may have opened the door to some big paydays and ended the great career of Pac Man.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Mark Magsayo vs. Julio Ceja staged a fierce battle with both on the floor and Magsayo scoring a dramatic kayo.
Fighter of the week: Yordenis Ugas
Punch of the week: The dreadful right from Mark Magsayo that rendered Julio Ceja unconscious whilst still on his feet was fearsome.
Upset of the week: After coming in at only eleven days notice Yordenis Ugas was a rank outsider
Prospect watch: Lightweight Jose Valenzuela 9-0 (6) looked good at the weekend
-The Ugas vs. Pacquiao saw some great scraps apart from the battles between Magsayo and Ceja and Castro vs. Escandon the fights between Guerrero and Ortiz and Martin and Kielczewski provide plenty of entertainment so a good show all the way down the list.
- It seems to me that Thai newcomer Phumiritdet Chonlathondamrongkun might just have the longest name in boxing. I gave it to Google translate to come up with an alternative and one of the suggestions was “Dictatorship GPP pearl sailboat” so I will go with Phumiritdet as Thais tend to stick with their first name no matter how often they change sponsors, gyms etc.
-Will there ever be another fighter like Manny Pacquiao. He turned pro as a light flyweight-in fact just 1lb over the minimumweight division. In a twenty-six year + career he has fought across twelve weight divisions and won ten titles, six of them in different divisions. I doubt if we will see that bettered.
Every so often we have a sensational modern bout that few had much expectations for. On paper it looked like the next step up for a prospect heading places, but ended up being so much more than just that. Today we have one such bout, that really didn't promises a lot but in fact it ended up being one of most under-rated bouts of 2018, and was a hidden of a fighter that gave us everything. We had skills, we had heart, determination, action, drama, and frustrations, in a bout that was thoroughly engaging from start to finish. More than that it also had meaning with the Oriental title on the line.
Carlo Magali (23-9-3, 12) vs Hironori Mishiro (5-0, 2)
Coming in to the bout the 31 year old Carlo Magali was the OPBF Super Featherweight champion a 35 fight veteran. Although not a world beater, and a lot way from being a world beater, Magali was a solid fighter on at this sort of regional level. Although he had 9 losses on his record coming into the bout many of those had been at Lightweight, or above, including defeats to Emmanuel Tagoe and Pavel Malikov, or had come way down the scales, such as a 2009 loss to Vincent Palicte at Bantamweight. When he was fighting at a weight he was comfortable at, and had been able to prepare properly he was a damn good fighter at this type of level, with experience, skills, decent power and the know how to get through some tough times in the ring.
In the opposite corner to the OPBF champion was Japanese professional novice Hironori Mishiro. Mishiro was 5-0, he had turned professional in 2017 after a solid amateur career, and had managed to impress since turning professional. After beginning his career with 3 easy wins he over-came Shuma Nakazato in a tough 6 rounder then beat Shuya Masaki in an 8 rounder.Coming in to this bout he had had 24 rounds of professional experience, had never gone beyond 8 rounds and was giving up pretty all the edges he could in experience. Aged just 23 at the time he was also very much a developing young man. Where he had advantages however was his skills, which were very well developed from his time in the amateur ranks, and his size, with significant reach and height advantages against the short and stubby Magali.
Straight from the opening bell it was clear that the size and speed advantages lay with Mishiro, and Magali knew it too. Magali was quickly onto the front foot, pressing forward and trying to get up close and personal on the challenger. Mishiro however tried to get behind his jab, box and move and avoid a tear up with the powerful looking Filipino. It wasn't the most exciting of rounds but it was pretty clear, if Mishiro could keep this at range Magali was going to struggle. However Magali was determined to get close and seemed to draw out the fighter in Mishiro late in the round.
We again saw Mishiro looking to box at range in round 2, but once again it was clear there was a fighter looking to get out. He was trying to be mature, trying to fight to a gameplan and be smart, but the fighting spirit was building and by round 3 we were seeing him give away his height advantage more often ad Magali began to put his foot on the gas and force Mishiro to respond. By round 4 the bout was a hard one to call, and was getting hard and harder for Mishiro as Magali's tempo continued to increase and the Filipino repeatedly landed big, heavy shots. The strong fight back from the Filipino had seen the scorecards all read 38-38 after 4 rounds.
Magali's momentum was growing and in round 5 he wobbled Mishiro, and seemed to have him badly hurt. This was a huge gutcheck for the youngster who seemed lucky not to end up on the canvas. Magali however was putting a lot of effort into what he was doing and questions had to be asked about whether he could keep up the pace.
Mishiro managed to come back well in rounds 7 and 8, ans the scorecards were reflective of an incredibly close bout at this point. Despite the spirited effort from Mishiro there was still the fear that that he could end up being hurt again, as he was in round 5. There was also a fear that his lack of experience was going to become a major issues in the later stages.
With the scorecards close going into the final 4 rounds it was all to play for as ended up seeing two men continue to dig deep, trade shots and put on a thriller for the OPBF title.
This had skills, bombs, heart and everything we could wish to see from a fight. It also had men with two very different styles combining to make a brilliant bout that's not an all out war, but is a compelling back and forth battle or skills, wills and wits.
By Eric Armit
- John Riel Casimero retains the WBO bantamweight title with split decision over Guillermo Rigondeaux in a fight to forget
-Virgil Ortiz records an important and impressive win as he floors Egidijus Kavaliauskas five times
-Joshua Franco stages a strong finish to outpoint Andrew Moloney and retain the secondary WBA super flyweight title but twin brother Jason Moloney outpoints Michael Greer at bantamweight and Arnold Barboza goes to 26-0 with decision over Antonio Moran
-Roger Gutierrez retains the secondary WBA super featherweight title with points victory over former champion Rene Alvarado
-Bantam eliminator between Gary Antonio Russell and Emmanuel Rodriguez ends after just sixteen seconds as Rodriguez is cut in a clash of heads in the first round resulting in a No Decision.
-Joshua Buatsi knocks out Ricards Bolotniks in eleven rounds to move close to a shot at a version of the light heavyweight title
-Karim Guerfi wins the European featherweight title with victory over champion Andoni Gago
World Title/Major Shows
Frisco, EX, USA: Welter: Vergil Ortiz (18-0) W KO 8 Egidijus Kavaliauskas (22-2-1). Super Feather: Roger Gutierrez (26-3-1) W PTS 12 Rene Alvarado (32-10). Super Light: Alex Martin (17-3) W PTS 10 Josec Ruiz (23-5-3). Light Fly: Felix Alvarado (37-2) W TKO 1 Israel Vazquez (10-5-2). Super Light: George Rincon (12-0) W PTS 8 Nikolai Buzolin (8-4-1). Super Welter: Alex Rincon (9-0) W PTS 8 Sanny Duversonne (11-4-2).
Ortiz vs. Kavaliauskas
Staggered early Ortiz goes on to floor Kavaliauskas five times. Both used plenty of jabs in the opening round with Ortiz just that bit sharper and Kavaliauskas looking to counter with rights. They both scored with sharp rights in the second with Ortiz bringing his left hook to the body into play. As they traded punches a right from Kavaliauskas suddenly had Ortiz staggered and hurt. He held on desperately with Kavaliauskas throwing punches in a frenzy trying to put Ortiz away. Ortiz looked to be in deep trouble holding desperately and he went down but it was rightly ruled a slip. When he got up Ortiz turned things around with sweeping hooks driving Kavaliauskas back and now it was Kavaliauskas under fire at the bell to end a dramatic round. Kavaliauskas took the fight to Ortiz in the third getting through with jabs and rights. Ortiz weathered the storm and then just before the bell he landed a straight right followed by a left hook that dropped Kavaliauskas. The Lithuanian was up at five and when the eight count was completed the bell went before Ortiz could do any more damage. Ortiz took the fourth and fifth with some strong jabbing on the back foot. Kavaliauskas attacked fiercely in the sixth getting through with some powerful rights but Ortiz went onto the front foot in the seventh scoring with quick jabs and landing two hefty rights just before the bell as Kavaliauskas showed signs of tiring. It was all Ortiz in the eighth. Kavaliauskas was trying to stay inside but he was driven back and dropped to one knee after a stiff jab to the body from Ortiz. Kavaliauskas was up at eight but looked a beaten fighter and a left hook from Ortiz saw Kavaliauskas drop to one knee and bounce up again. After the count Ortiz put Kavaliauskas down twice more and the fight was stopped. Impressive performance by Ortiz against a very tough opponent. Ortiz retains the WBO International title and is their No 1 so a mandatory challenger to Terence Crawford. The only fight the Lithuanian had lost was a ninth round stoppage against Crawford for the WBO title in December 2019.
Gutierrez vs. Alvarado
Venezuelan Gutierrez holds on to the secondary WBA title with unanimous decision over former champion Alvarado. This was the third meeting of the two Latin Americans and familiarity led to caution as neither wanted to commit himself too much too soon. Gutierrez came to life in the fourth scoring well with counters and he also took the fifth with the same tactics. Alvarado found his fighting spirit in the sixth connecting with a good left hook and some overhand rights and they traded heavy punches in the seventh. Gutierrez swung the fight back his way in the eighth catching Alvarado with series of rights and landed a heavy right in the ninth. A cut and tiring Gutierrez then faded allowing Alvarado to close the points gap but then after opening a bad cut on Alvarado’s left eyebrow Gutierrez just did enough to win the last round. Scores 116-112 twice and 115-113 for Gutierrez. He had been knocked out in seven rounds by Alvarado in 2017 but gained revenge when a fight-saving last round knockdown saw him win on scores of 113-112 to lift the secondary WBA from Alvarado in January. It took eleven years for Alvarado to win a title then he lost it in his first defence. He will be looking to work his way back to another title shot but hopefully he won’t have to wait eleven years.
Martin vs. Ruiz
Southpaw Martin boxes his way to winning every round against Ruiz. Ruiz hunted in vain for the quick and elusive Martin. Ruiz never stopped coming forward but Martin fed him a diet of right jabs and straight lefts and used clever footwork to stay off the ropes and out of trouble. When Martin chose to trade his quicker hand speed and upper body movement gave him the edge and he was getting his punches off and blocking or slipping those from Ruiz and the 100-90 scores from the three judges showed his dominance. Three losses in a row in 2017 and a blank 2018 set Martin’s career back but he is on track again with four victories on the trot. Honduran Ruiz had a 16-bout unbeaten streak ended by a loss to Gabriel Flores last year but had scored two wins over reasonable level opposituion this year.
Alvarado vs. Vazquez
Alvarado gives another punch-power demonstration as he demolishes Vazquez in the first round. A sustained body attack had Vazquez wincing in pain. He tried to fight back but a left hook to the body sent him back to the ropes and a right to the head sent him down. He made it to his feet but after the eight count the referee saved him from further punishment by stopping the fight. Some consolation for the Alvarado twins after Rene lost to Gutierrez. Felix, the IBF light flyweight champion has scored 32 of his 37 wins by KO/TKO. He is on a 19 fight winning run with 17 of those wins coming inside the distance. Fifth loss in his last six fights for Puerto Rican Vazquez.
Rincon vs. Buzolin
On a good night for the Rincon brothers elder brother George had trouble in making his fight with awkward Russian Buzolin entertaining but Rincon was busier and worked well with his jab to score at distance on the brawling Buzolin. Scores 80-72 on the cards for Rincon. The Texan southpaw is a former National Golden Gloves champion. Buzolin was having his first fight in almost two years.
Rincon vs. Duversonne
Brother Alex also recorded a win but one of the judges actually found a round to give to Floridian Duversonne. This was a more entertaining contest with plenty of fiery exchanges as Duversonne took the fight inside to counter the reach advantage of the 6’2” Rincon but had limited success. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Rincon. As with George Alex is a southpaw and a former top level amateur. Fourth defeat in a row for Duversonne
Tulsa, OK, USA: Super Fly: Joshua Franco (18-1-2,1ND) W PTS 12 Andrew Moloney (21-2). Super Light: Arnold Barboza (26-0) W PTS 10 Antonio Moran (26-4-1). Bantam: Jason Moloney (22-2) W PTS 10 Joshua Greer (22-3-2). Super Feather: Andres Cortes (15-0) W KO 1 Genisis Servania (34-3). Super Feather: Abraham Nova (19-0) W PTS 8 Richard Pumicpic (22-12-2). Super Feather: Albert Bell (19-0) W PTS 8 Julio Cortez (15-3). Super Feather: Carlos Balderas (10-1) W TKO 2 Fidel Cervantes (9-2-1). Heavy: Trey Lippe Morrison (18-0) W PTS 6 Don Haynesworth (16-7-1). Super Middle: Nico Ali Walsh (1-0) W TKO 1 Jordan Weeks (4-2).
Franco vs. Moloney
The pace in this fight was fast from the start. In the first Franco was advancing behind a high guard spearing Moloney with jabs and putting together some flashy combinations with Moloney countering but it was Franco’s round. Moloney was rocked by a right at the start of the second but then took over. He boxed cleverly on the back foot raking the oncoming Franco with counters and outworking Franco inside. Franco did a bit better in the third landing some clubbing rights but once again it was Moloney’s round. He was controlling the fight with his jab and getting off his punches and moving before Franco could counter. Despite constant pressure from Franco Moloney boxed coolly to pocket the fourth. Franco got back into the fight in the fifth. He upped his tempo and Moloney seemed to slow as Franco worked to the body and forced Moloney to stand and trade more. The sixth was close and a better round for Moloney. He scored well at distance and was given a warning as held on the inside to smother Franco’s attacks. After six rounds I had Moloney in front 58-56. Franco was on top in the seventh and then Moloney looked to have made it a big round for him. He threw a right and Franco went down. Franco protested that he had slipped but the referee gave Franco a count and Franco dominated the rest of the round. In the interval the referee asked for a reply of the knockdown and it was clear that Franco had slipped so what might have been a 10-8 round for Moloney turned into a 10-9 for Franco. That was a turning point in the fight as Franco got stronger and Moloney slowed. Franco was landing punches that Moloney would have slipped earlier and Franco upped the pressure in round after round. Moloney was able to find gaps for his jab but the combinations he had been throwing earlier were absent. Moloney did enough to make the eighth a close round and put in a big effort in the eleventh but Franco won both rounds sweeping the last six rounds to take the decision. Franco retains the secondary WBA title and goes 2-0, 1ND ahead in his three-bout series with Moloney. Former WBA interim champion Moloney will be back fighting for a title in 2022.
Barboza vs. Moran
Barboza outclasses Moran in defence of his WBO International belt. Barboza controlled this one from the start. He boxed with real skill opening up Moran with jabs and then landing strongly to head and body. A punch in the second saw Moran nursing a heavy nose bleed and it was subsequently confirmed his nose was broken. Barboza rocked Moran in the third and fifth rounds. Despite the nose injury Moran fought back hard but the speed, accuracy and power of Barboza was joist too much for him. Moran was in trouble in the ninth as Barboza landed a huge right but he survived and held out against strong attacks from Barboza in the last. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Barboza. He is rated WBO 3/WBC 5 so in the queue for a shot at Josh Taylor. Mexican Moran had drawn with unbeaten Yomar Alamo and won his last two fights but Barboza was at a different level.
Moloney vs. Greer
Jason Moloney made sure one of the Moloney twins came away with a win as he outboxed Greer. As with Andrew Jason was content fighting on the back foot countering Greer’s attacks and scoring with hurtful body shots. Greer looked to have taken the first two rounds and the third was close but Moloney had a big fourth as he dazed Greer with a right and then had Greer pinned to the ropes and was unloading punches for the last minute of the round. Greer was showing a swelling by his right eye. Moloney built on that success in the fifth and by the sixth Greer’s right eye began to close due to the swelling. Moloney took over outscoring Greer and despite an attempt by Greer to claw his way into the fight over the closing rounds Moloney was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 for Moloney. This is Moloney’s first fight since being knocked out in seven rounds by Naoya Inoue in October. He is still in the ratings so will be hoping to work his way into another title shot-but not against Inoue.
Cortes vs. Servania
Unbeaten Las Vegas fighter Cortes gets a big win as he stops Servania. The more experienced Servania was confident in the first taking the fight to Cortes and landing some crisp shots. Cortes was relying heavily on his jab but with less than ten seconds to go in the round Cortes landed a solid right to the head that saw Servania half turn away and Cortes dropped him with a fearsome left hook. Servania was lying on his side half way out under the ropes and after starting the count the referee wisely waived the fight over. No names on Cortes’ record and he had won three of his last four fights on points making this a surprise ending. Filipino Servania had gone the full twelve rounds when losing to Oscar Valdez in a challenge for the WBO feather title in 2017 and had rebuilt solidly since then
Nova vs. Pumicpic
Nova gets back into action with unanimous decision over Filipino Pumicpic. It looked as though Nova might make it an early night as he staggered Pumicpic in the first round. Pumicpic has never lost inside the distance and he showed his resilience here by staying on his feet and then giving the 5-inch taller Nova some useful ring time. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for Nova. First fight for Nova since June last year due to both the pandemic and a torn Achilles. Pumicpic has done most of his fighting in Japan recently and in an early bout there he scored a win over current WBO No 5 Joe Noynay.
Bell vs. Cortez
Bell just too big and too good for Ecuadorian Cortez. Bell used his 7-inch height advantage and 8-inch longer reach to control the fight. There was already swelling around Cortez ‘s right eye in the second round and as Bell constantly raked Cortez with punches Cortez left eye also showed damage. Bell tried to finish the fight over the sixth and seventh but Cortez has a good chin and Bell settled for boxing his way through the eighth to earn scores of 80-72 from the three judges. The 28-year-old from Toledo already has wins over Andy Vences and Frank De Alba and is coming along strongly under the radar. Not surprisingly Cortez never managed to get even a toe-hold in the fight.
Balderas vs. Cervantes
Balderas impresses as he stops Cervantes in his return to the ring. Cervantes made a busy start in the first throwing plenty of punches as he drove forward. Balderas was scoring with stiff jabs, short rights and left hooks to the body. As Cervantes went to throw a right Balderas beat him to it was a brutal left hook that sent Cervantes down on his back. He made it to his feet and was exchanging punches until another left hook turned his legs to rubber. He was staggering and stumbling but the bell went before Balderas could finish the job. To his credit Cervantes took the fight to Balderas again in the second until Balderas unleashed a series of head punches that staggered Cervantes and the referee made a good stoppage. Balderas was a member if the USA team for the 2016 Olympics and showed real promise in winning his first nine fights. He then suffered a shock kayo defeat against Juan Tellez in December 2019. He is re-launching his career under the Top Rank banner and he showed real power in this fight. Cervantes was brave but outclassed.
Lippe vs. Haynesworth
Lippe scores a points win over Haynesworth. Although both fighters are 6’3” Haynesworth was 59lbs heavier than the 229lbs Lippe. The pace was slow with Lippe showing what skill there was. Haynesworth used his weight advantage to force Lippe back at times but was clumsy with his punches. Haynesworth suffered a gash on his forehead in the third round and shook Lippe at the end of the fourth but other than that Lippe was the one doing the scoring and he was a clear winner with all three judges scoring for him at 60-54. Lippe is the son of the late former heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison but is unlikely to reach the heights his father did. Haynesworth, 38, just too fat and too slow.
Walsh vs. Weeks
Walsh, 21, the grandson of Muhammad Ali floors and stops Weeks in just 109 seconds . Walsh will be under the limelight whenever he fights so plenty of pressure but he got the job done here.
Carson, CA, USA: Bantam: John Riel Casimero(31-4) W PTS 12 Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-2). Bantam: Gary Antonio Russell (18-0,1ND) ND 1 Emmanuel Rodriguez (19-2,1ND). Bantam: Rau’shee Warren (19-3,1ND) W KO 2 Damien Vazquez (16-3-1). Super Light: Brandun Lee (23-0) W KO 1 Ezequiel Fernandez (28-5-1,1ND). Bantam: Jonas Sultan (17-5) W TKO 7 Sharone Carter (12-5). Bantam: Juan Carlos Payano (23-5) W RTD 5 Ray Tabugon (22-13-1). Alan Castano (14-1) W TKO 3 Christian Aguirre (8-8).
Casimero vs. Rigondeaux
Casimero retains the WBO bantam title with split decision over Rigondeaux. This was a terrible fight with very little in the way of highlights and which set a new CompuBox record for the least punches landed in a fight. From the first it was evident that if there was going to be a fight Casimero was going to have to make it. In his too familiar style Rigondeaux spent twelve rounds trying to avoid trading punches with Casimero and Casimero was not quick enough to close Rigondeaux down. Casimero’s irritation showed early as he was warned twice in the opening round. The crowd was already booing over the lack of action by the third round as Casimero pursued Rigondeaux in vain. Rigondeaux was able to spear Casimero with right jabs and skip away before Casimero could counter. Casimero managed to score on the occasions when he caught up with Rigondeaux but the CompuBox statistics showed that neither fighter managed to land fifty punches over the twelve rounds. Casimero threw more and showed what aggression there was and that was enough to get him the decision. Scores 117-111 and 116-112 for Casimero and 115-113 for Rigondeaux. Casimero will now be looking to face either Nonito Donaire or Naoya Inoue. Rigondeaux felt he won this one and in response to the criticism of his tactics not unreasonable said that is the way he fights and he can’t change. So much talent and so little entertainment value. Rigondeaux did not just lose this fight but also made it harder to sell him in other big match.
Russell vs. Rodriguez
Disappointing end to what looked to be a very good fight on paper as a cut caused by a clash of heads sees the fight end after just 16 seconds. The clash sent a dazed Rodriguez to the floor and the cut was too bad for him to continue. This fight was for the WBA interim title which remains vacant.
Warren vs. Vazquez
Unusual show of power from Warren as he floors and stops Vazquez. Warren came close to ending it in the first as he sent Vazquez down twice. Vazquez made it to the bell but a powerful straight left in the second sent Vazquez staggering back and he dropped to his haunches with a glove on the canvas to stop himself going down but the referee immediately stopped the uneven contest. Only the fifth win by KO/TKO for former IBO and WBA bantam champion Warren. Vazquez had lost on a tenth round stoppage against Brandon Figueroa for the secondary WBA super bantam title last September.
Lee vs. Fernandez
Lee annihilates Argentinian Fernandez. Lee blasted Fernandez to the floor three times in the 100 seconds the fight lasted. The tall 22-year-old Californian has put together some impressive looking statistics with twenty-one wins by KO/TKO including a current run of fourteen in a row and has eight first round finishes. There are a couple of creditable opponents in his list of victims and this is the first time Fernandez has been stopped but Lee needs to step up before we can really judge his worth.
Sultan vs. Carter
Filipino Sultan overcomes some tough resistance from Carter before stopping him in the seventh round. Sultan was the one coming forward with Carter holding his left low and shooting sharp jabs and they both landed with strong punches. As Sultan increased the pressure and was connecting with left left hooks to the body Carter started to fade and was deducted a point for holding in the fourth. Sultan continued to break Carter down over the fifth and sixth and in the seventh under an array of punches from Sultan Carter slumped to a sitting position against the ropes and he was counted out. Sultan’s biggest achievement to date is a points win over John Riel Casimero in 2017, the last time Casimero lost a fight, but Sultan lost a wide unanimous verdict to Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF super fly title in 2018. First inside the distance loss for Carter who dropped a decision against Rau’shee Warren in February.
Payano vs. Tabugon
In his second fight in five weeks Payano stops Filipino Tabugon in five rounds. Payano was finding the target with southpaw lefts from the first bell. Tabugon was lunging forward with his attacks and when he went down it was ruled a slip but just seconds before the bell a left from Payano put him down for a legitimate knockdown. The fighters had been warned to watch their heads in the first and as their heads banged together in the second Payano was cut over his right eye. Payano handed out punishment to Tabugon over the third and fourth. In the fifth it was one-way traffic with Tabugon being driven around the ring as Payano connected with hooks and uppercuts and when Tabugon returned to his corner they promptly retired their man. Consecutive losses to Luis Nery, Daniel Roman and Gary Antonio Russell put question marks over 37-year-old Payano’s future but he looked in good form here. Tabugon falls to 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Castano vs. Aguirre
Castano stops Aguirre in three rounds. Castano just punched too hard for Aguirre. He scored with scorching body shots in the first and second rounds and had Aguirre hurt in the third when the referee hated the fight. First fight since February 2019 for Castano who is the younger brother of WBO super welter champion Brian Castano. He gets win No 9 by KO/TKO. Five consecutive inside the distance defeats for Aguirre.
Brentwood, England: Light Heavy: Joshua Buatsi (15-0) W TKO 11Ricards Bolotniks (18-6-1). Welter: Michael McKinson (21-0) W PTS 10 Przemyslaw Runowski (19-2). Bantam: Ukashir Farooq (16-1) W PTS 10 Luis Castillo (28-3). Feather: Ray Ford (9-0-1) W TKO 3 Reece Bellotti (14-5). Super Feather: Joe Cordina (13-0) W KO 1 Joshua Hernandez (10-4). Super Feather: Zelfa Barrett (25-1) W RTD 4 Viorel Simion (22-7). Feather: Hopey Price (5-0) W PTS 6 Claudio Grande (5-1).
Buatsi vs. Bolotniks
Buatsi floors brave Bolotniks twice and stops him in the eleventh round. Buatsi quickly took control in the first. He was finding gaps in Bolotniks guard for his jab and landing rights. Bolotniks was not looking to engage but he showed he could be a danger landing a heavy right to the head. There was real power behind Buatsi’s jab in the second and he had Bolotniks backing up although again Bolotniks got through with a sneaky right. Buatsi was putting his punches together well in the third and although Bolotniks was more adventurous than in the opening rounds it was Buatsi doing the scoring particularly with his potent jab. Buatsi really let his punches flow in the fourth with Bolotniks under heavy fire and being rocked by a right but doing some clowning on his way back to his corner to show he was not hurt. Buatsi kept up the pressure in the fifth and then floored Bolotniks with a sizzling left hook. After the count Buatsi drove Bolotniks around the ring bombarding him with punches. He then seemed to back off and Bolotniks scored with a good uppercut before the bell. Surviving the sixth seemed to put more heart into Bolotniks and he came forward throughout the seventh and eighth with the snap gone from Buatsi’s jab and Buatsi was deducted a point for a low punch in the ninth. Buatsi handed out some savage punishment to head and body in the tenth with a brave Bolotniks taking it and trying to fire back when he could. A huge right hand from Buatsi floored Bolotniks heavily in the eleventh and the fight was stopped. Buatsi is No 2 with the WBA and the second highest ranked fighter with the IBF so a title shot next year has to be on the agenda. Latvian Bolotniks came to prominence by beating Steven Ward, Hosea Burton and Serge Michel in the MTK tournament and put up a resolute fight here but Buatsi was just too good for him.
McKinson vs. Runowski
McKinson easily outpoints Pole Runowski in a WBO Gold title defence. McKinson has an unusual and awkward style but is very quick with his hands and his wide stride helps him step back from his opponents attacks. Runowski never came near to working out how to fight McKinson. A straight left from McKinson almost put Runowski down at the end of the fourth round. For the remaining rounds McKinson’s right jabs and straight lefts kept Runowski on the back foot and when he did attack he was often swinging wildly. Luckily for Runowski McKinson is not much of a puncher-only two wins by KO/TKO- so apart from that time at the end of the fourth he was never in any serious trouble. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for McKinson. The Gold title has given McKinson a No. 4 rating with the WBO. Runowski won his first 17 fights against very modest opposition and when he stepped up against in April 2019 against Josh Kelly he lost every round and was counted three times.
Farooq vs. Castillo
Another brilliant display of boxing skills from Farooq as he out classes Mexican Castillo. Over the early rounds Farooq was just too quick for the mechanical Castillo. Farooq was slotting jabs through Castillo’s guard and moving inside to score with hooks. Castillo was just too slow to block Farooq’s jabs and too slow to land counters. From the fourth Farooq chose to stand and trade with Castillo which allowed Castillo some success but Farooq was scoring with crunching rights to the head which Castillo took well. To his credit Castillo marched forward relentlessly and Farooq had to fight hard for three minutes in every round and in the end Farooq seemed to be the tired one. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Farooq. He wins the vacant WBC International title and hopefully he will get the chance to gain revenge for the split decision loss to Lee McGregor on November 2019. Castillo was raw and strong and never took a backward step.
Ford vs. Bellotti
Ford stops Bellotti in three rounds. Bellotti was storming forward blazing away with punches from both hands. He forced Ford onto the back foot but despite the pressure Ford stayed cool and fired back. When the storm subsided in the third Ford was the one bombarding Bellotti with punches and as Bellotti floundered under the barrage the fight was stopped. Southpaw Ford from Newark New Jersey wins the vacant WBA Continental title. He was US National Golden Gloves champion in 2018 and was having his first fight in the UK. Former Commonwealth champion Bellotti made a good start to his career but is now 2-5 in his last 7 fights.
Cordina vs. Hernandez
Cordina blasts out Hernandez in less than one minute. Cordina scored with a sharp right early in the first round. He followed that with a couple more rights to the head and as Hernandez tried to move inside Cordina connected with a savage straight right that put Hernandez down heavily. He struggled to rise but was counted out. All over in 53 seconds. Eighth inside the distance win for Cordina who looked very sharp. Second loss by KO/TKO for Hernandez
Barrett vs. Simion
Barrett much too slick and quick for timeworn Romanian Simion. Barrett sent Simion down in the first with a series of body punches but Simion got up and fought on. It was target practice at times as Barrett danced around Simion jarring him with jabs and flashing combinations. Simon was just following Barrett around the ring and launching wild attacks that Barrett skipped away from. Barrett really began to string together some classy combinations in the third and although Simion showed some fire in the fourth he was taking a beating and wisely retired. Just a keep busy fight for Barrett with talk of a return with Spanish veteran Kiko Martinez over whom Barrett took a controversial decision in February. Now 39 Simion competed at the Olympic Games in Athens 17 years ago.
Price vs. Grande
Southpaw prospect Hope is made to work hard against unbeaten Italian Grande. Price had a much longer reach and used his southpaw jab and straight lefts to pile up the points. Grande kept taking the fight to Price who had to use his skills to avoid the Italian’s attack. Price put the verdict beyond doubt as he floored Grande with a perfectly timed left counter. Perfectly timed in its delivery and also as it was the last punch of the fight. Grande made it to his feet. The referee scored the fight 58-55 for the 21-year-old from Leeds who in 2018 won a silver medal at the Youth World Boxing Championships and gold at the European Youth Championships and the Youth Olympics .
Dubai, UAE: Super Middle: Anthony Sims Jr (21-1) W TKO 9 Hernan Perez (8-4). Cruiser: Mike Perez (25-3-1) W TKO 3 Tony Salam (14-3). Super Welter: Austin Trout (34-5-1) W PTS 10 Alejandro Davila (22-3-2). Super Feather: Ramiro Cesena (14-0-1) W PTS 8 Bekman Soylybayev (12-1). Super Fly: Fernando Martinez (13-0) W TKO 4 Gonzalo Garcia (18-22-2).
Sims vs. Perez
Sims gets back in the ring for the first time since losing his unbeaten record against Romero Angulo in January 2020. Sims staggered Perez in the second and third and then floored Perez with a left in the fourth. Perez was down again in the fifth and was bleeding heavily from the nose. Sims continued to pound on Perez until the ninth when he put Perez down for the third time and the fight was stopped. Sims gets his nineteenth inside the distance victory and wins the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title. South American champion Perez had won his last three fights.
Perez vs. Salam
Cuban southpaw Perez re-launches his career with a third round stoppage of Tony Salam in a fight for the vacant WBA Inter-Continental belt. Perez was just too big and strong for Salam whom is really just a beefed up light heavyweight. Perez pounded Salam over the first two rounds and then trapped Salam in a corner and sent him down and out with a clubbing right to the head in the third. A first round loss to Alexander Povetkin and a points defeat to Mairis Breidis for the WBC cruiser title derailed Perez. He had started his recovery with two wins in 2018 but this fight is first in almost three years. Nigerian southpaw Salam was coming off three inside the distance victories.
Trout vs. Davila
Seasoned pro Trout keeps his faint hope of a title shot alive as he decisions Davila. It was Davila who made the better start taking control from the centre of the ring against a static Trout. From the fourth Trout began to put his skill and experience to use. He was finding the target with jabs and long rights and constantly switching guards to bemuse Davila and boxed his way to a comfortable victory. The scores from the three German judges differed ridiculously at 100-92, 97-94 and 96-95.After losses to both Jermall and Jermell Charlo and Jarrett Hurd Trout, 35,has scored three wins and fought a draw with Terrell Gausha. He is No 6 with the IBF. Mexican Davila went 19-0-2 at the start of his career but with losses to Mikael Zewski and Serhii Bohachuk and now Trout he is having a tough time.
Cesena vs. Soylybayev
Young Mexican Cesena extends his winning run to thirteen as he gets a close majority decision over Kazak Soylybayev. Scores 78-76, 77-76 and 76-76. Good win for 22-year-old from Baja California but this was Soylybayev’s first fight almost four years.
Martinez vs. Garcia
Argentinian Martinez adds another win as he stops Mexican Garcia in four rounds. WBC Silver super fly champion Martinez used a focused body attack to break down Garcia and the referee stopped the one-sided beating in the fourth. A 2016 Olympian Martinez gets his eight inside the distance victory. Garcia has won only 2 of his last 10 fights.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Light: Yomar Alamo (20-0-1) W PTS 10 Adrian Yung (28-7-2). Super Feather: Otar Eranosyan (9-0) W TKO 4 Juan Pena (32-4). Welter: Mekhrubon Sanginov (12-0-1) W KO 4 Jesus Beltran (17-5-2). Super Bantam: Jorge De Jesus Romero (21-0-1) W PTS 8 Jesus Martinez (30-14-1).
Alamo vs. Yung
Alamo retains the WBO Latino title with comprehensive victory over Yung. Alamo had been taken the distance in his last five fights but he looked as though he might be on his way an early finish when he floored Yung in the first. Yung managed to get up and stay up and tried to put Alamo under pressure. Alamo boxed skilfully and countered well with his accurate shots almost closing Yung’s left eye by the middle rounds. Yung just could not catch the elusive Alamo and tired from his efforts but Alamo did not have the power to end the fight early. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 98-91 for Alamo. After a disappointing draw against Antonio Moran Alamo has registered wins against acceptable level opposition in Kendo Castaneda and Jesus Beltran. Mexican Yung (Young)was stopped in five rounds by Luke Campbell in 2019.
Eranosyan vs. Pena
Georgian Eranosyan made it six wins so far in 2021 with a stoppage of former victim Pena. Eranosyan put Pena down twice in the third before the fight was stopped in the fourth. Eranosyan had knocked out Pen in four rounds in January.
Sanginov vs. Beltran
Tajik Sanginov not really tested by Beltran and stops the tall Mexican in four rounds for his ninth inside the distance finish. Sanginov turned pro in 2016 after failing to win his way through the World Qualifier for the Rio Games. Beltran had put up a good performance when being outpointed by Alamo in March.
Romero vs. Martinez
The last time Cuban Romero fought in Kissimmee he felt he was given a bad deal when his fight with Daniel Lozano ended as a majority draw. He had made a slow start in the Lozano fight and was determined that would not happen this time and went out and dominate every round on his way to a unanimous verdict over Martinez. Despite his impressive looking statistics Romero, 27, has yet to move up to ten rounds or meet a real test. Martinez, 40, had won three easy fights back home in Colombia
Marbella, Spain: Feather: Karim Guerfi (30-5,1ND) W PTS 12 Andoni Gago (24-4-4). Super Middle: Ronny Landaeta W PTS 6 Nizar Trimech (8-2).
Frenchman Guerfi wins the European title with a split decision over champion Gago. The fight started badly for the champion as he was cut over his left eye in the first round. From there Gago applied his usual aggressive approach but Guerfi was moving cleverly and connecting with hard, accurate counters. Gago continued to force the fight all of the way but Guerfi managed to score at distance and with enough counters to deserve the split verdict. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 for Guerfi and 115-113 for Gago. Guerfi rebounds well from a first round loss to Lee McGregor in March which cost him his European bantamweight title. Gago was making the second defence of the title
Landaeta vs. Trimech
Experienced former European Union champion Landaeta outpointed Frenchman Trimech. After a lively start Body punches slowed Trimech but the visitor was always competitive. Landaeta took the decision but a draw would have been no more than Trimech deserved. Scores 58-56 twice and 58-57 all for Landaeta. Trimech fought for the French Roosters in the WSB where he beat Filipino Olympian Eumir Marcial a bronze medallist in Tokyo.
Moscow, Russia: Heavy: Vitaly Kudukhov (5-0) W PTS 8Guillermo Jones (41-4-2,1ND).
Kudukhov hustles and bustles his way to victory over Jones. The 18-year-younger Kudukhov bulled his way inside from the start roughing Jones up and using his head literally. Jones managed to work on the outside in the second and also tried turning southpaw but Kudukhov was doing most of the scoring. Jones did enough to edge the seventh but was a clear loser. Kudukhov, 31, had his first three pro fights on the same night winning a heavyweight competition in June last year and then scored a very modest win in November. Former WBA cruiser title holder Jones, 49, was having his first fight since November 2017.
Corona, CA, USA: Super Light: Ruben Torres (16-0) W TKO 5 Richard Zamora (19-5).
Torres gets another inside the distance victory as he halts Zamora in five rounds. The hard-punching Torres was landing heavily from the start and wore Zamora down before finishing him with a body punch in the fifth. The tall 23-year-old from Santa Monica makes it 13 wins by KO/TKO and 6 in his last 7 fights. Mexican Zamora just could not figure out a way to combat the longer reach of Torres and suffers his second loss in a row by KO/TKO.
Orlando, FL, USA: Bantam: Ramon Cardenas (20-1) W TKO 3 Marvin Solano (24-7).
Texan Cardenas stops a sliding Marvin Solano in three rounds. Whilst Cardenas moves to nine wins in a row Nicaraguan Solano drops further with his fifth loss in his last eight fights.
Atlanta, GA, USA: Light: Noel Echevarria (19-7) W PTS 12 Rodrigo Guerrero (26-13-2).
Puerto Rican-born southpaw Echevarria wins the vacant UBO title with unanimous decision over veteran Guerrero. The fight was close with two points deductions for low blows costing a majority draw. Scores 114-112 twice and 116-111 for Echevarria. Now eight wins and a No Decision in his last nine fights for Echevarria. Former IBF super fly title holder Guerrero just failed to break a six bout losing streak.
Worcester, MA, Heavy: Cassius Chaney (21-0) W PTS 10 Shawndell Winters (13-5)
Unbeaten Chaney goes ten rounds for the first time in outpointing Winters. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Chaney. At 34 the 6’6” 260lbs Chaney will have to move up to better opposition soon. Winters, 40, was giving away around 50lbs. He was stopped in four rounds by Alen Babic last August
Portland, ME, USA: Light Heavy: Charles Foster (20-0) W KO 2 Jaime Barboza (21-18).
Southpaw Foster returns to action after two years out and knocks out Costa Rican Barboza in two rounds. Foster had scored wins in a series of fights against credible opposition before the pandemic curtailed his activity. After a run of nine losses Barboza, 43, had returned home to get two low level wins.
Savonlinna, Finland : Super Middle: Sanna Turunen (7-4-1) W PTS 10 Elene Sikmashvili (9-10). Welter: Oskari Metz (15-0) W PTS 8 Emanuele Cavallucci (12-4-1).
Turunen vs. Sikmashvili
Local fighter Turunen wins the vacant IBF female title with unanimous decisioin over Sikmashvili. An entertaining, competitive fight saw Turunen have early difficulties with the longer reach of Sikmashvili but by the third she was getting past the jab. She scored well in the fourth and fifth and took the sixth. Sikmashvili then got back into the fight but Turunen was stronger and boxed her way to a well deserved victory. Scores 98-92, 97-94 and 97-96 for Turunen. All four of Turunen’s loses have come in title fights for a variety of bodies so nice to finally have a belt at the age of forty-six. Georgian Sikmashvili has lost in shots at both WBC and IBO titles.
Metz vs. Cavallucci
Finn Metz remains undefeated but only just. Italian southpaw Cavallucci proved a clever boxer with plenty of movement. He was constantly changing angles and Metz did well to stay balanced and focused. Metz exerted heavy pressure over the sixth and seventh with Cavallucci strong in the eighth making it very close and Metz just edged it on a split decision. Scores 78-75 and 78-76 for Metz and 78-75 for Cavallucci. Good learning fight for Metz and former Italian champion Cavallucci will feel he was worth at least a draw.
Fight of the week (Significance): Virgil Ortiz win over Egidijus Kavaliauskas with fights against Terence Crawford or Errol Spence possibilities in 2022
Fight of the week (Entertainment); Plenty of action in Ortiz vs. Kavaliauskas
Fighter of the week: Virgil Ortiz for his blast out of Kavaliauskas
Punch of the week: The left hook from Joshua Buatsi that put Ricards Bolotniks down in the sixth was spectacular
Upset of the week: Andres Cortes first round stoppage of Genisis Servania was a re3al shock
Prospect watch: Early days but Leeds super bantamweight 5-0 Ivan “Hopey” Price was outstanding in International Youth tournaments
Once again Guillermo Rigondeaux loses and faces criticism for his jab and run, run style. I have some sympathy for him He said that this is how he fights and he can’t change. He had 386 fights as an amateur and lost only 12. For almost 400 fights entertainment was not even in his dictionary and the only requirement was that he win for Cuba-boringly or not. Changing a style that deeply engraved in his psyche is never going to be easy and he will be 41 next month so he is never going to change.
It was interesting that in the Franco vs. Moloney fight after giving Franco a count in the seventh round the referee at the end of the round asked to see the replay of the incident and saw that Franco had slipped and no punch was landed so a 10-8 for Moloney ended up as a 10-9 for Franco so I guess the judges would have had to adjust their score cards even if they had already marked the round 10-8. Messy but a good call.
Sometimes we can get super excited by a fighter at a young age after they win what feels like a break out fight. When they come from a country lacking boxing stars it can be easy to get too excited too quickly. Sadly that's what happened in 2015 with an Indonesian fighter. Despite the fact things didn't work out as hoped the fight that made him such an exciting prospect was a sensational fight away in Thailand. Today we are going to look at that bout in our latest "Closet Classic".
Petchchorhae Kokietgym (13-0, 8) vs Iwan Zoda (6-1, 5) II
In October 2014 Thailand's Petchchorhae Kokietgym took a 6 round decision over the very young Iwan Zoda. The bout was Zoda's second as a professional and Petchchorhae's eighth. Despite winning the bout Petchchorhae really seemed to be outshone by the then 18 year old Zoda. Almost a year later the two men clashed once again.
In between the two bouts Petchchorhae had reeled off 5 more wins, picking up a minor WBC title along the way. He hwadn't really stepped up his competition during that time but had been busy and getting some in ring experience whilst also getting a chance to physically match a bit. He slowly, but surely, starting to create some momentum in Thailand, and was becoming a regular on the Kokiet promoted events through Thailand.
Of course Petchchorhae wasn't the only one who had been busy and Zoda had also reeled off 5 wins since losing to Petchchorhae. As with the Thai Zoda had been fighting low level opponents at home, getting some ring time and physically maturing. So much so that his team seemed confident when they landed a rematch with the Thai just 11 months after their first clash.
This time around it wasn't just a rematch, there was more at steak than just price. The winner would also become the "interim" WBO Asia Pacific Flyweight champion, taking them a huge step towards a much bigger bout.
The opening round saw the two men getting to know each other and looking to establish their distance and tempo. This was clearly round 1 of fight #2 and now round 7 of their rivalry. Petchchorhae was looking to make the most of his southpaw stance and control the ring with his jab, whislt Zoda showed surprising patience and composure for an 18 year old on away soil.
By the end of the first round the tempo had began to increase, with Petchchorhae finding confidence in his straight left hand and Zoda starting to get more comfortable in the ring. From there on the bout seemed to begin to quickly warm into something a bit special.
Round 2 saw the action increase notably with Zoda taking the fight to Petchchorhae much more often than he had in the opening round. He was forcing the Thai back and making Petchchorhae pick his spots much more carefully. Round 3 saw the tempo increase again as Zoda's confidence and aggression picked up, despite the fact the teenager ate some huge counter shots as his defensive flaws were punished. At the end of the round the momentum seemed to shift in favour of Petchchorhae, who was hammering Zoda at the bell.
Within just 3 rounds we had seen several major shifts in momentum, and they wouldn't stop there!
Zoda looked to regain control at the start of round 4, something he struggled to do as Petchchorhae forced him on to the ropes. Despite being backed up Zoda landed some brilliant body shots, and showed real toughness when he was caught clean by some very solid blows. By the end of the round Petchchorhae was on his toes, likely realising that a toe-to-toe was wasn't going to be a bright idea. The Thai remained on the move in round 5, though was using a lot of energy, and being caught by some heavy leather from the Indonesian teenager.
From here on the bout just got better and better. It always looked like Petchchorhae was the better athlete, the more correctly trained fighter and the smarter boxer. Zoda however was looking like a super strong and incredibly determined fighter, unwilling to accept another loss to the Thai.
Zoda had an excellent round 6, as his pressure began to tell, but Petchchorhae some how stood up through it, saw out the round before firing back in the second half of a brutal round 7, by which point Zoda was starting to slow down himself.
Although neither man was a technical genius, and this is certainly not boxing chess, they put on an all thriller that got better and better as it went on. For two youngsters so early in their career they went on to give us a truly sensational bout and one that really did swing back and forth. This also had the added twist of being in Thailand, where judges are notoriously harsh on the visitors and where funny business could be seen with officials and time keepers.
Sit back and enjoy a true closet classic!
By Eric Armit
Kid Galahad stops Janes Dickens in eleven rounds to win the vacant IBF featherweight title
-Michael Conlan outpoints JT Doheny to collect the vacant WBA interim featherweight title and Lee McGregor and Tyrone McKenna score victories on the Belfast card
-Gabriel Maestre gets heavily criticised verdict over Mykal Fox to pick up the vacant WBA interim welterweight title and on the same show Eimantas Stanionis vs. Luis Collazo ends as a Technical Draw and Lucas Santamaria gets points win over Devon Alexander
-Mike Hunter, Chris Algieri and Ivan Golub return to action with wins.
-Unbeaten heavyweight hopefuls Fabio Wardley and Alen Babic score inside the distance victories
World Title/Major Shows
Belfast, NI, Feather: Michael Conlan (16-0) W PTS 12 TJ Doheny (22-3). Bantam: Lee McGregor (11-0) W KO 4 Vincent Legrand (32-1). Super Light: Tyrone McKenna (22-2-1) W PTS 10 Jose Felix (39-5-1). Super Middle: Padraig McCrory (12-0) W TKO 5 Sergei Gorokhov (11-3-2). Light: Sean McComb (12-1) W PTS 8 Vicente Rodriguez (39-7-1).
Conlan vs. Doheny
Conlan collects the vacant WBA interim belt with unanimous decision over Doheny in a fiercely fought contest. There was lots of prodding and probing over the first two rounds with Conlan using a southpaw guard and doing the better work in the first and Doheny bringing his left into play and edging the second. Doheny applied plenty of pressure in the third but Conlan worked well with his jab and scored with some good counters and all three rounds had been close. Conlan clearly took the fourth working hard with his jab and clouting Doheny with a left with Doheny not throwing enough punches and he was showing a swelling below his left eye. The fifth saw the first sustained exchanges with Conlan scoring well with right hooks to the body. He drove Doheny to the ropes and connected with a right hook to the body that saw Doheny drop to one knee. He was up immediately and given a count. Doheny buckled at the knees under more body punches but then fired back and Conlan was forced to retreat but a 10-8 round for Conlan. A low punch from Conlan in the sixth saw him get a warning and then Doheny dominated the round with Conlan spending much of the time pinned to the ropes. Doheny pressed hard in the seventh but Conlan, switching guards, was working well with his jab throughout the round and landed lefts to the body to outwork Doheny. It was a similar story in the eighth as Conlan boxed orthodox scoring consistently with his jab and he took the round although buzzed by a right before the bell and was showing a cut on his left cheek. The ninth was close with Doheny attacking hard early and late and Conlan doing the scoring boxing on the outside and taking the points with his cleaner work. The tenth was another close round with Doheny managing to turn it into a brawl which suited him better and he attacked hard throughout the eleventh to take that one. Conlan had more left and he outlanded Doheny in the last, Scores 116-111 twice and 119-108 for Conlan. A bit of a confidence boost after he only just squeezed past Ionut Baluta on a majority decision in April but that is the past. There may be interest in a fight with Leigh Wood who won the secondary WBA title last week or even the new IBF champion Kid Galahad. Doheny gave it a good shot here but was lucky to be fighting for the title having lost over eight rounds to Baluta-but this is the Worst Boxing Association and both Conlan and Doheny were unrated until suddenly being parachuted in at Nos 4 and 5 in the Worst Boxing Association rating of 31 July!
McGregor vs. Legrand
McGregor is still European champion after coming off the floor to break down unbeaten Legrand and finish him with a body punch in the fourth. Both fighters settled quickly. McGregor was coming forward jabbing well and finding the target with rights and southpaw Legrand had success with left hooks to the body. McGregor was scoring well with rights in the second and looked to be on the way to winning the round when a combination of punches sent him down. When he arose and the action resumed Legrand fired a barrage of punches but the bell went before he could do any more damage. McGregor came forward behind a high guard throughout the third. He was getting through with uppercuts from both hands and left hooks to the body and Legrand looked to be wilting. McGregor continued to buzz Legrand with uppercuts in the fourth and then dug in a vicious right to the ribs and Legrand dropped to one knee. Although he tried to rise he couldn’t beat the count. First defence of the European title for McGregor and his second impressive win over French opposition. He is rated No 3 by the IBF. However the title holder Naoya Inoue knocked out No 1 Michael Dasmarinas in June and the No 2 slot is vacant. McGregor can’t go to the No 1 spot as he has not beaten an opponent in the IBF ratings. The bantams are strong in the UK with Charlie Edwards, Khalid Yafai, Paul Butler and Ukashir Farooq all attractive domestic matches if they could be made and former WBC champion Nordine Oubaali is another possibility. Since relinquishing the European flyweight title in 2018 Legrand had scored five wins but all in six round fights showing a lack of ambition-or opportunity.
McKenna vs. Felix
McKenna floors Felix early and is floored himself on the way to a unanimous decision in an exciting scrap. McKenna went in front early being credited with a knockdown in the opening round that looked more like a slip. McKenna seemed to have scored a genuine knockdown in the second but it was not counted. Felix put McKenna down with a body shot in the third. The action was even hotter over the middle rounds with McKenna making full use of his edges in height and reach to punish Felix both a distance and on the way in. He rocked Felix in the seventh Felix was taking punishment but was not deterred and kept taking the fight to McKenna and McKenna had to fight hard to stay in front making for an entertaining scrap. McKenna was cut over his right eye and Felix had heavy swelling around his right eye McKenna was winning the rounds but not by much. Felix put in a strong last round but by then McKenna had the fight won. Scores 99-91, 97-91 and 97-92 for McKenna. Good bounce-back victory for McKenna after losing a majority decision to Ohara Davies in September. He wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental belt. At one time Felix was 35-1-1 with the loss being to Bryan Vazquez for the interim WBA super feather title in 2014 but he is now 4-4 in his last 8 fights.
McCrory vs. Gorokhov
McCrory stops Gorokhov in five rounds. Russian Gorokhov outworked McCrory in the first but McCrory began to find his range from the second. He was feeding the oncoming Gorokhov left jabs and connecting with hurtful rights. In the fourth a punch opened a gash on Gorokhov’s nose and he was under heavy fire for the rest of the round. Gorokhov was dabbing at the injury in the fifth and the referee called the doctor to examine it and he ruled it was too serious for Gorokhov to continue. McCrory wins the WBC International Silver title from Gorokhov.
McComb vs. Rodriguez
McComb gets back into the winning column as he takes every round against seasoned Argentinian pro Rodriguez with the judges all turning in cards of 80-72. McComb had been halted in seven rounds by Gavin Gwynne in a fight for the vacant Commonwealth title in February. Rodriguez had lost to Adrien Broner for the vacant WBO super featherweight title in 2011.
Brentwood, England: Feather: Kid Galahad (28-1) W RTD 11 James Dickens (30-4). Heavy: Fabio Wardley (12-0) W TKO 1 Nick Webb (17-3). Heavy: Alen Babic (8-0) W RTD 5 Mark Bennett (7-2).
Galahad vs. Dickens
Galahad wins the vacant IBF title as a bloody Dickens retires after the eleventh round.
A lively opening round saw both fighters have some success, Galahad switched guard at times with Dickens sticking to his southpaw stance and connecting with good straight lefts but with Galahad that bit quicker and just taking the round. Dickens was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads.
Score: 10-9 Galahad
Galahad dominated the second. Again he was constantly switching guard but whichever way around he was quicker and more accurate and put together some crisp combinations forcing Dickens on to the back foot.
Score: 10-9 Galahad Galahad 20-18
Dickens was jabbing strongly at the start of the round but gradually Galahad took control. He was finding gaps for both his right and left jabs, outworking Dickens and connecting with some strong body punches.
Score: 10-9 Galahad Galahad 30-27
A better round for Dickens. He worked hard with his jab throughout the rounds and knocked Galahad off balance with a left. Galahad was coming up short with his punches and Dickens landed a sharp right uppercut late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Dickens Galahad 39-37
Galahad’s round. He was jabbing quickly and accurately with either hand and scoring to the body. He was putting together bursts of punches forcing Dickens onto the back foot and the pressure saw Dickens work become ragged under the speed and variety of Galahad’s punches.
Score: 10-9 Galahad Galahad 49-46
The sixth was one-sided. Galahad was picking Dickens off at distance with jabs and hooks and punishing Dickens when he came forward. No matter what Dickens did Galahad was finding him an easy target, He was constantly moving around Dickens landing punches from different angles and with different hands and blood was seeping from Dickens’ nose.
Score: 10-9 Galahad Galahad 59-55
Dickens found a way into the fight in the seventh managing to land a series of good punches. Galahad looked to be taking a breather in what was quiet round for him which allowed Dickens to claw back a point.
Score: Dickens 10-9 Galahad 68-65
A bit of a messy round with too many clinches as a tiring Dickens found it hard to get away from Galahad’s jab. Galahad was able to thread punches through Dickens’ guard and keep control of the action with Dickens face a bloody sight.
Score: 10-9 Galahad Galahad 78-74
Galahad rocked Dickens with a left in the ninth and continued to rack up the points as he slotted jabs through Dickens’ guard. Dickens tried hard to get inside but was taking too much punishment and was on the ropes under heavy pressure at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Galahad Galahad 88-83
Dickens got through with a hard left in the early action but again was continually under fire from Galahad’s jab and did not look to have much left as Galahad piled on the punishment shaking Dickens with a body shot. Galahad had been warned a few times for stepping on Dickens’ foot and when he did it again the referee deducted a point.
Score: 9-9 Galahad 97-92.
Dickens fought bravely through a painful eleventh doing what he could to stay in the fight but his face was a mask of blood. He had nothing left to give and his team retired him at the end of the round.
Galahad gets his second win over Dickens having stopped him in two rounds for the British super bantamweight title way back in 2013. There might be some interest in a return match with Josh Warrington who won a split decision over Galahad in an IBF title defence in June 2019 or even with Leigh Wood now the holder of the secondary WBA title. Dickens had earned his place in this title fight with a run of eight wins including victories over Nathaniel May, Leigh Wood and Ryan Walsh. He will look to regroup and find his way to another title chance.
Wardley vs. Webb
Wardley survives a frantic start from Webb to batter Webb to defeat after 2:30 of the opening round. Webb went straight after Wardley jabbing and moving in to throw right crosses. Webb continued to come forward throwing punches with Wardley being backed up and on the defensive and looking to be in trouble as Webb unloaded chopping rights. Wardley suddenly went on the attack and shook Webb and forced him to the ropes. Wardley pounded Webb with a barrage of punches with Webb floundering and after a couple of neck-snapping shots from Wardley the referee jumped in just as Webb fell to the canvas. For a while it looked as though Wardley might be in serious trouble but he comes away with his eleventh win by KO/TKO. Webb had scored an impressive stoppage of unbeaten German Erik Pfeifer in March but found that Wardley had a stronger chin and a harder punch.
Babic vs. Bennett
Babic beats Bennett in five rounds. Babic was connecting with heavy punches from the start and Bennett lost his mouthguard twice in ten seconds late in the opening round and almost went down just before the bell. The fight turned into a bar room brawl with lots of head down wild punching with Bennett shipping heavy punishment but staying upright marching forward as he had promised and banging back. Babic was in danger of punching himself out and he tired in the third but over the fourth and fifth he handed out a savage beating and the fight should could have been stopped during either round but wisely Bennett retired after the fifth. All eight of the Croatians’ wins have come inside the distance and he is ready to step up. Bennett showed incredible courage. After the fight Babic proposed to his girlfriend and she accepted so a win/win night for him.
Minneapolis, MN, USA: Welter: Gabriel Maestre (4-0) W PTS 12 Mykal Fox (22-3). Welter: Eimantas Stanionis (13-0, 1ND) ND 4 Luis Collazo (39-8,1ND). Welter: Lucas Santamaria (12-2-1) W PTS 10 Devon Alexander (27-7-1). Bantam: Joahnys Argilagos (8-0) W KO 1 Luis Valdes (7-10-1). Super Light: Ryan Karl (19-3) W PTS 8 Edgar Ramirez (18-17-1).
Maestre vs. Fox
Maestre wins the vacant WBA interim title with a unanimous decision over substitute Fox a decision widely described as disgraceful. Fox was 5” taller than Maestre and that difference dictated the tactics with Maestre rolling forward trying to get past Fox’s jab to work to the body or trap him against the ropes. That aggression saw Maestre get past Fox’s jab enough to edge the first. Maestre continued to come forward in the second but overreached himself when throwing a right and a left hook counter from Fox put him down. Maestre was up immediately and landed a good body punch later in the round. Fox stuck to his boxing and Maestre continued to march forward with both having success over the third and fourth which were close but were pocketed by Fox. At the end of the fourth Fox was in front on all three cards 38-37 twice and 39-36. Maestre managed to get inside to score to the body in the fifth and sixth and although Fox was still landing his right jab and straight lefts Maestre looked to have taken both close rounds. Fox dominated the seventh and eighth as he moved and jabbed frustrating Maestre’s attempts to land anything significant. The judges were now seeing Maestre’s aggression as the deciding factor with two having Maestre in front 76-74 and 76-75 with the third card reading 76-76. Fox boxed cleverly in the ninth continually spearing Maestre with right jabs, snapping his head back with a left hook and landing right hooks inside. Maestre put in a big effort in the tenth and eleventh to take those rounds but Fox boxed his way through the last and looked a clear winner. The judges did not see it that way as they scored the fight 117-110, 115-112 and 114-113 for Maestre bringing down on themselves a whole chorus of dissent. Lou DiBella was incensed to the point of demanding an investigation into boxing and the WBA. Fox certainly looked to have won this one but Maestre is the now the holder of the interim WBA title. The 34-year-old Venezuelan double-Olympian said he was willing to give Fox a rematch. Maestre won a slew of medals as an amateur so his short record as a pro is deceptive. Fox came in as a substitute after Cody Crowley, the intended opponent for Maestre, tested positive for COVID-19. Despite having been floored and outpointed by Lucas Santamaria in his last fight Fox was parachuted into the Worst Boxing Association ratings for 31 July at No 12. He did not deserve the title shot but he deserves a return.
Stanionis vs. Collazo
Stanionis looked to be too strong for veteran Collazo. Stanionis took the fight inside from the first bell going to the body with hooks from both hands. Collazo tried to punch with him but was outworked. Stanionis used the same tactics in the second looking to tire the 40-year-old Collazo. In the third Collazo made a fast start but was being hurt by body punches and was rocked by a right. Collazo banged back hard but Stanionis was landing heavy rights and Collazo had a swelling under his left eye. They were trading punches in the fourth when their heads clashed. Collazo took a step back and went down pawing at a cut near his right eye. Initially it seemed as though the fight would be stopped in the Lithuanian’s favour but then realising Collazo was dazed from the head clash the referee gave Collazo time to recover and when Collazo was still unable to continue and with the fourth round not completed it was declared a No Decision. Wins over Thomas Dulorme and Justin DeLoach have seen Stanionis rise to No 1 with the WBA and he looked on his way to a win here. Collazo, a former holder of the WBA secondary title, sees his second consecutive fight end due to his suffering a cut. However in that fight against Kudratillo Abdukakhorov in October 2019 as the fight was not stopped until the tenth round and as Abdukakhorov had built a big lead Collazo lost on a technical decision.
Santamaria vs. Alexander
Californian Santamaria achieves a career best win as he gets a wide unanimous verdict over Alexander. The younger man used plenty of movement circling a static Alexander and darting in with jabs and quick rights. Alexander was tending to hold his gloves at thigh level and throw jabs up from there. He had a slightly higher work rate but the pace was slow. It looked a close fight until Santamaria upped the pace over the late rounds. On punches landed there was not much of a gap between them but it was Santamaria throwing the harder punches who impressed the judges more although the fight looked much closer than the scores suggest. The judges gave the decision to Santamaria 98-92 twice and 97-93. The seesaw swings up again for Santamaria. He had floored and outpointed Mykal Fox in August 2020 but then lost to Paul Kroll in October so he will be hoping to build on this win. This was Alexander’s first fight for over two years and he was nowhere near meeting the contract weight and had to do a deal to get accepted at 154lbs to Santamaria’s 148 ½ lbs and stated that he had injured his right bicep in the first round. He needs a win as he is now 1-5-1 in his last seven fights.
Argilagos vs. Valdes
Former amateur standout Argilagos destroys Valdes in quick time. He dropped Valdes with a right to the head and a left hook to the body. Valdes initially arose but promptly went down on one knee beating the canvas in agony and was counted after just 35 seconds. Cuban Argilagos, 24, is shaping up to be a real player at bantamweight as he settles into the pro ranks. He was a 49kg gold medallist at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships and defeated Toyo Olympic champion Galal Yafai on the way to a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics. Mexican Valdes a lamb to the slaughter.
Karl vs. Ramirez
Karl gets back to work with a unanimous verdict over Mexican Ramirez. Karl was rocked early and Ramirez suffered considerable pain from a low punch taking five minutes to recover. Karl dictated the action being too strong and fighting his usual battle of attrition to take the points. Scores 79-71 twice and 80-72. Karl was having his first outing since losing on a sixth round knockout to Mario Barrios in a challenge for the secondary WBA super light title in October. Ramirez is 1-5-1 in his last seven bouts.
New York, NY, USA: Heavy: Michael Hunter (20-1-1) W TKO 4 Mike Wilson (21-2). Welter: Chris Algieri (25-3) W PTS 10 Mikkel LesPierre (22-3-1).Welter: Ivan Golub (20-1) W PTS 10 Eric Walker (20-4). Light Heavy: Joe Ward (4-1) W PTS 6 Troy Williams (5-1-1).
Hunter vs. Wilson
Hunter stops a brave Wilson in the fourth. Wilson took the fight to Hunter in the first and Hunter let him come and tagged him with some hefty left hooks to the body and rights to the head. Wilson continued to come forward in the second and third but Hunter was raking him with punches and Wilson was floundering under the punishment at the end of the third. Hunter blasted Wilson with punches in the fourth landing some neck-snapping uppercuts before dropping Wilson with a beautifully timed right counter which put Wilson down. He made it to his feet but was unsteady and bleeding heavily from his nose and the fight was stopped. A good run including victories over Fabio Maldonado and Sergey Kuzmin and a split draw with Alexander Povetkin has seen Hunter reach No 6 with the WBA. This was posted as a WBA eliminator but who knows which version of the four WBA titles it was an eliminator for. Wilson, 38, had lost to Hunter in the final of the 2007 US National Championships. He had weighed 198 ½ lbs in his last fight in September 2019 but was somehow rated No 14 heavyweight by the WBA. Hunter was 217 ¼ lbs for this fight which would put him comfortably inside the WBC’s Bridgerweight division which might suit him better.
Algieri vs. LesPierre
No sign of rust as former WBO super light champion Algieri outpoints LesPierre in his first fight for over two years. Algieri looked sharp from the start outboxing and outworking LesPierre. Algieri scored with scorching body punches in every round with LesPierre never able to pose a threat. Algieri dealt out unrelenting punishment over the sixth and seventh and although LesPierre had his moments he had to survive a savage onslaught from Algieri in the ninth to last the distance. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Algieri. He lost big fights against Manny Pacquiao, Amir Khan and Errol Spence but has won his last four fights and was impressive here although at 37 time is running out for him. Trinidadian-born southpaw LesPierre went 21-0-1 at the start of his career but was outclassed and decision by Maurice Hooker in a WBO super light title challenge and was floored twice in losing on points to Jose Pedraza in his last fight in July 2020.
Golub vs. Walker
Ukrainian southpaw Golub comes away with a unanimous verdict against a competitive Walker. It was Walker who settled first and looked to have pocketed the first two rounds with Golub getting into the fight over the third and fourth. The fight turned Golub’s way when he dropped Walker late in the fifth. They both landed well over the next three rounds with Golub putting the decision beyond doubt by flooring Walker in the ninth. Scores 98-90, 97-91 and 96-92 for Golub. He wins the vacant USBA belt with his seventh victory since losing on points to Jamontay Clark in 2017. Walker, 38, suffers his second loss in a row having dropped a decision against WBA No 1 Israil Madrimov in August last year.
Ward vs. Williams
Irish southpaw Ward remains active with a decision over unbeaten Williams. Ward won all six rounds but suffered a cut in the fifth that may keep him out for a while. Scores 60-54 from the three judges. The 27-year-old Ward was World Junior and Youth champion and a three-time European Championships gold medallist as well was winning two silvers and a bronze at the World Championships. His loss was brought about by a knee injury in the second round of his first pro fight. Williams was having his first fight for two years.
Stintino, Italy: Bantam: Vincenzo Picardi (4-0) W PTS 10 Cristian Zara (7-1).
Picardi retains the national title with a unanimous decision in a fast-paced fight against a competitive Zara. Picardi was storming forward throughout the fight chasing down the retreating Zara who boxed with real skill on the back foot. Picardi switched guard occasionally and also looked a little crude at times but despite being fourteen years older than Zara he set the pace. The canvas was very slippery with both fighters going over at times and although the relentless aggression of Picardi gave him the edge Zara’s boxing skills made it close. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-94 for Picardi in his second title defence. Picardi did not turn pro until he was 35 after a successful time in the amateurs which in over 200 fights saw him score wins over Michael Conlan, Rau’shee Warren, Juan Carlos Payano, Robeisy Ramirez, Vladimir Nikitin and current WBA flyweight champion Artem Dalakian and take bronze medals at the Olympic Games and World Championships. Former Italian Youth champion Zara, 23, has the talent to go far.
Windham, NH, USA: Welter: Travis Castellon (17-4-1) W PTS 10Brandon Berry (22-6-2).
Floridian Castellon upsets the odds and the local fans as he outpoints Maine’s Berry. Castellon boxed cleverly on the back foot as Berry marched forward trying to cut off the ring and slow down southpaw Castellon so he could work inside. Castellon kept moving and jabbing and was able to score with straight rights and left hooks and then slide away from Berry’s attacks. Castellon was docked a point in the ninth for pushing Berry away but it made no difference as he had already built a big lead. Scores 99-90, 98-92, 96-93 for the visitor. Castellon had lost his last four fights on early round stoppages and Berry had won his last nine so something of an upset.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Light: Fedor Papazov (22-4) W KO 9 Arslan Magomedov (7-2-1). Super Bantam: Narek Abgaryan (16-1) W PTS 8 Sabelo Ngebinyana (13-6). Middle: Mikalai Vesialou (11-0-12) DREW 8 Artur Osipov (17-3-2). Super Light: Oganes Ustyan (7-0) W PTS 8 Oleksandr Abramian (5-2-1).
Papazov vs. Magomedov
Papazov scores spectacular ninth round kayo victor over Magomedov. Papazov had problems early with the height and reach edges Magomedov enjoyed. In the first as Papazov over reached himself with a jab a left counter sent him back and his knee touched the canvas but the referee did not give a count. Papazov had success with over hand rights landing heavily in the fourth and opening a cut over the left eye of Magomedov. Papazov tired over the second half of the fight and was caught with heavy rights in the eighth. Magomedov continued to take the fight to Papazov and he became over confident standing and exchanging at short range and a savage straight right from Papazov sent him crashing to the canvas and out. A valuable win for Papazov as he had lost two of his last three fights. Magomedov was 6-0-2 going in but he showed his inexperience in standing and trading with Papazov.
Abgaryan vs. Ngebinyana
Armenian Abgaryan rebounds from his first pro defeat with points win over South African Ngebinyana. Abgaryan floored Ngebinyana early but could not finish the fight and Ngebinyana fought back hard trading punches with Abgaryan all the way. Abgaryan took a deserved unanimous decision but former South African super fly champion Ngebinyana gave a creditable display. Abgaryan had dropped a decision against useful Eduardo Baez in Los Angeles in December.
Vesialou vs. Osipov
Vesialou and Osipov fight to a split draw. The WBA No 8 Vesialou looked very lucky to escape with a draw. Osipov forced the fight and looked to have outworked Vesialou who tired over the late rounds but Osipov had to settle for a draw. Score 78-74 for Vesialou, 78-74 for Osipov and 76-76. First fight for 22 months for Belarusian Vesialou who had scored a useful win over 18-2-1 Abdul Khattab in that last fight. Russian Osipov has had a bumpy ride being 2-3-2 in his last 7 fights.
Ustyan vs. Abramian
Ustyan gets points victory over an unlucky Abramian who injured his left hand in the first round. Despite the handicap Abramian managed to score with jabs and overhand rights but eventually he could not hold his left hand up and had to survive using upper body movement and good footwork. Ustyan was able to take advantage of Abramian’s problems but still had to fight hard to get the decision. Scores 79-73 twice and 77-75. Georgian-born Russian Ustyan, 23, wins the vacant IBNF Youth belt. Ukrainian Abramian, 21, showed courage in continuing despite that handicap.
Springfield, MA, USA: Super Middle: Kendrick Ball Jr (17-1-2) W PTS 8 Tyi Edmonds (14-4,1ND).
Ball continues his good run as he outpoints Edmonds. Ball used his height and reach to outbox Edmonds and then finished strongly flooring Edmonds in the eighth round. Scores 80-70, 79-71 and 76-74 for Ball who was defending the WBC US title.
Edmonds was 9-0,1ND in his last ten fights.
Heredia, Costa Rica: Minimumweight: Yokasta Valle (22-2) W PTS 10 Debora Rengifo (14-8-1).
In a non-title fight IBF Female champion Valle extended her winning run to nine as she outpointed Venezuelan Rengifo over ten rounds. Scores 100-89 twice and 100-90. The 28-year-old Nicaraguan-born Costa Rican is a former undefeated IBF Jr minimum flyweight title holder where the weight limit is 102lbs. Six of Rengifo’s losses have come in world title shots.
Pec, Kosovo: Super Middle: Kamer Maloku (15-2) W TKO 3 Bosko Misic (22-16).
Kosovon Maloku wins the vacant UBO title with early victory over Misic. Despite giving away height and reach three knockdowns in the third by Maloku were enough to end this one. Maloku lost his first two pro fights so is 15-0 with 12 wins by KO/TKO now-but don’t look too carefully at his opposition. Of Croatian Misic’s 16 losses 14 have come by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week (Significance): Kid Galahad’s victory over James Dickens should open the door to some big money outings for Galahad.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Tyrone McKenna and Jose Felix provided ten rounds of action.
Fighter of the week: Kid Galahad the new IBF featherweight title holder
Punch of the week: The right cross from Fedor Papazov that finished Arslan Magomedov was fearsome. Honourable mention to the right from Michael Hunter that floored Mike Wilson which was perfectly timed and executed.
Upset of the week: The points win for Lucas Santamaria over Devon Alexander was a bit of surprise as Santamaria was coming off a loss
Prospect watch: Irish light heavyweight Joe Ward is finally getting fights following a fourteen month layoff and he has a long list of outstanding achievements as an amateur behind him.
-The fight for the Worst Boxing Association interim featherweight title between Michael Conlan and TJ Doheny featured cynical behaviour so typical of the WBA. In their ratings published 30 June neither Conlan or Doheny appeared anywhere. In the 31 July ratings Conlan suddenly popped up at No 4 and Doheny at No 5 even though Doheny lost his last fight to Ionut Baluta who is not in the rankings. Timing is everything. Eduardo Ramirez sent an email to the WBA relinquishing the interim title on 2 August and suddenly Conlan vs. Doheny is for the interim title. Wow that was quick. Imagine Conlan and Doheny managing to be fit and ready at only four days notice! Believe that if you like. Additionally Mykal Fox having lost his last fight did not stop the WBA from popping him in at No 12 one week before he fought Gabriel Maestre for the interim welterweight title.
Timing is everything. At a weekend when there were two WBA interim title fights up pops Gilberto Mendoza-the President of the Worst Boxing Association- to tell the world that his organisation intends to reduce the number of titles in each division.
President Mendoza filled me with hope. They are going to “gradually eliminate this flexibility we have with titles” I know that I said earlier (2016) that I intend to reduced the numbers of titles and did not do it”
Wow we didn’t notice that-what a surprise!
“I am not saying we intend to keep only one champion in each weight category but in most weight categories. I do not know in which categories the interim champion title will be removed”
Which means they will be retaining interim titles. Cross your fingers Conlan and Maestre that your titles don’t become redundant and if your fighter is offered a chance at a WBA interim title ask for a two year warranty.
“and in what divisions the titles of regular (secondary) and super champions will remain. We intend to add value to our Gold belts”
So to sum up the Worst Boxing Association President stated they will still have Super, Secondary, interim and Gold titles and he called a press conference to announce this momentous decision and the plan to implement it will be in place-soon!
-I love one promoter’s attempt to solve the problem of a wet and slippy canvas. In a professional show in Egypt on Friday after lots of slipping and sliding they stopped the show and covered the ring in Persian carpets held in place by duct tape. Unfortunately it did not work and had to be ripped up later but you have to give him an ‘A’ for effort.
Two female bouts at the weekend were fought over three minute rounds which seems to be the way things will go. I don’t know enough about any additional health hazards for female boxers in fighting three minute rounds but if they can run marathons and competed in a decathlon why should three minute rounds be too much for them? I guess they could take a gradual approach and replace 10 x 2 minutes with 8 x 3 initially
- One of the fighters going three minutes at the weekend was IBF minimumweight champion Yokasta Valle. She has been by his father that she is the inspiration for his six-year-old son Emiliano Herrera who is battling against leukaemia. Yokasta invited him to the fight and made a present to him of her gloves in what was a very moving moment. There are plenty of wonderful people in boxing.
For this week's Closet Classic we're heading over to Illinois for a 2007 Light Flyweight clash that had action, drama, controversy, skills, and some great back and forth. Despite being a memorable clash at the time the bout has, sadly, been somewhat forgotten by the passing of time, and the drama we saw unfurl that day has failed to live on in the minds of many fans. With that said we take great delight in sharing the bout as part of this Closet Classic series.
Rodel Mayol (23-1, 18) vs Ulises Solis (24-1, 18)
Although not too well remembered now a days Filipino fighter Rodel Mayol was one of the notable little men from the 2000's and early 2010's. He was a some what crude boxer-puncher, with solid power, a rough side to him and some clumsy awkwardness. Although never the best fighter out there he typically a very dangerous fighter, though one who did struggle against the top fighters. By August 2007 he was 23-1 (18) with his sole loss coming to Den Junlaphan in 2006, in what was a WBC Minimumweight title bout. Following that loss he moved up in weight and began to pursue a Light Flyweight world title.
In Mayol's first Light Flyweight world title bout he faced off with IBF champion Ulises "Archie" Solis. Solis was a tremendous boxer, with a great boxing mind, great ring control and solid, if somewhat unspectacular, punching power. He knew how to box, he had enough oomph on his punches to keep opponents honest and up to this point had shown very few flaws. His sole loss was a decision to the now often forgotten Nelson Dieppa. He had won the IBF title in 2006, dethroning Well Grigsby, and had scored 4 defenses in 18 months, beating the likes of Eric Ortiz, Grigsby and Jose Antonio Aguirre. He was regarded as one of the very best in the division, and not just some random title holder.
The bouts wasn't just Mayol's first Light Flyweight title bout but also his US debut, and he was looking to win a world title and make his mark on a US audience.
As with many Light Flyweight bouts this started relatively fast and within the first minute we had seen both throwing some heavy leather, rather than just looking to jab their win into things. For the most part the big shots weren't landing but they were being thrown, with neither man quite quite having their accuracy down. Sadly the crowd, who were there to see some much bigger names on the show, were getting on the fighter's backs very quickly with whistles which were overshadowing a relatively decent, though not sensational, opening round. Thankfully the crowd were, eventually, won over by the final moments of the round as both began to put their foot on the gas a little bit more.
In round 2 both men began to zone in a bit more, with Solis landing several heavy shots as Mayol began to press more. Solis was getting the better of it, but Mayol was landing some solid shots himself, as the fans began to slowly buy into the action. It was a technical battle, but it was a tense one, and one that saw both men having moments in exchanges and saw some really nice counter shots from Solis.
Mayol was getting more aggressive in round 3 as the even and competitive action continued to build. The action was clean, it was explosive and although Solis kept control of the range it looked like Mayol's power could be an issue at any moment. The main problem for Mayol was he was struggling to set his big shots up, and Solis was usually getting the last word in on any exchange, usually a stinging left hook.
With Solis looking like he was getting a grip on the Filipino and getting in control it seemed clear that Mayol needed to change tactics and in round 4 he did begin the to have more moments, including a really eye catching combination mid way through the round. He also managed to leave Solis with a nick around the eye and looked like he was finally starting build some momentum against the excellent champion.
Then momentum of Mayol was slowed in round 5 as he began to look for a 1-punch KO and was countered by Solis who seemed to click again. But then we got the drama in round in round 6. The round saw both men starting well, despite facial damage showing on both. Mayol seemed to be backed up at one point in the middle of the round and took some solid shots from Solis, who seemed very much on point through much of the round. Mayol however turned things around when he landed a brutal left hook that rocked Solis to his core. Solis would go down moments later and the referee somehow failed to rule it as a knockdown. Mayol saw his chance and went for the kill giving us a thrilling round round as Mayol seemed to be on the verge of turning things around.
We'll leave the bout here, after that big Mayol round for you to enjoy without spoiling the result.
For those who like technical stuff this has plenty of that. Solis was technically brilliant he boxed so well through out the bout and looked like a little boxing genius at times. Mayol looked crude and lazy but like a dynamite puncher and he seemed to show that power in round 6, and in round 7, as he forced Solis to dig deep. The momentum had been with Solis early, Mayol then turned it around in his favour and proved he could hurt Solis. Despite a slow start it got going and became a very, very enjoyable contest that is really worth watching, despite the early whistling from the crowd.
This isn't an all out war. It's not a none stop action battle, but it's a wonderfully compelling bout, without ever descending into a slugfest.
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