By Eric Armit
-Mairis Breidis wins the WBBS cruiserweight tournament final by outpointing Yuniel Dorticos and collects the Muhammad Ali trophy and the IBF title
-The Terrible Twins Jermall and Jermall Charlo make it a family double as Jermall outpoints Sergiy Derevyanchenko to retain the WBC middleweight title and Jermell knocks out Jeison Rosario to unify the IBF, WBA and WBC super welterweight titles
-Josh Taylor successfully defends the IBF and WBA super light titles as he destroys Thai challenger Apinun Khongsong with a body punch in the first round
-Luis Nery wins the vacant WBC super bantamweight title with points win over Aaron Alameda
-John Riel Casimero stops Ghanaian Duke Micah in defence of his WBO bantamweight title
-Brandon Figueroa halts Damien Vazquez in defence of the secondary WBA super bantam title
-Tony Yoke excites French fans with a first round victory over Johann Duhaupas
-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr loses on a technical decision against unknown Mario Cazares
World Title/Major Shows
Uncasville, CT, USA: Middle: Jermall Charlo (31-0) W PTS 12 Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-3). Super Welter: Jermell Charlo (34-1) W KO 8 Jeison Rosario (20-2-1). Super Bantam: Luis Nery (31-0) W PTS 12 Aaron Alameda (25-1).Bantam: John Riel Casimero (30-4) W TKO 3 Duke Micah (24-1). Super Bantam: Brandon Figueroa (21-0-1) W TKO 10 Damien Vazquez (15-2-1). Super Bantam: Daniel Roman (28-3-1) W PTS 12 Juan Payano (21-4). Super Welter: Bakhram Murtazaliev (18-0) W TKO 4 Manny Woods (16-10-1).
Charlo vs. Derevyanchenko
Charlo retains the WBC title as he builds an early lead and then holds off a strong finish from Derevyanchenko to take a well deserved unanimous verdict.
No early fireworks as they both probed with their jab. Derevyanchenko threw a couple of right crosses without connecting and Charlo’s jabs gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Charlo
They both scored with sharp rights early then Charlo began to put his punches together scoring with a series of jabs and rights. Derevyanchenko countered but not enough to offset the work from Charlo.
Score:10-9 Charlo Charlo 20-18
Derevyanchenko connected with a right at the start of the round but Charlo hit back using his longer reach to score with jabs and then with a left hook. The fight came to life as they stood and traded punches with both landing well. As the round ended Charlo was spearing Derevyanchenko with jabs until a right to the side of the head unhinged Derevyanchenko’s legs and he staggered back. Charlo landed a couple of left hooks with Derevyanchenko almost going down but he grabbed Charlo and the bell went. Derevyanchenko had a swelling under his left eye that could become a problem
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 30-27
Derevyanchenko scored with a heavy right at the start of the round but Charlo shook it off and fired home jabs then a left hook and a right of his own. Derevyanchenko launched some fierce attacks but with Charlo countering him and outscoring him on the inside snapping Derevyanchenko’s head back and he connected with two powerful left uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 40-36
Official Scores: Judge David Sutherland 40-36 Charlo, Judge Tim Cheatham 40-36 Charlo, Judge Steve Weisfeld 40-36 Charlo.
Plenty of action in this round as Derevyanchenko ploughed forward trying to muscle Charlo to the ropes. Derevyanchenko was getting through with some heavy rights to the head but Charlo was countering with vicious hooks inside and just had the edge as they traded quality punches for the whole three minutes. Derevyanchenko was cut over his left eye.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 50-45
A round for Derevyanchenko. He refused to be kept out and consistently passed Charlo’s guard to score with thumping rights to the head and hooks to the body. Charlo was still scoring at distance but Derevyanchenko was doing the better work inside absorbing whatever Charlo threw and then throwing more back and having Charlo penned in a corner at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 59-55
Charlo brought his height and reach advantages into play in this round. He was stabbing jabs through Derevyanchenko’s guard forcing Derevyanchenko to lunge forward to get close enough to score. Despite that Derevyanchenko was willing to walk through the jabs and counters to score with hooks and heavy rights inside and doing enough to earn the points in a tough gruelling but entertaining battle.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 68-65
Derevyanchenko turned this round into a brawl staying in close and working to the body. Charlo was finding it difficult to get some punching room but he was matching Derevyanchenko and just before the end of the round he scored with a heavy right cross. Derevyanchenko just kept coming but seconds later Charlo connected with a booming right to the head. Derevyanchenko was stopped in his tracks and dipped at the knees then retreated with Charlo pursuing him to the ropes badly shaken. Charlo landed two more left hooks but then the bell went.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 78-74
Official Scores: Judge David Sutherland 79-73 Charlo, Judge Tim Cheatham 79-73 Charlo, Judge Steve Weisfeld 79-73 Charlo.
Derevyanchenko was a mess with his left eye almost closed and blood dripping from the cut over his right eye. Charlo was spearing Derevyanchenko with jabs and then throwing plenty of rights which Derevyanchenko had trouble seeing due to his restricted vision. However he began to pile forward again to score with hooks inside. A right cross from Charlo landed flush on Derevyanchenko’s swollen eye and an uppercut snapped his head up
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 88-83
The doctor checked Derevyanchenko’s vision from his left eye and allowed the fight to continue. Good round for Derevyanchenko. He was coming forward throwing punches and he rocked Charlo a few times with long rights. Inside he was digging in body shots with hooks from both hands. Charlo landed some hard counters but was under pressure most of the round.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 97-93
Charlo did not work hard enough in this round. Derevyanchenko was barrelling forward behind right crosses and left hooks. He was able to keep Charlo on the ropes for spells and worked away with punches from both hands with Charlo not getting off many counters.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 106-103
A round of two halves. Over the early action Charlo was picking Derevyanchenko apart with jabs and scoring with rights. Over the second half Derevyanchenko was swarming all over Charlo pumping out punches with Charlo too busy defending to launch any useful counters and for me Derevyanchenko took the round.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 115-113
Official Scores: Judge David Sutherland 118-110 Charlo, Judge Tim Cheatham 116-112 Charlo, Judge Steve Weisfeld 117-111 Charlo.
The 30-year-old from Houston was making the second defence of the WBC title. Right now I feel he would beat Ryota Murata, Demetrius Andrade and even Gennady Golovkin and I can’t see Saul Alvarez wanting any part of him. With Derevyanchenko out of the way WBC No 2 Jaime Munguia a former WBO super welter champion should move up to the No 1 spot but he is already No 1 with the WBO which might open the door for Welshman Liam Williams who is currently WBC No 3. Ukrainian Derevyanchenko,34, has lost in world title fights to Daniel Jacobs on a split decision and Golovkin on a close but unanimous decision and although he will have to get a couple of good wins a fourth shot is a possibility.
Charlo vs. Rosario
Charlo powers his way to unifying the IBF,WBA and IBF titles with kayo of Rosario
After a quiet first thirty seconds Charlo launched a wild attack missing with a couple of swing but connecting with a punch that clipped Rosario on the side of his head. That knocked Rosario off balance and he staggered back into the ropes. His right leg went under the bottom rope on to the ring apron which also unbalanced him and he went down with Charlo following him on the way down with two more punches that just barely landed. He was up at three and when the action resumed he used his jab to keep Charlo in the back foot and might have won the round but for the knockdown.
Score: 10-8 Charlo
Rosario used his strong jab to boss the second connecting with a good right to the head and a left to the body. He put his punches together well and did a good job of blocking most of Charlo’s counters. He closed the round by being on target with a left to the head and a right to the body,
Score: 10-9 Rosario Charlo 19-18
Clearly Rosario’s round. Again his jab was constantly snaking out and he was scoring with quick bursts of punches. Charlo was looking to counter but was mainly off target and under pressure.
Score: 10-9 Rosario TIED 28-28
Another round for Rosario. He was tracking the retreating Charlo around the perimeter of the ring. His jab was quick and accurate and when he managed to trap Charlo on the ropes he was firing short bunches of punches with very little coming back from Charlo
Score: 10-9 Rosario Rosario 38-37
This round was close with Rosario still on the front foot and sticking Charlo with jabs. Charlo was more active in this round throwing more punches and just doing enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Charlo TIED 47-47
Rosario had gone low a couple of times and there was a break in the action as he landed low again and was given a stern warning. He looked on his way to winning the round when he trapped Charlo on the ropes and raked Charlo with punches and later landed two left hooks to the body . With less than five seconds remaining in the round Charlo connected with a left hook and then exploded a right to Rosario’s head. For a split second Rosario was swaying on stiffened legs like a drunk and then his knees gave way and he pitched forward and down on his hands and knees. He was up at the count of four but looked unsteady. The referee counted to eight and since the three minutes were up Rosario was able to walk back to his corner but swayed on the way there.
Score: 10-8 Charlo Charlo 57-55
Rosario was using his jab well at the start of the round but the sting in the punch had gone and he was more tentative in his work. Charlo was actually out jabbing Rosario at times and edged the round.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 67-64
The end was worrying. Charlo landed two jabs which did not look that hard. Rosario stumbled back and fell to the canvas flat out with his body twitching. He started to rise but then collapsed to one side on to his back again and he was counted out. With this win Texas “Iron Man” Charlo adds the IBF and WBA titles to the WBC belt he already owns. His power made the difference here as Rosario outboxed him in the early rounds. He lost his WBC title to Tony Harrison in 2018 but regained it with an eleventh round kayo of Harrison in December. Rosario had both surprised and impressed in winning his two titles with a stoppage of Julian Williams in January. He boxed well here but Charlo’s heavier punching made the difference.
Nery vs. Alameda
Nery becomes a two-division champion as he wins the vacant WBC super bantamweight title with a unanimous decision over fellow-Mexican Alameda
Nery was on target early with his southpaw jabs and right hooks. Alameda mainly stuck to his jab and was not looking to get involved in trading punches too early
Score: 10-9 Nery
Alameda tried to get his own southpaw jab working in the second but Nery was sharper and was also dodging and stepping away from Alamedas jab and coming back with hooks from both hands. Neither connected a lot but Nery did what scoring there was.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 20-18
Nery again won the battle of the jabs early in the round and was also throwing hooks and uppercuts. Things livened up over the second part of the round as they started to trade punches with Nery getting the better of the exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 30-27
Alameda was not throwing enough punches and letting Nery dictate the pace. He was also sticking almost exclusively to his jab whereas Nery was mixing-in short burst of hooks and taking the rounds.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 40-36
Official Scores; Judge Julie Lederman 40-36 Nery, Judge Tony Carusone 40-36 Nery, Judge Don Ackerman 39-37 Nery
Alameda finally found some confidence in the fifth. He was still using his jab as his primary weapon but now began to throw some long right crosses. Nery attacked strongly at the end of the round but Alameda matched him and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Alameda Nery 49-46
Nery took this one with some combination punches. He was coming forward throwing bunches of hooks a lot of which were getting through Alameda seemed to have forgotten to bring his left hand for this round and his jabs were more than outweighed by the two-handed attacks of Nery.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 59-55
This was easy for Nery. Alameda was not putting him under any pressure and Nery was marching forward throwing punches from both hands with very little coming back. Alameda was still a one-armed fighter with Nery throwing more and landing more.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 69-64
Alameda was much busier in this round. He was more positive with his jabs and releasing his left. Nery was boxing cleverly but not pressing as much. It was a close round and Alameda just came out on top.
Score: 10-9 Alameda Nery 78-74
Official Scores; Judge Julie Lederman 77-75 Nery, Judge Tony Carusone 78-74 Nery, Judge Don Ackerman 79-73 Nery
Nery upped his output in this round. He was firing his punches in lots of three and four with Alameda too busy bobbing and weaving to counter. Alameda just did not bring his right into play and was throwing one punch at a time.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 88-83
Alameda’s best round so far. His jab was still his prime mover but now he was following in behind it with straight rights and even banging home some body punches. He was putting pressure on Nery and landing regularly.
Score: 10-9 Alameda Nery 97-93
Nery was saving his best for last. He stormed forward throughout the round throwing more punches and forcing Alameda on to the back foot. Nery stepped up his work rate as the round went along and Alameda just could not match him.
Score:10-9 Nary Nery 107-102
Nery swamped Alameda with punches in the last. He just kept marching forward throwing shots with both hands. They were not heavy punches and he missed with a lot but the volume had Alameda retreating with no room to fire counters as Nery swept to victory.
Score:10-9 Nery Nery 117-111
Official Scores; Judge Julie Lederman 115-113 Nery, Judge Tony Carusone 116-112 Nery, Judge Don Ackerman 118-110 Nery
The 25-yeart-old Nery makes some sort of amends for losing his WBC bantamweight title when he failed to make the weight for a defence in Japan in 2018. A defence against Daniel Roman early next year would be an attractive match. Alameda performed well enough but his lack of experience over twelve rounds and the absence of any rated fighter in his list of victims always made this a too tough ask for him.
Casimero vs. Micah
In a WBO bantamweight title defence Casimero brutalises a gutsy but overmatched Micah before the fight is mercifully halted in the third round.
Micah was busy with his jab early with Casimero looking to get inside to work. He began to find the target with rights to the body. Both scored with solid rights late in the round with Casimero taking the round with his body punches.
Score: 10-9 Casimero
Micah tried to establish his jab but Casimero was digging in hurtful body punches and switching upstairs to land rights to the head. Micah caught Casimero with a good right but then stood static in front of Casimero and paid for that mistake as a left to the head sent him tumbling back and down. He was up at six and tried to punch with Casimero but was on unsteady legs and absorbed plenty of punishment. He fell to the canvas after missing with a punch and then stood on shaky legs pinned to the ropes as Casimero pounded on him fiercely until the bell saved Micah but the referee should have already stopped the fight.
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 20-17
The doctor examined Micah before the start of the round and pronounced him fit to continue. Micah again tried to punch with Casimero but was rocked by lefts and rights before a right to the body and a left hook sent him staggering and the referee stopped the fight.
Filipino Casimero retains the WBO title. This his sixth inside the distance win in a row. He is already a two division champion and a fight with Naoya Inoue would give him a chance to cement his legacy. Ghanaian Micah, a former Commonwealth and WBC International champion showed skill and guts but was in over his head.
Figueroa vs. Vazquez
Figueroa holds on o the secondary WBA title as his physical advantages and punching power prove just too much for brave Mexican challenger Vazquez
Southpaw Vazquez looked sharp at the start. He was quick with his jab and scoring well with right hooks to the body. Figueroa changed to southpaw and connected with a long left but Vazquez ended the round scoring with a series of left hooks.
Score: 10-9 Vazquez
At 5’9” Figueroa had height and reach over Vazquez and made use of that to score with jabs from both the orthodox and southpaw styles. He was connecting with long crosses with Vazquez a little quicker but less accurate.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa TIED 19-19
Figueroa made use of his longer reach to pierce Vazquez guard with right jabs and also to land long crosses. Vazquez was falling short now with his own jab and was being met with counters when he tried to get past Figueroa’s jab.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 29-28
The first round fire from Vazquez was nowhere in sight now, Figueroa was hammering him with jabs from both stances and digging in some strong body punches. Vazquez scored with a pair of counters late in the round but was taking punishment at the end
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 39-37
Official Scores: Judge John McKale 39-37 Figueroa, Judge Glenn Feldman 39-37 Figueroa, Judge Dori Trella 39-37 Figueroa.
A closer round. Figueroa was till connecting with the harder punches but he was also leaving himself open and Vazquez was able to get through with jabs and some counters but the heavier punches from Figueroa were grinding him down.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 49-46
Vazquez opened the round by sending a stream of jabs through the leaky defence of Figueroa. Figueroa took control from the mid-point of the round with his heavier punches and but Vazquez came back strongly late in the round and just pinched the points.
Score:10-9 Vazquez Figueroa 58-56
The round was an untidy one as they both looked tired,. Figueroa was landing some strong body punches and outscoring Vazquez. Vazquez kept finding gaps to score landing two heavy rights but Figueroa was connecting with some fierce shots.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 68-65
The doctor had a quick look at a swelling under Vazquez’s right eye and his other bumps and bruises before the start of the round. Figueroa turned up the heat and an exhausted Vazquez took a pounding being rocked by a series of lefts to the head and holding to smother Figueroa’s work.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 78-74
Official Scores: Judge John McKale 79-73 Figueroa, Judge Glenn Feldman 79-73 Figueroa, Judge Dori Trella 78-74 Figueroa.
Vazquez was also cut over the right eye now. Three overhand lefts shook Vazquez and Figueroa piled on the punishment. He had Vazquez on the ropes unloading to head and body. The referee stepped in to separate them and when he pushed Figueroa back he did it so hard that Figueroa staggered back and ended up on the canvas. Vazquez now had a swelling on the right side of his face and his right eye was almost closed. Figueroa was whacking him with lefts that Vazquez could not see coming.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 88-83
The doctor had another look at Vazquez and indicated the fight could continue but it should have been stopped with one of the judges scoring the ninth 10-8 without a knockdown. Vazquez bravely tried to box but two heavy head punches and two body shots saw the referee belatedly stop the fight. Figueroa was making the second defence of the WBA secondary title. The 23-year-old brother of former WBC champion Omar makes it 16 wins by KO/TKO. He was upgraded from interim champion to secondary champion in October last year then in November fought a split draw with Julio Ceja in a title defence in which Ceja failed to make the weight. Vazquez fought with courage but how a guy who in his last two fights had drawn with 9-10-3 Josue Morales and beaten 24-43-3 Alejandro Moreno-who had lost his last 14 fights-qualifies for a title shot only the WBA know and if they are smart they won’t tell!!
Roman vs. Payano
Romano wins WBC eliminator as he come from a long way behind to get the decision over southpaw Payano with a strong finish. Payano made the better start with his quicker hands and scored with a nice combination to edge the opening round. Roman did better in the second and shook Payano with a left near the end of the round. Payano swung the fight back his way in the third scoring with bursts of body punches but as heads bumped Payano came away with a cut over his left eye. The fourth and fifth were close and although Roman produced plenty of pressure and tried switching guards the rounds again went to Payano with his quick and accurate jabs and counters. Roman had a better sixth going well to the body and closing down space for Payano. The seventh swung back to Payano. He was comfortable on the back foot feeding Romano jabs and although Romano landed a good right late in the round it was not enough to win the round. Payano came onto the front foot in the eighth and now it was Roman under pressure being raked with body punches. Payano continued to forge forward in the ninth but Roman feeling he was behind upped his pace and landed heavy to the body before connecting with a right that opened another cut over Payano’s left eye. Romano continued his surge in the tenth and eleventh with Payano looking to be slowing. They fought hard in the twelfth and just before the bell Romano looked to have scored a knockdown. A left sent Payano reeling into the ropes and he touched down but the referee ruled it a slip. In the end it was not important as all three judges had Romano ahead 116-112 at the end. It was a must win fight for Roman after losing his IBF and WBA titles on a split decision against Murodjon Akhmadaliev in January. He is rated WBC 3/WBA 3/WBO 4/IBF 6(4) so if he can stay unbeaten a title fight in 2021 looks a good bet. Dominican Payano, 36, a former WBA bantam champion suffered a big blow here. He had been knocked out by both Naoya Inoue and Luis Nery and had slipped out of the ratings. He came close here and might even have gone away with a draw after dominating early but now his chances of another title fight have probably disappeared.
Murtazaliev vs. Woods
Murtazaliev overcomes an early embarrassment to stop Woods. A left hook from Woods put Murtazaliev on the canvas in the first round. Murtazaliev was more off balance than hurt. He made Woods pay for the insult by handing out serious punishment in the second and third. Woods was under heavy fire on the fourth when the fight was stopped. The 27-year-old Russian, the IBF No 1, now has 13 wins by KO/TKO. No surprise at the ending as Woods has lost 6 of his last 7 fights 5 of them by KO/TKO.
Munich, Germany: Cruiser: Mairis Breidis (27-1) W PTS 12 Yuniel Dorticos (24-12). Middle: Denis Radovan (14-0-1) W PTS 10 Nuhu Lawal (27-8). Super Middle: Leon Bunn (16-0) W PTS 8 Timo Laine (27-14,1ND).
Breidis vs. Dorticos
The long drawn out WBSS cruiserweight tournament finally comes to an end as Breidis wins both the Muhammad Ali trophy and the IBF title with a majority decision which should have been a clear unanimous points victory.
With neither fighter having fought for fifteen months it was a cautious start. Dorticos opened up first with a left/right/left sequence and he scored with two rights later in the round.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos
Dorticos did most of the work in the second. He had his jab working well and scored to the body. Breidis was more active than in the first but was on the back foot and Dorticos was getting his punches off first.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos Dorticos 20-18
It looked as though this might go to Dorticos as well but Breidis suddenly came to life. He was banging jabs through Dorticos guard and putting together some rapid combinations and that put Dorticos on the back foot.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Dorticos 29-28
Breidis outworked Dorticos. Although mainly on the back foot Breidis was now winning the war of jabs. He was also timing the attacks of the Cuban and countering strongly. Dorticos connected with a right cross before the bell but it was Briedis who took the round.
Score:10-9 Breidis TIED 38-38
Breidis took this one. He was threading jabs though the defence of Dorticos and then stepping in with a quick bunch of punches. Dorticos tactics were to follow Breidis around the ring and try to nail him with a huge right cross but Briedis was constantly pumping out his jab and getting through with rights.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 48-47
This was a closer round mainly because Dorticos used his jab and was not waiting and waiting for openings for his right. Even then Breidis was pumping out his jab and coming in behind it with rights. He landed the best punch of the fight so far in the shape of a peach of a right uppercut
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 58-56
Breidis was outboxing Dorticos. He was doubling up on his jabs and changing his angles of attack. Dorticos was coming forward in a straight line and telegraphing his punches giving Breidis the opportunity to get his punches off first. He landed a heavy right late in the round with Dorticos too slow to counter .
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 68-65
Dorticos was more positive in this round. He was stronger with his jab and letting his punches go more. Breidis did not use his jab as much. Dorticos landed a thudding body punch and a right to the head at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos Briedis 77-75
Breidis was back in control. He was working hard with his jab and connected with an overhand rights and left hooks. Dorticos was relying on big rights and although he landed one Breidis just shook it off and got through with a right cross and a left hook.
Score: 10-9 Briedis Breidis 87-84
Dorticos was still looking for that one big punch and whilst he was waiting and waiting to get Breidis in his cross hairs Breidis was nipping in scoring with two or three punches then ducking out. As Dorticos missed with a wild right a left jab from Breidis sent him stumbling back and Breidis connected with some punches before Dorticos recovered.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 97-93
This was the most one-sided round of the fight. Dorticos needed a knockout but it was Breidis who seemed to be looking for it. He forced Dorticos back time and again and was then throwing rights as he came in behind the jab with many of them landing and with nothing really coming back from Dorticos.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 107-102
Dorticos tried to find the punch he needed in this round but Breidis was not about to let that happen. He outboxed and outlanded Dorticos finding the target with his jab and stepping in with rights whilst Dorticos was just too slow to be a threat.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 117-111
Official Scores: Judge Mikael Hook 117-111 Breidis, Judge Jorge Milke 117-111 Briedis, Judge Matteo Montella 114-114.
Difficult to understand that last score however Breidis is now the IBF champion and the winner of the Muhammad Ali trophy. A long time coming but surely worth the wait. The WBC stripped Breidis of his title in November. They had ordered him to give Krzys Glowacki an immediate return after Breidis scored a controversial win over Glowacki to become WBC champion June. His only loss was a majority decision against Oleksandr Usyk for the WBC and WBO titles in 2018. He looks to be the best of the bunch at cruiserweight now but is talking about going up to heavyweight. Dorticos fought a dumb fight and paid the price for relying on one big right to win. He’s better than that and is still a factor at cruiserweight.
Radovan vs. Lawal
Radovan remains unbeaten and keeps the IBF European title with a comfortable points victory over short-notice substitute Lawal. Radovan boxed his way through this one. He was able to use his longer reach to keep Lawal on the end of his left jab. When Lawal launched an attack Radovan’s good footwork and solid defence frustrated the Nigerian-born fighter’s efforts. Radovan took no chances and eased his way to winning every round. Scores 100-90 for Radovan on the three cards. The 27-year-old from Cologne is rated IBF 10(8)/WBO 12 but he is yet to face an international test. He was a leading figure in German’s amateur ranks being German champion in 2011 and 2012 and getting a silver medal in 2013 and 2014 as well as fighting in the WBC and Bundesliga. Lawal, 38, came in when Radovan’s original opponent had to drop out as one of his party tested positive for the corona virus. Lawal is on the down slope now being 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Bunn vs. Laine
Bunn has no trouble in outpointing Finn Laine. Bunn fought this one on the inside. He broke Laine down with relentless pressure and body punches. Laine just could not keep Bunn out and spent much of the fight with his back to the ropes as Bunn worked him over. Laine was almost put down by a body shot in the third but he stayed in the fight and although never a threat he gave Bunn some ring time in Bunn’s first fight since November. All three judges scored it 80-72 for Bunn. As with Radovan Bunn has good amateur credentials being a successful fighter in the Bundesliga and winning the German title in 2015. Laine a former Finnish light heavyweight champion loses whenever he tries to move up.
London, England: Super Light: Josh Taylor (17-0) W KO 1 Apinun Khongsong (16-1). Bantam: Charlie Edwards (16-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Kyle Williams (11-3). Super Bantam: Ionut Baluta (14-2) W TKO 3 David Oliver Joyce (12-2).
Taylor vs. Khongsong
Taylor blasts out Thai Khongsong with a debilitating body punch. Khongsong tried a couple of rights early but was short with them Taylor was patient looking for an opening as they prodded with their jabs. Taylor tried a couple of long range body shots but did not find the target. As they clinched Taylor drove Khongsong to the ropes and connected with a savage left to the ribs and Khongsong collapsed to the canvas on his side then rolled around in agony as he was counted out. It was almost five minutes before the Thai was able to get on his feet. Taylor retains the IBF and WBA titles and is still on course for a unification match with WBC/WBO champion Jose Carlos Ramirez. Khongsong’s credibility as a mandatory challenger was very questionable and Box Rec had him rated No 156 in their world ratings.
Edwards vs. Williams
Former WBC flyweight champion Edwards returns to action as he decisions bantamweight Williams. Edwards speed and skill was in evidence and he was several classes above Williams in those departments. Williams did what he could to rough Edwards up but Edwards refused to take part in a brawl and stuck to his skills. Williams was finding the speedy Edwards a difficult target and was having to eat jabs and hard rights. Williams did better over the second half of the fight but Edwards was still in control. William’s best round was the eighth when he managed to cut off the ring and land some good punches but Edwards was still outscoring him and breezed to a comfortable win. Referees score 99-91 for Edwards. This was Edwards first fight since a No Decision ending in a WBC title defence against Julio Cesar Martinez in August when a knockout win for Martinez was overturned due Martinez hitting Edwards when he was down. Edwards is now up at bantam and is No 3 with the WBC but this is a super tough division. Former English champion Williams made Edwards work for his win so earned his pay.
Baluta vs. Joyce
Baluta springs another surprise as he stops former amateur star Joyce in three rounds. Joyce was jabbing strongly in the first but there were already some danger signs in right counters from Baluta. Joyce ended the round on a high connecting with a solid left hook. Baluta shook Joyce early in the second driving him to a corner and then bombarding him with punches. Joyce was on unsteady legs but he fired back despite being rocked a couple more times and fought his way out of the corner. Joyce then took the fight to Baluta and seemed to have recovered but Baluta connected with a couple of hard rights to the head later in the round. Joyce was trying to control the fight with aggression in the third but a long left hook from Baluta sent him to the canvas on his back. he was up at five but Baluta blitzed him with a succession of head punches and the referee stopped the fight. The Madrid-based Romanian Baluta wins the WBO European title. He sprung a huge upset by outpointing former IBF champion JT Doheny in March and has suddenly emerged as a danger man in the division. Joyce,33, had beaten Lee Haskins to win the vacant WBO European title in February. He was a star of Irish amateur boxing but with his inside the distance loss to Leigh Wood and this defeat he seems another who stayed too long in the amateurs.
Los Angeles. CA, USA: Light: Nestor Bravo (19-0) W PTS 10 Jose Luis Gallegos (19-9). Feather: Vic Pasillas (16-0) KO 6 Ranfis Encarnacion (17-1).
Bravo vs. Gallegos
Puerto Rican prospect Bravo boxes his way to victory building a big enough lead so that two late point deductions still leave him a clear winner. Bravo used jab and move tactics to set up his win, Gallegos tried to get inside to work but it was Bravo who was scoring outside and inside with better and more body punches with some impressive left hooks. Gallegos kept pressing but Bravo rocked him with a right in the eighth. Further pressure from Gallegos saw Bravo using a number of illegal measures to blunt his attacks and after a few warning the referee deducted a point from Bravo in the ninth. The last round was a poor one for Bravo as he was caught with a solid right to the side/back of the head in the tenth and was reeling from the punch and grabbed Gallegos which led to him suffering a second point deducted for holding but his lead was too wide for Gallegos to cut into. Scores 96-92 twice and 97-91 for Bravo. After winning 7 of his last 8 fights inside the distance going ten rounds for the first will have been useful experience for Bravo. Chicago-born Gallegos was coming off a win over useful Ricky Lopez.
Pasillas vs. Encarnacion
Californian Pasillas gradually breaks down and halts Dominican Encarnacion in a clash of unbeaten fighters. Pasillas was bombarding Encarnacion with an array of punches from the start of the fight and never allowed Encarnacion a chance to settle. Encarnacion had some success with rights in the second but from there it was one-way traffic. Hooks, uppercuts and straight punches to head and body from both hands from Pasillas eventually wore down Encarnacion. Pasillas was driving Encarnacion around the ring at the end of the fifth and continued the beating in the sixth until a left hook snapped Encarnacion’s head back and dumped him on the floor against the ropes. The referee started to count and Encarnacion managed to climb to his feet but his corner had already thrown in the towel. The 28-year-old Pasillas was inactive in 2016 and 2017 and has scored five inside the distance victories since returning to the ring. This was a very impressive performance and he could emerge as a real threat. Encarnacion was rated IBF 7/WBA14 but he has blown those.
Miami, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (23-1) W TKO 1 Yeison Vargas (17-5). Super Fly: Cristofer Rosales (31-5) W PTS 8 Samuel Gutierrez (16-27-6)
Lopez vs. Vargas
Lopez scores spectacular first round win. After some preliminary sparring southpaw Lopez landed a thunderbolt straight left to the chin of Vargas. For a split second Vargas was bent over with his hands down like a puppet whose strings had been cut and then he collapsed back and down flat on the canvas with the referee immediately calling for medical assistance for Vargas. All over in 63 seconds. Lopez, a former systems engineer student from Nicaragua, makes it 14 inside the distance victories. He won his first 21 fights before being halted in nine rounds by Chilean Jose Velasquez in October last year. Colombian Vargas won his first 17 fights but the good times are gone as this is his fifth defeat in a row by KO/TKO.
Rosales vs. Gutierrez
Useful outing for Rosales against Mexican journeyman Gutierrez. Rosales was too quick and too mobile and outscored Gutierrez. Despite that Gutierrez never looked like crumbling as was more than willing to stand and trade with Rosales and did his job by going the full eight rounds. Scores 79-73 all for Rosales. “The Whip” Rosales a former WBC flyweight champion, is No 4 with WBC and is rebuilding after losing his WBC title to Charlie Edwards in 2018 and then losing to Julio Cesar Martinez on a ninth round stoppage last December for the title vacated by Edwards. Gutierrez drops to 0-7-1 in his eight most recent outings but he was not brought in to win.
Biloxi, MS, USA: Welter: Mark Reyes (13-0) W TKO 4 Carlos Rodriguez (13-9-1). Super Light: Michael Williams (13-0) W KO 2 Thomas Miller (6-4).
Reyes vs. Rodriguez
Reyes wins all the way before re stopping Rodriguez in the fourth. The Tampa fighter rocked Rodriguez with a left in the first and was in total control. Rodriguez managed to hang around until the fourth. Reyes put Rodriguez down with a heavy right. Rodriguez managed to get up but Reyes drove him along the ropes connecting with vicious body shots. Rodriguez tried to hold to survive but was pinned to the ropes taking punishment and not fighting back and the fight was stopped. The 24-year-old Reyes registers his eighth inside the distance win on the bounce and his eleventh in total but he did not make the contract weight for this fight. Mexican Rodriguez has to take on board his fourth failure to last the distance in a fight.
Williams vs. Miller
The 6’1” tall Williams gets his ninth win by KO/TKO as he blast out Miller with a body shot in the second round. Miller used plenty of tricks to try to distract Williams from his game plan but he was hurt by a body punch early in the second and then a right to the body sent him down and he was counted out. Williams is trained by Roy Jones Jr who promoted the card. Miller was out of the ring for four years before returning last November and he has lost all three of his fights since then inside the distance.
Usti nad Labem, Czech: Middle: Viktor Agateljan (9-1) W PTS 10 Tomas Bezvoda (8-11). Heavy: Tomas Salek (13-2) W TKO 3 Pawel Sowik (3-7).Middle: Wanik Awdijan (26-1) W PTS 6 Pavel Albrecht (5-8). Light Heavy: Ondrej Budera (13-17-1) W PTS 8 Sascha Arsumanjan (7-1-1)
Agateljan vs. Bezvoda
Agateljan produces a strong finish and wins the vacant Czech title with points victory over Bezvoda. Over the first half of the fight these two produced an entertaining contest with neither really able to dominate. After five rounds two judges had Agateljan narrowly ahead by 47-46 and the third saw it 47-46 for Bezvoda. Agateljan forced the fight hard over the second half dominating the fight both in close and at distance. With his brother Erik, an Elite level amateur, urging him to up the pace he shook Bezvoda a couple of times and emerged a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-92 for Agateljan. The 26-year-old Armenian-born Agateljan was Czech schools champion at 38.5kg and boxed right through to winning tournaments at 75kg. His only loss is a points decision against Tej Pratap Singh in Australia last year. Bezvoda, a teammate of Agateljan as an amateur, has lost his last four bouts on points.
Salek vs. Sowik
Czech heavyweight Salek punches too hard for Pole Sowik. After taking the first round he went on to floor Sowik three times before the fight was halted in the third. Eleventh inside the distance victory for the 6’3 ½” 22-year-old Czech. His losses have come against Pavel Sour for the national title and unbeaten Peter Kadiru. Fourth loss in a row for Sowik.
Awdijan vs. Albrecht
Awdijan takes unanimous verdict over substitute Albrecht. The 6’2” Armenian-born Awdijan turned professional at 17 but shoulder and foot injuries have affected his progress. The 25-year-old German has put together a 19 bout winning streak since losing to Frenchman Kevin Thomas Cojean in 2014. This was just too huge a step up for Albrecht.
Budera vs. Arsumanjan
Budera returns to the ring and takes a majority decision over unbeaten Arsumanjan. Budera was not expected to win this one. He had announced his retirement in July after suffering three consecutive inside the distance losses but never say never. Budera simply outfought Arsumanjan and took a deserved decision. Scores 78-74, and 78-75 for Budera and 76-76. Budera will now give it one more try to see how far he can go. German Arsumanjan has a rebuilding job on his hands.
Marcianise, Italy: Light: Mohamed Khalladi (14-8-1,1ND) W KO 2Domenico Valentino (9-2). No home town celebrations for Valentino as a bolt from the blue type shot from Khalladi puts Valentino down and out. As expected in the first Valentino showed his skill levels were far above those of the Tunisian pastry cook Khalladi rattling home some sharp combinations. He was shaping up to repeat the dose in the second but as he went to throw a jab Khalladi beat him to the punch with a booming straight right that sent Valentino down on his back. He struggled to get up but failed and was counted out. Huge win for Khalladi who goes home with the IBF Inter-Continental belt that Valentino was supposed to win. Khalladi has found some form with six wins in his last seven fights but was a massive outsider here. Valentino says he will fight on but the 36-year-old Italian left his best days behind as an amateur. He was world champion in 2009 and scored wins over Jose Pedraza and Josh Taylor twice but was comprehensively outpointed by Francesco Patera when he challenged for the European title in October.
Tijuana, Mexico: Light Heavy: Mario Cazares (12-0) W TEC DEC 6 Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (51-5-1,1ND) 7
Cazares vs. Chavez
Cazares gets a well deserved technical decision over Chavez after Chavez is cut in a clash of heads in the sixth round. Cazares was the busier in the first stabbing out his jab and throwing rights. Chavez was less active and Cazares held him close inside to smother Chavez work and connected with a good right. Cazares continued his tactics of sliding out jabs and then holding on the inside. Their heads were bumping in the second but it was for use of the elbow that Cazares lost a point and Chavez landed a couple of good rights in the round. Cazares had a god third. He was scoring with his jab and then putting together some sharp combinations with Chavez swinging wildly. Chavez complained about Cazares banging his head into the side of Chavez’s face as had been happening in each round. Cazares caught Chavez with a crisp left hook at the start of the fourth and Chavez just could not get past the jab of Cazares and as he lunged in heads were bumping again. Cazares ended the round with a series of punches that pierced Chavez’s guard. It was one-way traffic in the fifth. Cazares was able to land jabs, straight rights and left hooks with Chavez not able to launch any meaningful attacks. Early in the sixth a clash of heads saw Chavez cut on his left eyelid and the doctor decreed that the cut was too bad for the fight to continue. Cazares started celebrating thinking the cut was caused by a punch making him the winner but the referee decided it was caused by a clash of heads so it was decided on the scorecards which all favoured Cazares by 57-56 twice and 59-54 giving Cazares a unanimous decision. Obviously a huge win for Cazares who came up from super middle for this fight. He was a big underdog having only met one opponent with a positive record and that was Eduardo Tercero who was 9-8-1. This was also his first main event never having been in a fight scheduled for more than eight rounds. Having said that he was beating Chavez clearly and this will lead to some bigger paydays for him. Chavez looked flat and clueless. He was not being allowed to fight inside and had no Plan B. Having quit on his stool against Daniel Jacobs in December he needed to win and win well but he failed. JCC Snr has said his son will probably fight again in December but at 34 time is running out for JCC Jr.
Merida, Mexico: Super Welter: Serhii Bohachuk (18-0) W RTD 6 Alejandro Davila (21-2-2). Feather: Daniel Lugo (22-1) W PTS 8 Miguel Moreno (11-1). Minimum: Erik Lopez (14-5-1) W PTS 8 William Puch (13-1).
Bohachuk vs. Davila
Bohachuk retains the WBC Continental Americas belt as he gets another inside the distance win when a too brave Davila retires after six wild rounds. Nothing too complicated from Davila in the opening round just head down steam forward and throw punches. A lot were wild but some connected. Bohachuk stayed cool and cracked home hooks and uppercuts on the charging Davila. He rocked Davila with a jab and a right but Davila shook them off and drove forward. Davila continued his suicidal tactics in the second and third eating punches but still throwing wild shots some starting from canvas level. One of Davila’s punches in the fourth was so wide Bohachuk, a guy with standard peripheral vision, never saw it coming and even he had to smile that something that crude caught him. Bohachuk pounded an exhausted Davila in the fifth with Davila running on empty but still trying to throw punches. In the sixth even Bohachuk was showing the signs of tiring but Davila could take no more and he retired at the end of the round. Californian-based Ukrainian Bohachuk, 25, a former Ukrainian Youth champion who boxed for the Ukrainian Ottomans in the WSB where he beat Cuban No 1 Rosniel Iglesias, has won all of his 18 fights inside the distance including victories over Cleotis Pendarvis, Freddy Hernandez and Tyrone Brunson. He is rated IBF 6/WBC 13 and is ready for better opposition. Davila’s retirement is his second inside the distance loss having been stopped by Mikael Zewski in November.
Lugo vs. Moreno
Lugo hands Moreno his first loss as he gathers a wide unanimous decision. Lugo put Moreno down in the first and stayed in charge from there. Moreno had little to offer and had to soak up punishment from hard punching Lugo through to the final bell. Scores 79-72 twice and 78-73 for Lugo. The 25-year-old from Hermosillo has impressive looking statistics with 19 wins in a row and a total of 17 quick wins but this is only the second time he has been in an eight round fight which indicates the low quality of his opposition. The inexperienced Moreno was in his first eight round fight.
Lopez vs. Puch
Having somehow qualified to fight for the interim WBA title in his last fight (I am not even sure if the WBA know why) Lopez could not afford to lose here. The aim was for local fighter Puch to get the prestige of beating a former world title challenger but it did not work out that way. It was a stirring toe-to-toe battle all the way with the experience of having met better opposition just giving Lopez the edge. Scores 78-74 twice for Lopez and 77-75 for Puch. Lopez only lost on a majority verdict to Cuban Daniel Matellon for the interim WBA light fly title and he is still No 7 with them. Puch (I want to slip an ‘n’ into his name) was knocked out in nine rounds by novice David Martinez in October so no progress showing.
Rangsit, Thailand: Minimum: Petchmanee (34-1) W RTD 4 Wichet (11-8). Super Fly: Yodmongkol CP-Freshmart (58-4) W TKO 2 Decha (1-4). Bantam: Petch Sor Chitpattana (57-1) W TKO 3 Mostafa Tabtoukhzadeh (0-1). Super Bantam: Kongfah CP-Freshmart (33-1) W PTS 6 Zakaria Miri (0-4).
Petchmanee vs. Wichit
Petchmanee (Panya Pradabsri) wins the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title with stoppage of fellow-Thai Seantanong. Petchmanee used a focused body attack to beat down Seantanong over the first three rounds. Another wicked body punch in the fourth and some brutal punishment was too much for the Onesongchai gym fighter and he was saved further pain when his corner pulled him out at the end of the fourth round. Fifteen wins on the trot for Petchmanee but the opposition has been dire. Six had never previously had a fight and two more had never won a fight. He is No 5 with the WBC based solely on numbers alone as he has not faced a fighter of any standing at all with the exception of Chinese fighter Chaozhong Xiong-and he lost to him. Wichit is 3-7 in his last 10 fights.
Yodmongkol vs. Decha
Yodmongkol (Sirichai Thaiyen) the WBA No 1super flyweight stops novice Singmanassak in two rounds in a typical bit of Thai rubbish. Yodmongkol was floored three times and stopped in eight rounds by Artem Dalakian in a challenge for the WBA flyweight title in 2018. Since then he has moved up to super fly and “earned” his No 1 rating with eight victories seven of them against men who have never won a fight and one against an opponent Box Rec list as No 228 in the world? Decha an 18-year-old novice.
Sor Chitpattana vs. Mostafa
Nearly an oops! here as unknown Iranian Mostafa floored world rated Sor Chitpattana CP-Freshmart in the opening round. Only Chitpattana’s pride was hurt and he put Mostafa down twice before the fight was halted in the third round. Win No 42 by KO/TKO for Sor Chitpattana the WBA No 7. No trace of any other fights for Mostafa.
Kongfah vs. Miri
Kongfah (Jakkrawut Majoogoen) gave some useful rounds by Belgian Miri who did enough to win a couple of rounds. Scores 58-56 twice and 59-55 for Kongfah. Konfah’s defeat was a seventh round kayo at the hands of Daigo Higa. He is on a 19-0-1 streak but don’t get too excited in his previous fight in August he was held to a draw by Moroccan Omar El Ouers who had lost the only other fight he has had. Belgian Miri at 5’10” must be one of the tallest bantamweights in the world. This was his first fight for 17 months.
Paris, France: Heavy: Tony Yoka (8-0) W TKO 1 Johann Duhaupas (38-6). Middle: Farrhad Saad (7-0-1) W PTS 8 Diego Natchoo (21-1-4).
Yoka vs. Duhaupas
Yoka blows away an old-looking Duhaupas inside a round. Duhaupas tried to use a high guard to work his way inside. Yoka found the target with some jabs but within the first twenty second of the round was warned for using his forearms to push Duhaupas away. Duhaupas then stood against the ropes hiding behind his guard which provided Yoka with a stationary target and Yoka landed a series of clubbing rights to the head that saw Duhaupas slump to the canvas on his hands and knees. He was up quickly but looked unsteady and Yoka staggering him with a right and then pounded him with hooks and uppercuts before more rights to the head and finally a right uppercut sent Duhaupas back and down and the referee waived the fight over after just 87 seconds. The referee then stupidly got into an argument with Duhaupas and his team over whether the fight should have been stopped. Six quick wins in a row for the 6’7” 28-year-old Yoka as he adds Duhaupas to his list of victims which includes Alex Dimitrenko and Mike Wallisch. Impressive on paper but Duhaupas looked a shot fighter. He was having only his second fight in over two years and he showed all of his 39 years.
Saad vs. Natchoo
Saad outboxes an aggressive Natchoo to take the unanimous decision. Natchoo tried to overwhelm Saad with all-out aggression and was scoring with some wicked body shots and overarm rights. Saad used his longer reach to score at distance and countered the advancing Natchoo with some hard hooks. Natchoo maintained the pressure and a high work rate but he was leaving too many gaps and had to eat plenty of jabs and counters as he walked in. Saad kept moving and switching guards with Natchoo trying to pin Saad to the ropes to work inside but not succeeding often enough. Saad slowed in the fifth under the constant pressure from Natchoo but in the sixth Natchoo also looked a very tired fighter. They battered each other in the seventh as if it was the last round with Natchoo just having the edge but Saad boxed his way through the last to win a wide unanimous decision. Although short on professional experience Saad has represented France at Cadet, Junior, Youth and Senior level and fought for Paris United in the World Series of Boxing. Former undefeated French champion Natchoo was unbeaten in his last twelve fights.
Struer, Denmark: Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (11-0) W KO 2 Alexandre Kartozia (8-2-1). This one was never going to last long. Hrgovic was 4” taller had a longer reach and was 27lbs heavier. In the first Kartozia was lively enough but had no real power. Hrgovic was tracking him around the perimeter of the ring using his jab to set Kartozia up for straight rights. Hrgovic landed a couple and looked to have hurt Kartozia late in the round. Hrgovic ended it 64 seconds into the second. He exploded a right to the head of Kartozia which dumped on the canvas in a heap and the referee waived the fight over. Nine victories by the short route for the 28-year-old Croatian “Strong Man” . He has done everything asked of him so far but his victims have all been well past their sell by dates. He is rated IBF 6/WBC 9/WBO 15 but is very predictable and his left hand has a bad habit of just hanging out inviting a right cross. Kartozia, 39, just a sacrificial offering to Danish fans.
Riga, Latvia: Light Heavy: Ricards Bolotniks (17-5-1) W PTS 10 Hosea Burton (25-2). Outsider Bolotniks makes it a double for Latvia as he joins fellow countryman Mairis Breidis in the winner’s circle after outpointing Burton to win the final of the MTK Golden Contract tournament. To some extent the pattern and tactics of the fight were dictated by the height and reach of the 6’4” Burton. Bolotniks had to take the fight inside if he was going to win. Bolotniks executed his tactics to perfection. He kept barrelling forward and after connecting with a thudding right to the head in the first he increased his pressure. Although Burton landed some right crosses on the advancing Bolotniks it became apparent that Burton did not have the punch to make it an outside fight and he was in trouble from there. He was constantly circling the ring with Bolotniks looking to close him down and two heavy rights shook Burton in the fourth. Bolotniks continued to score with heavy punches over the middle rounds shrugging off Burton’s right crosses and by the eighth Burton was bleeding heavily from the nose and looked a dejected figure as he went to his corner at the end of the round- but there was worse to come. In the ninth a right to the head staggered Burton badly and Bolotniks pinned him to the ropes and pounded away with punches from both hands. Burton was reeling under the barrage when the referee stepped in and gave him an eight count. When the fight resumed Bolotniks again trapped Burton on the ropes until the referee applied a second count. Burton survived to the bell and then showed enough life in the last round to score with long right crosses to win the round. Scores 98-90 twice and 100-90. Bolotniks retains the WBO European title and extends his winning streak to six fights. It now remains to be seen what benefit the Golden Contract brings his way. Former British champion Burton was disappointing. Too often he stood still against the ropes when he should have been moving and it made the job easy for Bolotniks.
Cocorit, Mexico: Welter: Santiago Dominguez (22-0) W TKO 1 Jose Cazares (19-6-1). Dominguez wipes out an overmatched Cazares with three knockdowns. Dominguez was hunting Cazares down from the opening bell and connected with three rights which sent Cazares down. He was up at seven but a couple of head punches dropped him again. To his credit Cazares tried to fight back but another series of punches put him down on his knees and the referee just waived the fight over. The Texas-based Mexican has impressive figures with 18 wins by KO/TKO including winning 10 of his last 11 fights that way. Some of the opposition has been mediocre but he showed well when knocking out 17-2 Ravshan Hudaynazarov in just 43 seconds in Tucson in November. He is rated No 14 by the WBC and had a 62-4 amateur record. Cazares was 6-0-1 before this fight but put up very little resistance here.
Zuzlowa, Poland: Super Middle: Sherzod Khusanov (22-1-1) W TKO 2 Robert Parzeczewski (25-2).
Khusanov shocks Polish fans and Parzeczewski with a devastating second round stoppage. Things seemed to be going with the script as Parzeczewski took the first round. In the second Parzeczewski ducked under a right cross from Khusanov and as he brought his head up it was in a perfect position for an unseen Khusanov left hook that crashed onto Parzeczewski’s chin and he went down like a felled tree. Somehow he dragged himself to his feet but he was in no condition to continue. This looked a risky fight for Parzeczewski as although Uzbek Khusanov was 40 and this was his first fight for a year in his last fight he had taken unbeaten (40-0-1) Pole Damian Jonak to a very a close decision. Parzeczewski was on a 17-bout winning run with a victory over Dariusz Sek and a second round kayo of former interim WBA champion Dmitrii Chudinov now he wants a return with Khusanov.
Bangkok, Thailand: Welter: Atchariya (13-0) W PTS 10 Kaewfah (29-7). Atchariya returns to the ring and outpoints more experience Kaewfah to lift the vacant WBA Asia Pacific South title. Atchariya outworked Kaewfah all the way never letting him get into the fight and was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91. He had beaten Kaewfah on a majority decision May 2018. First fight for Atchariya since September 2018. He had been in prison jailed on false charges of dealing in drugs. Kaewfah (Krai Setthaphon) was world rated after going 23-0 at the start of his career but has fallen away badly since then.
Fight of the week (Significance): There were seven world title fights and they were all significant in their way.
Fight of the week (Entertainment):Jermall Charlo vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko was tops
Fighter of the week: Again plenty to choose from. I will go for Mairis Breidis for winning the cruiserweight final with honourable mentions to Jermall Charlo and Josh Taylor
Punch of the week: Plenty to choose from here as well. The body punch from Josh Taylor that finished Thai Apinun Khongsong looked good as did Filip Hrgovic’s right that laid out Alexander Kartozia and the straight right from Mohamed Khalladi that laid out Domenico Valentino but for me it was the left hook from Sherzod Khusanov that flattened Pole Robert Parzeczewski.
Upset of the week: Mario Cazares did not look a threatening opponent for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr but he surprised everybody. Honourable mention to Khalladi for shocking Italy with his victory over Valentino
Prospect watch: Featherweight Victor Pasillas 16-0 showed plenty of promise in his win over 17-0 Ranfis Encarnacion.
Five world title fights on the show in Uncasville and in all seven world title fights in the space of two nights that has to be some sort of record and with a final eliminator and one other supporting bout that added up to a potential 80 rounds of boxing.
Boxing returned in the Czech Republic . The venue has a capacity of around 1,500 but the maximum allowed in any venue is 1,000 and maximum capacity allowed is 50% so although the card was a sell out the attendance was limited to 750 and with COVID-19 cases growing again even this approach may not be possible there. Promoters also have to deal with the problems of finding any late replacements with COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules it is a tough life being a promoter right now.
The show featuring the final of the MTK Golden Contract tournament for light heavyweights in Riga had a full attendance(including Tyson Fury). It was a dinner show and the only mask in sight was worn by a cameraman.
Just to keep busy top level Thai boxers often engage in what purports to be a professional fight but is really just paid sparring. That throws up some horrendous looking matches. On Friday Petch Sor Chitpattana former interim WBC bantamweight title challenger with a 56-1 record fought someone who was having his first pro fight, super flyweight Yodmongkol with a 58-4 record fought an opponent with a 1-3 record and Kongfah CP Freshmart with a 33-1-1 record faced an opponent with a 0-3 record. I don’t know of anywhere else in the world where such matches would be allowed.
In the fight between Brandon Figueroa and Damien Vazquez the referee stepped between them in the ninth round and pushed Figueroa back so strongly that Figueroa stumbled back and down. I am just wondering what the results would have been if Figueroa had been injured and could not continue. It would be a genuine case of referee stopped fight!
Usually in our Closet Classic series we tend to talk about wars, thrillers and action packed bouts with great drama. Today we keep on the drama theme, but we also merge it with a bout that really a technical undressing by a boxing great. That however does not mean it's a bad bout. Far from it in fact. This was really high level stuff and the perfect example of the beauty of boxing.
Yoshiyuki Uchida (21-2-1, 19) vs Gilberto Roman (48-4-1, 34)
In one corner was relatively unknown Japanese challenger Yoshiyuki Uchida, a man that many outside of Japan won't know anything about, and even those in Japan would struggle to remember many of his bouts. Up to this point he had fought 24 pro bouts and won 19 inside the distance but the names on his record didn't really say too much. He had turned professional in 1981 and hadn't really made much of a name for himself in his first 19 bouts, despite going an impressive 17-1-1 (15). It wasn't until his 20th bout that he scored a real win of note, stopping former world champion Koji Kobayashi in 1985, and sending Kobayashi into retirement. In 1986 Uchida lost in a Japanese Flyweight title bout, to Koji Nishikawa, before bouncing back to win the Japanese Super Flyweight title in 1987. Just 10 months later he was getting a shot at the WBC champion Gilberto Roman.
Mexican legend Gilberto Roman is one of the greats at Super Flyweight. A brilliant outside boxer with a fantastic boxing brain. Although not a huge puncher he had more than respectable power to go with his outstanding technical brilliance. He had shown his skills to a Japanese audience in 1986, when he dethroned the Jiro Watanabe, and had then gone on a mini world tour with defenses in France, Argentina, Thailand and Mexico before losing the belt to Santos Laciar on Cuts. He would reclaim the title in 1988, in the US, before returning to Japan to take on Uchida in his first defenses of his second reign. Coming in to this bout Roman had scored notable wins over the likes of Watanabe, Kongtoranee Payakaroon, Frank Cedeno and Sugar Baby Rojas, among others. He was certainly a world class fighter, and a truly exceptional boxer.
From the very first bell what we saw was a pure boxing contest, fought at a super high speed. Both men seemed happy to use their jabs to feel the other out, and both seemed to almost be happier at the same range. Neither man getting too close, as Uchida looked to prove he could box with one of the best pure boxers in the sport. It was a mistake from Uchida to fight this way, but allowed Roman to show case the skills that had seen him become a 2-time champion. Uchida trying to box with Roman was a mistake, especially with his low level of activity. He looked to change that in round 2 but failed, as Roman began to tag him more and more consistently with clean jabs. Everything was clean. There was no holding, and instead it was a genius going to work on someone who didn't deserve to be in the ring with him.
Given that Roman was giving Uchida a boxing less we didn't expect much drama. It was a schooling from the tremendous Mexican. Then in round 4 we finally got drama as Uchida began to chance Roman. He was taking shots as he pressed forward but, after about 50 seconds of the round it paid off, as he dumped the Mexican on to the seat of his pants with a jab. Roman wasn't hurt. Embarresssed, maybe, but certainly not hurt. Uchida however was encouraged and kept coming forward, buoyed on by the fans who had started to believe in their man.
We won't ruin what else happens from here, but for those who like clean punching, technical skills, and ring craft this is fantastic. Roman really showing how amazing he was. It's still such a huge shame he was taken before his time.
By Eric Armit:
-Erickson Lubin wins the WBC Silver super welter title with decision over Terrell Gausha in a disappointing fight
-Jose Pedraza continues his busy schedule with wide points victory over Javier Molina in his second fight in just over two months
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar floors Cobia Breedy twice in the first two rounds but then looks fortunate to win the decision
-Welterweight Jaron Ennis again impresses as he hands Juan Abreu his first stoppage loss
-Heavyweight Efe Ajagba outpoints Jonathan Rice in a slow fight
-Mateusz Masternak returns with a win and eyes another shot at the cruiserweight title
World Title/Major Shows
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Welter: Erickson Lubin (23-1) W PTS 12 Terrell Gausha (21-2-1). Feather: Tugstsogt Nyambayar (12-1) W PTS 12 Cobia Breedy (15-1). Welter: Jaron Ennis (26-0) W TKO 6 Juan Abreu (23-6-1).
Lubin vs. Gausha
Lubin takes the early rounds and finishes strongly to outpoint Gausha. A cautious start with more probing than punching but with Lubin doing what scoring there was. Lubin took the second and third. He was getting through with right jabs and had Gausha stumbling with a hard left. Gausha was on the back foot and hardly throwing any punches. It was as if he had decided on counter punching tactics but had forgotten the punch bit. Gausha landed a couple of rights in the fourth and fifth but again it was Lubin connecting with right jabs and straight lefts and he had won all five rounds easily. It’s as well there were no fans in attendance as they would have been demanding their money back. Gausha was livelier at the start of the sixth coming in behind his jab with rights. Lubin then had a good spell before they went back to probing and not punching. There was a lot more action in the seventh. Gausha was finally letting his punches go and was just a little quicker than Lubin but Lubin rebounded to outscore Gausha in the eighth putting together some solid combinations. Gausha started to eat into Lubin’s early lead by edging the ninth and a right had Lubin stumbling on unsteady legs in the tenth but Lubin survived. For me Gausha was still behind and Lubin did enough to take the eleventh and stunned Gausha with a right hook in the last round to emerge a clear winner. Scores 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 for Lubin. The 24-year-old Orlando southpaw wins the WBC Silver belt and as he is already No 1 with the WBC he will almost certainly get a chance to revenge his first round kayo loss to champion Jermell Charlo he suffered in 2017- provided that Charlo beats WBA and IBF champion Jeison Rosario in a unification battle on Saturday. Gausha lost this fight with his sluggish start but this was his first fight for 16 months and only his second in almost two years so with a few more fights under his belt he could challenge again next year.
Nyambayar vs. Breedy
After an explosive start Nyambayar has to fight hard and it is only his early success that sees him take a split decision over Breedy. These two started at a fast clip and Breedy looked on his way to edging the first round giving Nyambayar a nose bleed but a heavy right to the chin from Nyambayar put him down. He did not look badly hurt and made it to his feet. The punch had landed with only five second remaining in the round so Nyambayar was unable to capitalise on the knockdown. Nyambayar attacked hard at the start of the second and a left hook put Breedy down again. He rolled over and straight back up to his feet and after the count was willing to stand and trade with Nyambayar to thee bell. Barbadian Breedy is 5’4” so he usually has to give height and reach to his opponents but he compensates for that with fast hands and a busy style. He outscored Nyambayar in the third again standing and trading. Pressure from Nyambayar saw the Mongolian edge the fourth but he had trouble with the speed and movement of Breedy who rebounded to take the fifth and sixth. The bout swung back to Nyambayar as he used his longer reach to score on the outside and win the seventh and eighth rounds but despite a swelling under his left eye Breedy was able to get inside and outwork Nyambayar in the ninth. This was proving a fast-paced, close and entertaining fight Breedy had fought his way back after those early set-backs but Nyambayar put the fight out of Breedy’s reach by taking the tenth and eleventh. After an early bunch of punches Nyambayar decided to dance his way throught the last round allowing Breedy to take it. Scores 114-112 and 114-113 for Nyambayar and 115-111 for Breedy. Those two knockdowns effectively saved Nyambayar from defeat. The 28-year-old Mongolian was having his first outing since losing a wide unanimous decision in a challenge to Gary Russell Jr for the WBC title in February. Breedy led him a merry dance but Nyambayar’s No 2 spot in the WBC ratings assures him of a title fight next year if he can avoid a loss. Breedy was unlucky here. Although there were no name fighters on his record he showed here that he is ready to take on the best.
Ennis vs. Abreu
The speed and power of Ennis prove too much for Abreu who is floored three times and stopped. Ennis was quickly into his stride in the first stabbing out right jabs and then finding the target with some flashy combinations. A solid right to the head and a left hook rocked Abreu who was not quick enough to land anything himself. Ennis outboxed Abreu over the next four rounds piercing the Dominican’s guard with jabs and then stringing together five or six lightning punches. Abreu just could not get into this fight. Some needle crept into the fight in the fifth. Ennis landed low and Abreu turned away with his hands down but as the referee had not called a stop Ennis promptly threw some more punches and Abreu responded with a deliberate low shot which did stop the action for Ennis to recover. Near the end of the round Ennis connected with a blistering right uppercut that sent Abreu down on his back. Abreu was up at seven but then the bell went. They squared up to each other until they were both forced to turn away. Ennis came out firing in the sixth and as they traded punches a right clipped Abreu on the top of his head and he tumbled back and down. He managed to rise at nine but a series of punches sent him sprawling and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Philadelphian Ennis, 23, has impressive figures with 23 wins by KO/TKO including a current run of 16 in a row. He is rated IBF12/WBO 11/WBC 15 at welterweight but the division is top heavy with Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford holding three of the titles and WBA champion Manny Pacquiao not looking to take on someone as fast as Ennis. Abreu was 3 ¼ lbs overweight for the fight. This marks the first time Abreu has lost by KO/TKO having taken Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Alexander Besputin the distance in big fights.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Jose Pedraza (28-3) W PTS 10 Javier Molina (22-3). Heavy: Efe Ajagba (13-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Rice (13-6-1). Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (5-1) W PTS 8 Felix Caraballo (13-3-2).
Pedraza vs. Molina
Pedraza continues to make up for time lost to the pandemic with his second win in just over two months. The classy Puerto Rican took control of the fight in the first round and never relinquished it. He was too quick for Molina getting his punches off first and never allowing Molina a toe-hold in the fight. It was a fast-paced clash of two good technical boxers but Pedraza’s movement and hand speed gave him the edge. As early as the second round his accurate jabbing had raised a lump under Molina’s left eye. Heads bumped dangerously and Molina came off worse suffering a cut on the left side of his nose. Supposedly right handed Pedraza was constantly switching guards which had Molina befuddled and bewildered at times and Pedraza’s higher work rate saw him pocketing the rounds as he invested heavily in a body attack. Molina upped his pace in the sixth but his legs were stiffened by a right in the seventh and he then had to survive an onslaught from Pedraza. Molina was shaken again by a left in the eighth as he seemed to have no way of combating Pedroza when the Puerto Rican boxed southpaw. Pedraza was countering so quickly and accurately that Molina was hesitating to commit himself to a punch even when he knew he needed a stoppage to win. A straight left had Molina hurt in the tenth and after that survival was his only concern. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for the former IBF super feather and WBO lightweight champion. A shot at becoming a three-division champion has to be the aim but a points loss to Jose Zepeda in September means he has an uphill battle. After losing to Jamal James in 2016 Molina took two year out of the ring and had scored five victories since returning including victories over 19-1 Hiroki Okada and 22-2 Amir Ahmed Imam but he was well beaten here. Coincidently both Pedraza and Molina competed at the 2207 World Championships and the 2008 Olympics but never met with Pedraza representing Puerto Rico at 60kg and Molina the USA at 64kg,
Ajagba vs. Rice
This was what in the days past would have been described as a “snoozer” as Ajagba plodded to victory over a slow Rice. Ajagba was strong with his jab but not really stringing any punches together. He buckled Rice’s legs with a right in the second but it was almost boxing by numbers as there was little variety in his work. Rice really confined himself to a harmless jab and an occasional right cross. He connected with two good rights to the head in the fourth and shook Ajagba with a better right later in the fight but was not looking to engage in any heavy trading. There were few highlights with neither fighter in trouble at any time and Ajagba was a comfortable winner. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Ajagba. The 26-year-old 6’6” Texas-based Nigerian reportedly hurt his right hand early in the fight which must have affected his performance. He has a strong jab and power and. He has wins over Ali Eren Demirezen and Razvan Cojanu and is rated WBA 12/WBC 14 but is still very much at the learning stage. Rice was stopped in the tenth round of a fight against Australian champion Demsey McKean (I always feel there should be a letter “p” between the “m” and the “s” in McKean’s first name but maybe not)in March.
Ramirez vs. Caraballo
Cuban southpaw Ramirez continues his settling in period as he goes eight rounds for the first time in outpointing Caraballo. Ramirez was comfortable on the back foot letting Caraballo force the fight and he made Caraballo pay for his forward march with an array of classy punches. Ramirez showcased his hand speed and excellent footwork outboxing Caraballo early and then upping the pace trying to get an early finish but Caraballo was still there at the end of the eighth round. Scores 80-72 on two cards and 79-73 on the third. Ramirez has a lot to live up to having beaten Shakur Stevenson, Tugstsogt Nyambayar , Michael Conlan, Andrew Selby and many other top names in his time with the Cuban team. Caraballo was knocked out in six rounds by Shakur Stevenson in June.
Obrenovac, Serbia: Light Heavy: Marko Nikolic (26-0) W PTS 10 Patrick Bois (15-8-1). In a fight between a fireman- Nikolic and a policeman- Bois Nikolic retains the WBC Mediterranean title with points victory in a bout that had been cancelled a couple of times. Nikolic made a good start staggering Bois with a right in the first but Bois rebounded and Nikolic had to fight hard for his win in an entertaining contest. Serbian Nikolic was shaper and more accurate but Bois was willing to walk through Nikolic’s punches to land some clubbing shots of his own. Nikolic rocked Bois with a fierce attack in the third but Bois banged back with hard rights in the fifth. Bois looked to be tiring in the sixth and was dripping blood from his nose but Nikolic was already showing a swelling under his left eye. They battled hard over the late rounds with a right from Bois sending Nikolic’s mouthguard flying across the ring but Nikolic was just doing enough to win the rounds. Scores 97-93, 97-94 and 96-94 for Nikolic. A three-time Serbian champion in the amateurs Nikolic competed at the World and European Championships. He was making the first defence of the WBC title but may struggle against higher level opposition. Bois, twice holder of the French title, is rarely in a bad fight. This is only his second contest in almost two years but his performance here should lead to more fights.
Managua, Nicaragua: Bantam: Alexander Espinoza (20-2-2) W PTS 10 Aron Juarez (17-8-3,1ND). Light: Francisco Fonseca (27-3-2) W KO 2 Lesther Lara (16-12-2).Welter: Gabriel Escalante (14-0) W TEC DEC 5 Angel Galo (8-6-1).
Espinoza vs. Juarez
“Supernova” Espinoza has too much class for Juarez and goes 2-0-1 up in their three-bout series. Espinoza took control with his jab and as the fight progressed was putting together some impressive combinations. Southpaw Juarez was mainly on the defensive and unable to make use of his longer reach. He was on the brink of a stoppage as he took heavy punishment in the fifth. He survived and did enough to edge a couple of rounds but the speed and accuracy of Espinoza made him a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Espinoza who is now the owner of the WBC International Silver belt. He had drawn with and then won a split decision over Juarez in past fights. His losses are a very debatable split decision against Mikhail Aloyan in Russia and a shock second round stoppage by experience Dixon Flores last August. Coming into this fight Juarez was 4-1 in his last 5 outings.
Fonseca vs. Lara
Fonseca punches too hard for southpaw Lara. After dominating the first round Fonseca waited out a brief attack from Lara in the second and then used a right uppercut and a left hook to floor Lara who tried to get to his feet but the referee waived the fight over. Second quick win in six weeks for former IBF super featherweight title challenger. He looked unlucky to only get a draw against Alex Dilmaghani in London in November but was knocked in 80 seconds by Ryan Garcia in February. Third straight loss for fellow-Nicaraguan Lara.
Escalante vs. Galo
Escalante gets technical decision over southpaw Galo. Escalante was winning this one by boxing outside and using his much longer reach. Although he was scoring with those jabs Galo was able to get inside on occasions. Escalante was tying Galo up inside and a frustrated Galo launched a deliberate butt which crunched into the side of Escalante’s face. The referee deducted a point from Galo. Escalante looked to have suffered either a fractured jaw or cheek bone and was unable to continue but all three judges had him in front so he was declared the winner. The 23-year-old Escalante moves to 14 wins but is a bit lacking in the power department. Only the second fight since December 2018 for Galo.
Guadalajara, Mexico: Super Light: Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela (22-2-1) W PTS 10 Erwin Bennett (13-2). Light: Cesar Ayon (13-2-1) W TKO 4 Noel Mejia (14-2).
Valenzuela vs. Bennett
Fighting in front of his home fans in a fight that signalled the return of boxing to Guadalajara Valenzuela floors and outpoints Bennett. The local fighter floored Ecuadorian Bennett in the second with a right cross but Bennett was up immediately and proved durable. Valenzuela dominated the remaining rounds and came close to stopping Bennett over the ninth and tenth but Bennett made it to the final bell. Scores 99-90 twice and 100-90 for Valenzuela. The 25-year-old Valenzuela (normally with the way Mexican names are structured he would be using his father’s name of Gollaz but most local sources had him as Valenzuela) is unbeaten in 20 being 19-0-1 including wins over Nery Saguilan and Daniel Echevarria. Bennett was to have fought in a six round fight on the card but when Ulises Perez tested positive for COVID-19 Bennett was moved up to the main event
Ayon vs. Mejia
This bout was also affected by COVID-19. Ayon was to have fought Rene Tellez but Tellez also tested positive and was replaced at short notice by Mejia. Ayon was much too good for a tubby Mejia and handed out a solid beating. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight in the fourth as Mejia kept walking into more punishment. Only one loss in his last 14 contests for Ayon. Eleventh time Mejia has failed to last the distance.
Tarnow. Poland: Cruiser: Mateusz Masternak (42-5) W PTS 10 Taylor Mabika (19-6-2). Welter: Damian Kiwior (8-1-1) W TKO 2 Ruben Rodriguez (9-6-1). Heavy: Lukasz Rozanski (13-0) W TKO 2 Ozcan Cetinkaya (31-21-2). Cruiser: Adam Balski (15-0) W TKO 1 Jarek Prusak (9-5).
Masternak vs. Mabika
On his return to the ring Masternak wins wide unanimous verdict over Mabika. Masternak boxed his way through the first finding the range for his jab and adding a couple of accurate power shots. Masternak upped his pace in the second scoring well with lefts to the body and rights to the head. Mabika is slow and limited but tough and he showed he also had a good jab as he reddened Masternak’s face. As the fight progressed Mabika was static in the ring centre with Masternak circling spearing him with jabs and clubbing him with lefts and rights. As he shed some rust Masternak started to put together some eye-catching combinations but Taylor has a good chin and he just kept trying to roll forward through the punches. Late in the fight Masternak tried hard to put Mabika away but the Gabonese fighter never wilted and stayed there fighting to the end. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for the 33-year-old Pole. A former European champion Masternak was having his first fight since losing a very close decision to Yunier Dorticos in October 2018 in the WBSS. The cruiser division is a mess at the moment. Dorticos is IBF champion but his fight with Mairis Breidis can’t be a unification fight as the WBC took Breidis title away from him and designated him the meaningless Diamond champion. Lawrence Okolie and Krzys Glowacki fight for the vacant WBO title in December and as usual the WBA have four champions in Arsen Goulamirian super champion, Beibut Shumenov secondary champion despite not having fought for over two years and Alexey Egorov is Gold champion. There must be a fight for Masternak in there somewhere. The 41-year-old Mabika has lost to four world champions with WBC champion Ilunga Makabu the only one to beat him inside the distance. He has won a number of secondary titles and is probably the best Gabonese fighter but that is a bit like being the best admiral in the Luxemburg navy.
Kiwior vs. Rodriguez
Home town fighter Kiwior blasts out Rodriguez in one round. After hunting Rodriguez around the ring the first punch Kiwior threw was a straight right that dropped Rodriguez to his hands and knees. Kiwior looked to have landed another right when Rodriguez had a knee on the floor but got away with it. Rodriguez made it to his feet at eight and then moved and boxed until a right to the head sent him reeling to the canvas and again Kiwior threw a punch whilst Rodriguez had one knee on the floor but this time he missed. Again Rodriguez beat the count but was promptly knocked down again and the referee stopped the fight. A former top level amateur Kiwior has had a couple of bad set-backs being floored and outpointed by English journeyman Chris Jenkinson (10-61-3) and only drawing with four fight novice Wes Smith. He has won his last four fights and this is his first inside the distance victory. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for former Spanish title challenger Rodriguez.
Rozanski vs., Cetinkaya
A farce badly disguised as a fight as Rozanski halts tubby Turk in two rounds. Cetinkaya was down twice in the first minute of the fight and was given another count when his gloves touched the floor as he tried to duck away from Rozanski’s punches. A body punch caused his fourth knockdown and there was still another minute of the first round remaining. A left and right seconds before the bell saw him tumble to the canvas for the fifth time. Knockdowns No 6 and 7 came in the second round but really in both cases Cetinkaya went down to avoid a punch not because of one. A right to the head dropped Cetinkaya down for the eighth time and the referee just waived the fight over-about six counts too late. Polish champion Rozanski has won his last eleven fights by KO/TKO but he is 34 and limited and I can’t see him progressing much beyond domestic level. Cetinkaya, 42, has fifteen losses by KO/TKO and was pathetic here.
Balski vs. Prusak
Balski obliterates Prusak. This one had a frantic start with both throwing wild punches. A left hook from Balski dropped fellow-Pole Prusak. He made it to his feet at the count of five then dropped to one knee before getting up at eight. A right cross had him stumbling and a right uppercut put him down. He arose but the referee would not let him continue. Over and done with in 84 seconds. Ninth quick win for Polish champion Balski. Prusak, 36, suffers his fourth stoppage defeat.
Tijuana, Mexico: Super Light: Kevin Torres (17-1-1) W PTS 8 Jose Cuevas (13-2-1). Bantam: Carlos Lopez (13-0-2) W PTS 8 Breenan Rhyes Macias (7-1-2).
Torres cs. Cuevas
Torres keeps his winning sequence going as he outpoints Cuevas. “The Diamond Boy” from Washington State dropped Cuevas in the fifth but Cuevas rallied enough to last the distance. Now seven consecutive victories for Torres. Cuevas had won his three previous fights.
Lopez vs. Macias
A bit of an upset as Lopez outpoints Mikey Garcia’s fighter Macias. This one was wall-to-wall war. After four rounds Lopez had battled his way in front being on top 40-36 on two cards and level on the other. Macias fought hard over the last four rounds to claw his was back into the fight but could not overcome Lopez’s early lead. Scores 78-74 twice and 77-75 for Lopez who stays unbeaten and collects the vacant WBC Youth title. Texan Macias had won his last four contests. Both fighters were moving up to eight rounds for the first time.
Jefferson City, MO, USA: Cruiser: Jesse Bryan (19-3-2,2ND) W KO 3 Gary Culp (10-10). Bryan delights his home town fan with third round kayo of Culp. The 36-year-old Bryan returned to the ring in 2017 after being inactive for twelve years. He has won ten in a row but he never fought outside of Missouri and even the guys he has lost to would be classed as substandard. Culp is 2-7 out of his last 9 fights,
Sesto Florentino, Italy: Super Welter: Orlando Fiordigiglio (31-3) W Francesco Lezzi (12-15-2).
Back in the ring since his second round kayo loss to Sam Eggington in September last year Fiordigiglio wins unanimous decision over former victim Lezzi. Fiordigiglio forced Lezzi to fight a defensive fight. He had Lezzi on the edge of defeat with a right in the fourth and had him under heavy fire in the fifth but as when they met in 2018 Lezzi refused to buckle and lasted the distance. At 36 the former Italian, European Union and WBC International champion will be look to regain some injured pride suffered in the loss to Eggington. Former Italian champion Lezzi has only lost once by KO/TKO.
Dnipro, Ukraine: Heavy: Andriy Rudenko (33-5) W PTS 10 Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko (7-8-1). Heavy: Viktor Vykhryst (3-0) W TKO 3 Gabriel Enguema (10-10). Heavy: Ali Eren Demirezen (13-1) W PTS 6 Kamil Sokolowski (9-19-2). Super Light: Volkan Gokcek (3-0) W TKO 6 Ruslan Belinskiy (7-1-1).
Rudenko vs. Dovbyshchenko
Routine win as Rudenko takes unanimous decision fellow Ukrainian Dovbyshchenko. Rudenko needed an easy night after losses to Agit Kabayel for the European title and to Zhilei Zhang. All of Dovbyshchenko ‘s losses have been on points so he gave Rudenko some useful work.
Vykhryst vs. Enguema
Already being hailed as the new Klitschko Vykhryst scored a devastating kayo of Spaniard Enguema. The finishing punch was a booming right that left Enguema flat on the canvas out cold. The 28-year-old 6’5” German-based Vykhryst has won his three fights by KO/TKO. He was a gold medal winner at the European Championships in 2017 and 2019 and had qualified for Tokyo but decided to turn pro instead. Enguema suffers his fourth inside the distance defeat and has won only 2 of his last 9 fights.
Demirezen vs. Sokolowski#
Like Rudenko Demirezen needed ring time and a win and he managed both by outpointing British-based Pole Sokolowski over six rounds. First fight since January for Demirezen and second victory since losing to Efe Ajagba in Las Vegas in July last year. Only one win in his last five contests for Sokolowski
Gokcek vs. Belinskiy
Former leading Turkish amateur Gokcek brutalised Ukrainian Belinskiy flooring him four times before stopping him in the sixth. Gokcek had Belinskiy on the floor in both the second and third rounds and the fight was stopped after he registered two more knockdowns in the sixth. Gokcek, 24, was Turkish national champion and a bronze medal winner at the European Under-22 Championships. Belinskiy’s 7 victims had been low level with only 11 wins between them
Fight of the week (Significance): Erickson Lubin’s win over Terrell Gausha put him at the front of the queue for a shot at the WBC title. Honourable mention to Jose Pedraza who also boosted his hopes of a title fight next year with his win over Javier Molina
Fight of the week (Entertainment):Tugstsogt Nayambayar’s fight with Cobia Breedy had an explosive start and then was close the rest of the way.
Fighter of the week: I am going for Cobia Breedy for climbing off the floor twice to give Nyambayar all the trouble he could handle
Punch of the week: The right uppercut from Jaron Ennis that floored Juan Abreu was perfection but Abreu did get up. For that reason I go for the booming right from Viktor Vykhryst that knocked poor Gabriel Enguema out cold.
Upset of the week: None. They all went the way of the favourites
Prospect watch: None that I have not already fingered
Boxing doesn’t need enemies when it serves up shows like the one in Tarnow, Poland, There were nine fights six of them ended in the first round and one in the second. The one that lasted into the second saw obese Turk Ozcan Cetinkaya fall to the floor six times in the first round and twice in the second. The referee should be reprimanded for cruelty to the fans for letting the fight go to eight knockdowns. For anyone of my era it brings back memories of the “Philadelphian Death Squad” . It got that name not because they were hit men but because they were dead beats and accidents waiting to happen. There were usually six to nine of them and they were delivered to a promoter as a package by an agent-if I remember correctly his surname was Christmas- and they all travelled in one van often fought with trainers on their feet instead of boxing boots and shared shorts etc. His fighters were guaranteed to last no more than two rounds in any fight. OK the Tarnow card was not as bad as that as it had Masternak on but it was not a good advert for boxing.
The 10-8 marking of a round when a knockdown is scored could be said to have cost Cobia Breedy a possible world title shot. He was knocked down in each of the first two rounds. That would put Tugstsogt Nyambayar in front 20-16 One judge had Breedy winning 115-111but the other two had it 114-113 and 114-112 for Nyambayar but if you just take the scores on the ten remaining rounds it come out at 95-94 and 97-91 for Breedy and 94-94.
Typically this series has looked at bouts that have been controversial due to the man who deserved the win getting denied their victory. Today we're looking at something a little bit different. This time the right guy got the win, but the controversy wasn't easy to ignore. In fact the controversy was huge with implications that went beyond the scope of just who won and lost. It resulted in lengthy suspensions, laid the ground work to sell another bout on and had been a very personal battle for the two men.
Daisuke Naito (31-2-2, 20) Vs Daiki Kameda (10-0, 7)
In October 2007 Daisuke Naito was the WBC Flyweight champion, he had won the belt less than 3 months earlier, defeating Pongsaklek Wonjongkam in their third bout. Naito was supposed to then give Wonjongkam a rematch, which would be their fourth bout, however Kyoei had wanted to give Daiki Kameda a chance to become the youngest ever Japanese world champion.
As a result Naito's team, who had long targeted Daiki's older brother Koki Kameda, essentially paid Wonjongkam to step aside in the hope of securing a future bout with Koki Kameda, if Naito could get past Daiki.
With an agreement set the then 18 year old Kameda began promoting the bout with some rather scummy comments. He had called Naito a cockroach and generally been provocative in the media, hoping to get into Naito's head and draw more attention to the fight.
Naito was regarded as a good guy, he was well liked even if he wasn't the most charismatic or well known. He was seen as a stand up guy, a former bullying victim who, thanks to his win over Wonjongkam, had climbed the summit of the sport. The Kameda clan however were seen as natural heels, dislikable, loud, arrogant and appealed to a new generation. Whilst Naito was the old, man, the Kameda's were energetic, drawing a huge fan bases. That fan base was a mix of females, who thought the brothers were cute, fans from Kansai, who were getting behind their local star, and those who just found themselves drawn to the Kameda's and their anti-hero charm. Oh there was also plenty of people who just wanted to see the cock Kameda's being shut up and beaten.
Kameda's comments before the bout had seen interest explode in the contest and the feeling was that this was going to be something massive for Japanese boxing.
What ended up being a heavily hyped bout turned into a bit of a mismatch. From the opening round Naito was too sharp, too quick, too skilled and too good. Kameda pressed from the early stages with a tight defensive style that saw him pretty much trying to walk down Naito, but lacked the out put and energy needed to be competitive with the champion.
For the best part of 11 rounds Naito dominated the younger man. The bleach blonde Naito was trying to fight Naito, but had nothing to really challenger the more experienced and much better Naito. Even when Naito stood his ground and fought Kameda's fight he was getting the better of things. Kameda had spent more time headbutting, trying to thumb Naito, leading with the shoulder and landing low blows. Not only were the fouls from Kameda flagrant, and continous, but they were going unpunished by the referee, who gave repeated warnings but no deductions early on. There was not only fouls but taunting and typically scum like behaviour through out. He was playing the perfect heel. The man people want to see get beat...and he was getting beat.
With Naito well in the lead Kameda was showing an increasing level of frustration. This was seen notably in round 9, when he started to abuse some rough house tactics, including throwing Naito down which drew loud boos. Naito returned the foul with a cheap shot of his own later in the round, when he was deducted a point by Vic Drakulich. By this point the the crowd were rabidly against Kameda, who again bent the rules to near breaking point in round 11, with a headlock take down.
In round 12 things went from ugly and foul filled to something that didn't resemble boxing. Kameda was essentially sent out to fight Naito, taking him down, again, less than 30 seconds into the round. He was deducted a point, but that was just the start of a melt down. Moments later Kameda picked up Naito and tossed him to the canvas, and had 2 more points taken. Another tackle from Kamda followed, then a tackle from Naito before the two began to engaging in something of an MMA event on the canvas. There was some boxing in the round, but most of it was crude, street fighter stuff from Kameda.
After the 12th round there no doubting who had won. Naito had won the bout, and won the hearts of the Japanese fans. But the controversy spiralled on.
Kameda left the ring quickly after the final bell, not staying to give an interview. He didn't follow through on any promises to commit Seppuku, thankfully, but refused to not only speak to press but treat them with disdain at a post fight press conference. He stayed silent and then walked out.
Following the bout Kameda was given a lengthy suspension, his trainer and father Shiro was given a permanent ban from working the corner and older brother Koki Kameda was also reprimanded for his instructions. There was also speculation that Koki had to cancel an upcoming bout due to issues coming from this bout, though officially the reason was an opponent hadn't been decided on
In his next defense Naito faced Wonjongkam, in their fourth and final bout, and would go on to face Koki Kameda two years after this controversial, foul filled bout with his Koki's younger brother.
Koki would beat Naito, though lost the WBC title to Naito's old nemesis Wonjongkam, scrapping a chance of a rematch between Koki and Naito, which rather notably Naito's team had the contractual option for but without the WBC title there was no desire to enforce it.
Thankfully things bet Naito and the Kameda family have improved since this mess of a fight. Daiki has apologised for what he said and did, and Naito has accepted the apology and drawn a line under the matter. Now a days Naito, Daiki Kameda and Koki Kameda have retired from the ring and this dark bout in Japanese history is not something to be proud off, but is still a very important bout. It's also one of the very rare cases where a fighter was deducted 3 points in a round and not DQ'd.
By Eric Armit
Everyone in boxing has suffered due to the pandemic. We know this but when you see the figures for the number of fight cards in 2020 compared to 2019 that really drives it home. To give you an example for 2019 Box Rec was notified of 604 potential shows in the USA a substantial number even if some of those notified fell by the wayside. For 2020 from January through to the end of December for the USA the projected figure is 200. For the United Kingdom the figures are 272 for 2019 and 72 to the end of 2020. For Mexico the figure for all of 2019 was 594 shows and for 2020 through to the end of October the available projected figure is 122. Japan in 2019 registered 183 shows and the projected figure to end November is 49. As can be seen the impact on boxing around the world has been catastrophic.
Boxers, managers, promoters, seconds, trainers, gyms, local commissions, Boards, sanctioning bodies and even we poor boxing journalists have lost income due to the pandemic (Except myself. The last time anyone paid me for writing it was in doubloons and they were delivered by a guy on a horse).
The impact differs. For some it means the difference between living and just existing. Not having food on the table and not being able to support your family but sometimes that brings out the best in people. An example is Thai promoter and philanthropist Naris Sangwancha. When he learned that a gym in the Philippines did not qualify for the support offered by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) he provided food for the 37 boxers and other people involved with the gym. It is also an indication of the problems affecting bodies such as the GAB whose support can only go so far. The figures for the Philippines were 121 shows in 2019 and up to 9 March, the date of the last show in the Philippines, the total was 14.
However the green shoots of the recovery by boxing from COVD-19 continue to grow and on 5 December in Paranque City, Manila Vic Saludar and Robert Paradero will contest the vacant secondary WBA minimumweight title.
Encouragingly in South Africa the Sports Minister has given clearance to the regulating body Boxing South Africa (BSA) for boxing shows to restart under strict conditions. Of course BSA is not a promoter so the pace of the return to boxing will be set by the promoters but BSA has offered to help with the costs of COVID-19 tests. It is hoped that Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves will put on a show in October but for some promoters it will be like being awarded a driving licence but not having a car. Boxing is a business and it has been hard enough for small promoters in South Africa to stage shows when there were no restrictions so without gate money and little or no TV it is a hard road ahead but BSA will do what it can to smooth some of the bumps.
A show is planned for Ibadan in Nigeria in December but so far Ghana has not been given the go ahead.
It seems almost obscene to go from the hardships some in boxing are suffering to Saul Alvarez suing DAZ-N for $280 million. It seems to fly in the face of the old sayings of never bite the hand that feeds you and he who pays the piper calls the tune. Of course whoever thought up those saying failed to read the small print. One of Alvarez’s beefs is that he has not been able to fight since beating Sergey Kovalev on 2 November and whilst my heart goes out to him as he must be down to his last $100 million by starting his action against DAZ-N and Golden Boy it means he won’t be fighting anywhere except the courts for a while.
This week was a good week for Team Sauerland as they landed the rights to stage two IBF final eliminators. A bid of $118,530 helped them outbid German rivals SES for the super middleweight contest between Zach Parker and Stefan Haertel. The top two places in the IBF super middleweight ratings are vacant as no one currently in their ratings has beaten a rated fighter but with Parker No 4 and Haertel No 5 the winner will go to No 1 leaping over No 3 Caleb Truax. The other final eliminator. This one at middleweight, will feature Patrick Wojcicki against Patrice Volny. Neither fighter has faced a quality opponent yet (In their computerised world ratings Box Rec has Volny at No 33 and Wojcicki at No 37 and the EBU places Wojcicki at No 15 in Europe) but the winner will be the mandatory challenger to Gennady Golovkin. Best of luck with selling that fight to the public.
The WBO are naturally only concerned with their own titles so despite hopes of a Josh Taylor vs. Jose Carlos Ramirez unification fight they have set the date of 20 September for the teams representing Ramirez and Jack Catterall to reach an agreement or they will then call for purse bids. Incidentally the minimum purse bid for a WBO super lightweight title fight is $150,000 but of course the fight is worth a lot more than that. As an example for the fight with Viktor Postol Ramirez’s purse was $850,000 and Postol’s $500,000
To take part in a professional boxing match you have to be medically examined to ensure you are fit to box. It seems to me sometimes that if you have the standard two legs two arms a trunk and a head you are half way there. If you are not blind and don’t have a physical disability or any disease then the chances are you will qualify as fit to box. After some recent fights I wonder whether there should be another factor taken into account. Take the cases of Dennis Lewandowski and Chauncy Welliver. Lewandowski is 27 stands 6’2” and for his last fight weighed 335lbs giving a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 42.4. Welliver is also 6’2” and weighed 378lbs for his last fight giving him a BMI 48.5. The BMI scale shows that anything over a BMI of 30 is into the red zone of obesity and therefore clinically perhaps even dangerously unfit-but nevertheless- fit to box! If a doctor examined Welliver outside of the context of boxing he would never say that a man who was more than twice the upper range of fitness for his size i.e. 183.6lbs was “fit” but hey this is boxing so two arms, two legs etc…….
Plenty of action coming up with “Sasha” Povetkin and Dillian Whyte meting again on 21 November with Povetkin defending the WBC interim title he won with his stoppage of Whyte in August. Before then on October 10 Nathan Gorman fights for the first time since his kayo loss against Daniel Dubois last July. He faces Ghanaian Richard Lartey who was knocked out in four round by Dubois in April last year. At light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi puts his IBF No 3(2) rating and his WBA International title on the line against inexperience Croat Marko Calic and another WBA International title will be up for grabs in Newcastle on 17 October when Lewis Ritson defends against former IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez. Unbeaten Olympian Qais Ashfaq, Pakistani-born Scot Kash Farooq and unbeaten WBO No 2 super bantamweight Thomas Patrick Ward are all schedule to be on the card.
Eddie Hearn continues to spread his reach even further with a Matchroom show in Mexico on 23 October. The plan is for three world title fights with Juan Francisco Estrada defending his WBC super flyweight title against former champion Carlos Cuadras, Roman Gonzalez risking his WBA super fly title against Israel Gonzalez and Julio Cesar Martinez putting his WBC flyweight title on the line against currently-but not for long-unrated Maximino Flores. If Estrada and Gonzalez come thought those defences successfully then an Estrada vs. Gonzalez unification match must be the aim.
Matchroom are also aiming to stage one of the biggest fights in New Zealand boxing history between Joseph Parker and Junior Fa. They have unsettled business from the amateurs where they both scored wins over each other but Fa’s win in the Oceania Olympic Qualifier cost Parker a place at the 2012 Olympics.
The almost forgotten final of the WSSB cruiserweight tournament will take place in Munich on 26 September. In case you have forgotten-and you could be excuse if you have as the semi-finals were staged fifteen months ago-it will be Mairis Breidis against Yuniel Dorticos. Not sure if they will play the national anthems or the last post as this tournament has been dead but not buried for over a year.
Where can I hide my head in embarrassment for boxing? Wlad Klitschko striding down the catwalk modelling a new police uniform. If you hear a sound like an electric fan it is Tony Galento spinning in his grave.
Former IBF and WBA cruiser champion Murat Gassiev is training again with the aim of fighting at heavyweight. He has not fought since losing to Oleksandr Usyk in a unification fight in July 2018.
Can’t get too excited about Andy Ruiz vs. Chris Arreola which is slated for 7 November. Ruiz is still very much in the heavyweight picture being No 4 with the WBC and WBA and No 5 with the IBF and WBO but a lot of interest will be on what he weighs after he was 283 ½ Lbs in the return fight with Anthony Joshua in December. Anything over 260lbs will raise questions over his fitness. Same with Arreola if he is over the 244lbs he weighed in his fight last August when losing to Adam Kownacki.
One of the very best things we get to do working on this site is watching some pretty obscure fights. Fights that, in all honesty, are little more than historic footnotes lost in annals of boxing history. And in fairness some aren't even that. When we get to watch some of these fights some obscure ones turn out to be something very, very special. Today we'd like to bring you one of those rare bouts that we doubt anyone has really spoke about, at least in any length, but is well and truly worth a watch.
Jong Kil Kim (18-10-4, 11) Vs Jong Jong Pacquing (56-21-6, 29)
In August 1997 Korean fighter Jong Hoon Yuh vacated the OPBF Light Welterweight title, after having made 6 defenses. As a result we needed to see a new champion crowned, and the bout to crown a new champion pitted two of Yuh's former foes together with Jong Kil Kim, a fellow Korean, against veteran Filipino Jong Jong Pacquing, a veteran Filipino.
On paper this had no right to be anything worthy of note, but what we got thrilled and delivered something truly brilliant.
Little remembered Korean fighter Jing Kil Kim was a tough, rugged fighter who made his debut in 1985, as a teenager, but struggled to make his mark early on. He came up short in a number of Korean title bouts before finally winning the Korean 140lb title. In 1996 Kim came up short in an OPBF title bout to Yuh in 1996 but after Yuh vacated Kim was right back in the mix, now as a 2-time Korean national champion, and was able to get his shot against Pacquing.
With over 80 bouts to his name at this point Pacquing was a legitimate veteran. He was a win-some-lose some type, but on his day he could be a nightmare for regional level opponents. He had debuted in 1980, aged 17, and had developed his skills in the ring. He had won the OPBF Lightweight title relatively early in his career, but lost it in 1985 to future world champion Tsuyoshi Hamada, becoming the first man to lose a decision to the big punching Hamada. He had also had a 4 bouts with former world title challenger Rod Sequenan. Like many Filipino fighters we see today, on his day he could be a nightmare.
As with many bouts this one started off with a bit of a feeling out process. The Korean local pressed forward whilst Pacquing boxed off the back foot. The feeling out process was however rather tense with the Korean letting some big bombs go, even if they did generally miss. Less than 90 seconds into the round however it was clear Kim wasn't a fan of having a whole round of feeling out his man, and instead wanted to take out Pacquing. The Filipino, to his credit, stood tough and continued with his game plan, but it wasn't long before he was getting drawn into Kim's fight, with the two trading shots as early as round 2.
What looked a relatively weak match up on paper was already starting to warm up nicely as Pacquing was meeting Kim with exchanges in round 2, but things were only just starting. By round 4 Pacquing's footwork was faltering and we were seeing more and more exchanges, and both men were taking clean, and huge, head shots.
The fight did slow down a bit as we went on, but it felt like it would only ever take a single shot to set off the touch paper again, in what was a genuinely compelling, and massively over-looked, war of attrition.
We'll admit the ending was anti-climactic, but the action in the early rounds more than made up for the underwhelming finish.
Another month is upon us and another chance to look at some of the wonderful, wacky and weird adverts featuring Asian boxers! Today we look at an advert for insoles, a drink, some hair care products and some cosmetics. Once again we see that boxers can turn up in a very diverse set of commercials.
Guts Ishimatsu - Morito insoles
We kick off with a truly bizarre one featuring one of this series' favourites Gut Ishimatsu. The commercial sees Ishimatsu and a man in a bear suit, yeah we're lost already, promoting some insoles from a company called Morito. The advert, from 1986, seems weird to say the least, but it didn't cripple the company who are still around to this day and you can actually order various Morito insoles around the globe now. Still very odd advert and one that leaves us more and more confused as to what Guts' agent was doing in the mid 1980's!
Tomomi Takano - Suuuuper Wooooman
One of the few female boxers who has managed to maintain a strong base in advertising is model come boxer Tomomi Takano. Whilst Takano might not be a world class boxer she has sensational looks which has made her very marketable. Here she is in an advert for the drink Suuuuper Wooooman. The advert is a simple one, with mostly Takano doing some training, but the product does get spoken about and seen being drank which at least helps a lot more than some other adverts we've included. Still not a great commercial but better than many featuring fighters.
Shinji Takehara - Kamatori Housing Co.
In a rather sweet commercial for Kamatori we see former WBA Middleweight champion Shinji Takehara not just running through a neighbourhood but also, seemingly, speaking at a school. The sense of togetherness and being part of something bigger works well here and those in charge of the advert have used Takehara's ability to just be a decent person really well. Maybe not the most amazing or best of adverts but it's nice to see a boxer used in an advert that just has a strong sense of sweetness like this one.
Manny Pacquiao - Head and Shoulders
In 2010 Head and Shoulders did a commercial with Manny Pacquiao where, as we often see with Pacquiao commercials, they essentially inserted him into a role that anyone could have taken, in an effort to just have the brand associated with him. The advert lacks the charm that some other Pacquiao commercial's have and it misses the mark, but given the amount of commercial's Pacquiao was in there was always going to be some stinkers. This is one of the worst, and really does feel like Pacquiao was shoe-horned in to appeal to the Filipino market.
Yuko Kuroki - Amin Cosmetics
Last month we included Yuko Kuroki's confusing commercial for Autobacs, which really left us scratching out heads. With that in mind we felt it fair to include a much better one with Kuroki this time around. Here is her advert for Amin Cosmetics. It's a much smarter advert than the autobacs on, giving a lot of different images, and proving that being pretty doesn't mean you can't be a boxer, and being a boxing shouldn't prevent you from caring about how you look. This makes a lot more sense than the Autobacs one.
By Eric Armit
-Joet Gonzalez takes wide unanimous verdict over three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga
-Egidijus Kavaliauskas come from behind to stop Mikael Zewski in eight rounds
-Fedor Chudinov gets late stoppage victory over Umar Sadiq
-Anthony Yarde halts Dec Spelman in six rounds and Mark Heffron and Denzel Bentley fight to a draw
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Feather: Joet Gonzalez (24-1) W PTS 10 Miguel Marriaga (29-3). Welter: Egidijus Kavaliauskas (22-1-1) W TKO 8 Mikael Zewski (34-2).
Marriaga vs. Gonzalez
Gonzalez puts himself back in the title picture as he pounds three-time title challenger Marriaga to defeat over ten rounds. Marriaga looked sharp at the start and outworked Gonzalez over the first two rounds but Gonzalez made some adjustments and never looked back. In the third he was connecting with hard punches to head and body rocking Marriaga early and late in the round. Marriaga’s early work had started a swelling around Gonzalez’s left eye but in the fourth the snap had gone out of Marriaga’s punches. Gonzalez was forcing the Colombian onto the back foot and digging vicious left hooks to the body. The more pressure Gonzalez brought the more Marriaga’s own output dropped. It was one-way traffic in the sixth as Gonzalez was blocking Marriaga’s shots with his high guard and then firing crunching straight rights and left hooks. In the seventh Marriaga used more lateral movement to try to avoid the straight line approach of Gonzalez and was firing short bursts of punches. It made no difference as Gonzalez was able to block Marriaga’s shots and still find the target with powerful lefts and rights. Marriaga was almost in survival mode circling the perimeter of the ring just trying to stay out of trouble. Marriaga tried to take the fight to Gonzalez at the start of the ninth but after a brief spell of success he was soon on the back foot again circling the ring with Gonzalez stalking him and landing hurtful left hooks to the body. Gonzalez finished the fight stronger and wrapped up the last round. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 all for Gonzalez. The 26-year-old Californian will be hoping to get a shot at the winner of the fight between Emanuel Navarrete and Ruben Villa for the vacant WBO title to wipe out the memory of a dismal effort when he was outclassed by Shakur Stevenson for the same WBO title in October. Colombian Marriaga, 33, had been hoping that a win here would get him a fourth shot at the featherweight title. That fourth shot eluded him when a fight with Stevenson for the title in March was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On this showing another title shot seems out of the question.
Kavaliauskas vs. Zewski
Behind on two cards Kavaliauskas produces a crunching uppercut to turn the fight around and give him victory.
Zewski was quickly into his stride. He was faster and more accurate with his jab and also clouted Kavaliauskas with a couple of straight rights. Kavaliauskas was trying to counter but was not fast enough. Zewski had slight edges in height and reach but it was his hand speed and movement that won the second. He was snapping his jab though the guard of Kavaliauskas and connected with a thumping straight right. Kavaliauskas did a bit better with his own jab in the round and connected with a right but it was not enough to take the round. Kavaliauskas did better in the third. He has a powerful jab and he began to throw more rights but Zewski was on target enough to make it close. The fourth saw some exciting exchanges as they both let their hands go and both landed heavily in a close round that Zewski just edged. After four rounds two judges had it 40-36 for Zewski and the third had them even at 38-38. Strong jabbing and heavy rights saw Kavaliauskas take the fifth but Zewski’s speed saw him get back by winning the sixth. Kavaliauskas now had a heavy swelling under his right eye that threatened to hamper his vision. Zewski was pumping out punches and showing good footwork in the seventh but Kavaliauskas was hunting him down in earnest with just seconds to go in the round a beautiful right uppercut unhinged Zewski’s legs. Kavaliauskas forced him to the ropes and unloaded with a series of punches until Zewski slid to the canvas. The three minutes were over but of course as the knockdown occurred just before the round ended the referee started to count and Zewski hauled himself to his feet as the count reached nine. In the eighth Kavaliauskas immediately jumped on Zewski and landed a right to the head and as Zewski dropped to his hands and knees the referee stopped the fight. After being beaten in nine rounds by Terrence Crawford in December for the WBO title Kavaliauskas needed this win to re-establish himself. He struggled early in this one but his power brought him win No 18 by KO/TKO. Canadian Zewski goes back to the drawing Board. He had lost a wide decision against Konstantin Ponomarev in 2015 but had worked his way back into the ratings with seven wins.
London, England: Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (20-1) W TKO 6 Dec Spelman (16-5). Middle: Mark Heffron (25-1-1) DREW 10 Denzel Bentley (13-0-1). Welter: Ekow Essuman (14-0) W PTS 10 Cedrick Peynaud (8-8-3).
Yarde vs. Spelman
Yarde halts Spelman in six rounds. He shows a more studied approach than in the past but shows his power when he breaks through in the sixth. The first two rounds saw both fighters probing with their jabs without committing themselves. Yarde looked a little sharper and tried a couple of right crosses but missed and Spelman stuck to his jab so there were no sustained exchanges. A bit too much respect being shown here in the fourth although Yarde was bringing his right into play more. Spelman had been on the back foot for most of the fight but he began to take the fight to Yarde in the fifth. He connected with a strong right to the head, his best punch so far, and a left hook. Yarde seemed content to let Spelman come to him and he looked dangerous as he started to let his hands go late in the round. Spelman was determined to take the fight to Yarde in the sixth but a couple of left hooks to the body discouraged him. Yarde rocked Spelman with a punch and then drove him around the ring before three rights sent Spelman down on one knee. He was unsteady as he climbed to his feet and when the count reached eight the referee waived his hands to end the fight. If Yarde keeps winning then another world title shot in 2021 looks a certainty and he will be hoping to go one better than his loss to Sergey Kovalev in August last year. Third loss in a row for Spelman having been beaten by Shakan Pitters and Lyndon Arthur.
Heffron vs. Bentley
Heffron and Bentley fight to a draw in an entertain contests. Heffron went on to the attack from the first bell coming in behind his jab and targeting the body. Bentley was boxing neatly and countering but it was Heffron’s round. Heffron continued to press the fight in the second but Bentley switched guards and connected with a southpaw straight left that knocked Heffron over. Heffron was not badly hurt but it was a 10-8 round for Bentley. The third saw Bentley build on the knockdown to take the round and then connect with some good combinations to take the fourth. Heffron upped the pressure and pocketed the fifth catching Bentley with a driving right hand to get back in the fight. Heffron’s work rate put him in charge in the sixth and seventh as Bentley was defending well but not throwing enough. The eighth was close but again pressure from Heffron gave him the edge and he hustled and harried Bentley through the ninth connecting with some hurtful hard punches and Bentley was doing plenty of holding. I had Heffron two points in front going into the last but Bentley outboxed Heffron at the start of the round and landed more late in the round to just tilt the balance his way in the final round. Score 95-95 from all three judges so a relatively rare unanimous draw. Heffron goes to 4-0-1 in his last 5 as he rebuilds after a stoppage loss against WBO No 2 Liam Williams in 2018. Londoner Bentley showed some very sharp skills and it will be interesting to see if he kicks on from here.
Essuman vs. Peynaud
Essuman has too much skill for useful but limited Frenchman Peynaud and took a wide unanimous verdict. His superior hand speed and movement kept Essuman in control but he never looked like winning this one early. Peynaud was competitive over the middle rounds but other than that period it was Essuman in control. He consistently found gaps for his jab and a frustrated Peynaud too often found himself swishing air as Essuman boxed his way to victory. Scores 100-90, 98-92 and 98-93. The 31-year-old Botswana-born Essuman collects the vacant IBF European title. He has wins over Tyrone Nurse and Curtis Felix and was an Elite level amateur. Peynaud shook things up when he floored Conor Benn twice in their 2017 bout but lost on points and was outclassed by Benn in the return fight in 2018.
Khimki, Russia: Super Middle; Fedor Chudinov (23-2) W TKO 12 Umar Sadiq (10-2). Heavy: Sergey Kharitonov (1-0) W TKO 2 Danny Williams (54-29,1ND)
Chudinov vs. Sadiq
Chudinov comes from behind to score a late stoppage with some concerns over Sadiq as he was hospitalised after bringing up blood when undergoing the after fight drug tests. Sadiq made a useful start. At 6’4” he is six inches taller than Chudinov and he worked well on the outside and outscored Chudinov over the first and with Chudinov seeming to have no answer to Sadiq’s jab. A series of rights to the head knocked Chudinov’s mouthguard out in the second. Chudinov pressed hard in the third and had some success when he was able to force Sadiq to the ropes and did even better in the fourth as he was getting past Sadiq’s jab. For me the fourth was the first round Chudinov had won. Chudinov continued to exert strong pressure in the fifth and sixth. He was landing the harder punches but Sadiq was using his reach well and looked to have the edge in those rounds. There were signs the pressure was getting to Sadiq in a close seventh but he was switching guards and outboxed Chudinov to extend his lead. Chudinov got back into the fight in the eighth again pressing hard and landing some solid punches. Lots of back and forth action in the ninth another close round. Sadiq was having trouble trying to keep Chudinov out but he exerted some pressure of his own and scored with a flurry of punches to edge the tenth. Chudinov came back to life in the eleventh launching some fierce attacks and over the last minute of the round he had Sadiq under heavy fire and rocked him with a right at the bell. Sadiq looked unsteady and in the twelfth Chudinov drove him to the ropes and bombarded him with punches. Sadiq was swaying and tottering and not fighting back and the fight was stopped. Chudinov, 32, retains the WBA Gold title. Since being stopped by George Groves in 2017 Chudinov has put together a run of eight victories with Nadjib Mohammedi, Ezequiel Maderna and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in his list of victims. His Gold title is meaningless as it has him sitting above the ratings so he is not the mandatory challenger for either the full WBA title or the secondary title. WBA Gold seems to be a yellow brick road to a dead end. British-based Nigerian Sadiq performed far above expectations. If the Russians had thought he would be this good they would not have taken him. He moved from Nigeria to London when he was ten and eventually worked as an accountant. He fought for Nigeria at the African and World Qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics but did not make it to Rio. He did not turn pro until he was 29 and at 32 he may struggle to go further. No update on his condition available right now.
Kharitonov vs. Williams
Kharitonov floors Williams in the first and stops him the second round of a farce that was painful to watch. It was circus all the way as Kharitonov was accompanied on his ring walk by a real bear and things went downhill from there. Kharitonov was about as agile as a hippo on ice and Williams moved very little. Although glacially slow Kharitonov is strong and in the first round a huge left to the head sent Williams floundering across the ring and down heavily. Williams made it to his feet and survived the round thanks in part to Kharitonov’s tactic of landing a punch and then retreating to the ring and lifting his arms in celebration ( a bit like a football team I supported who did a lap of honour whenever they won a corner). Williams showed some fire in the second putting a few punches together. He had Kharitonov pinned to the ropes until a series of hooks and uppercuts saw Williams stagger back across the ring with his arms flailing. He stopped and took a couple of steps forward and then stumbled back to the ropes and the referee just waived the fight over. The 40-year-old Kharitonov, who weighed 280lbs (127kg) for this fight, was having his first pro boxing match after an extensive career in various forms of MMA but strangely was returning to boxing. He won a gold medal in boxing at the Central Asian Games in 2003 and silver at the Asian Championships in 2004 but failed to qualify for the 2004 Olympics. Williams 47, who weighed 249lbs, his lowest since 2017, is still sellable on the basis of a 2004 knockout of Mike Tyson although in fairness his career back then was about much more than that but he is well past his “use by” date.
Budapest, Hungary: Super Welter: Balazs Bacskai (13-0) W TKO 2 Gogi Knezevic (34-11-1). Super Welter: Renato Egedi (17-1-2) W TKO 5 Adam Mate (27-18), Super Middle: Mate Kis (17-0-2) W TKO 4 Ericles Torres Martin (20-16-1). Super Welter: Laszlo Toth (29-5-2) W PTS 8 Gabor Gorbics (26-19).
Bacskai vs. Knezevic
Bacskai gets another inside the distance victory as he dismantles Knezevic in two rounds. Bacskai pounded Knezevic with punches in the opening round and Knezevic only just survived. In the second “Benji” Bacskai forced Knezevic to the ropes and raked Knezevic with punches until the referee stepped in to save Knezevic from too much of a beating. Seventh inside the distance victory for Bacskai. It is a pity that Bacskai did not turn pro until he was 29. He was one of the most successful amateur boxers produced by Hungary. He was World and European champion at Junior level and won a gold medal at both the European Senior championships and European Union Championships. He won gold medals at 16 International tournaments as well as having a record of 21-1 in the German Bundesliga but at 32 times is very much against him. Austrian Knezevic, 41, suffers his tenth inside the distance defeat.
Egedi vs. Mate
Hungarian southpaw hope Egedi much too good for fellow-Hungarian Mate. After a fairly even first round this contest between two southpaws turned into a one-sided hammering of Mate. Egedi remorselessly beat him down flooring Mate in the second and third rounds before the referee stopped the fight in the fifth. No real test for 25-year-old Egedi as he moves to seven quick wins. He is now 14-0-2 in his last 16 fights. “Bad Boy” Mate was a late fill-in and he was giving away a lot of height against a fighter who had been Hungarian super middle champion whereas Mate had once held the national title at lightweight! Mate is 0-7 in fights in America and has never managed to last beyond the second round in any of those bouts.
Kis vs. Torres
Kis floors Torres early then gets an inside the distance win in a confused fashion. Kis put Torres down in the first and by the end of the third had built a good lead. In the fourth Torres barged forward head down and looked to have smashed against the elbow of Kis. Torres went down and was unable to continue so the fight was halted and Kis declared the winner. The two draws on the record of Kis were both against Egedi so a third bout should be on the cards. Southpaw Torres, 43, a Cuban based in Hungary, has now lost his last six fights.
Toth vs. Gorbics
Toth has to work hard to outpoint substitute Gorbics in the best fight of the night. The early rounds saw Gorbics get in front of notoriously bad starter Toth. Toth was badly shaken by a punch in the fourth but then began to roll from there. He had Gorbics hurt in the eighth but could not find the punch to finish the fight before the final bell. The judges came up with a split decision. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Toth and 77-75 for Gorbics but Toth looked a worthy winner. Toth went 19-0-1 at the start of his career but his 10-5-1 in his last 16 fights gives a more realistic picture. Now six defeats in succession for “Squirrel” Gorbics
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Senad Gashi (20-3) W TKO 4 Adnan Redzovic (21-5). Heavy: Jose Larduet (3-0,1ND) W TKO 1 Josh Sandland (5-3-1).
Gashi vs. Redzovic
Despite giving away height and reach to Redzovic southpaw Gashi won this one all the way. He outlanded Redzovic in each round before finishing the fight in the fourth. Two rights to the head knocked Redzovic into a corner where the ropes held him up. The referee gave him a count but when the action resumed a left followed by a booming right to the head again sent Redzovic into a corner but this time he slid down to the floor and the fight was halted as the towel came in from Redzovic’s corner. German-based Kosovon Gashi won his first sixteen fights but then hit the buffers with losses against Tom Schwarz, Carlos Takam and Dereck Chisora. He has now won three in a row by KO/TKO but against very moderate opposition. Bosnian Redzovic retired after five rounds against Erik Pfeifer in his last fight in November.
Larduet vs. Sandland
Larduet obliterates Englishman Sandland inside a round. A left to the head had Sandland staggering and Larduet connected with a right hook and another left to the head which sent Sandland down heavily and the fight was over. The 30-year-old German-based Cuban is too good for opposition such as Sandland. In the amateurs the 30-year-old Larduet was Cuban champion three times won a bronze medal at the World Championships and gold at the Pan American Championships but turning pro at 29 is just too late. The No Decision was caused by Larduet injuring a leg in the second round of his fight with Mariano Diaz in January and being unable to continue. Larduet absconded from the Cuban team’s base in Germany for the 2019 World Amateur Championships. Second inside the distance loss for Sandland.
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Light: Omar Aguilar (18-0) W TKO 3 Jose Garcia (9-8-1).* Aguilar continues to blow away the opposition as he halts former victim Garcia in the third round. He was attacking hard from the start and floored Garcia with a left and a right in the second round. Garcia beat the count and just made it to the bell. In the third once again a left/right from Aguilar had Garcia out on his feet and the referee halted the contest. The 21-year-old from Ensenada has won 17 of his 18 fights by KO/TKO (* as there was no Commission member at this fight it will go into Box Rec as a ND) and was coming off a first round victory over Dante Jardon. Aguilar had stopped Garcia in five rounds in 2018. Two tough matches in a row for Garcia as he was stopped by 34-2-1 Marcelino Lopez last year.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Welter: Eduard Skavynskyi (13-0) W PTS 10 Dzmitry Atrokhau (16-8). Super Feather: Evgeny Chuprakov (22-3) W RTD 5 Alexander Federov (22-8-1)
Skavynskyi vs. Atrokhau
Skavynskyi wins unanimous verdict over visiting Belarusian Atrokhau. Skavynskyi was forcing the fight with cagey southpaw Atrokhau boxing cleverly on the retreat and scoring with sharp counters. Skavynskyi was marching forward behind a high guard but Atrokhau found plenty of gaps and his left counters raised some serious bruising under the right eye of Skavynskyi. Atrokhau was very much in this fight until gradually the pressure from Skavynskyi saw Atrokhau slow and his punch output dropped. He was spending more time pinned to the ropes but he was never in any trouble and made it comfortably to the last bell with Skavynskyi the winner but on widely varying scores. 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Skavynskyi. Ekaterinburg-based Ukrainian Skavynskyi won but did not really impress. Atrokhau has lost 8 of his last 9 fights but has only lost once inside the distance.
Chuprakov vs. Federov
Chuprakov gets a win but in a disappointing performance. This was Federov’s first fight since April 2014 and he was not there to win. He never looked like tearing up the script but his spoiling tactics frustrated Chuprakov. After three largely forgettable rounds Chuprakov upped his pace in the fourth and dropped Federov with a right hook with only the bell allowing Federov the chance to come out for the fifth. Chuprakov struggled to find a punch to finish the job but Federov retired at the end of the round. Chuprakov, a former WBO featherweight title challenger had lost his last two fights so he badly needed this win. Not sure why at 43 Federov bothered returning to the ring.
Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico: Middle: Carlos Molina (34-11-2) W RTD 6 Hector Zepeda (19-2). Super Light: Adrian Estrella (30-5) W PTS 10 Lupe Rosales (38-27).*
Molina vs. Zepeda
Former IBF super welter champion Molina gets curious victory over Zepeda. This was a good, competitive fight with the smaller Molina trying to work his way past the longer reach of Zepeda. After four close rounds Molina seemed to be taking control in the sixth. At the end of the round Zepeda just walked back to his corner and held out his gloves for his second to remove them and although not seeming hurt he had retired. Molina, 37, had suffered some losses on his travels but since moving up to middleweight he gets his fifth successive win on shows promoted by himself. Molina was a big step up in quality of opposition for Zepeda but his retirement was strange.
Estrella vs. Rosales
In a clash of two fighters who have both seen better days Estrella wins decision over Rosales. It was a gruelling contest where the youth of Estrella gave him the edge. At one time the 29-year-old Estrella was 22-0 and seemingly on his way to a title shot until his chin was checked a few times. Similarly Rosales was 25-1 at the start of his career but tougher opposition found him out.
Fight of the week (Significance): Anthony Yarde’s win puts his name in the hat again for a shot at the light heavyweight title.
Fight of the week (Entertainment). After a slow start Kavaliauskas vs. Zewski featured some exciting exchanges
Fighter of the week: Joet Gonzalez for outclassing Miguel Marriaga
Punch of the week: The right uppercut from Kavaliauskas that was the beginning of the end for Zewski
Upset of the week: None although both Umar Sadiq and Denzel Bentley came close
Prospect watch: No new names
A very quite week with surprisingly few shows
Yet another “different” setting for a show as Universum stage their Hamburg show in a fish market
Last week it was the young men’s week as a whole bunch of prospects scored first round wins. This week was bring out the old guys as Danny Williams 47, Ericles Torres Martin 43, Alexander Federov 43, Gogi Knezevic 41, Sergey Kharitonov 40, Guadalupe Rosales 39 and Carlos Molina 37 creaked into action.
When we think of the WBA and their propensity to give us "interim" champions alongside their "regular" we get genuinely annoyed. The idea behind "interim" titles do actually make sense, and if they were used as they are supposed to be used, we'd be happily in favour of them. Sadly the WBA have watered down the sport by having interim world champions, regular world champions and super champions in pretty much every division, without a need for them. If a champion is injured then, by all means, set up an interim champion with a unification bout when the champion is fit and healthy, but other than that there is no need for one.
The reason for us mentioning that is that today's Closet Classic is a great WBA Regular/interim title unification bout from 2007 and one of the rare times that we have seen the WBA titles being unified!
Yutaka Niida (20-1-3, 8) Vs Katsunari Takayama (18-2, 7)
In one corner was WBA "regular" Minimumweight champion Yutaka Niida, a very talented, but now often over-looked fighter from Yokohama. Niida was enjoying his second reign as the world champion, having beaten Noel Arambulet in 2004 to reclaim the title. Following his win over Arambulet for the title Niida had made 3 defenses and looked like he was rebuilding his career after a rather odd few years. Although not a puncher Niida was a talented, speedy and technical fighter, who was well schooled, knew his way around the ring and typically controlled the distance well. Sadly now-a-days Niida is best known for retiring after losing to Roman Gonzalez, but back in 2007 he was genuinely regarded as one of the best at 105lbs.
In recent years Katsunari Takayama has become known as one of the most exciting fighters in recent memory, and a real trail blazer for Japanese boxing. The "Lightning Kid" was a warrior. He was quick, light punching and always put on a show. He was certainly not a puncher, but he was intense, setting a high tempo and trying to our work and out fight opponents. Takayama was not only quick with his hands, but also his feet and was pretty much boxing's answer to the energiser bunny. Even back in 2007, when this bout took place, he was known for having great fan friendly bouts, though they were often closer than they needed to be. With Takayama's lack of power and warrior mentality often making things much tougher for him than they needed to be.
In September 2006 Niida was supposed to defend his title against Takayama, however a training injury forced a delay to the bout. Due to that injury the WBA had allowed Takayama to fight for the interim title, with Takayama beating Carlos Melo for the interim title in November 2006. When Niida was back to health we then, finally, saw the two men clash.
Given this bout was 7 months over-due, taking place in April 2007 and not September 2006, it quickly became clear that both men didn't want to take time getting to know each other. After around 15 seconds Takayama took the advantage, putting Niida on to the seat of his pants. Niida wasn't hurt but it was clear he wanted to get revenge for the knockdown, and from there we had a sensational bout in the making with both men happy to let their shots go.
Niida was the one pressing forward, for the most part, though Takayama was smartly nipping in and out, letting his hands go in flurries and making the most of his younger, fresher legs. He seemed fully aware that if he stood toe to toe he was going to be in trouble, though stood his ground often enough to give us some amazing exchanges.
For fans who like brawls this has enough brawling in it to be worthy of a watch, but it's not a slugfest, instead it's a brilliant technical war. It combines the volume of a brawl with sharp technical skills from both. The bout is full of action with technique, drama, controversy and competitiveness making it a brilliant contest from the the first bell to the very final seconds.
By - Eric Armit
-Jamel Herring retains the WBO super feather title as challenger Jonathan Oquendo is disqualified for a butt
-Yordenis Ugas outpoints Abel Ramos to win the vacant secondary WBA welter title
- In a Fight of the Year candidate Samir Ziani retains the European super feather title as he stops Alex Dilmaghani just nine seconds before the end of the twelfth round
-Steve Nelson takes another step toward a shot at the super middleweight title with stoppage of DeAndre Ware
-Akeem Ennis-Brown wins the Commonwealth super light title with decision over champion Philip Bowes
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Jamel Herring (22-2) W DISQ 8 Jonathan Oquendo (31-t). Super Middle: Steve Nelson (17-0) W TKO 6 DeAndre Ware (13-3-2). Light Fly: Jesse Rodriguez (12-0) W TKO 1 Janiel Rivera (18-7-3). Heavy: Jared Anderson (6-0) W TKO 4 Rodney Hernandez (13-10-2).
Herring vs. Oquendo
In a horrible fight Herring retains his WBO title as Oquendo is disqualified when Herring is unable to continue due to a cut brought about by a butt from Oquendo in the fifth round.
Not a great start for Herring as his foot slipped and he was on the floor after just five seconds of the round. Oquendo at 5’4” was giving away 6” in height to Herring and a correspondingly large amount in reach. Oquendo was lunging inside and was warned for holding and a punch to the back of the head as well as Careless head work all within the first minute. Herring was doing what scoring there was and tying up Oquendo inside.
Score: 10-9 Herring
Herring was picking off Oquendo with right jabs at distance and catching Oquendo with counters. Oquendo was rushing in with his head down and his head banged into Herring's face but luckily neither fighter was cut. Part of the problem was that with Oquendo 6” shorter and crouching Herring had to dip down if he was to land any body punches so their heads were very likely to clash
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 20-18
Herring continued to find the target with his jabs and occasional straight lefts. Oquendo was still rushing forward with his head down. After connecting twice with long lefts as Oquendo again rushed in Herring met him with a perfectly executed left uppercut which dropped Oquendo on his butt. Oquendo was up quickly and although Herring connected with some more uppercuts Oquendo survived the round. This bout was not good advert for world title boxing. It featured a few split seconds of action and then clinch after clinch with Oquendo holding instead of trying to work inside.
Score: 10-8 Herring Herring 30-26
Dominant round for Herring. He was catching Oquendo outside with jabs and straight lefts and then stepping back and countering the incoming Oquendo with hooks. Oquendo was still doing too much holding and his wild swipes were off target.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 40-35
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 40-35 Herring, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 40-35 Herring, Judge Julie Lederman 40-35 Herring
Oquendo was having some success as he scored with rights on his way in. He had been leading with his head throughout the fight and when he did it in this round he opened a cut over Herring’s right eye. Herring passed a doctors examination and as Oquendo continued to play the billy goat the referee had decided that the butt was intentional and after the end of the round he deducted a point for butting*.
Score: 10-9(-1*)=8 Herring Herring 50-43
The story of this round was clinch, clinch, clinch and more clinches. Oquendo was still plunging in head first flinging a few wild punches and missing. Herring was doing the scoring with counters before they got tangled again.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 60-52
Herring did better in this when instead of waiting and countering Oquendo he took the fight to Oquendo and rattled him with straight lefts to the head but for most of the round it was a case of Herring countering before Oquendo dived inside head down and held.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 70-61
This round was one long maul with the fighters tangled up and very few punches landed. Each time the referee pulled them apart Oquendo jumped back in head first. There were few punches landed and the few that were came from Herring.
Score 10-9 Herring Herring 80-70
Official Scores: Tim Cheatham 80-70 Herring, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 80-70 Herring, Judge Julie Lederman 79-71 Herring.
There was confusing at the end of the round as the referee gave no indication he was about to disqualify Oquendo until after the bell when both fighters had gone to their corners. Herring was having trouble with his vision and was not able to continue. As the cut in question had been the result of a head butt the referee then disqualified Oquendo. It was confusing but justified and Oquendo could have been thrown out earlier
This was a very ugly title fight some but little blame on Herring’s part. He showed his skills but just could not escape Oquendo’s embrace for more than a few seconds at a time. The 34-year-old ex-Marine was a surprise winner of the US Trials for the 2012 Olympics but failed to medal. He looked to have lost his way with defeats against Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller but found his way again under the Top Rank banner beating 20-1 Filipino John Vincent Moralde and comprehensively outpointing champion Masayuki Ito in May last year to win the WBO title. This is his second defence having outpointed Lamont Roach in November. Although fellow Top Rank fighter Shakur Stevenson is No 1 with the WBO. The aim is for a defence against Carl Frampton currently ranked No 8 by the WBO-any bets on a promotion in the ratings for Frampton ? The 37-year-old Oquendo, had lost to Jesus Cuellar for the secondary WBA feather title in 2015 and was outpointed by Lamont Roach in May last year but had come back with a victory over Charles Huerta in November.
Nelson vs. Ware
The power of Nelson just too much for Ware. It looked as though Nelson might end this fight in the first when a right to the head unhinged Ware’s legs but he managed to remain upright. Both landed some hard shots in the second but Nelson was cut over the left eye in a clash of heads. He remained in control working solidly behind a strong jab over the third and fourth with Ware competitive not really strong enough to keep Nelson out. In the fifth another clash of heads saw Nelson cut again over the left eye and he immediately turned away from the action dabbing at the cut. It was serious enough for the referee to ask the doctor to examine it but the fight continued. Nelson shook Ware with a punch in the fifth and ended it in the sixth. He connected with a series of punches that sent Ware staggering to the ropes. Ware tried to get out of trouble but was hunted down and when Nelson connected with heavy uppercuts the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Nelson, 32, the WBO No 7, is on a roll with seven of his last eight wins coming by way of KO/TKO. “Toledo “Axeman” Ware had bounced back from a loss to Cam Kilic with a points victory over unbeaten Ronald Ellis but then slipped up again with a stoppage loss to Vladimir Shishkin. Loser or not Ware was a hero as when Top Rank’s Pete Susens collapsed at the weigh-in it was Ware who took control and carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation which probably saved Pete’s life. Well done DeAndre!
Rodriguez vs. Rivera
Rodriguez obliterates Rivera in the first round. Puerto Rican Rivera was brought in to give Rodriguez a test but he was blown away. Rodriguez put Rivera under pressure immediately and a series of punches had Rivera off balance and briefly being held up by the ropes before straightening up. The referee gave Rivera a count but he looked steady. Rodriguez changed that with two lefts to the head that pitched Rivera into the ropes which again held him up and resulted in a second count. When the action resumed Rodriguez chased Rivera into a corner and a couple of lefts dropped River to the canvas propped up against the ropes and the referee stepped in immediately to save him from more punishment. All over in 2:03 of the opening round. Still only 20 Rodriguez is a former two-time US Under-17 champion and the brother of Joshua Franco the holder of the secondary WBA super flyweight title. Joshua fights under their mother’s name and Jesse under their father’s name. Eighth victory by KO/TKO for Texan Jesse James (wasn’t he from Missouri?) Rodriguez. Only the second time Rivera has lost inside the distance. The other one was back in 2014 when he challenged Adrian Hernandez for the WBC light fly title. He lost on a split decision when he fought Wilfredo Mendez in May last year and only one fight later Mendez won the WBO minimum title so an impressive win for Rodriguez.
Anderson vs. Hernandez
Anderson eventually crushes Hernandez but Hernandez gives the 20-year-old puncher a few rounds of work. Hernandez bounced out at the bell rushing Anderson and trying to catch him off guard. Anderson showed some good footwork and just waited out Hernandez rushing attacks. He then worked with his jab before clouting Hernandez with some heavy shots before the end of the round. Over the second and third Anderson was landing strongly to head and body with Hernandez really just looking to survive. Anderson was just toying with Hernandez in the fourth until two lefts staggered Hernandez. Anderson then forced Hernandez back and dropped him in a heap with a left at which point the fight was stopped. The 20-year-old 6’4” “Big Baby” from Toledo has won all six of his fights by KO/TKO and has taken less than eleven rounds to get those wins but he badly needs some stiffer tests to take him further. Hernandez is the first fighter to last beyond the third round against Anderson. Hernandez was a good test at this stage. He has beaten 16-0 LaRon Mitchell and 17-0 Onoriode Ehwarieme and early in his career went the distance with Michael Hunter and Adam Kownacki.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Yordenis Ugas (26-4) W PTS 12 Abel Ramos (26-4-2). Super Light: Batyr Akhmedov (8-1) W TKO 1 Rey Perez (24-12). Welter: Cody Crowley (19-0) W PTS 10 Josh Torres (22-7-2).
Ugas vs. Ramos
Cuban Ugas wins the vacant secondary WBA title (Manny Pacquiao is the real champion) with split decision over Ramos.
This opening round turned caution into an art form. Ugas connected with seven jabs and Ramos just one punch. No rights in sight (must have been slow if I am indulging in poetry).
Score: 10-9 Ugas
The round was dominated by jabs from Ugas. He was quick and accurate. He also connected with a right to the head and a left hook. Ramos was permanently on the back foot but finally found the target with some jabs.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 20-18
Another round for Ugas, Ramos tried to get on the front foot and had some success with his jab but Ugas had the stronger jab and he connected with a right to the body and a left hook to the head. Ramos forced Ugas into a corner late in the round but did not break through the Cuban’s defence.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 30-27
There was no way that Ramos could win a battle of the jabs but that was pretty well all he was throwing. Ugas was doubling up on his jab and connected with a solid left hook. A left hook was the best punch Ramos had thrown so far. He did better in this round but he was not throwing or landing enough to be competitive.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 38-38 tied, Judge Edward Hernandez 39-37 Ugas, Judge Zachary Young 39-37 Ugas
A round for Ramos. He was more confident with his jab and started to get inside and put together some sharp combinations. Ugas was off target with his jabs and Ramos came out best as they traded hard punches at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Ramos Ugas 49-46
Finally a fight had broken out as Ramos was willing to stand and trade with Ugas. Ugas was scoring more. Again he was using a double jab to get close and connected with a left/right/left series of punches. Embarrassing for Ugas is that he missed with a wild right and dived head first through the ropes and almost out of the ring. They exchanged some power punches at the end of the round with Ugas scoring with heavy rights to the head.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 59-55
It was back to the battle of the jabs in this one and it was a round for Ugas. He was finding gaps for his left and also scoring to the body. Ramos was tentative with his jab and coming up short. When they briefly exchanged punches late in the round Ugas was the one connecting.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 69-64
Another round for Ugas. Despite his lack of success with it Ramps was sticking to his jab. Ugas was getting through with his double jab and twice connected with heavy rights that had Ramos backing off. He was also scoring to the body something that was missing from the tactics of Ramos.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 79-73
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 78-74 Ramos, Judge Edward Hernandez 77-75 Ugas, Judge Zachary Young 78-74 Ugas.
Ramos practically gave this round away. For most of the round he threw only jabs and nothing else. He was short with his jabs and Ugas was on target with his and also scored with some useful hooks. Ramos came to life over the last thirty seconds but it was Ugas connecting with more and harder punches.
10-9 Ugas Ugas 89-82
A much better round for Ramos. He refused to be backed up and was following through on his jab and staying in punching distance landing sharp hooks and uppercuts. Ugas was barely using his jab and his punch output dropped.
Score: 10-9 Ramos Ugas 98-92
Another good round for Ramos. Again he stood in front of Ugas and was quicker with his jab and landed some hooks inside. Ugas was not jabbing much and although he connected with two hard rights just before the bell Ramos had done enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Ramos Ugas 107-102
Ugas took the last round. No fireworks from Ramos allowing Ugas to constantly slide home jabs and late in the round it was Ugas firing volleys of punches with Ramos being outlanded.
Score: 10-9 Ugas `Ugas 117-111
Official Scores: Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 117-111 Ramos, Judge Edward Hernandez 115-113 Ugas, Judge Zachary Young 115-113 Ugas.
A considerable difference between how Moret scored the fight and Hernandez and Young saw it. Also a difference how I scored it. It’s never the full or the only measure but according to CompuBox Ugas scored more punches in every round than Ramos and Ugas also scored with more jabs more body punches and more power punches over the twelve rounds but fights aren’t decided by computers-yet.
Ugas had lost a unanimous decision to Shawn Porter for the WBC title in March last year but then wins over Omar Figueroa and Mike Dallas earned him a title shot with the WBA. After losing a majority decision to Jamal James-currently the interim WBA champion-Ramos scored eight consecutive victories including wins over Jimmy Williams and Brian Perrella and was No 6 with the WBA.
Akhmedov vs. Perez
Perez waded in at the start with Akhmedov catching him with straight lefts. Perez continued to come forward and connected with two stiff rights. Southpaw Akhmedov then cut loose and floored Perez with a left to the body that had Perez go down on his hands and knees in pain. It looked to me that Perez got up at 9 ½. Akhmedov jumped on him and Perez went down from some more body punches and although the referee started the count he saw that Perez was in agony and he stopped the fight. First fight for Uzbek-born Russian Akhmedov since losing on points to Mario Barrios for the secondary WBA title in September and he looks sure to challenge for a title again next year. Perez’s career has been a bit of a switchback ride. Every time he puts together some good wins he then loses a big fight.
Crowley vs. Torres
Unbeaten Canadian “Crippler” Crowley moves to 19 wins as he sweeps the board against Josh Torres with the three judges all agreeing on 100-90 for the score. Torres had won his last seven fights six by KO/TKO but he showed no such power here.
South Kirby. England: Super Light: Akeem Ennis- Brown (14-0) W PTS 12 Philip Bowes (20-4). Light Heavy: Dan Azeez (12-0) W TKO 9 Andre Sterling (11-3). Super Middle: Padraig McCrory (11-0) W TKO 1 Mickey Ellison (12-3). Super Light: Harlem Eubank (10-0) W TKO 8 Martin McDonagh (8-2).
Ennis- Brown vs. Bowes
Styles did not mix well in this contest between two southpaws and that led to a disappointing fight with Ennis-Brown taking the unanimous decision and collecting the Commonwealth and vacant British titles. With his jerky style and extravagant footwork Ennis-Brown was the one taking the fight to Bowes. Ennis-Brown was throwing more and landing more but Bowes was the one connecting with the harder single punches. The early rounds were very close and Bowes was cut over his left eye in the fourth caused by the head of a lunging Ennis-Brown. Too much holding was spoiling the fight and the referee warned both boxers in the fourth and again at the start of the fifth both rounds which Bowes seemed to edge. Ennis-Brown flaps his punches so gets very little power into them but he was flailing away and scored well in the sixth and seventh. Bowes was trying to stop Ennis-Brown working inside and he was given a severe warning for holding in the seventh and lost a point in the eighth for the same offence. Things went better for Bowles in the tenth as he landed some heavy punches and Ennis-Brown was cut over the left eye by a clash of heads. The doctor had a look at the cut but cleared Ennis-Brown to continue. His higher punch output and the deduction had put Ennis-Brown in front and he held on to his lead over the last two rounds. Scores 115-112 twice and 116-111 all for Ennis-Brown. He adds Bowes to his list of victims which already includes Glenn Foot, Chris Jenkins and Darragh Foley. His lack of a punch and his waste of energy with extravagant and pointless footwork may be a disadvantage against higher ranked opposition. Bowes, 36, was making the second defence of the Commonwealth title and was having his first fight since March 2019 so eighteen months without a fight cannot have helped his cause.
Azeez vs. Sterling
Azeez continues to make progress as he stops Sterling. After a close first round the quicker hand speed and accuracy of Azeez saw him take the second with Sterling cut above his left eye in the round but Sterling rebounded to edge the third. Sterling tried to up his pace in the fourth but instead was warned for holding and had to soak up some hard head punches. In the fifth Sterling landed his best punch of the fight but the hard right cross did not even shake Azeez who came back to knock Sterling off balance with a right forcing Sterling to put his gloves on the canvas resulting in a count. Azeez dominated the seventh and eighth with Sterling looking bruised, battered and tired as he lost his mouthguard in an exchange. In the ninth as Azeez had Sterling against the ropes and was unloading with both hands the towel came in from Sterling’s corner. It surprised the referee and the two fighters but it was a good decision by Sterling’s team. The 31-year-old Mark Tibbs trained Azeez retains the English title with his eighth inside the distance victory. A university finance graduate he did not turn pro until he was 28. First loss by KO/TKO for Sterling but third defeat in his last four fights.
McCrory vs. Ellison
Impressive performance by McCrory as he obliterates Ellison inside a round. McCrory was firing rights from the start with Ellison trying to use his longer reach to score at distance. A left hook from McCrory staggered Ellison and McCrory followed up connecting with two hard rights to the head. The second right sent Ellison into the ropes and he slid down balancing on the third rope hanging half out of the ring. He then slumped to the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight. The 32-year-old from Belfast gets his fifth quick win and one to match his stoppage of Steve Collins Jr in August last year. Ellison came in on the back of three wins including a victory over 15-0 Charlie Schofield.
Eubank vs. McDonagh
These two had clashed twice when amateurs with McDonagh winning both times. That might explain an opening round that took caution to extremes. McDonagh then did most of the scoring over the second and third with southpaw straight lefts. McDonagh was boxing confidently in the fourth until a left hook from Eubank staggered him badly and from there Eubank seemed to get stronger and stronger and McDonagh’s confidence faded. With just 40 seconds remaining in the eighth and last round Eubank again struck with a left hook that unhinged McDonagh’s legs and he connected with a right and a left that send McDonagh down. He struggled to his feet at eight but was unsteady and the fight was stopped. Eubank, the cousin of Chris Eubank Jr, gets his third inside distance win and revenge for those two losses in the amateurs. Including Harlem, Chris Senior and Chris Junior there are nine boxers/former boxers in the extended Eubank family. Former top level amateur McDonagh had won his last three fights
Tokyo, Japan: Light: Shuichiro Yoshino (13-0) W PTS 12 Valentine Hosokawa (25-8-3).
Yoshino holds on to his three titles as he outclasses former Japanese super light champion Hosokawa. Yoshino, with a 5” height advantage, imposed himself on the fight early with a strong jab and some straight rights and left hooks. Hosokawa had some success with his right hooks but was being outscored. After four rounds Yoshino led on the cards 39-37 twice and 40-36. Yoshino built on that lead stopping Hosokawa in his tracks with right in the sixth and taking the seventh and eighth at which point the champion was in front 79-73 twice and 80-72. Yoshino never gave Hosokawa a chance to get into the fight hurting him with a body attack in the tenth but Hosokawa did not crumble and was still fighting at the final bell. Scores 119-109 twice and 120-108 for Yoshino. This is his sixth defence of the national title first defence of the OPBF and WBO Asian Pacific titles for Yoshino. He is rated WBO 11/IBF 15(13)/WBC 15. “Old Timer” Hosokawa,39, pleased many Japanese fans when he won the national super light title at the age of 36 and at his third attempt but lost it in his third defence.
Grozny, Russia: Super Middle: Aslambek Idigov (19-0) W PTS 10 Stanislav Kashtanov (36-6). Heavy: Abdulkerim Edilov (3-0) W TKO 1 Denis Bakhtov (39-18).
Idigov vs. Kashtanov
Las Vegas-based Russian Idigov takes unanimous decision over Ukrainian-born veteran Kashtanov. At 5’8” Idigov is small for a super middle and he was conceding height and reach to the 6’0” tall Kashtanov. Idigov’s swarming arracks were more effective than the cultured style of experienced Kashtanov who just could not keep Idigov out and paid the price. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Idigov who retains the WBO European title. Idigov, 24, has victories against Ronny Landaeta Roberto Racz and last time out in February he beat Ryan Ford on a majority decision. His WBO European belt gets him a No 6 rating with them. I might start using the phrase “WBO Sanction Fee Gift Title” because that is what it is. It has nothing to do with the quality of any opponent as it is the promoter who picks the opponent for his fighter and not the WBO. In better days the 36-year-old Kashtanov was a challenger for the WBA secondary and interim titles but has now lost four on the bounce-all against good opposition.
Edilov vs. Bakhtov
Former martial arts star Edilov batters poor Bakhtov to defeat inside a round. Bakhtov hardly threw a punch as Edilov steamrollered him to the canvas in the first round. All three of Edilov’s wins have come inside three minutes. The opposition has not been strong but neither has it-up until this fight- been woeful. Edilov was Russian integrated martial arts and world universal combat champion. Now 40 Bakhtov was once a decent fighter but how has an eight bout losing streak.
Moscow, Russia: Light Heavy: Gasan Gasanov (17-9-1) W PTS 10 Artur Ziyatdinov (12-1). Super Bantam: Mukhammad Shekhov (7-0-1) DREW 10 Magomed Kurbanov (6-0-1). Super Light: Andrey Maik (7-0) W PTS 10 Radik Grigoryan (6-1-1).
Gasanov vs. Ziyatdinov
Despite some poor recent form Gasanov pulls out a surprise win over undefeated Ziyatdinov. The problem for Ziyatdinov was that he just could not keep the Russian southpaw out. Ziyatdinov was boxing cleverly and scoring well at distance and took an early lead but from the fourth Gasanov would not be denied and heavy pressure saw him edge into the lead over the next four rounds. Ziyatdinov rallied to make the eight a close round. Despite his 75% record of inside the distance wins there was no power in Ziyatdinov’s punches and Gasanov was able to walk through them and score with his jab and clubbing rights and he finished the fight the stronger man taking the closing rounds. Scores 97-93 twice and 97-94 all for Gasanov. The 29-year-old Gasanov was 1-4 in his last five fights so very much an outsider but now he is Russian champion. Montreal-based Ziyatdinov had been carefully matched in Canada and was a big disappointment here. He had won a number of Ukrainian championship titles before Russia annexed the Crimea
Shekhov vs. Kurbanov
In a hard-fought close contests Shekhov and Kurbanov battle to a split draw. In a contrast of styles the quick and clever Shekhov used his southpaw skills and plenty of movement to hold off the attacks from the stronger but slower Kurbanov. It really was a case of which style you preferred as neither fighter was able to dominate. That produced three very different scores of 99-92 Shekhov, 96-94 Kurbanov and 95-95 so the WBA International title remains vacant. Uzbek-born Shekhov was a top level amateur and is making steady progress as a pro. Kurbanov was also a high level amateur he also competed in four series of the WSB where he scored a win over Michael Conlan.
Maik vs. Grigoryan
Ukrainian-born Russian Maik lifts the WBA Asia title with points decision over Armenian Grigoryan. Maik used lots of speed and a hard working jab to outbox the aggressive Grigoryan for his fifth points win in a row. Grigoryan staggered then dropped Maik with a left hook in the second but just could not build on that.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Light: Antonio Moran (25-4-1) W KO 6 Luis Solis (25-11-4). Welter: Xander Zayas (5-0) W TKO 1 Orlando Salgado (1-1). Middle: Nikoloz Sekhniashvili (7-0) W TKO 4 Alexis Gaytan (5-7). Fly: Anthony Olascuaga (1-0) W Edwin Reyes (8-6-3). Super Welter: Bryan Polanco (2-0) W TKO 1 Joshua Sikes (0-1). Welter; Marques Valle (1-0) W Jenato Harris (0-2).
Moran vs. Solis
Moran wins this all-Mexican contest with stoppage of Solis. Moran used his jab to control this fight. On the occasions when Solis did get past the jab Moran was waiting with left hooks to the body. Solis kept walking forward and did connect with some body punches but Moran’s corner told their man not to get involved but stick to his jab. They finally turned him loose in the fourth and he rocked Solis with a left hook. Moran continued to get through to head and body in the fifth with Solis now on the back foot. In the sixth Solis missed with a right leaving himself open and a solid left to the body dropped him to his hands and knees. He spat out his mouthguard and never looked like beating the count. Moran, 27, was knocked out cold by Devin Haney last May but rebounded well with a draw against 17-0 Yomar Alamo in October. Now three inside the distance losses in his last four fights for Solis with Antonio Barboza stopping him in five rounds and Kerman Lejarraga kayoing him in four.
Zayas vs. Salgado
Zayas celebrates his eighteenth birthday a day early as he stops Salgado in one round. Salgado came out firing punches with Zayas backing up and waiting for the storm to end. When it did Zayas took over hurting Salgado with jabs forcing him to the ropes. He connect with a number of punches before a straight right dropped Salgado in a heap with the referee immediately stopping the fight. Puerto Rican Zayas, a former US National Youth champion, needed special dispensation from the Florida Commission as he was under 18 when the show was put together. The 5’10” teenager had taken less than ten rounds for his five wins. Salgado gave it a shot but never had a chance.
Sekhniashvili vs. Gaytan
Georgian Sekhniashvili overwhelms tall Texan Gaytan. The Georgian hope hunted down Gaytan for three rounds walking through Gayton’s jab and scoring to head and body. A volley of shots floored Gaytan in the fourth and although he beat the count he was pinned to the ropes and shipping punishment when the fight was halted. The 26-year-old Sekhniashvili gets his fifth early win. In the amateurs he was twice national champion at 81kg and represented Georgia at the European Games and European Championships. Gaytan falls to 1-4 in his most recent fights.
Olascuaga VS. Reyes
In an undercard full of promising fighters 21-year-old Olascuaga finished Reyes in two rounds. He dropped Reyes with a perfect left hook in the second. Reyes arose but was staggered badly by two more left hooks and the referee stepped in to save Reyes. Olascuaga won a last chance qualifier to get to compete at the final US Olympic Trials for Tokyo but had to withdraw with injury after winning his first fight. Third loss on the trot for Guatemalan Reyes.
Polanco vs. Sykes
Polanco gives Zayas some competition for the role of the most promising young fighter in Puerto Rico as he blasts out Sykes in the first round. Southpaw Polanco put Sykes with a straight left. Sykes got up but another left floored him and the fight was stopped after just 84 seconds. Despite turning pro the 22-year-old 6’2” Polanco, a four- time the national champion, is aiming for a gold medal at the rearranged Tokyo Olympics. His two fights have together lasted less than three minutes. Sykes no test.
Valle vs. Harris
New York-born Valle took nine seconds longer than Polanco for his win. He put Harris down with a left to the body and although Harris managed to beat the count he was floored again by a body shot and the fight was finished. The 21-year-old 6’1” Valle won a silver medal at the 2018 US National Championships. Harris in over his head-literally.
Casas Grandes, Mexico: Super Feather: Abel Mendoza (25-0) W PTS 7 Edgar Martinez (19-26-1). Super Welter: Dewayne Bonds (8-3-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Ever Ceballos (11-26-1).
Mendoza vs. Martinez
Mendoza collects the American Boxing Federation Continental Americas belt by outpointing Martinez. Mendoza floored Martinez with a right in the fourth and won every round. The 24-year-old Texan has a heavily padded record. There is not a single opponent on there who would not be flattered to be described as mediocre. Martinez falls into that category with his recent form showing just one win in his last 17 fights.
Bonds vs. Ceballos
Bonds also wins the American Boxing Federation Continental Americas title with stoppage of poor Ceballos. The El Paso southpaw floored Ceballos early in the second. Ceballos lost his mouthguard and when he made to his feet he was looking for it but the referee happened to be standing on it as did the eight count. After the count a punch from Bonds staggered and he touched the deck with his gloves to stay upright and the referee stopped the fight. Fifth win by KO/TKO for Bonds and fifth win by KO/TKO. Tenth loss in a row for inept Ceballos and loss No 21 by KO/TKO.
South Kirby, England: Super Feather: Samir Ziani (32-3-1) W TKO 12 Alex Dilmaghani (19-2-1,1ND). Cruiser: Isaac Chamberlain (12-1) W TKO 1 Matt Sen (5-3). Super Light: Stephen McKenna (5-0) W KO 1 Gary McGuire (1-17).
Ziani vs. Dilmaghani
Ziani scores a late stoppage of Dilmaghani and retains the European belt in yet another exciting EBU title fight. No time wasted on cautious probing from these two southpaws. Ziani took the fight straight to Dilmaghani with fast jabs and hooks from both hands. That suited Dilmaghani and he replied in kind as they set off at a furious pace. They were practically mirror images of each other as they both fired accurate jabs and put together snappy combinations. So many punches were being landed by both fighters that the rounds were close. Much of the action was toe-to-toe. Ziani continued to take the fight to Dilmaghani with Dilmaghani unable to force him back but doing the better work inside. Dilmaghani seemed to build a lead over the third, fourth and fifth but every round was hotly contested and the pace of the fight saw action in every second of each round. Dilmaghani was warned for pushing his elbow in Ziani’s face in the sixth and then ironically Ziani’s shoulder banged into Dilmaghani’s face and opened a cut under Dilmaghani’s right eye. Ziani ended the round with a fierce attack which had Dilmaghani under serious pressure. Ziani continued that impetus into the seventh but Dilmaghani took the eighth. In the ninth a clash of heads saw Ziani cut over the right eye and as Ziani had done in the sixth Dilmaghani fed off that cut to pump out bursts of six or seven punches at a time. Ziani was tending to throw less but harder. The action slackened off a little in the tenth as the pace of the contest affected both fighters but in the eleventh it became apparent that Ziani had more left in the tank. Dilmaghani was trying to punch with Ziani but Ziani was remorseless and gradually beat the resistance out of Dilmaghani. The sheer volume of punches from the champion was overwhelming Dilmaghani and he looked an exhausted fighter at the bell. Ziani showered Dilmaghani with punches in the twelfth with Dilmaghani stumbling and grabbing Ziani’s legs as he fell to the canvas. He climbed to his feet very slowly and Ziani continued to batter him with punches. Dilmaghani could hardly stand but was given a warning for holding. He then tumbled down to his knees with his head hanging outside the ropes. He somehow made it to his feet but when the referee indicated for him to both lift his hands and walk forward he did neither but the referee indicated for the fight to continue. Ziani punched Dilmaghani across the ring until he collapsed into the ropes and down to the floor. Even then the referee chose to count to eight before stopping the fight. It is great pity there had to be a loser and also that there was not a live audience to add that special flavour to such n exciting contest but thanks to Hennessy Promotions it was available live on terrestrial TV so had a big audience that way. Ziani, 32, was making the second defence of the European title. He has lost two big fights in the past to Richard Commey and Guillame Frenois but this is his tenth win in a row. He is rated IBF 12(11)/WBC 15 so unlikely to get a title shot but he showed what an excellent champion he is in this fight. The loss is obviously a big setback for Dilmaghani and he took the sort of punishment that can have a lasting effect. It is a disgrace that the fight was not stopped earlier. I can understand to some extent Dilmaghani’s team seeing their fighter three minutes away from a major title (Dilmaghani was in front on two cards 106-103 and 105-104) but they let him take too much unnecessary punishment. The action of the referee is less forgivable. After the first knockdown Dilmaghani was in a daze not even looking at the referee. When the referee motioned for him to lift his gloves he did not do so and when the referee asked to step forward (not even to the side) he only did so after the referee had already turned away signalling for the fight to continue. Bothering to give an eight count after the second knockdown only to then waive the fight over denied Dilmaghani a few extra seconds of medical attention that could have been crucial. It is easy to sit and write this when you are not the one making those split second decisions but I believe the referee erred badly in this case. Dilmaghani was unable to come to the centre of the ring for the result and was helped from the ring by the paramedics.
Chamberlain vs. Sen
Chamberlain is making up for lost time. After two years out of the ring he has now scored two inside the distance victories in sixteen days. Chamberlain was landing early and Sen tried to force Chamberlain back. As he came forward he was rocked by a couple of punches but plunged on and with Chamberlain against the ropes he threw some clubbing punches. Chamberlain waited for an opening and then exploded a left hook on Sen’s chin. Now it was Sen against the ropes and a string of powerful uppercuts had Sen reeling with the referee coming in to save him just 50 seconds into the round. Sixth win by KO/TKO for Chamberlain. Back in 2018 Chamberlain lost a wide points decision against Lawrence Okolie in a clash of unbeaten prospects. Okolie is to fight for the vacant WBO title and Chamberlain will be looking to follow the same path. Third inside the distance loss for Sen with all three coming in the first round.
McKenna vs. McGuire
Spiteful punching McKenna blasts out yet another opponent. McKenna came out firing punches took McGuire to a corner and showered him with punches until McGuire went down. McKenna stupidly threw a punch at McGuire when he was on the floor and was lucky to only get a severe warning. When the action resumed McKenna put McGuire down twice more and although he made it to his feet the referee waived the fight over. The 23-year-old McKenna has won all five of his fights by KO/TKO four in the first round and one in the second. In the amateurs he was Commonwealth Youth and Irish Youth champion and won a silver medal at the European Youth Championships. He put together a 155-24 record before handing in his vest. McGuire has a terrible record but this is only the fourth time he has been stopped.
Brisbane, Australia: Welter: Ben Kite (17-4-1) W PTS 10 Tysinn Best (12-2). Super Light: Waylon Law (13-7) W PTS 10 Justin Frost (10-1-1).
Kite vs. Best
In a battle between two Queenslanders the more experienced Kite comes off the floor in the first round then goes on to outpoint national champion Best. Scores 97-92 twice and 95-94 for Kite. Win No 12 in a row for Kite who was defending his Australasian title. Four of Kite’s last five fights had lasted the full ten rounds which gave him an edge over Best. Best was defending the Australian title for the second time. He had been knocked out in the first round by Korean champion In Duck Seo in June last year and had scored two wins in five round fights later in the year.
Law vs. Frost
On a bad night for Australian champions this result has to count as a big upset as Law wins the national title on a split decision over champion Frost in his first fight for three years. Scores 97-93 and 97-94 for Law and 96-94 for Frost. Back in 2014 Law had been knocked out in six rounds by Kyle McKenzie in a challenge for the Australian super feather belt but six year later and two divisions higher he is a champion. Frost was defending the title for the first time having beaten former amateur star Jackson Woods for the vacant title in November.
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Joselito Velazquez (13-0) W PTS 10 Brandon Gallardo (3-2-1).
Velazquez marches on with wide unanimous decision over Gallardo. Velazquez applied plenty of pressure early with body punches, some of which strayed low. Despite his lack of experience Gallardo made Velazquez work hard and landed some power shots in both the third and the seventh rounds. Velazquez won the rest of the rounds but he could not break Gallardo down and despite having Gallardo rocking in the last had to settle for a points victory. All three judges saw it for Velazquez 98-92. As a former Olympian and gold medal winner at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games a lot is expected of Velazquez and he is not being rushed. Gallardo really just a prelim fighter with only one six round bout on his record so he performed better than expected here.
Tijuana, Mexico: Fly: Angel Ramos (25-1-2) W TEC DEC 7 Jorge Villalobos (10-1-3). Southpaw Ramos makes it eight straight wins with a technical decision against Villalobos as a cut brings the fight to an end after seven rounds. Scores 69-64 twice and 70-63 for Ramos. The Ensenada fighter’s loss came against Maximino Flores and the draw was with WBC super flyweight challenger Dewayne Beamon. For “Pajarito” Villalobos the was too high a step in his opposituion
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Bantam: Alexander Mejia (16-1) W PTS 8 Harvy Calero (6-9-2). Feather: Giovanni Gutierrez (10-1-1) DREW 8 Martin Diaz (16-12-1,2ND).
Mejia vs. Calero
Mejia gets his seventh win in a row as he takes a unanimous verdict over Calero. Mejia’s only loss is a very creditable majority decision defeat against former WBO featherweight title challenger Hiroshige Osawa, Calero is on a run of five losses.
Gutierrez vs. Diaz
Gutierrez and Diaz battled their way to a split draw. Scores 77-75 Gutierrez, 76-73 Diaz and 76-76. Gutierrez loss came against 22-1 Mike Plania in Miami in December. Diaz is 1-3-1 currently with the losses all against good level opposition.
Fight of the week (Significance): Jamel Herring’s successful defence of the WBO super feather title may open the door for Carl Frampton to have a shot at becoming a three division champion
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Has to be Samir Ziani vs. Alex Dilmaghani
Fighter of the week: Yordenis Ugas who clearly beat Abel Ramos to win the vacant secondary WBA welter title-no matter what the judges thought
Punch of the week: The left uppercut from Jamel Herring that dropped Jonathan Oquendo in the third may not have ended the fight but it was a thing of beauty-in boxing terms.
Upset of the week: Club fighter Gasan Gasanov was not supposed to beat prospect Artur Ziyatdinov but he did but for me Waylon Law returning after three years out of the ring and winning the Australian title counts just a bit higher
Prospect watch: Light Fly Jesse Rodriguez who is 12-0 after wiping out former world title challenger Janiel Rivera in the first round.
No masks no social distancing in Australia. Always interesting to see the different approaches.
Not too many shows can compete with the one in Moscow that had 28 fights scheduled! No chance of getting home early and catching the wife in the bed with the milkman (do they have milkmen in Russia? Maybe it’s Vodkamen)
Mexican boxer Jorge Villalobos has the nickname of “Pajarito”-Being of a certain age it is a name I will always associate with Mexican Ricardo Moreno who won 59 of his 60 victories by KO/TKO unfortunately eight of twelve losses came the same way so with one draw only six of his 73 fights went the distance in a 23 year career. You didn’t blink when Ricardo was fighting but today I guess some at ringside might miss the knockout being too busy with their mobile phones updating their social media pages. I’ll give up when I see referees doing it between rounds.
A good weekend for prospects with Padraig McCrory, Xander Zayas, Bryan Polanco, Marques Valle, Isaac Chamberlain, Stephen McKenna, Jesse Rodriguez and Batyr Akhmedov all scoring first round wins.
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