...well this year has been a bit crap
Traditionally one of the last things I do for the year is write an open (and often drunk) letter, long term readers will likely be aware of these as they have happened the last few years and new readers...well you'll get a look into my psyche for a few moments.
So...2021... what a shit year. What a completely and utterly shit year. I thought 2020 was bad, but I looked through it with excitement of what 2021 would bring, but I think 2021 broke that hope in many ways. We started the year so well, and had our fight of the Year in January. But then things never really reached those same peaks. Instead it was frustration and disappointment over and over and over again. 2020 sucked, but it looked like a relief compared to what was set to come in 2021.
Whilst a lot of the issues from 2020 re-appeared, such as Covid and the now bastard of Omicron (which was a joy to go through, after having an original strain of Covid in early 2020), there was also the issue of TBS becoming ultra defensive in terms of their copyright (a risk we were always aware of but didn't expect them to kill 3 of our channels on based on the fact THEY could have advertised on those videos rather than acted like a bunch of shithouses), and Isakura dying (maybe 2021 was the year of the Copyright shit). With Isakura dead we were lucky to find YoiTV but it's not the same, and the effort needed to download fights changed from a 10 minute task to a lengthy recording task.
Throyugh much of the summer boxing shut down in Japan to protect the Olympics which, lets be honest, were alright but... well... yeah that were just alright. The IOC, much like TBS, can get fucked. What was the point in running the Olympics when Japan and most the athletes seemingly didn't want to be there? And that's ignoring the BS of it not being on Free TV in the UK (yeah British for those still unaware), Europsport, like TBS and the IOC can get in the fire.
The we had Fuji TV cut their boxing content, more boxing head towards PPV in Japan and of course the end of year cancellations. I think this year, more than any other has left me wondering why the fuck we do this. Usually the love of the sport is key but they year it feels like the sport has decided to drift. Find a new lover, and leave the fans who followed it to chase a richer, more flash man, with cash to burn.
One of the great things, historically, about boxing in Asia is the fact that the fighters fight. Money is secondary. The disputes aren't, typically, about a percentage point or two. But in 2021 money has put it's claws more and more into the sport. Even Boxing Raise has been doing PPV's. We understand boxing needs money to function, but to take that money from fans, at this present moment, seemed a poor decision, and a decision that left a sour taste.
Boxing is based upon the idea of fans seeing their hero's fight and being bitten by the boxing bug. Fighter upon fighter can name their hero that inspired them. It's a shame when those stars of today are hidden away behind a paywall. A paywall that just a year earlier didn't exist. A paywall that froze millions of viewers out. A paywall that further took from fans.
I know some will look at the West and will defend the likes of DAZN, and that's great for you. Defend what you want. I'm staunchly anti-PPV, and barely even happy to pay "blind" subscription for boxing, show me what's coming up next month, believe in your product and let me decide month by month if your service is worth it. But the reality is when PPV comes into the sport loses fan base, it loses interest and it shoots it's self in the foot. Something it has been doing globally for too long.
Away from the cost of following the sport, the fact Ancajas and Golovkin were unable to fight in December in Japan further stung and further seemed like a kick in the knee, a knee that already felt bruised,
Motivation has really lacked since March and I hope it returns next year. At the very least the site will continue to report notable results, and major debuts. We will continue to share OPENLY available videos, and we will preview major bouts. The other content will, however, be limited, until a time when I feel comfortable returning to what we used to do.
Rather than ending this on a low however, lets look back over what a year we've had. We had the joy of seeing Josh Warrington give up his title, only to be battered a few months later, we saw Kid Galahad getting KTFO'd by Kiko Martinez (who I think we all love), we saw Hinata Maruta finally put in some performances that showed what he was capable of, Jukiya Iimura's rise was great, Marlon Tapales showed what a nightmare he was in battering Teshigawara, Kenichi Ogawa put together an amazing performance, Oleksandr Usyk showed what he could do at Heavyweight, Gonzalez Vs Estrada II was amazing, we had so many amazing upsets, and, of course, we saw Kuga Vs Furuhashi (and their rematch is set for January!).
We had some great fights. We had some great moments. We had some amazing in ring action. Fingers crossed for more of that in 2022, and less of this frustrating bullshit that has made following the sport such a pain in the arse this year. Hopefully promoters realise they need fans onside and making boxing cost such an obscene amount to follow isn't a good idea. Throw some crumbs towards fans, keep them interested, as boxing is the one sport that totally takes the piss out of fans. If they can keep folk onside, then 2022 has the potential to be a great year... That is, however, a huge IF!.
P.S. Not usually this...frustrated!
2021 PHILIPPINE BOXING YEAR END REVIEW
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr.
January 29 - The WBA removes Manny Pacquiao’s super champion status and names him champion in recess. Pacquiao was unable to defend since winning the title in July 2019.
February 20- Vic Saludar WSD12 Robert Paradero,wins vacant WBA regular world minimumweight title, Biñan City, Laguna, Philippines.
February 27 - Rene Mark Cuarto WUD12 Pedro Taduran ,wins IBF minimumweight world title, Bula Gym, Gen. Santos City,Philippines.
March 19- Nesthy Petecio (Women's featherweight) and Carlo Paalam (Men's flyweight) qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games by virtue of their high standings in their respective weight categories in the Olympic qualifying rankings. They joined Eumir Marcial (Men's middleweight) and Irish Magno (Women's flyweight) who qualified via the 2020 Asia-Oceania Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
April 3 – Former four division world champion Donnie Nietes returns after being away for two years and three months and beats Pablo Carrillo (Colombia) by unanimous decision in Dubai,UAE for the vacant WBO International junior bantamweight title.
April 10 – Jerwin Ancajas WUD12 Jonathan Javier Rodriguez (Mexico), retains IBF junior bantamweight world title, Mohegan Sun Casino,Uncasville, Connecticut,USA
April 25 - Former Philippine amateur boxing team member Genebert Basadre died age 37. He won the lightweight gold in the 2005 SEA Games and bronze in the 2006 Asian Games.
April 26 - Television boxing commentator Mike Ochosa died from a heart attack at 55.
May 22- Manny Pacquiao announced on social media that he will be fighting WBC/IBF world welterweight champion Errol Spence Jr. on August 21 in Las Vegas.
May 28 - Middleweight Eumir Marcial, light flyweight Mark Lester Durens, bantamweight Junmilardo Ogayre and female light flyweight Josie Gabuco falter in the semi-finals ; Team Philippines wraps up its campaign with four bronze medals in the ASBC Asian Elite boxing championships in Dubai,UAE.
May 29 - Nonito Donaire KO4 Nordine Oubaali (France),wins WBC bantamweight world title,Dignity Health Sports Park , Carson,California,USA. The 38 year old Donaire made history as the oldest bantamweight world titleholder.
June 26 - Paradigm Sports Management's Audie Attar files a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against Manny Pacquiao in Orange County civil court, claiming breach of contract when he agreed to fight Errol Spence instead of Mikey Garcia. The lawsuit sought for an injunction against the Spence fight.
June 26 –The all-Filipino superfight between WBC bantamweight champion Nonito Donaire and WBO champion John Riel Casimero gets cancelled.
August 6 - Judge Walter P. Schwarm of the California Superior Court for Orange County issues a preliminary ruling denying the motion for the injunction against the Pacquiao-Spence fight.
August 7 – Philippine amateur boxing team wraps up Tokyo Olympics campaign with two silvers from Nesthy Petecio (women’s featherweight) and Carlo Paalam (men’s flyweight) and one bronze from Eumir Marcial (men’s middleweight).
August 10 - Errol Spence, Jr. withdraws from his fight against Manny Pacquiao due to a retinal tear in his left eye and WBA welterweight champion Yordenis Ugas of Cuba was named as replacement.
August 14 - John Riel Casimero WSD12 Guillermo Rigondeaux (Cuba), retains WBO bantamweight world title,Dignity Health Sports Park , Carson,California,USA.
August 21 - Manny Pacquiao L UD12 Yordenis Ugas (Cuba), WBA welterweight (super) world title, T-Mobile Arena,Las Vegas,Nevada,USA.
September 1 - Leopoldo Serantes, light flyweight bronze medalist in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, passed away at 59 due to complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
September 19 – Senator Manny Pacquiao accepts his party's nomination for him to be the standard bearer in the 2022 Presidential elections.
September 21 - The WBC orders an all-Filipino title fight between its bantamweight champion, Nonito Donaire, and its interim titleholder, Reymart Gaballo.
September 29 – Manny Pacquiao retires from boxing.
October 1 - Manny Pacquiao joins the Magnus Carlsen Celebrity Charity Challenge and plays against the 10 year old version of the Norwegian world chess champion on the Play Magnus app.
October 20- Trainer Juanito Ablaca passed away. Ablaca handled former world champions Gerry Penalosa,Joma Gamboa and Marlon Tapales at certain points of their careers.
December 10 - John Riel Casimero pulled out of his mandatory WBO bantamweight title defense in Dubai against Paul Butler (UK) in Dubai due to a reported bout with gastroenteritis.
December 10 - The World Boxing Organization (WBO) orders John Riel Casimero to show cause within the next 10 days to submit a medical certification by the American Hospital in Dubai where he was admitted for medical treatment as well as medical records pertaining to such admittance.
December 11 - Sunny Edwards (UK) WUD12 Jayson Mama,IBF flyweight world title, Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai,UAE
December 11 – Nonito Donaire WKO4 Reymart Gaballo, retains WBC bantamweight world title. Marlon Tapales WTKO2 Hiroaki Teshigawara (Japan) in an eliminator for IBF junior featherweight title,Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California.
December 14 -Thammanoon Niyomtrong (Thailand) WKO5 Robert Paradero, WBA (super) minimumweight world title, Phuket,Thailand.
December 21- Vic Saludar LSD12 Erick Pacheco Rosa(Dominican Republic), loses WBA (regular) minimumweight world title,Hotel Catalonia Malecon Center, Sto.Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
December 23- The World Boxing Organization (WBO) allows John Riel Casimero to remain as WBO world bantamweight champion with conditions upon review of his medical records.
Special shout out to contenders Jonas Sultan,Marlon Tapales,Mike Plania and Joe Noynay for winning on the road in 2021.
Photo-Top row – left to right – Vic Saludar,Jerwin Ancajas,John Riel Casimero,Manny Pacquiao. Bottom-Left to right – Nonito Donaire, Rene Mark Cuarto, Olympic medalists Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam, Eumir Marcial
For the final Closet Classic of 2021 we've gone to a man well known for his year ending bouts from right through the last decade and this is among his most forgotten, yet one of the bouts that really aged well. In fact looking back on the result now, around 8 years later, this may well go down as one of the best wins by one of the biggest Japanese stars of recent years and a win over a man that has gone on to do a lot in the sport himself. This is a Closet Classic that really ticks every single box that we can possible want a to have. It's action packed, it's exciting, it's between two notable names, it's between to men who were unbeaten and two fighters who went on to do bigger and better things with their career's. Welcome to something well worth watching!
Kazuto Ioka (13-0, 9) vs Felix Alvarado (18-0, 15)
Japanese star Kazuto Ioka is now synonymous with being involved in major bouts to end the year. Between 2011 and 2021 he featured in 9 bouts on New Year's Eve. Some of those were rather forgettable affairs, such as his victory over Jose Alfredo Rodriguez, and his non-title bout with Jean Piero Perez. Others however will live on for decades, such as his victory last year against Kosei Tanaka, and his compelling chess match with Donnie in 2018. Arguably his most ill remembered however came in 2013 when he defended the WBA "regular" Light Flyweight title against Nicaraguan puncher Felix Alvarado.
Before we take a look at Alvarado we really need to understand Ioka. He had won the WBC Minimumweight title in early 2011, he had defended that title twice before unifying with a win over Akira Yaegashi then left the division to move to 108lbs. In his first bout at 108lbs he beat the aforementioned Rodriguez for the vacant "regular" WBA title and defended it twice in 2013 before his end of year bout, his third bout to take place on New Year's Eve. By this point he was 24 years old, 13-0 (9), the new star of Japanese boxing and and had gone 7-0 (5) in world title bouts. He looked set to become the face of Japanese boxing, and he, and his team, knew they needed to find some suitable dance partners after 3 rather easy wins.
In Felix Alvarado we had an unbeaten puncher,with a 18-0 (15) record, also aged 24 and with a real point to prove. Up to this point Alvarado really hadn't been given chances. He had been wiping out opponents early since turning professional in 2010 and few had come close to even testing him. There was a chance that he was just the latest can crusher from Latin American, and we've seen a lot of those over the years, but there was also a chance that he was the next great Nicaraguan talent, and the man to follow Roman Gonzalez into becoming a world champion. Up to this point the only fighter to give him any sort of a test was Arnoldo Solano, who is still active as of 2021 and is currently fighting as a journeyman as high as Light Middleweight! This was his chance to prove he was a legitimate contender, and his chance to prove what he could do. An opportunity to prove that he was something special. Something those who follower the lower weights would see in the years that followed.
From the hype video that TBS showed this had the feel of something special. It had the feeling that Ioka was, for the first time since beating Yaegashi, in an actual test, and not just another easy win over and under-whelming Thai or a stylistically easy opponent. This was a dangerous fight. This was something that had the potential to go wrong if Ioka wasn't on point.
The fight started fast and within seconds the Alvarado was backing Ioka up. It seemed clear that Alvarado wasn't just a can crusher, but was a serious challenger, and he was looking incredibly strong and like a genuinely imposing fighter, in a division not too well known for it's physical fighters. Ioka tried to box, use the ring, and make the most of his faster feet, but Alvarado kept pressing, even taking some huge shots as a result. Although he took some bombs Alvarado never looked phased and instead just kept pressing, forcing Ioka to respond. Despite being the opening round this was not a feeling out round, and was instead a thrilling action round that saw Alvarado pressing through out and forced some brilliant action on the inside.
It was obvious, within just 3 minutes, that we were going to get fireworks to end 2013 and that we were sat watching something just a little bit special.
Whilst the first round was brilliant the action didn't relent in round 2. In fact the second stanza saw both men getting shots off, and saw more action up close. The quality as coming from Ioka, who landed some gorgeous shots on Alvarado, but the Nicaraguan looked like the Terminator shrugging off whatever Ioka landed and marching forward in an attempt to break Ioka's heart. Sadly for Alvarado he had several issues, the most notable of which was his accuracy, which was poor and his inability to avoid counters, which Ioka landed very cleanly and very consistently.
It was obvious that Alvarado's aggression, pressure and strength was hugely impressive, but his work was wild, crude and draining, for both him and Ioka. The incredible tempo to start the fight wasn't going to last forever. Despite that neither man seemed to slow down in round 3, as Alvarado continued his bull like forward march, whilst Ioka willing stood his ground more often and picked counter shots on the inside. It was a change in tactics from the champion, who likely realised being on his bike and boxing for 12 rounds would be incredibly tough, and it was a change that really helped make the fight even more exciting. Interestingly it also seemed like Ioka was standing his ground to make a point. He wasn't afraid of Alvarado's much vaunted power. He also managed to leave Alvarado with a badly swollen eye that needed a doctor to look over it before being allowed out for round 4.
Despite his face swelling, and almost fighting with just one eye, no one was going to stop Alvarado from making this into a war and in round 4 we ended up with a thrilling 3 minutes of inside action, with both men holding their feet and letting shots fly. Again it was Ioka's shots that landed clean, and seemed the more damaging, but Alvarado's tempo and work rate was incredible, even if he was stilling missing more than he was landing. The round flew by and it really was none stop action with Alvarado throwing so many power shots and showing absolutely no regard for the fact his eye was almost shut.
Ioka got back on his toes early in round 5, likely realising that Alvarado had a lot more in the tank than anyone could have expected, especially given the punishing shots he had taken and the huge number of shots he had missed with. By the end of the round however Ioka had decided to again work up close, and try to further damage the face of the challenger in an attempt to get his respect.Respect that Alvarado was simply not going to give, no matter how many big head shots he took.
As the rounds wore on Ioka and his team must have been wondering what Alvarado was made out of. He had taken bombs, he had eaten head shots, and body shots and kept coming forward. There was no quit in the guy who fought like a man who simply didn't feel pain. Thankfully Alvarado's toughness saw fans get another action packed round in the sixth as Ioka stood his ground, and the two let their hands go on the inside. One again Ioka's faster, crisper, more accurate shots caught the eye, but Alvarado took them and threw back. Alvarado was even caught by a bomb of a left hook, that would have finished off many in the division, and ate it like it was nothing.
Round 7 was another where Ioka got on his toes, boxed more, but still landed the better shots as we again saw Alvarado walking through some massive counter shots.
By round 8 it was clear Ioka was in a very comfortable lead, but Alvarado was simply not going away. He was going to be in this until he either turned things around, which was possible given his brutish power, or until the doctor stopped him due to the eye, or until the final bell. We'll leave you here, to enjoy the full fight without ruining the outcome too much more, but this is really a cracking fight that showed two styles that gelled really well and some amazing toughness and bravery from a man who looked, much of the fight, like he was out of his league but had absolutely no quit in him.
Although not the most competitive fight, this is an incredibly entertaining contest and one that shows just how much fun the Light Flyweight division has been over the last decade or so. If you've not seen this give it a watch, especially no we're about to end 2021!
(Note - Fight begins around 15:00 in to the video)
When we look at the history of boxing we see a number of fighters pencilled in to be stars, but never reach the heights expected of them. They tend to be stand out amateurs, tipped for the top due to their showcases performances in the unpaid ranks, which suggest they are stars in the making. Then we also get the fighters that had no buzz, battle hard to get to the top and don't ever seem to get the respect for their hardwork, despite seriously deserving it. Today have one such bout as we dip our arm deep into the Closet to bring you another Closet Classic.
Hideki Todaka (15-2-1, 7) vs Akihiko Nago (15-0, 11)
This bout really was seen as something a battle between obscure Japanese champion and an elite tier prospect. It was a man few believed could ever become a champion and someone who seemed groomed for the highest stages in the sport.
Hideki Todaka was never regarded as a special fighter by anyone other than Mack Kurihara, who had spotted something in Todaka very early in his career. He was essentially just another guy. He worked hard in the ring, had something about him, but nothing that suggested world champion. In fact technically he was very basic, easy to hit, but was tough, gritty, determined and had a fantastic will to win. He knew hot to dig deep, and encouraged by a strong, but very local, fan base in Aichi he had become a world champion. He had done so by dethroning Jesus Rojas in 1999, winning a hotly contested decision in a second bout between the two men. It was a genuine upset and a real surprise to most fans in Japan, who saw Todaka as more of a local boxer in Central Japan than a top level fighter capable of beating the best. It was, however a win that helped set up an interestingly all Japanese bout with Akihiko Nago.
Outside of Japan Akihiko Nago's name will not ring any bells. Even in Japan a modern day fan is unlikely to be too familiar with him, though in the late 1990's he was seen as an elite prospect with the ability to be moved quickly, and to be a star. He was 23 years old at this point in his career, being guided by Yoko Gushiken, and the next big thing from Japan. As an amateur he had gone 48-6 (27), he had won two major national titles, turned professional young and was moved quickly, winning a Japanese title in just his 11th bout. He had also defended the national title against former world champion Keiji Yamaguchi and many had anticipated his career to be one of the best in Japan for the 00's. He had power, skills, speed, amateur pedigree, a strong backing and he was building up a good following in Tokyo, the powerhouse of the Japanese boxing scene.
Notably for this bout Nago was essentially in his boxing home, in Tokyo. He had been a regular in Tokyo, fighting at Korakuen Hall on numerous occasions. For Todaka however this was his first bout in the capital, and he had regularly been fighting in Aichi. This was also his first defense. In the eyes of many it was going to be his final defense, and he was going to be handing the title over to the ordained star of the future. We were going to see a star being born.
Straight from the off the natural, well polished boxing skills of Nago were on show as he glided around the ring and looked to set control the distance behind his footwork and southpaw jab. Todaka, who wanted to get inside and get to work was being blunted and was unable to close the distance. Nago wasn't landing much himself through the first round but was frustrating the champion, making him look clumsy and landed some very clean jabs whilst also landing a good left hand late in the round. Todaka tried to close the distance, and had the odd success, but this was not the type of fight he wanted, and he was unable to get combinations off.
Round 2 was somewhat similar, but it seemed like Todaka was getting closer, his pressure paying off just a little bit more, and Nago's seemed to be needing to hold and spoil more to neutralise the forward march of the champion. By the end of round 2 it was clear that Nago really wasn't wanting to engage in Todaka's fight and was instead looking to frustrate the champion as much as possible.
Nago's tactics weren't fan friendly, but they were working. He was taking the steam from Todaka, making the champion take risks and forcing rests frequently. It wasn't fan friendly, but it was working and seemed to be a very clear gameplan from the challenger. Make the champion look bad, tire him out, and land the cleaner shots, taking control later on.
After having had Nago hold and spoil through much of the first 3 rounds Todaka seemed to change tact in round 4. Rather than letting Nago blunt his attack straight away, he was going to let his hands go more, raise the tempo, and let combinations go. He was going to fight, regardless of Nago's tactics, and he was going to win the rounds, or force a fighting response from Nago, this was seen throughout round 4, as Nago took shots before managing to tie up the champion. It was messy and at times frustrating to watch but the style of fight was changing, and Armando Garcia seemed to getting fed up with Nago's holding, allowing Todaka to fire off in the clinch more often.
Round 4 was the first round that seemed exciting, but it was then followed by another fun round as Todaka's determination to make a fight of things shone through again, and Nago had to respond. He had never faced someone so willing to barrel forward like Todaka, who just kept coming forward. Nago landed some solid shots of his own, but by now it seemed clear he had to move through the gears otherwise Todaka was simply going to break him down. As a result we saw the two men trading shots early in round 6 as the pace again slowly crept up, and the crowd started to sense that something special could break out at any moment. It was clear that Todaka had less respect for Nago by the round, and that Nago had to do more, much more, to take the title away.
Through round 7 we saw touches of brilliance from Nago, glimpses of the talent that he in his arsenal. The tools that saw so many fawning over him. Sadly though they were little more than glimpses, with Todaka able to make things ugly, bullying Nago later in the round before being shaken himself in the final seconds. Todaka continued the rough stuff in round 8 and finally seemed to drag the best from Nago in a round that finally caught fire in the way we had hoped to see much earlier on. From here on the bout took on a new identity as it became more and more a fight, with both men looking to do what was needed to have their arm raised come the final bell. Both managed to land some clean head shots and both seemed to realise they needed to do more. This lead us to some amazing action in the championship rounds.
We'll leave the bout here for you to enjoy with some suspense and without ruining the result.
Although not a true war, especially not given how the bout started, it was a great example of will vs skill. Nago's boxing ability was on a different level to Todaka's but his gameplan was not a fan friendly one, and he was unable to stop Todaka from forcing his style on the fight. It's a fight with an amazing atmosphere, a genuine tension through the bout, and a feeling that we were always on the edge of something big breaking out. It was a strange one in many ways and seemed to show Nago's inexperience in tough fights but also the ability he could box at.
This isn't tidy, it's not beautiful, but in many ways it's the perfect example of a fighting blunting a defensive strategy through bloodymindedness, and forcing a negative fighter to fight more aggressively. When that happened the bout really did pick up
Note - At the time of writing Boxrec are missing a win off Nago's record, he was 15-0 (11) coming in to this bout, not 14-0 (10) as Boxrec have incorrectly listed him.
By Eric Armit
- Nonito Donaire knocks out fellow-Filipino Reymart Gaballo in four rounds in WBC bantam title defence
-Dmitry Bivol outclasses Umar Salamov in WBA light heavyweight title defence
-Sunny Edwards outboxes Filipino Jayson Mama to retain the IBF flyweight title
-Donnie Nietes gets split decision over Norberto Jimenez at super flyweight
-Conor Benn kayos Chris Algieri in four rounds
-Katie Taylor successfully defends her IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO lightweight title belts with points decision over Firuza Sharipova
Kosei Tanaka, Tomoki Kameda, Robbie Davies, Marlon Tapales, Brandun Lee, Jared Anderson, Xander Zayas and Keyshawn Davis score wins.
World Title/Major Shows
Carson, CA, USA: Bantam: Nonito Donaire (42-6) W KO 4 Reymart Gaballo (24-1). Super Bantam: Marlon Tapales (35-3) W KO 2 Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-3-2). Super Light: Brandun Lee (24-0) W KO 7 Juan Heraldez (16-2-1). Welter: Cody Crowley (20-0) W PTS 10 Kudratillo Abdukakhorov (18-1). Cruiser: Andrew Tabiti (18-1) W KO 5 Mitch Williams (16-9-3). Welter: Custio Clayton (19-0-1 W PTS 10 Cameron Krael (18-20-3). Welter: Bryan Flores (31-2-1 W KO 1 Tyrone Luckey (15-16-4)
Donaire vs. Gaballo
Donaire shows the value of experience as he patiently hunts down the much quicker Gaballo and finishes the fight with a classic left hook to the body.
Donaire took the fight to Gaballo coming forward behind a strong jab. Gaballo tried to counter but Donaire showed a tight defence. Donaire rocked Gaballo with a right to the head and finished the round getting through with a couple of head shots.
Score: 10-9 Donaire
Good round from Gaballo. He used his greater mobility to change angles and stabbed home jabs and then evaded Donaire’s counters. When Donaire managed to get Gaballo against the ropes and connected with a hard right to the head Gaballo banged back with two hard rights.
Score: 10-9 Gaballo TIED 19-19
An entertaining round. Both fighters had success when they traded punches. Donaire was still coming forward but Gaballo was spearing him with jabs. Donaire found the target with a series of punches and looked to have shaken Gaballo with a right just before the bell.`
Score: 10-9 Donaire Donaire 29-28
Donaire was stalking Gaballo trying to connect with right crosses. Gaballo was firing jabs but was generally out of range. Donaire landed a couple of good shots and then buried a left hook into the body of Gaballo. He went down on one knee then got up as the count reached eight but was in considerable pain and dropped straight back down and the referee completed the count. The 39-year-old 4-division champion was making the first defence of the WBC title. He won his first title back in 2007 and is 16-4 in title fights. A modern great. Gaballo, 25, showed enough to make it clear that he will be a force in this division and could fight for a title again in 2022.
Tapales vs. Teshigawara
Tapales crushes Teshigawara in two rounds. Teshigawara tried to box his way through the first round but southpaw Tapales gave him a taste of things to come and connected with two strong right hooks. He later took Teshigawara to the ropes and bombarded him with hooks and uppercuts with Teshigawara dropping back into the ropes. The referee decided the ropes had held Teshigawara up and administered a count. When the action resumed Tapales again landed a succession of punches from both hands dumping Teshigawara down heavily on the canvas against the ropes with less than ten seconds left in the round. Teshigawara clawed his way up but was staggering along the ropes during the count and the fight should have been stopped. When the eighth count was completed the round had ended during the count so Tapales had no time to land another punch. Tapales landed a right hook just six seconds into the second round and as Teshigawara went down the referee waived the finish. Former WBO bantam title holder Tapales move into the mandatory challenger slot for Murodjon Akhmadaliev’s IBF version of the super bantam title although on the same night Tomoki Kameda won an eliminator for Akhmadaliev’ s WBA version. Once Tapales began to connect Teshigawara was on borrowed time-and not much of that.
Lee vs. Heraldez
Lee makes it fifteen inside the distance wins in a row but has to go past the fourth round for the first time. Heraldez was firing jabs from the off trying to keep Lee from landing anything of note. However Lee did connect with a hard right. Heraldez boxed behind a tight defence but Lee was getting through with some useful shots and rocked Heraldez with left in the third. Lee was constantly scoring with five/six punch combinations . He had Heraldez hurt again with a right in the fourth but Heraldez was doing enough good work to stay in the fight. Lee kept up the pressure in the fifth and by the sixth Heraldez was beginning to tire from the effect of the body shots. Lee finished the job in the seventh driving a straight right to the chin of Heraldez sending him down and he was counted out. Only two of Lee’s 24 victims have gone the distance and those fights were both just four rounds. He has great power and needs tougher opposition to be tested as his 24 wins have taken him less than 50 rounds to complete. Heraldez had drawn with former IBF super featherweight champion Argenis Mendez in 2019 but was halted in three rounds by Regis Prograis in October 2020.
Crowley vs. Abdukakhorov
Canadian southpaw Crowley gets knocked down in the second but then outworks and outscores Abdukakhorov. The opener was a close round with Crowley forcing the action. As he came forward in the second a left from Abdukakhorov put him down. He recovered to score well with left crosses in the third but Abdukakhorov scored some good punches inside in the fourth. A punch from Crowley in the fifth had blood trickling from Abdukakhorov’s left ear and the Canadian took that round and the sixth. The seventh was edged by Crowley but Abdukakhorov closed out the eighth with a series of hard hooks. From there Abdukakhorov seemed to tire and Crawley swept the ninth and tenth. The judges all had Crowley winning but the scores were varied at 98-91, 97-94 and 95-94 for Crowley. Huge win for Crowley as Abdukakhorov was rated No 1 by the IBF. Abdukakhorov had scored wins over Keita Obara and Luis Collazo but was well beaten here.
Tabiti vs. Williams
Tabiti returns to action with a win. Action is probably not the right word as this was a dire spectacle. Both fighters seemed to be more interested in stopping the other guy from fighting so there was too much clinching. Both committed fouls in the first round. Tabiti struck Williams after the call to break and Williams promptly did the same knocking Tabiti down. Tabiti was not hurt and both boxers were given a warning. There was very little action in the second and third and Williams landed another punch after the break call in the fourth and was deducted a point. Thankfully it ended in the fifth with Tabiti firing a volley of punches and flooring Williams. It looks as though Williams just beat the count but the referee waived the fight over despite protests from Williams. This was Tabiti’s first fight since losing on a tenth round kayo against Yuniel Dorticos for the IBF title in June 2019 a bout which was a semi-final in the WBSS tournament. Williams drops to 1-5 in his most recent nights.
Clayton vs. Krael
Canadian Clayton gets back into action with a win. In his first fight since drawing with Sergey Lipinets in October 2020 in a fight for the IBF interim title. Clayton won on scores of 99-91, 98-92 and 96-94. Five losses in succession for Krael.
New York, NY, USA: Light: Vasyl Lomachenko (16-2) W PTS 12 Richard Commey (30-4). Heavy: Jared Anderson (11-0) W TKO 2 Oleksandr Teslenko (17-2). Super Light: John Bauza (16-0) W KO 4 Michael Williams (19-1). Super Welter: Xander Zayas (12-0) W TKO 1 Alessio Mastronunzio (9-2). Light Heavy: Joe Ward (6-1) W TKO 1 Britton Norwood (10-4-1,1ND). Super Light: Keyshawn Davis (4-0) W TKO 2 Jose Zaragoza (8-4-1).
Lomachenko vs. Commey
Lomachenko turns in a towering performance as he floors and outboxes Commey with a remarkable display of boxing skills.
Lots of careful probing at the start and really not much happened in the round. Commey was a little more active but Lomachenko was a little more accurate and that was enough to take a cautious opening round.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko
The old Lomachenko was back in this round. He was fast, constantly changing angles, bobbing and weaving around Commey’s punches and then banging home his own. He staggered Commey with a couple of lefts just before he bell.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 20-18
Commey was warned twice in the space of five seconds for holding. He knew he needed Lomachenko in close where his greater mobility could be smothered. Lomachenko was buzzing around Commey firing rapid shots from both hands and he landed a peach of a left hook with Commey reduced to throwing wild punches.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko30-27
Another brilliant round for Lomachenko. Commey was throwing single shots whereas Lomachenko was firing his in clusters. There were too many punches and they were coming too quick for Commey to block or counter but Commey did land a few body punches in the middle of the round.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 40-36
Commey adopted a side-on approach in this round and by leaning over to his right presenting Lomachenko with a limited target. For a short while Lomachenko studied the best way to counter this and Commey was able to march forward and land some meaty body paunches. Lomachenko quickly adjusted and had Commey under fire again for the rest of the round.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 50-45
Commey managed to pin Lomachenko in a corner briefly and landed some good body shots. Lomachenko then spun around and now it was Commey in the corner and Lomachenko showered him with straight rights, hooks and uppercuts. Commey worked his way out of the corner but his stance was square-on again and Lomachenko threaded punches through Commey’s guard
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 60-54
Commey started the round with a strong attack but then Lomachenko landed two left hooks which staggered Commey. Lomachenko then forced Commey to the ropes and landed a left hook dropping Commey. He was up at five but looked dazed. Lomachenko glanced at Commey’s corner inviting them to stop the fight but got no response. In his next attack a right unhinged Commey’s knees but he stayed upright and this time Lomachenko was gesturing to the referee to stop the fight. That did not happen and Lomachenko drove Commey into a corner and pounded away with the referee watching very closely but a gutsy Commey, although again near to going down, punched back enough for the referee to let him continue to the bell and he also passed a doctor’s examination.
Score: 10-8 Lomachenko Lomachenko 70-63
A good recovery by Commey. He was firing jabs and long shots to the body and having some success. Lomachenko hardly threw a punch in the first half of the round and Commey continued to get through with jabs and came out equal when they traded punches.
Score:10-9 Commey Lomachenko 79-73
Lomachenko picked up the pace in this round. Commey was able to score with long jabs but he lacked accuracy. Lomachenko cut loose with a barrage of punches driving home two hard uppercuts and landing shots to head and body
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 89-82
Another master class. Lomachenko was constantly shifting angles firing rapid burst of punches to head and body. Commey was blocking some and Lomachenko wasn’t loading up of them but they were getting through. Commey landed a pair of rights but a left to the head rocked Commey at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 99-91
Brilliant boxing by Lomachenko. He was circling Commey constantly changing direction then darting inside whipping bursts of punches home. Commey never knew which angle Lomachenko was coming in from or going out so he did not know where to block or where to counter and Lomachenko gave a little skip after banging home seventh punches in one burst. They traded shots at the end and this time Commey managed to land some hard shots.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 109-100
Commey tried to stage a strong finish but once again he was being battered by punches from every angle and at times looked baffled and befuddled. He kept trying to come forward but just before the bell a series of Lomachenko punches sent him staggering into the ropes and it looked as though it might end then but Commey stayed upright.
Score:10-9 Lomachenko Lomachenko 119-109
Official Scores: Judge Eric Marlinski 119-108 Lomachenko, Judge Tony Paolillo 117-110 , Judge Tom Schreck 119-108
The Ukrainian star was back to his best. A long way from the passive fighter who gave away the first six rounds against Teo Lopez. He was more like the Lomachenko of old and ready to be a big player and get into some massive fights. Former IBF champion Commey was outclassed but stuck to his task and he can still be a good test for any lightweight-except Lomachenko.
Anderson vs. Teslenko
Anderson dismantles Teslenko in two rounds. Anderson started the opening round fighting as a southpaw and immediately found gaps for his jab. He put Teslenko under pressure after shaking him with a right Teslenko tested Anderson’s chin with a couple of shots but all of the pressure was coming from Anderson. In the second Anderson turned orthodox and hunted the retreating Teslenko around the ring and connected with right that sent Teslenko down. He struggled to his feet but was on wobbly legs and the referee stopped the fight. The 22-year-old from Toledo has taken less than 24 rounds for his eleven inside the distance wins with his last two victims, Vladimir Tereshkin and Teslenko, having combined records of 39-1-1. Ukrainian-born Teslenko had been stopped in five rounds by Shawndell Williams in 2019 but was coming off a win.
Bauza vs. Williams
Puerto Rican southpaw Bauza annihilates Williams in four rounds. Despite conceding 5” in height some powerful shots from both hands from Bauza saw Williams go down once each in rounds one, two and three. The knockdown scores was doubled in the fourth as Bauza put Williams down twice before flattening him with a big right that saw the referee just waive the fight over. Impressive punching power by the 23-year-old who has seven wins by KO/TKO. Williams seemed to go over every time he was hit cleanly and he had built his record in the boxing backwoods of Alabama, Kentucky and North Carolina.
Zayas vs. Mastronunzio
Zayas out classes Italian Mastronunzio and bombs him out in the first round. Zayas started fast and dropped Mastronunzio with an overhand right less than fifteen seconds into the round. Mastronunzio was up quickly and did not look too badly shaken. He tried to come forward but Zayas’ hand speed was too much for him and he was put down by another right. He made it to his feet but was shaken time and again by electrifying combinations from Zayas and as yet another bunch of punches drove him reeling into the ropes the fight was stopped. Zayas again showed outstanding hand speed, power and accuracy and gets his ninth win by KO/TKO. Mastronunzio was just overwhelmed by the flashing fists of Zayas.
Ward vs. Norwood
Irish southpaw Ward stops Norwood in 95 seconds. Ward floored Norwood with a left early in the round and although Norwood beat the count he was shipping heavy punishment when the referee intervened to end the slaughter. One of the most decorated Irish amateur boxers Ward makes it six wins in twelve months. Second loss by KO/TKO for Norwood.
Davis vs. Zaragoza
Impressive power show from Davis as he wipes out Zaragoza in the second round. A stunning right hook to the chin had Zaragoza pitching forward and down. He made it to the vertical but then Davis again landed a right to the head before delivering the coup de grace in the shape of a rib bending left hook to the body that had Zaragoza writhing in agony on the canvas. Davis, 22, an Olympic silver medal winner in Tokyo looks a sure bet to be a champion in the future., Zaragoza never in with a chance of going the distance
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Light Heavy: Dmitry Bivol (19-0) W PTS 12 Umar Salamov (26-2). Super Feather: Ruslan Kamilov (12-0-1) W KO 6 Dimitrii Khasiev (12-3-2). Super Feather: Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov (16-0-1) W TKO 2 Sardor Muzaffarov (4-5).
Bivol vs. Salamov
Both boxers used the opening round just to study what the other one brought to the table. The obvious difference was in Salamov having almost 4” in height over Bivol and a longer reach but Bivol was much quicker and more mobile and did what little scoring there was.
Score: 10-9 Bivol
Bivol was using his superior hand speed and quicker reflexes to stand in front of Salamov beating him to the punch and firing accurate lefts and rights. Salamov’s jab is not much of a weapon. Instead of snapping it out from bent to straight he was fully extending it and then pushing forward with his whole body making it slower and less powerful than Bivol’s.
Score: 10-9 Bivol Bivol 20-18
Salamov tried to put Bivol under pressure but it was not working. Bivol was easily avoiding Salamov’s ponderous rights and finding gaps for jabs and rights of his own and putting together some smart combinations.
Score: 10-9 Bivol Bivol 30-27
Bivol was in charge now. He was busier than Salamov probing for openings then slotting home jabs and quick rights. He was throwing so many jabs that Salamov was being forced to back up to try to get some space so he could counter. He looked dangerous with an occasional right but Bivol was aware of Salamov’s power and evaded those shots.
Score: 10-9 Bivol Bivol 40-36
Another round for Bivol. He just kept popping Salamov with jabs. He was changing angles and picking the time and place for adding some rights behind his jabs. Salamov has very little footwork . He was padding forward with his left fully extended trying to set Bivol up for a right cross but Bivol was too smart to get caught that way.
Score: 10-9 Bivol Bivol 50-45
Bivol was really warming to his task. In this round on three occasions he blasted Salamov with six or seven punch combinations. Each time Salamov dropped his hands and taunted Bivol but you don’t win points for that. Salamov did land a couple of rights but Bivol just shrugged them off.
Score: 10-9 Bivol Bivol 60-54
Bivol boxed on the back foot at the start of the round walking the advancing Salamov on to jab after jab. Over the last minute Bivol stepped up the pace driving into Salamov and showering him with lefts and rights to head and body.
Score: 10-9 Bivol Bivol 70-63
Salamov had some small success early in this round. Bivol was not throwing so many jabs and Salamov managed to land a couple of rights. Over the last minute once again Bivol was raking Salamov with straight shots, hooks and uppercuts although the punches were just bouncing off the big challenger.
Score: 10-9 Bivol Bivol 80-72
A similar pattern to the last round saw Salamov coming forward pushing out his left and connecting with a couple of rights. Bivol was content to just box on the retreat and slip home some jabs. Over the last minute Bivol again exploded with effective eye-catching bursts of punches.
Score: 10-9 Bivol Bivol 90-81
Finally a round for Salamov. Bivol hardly used his jab and that allowed Salamov to march forward throwing clubbing rights a few of those did land and with no late flourish from Bivol it was Salamov’s round.
Score: 10-9 Salamov Bivol 99-91
Bivol brought his jabs into play again. He was circling Salamov snapping out his jab with Salamov resorting to slow swings with his right which Bivol easily avoided. Bivol also picked up the pace again late drilling Salamov with lefts and rights.
Score: 10-9 Bivol Bivol 109-100
Salamov clipped Bivol with a right to the head early in the round and Bivol decided there was no point taking risks in a fight he knew he had won. He then really just stayed out of trouble and although Salamov connected with a couple of swings Bivol was never in any danger.
Score: 10-9 Salamov Bivol 118-110
Official Scores: Judge Andri Baliasov 118-110 Bivol, Judge Joerg Milke 118-110 Bivol, Judge Giuseppe Quartarone 119-109 Bivol
Bivol was making the third defence of the WBA title. He really needs a unification fight to raise his profile further and with their contrasting styles a fight with Artur Beterbiev would be a great attraction. Salamov had won his last nine fights.
Kamilov vs. Khasiev
Kamilov retains the WBO Inter-Continental title with sixth round victory over Khasiev. Kamilov floored Khasiev in the first but Khasiev was not finished and fought hard to make the fight close after five rounds. Kamilov, the WBO No 8, ended it with a body punch in the sixth in the third defence of his WBO belt. Khasiev had scoured inside the distance victories in his last four fights,
Rakhimov vs. Muzaffarov
Tajik-born southpaw Rakhimov crushes substitute Muzaffarov in two rounds. Rakhimov had drawn with Joseph Diaz in a challenge for the IBF super featherweight title in February when Diaz lost the title on the scales. Rakhimov was installed as the mandatory challenger and he was paired with Kenichi Ogawa for the vacant title but uncertainty over recovery time from an injury saw him step aside and be replaced by Azinga Fuzile. Ogawa beat Fuzile and must now fight Rakhimov. Uzbek Muzaffarov had lost his last three fights on majority decisions
Dubai, UAE: Fly: Sunny Edwards (17-0) W PTS 12 Jayson Mama (16-0). Super Fly: Donnie Nietes (43-1-6) DREW 10 Norberto Jimenez (30-9-6). Light: Jono Carroll (21-2-1) W KO 2 Aelio Mesquita (20-5-1). Heavy: Bakhodir Jalolov (9-0) W KO 1 Julio Calimeno (4-2).
Edwards vs. Mama
Edwards cruises to victory over a limited Mama.
Fast jabs and nifty footwork from Edwards. He was flitting around Mama stabbing him with jabs then darting in to land a right. He was switching guards and was just too quick for Maya.
Score 10-9 Edwards
Edwards was again switching guards and doing the scoring with his jab, He was also moving in quickly to score with overhand rights with Mama too slow to counter, Mama was warned twice for punches to the back of the head and then landed another blatant one which the referee ignored. Edwards was holding inside to smother Mama’s attacks and was cut high on his forehead from a clash of heads.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 20-18
Mama was given another warning about punches to the back of the head. The Filipino did a bit better connecting with some punches early but Edwards finished the round strongly scoring with bursts of punches. The fight was messy with too many clinches and there was blood running down Edwards face from the cut.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 30-27
A better round for Mama. He was closing the distance quicker and connecting with straight rights. He pressed hard and Edwards was moving more and punching less and Mama refused to be drawn inside where Edwards had been holding to prevent him working.
Score: 10-9 Mama Edwards 39-37
A close round. Mama again had some success but Edwards was moving and jabbing and then picking his moment to burst forward with a little group of punches and his greater accuracy just gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 49-46
Edwards was just too speedy for Mama. He was changing guard, changing direction and catching Mama with jabs and using quick foot work to be out of range when Mama tried to counter. Mama kept lunging forward but Edwards was too elusive for Mama to land.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 59-55
A frustrating round for Mama. He was stuck on the end of the jabs from Edwards. Mama seemed to have decided he would do better counter punching but he was not fast enough for that and his counters just swished air as Edwards piled up the points with his jab.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 69-64
Mama had a bit more success in this one. He was tracking the fleet-footed Edwards and managing to land some useful body shots. Edwards was doing more moving than punching early in the round and that outweighed an increase use of his jab by Edwards at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Mama Edwards 78-74
It was jab and move again, and then again from Edwards in this one. He would stop then jump in quickly with a punch then set off around the perimeter of the ring. Mama just could not move quickly enough to pose a threat but it was making for a far from entertaining g fight.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 88-83
Edwards scored a knock down in this round. He stepped past Mama and then landed a right which knocked Mama off balance. He was not hurt and bounced up indicating the punch had landed well behind his ear so he had a case. There was very little action in the round with a right from Edwards the only other punch of note.
Score: 10-8 Edwards Edwards 98-91
Repetition is the order of the day. Edwards just kept flitting around the ring occasionally stabbing out a jab-right or left- and then throwing an occasional power punch. He did stand and fire punches for a few brief seconds
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 108 100
Edwards wrapped up the victory with a fairly active last round as he found the target a few times with jabs and following rights and a dispirited Mama was well beaten at the end.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 118-109
Official Scores: Judge Vincent Dupas 117-110 Edwards, Judge Francis Jackson 118-109 Edwards, Judge Matteo Montella 118-109 Edwards.
A comfortable title defence for Edwards as he showcased his skills against a challenger who was flattered by his No 3(2) rating by the IBF. He never at any time posed a threat to Edwards and his lack of speed allowed Edwards to pick his moment to fight or flee. With so many clinches it was not be any means an entertaining fight and the flyweight division whilst having some good title holders is not strong. Richie Sandoval is the mandatory challenger for Edwards and that will be different fight altogether. Mama was one-paced and that pace was too slow for him to be able to cut off the ring and force Edwards to fight the fight Mama wanted.
Nietes vs. Jimenez
Nietes and Jimenez fight to a draw in a bout marred by confusion at the end. Nietes won the early rounds as he outboxed Jimenez who was sluggish from the start. At times it looked as though Nietes might be on his way to a stoppage win but Jimenez was too resilient for that. Jimenez finally started to roll from the sixth and was eating into the Filipino’s lead. It looked close going into the tenth but Jimenez spent the tenth just avoiding contact and handing the round to Nietes. There was confusion as Jimenez’s team had believed it was a ten round fight but were now told it was for twelve rounds. It was agreed just to go with ten rounds and the scores were 96-94 Nietes, 96-94 Jimenez and 95-95 so giving away that last round away cost Jimenez a possible win. Nietes, 39, has a remarkable record with his only loss being a highly questionable one back in 2004 so he is now unbeaten in 36 fights over a 17-year spread and is a four-division champion. Jimenez is also in good form having lost only one of his last 32 fights and that loss was against Khalid Yafai for the WBA title.
Carroll vs. Mesquita
Easy night for Carroll against a pitiful Mesquita. Carroll put Mesquita down early in the first round but the referee ruled it a push. At the end of the round the referee reviewed his call and it was accepted as a genuine knockdown. Carroll scored two more knockdowns in the second and when he dropped Mesquita in the third the fight was stopped. Carroll lost a wide unanimous decision to Tevin Farmer for the IBF super feather title in March 2019 and lost a close verdict against Maxi Hughes in August last year. He has rebuilt with three wins including a majority decision over Andy Vences. Mesquita’s record looks decent but he is now 0-6-1 in fights outside of Brazil with five of those losses by KO/TKO.
Jalolov vs. Calimeno
After some preliminary sparring Jalolov connected with a straight left the floored Calimeno who showed no inclination to get up and was counted out. The 27-year-old 6’7” Uzbek southpaw won gold at the 2019 World Championships and at the Tokyo Olympics. His nine win have taken him less than sixteen rounds but against some very dire opponents. Colombian Calimeno could not wait to lie down and get out of there.
Liverpool, England: Light: Katie Taylor (20-0) W PTS 10 Firuza Sharipova (14-2). Welter: Connor Benn (20-0) W KO 4 Chris Algieri (25-4). Super Light: Robbie Davies (22-3) W KO 2 Henry Lundy (31-10-1). Super Feather: Joe Cordina (14-0) W PTS 10 Miko Khatchatryan (13-1). Middle: Caolmhin Agyarko (10-0) W TKO 9 Noe Larios (14-1). Feather: Peter McGrail (2-0) W TKO 2 Engel Gomez (8-4-1).
Taylor vs. Sharipova
Taylor retains her four belts as she wins unanimous decision over tough challenger Sharipova. A close opening round saw both fighters scoring well. Taylor had the best of the exchanges in the second. Her speed and accuracy and powerful body punching gave her a big edge. The strong Sharipova was taking the fight to Taylor in a competitive third but Taylor outworked Sharipova in the fourth. Sharipova had her best round so far in the fifth again showing her strength by outpunching Taylor inside. Her good work was wasted when she lost a point in the sixth for hitting on the break. Sharipova tried to force her way inside over the seventh and eighth and although she had some success was made to pay by some sharp counters from Taylor as she came forward. Taylor boxed her way through the ninth and tenth with Sharipova putting on plenty of pressure but Taylor was a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-92 and 96-93 for Taylor . The Irish star holds the IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO belts and the plan now is for a huge fight against Puerto Rican Amanda Serrano who has a 41-1-1 record and holds the WC, WBO and IBO titles at lightweight and has not lost a fight since 2012. Kazak Sharipova was in good form having won her last 14 fights
Benn vs. Algieri
Benn destroys Algieri with a brutal kayo. Benn was firing shots to the body from the start with Algieri jabbing to try to keep Benn out but Benn was able to reach Algieri with jabs. In the second Algieri was not showing much except a weak jab and a right to the side of the head sent him lurching across the ring and somehow ending almost hanging upside down over the bottom rope. He righted himself and got up as the referee counted with Algieri protesting he had tripped. Benn connected with some strong combinations in the third and was cleverly bobbing and weaving around and under Algieri’s jabs. Algieri was showing more life in the fourth coming forward and throwing more punches. With just seconds remaining in the round Benn landed a left and followed that with a thunderbolt-like straight right to the head that had Algieri pitching forward to the canvas and he was counted out. Benn again showed the power that has brought him thirteen inside the distance wins but also some improved defensive work. Former WBO super welterweight title holder Algieri, 37, was coming off a win in August over 22-2-1 Mikkel LesPierre so was in decent form and Errol Spence had previously been the only one to beat him inside the distance but he looked fragile whenever Benn connected.
Davies vs. Lundy
Davies blasts out a jaded-looking Lundy in two rounds. The fight was a bit untidy at the start with the referee warning both fighters for holding. Just seconds before the bell to end the first round Davies clipped Lundy with a right to the temple that unhinged Lundy’s legs but Davies was too wild with his punches to take full advantage of that. In the second Davies shook Lundy with a left to the head and later with a right and Lundy did not look at all steady on his legs. A right to the head sent Lundy tumbling into the ropes and half way through onto the ring apron. He struggled to untangle himself and get back up but was counted just as he made it to his feet. A loss to unheralded Gabriel Valenzuela in February had put questions over Davies’ future but this win will have boosted his confidence. He wins the vacant WBA Continental title. Lundy has been a great warrior but he failed to make the weight and looked a shot fighter in the second round and announced his retirement.
Cordina vs. Khatchatryan
Cordina takes unanimous decision over Khatchatryan. Both fighters had good skills with Cordina the harder puncher already putting together some crisp combinations in the first. Khatchatryan showed a nice jab but was light on power. Cordina upped his pace from the second. He was scoring with some hurtful body shots in the third but Khatchatryan fired back forcing Cordina to regroup. They both did some clowning in the fourth but on the serious side Cordina was hammering at Khatchatryan’s body with hooks with Khatchatryan firing back but not having the punch to dissuade Cordina. Cordina continued to advance behind a high guard aware that Khatchatryan could not hurt him and was then landing powerful hooks when he pinned Khatchatryan to the ropes. Cordina scored heavily in the ninth. He was winning the rounds but could neither hurt nor subdued Khatchatryan and despite plenty of punishment in the last Khatchatryan fought back hard to the bell. Scores 98-92 twice and 100-90 for Cordina. A former British and Commonwealth champion Cordina retains the WBC Continental title. Khatchatryan showed good skills and plenty of speed and only his lack of power let him down. Cordina’s only fight in the last nine months lasted just 53 seconds so Khatchatryan gave him some priceless ring time.
Agyarko vs. Larios
The 6’0” tall Larios had lots of high and reach over Agyarko but lacked any significant power. Agyarko was able to get past the jab of Larios and was looking to attack the body. Agyarko scored with a good left hook in the third which stung Larios into action and he connected with a strong left hook of his own. Larios went onto the front foot in the fourth and there were some fierce exchanges. Agyarko worked Larios over in a corner in the fifth and his harder punching was allowing him to dictate the fight and he was out jabbing the taller man. Agyarko continued to press and by the ninth Larios was being rocked time-and –again by right jabs. When he tried to stand and trade punches a left hook sent him staggering back across the ring to the ropes and as Agyarko followed up landing more punches the referee stepped in to stop the fight. Agyarko gets his seventh inside the distance and wins the vacant WBA International belt-his first pro title. Larios just could not compete with the power of Agyarko.
McGrail vs. Gomez
McGrail gets his first inside the distance win as he halts Gomez in the second. McGrail was busy in the first with plenty of southpaw jabs and straight lefts with Gomez too slow to cover or counter. McGrail was really putting his punches together in the second. Heads collided and McGrail was cut over his left eye but seconds later a driven straight left dropped Gomez on his back and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Good showing from the talented former European Championships and Commonwealth Games gold medal winner. Nicaraguan Gomez is 0-2 in fights in England.
London, England: Cruiser: Isaac Chamberlain (13-1) W KO 1 Dilan Prasovic (15-2). Welter: Stephen McKenna (11-0) W Jack Ewbank W TKO 1(4-5). Super Light: Kaisee Benjamin (15-1-1) W KO 2 Wiston Campos (33-9-6).
Chamberlain vs. Prasovic
Chamberlain demolishes Prasovic inside a round. Prasovic looked useful as he connected with a sharp left hook and a right to the body. That was about it for him. Chamberlain landed a series of body punches that had Prasovic retreating and then scored with a left to the head and a left hook to the body and Prasovic went down. He managed to get up but too late and was counted out. Chamberlain’s only loss was on points over ten rounds against the current WBO champion Lawrence Okolie and COVID-19 and an injury have restricted him to five fights in the past three years. He wins the vacant IBF International belt. Prasovic was knocked out in three rounds by Okolie for the WBO title in September. He had been elevated to No 1 without a single win over a quality opponent and he was exposed again here.
McKenna vs. Ewbank
“The Hitman” continues to blow the opposition out of the water. He dropped substitute Ewbank twice and then trapped him on the ropes and unloaded with a fusillade of punches until the referee jumped in and halted the fight . The 24-year-old from Ireland makes it ten quick wins. Fifth loss on the trot for Ewbank.
Benjamin vs. Campos
Early night for Benjamin as he floors Campos in the first then puts him down and out in the second to get his eighth consecutive victory. Nicaraguan Campos had taken Josh Kelly the full ten rounds in losing to Kelly in December 2019.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Super Middle: Abraham Buonarrigo (10-2) W KO 4 Ezequiel Maderna (27-6). Super Middle: Victor Exner (7-8-1) W PTS 10 Ramon Lovera (15-2-1).
Buonarrigo vs. Maderna
Buonarrigo stops Maderna in four rounds. Maderna was a firm favourite in this fight but Buonarrigo dominated the action from the outset. He was able to get past the longer reach of the 6’2” Maderna to score to head and body inside. A combination to the head in the second had Madera unsteady and he was given a standing count. In the fourth two slashing uppercuts from Buonarrigo put Maderna down and he was counted out. Buonarrigo, the Argentinian No 4, had lost two of his last three bouts but he collected the vacant South American title with this victory. Maderna, a 2008 Olympian, had competed at a much higher level but is on the slope-downwards.
Exner vs. Lovera
Exner gets off the canvas to floor and then outpoint Lovera. This was intended to be a defence of the Argentinian title by Lovera against unrated Exner however on the day of the fight the Argentinian Boxing Federation withdrew recognition of it as a title fight. It looked to be going with the in-form Lovera when he put Exner on the floor in the first round. Exner recovered and dropped Lovera in the fifth. From there Exner took control and Lovera tired badly over the closing rounds. Scores 98-91, 97 ½ -91 and 96-92. Exner gets revenge for a three round loss to Lovera in 2018.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Super Welter: Alejandro Silva (18-0-1) W RTD 3 Yeison Gonzalez (15-6).
Argentinian champion Silva makes it 16 wins in a row as he beats Venezuelan Gonzalez. Silva handed out severe punishment to Gonzalez over the first three rounds and Gonzalez did not come out for the fourth giving Silva his twelfth inside the distance finish. He also collects the vacant WBC Latino title. First fight for Gonzalez for 21 months.
Dauis, Philippines: Light Fly: Mark Vicelles (15-0-1) W PTS 10 Toto Landero (11-7-2).
Vicelles wins a tight unanimous decision over Landero. It was Landero who made the better start attacking hard in the first round. Southpaw Vicelles got into his stride with some accurate counters over the second and third but Landero’s higher work rate then saw him move into the lead by winning the fourth and fifth. Vicelles was finding gaps in the oncoming Landero’s guard and made it even by outscoring Landero in the sixth. The fight continued to swing from one to the other with the every rounds close. It was difficult to separate them at the end. Vicelles got the decision but it could have gone to either fighter. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 for Vicelles who makes it twelve successive wins. Landero is 1-6 in his most recent fights.
Montebello, CA, USA: Super Middle: Ali Akhmedov (18-1) W TKO 1 Paul Valenzuela (26-11,1ND).
Kazak Akhmedov continues his rebuilding programme as he demolishes Valenzuela in the first round. One left hook to the chin was all it took and the referee waived the fight off with no need for a count. When Akhmedov fought Carlos Gongora for the IBO title in December last year he was so far in front after eleven rounds that Gongora’s only chance was to score a knockout- which Gongora did with just a minute left in the fight. Valenzuela had gone the full tenth rounds in losing to unbeaten D’Mitrius Ballard four weeks ago.
Nagoya, Japan: Bantam: Kosei Tanaka (16-1-0) W PTS 10 Sho Ishida (29-3).
Tanaka takes a split decision in this clash of world rated fighters. Ishida clearly took the first round as Tanaka tried to box and Ishida used his substantial advantages in height and reach to score. Tanaka realised his mistake and from there stormed forward to work inside. Initially he was caught by some savage uppercuts as he came forward but began to land hurtful body shots and a left had Ishida bleeding from the nose in the fourth. Seeing his lead being eroded Ishida upped his pace over the second half of the fight scoring strongly with counters in the eighth but Tanaka was on top and finished strongly to emerge a good winner. Scores 96-94 and 96-95 for Tanaka and 96-95 for Ishida. Former WBO flyweight title holder Tanaka was having his first fight since losing to Kazuto Ioka in a challenge for the WBO super flyweight belt in December last year. Ishida was 24-0 before losing to Khalid Yafai for the WBA super fly title in 2017 and had won six of his seven fights since then.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Super Bantam: Tomoki Kameda (38-3) W PTS 12 Yonfrez Parejo (24-5-1).
Kameda wins WBA eliminator with unanimous verdict against Parejo. In a slow opening to the bout Kameda went out in front. He established his jab with some good work in the first and found the target with rights in the second switching his attack to the body in the third. Parejo just found Kameda too quick and strong. After a good fourth Kameda seemed to lose his way but he was back in the groove connecting with straight rights in the seventh. Parejo finally came in to the fight in the eighth and landed some useful body punches of his own in the ninth. The tenth and eleventh were close and Kameda took no risks in the last. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116-114 all for Kameda. Murodjon Akhmadaliev holds the IBF and WBA titles. Former WBO bantamweight champion Kameda is now the mandatory challenger for the WBA version of the title-with Marlon Tapales winning an IBF eliminator on the same night! Venezuelan Parejo past his best.
Harrisburg, PA, USA: Super Middle: Christian Mbilli (20-0) W PTS 10 Ronald Ellis (18-3-2,1ND).
Mbilli outworks Ellis and hardly lets him get even a toehold in the fight as he takes the decision. Pressure and work rate won this one for the French prospect. He attacked hard from the start constantly forcing Ellis to the ropes and bombarding him with punches. Ellis tried to fight fire with fire but quickly found that was the wrong tactic. He needed to create some space to box and counter Mbilli. Ellis had some success in the third and the sixth but after that the sheer pressure from Mbilli saw him capture the closing rounds. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Cameroun-born Mbilli. Ellis heading in the other direction as after being 16-0-2 he now has three defeats in his last five fights.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Middle: Jesse Hart (27-3) David Murray (10-2-1).
Jesse Hart continues campaign for a third title shot as he stops Murray in three rounds. Hart put Murray down in the first and again in the third. Murray made it to his feet in the third but was taking punishment and the fight was halted. In his title challenges Hart has lost a close decision to Gilberto Ramirez and a split decision against Joe Smith Jr. Murray was 9-1-1 going into this one but against a very different level of opponent to Hart.
Cordoba, Argentina: Light: Matias Rueda (36-1) W Miguel Acosta (13-8-2).
Rueda gets his eleventh successive victory but what should have been a routine win turned into a struggle. The show was title “The Rueda Knockout” but southpaw Acosta did not read the script and Rueda had to settle for a split decision on scores of 97-95 ½ and 95 ½-95 with the third judge having Acosta the winner by 96 ½ -96.
Liege, Belgium: Super Feather: Faroukh Kourbanov (19-3) W PTS 12 Nicola Henchiri (10-6-2).
Kourbanov wins the vacant European title with majority decision over Italian Henchiri. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 for Kourbanov and 114-114. This one was close but Henchiri’s team felt they had been robbed and complained that all three judges were French speaking. One judge was a Moroccan-born Dutchman another was Spanish and the third was French but since Kourbanov is a Kyrgyzstan-born Belgium it all gets a bit confusing. Kourbanov had been 3-3 going in with points losses to Devis Boschiero, Samir Ziani for this same title and unbeaten Joe Cordina in those six fights. Henchiri is a former European Union champion.
Tours, France: Middle: Moughit El Moutaouakil (15-2-1) W Idaas Redjdal (10-2-2,1ND).
El Moutaouakil wins the vacant French title in a split decision. They don’t come much closer than this as El Moutaouakil won on scores of 95-94 twice and 95-94 for Redjdal. El Moutaouakil lost in shot for this title in October. Redjdal falls to 2-2-2 in his last six contests.
Windhoek, Namibia: Middle: Nkululeko Mhlongo (23-9-1) Lukas Ndafoluma (20-4,1ND) W. Fly: Immanuel Josef (12-4-1) W Muhsin Kizota (12-3). Super Light: Felesianu Albino (20-2-1) W TKO 4 Yohani Banda (8-7).
Ndafoluma vs. Mhlongo
Mhlongo gets off the floor to drop and stop home town fighter Ndafoluma. The fight started well for Ndafoluma as he put Mhlongo on the floor in the first but Mhlongo got up and survived to the bell. From there Mhlongo gradually took control of the fight and floored Ndafoluma in the sixth. Ndafoluma got through that crisis but Mhlongo continued to score heavily in the seventh and the referee stopped the fight in the eighth. Mhlongo “The South African Bulldog” wins the WBO African title. Defending champion Ndafoluma had won his last four outings.
Josef vs. Kizota
Namibian Josef takes comfort decision over Kizota. Although buzzed twice in head clashes Josef had no trouble handling the keen but limited Kizota. He had Kizota badly rocked in the seventh but failed to finish the job and had to settle for a points win. Scores 98-91 twice and 97-92 as Josef retains the WBO African belt. Tanzanian Kizota is 2-5 in his last seven fights.
Albino vs. Banda
Albino extends his unbeaten streak to 18 with stoppage of overmatched Banda. Albino weakened Banda with body punches and floored him in the third and again in the fourth with the fight being stopped. Albino gets his seventh inside the distance finish and Banda his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Szeligi, Poland: Super Feather: Radomir Obrusniak (5-0) W TKO 4 Caril Herrera (41-6,1ND).Light Heavy: Osleys Iglesias (4-0) W TKO 1 Rafael Sosa (61-17). Heavy: Marcin Siwa (24-0) W TKO 1 Adanna Deronja (7-3).
Obrusniak vs. Herrera
Obrusniak stops veteran Herrera in four. Obrusniak had a 6’” height advantage and a much longer reach and outscored Herrera with ease in the first. In the second a left from Obrusniak knocked Herrera off balance and he put his glove on the canvas to avoid going down but the referee missed that so no count. Obrusniak stepped up his attacks in the third and with Herrera soaking up too much punishment the fight was halted in the fourth. The 27-year-old southpaw was twice Polish Under-23 champion and won a bronze medal at the European Union Championships. He is Polish champion and wins then Polish International title. Uruguayan Herrera, 41, suffers only his fifth inside the distance defeat in his long career.
Iglesias vs. Sosa
Cuban southpaw Iglesias gets another quick win as he blasts out Sosa, another 41-year-old Uruguayan. Iglesias ended it in just 72 seconds meaning his four wins have taken him less than six rounds to accomplish. Iglesias was a top level amateur and could be a serious threat in this division. Eighth inside the distance defeat for Sosa.
Siwa vs. Deronja
Siwa destroys Deronja with a fierce attack. In the first thirty seconds of the fight Siwa landed a series of punches that put Deronja on the floor. He got up but was wobbling about and in no condition to continue. Twelfth quick win for Siwa but his victims have all been carefully selected and Bosnian Deronja falls into that category.
Baden, Switzerland: Welter: Andranik Hakobyan (16-1-2) W PTS 10 Alessandro Fersula (6-1).
Armenian-born Swiss Hakobyan wins the vacant WBFederation Inter-Continental title as he outpoints Italian Fersula. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. Hakobyan, 32, is 6-0-1 in his last seven bouts. Fersula really just a prelim fighter with his six victories scored over fighters with five wins between them so he did well to go ten rounds.
Tashkent, Uzbekistan: Super Light: Shohjahon Ergashev (21-0 W KO 1 Aekkawee Kaewmanee (23-14).
A ridiculous mismatch sees Ergashev destroy Kaewmanee in one round. The 40-year-old Thai was 5” smaller than Ergashev and much slower. Ergashev drove Kaewmanee to his knees under a pile of punches. Kaewmanee got up and tried to put some pressure on Ergashev but was flattened by a devastating right uppercut and needed medical attention before recovering. The Uzbek southpaw is based in Detroit. He has won 19 of his fights by KO/TKO and has victories over reasonable level opposition in Mykal Fox, Abdiel Ramirez and Adrian Estrella but needs to move to some real tests if he is to justify his No 4 rating with the IBF. Eighth inside the distant loss for poor Kaewmanee
Fight of the week (Significance): Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Richard Commey putting Lomachenko in the frame for any one of the exciting fights in the lightweight division
Fight of the week (Entertainment)Some goodies but none that really stirred me
Fighter of the week: Nonito Donaire who just goes on and on with honourable mention to Lomachenko
Punch of the week: There were so many. Keyshawn Davis produced two a left hook and a ,left uppercut which destroyed Jose Zaragoza and the body punch from Donaire that finished Reymart Gaballo but I go for the straight right from Conor Benn that had Chris Algieri out on his feet.
Upset of the week: Things mainly went the way of the favourite but Canadian Cody Crowley’s win over unbeaten IBF No 1Kudratillo Abdukakhorov was a shock-to the IBF!
Prospect watch: Some coming up but need more time to be assessed
Rosette: To those putting on the huge shows in Dubai, Liverpool, Carson and New York making it a great boxing weekend
Red Card; For whoever thought it would be good for boxing to match 5’10 ½” 19-0 17 KO TKO wins Shohjahon Ergashev against 40-year-old 5’5 ½” Thai Aekkawee Kaewmanee
A strange weekend with title fights between Arsen Goulamirian vs. Aleksi Egorov, John Riel Casimero vs. Paul Butler and then Butler vs. Joseph Agbeko all called off for differing reasons.
There are a number of former members of the Cuban elite boxing team now fighting pro. The one I would love to see doing so is Andy Cruz-why? Well Keyshawn Davis looks a great talent sure to follow in the footsteps of Shakur Stevenson etc. S why Cruz
2019 World Championships Davis won a silver medal beaten in the final 5-0 by Andy Cruz
2019 PanAmerican Games Davis won a silver medal beaten in the final by Andy Cruz 4-1
2020 Olympic Games Davis won a silver medal beaten in the final 4-1 by Andy Cruz
Better hope he stays amateur Keyshawn”
Sanctioning body madness. I hope Murodjon Akhmadaliev has a split personality because at the week end Tomoki Kameda won a final eliminator to fight for Akhmadaliev’ s IBF title and Marlon Tapales won a final eliminators for Akhmadaliev’s WBA title!!
Some bouts are legendary on the back of their intense action, drama and excitement. They are so exciting they become instant classics and need to be watched by every self respecting boxing fan. Bouts like Hagler Vs Hearns, Mancini Vs Frias, Gatti Vs Ward, Castillo Vs Corrales and Meza Vs Garza.
Today we bring you one such bout, this time from Korea from back in 1990.
This is something of a special bout, with knockdowns galore, incredible drama one of the greatest single rounds in boxing history.
Sung Kil Moon (10-1, 9) Vs Nana Yaw Konadu (18-0-1, 14) I
Before we talk about the action we're going to see we need to quickly go over a few things.
Firstly lets briefly talk about Sung Kil Moon. The Korean had turned professional in 1987, following a solid amateur career, and was a world champion just over 17 months later. He had announced himself on the world stage by taking a technical decision over Khaokor Galaxy to claim the WBA Bantamweight title, in what was just his 7th professional bout. His reign was a short one, losing the belt back to Galaxy just 11 months later. Following that loss he dropped down in weight and just 6 months later challenged WBC Super Flyweight champion Nana Yaw Konadu.
Whilst we often see fighters moving up, as their bodies fill out, we rarely see fighters moving down in weight. That's exactly what Moon was doing at the age of 26, with the thought process likely being that he was going to be super strong down at 115lbs. Given his aggressive, pressure style the move seemed to be a smart one, if he could made the weight comfortably.
Nana Yaw Konadu, from Ghana, is one of the many African legends of the sport who sadly don't get the recognition they deserve. He had made his debut in 1985, scoring a decision win, and had then suffered a draw, in his second bout. After that he had reeled of 17 straight wins, 14 by T/KO, including a decision over former world champion Cesar Polanco and a huge upset win over the legendary Gilberto Roman in Mexico. The win over Roman had netted Konadu the WBC Super Flyweight title, but it was the manner of the win that netted him the acclaim, dropping the brilliant Mexican 5 times en route to a dominant win.
Standing at 5'7" and using a style that was very much one that saw him setting boxing behind a long, hard, rangy jab, and having real sting in his shots. He seemed to have the tools to be a real long term force in the division and prove the win over Roman wasn't just a case of "right place, right time". In his first defense he travelled to Korea for the bout with Moon.
On paper this was a world class swarmer against world class boxer-puncher. Styles that tend to make for great fights anyway, as long as the men are well matched. What we ended up with was better than just great. It was sensational.
From the opening moments it was clear weren't going to get a normal fight. Both men were throwing hooks almost from the off. Konadu managed to get his jab working quickly but was dropped by a left hook after less than 2 minutes, in the first knockdown of the fight. It was a flash knockdown, but only moments later Moon would score another, this one a more series one. Konadu got back to his feet and dropped Moon, who was getting wild in an attempt to finish off his man. Konadu's knockdown helped him get some respect from the challenger, and he began to fight behind his jab again.
It was a round that exceeded all expectations, with 3 knockdowns, and it was only the beginning.
In round two we saw less drama, but the action was intense, with Moon pressing forward for much of the round, trying to get around the jab of Konadu. At the same time the champion kept landing clean head shots, catching the Korean coming in. This made for a brilliant dynamic, even if the two men weren't going down like they had in the first round.
For those who like knockdowns they didn't need to wait long for the bout's fourth one with Konadu being dropped for the third time in round 3. This was a much more frantic round than the second, with Konadu being sent on to his backside when he was caught whilst backing up, partly off balance. Konadu got back to his fight and Moon seemed to think he had his man hurt, as he again chased him around the ring, as he had in the first round. Despite scoring the knockdown, and leaving Konadu with some serious swelling around his eyes, Moon was himself cut up over the left eye from a clash of heads.
Round 4 began brilliantly for Konadu, who looked to have recovered from the punishment in the previous round and he dropped Moon, who was down for the second time in the fight, from a series of jabs. He wasn't hurt, but the cut was a mess. When he got up from the knockdown he began to press Konadu, and certainly had a very strong round outside of the knockdown.
The bout continued to be a war. Round after round we had technical out boxing, aggressive infighting, a brilliant boxer trying to establish distance, and an equally good fighter trying to cut the ring off. They both knew they could hurt the other man and be hurt themselves. We'll leave the bout for you to enjoy, and we really hope you check this sensational bout out. It really is a must watch for all fight fans!
If you like a war, with blood, drama, hugely damaging exchanges, intense action and regular shifts in momentum this is the bout for you. It had everything a fight fan could ever want to see in a bout.
Lomachenko vs Commey
Written by Brendan Allen.
Vasily Lomachenko demonstrated he still has a command over the ring with a dominating 12 round victory over Richard Commey. Pre fight, Twitter was rife with suggestion that Loma was not the man he was and that Commey was the fighter to stop him post Lopez but what we saw in the early hours of Saturday night was anything but.
From the opening round the footwork of Lomachenko forced Commey into positions he wished not to be and Loma started to land his jab at will. Commey was always game and threw back with interest but Loma was either countering the shot or simply not there. He was Masterful.
The victory over Lomachenko by Teafimo Lopez forced many to question Lomas ability in the ring but seeing Lopez suffer defeat at the hands of George Kambosos has made some realise that the championship rounds mean more to a fighter together than the sum of all parts. Loma tonight showed he has the start, middle and finale as he took Commey apart.
Loma dropped Commey in round seven with a left hook that Commey is still looking for and bizarrely called upon the opposition corner to stop the fight, as dazed as Commey looked, he wasn’t finished and Loma perhaps would look a little silly as he was drawn to the full 12. Loma would say he saw “the situation” that his opponent was in but ultimately, that situation wasn’t enough to end the fight.
What did shine through was the ring craft of Lomachenko. He never looked in danger, landing and moving and making Commey look out of sorts for the Majority of the rounds and honestly, not in the league of the four horseman currently ruling the division.
Lomachenko would say he is ready to travel far and wide in the division to re-establish his name, aiming for new title holder Kambosos but with a queue forming he may need to take on the lesser to earn the better.
Either way, Loma has shown his defeat has only spurred him on and a potential fight down under with Kombosas could be on the cards in the future.
Whilst a lot of Closet Classics are from a by gone era, and none of the fighters involved in them are still active, today's bout is one where both men are still in the sport, and one where they both came out looking like they were going to make an impact on the sport. The bout was one of the very best WBC Youth title bouts and is one that now, more than 6 years later, still stands the test of time as a truly sensational war. This is, for some, a bout that put the winner on the map, but in reality proved both men had guts, toughness and determination. It is a truly fantastic bout, and one that every fan owes themselves 20 minutes to sit down and enjoy all it's beautifully brutal action.
Daigo Higa (6-0, 6) vs Kongfah CP Freshmart (14-0, 10)
For the bout we travel back to the summer of 2015 and head over to Bangkok for a WBC Flyweight title bout between two unbeaten youngsters.
In one corner was 20 year old Thai local Kongfah CP Freshmart, also known as Jakkrawut Majoogoen. He had claimed the WBC Youth Light Flyweight title in just his second professional bout and defended it twice before moving up in weight, heading to Flyweight. Up to this point his competition had been lacking, though he had earned a good win over Filipino fighter Cris Alfante, the most notable name on his record by far.
Although he's not that well known now Kongfah was seen as one of the big hopes in Thai boxing at the time and seemed to be following the tried and tested route to the top in the country. Fight a lot at a young age, build up ring experience, build a close affiliation with a world title body and ride that through his career, eventually getting a world title fight. At this point he was looking talented, and was developing fight by fight into a decent prospect, but was still a long, long way from a world title fight.
In the other corner was 19 year old Daigo Higa, a rising Japanese youngster who was being groomed for success by former Light Flyweight world champion Yoko Gushiken. He had been a decent amateur at local level, but lacked top level domestic success when he turned professional in 2014. Despite not having much buzz about him he had quickly generated some buzz with a string of early wins, and was 6-0 (6) less than a year after his debut. Not only was he quietly creating some buzz, but he had notched a win overseas, stopping Pongpayu Chaiyonggym in South Korea, and had also stopped Cris Alfante, the fighter who had also been Kongfah's best win.
Despite looking destructive and impressive through his first 6 bouts there was a lot of questions left for Higa to answer. What was his chin like? What would happen when a fighter didn't buckle under his pressure? Did he have a gas tank? His 6 combined bouts up to this point had lasted just 11 combined rounds, he had never gone beyond 4 rounds, and had only gone beyond 2 rounds once. On paper he was stepping up, and was going to have to answer some very serious questions about his potential.
Going in we had huge expectations for this bout, but it easily out did those expectations, delivering in a huge way!
From the off we were seeing Higa coming forward and Kongfah trying to fight off the ropes. It wasn't the typical feeling out round we are so accustomed too and instead it was an exciting start to the bout, with the two men really not messing about. Although neither of the youngsters hurt the other in the first round, it was exciting and set the stage for what was to come, which was a high paced and exciting war.
In round 2 the pace increased again, with both men landing some solid shots in the middle of the ring. Sadly for Kongfah he was finding himself being backed up regularly but the fluid offense and combination punching of Higa. To his credit however the Thai fought well off the ropes and landing some solid counters through the round, testing Higa's chin and making the Japanese fighter pay for over-committing to his offensive work.
Just 2 rounds in it was clear we were getting something very special and the action only got better in round 3, a low key Asian round of the year that saw several swings in momentum and some some relentless work from both. This was amazing action, a phone booth war and intense none stop thrill a minute stuff from men with a combined 20 bouts between them.
We won't ruin any more of the bout, but if you like phone booth wars, non stop action and seeing a future world champion in their first serious test this is well worth of 20 minutes of any ones time. This really is something very special, very enjoyable, and showed how damn good boxing in Thailand was in 2015.
This might be a newer classic, but it was an instant classic!
By Eric Armit
-Devin Haney retains the WBC lightweight title with unanimous decision over Joseph Diaz
-Anthony Yarde gets revenge as he knocks out Lyndon Arthur in four rounds to win the Commonwealth light heavyweight title
-Kevin Lejarraga knocks out Jack Flatley in European welterweight title defence
-In heavyweight action Michael Hunter and Jerry Forrest fight to a draw, Filip Hrgovic gets a win and Lucas Brown revives his career with kayo of Faiga Opetu
World Title/Major Shows
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Super Feather: Christian Tapia (13-0 W TKO 10 Iron Alvarez (14-1). Welter: Anthony Young (23-2) W PTS 8 Luis Sanchez (9-2). Light: Nestor Bravo (20-0) W KO 3 Vitor Jones (16-6).
Tapia vs. Alvarez
Tapia scores stoppage of Alvarez in the tenth. Alvarez was 5” taller than Tapia and his jab was his best weapon but Tapia was able to bob and weave his way inside and batter Alvarez with hooks and uppercuts. Tapia was relentless and although Alvarez scored with some hard counters he was usually found against the ropes covering up under a barrage of punches from Tapia. By the eighth Alvarez had little left and Tapia was connecting with clubbing shots with very little coming back from Alvarez. In the ninth Alvarez was shaken by straight rights from Tapia. Alvarez still had some spirit remaining in the tenth but when Tapia drove him into a corner and landed a couple of heavy punches the referee stopped the fight. Seventh inside the distance victory in a row Puerto Rican Tapia who had knocked out experienced Mason Menard in July. Alvarez was going up to ten rounds for the first time but could not match Tapia's work rate or his power.
Young vs. Sanchez
Young extends his winning streak to twelve as he edges past Puerto Rican Sanchez on a split decision. No scores available.
Bravo vs. Jones
Fourteen is the number for Bravo as the Puerto Rican gets win No 14 by KO/TKO with knockout of Brazilian Jones in three rounds. Only the second fight in two years for Bravo. Jones is 0-5 in fights outside of Brazil.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Devin Haney (27-0) W PTS 12 Joseph Diaz (32-2-1). Super Light: Montana Love (17-0-1) W TKO 3 Carlos Diaz (29-2). Super Light: Jessica McCaskill (11-2) W TKO 7 Kandi Wyatt (10-4). Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (14-0) W TKO 3 Emir Ahmatovic (10-1). Fly: Ricardo Sandoval W TKO 3 (20-1) W Carlos Buitrago (32-7-1).
Haney vs. Diaz
Haney remains WBC champion as he takes unanimous decision over Diaz.
Good opening round for Haney. With his longer reach and hand speed he was able to score on Diaz with jabs and also connected with some rights. Diaz was following Haney around just hiding behind a guard and hardly threw a punch.
Score: 10-9 Haney
Lovely boxing from Haney. He was using his left to slot home jabs but also to stop Diaz setting himself for an attack. He also put together a couple of useful combinations. Diaz was much more active than in the first and managed to force Haney to the ropes a couple of times and landed with hooks but Haney scored consistently and drove hooks to Diaz’s body
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 20-18
Haney was circling Diaz and then stepping in with quick burst of punches. Diaz was not having much success in cutting the ring off and so most of the action was in the centre of the ring where Haney’s movement and hand speed gave him the edge
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 30-27
Diaz did a much better job of closing Haney down. He was coming forward much quicker and connecting with hooks to the body even out jabbing Haney at times. At one point Diaz lifted Haney of his feet and tossed him to the floor and was warned by the referee.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Haney 39-37
Haney was back in control. He was finding gaps in Diaz’s high guard for jabs and firing rights to the body. Diaz managed to land some to the body but Haney kept the action to the centre of the ring and picked Diaz off with long rights.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 49-46
Another round for Haney. He was threading jabs through Diaz’s high guard and then firing straight rights through the same gaps. Diaz managed to get home with some hooks to the body but mostly he was tracking Haney but not able to close Haney down.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 59-55
A closer round because Haney chose to stand in front of Diaz instead of moving. That allowed Diaz to get home hooks to the body and he cracked Haney with a left hook to the head. He was also doing a better job of blocking Haney’s punches. Haney was still finding gaps but some of his body punches had been going low in every round.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Haney 68-65
Haney went back to constant movement being too quick for Diaz to cut off the ring. Haney was banging home jabs and lightning quick rights and then tying Diaz up inside. He was still landing low with an occasional rights but getting plenty on target too.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 78-74
Haney used lots of movement circling Diaz and jolting him with rapier-like jabs and fast rights. Diaz was too often static in front of Haney allowing Haney to pick his spots and he also caught Diaz with some punishing counters. Diaz plugged away but with little success. Haney was finally warned for low punches.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 88-83
This one could have been scored either way. For much of the round Haney stayed in front of Diaz giving Diaz the chance to do some useful scoring. He sent home some right hooks and a good left to the head. Late in the round Haney put together some crisp combinations but Diaz just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Haney 97-93
Movement and hand speed won this one for Haney. Diaz just could not hunt him down and meanwhile Haney was doubling up on his left hooks banging home straight rights and uppercuts and outscoring Diaz
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 107-102
Diaz was on fire for the first half of the round driving Haney back and landing hooks from both hands with Haney seeming content to just get through the round. That then changed with Haney taking charge and Diaz being driven back as Haney connected with punch after punch to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 117-111
Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 117-111 Haney, Judge Tim Cheatham 116-112 Haney, Judge Max DeLuca 117-111 Haney.
Third title defence for the 23-year-old “The Dream”. He had beaten Yuriorkis Gamboa and Jorge Linares in his other two defences and looked better here than when he made hard work of beating Linares. Naturally unification is on his mind. Former IBF super featherweight champion Diaz has had weight problems in the past. After losing to Gary Russell in a challenge for the WBC featherweight title he beat WBA featherweight title holder Jesus Rojas but could not win the title as he came in over weight. He also lost his IBF super feather when he did not make the weight for his first defence. He moved up to lightweight and won the interim WBC title in July with a victory over Javier Fortuna.
Love vs. Diaz
Love stops Diaz in three rounds. Love made a strong start and landed some savage body punches in the first. Love floored Diaz early in the second with a hard left and an accurate right. Diaz managed to get up but was put down again seconds later. He was up and did not look too badly shaken but was put down by an uppercut-and there was still a minutes remaining in the round. Despite the knockdowns Diaz fought back hard and was still standing at the bell. A series of punches from Love in the third brought the referee’s intervention over protests from Diaz. Love, 26, had beaten Ivan Baranchyk on a seventh retirement in August so could turn out to be a force in an already crowded super lightweight division. Diaz was knocked out in five rounds by Jose Zepeda in 2018.
McCaskill vs. Wyatt
McCaskill retains her five titles with inside the distance victory over Wyatt. McCaskill tried to blow Wyatt away with a fierce attack in the first which had Wyatt reeling. McCaskill left herself open for counters as she continued to attack in the second and Wyatt managed to get through with some good shots of her own. McCaskill continued to land heavily over the next three rounds with Wyatt doing enough to stay in the fight but was taking punishment. A series of head and body punches in the sixth had Wyatt in trouble. The referee had warned at the end of the sixth round he would stop the fight if Wyatt continued to take a beating and he did so after a flurry of punches from McCaskill in the seventh. The 37-year-old from Chicago holds five titles the IBF, IBO, WBA, WBC and WBO. She lost to Katie Taylor in 2017 and beat Cecilia Braekhus in 2020. Canadian Wyatt suffers her third loss in a row.
Hrgovic vs. Ahmatovic
Hrgovic stops substitute Ahmatovic after three one-sided rounds. Hrgovic had height and weight over Ahmatovic and in the first used powerful jabs to land at distance and rocked Ahmatovic with clubbing head shots. Hrgovic scored with thudding right in the second and when Ahmatovic tried to trade punches he was sent down under a under a bundle of rights. He was up at eight but went down again and when he arose the bell went. Hrgovic clubbed Ahmatovic to the canvas in the third and the referee waived the fight over. Hrgovic was defending the IBF International belt and gets his twelfth inside the distance victory. He has power but is cumbersome and one of these days he is going to be disqualified as he has a propensity to treat the back of an opponent’s head a legitimate target. Serbian-born German Ahmatovic lacked the experience to be a match for Hrgovic.
e was up at eight but driven to his knees. He arose and the bell went.
Sandoval vs. Buitrago
Sandoval stops Buitrago in the seventh. Sandoval was quicker, busier and more accurate than the experienced Nicaraguan. Sandoval was able to use his height and long reach to score well with his jab and to keep Buitrago on the back foot. Sandoval switched guard at times and in the third was adding neck-snapping uppercuts to the diet of jabs and straight rights he was feeding Buitrago. When Sandoval stood inside it gave Buitrago a chance to connect with some hooks but he was taking steady punishment. Sandoval landed series of heavy rights in the fifth and Buitrago showed signs of wilting. It was one-way traffic in the sixth with a tiring Buitrago just trying to survive and the referee indicated unless things improved for Buitrago he would stop them fight. Early in the seventh as Sandoval bombed Buitrago with punches the referee did as he threatened and stepped in to save Buitrago. Sandoval’s kayo of Jay Harris in June lifted him into the No 1 spot with the IBF and he accepted this fight at short notice to stay busy as he waits for a date for a title shot at Sunny Edwards. Buitrago also took the fight without a lot of time to prepare as he had not had a fight since October 2020. Buitrago has had four title shots but his recent form shows him as 2-5 with three of the losses in title fights.
New York, NY, USA: Heavy: Jerry Forrest (26-4-2) DREW 10 Michael Hunter (20-1-2). Heavy: George Arias (17-0) W PTS 10 Cassius Chaney (21-1) W George Arias (17-0) W PTS 10. Heavy: Mike Balogun (18-0) W TKO 1Trey Lippe (18-1).
Forrest vs. Hunter
Hunter looks fortunate to get away with a majority draw against Forrest. Hunter made the more positive start firing shots looking to blow Forrest away. He shook Forrest a couple of times but Forrest settled into the fight coming forward behind a high guard and making Hunter work hard in every round. As the fight progressed Forrest began to eat into the lead Hunter had established with his early aggression. By the end of the eighth Hunter had run out of gas and only just managed to make it though those last two rounds with Forrest looking to have done enough to take the decision. Scores 96-94 Forrest, 96-94 Hunter and 95-95. In Forrest’s last fight in February he was down in each of the first three rounds but battled back to earn a draw. This was a huge result for Forrest who was trying to get revenge for a loss to Hunter way back in 2014. Forrest was unrated and Hunter was WBA No 2 now the WBA has to make a decision on what you when an unrated fighter leaves you with egg on your face. A draw with Alexander Povetkin and wins over Martin Bakole, Sergey Kuzmin, and Mike Wilson had seen Hunter flying high now his No 2 spot has to be at risk.
Arias vs. Chaney
Arias wins split decision over Chaney in a clash of unbeaten heavyweights. Chaney at 6’6” was 6” taller than Arias but Arias chose to box on the outside early which suited Chaney who collected those rounds. Arias came into the fight in the third rocking Chaney with a left. The pace was slow in this fight and there was not a lot of action over the middle rounds. Chaney seemed reluctant to take any risks and his output dropped with Arias by no means busy but busier than Chaney and that was enough to give him the edge in some very strange scoring of 99-91 and 97-93 for Arias and 96-94 for Chaney. Only five inside the distance victories for Dominican Arias and at 6’0” he is small for today’s heavyweights. He was giving away 24lbs to Chaney. For Chaney this is a big setback as at 32 time is not on his side.
Balogun vs. Lippe
Balogun wipes out Lippe in one round. Balogun was on target early and dropped Lippe. He managed to get up and come forward punching but was down again from a combination of punches. Lippe made it to his feet but was wobbling and the referee stopped the fight. Balogun, 38, gets his ninth first round win and Lippe, the son of Tommy Morrison, gets a taste of reality.
Bilbao, Spain: Super Welter: Kevin Lejarraga (34-2) W KO 9 Jack Flatley (17-2-1). Super Middle: Damian Biacho (12-0) W RTD 7 Guillermo Rivero (8-1-1). Super Light: Jonathan Alonso (21-1) W PTS 8 Mohamed El Marcouchi (28-3). Super Fly: Samuel Carmona (6-0) W TKO 1 Luis Villa (13-3-2). Super Light: Campbell Hatton (5-0) W KO 2 Attila Csereklye (10-25).
Lejarraga vs. Flatley
Lejarraga knocks out Flatley in European title defence. It looked as though this one might be over in the first three minutes as Lejarraga landed some good body punches then dropped Flatley with a left. Flatley recovered and had a good second round and used his longer breach to score with some good counters through Lejarraga’s leaky defence. From the fifth Lejarraga continued to take the fight to Flatley and the Englishman survived with some nifty movement and good defensive work but he was being weakened by some hurtful body punches. The end was near after Flatley was floored in the eighth and Lejarraga ended it in the ninth. He connected with a left to the body and a thundering short right to the head. Flatley went down heavily on his back and the referee waived the fight over. The “Revolver” was defending the title he won in September with a technical decision over Frenchman Dylan Charrat and a return with Charrat may be next for Lejarraga. Former English champion Flatley had at best tenuous rights to a title shot but he was competitive until the heavier punching from Lejarraga wore him down.
Biacho vs. Rivero
Biacho wins the vacant Spanish title with victory over local fighter Rivero. This was Rivero’s first fight since March 2019 and he was never able to get a foothold in the fight. Biacho softened Rivero up with body punches before dropping him in the third and twice more in the sixth with the bell saving Rivero. Biacho scored another knockdown in the seventh and Rivero did not come out for the eighth. Biacho was defending the national title.
Alonso vs. El Marcouchi
“Maravilla” Alonso impresses as he outboxes Belgian El Marcouchi. The visitor did what he could to hustle, bustle and rough up Alonso but to no effect as Alonso was in charge from bell to bell and all three judges scored it 80-72 for the Dominican-born Spaniard. Alonso was out for 19 months before returning with a win in July. Alonso, who reportedly won 98 of 110 amateur fights, suffered his only pro defeat when he lost to Alberto Puello for the interim WBA super light title in July 2019 when all three judges gave it to Puello 115-113- so as close as it gets. El Marcouchi had lost only one of his last 27 fights but showed nothing here.
Carmona vs. Villa
Olympian Carmona gets his fourth inside the distance victory as he stops Villa in ninety seconds. Carmona was an outstanding amateur and is a significant addition to the flyweight ranks in Europe. Third consecutive loss for Mexican Villa.
Hatton vs. Csereklye
Hatton, 20, gets his first inside the distance victory as he floors Csereklye twice in the first round and again in the second. Hutton is the son of Ricky Hatton. Ninth loss in a row for Hungarian Csereklye.
London, England: Feather: Luis Lopez (24-2) W KO 7 Isaac Lowe (21-1-3)).Bantam: Charlie Edwards (17-1) W TKO 2 Jacob Barreto (13-4).
Lopez vs. Lowe
Mexican Lopez wins IBF final eliminator with kayo of Lowe. Lopez showed his power within the first few seconds of the fight as he floored Lowe with a left hook. Lowe beat the count and fought back hard in an exciting opening round. The danger was not past and a right from Lopez put Lowe down again in the second. In a repeat of the earlier action Lowe got up and stood and traded punches with Lopez to the bell. Being four points behind after two rounds may have affected Lowe’s approach as he too often allowed himself to be dragged into exchanging punches instead of boxing and was rocked again at the end of the third. Despite that Lowe was working hard and connecting with some good shots. Lopez was not as accurate but still dangerous and clearly the harder puncher. Lopez upped his pace in the seventh launching a fierce attack and landing a series of punches that had Lowe reeling and a left to the body sent him down and he just failed to beat the count. Position 1 and 2 are vacant in the IBF ratings and since neither Lopez (No 5) nor Lowe (No 8) had beaten an IBF ranked boxer so neither could go to 1 or 2 but with both ranked this win will make Lopez the mandatory challenger for Kiko Martinez. Mexican Lopez, 28, was 11-1 in his last twelve fights with wins over Andy Vences and Gabriel Flores Jr with the loss coming against Ruben Villa. Former Commonwealth and WBC International champion Lowe had won his last seven fights and at 27 can come back stronger.
Edwards vs. Barreto
No problems for former undefeated WBC flyweight champion Edwards. A left hook dumped Barreto in a corner and the fight was over with the referee seeing Spaniard Barreto was unable to continue. An easy night’s work for Edwards. Barreto a lamb to the slaughter.
Ilsenburg, Germany: Middle: Denis Radovan (15-0-1) W RTD 7 Brian Rose (32-8-1). Super Welter: Abass Baraou (11-1) W PTS 10 Meriton Karaxha (29-6-3). Middle: Patrick Wojcicki (15-0-1) W KO 6 Alexander Pavlov (12-3). Super Middle: Christina Hammer (27-1,1ND) W TKO 1 Daniele Bastieri (3-2). Light Heavy: Leon Bunn (16-0) W PTS 8 Iago Kiziria (5-3).
Radovan vs. Rose
Radovan retains the IBF European belt as Rose retires after seven rounds due to a swelling affecting his vision. After a couple of even rounds Radovan began to exert plenty of pressure but Rose was countering well. Both scored with good shots in the fourth but by the end of the round there was swelling around the left eye of Rose. The Englishman put in a big effort in the fifth but Radovan was taking control. Left jabs from Radovan increased the swelling in the sixth as they swapped hard punches with Rose’s output dropping. Rose was deducted a point in the seventh for a low punch and with his vision affected by the swelling around his eye Rose did not come out for the eighth. Second defence of the IBF European belt for Radovan. Rose had lost on points to Sergio Martinez in September.
Baraou vs. Karaxha
Baraou takes unanimous verdict over Karaxha. Baraou controlled much of the fight with hard accurate jabs and some powerful rights. Karaxha was under constant pressure but competed well. Baraou was firing some impressive combinations and built a substantial lead but Karaxha fought strongly over the seventh and eighth before Baraou finished put in a big effort over the ninth and tenth to emerge the winner on all three cards. Scores 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93 for Baraou who gets his second win since losing a split decision against Jack Culcay in August last year. He remains a big threat in this division. Belgian-based Albanian Karaxha had gone 11-0-2 in his previous 13 fights.
Wojcicki vs. Pavlov
Wojcicki returns after more than two years out of the ring and disposes of Pavlov in six rounds. Wojcicki had no trouble outboxing the inexperienced Pavlov. He got in some valuable ring time before ending it in the sixth. He drove Pavlov to the ropes and put him down and out with a couple of head punches. Only the IBF knows why with the first two positions in their middleweight ratings vacant why Wojcicki who has never faced a rated fighter and has been inactive for two years is their highest rated fighter at No 3. Pavlov lacked the skill and experience to compete against Wojcicki
Hammer vs. Bastieri
Unfortunate ending in this one as Bastieri is unable to continue after suffering an injury. Southpaw Bastieri missed with a punch and then turned away in pain having dislocated her right shoulder. Hammer had spent 2021 trying to qualify for the Olympic Games but failed to get through to Tokyo. Her only loss came against Claressa Shields in April 2019. Brazilian Bastieri lost in nine rounds against Savannah Marshall in August 2019
Bunn vs. Kiziria
Disappointing performance from Bunn in his first fight for 14 months as he struggles to majority verdict over Georgian neophyte Kiziria. Scores 77-75 twice and 76-76. Domestic wins over Leon Harth and Enrico Koelling have seen Bunn rated WBO 6/WBC 9 but on this performance his No 11 with the EBU looks more realistic. Kiziria had shown well in losing only on a split verdict against 27-1 Wanik Awdijan but then lost to a fighter with a 3-0 record
Turin, Italy: Feather: Davide Tassi (13-0) W PTS 10 Jacopo Lusci (6-9-1). Super Feather: Daniele Limon (18-8-1) W PTS 10 Hassan Nourdine (13-6).
Tassi vs. Lusci
Tassi wins a wide unanimous verdict over Lusci in a national title defence. Southpaw Tassi was just too quick and too clever for Lusci who was never really able to exert enough pressure on the constantly moving champion. Tassi was down in the eighth but it was a slip. There was concern as Tassi seemed to have injured himself in the slip but was given a little recovery time and was able to continue and boxed his way to victory. Scores 99-91 twice and 99-92 for Tassi who is in his second reign as champion. Lusci, 33, had lost in a shot at the super bantamweight title in 2019
Limon vs. Nourdine
Limon is Italian champion again as he outpoints champion Nourdine. Limon looked to use his skill and movement to blunt the attacks of the aggressive Nourdine. Limon worked well with his jab scoring at distance and building a slight lead over the first half of the fight but Nourdine did some good work when he was able to get inside. Limon built on that with a good sixth but his legs were unhinged by a right in the seventh. Limon recovered and the closing rounds were close. Scores 97-94 twice and 97-93 for Limon. He is a former featherweight champion and has also lost in shots at this same super featherweight title and three times at the super bantamweight. Moroccan-born Nourdine loses his title in his first defence.
Panama City, Panama: Minimum: Oscar Collazo (4-0) W TKO 3 Pedro Villegas (13-2). Fly: Gilberto Pedraza (19-8-2) W PTS 8 Gabriel Ramirez (10-23-1).
Collazo vs. Villegas
Outstanding Puerto Rican prospect Collazo wins a title in only his fourth pro fight. He ended this one with three knockdowns in the third round and took the vacant WBO NABO title. He is 24 and a former Pan American Games gold medallist so one to follow. After eight wins Ecuadorian Villegas is 1-2 in his last three bouts.
Pedraza vs. Ramirez
Pedraza snaps a five-bout losing streak as he floors and decisions Ramirez. Pedraza put Ramirez down in the second and won on scores of 80-71 on the three cards. Mexican Ramirez has lost 7 of his last 8.
Villa Maria, Argentina: Middle: Gerardo Vergara (15-0) W PTS 10 Diego Ramirez (24-6-1).
Vergara retains the Argentinian title as he outpoints Ramirez. The fight started badly for Vergara as a punch from Ramirez busted his nose open and he continued to bleed form the nose throughout the fight. The taller Ramirez took the first two rounds but Vergara battled black and repaid Ramirez bringing blood from Ramirez’s nose in the third. Vergara’s strength and harder punch began to tell and he won the late rounds forcing Ramirez to the ropes and handing out steady punishment. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 ½ although Vergara looked a clearer winner than the scores indicate. First defence of the national title for Vergara. Ramirez was having his second shot at the title.
London, England: Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (22-2) KO 4 Lyndon Arthur (19-1). Super Welter: Hamzah Sheeraz (14-0) W TKO 9 Bradley Skeete (29-4). Light Sam Noakes (8-0) W TKO 9 Shaun Cooper (11-3).
Yarde vs. Arthur
Yarde gets his revenge as he kayos Arthur in the fourth round. For the first three rounds this followed the pattern of their first fight. Arthur was boxing on the retreat using his longer reach to spear the advancing Yarde with jabs and then smothering Yarde’s work by holding on the inside. Yarde started with plenty of fire but Arthur’s tactics had him frustrated and Arthur scored with two heavy rights at the end of the third round. After Arthur landed another right in the fourth Yarde launched a furious attack. He drove Arthur along with ropes firing punches until two rights dropped Arthur and he was counted out. Sweet revenge for Yarde who had lost a split decision to Arthur in December. Yarde wins the Commonwealth and WBO Inter-Continental titles. Arthur was No 1 with the WBO and with Frank Warren having a good working relationship with the WBO Yarde could be fighting for the WBO title early next year. A huge blow for Arthur who was making the third defence of the Commonwealth title.
Sheeraz vs. Skeete
Sheeraz gets controversial win over Skeete. From the start Skeete was boxing quite brilliantly. He was constantly moving, changing direction, changing guard and slotting punches through the guard of Sheeraz. Although Sheeraz was much the bigger man with the longer reach he just could not pin Skeete down and it was Skeete who was piling up the points. Sheeraz managed to land some heavy punches but never had Skeete in any trouble and Skeete looked to have won the early rounds. Sheeraz finally hunted Skeete down in the eighth and landed two heavy rights. He caught Skeete with a glancing blow as Skeete went down but then landed two substantial punches when Skeete was clearly on the floor. Instead of disqualifying Sheeraz the referee chose to give Skeete ample time to recover. Skeete was not surprisingly reluctant to get up and box on but he did. Sheeraz closed on Skeete in the ninth and connected with two rights that saw Skeete drop to one knee. He watched the referee’s count and made it to his feet but had been counted out. The incident of the punches landed when Skeete was on the floor in the eighth are subject to a review by the BBB of C but as it stands Sheeraz is the winner and retains the WBO European belt. Two second round losses suffered by Skeete had knocked the former British and Commonwealth title off track but he was boxing with real skill in this one so an unfortunate ending.
Noakes vs. Cooper
Noakes maintains 100% record of inside the distance wins as he stops Cooper in the ninth round. This was an entertaining scrap between two good young fighters. From the outset Noakes was his usual aggressive self putting Cooper under constant pressure and connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Cooper showed a very useful left jab and lots of clever defensive moves whilst landing some good shots of his own. Noakes was being made to work hard as he tried to hunt Cooper down. He was investing in some choice body punches but Cooper kept coming right back at him. Noakes had never been past the fifth round before and the pace slowed a little in the sixth before Noakes picked it up again in the seventh. He was busier than Cooper but Cooper was moving and countering. In the ninth a left hook to the head put Cooper down. He beat the count and boxed well. The crisis looked to have passed but Noakes landed heavily again and when a right to the temple rocked Cooper the referee stopped the fight. Cooper protested strongly and it looked a bit early but Noakes had landed some powerful head punches just before the stoppage. Excellent learning fight for Noakes who had taken less than eighteen rounds for his seven previous wins. He lifts the vacant WBC International Silver title. Cooper played his part in making it tough for Noakes and providing plenty of action.
Brisbane, Australia: Cruiser: Floyd Masson (11-0) W PTS 10 Mark Flanagan (25-9). Super Welter: Luke Woods (8-4) W PTS 10 Tysinn Best (14-2).
Masson vs. Flanagan
Masson gets off the floor to outpoint champion Flanagan to win the Australian title. It looked as though “Bang Bang” Flanagan was going to live up to his nickname as he floored Masson in the opening round. The punch did not land flush and Masson was up immediately. After the count he showed some nifty footwork and he was standing and trading with Flanagan at the end of the round. Flanagan forced the fight but Masson showed some clever movement and good hand speed. He alternated between stabbing jabs, darting in with quick lefts and choosing his moment to go toe-to-toe. Flanagan did his best work inside and always looked dangerous with his rights but Masson’s mobility gave him the edge. Scores 96-92 twice for Masson and 94-94. Flanagan constituted a huge step-up in the quality of his opposition for New Zealand-born Masson but he won impressively. Flanagan had lost big fights against Arsen Goulamirian, David Light and Jai Opetaia before winning the Australian title in June.
Woods vs. Best
Tasmanian southpaw Woods too good for local lad Best on the night and successfully defends the national title with a unanimous points victory. Relentless pressure from Woods was just too much for Best. Scores 99-92, 98-92 and 97-93 for Woods. Former welterweight champion Best had moved up to super welter after losing his welterweight title.
Brisbane, Australia: Heavy: Lucas Browne (30-3) W KO 7 Faiga Opetu (14-3-1) W. Welter: Andrew Hunt (8-0-1) W PTS 10 Ben Kite (18-6-1). Middle: Isaac Hardman (12-0) W TKO 4 Adam Stowe (6-2-2,1ND). Super Feather: Dana Coolwell (7-1) W KO 10 Miles Zalewski (9-2). Cruiser: Jai Opetaia (21-0) W TKO 3 Daniel Russell (7-3-2).
Browne vs. Opetu
Browne lifts his career out of the dustbin with kayo of young Samoan-born Opetu. Browne had looked awful in losing to Paul Gallen in April and he looked on his way to losing this one as well. Opetu won the early rounds with Browne just too slow. Browne was landing and landing hard when he did. Those punches finally started to catch up with Opetu in the seventh and with Opetu pinned to the ropes a series of punches ending with a left hook dropped him on his face on the canvas and he was counted out. Browne wins the vacant WBA Oceania title. A career saver for Browne but at 42 he has a very limited shelf life now. Former Australian champion Opetu lost his national title when he was stopped in seven rounds by Justis Huni in October last year in what was Huni’s first pro fight.
Hunt vs. Kite
Hunt and Kite could probably fight each other a dozen times as the result would always be close. When they met in April Hunt lifted Kite’s Australian title with paper-thin unanimous decision. There was no difference in this fight. Southpaw Hunt was able to use his longer reach to connect at range but is no power puncher so Kite was able to get inside and do some good work. The score were even closer this time with Hunt retaining the title on a majority decision on scores of 96-94 twice and 95-95.
Hardman vs. Stowe
Hardman wore down and stopped Stowe in four rounds-and saved himself a bundle of money. A confident Hardman had said he would buy everyone in the place a beer if Stowe lasted more than five rounds. He floored Stowe with a right in the second and with a body punch in the third. Erich time Stowe got up and stood and punched with Hardman. In the fourth Hardman trapped Stowe in a corner and as he landed a sickening right hook to start Stowe on the way down the towel came in from Stowe’s team. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Hardman and the third defence of the Australian title. Brave display from Stowe who was having his first fight since February 2020.
Coolwell vs. Zalewski
Coolwell wins the vacant Australian title with last round kayo of Zalewski. Coolwell looked on his way to an inside the distance win when he had Zalewski in trouble in the sixth round but the bell saved Zalewski-a bell went 59 seconds early! Coolwell finally ended the fight with a left hook in the tenth round which put Zalewski down on his back as his corner threw in the towel. Fifth inside the distance finish for Coolwell. Zalewski is a former Australian lightweight champion.
Opetaia vs. Russell
Opetaia stops Russell in three. After taking the first round Opetaia put Russell down in the second. A series of head punches sent Russell down on one knee at the start of the third and when a three-punch series saw Russell drop to one knee later in the round the fight was stopped. Now 17 wins by KO/TKO for Opetaia. He is the second highest rated Cruiser with the IBF so a title shot should come in 2022. First fight for Russell since being stopped in one round by Jason Whateley for the Australian title in December 2019. This was a catchweight fight at 95kg (209lbs).
Cologne, Germany: Cruiser: Firat Arslan (50-9-3) W TKO 4 Alejandro Berrio (39-10). Heavy: Edi Delibaltaoglu (8-5) W TKO 5 Sami Enbom (19-8). Cruiser: Huseyin Cinkara (17-0) W TKO 2 Gusmyr Perdomo (27-12). Cruiser: Yakup Saglam (45-7) W TKO 1 Andy Hoeschier (9-1).
Arslan vs. Berrio
Arslan continues his campaign for another title shot with stoppage of Berrio. As usual over the first two rounds Arslan walked forward behind a high guard just letting Berrio throw punches most of which Arslan blocked and with Arslan throwing an occasional counter. It was going the same way in the third until Arslan floored Berrio but failed to finish the job. In the fourth Arslan connected with body punches and sent Berrio down twice and the fight was stopped. Arslan is 16-1-1 in his last 18 fights but the only real opponent he has faced in that run is Kevin Lerena who stopped him in six rounds. Despite this the 51-year-old Arslan is No 6 with the WBA so could land the title shot he is chasing. Colombian Berrio, 41, won the IBF super middleweight title in 2007 but lost it in his first defence against Lucien Bute and has put on quite a bit of weight since then.
Delibaltaoglu vs. Enbom
Fourth consecutive win for Turkish-born Delibaltaoglu as Finn Enbom retires after four rounds. Delibaltaoglu collects the WBFederation Inter-Continental belt. Sixth inside the distance defeat in his last seven bouts for Enbom.
Cinkara vs. Perdomo
Another meaningless win for Cinkara. After tracking the retreating Perdomo in the first Cinkara landed series of punches in the second that saw Perdomo pitch forward and put his glove on the canvas to avoid going down. He was given a count and when Cinkara chased him to a corner and belted him a couple of times the referee came in as Perdomo was dropping to the floor and stopped the fight. Ten wins by KO/TKO in his last eleven contests for Cinkara and not a genuine test on his record. Perdomo, 44, had his best days as a super middle-a long time ago.
Saglam vs. Hoeschier
Oldie Saglam finishes Hoeschier in the first round. Saglam had done his fighting at heavyweight but took off more than 20lbs for this fight. He shook Hoeschier early and then put him down and the fight was all over. The 44-year-old Turkish-born Saglam wins the vacant German title with win No 41 by KO/TKO. Hoeschier had won all of his fights by KO/TKO taking less than 18 rounds in total for the wins. His opposition had been poor but even so this was a shock result.
Tokyo, Japan: Welter: Ryota Toyoshima (15-2-1) W PTS 12 Shoki Sakai (26-13-2).
Toyoshima defends the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles with a points victory over Saki. Toyoshima made the body his target from the outset with Sakai mixing his attack more with head and body shots. Sakai was competitive but Toyoshima was stronger and quicker. After five rounds Toyoshima was in front on the three cards at 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47 which looked a bit too generous to Sakai. The challenger tried hard to turn the fight his way but Toyoshima outscored Sakai over the middle rounds and then chose to coast over the last couple of rounds with Sakai finishing strongly but never likely to overturn Toyoshima’s lead. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 for Toyoshima who registers his eight win in a row. Sakai turned pro in Mexico and fought extensively in the USA.
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: Bantam: Karina Fernandez (17-6-1) W PTS 10 Jacqueline Mucio (7-10-1). Welter: Marcos Gonzalez (21-2) W PTS 10 Dunis Linan (25-48-6).
Fernandez vs. Mucio
Home town fighter “La Bella” Fernandez gets unanimous decision over Mucio but it seems the judges were the only ones who felt Fernandez was the winner. Coming in as a substitute Mucio was more than ready to swop punches with Fernandez so they started at a fast pace. Mucio seemed to get the better of the exchanges with Fernandez often pinned to the ropes as Mucino unloaded on her. Fernandez had her moments but Mucino looked a clear winner. The judges scored it 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Fernandez who reportedly wins the belt from a newly constituted World Professional Boxing Federation (WPBF).
Gonzalez vs. Linan
Gonzalez also looked to get the benefit of some home town support as he is given a questionable decision over Linan. Gonzalez was shaken in the first and under fire for most of the second. Linan eventually slowed letting Gonzalez into the fight but at the end Linan looked to have done enough to cause an upset. Gonzalez was the unanimous selection by the three judges (no scores available) which moved him to 9-1 in his last 10 fights with the loss being a disqualification. Colombian Linan, 40, is used to losing as he is now 1-18-2 in his last 21 bouts.
Leon, Mexico: Atom: Montserrat Alarcon (17-4-2) W PTS 10 Silvia Torres (20-3-2).Feather: Sergio Chirino (17-1) W PTS 10 Alie Laurel (18-6-1).
Alarcon vs. Torres
Alarcon wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox Female title as she scores majority decision over Torres. This was one of those great fights if you just ignore the scores. Alarcon was busier at the start but despite being out of the ring for two years Torres boxed well and scored with accurate single shots. The rounds were close and the fight swung back and forth with Alarcon busy, busy and Torres cool and picking her punches well. The pace picked up as war broke out over the second half of the fight and they stood and traded punches. In the end Alarcon just seemed to have done enough and she got the decision on scores of 99-91 and 98-92 which were not a fair reflection of how close Torres made this with the third judge scoring it 95-95. Although the WBA Atom champion Alarcon’s title was not on the line. Torres is a former WBA interim champion who had fought a draw for the IBF Female light flyweight title and her inactivity might well have been a factor in this fight.
Chirino vs. Laurel
Now eight wins in a row for Chirino as he outboxes Filipino southpaw Laurel. Chirino was in top form and Laurel was never really a threat but also never really in any trouble. The judges all gave Chirino every round with scores of 100-90. Chirino’s only loss was a second round retirement in 2018 against Mauricio Lara who crushed Josh Warrington in London in February. Laurel was 5-1-1 going in.
Manila, Philippines: Super Bantam: Carl Martin (18-0) W PTS 12 Mark Geraldo (38-10-3). Super Feather: Charly Suarez (9-0) W PTS 10 Delmar Pellio (9-1). Super Bantam: Michael Dasmarinas (30-3-2) Tec Daw 2 Ernesto Saulong (22-7-3).
Geraldo vs. Martin
“Wonder Boy” Martin passes his biggest test to date as he takes unanimous decision over experienced fellow-southpaw Geraldo. Despite having won 12 of his last 13 fights inside the distance Martin displayed growing maturity as he curbed any instinct to go toe-to-toe with Geraldo but instead boxed cleverly using his longer reach to pick up the points. Geraldo had the strength and experience to be a consistent threat and in the end Martin only just squeezed past Geraldo to win the Philippines title on scores of 115-113 twice and 117-111. The 22-year-old Martin is No 14 (12) with the IBF and will now be looking for some international fights to boost his ratings. Geraldo had won his last four fights and is the only man to have beaten IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas.
Suarez vs. Pellio
“King’s Warrior” Suarez continues his winning start to his belated pro career with a points win over an unbeaten but much less experienced Pellio. Suarez had Pellio down twice but the young southpaw stuck it out to the final bell. Scores 99-89 twice and 100-88. At 33 Suarez needs to make a move soon. Pellio was going ten rounds for the first time.
Dasmarinas vs. Saulong
If Dasmarinas was aiming for some extended ring time he was disappointed. He had taken the opening round but when heads banged together in the second Saulong suffered a bad cut on his left eyelid and the fight was halted and ruled a technical draw. First outing for Dasmarinas since his third round kayo loss against Naoya Inoue for the IBF and WBA belts in June. Second technical draw in his last five fights for Saulong.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Super Welter: Roarke Knapp (13-1-1) W RTD 5 Cristiano Ndombassy (12-6). Super Welter: Shervantaigh Koopman (8-0) W PTS 10 Henriques Lando (6-3).
Knapp vs. Ndombassy
Plenty of drama and controversy over this fight as Knapp climbs off the floor three times in a dramatic third round then battles back with Ndombassy retiring after the end of the fourth. Facing a late substitute Knapp made a confident start and looked to be on his way to a win when he connected with some hard body punches in the second. In the third Ndombassy, who had won nine of his fights inside the distance, shook Knapp with a couple of punches and then landed a fearsome right that sent Knapp down heavily. Knapp somehow dragged himself upright but was unsteady and went down from another right. He was up again and after going down from a slip a right put him on the canvas for the third time. It was a case of true grit as Knapp arose and made it to the bell. The situation changed dramatically again in the fourth. Ndombassy looked to have exhausted himself in his effort to finish the fight in the third and Knapp had shaken off the effects of those knockdowns. Now it was Knapp landing heavy rights and driving Ndombassy back with a storm of punches that had Ndombassy reeling and on the point of going down. Before the start of the fifth Ndombassy got up from his stool crossed the ring to say something to Knapp and then went back to his corner and the fight was over. Knapp showed tremendous guts to survive that third round and come back so strongly in the fourth. However this fight was for the vacant WBA Pan African title and was fought under WBA rules with the three knockdown rule in force so the fight should have been stopped in the third round and Ndombassy declared the winner. The result is in doubt as Ndombassy’s team have lodged a protest and Hall of Fame inductee Stanley Christodoulou who administers the Pan African activity for the WBA was supervisor at the fight so a decision one way or the other should be made very quickly. Knapp had been looking to get revenge for a knockout loss against Brandon Thysse in 2019 but Thysse tested positive for COVID-19 and Ndombassy replaced him.
Koopmans vs. Lando
South African champion Koopmans collected the vacant IBF Continental Africa title with unanimous decision over Angolan Lando. Scores 98-91, 97-92 and 96-93 for Koopmans.
Durban, South Africa: Bantam: Sharadene Fortuin (12-1-1) W Melissa Miller (5-11-3)
Fortuin holds on to her national title with a split decision over past foe Miller. Scores 98-93 and 96-94 for Fortuin and 96-95 for Miller. These two have met three times now with Fortuin winning all three. When they met in August Fortuin took a majority decision. She is undefeated in eleven fights going back to 2013. Miller herself is a former South African champion at bantam.
Basel, Switzerland: Middle: Faton Vukshinaj (13-0-2) W TKO 2 Florin Cardos (21-3).
Fighting in his home city “Vulcan” Vukshinaj puts away useful Romanian Cardos in two rounds. After a round where the boxers were feeling each other out things heated up considerably in the second. Vukshinaj fired a series of punches punctuated by a right hook to the head that floored Cardos. The visitor got up but was put down for a second time. He again climbed to the vertical but was still dazed and the referee rightly stopped the fight. Vukshinaj wins the vacant WBC Francophone title with his eighth inside the distance finish. Former EU champion Cardos was having only his second fight in two years.
Pont-Sainte-Maxence, France: Light Heavy: Daniel Bienda Dos Santos (18-1) W PTS 8 Tomasz Bezvoda (11-17).
Dos Santos gets through an easy night as he wins every round against Czech Bezvoda. The referee scored it 80-72. Third win for Dos Santos since losing in May against Joshua Buatsi. What Bezvoda lacks in skill he makes up for with durability with only two inside the distance losses.
Fight of the week (Significance): Devin Haney’s win over Joseph Diaz keeps the pot boiling in the hot lightweight division
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Good mix of styles helped make Haney vs. Diaz a good fight to watch.
Fighter of the week: Haney for his win mover Diaz
Punch of the week: The short right from Kevin Lejarraga that floored Jack Flatley was a thunderbolt with honourable mention to the fight finishing Left hook from Lucas Browne that finished Faiga Opetu
Upset of the week: Jerry Forrest’s draw with Michael Hunter was a surprise
Prospect watch: Only 4-0 but Puerto Rican minimumweight Oscar Collazo looks good
Rosette: Big cards in Australia and Germany giving fighters work
Red Card No real horrors this week
There were two very controversial incidents at the weekend both involving referees. In the fight in South Africa between Roarke Knapp and Cristiano Ndombassy Knapp made a miraculous recovery from being knocked down three times in the third round to winning the fight when Ndombassy retired at the end of the fourth nrio9und. However this was for a WBA Regional title under WBA rules including the three knockdown rule so Ndombassy should have won on a third round stoppage.
In London when Hamzah Sheeraz twice landed hard punches to Bradley Skeete when Skeete was clearly on the floor should have led to instant disqualification.
Both results are being reviewed. Both referees are star level referees and have to make instant divisions in a highly charged atmosphere. They really are at the sharp end and I don’t envy them their roles.
There is a wide differing cultural approach towards nicknames between male and female fighters. This week we had Karina “La Bella” Fernandez and Susy Kandy “The Ruby” Sandoval and on the other hand Isaac “Headsplitter” Hardman. I am not suggesting there is anything wrong with this but a bit of crossover would not hurt in these flexible gender days. We could have Primrose “I’ll Moider de Bum” Smith and Rocky “lacy knickers” Brown. Nah doesn’t work for me!
It must have been quiet in the old folk’s home this week. Out and about were Firat Arslan 51,Alejandro Berrio 45, Yakup Saglam 44, Gusmyr Perdomo 44,Lucas Browne 42, Kassim Ouma 42 and Dunis Linan 40…………….where have all the young men gone……………
I don’t know how he gets away with it but in every fight I have seen for Filip Hrgovic he consistently lands punches to the back of his opponents head. These are not the tip-tap punches you see in clinches but full blooded clubbing shots. An accident waiting to happen!
On the same subject Devin Haney was landing below the belt shots in every round but at least he did eventually get a warning.
During this series we have featured a lot of Japanese domestic bouts, but not too many other domestic bouts from through out Asia. Part of that is due to how easy it is to get access to TV quality Japanese action, something that's not all that easy in Thailand, Korea Indonesia and the Philippines. Second is the level of match ups in Japan tend to be, for the most part, more interesting than we get from through the rest of Asia.
Despite that we do come across some great bouts from the rest of the continent, and today we bring you a modern day Thai fight that's worthy of attention. It pitted two young novices against each other and they delivered a thrilling bout and both would quickly become among the more exciting Thai prospects that emerged over the following year or two.
Thananchai Charunphak (1-0, 1) vs Phongsaphon Panyakum (1-1)
In one corner was the unbeaten Thananchai Charunphak who had made his debut in July 2018, with a blow out win. He had, reportedly, been a well regarded amateur and was tipped for success when he turned professional, but at this point he was just an 18 year old professional with less than 3 minutes of pro experience under his belt.
In the opposite corner was fellow 18 year old Phongsaphon Panyakum, who had made his debut in 2017, losing to Kai Ishizawa in Japan, before returning to the ring 13 months later to pick up a win at home against Phormsan Chanla. Incidentally his win came on the same show that Thananchai made his debut on.
Coming in to this both men seemed to feel like they had a point to prove. A win was great, but it wasn't going to be enough. They had to do more than just win. They had to look good, they had to put on a show, and make fans sit up and take note. Both men seemed to go in with that shared mentality, and it made for something truly brilliant.
With a brilliant and lively atmosphere filling the Workpoint Studio in Bang Phun, it felt like a big occasion. Yes these two men were novices, yes these were both kids, but the bout felt big, it felt important and it felt meaningful before a punch was even thrown.
From the off Phongsaphon, in the blue and black shorts, looked to press forward whilst Thahanchai looked to box, move, use his straight punches and rely on his boxing skills. They styles gelled almost immediately with Phongsaphon landing clean single shots and Phongsaphon walking through them to press and land his own shots. It was an opening round that matched volume against quality and although it had sloppy moments it had taken less than 3 minutes to feel like a special fight. At the bell both men played to fans, feeling they had done enough to take the round.
The high tempo action moved up a gear in round 2 as Thananchai started the round fast, unloading big head shots from the opening seconds. Phongsaphon seemed in real trouble, but rode out the storm, recovered his bearings and came back strong in the final moments of a pulsating round that deserved a much bigger audience.
Notably the tempo seemed to be taking it's toll on Thananchai who twice lost his gum shield in round 2.
In round 3 we again saw Phongsaphon forcing the tempo, as he did in the first round, whilst Thananchai tried to rely on his slick skills and movement. This was a big round for Phongsaphon who looked like a man on a mission and refused to back away from the clearly tiring Thananchai.
This left everything to play for in the final round, which was again a sensational round. We won't ruin, or the outcome.
If you want to see a thrilling bout from Thailand, with a great atmosphere, intense and brilliant action, and two men putting it all on the line this is ideal and it really is a bout that everyone deserves to watch. If you've seen it, watch it again! If you've not seen it, put 20 minutes aside and enjoy a fantastic little war between two tremendously talented Thai teens.
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