One of the best things about Closet Classics is that they can often be bouts that are very, very, obscure. Or at least, obscure outside of a small regional fanbase. Today we have one such bout which was legendary in Japan in the late 1980's, but now a bout that fans in the West will be aware of. That's despite having a sensational second round that deserves to be seen to be believed. In fact it's a round that features a staggering 5 knockdowns in less than 2 minutes 30 seconds. Better yet the bout also had significance, as it was a national title fight.
We're quite confident in saying most of you reading this won't have seen this bout but it's one you should take the opportunity to watch as soon as you can!
Yasuo Yogi (7-1-2, 3) vs Norikazu Kawana (5-4-1, 2)
The match up in question was a Japanese Minimumweight title bout between Yasuo Yogi and Norikazu Kawana, and was held on February 25th 1988. It's fair to say that neither had a reputation for bouts being dramatic and ending early, but this bout was something incredible.
The 21 year old Yogi had been a former amateur standout who debuted in 1985, interestingly on the same show as Akinobu Hiranaka, and had climbed through the domestic rankings quickly. He had fought in his first title fight in late 1987, losing a decision to Kenjo Yokozawa for the Japanese Minimumweight title, and got a second shot at a belt just 3 months later, against Kawana. Prior to fighting for a title his most notable win was a decision over Missile Kudo and although he clearly had promise he wasn't standing out as anything too special on the domestic scene.
Kawana on the other hand was someone who had an interesting career early on. He had also debuted in 1985, and won his first 2 bouts before stumbling to a 5-4-1 (2) record. The highlight of those first 10 bouts was an OPBF Minimumweight title fight in 1987, against Samuth Sithnaruepol. His best win up to this bout was probably a TKO win over former Japanese title challenger Takeo Onishi. Aged 26 he was the older man, and a southpaw.
With the vacant Japanese title up for grabs both men went into this with hopes of becoming a national champion. Sadly though the first round wasn't the most exciting with both men trying to figure out their range. Yogi, the orthodox fighter in blue, seemed the more patient and the slightly crisper fighter but Kawama certainly seemed hungry to come forward and was the one regularly pressing the action. In fact it seemed Kawana wanted to neutralise the footwork and more polished boxing of Yogi. For the first 2 minutes or so the action was tame, with a highlight late in the round as the two men had a rare exchange and both managed to land some decent blows in the final 30 seconds.
Although the action began to heat up it was, for the most part, a quiet opening round. That makes what happens in round 2 feel even more special.
To begin the second round Kawana came out aggressively and paid the price when he ate a straight right hand and was dropped face first about 40 seconds into the round. He beat the count and looked to get up swinging but was down again just moments later. He knew another knockdown and that was it for him, given the 3 knockdown rule was still in effect for Japanese title fights at the time. The logical thing would be for him to get defensive, focus on seeing out the round and surviving. He did the opposite. Instead of getting negative he looked to get even and managed to drop Yogi with a huge left hand at around 1 minute 20. Yogi beat the count but was hurt soon afterwards and dropped for a second time after the 2 minute mark.
Now we were finely balance, another knockdown before the round was over would finish the bout, and both men knew it as they stood and traded. It was a shoot out for the bout. And sadly for Kawana he would go on to be the recipient of the 5th knockdown, losing via the 3 knockdown rule in one of the craziest rounds we've ever seen.
Sadly for Yogi his reign was a short one, losing in his first defense, and he would have his final bout in 1993, finishing with a career record of 11-7-2 (6). This win being his career defining victory. Kawana on the other hand went 2-4 after this loss, retiring in the early 1990's with a 7-9-1 (3). Whilst neither did much of note after this contest, this bout is something they share and something every fan needs to watch!
By Eric Armit
-Emanuel Navarrete retains WBO feather title with a points victory over Joet Gonzalez in a great scrap.
-Mairis Breidis stops overrated Artur Mann in three rounds in IBF cruiserweight title defence.
-Jonathan Gonzalez wins the WBO light flyweight title with split decision over Elwin Soto
-Spaniard Sandor Martin springs an major upset with majority decision over Mikey Garcia
-Giovani Santillan moves to 28 wins with victory over Angel Ruiz
-Former title holders Anselmo Moreno and Jezreel Corrales win in Panama
- Hughie Fury, Savannah Marshall and Chris Eubank win in Newcastle
-Cletus Seldin and Petros Ananyan win in New York
-Fedor Chudinov gets victory over Ronny Mittag on an injury
World Title/Major Shows
San Diego, CA, USA: Feather: Emanuel Navarrete (35-1) W PTS 12 Joet Gonzalez (24-2). Welter: Giovani Santillan (28-0) W PTS 10 Angel Ruiz (17-2). Super Feather: Henry Lebron (14-0) W PTS 8 Manuel Rojas (21-6). Super Light: Lindolfo Delgado (14-0) W PTS 8 Juan Mendez (21-5-2).
Navarrete vs. Gonzalez
Navarrete retains his WBO title with a unanimous decision after twelve rounds of war. Gonzalez knew he would have to face down Navarrete if he was going to win so there was no period of calm survey they just went straight to war. Gonzalez was taking the fight to Navarrete and outworked him over the first two rounds. In the third a left hook opened a cut under the right eye of Gonzalez. That also caused a swelling that was more of a problem as the fight went on. The fourth saw Gonzalez still coming forward forcing Navarrete onto the back foot connecting with a heavy right but he was walking into severe counters to head and body as Navarrete slung punches from all angles. Gonzalez just could not get forward consistently in the fifth and sixth as Navarrete used his longer reach to score with big single shots particularly some wicked left hooks to the body. Gonzalez did better in the seventh and eighth as he drove forward walking through swinging hooks from Navarrete to score with hooks and uppercuts inside but he was taking more than he was giving and the purple swelling under his right eye was looking ugly. Navarrete was looking arm weary in the ninth and tenth and fighting with his mouth wide open gasping for air as Gonzalez had forced a fast pace but Gonzalez was still having to absorb some heavy punches to get inside where he could score with his hooks. Gonzalez looked livelier in the eleventh even through his face was by now a mess and he was forcing Navarrete to work hard. They slugged it out over the last three exciting minutes with Navarette throwing over 100 punches in the round and landing the harder shots but with Gonzalez never wanting to take a step back and pumping out punches of his own. A great fight. Scores 116-112 twice and 118-110 for Navarrete who was making the second defence of the WBO title. The 26-year-old “Vaquero” does everything wrong but everything comes out right. His eccentric style and power means he is never in a dull fight . Gonzalez was his mandatory challenger so he is open to take a voluntary defence or go for a shot at the super featherweights and fights against Jamel Herring, Shakur Stevenson or Oscar Valdez but whoever he fights you can be sure it won’t be boring. Gonzalez showed bravery above and beyond in this one. Gonzalez had lost a wide unanimous decision against Shakur Stevenson for the vacant WBO feather title in October 2019 but cam e back with a victory over Miguel Marriaga in September last year. He enhanced his standing with his showing here.
Santillan vs. Ruiz
Californian southpaw Santillan marches on with wide unanimous verdict over useful Ruiz. It was Ruiz, also a southpaw, who put down a marker early rocking Santillan with an uppercut in the opening round. From the second the pressure and accuracy of Santillan put him in control. Ruiz was finding himself pinned to the ropes as Santillan scored inside with uppercuts and hooks. Eventually Ruiz stopped trying to match Santillan inside and boxed instead although that might partially be because he had injured his left hand. Santillan maintained the pressure to the end looking for an inside the distance win but Ruiz stayed there final bell. Scores. 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Santillan. He has not yet forced himself into the ratings but that has to come soon. Ruiz had been stopped in two rounds by Javier Flores in October 2019 but had returned with a victory over unbeaten Bobirzhan Mominov in April this year.
Lebron vs. Rojas
Another classy display from Puerto Rican Lebron as he returns to action for the first time in fourteen months. The young southpaw outscored the taller Rojas in every round boxing coolly and cleverly. Rojas was never a threat as Lebron cruised to victory. Scores 80-72 for Lebron on all three cards. The winner is a former Pan American Youth gold medallist and World Junior bronze medallist. Texan Rojas had dropped a decision to unbeaten Albert Bell in April but then decisioned 16-1-1 Tyler McCreary in June.
Delgado vs. Mendez
Delgado wins every round against Mendez. Over the early rounds Mendez was busier but Delgado was connecting with the harder punches and edging the rounds. Delgado rocked Mendez in the fourth and just got stronger from there. His jab had real power and had Mendez bleeding heavily from the nose. A right floored Mendez in the last but time ran out before Delgado could finish the job. All three judges gave it to Delgado 80-71. A PanAmerican silver medal winner and 2016 Olympian Delgado is progressing well and being matched sensibly. Experienced Mendez was coming off a couple of reasonable domestic wins.
Fresno, CA, USA: Light Fly: Jonathan Gonzalez (25-3-1,1ND) PTS 12 Elwin Soto (19-2). Welter: Sandor Martin (39-2) W PTS 10 Mikey Garcia (40-2). Light: Brock Jarvis (20-0) W TKO 5 Alejandro Frias (13-5-2). Light Fly: Jesse Rodriguez (14-0) W TKO 4 Jose Burgos (18-5-1). Super Middle: Diego Pacheco (13-0) W TKO 8 Lucas de Abreu (12-1). Middle: Nikita Ababiy (11-0) W PTS 8 Sanny Duversonne (11-5-2.
Gonzalez vs. Soto
An outsider in the betting slippery southpaw Gonzalez boxes a clever fight to frustrate Soto’s aggression and take the split decision and Soto’s WBO title. Over the first two rounds Gonzalez was boxing on the retreat. He was using his jab to unsettle Soto and then darting in firing a quick bunch of punches and moving before Soto responded. Soto pressed harder in the third managing to cut off the ring but Gonzalez was a difficult target. It was proving a frustrating fight for Soto as he just could not pin Gonzalez down. Gonzalez was stabbing his punches through Soto’s guard and then using quick footwork and upper body movement to get away from danger. By the end of the sixth Gonzalez had built a big lead. Soto managed to force Gonzalez to stand and trade in the seventh and eighth which won him the rounds and Gonzalez was also warned for holding. Gonzalez took the ninth and also complained when Soto twisted his arm severely in a clinch. Soto got back into the fight in the tenth as he hunted Gonzalez down and scored with body punches but Gonzalez outboxed Soto in the eleventh and was already celebrating in the twelfth round as he continued to duck and dive around Soto’s punches and land quick counters. Scores 116-112 twice to Gonzalez and 116-112 for Soto. Gonzalez had been halted in seven rounds by Kosei Tanaka in a challenge for the WBC flyweight title in August 2019 but had moved down to light flyweight and scored wins over experienced Mexicans Saul Juarez and Armando Torres. Soto was making the fourth defence of the WBO title and had put together a winning sequence of 17 fights.
Martin vs. Garcia
Martin pulls off a great upset victory as he takes a majority decision over Garcia after a close fight. Martin just had a slight edge in a feeling-out first round. The lights went out briefly at the start of the second but once the lights returned Garcia got to work snapping out his jab and staggering Martin with a right to even the scores. Garcia continued to be in charge in the third and fourth outscoring Martin but the Spaniard was just getting started. The pace picked up in the fifth with Martin finding the target with lefts and rights and although Garcia ended the round strongly Martin had clawed a round back. The action was hectic in the sixth but the momentum seemed to have shifted to Martin and he was the one who finished strongly to even up the scores. The pace dropped in the seventh but again Martin did the better work to move into the lead. Martin was putting together some impressive combinations in the eighth but Garcia had a big ninth outscoring and rocking Martin. Garcia must have known he needed to take the tenth and they both battled hard with Martin landing a series of shots in the middle of the round and just doing enough to take the round and deserve the decision. Scores 97-93 twice for Martin and 95-95. Huge win for former undefeated European champion Martin who will now be looking to get a title shot but with Josh Taylor holding all four of the titles and having four different mandatory challengers there is not much room for a voluntary shot and the highest rating Martin had was No 7 with the WBA. First fight for twenty months for Garcia who was looking to build on his win over Jessie Vargas. This is a big blow to his hopes of another title chance.
Jarvis vs. Frias
Unbeaten Australian Jarvis has to overcome a rocky second round to stop Frias. After a steady first round Frias staged a furious attack in the second. Jarvis was pinned to the ropes for most of the round being raked with punches and the referee seemed on the point of jumping in to stop the fight on a couple of occasions but with guts and some holding survived. Jarvis then took over and slowly beat the fight out of Frias until the referee came in to stop the flight in the fifth. The 23-year-old Jarvis started out as a bantam but at 5’9” was always going to outgrow that division. He has 18 wins by KO/TKO and is one of the best young prospects in Australia. He wins the IBF Inter-Continental belt and is currently rated No 9 super feather by the IBF but has outgrown that weight as well. Mexican Frias was a decent 7-1-1 before losing this one
Rodriguez vs. Burgos
Rodriguez floors Burgos twice on the way to a fourth round stoppage. Southpaw Rodriguez dominated the action over the first three rounds and then wrapped up the win in the fourth. He rocked Burgos early and then dropped him. Burgos managed to get up but was floored by left and the referee stopped the fight. The 21-year-old Texan gets his sixth consecutive inside the distance finish. One win in his last five for Burgos.
Pacheco vs. de Abreu
No real test here for Pacheco but a de Abreu almost made it to the last bell. Pacheco was the one on the front foot for most of the fight. He used his longer reach to keep de Abreu on the defensive and tested his chin with some long rights shaking him in the fourth. de Abreau showed some nice moves and switched guards occasionally but took plenty of punishment in the seventh. They traded punches in the last and although Pacheco landed some hard rights to the head it was a surprise when the referee stopped the fight with just 39 seconds remaining. Pacheco, 20, is just gathering experience right now so won’t be rushed. Brazilian de Abreu had turned pro in the USA in 2016 but this was his first fight there in five years.
Ababiy vs. Duversonne
“White Chocolate” Ababiy outpoints Duversonne. Ababiy was jabbing well and slotting straight rights through Duversonne’s guard. He showed plenty of movement and dug to the body well. Duversonne did very little over the early rounds but from the sixth came into the fight more as Ababiy’s work rate dropped. They traded punches over the last two rounds with Duversonne doing the pressing and scoring the harder shots. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75 for twenty-year-old Ababiy who was in his first eight round fight. After going 11-0-2 at the start of his career it is now five losses in a row for Duversonne
Riga, Latvia: Cruiser: Mairis Breidis (28-1) W TKO 3 Artur Mann (17-2).
Breidis has an easy night as he destroys a vastly overrated Mann in three rounds. Mann made a bright start stabbing out jabs early in the round with Briedis more cautious. Slowly Breidis began to come forward exerting pressure but Mann landed two good rights late in the round. Breidis picked up the pace in the second. His jab was stronger putting Mann on the back foot and he was throwing long rights. Just before the bell Breidis threw a right over a lazy jab from Mann which clipped Mann on the chin. Mann took a couple of steps back then dropped to a knee. He was up early and the bell went just seconds after the eight count was completed. Breidis chased Mann down in the third. He harried Mann and caught up with him scoring with a series of punches that had Mann dropping to the floor. He was up at seven and gained a few more seconds of recovery time as his mouthguard was replaced. A clash of heads opened a cut on the bridge of Breidis nose but he ignored that and after a bad tempered exchange of punches to the back of the head Breidis landed a bunch of hooks and uppercuts with Mann stumbling back and down to his knees. Mann arose at five but promptly dropped straight back down and then stumbled up again and the referee just waived the fight over. First fight for Breidis since taking a majority decision over Yuniel Dorticos for the IBF title in September last year. The IBF have nominated Jai Opetaia as the mandatory challenger for Breidis. Mann’s No 6 with the IBF was down to some very funny goings on with the IBF ratings (see Observations)
Panama City, Panama: Feather: Anselmo Moreno (40-6-1) W KO 1 Walberto Ramos (26-11-2). Light: Jezreel Corrales (25-4) W PTS 10 Jesus Bravo (19-5-1). Super Fly: Salvador Juarez (16-7-2) W PTS 10 Geraldo Valdez (10-1). Super Feather: Ricardo Nunez (23-3) W TKO 1 Ricardo Solano (25-3-2,1ND). Super Welter: Alfredo Mosquera (27-4-2, 2ND) W PTS 10 Abel Mina (14-1). Feather: Rafael Pedroza (12-0) W KO 7 Iwier Henriquez (11-14-1.1ND).
Moreno vs. Ramos
Moreno gets this one over early as he blitzes Colombian Ramos forcing a stoppage after just 86 seconds. Moreno floored Ramos twice finishing with a powerful right for the second knockdown that put Ramos down and out. The former WBA title holder at bantamweight, who has taken part in 17 title fights for various belts, has done nothing of note since losing inside the distance in consecutive fights against Shinsuke Yamanaka and Julio Ceja but still manages to be rated No 2 with the WBA. First fight in two years for 40-year-old Ramos.
Corrales vs. Bravo
Corrales outpoints Bravo. Apart from a count when he overreached and lost his balance in the second round this was just a good workout for Corrales against Peruvian Bravo. Corrales put Bravo down in the fourth for a genuine knockdown and won on scores of 98-90 on the three cards. After a run of three losses in four fights Corrales was out of action for 16 months before returning with a win in May. Four losses on the bounce for Bravo.
Juarez vs. Valdez
Mexican Juarez gets unanimous points victory over Dominican Valdez. This was war from bell to bell as they traded hard shots for the full ten rounds. It was close all the way but Juarez’s experience gave him the edge and he was a good winner. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94. Juarez gets his fourth victory in a row and lifts Valdez’s WBC Latino title. Valdez was defending the title for the second time.
Nunez vs. Solano
Nunez despatches Solano in 71 seconds. A huge right to the head floored Solano early. Somehow he beat the count but was trapped against the ropes being hammered by head punches when the referee stopped the fight. Nunez rarely does a distance fight with 23 of his fights ending early-unfortunately three of those 23 early endings were losses including came in a second round defeat against Gervonta Davis for the WBA featherweight belt in July 2019. Dominican Solano had a 17-1-2, 1ND run going into this one with the No Decision coming when both he and his opponent landed so many illegal punches they were both thrown out.
Mosquera vs. Mina
Mosquera outpoints Mina over ten tough, gruelling but entertaining rounds. Although having an edge in reach southpaw Mosquera was usually the one forcing the fight with Mina happy to trade inside but losing a point for holding in the sixth. Both fighters tired late due to the many exchanges. Scores 99-90, 97-92 and 96-93 for Mosquera. Second fight this year for Mosquera, 34, but he has seen his best days in the rear view mirror. Mina suffered his first pro loss in June on a split decision against 17-1 Mexican Damian Sosa in June.
Pedroza vs. Henriquez
Panamanian puncher Pedroza keeps his 100% record with win over Henrique. Pedraza was down in the second but then dominated the action before bringing the curtain down it in the seventh. Just before the bell to end the round a right to the body saw Henrique take a couple of steps forward and then collapse to his knees. He made it to his feet but was pulled out of the fight. Eleventh inside the distance ending for Pedraza who had climbed off the canvas to outpointed Venezuelan Henrique in 2018.
Saint-Quentin, France: Light: Guillaume Frenois (49-2-1) W PTS 10 Giuseppe Carafa (14-5-2). Light Heavy: Daniel Blenda Dos Santos (17-1) W KO 5 Mehdi Privat (5-3).
Frenois vs. Carafa
Frenois gets good win over a competitive Carafa. The southpaw skills of Frenois gave him a big edge but Carafa made him work hard for the decision. Frenois was sharp with his right jabs and constantly met the advancing Carafa with straight rights but never completely subdued him. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 for Frenois. He is boxing at lightweight after losing on points against Tevin Farmer for the IBF super feather belt in July 2019. He wins the vacant WBA Continental belt. Former Italian champion Carafa showed well.
Dos Santos vs. Privat
Dos Santos had some problems with the reach of the much taller Privat but he solved that problem spectacularly in the fifth with a leaping left hook to the head that sent Privat face down on the canvas and out. Second win for Dos Santos after losing on a fourth round stoppage against Joshua Buatsi in May. Privat had won his last three fights.
Reggio Emilia, Italy: Super Feather: Juan Gomez (11-0) W PTS 12 Nicola Henchiri (10-2). Super Bantam: Luca Rigoldi (25-2-2) W PTS 10 Mattia De Bianchi (11-1) . Light: Domenico Valentino (10-2) W PTS 6 Maycol Escobar (9-25-2). Super Bantam: Vincenzo Picardi (5-0) W PTS 6 Shoaib Zaman (4-15-2).
Gomez vs. Henchiri
Visitor Gomez wins the European Union title with wide unanimous call over champion Henchiri. Gomez led from the start with his strong if at times crude attacks. He was too aggressive for light-punching Henchiri who was floored in the tenth and well beaten. Scores 119-107, 119-108 and 118-108 for Gomez. Henchiri was making the first defence of the title.
Rigoldi vs. De Bianchi
Former European champion Rigoldi regains the Italian title with points victory over De Bianchi. Scores 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94. Third win for Rigoldi since losing his European title to Gamal Yafai in December. Unsuccessful first defence for De Bianchi.
Valentino vs. Escobar
Former top level amateur and former Italian champion Valentino returns with a win as he outpoints Nicaraguan loser Escobar. Last time out in September 2020 Valentino suffered a shock second round kayo against Mohamed Khalladi. Escobar’s recent record is now 0-11-1.
Picardi vs. Zaman
Italian champion Picardi has no trouble getting a win over Italian-based Pakistani Zaman. The 37-year-olf Picardi is hoping his fifth victory will allow him the chance to fight for the European title. Thirteen losses in a row for Zaman.
Mexico City, Mexico: Light Fly: Axel Vega (15-4-1) W pts 10 Armando Torres (26-20).
At 4’ 9 ½” Vega must be one of the smallest male pro fighters so he has had to develop an attacking style to work his way inside. He did this early against the experienced Torres with lots of success but then tried boxing on the outside. That allowed Torres a foothold in the fight and he had a good seventh in a strong finish but could not claw back the lead Vega had established. Vega won on scores of 98-93, 95-93 and 96-95. Vega was defending the WBA Fedecentro belt. He has lost in shots at both the WBO and WBA light flyweight titles. Torres, 40, had found a little form in winning 4 of his last 5 fights.
Los Mochis, Mexico: Welter: Santiago Dominguez (25-0) W TKO 5 Jesus Rubio (13-5-1). Super Feather: Jose Nunez (22-1) W KO 9 Osvaldo Maldonado (10-2).
Mexican Dominguez makes in nineteen inside the distance victories as he forces Rubio out of the fight in the fifth. Dominguez had punished Rubio from the start and he ended things in the fifth. A bunch of vicious left hooks to the body had Rubio turning away from the action in agony and the fight was stopped. Dominguez wins the vacant WBC Latino title. Rubio’s third loss by KO/TKO. Despite his 25 wins the low quality of his opposition means Dominguez is not currently rated.
Nunez vs. Maldonado
Local fighter Nunez continues to cut a swath through some modest opposition as he knocks out Maldonado in the ninth. All 22 of Nunez’s wins have come by KO/TKO. Second consecutive defeat for Maldonado
Kazan, Russia: Super Middle: Fedor Chudinov (25-2-1) W RTD 2 Ronny Mittag (31-5-4).Bantam: Fatima Dudieva (11-0) W PTS 8 Soledad Macedo (17-16-2).
Chudinov vs. Mittag
Chudinov gets unsatisfactory victory as Mittag retires after two rounds with an ankle injury. Chudinov was walking Mittag down in the first. Mittag was firing bursts of punches without much power with the slower Chudinov landing single harder shots but they exchanged furiously at the bell. Mittag continued to score with lots of shots in the second finding Chudinov an open target but Chudinov was now throwing more and Mittag was on the retreat and under plenty of pressure. The German retired at the end of the second blaming a broken rib. The two rounds were entertaining with Mittag busier but Chudinov landing the heavier punches. Chudinov is rated WBA 2/WBO 8/WBC 10 EBU 2 but a title shot is a distant dream at best. This was Mittag’s chance to regroup after losses in domestic action against Patrick Wojcicki and Denis Radovan so an unfortunate ending.
Dudieva vs. Macedo
“Amazonka” Dudieva continues unbeaten with a points victory over Uruguayan Macedo in a Female eight. Dudieva was just too quick, too mobile and too busy for the portly Macedo who was outboxed in every round and was just aiming to survive over the late rounds.
Ghent, Belgium: Middle: Sasha Yengoyan (45-8-1) W PTS 6 David Nikolayev (9-9-1).Middle: Stephen Danyo (20-4-3) W PTS 6 Milos Janjanin (14-27).
Yengoyan vs. Nikolayev
Yengoyan goes out with a win. In what he says will be his last pro fight Yengoyan takes a unanimous verdict over Nikolayev on a score of 58-56 from all three judges. Yengoyan was 31-1-1 at one time and won the World Boxing Federation title but never a major title. Russian Nikolayev never came close to ruining the party.
Danyo vs. Janjanin
Dutchman Danyo gets a points win over Bosnian Janjanin. 60-54, 59-54. 58-56.
Newcastle, England: Hughie Fury (26-3) W RTD 5 Christian Hammer (16-7). Middle: Savannah Marshall (11-0) W TKO 2 Lolita Muzeya (16-1). Middle: Chris Eubank Jr (31-2) W RTD 5 Wanik Awdijan (28-2).
Fury vs. Hammer
Fury wins this one as Hammer retires after five rounds citing an arm injury. Fury boxed in a measured style in the first content to let Hammer rumble forward and using his longer reach to score with his jab. Hammer kept swinging hopefully in the second and third doing enough to cause a bruising under Fury’s right eye but Fury switched guards and found the target with hooks and uppercuts. They traded heavy shots in the fourth and the fight seemed to be warming up nicely. Hammer landed a right at the start of the fifth but was later deducted a point for hitting on the break. Fury then launched a big attack and put Hammer under lots of pressure. The fight ended there with Hammer retiring due an arm injury. Fury has lost big fights against Joseph Parker, Kubrat Pulev and Alexander Povetkin. He has three wins under his belt now but is not in the ratings so is going to have to start winning big fights to get anywhere near a title shot. Hammer is also a serial big fight loser having been beaten by Tyson Fury, Povetkin, Luis Ortiz and Tony Yoka and I can’t see him changing that trend.
Marshall vs. Muzeya
Marshall stops Muzeya in two rounds. Marshall constituted a huge step up in class for Muzeya who tried to surprise Marshall with a hurricane attack in the first. Marshall waited out the storm and then welcomed Muzeya to the elite level shaking the Zambian with an uppercut just before the bell. Muzeya bravely tried to come forward again in the second but was being rocked by powerful uppercuts. When Marshall cut loose with a ferocious attack Muzeya was overwhelmed and was in deep trouble when the referee stopped the fight. Marshall retains the WBO Female title with her ninth KO/TKO victory and she is hoping to face Clarissa Shield soon. They will both appear on the same show in December. Meanwhile Shields is giving MMA a try but will not want to pass up the chance to gain revenge against Marshall who beat her at the 2012 world championships the only loss Shield has suffered. Muzeya was just not in this class.
Eubank vs. Awdijan
Eubank forces Awdijan in to retirement after five rounds. Eubank eased his way into the fight in the first round then upped the pace in the second putting the retreating Awdijan under pressure. Awdijan showed some good defensive work in the third but Eubank was connecting with some hefty body punches. Eubank continued to go to the body in the fourth and Awdijan was not relishing the strength sapping shots. It was all Eubank in the fifth with Awdijan hurt again with body punches and the visitor retired at the end of the round with a rib injury. Useful outing for Eubank but he badly needs to get into some big fights and soon-and he no longer has the WBA interim title but is ranked No 1 by them. Armenian-born German Awdijan had won his last 21 fights but against a carefully selected collection of mediocrity.
New York, NY, USA: Super Light: Petros Ananyan (16-2-2) W PTS 10 Daniel Gonzalez (20-3-1). Super Light: Cletus Seldin (26-1,1ND) W KO 7 William Silva (28-4). Welter: Cesar Francis (9-0) W PTS 8 Jose Roman (11-1). Super Light: Will Madera (17-1-3) W RTD 5 Jamshidbek Najmitdinov (17-2).
Ananyan vs. Gonzalez
Russian Ananyan pulls out a majority decision in a close fight. The contest did not really catch alight over the first three rounds with neither boxer fighting at a high pace. Ananyan was switching guards and just seemed to have a slight edge over those rounds and he needed it. Despite a cut on his forehead Gonzalez upped his pace and put Ananyan under plenty of pressure over the middle rounds and looked to have moved into the lead but not by much. Ananyan came on stronger at the end landing the heavier punches and the judges decided he had just done enough to turn the fight his way. Scores 96-94 twice for Ananyan and 95-95. Ananyan was having his first fight since getting a huge win with a points victory over unbeaten Subriel Matias in February last year. The inactivity has cost him what would have been a very high rating with the more active Matias Now the IBF No 2. No surprise Gonzalez ran Ananyan as close as his only losses before this have been against Danny O’Connor and Chris Algieri.
Seldin vs. Silva
Seldin “The Hebrew Hammer” scores spectacular kayo over Silva. The first three rounds were forgettable as neither fighter really did much. Seldin picked up the pace from the fourth taking the fight inside and landing heavy body punches. Silva was trying to land big shots on the incoming Seldin but it was not working. Seldin buckled Silva’s legs with a right in the sixth and in the seventh connected with two rights to the head that put Silva down and out with no count needed. A loss to Yves Ulysse in 2017 and shoulder injuries had Seldin considering retirement but an eleventh round victory over Zab Judah in 2019 won Seldin the vacant NABA title and he is rated No 13 by the WBA but a long way from any smell of a title shot. Silva’s other losses have come against Felix Verdejo, Teo Lopez and Arnold Barboza
Francis vs. Roman
Panamanian-born New Yorker Francis floors and outpoints Roman. This started out as a fairly even contest but gradually Francis was bossing the battle with body punches inside. Francis had a big fourth round with Roman on the floor and never really the same fighter after that. Roman was fighting without conviction and Francis powered his way to victory. Scores 78-73 twice and 79-72. Overtime for Francis as his last two wins only took him 2:40seconds in total. Puerto Rican Roman just never recovered from the fourth round knockdown.
Madera vs. Najmitdinov
A disappointing first showing in the USA for Uzbek Najmitdinov as he pulls out after five rounds with an arm injury. Good start from Najmitdinov as he landed power punches over the first two rounds. Madera’s speed saw him getting into the fight in the third and taking the action to Najmitdinov. He had Najmitdinov spilling blood and the doctor looked at Najmitdinov in the fourth. Madera was in charge in the fifth with Najmitdinov bleeding heavily from the nose and seemingly carrying and injury and he retired at the end of the round. An important win for Madera as he tries to rebuild his reputation after a first round stoppage loss against Felix Verdejo in July last year. Najmitdinov’s only other loss was against Viktor Postol back in 2017 and now he too has a rebuilding job.
Cancun, Mexico: Super Bantam: Christopher Lopez (14-0-1) W PTS 10 Franklin Manzanilla (20-7). Super Fly: David Cuellar (20-0) W TKO 6 Moises Fuentes (25-7-1). Welter: Taras Shelestyuk (19-0) W TKO 10 Ernesto Espana (31-3-1). Super Bantam: Pedro Tut (21-1) W PTS 8 Antonio Garcia (25-8).Light Fly: Yesenia Gomez (19-5-3,1ND) W PTS 8 Itzayana Cruz (6-8). Light: Oscar Duarte (21-1-1) W TKO 5 Iran Rodriguez (8-7-4). Middle: Simon Madsen (13-0) W TKO 7 Selim Martinez (4-3).
Lopez vs. Manzanilla
Lopez wins the vacant WBA International title with decision over Manzanilla. It was a tough night for Lopez who triumphed despite suffering two knockdowns. Eight successive wins for Lopez. Venezuelan Manzanilla had shown his power previously by flooring Rey Vargas before losing on points to Vargas for the WBC super bantamweight title in February 2019.
Cuellar vs. Fuentes
Cuellar moves to a whole new level as he stops Flores in six rounds. Punches from Cuellar had a swelling showing by the right eye of Flores by the second round and only the ropes held up Flores in the third. By the sixth Flores was badly busted up and taking punishment when a right put him down flat on his back out cold and the referee immediately called for medical help. Flores was taken to hospital and underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot on his brain. He is said to be recovering but nit is early days. This was the first fight in just over three years for Flores. He retired after being knocked out in one round by Daigo Higa in February 2018 in a challenge for the WBC flyweight title and then being stopped in five rounds by Roman Gonzalez in September that year. The 19-year-old Cuello had knocked out Karim Arce in nine rounds in June.
Shelestyuk vs. Salas
Ukrainian southpaw Shelestyuk comes back with a win as he halts Ernesto Espana in nine rounds. First fight for 22 months for Shelestyuk. The inactivity has cost him his world rating but he will be out to get back in contention. Espana’s record has more padding than a NFL team. He is the son of Ernesto and nephew of Cristano who both won titles but Ernesto is not in their league.
Tut vs. Garcia
Tut has his first outing in 22 months as he outpoints Garcia over eight rounds. Tut took the unanimous decision for his sixteenth victory in a row, Garcia lost on points to Anselmo Moreno in May.
Gomez vs. Cruz
Local fighter Gomez outpointed “La Diva” Cruz in a slow Female eight. “La Nina” Gomez has lost only one of her last seventeen contests. Cruz is now 2-4 in her recent fights.
Duarte vs. Rodriguez
Duarte stopped Rodriguez in five for win No 16 by KO/TKO. Duarte is trained by former champion Erik Morales. Rodriguez is without a win in his last four tries.
Madsen vs. Martinez
Cancun-based Dane “Viking” Madsen made it seven wins in a row, six by KO/TKO with a seventh round stoppage of Martinez. Madsen 26, has done all of his pro fighting in Cancun.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Super Light: Emiliano Dominguez (26-9-1) W PTS 10 Miguel Correa (10-21-2).
After a disappointing 2-5-1 run any win is welcome for Dominguez as he tries to work his way back into the national rankings having lost in a shot for the title in July. He wins on scores of 99 ½ - 92 ½, 98 ½- 92 and 98 ½ -92 ½. Yet another loss on Correa’s spotty record.
San Lorenzo, Argentina: Welter: Marcelo Sanchez (7-2-3) W PTS 10 Nahuel Galesi (13-8-1).
Sanchez continues his improved form as he outpoints Galesi to win the vacant WBC Latino title on scores of 99-91 twice and 97-93. Sanchez came in at short notice. He has shown much improved form being 7-1-2 in his last 10 fights. Fourth points defeat in a row for Galesi.
Koingsbrunn, Germany: Light Heavy: Luca Cinqueoncle (14-0) W TKO 7 Killan Weck (5-2). Light Heavy: Uensal Arik (35-2) W TKO 2 Janne Forsman (22-15).
Cinqueoncle vs. Weck
Cinqueoncle wins the vacant IBO Youth title when Weck’s corner throw in the towel in the seventh round. The 6’2” has eleven inside the distance victories. Weck had won his last 5 fights.
Arik vs. Forsman
German-born Turk Arik stops poor Finn Forsman. That makes it 29 wins by KO/TKO for Arik who has won his last 17 fights but against sub standard opposition. Eleventh consecutive loss for Forsman nine by KO/TKO.
Accra, Ghana: Super Light: Robert Quaye (20-0) W TKO 1 Nathanael Nukpe (13-8-1). Feather: Holy Dorgbetor (8-0) W PTS 12 Success Tetteh (10-3).
Quaye vs. Nukpe
An uppercut from Quaye ends this one in the first round. He moves to 17 wins by KO/TKO and is ready for much better opposition as his record contains not a single real test. Nukpe was having his first fight since April 2019 and has lost 5 of his last 6 contests.
Dorgbetor vs. Tetteh
Dorgbetor wins the vacant national title as he outclasses Tetteh. Dorgbetor won every round on all three cards leading to three scores of 120-108. Good experience for Dorgbetor, 22, who had taken only 19 rounds for his seven previous wins. Tetteh was kayoed in two rounds by Nigerian Oto Joseph in an ABU title fight in April 2019.
Rome, Italy: Super Welter: Marco Papasidero (9-2-4) W Mirko Di Carlantonio (11-7-1).
Papasidero finally gets a win over Di Carlantonio and it gains him the vacant national title. In a close fight Di Carlantonio moved ahead by the half way point but Papasidero was stronger over the later rounds and was a good winner. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 for Papasidero. He lost in his first pro fight to Di Carlantonio and they drew in a fight for the vacant title in July. The 40-year-old Di Carlantonio was 5-0- going in.
Florence, Italy: Orlando Fiordigiglio (33-3) W TKO 5 Beka Murjikneli (6-17-1)
Fiordigiglio returns to the ring with a comfortable stoppage of Murjikneli. A series of body punches finished Murjikneli in the fifth. At 37 Fiordigiglio is still hoping for some big fights but may have to settle for domestic challenges. Georgian Murjikneli
Is without a win in his last twelve fights.
Windhoek, Namibia: Super Bantam: Filipus Nghitumbwa (10-1) W TKO 6 Innocent Mantengu (14-5-1). Super Middle: Paulinus Ndjolonimu (13-0) W TKO 2 Anthony Jarmann (17-5-1). Welter: Charles Shinima (13-0) W KO 2 Mohamed Mutalemwa (10-3-1). Super Feather: Jeremiah Nakathila (22-2) W TKO 2 Ndonana Ncube (7-3).
Nghitumbwa vs. Mantengu
Nghitumbwa put South African Mantengu under pressure from start. Mantengu tried to box his way out of trouble but he lacked the skill or the power to succeed. Nghitumbwa landed heavily in the fifth and then put Mantengu down and out in the sixth with a body punch. Nghitumbwa wins the vacant WBO Global belt. Former South African champion Mantengu had won the WBA Pan African title in his last fight.
Ndjolonimu vs. Jarman
In an all-Namibian clash Ndjolonimu gets repeat inside the distance win over Jarman. After a slow first Ndjolonimu connected with a left hook to the head in the second and Jarman went down and was unable to continue. Jarman was defending the WBO African title he won with a tenth round kayo of Jarman in April. Ndjolonimu has eleven inside the distance finishes. All five of Jarman’s losses have been by KO/TKO.
Shinima vs. Mutalemwa
Shinima wins the vacant WBO African title with kayo of Tanzanian Mutalemwa. Shinima floored Mutalemwa at the start of the second and then put him on the floor with a body punch with Mutalemwa unable to beat the count. Eighth consecutive inside the distance victory for Shinima. Mutalemwa was a decent 8-0-1 before this one.
Nakathila vs. Ncube
Nakathila wipes out Zimbabwean Ncube in two rounds. After rocking Ncube in the first Nakathila finished the job with a body punch in the second. First fight for Nakathila since losing on points against Shakur Stevenson for the interim WBO title in June. Third stoppage loss suffered by inexperienced Ncube
Fight of the week (Significance): Emanuel Navarrete’s win over Joet Gonzalez was good for boxing and hopefully will lead to some big fight for Navarrete.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Emanuel Navarrete vs. Joet Gonzalez. For the second successive week a candidate for Fight of the Year. Honourable mention to the contests between Salvador Juarez and Geraldo Valdez
Fighter of the week: Emanuel Navarrete
Punch of the week: The left hook from Daniel Bienda Dos Santos that flattened Mehdi Privat.
Upset of the week: Has to be Sandor Martin’s win over Mikey Garcia.
Prospect watch: Mexican super flyweight David Cuellar is 20-0 with 13 wins by KO/TKO.
Rosette to: Navarrete vs. Gonzalez as another great advert for boxing and Top Rank for following up Fury vs. Wilder with Navarrete vs. Gonzalez
Red Card to: The IBF for playing disgraceful games with their rating of Artur Mann. Before the fight with Mairis Breidis for the IBF title on Saturday Mann was rated No 6 by the IBF. Mann’s last fight before facing Breidis was on 20 June 2020 when he was unrated by the IBF. Four months later without fighting he jumped into their ratings at No 13 and eventually climbed to No 6 all without taking part in a single fight . So unrated to No 6 without fighting and he challenges Breidis having not fought for 16 months and surprise-surprise he collapses the first time Briedis turns the screw. Rubbish ratings lead to rubbish title fights-and these sort of “games” rob more deserving fighters of a title chance.
And to the WBO. We keep getting told how important their Global title is so how come Namibian Fillipus Nghitumbwa with a 9-1 record (built against low level opposition) vs. Innocent Mantengu with a 14-5-1 record qualify to compete for this gloriously important Gold title? Is the winner now eligible to challenge Steve Fulton? Or is it just a sop to the local promoter for his outstanding loyalty to the WBO? A title only gets the amount of respect owed to those who hold and compete for the title. Box Rec has Nghitumbwa rated No 50!
-Celebrate a good weekend for Spanish boxing with Sandor Martin beating Mikey Garcia and Juan Felix Gomez winning the European Union super featherweight title. Ole!-that’s all the Spanish I know amigos.
By Eric Armit
-Tyson Fury climbs off the deck to kayo Deontay Wilder in the eleventh round of an electrifying WBC heavyweight title fight
-Robert Helenius gets a repeat win over Adam Kownacki who is disqualified after six rounds
-Frank Sanchez outpoints Efe Ajagba in clash of unbeaten heavyweights
- Edgar Berlanga gets off the floor to outpoint Marcelo Coceres
Vladimir Hernandez outpoints Julian Williams in an upset
-Robeisy Ramirez and heavyweight Jared Anderson score wins.
-Dominic Boesel outpoints Robin Krasniqi to regain the IBO light heavyweight title
- In Liverpool Liam Smith stops Anthony Fowler, Troy Williamson wins British super welterweight title with victory over Ted Cheeseman, Shannon Courtenay loses her WBA Female bantamweight title on the scales and Californian Jamie Mitchell outpoints Courtenay to win the vacant title
-In Birmingham Jason Cunningham retains the European super bantamweight title and wins the British and Commonwealth titles with narrow victory over Brad Foster, Ekow Essuman knocks out Danny Ball for Commonwealth, British and IBF European welterweight titles and Callum Johnson struggles past Server Emurlaev on a majority decision in a WBO Global light heavyweight title defence.
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Heavy: Tyson Fury (31-0-1) W KO 11 Deontay Wilder (42-2-1). Heavy: Robert Helenius (31-3) W DISQ 6 Adam Kownacki (20-2). Heavy: Frank Sanchez (19-0) W PTS 10 Efe Ajagba (15-1). Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (8-1) W PTS 10 Orlando Gonzalez (17-1). Super Middle: Edgar Berlanga (18-0) W PTS 10 Marcelo Coceres (30-3-1). Super Welter: Vladimir Hernandez (13-4) W PTS 10 Julian Williams (27-3-1,1ND). Heavy: Jared Anderson (10-0) W TKO 2 Vladimir Tereshkin (22-1-1). Heavy: Viktor Vykhryst (8-0) W TKO 3 Mike Marshall (6-1-1).
Fury vs. Wilder
Fury scores crushing win with late stoppage in a dramatic heavyweight fight which saw both fighters on the floor, Fury twice and Wilder three times before Fury ended things with a thunderous right to the head in the eleventh.
Good first round for Wilder. He was coming forward jabbing almost exclusively to the body and firing some range finding rights. Fury was on the back foot and only really came alive late on the round with a long right but had been outworked.
Score: 10-9 Wilder
Too much holding in this round with Fury using his additional weight to lean on Wilder. Fury was mostly on the front foot and shook Wilder with a big right and later when Wilder did land a big right Fury immediately fired back and just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Fury TIED 19-19
Fury took the fight to Wilder. He was coming forward behind his jab and throwing rights. Wilder was on the back foot and clinching with Fury being warned for leaning on. A right from Fury rocked Wilder but Wilder responded by driving forward throwing rights. As they traded punches against the ropes a short right from Fury buckled Wilders knees and he went down. He was up quickly and after the eight count there were just fifteen seconds left in the round and although Fury connected with another right Wilder held and survived.
Score: 10-8 Fury Fury 29-27
Fury was looking to capitalise on that knockdown but too often he was willing to drop into a clinch and use his weight to push Wilder around. As Fury rumbled forward he was nailed by a right counter to the temple and stumbled forward then pitched to the canvas. He climbed up at six but went down again as Wilder landed a couple of clubbing punches. Fury was up at six and when the eight count was completed the round was over without another punch thrown.
Score: 10-7 Wilder Wilder 37-36
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 38-35 Wilder, Judge Dave Moretti 37-36 Wilder, Judge Steve Weisfeld 37-36 Wilder
A close round. Fury showed his powers of recuperation and used his jab well. Wilder was right hand happy just throwing overhand rights which Fury was able to duck under. He did land a couple of shots when he had Fury in a corner but Fury had done the cleaner work.
Score: 10-9 Fury TIED 46-46
Not a pretty round as there were too many clinches. Fury connected with a series of left/rights forcing Wilder back and twice used his 39lbs of additional weight to push Wilder down to the floor. With Wilder doing very little useful work.
Score: 10-9 Fury Fury 56-55
Another round for Fury. He was landing his jab and scoring with body punches inside. Wilder looked exhausted and he was so predictable just throwing a left jab followed by a right so that Fury was able to duck under the right. Fury trapped Wilder in a corner and landed a series of head punches which had Wilder reeling but Fury could not find the punch to end things.
Score: 10-9 Fury Fury 66-64
This round was one-sided. Fury rocked Wilder three or four times with rights and Wilder was stumbling back throughout the round occasionally throwing wild rights in the hope of connecting and almost going over when he missed. Fury was in total control.
Score: 10-9 Fury Fury 76-73
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 75-74 Fury, Judge Dave Moretti 75-74 Fury, Judge Steve Weisfeld 75-74 Fury.
The doctor checked Wilder before the start of the round. Apart from a brief flurry of punches early in the round it was all Fury. He was rolling forward scoring with his jab and rocking an exhausted Wilder with rights. Wilder hardly had the strength to throw a punch. He was bleeding from the mouth and returned to his corner a dejected figure.
Score: 10-9 Fury Fury 86-82
Fury piled on the pressure and Wilder hardly had the strength to hold his arms up. A right to the side of the head sent Wilder down. He was up at five and after the eight count Fury tried to land some clubbing shots but Wilder held on before coming to life and putting the tension back into the fight as he connected with a series of hooks and uppercuts.
Score: 10-8 Fury Fury 96-90
Fury ended it by driving Wilder across the ring scoring hooks and uppercut until a right to the head dropped Wilder heavily and the referee thankfully waived the fight over.
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 94-92 Fury, Judge Dave Moretti 95-91 Fury, Judge Steve Weisfeld 95-92 Fury.
This may have only been for the WBC title but with all due respect to Oleksandr Usyk who holds the other belts is immaterial as Fury proved he is the best heavyweight on the planet. Wilder enhanced his reputation for the way he fought on through exhaustion to remain dangerous and he played his part in a fight that will live on as a classic
Helenius vs. Kownacki
Helenius gets a second win over Kownacki. Helenius had exposed the flaws in Kownacki when stopping him in four rounds in March 2020 and was able to do the same again here. He found the Pole an easy target for jabs and straight rights rocking Kownacki with a right in the first and effectively closing Kownacki’s left eye by the end of the round. Helenius used his longer reach to score at range and caught Kownacki with counters when he advanced. Kownacki kept trying to close the gap but in his frustration he went low with a punch in the third and was given a warning. There was more punishment for Kownacki in the fourth and he was given another warning in the fifth for a below the belt shot. Helenius looked close to ending the fight in the sixth until another low punch from Kownacki earned him disqualification. Now 37 Helenius’ career looked over when he was knocked out by Gerald Washington in July 2019 but the March 2020 victory over then unbeaten Kownacki revived his career and won him the WBA Gold title. He might have an outside chance of a fight against Trevor Bryan or Mahmoud Charr but Fury or Oleksandr Usyk would be very hard to sell. Difficult to see where Kownacki goes from here. He built his record on the basis of grinding his opposition down and it looks as though he has gone as far as he is going.
Sanchez vs. Ajagba
Sanchez outpoints Ajagba. The Cuban was just too accomplished a boxer for the Nigerian and exposed his limitations. Ajagba tried to take the fight to Sanchez but Sanchez constantly found gaps for his jabs and right counters. Ajagba had success when he put his punches together but never really threatened Sanchez dominance. He had no idea how to cut off the ring and was throwing too few punches. Sanchez scored a flash knockdown in the seventh but was lucky to not lose a point for hitting Ajagba when he was down. Ajagba put in a strong finish but it was not enough. The fight never really caught fire with the fans occasionally booing the lack of action as Sanchez won without taking any chances. Scores 98-91 twice and 97-92 for Sanchez. He retains the WBC Continental Americas and WBO NABO titles. He is rated No 5 with the WBO with the No 1 spot vacant. Ajagba has plenty to work on so hopefully this will result in some improvements in his skills.
Ramirez vs. Gonzalez
Cuban southpaw Ramirez continues to settle in as a pro and show some of the class he displayed as an outstanding amateur as he takes wide decision over fellow-southpaw Gonzalez. Both Ramirez and Gonzalez were moving up to ten rounds for the first time and they took the open round feeling each other out. The hand speed, accuracy and clever footwork gave Ramirez the edges. Gonzalez found the Cuban a hard target to pin down whereas Ramirez was snapping out right jabs and left hooks. He shook Gonzalez with a right hook in the ninth and breezed through the last. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 for Ramirez as he gets his eighth win in a row after a shock loss in his first pro fight. A good class amateur at 26 Gonzalez has time to rebound from this.
Berlanga vs. Coceres
Berlanga probably learned more about himself in this fight than in his 17 previous fights combined. Any chance of an early finish disappeared as although Berlanga was out scoring Coceres over the first three rounds he found the constantly moving Argentinian an elusive target. Coceres began to make his mark in the fight in the fourth and fifth and a couple of hooks in the sixth caused some concern for the Berlanga fans. Berlanga kept pressing and scored heavily in the seventh but although Coceres had a heavy swelling around his right eye he was never in any serious trouble. In fact the only knockdown in the fight came from a right by Coceres which floored Berlanga late in the ninth too late for Coceres to build on that and there was no more drama in the last. Scores 96-93 for Berlanga from all three judges. Berlanga wins the vacant WBO NABO belt. This fight and the points win over Demond Nicholson in April have shown Berlanga can’t knock everyone over early and that he can work for his wins as he will have to do as the quality of his opposition grows. Coceres suffered his only inside the distance loss when he was knocked out by Billy Joe Saunders in the eleventh round of a challenge for the WBO super middle title in November 2019 having given Saunders all kinds of trouble and being in front on one card. He blotted his copybook with a loss back home against Sebastian Papeschi but restored some pride here.
Hernandez vs. Williams
Hernandez comes from a long way back to get upset decision over former IBF/IBO/WBA title holder Williams. This one went with the script early with an aggressive Hernandez cut in the first round shaken badly in the second and cut over both eyes by the fifth. That was as good as it got for Williams. Hernandez was still strong and still marching forward with Williams’s strength and stamina failing under the pressure. Hernandez stormed through the second half of the fight with William exhausted and struggling to the final bell to avoid a stoppage loss. Scores 97-93, 96-94 for Hernandez and 96-94 for Williams. Consecutive losses to Israil Madrimov and Souleymane Cissokho had derailed Hernandez but a win over Alfredo Angulo in August last year made this a good test for Williams who was having his first fight since losing his titles to Jeison Rosales in January 2020. They say you can never forget how to ride a bicycle but perhaps pacing a fight is a skill that can fade as that was what cost Williams this fight.
Anderson vs. Tereshkin
Anderson blitzes an over-hyped Tereshkin. Anderson was much too quick for southpaw Tereshkin. He was slotting home jabs and getting through with rights with the static Tereshkin only scoring with an occasional left. Tereshkin landed a couple of rights in the second but then it was all Anderson. He scored heavily before forcing Tereshkin to a corner and unloading with lefts and rights. Tereshkin looked at the referee inviting him to stop the fight which he did. That’s ten wins in a total of less than 22 rounds for Anderson. Tereshkin’s record is very deceptive. He was coming off what looked like an impressive 23-0 record except that those 23 losers had only 26 wins between them.
Vykhryst vs. Marshall
Unbeaten Ukrainian Vykhryst much too good for Marshall and scores knockdowns in the second and third rounds before the fight is halted. Six inside the distance wins for the 29-year-old former European Amateur Championships gold medal winner. Marshall had won 3 of his last 4 fights.
Liverpool, England: Super Welter: Liam Smith (30-3-1) W TKO 8 Anthony Fowler (15-2). Super Welter: Troy Williamson (17-0-1) T KO 10 Ted Cheeseman (17-3-1). Super Welter: Kieron Conway (17-2-1) W PTS 10 James Metcalf (21-2). Bantam: Jamie Mitchell (7-0-2 ) W PTS 10 Shannon Courtenay (7-2).Super Light: Luke Willis (11-0) W PTS 10 Rylan Charlton (6-2-1). Heavy: Solomon Dacres (3-0) W PTS 8 Kamil Sokolowski (10-23-2). Super Feather: Peter McGrail (1-0) W PTS 6 Ed Harrison (2-9). Welter: Robbie Davies Jr (21-3) W TKO 4 Jonny Phillips (5-8).
Smith vs. Fowler
Smith’s strength and experience earn him a win over Fowler. In the early rounds it was Fowler’s excellent work with his jab which saw him pick up the points. As early as the opening round Smith was cut over his left eye by a punch from Fowler who edged the second round and scored heavily in the third. From the fourth the greater strength of Smith began to tell. He put Fowler, who was also cut by then, under constant pressure slowly breaking his fellow Liverpudlian down and floored Fowler heavily with a right in the fifth. From there it was just a matter of time before Smith ended the fight. He continued to pile on the pressure in the sixth and seventh. In the eighth Smith scored with a series of punches and then dropped Fowler with a left hook. Fowler made it to his feet but was in no condition to continue and the fight was halted. Great response from Smith to his controversial loss to Magomed Kurbanov in May and he will now head off to the USA to try to work his way to another title shot. Fowler will regroup and hope to comeback stronger.
Williamson vs. Cheeseman
Williamson stops Cheeseman to win the British title in a stirring battle that might have been Fight of the Week but for Fury vs. Wilder. Cheeseman made a steady start blocking or ducking Williamson’s punches and coming back with sharp shots to head and body. By the third they were both willing to stand and trade hard punches with both being rocked in what had become a battle for survival. Defence was parked in the corner as they pounded on each other with quality punches in round after round. Cheeseman looked to be taking charge of the fight from the sixth. A spectacular seventh saw Cheeseman staggered by a right and almost going down only to fire back and have Williamson reeling and in deep trouble at the bell. They continued to trade punches in the eighth but in the ninth Cheeseman started to struggle. He was badly shaken by a left hook and looked exhausted as Williamson raked him with slashing hooks. Williamson launched a ferocious attack in the tenth and although Cheeseman tried to punch back a terrifying left hook saw down flat on his back with his right leg folded under him and with no count required. Great battle with the strongest surviving. Ninth inside the distance in his last ten fights for Williamson. Cheeseman was making the first defence of the British title he had won with a stoppage of James Metcalf in March. He will need a long rest after this war.
Conway vs. Metcalf
Conway takes majority verdict over Metcalf. Conway made full use of his much longer reach to score with jabs on the smaller Metcalf who found it hard to get inside and was reaching to do so leaving himself open to counters. Conway was using his jab to set Metcalf up for straight rights and looked comfort fable over the first three rounds. Metcalf upped his pace from the fourth putting Conway under severe pressure inside. Conway had a good fifth but Metcalf hustled and harried him through the sixth and seventh which were close rounds. Both were showing the scars of battle over the eighth and ninth with Conway cut over his right eye and Metcalf having a swelling under his left eye. Metcalf slowed in the ninth which allowed Conway room to box and Metcalf stormed through the tenth to make it close. Scores 96-94 and 96-95 for Conway and 95-95. Conway fought a split draw with Ted Cheeseman for the British title in June 2019 but lost a split decision to unbeaten Souleymane Cissokho in August. He will be looking to challenge Troy Williamson who won the British title on this show. Former Commonwealth champion Metcalf was stopped in eleven rounds by Cheeseman for the vacant British title in March.
Courtenay vs. Mitchell
A bad experience all round for Courtenay. She lost her WBA title when she failed to make the weight for this first title defence and then lost a majority decision to Californian Mitchell. From the start it was a case of the higher work rate and relentless pressure of Mitchell against the harder and more accurate punching from Courtenay. Mitchell’s aggression deservedly won out as Courtenay found herself pinned to the ropes with little room to work and despite a strong finish she could not do enough to offset Mitchell’s earlier work. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Mitchell and 95-95. The 5’2” Mitchell won the vacant title. Courtenay will have to regroup and perhaps a move up in weight might help.
Willis vs. Charlton
Willis holds off a strong finish from Charlton to take the majority decision. Willis boxed be beautifully over the early rounds using slick footwork and quick hands. Charlton found it difficult to land anything of note whilst Willis threaded jabs and quick rights through Charlton’s defence. Charlton exerted continuous pressure but mostly without any success. That changed over the closing rounds as Willis slowed and Charlton was able to drag Willis into trading punches. A tired Willis lost a point in the last round for holding but he had dominated so much of the fight that he was a deserved winner and if anything the scores looked too close at 95-94 twice for Willis and 95-95. Good test for Willis who was moving down to lightweight and going ten rounds for the first time. Second defeat in a row for Charlton who had been stopped in eight rounds by Florian Marku in February.
Dacres vs. Sokolowski
Dacres goes eight rounds for the first time and outscores the reliable Sokolowski. The 6’5” former elite level amateur made good use of his substantial reach advantage over the 6’1” Sokolwski but was made to work hard for his win. Referee’s score 78-74 for Dacres. A former member of Team GB he chose boxing over rugby and decided to turn pro as the berth for Tokyo was always going to go Frazer Clarke. He is a very useful addition to the crowded ranks of promising heavyweights. Sokolwski has lost six of his last seven contests but is strong and durable.
McGrail vs. Harrison
Plenty of interest over the first pro fight for Liverpool’s highly decorated amateur Peter McGrail. One of the most successful amateurs in the current period the 25-year-old McGrail eased his way through six rounds against a tough Ed Harrison with the referee scoring the fight 60-54 giving every round to McGrail. In the amateurs McGrail won gold medals at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games and bronze medals at the 2017 and 2019 World Championships but lost out to the experienced Thai Chatchai Butdee in Tokyo and missed out on a medal. Only one loss by KO/TKO for Harrison
Davies vs. Phillips
Davies, a late addition to the card, got in some useful ring time as he stopped Phillips in four rounds. Phillips had weighed just 133 ½ lbs in his fight in September and had lost his last six fights. Davies was just too accomplished and too strong for him and when a right in the fourth shook Phillips the fight was halted. A return to winning ways for the former British and European champion who had lost an upset decision against Gabriel Valenzuela in February.
Birmingham, England: Super Bantam: Jason Cunningham (30-6) W PTS 12 Brad Foster (14-1-2). Welter: Ekow Essuman (16-0) W KO 6 Danny Ball (10-1-1). Super Bantam: Liam Davies (11-0) W PTS 10 Dixon Flores (17-8-3,2ND). Light Heavy: Callum Johnson (20-1) W PTS 10 Server Emurlaev (24-3). Super Feather: Nick Ball (14-0) W TKO 1Piotr Gudel (10-7-1).
Cunningham vs. Foster
A three title triumph for southpaw Cunningham as he overcomes a slow start to take a narrow unanimous decision over Foster to win the British and Commonwealth titles and retain the European title. Foster dominated the early rounds. He was quick and tricky come in under Cunningham’s punches and scoring with hooks inside. Cunningham was waiting too long to let his punches go and was being outboxed. Foster looked to have comfortably swept the first four rounds but then Cunningham upped his work rate became more of the aggressor and stepped up the pressure on Foster. He was also leaning forward more which was frustrating Foster attempts to duck inside land to the body. In the eighth Foster suffered a cut over his left eye which bled through the rest of the fight. He was having a good round in the eighth but landed a low punch and was deducted a point losing his advantage from earlier in the round. The ninth and tenth were close as Foster fought hard to hold on to his British and Commonwealth titles and he was very much back in the fight. Cunningham just had the edge over the eleventh and twelfth but in the end it was the one point deduction that decided the outcome. Scores 116-112, 115-114 and 114-113 for Cunningham. He was coming off a points win over Gamal Yafai that landed him the European title in May. With the decision so close Foster deserves a return and if it is as good a fight as this one it will be a treat for the fans.
Essuman vs. Ball
Essuman retains the British and Commonwealth titles and wins the vacant IBF European with knockout of Ball. The pace was fast in this one from the first bell. Ball was taking the fight to Essuman but the champion was scoring with jabs and switching his attacks from head to body constantly changing angles and showing some classy defensive work. Ball continued to come forward but was having to take punishment and was cut over his right eye in the second. Essuman wound up the pressure in the third with Ball spending time pinned to the ropes. A great fourth saw Ball hurt Essuman with a right only for Essuman to fire back with a right of his own. Essuman bossed the action in the fifth before stunning Ball with a right in the sixth. He then drove Ball into a corner and pounded him with punches until Ball fell to his hands and knees. Ball had nothing left. He remained on his hands and knees on the canvas with blood pouring from his mouth and he was counted out. High class display from Botswana-born Essuman and his seventh inside the distance win. He was very impressive here. Ball gave it his best but Essuman was just too good and too big a step up for him.
Davies vs. Flores
Davies comfortably boxes his way to victory over a too small Flores. Davies was able to score at distance and he dealt easily with the lunging attacks that Flores employed to try to get inside. A right uppercut staggered Flores in the first but he connected with some useful head punches at the end of the third. Flores had no alternative he had to march-or lunge-forward and Davies made him pay with hooks and uppercuts as he came in. Davies had Flores in trouble at the end of the seventh but never looked like ending the fight early and boxed sensibly to the final bell, Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for English champion Davies who is making progress but is far from ready for the top British fighters. Nicaraguan Flores is typical of the Nicaraguan visitors to the UK-limited but willing.
Johnson vs. Emurlaev
Johnson suffers a torrid night on the way to a majority decision over Emurlaev. Johnson was tracking Emurlaev around the perimeter of the ring and trying to nail down the constantly shifting Russian. The taller Emurlaev changed direction, changed guard and changed tactics in every round. Johnson stuck to his task and was able to score with hooks to the body from both hands but Emurlaev would switch from pawing with jabs to suddenly firing a salvo of straight shots from both hands. With the unpredictable movement of Emurlaev Johnson had difficulty cutting the ring off but he was scoring consistently whereas Emurlaev was scoring in bursts. Emurlaev had a good eighth when with Johnson cut over his right eye and bleeding from the nose Emurlaev drove forward landing a series of straight punches. Johnson rebounded in the ninth and both fighters had dominant periods in the tenth. At the end with Johnson cut, bleeding from the nose and with a swelling under his right eye and Emurlaev unmarked the visitor looked the winner but Johnson’s fierce attacks got him a win-but only just. Scores 99-92 and 96-94 for Johnson- with the first score looking way out- and 95-95. Johnson retains the WBO Global title he won in April as he chases down another world title shot but this was a much harder fight than he needed at this stage. Uzbek-born Emurlaev was out of the ring for over eight years before returning in February this year and was 2-1 since returning with the loss coming against Kazakhstan’s Olympic bronze medallist from Tokyo Kamshybek Kunkabayev.
Ball vs. Gudel
Ball gets this one over in quick time as he floored Pole Gudel three times with the referee stopping the fight on the third knockdown after just 56 seconds. Seventh inside the distance victory for the 25-year-old from Liverpool. Gudel has now lost 5 of his last 6 contests.
Los Polvorines, Argentina: Bantam: Pablo Gomez (14-10-2) W PTS 10 Abel Silva (7-7-3). Light: Augustin Quintana (15-1-1) W PTS 8 Esteban Stodulski (9-2-3,1ND).
Gomez vs. Silva
Gomez collects the vacant South America title with unanimous decision over Silva. It was Silva who forced the fight early with Gomez showing good defensive work and countering with jabs and straight rights. The rounds were close but gradually Gomez took control outscoring Silva at distance and inside as he swept the late rounds. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for the former Argentinian champion as he makes it 10 wins in his last 11 fights. Silva had won his last two outings.
Quintana vs. Stodulski
Quintana much too good for Stodulski. Quintana was on target with straight rights from the first and a desperate Stodulski loss a point in the fifth for a butt. Quintana landed a series of body shots in the seventh which had Stodulski in trouble but he made it to the final bell. Scores 80-72 ½, 79-72, 79-2 ½ for Quintana his sixth consecutive victory. Stodulski’s losses have come against good level domestic opposition
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Light Heavy: Bryan Perez (16-1) W RTD 2 Likar Ramos (30-12). Super Welter: Bryan Medina (15-2) W TKO 2 Gustavo Sandoval (15-18-1).
Perez vs. Ramos
Perez wins but in confusing circumstances. In this clash of southpaws Perez dropped Ramos with a perfect right uppercut in the first minute of the fight. He was up at four and managed to avoid any more trouble. Ramos was wrongly counted when he lost balance getting under a Perez shot in the second and again went down-without a count- from a right to the back of the head. At the end of the round Ramos continued to rub the back of his head and the referee called the doctor into the ring to examine Ramos. Without waiting to see what the doctor would say the referee called Perez to the centre of the ring and lifted his arm as winner with both the doctor and Ramos gazing on in amazement as the doctor had not been asked if Ramos could continue and looked as though he was going to say Ramos was fit to do so. In the confusion at one point both boxers left their corner thinking the fight was not over. I guess it goes down as a second round retirement. Perez only loss was against former WBA interim champion Felix Varela but he floored and outpointed Varela in a return in March. Colombian Ramos, 36, was too small and too overweight to pose any threat to light heavyweight Perez. Ramos competed at the 2004 Olympics as a featherweight so was vastly overweight here.
Medina vs. Sandoval
A farcical mismatch sees Medina dispose of Sandoval in two rounds. In the first Medina tried to blow away the much smaller and tubby Sandoval with a barrage of hooks and uppercuts but Sandoval survived. Two rights to the head floored Sandoval in the second. He made it to his feet but was finished and when he went down from another right the fight was stopped. Eleventh victory by KO/TKO for Medina but he needed a win after back-to-back losses against 18-0 Heber Rondon and 18-1 Carlos Adames. Ninth inside the distance loss for Colombian Sandoval just a crude slugger with no technique.
Magdeburg, Germany: Light Heavy: Dominic Boesel (32-2) W PTS 12 Robin Krasniqi (51-7). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (12-0) W PTS 10 Boris Estenfelder (11-3-1). Cruiser: Roman Fress (14-0) W PTS 10 Luca D’Ortenzi (15-2). Heavy: Umut Camkiran (17-0) W RTD 2 Dorde Tomic (3-4). Heavy: Viktor Jurk (1-0) W TKO 1 Zoltan Csala (12-25). Cruiser: Ammar Abduljabbar (1-0) W TKO 1 Sviatoslav Svyryd (5-4).
Boesel vs. Krasniqi
Boesel regains the IBO title with split decision over Krasniqi in a return fight. After a quiet first round the action evolved with Boesel taking the centre of the ring behind a high guard with Krasniqi circling looking for opportunities to come forward and score inside. The pace heated up with Krasniqi taking control over the middle rounds and Boesel doing better over the seventh and eighth. Boesel upped his pace in the ninth with the tenth close. Krasniqi seemed to put the verdict beyond doubt when he had Boesel in serious trouble in the eleventh with Boesel forced to hold to survive. The last was close but Krasniqi looked to have dome enough to win although the judges saw it differently with scores of 116-112 and 115-114 for Boesel and 115-114 for Krasniqi. Revenge for Boesel but Krasniqi had cause for complaint.
Kadiru vs. Estenfelder
Kadiru retains the German title with points win over Estenfelder. No doubt about the winner but not one of Kadiru’s best nights. He dominated the fight but it was a pedestrian performance from Kadiru. He outboxed Estenfelder without ever looking likely to win inside the distance. Scores 100-98, 99-91 and 98-92. He is only 24 so it is early to judge his full potential . Former champion Estenfelder was having only his third fight in three years and had lost a split decision and his German title to unbeaten Roman Gorst in October 2019.
Fress vs. D’Ortenzi
Fress retains the WBO Inter-Continental title with very debatable win over D’Ortenzi. The visitor made a good start and put Fress down in the fourth. He looked to have built on that and to be in front until a late surge by Fress made it close but D’Ortenzi seemed to have had a good edge which made the scores of 97-92 twice and 95-94 for Fress questionable. First defence for the Kazakh-born German. D’Ortenzi, a former Italian heavyweight champion, had won his last seven fights.
Camkiran vs. Tomic
German-born Turk Camkiran gets another meaningless inside the distance win as poor Tomic retires after the second round. Camkiran, the EEU champion (for European fighters from countries outside of the European Union), has one decent win over 32-2 Arnold Gjergjaj but other than that his opposition has been sub standard. Under 5’10” and over 245lbs gives you some idea of Bosnian Tomic’s daintiness
Jurk vs. Csala
Another heavyweight giant enters the scene as Germany’s Jurk stops Hungarian Csala in the first round. The 6’7” Jurk scored four knockdowns before the fight was stopped. The 20-year-old Jurk was German champion at Under-17,Under-18 and Under-22 and won a silver medal at the European Under 22 Championships. He has also been a regular sparring partner for Anthony Joshua. Csala, 44, suffers his sixth first round loss in his last seven fights and 24 of his 26 losses have come inside the distance
Abduljabbar vs. Svyryd
German Olympian Abduljabbar has his first pro fights just two months after fighting in Tokyo and stops Ukrainian Svyryd in the first round. The Iraqi-born German lost to eventual silver medallist Muslim Gadzhimagomedov in the semi-finals of the 91kg competition. Second consecutive first round loss for Svyryd
Accra, Ghana: Middle: Emmanuel Quaye (6-9) W TKO 3 Boateng Agyemang Prempeh (2-1).
Quaye wins the vacant Ghanaian title with stoppage of Prempeh. This was a very one-sided bout. Prempeh was crude without any skills. Quaye was landing heavy rights through the first two rounds and Prempeh seemed to injure his shoulder at the end of the second. A fierce attack from Quaye in the third sent Prempeh tumbling through the ropes to the ring apron flat on his back and the referee stopped the fight. Second shot at the national title for Quaye and his sixth win in his last seven fights. The two fighters Prempeh had beaten had combined records of 0-8.
Los Hornos, Argentina: Light Heavy: Braian Suarez (15-0) W TKO 1Devis Casseres (26-14).
Suarez wipes out an overmatched Casseres in the opening round. A series of punches had Casseres wobbling and the referee gave him a standing count. Suarez then blasted Casseres with hooks to the body and put him down with an uppercut and the referee stopped the fight. Sixth consecutive victory by KO/TKO and thirteen in total for Argentinian champion Suarez. Colombian Casseres has won only two of his last nine fights.
London, England: Super Feather: Liam Dillon (10-0-1) W PTS 10 Dennis Wahome (7-1).
Dillon wins the vacant English title with majority decision over southpaw Wahome. Scores 98-94 and 96-94 for Dillon and 95-95. Both fighters were returning to action after almost two years out due to COVID-19.
Fight of the week (Significance): Tyson Fury’s win over Deontay Wilder hopefully might get us closer to a unified title-but don’t hold your breath.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Has to be Fury vs. Wilder with honorary mention to Troy Williamson vs. Ted Cheeseman
Fighter of the week: Fury again
Punch of the week: The right from Fury that finished Wilder was awesome and Liam Smith’s left hook that put Fowler down was a classic but I go for Troy Williamsons left hook that sent Ted Cheeseman down and out cold.
Upset of the week: Vladimir Hernandez was just supposed to be a warm up for the returning former IBF, IBO, WBA super middleweight title holder Julian Williams but he took the decision.
Prospect watch: A bit risky but I go for British super featherweight Peter McGrail who had his first pro fight in Liverpool after a stellar amateur.
Rosette for making a substantial contribution to the good of boxing goes to the Fury vs. Wilder show that had quality fights right down the card and in fact the quality of fights in Liverpool and Birmingham were also good for boxing
Red Card for matchmakers continuing to use Hungarian Zoltan Csala. The 44-year-old Csala has a 12-26 record with 24 of his losses by KO/TKO with eleven of those losses in the first round.
-Yet another giant heavyweight on the scene with the 6’7” German Viktor Jurk having his first pro fight on Saturday (against Csala). A former German Under-21 champion he has sparred regularly with Anthony Joshua. They just keep coming and there were ten heavyweights on the Las Vegas card.
- It is strange how sometimes a boxer can turn his career around. The new South American bantamweight champion Pablo Gomez was 4-9-2 in his first 15 fights and is 10-1 in his last eleven-a can of spinach perhaps.
For this week's Closet Classic we want to go all the way back to 1983 and to London, England, for what turned out to be a brilliant, though often forgotten, Flyweight thriller that saw two men with very different styles fighting each other to a near standstill. It was a thrilling action fighter against a skilled Filipino southpaw and they put on something of an instant classic.
Frank Cedeno (30-6-3, 13) vs Charlie Magri (28-2, 21)
That bout we're going to talk about is the September 1983 WBC Flyweight title bout between defending champion Charlie Magri and Filipino challenger Frank Cedeno.
Heading in to the bout Filipino fighter Frank Cedeno was seen as a big under-dog in what was his first fight outside of Asia. Prior to this bout he had done little, and had lost his most meaningful bout to date, an OPBF Flyweight title bout against Hong Soo Yang. Although he had held the Philippines national title he had never proven himself as one of the best in Asia.
Coming in to the bout Cedeno had fought 3 times in just over 8 months, and this was his 5th bout in just over 13 months. On paper his best win in that time was over Korean Super Flyweight champion OK Kyun Yuh, but that win was a long, long way away from a world win. What allowed him to fight so often was his style, and he was a very technically smart boxer-mover, who was tough, but typically relied on his skills rather than his toughness.
Englishman Charlie Magri was the stylistic opposite to Cedeno. He was a raging bull in the ring, with a power and pressure style. He was all about aggression and physicality and he had taken the title 6 months earlier with a TKO win over Eleoncio Mercedes. Prior to holding the WBC belt he had held the European title and had won 5 of his previous 6, avenging the one loss.
Not only was Magri a powerful and aggressive fighter but he was also a very popular one, and at the time he was one of the few stars British boxing had. He had the hopes of a country behind him and a large and vocal crowd cheering him on in Wembley Arena.
From the opening round it was clear Magri was full of confidence. He came out quickly and was happy to let his hands go, dragging Cedeno into a great little battle early in to the first round. Cedeno played his part and fought back as the two traded shots in a surprisingly action packed opening round. It seemed pretty obvious that Magri didn't want this to go long and in round 2 he increased his pace further. Despite Magri increasing his tempo Cedeno was managing to take things well, and used the ring well, relying on the ropes to take some of the sting out of Magri's shots. It seemed a smart game plan for the short term, but not something he was going to be able to do through the bout, as Magri was landing some massive body shots.
After two very good rounds, both of which seemed to go in favour of Magri, the pace increased again as we got round 3, and what a round this was! This was high level stuff, with bombs from both, Magri was putting everything in to every shot he threw. He was trying to gut Cedeno with huge body shots, the type of thing that lesser fighters would have quit after feeling one or two of them. Cedeno however took them and came back, landing clean head shots, boxing well and staying composed despite the pressure.
The paces had been electric through the first 3 rounds but it felt like maybe the tide was turning with Magri starting to slow in round 4 and Cedeno finding his ranging with alarming success. Although Cedeno appeared to be taking over, he was feeling the effects himself, and it felt like one good shot, from either man, could be the end.
We had drama, momentum shifts, a thrilling and exciting tempo, intense action, two very back and forth and two different styles that gelled perfectly.
This is a real hidden gem, and one that should be enjoyed by every fight fan! A great, rarely mentioned, Flyweight classic.
As boxing fans we can all enjoy the sport, whilst seeing things very differently to each other. We all have styles of fights we particularly like, or dislike. What some of his see as amazing fights other moight not enjoy quite as much. At the end of the day however we can all appreciate a good, solid, back and forth bout, and if the men each get pushed deep, and both men are forced to answer serious questions during the bout we tend to get something exciting and memorable.
For today's Closet Classic we're looking at a bout that isn't an all out war, it's not a massive tear up, it's actually quite an educated battle. But it's a battle that it thoroughly entertianing, highly competitive and one of the best technical chess matches that we managed to get in 2013. It was also one of the final bouts of the year.
Takashi Uchiyama (20-0-1, 17) vs Daiki Kaneko (19-2-3, 12)
As we all know Japan puts on big boxing events at the end of the year thanks TBS who typically put on a stacked card every year. At point TBS had a rival channel also putting on shows on New Year's Eve. That was TV Tokyo who had their shows lead by WBA Super Featherweight champion Takashi Uchiyama, who appeared in the year ending TV Tokyo show 6 times. In Uchiyama's third New Year's Eve bout he took on fellow Japanese fighter Daiki Kaneko in a bout that had skills, drama and excitement, though was never an all out war. Instead it was a proper tough, punishing, technical fight.
If you didn't follow the Japanese scene in the 00's and 2010's you might not be too familiar with Takashi Uchiyama. The Japanese Super Featherweight was the one constant in the division at the time. He claimed the WBA title in 2010, stopping Juan Carlos Salgado in the 12th round, and made the title his for years. Among his defenses he twice took on Japanese opponents, with the first of those being Takashi Miura, who he fought in a thrilling 2011 bout. In his second he took on Daiki Kaneko.
Outside of Japan Kaneko was a complete unknown, like many domestic fighters in the country. In Japan however he was seen as the rising hopeful at 130lbs. Like Uchiyama he was a big, strong fighter, with solid power, good size and strength at the weight and solid technical ability. He lacked the "good night" power of Uchiyama, but at this point he was 25 years old, some 9 years younger than the 34 year old champion, and he technically was the bigger man, having reach and height advantages over Uchiyama.
Despite having 2 losses to his name Kaneko had gone unbeaten since he was 19 and was 13-0-3 (10) in his previous 16 bouts. They had included him winning the Japanese title in 2012 and defending it 4 times before facing Uchiyama.
In Japan the bout was been seen as potential passing of the torch bout. Kaneko the youngster taking on the veteran. In many it was regarded as Japan's answer to Carl Froch's first bout with George Groves, which had taken place a month earlier in the UK.
From the off this was a technical affair, both men trying to establish their jab, and their range. It was clear, almost immediately, that Kaneko was not just the bigger man, but also the quicker man, and he looked to let shots go in bursts. Despite that Uchiyama was the more well school, his shots were crisper, landing cleaner and his experience at a higher level showed in the way he judged the distance better and picked his shots more intelligently.
Despite being a mostly technical opening rounds, dominated by jabs from bother me, the first 3 minutes flew bye with both men landing plenty of solid single shots. There was a real tension in the ring, and that tension continued into round 2. It was clear that both men were looking to use their jabs to open up their opponents and landing their big, powerful, right hands. Of the two Kaneko mixed things up a bit more, coming in and working the body every so often whilst Uchiyama relied on what he knew worked, his straight punches. What both had in common however was respect of the power the other man had, and the knowledge they could be hurt if either landed with a sustained attack.
Round by the action grew in intensity, with both men feeling more comfortable in there, and the middle rounds, although still a mid-range battle, saw compelling back and forth action. The main change was Kaneko, who began to press more, feeling more desperate and like he needed to up the anti, taking more risks. This actually brought him solid success, though nothing he could sustained for long, with Uchiyama's better timing countering the explosive bursts of the challenger.
That was until round 10 when Kaneko landed a jab, followed by a short left hook and a big right hand. Uchiyama was down, with less than 20 seconds of the round left, he looked hurt when the bout resumed and the crowd were crazy. It was a huge moment late in the bout and it seemed like may, just maybe, the youngster, was down on the cards, had began to get his man exactly where he wanted him. He was then sent out for round 11 to try and take out the defending champion, giving us a special finish to the bout.
We won't ruin what happens in the final rounds, but it is very much a modern day forgotten classic.
This isn't an all out war, this isn't a brawl. This isn't a crude, phone booth slugfest. What it is however is a fantastic tachnical bout, with real drama in the final stages. It's a bout that has skills, technical ability and then men digging deep in the final stages.
Sadly, especially given the significance of Uchiyama in Japanese boxing, this bout often goes overlooked, but it is a great bout and the final rounds are truly sensational.
By Eric Armit
-David Avanesyan overwhelms Liam Taylor in two rounds in a European welterweight title defence
-Francesco Patera and Daniele Scardina score inside the distance wins in Milan
-South African Nhlanhia Tyirha gets off the floor in the first round to outpoint Filipino Jaysever Abcede to win the vacant WBO Global light flyweight title
- Nehomar Cermeno, Ray Beltran and Richard Riakporhe return to action with wins and former IBF lightweight title holder Miguel Vazquez outpoints Nicaraguan Oliver Flores
World Title/Major Shows:
Milan, Italy: Light: Francesco Patera (25-3) W TKO 3 Devis Boschiero (49-7-2). Super Middle: Daniele Scardina (20-0) W RTD 4 Juergen Doberstein (26-5-1). Welter: Nicholas Esposito (15-0) W PTS 10 Emanuele Cavallucci (12-5-1). Super Welter: Samuel Nmomah (16-0) W TKO 4 Craig O’Brien (12-3). Super Bantam: Vincenzo La Femina (10-0) W TKO 6 Oleksandr Yegorov (20-7-1). Welter: Reshat Mati (11-0) W PTS 8 Vladyslav Baranov (7-11-2).
Patera vs. Boschiero
A classy display of box/punching from Patera proves too much for veteran Boschiero who is ruled out by the doctor in the third round. Hostilities broke out early in this one as Boschiero, the smaller man, took the fight to Patera in the first driving forward pumping out punches. Patera stayed cool scoring with hurtful jabs and digging in left hooks to the body. Patera boxed beautifully in the second. He took charge firing jabs and straight rights through Boschiero’s guard adding in hooks and uppercuts to the mix with Boschiero unable to get on the front foot. By the end of the round Boschiero was bleeding from a cut by his right eye caused by a punch and was also bleeding from the nose. Patera continued to pound on Boschiero in the third and with the cut over his left eye continuing to bleed the referee asked the doctor to examine the cut and it was ruled too severe for Boschiero to continue. The 28-year-old Belgian wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental belt. The former undefeated European champion has put together a run of impressive victories over 17-0 Lewis Ritson, 24-1-1 Marvin Petit, 20-1 Paul Hyland and unbeaten former amateur star Domenico Valentino but with his only rating being WBC 13 he has not had the credit he deserves for that run. Boschiero, 40, may be at the end of the road. The former Italian and European champion lost a split decision to Takahiro Ao in Tokyo in a challenge for the WBC super feather title in 2011but never landed the return match his performance merited.
Scardina vs. Doberstein
Scardina wins on a fourth round retirement after an exhausted Doberstein is unable to continue. Doberstein spent the first round visiting every corner of the ring at high speed and flicking out light Jabs with Scardina trying to cut him off and having limited success. Doberstein continued to speed around in the second with Scardina doing a better job of cutting off the ring. By the end of the round Doberstein had slowed and was holding regularly but then he scored with three uppercuts which were the biggest punches landed by any fighter so far. Doberstein slowed dramatically in the third with Scardina able to catch him with jabs and get through with long rights and body punches and a nasty punch to the back of the head. Doberstein’s punch output dropped. Doberstein went for broke in the fourth throwing punch after punch but being caught by counters. To his credit he just kept punching to the bell but was totally exhausted and retired at the end of the round. “King Toretto” Scardina, the former undefeated European Union champion, wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title in only his second fight in two years so he will be hoping to be more active. Kazak-born German Doberstein showed some good skills but poor conditioning. He was 7-2 going into this one with the losses being a very close decision against Robin Krasniqi and a seventh round kayo against Juergen Brahmer and this was also his second fight in two years.
Esposito vs. Cavallucci
Esposito retains the national with a points win over former champion Cavallucci. After a slow start that favours Cavallucci Esposito took over and despite solid resistance from the challenger Esposito emerged a good winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Esposito who was making his first defence. Only one win in his last five outings for Cavallucci.
Nmomah vs. O’Brien
The opening round saw two well-matched boxers testing their jab and both scored with hard rights. Most of the action was on the inside in the second with O’Brien just getting the better of the exchanges. Nmomah just edged the third but O’Brien was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads. Nmomah drove O’Brien to the ropes in the fourth and landed a series of punches but O’Brien did not seem in trouble and he was angry when his corner threw in the towel. Italian-based Nigerian Nmomah has done all of his fighting in Italy and showed some good touches. O’Brien had won 4 of his last 5 fights and complained bitterly about the stoppage.
La Femina vs. Yegorov
La Femina gets his fifth inside the distance victory with stoppage of seasoned Ukrainian pro Yegorov in six rounds . Yegorov was 20-1-1 at the start of his career but has fallen away with this his sixth consecutive defeat.
Mati vs. Baranov
Staten Island’s Mati takes a unanimous verdict over Ukrainian Baranov. Mati was able to use his height and reach to outbox a willing but limited Baranov. Scores 80-72 twice and 78-74 for “The Albanian Bear” Mati. Baranov is 1-7 in his recent activity.
London, England: Welter: David Avanesyan (28-3-1) W TKO 2 Liam Taylor (23-1-1). Super Middle: Germaine Brown (10-0) W PTS 10 Jamal Le Doux (8-2) . Cruiser: Richard Riakporhe (12-0) W PTS 8 Krzys Twardowski (9-3). Cruiser: Mikael Lawal (14-0) W TKO 3 Benoit Huber (7-1). Middle: Linus Udona (17-0) W TKO 3 Xhuljo Vrenozi (17-4).Super Welter: Joe Pigford (18-0) W KO 5 Isaac Aryee (26-10). 18
Avanesyan vs. Taylor
Avanesyan retains the European title with second round stoppage of Taylor. Taylor scored well with his jab and straight rights determined not to let Avanesyan dictate the fight. Avanesyan was coming forward behind a high guard looking to get close to force Taylor onto the back foot and land hooks and uppercuts. Taylor kept jabbing but Avanesyan was snapping Taylor’s head back with uppercuts and slamming hooks to the body. A right to the head saw Taylor go down on one knee. He was up swiftly and punched with Avanesyan for the remaining seconds of the round. Taylor threw everything at Avanesyan in the second but Avanesyan was relentless and constantly got passed Taylor’s guard with left uppercuts. A series of head punches had Taylor reeling and the referee stopped the fight. Fourth successful defence of the European title for the British-based Russian. He won the title with an inside the distance victory and has finished all four of his defences by KO/TKO. He is rated WBO 6/WBC 7/WBA 9/IBF 12 in a very tough division but it would be nice to think he might land a title shot next year. Taylor was 12-0, 1 TD going in and landed punches that would have won him most fights but Avanesyan just steam-hollered him.
Brown vs. Le Doux
Impressive performance from Brown as he takes the referee’s decision over a combative Le Doux. Brown outscored and out outworked Le Doux taking control from the outset with flashing combinations that rocked Le Doux a few times. It was the sixth before Le Doux made any real impression looking to have won that round and the seventh. Brown took over again in the eighth and finished strongly to emerge the clear winner. Referee’s score 99-92 for Brown who outpointed Dmitri Chudinov in Belarus in his last fight in October. Le Doux had been victorious in his last five fights but had been inactive for two years.
Riakporhe vs. Twardowski
Riakporhe gets in some much needed ring time against Pole Twardowski. Riakporhe spent the first two rounds just finding the range for his jab and landing a couple of cracking rights. Twardowski did enough to keep Riakporhe busy without really being threatening. Riakporhe’s timing was off and Twardowski’s jabs brought blood from Riakporhe’s nose but the Pole was stunned by a right late in the seventh. In the eighth Twardowski suffered a nose bleed when heads bumped together with Twardowski claiming it was a butt and blatantly trying to butt Riakporhe. He rushed Riakporhe and ran onto a heavy right that floored him but he was up quickly and Riakporhe just boxed his way to the bell. Referee’s score 79-72. This is Riakporhe’s first fight since December 2019 and the pandemic has hurt his career as he was high in the ratings with wins over Jack Massey, Tommy McCarthy and Chris Billam-Smith before the shut down. Twardowski had won his last four fights and did his job well here.
Lawal vs. Huber
Lawal stops Huber in three rounds. Both were firing heavy punches over the first two rounds but Huber was rocked by a right late in the second. When Lawal landed another booming right in the third the referee stopped the fight over strong protests from Huber and it did look an early halt. London-based Nigerian Lawal has eight victories by KO/TKO. Swiss Huber came in as a late substitute but certainly gave it a try.
Udona vs. Vrenozi
Udona forces a third round stoppage against Vrenozi. A close first round saw a punch from Udona open a cut over Vrenoz’s right eye. Udona pressed hard in the second with a competitive Vrenozi punching with him. In the third a right uppercut had Vrenozi taking a knee and Udona pounds on him until Vrenoz’s corner throw in the towel. Ninth win by KO/TKO for the Nigerian-born English champion. Italian-based Albanian Vrenozi suffers his first inside the distance loss . His good looking record is padded with sub-standard victims.
Pigford vs. Aryee
Pigford marches on with yet another inside the distance win as he halts Aryee in the fifth. That makes it 15 inside the distance victories in a row and 17 in total but his opponents have been low level performers. Ghanaian Aryee was having only his second fight in four years and his victims have been mainly inept.
Dallas, TX, USA: Welter: Charles Hatley (30-2-1) W TKO 10 Frederick Lawson (28-3). Light Heavy: Deon Nicholson (15-1) PTS 8 Craig Baker (21-3)
Hatley vs. Lawson
Hatley grinds down and stops Lawson. The Dallas southpaw was taking the fight to Lawson early with the Ghanaian competitive enough to be very much in the fight. Slowly Hatley increased his work rate and by the eighth Lawson was fading out of the fight. Lawson was badly rocked in the ninth only just surviving to the bell but was shipping heavy punishment in the tenth when the fight was stopped. First fight for eleven months for 35-year-old Hatley and win No 21 by KO/TKO. He was knocked out in six rounds by Jermell Charlo in a WBC title challenge in 2017 but then had just one fight in each of years 2018, 2019 and 2020. Lawson was having his first outing for two years and suffers his third inside the distance defeat
Nicholson vs. Baker
Nicholson returns for the first time since being stopped by Efe Apochi in April and outboxes local hero Baker. Nicholson worked hard to get inside the much longer breach of Baker and won the fight there. Baker just could not keep Nicholson out and was rocked a couple of times as Nicholson showed superior power on his way to the unanimous verdict. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 for Nicholson as he returns to the winning column. Third loss by KO/TKO for Baker who had been stopped in tough matches by Edwin Rodriguez and Oleksandr Gvozdyk.
East London, South Africa: Light Fly: Nhlanhia Tyirha (6-1) W PTS 12 Jaysever Abcede (20-10). Light Fly: Siphamandla Baleni (18-3-2) W PTS 12 Mpumeleto Tshabalala (5-1).
Tyirha vs. Abcede
South African southpaw Tyirha climbs off the floor to win the vacant WBO Global title with unanimous decision over fellow southpaw Filipino Abcede. There was plenty of discussion over whether Tyirha was ready for a title fight and the questions looked valid when Tyirha was put down heavily in the first round by a thunderous straight left. He was up early and from then used his speed and skill to outbox Abcede. The Filipino walked Tyirha down throughout the fight but Tyirha showed some excellent defensive skills. He put together some rattling combinations but lacks power which meant Abcede was able to keep pressing. He scored heavily to the body when he could pin down Tyirha but too often Tyirha slipped out of danger and banged home more combinations and deservedly won on scores of 117-110 twice and 116-111 which would have been wider but for the 10-8 first round. Tyirha, 21, had won the South African title in his fourth fight and suffered his only loss when being outpointed by former IBF minimumweight title holder Nkosinathi Joyi in 2019. Abcede was having his first fight since November 2019 and was 4-1 in his previous 5 contests.
Baleni vs. Tshabalala
Baleni makes a successful first defence of the South African title with majority verdict over Tshabalala. The fight was dull by comparison with the WBO title fight with too much holding and mauling with Baleni having to deal with the longer reach of the taller Tshabalala but winning on scores of 116-112, 116-113 and 114-114. Baleni, 30, is a former undefeated South African minimumweight and WBO Global light flyweight title holder. Tshabalala had never been past the sixth round before.
Glendale, AZ, USA: Super Light: Ray Beltran (37-9-1,1ND) W RTD 6 Edgar Ramirez (18-19-1).
Beltran returns to action after 28 months away and gets a win as Ramirez retires after the sixth round. The former WBO lightweight champion was 142lbs for this one so could go up to super light or down to light as he tries to fight his way to another title shot but at 40 time is against him. Just a single victory in his previous eight fights for Ramirez.
Villa Mercedes, Argentina: Welter: Luis Veron (19-3-2) W Leonardo Amitrano (17-6).
Veron retains the South American title with narrow unanimous decision over home town fighter Amitrano. Despite his indifferent record Amitrano is a tough man to beat and it was the better skills of Veron that gave him the edge. His accurate jabbing and well placed combinations offset the aggression and constant switching of guard by Amitrano. Veron was bleeding heavily from the nose over the late rounds but was a good winner. Scores 96 ½-94 ½, 98-97 and 96-95 for Veron. He was 17-0-2 at one point but suffered losses to Michael McKinson, Tara Shelestyuk and Elvis Rodriguez. Amitrano, the Argentinian No 1, took IBF No 1 Jeremiah Ponce to a split decision and is a former South American champion at super light.
Panama City, Panama: Light Fly: Azael Villar (17-1-3) W PTS 10 David Martinez (10-5-1). Bantam: Felix Montenegro (10-9-1) W PTS 10 Alejandro Espinoza (17-2). Super Feather: Nehomar Cermeno (27-8-1) W TKO 1 John Valencia (4-2-4,1ND). Feather: Jhonatan Arenas (19-1) W KO 5 Samuel Moreno (9-4-1).
Villar vs. Martinez
Villar picks-up the WBC Fecarbox belt with unanimous decision over Mexican Martinez on scores of 97-93 twice and 98-94. Villar’s only loss was an upset first round stoppage against Nicaraguan Jerson Ortiz in 2018. Martinez had scored two inside the distance victories this year.
Montenegro vs. Espinoza
Local fighter Montenegro continues a small run of good form as he wins on a split verdict over favoured Mexican Espinoza. The early rounds saw Espinoza using his longer reach to outbox Montenegro but Montenegro changed his tactics and dominated the second half of the fight. Scores 96-94 twice for Montenegro and 96-94 for Espinoza. Montenegro collects the vacant WBC Continental Americas title and gets his fourth win in a row something he has not previously achieved in his career. Espinoza had been 5-0 in his most recent fights.
Cermeno vs. Valencia
Too easy for Cermeno as he stops overmatched Valencia late in the first round. Now 42 the former holder of the secondary WBA super bantamweight title was having his first outing since April 2018. Panamanian Valencia in way over his head.
Arenas vs. Moreno
Panamanian Arenas comes out of retirement and knocks out fellow-countryman Moreno in the fifth round. Arenas lost his first pro fight and then scored eighteen straight wins, twelve by KO/TKO before retiring in October 2016. Moreno was having his first fight for six years.
Argentina: Middle: Lucas Bastida (17-1-1) DREW 10 Juan Taborda (16-0-1). Welter: Juan Leal (14-1) W PTS 10 Christian Andino (16-2-1).
Bastida vs. Taborda
Bastida holds on to his South American title and Taborda to his WBO Latino one as they fought to a split draw. Taborda settled quickest and working inside against the taller Bastida and he built a good lead. It was only over the second half of the fight that the 6’1” Bastida managed to work efficiently at distance and also scored with some scorching left hooks to the body. They both put in a huge effort in the last knowing the fight was close but they had to share the points as the judges scored it 97-93 for Taborda 96-94 for Bastida and 95-95. Both were making their first defence with Bastida Argentinian No 1 and Taborda No 2.
Leal vs. Andino
Leal is still Argentinian champion due to a majority decision over No 2 Andin0. Leal attacked hard at the first relying on his better hand speed with Andino getting into the fight in the second with his left jab and right crosses. That’s how the fight developed with the champion coming forward and Andino boxing and countering. The rounds were close with Andino’s clever boxing taking him in front and by the end of the seventh he had a good lead. Leal staged a storming finish sweeping the closing rounds to take the decision. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Leal and 95-95 which gives Leal his ninth consecutive victory. Second unsuccessful shot at a national title for Andino.
Santa Rosa, Argentina: Bantam: Angel Aquino (8-4-1) W PTS 10 Luciano Baldor (16-23.
Somewhat of an upset as Argentinian No 5 Aquino outpoints No 1 Baldor to lift the vacant national title. Scores 98-91, 97-92 and 98 ½ -95 for Aquino who was 2-4 going into this one against Baldor who had won his last ten fights.
Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic: Heavy: Tomas Salek (16-3) W PTS 10 Michal Reissinger (2-1). Super Middle: Robert Racz (25-2) W TKO 1 Ondrej Budera (15-22-1). Fly: Fabiana Bytyqi (18-0-1) W PTS 6 Farah El Bousairi (3-1).
Salek vs. Reissinger
Salek wins the Czech title at the second attempt as he takes unanimous decision over Reissinger. The fight was close early with former martial arts competitor Reissinger just edging in front over the first two rounds but Salek was stronger and took charge of the fight after that and earned the unanimous decision. Scores 100-90, 99-92 and 98-92 for Salek. He had lost to Pavel Sour in a fight for the title in 2019 and was coming off a third round stoppage loss to Kash Ali in May. Reissinger had won his two previous fights in the first round.
Racz vs. Budera
Former undefeated champion Racz regains the Czech title with first round stoppage of Budera. Racz floored Budera twice with Budera’s corner throwing the towel in the ring after just 2:50 of the opening round. The 26-year-old Racz has scored 21 victories by KO/TKO. Budera had won the Czech light heavy title in July.
Bytyqi vs. El Bousairi
WBC Atomweight champion Bytyqi returns to action but struggles to get past inexperienced El Bousairi on a split verdict. First fight for eight months for Bytyqi who was out with a fractured elbow. Spanish-based Moroccan El Bousairi was having only her second fight in over three years and came in as a late replacement.
Munich, Germany : Light Heavy: Serge Michel (12-2) W TKO 3 Stephane Tchamba (3-8-1).
Predictable outcome as “Sniper” Michel stops Tchamba in three. Michel was scoring with heavy uppercuts in the first and floored Tchamba in the second. Tchamba only just survived the round but was dropped again in the third and the towel came in from Tchamba’s corner. First fight for Michel since losing on a tenth round stoppage against Ricards Bolotniks in the final of the MTK tournament in December. Seven losses and a draw is Tchamba’s recent form.
Tokyo Japan: Super Fly: Ryoji Fukunaga (15-4) W PTS 12 Hayate Kaji (15-1
Fukunaga holds on to the OPBF, Japanese and WBO Asia Pacific belts with very controversial majority decision victory over the younger unbeaten Kaji. The challenger seemed to edge the first round but Fukunaga scored with some blistering body punches in the second. Kaji rebounded to take the third hurting Fukunaga with left hooks. The fourth was close with Fukunaga just doing enough to take it but again Kaji landed heavily in the fifth with Fukunaga forced to hold to survive. After the fifth the scores were 48-47 twice for Fukunaga and 48-47 for Kaji which seemed very generous to Fukunaga. The champion outscored Kaji in the sixth but took heavy punishment in the eighth and ninth with a stoppage looking possible and also seemed to outscore Fukunaga in the tenth. Kaji had never been passed the eighth round before and Fukunaga did enough to take the last two rounds. Scores 115-113 twice and 114-114 whereas Kaji looked to have been the clear winner. Southpaw Fukunaga, 35, was a modest 10-3 until he hit a good run scoring wins over opposition such as Froilan Saludar and Kenta Nakazawa but he was lucky here.
Monterrey, Mexico: Super Light: Miguel Vazquez (44-10) W PTS 10 Oliver Flores (30-4-2). Heavy: Brandon Moore (10-0) W KO 1 Jesus Nerio (15-10-1). Super Light: Jimmer Espinosa (11-0) W TKO 5 Jorge Melendez (14-8-2). Super Bantam: Neslan Machado (18-0) W PTS 8 Alan Salazar (11-9-1). Super Bantam: Christian Uruzquieta (20-4-2,1ND) W PTS 8 Juan Ocura (13-16-2,1ND).
Vazquez vs. Flores
Former IBF lightweight champion Vazquez scores a unanimous decision over Nicaraguan Flores. It was southpaw Flores who went out in front over the first three rounds. Vazquez began to roil from the third a round in which Flores was cut on his left eyebrow in a clash of heads. Vazquez gradually took over and with his better skills and higher work rate did enough to get the decision although the fight was harder for Vazquez than the scores of 99-91, 98-92 indicate and a better reflection was the third score of. 96-94. After losing a very controversial decision to Lewis Ritson in England in October Vazquez picked up his second win this year back in Mexico. Former WBA super feather title challenger Flores was having his first outing for two years.
Moore vs. Nerio
Floridian heavyweight Moore at 6’6” much too big for and punches too hard for 5’11” Nerio. Moore retains the WBC USNBC belt with first round kayo delivered by a left hook. Sixth inside the distance finish for Moore and seventh loss by KO/TKO for Mexican Nerio.
Espinosa vs. Melendez
Mexico City’s Espinosa remains unbeaten after stoppage of Melendez. Espinosa floored Melendez with a right uppercut in the fifth and although Melendez arose he was being heavily punished and the fight was halted. Tenth quick win for the promising 23-year-old. Melendez had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
Machado vs. Salazar
Miami-based Cuban hope Machado keeps his 100% record but has to work hard to take the verdict over Salazar on scores of 78-73, 77-74 and 78-76. Then 25-year-old Machado impressed with three wins in the UK but had only one fight in 2019 and one in 2020. Salazar falls to 3-5 in his last 8 contests.
Uruzquieta vs. Ocura
Uruzquieta outpoints Ocura on a unanimous decision over eight but no scores given. Uruzquieta lost a point and Ocura two due to infringements of the rules. Uruzquieta is 6-1-1in his last 8 fights and was a popular visitor to Canada where he went 2-2-1 in his 5 fights. Both fighters have a ND on their records but for very different reasons. Uruzquieta’s was due to a cut but Ocura tested positive for a banned substance after scoring a career best win by beating Alexander Miskirtchian in Belgium so the fight was ruled a No Decision and he has now won only of his last ten fights.
Koscierzyna, Poland: Middle: Adrian Szczypior (8-0) W PTS 10 Vladyslav Gela (11-4).
Szczypior wins the vacant Polish International title on a split decision over Ukrainian Gela. Szczypior’s right jabs helped him get off to a good start and he was more accurate than Gela who often relied on crude rushing attacks. Gela did better over the late rounds but was denied what looked a clear knockdown as Szczypior was the winner on scores of 97-93 and 94-96 and 96-94 for Gela.
Bang Phun, Thailand: Light: Apichet Petchmanee (11-0) W KO 2 Phutthiphong Rakoon (8-5). Super Fly: Adrian Lerasan (10-4) W KO 5 Suradech (6-5).
Apichet vs. Rakoon
No problems here for Apichet who beats fellow-Thai Rakoon in the second round. A body punch sent Rakoon down in the second and although he made it to his feet he was still doubled up in agony and was counted out. Not even any useful ring time for Apichet.
Lerasan vs. Suradech
Filipino Lerasan wins the WBC Asia Continental belt with kayo of Thai Suradech (Masuk Tor Buamas) in the fifth round. Lerasan scored a knockdown in the third and put Suradech down and out in the fifth. Lerasan won the WBA Asian belt in Thailand in his last fight in March 2020. Five losses on the bounce for Surachet.
Fight of the week (Significance): None of major significance
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Ryoji Fukunaga vs. Hayate was a clash of styles that provided plenty of action
Fighter of the week: David Avanesyan for his crushing win over Liam Taylor in his fourth defence of the European welterweight title with honourable mention to South African Nhlanhia Tyirha for getting off the floor to win the WBO Global light flyweight title in only his seventh fight.
Punch of the week: Any one of the left uppercuts from David Avanesyan which broke Liam Taylor apart
Upset of the week: No biggies
Prospect watch: Super Middleweight Germaine Brown looked good in beating Jamal Le Doux to go to 9-0
Red Card: In future I will use this to highlight any person or thing that in my opinion has harmed boxing over the past week
Rosette: For the good things that have happened in the fights for that week
-Different trainers-different reactions. Irish super welterweight Craig O’Brien was incensed when his corner threw in the towel in his fight with Samuel Nmomah. When 44-year-old Rafal Jackiewicz, once an IBF welterweight title challenger but now fighting at 170lbs, told his trainer he was retiring after the fourth round of his fight with unbeaten Kewin Gruchala his trainer ranted and raved at him, slammed the water bottle on the canvas then climbed out of the ring shouting insults at Jackiewicz all the way to either the dressing rooms or even the venue exit.
-There was some question of whether the Nhlanhia Tyirha vs. Jaysever Abcede WBO Global title fight would take place. Boxing South Africa was less than pleased at the match and understandably. There were two South Africans in the WBO top ten-Sivenathi Nontshinga at No 6 and Hekkie Budler at No 8 with neither Tyirha or Abcede in the ratings at all. Additionally the national champion Siphamandla Baleni was overlooked so it was like a slap in the face to Boxing SA-and incidentally to the other fighters rated in the top 15. What’s the point of having ratings if you are just going to ignore them when it comes to fighting for your vacant high prestige title (well as viewed as high prestige by the WBO anyway).
- It was all set to be the return of boxing to Maracaibo. An outdoors show in honour of WBA super featherweight champion Roger Gutierrez. Nine fights including two WBA regional title fights and a huge crowd-then it bloody well rained on their parade. Luckily it is being rescheduled as Venezuelan boxing is at a very low ebb and it needs shows like this.
By Eric Armit
-Oleksandr Usyk wins the IBF/WBA/WBO and IBO titles with points win over Anthony Joshua
-Lawrence Okolie knocks out Dilan Prasovic in three rounds in WBO cruiser title defence
-Masamichi Yabuki wins the WBC light flyweight title with upset stoppage of unbeaten champion Kenshiro Teraji
-Callum Smith scores scary kayo over Lenin Castillo in the second round
-Arslanbek Makhmudov and Christian Mbilli score quick wins in Quebec
World Title/Major Shows
Kyoto, Japan: Light Fly: Masamichi Yabuki (13-3) W TKO 10 Kenshiro Teraji (18-1).
Unfancied Yabuki spoils the home coming party for WBC title holder Teraji as he stops him in the tenth. Assured start from Teraji in the first with plenty of movement and plenty of probing jabs but he was off target and short with his jab. Yabuki landed a couple of punches late to steal the round. Teraji was still throwing lots of jabs in the second and but again although he was throwing less it was Yabuki who was connecting and he was out jabbing Teraji in the third. Teraji could have worn just one glove as he hardly used his right at all. Yabuki had a good fourth knocking Teraji back on his heels with a right and connecting with good counters. After four rounds two judges had Yabuki up 40-36 and the other had it 38-38. The rounds had been close but Teraji’s jab was too often just an ineffectual prod. The fifth saw Yabuki score repeatedly with rights to the head knocking Teraji off balance. Teraji upped his pace in the sixth. He was moving in behind his jab and bringing his right into play and looked on the point of taking the fight over. Teraji kept up the fast pace in the seventh but was only throwing jabs and it was Yakubu who was connecting with the more impressive single shots. The eighth was a good round for Yabuki. Teraji was following him around the ring jabbing but time and again was caught with rights from Yabuki one of which sent Teraji staggering and after the eighth Yabuki was ahead 79-74, 78-74 and 77-75. In an exciting ninth Teraji came forward throwing punches but suddenly Yabuki fired a series of shots that had Teraji reeling and a punch opened a bad cut over the left eye of the champ. Yabuki then had Teraji under severe pressure. Teraji forgot his boxing and now went toe-to-toe slugging with Yabuki. He looked to have Yabuki rocking only for Yabuki to fire back with two huge rights that shook Teraji at the bell. Teraji went for broke at the start of the tenth forcing Yabuki to the ropes and letting fly with hooks and uppercuts from both hands. He landed a couple of sweeping hooks to the body and snapped Yabuki’s head back with a right. Yabuki shoved Teraji to the canvas but Teraji got up and was assaulting an exhausted looking Yabuki with body punches but also leaving himself open and Yabuki connected with some blazing head punches that had Teraji reeling across the ring to the ropes and Yabuki kept pounding on a Teraji who was ready to drop when the referee stopped the fight. Teraji had tested positive for COVID-19 at the end of August and this fight was put back seventeen days but Teraji did not have a negative result until 3 September so he could not have been in top condition for this fight.
London, England: Heavy: Oleksandr Usyk (19-0) W PTS 12 Anthony Joshua (24-2). Cruiser: Lawrence Okolie (17-0) W KO 3 Dilan Prasovic (15-1). Light Heavy: Callum Smith (28-1) W KO 2 Lenin Castillo (21-4-1). Welter: Florian Marku (9-0-1) W PTS 10 Maxim Prodan (19-1-1). Middle: Christopher Ousley (13-0, 1ND) W PTS 10 Khasan Baysangurov (21-2).
Usyk vs. Joshua
Usyk collects four title belts as he matches Joshua and then finishes the fight strongly sweeping the late round to emerge a clear and deserved winner.
Usyk was quicker and more mobile. He landed first getting through with a straight left. Joshua connected with a right later but another left and a shot to the body were enough to give Usyk the round. He was constantly circling Joshua and changing direction with Joshua looking slow by comparison.
Score: 10-9 Usyk
Joshua kept popping Usyk with jabs . Not all were landing but he was using the jab to keep Usyk at distance. Usyk could not get past the jab and Joshua took the round with his work with his jab.
Score: 10-9 Joshua Tied 19-19
A much better round for Usyk. He was able to dart past Joshua’s jab and connected with a good combination to the head. Late in the round a big left from Usyk visibly shook Joshua and Usyk fired more punches trying to capitalise on that but Joshua recovered.
Score: 10-9 Usyk Usyk 29-28
Usyk’s quick footwork and hand speed were allowing him to connect with right jabs over the top of Joshua’s left and he was also able to get through with his punches and get out before Joshua could counter.
Score: 10-9 Usyk Usyk 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Viktor Fesechko 39-37 Usyk, Judge Howard Foster 38-38 TIED, Judge Steve Weisfeld 39-37 Usyk.
The pace speeded up in this round mainly because Joshua was more positive and Usyk had to move more. Joshua again kept popping Usyk with his jab and landed a couple of rights with Usyk connected with a left late.
Score:10-9 Joshua Usyk 48-47
The pace was very fast for heavyweights. Joshua was stabbing out his jab and putting Usyk under more pressure. Neither scored with any big punches but Usyk was being caught with the jab and was set back by a straight right and not managing to get on the front foot.
Score: 10-9 Joshua TIED 57-57
A good round for Usyk. He was getting through with his jab and straight rights. Joshua was throwing single punches whereas Usyk was starting to fire combinations and a left to the head sent Joshua staggering back across the ring.
Score: 10-9 Usyk Usyk 67-66
Joshua used his right a lot more in this round and found the target but was reaching with the punch which lost some of its force. Usyk sparked to life late in the round but then Joshua scored with two thumping body punches.
Score: 10-9 Joshua TIED 76-76
Official Scores: Judge Viktor Fesechko 77-76 Usyk, Judge Howard Foster 77-75 Joshua, Judge Steve Weisfeld 76-76 TIED.
Usyk was just too fast for Joshua in this round. He was sliding his jab over the top of Joshua’s and coming in with straight lefts. Joshua just could not find the target and Usyk scored with a heavy left at the bell
Score: 10-9 Usyk Usyk 86-85
Usyk was confident enough to stand inside and slip Joshua’s lead and slot home fast rights and lefts. He was again putting his punches into small bursts with Joshua just firing one shot at a time looking static and slow there was swelling around his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Usyk Usyk 96-94
Joshua tried to raise his game but could not match the movement or hand speed of Usyk. The challenger was getting past Joshua’s jab and driving Joshua back with a series of punches and then moving out of range before Joshua could counter.
Score: 10-9 Usyk Usyk 106-103
A one-sided last round saw Usyk outthrow and outland Joshua and he finished the fight with a whole series of punches that had Joshua reeling against the ropes a well beaten fighter.
Score:10-9 Usyk Usyk 116-112
Official Scores: Judge Viktor Fesechko 117-112 Usyk, Judge Howard Foster 115-113 Usyk, Judge Steve Weisfeld 116-112 Usyk.
A brilliant display of box/fighting from Usyk. He was too quick
and too clever for a pedestrian Joshua who with his cautious, no risk approach seemed to think he was fighting the Andy Ruiz from their second fight again instead of one of the most accomplished big men in the sport. Usyk has said he will give Joshua a return-in Ukraine! Whether that will be made or not should become evident soon. The position with the heavyweights is wide open right now. Obviously it would be good to think that Usyk vs. Tyson Fury or Deontay Wilder would follow as it would unify the heavyweight titles but it’s early to say how any negotiations for that might go. The WBA ratings have Trevor Bryan as secondary title holder and Mahmoud Charr as “Champion in Recess” and Daniel Dubois as No 1. I wouldn’t watch Usyk against Bryan or Mahmoud if you paid me and it might be a bit early for Dubois who is yet to face a real test since his loss to Joe Joyce. The No 1 spot in both the IBF and WBO ratings is vacant so Usyk has at this time no mandatory fights. Usyk was totally the wrong kind of opponent for Joshua and it was strange as there was a constrained way about how he fought as if he believed he could outbox Usyk. There was little “fire” in his performance. He will return but will have to change his whole game plan if he is to have a chance of beating Usyk in a return fight.
Okolie vs. Prasovic
Okolie destroys Prasovic in a totally predictable ending. Okolie was finding Prasovic with jabs in the first and then dropped him late in the second. A right which looked to land at the back of Prasovic’s head had him staggering and another right floored him. Prasovic made it to his feet and although Okolie landed a couple more head shots Prasovic survived the remaining seconds. In the third a body punch sent Prasovic down in agony and he was counted out. First defence of the WBO title for Okolie and he got the job done in probably the easiest defence he will have. Prasovic’s No 1 rating with the WBO was ridiculous and even his No 27 rating by Box Rec flatters him.
Smith vs. Castillo
If there was any question over whether Smith would be able to retain his power punching at light heavyweight this fight answered that question. Smith was on target in the first jabbing strongly and scoring with his trade mark left hooks to the body. Castillo showed a useful jab but Smith was curving rights around Castillo’s guard to the head. In the second as they traded punches a thunderous right from Smith sent Castillo down heavily on his back. His legs twitched uncontrollably and he was quickly given medical attention before leaving the ring on a stretcher and taken to hospital with the information later being that he had recovered and was not in danger. Smith will be looking to get at least another couple of fights at light heavy and then seek a title chance. First inside the distance loss for Castillo who had taken Dmitry Bivol the distance in a challenge for the secondary WBA title and also Marcus Browne.
Marku vs. Prodan
An Albanian vs. a Ukrainian does not seem very logical for a big show in London but that’s what we had here. Albanian Marku, who has fought almost exclusively in the UK, boxed cleverly over the early rounds with quick hands, plenty of movement and switch-hitting. Prodan came into the contention more over the second half of the fight rocking Marku who let his punch output drop as he tired. Despite that his early work earned him a deserved split decision on scores of 97-93 and 96-94 with the third card somehow reading 99-91 for Prodan ! Marku wins the IBF International title. Prodan was making the second defence of the IBF belt.
Ousley vs. Baysangurov
Big win and something of an upset as Ousley just gets by former WBA title challenger Baysangurov on a majority decision. Scores 97-94 twice and 95-95 for Chicago’s Ousley. Bulgarian Baysangurov was stopped in eleven rounds by Rob Brant for the secondary WBA belt in February 2019 but had come back with four wins over modest opponents.
Quebec City, Canada: Heavy: Arslanbek Makhmudov (13-0) W RTD 1 Erkan Teper (21-4). Super Middle: Christian Mbilli (19-0) W TKO 3 Ronny Landaeta (18-4).
Makhmudov vs. Teper
Makhmudov crushes Teper who dips out after three knockdowns in the opening round. Teper found gaps for a straight right and a couple of jabs before Makhmudov connected with a series of hefty rights that put Teper down on his hands and knees. Teper beat the count but was put down twice more and retired at the end of the round. Now thirteen fights and thirteen wins by KO/TKO for the 6’5” 260lbs Russian and his fourth one round finish in a row. He certainly has power but is a bit crude. I was going to say he has very little head movement and whilst that is true with regard to that movement as a defence he constantly shakes head from side to side in what seems to be an involuntary twitch. In the World Series of Boxing he scored wins over Mihai Nistor, Jose Larduet and Guido Vianello. Teper, rated No 58 by Box Rec, and in his first fight since February 2020, looked all of his 39 years and proved no test for Makhmudov who has done all that has been asked of him but is yet to meet a threatening opponent.
Mbilli vs. Landaeta
Mbilli marches on with third round victory over Landaeta. Mbilli quickly put Landaeta under pressure in the first with stabbing jabs, hooks to the body inside and some fast rights to the head. Landaeta tried to trade with Mbilli but lacked the power to do so. Landaeta was down in the second but complained he had been punched on the back of the head. He made it to his feet but was shaken later by two uppercuts. In the third Mbilli connected with two rights to the head that had Landaeta reeling and he was pinned to the ropes under fire when the referee stopped the fight. Mbilli wins the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. The 26-year-old “Solide” Mbilli has won 18 of his fights by KO/TKO and is ready for rated opposition. To his credit despite the punishment Mbilli was dishing out Landaeta never stopped trying to trade with Mbilli and this is his first inside the distance defeat.
Dominican Republic: Feather: Fency Fortunato (12-1) W TKO 7 Cristian Avila (16-5-1) W. Super Welter: Ismael Villarreal (10-0) W KO 2 Thomas Mendez (24-13).
Fortunato vs. Avila
Fortunato snaps the winning run of Venezuelan Avila with a seventh round kayo. In an incident filled- bad tempered fight Fortunato boxed on the back foot for the first two rounds and then set to work. He almost decapitated Avila with an uppercut in the third, was warned for a low punch in the fourth and deducted a point in the fifth for another below the belt shot. They then taunted each other through the fifth before Fortunato floored Avila at the end of the sixth and again in the seventh and the fight was stopped. Tenth inside the distance victory for Fortunato as he rebounds from loss to Alberto Melian in March. Avila had won his last twelve bouts but his opposition had been dire with only eight wins between them.
Villarreal vs. Mendez
Bronx-born Villarreal, 24, gets his sixth KO/TKO victory as he knocks out Mendez in two rounds. Villarreal scored with a couple of heavy rights at the end of the first. He continued to hammer Mendez with punches in the second. Mendez had to hold twice to avoid going down but a blistering series of head and body punches saw him drop to the canvas and he was counted out. Second win in seven weeks for Villarreal but fourth consecutive stoppage loss for Dominican Mendez.
Broken Arrow, OK, USA: Bantam: Saul Sanchez (17-1) W TKO 1 Jarico O’Quinn (14-1-1). Middle: Timur Kerefov (12-0) W PTS 10 Devaun Lee (10-8-1). Feather: Luis Nunez (12-0) W PTS 10 Jayvon Garnett (10-1). Super Feather: Otar Eranosyan (10-0) W PTS 8 Alejandro Guerrero (12-2). Middle: Hugo Centeno Jr (28-3-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Kenneth Council (11-5-1).
Sanchez vs. O’Quinn
In something of an upset Sanchez destroys O’Quinn inside a round. A left hook put O’Quinn on the canvas just one minute into the fight. Quinn managed to get to his feet and tried to hold but was quickly down again from a right to the head. Quinn got up but was trapped on the ropes and twice almost slid to the canvas until the referee came in and pulled Sanchez off stopping the fight. Tenth inside the distance win for Californian Sanchez. Detroit’s O’Quinn was having his first fight since January 2020 but never got a chance to shake off any dust.
Kerefov vs. Lee
Russian Kerefov puts in ten rounds of work in outpointing Lee. Kerefov had a big edge in skills finding gaps for his jabs and changing angles to get through Lee’s defence. Although Lee was competitive the quicker, slicker Kerefov was never any serious pressure and boxed his way to winning every round. Scores 100-90 on the judge’s cards. Kerefov was a good level amateur but the claim of a 298-12 record is an example of a PR man feeding information and hoping no one will get off their bum and check despite that bit of PR licence he looks good and is worth watching. Sixth loss in a row for Lee.
Nunez vs. Garnet
Nunez outpoints Garnett over ten slow paced rounds. Nunez will have been looking to impress in his first fight outside of his native Dominican Republic but it was hard work against a largely negative Garnett. Nunez had the better skills and a lot of height and reach over Garnett and there was never enough coming back from Garnett to raise the tempo of the fight and Nunez had to settle for a comfortable win. Scores 100-90 for the winner on all cards. Nunez’s record is not as padded as some Dominican’s so it will be interesting to see how he goes against a more energetic opponent.
Eranosyan vs. Guerrero
Georgian Eranosyan continues his busy schedule with wide unanimous decision over Texan Guerrero. The early rounds were competitive with Guerrero taking the fight to Eranosyan but the Georgian was that bit more accurate and had the edge. Over the second half of the fight Eranosyan dominated the action and fitted in some showboating but Guerrero stuck to his game plan and attacked to the end. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 for Eranosyan who was scoring his ninth win in the last twelve months. Guerrero had won his first twelve fights but dropped a majority verdict against 19-2-1 Abraham Montoya in February.
Centeno vs. Council
Centeno returns to the ring for the first time fighting a split draw with Juan Macias Maciel in December 2016 and blows away an overmatched Council. Centeno towered over the 5’8” Council and wrapped this fight up in the second round dropping Council and then after the eight count continuing to bombard him with punches until the fight was halted. After going 24-0 Centeno lost big fights against Maciej Sulecki, Jermall Charlo and Willie Monroe so he is facing a long haul back to the top. Fourth defeat by KO/TKO for Council.
Hurlingham, Argentina: Super Middle: Ramon Lovera (15-1-1) W DISQ 1 Rolando Mansilla (16-9-1). Feather: Sebastian Pedroza (13-0-1) W TKO 3 Jose Garcia (7-10).
Lovera vs. Mansilla
This fight was over in 54 seconds. A butt from Mansilla in the first round rendered Lovera unable to continue and Mansilla was disqualified. Lovera retains the Argentinian title in his first defence. First round endings seem to haunt Mansilla as he lost to Kevin Lele Sadjo in one round in Germany when he fractured his leg.
Pedraza vs. Garcia
In a battle of southpaws Pedraza retained the South American title with stoppage of Garcia. After winning the first two rounds Pedraza scored three knockdowns in the third to end the fight. Now eleven consecutive victories for 24-year-old Pedraza. Garcia had won 3 of his last 4 outings.
Charlottenberg, Germany: Super Welter: Jama Saidi (20-2) W PTS 12 Howard Cospolite (19-9-3). Super Welter: Haro Matevosyan (14-0,1ND) W RTD 8 Zino Meuli (14-1). Light Heavy: Armenak Hovhannisyan (13-1-1) W PTS Timo Laine (29-17)Super Feather: Beke Bas (14-0) W Marina Sakharov (5-12-2).
Saidi vs. Cospolite
Typically classic boxing light punching display from Saidi as he outpoints Frenchman Cospolite to win the vacant European Union title. Saidi’s footwork and hand speed were just too much for Cospolite. To win he had to put Saidi under pressures but too often he stood off and allowed Saidi to pick his spots. When Cospolite did come forward that same Saidi footwork and some sharp upper body work kept Saidi out of danger as he boxed his way to a comfortable victory. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109. Saidi will be looking for a shot at the European title now. His losses have come on points against Vincent Feigenbutz and Jack Culcay.
Matevosyan vs. Meuli
Matevosyan grinds down and stops Meuli in eight. Southpaw Matevosyan was giving away a little in height and reach but he kept Meuli under pressure being quicker getting his punches off first scoring well with hooks to the body. Meuli hardly took a step forward being short with his jabs and not having the power to get Matevosyan’s respect. A series of punches dropped Meuli to one knee just before the bell to end the third Meuli arose but was cut over his left eye and had to survive a doctor’s examination. Matevosyan upped the pressure and in the eighth was raking Meuli with punches. There was confusion as Meuli twice bobbed at the knee as if about to go down but then stood up. The referee gave him a standing count then Meuli tried one last attack without success and retired at the end of the round. Armenian-born Matevosyan was defending the IBF Inter-Continental belt. Swiss Meuli was having only his second contest in the last three years and was never really in this fight.
Hovhannisyan vs. Laine
Hovhannisyan takes the twelve round decision over Laine in fight for the vacant WBA Continental title. Hovhannisyan was too strong for the taller and more mobile Laine and continually found the target with his jabs and thudding body punches. A left from Hovhannisyan saw Laine drop to one knee in the third and he was also cut over his left eye. Hovhannisyan was driving forward throughout the fight with Laine tiring from the fourth and resorting to only fighting in bursts. Hovhannisyan varied the pace of the fight and worked well to the body to slow Laine. Despite tiring Laine kept darting forward with an occasional fierce attacks to edge a couple of rounds and came though some sticky patches to make it to the final bell. Scores 119-109, 117-112 and 116-112 for Hovhannisyan . His only loss was on points against Serge Michel in 2018 and he is now9-0-1 since then. Laine has taken the role of road loser against some very useful opposition.
Bas vs. Sakharov
Bas gets unanimous decision. Sakharov was taller with a longer reach but very little power. The 5’2” Bas just walked through Sakharov’s punches scoring with shots from both hands outworking and outscoring her although Sakharov refused to cave in and made Bas work hard. All three cards read 60-54 for Bas.
Tijuana, Mexico: Super Light: Jesus Angulo (15-0) W PTS 10 Diego Santiago (18-2). Middle: Francisco Veron (5-0) W PTS 8 Augustin Rodriguez (11-13-3)
Angulo vs. Santiago
In his first ten round fight teenager Angulo maintains his 100% start to his pro career with unanimous points win over his toughest opponent to date in Santiago.
Veron vs. Rodriguez
Argentinian hope Veron has his first pro fight outside of his native land and outpoints Mexican Rodriguez. The 22-year-old had taken less than seven rounds to score his four wins in Argentina so he doubled his pro ring time in this bout. He took a break from his pro career to compete in Tokyo but did not medal. Eighth loss on the trot for Rodriguez.
Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico: Middle: Carlos Molina (38-12-2) W PTS 10 Juan Raygosa (17-18-3).
Molina makes it nine+ wins in his last ten fights as he outpoints Raygosa. If you can fight in front of your own fans and are also the promoter your chances of winning are doubled but Molina was too good for Raygosa. He was coming off a loss to Sam Eggington in England in May in a fight that must have a chance of being voted the Fight of the Year in the UK. Three losses in a row for Raygosa.
Oborniki, Poland: Super Middle: Robert Parzeczewski (27-2) W TKO 5 Sahan Aybay (10-1).
Parzeczewski demolishes Aybay in five rounds. Parzeczewski floored Aybay with a left hook to the body in the third and then put him down three times in the fifth and the fight was stopped with one second remaining in the round. Parzeczewski wins the vacant Polish International title with his seventeenth win by KO/TKO. German southpaw Aybay had won his last seven fights inside the distance.
Hartford, CT, USA: Super Welter: Greg Vendetti (23-4-1) W PTS 10 Jimmy Williams (18-6-2,1ND). Middle: Chordale Booker (17-0) W PTS 8 Silverio Ortiz (37-28).
Vendetti vs. Williams
Vendetti’s experience against better opposition stands him in good stead as he takes a split verdict over Williams in another example of the madness that is the scoring of fights. Two judges had Vendetti winning 99-91 and 97-93 and the third had it for Williams 96-94. Three different sides of the ring three different fights it seems. First fight for Vendetti since losing on points against Erislandy Lara for the secondary WBA super welterweight title in August last year. He wins the WBC USNBC belt. Williams had decisioned Yuri Foreman in June.
Booker vs. Ortiz
Local southpaw Booker wins wide unanimous decision over Mexican veteran Ortiz on scores of 80-73 on the cards. Ortiz was twice deducted a point for infractions of the rules. A former US National champion Booker just failed to make it through the final US Olympic Trials for Rio. The 39-year-old Ortiz is 1-9 in his last 10 fights but shows no sign of putting the gloves away.
Miami, FL, USA: Cruiser: Siarhei Novikau (7-0,1ND) W TKO 2 Kevin Brown (2-16). Light: Romero Duno (24-2) W RTD 2 Jonathan Perez (38-28,1ND). Super Welter: Elias Espadas (22-4,1ND) W PTS 8 Marcus Willis (20-9-2).
Novikau vs. Falliga
In a farcical bout the 6’5” Belarusian Novikau was several classes above the crude swinging Brown and in the first connected with hard shots from both hands staggering Brown a few times and hurting him with hooks to the body. Brown was so inept it was pitiful and a series of punches saw him go down twice in the second round and finally the referee stopped the fight. Novikau, a former European Championships bronze medallist who lost to Joshua Buatsi in the European Qualifier for the 2016 Olympics, is much too good to be fighting the likes of Brown who has lost 13 of his fights by KO/TKO and should not have a licence.
Duno vs. Perez
Disappointing ending to this one. Duno outscored Perez over the first round and was connecting with power shots in the second. Perez complained of an injury to his left arm and did not come out for the third round. Just a single loss in his last 16 fights for Filipino Duno which was a one round stoppage against Ryan Garcia. Colombian Garcia has won only one of his last eleven fights,
Espadas vs. Willis
Espadas outpoints Willis. Espadas had the longer reach and more power. Willis scored with some sharp counters but Espadas was dangerous with long rights and he shook Willis up in the fourth and fifth with left hooks to the body and head. The paced slowed over the sixth and seventh and Espadas chose to dance his way through the last and took the decision. The 30-year-old Mexican is 13-1, 1ND in his last 15 fights with the loss coming against Yamaguchi Falcao. The recent form of Floridian Willis is four losses in his last six fights.
Dedham, MA, USA: Light: Rayjay Bermudez (14-0) W TKO 2 Philip Adyaka (7-16).
Bermudez gets his eleventh inside the distance victory as he stops Adyaka in the second round. Bermudez dominated the action in the first and then stunned Adyaka with a right in the second. After that Bermudez unloaded a bunch of punches until the referee came in to save Adyaka. Seventh consecutive inside the distance victory for the 23-year-old from Albany. Ugandan-born Adyaka has lost eight in a row.
Mexico City: Mexico: Fly: Cristian Gonzalez (14-1) W TKO 2 Kenny Cano (14-4).
Gonzalez scores second round win over Venezuelan Cano in a WBC Silver Fecarbox title fight. Gonzalez softened up Cano with body punches in the first and then landed a rib-bender in the second that sent Cano down in agony and he was counted out. Eighth win in a row for the 22-year-old Mexican. Local sources have his record as 16-1 with six inside the distance victories. Third consecutive inside the distance defeat for Cano.
Tolu, Mexico: Light Heavy: Arturo Leyva (10-0) W PTS 12 Deivis Casseres (26-13).
Leyva wins the vacant UBO title with close unanimous decision over Casseres. Scores 115-113 twice and 116-112 for Colombian-born Leyva, a former Colombian champion who is now based in Miami. Colombian Casseres makes his money as a travelling loser who goes back home when he needs a win.
Merida, Mexico: Super Bantam: David Picasso (18-0-1) W PTS 10 Alfredo Mejia (15-4-3). Feather: Rafael Espinoza (17-0) W KO 1 Aramis Solis (14-13). Fly: Miguel Herrera (22-3-5) W PTS 8 Maximino Flores (26-5-2,2ND).Super Bantam: Cristian Olivo (18-0-1) W PTS 8 Jonathan Aguilar (20-11).
Picasso vs. Mejia
Mexico City’s Picasso, 21, outclasses Mejia outworking and outscoring him all the way. Scores 99-90 twice and 100-89 for Picasso who extends his winning run to 14 fights. “Rambo King” Mejia suffered tough losses in 2019 against Alex Santiago and Miguel Marriaga.
Espinoza vs. Solis
Espinoza continues to show real power but this was quick even for him as he put Solis down and out after just twelve seconds. Fourteenth inside the distance win for Espinoza and ninth in his last ten fights. Aramis recent record is a disaster area with eight losses in a row by KO/TKO and a No Decision when he was unable to continue after just 22 seconds due to a punch to the back of the head.
Herrera vs. Flores
Important win for Yucatan’s Herrera as he outpoints Flores. Herrera outboxed Flores at distance with Flores getting the better of the exchanges inside. The speed and accuracy of Herrera gave him the edge and he took the unanimous verdict on scores of 78-73, 77-74 and 76-75. Herrera is now on an eleven bout winning streak. Flores had drawn with Dewayne Beamon and beaten Carlo Penalosa in a 3-0-1 series before this fight.
Olivo vs. Aguilar
WBC Youth champion Olivo, 22, moved up in class to tackle more experienced Aguilar and came away with the unanimous decision with the judges scoring 80-72 twice and 80-71. Olivo registers his thirteenth win in a row and looks ready to move up to ten rounds. Angular is 4-4 in his last eight contests.
Maschwitz, Argentina: Super Bantam: Edith Matthysse (16-11-1) W Laura Griffa (18-5).
In her first fight since losing a split decision to Ewa Brodnicka for the WBO Female super feather belt in October 2019 Matthysse, 41, keeps up the family tradition as she takes a unanimous verdict over Griffa. Matthysse was able to box at distance and outscore Griffa over the first half of the fight. Griffa came into the fight more in the second half being able to get past Matthysse’s jab to work to the body. Her second half improvement did enough to make the fight close but Matthysse took a deserved decision. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 for Matthysse who retains the Argentinian title. A former holder of the WBA and WBC Female belts at bantamweight she is the sister of Lukas and Walter Matthysse. Griffa, a former South American and Argentinian title holder, had lost on points to Matthysse in 2017.
Concordia, Argentina: Light Fly: Leandro Blanc (5-0) W TEC DEC 11 Junior Zarate (14-4). Feather: Marcela Acuna (50-7-2) W PTS 6 Natalie Alderete (3-4).
Blanc vs. Zarate
Home town fighter Blanc wins the battle for three belts as he takes a very disputed technical verdict over Zarate. Being smaller and giving away some reach Blanc pressed the action hard from the start but Zarate’s speed and accuracy saw him picking up the points. Blanc finally got into the fight over the middle rounds but a punch from Zarate in the seventh opened a cut over Blanc’s right eye. Blanc shook Zarate with a couple of rights in the ninth and Zarate was cut in a clash of heads in the tenth. Zarate just seemed to hold the lead going into the eleventh and last round when in a clash of heads Blanc suffered a bad cut over his left eye and the fight was stopped with the decision being decided on the scorecards with two judges giving it to Blanc 105-104 and the third to Blanc 107-102. Southpaw Blanc retains the South American title and wins the Argentinian and WBA Fedelatin title. Second loss in a row for Zarate. Both were top level amateurs with Zarate twice scoring wins over Blanc who competed at the 2016 Olympics and Zarate at the World Championships and the PanAmerican Games.
Acuna vs. Alderete
“The Tigress” hunts again as Acuna returned to action for the first time in over two years with a unanimous decision over novice Alderete. Acuna was in charge all the way winning on scores of 59-55, 59 ½ -57 and 59 ½ -56. Now 44 Acuna is a former WBA, WBC and WBO belt holder at super bantam and Argentinian champion at super bantam and feather with a 15-2-1 record in title fights. Four losses on the trot for Alderete.
Dancy, France: Super Welter: Milan Prat (12-1) W TKO 6 Mathias Lourenco (8-4-3).
French prospect Prat makes a successful first defence of his national title with sixth round stoppage of Lourenco and collects his ninth win by KO/TKO. First inside the distance loss for Lourenco.
Cergy-Pontoise, France: Light Heavy: Nadjib Mohammedi (43-8) W TKO 4 Artem Karasev (14-39-3).
Former light heavyweight title challenger Mohammedi continues to ease his way back to business as he halts Russian Karasev in four rounds for his second win in two months. Eighth defeat by KO/TKO for seasoned loser Karasev.
Hamburg, Germany: Light: Artem Harutyunyan (11-0) W KO 5 Samuel Molina (16-1,1ND). Welter: Freddy Kiwitt (19-3) W PTS 8 Johan Perez (26-9-2). Avni Yildirim (23-4) W PTS 8 Dominik Ameri (14-22).
Harutyunyan vs. Molina
Harutyunyan wins the vacant WBC International title with dramatic kayo of Molina. Harutyunyan built an early lead but Molina made him work hard. Things looked bad for the young Spaniard in the fifth as he was cut over his right eye and under pressure. Although not rated as a big puncher Molina landed a hard left hook counter that staggered Harutyunyan. Molina piled on the punches driving Harutyunyan around the ring . He landed with hooks to head and body but suddenly Harutyunyan uncorked a left hook to the chin that put Molina down heavily and he was counted out. Seventh inside the distance victory for Olympic bronze medallist Harutyunyan. The celebrations from his team after the knockout showed how much of a scare Molina’s left hook gave them. Molina, 22, showed plenty of promise. The No Decision is on his record as he was suspended after a positive test for a banned substance in December 2019. He had scored three wins since returning
Kiwitt vs. Perez
Liberian-born German Kiwitt makes it 7 wins in his last 8 fights with points victory over former interim WBA super light title holder Perez.
Yildirim vs. Ameri
In his second fight in a month Yildirim continues his middleweight campaign with a unanimous decision over Argentinian Ameri. No risk taking here as Ameri has won only one of his last seven outings.
Zinnowitz, Germany: Welter: Sebastian Formella (23-2) W TKO 2 Gabor Kovacs (7-15). Super Light: Volkan Gokcek (8-0) W KO 2 Szilveszter Ajtai (13-20-1)
Formella vs. Kovacs
Formella returns to the ring with a fourth round stoppage of very late stand-in Kovacs. First fight for Formella since losing to Connor Benn on points in November. He had been inactive due to suffering two herniated discs in his back. Hungarian Kovacs replaced fellow countryman Ferenc Hafner who had tested positive for COVD-19. Kovacs not so much in the groove as in a rut with fourteen losses in a row.
Gokcek vs. Ajtai
Turkish prospect Gokcek knocks out Hungarian Ajtai in the second round. A former Turkish champion and European Under-22 bronze medallist Gokcek gets his sixth early win. Poor Ajtai, who started out as a light flyweight, has lost his last nine fights by KO/TKO.
Madrid, Spain: Fly: Angel Moreno (21-4-3) DREW 12 Juan Hinostroza (10-9-2). Middle Sergio Martinez (54-3-2) W PTS 10 Brian Rose (32-7-1).
Moreno vs. Hinostroza
The vacant European title remains vacant as Moreno and Hinostroza battle to an exciting draw. “Golden Boy” Moreno made the better start driving forward with constant attacks targeting the body. Hinostroza weathered the storm and slowly fought his way into contention and his cause was helped by a flash knockdown in the sixth when Moreno’s gloves touched the canvas. They continued to trade punches fiercely with all of the rounds being close. Moreno was boxing with skill on the back foot wary of the Peruvian-born Hinostroza’s power and with the fight obviously close they both put in a huge effort over the closing rounds to try to swing the decision their way but it ended as a very creditable draw in another excellent EBU title match. Scores 115-113 Moreno, 114-113 Hinostroza and 114-114 which was a fair representative of the fight. Moreno has lost to Charlie Edwards for the WBC title and to Thomas Masson and Jay Harris in previous European title fights. Hinostroza had won the European title in March 2019 but did not defend it.
Martinez vs. Rose
Martinez continues his comeback with win over Rose but has a scare on the way. Martinez boxed sensibly on the back foot in the first and seemed confident-too confident. In the second a huge right from Rose suddenly had Martinez in desperate trouble and he had to use all of experience and a lot of holding to come through the crisis. In the third a clash of heads saw Rose cut on his left eyebrow which was a drawback through the whole fight. Martinez boxed more cautiously after that second round scare and in his first fight for nine months it was clear he was rusty as his distance judgement was out at times. As he settled into the fight Martinez was picking up rounds being busier and finding his range and he paced the fight well finishing the stronger to take the decision. Scores 97-94 twice and 96-94 with the second score perhaps the most accurate. Now 46 Martinez is determined to fight his way back to a title shot. Rose gave Martinez a wake-up call and felt he had done enough to win but when you are fighting in the other guys territory and he is the promoter you need to that bit more for victory.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Super Welter: Shervantaigh Koopman (8-0) W KO 7 Simon Dlada (6-2). Super Middle: Cowin Ray (7-0) W TKO 9 Frank Rodrigues (7-4).
Koopman vs. Dlada
Koopman wins the South African title with dominant display against title holder Dlada. Koopmans controlled the action all the way with Dlada unable to find a way to make any impression in the fight. Koopman ended it in the seventh as he floored Dlada heavily with two rights and Dlada was counted out. Sixth KO/TKO victory for Koopman. Dlada had been knocked out inside a round by Roarke Knapp in a non-title fight in December.
Ray vs. Rodrigues
Ray wins the vacant South African title with stoppage of Rodrigues. Ray was just too quick and too clever for Rodrigues. He dropped him in the third and handed out steady punishment. He was pounding on Rodrigues in the ninth when the towel came flying in to save Rodrigues further punishment. It was Ray’s first fight scheduled for more than six rounds and he managed the leap with comfort and gets his fifth inside the distance win. Former national light heavyweight title challenger Rodrigues was outclassed.
Pico Rivera, CA, USA: Super Fly: Adelaida Ruiz (10-0-1 ) W TKO 9 Nancy Franco de Alba (19-15-2).
Californian Ruiz picks up the WBC Silver Female title with late stoppage of de Alba. Fifth victory by KO/TKO for Ruiz who saw her challenge for the WBC interim title against Sonia Osorio in March end on a technical draw in the second round. Mexican de Alba suffers loss No 3 by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week (Significance): Oleksandr Usyk’s win over Anthony Joshua causes a seismic shift in the heavyweight scene
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Usyk and Joshua
Fighter of the week: Oleksandr Usyk
Punch of the week: The left hook from Artem Harutyunyan that knocked out Samuel Molina was perfection in timing and accuracy.
Upset of the week: Masamichi Yabuki stopping unbeaten WBC light flyweight champion Kenshiro Teraji was a shock result
Prospect watch: French super welterweight Milan Pratt is one of their big hopes for the nurture
-The WBA may be dealing with their ridiculous interim titles but they need to do something about their ratings. Looking at the heavyweight picture after Usyk’s win you have to ask how Daniel Dubois can be their No 1 and Joe Joyce who beat him in November is not even in their top 15!!
-The WBO are in the same boat. How they came to put Dilan Prasovic at No 1 is something only they know-or perhaps even they were surprised to find him there as they don’t seem to pay much attention to their own ratings. Prasovic climbed from No 12 to No 3 for beating Juan Basualdo (11-3-1), Rad Rashid (17-6) and Jackson Dos Santos (22-13). A promoters dream a No 1 who has never faced anybody remotely near the ratings in fact the only fighter in the WBO top 15 Prasovic has beaten is Edin Puhalo who “earned” his top 10 rating by beating 44-year-old Kai Kurzawa who had lost 2 of his previous 3 fights. Rubbish in rubbish stays in and some fans and streaming company pay good money for a farce of a title fight.
-It seems we get more strange scoring every week. This week Florian Marku took a split decision over Maxim Prodan with one judge scoring it 96-94 for Marku and another 99-91 for Prodan and in a mirror case one judge had Greg Vendetti beating Jimmy Williams 99-91 and another judge scoring 96-94 for Williams.
-It may not get voted the Round of the Year but the ninth round of the fight between Kenshiro Teraji and Masamichi Yabuki was three minutes of total war-it might lose out to the tenth round which had both fighters in deep trouble a couple of times before Masamichi ended it. It lets fans in Japan see what they have been missing due to the pandemic.
It was good to see young Chordale Booker winning at the weekend. He is one of the young men who owe a lot to boxing. He was given probation after being charged with gun and drugs offences and has stayed out of trouble ever since. His mother wanted to understand what attracted Chordale to boxing so she took the logical step of getting Chordale to train her up and then went and had one amateur fight so he can’t say my mother does not understand me. Well done Mum.
For this week's Closet Classic we are doing a first and speaking about a contest that featured no Asian fighters. In fact the combatants were two American fighters. Despite that the bout took place in Asia and is one of the most famous bouts in history. In fact it's arguably the greatest bout seen in the Heavyweight division and it took place almost 46 years ago, in fact the bouts anniversary will take place tomorrow, October 1st, and even now, well over 40 years on, the bout is still a legendary contest.
Muhammad Ali (48-2, 34) vs Joe Frazier (32-2, 27) III
For once we don't really think we need to introduce either fighter, with Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier being two of the most iconic fighters ever. Despite that we will briefly look over the two men, their rivalry and what this bout meant.
The bout is, of course, the "Thrilla in Manila", the third and final chapter in the rivalry between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. A bout that took place in Quezon City, not Manila City as many assume, and a bout that gave us everything we could ever wish to see in a ring.
Coming in to the bout the 33 year old Muhammad Ali had had 50 profession bouts, losing only twice. The first of those losses had come in 1971 to Joe Frazier, and the second had come to Ken Norton in 1973. That first loss hurt Ali a lot, and saw him losing to a man who had essentially won the title he had been stripped of for not fighting in the Vietnam war. Ali had avenged both defeats, beating Norton in a direct rematch and beaten Frazier in 1974 before becoming a 2-time Heavyweight champion thanks to a massive upset against George Foreman. In his 4th defense of his second reign he wanted to not just be level with Fraizer, but to defeat him for a second time, in a rubber match.
Aged 31 himself Frazier was the younger man, but had lost the second bout to Ali and had been splattered by George Foreman in Jamaica just a few fights earlier. He was rugged, tough and aggressive, but his style, and his offensive mentality had seen him take some real punishment through his career. Win or lose. He had given Ali his first loss, as mentioned, but was 5-2 since then and he had really not looked his best for a while. Many had assumed, coming into this, that Frazier was washed up. An easy win for Ali, and a bit of cynical matchmaking and a chance for Frazier to collect a final big payday before retiring.
Many had assumed wrong. Many had overlooked the fact Frazier was as stubborn as they come, and wanted revenge for the mocking he had suffered at the hands of Ali. This wasn't just a boxing bout to "Smokin' Joe", this was a personal war. He hated Ali, and the way Ali had treated him. He had helped Ali during his exile from the sport, and felt like Ali had essentially spit in his face in the years that had followed.
As well as Frazier resentment of Ali the bout had so many other sub-stories, including Ali's affair with Veronica Porche, and the bout being fought in the Philippines, which at the time was under-martial thanks to Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos, who sponsored the fight and was ringside with his wife.
It had history, it had back stories, it had personal animosity and it had two all time greats. And it delivered something truly legendary.
Before the opening bell Ali played the clown with a special trophy that was set aside for the winner, and paid for by President Marcos, trying to further incite Fraizer, and pretending to cry in the corner when fans booed him during the introductions. He further spoke smack with Fraizer when the men were getting their final instructions.
From the opening bell Frazier came forward, ducking low, tried to avoid the snappy Ali jab and pressure Ali. Despite the pressure from Fraizer it was Ali who seemed to land the better blows in the first minute, with Frazier walking into shots. After that however Fraizer’s pressure began to have some success, forcing Ali on to the ropes, where Ali began to clinch. Unlike their second bout, which was marred by holding from Ali, the referee wasn’t letting Ali use the same tactics here and repeatedly split them almost immediately. Despite the good pressure from Frazier through the round Ali finished strong with a good flurry that caught eye.
Frazier continued pressing hard in round 2, and although Ali tried to control him by holding around the neck the referee wasn’t having it and gave Ali a warning early on. The tactics of the two men couldn’t be much more different. Frazier constantly marching forward, looking to grind Ali down, work the body and take the legs of “The Greatest” away. Ali on the other hand was head hunting at range and looking to hold and spoil up close. It was making for an engrossing round of action which continued into round 3, with Frazier refusing to take a backwards step, no matter what Ali caught him with, and for a large portion of the third round Frazier managed to pin Ali on the ropes, until Ali turned him late on and put on a late rally.
Within just 3 rounds it was clear this was going to be something special, and going into round 4 it seemed Ali was starting to feel the pace, despite having the more eye catching success, whilst Frazier was starting to really find his groove, and late in round 4 he also found Ali’s crown jewels with a brutal show that went low.
Before round 5 there was a large “Ali” chant, which the fighters himself played up, before we got another brutal round of Frazier’s pressure against Ali’s clean, solid head shots. It seemed like Frazier was being outboxed, and putting in a lot of effort, but he was also forcing Ali to work really hard every minute of the fight, and asking questions of Ali’s gas tank round after round.
As the rounds went on the violence got more brutal. Frazier was getting close more and more often and forcing Ali against the ropes almost consistently. Ali, as he had done against George Foreman, was fighting well off the ropes, but Fraizer was gradually getting through with more and more leather and the bout was becoming a test of both man’s heart, stamina, toughness and determination. By the end of just the 6th round it seemed the fight was turning in Frazier’s favour and it was becoming tougher, and tougher, for Ali who was starting to take some clean head shots himself as Frazier started to mix it upstairs more often.
We’ll leave the rest of the bout for those wanting to watch it without any more of the bout being ruined, though we suspect many reading this will have seen this legendary bout before. Before we leave you all together though, it needs to be said that this bout pretty much ruined both fighters and is, truly, one of the most punishing bouts in the storied history of the Heavyweight division. It is also the most famous fight to ever take place in Asia, and one of the most gutsy, courageous and exciting fights you could ever wish to see. It is also one of those great fights that more exceeds it's reputation for being an all time classic.
Whilst we, like everyone, loves a great war, a proper tear up with bombs from both men who are managing to punish each other in a great tale of toughness, heart, determination and resilience. They aren't the only types of great bouts though, and we also love a good, exciting, chess match, with great skills and a very high level of tension. A bout that is being fought with both men knowing they could seriously hurt the other with just a single shot. Today we have one of those bouts as we again bring you a Closet Classic!
Hozumi Hasegawa (29-3, 12) Vs Jhonny Gonzalez (47-7, 41)
Between 2005 and 2010 Japan's Hozumi Hasegawa had become one of the countries major boxing stars. He had made 10 defenses of the WBC Bantamweight title, been a multi-time Japanese MVP and was one of the most popular Japanese fighters out there. Sadly his reign came to an end in 2010, when he was upset by Fernando Montiel, but that wasn't the end for Hasegawa who moved up in weight, going from Bantamweight to Featherweight. The move up was a successful one and Hasegawa would win the WBC Featherweight title just 7 months later, when he out pointed the previously unbeaten Juan Carlos Burgos to become a 2-weight world champion.
Although Hasegawa's record suggested he wasn't a puncher his performances showed other wise. He had 12 stoppages in his 32 bouts up to this point, but 7 of those had come in his previous 11 wins and he was proving to be a destructive fighter. He had vicious power in his left hand, and lightning speed, with his combinations being something gorgeous to watch.
In his first defense of the WBC Featherweight title Hasegawa was taking on huge punching Mexican Jhonny Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, like Hasegawa, had originally made his name at Bantamweight, where he won the WBO title. He had held that title from 2005 to 2007 and had made 2 defenses. He was now looking to become a 2-weight champion himself and follow in the footsteps of Montiel, in travelling to Japan to beat Hasegawa. Prior to this bout his career was a bit up and down. He had struggled early on, suffer 2 very early career losses and going 14-4 before winning WBO Bantamweight in 2005, when he stopped Ratanachai Sor Vorapin in what was his 35th bout. Following his title win he had gone 16-3 with stoppage losses to Israel Vazquez, Gerry Penalosa and Toshiaki Nishiok, in what were his 3 most recent world title bouts before facing Hasegawa.
Although he was one of the most naturally heavy handed fighter in recent years Gonzalez was also considered to be a fighter who couldn't really take it. His chin had let him down in 3 of his 7 losses, and he was getting a reputation as being a bit of a glass cannon at world level. He was the sort of fighter who made for unpredictable action. He could take anyone out, but be taken out himself. Despite his power he fight like a puncher, instead he was very much a boxer, who just had freakish power.
The one thing that needs to be very clear is that both of these men had world class power and both men knew the other could hurt them. That immediately saw us go into the bout with a sense of tension, and a feeling like the bout could end at any minute.
From the opening round this was tense, both men were looking to use their lead hand to open up their powerful straights. The action, during the first round, was limited, but this was tense, high speed chess with both men looking to draw a mistake and counter. Both knew a single mistake could see them punished, but both knew their power was likely enough to take out the other. This was brilliant boxing, real high level stuff and engaging from the opening bell.
With neither man managing to take the other out in the opening round we saw more of the same in round 2. This time around Hasegawa put his foot on the gas a little bit more earlier on, before the two men got back to what we had seen in the opening round. This was again high level chess, both men laying traps, but neither getting enough of a bite to really strike. Then tension was growing, and although neither man had landed a fight ending shot, but had gotten through with a few solid shots.
We'll leave the bout here for you to enjoy without spoiling any more of it, but it is an excellent boxing contest, even if it never comes close to becoming a war. This is high level boxing, tension, exciting, enthralling, and an often forgotten modern day classic.
By Eric Armit:
-Puerto Rican hope Danielito Zorrilla crushes Pablo Cano in two rounds and Nahir Albright, Miguel Madueno and Yunieski Gonzalez all score inside the distance wins in Hollywood Florida
-Super Welterweight Serhii Bohachuk and Super Middleweight Ali Akhmedov win in Montebello
- Jessie Hart returns with a points win over Mike Guy.
-In Female action Hyun Mi Choi retains her WBA super featherweight title, Juliana Basualdo scores upset win over 36-1 Yessica Bopp, Elhem Mekhaled knocks out Pasa Malagic in a European title fight and Delphine Mancini wins the French title
Hollywood, FL, USA: Super Light: Danielito Zorrilla (16-0) W KO 2 Pablo Cano (33-8-1, 1 ND). Super Light: Nahir Albright (14-1) W RTD 6 Michael Dutchover (15-2). Super Light: Miguel Madueno (25-0) W TKO 10 Sonny Fredrickson (21-5).Cruiser: Yunieski Gonzalez (21-3) W KO 2 Tommy Karpency (30-7-1).
Zorrilla vs. Cano
Big win for Puerto Rican Zorrilla as he beats Cano in two rounds. Cano was the aggressor in the first taking the fight to Zorrilla and firing shots to the body. Early in the second Zorrilla scored with a heavy right to the head and another that landed on the side of Cano’s neck. Cano threw a left hook but then in a delayed action response from those rights backed to a corner and went down on one knee. He got up but promptly dropped down again and was counted out. Zorrilla, 27, an outstanding amateur, retained the WBO NABO title with his twelfth win by KO/TKO. Former interim WBA title holder Cano had won his last three fights including a first round stoppage of Jorge Linares.
Albright vs. Dutchover
Albright demolishes Dutchover in six one-sided rounds. Albright scored knockdowns in each of the first three rounds. Dutchover was cut over his left eye in the fourth and dropped again in the sixth and after a doctor’s inspection was pulled out of the fight at the end of the round. Since losing his first pro fight Albright has put together a 14-bout winning streak including seven early finishes. Disaster for Texan Dutchover as he suffers his second loss by KO/TKO and he was taken transported to the hospital for checks.
Madueno vs. Fredrickson
Madueno continues his winning streak with late stoppage of Fredrickson after a stirring scrap. Madueno outscored Fredrickson over the first four rounds connecting with hard shots from both hand. Fredrickson had been competitive and began to roll from the fifth hurting Madueno with a body shot to take the round. With Madueno losing a point in the sixth for pushing Fredrickson’ s head down Fredrickson was eating into Madueno’s lead. He took the seventh and eighth but a stronger Madueno came back to shake Fredrickson in the ninth and landed a series of heavy punches which brought the referee’s intervention in the tenth. The 22-year-old Mexican has won 23 of his 25 fights by KO/TKO against very modest opposition so Fredrickson was a step up for him even though it was Fredrickson’s fourth loss in a row.
Gonzalez vs. Karpency
Cuban Gonzalez destroys Karpency with body punches. Gonzalez was rumbling forward through the first digging in body punches and hooks to the head. Karpency was forced to stand and trade until in the second and vicious left to the body dropped Karpency to his hands and knees. He literal crawled along the ring from one corner to another but once getting there was unable to get up and was counted out. Gonzalez, 36, has lost big fights against Jean Pascal, Vyacheslav Shabranskyy and Olek Gvozdyk but after three years out has come back with three quick wins. Former WBC light heavyweight title challenger Karpency is entertaining but loses inside the distance when he steps up.
Aguascalientes, Mexico: Super Feather: Karla Ramos (7-9) W PTS 10 Liliana Palmera (29-14-3).
Local boxer Ramos wins the vacant WBA Fedelatin Female title with comprehensive verdict over Colombian Palmera. It was a close, competitive fight over the first three rounds but then the younger Ramos took charge of the action as the older Palmera tired and Ramos emerged a clear winner. Scores 100-91, 99-91 and 98-92 for Ramos.
Montebello, CA, USA: Super Welter: Serhii Bohachuk (20-1) W RTD 6 Raphael Igbokwe (16-3). Super Middle: Ali Akhmedov (17-1) W RTD 3 David Zegarra (34-5).
Bohachuk vs. Igbokwe
Bohachuk wins in his usual style as he uses unrelenting pressure to bulldoze Igbokwe to defeat. A confident Igbokwe stood and exchanged shots with Bohachuk in the first but things changed in the second as Bohachuk began to target the body. As Bohachuk piled on the liver shots Igbokwe started to fade. It was then one-way traffic until with Igbokwe being overwhelmed his in team in consultation with the doctor retired him at the end of the sixth round. Second quick win for the Ukrainian since his stoppage loss against Brandon Adams in March. All twenty of his wins have come by KO/TKO. Houston southpaw Igbokwe’s previous losses had both been split decisions.
Akhmedov vs. Zegarra
Akhmedov bloodies and beats Zegarra over four rounds. Things started badly for Zegarra as a punch brought blood pouring from his nose in the first-and then things got worse. He just could not keep the bigger and stronger Kazak out and as he tried to use footwork to stay out of trouble he found Akhmedov doing a good job of cutting off his escape routes. Akhmedov shook Zegarra with a left hook in the second and pounded him throughout the third and with Zegarra taking a beating and still bleeding heavily from his nose injury he retired in his corner. Akhmedov was returning to action for the first time since his upset stoppage loss against Carlos Gongora for the vacant IBO title in December. Peruvian Zegarra went 30-0 against low grade opposition but is 4-6 since he started to play with the big boys.
Posadas, Argentina: Super Welter: Alejandro Silva (17-0-1) W KO 4 Maico Sommariva (9-4). Bantam: Juliana Basualdo (5-2) W PTS 6Yessica Bopp (36-2).
Silva vs. Sommariva
Silva retains the Argentinian title in his fourth defence as he scores two knockdowns on his way to victory over Sommariva. Silva was on target with punches upstairs and down but it was the body punches that brought him victory. He put Sommariva down in the second with a left to the ribs and finished him in the fourth with a right to the body that had Sommariva writhing in agony. Fourteen wins in a row for Silva and he now has twelve victories by KO/TKO. Sommariva is 2-4 in his last 6 fights.
Basualdo vs. Bopp
Southpaw Basualdo scores split decision over Bopp in a huge upset. Basualdo was just too big for the 5’0” Bopp who is WBA Super title holder at 108lbs. Basualdo was able to use her longer reach and strength to force Bopp to fight on the back foot for much of the time. There were plenty of fiery exchanges but Basualdo bossed most of them and was a clear winner. Scores 59 ½ -56 and 59-57 ½ for Basualdo and a dissenting 59-55 for Bopp. Fourth consecutive victory for Basualdo. Bopp. 37, had not fought since June 2019 so may have taken this fight just to get in some ring time but she was 107 ½ in her title defence in June and 115 ½ for this one.
Monterrey, Mexico: Bantam: Rashib Martinez (17-2) W PTS 10 Ivan Meneses (19-21-2).
Local prospect Martinez takes wide unanimous decision over grizzled veteran Meneses. Martinez dominated the fight with powerful jabs and thunderous straight rights. By the fifth Meneses was cut over his left eye and had a cut above his hair line on the left side of his face which bled heavily. Martinez continued to connect with savage rights but Meneses took the punishment and fought back hard. In the last round Meneses finally crumpled. Martinez had him against the ropes and was snapping his head around with rights and lefts when the referee stepped in. That happened just as the bell rung and for a few seconds it was not clear if it was a stoppage or not. It turned out that the referee had jumped in because of the bell so it went to the cards with Martinez winning on scores of100-90 on all three cards. Just one loss in his last 17 fights for Martinez now. Some hard fights are catching up on Meneses who is 0-7-1 in his last 8 contests.
London, England: Light: Connor Marsden (5-1). W TKO 6 Ben Jones (22-8-1,1ND).
Marsden wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with stoppage of experienced Jones. Both men had some rust to shed but it did not show as this was a war from the outset with both connecting with hard punches in every round. Marsden was effective with his jab and long rights and Jones was always dangerous with right crosses. After four hard rounds Marsden took charge in the fifth and had Jones pinned to the ropes and taking serious punishment in the sixth when the referee stepped in to halt the fight. In his first fight for eighteen months Marsden racked up his second inside the distance win. Jones was having his first fight since February 2018.
Norwich, England: Welter: Liam Goddard (8-0) W RTD 4 Justin Menzie (5-5-1).
Goddard delights his home fans with victory over Menzie in a battle of southpaws. Goddard controlled the fight from the start and after a one-sided fourth round Menzie retired. Goddard collects the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title. Four of Menzie’s eleven fights have been ten round contests that went the distance.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Light: Samuel Teah (18-4-1) W TKO 1 Larry Fryers (11-5). Super Middle: Jessie Hart (27-3) W PTS 8 Mike Guy (12-7-1).
Teah vs. Fryers
Teak wipes out Fryers in just 44 seconds. Teah floored Fryer with a right to the head and although Fryers made it to his feet the follow up attack from Teah had him in trouble and the fight was stopped. That makes it eight wins by KO/TKO for the 34-year-old Liberian-born “Tsunami” as he sets out to rebuild after a third round kayo loss against Brandon Lee in March. Four defeats is a row for Irish southpaw Fryers.
Hart vs. Guy
In his first outing for 21 months Hart returns to his home city with a win but in a poor contest. Hart was seven inches taller than Guy which allowed him to control most of the action. He was connecting with jabs and catching Guy with uppercuts when Guy tried to move inside. When he did get inside Guy was holding rather than punching. Hart’s output dropped over the sixth and seventh but he came back to take the last. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Hart. It has been a bit of a switchback period for Hart. He lost to Gilberto Ramirez for the WBO super middle title then beat Sullivan Barrera but in his last fight in January 2020 was floored and decisioned by Joe Smith Jr. He was 169 ½ lbs for this fight so could be looking for another title chance at super middle. Third tough fight and third loss in a row for Guy.
Ciudad Acuna, Mexico: Super Light: Breyon Gorham (10-0) W TKO 1 Omar Reyes (7-12).
Houston’s Gorham floored Reyes three times for a first round ending. For the 20-year-old, who had done most of his fighting in Mexico. this is his sixth first round victory but the opposition has been abysmal with Reyes now suffering his fifth loss in a row.
Ingeniero Maschwitz, Argentina: Sebastian Aguirre (18-3) W KO 1 Sergio Rosalez (13-3).
Aguirre blows away Rosalez in two minutes. Aguirre was hunting down Rosalez and shook him badly with a left to the head which knocked Rosalez into a corner. Aguirre then bombarded Rosalez with punches until Rosalez slid to the floor. He staggered to his feet at seven but the referee could see he was stunned and counted him out. First fight since March 2019 for Aguirre and his tenth win by KO/TKO. Second defeat in row for Rosalez after an unbeaten streak of 13 fights.
Santa Fe, Argentina: Super Bantam: Diego Ruiz (23-3) W TKO 7 Juan Jurado (15-4-3).
Ruiz breaks down and halts Jurado in seven rounds. Ruiz had a 6” height advantage and was a natural super bantam fighting a former Argentinian flyweight champion. Ruiz made good use of his longer reach and greater strength to take charge of the fight. He was banging home hard jabs and putting Jurado on the back foot. Jurado was spending more and more time pinned against the ropes with Ruiz showering him with a plenitude of punches including strength sapping body shots. Jurado replied with short bursts of punches but was soaking up too much punishment. He came out of his corner when the bell sounded to start the seventh but his corner immediately threw in the towel before the action started. Second win in fifteen days for Ruiz. His only loss in his last 13 fights was a stoppage against Michael Conlan in 2019. Fourth defeat in his last four fights for Jurado.
Feyzin, France: Super Feather: Elhem Mekhaled (15-0) W KO 1 Pasa Malagic (15-8).
If you blinked you might have missed this one. European champion Mekhaled landed a heavy right to the head and a left hook as Malagic was on her way down. Malagic struggled to her feet but was counted out. All over in 30 seconds. Home town fighter Mekhaled was making the first defence of the European title and in her first fight for 21 months certainly showed no rust. Bosnian Malagic’s third inside the distance loss.
Vigneux, France: Bantam: Delphine Mancini (4-0) W PTS 8 Melanie Mercier (2-12-1).
Fighting in front of her own fans Mancini wins the vacant French Female title with a unanimous decision over Mercier. All three judges gave Mercier all eight rounds scoring it 80-72. Mancini only turned pro in April but apart from her brief professional record she was an eight-time French amateur champion and a double European Championships medallist. Mercier is certainly a trier having already lost in three shots at the French light flyweight title and two at flyweight.
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Albon Pervizaj (16-1) W KO 1 Habib Vugiterna (6-2).
Local fighter Pervizaj knocks out inexperienced Vugiterna in the first round to win the vacant German International title. A body shot had Vugiterna hurt then Pervizaj measured him with a jab and put him flat on his back with booming right. Seventh first round finish for former German Youth, Under-21 and Senior champion Pervizaj but his opposition including the fighter who outpointed him, have all been sub-standard performers. Vugiterna just a four and six round novice.
Trieste, Italy: Super Feather: Hassan Nourdine (13-5) W PTS 10 Michele Broili (13-2-2).
Nourdine floors and decisions Broili to left the vacant Italian title. After a couple of cautious rounds the fight started in earnest from the third. Nourdine took charge after flooring Broili with a right in the fourth. The bell went before Nourdine could build on that and Broili took the fight to Nourdine trying to claw back the points with Nourdine boxing cleverly. Broili had a good ninth but Nourdine finished strong and was a good winner. Some disagreement between the judges as two saw Nourdine the winner b98-91 and the third had it 96-95 for Broili. Moroccan-born Nourdine had come down a couple of divisions have failed in a shot at the super lightweight title in 2019. Broili was 7-0-1 going in but losing is not the end of his troubles. During the fight it was noticed that Broili had some tattoo’s which it is said were “praising Nazism” so the Italian Federation and other bodies are investigating but it seems silly that none of the supervisors or officials saw these in all of the pre-fight activities.
Siena, Italy: Feather: Davide Tassi (12-0) W PTS 10 Davide Tiberi (7-1).
Tassi gets off the floor to win the vacant national title. A left from Tiberi dropped Tassi in the first but he failed to finish the job and paid for it. Taller southpaw Tassi used his better skills and plenty of clever movement to win the rounds. Tiberi was never able to repeat that early success and Tassi was a good winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 98-91 for Tassi. He is champion for the second time having won the title in October but relinquished it to look for other fights which did not happen. Tiberi was moving up to ten rounds for the first time.
Punta Hermosa, Peru: Welter: Jonathan Maicelo (27-3) W TKO 4 Jeffrey Quintero (11-13). Feather: Carlos Zambrano (27-2) W PTS 6 Luis Colmanares (8-7).
Maicelo vs. Quintero
Maicelo comes out of retirement with a win. The former WBA interim title challenger at lightweight outscored Venezuelan southpaw Quintero over the first three rounds and then finished him with a body punch in the fourth. First fight for the 38-year-old Maicelo since December 2017. Maicelo is going to be looking for some overseas assignments at welterweight. Seventh consecutive loss by KO/TKO for Quintero.
Zambrano vs. Colmanares
Zambrano eases his way back into the winning column with unanimous decision over Colmanares. No scores given but Zambrano a wide winner. In his last two fights the former WBA interim featherweight champion Zambrano, 37, lost his title on a first round kayo against Claudio Marrero and last March was knocked out by Bryan Chevalier. The 5’3” Colmanares was too small to trouble Zambrano. He had recorded six first round wins in a row before being knocked out by Starling Martinez in his last fight in February 2020.
Tolyatti, Russia: Light: Aik Shakhnazaryan (25-4-1) DRAW 10 Avak Uzlyan (5-0-1).
Shakhnazaryan retains the Russian title with draw against Uzlyan. The challenger was short of experience and came in as a short notice substitute but was worthy of the draw in a close contest. First defence for Shakhnazaryan. Uzlyan had never travelled past six rounds before so did well here.
Dubai, UAE: Heavy: Martin Bakole (17-1) W TKO 1 Haruna Osumanu (11-3).
Whoever made this “match” should be ashamed of their self. Bakole blasted out a hapless Osumanu late in the first round. That gives the Scots-based Congolese his fifth consecutive win since a tenth round stoppage loss against Mike Hunter in 2018. Victories over Mariusz Wach, Kevin Johnson and Sergey Kuzmin have seen him rated No 15 by both the WBA and IBF and he should not be wasting his time on rubbish like this. The 41-year-old Ghanaian Osumanu is 6’0” to Ilunga’s 6’ 6” and yet weighed the same as Makabu and was obese.
Seoul, South Korea: Super Feather: Hyun MI Choi (19-0-1 W TKO 9 Simone Aparecida da Silva (17-17).
Choi retains the WBA Female title as she floors and halts da Silva in the ninth round. Choi was in charge for most of the fight and gradually beat down da Silva. A left hook to the body put da Silva down min the ninth and although she beat the count and tried to fight back Choi pounced and sent her down again with another left hook and the fight was stopped. Sixth defence of the WBA title for Choi. The experienced da Silva, 38, is a former Brazilian and South American champion but Choi was too strong for her.
Sheffield, England: Fly: Tommy Frank (14-2) W PTS 12 Matt Windle (6-4-1). Heavy: Kash Ali (20-1) W RTD 7 Roman Gorst (7-2) .
Frank vs. Windle
Frank gets a much needed win and the vacant British title with decision over Windle. After a scrappy first round Frank floored Windle with a right in the second. Windle survived the crisis but had to take more punishment over the succeeding rounds and was staggered by a left hook in the sixth. Windle got into the fight more over the second half and had a good tenth but Frank was back on top over the last two rounds and Windle did well to last the distance. Scores 118-109, 117-110 and 117-111 for Frank. First step on the road to recovery for the former Commonwealth champion after back-to-back losses to Mexican Rosendo Guarneros. Windle was coming off an upset twelve round victory over Neil McCubbin in June.
Ali vs. Gorst
Heavy punching Ali retains the IBF European title with retirement victory over German Gorst. Ali had a five inch height edge and was 17lbs heavier and too strong for the visitor. Ali won the early rounds rocking Gorst with hard rights. Gorst had a slight edge in the fifth but Ali again landed some crunching rights in the sixth and seventh and Gorst’s corner pulled their man out with a suspected fractured jaw. Fifth inside the distance win in succession for Ali with his only loss being a disqualification against David Price. Gorst had lost on points against German prospect Peter Kadiru over ten rounds in October.
Bakersfield, CA, USA: LIGHT: Jose Valenzuela (10-0) W PTS 10 Deiner Berrio (22-4-1).
Valenzuela too busy, too aggressive and too accurate for Colombian Berrio. He dominated until late when Berrio landed some useful body punches but by then Valenzuela had an unassailable lead. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Valenzuela. The 22-year-old Mexican had won his last five fights by KO/TKO but got some useful rounds of work here. At one time Berrio was 20-0-1 but better opposituion has led to a worse record.
Fight of the week (Significance): Nothing hugely significant but Danielito Zorrilla showed in his crushing of Pablo Cano that he could be a threat at super lightweight
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Miguel Madueno vs. Sonny Fredrickson provided plenty of action.
Fighter of the week: Danielito Zorrilla for his impressive win against Pablo Cano
Punch of the week: The body punch from Alejandro Silva the almost cut Maico Sommariva gets the vote with either of the two rights from Zorrilla that started Cano’s crumble are worth an honorary mention
Upset of the week: Juliana Basualdo with her 4-2 record was not supposed to beat 36-1 Yessica Bopp
Prospect watch: Super lightweight Nahir Albright 15-1 looked good in stopping highly touted Michael Dutchover.
One of the quietest weeks I can remember. Even as the restrictions were slowly relaxed there were bigger fights on the schedule than this week’s offering.
Liliana Palmera, 39, a former WBA super bantamweight title holder who lost to Karla Ramos at the weekend has done a “reverse Pacquiao” . She started out as a super lightweight and worked her way down to compete as low as super bantam. She should start a slimming club.
Nice to see the heavyweight fight between Albon Pervizaj and Habib Vugiterna in Hamburg was a charity event to raise funds to subsidise children whose parents could no longer raise the fees for the local boxing clubs due to the pandemic.
A 6’6” 28 year-old Martin Bakole vs. an obese 41-year-old 6’0” is a disgrace to boxing. The worst thing is that it is not rare and that there are actually people responsible for administering the sport who are quite happy to approve these matches.
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