By Eric Armit
-Kenshiro Teraji regains the WBC light flyweight title with revenge third round kayo over Masamichi Yabuki
-Sunny Edwards retains the IBF flyweight title with unanimous decision over Sunny Edwards
-Regis Prograis halts Tyrone McKenna on a cut in WBC super lightweight eliminator
-O’Shaquie Foster outpoints unbeaten Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov in WBC super featherweight eliminator
-David Avanesyan destroys Oskari Metz in one round in European welterweight title defence
-Edgar Berlanga outpoints Steve Rolls
-Estelle Yoka Mossely successfully defends her IBO Female lightweight belt with points victory over Yanina Lescano
Alex Rocha stops Blair Cobbs in nine rounds in welterweight clash
-Jono Carroll stops Ghanaian Patrick Ayi Aryee in four rounds at super featherweight
-Jose Zepeda remains a threat at super lightweight as he halts Francisco Perez in three rounds
- Billy Dib keeps his lightweight career alive with disqualification win over Jacob Ng
-Tamara Demarco gets upset victory over previously unbeaten Debora Lopez for vacant WBO Female flyweight title
World Title/Major Shows
Dubai, UAE: Super Feather: O’Shaquie Foster (19-2) W PTS 12 Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (18-1). Light: Estelle Yoka Mossely (10-0) W PTS 10 Yanina del Carmen Lescano (10-2). Super Feather: Jono Carroll (22-2-1) W TKO 4 Patrick Ayi Aryee (21-1-1), Super Bantam: Shabaz Masoud (10-0) W RTD 2 Yoan Boyeaux (43-7).Heavy: Bakhodir Jalolov (10-0) W KO 5 Kamil Sokolowski (11-26-2).
Foster vs. Yaqubov
Foster starts slow but then comes through with a strong second half of the fight and floors Yaqubov in the twelfth to take the unanimous decision. Southpaw Yaqubov was pressing the fight from the first bell with Foster on the back foot using plenty of clever movement and snapping out jabs. Yaqubov was having problems chasing the fleet-footed Foster down with Foster switching to southpaw in the second. With the rounds close Yaqubov’s early aggression was giving him a slight edge as he continued to chase down the retreating Foster. This was Foster’s first fight since beating Miguel Roman in November 2020 but by the sixth he had shed any rust and he was standing in front of Yaqubov and using his superior hand speed to land straight lefts through Yaqubov’s guard. Yaqubov continued to go forward and had some success with straight rights but was finding Foster an elusive target. Foster constantly switched guards and from the seventh he was often the one coming forward and he rocked Yaqubov with a left in the eighth. Yaqubov stepped up his attacks from the tenth but was being outboxed by the quicker Foster. Yaqubov dived forward in the last desperately looking to find a punch to end the fight but walked on to chopping left hand counter and went down. After the count he still tried to march forward but Foster was too slick and eased his way to the bell. Scores 117-110 twice and 118-109 for Foster. The right decision but a little harsh on Yaqubov. The 28-year-old Texan boxed brilliantly. He was No 2 with the WBC and Yaqubov No 3 but he might have to wait until very late in the year for a title shot as WBC title holder Oscar Valdez and WBO title holder Shakur Stevenson are due to clash on 30 April and Miguel Berchelt is the WBC No 1 so Foster will probably have to wait until after the winner of Valdez vs. Stevenson faces Berchelt. Disappointment for Tajik Yaqubov but at 26 he has time to work his way to a title shot in the future.
Mossely vs. Lescano
Mossely retains her IBO Female title with split decision over Lescano. Mossely won the early rounds and looked to have been denied a knockdown in the fourth. Lescano looking bigger and stronger battled her way into the fight but Mossely constantly found the target with straight rights and despite a strong finish from Lescano Mossely gained the split decision. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Mossley and 96-94 for Lescano. Mossely, 29, who is married to unbeaten heavyweight Tony Yoka, has said the she now aims to return to the “amateurs” to fight at the World Championships before tackling fighters such as Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano. South American champion Lescano had won her last eight c bouts.
Carroll vs. Aryee
Irish southpaw Carroll stops late substitute Aryee. Carroll was just too strong for Ghanaian Aryee and dominated from the start. He handed out steady punishment to head and body with Aryee in over his head. A sustained attack from Carroll in the fourth ended with Aryee trapped in a corner and shipping some heavy shots without firing back and the referee stopped the fight at the same time as Aryee’s second climbed the ring steps to save their man. Just a keep busy fight for Carroll the WBA No 2. Aryee’s record built against very modest domestic opposition.
Masoud vs. Boyeaux
Stoke youngster Masoud too quick for Boyeaux and the Frenchman retires at the end of the second round. Masoud rocked Boyeaux in each both round with left hooks with Boyeaux close to going down a couple of times. Third inside the distance win for Masoud. Boyeaux was stopped by Naoya Inoue in a challenge for the WBO super fly title in 2017.
Jalolov vs. Sokolowski
Jalolov gets another inside the distance win as he puts Pole Sokolowski down twice on the way to a fifth round stoppage. The 6’7” former Olympic and World Championships gold medal winner was just too big and punched too hard for the durable 6’1” Sokolowski. He floored Sokolowski with a right to the head in the second and battered him to the floor again with three lefts in the fifth. Sokolowski made it to his feet and disputed the stoppage but it was over. His ten wins have taken the Uzbek less than twenty-one rounds. Only the fourth time Sokolowski has failed to last the distance
Dubai, UAE: Fly: Sunny Edwards (18-0) W PTS 12 Muhammad Waseem (12-2). Super Light: Regis Prograis (27-1) W TKO 6 Tyrone McKenna (22-3-1). Feather: TJ Doheny (23-3) W TKO 2 Cesar Juarez (27-11). Super Light: Hovhannes Bachkov (3-0) W TKO 8 Cristian Coria (29-10-2). Light: Faizan Anwar (12-0) W PTS 8 Khojiakbar Qodirokhunov (4-1-1). Super Bantam: Peter McGrail (3-0) W TKO 2 Alexander Ionita (7-11-1).
Edwards vs. Waseem
Edwards retain the IBF title with unanimous decision over Waseem. Waseem never came to terms with the hand speed, movement and clever boxing of Edwards and was not helped by two deductions for infractions of the rules.
Edwards was circling the perimeter of the ring with Waseem shadowing him but not cutting the ring down. Edwards leapt forward and landed three head punches and was away before Waseem could counter. He did that again later in the round and surprised Waseem with a burst of punches just before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Edwards
Again Edwards was just too quick for Waseem. He was darting in to connect with a burst of punches and then out and circling away from Waseem’s attempts to counter. Waseem did managed to land some body punches but Edwards was getting his punches off first.
Score: 10 9 Edwards Edwards 20-18
A close round. For much of it Edwards was his elusive self but then Waseem pinned him to the ropes and bombarded Edwards with hooks and uppercuts. Edwards decided to stay inside and trade instead of moving and Waseem took the round. Waseem was warned for dangerous head work.
Score: 10-9 Waseem Edwards 29-28
Edwards was first to the punch in this round. Waseem was pressing hard but Edwards was scoring with counters and then stepping around Waseem to land more punches and tying Waseem up inside.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 39-37
This one was close. Edwards was the quicker puncher with Waseem only having any success when he was able to get Edwards against the ropes. He scored with some impressive left hooks to the body but Edwards scored consistently with snappy right jabs and short lefts.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 49-46
A big round for Edwards. He was picking Waseem off with counters from both hands and constantly moving and switching direction and guards. A frustrated Waseem was holding to try and cut down Edwards movement and was deducted a point*. Waseem ended the round by trapping Edwards against the ropes but even there Edwards was landing the better punches.
Score: 10-8* Edwards Edwards 59-54
Edwards was picking Waseem off with fast, light punches with Waseem getting frustrated. He was warned for an elbow smash and for head work, Edwards continued to sneak home punches and when Waseem shoved his head into Edward’s face the referee again took a point off Waseem*. The challenger did enough good work over the rest of the round to deserve the points but the deduction made it an even round.
Score: 9-9* Edwards 68-63
Waseem pushed hard in this round. There was plenty of flashy footwork from Edwards but Waseem stayed focused forcing Edwards to the ropes and connecting with hooks to the body with both hands.
Score: 10-9 Waseem Edwards 77-73
Edwards was back in control. He kept moving and kept firing single shots through Waseem’s guard refusing to let Waseem get inside. Waseem was chasing Edwards down but was too often left swishing air and leaving himself open to sneaky counters.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 87-82
Waseem badly needed to win a round and he did so in this one. He chased harder, did a better job of cutting the ring off and so was able to scored with hooks and uppercuts inside with Edwards output dropping
Score: 10 9 Waseem Edwards 96-92
Edwards boxed his way through the round. Plenty of fast footwork and changes of direction. He was sliding jabs through Waseem’s guard catching him with straight lefts and never getting pinned down with Waseem a step behind for the full three minutes.
Score: 10-9 Edwards Edwards 106-101
Edwards gave away the last round. Confident he had the decision in the bag he danced around the ring with Waseem chasing and landed what few punches were thrown but never looking like getting the kayo he needed.
Score 10-9 Waseem Edwards 115-111
The 26-year-old southpaw again showed his outstanding skills. No thunder and lightning with Edwards but plenty of his hit and not get hit approach and plenty to admire in his slick counter punching. Ricardo Sandoval 20-1 (15) is his mandatory challenger and he will be quicker and punch harder than Waseem so a big test for Edwards. Pakistani Waseem, 32, was having his second shot at the IBF title having lost a very close decision to Moruti Mthalane in 2018.
Prograis vs. McKenna
Prograis beats a brave McKenna who is stopped due to a bad cut over his right eye caused by a punch. Prograis looked sharp in the first round. After a short period of study he had McKenna backing up and was connecting with jabs and straight lefts. The sound of the bell had hardly faded in the second when Prograis put McKenna down hard with a stunning left cross. Prograis tried to end the fight then showering McKenna with hooks and uppercuts but despite the punishment McKenna did not crumble and made it to the bell. Prograis was hunting McKenna down in the third with McKenna focusing on survival. McKenna showed remarkable fighting spirit in the fourth standing and trading with Prograis actually forcing him back and twice after Prograis had landed fierce combination McKenna just urged Prograis to do his worst but McKenna was having to absorb some wicked body punches and neck-snapping uppercuts. McKenna had a good fifth walking forward throwing punches and landing some hard shots. Prograis was on the bock foot countering with jabs and quick flurries of punches in a fairly even round. Prograis cut loose in the sixth but McKenna was trying to punch with him. Suddenly a punch opened a cut over McKenna’s right eye. The referee stopped the fight and the doctor indicated the cut was too severe for McKenna to continue. Prograis again showed his class and deserves another title shot to try to reverse the majority points loss to Josh Taylor in 2019 but with Taylor holding all four belts there is quite a queue lining up to get a title chance. McKenna had lost to very close decisions to Jack Catterall and Ohara Davies but had rebounded with a good win over Jose Felix in August.
Doheny vs. Juarez
Doheny wipes out experienced Juarez in two rounds. After having Juarez under constant pressure in the first Doheny put Juarez down heavily with a left hook in the second. The Mexican climbed to his feet but was being bombarded with punches and the referee waived the fight off. The former IBF super bantam champion had scored just one win in his last four fights so needed to impress. Fifth inside the distance defeat for Juarez.
Bachkov vs. Coria
Bachkov pounds Argentinian Coria to defeat in seven rounds. The powerful Armenian raked Coria with punches with his left hooks to the body slowly sapping Coria’s resistance. Coria did well to last as long as he did but caved in under the relentless pressure in the seventh and the fight was halted. With his strong amateur achievements-he won a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, three bronze medals at the World Championships as well as gold at the European Games and European Championships-he is looking to move up rapidly. Veteran Coria, 39, was knocked out in six rounds by Alberto Puello for the WBA interim belt in December 2020 which is his only other loss by KO/TKO.
Anwar vs. Qodirokhunov
Indian prospect Anwar continues his winning ways with a points victory against Uzbek Qodirokhunov. Scores 80-72 twice and 78-74. Seven points wins in his last eight fights for the 20-year-old from Calcutta. All of Qodirokhunov’s previous opponents were having their first pro fights.
McGrail vs. Ionita
McGrail’s class much too much for Ionita. McGrail dazzled the Romanian with the speed and variety off his work in the first then handed out a beating to Ionita in the second with Lopez not coming out for the third round. Second KO/TKO win for the Liverpool southpaw. Ten losses in a row for Ionita.
Leeds, England: Super Bantam: Jack Bateson (16-0) W TKO 3 Stefan Nicolae (3-31-2)
Just some paid sparring for Bateson. He punished the limited Nicolae with right leads and thudding body punches bin the first and put him down with a body shot at the end of the second. Nicolae took two more counts in the third and was taking a beating when the fight was mercifully stopped. Only the fourth inside the distance victory for the local fighter who is English champion. Poor Romanian Nicolae is 0-13-2 in his last 15 bouts.
Kyoto, Japan: Light Fly: Kenshiro Teraji (19-1) W TKO 3 Masamichi Yabuki (13-4).
Teraji revenges his only loss and regains the WBC title with third round stoppage of Yabuki. Teraji was letting his hands go from the beginning. He was coming forward stabbing out jabs firing straight right and left hooks to the body. Yabuki was on the back foot the whole round throwing lots of jabs but not using his right until thee traded punches just before the bell. Teraji was steaming forward again on the second. connecting with straight rights and hurtful hooks to the body with Yabuki again on the retreat and being outscored. Teraji scored with a series of rights at the start of the third. He then drove Yabuki back and connected with a heavy right hook that dropped Yabuki. He made it to his feet at eight but looked unsteady and the fight was stopped. Teraji, 29, had lost the title to Yabuki on a tenth round stoppage in September.
London, England: Welter: David Avanesyan (29-3-1) W TKO 1 Oskari Metz (15-1). Middle: Hamzah Sheeraz (15-0) W KO 2 Jez Smith (13-5-1). Light: Mark Chamberlain 10-0) W RTD 5 Jeff Otori (11-4-1).
Avanesyan vs. Metz
Avanesyan blows away overmatched Metz in the first round.
Metz came out firing punches taking the fight to Avanesyan but when Avanesyan began to score with shots to the body Metz was quickly backing up. Metz tried switching guards but that was like throwing a cup of water on a volcano as Avanesyan walked through Metz’s punches before staggering him and sending him tumbling along the ropes and down. Metz was up at eight but reeling and clutching Avanesyan. The fight should have been stopped but instead the referee gave Metz a standing count but at least had the sense to count the full ten. Fifth defence of the European title for Avanesyan and fifth inside the distance win in those defence. Although unbeaten Metz was a poor challenger and it was a poor match.
Sheeraz vs. Smith
Sheeraz wins the vacant WBC International title as he blasts out Smith in two rounds. A left hook from Sheeraz floored Smith in the first round. He survived to the bell but a savage combination put him down early in the second and he was counted out. Nine consecutive inside the distance wins for Sheeraz.
Chamberlain vs. Otori
Chamberlain remains unbeaten as in his first scheduled ten round fight he beats Otori on a fifth round retirement for his seventh quick victory. Otori falls to 1-3-1 in a run of tough contests
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Alexis Rocha (19-1) W KO 9 Blair Cobbs (15-1-1). Light Heavy: Bektemir Melikuziev (9-1) W KO 2 David Zegarra (34-8). Welter: Michael McKinson (22-0) W PTS 10 Alex Martin (17-4).
Rocha vs. Cobbs
Rocha batters a tricky Cobbs to defeat in nine rounds. In a fast-paced start both fighters had good moments with Cobbs letting fly with bursts of punches and Rocha throwing less but with more accuracy. Cobbs was ca tricky opponent but Rocha was getting in close and scoring with hooks and uppercuts and he landed some useful shots in the second with Cobbs countering well in the third. The pace remained hot as they traded punches through the fourth and fifth with Rocha going to the body to slow Cobbs and Cobbs switching to southpaw. Rocha’s pressure began to tell and he began to jolt and jar Cobbs with Cobbs punch output dropping off as he focused on stemming Rocha’s attacks. Cobbs did better in the seventh rocking Rocha with a left. Rocha closed Cobbs down in the eight driving him to the ropes and dropping him with a right hook. Cobbs was up at six but was staggering under heavy attacks from Rocha and was pinned in a corner under fire with the referee poised to step in as the bell went. Rocha ended it in the ninth. He sent Cobbs staggering to the ropes with a right hook and then exploded with a volley of savage shots until the referee jumped in to save Cobbs. Third win over good level opposition for Rocha since losing a close verdict against Rashidi Ellis in October 2020. Cobbs was coming off a stoppage win over Brad Solomon in June.
Melikuziev vs. Zegarra
After a studied start that had the crowd restless Melikuziev gave them what they wanted as he connected with a wicked left hook to the body that put Zegarra down for the count in the second. The Uzbek southpaw gets his second win since a shock kayo loss to Gabriel Rosado in June last year. Five consecutive losses for Peruvian Zegarra four of them by KO/TKO.
McKinson vs. Martin
A double disappointment here for McKinson. He was to have faced Vergil Ortiz in a huge fight for the Portsmouth boxer but then Ortiz had to withdraw. Instead McKinson ended up facing a replacement for a replacement in a poor fight. There was not a great deal of action over the first three rounds which McKinson won but the crowd were already baying for more action. Martin never really got into the fight but even the rounds McKinson was winning easily were low action affairs and he had to settle for a unanimous decision instead of a high profile fight against Ortiz. Scores 99-91,98-92 and 97-93 for McKinson. Not the fight or the performance McKinson would have wanted on his first appearance in an American ring. Ortiz is No 1 with both the WBC and WBO so now McKinson will need to seek another top match to move towards a title shot. Martin was coming off wins over a couple of reasonable level opponents in 21-0 Luis Hernandez and 23-4-3 Josec Ruiz but came into this one as a very short notice replacement for Jose Perez who was far too heavy to be accepted as a replacement for Ortiz.
New York, NY, USA: Super Middle: Edgar Berlanga (19-0) W PTS 10 Steve Rolls (21-1). Super Light: John Bauza (17-0) W PTS 8 Tony Luis (29-5). Super Welter: Xander Zayas (13-0) W PTS 8 Quincy LaVallais (12-3-1). Super Feather: Henry Lebron (15-0) W TKO 7 Josec Ruiz (23-6-3). Super Feather: Bruce Carrington (3-0) W KO 5 Yeuri Andujar (5-5-1).
Berlanga vs. Rolls
Berlanga gets the unanimous decision over Rolls but shows he still has a lot to learn. Not much action in the first round as Rolls boxed on the retreat firing the occasional jab and Berlanga stalked him only letting a couple of rights go just before the bell with those few jabs enough to give Rolls the round. The second was more of the same with Rolls super cautious and Berlanga unable to cut the ring off and not throwing much. The crowd were expecting the usual fireworks from Berlanga and were getting restive. The third and fourth were low action rounds. Berlanga used his jab and scored with a couple of body shots and a right counter but Rolls was in permanent reverse gear looking to steal rounds with an occasional punch. The fifth was a frustrating round for Berlanga. He just followed Rolls around the ring with Rolls snapping out jabs and then trying Berlanga up inside and for me Rolls was 3-2 up in rounds. Berlanga just did enough with his jab and some hooks to take the sixth but there was no fire in the fight. The seventh was a good round for Rolls. He was consistently spearing Berlanga with jabs and then following in with straight rights with Berlanga hardly landing a punch. Berlanga briefly tried switching to southpaw to no effect. Berlanga took the eighth but it was close. Rolls was still sticking out his jab and firing rights but Berlanga was taking an extra step forward enabling him to score with hooks and he connected with a right to the head late in the round. Berlanga chased Rolls down hard in the ninth and landed well to the body to just have the edge and then produced a stronger finish in the tenth. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Berlanga. I thought the 96-94 was about right but would not have argued if it had been scored a draw. Berlanga gets his third consecutive points victory and wins the WBO NABO belt but it was an uninspired performance. The blood and thunder of his 16 consecutive first round wins is what people still expect. It is good for his development to go ten rounds with a tricky opponent but he has to be careful not to lose the raging fire he had as this fight showed he is not a great tactical fighter and he failed to put Rolls under enough pressure. It was a fight based on “negative” tactics from Rolls but he was there to win and for me he nearly succeeded.
Bauza vs. Luis
Puerto-Rican born southpaw Bauza gets his second good win in a row as he decisions seasoned veteran Luis. Bauza was able to score with some crisp southpaw rights over the early rounds of what was a bed tempered bout at times. Luis tired to put Bauza under lots of pressure but Bauza boxed smartly and built a solid lead before boxing his way pat Luis over the closing rounds. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 for Bauza. A composed, cool display by Bauza, a former US Youth champion, who had stopped 19-0 Michael Williams in four rounds in December. Canadian Luis, a former WBA interim title challenger, had won ten in a row before losing on points to 23-0 Arnold Barboza in his last fight in August 2020.
Zayas W LaVallais
Zayas again showcases his outstanding talent. He won every round but LaVallais showed true grit in going the distance. It looked to be a quick night as Zayas hammered LaVallais for the whole of the second round. It was one-sided enough for two judges to score it a 10-8 round but LaVallais took the hammering and survived. He became a bit more competitive without ever coming close to winning a round and although rocked a couple more times he took Zayas the full eight rounds. Valuable experience for Zayas as he was going eight rounds for the first time. LaVallais did his job well and keeps his record free of any inside the distance loss.
Lebron vs. Ruiz
Puerto Rican southpaw Lebron outboxed and outscored Ruiz before stopping him the seventh round. The speed and power of Lebron’s punching saw him winning every round. By the end of the fifth despite the one-sided nature of the fight it looked likely that Ruiz would maintain his claim of never losing inside the distance. That looked less likely after Lebron scored heavily late in the sixth. When Lebron continued to get through punishing shots in the seventh the referee stopped the fight despite strong protests from Ruiz Lebron breaks a run of three points wins to collect his tenth inside the distance victory.
Carrington vs. Andujar
Carrington brutalises Andujar before finishing their fight with a booming kayo in the fifth. Carrington was scoring heavily from the first round nailing Andujar with straight rights and uppercuts. Andujar was cut over his right eye in the third but survived a doctor’s inspection. There was more punishment for Andujar in the fourth before the dramatic ending in the fifth. Carrington stepped inside with a right to the head and then followed that with a devastating left hook that put Andujar down and out on his back. Second KO/TKO win for the 24-year-old from Brooklyn. Dominican Andujar falls to 0-3-1 in his most recent action with this his third loss by KO/TKO in that run.
Brisbane, Australia: Light: Billy Dib (48-6,2ND) W DISQ 6 Jacob Ng (15-1). Feather: Vegas Larfield (5-0) W PTS 10 Luke Martin (1-5). Welter: Blake Minto (14-2-2) W PTS Justin Frost (12-2-1).
Ng is disqualified after lifting Dib off the floor in the fifth and body slamming him to the canvas on his back with Dib unable to continue. Ng had a 4” edge in height and being the bigger man was using his strength to force Dib back. He was driving Dib to the ropes and scoring with some wicked body shots. Dib showed his experience and was able to duck under some of Ng’s shots. During a period in the fourth round whilst with his back against the ropes Dib ducked, bobbed and weaved around Ng’s punches and then forced Ng back with a series of hooks. Dib had a good fifth getting past Ng’s reach and working to the body with a frustrated Ng not able to use his physical advantages. Early in the fifth as Dib moved in Ng, with his head under Dib’s arm, lifted dib off his feet and body slammed him to the canvas. The referee stopped the fight and once it was clear that Dib could not continue Ng was disqualified. Dib wins the IBF International and WBO Oriental titles. Ng was rated No 5 by the WBO and No 9 with the IBF so at 36 Dib sees good reason to keep fighting. A ridiculous moment of madness from Ng and it cost him his rating spots.
Larfield vs. Martin
The Australian National Boxing Federation are determined to keep their national titles moving which is why two such inexperienced boxers were contesting the featherweight title. Larfield, 19, was just too good for Martin and won a wide unanimous verdict on scores of 99-90 twice and 98-91. Larfield had won his other four fights inside the distance taking eight rounds to do that so he more than doubled his previous ring time in this fight. Martin’s losses have all come on points.
Minto vs. Frost
Minto wins the vacant IBF Asia Oceania belt with split decision over Frost. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Minto and 96-94 for Frost. Only one loss in his last ten fights for Minto. Frost had won the Australian title and this same IBF title previously but a year out of the ring cost him both titles.
Berlin, Germany: Super Welter: Abass Baraou (12-1) W TKO 6 Brian Chaves (14-12). Cruiser: Kai Robin Havnaa (17-0) W TKO 2 Ervin Dzinic (10-4). Heavy: Mourad Aliev (2-0) W TKO 2 Milos Veletic (2-1). Light: Murat Yildirim (1-0) W TKO 5 Sandro Hernandez (15-22-3).
Baraou vs. Chaves
Baraou has too much class and power for southpaw Chaves. He was on target early dominating the first two rounds before flooring Chaves in the third. Chaves survived but was bombarded by accurate shots in the fourth and fifth with Baraou ending it in the sixth putting Chaves on the floor with a body shot with the fight being stopped. Third win for Baraou since losing a split decision to Jack Culcay in August 2020. Fifth defeat by KO/TKO for Chaves.
Havnaa vs. Dzinic
Havnaa shakes off some dust with second round stoppage of overmatched Bosnian Dzinic. First fight for the 33-year-old Norwegian since November 2019. Fourteenth inside the distance victory but to date Havnaa’s opposition has been modest at best so he will have to move up soon.
Aliev vs. Veletic
The 6’7” Aliev towered over the overweight Veletic. He was able to land jabs at distance and Veletic dropped to his knees from a head shot at the end of the first. Veletic went down under a series of straight punches in the second with Aliev’s last punch landing when Veletic had both knees on the floor. He got up but the referee waived the fight over. The 26-year-old Russian-born Frenchman Aliev, a European Championships silver medallist, beat Frazer Clarke in the European Olympic Qualifying Tournament but was disqualified for butts when he fought Clarke in Tokyo.
Yildirim, another former top level amateur, turned pro with a fifth round stoppage of Venezuelan Sandro Hernandez. Yildirim had Hernandez on the canvas in the fourth and again in the fifth with the fight being halted.
Ciudad Juarez, Mexico: Super Light: Jose Zepeda (36-2,2ND) W TKO 3 Francisco Perez (18-13-1). Super Light: Pedro Campa (34-1-1) W TKO 3 Carlos Sanchez (22-0). Super Bantam: Israel Rodriguez (24-5) W TKO 4 Jesus Riegos (15-1).
Zepeda vs. Perez
Easy night for Zepeda. He stalked Perez through the first round connecting with straight lefts to head and body with Perez just in survival mode from the start. Zepeda got the job done early in the second. He drove Perez along the ropes with a series of rights and Perez fell to his knees. He arose but went down twice more and the fight was stopped. Zepeda hardly broke a sweat. He is No 2 with the WBC behind Jose Ramirez who took a majority decision over Zepeda in a WBC title defence back in 2019. Perez no threat.
Campa vs. Sanchez
Good first round from Sanchez as he boxed on the back foot reddening Campa's face with jabs and putting together some combinations. Campa upped his pace in the second and put Sanchez on his back on the canvas with a perfect left hook. Sanchez was up at five and the bell came quickly. Before any trading had taken place in the third Sanchez turned away from the action holding his right arm. The fight was stopped and after a doctor’s examination Sanchez was unable to continue. The feeling was he might have injured the arm when he was knocked down in the second.
Rodriguez vs. Rivas
Rodriguez continues his fine form with stoppage of previously unbeaten Riegos. For the first three rounds Riegos marched forward but too often left himself open to counters as Rodriguez pocketed the first those rounds. Riegos was still coming forward in the fourth when Rodriguez nailed him with a right to the head. Suddenly Riegos came apart and Rodriguez drove him to the ropes and pounded him with punches until the referee came in and stopped the fight. Nine wins in a row, eight of them by KO/TKO for Rodriguez.
Cinisello balsam, Italy: Welter: Nicolas Esposito (16-0) W PTS 10 Tobia Giuseppe Loriga (33-10-3). Super Middle: Giovanni De Carolis (30-10-1) W RTD 1 Giorgi Abramishvili (14-20-1).
Esposito vs. Loriga
Esposito retains the Italian title with a unanimous decision over veteran warrior Loriga. Giving away a little in height and reach Esposito worked well inside over the first three rounds. Loriga comes back strongly to take the fourth. Esposito was cut in the fifth and Loriga kept coming forward exerting pressure with Esposito boxing cleverly over the sixth. Loriga just kept marching forward to edge the seventh but Esposito was in charge over the closing rounds and a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Esposito who was making the second defence of the title. Loriga, 45, a former Italian champion, is 4-4-2 in national title fights.
De Carolis vs. Abramishvili
De Carolis overwhelms poor Georgian Abramishvili. De Carolis handed out some punishment in the first bringing blood from the Georgian’s nose and Abramishvili did not come out for the second round. A waste of time and not much effort from the former holder of the WBA secondary title.
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Bantam: Alexander Mejia (18-2) W TEC DEC 9 Freddy Lainez (14-3).
Mejia retains the Nicaraguan title with a technical decision over Lainez. It was Lainez who took the first two rounds before “Popeye” Mejia found his rhythm and landed some heavy body punches to even things up. Mejia moved ahead after the half way point but things changed in the eighth when Mejia was cut over his right eye as heads bumped together. Lainez was heartened by that and scored well over the rest of that round and was winning the ninth when the fight was stopped due the severity of the cut and it went to the scorecards with Mejia in front 87-84 twice and 86-85. Mejia had been fading badly and might have struggled to make it through the tenth. Mejia has won 10 of his last 11 outings. Lainez was turning his record around with five victories in a row
Lagos, Nigeria: Feather: Rilwan Lawal (15-0) W TKO 4 Emmanuel Quartey (24-4). Light Heavy: Godday Appah (10-1) W TKO 3 Kabiru Towolawi (17-5). Cruiser: Tony Salam (16-3) W RTD 4 Hussein Itaba (10-6-3). Super Welter: Taiwo Olowu (13-1) W TKO 3 Justice Addy (16-12-1).
Lawal vs. Quartey
Despite giving away height and reach Lawal punches too hard for Ghanaian Quartey and stops him in the fourth round for his eleventh victory by KO/TKO and his ninth inside the distance win in a row. He wins the vacant ABU belt. Quartey had won 10 of his last 11 bouts.
Appah vs. Towolawi
Appah stops ancient Towolawi in three rounds in an all-Nigerian contest to pick up the vacant ABU belt. Seventh victory on the bounce for Appah. Towolawi, 41, had won his last three fights.
Salam vs. Itaba
Southpaw Salam collects the vacant ABU title as he halts Tanzanian Itaba who retires after the fourth round. No youth titles here as Salam is 38 and Itaba 37.
Olowu vs. Addy
Nigerian champion Olowu stops Ghanaian Addy in three rounds. After an exchange of punches in the third Addy staggered away from the exchange clearly shaken and out of the fight which the referee then stopped.
Panama City, Panama: Super Fly: Keiver Fernandez (25-1-1) W PTS 10 Pablo Macario (7-3).
Fernandez keeps his WBA Fedelatin title as he decisions Guatemalan Macario. Fernandez had height and reach over Macario and he used those edges well. Macario piled forward and did some good work when he managed to get inside but for most of the fight Fernandez dominated with his jab and accurate counters. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 for Venezuelan Fernandez the WBA No 5. Macario is the WBC Youth champion.
Melbourne, Australia: Middle: Sam Soliman (48-16-1,2ND) W PTS 8 Jesse White (6-3).
Age no barrier to Soliman as the 48-year-old former IBF champion repeats a December victory with a unanimous decision over White. This won Soliman the Victoria State belt a long way down from an IBF title but a title and a win nevertheless.
Hamilton, Canada: Middle: Brandon Brewer (25-1-2) DREW Antonio Napolitano (5-0-1). Cruiser: Ryan Rozicki (14-1) W TKO 2 German Garcia (7-4).
Brewer vs. Napolitano
Disappointing fight for Brewer as he is held to split draw by novice Napolitano. This was originally advertised as ten rounds for the vacant WBC USNBC belt but they both came in at 173lbs and it was over eight rounds. Scores 77-75 Brewer, 77-75 Napolitano and 76-76.
Rozicki vs. Garcia
Rozicki return with a win as he stops Mexican Garcia in two rounds. First fight for Rozicki since losing on points against Oscar Rivas for the vacant WBC Bridgerweight title in October.
Corbiel, France: Hassan Amzile (4-0) W PTS 10 Abderrazak Houya (14-4). Middle: Moughit El Moutaouakil (17-2-1) W PTS 10 Franck Zimmer (11-3).
Amzile vs. Houya
Former top amateur Amzile wins the vacant French title as he outpoints Houya on scores of 98-92 on the three judge’s cards. Amzile was French amateur champion boxed in the WSB and competed at the 2016 Olympics before turning pro at the age of thirty. Houya climbed off the floor twice to go the distance with Jack Catterall in November 2020.
El Moutaouakil vs. Zimmer
Fighting in his home town El Moutaouakil retains the national title with unanimous verdict over Zimmer. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92. First defence for El Moutaouakil. Zimmer had won his last seven contests.
Stezyca, Poland: Heavy: Kacper Meyna (8-1) W KO 1 Jacek Platek (11-2).
Meyna massacres Platek. Meyna, 22, floored Platek with a left hook early in the opener and then put Platek down five more times to win the Polish title. Fourth KO/TKO victory for Meyna. For Platek, 48, second time in a row he has failed to make it past the first round having been knocked out by Viktor Vykhryst in just over two minutes in May last year.
Oldham, England: Super Middle: Mark Heffron (27-2-1) W TKO 3 Tomas Bezvoda (12-19).
Heffron continues his rebuilding as he halts Czech Bezvoda in three rounds and moves to 21 inside the distance finishes. The aim is to get a shot at the British title.
Luis Guillon, Argentina: Fly: Tamara Demarco (10-4) W TEC DEC 9 Debora Anahi Lopez (20-1-1).
Demarco wins the vacant WBO Female title with technical decision over Lopez. Demarco attacked hard from the first hustling the classier Lopez out of her stride in a poor, untidy fight that saw Demarco deducted a point in the fifth. A clash of heads in the ninth opened a bad cut over Lopez’s left eye and with Lopez unable to continue the decision went to the cards WITH Demarco winning a split decision on scores of 87-84 twice for Demarco and 86-84 for Lopez. Demarco is a former IBF light flyweight title holder. Lopez had won this title back in 2020 but had not defended it so was stripped of the title.
Fight of the week (Significance): Hopefully Sunny Edwards win over Muhammad Waseem might lead to a unification fight at flyweight
Fight of the week (Entertainment): The contrast in styles between Alexis Roach and Blair Cobbs resulted in a fast-paced contest with a satisfying ending
Fighter of the week: Kenshiro Teraji for his crushing win over former conqueror Masamichi Yabuki
Punch of the week: The right from Teraji that put Yabuki down was special but the dramatic left hook kayo of Yeuri Andrade by Bruce Carrington was even better
Upset of the week: Everything went pretty much in line with expectations.
Prospect watch: The 6’7” former Olympic and World Champion Bakhodir Jalolov 10-0 10 wins by KO/TKO looks dangerous
Rosette: David Avanesyan who just keeps on getting better. Five European title defences and five wins inside the distance.
Red Card: Jacob Ng who was disqualified for hoisting Billy Dib up and body slamming him to the canvas. A stupid way to lose a fight
-We will have to come up with a new definition for an amateur. The line is so blurred. Estelle Mosley is a professional but is now targeting the World Championships. With the competitions such the WSB and the AIBA pro tournament it is difficult to know who is a true amateur. You could simply say anyone who does not get paid to fight is an amateur but for the top level “amateurs” today through the financial aid packages they get that blurs that line. If nothing else there should be some form of age or experience criteria as to whether a fighter can switch back and forth.
-Watching Kenshiro Teraji vs. Masamichi Yabuki was a great argument for judges wearing ear muffs. Every punch Teraji threw let alone landed was greeted with loud cheers and applause and when Yabuki connected there was silence. The contrast was so marked that it could affect a judges view of the fight
-Watching Sunny Edwards slipping and sliding away from Muhammad Waseem’s punches was impressive but I can’t help but wondering how his style would have been received at the Arena Coliseo in Mexico City. I went there one night to see a show with Marcos Villasana in the main bout. Villasana trapped his opponent on the ropes. They traded hard punches with Villasana scoring heavily. His opponent slid away along the ropes and the crowd were booing. When I asked why I was told at the Arena Coliseo you are expected to stay there and punch no matter how much punishment you are taking. Corazon mi amigo!
They say love finds away and it must be true when you have 6’7 Tony Yoka married to 5’6” Estelle Yoka Mossely
By Eric Armit
- Leigh Wood climbs off the floor and comes from behind on points to stop Michael Conlan in the last round of his defence of his secondary WBA featherweight title
-Unbeaten fighters Gabriel Maestre and Taras Shelestyuk fight to a draw in WBA welterweight eliminator
-Former champions Jezreel Corrales and Anselmo Moreno win in Panama
-Jon Miguez wins vacant European Union welterweight title with points victory over Aitor Nieto
-Marc Leach outpoints unbeaten Chris Bourke to win the vacant British super bantamweight title
-Charly Suarez and Carl Jammes Martin maintain their 100% records with wins in Manila
-Gary Cully KO’s former IBF title holder Miguel Vazquez
World Title/Major Shows
Nottingham, England: Feather: Leigh Wood (26-2) W TKO 12 Michael Conlan (16-1). Light: Gary Cully (14-0) W KO 5 Miguel Vazquez (44-10). Light: Terri Harper (12-1-1) W PTS 10 Abellaneda (13-5-1). Middle: Caolmhin Agyarko (11-0) W PTS 10 Juan Rubio (18-1).
Wood vs. Conlan
Wood comes off the floor and behind on points to score dramatic last round victory
Wood was taking the fight to Conlan who was on the back foot with his left hand resting on his thigh and shooting jabs upwards and looking to counter. After one minute Conlan switched to southpaw. Wood landed some good body punches but over the last minute Conlan landed some sharp single shots before nailing Wood with a long left which put Wood down on his back. He was up at three and as the bell had gone during the count when the eight was reached Wood went back to his corner.
Score: 10-8 Conlan
Conlan attacked fiercely in the second staggering Wood again with a left and Wood was just looking to clinch as Conlan pounded him with hooks. Conlan continued to blaze away with hooks and Wood was looking to buy time and it worked as he was the one throwing punches at the end of the round
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 20-17
This was a close round. Wood was coming forward with Conlan on the back foot sliding jabs through Wood’s guard. When Wood did get inside he was firing bunches of hooks but was knocked sideways by a right hook late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 30-26
A round for Wood. He hustled Conlan driving him to the ropes and pounding away with body punches. He was getting past Conlan’s jab now and putting Conlan under steady pressure. Conlan ended the round with a right to the head that again shook Wood.
Score: 10-9 Wood Conlan 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Leszek Jankowiak 40-35 Conlan, Judge Guillermo Perez-Pineda 39-36 Conlan, Judge Bob Williams 39-36 Conlan.
Conlan was becoming over reliant on long swiping lefts and did better when he settled and used his right jab finding gaps. Wood was more effective with hooks inside and it was a close round with the cleaner work from Conlan giving him a slight edge.
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 49-45
Conlan outboxed Wood in this round. He was getting through with long lefts to the body and bobbing and weaving around Wood’s punches and clipped Wood with a sharp right hook. When Wood managed to take the fight inside Conlan was doing most of the scoring with hooks to the body.
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 59-54
For most of the three minutes this was an untidy low scoring round. Wood worked steadily being more accurate than Conlan. Over the final thirty seconds they both left fly with hooks and uppercuts with Wood just connecting enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Wood Conlan 68-64
Wood’s best round so far. He was driving forward pumping out punches with Conlan unable to stop Wood getting inside where he was landing thumping hooks to the body. Conlan’s output dropped and with the exception of a hard right hook he was wild when he did throw punches.
Score: 10-9 Wood Conlan 77-74
Official Scores: Judge Leszek Jankowiak 78-73 Conlan, Judge Guillermo Perez-Pineda 77-74 Conlan, Judge Bob Williams 77-74 Conlan.
Conlan boxed on the retreat make good use of his jab. That and some good defensive work made the difference. Wood continued to come forward but found Conlan an elusive target and had little success
Score: 10-9 Conlan Conlan 87-83
Big round for Wood. He piled forward taking Conlan to the ropes and scoring with hooks and uppercuts. Conlan had some success with hooks in the middle of the round but for the last minute he was often pinned to the ropes as Wood unloaded on him.
Score: 10-9 Wood Conlan 96-93
Conlan boxed well early in this round. He was getting through with right jabs and landing heavy lefts to the body with Wood not able to exert enough pressure. Finally they just stood and traded punches. With less than ten seconds remaining in the round Wood broke through with a left hook that staggered Conlan and then landed another left hook that swept Conlan’s feet from under him and sent Conlan down on his knees. Conlan jumped up claiming he had slipped on water on the ring surface but it looked a genuine knockdown. After the count as the round was already over Conlan went back to his corner with his team protesting violently that it had not been a knockdown.
Score: 10-8 Wood Conlan 104-103
Wood was taking the fight to Conlan looking to capitalise on that knockdown. He drove Conlan to the ropes connecting with a series of hooks and uppercuts. Suddenly after a right from Wood Conlan sagged, dropped both arms and collapsed at the knees going backwards out of the ring through the ropes off the ring apron and down to the stadium floor with the referee immediately waiving the fight over.
Official Scores after eleven rounds: Official Scores: Judge Leszek Jankowiak 105-102 Conlan, Judge Guillermo Perez-Pineda 104-103 Conlan, And Judge Bob Williams 104-103 Conlan.
Wood retains the secondary WBBA title with a dramatic last round win that will move him to a much higher profile. At 33 he is a late bloomer but this was a deserved win as he overcame that shock first round knockdown, never stopped taking the fight to Conlan and outlasted the younger man in dramatic fashion. Conlan was taken to hospital but messaged that he was fine. Conlan already has a profile that can get him another title shot and he wants a return with Wood but Wood may have other plans to capitalise on this dramatic win.
Cully vs. Vazquez
Cully gets a career best win as he knocks out Vazquez in the fifth round. The 6’2” Irish southpaw was just too big and too strong for Vazquez. After an even first round Cully began to find then target with his long lefts and opened a cut over Vazquez’s left eye in the second. Vazquez was down in the third but it was not a heavy knockdown and he continued but just found Cully’s height and reach too much to combat. Cully ended it in style in the fifth shaking Vazquez with a left hook and then putting him down for the count with a flashing combination. Eighth victory by KO/TKO for the 26-year-old Cully. This is only the third time that former IBF lightweight champion Vazquez has been stopped.
Harper vs. Abellaneda
Harper returns with a win as she outboxes Abellaneda. Harper boxed skilfully on the back foot spearing the Argentinian with jabs and slotting home straight rights. She used good foot work and plenty of upper body movement to avoid Abellaneda’s attacks and controlled the action over the first two rounds . From the third she stood and traded more getting the better of the exchanges. Harper switched to southpaw over the ninth and tenth and landed some strong lefts but to her credit Abellaneda never stopped walking forward and Harper had to work hard. Scores 99-91 for Harper from the three judges. Former WBC and IBO Female title holder Harper was having her first fight since losing her titles to Alycia Baumgardner in November. She won the vacant WBA Female Inter-Continental title here. Argentinian champion Abellaneda was 7-0-1 in her last eight fights.
Agyarko vs. Rubio
Agyarko goes ten rounds for the first time as he outpoints durable but limited Rubio. Agyarko took a round to sort out Rubio’s southpaw style but then shook Rubio with a right in the second and again in the fourth. Rubio did not roll over and although losing the rounds he stayed competitive. Agyarko broke though heavily again with rights in the eighth but Rubio took the shots and never looked to be in any serious trouble but not really posing a threat to 25-year-old Agyarko who won on scores of 100-90 twice and 98-92 in defending his WBA International belt. He is a former Irish amateur champion and competed in the WSB. He is showing good progress. Rubio’s record has been put together against very modest opposition and in his last fight in August was stopped in three rounds by Charles Conwell.
Montreal, Canada: Welter: Gabriel Maestre (4-0-1) DREW 10 Taras Shelestyuk (19-0-1). Light Fly: Kim Clavel (15-0) W RTD 4 Mariela Valverde (11-7). Super Light: Mathieu Germain (20-2-1) W TKO 8 Erick Inzunza (8-3).
Maestre vs. Shelestyuk
Maestre and Shelestyuk fight to a split draw in a WBA eliminator. Venezuelan Maestre was the aggressor from the start coming forward firing hooks with Ukrainian southpaw Shelestyuk choosing to box on the back foot and counter. Maestre looked to have swept the first three rounds with his aggression but Shelestyuk took a more positive approach in the fourth finding the target with straight lefts. Shelestyuk grew in confidence jabbing well and outscoring Maestre inside in the fifth and sixth to move in front. Maestre swung things his way over the seventh and eighth with some solid body work and it was hard to separate them over the last two rounds as both fought hard to clinch the verdict. Scores 96-94 Maestre, 97-93 Shelestyuk and 95-95. A draw suits neither fighter and although this was an eliminator with Maestre No 6 and Shelestyuk No 10 in the WBA ratings there is already a queue awaiting the outcome of the Errol Spence vs. Yordenis Ugas unification bout so whoever won this fight would not be looking at getting a title fight anytime soon.
Clavel vs. Valverde
Clavel outclasses Bolivian Valverde. This was an easy night for Clavel. She jabbed strongly and showered Valverde with flashing combinations. Valverde was out of her depth and shaken in every round but refused to go down before retiring after the fourth round. Clavel was making the first defence of the WBC Silver Female title and gets her fourth inside the distance win. She now hopes to go ahead and challenge WBC champion Yesenia Gomez. A good performance but none of Valverde’s eleven victims had won a fight.
Germaine vs. Inzunza
Germain returns with a win but at a cost. Germain was cut over his right eye in the second round, the first time he has been cut as an amateur or a professional. In addition he was having his first fight for ten months and late replacement Inzunza proved tougher than expected. The visitor was slow and limited but willing. Germain finally ended it in the eighth sending Inzunza down under a shower of punches. Inzunza made it to his feet but was trapped against the ropes and under fire when the referee stopped the fight. Germain had slipped from 17-0-1 to 2-2 so a welcome win but not an impressive showing. Third loss in his last four fights for Mexican Inzunza
Berlin, Germany: Middle: Vincenzo Gualtieri (19-0-1) W PTS 12 Dario Socci (14-7-2,1ND). Super Welter: Haro Matevosyan (15-0) W PTS 12 Johan Perez (27-10-2,1ND). Super Welter: Jack Culcay (30-4) W PTS 10 Khalil El Harraz (14-3-1). Heavy: Granit Shala (11-0) W PTS 10 Sine Eddine Benmakhlouf (23-7-1). Middle: Thomas Piccirillo (10-0-3) W KO 6 Leonard Carrillo (15-3). Middle: Bjoern Schicke (19-1-1) W TKO 1 Jakob Winter (5-2).
Gualtieri vs. Socci
Gualtieri makes a successful defence of his IBF Inter-Continental belt with a wide points win over Italian Socci. Gualtieri had the better skills and was busier. He outscored Socci with a selection of accurate counters to head and body and by the end was looking for a stoppage of the tiring Socci but just lacks the power. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110 for Gualtieri the European No 13. Socci had won his last two fights and he had another “win” here as he proposed to his girlfriend after the fight and was successful.
Matevosyan vs. Perez
Armenian-born German Matevosyan gave the home team another win as he comprehensively outboxed experienced Venezuelan Perez. Matevosyan took the fight to Perez throughout the contest scoring strongly to the body and outworking Perez but Perez boxed cleverly and was never in any real trouble with Matevosyan looking to have another unused gear. Scores 118-110 twice and 120-108 for southpaw Matevosyan. He is IBF No 7 due to his holding their Inter-Continental belt but a more realistic No 13 with the EBU. Perez, 38, a former holder of the WBA interim super lightweight title but is 3-5 in his most recent activity.
Culcay vs. El Harraz
Just a good workout for Culcay as he shakes the dust accumulated through eighteen months of inactivity. Culcay just had too much skill for Italian El Harraz but was made to fight hard all the way as El Harraz was more than willing to stand and trade. Much of the fight took place inside with Culcay scoring consistently and using good defensive work to blunt El Harraz’s attacks without ever looking likely to stop El Harraz. Scores 100-89 twice and 97-93 for Culcay who despite that long period of inactivity is still No 2 with the IBF and is waiting for a date for a final eliminator against No 1 Bakhram Murtazaliev
Shala vs. Benmakhlouf
Shala scores two knockdowns but has to go the distance to beat Benmakhlouf. The Algerian had been inactive in 2018, 2019 and 2021 and spent most of his career fighting at cruiserweight. He was up to 237lbs for this fight against 277lbs Shala who has been as high as 326lbs. Really Benmakhlouf was in with very little chance of winning but showed real grit to go the distance despite the knockdowns. Scores 100-89 twice and 98-91 for 25-year-old Shala.
Piccirillo vs. Carrillo
Italian-born German Piccirillo kayos Carrillo in the sixth. Piccirillo scored consistently with counters against the taller Colombian and worked well with his jab to create openings for some crisp rights. Piccirillo ended the fight in style in the sixth. He shook Carrillo with a left hook and then connected with a right to the chin to send Carrillo down and he was counted out. German champion Piccirillo, ranked No 12 by the EBU, gets his fourth victory by KO/TKO. First fight for 15 months and second successive defeat for Carrillo.
Schicke vs. Winter
Schicke ended this all-German early as just 66 seconds into the fight he put Winter down and out with a left hook. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the European No 8. Second quick defeat for Winter and the five fighters he had beaten had not won a single fight.
Panama City, Panama: Light Fly: Jessica Nery (28-2) W PTS 10 Yesica Yolanda Bopp (37-3).
Argentinian Nery ends the reign of Bopp with a split decision in a close hard-fought contest. The challenger used a focused body attack early coming forward and letting her punches fly. Bopp used good movement and landed the harder punches rocking Nery on occasion but Nery just kept coming and firing hooks to the body of the ten years older Bopp’s body. It was her constant aggression and higher output that gave Nery the edge but many rounds were close and then fight in general was close. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Nery and 97-93 for Bopp. Nery, 27, a former interim WBA title holder scored her seventh consecutive win. Bopp was unbeaten in 22 WBA title fights going back to 2009 and was also unbeaten in her reign as WBO champion before relinquishing that title. She definitely wants a return fight.
Konin, Poland: Feather: Kamil Laszczyk (29-0) W PTS 10 Ismail Gallatano (10-3-3).Super Middle: Karol Welter (10-0-1) W TKO 7 Patryk Szymanski (21-5). Super Welter: Tomasz Nowicki (11-0) W KO 2 Juan Ruiz (27-7,1ND). Welter: Lukasz Wierzbicki (21-1) W PTS 6 Edmond Zefi (9-2).
Laszczyk vs. Gallatano
In his first fight since June 2020 Laszczyk is given a tougher than expected night by Tanzanian Gallatano and had to undergo a count before winning. Laszczyk edge the first round but was shaken by a left hook. Another left knocked Laszczyk off balance in the second and he had to touch the canvas to stay upright and was given a count. He had difficulty getting through Gallatano’s guard and the visitor connected with a heavy right in the fourth. Laszczyk switched his attacks to the body from the fifth and built a small lead with a tired Gallatano letting the fight slip away. Scores 97-93, 96-94 and 96-95 for Laszczyk. The European No 9 will hope to be sharper in future fights. Gallatano was 6-0-2 in his most recent action going into this fight.
Welter vs. Szymanski
Minor upset as Welter pushes Szymanski down the road to retirement with a seventh round victory. Welter rocked Szymanski in the opening rough with a hard combination and had him bleeding heavily from the nose in the second. There was plenty of action in a close third but Szymanski was shaken again in the fourth and only just survived a painful fifth. He was floored by a body punch in the sixth and taking punishment when the fight was halted. Big win for Welter and Szymanski announced his retirement.
Nowicki vs. Ruiz
Nowicki gets second round win over Ruiz but rides his luck. After an even first round Nowicki scored with a left hook that sent Ruiz down on one knee. The local boxer then clearly landed another punch after Ruiz had his knee on the floor. Ruiz was counted out but Nowicki should have been disqualified. Fourth KO/TKO victory for Nowicki. Venezuelan Ruiz is 0-2 in consecutive fight is Poland
Wierzbicki vs. Zefi
Southpaw Wierzbicki continues his rebuild with a unanimous decision over Kosovon Zefi. A ridiculous confusion saw Wierzbicki wearing 8oz gloves and Zefi 10oz. Once that was sorted out Wierzbicki used his southpaw jab to deal with the wild attacks of Zefi to take the decision on scores of 60-54 twice and 59-55. Third win for Wierzbicki since being crushed in two rounds by Brit Louis Green. Zefi is 1-2 in his last 3 bouts.
Oviedo, Spain : Welter: Jon Miguez (16-0) W PTS 10 Aitor Nieto (25-8-1). Super Light: Luis Romero (10-5-1) W PTS 8 Jonathan Alonso (21-2).
Miguez vs. Nieto
In a fast-paced entertaining fight in Nieto’s home city Miguez wins the vacant European Union title with majority decision over Nieto. Miguez caused Nieto some problems early as he boxed southpaw taking the first round but Nieto boxed cleverly to take the next two as the action had the crowd on their feet. They battled on equal terms with first one another the other winning rounds. It was anyone’s fight after eight rounds but Miguez provided the stronger finish to earn the decision. Scores 118-111, 116-112 for Miguez and 114-114. Nieto was a big step up in quality of opposition for Miguez but he was a deserving winner. Second consecutive majority decision loss for Nieto who had been outpointed by Jordy Weiss in November.
Romero vs. Fernandez
Venezuelan Romero pulls off a shock win as he outpoints Fernandez. No scores given but a disputed outcome. Dominican-born Fernandez’s only other loss was against Alberto Puello for the interim WBA super light title and he is co-challenger for the vacant EU title. Romero, 36, had lost his last three fights.
London, England: Super Bantam: Marc Leach (18-1-1) W PTS 12 Chris Bourke (10-1).
This looked an even fight on paper but the classier skills from Leach saw him take the unanimous decision and the vacant British title in this clash of southpaws. Bourke attacked hard at the start but Leach boxed cleverly on the retreat slotting jabs home and taking the first two rounds. Bourke continued to press in the third and scored the beat punch of the fight so far with a straight left. The fourth and fifth were close but Leach’s jab was staring to cause damage to Bourke’s visage. Bourke did well in the sixth and seventh as he continued to press the fight b although Leach’s slick movement and accurate jabbing came back into play and by the end of the seventh Bourke had a swelling under his right eye and had blood trickling from his nose. Bourke got through with some heavy punches in the eighth but Leach fought back to take the ninth and tenth with Bourke more marked up and with a swelling around his left eye. Leach produced the stronger finish and was a good winner. Scores 117-111, 116-112, and 116-113 for Leach who lost his first pro fight. He is No 4 with the EBU so might turn his attention to the European title. Bourke, the European No 5, has some rebuilding to do.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Light Heavy: Albert Ramirez (12-0) W PTS 10 Facundo Galovar (13-6-2). Welter: Cristian Ayala (8-1-1) W PTS 10 Guido Schramm (13-1-1).
Ramirez v. Galovar
Venezuelan southpaw Ramirez proves too hot for local fighter Galovar. Ramirez made a fast start scoring with accurate jabs and straight rights. Galovar managed to get a foot hold in the fight in the fourth and fifth but then Ramirez again took control and had Galovar in trouble in the ninth with Galovar completing hard in the last to still be there at the bell. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for Ramirez who wins the WBA Fedelatin title. Ramirez won a silver medal at the Pam American Games and competed at the 2016 Olympics and 2015 and 2017 World Championships
Ayala vs. Schramm
Ayala wins the vacant WBO Latino title with a unanimous verdict over Schramm. Ayala controlled the fight from the centre of the ring slowly winding up the pressure on Schramm with some hard body shots. His sharp, accurate jabs had Schramm’s left eye swollen and nearly shut. Ayala was a clear winner more so than the scores indicated with the judges scoring it 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Ayala. He has won his last six fights and reversed his only loss. Schramm had put together a ten-bout winning streak.
Aberdeen, Scotland: Welter: Dean Sutherland (13-0) W PTS 10 Corey McCulloch (4-2-1).
Fighting in his home city, one of my old haunts, Sutherland scored a victory over late substitute McCullough. Sutherland led all the way. He rattled McCullough with a punch in the fourth and put him on the floor with a right in the fifth. McCullough rebounded enough to have Sutherland’s right eye affected by a swelling but Sutherland remained in control to the final bell. Referee’s score 98-90 for Sutherland who is making steady progress. Third bout in a row against an unbeaten opponent for McCullough who is 0-2-1 in those three fights.
Panama City, Panama: Light: Jezzrel Corrales (26-4) W PTS 12 Miguel Madueno (27-1). Feather: Anselmo Moreno (41-6-1) W TKO 10 Gustavo Pina (10-4-2). Super Fly: Felix Montenegro (11-9-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Leosdan Nunez (12-3). Super Welter: Johan Gonzalez (30-1) W KO 5 Elvin Ganbarov (16-1). Bantam: Liborio Solis (33-6-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Alejandro Gonzalez (10-4-2).
Corrales vs. Madueno
Corrales takes decision over previously unbeaten Madueno. Corrales was too quick and too slick for the limited Mexican but this was also a typical Corrales effort featuring his skill, lots of questionable tactics and not a lot of entertainment. Corrales was on the floor in the first but it was of the flash variety so not too badly shaken. Corrales was just too fast for Madueno but the rough stuff saw both fighters deducted a point in the third for infractions of the rules and Corrales lose another point for fouls in the eighth. Corrales dominated the action with Madueno, despite having scored 25 wins by KO/TKO, never able to apply enough pressure to threaten Corrales who took a wide unanimous decision on scores of 117-108, 116-108 and 115-109. This victory was said to make Corrales the mandatory challenger to either George Kambosos or Gervonta Davis but only the WBA know how a fight between someone rated No 7 (Corrales) and unrated Madueno qualifies as a final eliminator.
Moreno vs. Pina
No problems for Moreno as he outboxes and then stops Mexican novice Pina in the tenth round. Moreno retains the WBA Fedelatin belt. At 36 the former WBA champion is a bit long in the tooth. He is No 3 with the WBA behind Michael Conlan and Brandon Figueroa and with Conlan losing to Wood a title shot is not impossible. Pina just a modest prelim fighter.
Montenegro vs. Nunez
Panamanian Montenegro gets a majority verdict over Cuban Nunez to collect the vacant WBA Continental Americas title on scores of 98-92 and 95-94 for Montenegro and 95-95. Fifth win for Montenegro in successive fights. Only one win in his last four fights for Nunez.
Gonzalez vs. Ganbarov
Gonzalez crushes Ganbarov in five rounds. The Venezuelan has scored all thirty of his wins by KO/TKO with his only loss a split decision against Charlie Navarro in July 2019. This is only the third time he has had to go past the fourth round for a win. He collects the NABA title and will probably get a promotion from his No 8 WBA rating. Azeri Ganbarov was No 6 with the WBA thanks to winning their NABA title. He has done his fighting in Colombia and the USA.
Solis vs. Gonzalez
Veteran Solis has to get up after a knockdown in the second round and then fight hard to get a very close verdict against Mexican Gonzalez. Scores 95-94 twice and 96-93 for Solis. He was defending his WBA Fedelatin belt and is No 5 with the WBA. Former WBA super flyweight title holder Solis lost a split decision to Guillermo Rigondeaux for the vacant secondary WBA bantam title in February 2020 but at 39 poses no threat to Naoya Inoue. Gonzalez, 22, pulled off an upset when he outpointed unbeaten Scot Billy Stuart last July.
Manila, Philippines: Super Feather: Charly Suarez (10-0) W TKO 12 Tomjune Mangubat (15-3-1). Super Bantam: Carl Jammes Martin (19-0) W TKO 11 Ronnie Baldonado (15-3-1). Fly: Bienvenido Ligas (14-2-2) W PTS 12 Roland Jay Biendima (15-11). Super Bantam: Michael Dasmarinas (31-3-2) W TKO 3 Danny Tampipi (9-15-2). Feather: Jon Jon Estrada (15-8-1)W KO 4 Jess Rhey Waminal (14-5-1).
Suarez vs. Mangubat
After a slow start Suarez stops Mangubat in the last round. Over the first four rounds Mangubat was using his height and longer reach to score on the outside and looked to have taken a lead. From the fifth the superior skill and experience of Suarez put him in control. He outboxed Mangubat at distance picking his time to fire fast, accurate combinations and his defensive skills to block Mangubat’s punches. Suarez was in control and that’s how it stayed. Suarez finished the job early in the twelfth. Mangubat came forward trying to put Suarez under pressure but Suarez exploded with a huge right uppercut flooring Mangubat. When Mangubat made it to his feet Suarez drove him along the ropes landed a series of and the referee stopped the fight. The “King’s Warrior” wins the WBA Asian title. He was a top level amateur competing at the 2007, 2009 and 2011 World Champions and lost to Joe Cordina at the 2016 Olympics. At 33 he needs to move up soon. Mangubat had won his last four fights.
Martin vs. Baldonado
Martin wins but Baldonado puts a dent in the Wonder Boy’s image. Baldonado took the first round connecting with some useful rights and then floored Martin with a heavy counter right hook early in the second for Martin’s first knockdown of his career. The third and fourth were close but Baldonado seemed to have the edge. Martin won the fifth with some fierce attacks but Baldonado was back on top in the sixth and seventh with Martin looking to be struggling. Martin finally started to take control from the eighth with some heavy body punches and Baldonado faded rapidly absorbing plenty of punishment in the ninth and tenth. Baldonado could hardly stand in the eleventh as Martin teed-off on him with a series of head shots the referee stopped the fight. Martin, 22, retains the Philippines title and wins the vacant WBA Asian title. He is No 14 (12) with the IBF and has now signed up with Probellum. First fight for Baldonado under his new trained two-time world title holder Luisito Espinoza.
Ligas vs. Biendima
Ligas has much too much skill for “The Bull” Biendima. It was too easy for Ligas. Biendima lived up to his nickname boring forward trying to get inside. Ligas was able to connect with jabs and straight rights as Biendima came forward and then score with and hooks and uppercuts and back out quickly before Biendima could get off his punches. Ligas sent Biendima down with a wicked left hook to the body in the fifth but could not finish it although he continued to dominate every round. Scores 118-109 twice and 120-107 for Ligas who was defending the Philippines title. Sixth successive defeat for Biendima who showed persistence but little else.
Dasmarinas vs. Tampipi
Dasmarinas punches too hard for Tampipi. Dasmarinas was walking Tampipi down landing with cracking southpaw lefts. By the third there was heavy bruising on the right cheekbone of Tampipi. He walked away from the action to his corner and indicated he did not want to continue. Dasmarinas was knocked out in three rounds by Naoya Inoue in a challenge for the IBF and WBA bantam titles in June last year. The only loss in his last 14 bouts. Tampipi slides to 1-7 in his last 8 fights.
Estrada vs. Waminal
“Wild Man” Estrada knocks out Waminal in four rounds. Waminal was doing the boxing here with Estrada rumbling forward often head down throwing hooks. Estrada looked dangerous with ridiculously wild rights that had the whole audience ducking. It worked for him in the end as a haymaker dropped Waminal in the fourth. He beat the count and tried to punch with Estrada but a left hook put him down again and he was counted out. Fourteen of Estrada’s fifteen wins have come inside the distance. Second loss in a row by KO/TKO for Waminal.
Cardiff, Wales: Light: Craig Woodruff (12-6) W PTS 10 Ronnie Clark (21-8-2).
Woodruff gets convincing win over Scot Clark. The visitor was his usual aggressive self but Woodruff used his height and longer reach to blunt Clark’s attacks. The fight became heated at times with almost as much talk as punching and things were rough inside but Woodruff stayed focused as Clark desperately looked for a big punch to pull the fight his way and Woodruff was a good winner. Scores 100-91,99-92 and 99-91 for Woodruff who wins the vacant BBB of Celtic title and hopes to challenge for the British title later in the year. Fourth loss in a row for Clark since his highlight decision victory over Zelfa Barrett in 2018.
(99-92, 99-91, 100-91),
Woodruff 29yo Wales, 4 wins id 1 loss id, won 4 of 5
Clark 37yo SPW, 10 wins id 1 loss id, w pts Zelfa Barrett lost last 3
Philadelphia, USA: Super Feather: Christian Tapia (14-0) W PTS 10 Luis Lebron (18-3-1). Welter: Branden Pizarro (17-1-1) W KO 4 Vitor Jones (16-7,1ND).
Tapia vs. Lebron
Tapia gets unanimous decision over fellow Puerto Rican Lebron. Tapia was conceding height and reach to Lebron but continually found his way past Lebron’s jab to work inside. Lebron looked to have Tapia badly shaken in the first round but Tapia regrouped and slowly took control with a strong body attack. He built a good lead and then held off Lebron’s late attempts to swing things his way. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Tapia who collects the WBC Continental Americas belt. Tapia had won his previous eight fights by KO/TKO including victories over Mason Menard, and Iron Alvarez. Puerto Rican Lebron has tumbled from 16-0-1 to 2-3.
Pizarro vs. Jones
Pizarro handles early pressure from Brazilian Jones before scoring a fourth round kayo. Jones tried to blow Pizarro away but Pizarro boxed coolly on the back foot slowing Jones with counters. In the fourth a body punch from Pizarro sent Jones down in pain and he was unable to beat the count. Philadelphian Pizarro gets his tenth inside the distance victory. Jones has lost 5 of his last 6 fights by KO/TKO and all within four rounds.
Montpellier, France: Light: Sabri Sediri (14-2-1) W PTS 10 Sylvain Chapelle (17-31-2).
Sediri ruins the hopes of the local fans as he outpoints Chapelle to win the vacant French championship. The local fighter made a good start but over the middle rounds Sediri took control. He had Chapelle under heavy pressure over the fifth, sixth and seventh before dialling back his attacks over the last three rounds and outboxing Chapelle. No scores announced but it was unanimous decision for Sediri. Tunisian-born Sediri had lost on a one round stoppage to Jaouad Belmehdi for the vacant title in February 2021. Chapelle is now 0-6 in French title fights.
Toronto, Canada: Welter: Przemyslaw Runowski (20-2) W PTS 10 Samuel Vargas (31-8-2) W. Light Heavy: Pierre Dibombe (21-0-1) W TKO 5 Sladan Janjanin (31-10). Super Feather: Bryan Acosta (16-0,1ND) W PTS 8 Lamberto Macias (16-5-1).
Runowski vs. Vargas
Both fighters were coming off a loss so a win was a must for them. Runowski was the one who got his wish. In a tough gruelling fight which saw both fighters cut Runowski proved the stronger and floored Vargas with a left hook in the sixth on his way to victory on scores of 98-91 twice and 97-92. Runowski had won his first seventeen fights but was 2-2 in his most recent fight being floored three times in losing to Josh Kelly by a huge margin in 2019 and by a wide unanimous verdict against Michael McKinnon in August last year. Canadian-based Colombian Vargas had been knocked out by Vergil Ortiz and blasted out in 80 seconds by Conor Benn in April 2021.
Dibombe vs. Janjanin
Former undefeated European Union champion Dibombe halts Bosnian Janjanin. First pro fight outside France for Dibombe and he gets his eleventh inside the distance victory. Janjanin is a fight anyone anywhere type and he is now 0-3 in bouts in Canada with three stoppage defeats.
Acosta vs. Macias
An all-Mexican affair sees young hope Acosta box his way past more experienced Macias. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for 23-year-old Acosta.
Fight of the week (Significance): Leigh Wood’s victory over Michael Conlan adds another element to the featherweight division
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Wood vs. Conlan plenty of action and drama
Fighter of the week: Leigh Wood for his come from behind victory
Punch of the week: The left from Conlan that put Wood down in the first round was a beauty
Upset of the week: No biggies
Prospect watch: At 6’2” lightweight Gary Cully 14-0 is going to be a problem in the division
Rosette: to Wood and Conlan for a memorable fight
Red Card: No one blotted their copy book this week
-Strange how a first loss can affect a fighters confidence. It’s a bit like night and day. This week we had Venezuelan Juan Ruiz going from 21-0-0 to 6-7-0,1ND and Pole Patryk Szymanski 19-0 to 2-5
-Time catches up on all of us with the great Argentinian Yesica Bopp losing 2 of her last 3 fights after being 36-1 in her previous thirteen years as a pro. What a tremendous record going unbeaten in 21 WBA light flyweight title fights with many of those fights being unified as she was also WBO champion and five being for only the WBO title-and she is not finished yet as she wants a return with her conqueror Jessica Nery Plata. 37-years-old no problem!
- Persistence does not always win out. French veteran Sylvain Chapelle lost in a fight for the vacant French lightweight title on Saturday. That makes his score 0-6 title attempts. He must also be a leading member of the “powder puff punch” club as he has never won inside the distance in any of the 17 victories.
- It can be dangerous to take swipes at your future opponent on social media. Canadian middleweight Daniel Beaupre had been bad mouthing Derek Pomerleau who would be having his first fight against Beaupre in Montreal on Friday. When they met Beaupre rushed forward throwing punches only to run onto a punch that toppled him face down lying half way out of the ring suspended over the bottom rope. All over in just 14 seconds. Swap words or punches-don’t try to swap both
By Eric Armit
Josh Taylor’s win over Jack Catterall was certainly controversial and a great deal was made of the British Boxing Board of Control stating they would be investigating the scoring. That is overstressing the BBB of C’s decision. It is standard practice for the Board to investigate any very controversial incident be it scoring or some other matter. I scored Catterall the winner by 114-111 but many rounds were close and at times a lack of activity in some rounds meant just one or two punches were the difference. The judge’s scores were Ian John Lewis 114-111 for Taylor, Victor Laughlin 113-112 for Taylor and Howard Foster 113-112 for Catterall. Ian John Lewis is being pilloried for his score as if it was way out of line with the other judges and yet the difference between the score from Ian John Lewis and that of Victor Laughlin was the equivalent of them scoring just one round different and both Laughlin and Foster had them even after eleven rounds with Laughlin scoring the last round 10-9 for Taylor and Foster 10-9 for Catterall. Again just one round difference so Ian John Lewis was not way out of line from Laughlin and Foster so three highly qualified judges saw this as a very close fight. I disagreed with Ian John Lewis but then I also disagreed with Victor Laughlin and Howard Foster which it seems means I was right and they were wrong but when I compare their experience of scoring fights to my own than I have to be ready to admit perhaps they were right and I was wrong. Scoring in boxing is purely subjective and based on individual perception and as long as the human element is involved there will always be differing views and controversy. There are split decisions and majority decisions every week in boxing for instance on one weekend in February in Argentina one judge had Kevin Acevedo beating Javier Herrera 99-93 and another had it 95-95, in California one judge had Horacio Garcia beating Isaac Zarate 80-72 and one judge had it 76-76, best or worst of all in Russia two judges had Ivan Kozlovsky beating Zoravor Petrosian 96-94 and the third had Petrosian winning 99-91. The higher the profile of the fight the louder the roars of rage when the majority disagree with the judges scoring. I wonder how many fans actually don’t score a fight round by round. If you don’t then you are yourself judging just by “perception” over the whole span of twelve rounds and saying who you thought won which is about as subjective as it gets. Ian John Lewis, Victor Laughlin and Howard Foster are honest and very experienced judges. Even as a Scot I thought they got the scoring in this one wrong but with my 114-111 for Catterall score I was only one round different from Foster’s razor thin 113-112 for Catterall so with scores that close it would be hypocritical of me to claim Catterall was robbed. He deserves a return but that won’t happen. The WBA have already mandated Taylor to defend against Dominican Alberto Puello
Anyone who is involved in boxing or has watched boxing for any length of time will know that these controversial decisions are commonplace so it is ridiculous to see the Speaker of the House of Parliament referring the Taylor vs. Catterall result to both the Government and the police for investigation. Catterall just happened to be one of his constituents. What a totally ridiculous waste of Parliament’s time when there is a far more important business such as a war in Ukraine for the United Kingdom Parliament to deal with and it is stupid to think that the police would be better able to investigate boxing scoring that the BBB of C. Someone should report Sir Lindsay Hoyle for wasting police time.
Politician’s taking up cases of controversial scoring is not new in boxing. When James Toney outpointed Dave Tiberi in a defence of his IBF middleweight title in 1992 the scoring was 115-112 twice for Toney and 117-111 for Tiberi. The result caused uproar and a US Senator called for an investigation into boxing. Of course the decision was not changed but some of the anomalies revealed in the investigation were contributing factors towards the introduction of the Muhammad Ali Act.
Mention of the ongoing invasion of Ukraine it is having its effect on boxing. Obviously high profile boxers or ex-boxers such as Vitali and Wladimir Klitschko, Oleksandr Usyk and Vasyl Lomachenko have been mentioned in reference to the war but it also has implications for all Ukrainian and Russian boxers. A couple of examples are Russian bantamweight Nikolai Potapov being removed by the EBU from his role as mandatory challenger to Lee McGregor and replaced by Spaniard Sebastian Perez and Anna Levina removed ex-officio as co-challenger for the vacant EBU Female light flyweight title. Travel restrictions and logistic problems also affect Ukrainians and Olek Zakhozhyi has been temporarily removed as co-challenger for the vacant EEU Heavyweight title.
There could also be implications for Russian boxers based abroad as the conflict continues. There are Russians based in both the USA and Canada and it is hard to know how the public will react to them continuing their careers there and of course both Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol could be affected. Wladimir Klitschko has insisted that Bivol’s defence of his WBA title against Saul Alvarez in Las Vegas on 7 May should not go ahead dumping a decision in the laps of the WBA and DAZN as to whether they will support the banning of Russian boxers. If the war continues then Sergey Kovalev’s proposed return to action against unbeaten Tervel Pulev in May could be in jeopardy. Some declaration of opposition to the invasion of Ukraine might appease the public. Nothing is certain except uncertainty.
The trial is beginning in Puerto Rico of five suspects in the murder of Hector “Macho” Camacho back in 2012. Camacho and a friend were sitting in car outside a bar when they were shot. Two of the men arrested were extradited from jail in Florida and two others who were implicated were killed in separate incidents some time previously.
Looks like a busy time ahead for the Charlo twins. The WBO have ordered that IBF/WBA/WBC super welter title holder Jermell’s unification match with WBO title holder Bryan Castano has to take place before 14 May and negotiations have begun for Jermall to defend his WBC middleweight title against Jaime Munguia.
Kevin Lerena will continue his heavyweight campaign by facing Bogdan Dinu in Kempton Park on 26 March. Fourteen months of inactivity has cost Lerena his world rating but a win over Dinu should get him back in the picture. On the same show Juan Rous will be defending his national heavyweight title against Josh Pretorius with the vacant ABU title also on the line.
Jordan Gill certainly sprang an upset when he came off the floor and from behind on points to kayo European featherweight champion Kamil Guerfi in the ninth round on 27 February. This was a voluntary defence for Guerfi so the EBU has already nominated Mauro Forte as his mandatory challenger with the parties in private negotiation period.
France’s Dylan Charrat (20-1-1) and Germany’s Jama Saidi (21-2) are co-challengers for the vacant EBU super welterweight title. Charrat’s promoter won the purse bidding with a figure of EU 77,797 (£65,000/ $ 85,450). It looks another excellent European title fight.
It looks like there are a couple of rematches pending. The WBA has ordered a rematch between Michel Soro and Israil Madrimov. In their eliminator in December Madrimov shook Soro badly very late in the ninth round. Neither Madrimov nor the referee heard the bell go and as Madrimov continued to unload on Soro the referee stopped the fight. Former IBF super flyweight title holder Jerwin Ancajas has said he will activate the return clause in the contract with Fernando Martinez who decisioned Ancajas last month.
Ghana always stages a boxing match to celebrate the country’s independence. This year for the 65th anniversary of independence on 6 March veteran George Ashie 33-5-1 floored unbeaten 20-1 Robert Quaye twice on the way to an eighth round kayo victory and collected the IBF Continental Africa title. In another bout Nigerian Oto Joseph beat Ghanaian Tackie Annan but Ghana’s veteran female boxer Yarkor Chavez was stopped in the first round by Zambian Lolita Muzeya.
Sad to hear of the death of Ron “The Butcher” Stander. Ron put together 1 23-1-1 record before losing in four rounds against Joe Frazier in a challenge for the WBA and WBC heavyweight titles in 1972. He went on to face all of the big names around then fighting Jeff Merritt, Rodney Bobick, Ken Norton, Gerrie Coetzee, Boone Kirkman, Scott LeDoux, Scott Frank and James Tillis finishing with a37-21-3 record. He was 77.
Some sad news from Indonesia was the reported death of lightweight Hero Tito-real name Heru Putwanto-who after being knocked out in seven rounds in a fight for the vacant Indonesian title in Jakarta on 27 February underwent brain surgery and died on 3 March at the age of 35. An experienced fighter with a 29-17-2 record Putwanto had only been beaten on KO/TKO five times previously. In 2001 the WBC became so concerned with safety standards in boxing in Indonesia that it imposed a six month ban of Indonesian boxers fighting in WBC sanctioned bouts outside the country and the Indonesian Boxing Association had tightened up their safety regulations since then.
By Eric Armit
-Josh Taylor retains the IBF,WBA,WBC and WBO super lightweight titles with controversial split decision over Jack Catterall
-Fernando Martinez ends the long reign of Jerwin Ancajas as he takes a unanimous decision to mlife Ancajas IBF super flyweight belt
-Lawrence Okolie retains the WBO cruiserweight title with points win over Pole Michal Cieslak.
-Filipino Vincent Astrolabio floors and outpoints Guillermo Rigondeaux.
-Hector Garcia decisions WBA No 1 super featherweight Chris Colbert and Gary Antuanne Russell stops former WBC super lightweight title holder champion Viktor Postol
-Jimmy Kelly scores upset win over unbeaten Kanat Islam
-In Atomweight title fights Ayaka Miyao outpoints Eri Matsuda to win the vacant IBF Female title and Nanae Suzuki decisions champion Mika Iwakawa to collect the WBO title
World Title/Major Shows
Glasgow, Scotland: Super Light: Josh Taylor (19-0) W PTS 12 Jack Catterall (26-1). Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (9-1) W TKO 3 Eric Donovan (14-2). Heavy: Nick Campbell (5-0) W TKO 7 Jay McFarlane (12-6). Cruiser: Scott Forrest (1-0) W TKO 2 Erik Nazaryan (28-26-4,2ND). Feather: Kurt Walker (1-0) W TKO 1 Jaroslav Hriadel (1-3). Welter: Paddy Donovan (8-0) W TKO 6 Miroslav Serban (13-9). Super Middle: John Docherty (11-1) W Jordan Grant (4-1).
Taylor vs. Catterall
Taylor retains the four sanctioning body belts with a very controversial split decisions that sees him on the floor for the first time as a pro.
A very cautious round with both boxers probing but not many punches thrown. Catterall rocked Taylor back on his heels early and scored to the body a couple of times and with an occasional. Taylor was searching too long for an opening in a close round. Taylor was warned for punches to the back of the head and Catterall for holding.
Score: 10-9 Catterall
Once again Catterall was throwing more punches with Taylor threatening but not committing. Catterall scored with some jabs and a hard left and although Taylor let his hands go late Catterall had pinched the round. Taylor was again warned for punches to the back of the head and Catterall twice for holding.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 20-18
A messy, untidy round with neither boxer doing much clean work. As both are southpaws by adopting a side-on approach and leaning forward Catterall was making it very hard for Taylor to land with his left and that was why some of Taylor’s lefts were swinging around behind Catterall’s head. Some quick jabs from Catterall were enough to swing the round d his way.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 30-27
Another round with very little clean action. Taylor was finally throwing a few more punches but Catterall scored with a nice combinations. Taylor pressed hard and just landed enough to have the edge but it was far from enthralling stuff.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Catterall 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Ian John-Lewis 39-37 Taylor, Judge Victor Loughlin 38-38 TIED, Judge Howard Foster 38-38 TIED
Catterall was being first to the punch and then leaping in and clinch to prevent any counters from Taylor. Catterall scored well with jabs and straight lefts. Taylor was cut under his right eye in a clash of heads and a swelling started by that eye. Catterall was doing the better work but also doing a lot of holding and tumbling in with shoulder charges.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 49-46
Catterall was on the back foot snapping out jabs and firing the occasional on target lefts with Taylor just tracking him but not throwing any volume of punches. It was becoming a lunge then hold fight with no sustained action and too many clinches with Taylor “credited” with only throwing just seven punches in the round.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 59-55
The round started with another clinch and a warning again to Catterall for holding but you have to wonder how many warnings are needed before a deduction? Taylor was just tracking Catterall again with Catterall jabbing well and landing straight lefts and then clinching again to smother Taylor inside with Taylor just not able to land cleanly. The referee warned Catterall about leading with his shoulder.
Score: 10-9 Catterall Catterall 69-64
Finally a fight broke out in the eighth round as they stood and swapped punches and two chopping lefts to the head saw Taylor drop to one knee. It was his first time he had been knocked down as a pro but he was up quickly and did not seem badly shaken. He took the fight to Catterall and had some success but Catterall scored with some useful punches before the bell.
Score: 10-8 Catterall Catterall 79-72
Official Scores: Judge Ian John-Lewis 76-75 Catterall, Judge Victor Loughlin 77-74 Catterall, Judge Howard Foster 77-74 Catterall.
Taylor finally awoke to the fact his title was in danger and threw more punches. He was making use of his right hooks and finding the target with his jab. Catterall was not as accurate or as quick with his own jab.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Catterall 88-82
Taylor continued to apply more pressure and was scoring with short hooks inside. Catterall finally pushed the referee too far and was deducted a point for holding Taylor’s head down inside. Both landed some shots at the end of the round but Taylor had done enough to take the round and with the deduction it was a 10-8 round for Taylor.
Score: 10-8 Taylor Catterall 96-92
Taylor was chasing Catterall down in the round not letting Catterall tie him up too often and doing what clear scoring there was and it was his round. After the bell as they passed each other on the way to their corners Taylor slapped Catterall on the body as he passed him. It was not by any stretch a punch but the referee deducted a point for that so a 10-9 round for Taylor became a 9-9 round.
Score: Even 9-9 Catterall 105-101
Taylor attacked with a sense of purpose that had been missing earlier in the fight and he was able to score with jabs and right hooks with Catterall just really looking to stay out of trouble presumably assuming he had a winning lead.
Score: 10-9 Taylor Catterall 114-111
Official Scores: Judge Ian John-Lewis 114-111 Taylor, Judge Victor Loughlin 113-112 Taylor, Judge Howard Foster 113-112 Catterall
Taylor retains his four belts with a controversial decision. Catterall boxed cleverly with tactics designed to nullify Taylor’s strengths and it almost worked. This was not by any means an entertaining fight with too much clinching in round after round but Taylor won’t mind that as he retains his titles. He is talking about moving up to welterweight and if he does that will start a scramble at super lightweight and lead to some big fights at welterweight. Catterall looked unlucky. As this was a mandatory WBO defence there was no return bout clause as the other three sanctioning bodies would not have stood for their leading contenders being frozen in place until the return took place. The respective styles did not mix well and this was Taylor’s least impressive fight since he moved into the top flight so he will have some work to do to find his top form again
Ramirez vs. Donovan
Perhaps his best performance to date as Cuban Ramirez outclasses Donovan. Southpaw Ramirez floored Donovan with a left in the first and kept up the pressure in the second opening a cut over Donovan’s right eye with a left hook. Ramirez continued to drive home lefts in the third forcing Donovan to the ropes and after another left shook Donovan the referee stopped the fight. The 28-year-old Ramirez is a double Olympian gold medallist scoring wins over Michael Conlan, Tugstsogt Nyambayar, Shakur Stevenson and current IBF/WBA super bantamweight title holder Murodjon Akhmadaliev in Olympic action. Donovan had over 100 amateur fights and was five-time Irish champion but has left it too late to turn pro and has had to take hard fights in an attempt to move up quickly.
Campbell vs. McFarlane
Giant Campbell wins the vacant Scottish heavyweight title with seventh round victory over McFarlane. The 6’7” Campbell looked very raw but McFarlane was carrying far too much weight and tired early. Campbell was scoring with ponderous rights but was also open to counters from McFarlane. By the sixth McFarlane was shipping some heavy rights and was on the floor in the seventh. He made it to his feet but with Campbell pounding him with punches the fight was stopped. Campbell becomes the first Scottish fighter to win the Scottish heavyweight title since George Stern beat Hugh McDonald in 1951. He is a former professional rugby player having played for a premier level team Glasgow Warriors. McFarlane weighed 200lbs when winning the Scottish Area cruiser title in 2018 but was 276lbs here.
Forrest vs. Nazaryan
Scottish hope Forrest started his pro career win a win when Belgian-based Georgian pulled out early in the second round due to an injury to his right arm. The 27-year-old South African-born Scot won a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and scored a win over Joshua Buatsi when they were both starting out as amateurs. Nazaryan has weighed as little as 140lbs but was 207lbs for this fight.
Walker vs. Hriadel
Irish southpaw Walker, 26, arrives on the pro scene with a quick win. A left hook to the body sent Czech Hriadel down and the fight was over in two minutes. Walker has outstanding amateur credentials including gold medals at the European Games and the European Union Championships and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships
Donovan vs. Serban
Southpaw Donovan was much too good for Czech Serban. Donovan’s speed and accuracy found plenty of gaps in Serban’s defence and he was cruising to victory in the sixth when the fight was stopped as a precaution due to Serban bleeding from his left ear. Donovan gets his sixth inside the distance victory. The Irish Traveller from Limerick is a former Irish Under-18 and Under-22 champion. Serban is 1-5 in his last 6 bouts but usually goes the distance.
Docherty vs. Grant
Docherty gets his second kayo victory in a week as he lands a crippling body shot that sends overmatched Grant down and out in the second. The 24-year-old southpaw is a former Commonwealth Youth gold medallist and won a bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games as well as scoring two victories over Tokyo silver medallist Ben Whittaker.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Fly: Fernando Martinez (14-0) W PTS 12 Jerwin Ancajas (33-2-2). Super Feather: Hector Garcia (15-0,3ND) W PTS 12 Chris Colbert (16-1). Super Light: Gary Antuanne Russell (15-0) W TKO 10 Viktor Postol (31-4). Super Feather: Viktor Stavinskyi (13-0-1) W Claudio Marrero (25-5).
Martinez vs. Ancajas
Argentinian Martinez springs a major surprise as he takes wide unanimous decision over IBF champion Ancajas
Good opening round for Martinez. He had no trouble getting past the jab of Ancajas and was ripping to the body with hooks and catching Ancajas with left hooks to the head. Ancajas could not get the range right and was under pressure the whole three minutes
Score: 10-9 Martinez
A better round for Ancajas. He was connecting with solid hooks to the body and moving more making it difficult for Martinez to get inside and work. Martinez did put together a sharp combination but had lost some of his accuracy
Score: 10-9 Ancajas TIED 19-19
A great all-action round. Martinez was not using a jab at all but was bobbing under the jab of Ancajas getting inside firing hooks from both hands. Ancajas was punching with him and landing hooks to the body and it was close but Martinez just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 29-28
Ancajas change his tactics. He was standing off spearing Martinez with jabs and following with straight lefts. He was not looking to stand and trade and Martinez was finding it hard to get inside and often just eating jabs. He finished the round with a flurry of hooks but it was not enough.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas TIED 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 38-38 tied, Judge Davis Sutherland 38-38 Tied, Judge Steve Weisfeld 38-38 Tied
Three minutes of war as again Ancajas used his right jab and right cross to score as Martinez tried to move inside. With no jab of his own Martinez was having to take some punishment to get inside, Again he ended the round strongly but the earlier work of Ancajas just gave him the edge in a very close round.
Score: 10-9 Ancajas Ancajas 48-47
A big round for Martinez. He was relentlessly marching forward throwing hooks and uppercuts. Ancajas was forced to stand and trade and was getting the worst of the exchanges. On a couple of times Ancajas backed out of the action after absorbing a series of hooks to the head.
Score: 10-9 Martinez TIED 57-57
A hectic round. Ancajas was using his jab/right cross tactics again and scoring well. Martinez was often put on the back foot but as the round progressed he was surging forward more and more and putting together short punches inside in five and six shot bursts.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 67-66
Martinez was getting on top. He was choosing him moment to dart inside fire a salvo of hooks and uppercuts and get out too quick for Ancajas to counter and then repeating to process. By the end of the round Ancajas looked to flagging from the pace of the fight.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 77-75
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 78-74 Martinez, Judge Davis Sutherland 78-74 Martinez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 78-74 Martinez
Another round dominated by Martinez. He was snapping back Ancajas head with hooks and uppercuts and digging to the body with wicked shots. At times Ancajas fired back at other times he just soaked up the punishment as if not having the strength to match Martinez.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 87-84
Martinez rocked Ancajas with a right to the head at the start of the round and then they proceeded to try to knock lumps out of each other. Martinez was again firing clusters of punches with Ancajas standing and exchanging but Martinez was throwing more and landing more.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 97-93
This was now a survival of the fittest with both fighters just throwing hooks and uppercuts with no boxing skills on show. Ancajas was fighting hard to keep his title but he was weary and could not match the punch output of Martinez who was constantly surging forward with hooks and uppercuts and overwhelming the defence of Ancajas.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 107-102
For the final three minutes it was just a case of two magnificent dog-tired fighters head down and throwing as many punches as they could. Again Martinez threw more and landed more with Ancajas fighting hard to the last bell to try and save his title.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 117-111
Official Scores: Judge Max DeLuca 117-111 Martinez, Judge Davis Sutherland 118-110 Martinez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 118-110 Martinez.
Great performance by Martinez as he showed extraordinary stamina to sustain the terrific pace of this fight. He brought the end to the five year rule by Ancajas as IBF champion. He had modest success as an amateur competing at the Olympic Games and Word Championships as well as the WSB and AIBI pro competitions but needed to be parachuted into the IBF ratings as he had never previously fought anyone even close to being rated. He was given the chance and took it. As Martinez was only rated No 11 there will be pressure for him to face No 1 Jade Bornea who will be looking to even the score for the Philippines. Ancajas was making the tenth defence of the IBF title but he looked flat and never made use of longer reach but too often fought the fight Martinez wanted. He will be looking to rebound.
Garcia vs. Colbert
A win for Garcia was totally unexpected but Garcia not only derailed Colbert’s plans for a title fight he outclassed Colbert and took a wide unanimous decision. Frome the start Garcia was pilling forward pumping out punches and focusing on Colbert’s body as he took the first round. Garcia continued to march forward in the second and third. Colbert scored with some heavy counters but again was outlanded and had to absorb some hefty body punches. The sheer volume of Garcia’s punches was causing serious problems for Colbert who was only effective when he could stay of the ropes and find some punching room. Things went from bad to worse for Colbert in the seventh when a left put him flat on the canvas. He made it to his feet and survived to the bell. It was more pressure from Garcia over the eighth and ninth as Colbert tried to stem the tide of punches coming his way but he was never able to stop Garcia rolling forward. Colbert needed a strong finish to have any chance but he was too often overwhelmed by the fire coming his way and Garcia was a clear winner. Scores 118-109 twice and 119-108. Dominican southpaw Garcia only took this fight at three weeks notice after WBA champion Roger Gutierrez had to pull out of his title defence against Colbert. Behind his 15 pro wins sits a time in the amateurs where Garcia had more than three hundred fights competing at the 2016 Olympics and winning a silver medal at the Pan American Games. As Colbert was No 1 with the WBA Garcia will be hoping that he now gets to face Gutierrez when the title holder recovers from the COVID-19 that forced him out of the fight with Colbert. This loss was obviously a big blow to Colbert who had scored wins over Jezzrel Corrales and Tugstsogt Nyambayar but at 25 time is on his side.
Russell vs. Postol
Russell leaves it late but stops former WBC title holder Postol with just 30 seconds left in the fight. Russell hustled and bustled in the first. Postol tried to use his longer reach and some smart footwork to stem Russell’s attacks and was warned within the first minute of the fight for holding. Postol’s jab was not strong enough to keep Russell out and Russell was able to get inside and work to Postol’s body over the first two rounds. Postol did better over the third scoring well with right hand counters. Russell upped his pace in the fourth but Postol boxed smartly on the back foot and occasionally took the fight to Russell to probably steal the fifth and make the sixth close. From there the constant aggression from Russell put him in control. He was doing a better job of cutting off the ring and landing powerful lefts to the body. Postol was still slotting home some counter rights and there was a large bump under Russell’s right eye but Postol could not keep Russell out. Russell was on target again and again with lefts to the body and Postol’s output dropped over the eighth and ninth. Russell hounded Postol in the tenth following him around the ring connecting with hooks from both hands. As they traded punches a left to the head sent Postol into retreat and Russell drove him along the ropes landing with head punches until with thirty seconds remaining in the fight the referee stopped the contest. Postol protested with some justification. He was going to lose anyway but despite being hurt he was on his feet and able to defend himself. Russell has won all of his fights by KO/TKO with former WBC title holder Postol a big step up from his previous opposition. Russell’s only rating prior to this fight was No 36 with the WBC but this win should give him a substantial boost as in his last fight in August 2020 Postol only lost on a majority decision to Jose Ramirez in a challenge for the WBC title.
Marrero vs. Stavinskyi
Marrero wins this clash of southpaw using his superior experience to outscore Ukrainian Stavinskyi. Marrero paced the fight well. He made a fast start using his longer reach, clever movement and greater hand speed and switching his attacks from head to body. Stavinskyi eventually got into the fight over the middle rounds but left himself too much to do and Marrero staged a strong finish to take the majority decision. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Marrero and 76-76. Marrero, a former IBO and interim WBA title holder is rebuilding after consecutive losses to Kid Galahad and Xavier Martinez in 2020. Marrero was a big step up in quality of opposition for Stavinskyi and he can regroup.
London, England: Cruiser: Lawrence Okolie (18-0) W PTS 12 Michal Cieslak (21-2). Feather: Jordan Gill (27-1-1) W KO 9 Karim Guerfi (30-6,1ND). Middle: Anthony Fowler (16-2) W PTS 10 Lukasz Maciec (27-4-1). Heavy: Fabio Wardley (13-0) W KO 2 Daniel Martz (20-10-1). Fly: Galal Yafai (1-0) W TKO 5 Carlos Bautista (10-5-1). Heavy: Demsey McKean 21-0) W PTS 8 Ariel Bracamonte (11-7). Light: Campbell Hatton (6-0) W TKO 6 Joe Ducker (9-9-2). Cruiser: Cheavon Clarke (1-0) W KO 2 Tony Visic (20-30-2).
Okolie vs. Cieslak
Okolie was looking to use his longer reach and shook Cieslak twice with rights in the first round but it developed into a scrappy, mauling affair. Okolie was quicker and always looked dangerous with his rights but Cieslak was tough and rough. A right to the head saw Cieslak drop to one knee in the fifth. He beat the count but was almost sent down again from another right. Okolie reach and better footwork gave him a big advantage but Cieslak proved a handful inside and rebounded to have some success in the middle rounds. Okolie continued to land heavy rights but Okolie absorbed them and kept taking the fight inside. Cieslak also tried switching guards but whatever tactics he used Okolie’s longer reach and powerful rights gave him the edge and he was ca clear if unimpressive winner. Scores 117-110, 116-110 and 115-112.
Second defence of the WBO title for Okolie. Cieslak had put in a good performance when losing on points against Ilunga Makabu for the vacant WBC title in January 2020 and had scored two creditable wins since then.
Gill vs. Guerfi
Gill wins the European title with dramatic kayo of champion Guerfi. Gill was in deep trouble at the end of the sixth and floored by a left hook in the seventh with the bell saving him. He chose to stand in a corner in the eighth which was strange tactics and saw him soak up a lot of punishment. The referee looked poised to step in a couple of time in the ninth as Gill again chose to stand in a corner and let Guerfi unload but with just seconds left a fierce right to the head saw Guerfi stumbled back and then fly backwards to the canvas with the fight immediately being stopped as there was no way Guerfi was going to get up. With only three inside the distance wins to his name this was an unexpected finish but he is now the European champion.
Fowler vs. Maciec
Fowler gets back on track with a unanimous decision over useful Pole Maciec on scores of 99-93, 99-92 and 99-91. First fight for Fowler since his stoppage loss against Liam Smith in October. Maciec had won his last five bouts.
Wardley vs. Martz
Wardley floors Martz twice and kayos him in the second round. Martz actually had some success in the first knocking Warley’s mouthguard out late in the round. A frustrated Wardley came out swinging wildly in the second dropping Martz with a left and right to the head. Martz only just beat the count and was then floored by a left to the side of the head and went down. He was clutching his right ear as if the punch had damaged his ear but he was counted out. Twelfth win by KO/TKO for Wardley but Martz no test at all.
Tokyo gold medallist Yafai has his first pro fight and gets in some rounds against Mexican Bautista. Yafai was much too quick for Bautista and handed out steady punishment. Bautista did not crumble and scored with some serious hooks when they traded punches. The fight became more and more one-sided and Bautista dropped to his knees under a series of punches. When he got up his corner waived the towel for the fight to be stopped. Yafai wins the vacant WBC International title in his first pro fight. First inside the distance loss for Bautista.
McKean vs. Bracamonte
Australian southpaw McKean has his first fight in Britain and gets a not too testing opponent. Argentinian Bracamonte was vastly overweight and slow and ponderous. McKean was able to circle Bracamonte and step in and scores when he chose with very little coming back from Bracamonte. McKean showed nothing special but it is not easy to look good against a fighter such as Bracamonte. McKean won every round. Referee’s score 80-72. Hopefully there will be stiffer tests than Bracamonte who at 6’3 ½” weighed 293lbs.
Hatton vs. Ducker
Hatton gets a late stoppage win over Ducker. Hatton was sharper scoring with quick jabs and left hooks to the body but Ducker was willing and able to stand and trade with him. It was a very fast-paced fight with both showing signs of tiring in the sixth. Finally Hatton broke through with a series of head punches that sent Ducker reeling into the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Only the second inside the distance win for 21-year-old Hatton who is still very raw.
Clarke vs. Visic
Impressive first showing by Tokyo Olympian Clarke. He showed a snappy jab, put his punches together well and drove Visic to the floor late in the opening round with a powerful right. He ended it with a booming right to the head in the second that sent Visic down heavily and he was counted out. Jamaican-born Clarke is one to watch.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Super Feather: Sibusiso Zingange (17-5-2,1ND) W PTS 12 Phila Mpontshane (15-3). Fly: Simangele Hadebe (11-3-2) W PTS 10 Halima Vunjabel (10-8-1).
Zingange vs. Mpontshane
With four successful defences of his South African title behind him Mpontshane needed to win this fifth defence to own the belt outright but Zingange ruined those hopes. The challenger was quicker with Mpontshane making a sluggish start and never recovering. Zingange scored a knockdown in the seventh and by the end Mpontshane’s left eye was almost closed as Zingange won on scores of 120-107,120-109 and 118-109. Former WBA and WBA Pan African champion Zingange gets his third win in a row. Mpontshane was having his first fight since September 2019.
Hadebe vs. Vunjabel
Hadebe wins the vacant ABU Female title with wide decision over Tanzanian Vunjabel. Hadebe was much too slick for the crude and limited Vunjabel. The Tanzanian walked onto too many punches and a swelling around her left eye from early in the fight hampered her vision. Hadebe looked close to ending early a couple of times but had to settle for a convincing points victory with the cards reading 98-92 twice and 100-90 for South African champion “Smash” Hadebe. Vunjabel has lost in challenges for the WBFederation and UBO belts.
Montreal, Canada: Super Light: Mazlum Akdeniz (16-0) W PTS Erick Encinia (15-6-1).
Akdeniz wins a split decision over Encinia. This was a close, hard-fought contest with southpaw Akdeniz not helping his case by losing a point for a butt early in the fight. His greater accuracy gave him the edge but he had to come through a rocky sixth to emerge the winner on scores of 96-93 and 95-94 with the third card reading 96-93 for Encinia. Canadian Akdeniz, 24, is of Kurdish antecedents. Encinia had registered a good win when he decisioned Pole Damian Wrzesinski (22-1-2 ) in May last year.
Plant City, FL, USA: Middle: Jimmy Kelly (26-2) W PTS 10 Kanat Islam (28-1). Welter: Peter Dobson (15-0) W PTS 10 Jose Borrego (19-4). Welter: Jonathan Eniz (28-17-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Mark Reyes Jr (14-2).
Kelly vs. Islam
None of the favourites won on this show and Kelly beating Islam was possible the biggest upset. Islam was having his first fight for a year and it showed as Kelly was quicker, more mobile and more accurate over the first two rounds with Islam looking slow and sluggish. Islam did better in the third but the rangy Kelly was outboxing him at distance and even getting the better of the exchanges inside. Islam kept marching forward and began to pick up a couple of rounds late in the fight but Kelly looked a much clearer winner than the scores suggest.. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Kelly and 95-95. Kelly collects the WBO Global belt with his biggest win so far. His losses have come against Liam Smith and Dennis Hogan. Kazakh Islam was unimpressive and the loss will have cost him is No 5 ranking with the WBO
Dobson vs. Borrego
Bronx boxer Dobson cruises to victory over a poor Borrego. Dobson outboxed Borrego over the first two rounds with Borrego scoring well to the body in the third. Dobson’s clever boxing, strong jab and some good body punching saw him stay in control and his higher work rate had him pocketing the rounds. Borrego had a decent sixth round but never threatened Dobson’s dominance and Dobson ran out a comfortable winner. Scores 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93. This is Dobson’s first ten round fight and he is making steady if unspectacular progress. A very flat performance from Borrego who had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Eniz vs. Reyes
Argentinian Eniz doubles his total of away wins as he floors and outpoints Reyes. Eniz came in to this one with just four days notice but made a good start edging the first round and then flooring Reyes with a left in the second. Reyes recovered and it developed into a close, hard fought battle but southpaw lefts from Eniz had Reyes bleeding from the nose and struggling with a swelling around his right eye. Despite that Reyes was very much into the fight until he was badly shaken by a right in the ninth and that big round for Eniz made the difference. Scores 95-94 twice and 96-93 for Eniz. The Argentinian had lost a very close verdict to unbeaten Yauheni Dauhaliavets in Moscow on February 3 and that good performance from Eniz should have been a warning for Reyes. Eniz is now 2-5 on the road. Second consecutive defeat for Reyes but he had looked unlucky in losing a majority verdict against unbeaten Janelson Figueroa Bocachica in last year.
Pilar, Argentina: Light: Agustin Quintana (16-1-1) W KO 5 Reuquen Arce (14-6-2).
Quintana wins the vacant South American title with fifth round kayo of Arce. A slow opened round went to Arce but after that it was all Quintana. He landed constantly with his jabs and scored well with straight rights and uppercuts putting Arce on the back foot. In the fifth he drove Arce to the ropes and put him down with a left uppercut and Arce was counted out. Nine wins in a row for Quintana the Argentinian No 2. Second loss by KO/TKO for Arce
Vicenza, Italy: Super Bantam: Luca Rigoldi (26-2-2) W TKO 9 Hugo Legros (14-2-2). Middle: Carlo De Novellis (9-4-1) W PTS 10 Andrea Roncon (18-7-1).
Rigoldi vs. Legros
Rigoldi collects the vacant European Union belt with stoppage of Frenchman Legros. A mixed first round saw Rigoldi put Legros down with a left hook to the body. Legros beat the count and later in the round opened a cut on Rigoldi’s left cheek. After that Rigoldi dominated the fight. He was too strong for Legros who although countering well lacked the power to threaten Rigoldi and was gradually worn down. In the ninth a body punch from Rigoldi had Legros dipping at the knees and trying to clinch but Rigoldi piled on the punches and with Legros reeling the fight was stopped. Former European champion Rigoldi lost his EBU title to Gamal Yafai in December 2020 but won the Italian title in October last year. Former French champion Legros had won his last five bouts.
De Novellis vs. Roncon
De Novellis proves age is just a number as he takes split verdict over Roncon in Roncon’s home city. De Novellis knew he would have to make a fast start against the younger Roncon and being shorter with a lesser reach he had to take the fight to Roncon. He built a lead until a cut over his left eye in the fourth slowed him somewhat and allowed Roncon to apply some pressure to eat into De Novellis’s early lead but De Novellis kept his nose in front with accurate counters and was a deserved winner. Scores 96-94 twice for De Novellis and 97-94 for Roncon. De Novellis, 41, had a spell of almost eight years out of the ring but now wins the national title at his second attempt. Roncon was also having a second shot at the title.
Tokyo, Japan: Atom: Ayaka Miyao (25-9-2). W PTS 10 Eri Matsuda (4-1-1). Atom: Nanae Suzuki (11-4-1) W PTS 10 Mika Iwakawa (10-6-1).
Miyao vs. Matsuda
Miyao wins the vacant IBF Female title with majority verdict over Matsuda. More experienced Miyao scored well against southpaw Matsuda in the opening rounds switching her attacks up and down and controlling the distance. Matsuda stepped up the pressure from the fifth with Miyao boxing on the back foot and countering with rights. Matsuda attacked strongly over the ninth and tenth but could not overcome Miyao’s early lead. Scores 96-94 twice for Miyao and 95-95. Now 38 Miyao is a former WBA title holder who made six defences before losing the title and had been 0-2-1 in three subsequent title challenges. In her short experience Matsuda had already won the OPBF and Japanese titles and drawn in a previous shot at the IBF title.
Suzuki vs. Iwakawa
Suzuki gets a revenge victory over champion Iwakawa and collects the WBO Female title on a split decision. As with the IBF title fight this was a very close one. Suzuki had the better of the early rounds taking the initiative and landing strongly with hooks to the body. The second half of the fight featured too many clinches and although Iwakawa made it close Suzuki maintained her early edge to life the belt. Scores 96-94 twice for Suzuki and 96-94 for Iwakawa. Former Japanese champion Suzuki had lost a split decision against Iwakawa in a title challenge in September 2020. Iwakawa was making the second defence of the title.
Leeds, England: Light: Jimmy First (11-0) W Justin Newell (13-1).
First scores win with dramatic second round destruction of Newell. Newell was in control in the first round scoring well with jabs and hooks to the body. A strong jab caught First off balance and sent him stumbling but into the ropes which held him up and he was given a count. Newell was boxing confidently in the second when a huge right cross to the chin sent him crashing to the canvas on his back. He struggles trying to get up but when he managed to get to his feet he stumbled and almost went down again and the fight was stopped. First, 40 did not turn pro until he was 36 and picks up the vacant BBB of C Central Area belt his first title as a pro. Newell looked in command until the bomb exploded.
Dubai, UAE: Bantam: Vincent Astrolabio (17-3) W PTS 10 Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-3,1ND).
A huge upset sees Filipino Astrolabio floor and outpoint Rigondeaux. Astrolabio made a confident start taking the fight to Rigondeaux in the first throwing and connecting with plenty of right hands with Rigondeaux slotting home jabs. It was more of the same in the second but with Rigondeaux proving a difficult target. He was landing counters but not throwing enough punches. Astrolabio maintained the pressure in the third and fourth being frustrated by the slippery Cuban and getting caught with crafty shots but throwing more and landing more. The pace dropped in the fifth with Rigondeaux again sliding punches through Astrolabio’s guard. Astrolabio picked up the pace again in the sixth hounding Rigondeaux and he did a better job of cutting off the ring in the seventh although Rigondeaux kept finding gaps for his counters and sliding around Astrolabio’s rushes. The eighth saw a critical moment in the fight. Two minutes into the round Astrolabio stepped in with a left followed by a straight right that sent Rigondeaux to the floor. He was up quickly but clearly shaken and Astrolabio drove forward landing more rights with Rigondeaux holding to make it to the bell. Great defensive work from Rigondeaux in the ninth with plenty of slick movement and sneaky counters but Astrolabio kept the pressure on over the last two rounds to take a very close decision on scores of 95-94 from all three judges with the 10-8 eighth round the difference. Filipino Astrolabio wins the vacant WBC International title. This was major surprise as Astrolabio had never fought anyone remotely near the world ratings and his No 7 rating by the WBO came as a result of his winning their Oriental title with a win over fighter rated No 207 by Box Rec. Managed by Manny Pacquiao he must be hoping for a shot at fellow-Filipino John Riel Casimero who holds the WBO belt. At 41 time is catching up on Rigondeaux. He still has exquisite boxing skills but is slowing making him more vulnerable and he won’t find it easy to get back into title contention.
Brampton. Canada: Middle: Sukhdeep Singh Bhatti (10-0) W TKO 3 Jordan Balmir (11-2).
“Chakria” Bhatti wins the vacant Canadian national title with third round stoppage of Balmir. The 29-year-old locally–based Indian-born Bhatti learned his boxing in the Indian Boxing League back in the Punjab and represented India in the Asian Championships. Balmir, who was stopped in three rounds by Steven Butler, was having his first fight for 14 months.
General Santos City, Philippines: Fly: Esneth Domingo (16-1) W PTS 10 Jesse Espinas (20-5). Minimum: Melvin Jerusalem (18-2) W PTS 8 Ramel Antaran (4-16-2).
Domingo vs. Espinas
This should have been a routine win for Domingo but he injured his right hand and had to fight hard to get the decision over experienced Espinas on scores of 96-94 on the three cards. Fifth victory in succession for Domingo. Southpaw Espinas was returning to action for the first time since beating WBC minimumweight title challenger Denver Cuello in October 2019.
Jerusalem vs. Antaran
OPBF champion Jerusalem makes it seven wins in a row as he takes the unanimous verdict over Antaran on scores of 79-73 twice and 77-75. He is No 2 with the WBC so will be looking for a title shot soon. Antaran has won only one of his last twelve bouts.
Atlanta, GA, USA: Super Middle: Money Powell IV (13-1) W KO 2 Fidel Monterrosa (39-28-1,1ND). Super Feather: Albert Bell (20-0,1ND) W KO 1 Daulis Prescott (32-15,3ND).
Powell vs. Monterrosa
Powell gets his eighth win by KO/TKO with second round knockout of Monterrosa. Powell put Monterrosa down three times in the opening round and when he floored Monterrosa again in the second Monterrosa was counted out. Third victory for German-born Powell after losing a majority verdict to Vaughan Alexander in 2019. Colombian Monterrosa certainly saw a turn in his career as one time he was 19-0 and is currently 1-15.
Bell vs. Prescott
Not a big puncher Bell gets this over with one punch kayo of a very faded Prescott. Only the sixth inside the distance win for Bell but twelfth loss that was for Colombian Prescott.
Philadelphia, PS, USA: Super Welter: Ray Robinson (25-3-2) W RTD 3 Silverio Ortiz (37-29).
Robinson gets an easy win as he returns to action for the first time since a draw with Josh Kelly in June 2019. Despite his lay-off the 5’10” Robinson was too big and too sharp for 5’6” oldie Ortiz. Robinson was getting through with hard punches over the first two rounds with Ortiz having some limited success with counters. It was all Robinson in the third as he bounced punches of Ortiz’s head and the Mexican’s corner retired their man at the end of the round. The COVID break came at a bad time for 36-year-old Robinson as he had rebounded from a loss to Yordenis Ugas with very creditable draws against Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Kelly. Now 39 Ortiz started his career as a featherweight and has now been beaten in his last eight fights.
Lusaka, Zambia: Super Bantam: Kudakwashe Chiwandire (5-2-1) W PTS 10 Catherine Phiri (16-5).
Inexperienced Zimbabwean Chiwandire, 26, wins the vacant interim WBC Female title with split decision over home city fighter Phiri. Despite the difference in experience Chiwandire showed no respect to former WBC bantamweight champion Phiri and attacked hard from the start. Phiri just could not handle Chiwandire’s aggression and never really established a toe-hold in the fight finishing a clear loser and showing the signs of battle in the shape of a bad swelling around her left eye. Two judges gave it the Chiwandire 98-92 but the third somehow saw Phiri the winner 96-94. There was nothing in Chiwandire’s record to say she would be a threat to Phiri but she delivered on the night. Phiri was having her first fight in three years.
Fight of the week (Significance): Josh Taylor struggling to hold on to his four titles could see him move up to welterweight where some big fights await him.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Fernando Martinez vs. Jerwin Ancajas was a war in every round.
Fighter of the week: An unheralded Martinez for beating Ancajas who was making the tenth defence of his IBF title and was the longest reigning of the current title holders.
Punch of the week: The right counter form an under fire “non-puncher” Jordan Gill that flattened European champion Karim Guerfi.
Upset of the week: Martinez beating long reigning champion Ancajas
Prospect watch: Irish featherweight Kurt Walker looked sharp in his first fight in the professional ranks.
Rosette: Martinez and Ancajas for their stirring scrap
Red Card: The scoring in Josh Taylor vs. Jack Catterall which drew a whole raft of criticism and is being reviewed by the BBB of C
Quite a week for upsets. I chose Martinez vs. Ancajas but could just as easily picked Hector Garcia beating Chris Colbert, Jack Kelly beating Kanat Islam or Vincent Astrolabio winning over Guillermo Rigondeaux.
-The phrase fit to fight covers a very wide area-literally. You have Scottish heavyweight Jay McFarlane who at one point in his career weighed 200lbs for a fight but was 76lbs heavier for his fight against Nick Campbell on Saturday in Glasgow and on the same show Erik Nazaryan who weighed a low 140lbs in his career and was 67lbs heavier when fighting Scott Forrest and on Sunday Argentinian Ariel Bracamonte managed to pack 293lbs into his 6’3 ½” frame.
-French prospect Milan Prat was to have fought Ukrainian Bohdan Shtonda on Saturday but that was cancelled as Shtonda could not travel. I wonder how much more of impact we will see from the conflict in Ukraine.
By Eric Armit
-Jaime Munguia remains unbeaten as he stops D’Mitrius Ballard in the third round and lightweight William Espinoza (25-0) has to overcome a knockdown to beat Luis Viedas in the third
-Zaur Abdullaev comes from behind to floor Jorge Linares twice for a last round stoppage and Angel Rodriguez outpoints Mark Urvanov in a WBA super featherweight eliminator
-Kell Brook outclasses Amir Khan and stops him in six rounds and Natasha Jonas wins the vacant WBC Female super welterweight title as she beats Chris Namus in two rounds
-Arslan Makhmudov stops Mariusz Wach in the sixth for win No 14 by KO/TKO and Simon Kean climbs off the canvas to halt Shawndell Winters in nine rounds
World Title/Major Shows
Tijuana, Mexico: Middle: Jaime Munguia (39-0) W TKO 3 D’Mitrius Ballard (21-1-1,2ND). Light: William Zepeda (25-0) W KO 3 Luis Viedas (29-12-1). Super Light: Diego Torres (14-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Martinez (8-3-1). Feather: Rafael Espinoza (18-0) W KO 1 Alie Laurel (18-7-1). Fly: Arely Mucino (31-3-2) W TKO 2 Marisol Sanchez (12-10). Feather: Christian Olivo (19-0-1) W PTS 6 Miguel Mateos (12-5). Super Welter: Jorge Garcia (23-3) W KO 3 Jesus Rodriguez (19-9-2). Super Fly: Argi Cortes (22-2-2) W PTS 6 Mario Andrade (16-15-7).
Munguia vs. Ballard
Munguia makes a slow start and then floors and stops Ballard in the third. Both just stuck with probing jabs in the first with neither committing themselves to a punch until Ballard landed a couple of rights and Munguia countered with one of his own. A left hook from Munguia in the second caused Ballard to blink. The action heated up with a couple of exchanges but Munguia started to let his punches go. He scored with a left to the body and a right to the head but Ballard picked him off with a series of jabs and also landed right to the head. Munguia finally launched a big attack in the third landing a left hook to the body that hurt Ballard and another to the head but again Ballard boxed his way out of trouble. A left hook to the body and another to the head staggered Ballard into a corner and a series of punches sent him face down on the canvas. He was up at six but when another left to the head rocked him the referee stopped the fight. Win No 31 by KO/TKO for Munguia. He has worked hard on his boxing skills and is a much better boxer than he was when he first burst on the scene. He is WBC1/WBO 1/WBA 2/IBF 12(10) and a fight with Jermall Charlo for the WBC title would be a big seller. Ballard goes back to basics. He just did not have the punch to deal with Munguia but showed some good skills.
Zepeda vs. Viedas
Zepeda suffers his first knockdown as a pro but makes it fifteen consecutive wins by KO/TKO as he beat Viedas in three rounds. Viedas was down in the first but from a slip and he seemed to injury his knee as he went down. He was given recovery time but had to soak up some heavy lefts from Zepeda. In the second Zepeda forced Viedas to the ropes and Viedas dropped to one knee after a right from Zepeda. After the count they stood and traded punches with Viedas connecting with two good rights. Zepeda chased Viedas to the ropes but ran onto the left counter that dropped him to his knees. Zepeda was up at six and when Viedas rushed in to try to capitalise on the knockdown he was met by a flying elbow from Zepeda and went down. There was no count and Zepeda was deducted a point for the elbow smash. It was all over in the third as Zepeda battered Viedas to the canvas twice. Zepeda landed two punches after Viedas was on his knees for the second knockdown and Viedas was counted out. The 25-year-old southpaw has only been taken the distance twice. He is rated WBC 2 and WBO 6 at super lightweight but Josh Taylor has a busy dance card. Viedas came in as a very late substitute and suffered his seventh inside the distance defeat.
Torres vs. Escobedo
Torres holds off a strong second half effort from Escobedo to take the unanimous decision. Torres dominated early and Escobedo suffered a cut over his left eye from a punch and had swelling around his right. Escobedo survived two inspections of his injuries and the thought of a stoppage loss fired him up and he fought hard with an exhausted and cut Torres losing a point for spitting out his mouthguard in the ninth but fighting hard enough to be a clear winner. Scores 97-92 twice and 98-91 for Torres. This is the first time Torres has gone past the sixth round for a win. Escobedo is 2-2-1 in his last five fights all of which have been against unbeaten nighters.
Espinoza vs. Laurel
The 7” taller Espinoza demolishes Laurel inside a round. A right to the head sent Laurel down early in the round. He beat the count but was pawing at his right eye and when he dived in trying to land on Espinoza he slipped and a left to the temple put him down and he was counted out. Ten inside the distance victories in his last eleven fights for the 6’1” Espinoza. Third loss in a row for Laurel.
Mucino vs. Sanchez
Mucino extends her current unbeaten run to ten with a second round stoppage of Sanchez. The referee halted the fight in the second round with Sanchez taking too much punishment. The 32-year-old Mucino is a former IBF, WBC and WBO flyweight champion. Sanchez was a replacement and suffers her fifth defeat in her last six bouts.
Olivo vs. Mateos
Fourteen wins in a row for Olivo as he tales the decision over Mateos who was yet another late change. Olivo was in charge in every round and came close to halting Mateos in the last. Scores 60-54 on the three cards. Olivo celebrated his twenty-third birthday on Friday.
Garcia vs. Rodriguez
In a battle of boxers from Los Mochis Garcia stopped Rodriguez in the third round Garcia put Rodriguez down and when Rodriguez tried to rise he tumbled to the canvas again and the fight was over. Nineteen wins by KO/TKO for Garcia. Rodriguez is 2-6-1 in his most recent action.
Cortes vs. Andrade
Ignacio Beristan trained Cortes extended his unbeaten run to 22 fights as he outboxed experienced Andrade on the way to a win on scores of 59-55 twice and 60-54.
Manchester, England: Welter: Kell Brook (40-3) W TKO 6 Amir Khan (34-6). Super Welter: Natasha Jonas (11-2-1) W TKO 2 Chris Namus (25-7). Super Middle: Germaine Brown (12-0) W PTS 10 Charlie Schofield (17-2). Light: Adam Azim W TKO 3 Jordan Ellison (13-34-2). Middle: Bradley Rea (12-0) W TKO 1 Craig McCarthy (89-1-1).Heavy: Frazer Clarke (1-0) W TKO 1 Jake Darnell (0-1).
Brook vs. Khan
Brook destroys Khan in a disappointingly one-sided bout.
An ominous start for Khan. He was flitting about throwing lots of light punches with Brook just patiently tracking him around the ring. When Brook did let go he rocked Khan badly twice with rights and with a left late in the round. The story was similar in the second with Khan throwing lots of punches without much accuracy. Brook always looked dangerous and again looked to stagger Khan with a right to the head. Khan had most success when he jabbed and moved and landed a couple of nice shots early in the round but he could not get away from Brook’s pressure and over the closing minute Brook handed out some fierce punishment with Khan holding to survive. The fourth was a messy round without much scoring from either boxer with Brook doing what good work there was connecting with a solid right to the head and Khan clinching more. The fifth was a dominant round for Brook. He connected with a right to the head and then drove Khan around the ropes landing more rights. Khan was just moving trying to stay out of trouble but still being caught with more rights and a stoppage looked close. Khan was staggered by a left jab at the start of the sixth and as Brook piled on the pressure with Khan not punching back the referee made a good stoppage. Brook was having his first fight since losing to Terrence Crawford in November 2020. It is possible that this win may encourage him to try for another run at the top fighters and already there have been challenges thrown his way. For Khan on this non-showing retirement has to be the sensible choice.
Jonas vs. Namus
Jonas wins the vacant WBO Female title with stoppage of Namus. Jonas put her stamp on the fight early in the first round putting Namus down heavily with a right hook. Namus made it to the bell but was badly shaken. In the second Jonas stormed into Namus who tried to stand and trade punches but was sent down again from a left and although she was up quickly her corner threw in the towel. Jonas, 37, had drawn with Terri Harper for the WBC and IBF featherweight titles and lost a very close unanimous decision (95-96 twice and 94-96) to Katie Taylor in May last year for the IBF,WBA,WBC and WBO lightweight titles so third time and third division saw her successful. Uruguayan Namus, 34, is a former IBF title holder.
Brown vs. Schofield
Brown wins the English title with points victory over defending champion Schofield. Brown’s aggression overcame the reach advantage of the 6’3” Schofield. Brown bobbed and weaved his way inside banging away to Schofield’s body. Schofield just could not get the range and quickly fell behind. He tried to take the fight to Brown more over the second half of the bout but was outlanded and faded out of the fight. Scores 99-92 twice and 98-92 for Brown.
Azim vs. Ellison
Highly touted hope Azim stops experienced journeyman Ellison in three rounds. Azim floored Ellison with a body shot in the first and ended the fight with a left hook in the third. The former British Junior and English Youth champion is trained by Shane McGuigan.
Rea vs. McCarthy
Rea wipes out McCarthy in the first round. After shaking McCarthy with a couple of rights to the head Rea ended the fight with a stunning left hook that sent McCarthy down with McCarthy’s corner throwing in the towel. Five wins by KO/TKO for Rea.
Clarke vs. Darnell
A waste of ring space and time as Clarke stops Darnell in the first round. Darnell had never had a pro fight in fact his experience consisted of a bare knuckle fight and white collar bouts. Clarke was scoring with thudding body shots and to his credit Darnell took the punishment and tried an occasional jab. Clarke quickly brought blood from Darnell’s nose with a right and when another right snapped Darnell’s head back his corner threw' in the towel. Darnell was only approached to take part in this dangerous farce on Thursday but hey! The show must go on. Clarke is 30 and a winner of a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and silver at the Tokyo Olympics so adds another interesting ingredient to the heavyweight mix but boxing should be ashamed at putting the interests of a TV company above the interests of the sport. The world would not have ended if Clarke did not fight on the show.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Light: Zaur Abdullaev (15-1) W TKO 12 Jorge Linares (47-7). Super Feather: Angel Rodriguez (20-1) W PTS 12 Mark Urvanov (20-3-1). Super Light: Ivan Kozlovsky (5-0) W PTS 10 Zoravor Petrosian (12-2).
Abdullaev vs. Linares
Abdullaev pulls of a dramatic last round victory. Both started cautiously just probing with jabs and hiding behind tight guards. Good second round from Linares as he was shooting jabs through the guard of Abdullaev and cracking home shots to the body with both hands. The third and fourth also went to Linares. He was stabbing stiff jabs home and letting fly with bursts of punches with Abdullaev too slow to counter. Abdullaev did a bit better in the fifth getting through with some body punches. He was always advancing but not throwing enough punches to put Linares under pressure. Abdullaev let his hands go more in the sixth and cracked Linares with a couple of rights to the head but Linares consistently pierced Abduallaev’s guard with jabs. Both scored with jabs and body punches in an even seventh. Linares boxed beautifully on the back foot early in the eighth but Abdullaev connected with two heavy rights over the closing seconds. Abdullaev had his best round so far in the ninth. He was forcing Linares to the ropes and working him over with both hands and Linares was moving slower and not throwing as punches. Abdullaev maintained the pressure in the tenth connecting with a series of head punches. Linares regrouped and outboxed Abdullaev over the second half of the round. Linares worked his jab hard in the eleven but there was no snap in it and Abdullaev was finding the target persistently with rights to the head. Linares was forced to stand and trade with Abdullaev in the twelfth and was nailed by a big left hook that sent him down on his back. He was up; early but then was dropped again by another strong left hook. He made it to his feet and indicated he wanted to continue but he was pinned to the ropes with Abdullaev unloading heavy punches and the fight was stopped with just over thirty seconds remaining in the round. Huge win for the 27-year-old Russian. He was No 4 in the WBC ratings but lost in four rounds against current title holder Devin Haney in September 2019 and Vasyl Lomachenko and Ryan Garcia are in front of him in the queue. With his only other ranking No 10 with the IBF there is no clear path to a title shot. Linares had given Haney a tough night in a title challenge in May last year. This the first time in the last nine years that Linares has lost successive fights. He stills has great skills but at 36 things are not going to get any easier so retirement has to be considered.
Rodriguez vs. Urvanov
Rodriguez gets split decision over Urvanov in WBA eliminator. There was a contrast in styles with Rodriguez very orthodox and Urvanov with hands low and punching from a variety of angles. Rodriguez had a good second round when he shook Urvanov badly with a right to the head and although Urvanov recovered quickly Rodriguez connected a couple more times with his right and rattled Urvanov with some sweeping hooks in the third. Urvanov upped his output in the fourth and it developed into a fast-paced entertaining contest. Urvanov was quicker and busier with Rodriguez picking his shots well and landing the harder punches. It was difficult to separate them with both having dominant spells. Urvanov pressed hard throughout the fight but Rodriguez had him shaken again with a left hook in the eighth. Relentless aggression from Urvanov made Rodriguez work hard for three minutes in every round but he had a good eleventh as Urvanov tired from the pace he had set and outlanded Urvanov in the last. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 for Rodriguez and 115-113 for Urvanov. Important win for seasoned pro Rodriguez who with Urvanov being rated No 3 moves into line for a shot at the WBA title and therefore a blow for Urvanov but at 25 be can and will climb back again.
Kozlovsky vs. Petrosian
Southpaw Kozlovsky retains the WBC Asian Boxing Council belt with split decision over Ukrainian Petrosian. The silkier skills of Kozlovsky saw him outboxing Petrosian getting his punches off first and using good defensive work to pocket the opening rounds. Petrosian was switching guards and landing crisp body punches to start to eat into Zalovsky’s early lead and with Kozlovsky suffering a cut over his right eye the gap narrowed. Kozlovsky then produced a stronger finish to restore his advantage and just did enough to finish in front. Scores 96-94 twice for Kozlovsky and a strange 99-91 for Petrosian. Kozlovsky, 24, is a former World Youth gold medallist
Montreal, Canada: Heavy: Arslanbek Makhmudov (14-0) W TKO 6 Mariusz Wach (36-8). Heavy: Simon Kean (21-1) W TKO 9 Shawndell Winters (13-7).
Makhmudov vs. Wach
Makhmudov given a tough test by Wach but in the end the strength of the Russian “Lion” proves too much for the Pole and the fight is stopped in the sixth round. From the first bell Makhmudov marched forward throwing punches as usual. Wach tried to use his jab to keep Makhmudov out but Makhmudov marched past the jab forcing Wach to the ropes and landing clubbing rights to the head. Makhmudov has very little in the way of a guard and Wach was able to halt his march in the second with a series of left jabs and straight rights. He did even better in the third scoring with hard rights and backing Makhmudov up with Makhmudov losing his mouthguard. Makhmudov rebounded and landed overhand rights in the fourth and fifth with Wach looking exhausted at the end of the round. Makhmudov launched a ferocious attack in the sixth connecting with a series of clubbing rights to the head-three of which landed on the back of Wach’s head-and the big Pole collapsed to the canvas. He arose but after the eight count the referee waived the fight over with no protest from Wach. Fourteen inside the distance victories in fourteen fights for Makhmudov who has only once had to go past the sixth round for a win. He is immensely strong but also very crude and really needs to step up against some rated opposition. Wach, 42-rated No 48 in the BoxRec rankings-has lost every time he has tried to move up but tested Makhmudov’s chin a few times.
Kean vs. Winters
Kean gets off the floor to stop Winters. Kean made an uncertain start. His jabbing has improved but his defence is still leaky. He shook Winters with a right to the head in the second and made use of his longer reach to outscore Winters over the next three rounds. In the sixth Winters moved in with a beautiful left hook that put Kean down. Kean went head over heels and then climbed up and floored Winters with a ramrod of a jab. Winters got up and both landed heavily in the seventh and Kean dropped Winters twice with rights in the ninth and the referee stopped the fight. The 6’5” “Grizzly” gets win No 20 by KO/TKO but his handlers are careful to avoid any risky fights as he is very vulnerable. Fifth consecutive loss for Winters
Ontario, CA, USA: Feather: Horacio Garcia (35-5-1) W PTS 8 Isaac Zarate (16-6-4) W. Light: Ruben Torres (18-0) W TKO 6 Cristian Mino (20-5-2).
Garcia vs. Zarate
Garcia gets a majority verdict over Zarate in his first fight since September 2018-when he lost a split decision to Zarate. The fight was close over the opening four rounds with Zarate just having a slight edge. From the fifth Garcia started to pull away and he finished much the stronger and looked a clear winner but one judge disagreed. Scores 80-72 and 79-73 for Garcia and 76-76. Mexican Garcia won his first 29 fights but has been a patchy 6-5-1 since then including a points loss to Carl Frampton in 2017 in which Frampton took a count in the seventh round. Californian southpaw Zarate was having his first fight for 29 months.
Torres vs. Mino
“Ace” Torres is just too big and punches too hard for little Mino. The 5’11” Torres towered over Mina forcing the Argentinian to take punishment to get inside. There was more punishment for the Mino inside but he stuck to his task. Torres slowly broke Mina down and in the sixth put him on the canvas with a right. Mina managed to get up but a body shot put him down again and the referee halted the fight without a count. Eight inside the distance wins in his last nine fights for the Santa Monica boxer. Mina gets easy fights at home and tough ones away-but the away money is better.
Orlando, FL, USA: Light: Jamaine Ortiz (15-0-1) W PTS 10 Nahir Albright (14-2). Super Welter: Paul Kroll (9-0-1) DREW 8 Marquis Taylor (12-1-2,1ND).
Ortiz vs. Albright
Ortiz remains unbeaten as he outpoints Albright. Ortiz went into the lead early as he was on the front foot taking the fight to Albright. He continued to boss the action building on his early aggression and looked to have swept the first six rounds. Albright finally had some success over the seventh and eighth but Ortiz had a good ninth and then settled for staying out of trouble in the tenth. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 for Ortiz. In his last fight in APRIL 2021 Ortiz climbed off the floor twice to get a draw against unbeaten Joseph Adorno. He was an elite level amateur but just failed to make it through the US Trials for the 2016 Olympics. Albright lost his first pro fight but then won 14 in a row including a victory over prospect Michael Dutchover in September.
Kroll vs. Taylor
When two scores are close and the third a long way different there might be a tendency to assume the different score is the controversial one but not here. Taylor looked to dominated all the way. He was quicker and more accurate than Kroll made good use of his longer reach and lasted the distance better. It was close early but then Taylor got the better of the exchanges and by the sixth Kroll was already showing signs of tiring and Taylor looked to have won the seventh and eighth. One judge gave it to Taylor 80-72 which seemed a fair reflection of the fight but one judge had it 77-75 for Kroll and the third scored it 76-76 for a split draw. Taylor is unbeaten in his last twelve fights. Kroll won his way through the US Trials for the Rio Olympics but failed to qualify losing at the Americas, World and APB/WBS qualifiers.
Bolton, England: Welter: Jack Rafferty (18-0) W TKO 3 Evgenii Vazem (9-23).
Rafferty stops an overmatched Vazem in three rounds. Rafferty was controlling the fight with his jab in the first digging in hurtful body punches and clubbing rights to the head. There was not much coming back from Vazem. A right to the temple shook Vazem in the second and when still under fire he took a knee later in the round. Rafferty battered Vazem around the ring in the third until the referee stepped in to save Vazem who was just taking too much punishment. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Rafferty, 25, who is ready for stiffer tests. Thirteen consecutive losses for British-based Russian Vazem
Turnberry, Scotland: Cruiser: David Jamieson (8-1) W PTS 10 Samo Jangirov (7-3-1). Super Welter: Kieran Smith (17-1) W PTS 8 Gabor Gorbics (26-24-2). Super Welter: Michael McGurk (13-0) W KO 2 Jan Balog (15-54-1). Feather: Nathaniel Collins (10-0) W RTD 3 Uriel Lopez (13-18-1).
Jamieson vs. Jangirov
Scot Jamieson wins his first pro title as he moves up to ten rounds and takes a unanimous decision over Sweden’s Jangirov. Jamieson dominated the action with the exception for a short period in the sixth when Sangirov’s counters had him dialling back on his aggression. He adjusted and then eased his way to the win. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Jamieson. He collects the IBO International title. Azeri-born Jangirov won the Swedish title last year.
Smith vs. Gorbics
Just a keep busy night for prospect Smith. He won every round against a survival specialist in Gorbics. Smith tried hard to finish it early but just could not find a punch to put Gorbics away. The referee scored it 80-72 for three-time Scottish amateur champion Smith whose only loss has come against unbeaten Troy Williamson. Hungarian Gorbics drops to 0-12-2 in his last 14 appearances.
McGurk vs. Balog
In his first fight since March 2019 McGurk got the job done quickly. After putting Balog under heavy pressure in the first he floored Balog twice in the second with body punches with Balog being counted on the second knockdown. Fourth inside the distance victory for McGurk a former Scottish Youth champion. Czech Balog, 40, had been beaten in five rounds by Kieran Smith in 2019.
Collins vs. Lopez
Commonwealth champion Collins far too good for Mexican Lopez who retires after three one-sided rounds. Fifth victory by KO/TKO for Collins and third consecutive loss against British opposition in his last three fights for Lopez.
Hinckley, MN, USA: Cruiser: Al Sands (22-4-1) W KO 2 Marcus Oliveira (28-7-1).
In his first fight for two years Sands kayos Oliveira in two rounds. He rattled Oliviera with a left hook in the first and then ended the fight in the second. Sands floored Oliveira with a right and although Oliveira managed to get to his feet another right put him down and he was counted out. Nineteenth inside the distance victory for Sands. Sixth defeat in his last eight bouts for Oliveira who was 25-0-1 before losing to Juergen Braehmer for the secondary WBA cruiser title way back in 2013.
Monte Hermoso, Argentina: Super Feather: Kevin Acevedo (21-4-3) W PTS 10 Javier Herrera (17-6-1). Middle: Jonathan Sanchez (20-5-1) W KO 1Gabriel Diaz (11-23).
Acevedo vs. Herrera
Acevedo retains the Argentinian title with repeat victory over Herrera. Acevedo was giving away 6” in height but he was able to get past the longer reach of Herrera and score inside. A punch from Herrera in third started a swelling over Acevedo’s left eye. Further punches added to the swelling but the aggression and body punching from Acevedo slowed Herrera and Acevedo dominated the closing rounds. Acevedo was a clear winner but had to settle for a majority decision on scores of 99-93 and 97-93 with the third judge scoring it 95-95; Acevedo had beaten Herrera on a tight unanimous decision to win the national title in March 2020.
Sanchez vs. Diaz
Sanchez overwhelms Diaz. Sanchez was marching forward from the outset ignoring Diaz’s attempts to counter and landing heavily to head and body. Diaz tried to punch with him but was soon wilting under the onslaught and a solid left hook to the body dumped him writhing in agony on the canvas and he was counted out. Fifth victory in his last six contests for Sanchez who having lost in two attempts at the national title will be hoping this win will get him a third shot. Diaz also on a good run winning 7 of his last 8 fights.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Super Welter: Adrian Sasso (18-3) W TKO 5 Nicolas Veron (8-8-1).
The power and accuracy of Sasso too much for a gritty Veron and he wins in the fifth round. Veron made an aggressive start rolling forward taking the fight to the taller southpaw Sasso and connecting with rights. In the second and third Sasso took over battering Veron to the body and using hooks and uppercuts when Veron tried to get inside. Both fighters showed signs of tiring in the fourth with Sasso scoring with powerful lefts but also getting caught with rights from Veron. In the fifth a series of lefts from Sasso saw the referee give Veron a standing count. After the count Sasso bombarded Veron with punches and the referee stopped the fight. Both Veron and his corner protested strongly over the stoppage. Sasso wins the vacant South American title and is now 11-1 in his last 12 contests. Second inside the distance defeat for Veron.
Les Mureaux, France: Feather: Christ Esabe (11-0) W TKO 8 Nicolas Botelli (10-6). Light: Rima Ayadi (7-0) W PTS 10 Olena Medvedenko (11-9).
Esabe vs. Botelli
Home town fighter Esabe retains the WBC Francophone title with stoppage of Argentinian Botelli. Esabe used his superior skills to win this one until the fight was stopped in the eighth with a huge swelling closing Botelli’s left eye.
Ayadi vs. Medvedenko
French champion Ayadi outclasses Ukrainian Medvedenko taking every round on scores of 100-90 twice and 100-89. Ayadi did not take up boxing until she was 26 and is now hoping to get a shot at the European title. Medvedenko had won her last four fights and holds the European super light title but that was not on the line here.
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Jose Larduet (8-0,1ND) W RTD 7 Dusan Veletic (5-1-1). Welter: Freddy Kiwitt (21-3) W KO 2 Merab Turkadze (6-14-1) (12-0).
Larduet vs. Veletic
Larduet wins the vacant WBC International Silver title with victory over Veletic. The Cuban pressed the fight from the start. Veletic was able to use his longer reach to land some jabs but Larduet just kept stepping up the pressure with a focused body attack. Veletic landed a strong right cross at the end of the second and had Larduet bleeding from his nose but gradually Larduet found his way inside more and more. He hounded Veletic in the third connecting with overhand rights with Veletic flagging and not having the power to keep Larduet out. The Cuban was carrying too much weight and was slow but kept plugging away and it was Veletic who was exhausted in the seventh hardly able to even hold up his gloves and he retired at the end of the round. Larduet was 178lbs when he won a gold medal at the World Youth Championships but now he weighs around 260lbs so saying he is slow is being kind to him but he is strong. Serbian Veletic had scored an upset victory over German hope 17-1 Albon Pervizaj but did not have the power to trouble Larduet.
Kiwitt vs. Turkadze
Easy job for Kiwitt as he disposes of substitute Turkadze in two rounds. Kiwitt chased down the skitter Georgian in the first hurting him late in the with a body punch. Kiwitt continued to attack the body in the second and a left to the ribs sent Turkadze down on his hands and knees and he was counted. Liberian-born German Kiwitt gets his twelfth inside the distance victory and his fourth win in a row. Eighth defeat by KO/TKO for Turkadze.
Wroclaw, Poland: Cruiser: Artur Mann (18-2) W PTS 10 Nikodem Jezewski (20-2-1,1ND). Super Middle: Osley Iglesias (5-0) W TKO 1 Robert Racz (25-3).
Mann vs. Jezewski
Mann outboxes Jezewski on his way to a unanimous decision. Mann was content to box on the back foot letting the taller Jezewski walk forward and countering him. Mann was quicker and busier finding gaps for his jabs and putting together some quick combinations. Jezewski marched forward for the whole ten rounds and had some good spells but Mann’s better skills and quicker hands always gave him the edge and he won convincingly. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Mann. The 31-year-old Kazakh-born German has lost to Kevin Lerena for the IBO title and Mairis Breidis for the IBF belt. Jezewski lost on a second round stoppage against Lawrence Okolie in December 2020 when he came in as a short-notice substitute.
Iglesias vs. Racz
Iglesias massacres Racz. Flashy southpaw Iglesias shook Racz with a left to the head in the first minute then landed a series of slashing hooks before flooring Racz with a right uppercut. Racz was up quickly but promptly floored by another right hook. When Racz got up Iglesias jumped on him and when Racz went down for the third time the fight was waived off. The five wins by Iglesias have taken less than seven rounds to accomplish and he is ready for much higher level opposition. You might say Racz’s record is remarkable-remarkable they found 25 people he could beat.
Melrose, MA, USA: Super Middle: Yamaguchi Falcao (20-1-1) W KO 2 Fernando Farias (10-2-2). Super Light: Gonzalo Dallera (10-15) W TKO 1 Joseph Fernandez (14-4-3). Middle: Connor Coyle (15-0) W RTD 5 Rodrigo Lopes (8-2).
Falcao vs. Farias
Falcao takes another step along recovery road as he gets a second round kayo of Argentinian Farias. Fourth win on the trot for Falcao since stumbling with a loss to Chris Pearson and a draw with D’Mitrius Ballard in 2019. Falcao is the brother of Esquiva Falcao and won a bronze medal at the London Olympics where he beat Meng Fanlong and Julio Cesar De La Cruz. Two quick kayo losses in succession for Farias.
Dallera vs. Fernandez
Dallera registers a win for Argentina as he halts Fernandez in the first round. Much needed win for Dallera who had been beaten in 5 of his last 6 fights. Southpaw Fernandez had a seven-bout winning streak snapped.
Coyle vs. Lopes
Ireland’s Coyle stays busy with a win over Rodrigo Lopes who retired at the end of the fifth round. Coyle is scheduled to fight for the NABA title on 19 March and he is hoping a win there will get him a rating. First fight in three years for Brazilian Lopes who was knocked out in nineteen seconds in that last fight.
Hanover, MD, USA: Super Middle: Demond Nicholson (25-4-1) W KO 5 Gabriel Pham (15-2). Super Feather: Jordan White (13-1) W PTS 10 Brandon Valdes (14-3).
Nicholson vs. Pham
Nicholson proves too strong for lanky southpaw Pham. Nicholson floored Pham in the first and Pham only just made it to his feet at nine. Pham recovered and made it to the bell. The 6’2” Pham then made good use of his longer reach to keep Nicholson out and was tying up when he made it past the jab. Pham slowed and in the fifth Nicholson was able to connect with a burst of hooks and uppercuts inside which sent Pham down on his knees. Pham managed to stagger to his feet but just too late to beat the count. Nicholson was stopped in two rounds by Jesse Hart but is the only fighter to have gone the distance with Edgar Berlanga and is a good test for any fighter aspiring to a rating. Pham had been 9-1 in his last 10 fights.
White vs. Valdes
White wins the vacant WBC US belt with split decision over Valdes. White had Valdes down in the fourth but then had to fight hard all the way to come away with the decision. Scores 97-92 and 96-93 for White and 95-94 for Valdes. Ninth win in a row for White. Valdes was a late replacement and made White work hard for his win.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Light: Javier Fortuna (37-3-1) W TKO 1 Rafael Hernandez (32-15-3). Middle: Jeison Rosario (22-3-1) W TKO 5 Jesus Perez (12-6-1).
Fortuna vs. Hernandez
Fortuna wins this all-southpaw clash in the opening round. A right to the head staggered Hernandez early in the fight then Fortuna blitzed him with lefts. Hernandez was turning side-on away from Fortuna’s lefts but Fortuna drove Hernandez down by swinging his left wide and the last punch was a full blooded one to the back of Hernandez’s head. Hernandez got up but was again sent to the canvas under a barrage of rights and the refereed stopped the contest. First outing for the former holder of the secondary WBA lightweight title since losing on points against Joseph Diaz for the interim WBC belt in July. Tenth inside the distance defeat for Venezuelan Hernandez.
Rosario vs. Perez
Rosario floors and stops Perez. Rosario led all the way before flooring Perez late in the third. Perez made it to the bell but was taking a beating in the fifth and the fight was stopped. Second victory for Rosario who is putting his career back on track after losing his IBF and WBO super welter titles against WBC champion Jermell Charlo in a unification fight and then being knocked out by Erickson Lubin. Third defeat in four months for Venezuelan Perez.
Fight of the week (Significance): The win for Jamie Munguia means he is there as a threat to all of the belt holders.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Angel Rodriguez vs. Mark Urvanov gave plenty of entertainment and honourable mention to Zaur Abdullaev vs. Jorge Linares which provgided such an a franmatic finishUrvanov vs. Rodriguez
Fighter of the week: Zaur Abdullaev for his come from behind win over Jorge Linares
Punch of the week: Both left hooks from Abdullaev in the twelfth were memorable.
Upset of the week: None this week
Prospect watch: None at this time
Rosette: Jorge Linares showing even at 36 he is still a class boxer with exquisite skills and a great heart.
Red Card: SKY for putting on Frazer Clarke vs. Jack Darnell a fighter whose reported experience amounted to a bare knuckle fight and reputedly some white collar shows. It seems the guy didn’t even have a licence on Wednesday but fights a world class amateur on a major TV show on Saturday-if true disgraceful and where would those involved have hidden if something had gone horribly wrong.
Some strange scoring at the weekend:
One judge had Kevin Acevedo beating Javier Herrera 99-93 and another had it a draw
One judge had Horacio Garcia beating Isaac Zarate 80-72 and one judge had it 76-76
Best or worst of all two judges had Ivan Kozlovsky beating Zoravor Petrosian 96-94 and the third had Petrosian winning 99-91.
Only in boxing!
By Eric Armit
-John Ryder outpoints Daniel Jacobs in WBA super middleweight eliminator
- Felix Cash survives two knockdowns to outpoint Magomed Madiev as middleweight
-IBF’s top rated super bantamweight Lee McGregor is held to a draw by Argentinian Diego Ruiz
-Noel Gevor out points Youri Kayembre Kalenda at cruiserweight
-Danny Dignum stops Grant Dennis
World Title/Major Shows
London, England: Super Middle: John Ryder (31-5) W PTS 12 Daniel Jacobs (37-4) . Middle: Felix Cash (15-0) W PTS 10 Magomed Madiev (15-1-2). Super Bantam: Ellie Scotney (4-0) W PTS 10 Jorgelina Guanini (9-4-2). Middle: Austin Williams (10-0) W TKO 6 Javier Maciel (33-16). Super Bantam: Hopey Price (7-0) W TKO 4 Ricardo Roman (14-13-3).
Jacobs vs. Ryder
Huge result for Ryder as he takes controversial split decision over Jacobs in a WBA eliminator. A quiet opening round saw Jacobs doing what scoring there was as he jabbed well and connected with a couple of rights. The pattern continued in the second as Jacobs continually circled away from Ryder’s powerful left and found the target with a left to the head and a straight right late in the round. In both the third and the fourth Jacobs just kept sliding jabs through the middle of Ryder's guard and adding in an occasional right with Ryder just not quick enough and not letting his hands go. Ryder just could not get into the fight as he was finding Jacobs too slick and quick and Jacobs did the scoring again in the fifth. Ryder changed tactics in the sixth. Now he was storming forward throwing punches and he landed a straight left to the head, his best punch so far, but he also had to absorb some heavy hits from Jacobs. Ryder took the seventh again getting inside and scoring with clubbing punches and the eighth saw him hunting down a vulnerable looking Jacobs scoring with a series of head punches with Jacobs switching to southpaw to try to stem the tide.. More of the same in the ninth, Jacobs scored with a couple of counters but now he had slowed and was having to stand and trade with Ryder and getting the worst of the exchanges and Ryder was even out jabbing him. The tenth was close but Ryder finished it with a strong attack and Jacobs looked to have edged the eleventh. There was not a great deal of action from two tired boxers in the last with Jacobs again probably just taking it. Scores 115-113 twice for Ryder and 115-113 for Jacobs. With Jacobs having taken the first five rounds clearly and finished just the better he can consider himself unlucky but if Ryder had started his charge earlier then he would have been a clear winner. Ryder was No 4 with the WBA and Jacobs No 9 so I am not sure how much this win will advance Ryder to a title shot as Saul Alvarez calls the shots on his fights and of course the WBA no longer have interim titles so it is a waiting game for Ryder. This was only the second fight in 15 months for Jacob and he undeniably struggled and floundered under Ryder’s pressure at times. At 35 he can’t afford any defeats so he will need to find a way back and soon.
Cash vs. Madiev
Cash has to take two counts and overcome a point deduction to take the unanimous decision over Madiev. Cash used his longer reach to score in the first and also landed some sharp left hooks to the body. Cash seemed to be boxing comfortably in the second when Madiev darted past his jab and connected with a sharp left hook that knocked Cash off balance and he went down on his hands and knees looking shaken. He was up immediately but in deep trouble as Madiev pounded him with left hooks to the body and neck-snapping uppercuts and he had to hold. For a few seconds a stoppage looked possible but by the end of the round Cash was standing and trading and landed two solid rights before the bell. Cash outscored Madiev in the third landing jabs to head and body and digging in some hurtful body punches but Madiev scored with a big right to the head late in the round. Cash also took the fourth, fifth and sixth using his reach to spear Madiev with jabs and working to the body with Madiev not closing Cash down quickly enough or throwing enough punches. The pace slowed in the seventh but Cash worked systematically with his jab over the eighth and ninth with Madiev too static and just not throwing enough punches. Cash was down early in the tenth as he tumbled back into the ropes from a punch from Madiev. He clutched the ropes so did not go down but was given a count. The punch had opened a bad cut over the left eye of Cash and Madiev sensed an opportunity and raced forward throwing punches with Cash clinching to smother the attacks and being deducted a point for holding. Cash steadied himself and they brawled to the final bell. Scores 95-92 twice and 94-93 for Cash. He collects the vacant WBC International belt. Cash outboxed Madiev for much of the fight but the two knockdowns made him look vulnerable particularly as Madiev-just four wins by KO/TKO-is not rated as a puncher. This was Madiev’s first fight outside of Russian and he looked strong but limited.
Scotney vs. Guanini
Scotney takes tight unanimous decision over Argentinian Guanini in an entertaining scrap and a good showcase for female boxing. Fireworks from the first bell as Guanini, the shorter boxer, tried to overwhelm Scotney with punches in the first. Scotney stood and traded with her but was being outworked. Scotney rocked Guanini with rights in the second. Scotney had a good third as she moved and boxed instead of brawling but was cut over her left eye in a clash of heads. The fight was conducted at a fast pace Scotney was at her best when she stuck with her boxing but Guanini kept up her swarming attacks. Scotney just had the edge as she was able to score at distance and she finished the stronger but ruined that when losing a point in the last round for holding. Scores 96-94 twice and 95-94 for Scotney who wins the vacant WBA Female Inter-Continental belt. Third loss in a row for former IBF Female super fly title holder Guanini.
Williams vs. Maciel
Williams uses a focused body attack to wear down and stop seasoned Argentinian pro Maciel. It all started brightly for Maciel as he opened the first round by scoring with a couple of rights to the body but then Williams connected with solid body punches of his own and had Maciel backing off. A straight left sent Maciel tumbling into the ropes and down. Maciel was up quickly but then spent a painful last minute as Williams connected with a series of body punches. There was nothing competitive about the fight. Maciel soaked up heavy punishment in each round but always did enough to convince the referee to let the fight continue and was dangerous with an occasional wild overhand right. Williams put Maciel down with a left to the body in the sixth. Maciel was up at seven but went down again under a series of punches. He was up again but looked finished and did not hold up his gloves when asked to do so. Instead the referee lifted them for him and then stopped the fight as Williams was unloading on Maciel again. Houston-based Williams, 25, was a good level amateur and this is his eighth inside the distance win as a pro. Maciel, 37, has lost his last ten fights but this is only the third time he has been beaten by KO/TKO.
Price vs. Roman
Price stops Mexican Roman in four rounds. Price had height and reach against Roman who had no idea how to overcome that. A straight left dropped Roman less than a minute into the fight. Roman survived but Price landed heavily to head and body over the second and third with Roman doing well to stay on his feet. Two lefts to the body forced Roman to one knee in the fourth and Price was lucky not to get disqualified for hitting Roman whilst he was on one knee. Roman made it to his feet but was trapped on the ropes just covering up when the referee stopped the mismatch. The 21-year-old Price won gold medals at English, British and European Junior level and gold at the Youth Olympic Games and silver at the Youth World Championships. Roman no sort of test as he has had just one fight each in years 2018,2019, 2020 and 2021and this is his sixth loss by KO/TKO
London, England: Middle: Danny Dignum (14-0-1) W TKO 6 Grant Dennis (I7-4). Super Bantam: Lee McGregor (11-0-1) DREW 10 Diego Ruiz (23-4-1).
Dignum vs. Dennis
Dignum retains the WBO European title with stoppage of Dennis. Southpaw Dignum put Dennis under pressure from the start with Dignum doing most of the scoring but Dennis showing some clever defensive work and countering well. Dignum suffered a cut on his left eyelid when their heads clashed in the third. Dignum was controlling the action with powerful jabs and connected with hard lefts in the fourth and fifth with Dennis struggling to stay off the ropes and in the fight. Early in the sixth a left from Dignum forced a badly shaken Dennis down on one knee. He beat the count but was very shaky and Dignum dropped him twice more with lefts. Dennis made it to his feet each time but the fight was stopped. Third successful defence for Dignum who is rated No 4 with the WBO which owes more to his having fought for their European belt than the quality of his opposition having been held to a draw by Andrey Sirotkin in his last fight in April last year. Dennis was stopped in eight round by Sirotkin in October 2020 and had won two four round fights in 2021
McGregor vs. Ruiz
Disappointment for McGregor as he has to settle for a draw against what should have been just a moderately competitive keep busy fight. McGregor came out punching and Ruiz spent much of the opening round fight with his back against the ropes. McGregor continued the pressure in the second but Ruiz found gaps for some useful counters. McGregor got through with some heavy shots in the third but was shaken by a left hook letting him know he was in a fight. McGregor dialled back the pressure in the fourth and fifth boxing and outscoring Ruiz. The Argentinian fired back and looked to have edged the sixth. The seventh and eighth were hard fought and both close with Ruiz looking to have taken the seventh and McGregor the eighth. From there McGregor had more left and finished the stronger and looked to nave enough to get the decision but the referee scored it 95-95. Following wins over Kamil Guerfi and Vincent Legrand McGregor is rated No 6 with the WBA and No 7 by the WBC but is actually the highest rated contender in the IBF ratings at No 3 as the first two positions are vacant. He is a long way from being ready to challenge Naoya Inoue and this result leaves him with some work to do to validate any of those high ratings. Ruiz had been stopped in nine rounds by Michael Conlan in 2019 but he should not have presented any real threat as he had lost 99-91 to 8-0 Shabaz Masoud from Stoke in November.
New York, NY: Super Bantam: Ariel Lopez (17-1-1) W PTS 8 Winer Soto (22-9). Super Feather: Jose Gonzalez (16-0-2 W PTS 6 Aaron Lopez (6-6).
Lopez vs. Soto
Lopez continues to rebuild with a unanimous decision over Colombian Soto on scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73. Second consecutive win for Lopez who was unbeaten in his first 16 fights before losing on points against Chilean Jose Velasquez in May last year. In his next fight Velasquez lost in a challenge to Murodjon Akhmadaliev for the IBF and WBA titles. Born in Mexico Lopez moved to New York with his parents when quite young and won a New York Golden Gloves title but his immigrant status is unsettled so that hangs over him even now. Fifth loss in his last six fights for Soto.
Gonzalez vs. Lopez
Southpaw “Chocolatito” Gonzalez remained unbeaten with a comfortable win over Lopez. Scores 60-54 twice and 59-55. Eighth consecutive win for Gonzalez but as with Soto five losses in his last fights for Mexican Lopez.
Concordia, Argentina: Super Feather: Ayrton Gimenez (14-0,1ND) W PTS Jonathan Arena (11-11-1).
Gimenez makes it seven consecutive victories as he decisions Arena. Gimenez boxed on the back foot over the first half of the fight scoring constantly with accurate counters and blocking nor dodging Arena’s attacks. From the sixth Gimenez took the fight to Arena and despite suffering a cut in the tenth emerged a comfortable winner. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for 22-year-old . The No Decision came in a fight that was abandoned due to a riot. Arena was coming off an unexpected win over useful 20-3-3 Kevin Acevedo.
Riga, Latvia: Cruiser: Noel Gevor (26-2) W PTS 12 Youri Kayembre Kalenga (27-7).
Gevor boxes his way to a clear victory over Kalenga in a fight that never really generated much heat. Kalenga did the better work in the first round landing a couple of meaty hooks as Gevor flitted around the ring just prodding with his jab. Gevor was more positive and stronger with his jabs in the second and drilled home some straight rights. Kalenga upped the pressure in then third and shook Gevor with a left nook just before the bell and Gevor was showing a small cut over his right eye. Kalenga applied plenty of pressure at the start of the fourth but over the second half of the round Gevor had his jab working well and just edged the round. Gevor had his best round so far in the fifth. He was finding gaps for his jabs catching the oncoming Kalenga with right counters and sliding away from Kalenga’s attacks. He then outboxed the slower Kalenga over the sixth and seventh. Kalenga looked to be tiring and from the eighth Gevor began to take some chances and stood trading punches scoring with hooks from both hands. That allowed Kalenga to also score and make the eighth close but Gevor’s more accurate punching gave him the ninth clearly. There was little that Kalenga could do to change things. He was just too slow and too tired and Gevor stuck to his back foot boxing slotting home jabs and scoring on the advancing Kalenga with straight rights and boxed his way comfortably to the last bell . Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 for Gevor. Gevor wins the vacant WBC Silver title. His losses have come against Krzys Wlodarczyk and Mairis Briedis. Despite fourteen months of inactivity he is No 4 with the WBC but I can’t see him as a threat to any of the current title holders. The Armenian-born German has stuck with Noel for his first name but is using his birth-name of Mikae3lyan also now. Kalenga, the WBC No 10, is powerful but slow and never really threatened Gevor in this fight.
Berazategui, Argentina: Super Bantam: Hector Sosa (13-0) W PTS 10 Mauro Barrios (5-5).
Sosa beats late substitute Barrios despite a last round knock down. Sosa was in control early with some choice body shots and looked close to ending the fight in the fifth. A standing count allowed Barrios a chance to recover. The pace slowed over the next three rounds with Sosa still having the edge but Barrios did enough to take the ninth and floored Barrios in the tenth with Sosa hanging on to the bell. Scores 97-91 twice and 96-94 for Sosa. He was supposed to defend his South American title but his original opponent pulled out very late and Barrios, the son of former WBO super feather champion Jorge Rodrigo Barrios, came in as a substitute having his first fight for two years.
Hyeres, Frane: Middle: Bruno Surace (21-0-2) W PTS 8 Victor Garcia (8-11-4).
French champion Surace, 23, keeps busy with comfortable win over Garcia. No real problems for Surace as he took the decision on scores of 79-73 twice and 78-74. After a couple of early draws he has won 18 in a row. A former French Universities champion he is still studying Law at Aix University. Garcia has won just one of his last twelve bouts.
Malaga, Spain: Light: Samuel Molina (19-1,1ND) W TKO 5 Victor Julio (16-3).
Third win in succession for Molina as he rebuilds after an inside the distance defeat against Artem Harutyunyan in September. Colombian Julio showed some good defensive work at the start of the fight but bit by bit Molina upped the pressure and finished the fight in the fifth as Julio went down under a series of punches and the fight was stopped. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Molina but he blotted his copy book having a win changed to a No Decision in a Spanish title fight when he tested positive for a banned substance. Three fights outside Colombia in a row and three losses in a row for Julio.
Badiadel Valles, Spain: Light: Frank Urquiaga (16-2-1) W PTS 6 Engel Gomez (8-5-1).
In his first fight for eleven months Peruvian-born Spaniard Urquiaga floored Nicaraguan Gomez in the first round but failed to finish the fight then and had to go the full six rounds for the win on a unanimous decision. Third fight for Urquiaga since losing a majority decision against Anthony Crolla in Manchester in November 2019. Fifth loss in a row for Gomez.
Brentwood, England: Super Light: Billy Allington (10-1-3) W PTS 10 Jamie Robinson (11-5-2).
Allington wins a split verdict over Robinson to collect the vacant English title. This was a classic small hall fight with not a great deal between them. After an aggressive start Allington then worked on the back foot slotting jabs through Robinson’s defence and landing right counters as Robinson came forward. Robinson had his success when he could get past Allington’s jab and when he could force Allington to stand and trade punches. They maintained a fast pace for the full ten rounds with Allington’s better skills and accurate jabbing just giving him the edge. Allington rocked Robinson twice with rights in the tenth as they both finished battered, bloodied and bruised. Scores 97-93 and 97-94 to Allington and 97-94 to Robinson. These two had fought to a draw lover eight rounds in March last year and they are well matched.
Sheffield, England: Heavy: Kash Ali (21-1) W TKO 6 Rhys Kaney (2-2).
Ali gets an inside the distance win but not much credit to be gained out of this one. He broke down and floored novice Kaney twice in the sixth for the stoppage. Sixth win in a row for Ali and his twelfth victory by KO/TKO but he needs much better opposition if he is going to break into the strong British heavyweight picture.
Fight of the week (Significance): John Ryder vs. Daniel Jacobs was the highest profile fight but its significance is difficult to measure as Saul Alvarez is not looking to defend any of the super middleweight titles he holds.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): A small hall ten rounder but Billy Allington vs. Jamie Robinson provide plenty of entertainment over the ten rounds.
Fighter of the week: John Ryder for his win over Daniel Jacobs.
Punch of the week: The left hook to the chin from Magomed Madiev that forced Felix Cash to take a count was spot on
Upset of the week: Lee McGregor only getting a draw against Diego Ruiz was unexpected
Prospect watch: Middleweight Austin Williams 10-0 is worth watching.
Only the poverty of major cards this week with just the Ryder vs. Jacobs fight anything like a top liner. It seems to be a feast or famine week by week this year.
By Eric Armit
The world changes around us. For the first time a clash between two female boxers will head a card at the iconic Madison Square Garden. There are other firsts associated with the fight between Katie Taylor and Amanda Serrano such as the first guaranteed seven figure purse for female boxers, which will be further increased by pay-for view, such as Taylor having scored a win over Serrano’s sister Cindy, such as Serrano being in the Guinness Book of Records for the most world titles won in different divisions (seven) by a woman, such as Taylor being in the first sanctioned woman’s boxing match in Irish history when still only 15 and so much more. Who would have thought as they sat watching Ali vs. Frazier I and II that for the Garden, which over its various reincarnations has staged so many great fights, one of the most significant fights in its history would be between two female boxers. It is a huge event for female boxing probably the highest profile female fight to date so let’s hope it helps interest in female boxing climb to an even higher level.
It is always good to see a young fighter break through and Jesse “Bam” Rodriguez certainly did that. Just 22 he came in at short notice to fight Carlos Cuadras for the vacant WBC super fly title. He had only 15 pro fights behind him with Cuadras having had 44 with eight of those being title fights of which he had lost only one. What was even more remarkable is that Rodriguez was really a light flyweight. In his last six fights he had weighed 109 ¼ , 109, 111, 109 ¼ , 110 ½ and in last fight before meeting Cuadras in October 109 ¼ with the WBC having No 6 in the light flyweight division before allowing him to jump him two divisions to fight for their super flyweight title. Risky but it worked out more the okay.
Good to see Errol Spence will be back in the ring on 16 April facing Yordenis Ugas with Spence’s IBF and WBC titles and Ugas putting up his WBA title. So another step along the way to a unified division. Terrence Crawford is in the wings with his WBO title but with Spence vs. Ugas for April he will have to wait another eight months at least for any unification effort and of course the No 1’s with the IBF, WBA and WBC will be pressing their cases for a shot at Spence or Ugas so no certainty of a unification fight for Crawford. I am still waiting to find out who was whispering in Crawford’s ear but when he played the race card I though Don King must be back on the scene or perhaps it was Crawford having studied the Don King playbook.
Briefly on the subject of change. The Scottish government has made it clear that it will bring in legislation with regard to gender defining. Without going into a great detail one of the proposals is that a person will be able to redefine their gender not through an invasive regime of medical tests etc. but through a simple declaration-based system. There are certain condition to be followed i.e. living as their new gender for a limited period of time prior to their declaration being effective but for sport it does open the possibility of a male/female athlete/boxer changing gender and certainly in Scotland providing the declaration process has been followed it would probably be illegal to stop that person competing as a male/female whichever is appropriate. If it becomes law-and looks certain to do so in Scotland-then that will be a situation the British Boxing Board will have to study carefully and although right now it is a Scottish/British matter it is anticipated that Trans gender athletes is something that many more countries will have to find non-invasive non-degrading ways to recognise and accommodate.
How embarrassing it must have been for the IBF as they toted their heavyweight eliminator around trying to find someone interested in fighting “favoured” Filip Hrgovic. Hrgovic’s team had been challenging anyone to fight him in an IBF eliminator and Tony Yoka took them up on that challenge but instead has had to go through with an already contracted fight against Martin Bakole. With Yoka being No 6 in the IBF ratings and Bakole No 15 if their fight takes place before Hrgovic vs. Zhilei bout the winner would qualify to fill one of two top spots in the IBF ratings which in theory with Luis Ortiz already filling the no 2 place would slam the door in Hrgovic’s face. Unbeaten Australian Demsey McKean was also in the frame to face Hrgovic but he reportedly declined so the job has gone to No 13 Zhang Zhilei. I used the word “embarrassing” and “favoured” because Hrgovic has climbed to No 3 with the IBF without every facing any fighter in the IBF top 15-and in fact is rated No 37 by BoxRec. The real disgrace will be if Hrgovic does beat Zhilei-ranked No 13-then climbs to No 1 above Ortiz –who beat then No 2 Charles Martin-then that will have the stink of blatant manipulation.
It is intended that Hrgovic vs. Zhang will be a supporting role under Oleksandr Usyk vs. Anthony Joshua II. Yoka vs. Bakole is now scheduled for May 14 at the Accor Arena in Paris. The original plan was for 15 January but with the pandemic restrictions would cut the possible attendance figures but the hope is that those will be lifted by the May date and that the attendance will be much higher as the Accor Arena has a 20,000 capacity.
News of another eliminator, this time for the WBO, Tim Tszyu has decided to put his No 1 position with the WBO at risk in a fight against Terrell Gausha at the Los Angeles Crypto.com Arena on 19 March. Gausha is not currently in the WBO top 15 but don’t bet on that not changing. Risky for Tszyu but he may have decided he needs to up his profile in the USA to strengthen his case for fighting the winner of the Jermell Charlo vs. Brian Castano four-title unifier. Right now Tszyu is just one of four different No 1’s who will all want a shot at the new champion.
Also treading on Tim’s heels in a different way is his younger brother Nikita who is scheduled to make his pro debut as a middleweight on March 12 in Brisbane. Nikita gave up boxing about five years ago to work as an architect but Tim’s success has rekindled Nikita’s love of boxing.
The fight for the secondary WBA cruiserweight title between champion Ryad Merhy 30-1 and Evgeny Tischenko 9-1 in Ekaterinburg Russia on 26 March will also feature a good super welterweight match between Magomed Kurbanov 22-0 and former WBO interim super welter title holder Patrick Teixeira 31-2. Kurbanov is No 2 and Teixeira No 4 with the WBO so the winner will be treading on the heels of the Tszyu vs. Gausha winner.
Felix Sturm remains a draw in Germany but at 43 and with some of his legal troubles still not totally resolved who knows for how long the former two-division champion can carry on. His next fight will be an attractive “seniors” match with 39-year-old Hungarian Istvan Szili (25-2-2) in Dortmund on 26 March in an IBO eliminator with Sturm having his eyes on another title.
It is going to be Pacquiao vs. Maidana on 26 February in Las Vegas. Manny and Marcos never met as pros but they will be fighting “by proxy” on the 26th. Manny is the manager of IBF super flyweight title holder Jerwin Ancajas and “El Chino” of the challenger Fernando Martinez who competed for Argentina at the 2016 Olympics and 2015 World Championships. I go for A Filipino double. Martinez has benefitted from some IBF rankings parachuting as he jumped into the ratings in November 2021 after in August beating 19-21-2 Gonzalo Garcia in his only fight that year.
Just for curiosities’ sake approximately how many active male boxers do you think there are right now? By active I am talking about having had at least one fight in the past twelve months. Eight thousand? ten thousand?, fifteen thousand, twenty thousand ? Well if you went for twenty thousand you were the closest. Of course it is a snapshot as every day some boxers return to activity and some slip outside the twelve month measure. My snapshot found 20,808 listed as active boxers. Next test. Which three divisions have the most active boxers? Well my snapshot showed 1,960 lightweights, 1,916 super lightweights and 1,839 welterweights. The least? Not surprisingly the minimumweight division with 181 followed by light flyweight with 316 and flyweight with 573. How about female boxers how many and which divisions are the most/least populated? How many? Five hundred, eight hundred, one thousand, one thousand five hundred? Well the last figure is marginally closest with 1389 by my count. Most populated figures head south for the Female boxers with 178 flyweights, 158 featherweights and 145 bantamweights. Those ladies of larger disposition do not seem to be as keen on boxing as the least populated are light heavyweight 7, heavyweight 12 and a great big zero for cruiserweights! It is with grateful thanks to my friends at BoxRec that I compiled these figures.
As I said just for curiosity. What it proves beyond any doubt is-THAT I HAVE TOO MUCH TIME ON MY HANDS!!
By Eric Armit
-Jesse Rodriguez springs a massive upset as he outpoints Carlos Cuadras to win the vacant WBC super flyweight title
-Keith Thurman returns to action with a wide unanimous points victory over Mario Barrio
- Leo Santa Cruz and Luis Nery get points wins on their return to activity
-Chris Eubank floors Liam Williams four times on the way to a unanimous decision
Claressa Shields retains he four title with victory over Ema Kozin
-Jamie Mitchell stops Carly Skelly in defence of her WBA Female bantamweight belt
-Rene Cuarto retains the IBF minimumweight belt with technical decision over Pedro Taduran
World Title/Major Shows
Phoenix, AZ, USA: Super Fly: Jesse Rodriguez (15-0) W PTS 12 Carlos Cuadras (39-5-1). Feather: Ray Ford (11-0-1) W PTS 10 Edward Vazquez (11-1,1ND). Bantam: Jamie Mitchell (8-0-2) W KO 4 Carly Skelly (4-1-1). Fly: Fernando Diaz (11-1-1) W PTS 10 Lorenzo Smith (10-1).
Rodriguez vs. Cuadras
In a major upset late stand-in Rodriguez wins the vacant WBC title with comfortable unanimous decision over Cuadras
Cuadras was quickly off the mark. He was jabbing strongly and firing hooks to the body with Rodriguez looking tentative., Rodriguez settled and landed a good straight right to the forehead but again Cuadras was getting through with body punches
Score: 10-9 Cuadras
Cuadras must have realised this was not going to be an easy night when Rodriguez took control in this round. He was firing right jabs through the centre of Cuadras guard and following with straight lefts. He put together some sharp combinations switching his attack from head to body. Cuadras banged back hard but was mostly kept on the back foot.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez TIED 19-19
Once again Rodriguez was full of confidence. He had the quicker hands and was finding gaps for his jab. He suddenly stepped around Cuadras and landed a right uppercut that dumped Cuadras on his rump. Cuadras was up immediately and stood and traded punches with Rodriguez. Again Rodriguez was slotting fast punches through Cuadras guard but Cuadras was banging back to the body. There was a pause in the action after a punch from Rodriguez went low and Cuadras ended the round with a strong attack
Score: 10-8 Rodriguez Rodriguez 29-27
Rodriguez’s speed was giving him a big edge. He was piercing Cuadras guard with shots to the head and then clouting him with hooks to the body from both hands forcing Cuadras on to the back foot. Cuadras kept throwing hooks to the body most of which Rodriguez was blocking. Cuadras was warned for a low punch and seconds later Rodriguez also went low and was warned.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Barry Lindenman 39-36 Rodriguez, Judge Steve Morrow 39-36 Rodriguez, Judge Dennis O’Connell 39-36 Rodriguez
Cuadras was more positive in this round. He was stabbing out strong jabs and then letting fly with bunches of hooks and connected with two sharp uppercuts. Rodriguez was snapping punches through gaps in the guard of Cuadras but although often wild Cuadras was throwing more punches and he finished the round with a strong burst of shots.
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Rodriguez 48-46
Good round from Rodriguez. He was just too quick with his right jab/straight left combinations and had Cuadras backing up. When they went toe-to-toe Rodriguez was getting the better of the exchanges and he scored with a series of hard lefts before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 58-55
Cuadras came back into the fight in this one. He was using his jab more and on the front foot more. He was landing beefy hooks to the body and some choice uppercuts. Rodriguez was moving less and throwing less
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Rodriguez 67-65
Rodriguez took this round easily. He was firing fast accurate jabs and sending lefts through Cuadras leaky guard. He was constantly moving, changing angles and getting his punches through, over and around the guard of Cuadras and rocked Cuadras with a big left.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 77-74
Official Scores: Judge Barry Lindenman 77-74 Rodriguez, Judge Steve Morrow 77-74 Rodriguez, Judge Dennis O’Connell 78-73 Rodriguez.
Cuadras had been consistently throwing more punches than Rodriguez but they were missing or being blocked. On the other hand Rodriguez hardly wasted a punch. Spearing jabs, scything body shots and particularly a beautiful right uppercut in this round typified the action as Rodriguez collected the points again.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 87-83
Some encouragement for Cuadras here. He made better use of his jab and was not so wild with his hooks. He kept Rodriguez under pressure and although Rodriguez connected with a series of punches in the middle of the round Cuadras was able to trap him against the ropes and work to the body for the first time in the fight.
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Rodriguez 96-93
Rodriguez took this one clearly. He was back to constantly changing angles and scored time and again with lefts to the head. Cuadras was lunging forward throwing punches wildly and paying for that in the coin of precise counters from Rodriguez.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 106-102
Cuadras tried to stage a strong finish. He threw lots of punches but as with the story of the fight much of it was just aimless and inaccurate. Rodriguez stayed cool finding gaps firing quick punches and moving before Cuadras could find the target as he wrapped up the decision.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 116-111
Official Scores: Judge Barry Lindenman 115-112 Rodriguez, Judge Steve Morrow 117-110 Rodriguez, Judge Dennis O’Connell 117-110 Rodriguez.
The new champion has already talked about going down to his flyweight as he had weighed inside that division limit and even the light flyweight limit in his last six fights. Rodriguez was drafted into face Cuadras for the vacant title when former champion Srisaket had to pull out due to illness. Rodriguez was not even rated in the WBC’s top 40 flyweights and in fact was in their light flyweight ratings at No 6 so was jumping two divisions and was probably selected partly for being available and unbeaten but also being a southpaw like Srisaket. Before turning pro he was twice US Youth champion and a silver medal winner at the World Junior Championships. We will have to wait to see whether Rodriguez wiil go down to flyweight or chose to face Srisaket the fighter he replaced. This was Cuadras first fight since his eleventh round stoppage loss against Juan Estrada in October 2020 and only his second fight since September 2019. Although still only 31 he looked an old fighter in this one but will probably fight on hoping for another title shot.
Ford vs. Vazquez
Ford holds off an aggressive Vazquez and gets a split decision victory. Vazquez was looking to get inside in the first with Ford jabbing and moving with neither really asserting themselves. Vazquez closed Ford down well in the second lunging past Ford’s jab to work with body punches. Ford had better skills but in the third he was letting Vazquez hustle him and Vazquez was piling forward pumping out punches. In the fourth Ford was warned for holding but used his reach and quicker hands to make room to work and took the fourth but Vazquez had enough success to make the fifth close. Ford was able to score with jabs and following rights in the sixth and seventh whilst keeping Vazquez on the outside. Vazquez drove forward in the eighth with Ford using plenty of slick footwork and sliding home jabs before scoring late with a good left to the head. Ford did the scoring at the start of the ninth round again snapping out southpaw jabs but Vazquez was able to work to the body inside as the round closed. Ford wrapped up the decision with the better work in the last round firing bursts of punches going for quantity rather than power. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Ford and 96-94 for Vazquez with the 98-92 looking too generous to Ford. The 22-year-old former National Golden Gloves champion retains the WBA Continental Americas belt-a belt that ridiculously gets him a No 9 ranking with the WBA irrespective of his opposition. Texan Vazquez was going ten rounds for the first time.
Mitchell vs. Skelly
Mitchell dismantles a plucky Skelly in four rounds in defence of her WBA Female title. Mitchell floored Skelly late in the first round and then again at the end of the second. Mitchell bombarded Skelly with punches in the third but Skelly did not crumble. When Mitchell continued to score heavily in the fourth the referee stepped in and halted the fight. “ The Miracle” Mitchell, 37, won the title in October with a majority decision over Shannon Courtney in Liverpool. Shannon had forfeited the title when she failed to make the weight for a defence against Mitchell. Liverpudlian southpaw Skelly had won the vacant WBC Female International title in October.
Diaz vs. Smith
Diaz gets a close unanimous decision over Smith. The first round clearly went to Smith and things did not look good for Diaz. He settled and then boxed well. Diaz suffered a shock knockdown in from a left hook in the fifth but recovered and edged in front getting the better of the action in the eighth only for Smith to fire back strongly in the ninth and they put everything into a frantic last. Scores 96-93 twice and 95-94 for Diaz who was in his first ten round fight. He wins the WBC US title. Smith’s record padded to the extreme with not one of his ten victims having won a fight.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Keith Thurman (30-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Mario Barrios (26-2). Feather: Leo Santa Cruz (38-2-1) W PTS 10 Keenan Carbajal (23-3-1). ). Super Bantam: Luis Nery (32-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Castro (27-1).Welter: Lucas Santamaria (13-2-1) W PTS 10 Abel Ramos (27-5-2Super Welter: Jesus Ramos (18-0) W TKO 6 Vladimir Hernandez (13-5). Super Light: Omar Juarez (13-1) PTS 10 Ryan Karl (19-4).
Thurman vs. Barrios
Thurman returns to the ring in impressive fashion as he outscores and outclasses Barrios. The fight started at a fast pace as both fighters sought to dominate the action. Thurman connected with some tasty left jabs but Barrios just took the round scoring with straight rights and Thurman was already showing a bruising under his left eye. Barrios connected with a right at the start of the second but Thurman had the better of the exchanges shaking Barrios with a left hook and finishing the round strongly. Thurman took over completely in the third rocking Barrios with left hooks and hurting him with a right late in the round. In the fourth a right and a left from Thurman drove Barrios back and Barrios was dripping blood from his mouth before being shaken by a left just before the bell. Thurman scored heavily as they traded punches in the fifth and by the end of the round Barrios was dripping more blood from his mouth and also now from his nose. Barrios was more competitive in a quieter sixth but was badly hurt by a crunching left hook to the body. Thurman eased his pace in the seventh but still outboxed Barrios and a right from Thurman added further damage opening a cut over Barrios’ left eye. The only upside in the round for Barrios was a left to the body which stopped Thurman in his tracks and was his best punch of the fight to that point. Thurman continued to hand out heavy punishment in the ninth but Barrios banged back strongly and looked to have done enough to win the round. Thurman dialled his output down in the tenth but was still getting through with some heavy single shots. Barrios continued to shed blood from his nose in the eleventh which was a close round as again Thurman seemed to be saving himself for a big effort in the last. Thurman did go down in the round but it was correctly ruled a slip. Thurman stepped up his pace again in the last and did enough to pocket the round before easing up to the bell. Thurman took the decision on scores of 118-110 twice and 117-111. Thurman was having his first fight since losing a split decision to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019 and on this form he is definitely a threat in the division. Barrios was moving up in weight after having lost his secondary WBA super lightweight belt on a stoppage against Gervonta Davis in June last year.
Santa Cruz vs. Carbajal
Santa Cruz returns to the ring and puts on a vintage performance as he takes every round over Carbajal in Carbajal’s home city. Having been out of the ring for fifteen months Santa Cruz spent the first round just rumbling forward getting his jab working and finding his range. The second round was an unfortunate round for Santa Cruz. Although he won it clearly he suffered a cut under his left eye in a clash of heads. Something he did not need having been out for such a long time. Santa Cruz began to find his rhythm in the third but they bumped heads again in the fourth and Santa Cruz was cut on his right eyelid with the doctor inspecting the damage but letting the fight continue. Carbajal worked hard to make the fifth close but Santa Cruz picked up the pace in the sixth keeping Carbajal on the back foot and driving home hooks to the body but again the action was halted as the doctor took another look at Santa Cruz’s injuries and cleared him to continue. Santa Cruz put Carbajal under relentless pressure over the remaining rounds rocking him a couple of times but never looking likely to end it early. Scores 100-90 from the judges for Santa Cruz. After his dramatic kayo loss against Gervonta Davis Santa Cruz needed to win this one and he did it in some style. The cuts will delay him but he will be looking to get back into some title action and a fight against George Kambosos or Devin Haney would be attractive as would a clash with Vasyl Lomachenko if politics allowed. Carbajal had won his last eighteen fights but against mediocre opposition and Santa Cruz was a few bridges too far.
Nery vs. Castro
Nery takes a split verdict over Castro in a flat and uninspired performance. It looked as though it might be an early night when Nery put Castro down with a solid left just 47 seconds into the fight. Castro sat on the canvas until the count reached eight and then jumped to his feet. Nery launched a frenetic attack but despite having his neck snapped by another left Castro made it to the bell. Castro settled in to his boxing in the second and third using his longer breach to score at distance and it helped that Nery was playing the part of a cagey counter-puncher and not exerting much pressure. The danger signs were there again in the fourth as Nery rocked Castro with a right but Nery seemed content to sit back and only fight in bursts. Castro kept marching forward behind his jab but was being frustrated by bobbing and weaving by Nery and rarely found the target with his rights but Nery was throwing very little in a fight that never really caught alight. Castro was outworking Nery without doing very much and was being gifted rounds. Nery finally came to life over the ninth and tenth finding the target with powerful lefts and only just edged the decision. Scores 96-93 and 95-94 for Nery and 95-94 for Castro. This was Nery’s return to the ring for the first time since losing his WBC super bantamweight title on a seventh round kayo against Brandon Figueroa in May last year. He wins the WBC Silver belt. He said he wanted to show he could box and was not just a wild slugger but he took that too far here and but for the first round knockdown it would have been a very different outcome. Castro has impressive statistics and was No 2 with the WBC but that seems to be a quantity rather than quality rating as there are no rated fighters on his list of victims.
Santamaria vs. Ramos
Santamaria takes unanimous decision over Ramos in a fierce ten round battle. Good start for Ramos as he connected with a left hook to the temple in the first minute which sent Santamaria stumbling across the ring to the ropes. Ramos rushed to capitalise on that and landed a couple of rights but Santamaria recovered and found the target with jabs and right hands. Ramos looked to outscore Santamaria in the second and staged a storming attack in the third hounding Santamaria pinning him to the ropes and sending his mouthguard flying with a solid right. The fourth was close with Santamaria switching guards and defending well. A great fifth round saw lots of fiery exchanges but with accurate jabbing and greats countering giving Santamaria the round. Some of the fire went out of Ramos in the sixth and seventh. He battled back in the eighth but Santamaria was the one storming forward in the ninth scoring with scorching uppercuts with Ramos now on the back foot and under pressure. They both had good moments in the tenth and the decision could have gone either way. Judges scores 96-94 twice and 98-92 all for Ramos with the last score totally unjust to Ramos. Santamaria had convincingly beaten Devon Alexander in his last fight in August and came in at two weeks’ notice to replace an injured Josesito Lopez . This was advertised as a WBC eliminator but a rating is the most Santamaria is likely to get out of this win. Ramos had lost a split verdict to Yordenis Ugas for the vacant secondary WBA title in 2020 but rebounded with a stoppage of Omar Figueroa Jr. in May and had been hoping this might open the door to a title shot but this verdict slammed the door in his face.
Ramos vs. Hernandez
Ramos stops Hernandez in an all-southpaw war. Hernandez put Ramos under pressure with a swarming attack at the start of the first but Ramos began to find the target with his longer reach over the last minute of the round and probably did enough to edge it. Hernandez continued to come forward throwing hooks and uppercuts in the second and third. Ramos was countering with short shots inside but was being outworked. Ramos did better in the fourth. He was blocking many of Hernandez’s punches and upped his own output scoring with right hooks as Hernandez came forward. The fifth was a slower round with neither fighter landing many clean shots but the better defensive work from Ramos gave him the edge. The sheer volume of Hernandez’s punches had him on top in the sixth until late in the round when a big right from Ramos stopped him in his tracks and had him wobbling. Ramos jumped on him and battered Hernandez across the ring to the ropes and he was bouncing punches off Hernandez head when the referee made a well times stoppage. The 20-year-old 5’10” Ramos moves to 15 wins by KO/TKO. Neither fighter was in the ratings but Ramos was coming off victories over 24-2 Jesus Bojorquez, experienced Javier Molina and 19-1 Brian Mendoza and Hernandez over Alfredo Angulo and Julian Williams.
Juarez vs. Karl
Juarez gets a split decision over Karl. Juarez buckled Karl’s knees with the first punch he threw but Karl shook off the effects quickly and outworked Juarez for the rest of the round. Karl hustled Juarez in the second but again rights from Juarez shook him a couple of times and although Karl worked hard in the third he was staggered by a left hook. Karl scored well to the body in the fourth and just outworked Juarez but Juarez more accurate punching and better defence gave him the sixth. Karl battled his way back into the fight as he pressured Juarez throughout the sixth. Juarez lost a point for an elbow smash in the seventh with Karl badly cut over his left eye and Juarez winning the round making it a 9-9 round. Karl kept storming forward over the closing rounds trying to overwhelm Juarez by volume but with Juarez connecting with counters on the always open Karl it was going to be close on the cards. The scores were 96-93 and 95-94 for Juarez and 95-94 for Karl. Juarez had lost a majority decision against useful Philippines champion Al Rivera in June with a ninth round knockdown costing him the decision. Karl is a fans fighter with a belligerent lay it all on the line style who was kayoed in six round by Mario Barrios in October 20
Cardiff, Wales: Middle: Chris Eubank Jr (32-2) W PTS 12 Liam Williams (23-4-1). Middle: Claressa Shields (12-0) W PTS 10 Ema Kozin (21-1-1). Welter: Samuel Antwi (14-1) W PTS 10 Conah Walker (10-1-1). Welter: Chris Jenkins (23-4-3) W PTS 8 Julius Indongo (23-5). Heavy: Otto Wallin (23-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Kamil Sokolowski (11-25-2). Super Light: Harlem Eubank (13-0) W RTD 5 Viorel Simion (22-8). Light: Caroline Dubois (1-0) W PTS 6 Vaida Masiokaite (I2-25-4).
Eubank vs. Williams
Eubank scores four knockdowns on his way to taking the unanimous decision after a nasty bad tempered scrap. Williams was looking to take the fight to Eubank from the start. He scored with a good right early but was caught by some sharp jabs. As he powered forward late in the round a powerful jab put him down. He was up quickly and after the count went after Eubank but was caught with a couple of rights. Williams came forward again throughout the second but Eubank found a gap for a right to the side of the head and clipped Williams on the temple with a left as he went down. This time Williams was shaken but he again tried to take the fight to Eubank getting caught with a couple of counters. Eubank boxed cleverly in the third and as things heated up they swapped punches after the bell with Eubank being given a warning. The referee lectured both boxers at the start of the fourth. Eubank was taunting Williams and as Williams ploughed forward once more he ran onto a left jab and went down for the third time. Williams did better in the fifth but Eubank was boxing cleverly and picking his punches well. In the sixth Eubank spent too much time taunting the supporters of Williams and Williams pressed hard for the full three minutes and probably just edged the round. This really was no fight for the faint hearted with plenty of animosity between the fighters and plenty of rough stuff going on with the referee having to work hard to keep control. Williams' all-out aggression and Eubank’s tendency to only fight in bursts allowed Williams to get into the fight over the middle rounds. Eubank picked up the pace in the tenth upping is work rate and taking the fight to Williams for a change. He then effectively settled the fight by flooring Williams for the fourth time in the eleventh. A body punch caused Williams to lose his balance and he stumbled down. He was up immediately protesting the knockdown but he was given a count. Eubank danced and dodged his way through the last still taunting Williams who just could not catch him. Scores 117-109, 116-108 and 116-109 for Eubank. An important win but not a pretty one for Eubank. He again showed his talent and his ability to frustrate opponents and fans. Eubank is rated No 1 by the WBA so should get a shot at Ryota Murata this year but he is also No 3 with the WBC so that might be another route for him. Williams had a thoroughly unpleasant and frustrating night. He lost on points against Demetrius Andrade for the WBO title in April last year and this loss will badly effect his current ranking with the WBC, WBA and WBO leaving him with a serious rebuilding job to do.
Shields vs. Kozin
Shields proves to be a good few levels above unbeaten Kozin and wins every round. After a useful opener Shields began to unload on Kozin in the second and then dominated from there. She kept rolling forward scoring with hurtful body punches and southpaw Kozin could not keep her out and spent much of the night against the ropes or trapped in a corner. Kozin work hard in the sixth trying to get a toe-hold in the fight and Shields eased up a little in the seventh but had Kozin backing up under pressure and continued to land hard, accurate shots to the end. Scores 100-90 for Shields on all three cards. Shields retains the IBF, WBA and WBC titles but would have been looking for a more spectacular victory with a fight with unbeaten WBO title holder Savannah Marshall the aim. They exchange enough insults here to drum up plenty of interest although with all four titles on the line and Shields looking to avenge a loss to Marshall in the amateurs this one sells itself. Kozin has held five minor versions of the super middleweight and middleweight titles but was out of her league against Shields.
Antwi vs. Walker
Antwi holds on to the English title with a majority decision over Walker. This was a close, hard-fought contest all the way. Early aggression from Walker saw him take the first two rounds but Antwi began to counter effectively from the third and those accurate shots saw him reverse the position by taking the next three rounds. Walker continued to press hard and took the sixth to even things up before a strong finish from Antwi was just enough to see him take the majority decision. Scores 97-94 and 96-94 for Antwi and 95-95. Seventh successive win for Antwi who was making the first defence of the English title. Midlands Area champion Walker deserves a return as many saw him come out ahead in this one.
Jenkins vs. Indongo
Former Commonwealth and British champion Jenkins too good for a very faded Indongo. Jenkins pressed the fight from the start with Indongo having to work hard to keep Jenkins out. Jenkins continually stepped up the pace and Indongo was already looking tired and had to use all of his experience to stay in the fight. A hand injury forced Jenkins to box with a bit more caution letting Indongo score well in the sixth and seventh but Jenkins ended the fight strongly and was a clear winner. Referee’s score 78-75 for Jenkins. First fight for the Welshman since suffering broken ribs in his loss to Ekow Essuman in July. Now 38 former IBF and WBA super lightweight champion Indongo gets his third successive defeat.
Wallin vs. Sokolowski
Sweden’s Wallin would have been looking to put on an impressive show here but this fight never caught fire. Wallin was able to use his edges in height and reach to outscore Sokolowski. The Pole had performed well in six recent fights against unbeaten opposition but Wallin was a better class than those opponents and was never troubled but never sparkled. Referee’s score 79-74 for Wallin. Despite a good showing against Tyson Fury and wins over Travis Kauffman and Dominic Breazeale Wallin is not currently rated and he will have to take some risks if that is to change. Durability is Sokolowski’s forte and he has only been beaten inside the distance three times.
Eubank vs. Simion
Eubank pushes Romanian Simion a little further down the hill. Once an elite level amateur and an unbeaten pro Simion is now just there for the money. Eubank was too young too quick and too busy for Simion. Eubank dominated the action putting together some impressive combinations. Simion flared into action briefly in the fourth but that quickly died out and Eubank piled on the pressure and connected with some hurtful body shots in the fifth. Simion retired at the end of the round. Fifth victory by KO/TKO for Eubank who is the cousin of Chris Jr. Now 40 Simion has lost five in a row four of them inside the distance.
Dubois vs. Masiokaite
Dubois wins her first professional fight as she takes all six rounds against Lithuanian Masiokaite. Dubois had her right jab working and on target from the first bell. Dubois came close to a knockdown as she buckled Masiokaite’s knees in the third but Masiokaite managed to stay on her feet and Dubois dominated the rest of the way. Referee’s score 60-54 for Dubois. Caroline, the 21-year-old sister of Daniel Dubois, was Youth Olympic champion, World Youth Champion and 4-time European Youth Champion and a quarter-finalist in Tokyo so an exciting addition to the pro ranks. Eighth loss on the bounce for Masiokaite.
Digos City, Philippines: Minimumweight: Rene Cuarto (20-2-2) W TEC DEC 7 Pedro Taduran (14-4-1,1 ND ).
Cuarto retains the IBF title with technical majority decision over Taduran. In an untidy fight Taduran was the one driving forward but too often head first and with wild punches. Cuarto was doing a lot of holding to stop Taduran working inside. Cuarto shook Taduran with a couple of uppercuts in the first and was credited with a dubious knockdown in the second when an off balance Taduran touched the canvas with his gloves. In an exciting third they stood and traded body punches. Taduran looked to be getting the better of the exchanges and Cuarto delivered a deliberate butt opening a cut over Taduran’s right eye and he was deducted two points for that infraction. Taduran continued to hound Cuarto in the fourth with Cuarto having to hold to smother Taduran’s punches and getting a warning. After four rounds with the knockdown of Taduran and the two points deduction against
Cuarto all three judges had it 37-37 each. The action was frantic in the fifth with Taduran chasing Cuarto down. Cuarto was scoring with counters but was again warned for holding. Taduran was down again in the sixth but it also was a questionable knockdown as he went down on one knee after missing with a punch and Cuarto did not land a punch. There was concern over Taduran’s cut and the doctor examined him in the sixth but let the fight continue. Just seconds into the seventh the referee again asked the doctor to examine Taduran and after lots of confusion it was confirmed the doctor had advised the fight be stopped and it went to the cards with Cuarto winning on scores of 66-64 and 65-44 for Cuarto and 65-65. Cuarto had won the title with a very close unanimous decision over champion Taduran a year ago but with the two questionable knockdowns Taduran could consider himself unlucky.
Moscow, Russia: Super Light: Yauheni Dauhaliavets (8-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Eniz (27-17-1,1ND). Super Middle: Mikhail Dauhaliavets (6-0) W KO 2 Victor Exner (7-9-1). Super Light: Georgi Chelokhsaev (20-2-1) W TKO 2 Mukhaamadsalim Sotvoldiev (7-6-2).
Dauhaliavets vs. Eniz
A good night for Belarusians as both Dauhaliavets brothers scored wins here but in very different ways. Despite his mediocre record Argentinian Eniz is a clever boxer and he came to win this one. He surprised Dauhaliavets with a quick, confident start showing plenty of movement and scoring well with hooks and uppercuts. From the second Dauhaliavets used his superior strength to bull Eniz around stepping inside with strong jabs and clubbing head shots and moved in front. Eniz did enough to keep it close and then despite a cut outworked Dauhaliavets and built a good lead. Dauhaliavets produced a strong finish over the ninth and tenth. It did not seem enough but the judges gave the decision to Dauhaliavets with no scores announced. Dauhaliavets, represented Belorussia at the European Games, European Championships and World Championships and has wins over Fedor Papazov and Georgi Chelokhsaev who scored a victory on the undercard. Eniz has faced some tough nights on his travels losing to Batyrzhan Jukembayev and Subriel Matias and at home to Jeremiah Ponce.
Dauhaliavets vs. Exner
Elder brother Mikhail has an easier night. He had Exner shaken a number of times in the first without scoring a knockdown. In the second he staggered Exner twice with southpaw rights to the head and then dropped him with a right hook. Exner made it to his feet but went down on his knees under a series of punches and was counted out. Mikhail had over 100 amateur contests and competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. This is his sixth win by KO/TK. Fourth inside the distance loss for Argentinian Exner who was overmatched.
Chelokhsaev vs. Sotvoldiev
Chelokhsaev blows away Sotvoldiev in two rounds. This was one-sided as Chelokhsaev dropped Sotvoldiev to his knees with a right to the head in the first. He then used the same punch to floor Sotvoldiev in the second and the fight was stopped. Russian Chelokhsaev put together a 14-bout unbeaten streak before losing a split decision to Yauheni Dauhaliavets in November 2020 and this is his first ring appearance since then. A return with Dauhaliavets looks to be the next step. Fourth defeat in a row for Sotvoldiev.
Canuelas, Argentina: Light: Claudio Daneff (14-2-1) W TKO 3 Gustavo Pereyra (11-14-4). Welter: Leandro Fonseca (10-0-1) W TKO 8 Ramon De La Cruz (23-32-3).
Daneff vs. Pereyra
Daneff destroys Pereyra in three rounds. From the opening bell the local fighter put Pereyra under pressure landing jabs and hooking strongly with both hands. The fight continued to be one-sided in the second with Daneff scoring with southpaw lefts to head and body. It was all over in the third as Daneff drove Pereyra around the ropes and with Pereyra reeling under the onslaught the referee halted the fight. The 25-year-old Argentinian champion wins the vacant WBC Latino title with his eighth victory by KO/TKO. Poor Pereyra is now 1-9 in his most recent fights.
Fonseca vs. De La Cruz
Fonseca much too good for a badly sliding De La Cruz. Fonesca controlled the fight from the start with De La Cruz having to use all of his experience to stay in the fight. Fonseca landed heavily over the fifth, sixth and seventh and closed the show in the eighth. A fierce attacking spell saw De La Cruz forced to take two standing counts and his corner threw in the towel with just five seconds remaining in the round. The lanky “Hurricane” gets his ninth consecutive win. Seventh inside the distance defeat for De La Cruz who is 1-16-1 in his last 18 contests.
Isere, France: Feather: Jordan Rodriguez (5-0) W TKO 6 Jean Alvarez (7-46-2). Super Welter: Yanis Mehah (10-0) W PTS 8 Mykhailo Sovtus (4-8).
Rodriguez vs. Alcaraz
Home town fighter gets a keep busy win over southpaw Alvarez. Former French amateur champion Rodriguez won the French pro title in only his fourth fight. He missed out on Tokyo due to injury and the pandemic. Alvarez has lost his last ten fights.
Mehah vs. Sovtus
Mehah makes it a double for Boxing Team Berjallien and gets some useful ring time as he decisions Ukrainian Sovtus on scores of 78-73 on the three cards. Mehah was four-time French amateur champion. Sovtus had won 2 of his last 3 fights.
Borgo San Lorenzo, Italy: Light Heavy: Vigan Mustafa (24-5) W PTS 10 Luca Spadaccini (7-2-3).
Kosovon-born former champion Mustafa lifts the vacant Italian title with unanimous decision over Spadaccini. The 42-year-old used his better skills to set the tempo for the fight and Spadaccini could do little to change things as he was comprehensively outboxed by the more experienced Mustafa. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Mustafa who has won 5 of his last 6 fights. Second unsuccessful title shot for Spadaccini.
Tokyo, Japan: Bantam: Kyosuke Sawada (15-2-2) W TEC DEC 5 Kenshin Oshima (7-2-1).
After numerous postponements and disappointments Sawada wins the vacant Japanese title with technical decision over Oshima. The first round went to Oshima as he overcame a slow start to end the round strongly. In the second Oshima did well early rocking Sawada but a right from Sawada sent Oshima reeling into the ropes which held him up and he was given a count. As heads banged together in the third Sawada suffered a bad cut high above his right eye which bled heavily. Oshima looked to have had the better of the exchanges in the fourth and Sawada survived an examination of the cut by the doctor. The fight continued but with blood streaming from the cut the fight was stopped early in the fifth and went to the cards. The knockdown proved decisive. Scores of 48-46 and 48-47 for Sawada and 48-46 for Oshima. Sawada, top level amateur who won 61 of his 85 fights, had two title shots cancelled due to the pandemic and a third shot ended in a technical draw. He lost his first two pro fights so is unbeaten in his last 17. Oshima, who was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds, had won his last seven.
Aktau, Kazakhstan: Middle: Meiirim Nursultanov (16-0) W RTD 5 Andrey Sirotkin (19-2-1). Light Heavy: Bekzad Nurdauletov (4-0) W TKO 9 Chico Kwasi (5-1-1).
Nursultanov vs. Sirotkin
Nursultanov records another win as Sirotkin’s team pull their man out of the fight after the fifth round. Sirotkin got off to a good start. He was working well with his right jab constantly piercing Nursualtanov’s guard and following behind his jab with straight rights. Nursultanov was countering well but being outworked. Nursultanov stepped up the pressure in the third and Sirotkin’s work became untidy as he was forced onto the back foot. By the end of the fourth Sirotkin was showing a growing lump under his left eye from heavy rights from Nursultanov and had stopped using his jab. Nursultanov piled on the punches in the fifth driving Sirotkin around the ring with Sirotkin reeling in to the ropes and just looking to survive and although he made it to the bell his corner pulled him out due to the damage around his right eye. Oxnard-based Nursultanov, 28, wins the vacant WBO International title. He was star of the Worlds Series of Boxing putting together an 11-1 record including wins over Arlen Lopez and Troy Williamson. Sirotkin's only previous loss was against John Ryder and he drew with WBHO No 4 Danny Dignum in April last year.
Nurdauletov vs. Kwasi
Kazak Nurdauletov beats Kwasi due to injury. Nurdauletov had early problems with the long arms and awkward style of the Dutchman. However, Kwasi was getting no leverage in his punches and showed poor footwork and Nurdauletov was able to get past Kwasi’s jabs to score to the body. Nurdauletov kept putting Kwasi under pressure and by the eighth Kwasi was flagging badly. In the ninth as Kwasi threw a straight right he shouted in pain and twisted down to the canvas. He had obviously suffered an injury to his should and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Nurdauletov, 23, wins the vacant WBO Youth title. He was World Amateur champion in 2019 beating Cuban Julio Cesar De La Cruz on the way to the gold medal and boxed at the Tokyo Olympics. Kwasi, also 23, started out at kickboxing and his lack of boxing technique showed here.
General Santos City, Philippines: Fly: David Apolinario (16-0) W RTD 4 Mike Kinaadman (7-15-2). Super Fly: Vince Paras (16-2) W TKO 4 Reymark Taday (10-15-1). Bantam: Ben Mananquil (18-2-3) W RTD 5 Crison Omayao (24-23-5).
Apolinario vs. Kinaadman
Apolinario pounds out Kinaadman. Apolinario connected with slashing hooks and uppercuts in the first and shrugged off a hard right from Kinaadman in the second and floored Kinaadman with a right to the head. Kinaadman was down again in the third with a right to the body and he put Kinaadman on the floor twice with body punches in the fourth and Kinaadman did not come out for the fifth. Eleventh inside the distance finish for the 23-year-old “Doberman” who is No 7 with the WBA. Kinaadman is consistent-as a loser with only one win in his last thirteen bouts.
Paras vs. Taday
Former IBF minimum title challenger Paras stopped overmatched Taday in four rounds. Paras, who lost to Hiroto Kyoguchi for the IBF minimumweight belt in 2018,was having his first fight since September 2019. Taday falls to 1-10 in his last eleven appearances.
Mananquil vs. Omayao
Local southpaw Mananquil returned to action with a win as “Cowboy” Omayao retired after five one-sided rounds. Mananquil had an eight-bout unbeaten streak going until he lost on a tenth round stoppage against Yuki Kobayashi in Osaka in May 2019 and this is his first fight since then. Omayao is without a win in his last eight bouts and has been beaten inside the distance in six of those fights.
Cancun, Mexico: Super Fly: David Cuellar (21-0) W KO 6 Ricardo Blandon (15-5).
Local prospect Cuellar wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox title with kayo of Nicaraguan Blandon. Cuellar scored two knockdowns Blandon survived an early visit to the canvas but was counted out after going down from a body punch in the sixth. Cuellar, 20, gets win No15 by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week (Significance): Both the win for Thurman over Barrios and Rodriguez over Cuadras open further possibilities.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Lucas Santamaria vs. Abel Ramos provided plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Jesse Rodriguez for the way he handled more experience Carlos Castro despite jumping two divisions
Punch of the week: The Rodriguez right that dropped Cuadras was sharp and precise
Upset of the week: Has to be Rodriguez beating Cuadras
Prospect watch: The talent that Caroline Dubois displayed in her first pro fight could take her far.
Rosette: For the undercard to Thurman vs. Barrios that included some good matches for the fans and viewers.
Red Card: For the referee off the Cuarto vs. Taduran fight who counted two dubious knockdowns, constantly interrupted the action and caused so much confusion at the end of the fight that none of the boxers or their team or, the other officials realised the fight was over for minutes after it was stopped.
-The Kazakh amateur ranks keep turning out more and more talent for the pro ranks. Meiirim Nursultanov did not win any major titles as an amateur but his 11-1 record in the World Series of Boxing included victories over Olympic, World and Pan American gold medallist Cuban Arlen Lopez and Troy Williamson and Bekzad Nurdauletov was 2019 World Amateur champion. Both looked good in wins at the weekend.
- If you are looking for a fight then don’t pick on Ukrainian middleweight Andrey Sirotkin. Apart from his 19-2-1 record he has also been a world Full Contact Kickboxing champion, a Police Officer unarmed combat champion and Sambo self-defence champion- a martial art that was tested in Tokyo and will be included in the next Games
-We are all sure there are too many titles floating about in professional boxing but with so few boxers chasing so many titles the picture can get ridiculous in Female boxing. Claressa Shields and Ema Kozin her opponent on Saturday have owned a store full of titles.
Shields holds/has held in order:
WBC Silver super middleweight
IBF super middleweight
WBC super middleweight
WBA super middleweight
WBC Diamond middle,
WBO super welter
WBC super welter
WBA super welter
Slovenian Kozin’s tally is:
WBC International middle
Global Boxing Council middle
WBFederation super middle
WBC Silver super middle
IBA super middle
Global Boxing Union super middle
WBC interim middle
22 titles between and them and counting!
By Eric Armit
-Ilunga Makabu retains the WBC cruiser title with split decision over Thabiso Mchunu
-Trevor Bryan scores split decision over Jonathan Guidry in defence of WBA secondary heavyweight title.
-Robinson Conceicao gets unanimous decision over Xavier Martinez
-Sergio Martinez continues his campaign for a title shot with points win over Macaulay McGowan.
-Thomas Faure wins the vacant European Union light-heavyweight title with decision over Kevin Cojean.
-Francisco Fonesca and Cristofer Rosales register wins in Managua.
World Title/Major Shows
Warren, OH, USA: Cruiser: Ilunga Makabu (29-2) W PTS 12 Thabiso Mchunu (23-6). Heavy: Trevor Bryan (22-0) W PTS 12 Jonathan Guidry (17-1-2). Cruiser: Johnnie Langston (10-2,1ND) W TKO 5 Nick Kisner (22-6-1,1ND). Heavy: Dacarree Scott (7-0) W PTS 10 Ahmed Hefny (13-2). Middle Moore (19-3) W PTS 10 Anthony Lenk (17-8-0). Welter: Tre’Sean Wiggins (13-5-3) W TKO 3 y Wilson (10-3).
Makabu vs. Mchunu
Makabu retains the WBC title with a controversial split verdict over Mchunu in a clash of southpaws.
Mchunu had quicker hands and was more mobile than Makabu. He was snapping fast jabs from a low guard and then shifting before the slower Makabu could counter. Makabu landed a good left to the body but Mchunu did most of the scoring.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu
A good round for Makabu. He upped his place trapping Mchunu against the ropes and scoring with thumping shots to head and body. Mchunu was standing static in front of Makabu and paid for that as Makabu continue to score with body punches.
Score: 10-9 Makabu TIED 19-19
Another strong round for Makabu. He was bludgeoning Mchunu with body punches and landing heavily to the head. Too often Mchunu was standing trading punches instead of using his speed to box.
Score: 10-9 Makabu Makabu 29-28
This was a close round. Mchunu started out using his quicker hands to spear Makabu with jabs and scoring with uppercuts. Makabu was missing with lots of shots but also landing some heavy hits. Mchunu was slotting home jabs and moving and although Makabu finished strongly it was Mchunu’s round
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Tied 38-38
Official Scores Judge Steve Weisfeld 40-36 Makabu, Judge Nathan Palmer 39-37 Makabu, Judge Jamie Garayua 40-36 Makabu
Mchunu’s hand speed made the difference here. He was getting his punches off first and Makabu was off target with his counter. A left hook from Mchunu sent sweat flying off Makabu’s head and he blocked or dodged the big stuff from Makabu.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 48-47
Again Mchunu was scoring with quick hooks and uppercuts inside. He did not have the power of Makabu but he was on target whilst Makabu was missing with big lefts. Makabu rocked Mchunu with a left late in the round but Mchunu had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 58-56
This round went to Makabu. He was taking that extra step forward behind his jab and banging home some hurtful body punches. Mchunu’s output was low and he found himself pinned to the ropes on occasion which allowed Makabu to score with more body punches.
Score: 10-9 Makabu Mchunu 67-66
Makabu also took this one. His powerful jabbing had Mchunu constantly on the back foot. He was tracking Mchunu around the ring and scoring with body punches and rights to the head. Mchunu scored with a powerful left hook but did little else.
Score: 10-9 Makabu Tied 76-76
Official Scores: Steve Weisfeld 77-75 Makabu, Nathan Palmer 77-75 Makabu, Jamie Garayua 79-73 Makabu
Good boxing from Mchunu as he moved inside to cancel out Makabu's jab and out worked him in close. He got through with a couple of sharp right hooks and although Makabu came on late in the round it was not enough to swing it his way.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 86-85
A close round with neither fighter having a great deal of success. Makabu landed the heavier punches but Mchunu was sharper drawing Makabu’s jab then darting inside to score with hard right uppercuts and just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 96-94
Mchunu took this one. He was again drawing Makabu’s jab and then stepping smartly inside and connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Makabu was ponderous with his punches and Mchunu was able to score with a series of right hooks. Although Makabu again had some success late it was Mchunu’s round.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 106-103
Mchunu started the round firing right hooks and straight left as he moved around Makabu then the pace dropped as neither fighter did much until a little flash in the form of a couple of hooks from Mchunu which gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Mchunu Mchunu 116-112
Official Scores: Steve Weisfeld 115-113 Makabu, Nathan Palmer 115-113 Mchunu, Judge Jamie Garayua 116-112 Makabu.
Second successful defence for DRC’s Makabu which may now lead to a big money fight with Saul Alvarez. Makabu had knocked out Mchunu in eleven rounds in 2015 but for me Mchunu just won this one. Makabu is not overly tall at 6’” but if the Alvarez fight does come off then as the bigger man, a natural 200lbs fighter with 25 wins by KO/TKO ,Makabu might pose problems for Alvarez but he is not quick so that might be a leveller. South African Mchunu deserves a return but won’t get one anytime soon and this was not a great fight so there might not be much incentive for a return
Bryan vs. Guidry
Bryan holds on to the secondary WBA belt with a split decision over Guidry with one judge see a different fight to most people. Bryan made full use of his longer reach and his 5” height advantage to take the first round with some solid jabbing. He also took the lead in the second but Guidry showed some fire and scored with a couple of left hooks. Bryan again used his physical edges to take the fourth but Guidry came alive in the fifth and Bryan was forced to stand and trade punches which was a good round for Guidry. Bryan used his skills more over the sixth and seventh and with Bryan also having a 28lbs pull in weight and Guidry looked to be tiring in the eighth and there was a growing swelling under his right eye. Guidry showed he was still there by rocking Bryan with a right in the ninth. Neither fighter had much left over the closing round but Bryan nearly ended just before the last bell flooring Guidry with a series of punches but Guidry made it to his feet. Scores 118-109 and 116-111 for Bryan and a totally strange 115-112 for Guidry from highly experienced judge Steve Weisfeld. Bryan made this a much harder fight than it should have been and his performance makes any though of a fight against Tyson Fury, Oleksandr Usyk or Anthony Joshua laughable. Instead he will now have to defend his WBA belt against Daniel Dubois and he will start a rank outsider in that fight. Guidry did better than expected but then expectations were very low. He will probably get a few more fights on the back of going the distance in this one.
Langston vs. Kisner
Langston just too quick for a faded Kisner. Langston mixed his punches well scoring with good shots to head and body and outscored Kisner over rounds one and two without really dominating. Kisner got into the fight more in the third but it was all over in the fourth. Langston put Kisner down twice with right hooks to the body and for the third time with a series of head punches and the fight was stopped. Langston, who was stopped in three rounds by Jared Anderson in June 2020, wins the vacant NABA title. Kisner suffers his third defeat by KO/TKO and was having his first fight for almost two years.
Scott vs. Hefny
Scott has a run of five first round wins in a row broken as he has to go the full ten rounds to outpoint Hefny. Although four inches shorter than the 6’2” Hefny at 5’10” Scott was 60lbs heavier and used that extra weight to force Hefny onto the back foot over the first two rounds. Hefny found the distance with his jab in the third and looked to have taken that round. A clash of heads in the fourth saw Hefny cut over his left eye and Scott took that round and the fifth as Hefny seemed affected by the cut. Hefny steadied himself in the sixth and they then fought on even terms over the last four rounds making it close. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Scott and 96-94 for Hefny. Scott, 23, had never gone past the second round before but had only fought very poor opposition and is going to need to shed some weight if he wants to be taken seriously. Egyptian Hefny has also been matched with only third rate foes.
Moore vs. Lenk
Moore takes unanimous decision over Lenk. Scores 99-91 on the three cards for Moore. He came in over the weight for the fight for the vacant NABA title so could not claim the belt. First fight for 27 months for Moore. Southpaw Lenk’s only fight in the last two years was a win over a guy with a 0-5 record.
Wiggins vs. Wilson
Wiggins scores three knockdowns and halts Wilson in three rounds. Wilson did enough to make the opening round close but as he tried to put the 5’ 11” Wiggins under pressure in the second he walked on to a counter and was dropped. He was on the floor again in the third from two lefts and although he beat the count as Wiggins landed another left the referee stopped the fight. Wilson protested and it did look a very questionable stoppage. Southpaw Wiggins collects the vacant NABA title with his seventh inside the distance. Second defeat by KO/TKO in his last three fights for Wilson.
Tulsa, OK, USA: Super Feather: Robson Conceicao (17-1) W PTS 10 Xavier Martinez (17-1). Light: Giovanni Cabrera (19-0) W PTS 8 Juan Tellez (16-2). Heavy: Stephen Shaw (16-0,1ND) W TKO 8 Joey Dawejko (21-10-4). Middle: Nico Ali Walsh (4-0) W KO 2 Jeremiah Yeager ((1-2-1). Super Feather: Carla Torres (7-6) W PTS 8 Kalliopi Kourouni (11-3).
Conceicao vs. Martinez
Conceicao outpoints previously unbeaten Martinez with all three cards showing him a clear winner. Conceicao has built on the improvement he showed when giving Oscar Valdez such a tough time in the WBC title fight in September. He had in the past looked to be going for quantity and not worrying too much about accuracy or defence. Against Martinez he was still a busy fighter throwing plenty of combinations but working more with his jab and showing a much improved defence. Martinez was coming forward but Conceicao was feeding him plenty of jabs and then firing rapid combinations and Martinez was having trouble finding his range. Conceicao stayed in the pocket too long in the third and was stunned by a left hook to the temple but he paid Martinez back with a long looping right uppercut in the fourth which shook Martinez. Conceicao was just too quick for the plodding Martinez and dominated round after round for a comfortable victory in what looked a real test before the first bell. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Conceicao. The only rating Conceicao held before this fight was No 4 with the WBC. Martinez was No 4 with the WBA and 14 and 15 respectively with the WBC and WBO so at least Conceicao should get promotion
Cabrera vs. Tellez
Cabrera overcomes a feisty Tellez to take the points. Southpaw Cabrera boxed cleverly from the start making good use of his 5” height advantage and his longer and reach as Tellez always dangerous was looking to come forward. Tellez pressed hard in the second getting through with some good body punches but Cabrera countered his rushes well in the third. Tellez almost fell out of the ring after missing with a wild punch in the fourth but recovered and ended the round strongly. Cabrera outscored Tellez over the fifth and sixth and they both landed some good punches in a close seventh with Cabrera rocking Tellez in the last to wrap up the decision. Scores 78-74 twice and 77-75 for Cabrera. Good win for the 19-year-old prospect that had not fought for 27 months. Tellez only previous loss was against unbeaten Michel Rivera and a sixth round kayo of then unbeaten Carlos Balderas showed his danger. These two were supposed to fight other opponents on the card but Tellez came in 5lbs over weight for his fight so was shifted to face Cabrera.
Shaw vs. Dawejko
After a studied start Shaw was in total control of this one. He was bigger, quicker and the harder paunches and landed heavy shots over the early rounds. Dawejko rumbled forward but rarely troubled Shaw. In the sixth he twice rocked Dawejko with powerful rights and he built on that in the seventh. It could have been stopped then but Dawejko pleaded to be allowed to come out for the last round and a series of punches saw the referee stop the fight to save Dawejko early in the eighth. The 29-year-old 6’4” gets his twelfth inside the distance victory. A former National Golden Gloves bronze medallist he looks a new threat in any already crowded division. Dawejko is a fight anyone anywhere type but is 2-6 in his lost eight fights and this is his third loss by KO/TKO.
Walsh vs. Yeager
Walsh scores spectacular stoppage of Yeager. No way this was going tom last as they both unloaded heavily in the first. In the second Walsh connected with an overhand right and then nailed Yeager with a perfect left hook that sent Yeager flying into the ropes and down on his back. Yeager did well to get up and defied Walsh’s attempts to put him away until Walsh pinned him against the ropes late in the round. Walsh wound up his punches, fitted in an “Ali shuffle”, then landed a left hook that had Yeager slumping in the ropes and the fight was stopped. Second inside the distance win for the Grandson of the late Muhammad Ali and a great improvement over his majority win over Reyes Sanchez in his last fight.
Torres vs. Kourouni
Puerto Rican Torres took a majority decision over Greek southpaw Kourouni on scores of 80-72 and 77-75 for Torres and 76-76. These two clashed at the weigh-in but stuck to the rules in the fight. Both are former Female title holders Torres with the IBA title holder and British-based Kourouni
Madrid, Spain: Middle: Sergio Martinez (55-3-2) W PTS 10 Macaulay McGowan (14-3-1). Feather: Bernard Torres (16-0) W PTS 10 Mauro Perouene (13-5-1).
Martinez vs. McGowan
Martinez scores two knockdowns on the way to a unanimous decision over McGowan. Martinez was on the canvas in the first but he overbalanced when missing with a punch and it was rightly rules a slip. Martinez was holding his hands down and piercing McGowan’s defence with right jabs. Martinez outscored McGowan over the second and third but McGowan applied plenty of pressure and looked to have edged the fourth and made the fifth close. Martinez dominated the sixth and put McGowan down in the seventh with a left to the body that saw McGowan take a count on one knee. Martinez rocked McGowan a couple of times in the eighth and ninth and then floored McGowan for a second time with a left to the head in the tenth but McGowan beat the count and lasted out the remaining few seconds. Scores 99-89 twice and 98-90 for Martinez. Even at 46 Martinez is hoping for another title shot with WBA title holder Ryota Murata as his target. McGowan had lost his previous two fights in tough pairings against Tursynbay Kulakhmet and Kieran Conway but gave Martinez ten useful rounds of work. McGowan was ranked No 342 by Box Rec so winning this fight hardly represents an achievement for Martinez.
Torres vs. Perouene
In a clash of southpaws Philippines-born Norwegian Torres was given a harder than expected night by Argentinian Perouene. Torres took the lead early but Perouene came into it over the middle rounds. With both fighters cut Torres staged the stronger finish and took the split decision on scores of 96-94 and 96-95 and 96-94 for Perouene. Torres wins the vacant IBO IberoAmerican belt (yes another new title). He was expected to do better than this but Perouene had lost only two of his last 15 fights.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Super Bantam: Steven Bagwasi (7-1) W PTS 10 Koos Sibiya (23-17-5). Super Bantam: Ellen Simwaka (9-5-2) W TKO 4 Gabisile Tshabalala (10-6-1).
Bagwasi vs. Sibiya
Botswanan Bagwasi takes a split decision over more experienced Sibiya. In a closely contested bout the youth and speed of Bagwasi saw him outbox Sibiya early. Sibiya looked to be pacing the fight better as he pulled ahead over the middle rounds but age caught up with him and Bagwasi was able to edge in front before the final bell and win on scores of 96-94 and 96-95 with the third judge seeing Sibiya the winner 96-94. Third win in a row for 27-year-old Bagwasi, Sibiya, 40, a pro for almost 22 years, has had four unsuccessful shots at winning a South African title.
Simwaka vs. Tshabalala
Malawian Simwaka made it a bad night for the home fighters as she stopped Tshabalala in four rounds. This looked a competitive match on paper but Simwaka was the harder puncher and she hunted down Tshabalala scoring repeatedly with hard rights until the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round. Simwaka lost to Kristen Fraser for the Commonwealth title in 2018 and this victory is her seventh by KO/TKO. Fifth loss in her last six fights for Tshabalala.
Tijuana, Mexico: Fly: Adrian Curiel (19-4) W PTS 10 Hugo Hernandez (18-6-1). Super Welter: Alexis Salazar (24-4) W PTS 8 Valentin Martinez (10-3-1). Light: Francisco Lopez (14-0-1,1ND) W TKO 4 Guillermo Garcia 9-11-1
Curiel vs. Hernandez
Curiel takes split verdict over Hernandez in an exciting, brutal slugfest. The first two rounds went to Hernandez. Curiel was taking the fight to Hernandez coming forward throwing punches but southpaw Hernandez was more accurate. Curiel kept marching forward but now had his jab on target and was connecting with hard left hooks to the body. With both throwing so much leather the rounds were close but Curiel, occasionally switching to southpaw, was outlanding Hernandez over the middle rounds. Hernandez banged back with a good eighth round but Curiel was bossing the action over the ninth and tenth and looked a clear winner. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Curiel and 96-94 for Hernandez. Curiel, 23, gets his third victory in a row. Hernandez drops to 3-3-1 in his last seven fights.
Salazar vs. Martinez
Salazar boxes his way to a unanimous verdict over late choice Martinez. The tall Salazar ha a big edge in skill but Martinez is a tough attacking fighter. Salazar basically stuck with the strong jab and right cross approach. He outscored Martinez over the first three rounds but swarming attacks saw Martinez do enough to take the fourth. Although forced to fight inside more than he liked Salazar swept the next three rounds with Martinez putting in a big effort in the last. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 all for Salazar. He had put together a thirteen-bout winning streak before being stopped in three rounds by Carlos Adames in June last year and this is his first fight since then. Martinez was having his first fight since March 2018 and the rust and experiencing his first eight round fight played against him.
Lopez vs. Garcia
Lopez stops Garcia in four rounds. Bigger and stronger Lopez dominated the action punishing substitute Garcia over the first two rounds. Garcia just kept rolling forward throwing punches but in the last ten seconds of the third he was stopped in his tracks by a counter right in the third. His legs turned to rubber and flopped about until he staggered back across the ring to the ropes virtually out on his feet. He should not have been allowed to come out for the fourth. Lopez hurt Garcia with a left hook to the body and then poured on the punches until Garcia dropped to the canvas with the towel being thrown in by Garcia’s corner. Ninth win by KO/TKO for the 5’11” Lopez. Garcia too game for his own good has lost his last five fights
Hialeah, FL, USA: Bantam: Michell Banquez (20-1) W RTD 6 Joahnys Argilagos (8-1). Super Bantam: Jorge de Jesus Romero (22-0-1) W RTD 5 Lucas Baez (37-21-5). Heavy: Ricardo Aguero (1-0) W TKO 2 Brandon Grundy (0-2).
Banquez vs. Argilagos
Cuban prospect Argilagos suffers his first defeat as he retires after six rounds against Venezuelan Banquez. From the start Banquez was taking the fight to Argilagos. The Cuban was moving well and countering but was being forced on to the back foot and too often fighting with his back to the ropes. Banquez began to dominate the action with Argilagos fading but the ending was a surprise. Banquez landed a good right late in the sixth but Argilagos did not look shaken. In the interval there seemed to be an argument between Argilagos and his team with his chief second walking out of the ring and indicating Argilagos had decided to quit. Banquez had been out of the ring since July 2019 but the danger signs were there as in that July fight he outclassed unbeaten Prince Patel. There have been questions over Argilagos stamina but his management claimed he had suffered stomach pains from the start of the fight. Argilagos is just 25 and won gold at the World Championships in 2015 and 2017 and a silver at the 2016 Olympics but those medals were at light flyweight so he is having difficulty adjusting but is 25 so has time on his side.
Romero vs. Baez
Romero continues unbeaten as he uses his trade mark body punching to wear down Argentinian Baez. Left hooks to the body floored Baez three times and he retired at the end of the fifth round. Despite his impressive statistics this is the first time Romero has been in a fight scheduled for ten rounds so its time he took a risk. Eleventh inside the distance defeat for Baez.
Aguero vs. Grundy
Yet another giant heavyweight enters the pro ranks as 6-8” Cuban Ricardo Aguero stops Brandon Grundy in two rounds
Aguero had six inches in height and lots of weight over total novice Grundy. Aguero drove Grundy to the canvas twice in the second round and the fight was waived off. Aguero has extensive amateur experience without ever winning a Cuban title but when Ernesto Savon, Lenier Pero and Jose Larduet to face that is not surprising.
Light Heavy: Franco Acosta (10-0) W PTS 10 Walter Sequeira (24-9-1). Super Fly: Kevin Munoz (13-1,1ND) W PTS 10 W Abel Silva (7-8-3).
Acosta vs. Sequeira
Acosta wins the vacant national title with a unanimous decision over experienced Sequeira. The 6’ 3 ½” tall Acosta had lots of height and reach over the 5’8” Sequeira and was able to score from distance but Sequeira was more than willing to walk through the punches to get in close. Acosta looked good when he boxed patiently and put his punches together but his jab lacked power. He was shaken badly in the third and suffered a cut over his left eyebrow in a clash of heads but his better skills saw him win most of the rounds. Scores 100-90 ½ 99-91 and 98 ½ -94. Acosta, 25, had scored seven wins by KO/TKO and never had to go past six rounds for victory. Sequeira was a much tougher test than the mediocre guys Acosta had beaten in the past having been in with Avni Yildirim, Anthony Yarde and Kevin Lele Sadjo.
Munoz vs. Silva
Munoz makes a third successful defence of the South American title with a unanimous points win over Silva but it was close as Silva took the fight to Munoz in every round. Both had periods of domination in a fierce scrap but Munoz was busier and more accurate. He was given a standing count in the seventh when he almost dropped to his knees under a strong attack from Silva but recovered well. Scores 95-94 twice and 98-92 for Munoz. Both fighters were coming off a loss with Munoz being stopped in five rounds by Angel Aquino for the IBF Latino bantam belt and Silva outpointed by Pablo Gomez in a shot at the vacant South American bantamweight title.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Super Bantam: Marianela Ramirez (8-7-2) W TKO 1 Natalia Alderete (4-7).
Ramirez wins the vacant South American Female title with first round stoppage of Alderete. Ramirez dropped Alderete twice and the fight was stopped with less than 90 seconds gone in the round. Ramirez, 37, is 4-1-2 in her last 7 fights which includes a previous draw for this title and a points defeat against Daniela Bermudez for the WBO Female bantam title. Alderete was having her second shot at a South American title.
Chateauroux, France: Light Heavy: Thomas Faure (21-4-1) W PTS 12 Kevin Cojean (27-11-2).
Local boxer Faure wins the vacant European Union title as he scores a points victory over tough and experienced Cojean in an all-French contest. Faure said he had been working hard on his jab and his fitness and both of these proved vital factors. These two had fought a draw for the French title in January last year but this time Faure had taken the lessons on board from that fight and was a clear winner. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111. Faure is 12-1-1 in his last 14 fights and the plan is to defend the EU title and then challenge for the EBU title. Cojean had won the vacant French title in November with a stoppage of Hugo Kasperski.
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Feather:
Francisco Fonseca (29-3-2) W KO 2 Franco Gutierrez (11-7-2). Fly: Cristofer Rosales (32-5) W DISQ 5 Jerson Ortiz (17-5,1ND).
Fonseca vs. Gutierrez
Former IBF title challenger Fonseca hits too hard for Gutierrez. Fonseca dished out some punishment in the first and then put Gutierrez down three times in the second to end the fight. Fourth consecutive inside the distance victory for Fonseca after his first round stoppage loss against Ryan Garcia in February 2020. He lifts the WBA Fedelatin belt. Only one win in his last seven fights for Gutierrez.
Rosales vs. Ortiz
This was never going to be much of a test for Rosales but the win comes with some controversy. Bigger, quicker and the harder puncher Rosales scored well in the first but Ortiz rebounded to win the second with some crisp body punches. Rosales had Ortiz down in the third but Ortiz got up and then landed some punches to the back of the head without being warned. The fourth turned nasty as Rosales landed a punch to the back of Ortiz’s head and Ortiz responded with an elbow smash. It all boiled over in the last seconds of the fifth. Once again Ortiz struck with his elbow and Rosales delivered a punch to the back of Ortiz’s head. The Referee deducted a point from Rosales for the punch to the back of the head and disqualified Ortiz for the elbow offence. Former WBC fly champion Rosales was having his fight in fourteen months. Third loss in his last four bouts for Ortiz
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Light: Fedor Papazov (24-4) W PTS 10 Akzhol Sulaimanbek (16-2)
Papazov gets the win as he stages a strong finish to take the split decision. After studying each other in the first round hostilities broke out in the second and the battle was fierce from there. Sulaimanbek had built a lead until a huge ugly swelling on his forehead above his right had him fighting more defensively over the ninth and tenth which allowed Papazov to just edge in front. Scores 97-93 and 95-94 for Papazov and 95-95. Papazov wins the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title and is now a modest 3-2 in his last 5 outings. Kyrgyzstan-born southpaw Sulaimanbek won his first 15 fights before being knocked in seven rounds by Mark Urvanov in 2020 for the WBO Gold belt.
Vitoria, Spain: Bantam: Fran Mendoza (13-0) W PTS 8 Anuar Salas (21-13-1).
Mendoza gets the unanimous decision in a clash of two Colombian’s. A great start for Mendoza as he had Salas down in the first. Salas survived and fought back hard turning this into an entertaining scrap. Mendoza’s better skills saw him through but Salas was competitive to the last. The 24-year-old locally-based Mendoza has had all of his fights in Spain. Salas was 20-3 at one time but drops to 1-10-1 in his last dozen fights.
Merida, Mexico: Super Light: Omar Aguilar (23-0) W KO 2 Ricardo Banuelos (17-7-1).
After an even first round Aguilar exploded in the second sending Banuelos down twice with left hooks. Aguilar sent Banuelos flying to the ropes and onto the canvas for the first knockdown. Banuelos only just made it to his feet and another left hook put him down heavily and the count was waived with Banuelos need some medical attention before getting up. Twelfth consecutive inside the distance win for Aguilar and his twenty-second in total. The 22-year-old from Ensenada is ready for stiffer tests. Five losses by KO/TKO for Banuelos.
Fight of the week (Significance): Ilunga Makabu’s win over Thabiso keeps alive Makabu’s hope of a fight with Saul Alvarez.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Adrian Curiel vs. Hugo Hernandez was war from bell to bell
Fighter of the week: Ilunga Makabu remains WBC champion
Punch of the week: The left hook from Nico Ali Walsh that put Jeremiah Yeager down was a beauty
Upset of the week: No biggies
Prospect watch: Mexican super lightweight Omar Aguilar 23-0 22 wins by KO/TKO could be worth following.
Rosette: A real bit of good news for boxing-Don King is said to have retired but at least he went out with an undercard in Warren that reminds me why I won’t miss him
Red Card: Don King goodbye-I hope.
-Not sure about Sergio Martinez looking for another title shot. He is 46 now but will be 47 next month. He has mentioned Ryota Murata as a target. After six years out of the ring wins over Jose Fandino rated by Box Rec No 256, Jussi Koivula inactive for 18 months after being stopped by Conor Benn, Brian Rose plenty of experience but rated No 100 and Macaulay McGowan rated No 341 hardly seem the sort of fights to prepare for a world title shot but that hasn’t stopped the Worst Boxing Association from ranking him No 4!.
-Tanzanian Said Mbwela has certainly touched base with a number of weight divisions. He weighed 142 lbs in his first fight in 2007 and was 167lbs in his most recent fight. Not too outside the realms of possibility but at one time was 191 ¾ lbs. I wonder which leg he cut off to get down to 167.
- I guess any fighter has a right to boast about being a boxer as it takes guts to climb through the ropes whether you win or lose. Unless he decides to fight again South African middleweight Khodani Nephalane might hesitate to tell his kids about his career. He was knocked out in 17 seconds in his only fight so far. How long was your boxing career dad? “Seventeen”. “Um.. seventeen years, months, weeks, days? No seconds”
By Eric Armit
This year we will see Tyson Fury vs. Oleksandr Usyk, Artur Beterbiev vs. Dmitry Bivol, Saul Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin III, Terrence Crawford vs. Errol Spence, George Kambosos vs. Devin Haney, Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Gervonta Davis, Oscar Valdez vs. Shakur Stevenson, Naoya Inoue vs. Nonito Donaire II and other great fights. I absolutely guarantee it. By the end of 2022 there will be just one champion per division, no sanctioning bodies, no exclusive promotional contracts, and no exclusive TV/Streaming contracts none of those things that have been put forward as reasons/excuses for the fights everybody wants to see not happening-marvellous! The bell is tolling right now for the sanctioning bodies and….no hang on that’s my alarm clock-oh no I’ve been dreaming I was back in the 1950’s again!
As I write on Thursday 27 January the WBC has given a final extension until tonight for the teams of Tyson Fury and Dillian Whyte to come to an agreement and if there is no agreement then the fight will be auctioned on Friday 28. The interesting thing will be the purse split. According to the WBC rules the follow applies:
“ 2.16 Division of Proceeds in a Purse Offer. The net purse offer (after deduction of all sanction fees payable to the WBC hereunder) shall be divided as follows: (a) first, 10% of the total shall be set aside as a bonus for the winner of the contest, then, of the remainder, (b) 70% of the remaining 90% shall be for the champion and 30% of the remaining 90% shall be for the challenger in title bouts; and (c) 50% of the remaining 90% to each contender in the case of vacant titles or elimination bouts; provided, however, that the WBC Board of Governors, may by a majority vote, authorize a modification of the division of purse offer proceeds between boxers in a purse offer in particular cases, such as consideration of outstanding marketing value of one of the boxers, as the WBC shall determine in its sole discretion. The modification of the split of the remainder shall be limited to 60-40% and 55-45%, except in the most exceptional circumstances, in which the split may be modified to 50-50% at the WBC's sole discretion. “
So the WBC can alter the split however they like although it is interesting that the other splits mentioned all give the challenger a bigger share and nowhere does it imagine the challenger getting less than 30% but you can be sure that somewhere in the small print there is a bit that says irrespective of anything anywhere in these documents we can change whatever we want to change whenever we want to change it. Standard clause for all sanctioning bodies but when Jose Sulaiman tried to screw Graciano Rocchigiani out of the light heavyweight title he sued the WBC and forced it to file bankruptcy so perhaps not so watertight a get-out clause.
Mentioning the Japanese “Monster” Naoya Inoue earlier he is aiming to fight again in June in Japan. The plan is for him to face either Nonito Donaire or John Riel Casimero but if they are not available then he will look to move up and try for a shot at a version of the super bantamweight title to make himself a four division champion.
Whilst George Kambosos and WBC champion Devin Haney are in talks over a unification fight at lightweight Argentinian sources say that the IBF eliminator between No 3 lightweight Gustavo Lemos and No 4 Lee Selby will go on in Buenos Aires perhaps at the famous old Luna Park.
Former undefeated IBO cruiser champion Kevin Lerena is aiming to pick up his first title as a heavyweight when he faces Romanian Bogdan Dinu for the WBA Inter-Continental title in Kempton Par on 26 March. Lerena has a 15 bout winning streak going including seven IBO title fights. Dinu is 20-3 with his losses coming inside the distance against Jarrell Miller, Kubrat Pulev and in June last year to Daniel Dubois. Dinu is 6’5” and was 260lbs against Dubois whereas Lerena is 6’1” and was 211lbs in his last fight against Patrick Ferguson in December 2020 so a “big” test for Lerena. Also on the card Jan Roux will defend the national heavyweight title against Josh Pretorius and Shervantaigh Koopman puts his South African super welterweight title on the line against Jami Webb.
If EBU activity is any measure then boxing is certainly well on the road to recovery from the pandemic. There are still some delays and cancellations but as an example of what will be a busy day at the EBU office on February 16 in Rome bid purses, Jason Cunningham’s EBU super bantamweight title defence against Frenchman Terry Le Couviour, Italian Mauro Forte’s EU title featherweight defence against 28-0 Kamil Laszczyk and for Melania Sorroche’ s defence of the EBU Female bantamweight title against Delphine Mancini. Already agreed is the fight for the vacant EBU flyweight title between Angel Moreno and fellow-Spaniard Jairo Noriega marking only the third time that two Spaniards have fought each other for this title, Karim Guerfi putting his title on the line against England’s Jordan Gill on 27 February. A date is yet to be settled for Marco Huck vs. Agit Kabayel for the vacant EBU heavyweight title. Purse offers were also due on 16 February for David Ayanesyan’s welterweight title defence against unbeaten 28-0 Jordy Weiss but instead Avanesyan will make a voluntary defence against Finn Oskari Metz in March with a new date to be set for Avanesyan vs. Weiss.
Dubai continues to build as a boxing venue with Guillermo Rigondeaux facing Filipino Vincent Astrolabio for the vacant WBC International bantam belt on 26 February. Astrolabio is not in the WBC ratings but at this time but is No 7 with the WBO due to holding their Oriental title. Taking on Rigondeaux will be a huge jump in quality of opposition for Astrolabio.
The busy schedule in Dubai will continue on 18 March with Olympic gold medal winner Estelle Yoka-Mosely (9-0), the partner of Tony Yoka, defending her IBO light title against Argentinian Yanina del Carmen Lescano (10-1). Mossely won gold at the 2016 Games and also won gold at the 2016 World Championships beating Katie Taylor in the semi-finals. Jono Carroll is also scheduled to fight on the card.
On the following night Sunny Edwards is scheduled to defend the IBF flyweight title against Muhammad Waseem. It will be Edward’s second defence of the IBF title. Waseem lost on points to Moruti Mthalane for the same IBF belt in 2018. Regis Prograis will also be on the March 19 card against Tyrone McKenna and also on the card will be Tokyo bronze medallist Hovhannes Bachkov from Armenia who lost to Keyshawn Davis at the Olympics.
Mossely against Lescano will be the first of two unique occasions for female boxing. The Mossely vs. Lescano contest will be the first all-female title fight to be staged in Dubai and an even bigger event will see Katie Taylor defend her four lightweight belts against Amanda Serrano at Madison Square Garden on April 30. The first time two female boxers have been the top line attraction in the history of the Garden.
Colombia lost one their history making fighters with the death of Bernardo Caraballo at the age of 80 last week. Caraballo was the first Colombia boxers to fight for a world title. After turning professional in 1961 he was unbeaten in his first 31 fights including victories over Pascal Perez, Piero Rollo, Chartchai Chionoi and Manny Elias. When in 1964 he challenged Eder Jofre for the WBA and WBC bantamweight titles (there was no IBF or WBO then) their combined records totalled 80 fights without a loss Caraballo’s record was 29-0-1,1ND and Jofre 46-0-3. Caraballo was knocked out in seven rounds by Jofre and in 1967 lost on points to Fighting Harada for the same titles. He fought on until 1977 facing top fighters such as Chucho Castillo, Alfredo Marcano and Ernesto Marcel ending with a record of 69-18-5,1ND and was honoured with the sports stadium in Cartagena being named the Bernardo Caraballo Coliseum. RIP Bernardo.
France also lost a well respected boxer with the death at 76 of Alain Ruocco on Sunday. Alain never reached world title status with a 29-8-1 record but he was a fight anyone type of fighter with his best performance being a victory over Louis Acaries for the French welterweight title in 1978. He managed and trained his son Marc who challenged for the EBU title and Alain trained French champions Jeremy Parodi, Daniel Bicchieray and Fredric Sellier. RIP Alain.
There were wide scale protests when the Iranian Government executed wrestler Navid Afkari in September 2020. Afkari was accused of the murder of a security guard but sources outside Iran felt that the sentence was tied to his part in some political protests. Now a young local boxing champion Mohammad Javad Vafaeli-Sani, detained in 2020, has been sentenced to death under charges of arson and destruction of government buildings but also of taking part in protests. His lawyer is lodging an appeal.
Politics has also played a large part in the post-boxing life of Vitali Klitschko and he has been appealing to people in Germany for solidarity with the Ukraine at this time. Both he and Wlad have give financial assistance to Ukraine during the war there but in the shape of medical supplies etc not in the form of arms or ammunition.
Two shows in Europe on February 19 will see Artur Mann trying to get back to winning ways as he faces Pole cruiserweight Nikodem Jezewski in Warsaw. Mann 17-2 lost on a third round stoppage against Mairis Breidis for the IBF title in October and Jezewski 20-1-1 was stopped in two rounds by Lawrence Okolie. Jezewski stepped in as a late substitute when Krzys Glowacki had to pull out of his fight with Okolie for the vacant WBO title in December 2020 due to a positive COVID-19 test.
On the same night in Hamburg Kazak heavyweight Zhan Kossobutskiy 17-0 will take on Johann Duhaupas 39-6 for the vacant WBC International title. Kossobutskiy is rated No 9 by the Worst Boxing Association. Duhaupas was wiped out inside a round by Tony Yoka in September 2020 and at 40 should not pose a threat to Kossobutskiy who is being “conservatively” matched.
It is a horrifying thought but there are three NABA title fights on the undercard of Makabu vs. Mchunu featuring fighters who would hardly qualify for a main event in the boondocks e.g. Anthony Lenk rated No 251 at middleweight and Cody Wilson 273 at welterweight. With the way Don King and the Worst Boxing Association “work” so closely together these guys could find their way into the WBA ratings.
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