By Eric Armit
-Mairis Breidis wins the WBBS cruiserweight tournament final by outpointing Yuniel Dorticos and collects the Muhammad Ali trophy and the IBF title
-The Terrible Twins Jermall and Jermall Charlo make it a family double as Jermall outpoints Sergiy Derevyanchenko to retain the WBC middleweight title and Jermell knocks out Jeison Rosario to unify the IBF, WBA and WBC super welterweight titles
-Josh Taylor successfully defends the IBF and WBA super light titles as he destroys Thai challenger Apinun Khongsong with a body punch in the first round
-Luis Nery wins the vacant WBC super bantamweight title with points win over Aaron Alameda
-John Riel Casimero stops Ghanaian Duke Micah in defence of his WBO bantamweight title
-Brandon Figueroa halts Damien Vazquez in defence of the secondary WBA super bantam title
-Tony Yoke excites French fans with a first round victory over Johann Duhaupas
-Julio Cesar Chavez Jr loses on a technical decision against unknown Mario Cazares
World Title/Major Shows
Uncasville, CT, USA: Middle: Jermall Charlo (31-0) W PTS 12 Sergiy Derevyanchenko (13-3). Super Welter: Jermell Charlo (34-1) W KO 8 Jeison Rosario (20-2-1). Super Bantam: Luis Nery (31-0) W PTS 12 Aaron Alameda (25-1).Bantam: John Riel Casimero (30-4) W TKO 3 Duke Micah (24-1). Super Bantam: Brandon Figueroa (21-0-1) W TKO 10 Damien Vazquez (15-2-1). Super Bantam: Daniel Roman (28-3-1) W PTS 12 Juan Payano (21-4). Super Welter: Bakhram Murtazaliev (18-0) W TKO 4 Manny Woods (16-10-1).
Charlo vs. Derevyanchenko
Charlo retains the WBC title as he builds an early lead and then holds off a strong finish from Derevyanchenko to take a well deserved unanimous verdict.
No early fireworks as they both probed with their jab. Derevyanchenko threw a couple of right crosses without connecting and Charlo’s jabs gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Charlo
They both scored with sharp rights early then Charlo began to put his punches together scoring with a series of jabs and rights. Derevyanchenko countered but not enough to offset the work from Charlo.
Score:10-9 Charlo Charlo 20-18
Derevyanchenko connected with a right at the start of the round but Charlo hit back using his longer reach to score with jabs and then with a left hook. The fight came to life as they stood and traded punches with both landing well. As the round ended Charlo was spearing Derevyanchenko with jabs until a right to the side of the head unhinged Derevyanchenko’s legs and he staggered back. Charlo landed a couple of left hooks with Derevyanchenko almost going down but he grabbed Charlo and the bell went. Derevyanchenko had a swelling under his left eye that could become a problem
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 30-27
Derevyanchenko scored with a heavy right at the start of the round but Charlo shook it off and fired home jabs then a left hook and a right of his own. Derevyanchenko launched some fierce attacks but with Charlo countering him and outscoring him on the inside snapping Derevyanchenko’s head back and he connected with two powerful left uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 40-36
Official Scores: Judge David Sutherland 40-36 Charlo, Judge Tim Cheatham 40-36 Charlo, Judge Steve Weisfeld 40-36 Charlo.
Plenty of action in this round as Derevyanchenko ploughed forward trying to muscle Charlo to the ropes. Derevyanchenko was getting through with some heavy rights to the head but Charlo was countering with vicious hooks inside and just had the edge as they traded quality punches for the whole three minutes. Derevyanchenko was cut over his left eye.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 50-45
A round for Derevyanchenko. He refused to be kept out and consistently passed Charlo’s guard to score with thumping rights to the head and hooks to the body. Charlo was still scoring at distance but Derevyanchenko was doing the better work inside absorbing whatever Charlo threw and then throwing more back and having Charlo penned in a corner at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 59-55
Charlo brought his height and reach advantages into play in this round. He was stabbing jabs through Derevyanchenko’s guard forcing Derevyanchenko to lunge forward to get close enough to score. Despite that Derevyanchenko was willing to walk through the jabs and counters to score with hooks and heavy rights inside and doing enough to earn the points in a tough gruelling but entertaining battle.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 68-65
Derevyanchenko turned this round into a brawl staying in close and working to the body. Charlo was finding it difficult to get some punching room but he was matching Derevyanchenko and just before the end of the round he scored with a heavy right cross. Derevyanchenko just kept coming but seconds later Charlo connected with a booming right to the head. Derevyanchenko was stopped in his tracks and dipped at the knees then retreated with Charlo pursuing him to the ropes badly shaken. Charlo landed two more left hooks but then the bell went.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 78-74
Official Scores: Judge David Sutherland 79-73 Charlo, Judge Tim Cheatham 79-73 Charlo, Judge Steve Weisfeld 79-73 Charlo.
Derevyanchenko was a mess with his left eye almost closed and blood dripping from the cut over his right eye. Charlo was spearing Derevyanchenko with jabs and then throwing plenty of rights which Derevyanchenko had trouble seeing due to his restricted vision. However he began to pile forward again to score with hooks inside. A right cross from Charlo landed flush on Derevyanchenko’s swollen eye and an uppercut snapped his head up
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 88-83
The doctor checked Derevyanchenko’s vision from his left eye and allowed the fight to continue. Good round for Derevyanchenko. He was coming forward throwing punches and he rocked Charlo a few times with long rights. Inside he was digging in body shots with hooks from both hands. Charlo landed some hard counters but was under pressure most of the round.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 97-93
Charlo did not work hard enough in this round. Derevyanchenko was barrelling forward behind right crosses and left hooks. He was able to keep Charlo on the ropes for spells and worked away with punches from both hands with Charlo not getting off many counters.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 106-103
A round of two halves. Over the early action Charlo was picking Derevyanchenko apart with jabs and scoring with rights. Over the second half Derevyanchenko was swarming all over Charlo pumping out punches with Charlo too busy defending to launch any useful counters and for me Derevyanchenko took the round.
Score: 10-9 Derevyanchenko Charlo 115-113
Official Scores: Judge David Sutherland 118-110 Charlo, Judge Tim Cheatham 116-112 Charlo, Judge Steve Weisfeld 117-111 Charlo.
The 30-year-old from Houston was making the second defence of the WBC title. Right now I feel he would beat Ryota Murata, Demetrius Andrade and even Gennady Golovkin and I can’t see Saul Alvarez wanting any part of him. With Derevyanchenko out of the way WBC No 2 Jaime Munguia a former WBO super welter champion should move up to the No 1 spot but he is already No 1 with the WBO which might open the door for Welshman Liam Williams who is currently WBC No 3. Ukrainian Derevyanchenko,34, has lost in world title fights to Daniel Jacobs on a split decision and Golovkin on a close but unanimous decision and although he will have to get a couple of good wins a fourth shot is a possibility.
Charlo vs. Rosario
Charlo powers his way to unifying the IBF,WBA and IBF titles with kayo of Rosario
After a quiet first thirty seconds Charlo launched a wild attack missing with a couple of swing but connecting with a punch that clipped Rosario on the side of his head. That knocked Rosario off balance and he staggered back into the ropes. His right leg went under the bottom rope on to the ring apron which also unbalanced him and he went down with Charlo following him on the way down with two more punches that just barely landed. He was up at three and when the action resumed he used his jab to keep Charlo in the back foot and might have won the round but for the knockdown.
Score: 10-8 Charlo
Rosario used his strong jab to boss the second connecting with a good right to the head and a left to the body. He put his punches together well and did a good job of blocking most of Charlo’s counters. He closed the round by being on target with a left to the head and a right to the body,
Score: 10-9 Rosario Charlo 19-18
Clearly Rosario’s round. Again his jab was constantly snaking out and he was scoring with quick bursts of punches. Charlo was looking to counter but was mainly off target and under pressure.
Score: 10-9 Rosario TIED 28-28
Another round for Rosario. He was tracking the retreating Charlo around the perimeter of the ring. His jab was quick and accurate and when he managed to trap Charlo on the ropes he was firing short bunches of punches with very little coming back from Charlo
Score: 10-9 Rosario Rosario 38-37
This round was close with Rosario still on the front foot and sticking Charlo with jabs. Charlo was more active in this round throwing more punches and just doing enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Charlo TIED 47-47
Rosario had gone low a couple of times and there was a break in the action as he landed low again and was given a stern warning. He looked on his way to winning the round when he trapped Charlo on the ropes and raked Charlo with punches and later landed two left hooks to the body . With less than five seconds remaining in the round Charlo connected with a left hook and then exploded a right to Rosario’s head. For a split second Rosario was swaying on stiffened legs like a drunk and then his knees gave way and he pitched forward and down on his hands and knees. He was up at the count of four but looked unsteady. The referee counted to eight and since the three minutes were up Rosario was able to walk back to his corner but swayed on the way there.
Score: 10-8 Charlo Charlo 57-55
Rosario was using his jab well at the start of the round but the sting in the punch had gone and he was more tentative in his work. Charlo was actually out jabbing Rosario at times and edged the round.
Score: 10-9 Charlo Charlo 67-64
The end was worrying. Charlo landed two jabs which did not look that hard. Rosario stumbled back and fell to the canvas flat out with his body twitching. He started to rise but then collapsed to one side on to his back again and he was counted out. With this win Texas “Iron Man” Charlo adds the IBF and WBA titles to the WBC belt he already owns. His power made the difference here as Rosario outboxed him in the early rounds. He lost his WBC title to Tony Harrison in 2018 but regained it with an eleventh round kayo of Harrison in December. Rosario had both surprised and impressed in winning his two titles with a stoppage of Julian Williams in January. He boxed well here but Charlo’s heavier punching made the difference.
Nery vs. Alameda
Nery becomes a two-division champion as he wins the vacant WBC super bantamweight title with a unanimous decision over fellow-Mexican Alameda
Nery was on target early with his southpaw jabs and right hooks. Alameda mainly stuck to his jab and was not looking to get involved in trading punches too early
Score: 10-9 Nery
Alameda tried to get his own southpaw jab working in the second but Nery was sharper and was also dodging and stepping away from Alamedas jab and coming back with hooks from both hands. Neither connected a lot but Nery did what scoring there was.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 20-18
Nery again won the battle of the jabs early in the round and was also throwing hooks and uppercuts. Things livened up over the second part of the round as they started to trade punches with Nery getting the better of the exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 30-27
Alameda was not throwing enough punches and letting Nery dictate the pace. He was also sticking almost exclusively to his jab whereas Nery was mixing-in short burst of hooks and taking the rounds.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 40-36
Official Scores; Judge Julie Lederman 40-36 Nery, Judge Tony Carusone 40-36 Nery, Judge Don Ackerman 39-37 Nery
Alameda finally found some confidence in the fifth. He was still using his jab as his primary weapon but now began to throw some long right crosses. Nery attacked strongly at the end of the round but Alameda matched him and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Alameda Nery 49-46
Nery took this one with some combination punches. He was coming forward throwing bunches of hooks a lot of which were getting through Alameda seemed to have forgotten to bring his left hand for this round and his jabs were more than outweighed by the two-handed attacks of Nery.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 59-55
This was easy for Nery. Alameda was not putting him under any pressure and Nery was marching forward throwing punches from both hands with very little coming back. Alameda was still a one-armed fighter with Nery throwing more and landing more.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 69-64
Alameda was much busier in this round. He was more positive with his jabs and releasing his left. Nery was boxing cleverly but not pressing as much. It was a close round and Alameda just came out on top.
Score: 10-9 Alameda Nery 78-74
Official Scores; Judge Julie Lederman 77-75 Nery, Judge Tony Carusone 78-74 Nery, Judge Don Ackerman 79-73 Nery
Nery upped his output in this round. He was firing his punches in lots of three and four with Alameda too busy bobbing and weaving to counter. Alameda just did not bring his right into play and was throwing one punch at a time.
Score: 10-9 Nery Nery 88-83
Alameda’s best round so far. His jab was still his prime mover but now he was following in behind it with straight rights and even banging home some body punches. He was putting pressure on Nery and landing regularly.
Score: 10-9 Alameda Nery 97-93
Nery was saving his best for last. He stormed forward throughout the round throwing more punches and forcing Alameda on to the back foot. Nery stepped up his work rate as the round went along and Alameda just could not match him.
Score:10-9 Nary Nery 107-102
Nery swamped Alameda with punches in the last. He just kept marching forward throwing shots with both hands. They were not heavy punches and he missed with a lot but the volume had Alameda retreating with no room to fire counters as Nery swept to victory.
Score:10-9 Nery Nery 117-111
Official Scores; Judge Julie Lederman 115-113 Nery, Judge Tony Carusone 116-112 Nery, Judge Don Ackerman 118-110 Nery
The 25-yeart-old Nery makes some sort of amends for losing his WBC bantamweight title when he failed to make the weight for a defence in Japan in 2018. A defence against Daniel Roman early next year would be an attractive match. Alameda performed well enough but his lack of experience over twelve rounds and the absence of any rated fighter in his list of victims always made this a too tough ask for him.
Casimero vs. Micah
In a WBO bantamweight title defence Casimero brutalises a gutsy but overmatched Micah before the fight is mercifully halted in the third round.
Micah was busy with his jab early with Casimero looking to get inside to work. He began to find the target with rights to the body. Both scored with solid rights late in the round with Casimero taking the round with his body punches.
Score: 10-9 Casimero
Micah tried to establish his jab but Casimero was digging in hurtful body punches and switching upstairs to land rights to the head. Micah caught Casimero with a good right but then stood static in front of Casimero and paid for that mistake as a left to the head sent him tumbling back and down. He was up at six and tried to punch with Casimero but was on unsteady legs and absorbed plenty of punishment. He fell to the canvas after missing with a punch and then stood on shaky legs pinned to the ropes as Casimero pounded on him fiercely until the bell saved Micah but the referee should have already stopped the fight.
Score: 10-8 Casimero Casimero 20-17
The doctor examined Micah before the start of the round and pronounced him fit to continue. Micah again tried to punch with Casimero but was rocked by lefts and rights before a right to the body and a left hook sent him staggering and the referee stopped the fight.
Filipino Casimero retains the WBO title. This his sixth inside the distance win in a row. He is already a two division champion and a fight with Naoya Inoue would give him a chance to cement his legacy. Ghanaian Micah, a former Commonwealth and WBC International champion showed skill and guts but was in over his head.
Figueroa vs. Vazquez
Figueroa holds on o the secondary WBA title as his physical advantages and punching power prove just too much for brave Mexican challenger Vazquez
Southpaw Vazquez looked sharp at the start. He was quick with his jab and scoring well with right hooks to the body. Figueroa changed to southpaw and connected with a long left but Vazquez ended the round scoring with a series of left hooks.
Score: 10-9 Vazquez
At 5’9” Figueroa had height and reach over Vazquez and made use of that to score with jabs from both the orthodox and southpaw styles. He was connecting with long crosses with Vazquez a little quicker but less accurate.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa TIED 19-19
Figueroa made use of his longer reach to pierce Vazquez guard with right jabs and also to land long crosses. Vazquez was falling short now with his own jab and was being met with counters when he tried to get past Figueroa’s jab.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 29-28
The first round fire from Vazquez was nowhere in sight now, Figueroa was hammering him with jabs from both stances and digging in some strong body punches. Vazquez scored with a pair of counters late in the round but was taking punishment at the end
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 39-37
Official Scores: Judge John McKale 39-37 Figueroa, Judge Glenn Feldman 39-37 Figueroa, Judge Dori Trella 39-37 Figueroa.
A closer round. Figueroa was till connecting with the harder punches but he was also leaving himself open and Vazquez was able to get through with jabs and some counters but the heavier punches from Figueroa were grinding him down.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 49-46
Vazquez opened the round by sending a stream of jabs through the leaky defence of Figueroa. Figueroa took control from the mid-point of the round with his heavier punches and but Vazquez came back strongly late in the round and just pinched the points.
Score:10-9 Vazquez Figueroa 58-56
The round was an untidy one as they both looked tired,. Figueroa was landing some strong body punches and outscoring Vazquez. Vazquez kept finding gaps to score landing two heavy rights but Figueroa was connecting with some fierce shots.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 68-65
The doctor had a quick look at a swelling under Vazquez’s right eye and his other bumps and bruises before the start of the round. Figueroa turned up the heat and an exhausted Vazquez took a pounding being rocked by a series of lefts to the head and holding to smother Figueroa’s work.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 78-74
Official Scores: Judge John McKale 79-73 Figueroa, Judge Glenn Feldman 79-73 Figueroa, Judge Dori Trella 78-74 Figueroa.
Vazquez was also cut over the right eye now. Three overhand lefts shook Vazquez and Figueroa piled on the punishment. He had Vazquez on the ropes unloading to head and body. The referee stepped in to separate them and when he pushed Figueroa back he did it so hard that Figueroa staggered back and ended up on the canvas. Vazquez now had a swelling on the right side of his face and his right eye was almost closed. Figueroa was whacking him with lefts that Vazquez could not see coming.
Score: 10-9 Figueroa Figueroa 88-83
The doctor had another look at Vazquez and indicated the fight could continue but it should have been stopped with one of the judges scoring the ninth 10-8 without a knockdown. Vazquez bravely tried to box but two heavy head punches and two body shots saw the referee belatedly stop the fight. Figueroa was making the second defence of the WBA secondary title. The 23-year-old brother of former WBC champion Omar makes it 16 wins by KO/TKO. He was upgraded from interim champion to secondary champion in October last year then in November fought a split draw with Julio Ceja in a title defence in which Ceja failed to make the weight. Vazquez fought with courage but how a guy who in his last two fights had drawn with 9-10-3 Josue Morales and beaten 24-43-3 Alejandro Moreno-who had lost his last 14 fights-qualifies for a title shot only the WBA know and if they are smart they won’t tell!!
Roman vs. Payano
Romano wins WBC eliminator as he come from a long way behind to get the decision over southpaw Payano with a strong finish. Payano made the better start with his quicker hands and scored with a nice combination to edge the opening round. Roman did better in the second and shook Payano with a left near the end of the round. Payano swung the fight back his way in the third scoring with bursts of body punches but as heads bumped Payano came away with a cut over his left eye. The fourth and fifth were close and although Roman produced plenty of pressure and tried switching guards the rounds again went to Payano with his quick and accurate jabs and counters. Roman had a better sixth going well to the body and closing down space for Payano. The seventh swung back to Payano. He was comfortable on the back foot feeding Romano jabs and although Romano landed a good right late in the round it was not enough to win the round. Payano came onto the front foot in the eighth and now it was Roman under pressure being raked with body punches. Payano continued to forge forward in the ninth but Roman feeling he was behind upped his pace and landed heavy to the body before connecting with a right that opened another cut over Payano’s left eye. Romano continued his surge in the tenth and eleventh with Payano looking to be slowing. They fought hard in the twelfth and just before the bell Romano looked to have scored a knockdown. A left sent Payano reeling into the ropes and he touched down but the referee ruled it a slip. In the end it was not important as all three judges had Romano ahead 116-112 at the end. It was a must win fight for Roman after losing his IBF and WBA titles on a split decision against Murodjon Akhmadaliev in January. He is rated WBC 3/WBA 3/WBO 4/IBF 6(4) so if he can stay unbeaten a title fight in 2021 looks a good bet. Dominican Payano, 36, a former WBA bantam champion suffered a big blow here. He had been knocked out by both Naoya Inoue and Luis Nery and had slipped out of the ratings. He came close here and might even have gone away with a draw after dominating early but now his chances of another title fight have probably disappeared.
Murtazaliev vs. Woods
Murtazaliev overcomes an early embarrassment to stop Woods. A left hook from Woods put Murtazaliev on the canvas in the first round. Murtazaliev was more off balance than hurt. He made Woods pay for the insult by handing out serious punishment in the second and third. Woods was under heavy fire on the fourth when the fight was stopped. The 27-year-old Russian, the IBF No 1, now has 13 wins by KO/TKO. No surprise at the ending as Woods has lost 6 of his last 7 fights 5 of them by KO/TKO.
Munich, Germany: Cruiser: Mairis Breidis (27-1) W PTS 12 Yuniel Dorticos (24-12). Middle: Denis Radovan (14-0-1) W PTS 10 Nuhu Lawal (27-8). Super Middle: Leon Bunn (16-0) W PTS 8 Timo Laine (27-14,1ND).
Breidis vs. Dorticos
The long drawn out WBSS cruiserweight tournament finally comes to an end as Breidis wins both the Muhammad Ali trophy and the IBF title with a majority decision which should have been a clear unanimous points victory.
With neither fighter having fought for fifteen months it was a cautious start. Dorticos opened up first with a left/right/left sequence and he scored with two rights later in the round.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos
Dorticos did most of the work in the second. He had his jab working well and scored to the body. Breidis was more active than in the first but was on the back foot and Dorticos was getting his punches off first.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos Dorticos 20-18
It looked as though this might go to Dorticos as well but Breidis suddenly came to life. He was banging jabs through Dorticos guard and putting together some rapid combinations and that put Dorticos on the back foot.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Dorticos 29-28
Breidis outworked Dorticos. Although mainly on the back foot Breidis was now winning the war of jabs. He was also timing the attacks of the Cuban and countering strongly. Dorticos connected with a right cross before the bell but it was Briedis who took the round.
Score:10-9 Breidis TIED 38-38
Breidis took this one. He was threading jabs though the defence of Dorticos and then stepping in with a quick bunch of punches. Dorticos tactics were to follow Breidis around the ring and try to nail him with a huge right cross but Briedis was constantly pumping out his jab and getting through with rights.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 48-47
This was a closer round mainly because Dorticos used his jab and was not waiting and waiting for openings for his right. Even then Breidis was pumping out his jab and coming in behind it with rights. He landed the best punch of the fight so far in the shape of a peach of a right uppercut
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 58-56
Breidis was outboxing Dorticos. He was doubling up on his jabs and changing his angles of attack. Dorticos was coming forward in a straight line and telegraphing his punches giving Breidis the opportunity to get his punches off first. He landed a heavy right late in the round with Dorticos too slow to counter .
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 68-65
Dorticos was more positive in this round. He was stronger with his jab and letting his punches go more. Breidis did not use his jab as much. Dorticos landed a thudding body punch and a right to the head at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Dorticos Briedis 77-75
Breidis was back in control. He was working hard with his jab and connected with an overhand rights and left hooks. Dorticos was relying on big rights and although he landed one Breidis just shook it off and got through with a right cross and a left hook.
Score: 10-9 Briedis Breidis 87-84
Dorticos was still looking for that one big punch and whilst he was waiting and waiting to get Breidis in his cross hairs Breidis was nipping in scoring with two or three punches then ducking out. As Dorticos missed with a wild right a left jab from Breidis sent him stumbling back and Breidis connected with some punches before Dorticos recovered.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 97-93
This was the most one-sided round of the fight. Dorticos needed a knockout but it was Breidis who seemed to be looking for it. He forced Dorticos back time and again and was then throwing rights as he came in behind the jab with many of them landing and with nothing really coming back from Dorticos.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 107-102
Dorticos tried to find the punch he needed in this round but Breidis was not about to let that happen. He outboxed and outlanded Dorticos finding the target with his jab and stepping in with rights whilst Dorticos was just too slow to be a threat.
Score: 10-9 Breidis Breidis 117-111
Official Scores: Judge Mikael Hook 117-111 Breidis, Judge Jorge Milke 117-111 Briedis, Judge Matteo Montella 114-114.
Difficult to understand that last score however Breidis is now the IBF champion and the winner of the Muhammad Ali trophy. A long time coming but surely worth the wait. The WBC stripped Breidis of his title in November. They had ordered him to give Krzys Glowacki an immediate return after Breidis scored a controversial win over Glowacki to become WBC champion June. His only loss was a majority decision against Oleksandr Usyk for the WBC and WBO titles in 2018. He looks to be the best of the bunch at cruiserweight now but is talking about going up to heavyweight. Dorticos fought a dumb fight and paid the price for relying on one big right to win. He’s better than that and is still a factor at cruiserweight.
Radovan vs. Lawal
Radovan remains unbeaten and keeps the IBF European title with a comfortable points victory over short-notice substitute Lawal. Radovan boxed his way through this one. He was able to use his longer reach to keep Lawal on the end of his left jab. When Lawal launched an attack Radovan’s good footwork and solid defence frustrated the Nigerian-born fighter’s efforts. Radovan took no chances and eased his way to winning every round. Scores 100-90 for Radovan on the three cards. The 27-year-old from Cologne is rated IBF 10(8)/WBO 12 but he is yet to face an international test. He was a leading figure in German’s amateur ranks being German champion in 2011 and 2012 and getting a silver medal in 2013 and 2014 as well as fighting in the WBC and Bundesliga. Lawal, 38, came in when Radovan’s original opponent had to drop out as one of his party tested positive for the corona virus. Lawal is on the down slope now being 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Bunn vs. Laine
Bunn has no trouble in outpointing Finn Laine. Bunn fought this one on the inside. He broke Laine down with relentless pressure and body punches. Laine just could not keep Bunn out and spent much of the fight with his back to the ropes as Bunn worked him over. Laine was almost put down by a body shot in the third but he stayed in the fight and although never a threat he gave Bunn some ring time in Bunn’s first fight since November. All three judges scored it 80-72 for Bunn. As with Radovan Bunn has good amateur credentials being a successful fighter in the Bundesliga and winning the German title in 2015. Laine a former Finnish light heavyweight champion loses whenever he tries to move up.
London, England: Super Light: Josh Taylor (17-0) W KO 1 Apinun Khongsong (16-1). Bantam: Charlie Edwards (16-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Kyle Williams (11-3). Super Bantam: Ionut Baluta (14-2) W TKO 3 David Oliver Joyce (12-2).
Taylor vs. Khongsong
Taylor blasts out Thai Khongsong with a debilitating body punch. Khongsong tried a couple of rights early but was short with them Taylor was patient looking for an opening as they prodded with their jabs. Taylor tried a couple of long range body shots but did not find the target. As they clinched Taylor drove Khongsong to the ropes and connected with a savage left to the ribs and Khongsong collapsed to the canvas on his side then rolled around in agony as he was counted out. It was almost five minutes before the Thai was able to get on his feet. Taylor retains the IBF and WBA titles and is still on course for a unification match with WBC/WBO champion Jose Carlos Ramirez. Khongsong’s credibility as a mandatory challenger was very questionable and Box Rec had him rated No 156 in their world ratings.
Edwards vs. Williams
Former WBC flyweight champion Edwards returns to action as he decisions bantamweight Williams. Edwards speed and skill was in evidence and he was several classes above Williams in those departments. Williams did what he could to rough Edwards up but Edwards refused to take part in a brawl and stuck to his skills. Williams was finding the speedy Edwards a difficult target and was having to eat jabs and hard rights. Williams did better over the second half of the fight but Edwards was still in control. William’s best round was the eighth when he managed to cut off the ring and land some good punches but Edwards was still outscoring him and breezed to a comfortable win. Referees score 99-91 for Edwards. This was Edwards first fight since a No Decision ending in a WBC title defence against Julio Cesar Martinez in August when a knockout win for Martinez was overturned due Martinez hitting Edwards when he was down. Edwards is now up at bantam and is No 3 with the WBC but this is a super tough division. Former English champion Williams made Edwards work for his win so earned his pay.
Baluta vs. Joyce
Baluta springs another surprise as he stops former amateur star Joyce in three rounds. Joyce was jabbing strongly in the first but there were already some danger signs in right counters from Baluta. Joyce ended the round on a high connecting with a solid left hook. Baluta shook Joyce early in the second driving him to a corner and then bombarding him with punches. Joyce was on unsteady legs but he fired back despite being rocked a couple more times and fought his way out of the corner. Joyce then took the fight to Baluta and seemed to have recovered but Baluta connected with a couple of hard rights to the head later in the round. Joyce was trying to control the fight with aggression in the third but a long left hook from Baluta sent him to the canvas on his back. he was up at five but Baluta blitzed him with a succession of head punches and the referee stopped the fight. The Madrid-based Romanian Baluta wins the WBO European title. He sprung a huge upset by outpointing former IBF champion JT Doheny in March and has suddenly emerged as a danger man in the division. Joyce,33, had beaten Lee Haskins to win the vacant WBO European title in February. He was a star of Irish amateur boxing but with his inside the distance loss to Leigh Wood and this defeat he seems another who stayed too long in the amateurs.
Los Angeles. CA, USA: Light: Nestor Bravo (19-0) W PTS 10 Jose Luis Gallegos (19-9). Feather: Vic Pasillas (16-0) KO 6 Ranfis Encarnacion (17-1).
Bravo vs. Gallegos
Puerto Rican prospect Bravo boxes his way to victory building a big enough lead so that two late point deductions still leave him a clear winner. Bravo used jab and move tactics to set up his win, Gallegos tried to get inside to work but it was Bravo who was scoring outside and inside with better and more body punches with some impressive left hooks. Gallegos kept pressing but Bravo rocked him with a right in the eighth. Further pressure from Gallegos saw Bravo using a number of illegal measures to blunt his attacks and after a few warning the referee deducted a point from Bravo in the ninth. The last round was a poor one for Bravo as he was caught with a solid right to the side/back of the head in the tenth and was reeling from the punch and grabbed Gallegos which led to him suffering a second point deducted for holding but his lead was too wide for Gallegos to cut into. Scores 96-92 twice and 97-91 for Bravo. After winning 7 of his last 8 fights inside the distance going ten rounds for the first will have been useful experience for Bravo. Chicago-born Gallegos was coming off a win over useful Ricky Lopez.
Pasillas vs. Encarnacion
Californian Pasillas gradually breaks down and halts Dominican Encarnacion in a clash of unbeaten fighters. Pasillas was bombarding Encarnacion with an array of punches from the start of the fight and never allowed Encarnacion a chance to settle. Encarnacion had some success with rights in the second but from there it was one-way traffic. Hooks, uppercuts and straight punches to head and body from both hands from Pasillas eventually wore down Encarnacion. Pasillas was driving Encarnacion around the ring at the end of the fifth and continued the beating in the sixth until a left hook snapped Encarnacion’s head back and dumped him on the floor against the ropes. The referee started to count and Encarnacion managed to climb to his feet but his corner had already thrown in the towel. The 28-year-old Pasillas was inactive in 2016 and 2017 and has scored five inside the distance victories since returning to the ring. This was a very impressive performance and he could emerge as a real threat. Encarnacion was rated IBF 7/WBA14 but he has blown those.
Miami, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (23-1) W TKO 1 Yeison Vargas (17-5). Super Fly: Cristofer Rosales (31-5) W PTS 8 Samuel Gutierrez (16-27-6)
Lopez vs. Vargas
Lopez scores spectacular first round win. After some preliminary sparring southpaw Lopez landed a thunderbolt straight left to the chin of Vargas. For a split second Vargas was bent over with his hands down like a puppet whose strings had been cut and then he collapsed back and down flat on the canvas with the referee immediately calling for medical assistance for Vargas. All over in 63 seconds. Lopez, a former systems engineer student from Nicaragua, makes it 14 inside the distance victories. He won his first 21 fights before being halted in nine rounds by Chilean Jose Velasquez in October last year. Colombian Vargas won his first 17 fights but the good times are gone as this is his fifth defeat in a row by KO/TKO.
Rosales vs. Gutierrez
Useful outing for Rosales against Mexican journeyman Gutierrez. Rosales was too quick and too mobile and outscored Gutierrez. Despite that Gutierrez never looked like crumbling as was more than willing to stand and trade with Rosales and did his job by going the full eight rounds. Scores 79-73 all for Rosales. “The Whip” Rosales a former WBC flyweight champion, is No 4 with WBC and is rebuilding after losing his WBC title to Charlie Edwards in 2018 and then losing to Julio Cesar Martinez on a ninth round stoppage last December for the title vacated by Edwards. Gutierrez drops to 0-7-1 in his eight most recent outings but he was not brought in to win.
Biloxi, MS, USA: Welter: Mark Reyes (13-0) W TKO 4 Carlos Rodriguez (13-9-1). Super Light: Michael Williams (13-0) W KO 2 Thomas Miller (6-4).
Reyes vs. Rodriguez
Reyes wins all the way before re stopping Rodriguez in the fourth. The Tampa fighter rocked Rodriguez with a left in the first and was in total control. Rodriguez managed to hang around until the fourth. Reyes put Rodriguez down with a heavy right. Rodriguez managed to get up but Reyes drove him along the ropes connecting with vicious body shots. Rodriguez tried to hold to survive but was pinned to the ropes taking punishment and not fighting back and the fight was stopped. The 24-year-old Reyes registers his eighth inside the distance win on the bounce and his eleventh in total but he did not make the contract weight for this fight. Mexican Rodriguez has to take on board his fourth failure to last the distance in a fight.
Williams vs. Miller
The 6’1” tall Williams gets his ninth win by KO/TKO as he blast out Miller with a body shot in the second round. Miller used plenty of tricks to try to distract Williams from his game plan but he was hurt by a body punch early in the second and then a right to the body sent him down and he was counted out. Williams is trained by Roy Jones Jr who promoted the card. Miller was out of the ring for four years before returning last November and he has lost all three of his fights since then inside the distance.
Usti nad Labem, Czech: Middle: Viktor Agateljan (9-1) W PTS 10 Tomas Bezvoda (8-11). Heavy: Tomas Salek (13-2) W TKO 3 Pawel Sowik (3-7).Middle: Wanik Awdijan (26-1) W PTS 6 Pavel Albrecht (5-8). Light Heavy: Ondrej Budera (13-17-1) W PTS 8 Sascha Arsumanjan (7-1-1)
Agateljan vs. Bezvoda
Agateljan produces a strong finish and wins the vacant Czech title with points victory over Bezvoda. Over the first half of the fight these two produced an entertaining contest with neither really able to dominate. After five rounds two judges had Agateljan narrowly ahead by 47-46 and the third saw it 47-46 for Bezvoda. Agateljan forced the fight hard over the second half dominating the fight both in close and at distance. With his brother Erik, an Elite level amateur, urging him to up the pace he shook Bezvoda a couple of times and emerged a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-92 for Agateljan. The 26-year-old Armenian-born Agateljan was Czech schools champion at 38.5kg and boxed right through to winning tournaments at 75kg. His only loss is a points decision against Tej Pratap Singh in Australia last year. Bezvoda, a teammate of Agateljan as an amateur, has lost his last four bouts on points.
Salek vs. Sowik
Czech heavyweight Salek punches too hard for Pole Sowik. After taking the first round he went on to floor Sowik three times before the fight was halted in the third. Eleventh inside the distance victory for the 6’3 ½” 22-year-old Czech. His losses have come against Pavel Sour for the national title and unbeaten Peter Kadiru. Fourth loss in a row for Sowik.
Awdijan vs. Albrecht
Awdijan takes unanimous verdict over substitute Albrecht. The 6’2” Armenian-born Awdijan turned professional at 17 but shoulder and foot injuries have affected his progress. The 25-year-old German has put together a 19 bout winning streak since losing to Frenchman Kevin Thomas Cojean in 2014. This was just too huge a step up for Albrecht.
Budera vs. Arsumanjan
Budera returns to the ring and takes a majority decision over unbeaten Arsumanjan. Budera was not expected to win this one. He had announced his retirement in July after suffering three consecutive inside the distance losses but never say never. Budera simply outfought Arsumanjan and took a deserved decision. Scores 78-74, and 78-75 for Budera and 76-76. Budera will now give it one more try to see how far he can go. German Arsumanjan has a rebuilding job on his hands.
Marcianise, Italy: Light: Mohamed Khalladi (14-8-1,1ND) W KO 2Domenico Valentino (9-2). No home town celebrations for Valentino as a bolt from the blue type shot from Khalladi puts Valentino down and out. As expected in the first Valentino showed his skill levels were far above those of the Tunisian pastry cook Khalladi rattling home some sharp combinations. He was shaping up to repeat the dose in the second but as he went to throw a jab Khalladi beat him to the punch with a booming straight right that sent Valentino down on his back. He struggled to get up but failed and was counted out. Huge win for Khalladi who goes home with the IBF Inter-Continental belt that Valentino was supposed to win. Khalladi has found some form with six wins in his last seven fights but was a massive outsider here. Valentino says he will fight on but the 36-year-old Italian left his best days behind as an amateur. He was world champion in 2009 and scored wins over Jose Pedraza and Josh Taylor twice but was comprehensively outpointed by Francesco Patera when he challenged for the European title in October.
Tijuana, Mexico: Light Heavy: Mario Cazares (12-0) W TEC DEC 6 Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (51-5-1,1ND) 7
Cazares vs. Chavez
Cazares gets a well deserved technical decision over Chavez after Chavez is cut in a clash of heads in the sixth round. Cazares was the busier in the first stabbing out his jab and throwing rights. Chavez was less active and Cazares held him close inside to smother Chavez work and connected with a good right. Cazares continued his tactics of sliding out jabs and then holding on the inside. Their heads were bumping in the second but it was for use of the elbow that Cazares lost a point and Chavez landed a couple of good rights in the round. Cazares had a god third. He was scoring with his jab and then putting together some sharp combinations with Chavez swinging wildly. Chavez complained about Cazares banging his head into the side of Chavez’s face as had been happening in each round. Cazares caught Chavez with a crisp left hook at the start of the fourth and Chavez just could not get past the jab of Cazares and as he lunged in heads were bumping again. Cazares ended the round with a series of punches that pierced Chavez’s guard. It was one-way traffic in the fifth. Cazares was able to land jabs, straight rights and left hooks with Chavez not able to launch any meaningful attacks. Early in the sixth a clash of heads saw Chavez cut on his left eyelid and the doctor decreed that the cut was too bad for the fight to continue. Cazares started celebrating thinking the cut was caused by a punch making him the winner but the referee decided it was caused by a clash of heads so it was decided on the scorecards which all favoured Cazares by 57-56 twice and 59-54 giving Cazares a unanimous decision. Obviously a huge win for Cazares who came up from super middle for this fight. He was a big underdog having only met one opponent with a positive record and that was Eduardo Tercero who was 9-8-1. This was also his first main event never having been in a fight scheduled for more than eight rounds. Having said that he was beating Chavez clearly and this will lead to some bigger paydays for him. Chavez looked flat and clueless. He was not being allowed to fight inside and had no Plan B. Having quit on his stool against Daniel Jacobs in December he needed to win and win well but he failed. JCC Snr has said his son will probably fight again in December but at 34 time is running out for JCC Jr.
Merida, Mexico: Super Welter: Serhii Bohachuk (18-0) W RTD 6 Alejandro Davila (21-2-2). Feather: Daniel Lugo (22-1) W PTS 8 Miguel Moreno (11-1). Minimum: Erik Lopez (14-5-1) W PTS 8 William Puch (13-1).
Bohachuk vs. Davila
Bohachuk retains the WBC Continental Americas belt as he gets another inside the distance win when a too brave Davila retires after six wild rounds. Nothing too complicated from Davila in the opening round just head down steam forward and throw punches. A lot were wild but some connected. Bohachuk stayed cool and cracked home hooks and uppercuts on the charging Davila. He rocked Davila with a jab and a right but Davila shook them off and drove forward. Davila continued his suicidal tactics in the second and third eating punches but still throwing wild shots some starting from canvas level. One of Davila’s punches in the fourth was so wide Bohachuk, a guy with standard peripheral vision, never saw it coming and even he had to smile that something that crude caught him. Bohachuk pounded an exhausted Davila in the fifth with Davila running on empty but still trying to throw punches. In the sixth even Bohachuk was showing the signs of tiring but Davila could take no more and he retired at the end of the round. Californian-based Ukrainian Bohachuk, 25, a former Ukrainian Youth champion who boxed for the Ukrainian Ottomans in the WSB where he beat Cuban No 1 Rosniel Iglesias, has won all of his 18 fights inside the distance including victories over Cleotis Pendarvis, Freddy Hernandez and Tyrone Brunson. He is rated IBF 6/WBC 13 and is ready for better opposition. Davila’s retirement is his second inside the distance loss having been stopped by Mikael Zewski in November.
Lugo vs. Moreno
Lugo hands Moreno his first loss as he gathers a wide unanimous decision. Lugo put Moreno down in the first and stayed in charge from there. Moreno had little to offer and had to soak up punishment from hard punching Lugo through to the final bell. Scores 79-72 twice and 78-73 for Lugo. The 25-year-old from Hermosillo has impressive looking statistics with 19 wins in a row and a total of 17 quick wins but this is only the second time he has been in an eight round fight which indicates the low quality of his opposition. The inexperienced Moreno was in his first eight round fight.
Lopez vs. Puch
Having somehow qualified to fight for the interim WBA title in his last fight (I am not even sure if the WBA know why) Lopez could not afford to lose here. The aim was for local fighter Puch to get the prestige of beating a former world title challenger but it did not work out that way. It was a stirring toe-to-toe battle all the way with the experience of having met better opposition just giving Lopez the edge. Scores 78-74 twice for Lopez and 77-75 for Puch. Lopez only lost on a majority verdict to Cuban Daniel Matellon for the interim WBA light fly title and he is still No 7 with them. Puch (I want to slip an ‘n’ into his name) was knocked out in nine rounds by novice David Martinez in October so no progress showing.
Rangsit, Thailand: Minimum: Petchmanee (34-1) W RTD 4 Wichet (11-8). Super Fly: Yodmongkol CP-Freshmart (58-4) W TKO 2 Decha (1-4). Bantam: Petch Sor Chitpattana (57-1) W TKO 3 Mostafa Tabtoukhzadeh (0-1). Super Bantam: Kongfah CP-Freshmart (33-1) W PTS 6 Zakaria Miri (0-4).
Petchmanee vs. Wichit
Petchmanee (Panya Pradabsri) wins the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title with stoppage of fellow-Thai Seantanong. Petchmanee used a focused body attack to beat down Seantanong over the first three rounds. Another wicked body punch in the fourth and some brutal punishment was too much for the Onesongchai gym fighter and he was saved further pain when his corner pulled him out at the end of the fourth round. Fifteen wins on the trot for Petchmanee but the opposition has been dire. Six had never previously had a fight and two more had never won a fight. He is No 5 with the WBC based solely on numbers alone as he has not faced a fighter of any standing at all with the exception of Chinese fighter Chaozhong Xiong-and he lost to him. Wichit is 3-7 in his last 10 fights.
Yodmongkol vs. Decha
Yodmongkol (Sirichai Thaiyen) the WBA No 1super flyweight stops novice Singmanassak in two rounds in a typical bit of Thai rubbish. Yodmongkol was floored three times and stopped in eight rounds by Artem Dalakian in a challenge for the WBA flyweight title in 2018. Since then he has moved up to super fly and “earned” his No 1 rating with eight victories seven of them against men who have never won a fight and one against an opponent Box Rec list as No 228 in the world? Decha an 18-year-old novice.
Sor Chitpattana vs. Mostafa
Nearly an oops! here as unknown Iranian Mostafa floored world rated Sor Chitpattana CP-Freshmart in the opening round. Only Chitpattana’s pride was hurt and he put Mostafa down twice before the fight was halted in the third round. Win No 42 by KO/TKO for Sor Chitpattana the WBA No 7. No trace of any other fights for Mostafa.
Kongfah vs. Miri
Kongfah (Jakkrawut Majoogoen) gave some useful rounds by Belgian Miri who did enough to win a couple of rounds. Scores 58-56 twice and 59-55 for Kongfah. Konfah’s defeat was a seventh round kayo at the hands of Daigo Higa. He is on a 19-0-1 streak but don’t get too excited in his previous fight in August he was held to a draw by Moroccan Omar El Ouers who had lost the only other fight he has had. Belgian Miri at 5’10” must be one of the tallest bantamweights in the world. This was his first fight for 17 months.
Paris, France: Heavy: Tony Yoka (8-0) W TKO 1 Johann Duhaupas (38-6). Middle: Farrhad Saad (7-0-1) W PTS 8 Diego Natchoo (21-1-4).
Yoka vs. Duhaupas
Yoka blows away an old-looking Duhaupas inside a round. Duhaupas tried to use a high guard to work his way inside. Yoka found the target with some jabs but within the first twenty second of the round was warned for using his forearms to push Duhaupas away. Duhaupas then stood against the ropes hiding behind his guard which provided Yoka with a stationary target and Yoka landed a series of clubbing rights to the head that saw Duhaupas slump to the canvas on his hands and knees. He was up quickly but looked unsteady and Yoka staggering him with a right and then pounded him with hooks and uppercuts before more rights to the head and finally a right uppercut sent Duhaupas back and down and the referee waived the fight over after just 87 seconds. The referee then stupidly got into an argument with Duhaupas and his team over whether the fight should have been stopped. Six quick wins in a row for the 6’7” 28-year-old Yoka as he adds Duhaupas to his list of victims which includes Alex Dimitrenko and Mike Wallisch. Impressive on paper but Duhaupas looked a shot fighter. He was having only his second fight in over two years and he showed all of his 39 years.
Saad vs. Natchoo
Saad outboxes an aggressive Natchoo to take the unanimous decision. Natchoo tried to overwhelm Saad with all-out aggression and was scoring with some wicked body shots and overarm rights. Saad used his longer reach to score at distance and countered the advancing Natchoo with some hard hooks. Natchoo maintained the pressure and a high work rate but he was leaving too many gaps and had to eat plenty of jabs and counters as he walked in. Saad kept moving and switching guards with Natchoo trying to pin Saad to the ropes to work inside but not succeeding often enough. Saad slowed in the fifth under the constant pressure from Natchoo but in the sixth Natchoo also looked a very tired fighter. They battered each other in the seventh as if it was the last round with Natchoo just having the edge but Saad boxed his way through the last to win a wide unanimous decision. Although short on professional experience Saad has represented France at Cadet, Junior, Youth and Senior level and fought for Paris United in the World Series of Boxing. Former undefeated French champion Natchoo was unbeaten in his last twelve fights.
Struer, Denmark: Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (11-0) W KO 2 Alexandre Kartozia (8-2-1). This one was never going to last long. Hrgovic was 4” taller had a longer reach and was 27lbs heavier. In the first Kartozia was lively enough but had no real power. Hrgovic was tracking him around the perimeter of the ring using his jab to set Kartozia up for straight rights. Hrgovic landed a couple and looked to have hurt Kartozia late in the round. Hrgovic ended it 64 seconds into the second. He exploded a right to the head of Kartozia which dumped on the canvas in a heap and the referee waived the fight over. Nine victories by the short route for the 28-year-old Croatian “Strong Man” . He has done everything asked of him so far but his victims have all been well past their sell by dates. He is rated IBF 6/WBC 9/WBO 15 but is very predictable and his left hand has a bad habit of just hanging out inviting a right cross. Kartozia, 39, just a sacrificial offering to Danish fans.
Riga, Latvia: Light Heavy: Ricards Bolotniks (17-5-1) W PTS 10 Hosea Burton (25-2). Outsider Bolotniks makes it a double for Latvia as he joins fellow countryman Mairis Breidis in the winner’s circle after outpointing Burton to win the final of the MTK Golden Contract tournament. To some extent the pattern and tactics of the fight were dictated by the height and reach of the 6’4” Burton. Bolotniks had to take the fight inside if he was going to win. Bolotniks executed his tactics to perfection. He kept barrelling forward and after connecting with a thudding right to the head in the first he increased his pressure. Although Burton landed some right crosses on the advancing Bolotniks it became apparent that Burton did not have the punch to make it an outside fight and he was in trouble from there. He was constantly circling the ring with Bolotniks looking to close him down and two heavy rights shook Burton in the fourth. Bolotniks continued to score with heavy punches over the middle rounds shrugging off Burton’s right crosses and by the eighth Burton was bleeding heavily from the nose and looked a dejected figure as he went to his corner at the end of the round- but there was worse to come. In the ninth a right to the head staggered Burton badly and Bolotniks pinned him to the ropes and pounded away with punches from both hands. Burton was reeling under the barrage when the referee stepped in and gave him an eight count. When the fight resumed Bolotniks again trapped Burton on the ropes until the referee applied a second count. Burton survived to the bell and then showed enough life in the last round to score with long right crosses to win the round. Scores 98-90 twice and 100-90. Bolotniks retains the WBO European title and extends his winning streak to six fights. It now remains to be seen what benefit the Golden Contract brings his way. Former British champion Burton was disappointing. Too often he stood still against the ropes when he should have been moving and it made the job easy for Bolotniks.
Cocorit, Mexico: Welter: Santiago Dominguez (22-0) W TKO 1 Jose Cazares (19-6-1). Dominguez wipes out an overmatched Cazares with three knockdowns. Dominguez was hunting Cazares down from the opening bell and connected with three rights which sent Cazares down. He was up at seven but a couple of head punches dropped him again. To his credit Cazares tried to fight back but another series of punches put him down on his knees and the referee just waived the fight over. The Texas-based Mexican has impressive figures with 18 wins by KO/TKO including winning 10 of his last 11 fights that way. Some of the opposition has been mediocre but he showed well when knocking out 17-2 Ravshan Hudaynazarov in just 43 seconds in Tucson in November. He is rated No 14 by the WBC and had a 62-4 amateur record. Cazares was 6-0-1 before this fight but put up very little resistance here.
Zuzlowa, Poland: Super Middle: Sherzod Khusanov (22-1-1) W TKO 2 Robert Parzeczewski (25-2).
Khusanov shocks Polish fans and Parzeczewski with a devastating second round stoppage. Things seemed to be going with the script as Parzeczewski took the first round. In the second Parzeczewski ducked under a right cross from Khusanov and as he brought his head up it was in a perfect position for an unseen Khusanov left hook that crashed onto Parzeczewski’s chin and he went down like a felled tree. Somehow he dragged himself to his feet but he was in no condition to continue. This looked a risky fight for Parzeczewski as although Uzbek Khusanov was 40 and this was his first fight for a year in his last fight he had taken unbeaten (40-0-1) Pole Damian Jonak to a very a close decision. Parzeczewski was on a 17-bout winning run with a victory over Dariusz Sek and a second round kayo of former interim WBA champion Dmitrii Chudinov now he wants a return with Khusanov.
Bangkok, Thailand: Welter: Atchariya (13-0) W PTS 10 Kaewfah (29-7). Atchariya returns to the ring and outpoints more experience Kaewfah to lift the vacant WBA Asia Pacific South title. Atchariya outworked Kaewfah all the way never letting him get into the fight and was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91. He had beaten Kaewfah on a majority decision May 2018. First fight for Atchariya since September 2018. He had been in prison jailed on false charges of dealing in drugs. Kaewfah (Krai Setthaphon) was world rated after going 23-0 at the start of his career but has fallen away badly since then.
Fight of the week (Significance): There were seven world title fights and they were all significant in their way.
Fight of the week (Entertainment):Jermall Charlo vs. Sergiy Derevyanchenko was tops
Fighter of the week: Again plenty to choose from. I will go for Mairis Breidis for winning the cruiserweight final with honourable mentions to Jermall Charlo and Josh Taylor
Punch of the week: Plenty to choose from here as well. The body punch from Josh Taylor that finished Thai Apinun Khongsong looked good as did Filip Hrgovic’s right that laid out Alexander Kartozia and the straight right from Mohamed Khalladi that laid out Domenico Valentino but for me it was the left hook from Sherzod Khusanov that flattened Pole Robert Parzeczewski.
Upset of the week: Mario Cazares did not look a threatening opponent for Julio Cesar Chavez Jr but he surprised everybody. Honourable mention to Khalladi for shocking Italy with his victory over Valentino
Prospect watch: Featherweight Victor Pasillas 16-0 showed plenty of promise in his win over 17-0 Ranfis Encarnacion.
Five world title fights on the show in Uncasville and in all seven world title fights in the space of two nights that has to be some sort of record and with a final eliminator and one other supporting bout that added up to a potential 80 rounds of boxing.
Boxing returned in the Czech Republic . The venue has a capacity of around 1,500 but the maximum allowed in any venue is 1,000 and maximum capacity allowed is 50% so although the card was a sell out the attendance was limited to 750 and with COVID-19 cases growing again even this approach may not be possible there. Promoters also have to deal with the problems of finding any late replacements with COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules it is a tough life being a promoter right now.
The show featuring the final of the MTK Golden Contract tournament for light heavyweights in Riga had a full attendance(including Tyson Fury). It was a dinner show and the only mask in sight was worn by a cameraman.
Just to keep busy top level Thai boxers often engage in what purports to be a professional fight but is really just paid sparring. That throws up some horrendous looking matches. On Friday Petch Sor Chitpattana former interim WBC bantamweight title challenger with a 56-1 record fought someone who was having his first pro fight, super flyweight Yodmongkol with a 58-4 record fought an opponent with a 1-3 record and Kongfah CP Freshmart with a 33-1-1 record faced an opponent with a 0-3 record. I don’t know of anywhere else in the world where such matches would be allowed.
In the fight between Brandon Figueroa and Damien Vazquez the referee stepped between them in the ninth round and pushed Figueroa back so strongly that Figueroa stumbled back and down. I am just wondering what the results would have been if Figueroa had been injured and could not continue. It would be a genuine case of referee stopped fight!
By Eric Armit:
-Erickson Lubin wins the WBC Silver super welter title with decision over Terrell Gausha in a disappointing fight
-Jose Pedraza continues his busy schedule with wide points victory over Javier Molina in his second fight in just over two months
-Tugstsogt Nyambayar floors Cobia Breedy twice in the first two rounds but then looks fortunate to win the decision
-Welterweight Jaron Ennis again impresses as he hands Juan Abreu his first stoppage loss
-Heavyweight Efe Ajagba outpoints Jonathan Rice in a slow fight
-Mateusz Masternak returns with a win and eyes another shot at the cruiserweight title
World Title/Major Shows
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Welter: Erickson Lubin (23-1) W PTS 12 Terrell Gausha (21-2-1). Feather: Tugstsogt Nyambayar (12-1) W PTS 12 Cobia Breedy (15-1). Welter: Jaron Ennis (26-0) W TKO 6 Juan Abreu (23-6-1).
Lubin vs. Gausha
Lubin takes the early rounds and finishes strongly to outpoint Gausha. A cautious start with more probing than punching but with Lubin doing what scoring there was. Lubin took the second and third. He was getting through with right jabs and had Gausha stumbling with a hard left. Gausha was on the back foot and hardly throwing any punches. It was as if he had decided on counter punching tactics but had forgotten the punch bit. Gausha landed a couple of rights in the fourth and fifth but again it was Lubin connecting with right jabs and straight lefts and he had won all five rounds easily. It’s as well there were no fans in attendance as they would have been demanding their money back. Gausha was livelier at the start of the sixth coming in behind his jab with rights. Lubin then had a good spell before they went back to probing and not punching. There was a lot more action in the seventh. Gausha was finally letting his punches go and was just a little quicker than Lubin but Lubin rebounded to outscore Gausha in the eighth putting together some solid combinations. Gausha started to eat into Lubin’s early lead by edging the ninth and a right had Lubin stumbling on unsteady legs in the tenth but Lubin survived. For me Gausha was still behind and Lubin did enough to take the eleventh and stunned Gausha with a right hook in the last round to emerge a clear winner. Scores 118-110, 116-112 and 115-113 for Lubin. The 24-year-old Orlando southpaw wins the WBC Silver belt and as he is already No 1 with the WBC he will almost certainly get a chance to revenge his first round kayo loss to champion Jermell Charlo he suffered in 2017- provided that Charlo beats WBA and IBF champion Jeison Rosario in a unification battle on Saturday. Gausha lost this fight with his sluggish start but this was his first fight for 16 months and only his second in almost two years so with a few more fights under his belt he could challenge again next year.
Nyambayar vs. Breedy
After an explosive start Nyambayar has to fight hard and it is only his early success that sees him take a split decision over Breedy. These two started at a fast clip and Breedy looked on his way to edging the first round giving Nyambayar a nose bleed but a heavy right to the chin from Nyambayar put him down. He did not look badly hurt and made it to his feet. The punch had landed with only five second remaining in the round so Nyambayar was unable to capitalise on the knockdown. Nyambayar attacked hard at the start of the second and a left hook put Breedy down again. He rolled over and straight back up to his feet and after the count was willing to stand and trade with Nyambayar to thee bell. Barbadian Breedy is 5’4” so he usually has to give height and reach to his opponents but he compensates for that with fast hands and a busy style. He outscored Nyambayar in the third again standing and trading. Pressure from Nyambayar saw the Mongolian edge the fourth but he had trouble with the speed and movement of Breedy who rebounded to take the fifth and sixth. The bout swung back to Nyambayar as he used his longer reach to score on the outside and win the seventh and eighth rounds but despite a swelling under his left eye Breedy was able to get inside and outwork Nyambayar in the ninth. This was proving a fast-paced, close and entertaining fight Breedy had fought his way back after those early set-backs but Nyambayar put the fight out of Breedy’s reach by taking the tenth and eleventh. After an early bunch of punches Nyambayar decided to dance his way throught the last round allowing Breedy to take it. Scores 114-112 and 114-113 for Nyambayar and 115-111 for Breedy. Those two knockdowns effectively saved Nyambayar from defeat. The 28-year-old Mongolian was having his first outing since losing a wide unanimous decision in a challenge to Gary Russell Jr for the WBC title in February. Breedy led him a merry dance but Nyambayar’s No 2 spot in the WBC ratings assures him of a title fight next year if he can avoid a loss. Breedy was unlucky here. Although there were no name fighters on his record he showed here that he is ready to take on the best.
Ennis vs. Abreu
The speed and power of Ennis prove too much for Abreu who is floored three times and stopped. Ennis was quickly into his stride in the first stabbing out right jabs and then finding the target with some flashy combinations. A solid right to the head and a left hook rocked Abreu who was not quick enough to land anything himself. Ennis outboxed Abreu over the next four rounds piercing the Dominican’s guard with jabs and then stringing together five or six lightning punches. Abreu just could not get into this fight. Some needle crept into the fight in the fifth. Ennis landed low and Abreu turned away with his hands down but as the referee had not called a stop Ennis promptly threw some more punches and Abreu responded with a deliberate low shot which did stop the action for Ennis to recover. Near the end of the round Ennis connected with a blistering right uppercut that sent Abreu down on his back. Abreu was up at seven but then the bell went. They squared up to each other until they were both forced to turn away. Ennis came out firing in the sixth and as they traded punches a right clipped Abreu on the top of his head and he tumbled back and down. He managed to rise at nine but a series of punches sent him sprawling and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Philadelphian Ennis, 23, has impressive figures with 23 wins by KO/TKO including a current run of 16 in a row. He is rated IBF12/WBO 11/WBC 15 at welterweight but the division is top heavy with Errol Spence and Terrence Crawford holding three of the titles and WBA champion Manny Pacquiao not looking to take on someone as fast as Ennis. Abreu was 3 ¼ lbs overweight for the fight. This marks the first time Abreu has lost by KO/TKO having taken Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Alexander Besputin the distance in big fights.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Jose Pedraza (28-3) W PTS 10 Javier Molina (22-3). Heavy: Efe Ajagba (13-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Rice (13-6-1). Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (5-1) W PTS 8 Felix Caraballo (13-3-2).
Pedraza vs. Molina
Pedraza continues to make up for time lost to the pandemic with his second win in just over two months. The classy Puerto Rican took control of the fight in the first round and never relinquished it. He was too quick for Molina getting his punches off first and never allowing Molina a toe-hold in the fight. It was a fast-paced clash of two good technical boxers but Pedraza’s movement and hand speed gave him the edge. As early as the second round his accurate jabbing had raised a lump under Molina’s left eye. Heads bumped dangerously and Molina came off worse suffering a cut on the left side of his nose. Supposedly right handed Pedraza was constantly switching guards which had Molina befuddled and bewildered at times and Pedraza’s higher work rate saw him pocketing the rounds as he invested heavily in a body attack. Molina upped his pace in the sixth but his legs were stiffened by a right in the seventh and he then had to survive an onslaught from Pedraza. Molina was shaken again by a left in the eighth as he seemed to have no way of combating Pedroza when the Puerto Rican boxed southpaw. Pedraza was countering so quickly and accurately that Molina was hesitating to commit himself to a punch even when he knew he needed a stoppage to win. A straight left had Molina hurt in the tenth and after that survival was his only concern. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for the former IBF super feather and WBO lightweight champion. A shot at becoming a three-division champion has to be the aim but a points loss to Jose Zepeda in September means he has an uphill battle. After losing to Jamal James in 2016 Molina took two year out of the ring and had scored five victories since returning including victories over 19-1 Hiroki Okada and 22-2 Amir Ahmed Imam but he was well beaten here. Coincidently both Pedraza and Molina competed at the 2207 World Championships and the 2008 Olympics but never met with Pedraza representing Puerto Rico at 60kg and Molina the USA at 64kg,
Ajagba vs. Rice
This was what in the days past would have been described as a “snoozer” as Ajagba plodded to victory over a slow Rice. Ajagba was strong with his jab but not really stringing any punches together. He buckled Rice’s legs with a right in the second but it was almost boxing by numbers as there was little variety in his work. Rice really confined himself to a harmless jab and an occasional right cross. He connected with two good rights to the head in the fourth and shook Ajagba with a better right later in the fight but was not looking to engage in any heavy trading. There were few highlights with neither fighter in trouble at any time and Ajagba was a comfortable winner. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Ajagba. The 26-year-old 6’6” Texas-based Nigerian reportedly hurt his right hand early in the fight which must have affected his performance. He has a strong jab and power and. He has wins over Ali Eren Demirezen and Razvan Cojanu and is rated WBA 12/WBC 14 but is still very much at the learning stage. Rice was stopped in the tenth round of a fight against Australian champion Demsey McKean (I always feel there should be a letter “p” between the “m” and the “s” in McKean’s first name but maybe not)in March.
Ramirez vs. Caraballo
Cuban southpaw Ramirez continues his settling in period as he goes eight rounds for the first time in outpointing Caraballo. Ramirez was comfortable on the back foot letting Caraballo force the fight and he made Caraballo pay for his forward march with an array of classy punches. Ramirez showcased his hand speed and excellent footwork outboxing Caraballo early and then upping the pace trying to get an early finish but Caraballo was still there at the end of the eighth round. Scores 80-72 on two cards and 79-73 on the third. Ramirez has a lot to live up to having beaten Shakur Stevenson, Tugstsogt Nyambayar , Michael Conlan, Andrew Selby and many other top names in his time with the Cuban team. Caraballo was knocked out in six rounds by Shakur Stevenson in June.
Obrenovac, Serbia: Light Heavy: Marko Nikolic (26-0) W PTS 10 Patrick Bois (15-8-1). In a fight between a fireman- Nikolic and a policeman- Bois Nikolic retains the WBC Mediterranean title with points victory in a bout that had been cancelled a couple of times. Nikolic made a good start staggering Bois with a right in the first but Bois rebounded and Nikolic had to fight hard for his win in an entertaining contest. Serbian Nikolic was shaper and more accurate but Bois was willing to walk through Nikolic’s punches to land some clubbing shots of his own. Nikolic rocked Bois with a fierce attack in the third but Bois banged back with hard rights in the fifth. Bois looked to be tiring in the sixth and was dripping blood from his nose but Nikolic was already showing a swelling under his left eye. They battled hard over the late rounds with a right from Bois sending Nikolic’s mouthguard flying across the ring but Nikolic was just doing enough to win the rounds. Scores 97-93, 97-94 and 96-94 for Nikolic. A three-time Serbian champion in the amateurs Nikolic competed at the World and European Championships. He was making the first defence of the WBC title but may struggle against higher level opposition. Bois, twice holder of the French title, is rarely in a bad fight. This is only his second contest in almost two years but his performance here should lead to more fights.
Managua, Nicaragua: Bantam: Alexander Espinoza (20-2-2) W PTS 10 Aron Juarez (17-8-3,1ND). Light: Francisco Fonseca (27-3-2) W KO 2 Lesther Lara (16-12-2).Welter: Gabriel Escalante (14-0) W TEC DEC 5 Angel Galo (8-6-1).
Espinoza vs. Juarez
“Supernova” Espinoza has too much class for Juarez and goes 2-0-1 up in their three-bout series. Espinoza took control with his jab and as the fight progressed was putting together some impressive combinations. Southpaw Juarez was mainly on the defensive and unable to make use of his longer reach. He was on the brink of a stoppage as he took heavy punishment in the fifth. He survived and did enough to edge a couple of rounds but the speed and accuracy of Espinoza made him a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Espinoza who is now the owner of the WBC International Silver belt. He had drawn with and then won a split decision over Juarez in past fights. His losses are a very debatable split decision against Mikhail Aloyan in Russia and a shock second round stoppage by experience Dixon Flores last August. Coming into this fight Juarez was 4-1 in his last 5 outings.
Fonseca vs. Lara
Fonseca punches too hard for southpaw Lara. After dominating the first round Fonseca waited out a brief attack from Lara in the second and then used a right uppercut and a left hook to floor Lara who tried to get to his feet but the referee waived the fight over. Second quick win in six weeks for former IBF super featherweight title challenger. He looked unlucky to only get a draw against Alex Dilmaghani in London in November but was knocked in 80 seconds by Ryan Garcia in February. Third straight loss for fellow-Nicaraguan Lara.
Escalante vs. Galo
Escalante gets technical decision over southpaw Galo. Escalante was winning this one by boxing outside and using his much longer reach. Although he was scoring with those jabs Galo was able to get inside on occasions. Escalante was tying Galo up inside and a frustrated Galo launched a deliberate butt which crunched into the side of Escalante’s face. The referee deducted a point from Galo. Escalante looked to have suffered either a fractured jaw or cheek bone and was unable to continue but all three judges had him in front so he was declared the winner. The 23-year-old Escalante moves to 14 wins but is a bit lacking in the power department. Only the second fight since December 2018 for Galo.
Guadalajara, Mexico: Super Light: Gabriel Gollaz Valenzuela (22-2-1) W PTS 10 Erwin Bennett (13-2). Light: Cesar Ayon (13-2-1) W TKO 4 Noel Mejia (14-2).
Valenzuela vs. Bennett
Fighting in front of his home fans in a fight that signalled the return of boxing to Guadalajara Valenzuela floors and outpoints Bennett. The local fighter floored Ecuadorian Bennett in the second with a right cross but Bennett was up immediately and proved durable. Valenzuela dominated the remaining rounds and came close to stopping Bennett over the ninth and tenth but Bennett made it to the final bell. Scores 99-90 twice and 100-90 for Valenzuela. The 25-year-old Valenzuela (normally with the way Mexican names are structured he would be using his father’s name of Gollaz but most local sources had him as Valenzuela) is unbeaten in 20 being 19-0-1 including wins over Nery Saguilan and Daniel Echevarria. Bennett was to have fought in a six round fight on the card but when Ulises Perez tested positive for COVID-19 Bennett was moved up to the main event
Ayon vs. Mejia
This bout was also affected by COVID-19. Ayon was to have fought Rene Tellez but Tellez also tested positive and was replaced at short notice by Mejia. Ayon was much too good for a tubby Mejia and handed out a solid beating. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight in the fourth as Mejia kept walking into more punishment. Only one loss in his last 14 contests for Ayon. Eleventh time Mejia has failed to last the distance.
Tarnow. Poland: Cruiser: Mateusz Masternak (42-5) W PTS 10 Taylor Mabika (19-6-2). Welter: Damian Kiwior (8-1-1) W TKO 2 Ruben Rodriguez (9-6-1). Heavy: Lukasz Rozanski (13-0) W TKO 2 Ozcan Cetinkaya (31-21-2). Cruiser: Adam Balski (15-0) W TKO 1 Jarek Prusak (9-5).
Masternak vs. Mabika
On his return to the ring Masternak wins wide unanimous verdict over Mabika. Masternak boxed his way through the first finding the range for his jab and adding a couple of accurate power shots. Masternak upped his pace in the second scoring well with lefts to the body and rights to the head. Mabika is slow and limited but tough and he showed he also had a good jab as he reddened Masternak’s face. As the fight progressed Mabika was static in the ring centre with Masternak circling spearing him with jabs and clubbing him with lefts and rights. As he shed some rust Masternak started to put together some eye-catching combinations but Taylor has a good chin and he just kept trying to roll forward through the punches. Late in the fight Masternak tried hard to put Mabika away but the Gabonese fighter never wilted and stayed there fighting to the end. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for the 33-year-old Pole. A former European champion Masternak was having his first fight since losing a very close decision to Yunier Dorticos in October 2018 in the WBSS. The cruiser division is a mess at the moment. Dorticos is IBF champion but his fight with Mairis Breidis can’t be a unification fight as the WBC took Breidis title away from him and designated him the meaningless Diamond champion. Lawrence Okolie and Krzys Glowacki fight for the vacant WBO title in December and as usual the WBA have four champions in Arsen Goulamirian super champion, Beibut Shumenov secondary champion despite not having fought for over two years and Alexey Egorov is Gold champion. There must be a fight for Masternak in there somewhere. The 41-year-old Mabika has lost to four world champions with WBC champion Ilunga Makabu the only one to beat him inside the distance. He has won a number of secondary titles and is probably the best Gabonese fighter but that is a bit like being the best admiral in the Luxemburg navy.
Kiwior vs. Rodriguez
Home town fighter Kiwior blasts out Rodriguez in one round. After hunting Rodriguez around the ring the first punch Kiwior threw was a straight right that dropped Rodriguez to his hands and knees. Kiwior looked to have landed another right when Rodriguez had a knee on the floor but got away with it. Rodriguez made it to his feet at eight and then moved and boxed until a right to the head sent him reeling to the canvas and again Kiwior threw a punch whilst Rodriguez had one knee on the floor but this time he missed. Again Rodriguez beat the count but was promptly knocked down again and the referee stopped the fight. A former top level amateur Kiwior has had a couple of bad set-backs being floored and outpointed by English journeyman Chris Jenkinson (10-61-3) and only drawing with four fight novice Wes Smith. He has won his last four fights and this is his first inside the distance victory. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for former Spanish title challenger Rodriguez.
Rozanski vs., Cetinkaya
A farce badly disguised as a fight as Rozanski halts tubby Turk in two rounds. Cetinkaya was down twice in the first minute of the fight and was given another count when his gloves touched the floor as he tried to duck away from Rozanski’s punches. A body punch caused his fourth knockdown and there was still another minute of the first round remaining. A left and right seconds before the bell saw him tumble to the canvas for the fifth time. Knockdowns No 6 and 7 came in the second round but really in both cases Cetinkaya went down to avoid a punch not because of one. A right to the head dropped Cetinkaya down for the eighth time and the referee just waived the fight over-about six counts too late. Polish champion Rozanski has won his last eleven fights by KO/TKO but he is 34 and limited and I can’t see him progressing much beyond domestic level. Cetinkaya, 42, has fifteen losses by KO/TKO and was pathetic here.
Balski vs. Prusak
Balski obliterates Prusak. This one had a frantic start with both throwing wild punches. A left hook from Balski dropped fellow-Pole Prusak. He made it to his feet at the count of five then dropped to one knee before getting up at eight. A right cross had him stumbling and a right uppercut put him down. He arose but the referee would not let him continue. Over and done with in 84 seconds. Ninth quick win for Polish champion Balski. Prusak, 36, suffers his fourth stoppage defeat.
Tijuana, Mexico: Super Light: Kevin Torres (17-1-1) W PTS 8 Jose Cuevas (13-2-1). Bantam: Carlos Lopez (13-0-2) W PTS 8 Breenan Rhyes Macias (7-1-2).
Torres cs. Cuevas
Torres keeps his winning sequence going as he outpoints Cuevas. “The Diamond Boy” from Washington State dropped Cuevas in the fifth but Cuevas rallied enough to last the distance. Now seven consecutive victories for Torres. Cuevas had won his three previous fights.
Lopez vs. Macias
A bit of an upset as Lopez outpoints Mikey Garcia’s fighter Macias. This one was wall-to-wall war. After four rounds Lopez had battled his way in front being on top 40-36 on two cards and level on the other. Macias fought hard over the last four rounds to claw his was back into the fight but could not overcome Lopez’s early lead. Scores 78-74 twice and 77-75 for Lopez who stays unbeaten and collects the vacant WBC Youth title. Texan Macias had won his last four contests. Both fighters were moving up to eight rounds for the first time.
Jefferson City, MO, USA: Cruiser: Jesse Bryan (19-3-2,2ND) W KO 3 Gary Culp (10-10). Bryan delights his home town fan with third round kayo of Culp. The 36-year-old Bryan returned to the ring in 2017 after being inactive for twelve years. He has won ten in a row but he never fought outside of Missouri and even the guys he has lost to would be classed as substandard. Culp is 2-7 out of his last 9 fights,
Sesto Florentino, Italy: Super Welter: Orlando Fiordigiglio (31-3) W Francesco Lezzi (12-15-2).
Back in the ring since his second round kayo loss to Sam Eggington in September last year Fiordigiglio wins unanimous decision over former victim Lezzi. Fiordigiglio forced Lezzi to fight a defensive fight. He had Lezzi on the edge of defeat with a right in the fourth and had him under heavy fire in the fifth but as when they met in 2018 Lezzi refused to buckle and lasted the distance. At 36 the former Italian, European Union and WBC International champion will be look to regain some injured pride suffered in the loss to Eggington. Former Italian champion Lezzi has only lost once by KO/TKO.
Dnipro, Ukraine: Heavy: Andriy Rudenko (33-5) W PTS 10 Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko (7-8-1). Heavy: Viktor Vykhryst (3-0) W TKO 3 Gabriel Enguema (10-10). Heavy: Ali Eren Demirezen (13-1) W PTS 6 Kamil Sokolowski (9-19-2). Super Light: Volkan Gokcek (3-0) W TKO 6 Ruslan Belinskiy (7-1-1).
Rudenko vs. Dovbyshchenko
Routine win as Rudenko takes unanimous decision fellow Ukrainian Dovbyshchenko. Rudenko needed an easy night after losses to Agit Kabayel for the European title and to Zhilei Zhang. All of Dovbyshchenko ‘s losses have been on points so he gave Rudenko some useful work.
Vykhryst vs. Enguema
Already being hailed as the new Klitschko Vykhryst scored a devastating kayo of Spaniard Enguema. The finishing punch was a booming right that left Enguema flat on the canvas out cold. The 28-year-old 6’5” German-based Vykhryst has won his three fights by KO/TKO. He was a gold medal winner at the European Championships in 2017 and 2019 and had qualified for Tokyo but decided to turn pro instead. Enguema suffers his fourth inside the distance defeat and has won only 2 of his last 9 fights.
Demirezen vs. Sokolowski#
Like Rudenko Demirezen needed ring time and a win and he managed both by outpointing British-based Pole Sokolowski over six rounds. First fight since January for Demirezen and second victory since losing to Efe Ajagba in Las Vegas in July last year. Only one win in his last five contests for Sokolowski
Gokcek vs. Belinskiy
Former leading Turkish amateur Gokcek brutalised Ukrainian Belinskiy flooring him four times before stopping him in the sixth. Gokcek had Belinskiy on the floor in both the second and third rounds and the fight was stopped after he registered two more knockdowns in the sixth. Gokcek, 24, was Turkish national champion and a bronze medal winner at the European Under-22 Championships. Belinskiy’s 7 victims had been low level with only 11 wins between them
Fight of the week (Significance): Erickson Lubin’s win over Terrell Gausha put him at the front of the queue for a shot at the WBC title. Honourable mention to Jose Pedraza who also boosted his hopes of a title fight next year with his win over Javier Molina
Fight of the week (Entertainment):Tugstsogt Nayambayar’s fight with Cobia Breedy had an explosive start and then was close the rest of the way.
Fighter of the week: I am going for Cobia Breedy for climbing off the floor twice to give Nyambayar all the trouble he could handle
Punch of the week: The right uppercut from Jaron Ennis that floored Juan Abreu was perfection but Abreu did get up. For that reason I go for the booming right from Viktor Vykhryst that knocked poor Gabriel Enguema out cold.
Upset of the week: None. They all went the way of the favourites
Prospect watch: None that I have not already fingered
Boxing doesn’t need enemies when it serves up shows like the one in Tarnow, Poland, There were nine fights six of them ended in the first round and one in the second. The one that lasted into the second saw obese Turk Ozcan Cetinkaya fall to the floor six times in the first round and twice in the second. The referee should be reprimanded for cruelty to the fans for letting the fight go to eight knockdowns. For anyone of my era it brings back memories of the “Philadelphian Death Squad” . It got that name not because they were hit men but because they were dead beats and accidents waiting to happen. There were usually six to nine of them and they were delivered to a promoter as a package by an agent-if I remember correctly his surname was Christmas- and they all travelled in one van often fought with trainers on their feet instead of boxing boots and shared shorts etc. His fighters were guaranteed to last no more than two rounds in any fight. OK the Tarnow card was not as bad as that as it had Masternak on but it was not a good advert for boxing.
The 10-8 marking of a round when a knockdown is scored could be said to have cost Cobia Breedy a possible world title shot. He was knocked down in each of the first two rounds. That would put Tugstsogt Nyambayar in front 20-16 One judge had Breedy winning 115-111but the other two had it 114-113 and 114-112 for Nyambayar but if you just take the scores on the ten remaining rounds it come out at 95-94 and 97-91 for Breedy and 94-94.
By Eric Armit
Everyone in boxing has suffered due to the pandemic. We know this but when you see the figures for the number of fight cards in 2020 compared to 2019 that really drives it home. To give you an example for 2019 Box Rec was notified of 604 potential shows in the USA a substantial number even if some of those notified fell by the wayside. For 2020 from January through to the end of December for the USA the projected figure is 200. For the United Kingdom the figures are 272 for 2019 and 72 to the end of 2020. For Mexico the figure for all of 2019 was 594 shows and for 2020 through to the end of October the available projected figure is 122. Japan in 2019 registered 183 shows and the projected figure to end November is 49. As can be seen the impact on boxing around the world has been catastrophic.
Boxers, managers, promoters, seconds, trainers, gyms, local commissions, Boards, sanctioning bodies and even we poor boxing journalists have lost income due to the pandemic (Except myself. The last time anyone paid me for writing it was in doubloons and they were delivered by a guy on a horse).
The impact differs. For some it means the difference between living and just existing. Not having food on the table and not being able to support your family but sometimes that brings out the best in people. An example is Thai promoter and philanthropist Naris Sangwancha. When he learned that a gym in the Philippines did not qualify for the support offered by the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) he provided food for the 37 boxers and other people involved with the gym. It is also an indication of the problems affecting bodies such as the GAB whose support can only go so far. The figures for the Philippines were 121 shows in 2019 and up to 9 March, the date of the last show in the Philippines, the total was 14.
However the green shoots of the recovery by boxing from COVD-19 continue to grow and on 5 December in Paranque City, Manila Vic Saludar and Robert Paradero will contest the vacant secondary WBA minimumweight title.
Encouragingly in South Africa the Sports Minister has given clearance to the regulating body Boxing South Africa (BSA) for boxing shows to restart under strict conditions. Of course BSA is not a promoter so the pace of the return to boxing will be set by the promoters but BSA has offered to help with the costs of COVID-19 tests. It is hoped that Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves will put on a show in October but for some promoters it will be like being awarded a driving licence but not having a car. Boxing is a business and it has been hard enough for small promoters in South Africa to stage shows when there were no restrictions so without gate money and little or no TV it is a hard road ahead but BSA will do what it can to smooth some of the bumps.
A show is planned for Ibadan in Nigeria in December but so far Ghana has not been given the go ahead.
It seems almost obscene to go from the hardships some in boxing are suffering to Saul Alvarez suing DAZ-N for $280 million. It seems to fly in the face of the old sayings of never bite the hand that feeds you and he who pays the piper calls the tune. Of course whoever thought up those saying failed to read the small print. One of Alvarez’s beefs is that he has not been able to fight since beating Sergey Kovalev on 2 November and whilst my heart goes out to him as he must be down to his last $100 million by starting his action against DAZ-N and Golden Boy it means he won’t be fighting anywhere except the courts for a while.
This week was a good week for Team Sauerland as they landed the rights to stage two IBF final eliminators. A bid of $118,530 helped them outbid German rivals SES for the super middleweight contest between Zach Parker and Stefan Haertel. The top two places in the IBF super middleweight ratings are vacant as no one currently in their ratings has beaten a rated fighter but with Parker No 4 and Haertel No 5 the winner will go to No 1 leaping over No 3 Caleb Truax. The other final eliminator. This one at middleweight, will feature Patrick Wojcicki against Patrice Volny. Neither fighter has faced a quality opponent yet (In their computerised world ratings Box Rec has Volny at No 33 and Wojcicki at No 37 and the EBU places Wojcicki at No 15 in Europe) but the winner will be the mandatory challenger to Gennady Golovkin. Best of luck with selling that fight to the public.
The WBO are naturally only concerned with their own titles so despite hopes of a Josh Taylor vs. Jose Carlos Ramirez unification fight they have set the date of 20 September for the teams representing Ramirez and Jack Catterall to reach an agreement or they will then call for purse bids. Incidentally the minimum purse bid for a WBO super lightweight title fight is $150,000 but of course the fight is worth a lot more than that. As an example for the fight with Viktor Postol Ramirez’s purse was $850,000 and Postol’s $500,000
To take part in a professional boxing match you have to be medically examined to ensure you are fit to box. It seems to me sometimes that if you have the standard two legs two arms a trunk and a head you are half way there. If you are not blind and don’t have a physical disability or any disease then the chances are you will qualify as fit to box. After some recent fights I wonder whether there should be another factor taken into account. Take the cases of Dennis Lewandowski and Chauncy Welliver. Lewandowski is 27 stands 6’2” and for his last fight weighed 335lbs giving a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 42.4. Welliver is also 6’2” and weighed 378lbs for his last fight giving him a BMI 48.5. The BMI scale shows that anything over a BMI of 30 is into the red zone of obesity and therefore clinically perhaps even dangerously unfit-but nevertheless- fit to box! If a doctor examined Welliver outside of the context of boxing he would never say that a man who was more than twice the upper range of fitness for his size i.e. 183.6lbs was “fit” but hey this is boxing so two arms, two legs etc…….
Plenty of action coming up with “Sasha” Povetkin and Dillian Whyte meting again on 21 November with Povetkin defending the WBC interim title he won with his stoppage of Whyte in August. Before then on October 10 Nathan Gorman fights for the first time since his kayo loss against Daniel Dubois last July. He faces Ghanaian Richard Lartey who was knocked out in four round by Dubois in April last year. At light heavyweight Joshua Buatsi puts his IBF No 3(2) rating and his WBA International title on the line against inexperience Croat Marko Calic and another WBA International title will be up for grabs in Newcastle on 17 October when Lewis Ritson defends against former IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vazquez. Unbeaten Olympian Qais Ashfaq, Pakistani-born Scot Kash Farooq and unbeaten WBO No 2 super bantamweight Thomas Patrick Ward are all schedule to be on the card.
Eddie Hearn continues to spread his reach even further with a Matchroom show in Mexico on 23 October. The plan is for three world title fights with Juan Francisco Estrada defending his WBC super flyweight title against former champion Carlos Cuadras, Roman Gonzalez risking his WBA super fly title against Israel Gonzalez and Julio Cesar Martinez putting his WBC flyweight title on the line against currently-but not for long-unrated Maximino Flores. If Estrada and Gonzalez come thought those defences successfully then an Estrada vs. Gonzalez unification match must be the aim.
Matchroom are also aiming to stage one of the biggest fights in New Zealand boxing history between Joseph Parker and Junior Fa. They have unsettled business from the amateurs where they both scored wins over each other but Fa’s win in the Oceania Olympic Qualifier cost Parker a place at the 2012 Olympics.
The almost forgotten final of the WSSB cruiserweight tournament will take place in Munich on 26 September. In case you have forgotten-and you could be excuse if you have as the semi-finals were staged fifteen months ago-it will be Mairis Breidis against Yuniel Dorticos. Not sure if they will play the national anthems or the last post as this tournament has been dead but not buried for over a year.
Where can I hide my head in embarrassment for boxing? Wlad Klitschko striding down the catwalk modelling a new police uniform. If you hear a sound like an electric fan it is Tony Galento spinning in his grave.
Former IBF and WBA cruiser champion Murat Gassiev is training again with the aim of fighting at heavyweight. He has not fought since losing to Oleksandr Usyk in a unification fight in July 2018.
Can’t get too excited about Andy Ruiz vs. Chris Arreola which is slated for 7 November. Ruiz is still very much in the heavyweight picture being No 4 with the WBC and WBA and No 5 with the IBF and WBO but a lot of interest will be on what he weighs after he was 283 ½ Lbs in the return fight with Anthony Joshua in December. Anything over 260lbs will raise questions over his fitness. Same with Arreola if he is over the 244lbs he weighed in his fight last August when losing to Adam Kownacki.
By Eric Armit
-Joet Gonzalez takes wide unanimous verdict over three-time world title challenger Miguel Marriaga
-Egidijus Kavaliauskas come from behind to stop Mikael Zewski in eight rounds
-Fedor Chudinov gets late stoppage victory over Umar Sadiq
-Anthony Yarde halts Dec Spelman in six rounds and Mark Heffron and Denzel Bentley fight to a draw
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Feather: Joet Gonzalez (24-1) W PTS 10 Miguel Marriaga (29-3). Welter: Egidijus Kavaliauskas (22-1-1) W TKO 8 Mikael Zewski (34-2).
Marriaga vs. Gonzalez
Gonzalez puts himself back in the title picture as he pounds three-time title challenger Marriaga to defeat over ten rounds. Marriaga looked sharp at the start and outworked Gonzalez over the first two rounds but Gonzalez made some adjustments and never looked back. In the third he was connecting with hard punches to head and body rocking Marriaga early and late in the round. Marriaga’s early work had started a swelling around Gonzalez’s left eye but in the fourth the snap had gone out of Marriaga’s punches. Gonzalez was forcing the Colombian onto the back foot and digging vicious left hooks to the body. The more pressure Gonzalez brought the more Marriaga’s own output dropped. It was one-way traffic in the sixth as Gonzalez was blocking Marriaga’s shots with his high guard and then firing crunching straight rights and left hooks. In the seventh Marriaga used more lateral movement to try to avoid the straight line approach of Gonzalez and was firing short bursts of punches. It made no difference as Gonzalez was able to block Marriaga’s shots and still find the target with powerful lefts and rights. Marriaga was almost in survival mode circling the perimeter of the ring just trying to stay out of trouble. Marriaga tried to take the fight to Gonzalez at the start of the ninth but after a brief spell of success he was soon on the back foot again circling the ring with Gonzalez stalking him and landing hurtful left hooks to the body. Gonzalez finished the fight stronger and wrapped up the last round. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 all for Gonzalez. The 26-year-old Californian will be hoping to get a shot at the winner of the fight between Emanuel Navarrete and Ruben Villa for the vacant WBO title to wipe out the memory of a dismal effort when he was outclassed by Shakur Stevenson for the same WBO title in October. Colombian Marriaga, 33, had been hoping that a win here would get him a fourth shot at the featherweight title. That fourth shot eluded him when a fight with Stevenson for the title in March was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On this showing another title shot seems out of the question.
Kavaliauskas vs. Zewski
Behind on two cards Kavaliauskas produces a crunching uppercut to turn the fight around and give him victory.
Zewski was quickly into his stride. He was faster and more accurate with his jab and also clouted Kavaliauskas with a couple of straight rights. Kavaliauskas was trying to counter but was not fast enough. Zewski had slight edges in height and reach but it was his hand speed and movement that won the second. He was snapping his jab though the guard of Kavaliauskas and connected with a thumping straight right. Kavaliauskas did a bit better with his own jab in the round and connected with a right but it was not enough to take the round. Kavaliauskas did better in the third. He has a powerful jab and he began to throw more rights but Zewski was on target enough to make it close. The fourth saw some exciting exchanges as they both let their hands go and both landed heavily in a close round that Zewski just edged. After four rounds two judges had it 40-36 for Zewski and the third had them even at 38-38. Strong jabbing and heavy rights saw Kavaliauskas take the fifth but Zewski’s speed saw him get back by winning the sixth. Kavaliauskas now had a heavy swelling under his right eye that threatened to hamper his vision. Zewski was pumping out punches and showing good footwork in the seventh but Kavaliauskas was hunting him down in earnest with just seconds to go in the round a beautiful right uppercut unhinged Zewski’s legs. Kavaliauskas forced him to the ropes and unloaded with a series of punches until Zewski slid to the canvas. The three minutes were over but of course as the knockdown occurred just before the round ended the referee started to count and Zewski hauled himself to his feet as the count reached nine. In the eighth Kavaliauskas immediately jumped on Zewski and landed a right to the head and as Zewski dropped to his hands and knees the referee stopped the fight. After being beaten in nine rounds by Terrence Crawford in December for the WBO title Kavaliauskas needed this win to re-establish himself. He struggled early in this one but his power brought him win No 18 by KO/TKO. Canadian Zewski goes back to the drawing Board. He had lost a wide decision against Konstantin Ponomarev in 2015 but had worked his way back into the ratings with seven wins.
London, England: Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (20-1) W TKO 6 Dec Spelman (16-5). Middle: Mark Heffron (25-1-1) DREW 10 Denzel Bentley (13-0-1). Welter: Ekow Essuman (14-0) W PTS 10 Cedrick Peynaud (8-8-3).
Yarde vs. Spelman
Yarde halts Spelman in six rounds. He shows a more studied approach than in the past but shows his power when he breaks through in the sixth. The first two rounds saw both fighters probing with their jabs without committing themselves. Yarde looked a little sharper and tried a couple of right crosses but missed and Spelman stuck to his jab so there were no sustained exchanges. A bit too much respect being shown here in the fourth although Yarde was bringing his right into play more. Spelman had been on the back foot for most of the fight but he began to take the fight to Yarde in the fifth. He connected with a strong right to the head, his best punch so far, and a left hook. Yarde seemed content to let Spelman come to him and he looked dangerous as he started to let his hands go late in the round. Spelman was determined to take the fight to Yarde in the sixth but a couple of left hooks to the body discouraged him. Yarde rocked Spelman with a punch and then drove him around the ring before three rights sent Spelman down on one knee. He was unsteady as he climbed to his feet and when the count reached eight the referee waived his hands to end the fight. If Yarde keeps winning then another world title shot in 2021 looks a certainty and he will be hoping to go one better than his loss to Sergey Kovalev in August last year. Third loss in a row for Spelman having been beaten by Shakan Pitters and Lyndon Arthur.
Heffron vs. Bentley
Heffron and Bentley fight to a draw in an entertain contests. Heffron went on to the attack from the first bell coming in behind his jab and targeting the body. Bentley was boxing neatly and countering but it was Heffron’s round. Heffron continued to press the fight in the second but Bentley switched guards and connected with a southpaw straight left that knocked Heffron over. Heffron was not badly hurt but it was a 10-8 round for Bentley. The third saw Bentley build on the knockdown to take the round and then connect with some good combinations to take the fourth. Heffron upped the pressure and pocketed the fifth catching Bentley with a driving right hand to get back in the fight. Heffron’s work rate put him in charge in the sixth and seventh as Bentley was defending well but not throwing enough. The eighth was close but again pressure from Heffron gave him the edge and he hustled and harried Bentley through the ninth connecting with some hurtful hard punches and Bentley was doing plenty of holding. I had Heffron two points in front going into the last but Bentley outboxed Heffron at the start of the round and landed more late in the round to just tilt the balance his way in the final round. Score 95-95 from all three judges so a relatively rare unanimous draw. Heffron goes to 4-0-1 in his last 5 as he rebuilds after a stoppage loss against WBO No 2 Liam Williams in 2018. Londoner Bentley showed some very sharp skills and it will be interesting to see if he kicks on from here.
Essuman vs. Peynaud
Essuman has too much skill for useful but limited Frenchman Peynaud and took a wide unanimous verdict. His superior hand speed and movement kept Essuman in control but he never looked like winning this one early. Peynaud was competitive over the middle rounds but other than that period it was Essuman in control. He consistently found gaps for his jab and a frustrated Peynaud too often found himself swishing air as Essuman boxed his way to victory. Scores 100-90, 98-92 and 98-93. The 31-year-old Botswana-born Essuman collects the vacant IBF European title. He has wins over Tyrone Nurse and Curtis Felix and was an Elite level amateur. Peynaud shook things up when he floored Conor Benn twice in their 2017 bout but lost on points and was outclassed by Benn in the return fight in 2018.
Khimki, Russia: Super Middle; Fedor Chudinov (23-2) W TKO 12 Umar Sadiq (10-2). Heavy: Sergey Kharitonov (1-0) W TKO 2 Danny Williams (54-29,1ND)
Chudinov vs. Sadiq
Chudinov comes from behind to score a late stoppage with some concerns over Sadiq as he was hospitalised after bringing up blood when undergoing the after fight drug tests. Sadiq made a useful start. At 6’4” he is six inches taller than Chudinov and he worked well on the outside and outscored Chudinov over the first and with Chudinov seeming to have no answer to Sadiq’s jab. A series of rights to the head knocked Chudinov’s mouthguard out in the second. Chudinov pressed hard in the third and had some success when he was able to force Sadiq to the ropes and did even better in the fourth as he was getting past Sadiq’s jab. For me the fourth was the first round Chudinov had won. Chudinov continued to exert strong pressure in the fifth and sixth. He was landing the harder punches but Sadiq was using his reach well and looked to have the edge in those rounds. There were signs the pressure was getting to Sadiq in a close seventh but he was switching guards and outboxed Chudinov to extend his lead. Chudinov got back into the fight in the eighth again pressing hard and landing some solid punches. Lots of back and forth action in the ninth another close round. Sadiq was having trouble trying to keep Chudinov out but he exerted some pressure of his own and scored with a flurry of punches to edge the tenth. Chudinov came back to life in the eleventh launching some fierce attacks and over the last minute of the round he had Sadiq under heavy fire and rocked him with a right at the bell. Sadiq looked unsteady and in the twelfth Chudinov drove him to the ropes and bombarded him with punches. Sadiq was swaying and tottering and not fighting back and the fight was stopped. Chudinov, 32, retains the WBA Gold title. Since being stopped by George Groves in 2017 Chudinov has put together a run of eight victories with Nadjib Mohammedi, Ezequiel Maderna and Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in his list of victims. His Gold title is meaningless as it has him sitting above the ratings so he is not the mandatory challenger for either the full WBA title or the secondary title. WBA Gold seems to be a yellow brick road to a dead end. British-based Nigerian Sadiq performed far above expectations. If the Russians had thought he would be this good they would not have taken him. He moved from Nigeria to London when he was ten and eventually worked as an accountant. He fought for Nigeria at the African and World Qualifiers for the 2016 Olympics but did not make it to Rio. He did not turn pro until he was 29 and at 32 he may struggle to go further. No update on his condition available right now.
Kharitonov vs. Williams
Kharitonov floors Williams in the first and stops him the second round of a farce that was painful to watch. It was circus all the way as Kharitonov was accompanied on his ring walk by a real bear and things went downhill from there. Kharitonov was about as agile as a hippo on ice and Williams moved very little. Although glacially slow Kharitonov is strong and in the first round a huge left to the head sent Williams floundering across the ring and down heavily. Williams made it to his feet and survived the round thanks in part to Kharitonov’s tactic of landing a punch and then retreating to the ring and lifting his arms in celebration ( a bit like a football team I supported who did a lap of honour whenever they won a corner). Williams showed some fire in the second putting a few punches together. He had Kharitonov pinned to the ropes until a series of hooks and uppercuts saw Williams stagger back across the ring with his arms flailing. He stopped and took a couple of steps forward and then stumbled back to the ropes and the referee just waived the fight over. The 40-year-old Kharitonov, who weighed 280lbs (127kg) for this fight, was having his first pro boxing match after an extensive career in various forms of MMA but strangely was returning to boxing. He won a gold medal in boxing at the Central Asian Games in 2003 and silver at the Asian Championships in 2004 but failed to qualify for the 2004 Olympics. Williams 47, who weighed 249lbs, his lowest since 2017, is still sellable on the basis of a 2004 knockout of Mike Tyson although in fairness his career back then was about much more than that but he is well past his “use by” date.
Budapest, Hungary: Super Welter: Balazs Bacskai (13-0) W TKO 2 Gogi Knezevic (34-11-1). Super Welter: Renato Egedi (17-1-2) W TKO 5 Adam Mate (27-18), Super Middle: Mate Kis (17-0-2) W TKO 4 Ericles Torres Martin (20-16-1). Super Welter: Laszlo Toth (29-5-2) W PTS 8 Gabor Gorbics (26-19).
Bacskai vs. Knezevic
Bacskai gets another inside the distance victory as he dismantles Knezevic in two rounds. Bacskai pounded Knezevic with punches in the opening round and Knezevic only just survived. In the second “Benji” Bacskai forced Knezevic to the ropes and raked Knezevic with punches until the referee stepped in to save Knezevic from too much of a beating. Seventh inside the distance victory for Bacskai. It is a pity that Bacskai did not turn pro until he was 29. He was one of the most successful amateur boxers produced by Hungary. He was World and European champion at Junior level and won a gold medal at both the European Senior championships and European Union Championships. He won gold medals at 16 International tournaments as well as having a record of 21-1 in the German Bundesliga but at 32 times is very much against him. Austrian Knezevic, 41, suffers his tenth inside the distance defeat.
Egedi vs. Mate
Hungarian southpaw hope Egedi much too good for fellow-Hungarian Mate. After a fairly even first round this contest between two southpaws turned into a one-sided hammering of Mate. Egedi remorselessly beat him down flooring Mate in the second and third rounds before the referee stopped the fight in the fifth. No real test for 25-year-old Egedi as he moves to seven quick wins. He is now 14-0-2 in his last 16 fights. “Bad Boy” Mate was a late fill-in and he was giving away a lot of height against a fighter who had been Hungarian super middle champion whereas Mate had once held the national title at lightweight! Mate is 0-7 in fights in America and has never managed to last beyond the second round in any of those bouts.
Kis vs. Torres
Kis floors Torres early then gets an inside the distance win in a confused fashion. Kis put Torres down in the first and by the end of the third had built a good lead. In the fourth Torres barged forward head down and looked to have smashed against the elbow of Kis. Torres went down and was unable to continue so the fight was halted and Kis declared the winner. The two draws on the record of Kis were both against Egedi so a third bout should be on the cards. Southpaw Torres, 43, a Cuban based in Hungary, has now lost his last six fights.
Toth vs. Gorbics
Toth has to work hard to outpoint substitute Gorbics in the best fight of the night. The early rounds saw Gorbics get in front of notoriously bad starter Toth. Toth was badly shaken by a punch in the fourth but then began to roll from there. He had Gorbics hurt in the eighth but could not find the punch to finish the fight before the final bell. The judges came up with a split decision. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Toth and 77-75 for Gorbics but Toth looked a worthy winner. Toth went 19-0-1 at the start of his career but his 10-5-1 in his last 16 fights gives a more realistic picture. Now six defeats in succession for “Squirrel” Gorbics
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Senad Gashi (20-3) W TKO 4 Adnan Redzovic (21-5). Heavy: Jose Larduet (3-0,1ND) W TKO 1 Josh Sandland (5-3-1).
Gashi vs. Redzovic
Despite giving away height and reach to Redzovic southpaw Gashi won this one all the way. He outlanded Redzovic in each round before finishing the fight in the fourth. Two rights to the head knocked Redzovic into a corner where the ropes held him up. The referee gave him a count but when the action resumed a left followed by a booming right to the head again sent Redzovic into a corner but this time he slid down to the floor and the fight was halted as the towel came in from Redzovic’s corner. German-based Kosovon Gashi won his first sixteen fights but then hit the buffers with losses against Tom Schwarz, Carlos Takam and Dereck Chisora. He has now won three in a row by KO/TKO but against very moderate opposition. Bosnian Redzovic retired after five rounds against Erik Pfeifer in his last fight in November.
Larduet vs. Sandland
Larduet obliterates Englishman Sandland inside a round. A left to the head had Sandland staggering and Larduet connected with a right hook and another left to the head which sent Sandland down heavily and the fight was over. The 30-year-old German-based Cuban is too good for opposition such as Sandland. In the amateurs the 30-year-old Larduet was Cuban champion three times won a bronze medal at the World Championships and gold at the Pan American Championships but turning pro at 29 is just too late. The No Decision was caused by Larduet injuring a leg in the second round of his fight with Mariano Diaz in January and being unable to continue. Larduet absconded from the Cuban team’s base in Germany for the 2019 World Amateur Championships. Second inside the distance loss for Sandland.
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Light: Omar Aguilar (18-0) W TKO 3 Jose Garcia (9-8-1).* Aguilar continues to blow away the opposition as he halts former victim Garcia in the third round. He was attacking hard from the start and floored Garcia with a left and a right in the second round. Garcia beat the count and just made it to the bell. In the third once again a left/right from Aguilar had Garcia out on his feet and the referee halted the contest. The 21-year-old from Ensenada has won 17 of his 18 fights by KO/TKO (* as there was no Commission member at this fight it will go into Box Rec as a ND) and was coming off a first round victory over Dante Jardon. Aguilar had stopped Garcia in five rounds in 2018. Two tough matches in a row for Garcia as he was stopped by 34-2-1 Marcelino Lopez last year.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Welter: Eduard Skavynskyi (13-0) W PTS 10 Dzmitry Atrokhau (16-8). Super Feather: Evgeny Chuprakov (22-3) W RTD 5 Alexander Federov (22-8-1)
Skavynskyi vs. Atrokhau
Skavynskyi wins unanimous verdict over visiting Belarusian Atrokhau. Skavynskyi was forcing the fight with cagey southpaw Atrokhau boxing cleverly on the retreat and scoring with sharp counters. Skavynskyi was marching forward behind a high guard but Atrokhau found plenty of gaps and his left counters raised some serious bruising under the right eye of Skavynskyi. Atrokhau was very much in this fight until gradually the pressure from Skavynskyi saw Atrokhau slow and his punch output dropped. He was spending more time pinned to the ropes but he was never in any trouble and made it comfortably to the last bell with Skavynskyi the winner but on widely varying scores. 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Skavynskyi. Ekaterinburg-based Ukrainian Skavynskyi won but did not really impress. Atrokhau has lost 8 of his last 9 fights but has only lost once inside the distance.
Chuprakov vs. Federov
Chuprakov gets a win but in a disappointing performance. This was Federov’s first fight since April 2014 and he was not there to win. He never looked like tearing up the script but his spoiling tactics frustrated Chuprakov. After three largely forgettable rounds Chuprakov upped his pace in the fourth and dropped Federov with a right hook with only the bell allowing Federov the chance to come out for the fifth. Chuprakov struggled to find a punch to finish the job but Federov retired at the end of the round. Chuprakov, a former WBO featherweight title challenger had lost his last two fights so he badly needed this win. Not sure why at 43 Federov bothered returning to the ring.
Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico: Middle: Carlos Molina (34-11-2) W RTD 6 Hector Zepeda (19-2). Super Light: Adrian Estrella (30-5) W PTS 10 Lupe Rosales (38-27).*
Molina vs. Zepeda
Former IBF super welter champion Molina gets curious victory over Zepeda. This was a good, competitive fight with the smaller Molina trying to work his way past the longer reach of Zepeda. After four close rounds Molina seemed to be taking control in the sixth. At the end of the round Zepeda just walked back to his corner and held out his gloves for his second to remove them and although not seeming hurt he had retired. Molina, 37, had suffered some losses on his travels but since moving up to middleweight he gets his fifth successive win on shows promoted by himself. Molina was a big step up in quality of opposition for Zepeda but his retirement was strange.
Estrella vs. Rosales
In a clash of two fighters who have both seen better days Estrella wins decision over Rosales. It was a gruelling contest where the youth of Estrella gave him the edge. At one time the 29-year-old Estrella was 22-0 and seemingly on his way to a title shot until his chin was checked a few times. Similarly Rosales was 25-1 at the start of his career but tougher opposition found him out.
Fight of the week (Significance): Anthony Yarde’s win puts his name in the hat again for a shot at the light heavyweight title.
Fight of the week (Entertainment). After a slow start Kavaliauskas vs. Zewski featured some exciting exchanges
Fighter of the week: Joet Gonzalez for outclassing Miguel Marriaga
Punch of the week: The right uppercut from Kavaliauskas that was the beginning of the end for Zewski
Upset of the week: None although both Umar Sadiq and Denzel Bentley came close
Prospect watch: No new names
A very quite week with surprisingly few shows
Yet another “different” setting for a show as Universum stage their Hamburg show in a fish market
Last week it was the young men’s week as a whole bunch of prospects scored first round wins. This week was bring out the old guys as Danny Williams 47, Ericles Torres Martin 43, Alexander Federov 43, Gogi Knezevic 41, Sergey Kharitonov 40, Guadalupe Rosales 39 and Carlos Molina 37 creaked into action.
By - Eric Armit
-Jamel Herring retains the WBO super feather title as challenger Jonathan Oquendo is disqualified for a butt
-Yordenis Ugas outpoints Abel Ramos to win the vacant secondary WBA welter title
- In a Fight of the Year candidate Samir Ziani retains the European super feather title as he stops Alex Dilmaghani just nine seconds before the end of the twelfth round
-Steve Nelson takes another step toward a shot at the super middleweight title with stoppage of DeAndre Ware
-Akeem Ennis-Brown wins the Commonwealth super light title with decision over champion Philip Bowes
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Jamel Herring (22-2) W DISQ 8 Jonathan Oquendo (31-t). Super Middle: Steve Nelson (17-0) W TKO 6 DeAndre Ware (13-3-2). Light Fly: Jesse Rodriguez (12-0) W TKO 1 Janiel Rivera (18-7-3). Heavy: Jared Anderson (6-0) W TKO 4 Rodney Hernandez (13-10-2).
Herring vs. Oquendo
In a horrible fight Herring retains his WBO title as Oquendo is disqualified when Herring is unable to continue due to a cut brought about by a butt from Oquendo in the fifth round.
Not a great start for Herring as his foot slipped and he was on the floor after just five seconds of the round. Oquendo at 5’4” was giving away 6” in height to Herring and a correspondingly large amount in reach. Oquendo was lunging inside and was warned for holding and a punch to the back of the head as well as Careless head work all within the first minute. Herring was doing what scoring there was and tying up Oquendo inside.
Score: 10-9 Herring
Herring was picking off Oquendo with right jabs at distance and catching Oquendo with counters. Oquendo was rushing in with his head down and his head banged into Herring's face but luckily neither fighter was cut. Part of the problem was that with Oquendo 6” shorter and crouching Herring had to dip down if he was to land any body punches so their heads were very likely to clash
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 20-18
Herring continued to find the target with his jabs and occasional straight lefts. Oquendo was still rushing forward with his head down. After connecting twice with long lefts as Oquendo again rushed in Herring met him with a perfectly executed left uppercut which dropped Oquendo on his butt. Oquendo was up quickly and although Herring connected with some more uppercuts Oquendo survived the round. This bout was not good advert for world title boxing. It featured a few split seconds of action and then clinch after clinch with Oquendo holding instead of trying to work inside.
Score: 10-8 Herring Herring 30-26
Dominant round for Herring. He was catching Oquendo outside with jabs and straight lefts and then stepping back and countering the incoming Oquendo with hooks. Oquendo was still doing too much holding and his wild swipes were off target.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 40-35
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 40-35 Herring, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 40-35 Herring, Judge Julie Lederman 40-35 Herring
Oquendo was having some success as he scored with rights on his way in. He had been leading with his head throughout the fight and when he did it in this round he opened a cut over Herring’s right eye. Herring passed a doctors examination and as Oquendo continued to play the billy goat the referee had decided that the butt was intentional and after the end of the round he deducted a point for butting*.
Score: 10-9(-1*)=8 Herring Herring 50-43
The story of this round was clinch, clinch, clinch and more clinches. Oquendo was still plunging in head first flinging a few wild punches and missing. Herring was doing the scoring with counters before they got tangled again.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 60-52
Herring did better in this when instead of waiting and countering Oquendo he took the fight to Oquendo and rattled him with straight lefts to the head but for most of the round it was a case of Herring countering before Oquendo dived inside head down and held.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 70-61
This round was one long maul with the fighters tangled up and very few punches landed. Each time the referee pulled them apart Oquendo jumped back in head first. There were few punches landed and the few that were came from Herring.
Score 10-9 Herring Herring 80-70
Official Scores: Tim Cheatham 80-70 Herring, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 80-70 Herring, Judge Julie Lederman 79-71 Herring.
There was confusing at the end of the round as the referee gave no indication he was about to disqualify Oquendo until after the bell when both fighters had gone to their corners. Herring was having trouble with his vision and was not able to continue. As the cut in question had been the result of a head butt the referee then disqualified Oquendo. It was confusing but justified and Oquendo could have been thrown out earlier
This was a very ugly title fight some but little blame on Herring’s part. He showed his skills but just could not escape Oquendo’s embrace for more than a few seconds at a time. The 34-year-old ex-Marine was a surprise winner of the US Trials for the 2012 Olympics but failed to medal. He looked to have lost his way with defeats against Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller but found his way again under the Top Rank banner beating 20-1 Filipino John Vincent Moralde and comprehensively outpointing champion Masayuki Ito in May last year to win the WBO title. This is his second defence having outpointed Lamont Roach in November. Although fellow Top Rank fighter Shakur Stevenson is No 1 with the WBO. The aim is for a defence against Carl Frampton currently ranked No 8 by the WBO-any bets on a promotion in the ratings for Frampton ? The 37-year-old Oquendo, had lost to Jesus Cuellar for the secondary WBA feather title in 2015 and was outpointed by Lamont Roach in May last year but had come back with a victory over Charles Huerta in November.
Nelson vs. Ware
The power of Nelson just too much for Ware. It looked as though Nelson might end this fight in the first when a right to the head unhinged Ware’s legs but he managed to remain upright. Both landed some hard shots in the second but Nelson was cut over the left eye in a clash of heads. He remained in control working solidly behind a strong jab over the third and fourth with Ware competitive not really strong enough to keep Nelson out. In the fifth another clash of heads saw Nelson cut again over the left eye and he immediately turned away from the action dabbing at the cut. It was serious enough for the referee to ask the doctor to examine it but the fight continued. Nelson shook Ware with a punch in the fifth and ended it in the sixth. He connected with a series of punches that sent Ware staggering to the ropes. Ware tried to get out of trouble but was hunted down and when Nelson connected with heavy uppercuts the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Nelson, 32, the WBO No 7, is on a roll with seven of his last eight wins coming by way of KO/TKO. “Toledo “Axeman” Ware had bounced back from a loss to Cam Kilic with a points victory over unbeaten Ronald Ellis but then slipped up again with a stoppage loss to Vladimir Shishkin. Loser or not Ware was a hero as when Top Rank’s Pete Susens collapsed at the weigh-in it was Ware who took control and carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation which probably saved Pete’s life. Well done DeAndre!
Rodriguez vs. Rivera
Rodriguez obliterates Rivera in the first round. Puerto Rican Rivera was brought in to give Rodriguez a test but he was blown away. Rodriguez put Rivera under pressure immediately and a series of punches had Rivera off balance and briefly being held up by the ropes before straightening up. The referee gave Rivera a count but he looked steady. Rodriguez changed that with two lefts to the head that pitched Rivera into the ropes which again held him up and resulted in a second count. When the action resumed Rodriguez chased Rivera into a corner and a couple of lefts dropped River to the canvas propped up against the ropes and the referee stepped in immediately to save him from more punishment. All over in 2:03 of the opening round. Still only 20 Rodriguez is a former two-time US Under-17 champion and the brother of Joshua Franco the holder of the secondary WBA super flyweight title. Joshua fights under their mother’s name and Jesse under their father’s name. Eighth victory by KO/TKO for Texan Jesse James (wasn’t he from Missouri?) Rodriguez. Only the second time Rivera has lost inside the distance. The other one was back in 2014 when he challenged Adrian Hernandez for the WBC light fly title. He lost on a split decision when he fought Wilfredo Mendez in May last year and only one fight later Mendez won the WBO minimum title so an impressive win for Rodriguez.
Anderson vs. Hernandez
Anderson eventually crushes Hernandez but Hernandez gives the 20-year-old puncher a few rounds of work. Hernandez bounced out at the bell rushing Anderson and trying to catch him off guard. Anderson showed some good footwork and just waited out Hernandez rushing attacks. He then worked with his jab before clouting Hernandez with some heavy shots before the end of the round. Over the second and third Anderson was landing strongly to head and body with Hernandez really just looking to survive. Anderson was just toying with Hernandez in the fourth until two lefts staggered Hernandez. Anderson then forced Hernandez back and dropped him in a heap with a left at which point the fight was stopped. The 20-year-old 6’4” “Big Baby” from Toledo has won all six of his fights by KO/TKO and has taken less than eleven rounds to get those wins but he badly needs some stiffer tests to take him further. Hernandez is the first fighter to last beyond the third round against Anderson. Hernandez was a good test at this stage. He has beaten 16-0 LaRon Mitchell and 17-0 Onoriode Ehwarieme and early in his career went the distance with Michael Hunter and Adam Kownacki.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Yordenis Ugas (26-4) W PTS 12 Abel Ramos (26-4-2). Super Light: Batyr Akhmedov (8-1) W TKO 1 Rey Perez (24-12). Welter: Cody Crowley (19-0) W PTS 10 Josh Torres (22-7-2).
Ugas vs. Ramos
Cuban Ugas wins the vacant secondary WBA title (Manny Pacquiao is the real champion) with split decision over Ramos.
This opening round turned caution into an art form. Ugas connected with seven jabs and Ramos just one punch. No rights in sight (must have been slow if I am indulging in poetry).
Score: 10-9 Ugas
The round was dominated by jabs from Ugas. He was quick and accurate. He also connected with a right to the head and a left hook. Ramos was permanently on the back foot but finally found the target with some jabs.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 20-18
Another round for Ugas, Ramos tried to get on the front foot and had some success with his jab but Ugas had the stronger jab and he connected with a right to the body and a left hook to the head. Ramos forced Ugas into a corner late in the round but did not break through the Cuban’s defence.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 30-27
There was no way that Ramos could win a battle of the jabs but that was pretty well all he was throwing. Ugas was doubling up on his jab and connected with a solid left hook. A left hook was the best punch Ramos had thrown so far. He did better in this round but he was not throwing or landing enough to be competitive.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 38-38 tied, Judge Edward Hernandez 39-37 Ugas, Judge Zachary Young 39-37 Ugas
A round for Ramos. He was more confident with his jab and started to get inside and put together some sharp combinations. Ugas was off target with his jabs and Ramos came out best as they traded hard punches at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Ramos Ugas 49-46
Finally a fight had broken out as Ramos was willing to stand and trade with Ugas. Ugas was scoring more. Again he was using a double jab to get close and connected with a left/right/left series of punches. Embarrassing for Ugas is that he missed with a wild right and dived head first through the ropes and almost out of the ring. They exchanged some power punches at the end of the round with Ugas scoring with heavy rights to the head.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 59-55
It was back to the battle of the jabs in this one and it was a round for Ugas. He was finding gaps for his left and also scoring to the body. Ramos was tentative with his jab and coming up short. When they briefly exchanged punches late in the round Ugas was the one connecting.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 69-64
Another round for Ugas. Despite his lack of success with it Ramps was sticking to his jab. Ugas was getting through with his double jab and twice connected with heavy rights that had Ramos backing off. He was also scoring to the body something that was missing from the tactics of Ramos.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 79-73
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 78-74 Ramos, Judge Edward Hernandez 77-75 Ugas, Judge Zachary Young 78-74 Ugas.
Ramos practically gave this round away. For most of the round he threw only jabs and nothing else. He was short with his jabs and Ugas was on target with his and also scored with some useful hooks. Ramos came to life over the last thirty seconds but it was Ugas connecting with more and harder punches.
10-9 Ugas Ugas 89-82
A much better round for Ramos. He refused to be backed up and was following through on his jab and staying in punching distance landing sharp hooks and uppercuts. Ugas was barely using his jab and his punch output dropped.
Score: 10-9 Ramos Ugas 98-92
Another good round for Ramos. Again he stood in front of Ugas and was quicker with his jab and landed some hooks inside. Ugas was not jabbing much and although he connected with two hard rights just before the bell Ramos had done enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Ramos Ugas 107-102
Ugas took the last round. No fireworks from Ramos allowing Ugas to constantly slide home jabs and late in the round it was Ugas firing volleys of punches with Ramos being outlanded.
Score: 10-9 Ugas `Ugas 117-111
Official Scores: Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 117-111 Ramos, Judge Edward Hernandez 115-113 Ugas, Judge Zachary Young 115-113 Ugas.
A considerable difference between how Moret scored the fight and Hernandez and Young saw it. Also a difference how I scored it. It’s never the full or the only measure but according to CompuBox Ugas scored more punches in every round than Ramos and Ugas also scored with more jabs more body punches and more power punches over the twelve rounds but fights aren’t decided by computers-yet.
Ugas had lost a unanimous decision to Shawn Porter for the WBC title in March last year but then wins over Omar Figueroa and Mike Dallas earned him a title shot with the WBA. After losing a majority decision to Jamal James-currently the interim WBA champion-Ramos scored eight consecutive victories including wins over Jimmy Williams and Brian Perrella and was No 6 with the WBA.
Akhmedov vs. Perez
Perez waded in at the start with Akhmedov catching him with straight lefts. Perez continued to come forward and connected with two stiff rights. Southpaw Akhmedov then cut loose and floored Perez with a left to the body that had Perez go down on his hands and knees in pain. It looked to me that Perez got up at 9 ½. Akhmedov jumped on him and Perez went down from some more body punches and although the referee started the count he saw that Perez was in agony and he stopped the fight. First fight for Uzbek-born Russian Akhmedov since losing on points to Mario Barrios for the secondary WBA title in September and he looks sure to challenge for a title again next year. Perez’s career has been a bit of a switchback ride. Every time he puts together some good wins he then loses a big fight.
Crowley vs. Torres
Unbeaten Canadian “Crippler” Crowley moves to 19 wins as he sweeps the board against Josh Torres with the three judges all agreeing on 100-90 for the score. Torres had won his last seven fights six by KO/TKO but he showed no such power here.
South Kirby. England: Super Light: Akeem Ennis- Brown (14-0) W PTS 12 Philip Bowes (20-4). Light Heavy: Dan Azeez (12-0) W TKO 9 Andre Sterling (11-3). Super Middle: Padraig McCrory (11-0) W TKO 1 Mickey Ellison (12-3). Super Light: Harlem Eubank (10-0) W TKO 8 Martin McDonagh (8-2).
Ennis- Brown vs. Bowes
Styles did not mix well in this contest between two southpaws and that led to a disappointing fight with Ennis-Brown taking the unanimous decision and collecting the Commonwealth and vacant British titles. With his jerky style and extravagant footwork Ennis-Brown was the one taking the fight to Bowes. Ennis-Brown was throwing more and landing more but Bowes was the one connecting with the harder single punches. The early rounds were very close and Bowes was cut over his left eye in the fourth caused by the head of a lunging Ennis-Brown. Too much holding was spoiling the fight and the referee warned both boxers in the fourth and again at the start of the fifth both rounds which Bowes seemed to edge. Ennis-Brown flaps his punches so gets very little power into them but he was flailing away and scored well in the sixth and seventh. Bowes was trying to stop Ennis-Brown working inside and he was given a severe warning for holding in the seventh and lost a point in the eighth for the same offence. Things went better for Bowles in the tenth as he landed some heavy punches and Ennis-Brown was cut over the left eye by a clash of heads. The doctor had a look at the cut but cleared Ennis-Brown to continue. His higher punch output and the deduction had put Ennis-Brown in front and he held on to his lead over the last two rounds. Scores 115-112 twice and 116-111 all for Ennis-Brown. He adds Bowes to his list of victims which already includes Glenn Foot, Chris Jenkins and Darragh Foley. His lack of a punch and his waste of energy with extravagant and pointless footwork may be a disadvantage against higher ranked opposition. Bowes, 36, was making the second defence of the Commonwealth title and was having his first fight since March 2019 so eighteen months without a fight cannot have helped his cause.
Azeez vs. Sterling
Azeez continues to make progress as he stops Sterling. After a close first round the quicker hand speed and accuracy of Azeez saw him take the second with Sterling cut above his left eye in the round but Sterling rebounded to edge the third. Sterling tried to up his pace in the fourth but instead was warned for holding and had to soak up some hard head punches. In the fifth Sterling landed his best punch of the fight but the hard right cross did not even shake Azeez who came back to knock Sterling off balance with a right forcing Sterling to put his gloves on the canvas resulting in a count. Azeez dominated the seventh and eighth with Sterling looking bruised, battered and tired as he lost his mouthguard in an exchange. In the ninth as Azeez had Sterling against the ropes and was unloading with both hands the towel came in from Sterling’s corner. It surprised the referee and the two fighters but it was a good decision by Sterling’s team. The 31-year-old Mark Tibbs trained Azeez retains the English title with his eighth inside the distance victory. A university finance graduate he did not turn pro until he was 28. First loss by KO/TKO for Sterling but third defeat in his last four fights.
McCrory vs. Ellison
Impressive performance by McCrory as he obliterates Ellison inside a round. McCrory was firing rights from the start with Ellison trying to use his longer reach to score at distance. A left hook from McCrory staggered Ellison and McCrory followed up connecting with two hard rights to the head. The second right sent Ellison into the ropes and he slid down balancing on the third rope hanging half out of the ring. He then slumped to the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight. The 32-year-old from Belfast gets his fifth quick win and one to match his stoppage of Steve Collins Jr in August last year. Ellison came in on the back of three wins including a victory over 15-0 Charlie Schofield.
Eubank vs. McDonagh
These two had clashed twice when amateurs with McDonagh winning both times. That might explain an opening round that took caution to extremes. McDonagh then did most of the scoring over the second and third with southpaw straight lefts. McDonagh was boxing confidently in the fourth until a left hook from Eubank staggered him badly and from there Eubank seemed to get stronger and stronger and McDonagh’s confidence faded. With just 40 seconds remaining in the eighth and last round Eubank again struck with a left hook that unhinged McDonagh’s legs and he connected with a right and a left that send McDonagh down. He struggled to his feet at eight but was unsteady and the fight was stopped. Eubank, the cousin of Chris Eubank Jr, gets his third inside distance win and revenge for those two losses in the amateurs. Including Harlem, Chris Senior and Chris Junior there are nine boxers/former boxers in the extended Eubank family. Former top level amateur McDonagh had won his last three fights
Tokyo, Japan: Light: Shuichiro Yoshino (13-0) W PTS 12 Valentine Hosokawa (25-8-3).
Yoshino holds on to his three titles as he outclasses former Japanese super light champion Hosokawa. Yoshino, with a 5” height advantage, imposed himself on the fight early with a strong jab and some straight rights and left hooks. Hosokawa had some success with his right hooks but was being outscored. After four rounds Yoshino led on the cards 39-37 twice and 40-36. Yoshino built on that lead stopping Hosokawa in his tracks with right in the sixth and taking the seventh and eighth at which point the champion was in front 79-73 twice and 80-72. Yoshino never gave Hosokawa a chance to get into the fight hurting him with a body attack in the tenth but Hosokawa did not crumble and was still fighting at the final bell. Scores 119-109 twice and 120-108 for Yoshino. This is his sixth defence of the national title first defence of the OPBF and WBO Asian Pacific titles for Yoshino. He is rated WBO 11/IBF 15(13)/WBC 15. “Old Timer” Hosokawa,39, pleased many Japanese fans when he won the national super light title at the age of 36 and at his third attempt but lost it in his third defence.
Grozny, Russia: Super Middle: Aslambek Idigov (19-0) W PTS 10 Stanislav Kashtanov (36-6). Heavy: Abdulkerim Edilov (3-0) W TKO 1 Denis Bakhtov (39-18).
Idigov vs. Kashtanov
Las Vegas-based Russian Idigov takes unanimous decision over Ukrainian-born veteran Kashtanov. At 5’8” Idigov is small for a super middle and he was conceding height and reach to the 6’0” tall Kashtanov. Idigov’s swarming arracks were more effective than the cultured style of experienced Kashtanov who just could not keep Idigov out and paid the price. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Idigov who retains the WBO European title. Idigov, 24, has victories against Ronny Landaeta Roberto Racz and last time out in February he beat Ryan Ford on a majority decision. His WBO European belt gets him a No 6 rating with them. I might start using the phrase “WBO Sanction Fee Gift Title” because that is what it is. It has nothing to do with the quality of any opponent as it is the promoter who picks the opponent for his fighter and not the WBO. In better days the 36-year-old Kashtanov was a challenger for the WBA secondary and interim titles but has now lost four on the bounce-all against good opposition.
Edilov vs. Bakhtov
Former martial arts star Edilov batters poor Bakhtov to defeat inside a round. Bakhtov hardly threw a punch as Edilov steamrollered him to the canvas in the first round. All three of Edilov’s wins have come inside three minutes. The opposition has not been strong but neither has it-up until this fight- been woeful. Edilov was Russian integrated martial arts and world universal combat champion. Now 40 Bakhtov was once a decent fighter but how has an eight bout losing streak.
Moscow, Russia: Light Heavy: Gasan Gasanov (17-9-1) W PTS 10 Artur Ziyatdinov (12-1). Super Bantam: Mukhammad Shekhov (7-0-1) DREW 10 Magomed Kurbanov (6-0-1). Super Light: Andrey Maik (7-0) W PTS 10 Radik Grigoryan (6-1-1).
Gasanov vs. Ziyatdinov
Despite some poor recent form Gasanov pulls out a surprise win over undefeated Ziyatdinov. The problem for Ziyatdinov was that he just could not keep the Russian southpaw out. Ziyatdinov was boxing cleverly and scoring well at distance and took an early lead but from the fourth Gasanov would not be denied and heavy pressure saw him edge into the lead over the next four rounds. Ziyatdinov rallied to make the eight a close round. Despite his 75% record of inside the distance wins there was no power in Ziyatdinov’s punches and Gasanov was able to walk through them and score with his jab and clubbing rights and he finished the fight the stronger man taking the closing rounds. Scores 97-93 twice and 97-94 all for Gasanov. The 29-year-old Gasanov was 1-4 in his last five fights so very much an outsider but now he is Russian champion. Montreal-based Ziyatdinov had been carefully matched in Canada and was a big disappointment here. He had won a number of Ukrainian championship titles before Russia annexed the Crimea
Shekhov vs. Kurbanov
In a hard-fought close contests Shekhov and Kurbanov battle to a split draw. In a contrast of styles the quick and clever Shekhov used his southpaw skills and plenty of movement to hold off the attacks from the stronger but slower Kurbanov. It really was a case of which style you preferred as neither fighter was able to dominate. That produced three very different scores of 99-92 Shekhov, 96-94 Kurbanov and 95-95 so the WBA International title remains vacant. Uzbek-born Shekhov was a top level amateur and is making steady progress as a pro. Kurbanov was also a high level amateur he also competed in four series of the WSB where he scored a win over Michael Conlan.
Maik vs. Grigoryan
Ukrainian-born Russian Maik lifts the WBA Asia title with points decision over Armenian Grigoryan. Maik used lots of speed and a hard working jab to outbox the aggressive Grigoryan for his fifth points win in a row. Grigoryan staggered then dropped Maik with a left hook in the second but just could not build on that.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Light: Antonio Moran (25-4-1) W KO 6 Luis Solis (25-11-4). Welter: Xander Zayas (5-0) W TKO 1 Orlando Salgado (1-1). Middle: Nikoloz Sekhniashvili (7-0) W TKO 4 Alexis Gaytan (5-7). Fly: Anthony Olascuaga (1-0) W Edwin Reyes (8-6-3). Super Welter: Bryan Polanco (2-0) W TKO 1 Joshua Sikes (0-1). Welter; Marques Valle (1-0) W Jenato Harris (0-2).
Moran vs. Solis
Moran wins this all-Mexican contest with stoppage of Solis. Moran used his jab to control this fight. On the occasions when Solis did get past the jab Moran was waiting with left hooks to the body. Solis kept walking forward and did connect with some body punches but Moran’s corner told their man not to get involved but stick to his jab. They finally turned him loose in the fourth and he rocked Solis with a left hook. Moran continued to get through to head and body in the fifth with Solis now on the back foot. In the sixth Solis missed with a right leaving himself open and a solid left to the body dropped him to his hands and knees. He spat out his mouthguard and never looked like beating the count. Moran, 27, was knocked out cold by Devin Haney last May but rebounded well with a draw against 17-0 Yomar Alamo in October. Now three inside the distance losses in his last four fights for Solis with Antonio Barboza stopping him in five rounds and Kerman Lejarraga kayoing him in four.
Zayas vs. Salgado
Zayas celebrates his eighteenth birthday a day early as he stops Salgado in one round. Salgado came out firing punches with Zayas backing up and waiting for the storm to end. When it did Zayas took over hurting Salgado with jabs forcing him to the ropes. He connect with a number of punches before a straight right dropped Salgado in a heap with the referee immediately stopping the fight. Puerto Rican Zayas, a former US National Youth champion, needed special dispensation from the Florida Commission as he was under 18 when the show was put together. The 5’10” teenager had taken less than ten rounds for his five wins. Salgado gave it a shot but never had a chance.
Sekhniashvili vs. Gaytan
Georgian Sekhniashvili overwhelms tall Texan Gaytan. The Georgian hope hunted down Gaytan for three rounds walking through Gayton’s jab and scoring to head and body. A volley of shots floored Gaytan in the fourth and although he beat the count he was pinned to the ropes and shipping punishment when the fight was halted. The 26-year-old Sekhniashvili gets his fifth early win. In the amateurs he was twice national champion at 81kg and represented Georgia at the European Games and European Championships. Gaytan falls to 1-4 in his most recent fights.
Olascuaga VS. Reyes
In an undercard full of promising fighters 21-year-old Olascuaga finished Reyes in two rounds. He dropped Reyes with a perfect left hook in the second. Reyes arose but was staggered badly by two more left hooks and the referee stepped in to save Reyes. Olascuaga won a last chance qualifier to get to compete at the final US Olympic Trials for Tokyo but had to withdraw with injury after winning his first fight. Third loss on the trot for Guatemalan Reyes.
Polanco vs. Sykes
Polanco gives Zayas some competition for the role of the most promising young fighter in Puerto Rico as he blasts out Sykes in the first round. Southpaw Polanco put Sykes with a straight left. Sykes got up but another left floored him and the fight was stopped after just 84 seconds. Despite turning pro the 22-year-old 6’2” Polanco, a four- time the national champion, is aiming for a gold medal at the rearranged Tokyo Olympics. His two fights have together lasted less than three minutes. Sykes no test.
Valle vs. Harris
New York-born Valle took nine seconds longer than Polanco for his win. He put Harris down with a left to the body and although Harris managed to beat the count he was floored again by a body shot and the fight was finished. The 21-year-old 6’1” Valle won a silver medal at the 2018 US National Championships. Harris in over his head-literally.
Casas Grandes, Mexico: Super Feather: Abel Mendoza (25-0) W PTS 7 Edgar Martinez (19-26-1). Super Welter: Dewayne Bonds (8-3-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Ever Ceballos (11-26-1).
Mendoza vs. Martinez
Mendoza collects the American Boxing Federation Continental Americas belt by outpointing Martinez. Mendoza floored Martinez with a right in the fourth and won every round. The 24-year-old Texan has a heavily padded record. There is not a single opponent on there who would not be flattered to be described as mediocre. Martinez falls into that category with his recent form showing just one win in his last 17 fights.
Bonds vs. Ceballos
Bonds also wins the American Boxing Federation Continental Americas title with stoppage of poor Ceballos. The El Paso southpaw floored Ceballos early in the second. Ceballos lost his mouthguard and when he made to his feet he was looking for it but the referee happened to be standing on it as did the eight count. After the count a punch from Bonds staggered and he touched the deck with his gloves to stay upright and the referee stopped the fight. Fifth win by KO/TKO for Bonds and fifth win by KO/TKO. Tenth loss in a row for inept Ceballos and loss No 21 by KO/TKO.
South Kirby, England: Super Feather: Samir Ziani (32-3-1) W TKO 12 Alex Dilmaghani (19-2-1,1ND). Cruiser: Isaac Chamberlain (12-1) W TKO 1 Matt Sen (5-3). Super Light: Stephen McKenna (5-0) W KO 1 Gary McGuire (1-17).
Ziani vs. Dilmaghani
Ziani scores a late stoppage of Dilmaghani and retains the European belt in yet another exciting EBU title fight. No time wasted on cautious probing from these two southpaws. Ziani took the fight straight to Dilmaghani with fast jabs and hooks from both hands. That suited Dilmaghani and he replied in kind as they set off at a furious pace. They were practically mirror images of each other as they both fired accurate jabs and put together snappy combinations. So many punches were being landed by both fighters that the rounds were close. Much of the action was toe-to-toe. Ziani continued to take the fight to Dilmaghani with Dilmaghani unable to force him back but doing the better work inside. Dilmaghani seemed to build a lead over the third, fourth and fifth but every round was hotly contested and the pace of the fight saw action in every second of each round. Dilmaghani was warned for pushing his elbow in Ziani’s face in the sixth and then ironically Ziani’s shoulder banged into Dilmaghani’s face and opened a cut under Dilmaghani’s right eye. Ziani ended the round with a fierce attack which had Dilmaghani under serious pressure. Ziani continued that impetus into the seventh but Dilmaghani took the eighth. In the ninth a clash of heads saw Ziani cut over the right eye and as Ziani had done in the sixth Dilmaghani fed off that cut to pump out bursts of six or seven punches at a time. Ziani was tending to throw less but harder. The action slackened off a little in the tenth as the pace of the contest affected both fighters but in the eleventh it became apparent that Ziani had more left in the tank. Dilmaghani was trying to punch with Ziani but Ziani was remorseless and gradually beat the resistance out of Dilmaghani. The sheer volume of punches from the champion was overwhelming Dilmaghani and he looked an exhausted fighter at the bell. Ziani showered Dilmaghani with punches in the twelfth with Dilmaghani stumbling and grabbing Ziani’s legs as he fell to the canvas. He climbed to his feet very slowly and Ziani continued to batter him with punches. Dilmaghani could hardly stand but was given a warning for holding. He then tumbled down to his knees with his head hanging outside the ropes. He somehow made it to his feet but when the referee indicated for him to both lift his hands and walk forward he did neither but the referee indicated for the fight to continue. Ziani punched Dilmaghani across the ring until he collapsed into the ropes and down to the floor. Even then the referee chose to count to eight before stopping the fight. It is great pity there had to be a loser and also that there was not a live audience to add that special flavour to such n exciting contest but thanks to Hennessy Promotions it was available live on terrestrial TV so had a big audience that way. Ziani, 32, was making the second defence of the European title. He has lost two big fights in the past to Richard Commey and Guillame Frenois but this is his tenth win in a row. He is rated IBF 12(11)/WBC 15 so unlikely to get a title shot but he showed what an excellent champion he is in this fight. The loss is obviously a big setback for Dilmaghani and he took the sort of punishment that can have a lasting effect. It is a disgrace that the fight was not stopped earlier. I can understand to some extent Dilmaghani’s team seeing their fighter three minutes away from a major title (Dilmaghani was in front on two cards 106-103 and 105-104) but they let him take too much unnecessary punishment. The action of the referee is less forgivable. After the first knockdown Dilmaghani was in a daze not even looking at the referee. When the referee motioned for him to lift his gloves he did not do so and when the referee asked to step forward (not even to the side) he only did so after the referee had already turned away signalling for the fight to continue. Bothering to give an eight count after the second knockdown only to then waive the fight over denied Dilmaghani a few extra seconds of medical attention that could have been crucial. It is easy to sit and write this when you are not the one making those split second decisions but I believe the referee erred badly in this case. Dilmaghani was unable to come to the centre of the ring for the result and was helped from the ring by the paramedics.
Chamberlain vs. Sen
Chamberlain is making up for lost time. After two years out of the ring he has now scored two inside the distance victories in sixteen days. Chamberlain was landing early and Sen tried to force Chamberlain back. As he came forward he was rocked by a couple of punches but plunged on and with Chamberlain against the ropes he threw some clubbing punches. Chamberlain waited for an opening and then exploded a left hook on Sen’s chin. Now it was Sen against the ropes and a string of powerful uppercuts had Sen reeling with the referee coming in to save him just 50 seconds into the round. Sixth win by KO/TKO for Chamberlain. Back in 2018 Chamberlain lost a wide points decision against Lawrence Okolie in a clash of unbeaten prospects. Okolie is to fight for the vacant WBO title and Chamberlain will be looking to follow the same path. Third inside the distance loss for Sen with all three coming in the first round.
McKenna vs. McGuire
Spiteful punching McKenna blasts out yet another opponent. McKenna came out firing punches took McGuire to a corner and showered him with punches until McGuire went down. McKenna stupidly threw a punch at McGuire when he was on the floor and was lucky to only get a severe warning. When the action resumed McKenna put McGuire down twice more and although he made it to his feet the referee waived the fight over. The 23-year-old McKenna has won all five of his fights by KO/TKO four in the first round and one in the second. In the amateurs he was Commonwealth Youth and Irish Youth champion and won a silver medal at the European Youth Championships. He put together a 155-24 record before handing in his vest. McGuire has a terrible record but this is only the fourth time he has been stopped.
Brisbane, Australia: Welter: Ben Kite (17-4-1) W PTS 10 Tysinn Best (12-2). Super Light: Waylon Law (13-7) W PTS 10 Justin Frost (10-1-1).
Kite vs. Best
In a battle between two Queenslanders the more experienced Kite comes off the floor in the first round then goes on to outpoint national champion Best. Scores 97-92 twice and 95-94 for Kite. Win No 12 in a row for Kite who was defending his Australasian title. Four of Kite’s last five fights had lasted the full ten rounds which gave him an edge over Best. Best was defending the Australian title for the second time. He had been knocked out in the first round by Korean champion In Duck Seo in June last year and had scored two wins in five round fights later in the year.
Law vs. Frost
On a bad night for Australian champions this result has to count as a big upset as Law wins the national title on a split decision over champion Frost in his first fight for three years. Scores 97-93 and 97-94 for Law and 96-94 for Frost. Back in 2014 Law had been knocked out in six rounds by Kyle McKenzie in a challenge for the Australian super feather belt but six year later and two divisions higher he is a champion. Frost was defending the title for the first time having beaten former amateur star Jackson Woods for the vacant title in November.
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Joselito Velazquez (13-0) W PTS 10 Brandon Gallardo (3-2-1).
Velazquez marches on with wide unanimous decision over Gallardo. Velazquez applied plenty of pressure early with body punches, some of which strayed low. Despite his lack of experience Gallardo made Velazquez work hard and landed some power shots in both the third and the seventh rounds. Velazquez won the rest of the rounds but he could not break Gallardo down and despite having Gallardo rocking in the last had to settle for a points victory. All three judges saw it for Velazquez 98-92. As a former Olympian and gold medal winner at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games a lot is expected of Velazquez and he is not being rushed. Gallardo really just a prelim fighter with only one six round bout on his record so he performed better than expected here.
Tijuana, Mexico: Fly: Angel Ramos (25-1-2) W TEC DEC 7 Jorge Villalobos (10-1-3). Southpaw Ramos makes it eight straight wins with a technical decision against Villalobos as a cut brings the fight to an end after seven rounds. Scores 69-64 twice and 70-63 for Ramos. The Ensenada fighter’s loss came against Maximino Flores and the draw was with WBC super flyweight challenger Dewayne Beamon. For “Pajarito” Villalobos the was too high a step in his opposituion
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Bantam: Alexander Mejia (16-1) W PTS 8 Harvy Calero (6-9-2). Feather: Giovanni Gutierrez (10-1-1) DREW 8 Martin Diaz (16-12-1,2ND).
Mejia vs. Calero
Mejia gets his seventh win in a row as he takes a unanimous verdict over Calero. Mejia’s only loss is a very creditable majority decision defeat against former WBO featherweight title challenger Hiroshige Osawa, Calero is on a run of five losses.
Gutierrez vs. Diaz
Gutierrez and Diaz battled their way to a split draw. Scores 77-75 Gutierrez, 76-73 Diaz and 76-76. Gutierrez loss came against 22-1 Mike Plania in Miami in December. Diaz is 1-3-1 currently with the losses all against good level opposition.
Fight of the week (Significance): Jamel Herring’s successful defence of the WBO super feather title may open the door for Carl Frampton to have a shot at becoming a three division champion
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Has to be Samir Ziani vs. Alex Dilmaghani
Fighter of the week: Yordenis Ugas who clearly beat Abel Ramos to win the vacant secondary WBA welter title-no matter what the judges thought
Punch of the week: The left uppercut from Jamel Herring that dropped Jonathan Oquendo in the third may not have ended the fight but it was a thing of beauty-in boxing terms.
Upset of the week: Club fighter Gasan Gasanov was not supposed to beat prospect Artur Ziyatdinov but he did but for me Waylon Law returning after three years out of the ring and winning the Australian title counts just a bit higher
Prospect watch: Light Fly Jesse Rodriguez who is 12-0 after wiping out former world title challenger Janiel Rivera in the first round.
No masks no social distancing in Australia. Always interesting to see the different approaches.
Not too many shows can compete with the one in Moscow that had 28 fights scheduled! No chance of getting home early and catching the wife in the bed with the milkman (do they have milkmen in Russia? Maybe it’s Vodkamen)
Mexican boxer Jorge Villalobos has the nickname of “Pajarito”-Being of a certain age it is a name I will always associate with Mexican Ricardo Moreno who won 59 of his 60 victories by KO/TKO unfortunately eight of twelve losses came the same way so with one draw only six of his 73 fights went the distance in a 23 year career. You didn’t blink when Ricardo was fighting but today I guess some at ringside might miss the knockout being too busy with their mobile phones updating their social media pages. I’ll give up when I see referees doing it between rounds.
A good weekend for prospects with Padraig McCrory, Xander Zayas, Bryan Polanco, Marques Valle, Isaac Chamberlain, Stephen McKenna, Jesse Rodriguez and Batyr Akhmedov all scoring first round wins.
By Eric Armit
There always seems to be so much going on with the heavyweights these days from the sublime to the ridiculous. Anthony Joshua vs. Kubrat Pulev is now set for 12 December in London. On the same card Lawrence Okolie and Krzys Glowacki will contest the vacant WBO cruiser title. Joe Joyce vs. Daniel Dubois for the vacant European title is set for 24 October and it has been floated that the return match between Alex Povetkin and Dillian Whyte will be in London on 14 or 21 November but that is not yet nailed down and neither is the proposed Oleg Usyk vs. Dereck Chisora fight although 31 October looks the likely date. Oh and Tyson Fury is talking about fighting a wrestler. Down in New Zealand negotiations are ongoing for old amateur foes Joseph Parker and Junior Fa to settle their differences. In France the much anticipated youth vs. experience contest will see Tony Yoka face former WBC title challenger Johann Duhaupas in Paris on 25 September. The hope is that 5,000 fans will be able to attend the fight. The 39-year-old Duhaupas has never lost to a French fighter. Yoka needs the action. He spent a year out of the ring after being suspended for skipping the drug testers and only managed to fit in two fights when his ban ended so has had only two fights in over two years. Croatian hope Filip Hrgovic returns on 29 September against Czech Ondrej Pala.
Marco Huck will be the mandatory challenger for the winner of Joyce vs. Dubois. Huck was previously mandatory challenger but stepped- aside through injury and was reinstated once the Joyce vs. Dubois fight was approved by the EBU.
Huck returned to action last Saturday. His only outing in 2019 ended on a one round No Decision after it was ruled that a knockdown he had scored was caused by a punch landed after the break call so before Saturday he had managed just 57 seconds of ring time in the last two years. His comeback is the ridiculous bit I mentioned at the start. It was a farcical mismatch against Dennis Lewandowski. The obese 6’2” Lewandowski weighed 335lbs (152kgs). The Body Mass Index (BMI) chart shows that anything over 30 is obese. Lewandowski’s BMI comes out at 43 almost 50% higher than the start figure for obese. What is even more alarming is that Lewandowski was not the worst case. On Friday night veteran Chauncy Welliver weighed 378lbs (171.5kg) against Cassius Chaney. Welliver is also 6’2” giving him a BMI of 48.5. Both Lewandowski and Welliver are considered “fit to box”. That stretches the definition of fit to the extreme. I just hope they never fight each other as instead of ropes and canvas you would need anchor chains and granite flooring.
Boxing is slowly climbing out of the bunker and rebuilding after the pandemic. The latest to get the go ahead is the Philippines Games and Amusement Board which will be allowed to approve shows but within strict guidelines. I find it amusing that boxing comes under the banner of Games and Amusement.
Subject to UK Government approval and BBB of C agreement Eddie Hearn is hoping to put on a show in front of fans on 26 September in London probably featuring unbeaten Joshua Buatsi
Hearn will be putting on the IBF eliminator between Lee Selby and George Kambosos. Matchroom won the bidding for the fight with a purse of $277,777 against the $260,000 bid by DiBella Enterprises. As the No 1 and 2 slots in the IBF ratings are vacant the winner will be the mandatory challenger for the winner of the IBF champion Teo Lopez vs. Vasyl Lomachenko fight. It would be nice to think that the winner of Lopez and Lomachenko would be the unified lightweight champion but since the WBC appointed Lomachenko “franchise” champion that means that Devin Haney is the WBC champion-I think!!!
Any hopes that WBC/WBO super light champion Jose Carlos Ramirez’s win over Viktor Postol would lead to a fight with IBF/WBA champion Josh Taylor and an early unification of the titles at super lightweight have disappeared. The WBO have ordered Ramirez to defend against their No 1 Jack Catterall. They have given the respective management teams twenty days to negotiate but if no agreement is reached then the fight will go to purse offers and in theory the fight should be scheduled to take place within 120 days but that is negotiable. Catterall has a 25-0 record with wins over Tyrone McKenna and Ohara Davis but does not have a very high profile in the USA
Taylor puts his titles up against Thai Apinan Khongsong (Sakkreerin) in London on 26 September. If Catterall’s profile is not high Khongsong’s is practically invisible. Box Rec rates the Thai No 95 in the world and the computerised IBO ratings have him at No 59! I guess if both Ramirez and Taylor come through their title defences unscathed then early next year might be a realistic projection for that unification fight. Former undefeated WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards returns to action on this show against bantamweight Kyle Williams.
Gervonta Davis already seems to looking beyond his fight with Leo Santa Cruz on 24 October and talking about how he will beat Vasyl Lomachenko. The Davis vs. Santa Cruz fight is another example of sanctioning body madness. The fight is said to be for the secondary WBA lightweight title held by Davis and the WBA Super super featherweight title held by Santa Cruz. That means that Davis will have to weigh inside the super featherweight limit whilst defending his lightweight title, which he has said he will do. If Santa Cruz wins he does not unify any titles as Vasyl Lomachenko is the real WBA lightweight champion and don’t forget that Santa Cruz is WBA featherweight super champion but obviously that title is not on the line. To be honest if someone asked whether I would rather recognise the WBA or the IBO then the IBO would win hands down.
With Lawrence Okolie relinquishing the European cruiser title Belfast-based Tommy McCarthy will meet Belgian Bilal Laggoune for the vacant title. McCarthy earned his right to fight for the title with a points win over 17-0 Fabio Turchi in October. Laggoune drew with Dmytro Kucher in a fight for this title in 2015 and has won his last five fights. It looks a good match.
Le McGregor is another British fighter on the cusp of a European title fight. He will challenge Frenchman Karim Guerfi for the bantamweight title on 14 November.
Some people are just too talented and Frenchman Brahim Asloum seems to be a boxing version of a polymath. Asloum, the fourth child in a family of ten, won a boxing gold medal at the 2000 Olympics, the first Frenchman to do so since 1936, turned professional and won the WBA light flyweight title, moved on to become a sports broadcaster, set up a foundation to help people made vulnerable through illness, went into movies with a couple of starring roles, competed in reality shows, moved into boxing promotions, and is still active, and owned the Paris United team that competed in the World Series of Boxing. Finished? No way next year he intends to run for the position of President for the French Boxing Federation.
Some world title fights to look out for include the exciting show at the Mohegan Sun on 26 September that will feature both of the Charlo twins in title fights. WBC super welter champion Jermell will tackle IBF champion Jeison Rosario in a unification battle and Jermall puts his WBC middleweight title on the line against No 1 Sergey Derevyanchenko in a great match up. Additionally Brandon Figueroa will defend his secondary WBA super bantam title against Damien Vazquez. In Moscow on 23 October Artur Beterbiev defends the WBC and IBF light heavyweight titles against Adam Deines. The Russian-born Deines lost an IBF eliminator against Fanlong Meng in June last year but when Meng decided not to face Beterbiev Deines took the offer of the title shot. On 31 October in Las Vegas Naoya Inoue defends his WBA and IBF titles against Australian Jason Moloney a fight that promises fireworks. Yordenis Ugas and Abel Ramos will fight for the vacant secondary WBA welterweight title on 6 December in Los Angeles. The WBA stripped Alex Besputin when he tested positive after winning the vacant title against Radzhab Butaev in November. On 12 December Nordine Oubaali defends the WBC bantam title against Nonito Donaire.
Sad to learn that great little Swiss fighter Fritz Chervet collapsed and died on Saturday. Chervet was active between 1962 and 1976 and had a 59-9-2 ,1ND record at a time when Europe had a rich crop of flyweights and Fritz fought them all. Fernando Atzori, John McCluskey, Franco Udella and so many more. He did not fight for and win the European title for the first time until fight No 47 of his career. He had two shots at the world title challenging Thai Charchai Chionoi twice losing on a split decision in the second fight. One of the greatest boxers Switzerland has produced. The other bit of sad news was the death from cancer of Jean Baptiste Mendy at the age of just 57. The brilliant Frenchman was WBC, WBA, European and French lightweight champion being 9-0 in European title fights. A true great in French boxing history. RIP Fritz and Jean Baptiste.
Last weekend Polish veteran Rafal Jackiewicz upset the odds when he won a six round decision over Rico Mueller in Germany. The scores were 58-56 twice for Jackiewicz and 57-57. So none of the three local judges scored the fight for Mueller. However Mueller’s team appealed to the Bund Deutscher Berufsboxer (BDB) who had five “impartial judges” review the fight and they all scored the fight for Mueller. Now at best the result will be changed to a No Decision and it might even be changed to a win for Mueller. Two things here. Firstly presumably the original three judges were “impartial” as they were German judges scoring a fight involving a German fighter in Germany. Secondly if the result is changed to a win for Mueller will Jackiewicz be allowed to appeal and if he wins that appeal will Mueller appeal………..and so on.
By Eric Armit
-Jose Carlos Ramirez gets close unanimous verdict over Viktor Postol in defence of his WBC and WBO super light titles and Arnold Barboza goes to 24-0 as he outpoints Tony Luis
-Erislandy Lara retains the secondary WBA title and wins the vacant IBO super welterweight title as he outclasses Greg Vendetti and world rated Alfredo Angulo suffers upset loss at the hands of very late substitute Vladimir Hernandez
-Jack Culcay gets split decision over Abass Baraou in a candidate for German Fight of the year and Vincent Feigenbutz moves down to middle outpointing Jama Saidi
-Daniel Dubois blows away overmatched Ricardo Snijders in two rounds and Sunny Edwards and Sam Maxwell continue unbeaten with wins.
-Tim Tszyu beats former world champion Jeff Horn inside the distance
World Title/Major Shows
Brisbane, Australia: Super Welter: Tim Tszyu (16-0) W RTD 8 Jeff Horn (20-3-1). Light: Liam Wilson (7-0) W TKO 2 Jackson Woods (4-2-1).
Tszyu vs. Horn
Tszyu crushes a disappointing Horn as he takes another step along the road in his father’s footsteps and out of his shadow. Despite the difference in experience Tszyu was the more composed in the first round. He was jabbing accurately and countering wild lunging attacks from Horn with hard hooks. Horn was warned twice for punches to the back of the head and warned against at the start of the second and additionally for holding. Tszyu was landing an occasional punch at distance and connected with a hard right counter. Horn was just barrelling forward head down then grabbing Tszyu but neither fighter was doing any useful work inside and there was more messy and pointless wrestling than punching. Tszyu was boxing coolly in the third and twice in the space of ten seconds a rushing Horn was tumbled to the canvas. Tszyu began to find the target at range and late in the round he put Horn down with a short left hook. Horn was up quickly and the bell went after the eight count. Tszyu built on that success in the fourth and fifth and was now in total control. He was landing at distance with jabs and straight rights and scoring with hooks on the onrushing Horn. The name Horn was appropriate as Horn’s tactics consisted of head down charges and holding inside. Tszyu dominated the sixth finally connecting with a series of punches ending with a right to the head that saw Horn drop to his knees. He arose immediately but was looking ragged and tired. Horn managed to bob and weave and hold for the remaining forty seconds. Horn connected with some left hooks and overhand rights at the start of the seventh but for the rest of the round he was under pressure with Tszyu doing the scoring and Horn was visibly hurt by a left hook to the body. Tszyu handed out steady punishment in the eighth and there is some controversy over the ending. Certainly at the end of the round Horn returned to his corner and there was no celebrations from Tszyu but it looked as though Horn’s corner then decided their man was finished and then the celebrations began but it was stated that the referee had stopped the fight so it goes in as a TKO although it did not look that way. Huge win for Tszyu. Easily his biggest victory so far. He retains his IBF Australasian and WBO Global titles and can expect to see his ratings improve on his positions going into the fight of IBF 6(5)/WBO 9/WBC 12 and I guess the plan will be to get him a world title shot so he can eventually emulate his father Kostya. Horn. 32, looked battle worn here and from the first bell was never in the fight. Horn will probably retire and if so then winning a world title and beating Manny Pacquiao is not a bad way to be remembered.
Wilson vs. Woods
Spectacular body punching from Wilson proves too much for Woods in this clash of former Elite level amateurs. This fight was hot from the start. Wilson was jabbing well and connected with a couple of body punches only for Woods to send him back on his heels with two hard counters. They then traded punches until a left to the body sent Woods reeling back almost bending in half obviously hurt and a couple of head punches saw him drop to the canvas. Woods was up at eight and fought back hard but again body punches had him retreating at the bell. Woods tried to match Wilson for power in the second but late in the round more lefts to the body were too much for him and he went down in pain. He did make it to his feet at eight but the referee rightly waived the fight over. Wilson, 24, gets his fifth inside the distance victory. In the amateurs he was a five-time Australian champion, nine-time Queensland champion and six-time Australian Golden Gloves champion. Hand injuries forced him out of the 2016 Olympics and he lost to Brit Luke McCormack at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. He looked very good here. As an amateur Tasmanian Woods was Oceania and Australian champion scoring a win over Andrew Moloney on his way to the gold medal at the Australian championships.
Berlin, Germany: Super Welter: Jack Culcay (29-4) W PTS 12 Abass Baraou (9-1). Middle: Vincent Feigenbutz (32-3) W PTS 12 Jama Saidi (17-2). Middle: Vincenzo Gualtieri (15-0-1) DREW 10 Thomas Piccirillo (7-0-2). Super Welter: Haro Matevosyan (11-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Joel Julio (39-5). Super Middle: William Scull (15-0) W TKO 4 Mathias Eklund (12-4-2). Light Heavy: Fabian Thiemke (5-0) W PTS 6 Gennadi Stserbin (2-6).
Culcay vs. Baraou
“Youth will not be served” is the message a as experienced Culcay take a split verdict over Baraou in a top quality fight that in other times would have filled stadium in Germany and must be a candidate for German Fight of the Year. A cagey first round went to Culcay as he popped Baraou with jabs and landed some hooks inside. Baraou landed his jabs and got through to the body early in the second and when Culcay opened up late in the round Baraou matched him punch-for punch. By the third it was already clear that this was going to be a close, high quality fight between two accomplished boxers and Culcay edged into the lead with some accurate left hooks in this round. Culcay landed well in some torrid trading at the start of the fourth but Baraou matched him and then turned the round his way with four left hooks to the body. I had it 38-38 at this point. The fifth again saw quality fighting from both Culcay and Baraou. Culcay was throwing bunches of punches and Baraou stood and fired back just landing the cleaner shots. Baraou had been the one coming forward over the last three rounds but in the sixth Culcay was taking the fight to Baraou and was picking his punches better. The seventh was a good round for Baraou. He had Culcay backing off with thudding body punches. He was landing rights to the head and looked on the point of taking over the fight. Baraou also dominated the eighth. He just couldn’t miss Culcay with his jab and right crosses. Culcay was going backwards and only fighting in short bursts. I had Baraou 77-75 in front. The ninth was a repeat of the eighth with Baraou finding the target continually with his jab and connecting with strong hooks and Culcay not throwing nearly enough punches. The fight was slipping away from Culcay but he fought his way back into it in the tenth round. He was marching forward forcing Baraou back and was connecting with some savage punches. Baraou came through the storm and was pounding Culcay only for Culcay to open fire again and have Baraou reeling at the bell. A great round in a great fight and one for Culcay. It was punch for punch throughout the eleventh with Culcay finishing the stronger as he raked Baraou with a stream of punches at the bell. They punched themselves to exhaustion in the twelfth with both somehow finding the strength to pump out punches and for me the round went to Culcay. Scores: 115-113 and 115-114 for Culcay and 116-113 for Baraou (I scored it 114-114). It was a shame there had to be a loser. The win gives 34-year-old Culcay the hope of a shot at the IBF title. He was No 7 in their ratings with Baraou at No 8 so by beating another rated fighter Culcay qualified to move into the vacant No 2 spot and would fancy his chances against Jeison Rosario but this fight took a lot out of him. The 25-year-old Baraou showed that after just nine fights he is already a world class fighter and he will fight for a world title probably by late 2021.
Feigenbutz vs. Saidi
Feigenbutz just too big and too strong for a competitive Saidi. Saidi was the busier in the first round pumping out his jab. Feigenbutz was content to probe with his jab and neither fighter really took any chance. Feigenbutz controlled the action in the second and third with strong jabs snapping Saidi’s head back. He was on target with long rights and left hooks to the body. Saidi was quick but looked underpowered. Saidi did some good work with his jab in the fourth and connected with three good right crosses and Feigenbutz only came to life in the last few seconds. Feigenbutz’s jab was too strong for Saidi in the fifth but in great sixth round both landed heavily with three beautifully timed uppercuts from Saidi making Feigenbutz’s head bounce. The strength of his jab and his harder punching saw Feigenbutz take the seventh and eighth with Saidi begging to slow. Saidi tried switching to southpaw in the ninth but his problem wasn’t with his stance it was with Feigenbutz jab and heavy right crosses. It was a fight for survival for Saidi over the last three rounds and he made to the final bell soaking up punishment on the way. Scores 118-111, 116-112 and 116-112 for Feigenbutz. Having lost on a tenth round stoppage against Caleb Truax for the IBF super middleweight title in February Feigenbutz has now moved down to middleweight and in this fight won the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title. He looked strong and is still only 24 having turned pro at 16 without any amateur experience. Fellow-German Saidi, 27, lost to Jack Culcay in a very creditable performance in November but has spent most of his career at super welter and was not strong enough to compete with Feigenbutz.
Gualtieri vs. Piccirillo
Gualtieri retains the BDB German title and preserves his unbeaten record with a majority draw against Piccirillo but looks lucky to do so. It was Italian-born Piccirillo who took the lead early. Gualtieri tried to use his longer reach to control the early action but Piccirillo was busier and more accurate with Gualtieri struggling to find his line. By the half way mark Piccirillo looked to have built a good lead but Gualtieri began to find the range from the seventh and finished stronger but did not seem to have done enough to off-set Piccirillo’s early advantage, Scores 95-95,95-95 and 96-94 for Piccirillo. Good performance by Piccirillo considering his lack of experience. Gualtieri, a one-time protégé of the late Graciano Rocchigiani was making the first defence of the German title.
Matevosyan vs. Julio
Predictable victory for Matevosyan over semi-retired Colombian Julio. The Armenian-born southpaw started slowly with Julio having some success over the first two rounds but then Matevosyan racked up the pressure and as he got stronger Julio faded out of the fight and it was an easy win for Matevosyan in the end. Scores 100-90,99-92 and 98-92 for Matevosyan wins the vacant German International title. Only a NO Decision due to a cut mars his 100% record. Julio, 35,had shots at the WBO and WBO interim titles way back but this is only his second fight in the last six years.
Scull vs. Eklund
Cuban Scull much too classy for Eklund. Scull was switching to southpaw and back in the first. He staggered Eklund with a left hook but the referee decreed it was a push so no count. He outboxed Eklund in the second and third having Eklund shaky at the end of both rounds. A succession of head punches sent Eklund down in the fourth. He made it to his feet but when a left hook had him on wobbly legs the referee stopped the fight. Seventh win by KO/TKO for 28-year-old Scull. He turned pro in Argentina with help from Lucas Matthysse and won the South American title and fellow-Cubans have help him move his base to Germany. He showed plenty of class so is worth keeping an eye on. Finn Eklund loses inside the distance for the third time.
Thiemke vs. Stserbin
Thiemke gets some rounds under his belt against Estonian Stserbin. The highly rated young German hope won every round despite attempts from Stserbin to hold and draw Thiemke into a brawl. The 20-year-old “German Dream” won gold medals at the European and German Schoolboy Championships and German Under-17 and Under-18 before turning pro at 18. When the great trainer Ulli Wagner describes a young fighter as the greatest German talent to come along in years that is some endorsement to live up to. Stserbin had lost five of his last six fights but the win in their was a first round kayo of unbeaten Irish hope Taylor McCormack.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Jose Carlos Ramirez (26-0) W PTS 12 Viktor Postol (31-3). Super Light: Arnold Barboza (24-0) W PTS 10 Tony Luis (29-4). Light: Ray Muratalla (10-0) W TKO 7 Cesar Valenzuela (15-7-1). Welter: Elvis Rodriguez (9-0-1) W KO 3 Cody Wilson (9-3).
Ramirez vs. Postol
In a close fight Ramirez comes from behind to take the majority verdict over Postol in a contest that could have been scored for either boxer.
The 5’11” tall Postol made good use of his longer reach to slide jabs through Ramirez guard and landed some good hooks when Ramirez came forward. Ramirez stepped up the pace late in the round but Postol was grabbing Ramirez and not allowing him to work inside.
Score: 10-9 Postol
Postol did the same in this round as he had in the first but did it better. His jab was hardly ever out of Ramirez’s face and he was connecting with a quick hook or uppercut and using sharp footwork to get out before Ramirez could respond. Ramirez landed a good left hook but little else.
Score: 10-9 Postol Postol 20-18
Ramirez upped the pressure in this round but was still getting caught with the jab and by quick burst of light punches. Postol’s long stride and nifty foot work was making it difficult for Ramirez to cut off the ring and he took the round.
Score: 10-9 Postol Postol 30-27
A round for Ramirez. He was harrying Postol for the whole three minutes and managing to cut the ring off more effectively. Postol was not using his jab so much as every time he threw it Ramirez was coming over the top with right hands.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Postol 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham: 39-37 Postol, Judge Dave Moretti 39-37 Postol, Judge Steve Weisfeld 38-38
Back to the jab for Postol and back to chasing but not catching for Ramirez. Postol was not loading up on his punches but he was slotting jabs through Ramirez’s guard and now standing in front of Ramirez and sending straight rights in behind the jab
Score: 10-9 Postol Postol 49-46
Ramirez was getting past Postol’s jab in this one and applying more pressure. He was scoring with hooks inside and even out jabbing Postol at times. Postol’s jab was ineffective but he did enough work to make this one close but it was Ramirez’s round.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Postol 58-56
All out pressure from Ramirez. Postol’s jab was no longer a deterrent. Every time Postol threw a jab Ramirez was using it as signal to get inside where he was clipping Postol with hooks and uppercuts with Postol being hustled out of his game plan. Ramirez was in his face for the whole three minutes and the challenger was rocked by a strong left hook to the chin..
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Postol 67-66
Ramirez looked to be in control now. Postol was not throwing as many punches as in the early rounds and his jab had no authority. Ramirez was doing a good job of cutting off the ring and was scoring again with hooks and uppercuts. Postol landed some useful counters but it was Ramirez’s round.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez TIED 76-76
Official Scores: Cheatham 76-76, Moretti 76-76, Weisfeld 77-75 Ramirez
Classy boxing from Postol. He had his jab on target and used clever foot work to stay off the ropes and out of corners. He was finding the target with straight rights and Ramirez was chasing in vain.
Score: 10-9 Postol Postol 86-85
Postol boxed well early in the round but Ramirez slowly racked up the pressure and had Postol scurrying around the ring and did enough scoring with hooks late in the round to swing it his way
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Tied 95-95
Postol slowed and was being forced to stand and exchange punches as Ramirez continued to hustle him. That gave Ramirez the chance to put together some bunches of hooks and he outlanded Postol. There was a short break for Postol’s glove tape to be fixed-I thought they had solved this problem in Nevada!
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 105-104
The last round was a close one until Postol decided he just needed to stay out of trouble then fierce attacks from Ramirez with some meaty hooks to the body swung the round his way but it was close.
Score: 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 115-113
Official Scores: Cheatham 115-113 Ramirez, Moretti 114-114, Weisfeld 116-112 Ramirez.
Ramirez retains the WBC and WBO titles but only just. Ukrainian “Iceman” Postol deserves another chance but Ramirez has his eyes on a unification fight with Josh Taylor who holds the WBA and IBF belts. Imagine that a fight to become the undisputed champion-until one of the sanctioning bodies digs up a reason to change that. Taylor floored and beat Postol by 11, 8 and 7 points but that is no real guide to Taylor vs. Ramirez -different fighters-different fights
Barboza vs. Luis
Impressive performance from Barboza as he outclasses experienced Luis. On paper it look a good test for Barboza but he never allowed Luis to get a toe hold in the fight. He used his much longer reach to control the action and constantly found the target with rights both as leads and as counters. Luis had a good fourth but even then the heavier punches were coming from Barboza. He continued to boss the action with the slight blip of losing a point in the sixth for a low punch never a factor. That was as good as it got for Luis on the night. Barboza was switching guards, varying his line of attack and throwing more and connecting with more as he worked his way to victory. Scores 99-90 for Barboza on the cards of the judges. The 28-year-old Californian is climbing the ratings sitting at No 8 with the WBC and 10 with the WBO. A higher rated fighter looks a reasonable next step. Luis, 32, had put together a sequence of ten wins all against decent level opposition.
Muratalla vs. Valenzuela
After some early excitement Muratalla settles down to crush Valenzuela in seven rounds. He quickly found his way past the longer reach of Valenzuela and just one minute into the fight put him down with an overhand right. Valenzuela was up quickly and then took the fight to Muratalla. In the second Muratalla was forcing the fight until with just seconds remaining in the round Valenzuela landed a left hook to the body and another one to the side of the head and Muratalla was on the floor. He arose quickly and comfortably made it to the bell. From there Muratalla was the boss. He came close to stopping Valenzuela with a volley of head punches in the fourth and handed out severe punishment in the fifth and sixth. The referee warned Valenzuela that he would stop the fight in the seventh unless Valenzuela showed some improvement and after Muratalla landed a couple of head punches the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Fifth inside the distance win in a row for Muratalla. Valenzuela had a good win over 19-3 Christian Gonzalez in June last year .
Rodriguez vs. Wilson
Rodriguez maintains his busy schedule with his third quick win in less than two months. Another power punching display by Rodriguez. The Dominican southpaw floored Wilson with a left in the first round. He showed Wilson the jab and then sent a left straight through Wilson’s guard. Wilson got up and made it through the round. Wilson showed plenty of spirit and also survived the second although a punch late in the round sent his mouthguard flying out of his mouth. It was over early in the third. Rodriguez connected with a couple of neck-snapping uppercuts and nailed Wilson with a hellacious left cross that sent Wilson down flat on his back and that was the fight over. Seventh inside the distance win in a row for Rodriguez who looks better each time he fights. Wilson had won his last four fights.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Super Welter: Erislandy Lara (27-3-3) W PTS 12 Greg Vendetti (22-4-1). Super Middle: Vladimir Hernandez(12-4) W PTS 10 Alfredo Angulo (26-8). Super Welter: Brian Mendoza (19-1) W PTS 10 Thomas LaManna (28-4-1).Super Light: Luis Arcon (10-0-1) DREW 8 Abraham Martinez (8-0-1).
Lara vs. Vendetti
Lara outclasses Vendetti but provides very little entertainment in a fight lacking any highlights.
Lara was taller with a reach advantage and faster footwork leaving Vendetti to lunge forward trying to get inside. Lara was not throwing many punches but he was accurate and easily evaded Vendetti’s attacks.
Score: 10-9 Lara
Vendetti’s aggression paid off in this round. He was getting inside and working with hooks to the body and scored with a useful right to the head. Lara was only looking to counter and not lead and he threw very few punches .
Score: 10-9 Vendetti TIED 19-19
Lara was pinging Vendetti with jabs at distance and countering Vendetti’s rushes with left hooks. Vendetti just could not get inside as Lara was anticipating his attacks and using fleet footwork to dance away.
Score: 10-9 Lara 29-28
Lara was landing jabs at distance and left hooks whenever Vendetti lunged forward. Lara scored with a straight right to the head but his punch output was still low and he was not taking any chances or aiming to entertain.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 39-37 Lara, Judge Zachary Young 39-37 Lara, Judge Carla Caiz 38-38 tied
Once again Lara was picking Vendetti off with jabs and countering Vendetti’s rushes with left hooks or uppercuts. He put together a couple of combinations but did not follow up with any fire. Vendetti manage to get close a couple of times but landed nothing of any significance.
Score: 10-9 Lara 49-46
A frustrated Vendetti was getting wild with his attacks as brilliant footwork from Lara saw him scoot away whenever Vendetti threatened. Lara cracked Vendetti with a left and then fired a bunch of punches before going back to the jab and move tactics.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 59-55
Vendetti had a better round largely because for much of the round Lara chose to stand in front of Vendetti giving Vendetti the chance to score in close. However Lara was landing the quality punches and again did the scoring in short bursts.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 69-64
Lara decided again to stand in front of Vendetti using a high guard. Neither threw many punches but a heavy left staggered Vendetti. He backed out of the exchanges which allowed Lara to again spear him at distance and clout him with lefts whenever he rushed forward,
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 79-73
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 77-75 Lara, Judge Zachary Young 78-74 Lara, Judge Carla Caiz 77-75 Lara
A round for Vendetti mainly because Lara did almost nothing in the round. He stood in close giving Vendetti the chance to connect with a stream of hooks inside with Lara hardly throwing a punch.
Score: 10-9 Vendetti Lara 88-83
Vendetti charged hard at the start of this round and had a little success. Lara was back to jabbing and moving working on the outside and then meeting Vendetti’s rushing attacks with sharp counters.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 98-92
Exhibition stuff from Lara. He slotted jabs and straight lefts through Vendetti’s guard and occasionally strung together a bunch of punches but it was all so clinical. Vendetti kept lunging forward but he was not getting close enough fast enough.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 108-101
Lara played the matador to Vendetti’s bull as he had been doing throughout the fight but it was a matador not looking for a kill and a bull with no horns as he coolly boxed his way to the final bell.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 118-100
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 117-111 Lara, Judge Zachary Young 117-111 Lara, Judge Carla Caiz 116-112 Lara.
The 37-year-old Cuban retains the WBC secondary title and wins the vacant IBO title. Lara has only lost to world champions and those fights all ended in either a split or majority decision. On the other hand he has only won the WBA secondary title and the only time he held the real WBA title was when he was promoted to that position without fighting for it. He is one of the most talented fighters in the world but is his own worst enemy when it comes to profile. He had the tools here to beat a very limited Greg Vendetti inside the distance but there was never an occasion in the fight when he showed any interest in sustaining an attack or putting Vendetti under pressure. Frenchman Michel Soro blasted out Vendetti inside two rounds so it isn’t as if Vendetti has an iron chin. For this Lara gets a 9.0 for skill and a 2.0 for entertainment. Vendetti registered a couple of reasonable wins last year but was way out of his class in this fight.
Hernandez vs. Angulo
The contrast between this fight and the Lara vs. Vendetti fight was night and day as Hernandez gets an upset win over Angulo in a war. Hernandez came in as a very late substitute but he looked sharp from the opening bell. Angulo is a slow starter and Hernandez took full advantage of that as he exploded out of the blocks in the first round bombarding Angulo with punches and starting swelling under both of Angulo’s eyes. Angulo is a warrior and was handing out some heavy stuff of his own as they went toe-to-toe through the next three rounds which Hernandez looked to have edged to move into a strong lead. If there was a downside for Hernandez it was that he lacked power to fully exploit the ease with which he was finding the target. Angulo had been focusing his punches on the body and he began to turn the tide from the fifth as attrition is his default tactic. It looked as though Angulo was taking over when he pounded Hernandez with body punches in the sixth and was outlanding Hernandez over the seventh and eighth. Hernandez had worked hard enough to makes those rounds close and he raised his game over the last two rounds as they battered away at each other in nonstop action to an exciting climax. Scores 98-92 for Hernandez from all three judges which looked very harsh on Angulo. Denver-based Mexican Hernandez took this fight at two days notice. Caleb Truax was to have faced Angulo but he seriously dehydrated trying to make the weight and finally pulled out of the fight. Hugely important win for southpaw Hernandez who had suffered losses against Israil Madrimov-in Madrimov’s first pro fight-and French prospect Souleymane Cissokho but had bounced back with a split verdict over 16-2-1 Aaron Coley in July last year. Huge blow for Angulo as he was trying to build on a decision over Peter Quillin in September.
Mendoza vs. LaManna
Mendoza wins unanimous decision over LaManna but the scores look a little too wide. LaManna boxed neatly in the first with plenty of jabs and quick rights then using footwork to keep out of trouble with Mendoza connecting with a couple of left hooks to the body. La Manna switched guards in the second but a strong body attack and a right to the head gave Mendoza the round. Mendoza was getting the better of the exchanges in the third and outlanding LaManna until a right to the head had Mendoza doing a little dance and almost going down. A clash of heads in the fourth saw Mendoza cut over his left eye. The middle rounds were close with Mendoza scoring with single heavy shots and LaManna more accurate and landing more. LaManna had a slight lead but Mendoza began to eat into that with a strong eighth and he just did enough to pinch the ninth and LaManna was cut over the right eye. The last was tight and for me LaManna just had the edge and he raised his arms in celebration. Then came the scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 all for Mendoza. Not how I saw it but it’s how the judges see it that matters. Rebound win for Mendoza who had dropped a split decision to Larry Gomez in November. LaManna had put together a 7-0-1 run before being stopped in five rounds by Jorge Cota in January.
Arcon vs. Martinez
Both fighters had to climb off the floor in this one. Martinez was sharp early. Despite Arcon being taller with a longer reach it was the quick attacks from Martinez that gave him the first round. Arcon is the bigger puncher and he rocked Martinez late in the second. He was bombarding Martinez with punches but left himself wide open and a left hook from Martinez put him down heavily. He was up at three and looked OK and the bell went just as the referee waived them to continue. Martinez was busier than Arcon in the third and Arcon more accurate in the fourth. Arcon fought hard to try to claw back the lost points from that knockdown and looked to have achieved it by edging the fifth and sixth and rocking Martinez twice in the seventh before flooring Martinez with the last punch in the fight. Martinez was up quickly and there was no time for any more action. Scores 76-74 Arcon, 76-74 Martinez and 75-75. It was the first time either fighter had gone past the sixth round and the both looked satisfied with the draw.
London, England: Heavy: Daniel Dubois (15-0) W TKO 2 Ricardo Snijders (18-2). Super Fly: Sunny Edwards (15-0) W PTS 12 Thomas Essomba (10-6). Super Light: Sam Maxwell (14-0) W PTS 10 Joe Hughes (17-6-1). Light Heavy: Willy Hutchinson (12-0) W TKO 1 Ben Thomas (2-3-3).
Dubois vs. Snijders
Totally predictable as Dubois disposes of Snijders inside two rounds. Snijders, really no more than a beefed-up cruiser was on the retreat from the first bell. Dubois shadowed him around the ring until connecting with a left hook to the body and Snijders dropped to one knee. He was up at eight but then went down again from push rather than a punch. He managed to get up but was on the floor again from a short burst of punches from Dubois. He was very unsteady when he got to his feet and it probably would have been stopped but the bell sounded at the end of the eight count. Some hefty body punches at the start of the second saw Snijders go down for the fourth time and although he arose the referee stopped the fight. Not even some useful sparring for Dubois to set him up for his European title fight against Joe Joyce as he gets his fourteenth inside the distance victory. Dubois is certainly covering all of the bases. In his last six fights he has won the WBO European, WBO Global, British, Commonwealth, WBO International and WBC Silver belts. Snijders came in as a substitute for Erik Pfeifer. He was out of his class and out of his division as he had been outpointed by Joel Djeko for the IBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight title in May last year.
Edwards vs. Essomba
Edwards boxes his way to victory over Essomba in defence of his IBF International title. He was just too quick and slick for Essomba. Constantly changing guards he was flicking jabs in Essomba’s face and clouting him with right hands. Essomba was too often lunging in and missing and paying for that with sharp counters. Essomba tried to pressure Edwards in every round but slick footwork was taking Edwards away from any trouble and quick hands were allowing him to score when Essomba over- reached himself. His speed allowed Edwards to ping Essomba with jabs at distance and by constantly switching guards he was giving himself plenty of options. Edwards is not a puncher and that could be critical when he faces better opposition as could his overconfidence but he had enough tools to beat Essomba. The little man from Cameroon landed his best punch in the fight in the eighth. He did enough to take the ninth and edged the eleventh but other than that it was all Edwards. Scores 117-112 twice and 116-112 for Edwards. The 24-year-old British champion is rated WBO 4 and IBF 6(4) but there will much tougher tests ahead for him if he is to justify those rating. Essomba comes to fight and showed he had to be taken seriously by any opponent after beating former amateur star Sean McGoldrick last year.
Maxwell vs. Hughes
Maxwell retains the WBO European title and preserves the world rating that comes with that belt by outpointing the always tough Hughes. In the first Maxwell was using his longer reach to set Hughes up for straight rights and hooks to the body but Hughes managed to get past the jab and outworked Maxwell to take the round. Maxwell has quicker hands and began to press hard from the third but Hughes came back to take the fourth. Maxwell was really into his stride in the fifth putting together some classy combinations and although he could not totally subdued Hughes he was winning the rounds. No one gets a free ride from Hughes and he was fighting hard enough to make some rounds close but Maxwell really was just too big, too quick and too strong for Hughes and finished the stronger. Scores 97-94 twice and 98-92 for Maxwell. Maxwell was making the second defence of his European title. This is the third loss in a row for Hughes in bouts involving British and European titles. He will, be sorely missed as he comes to fight and has never lost inside the distance. He is higher than journeyman level but just below star level and there are not fighters like that around.
Hutchinson vs. Thomas
Impressive power showing from Scottish hope Hutchinson. He was giving away height and reach to Thomas but that was no problem. He chased Thomas down and with just over a minute gone dropped him with two rights. Thomas was up at six but when a barrage of punches dropped him again the referee waived the fight off. The 22-year-old Hutchinson was Scottish, British and European Junior champion and British and World Youth champion so another name to the growing list of exciting British prospects. Thomas came in at nine days notice and suffers his second inside the distance defeat on the trot.
San Carlos, Mexico: Welter: Santiago Dominguez (22-0) W TKO 1 Adalberto Borquez (30-20-1). Light: Luis Torres (8-0) W PTS 8 Jose Luis Vazquez (10-1).
Dominguez vs. Borquez
Dominguez collects the previously vacant WBC Fecarbox title as he obliterates poor Borquez inside a round. A barrage of punches dropped Borquez just one minute into this fight. He was up at eight but another series of punches floored him for the second time. He made it to his feet but went down for a third time under an array of head punches and the referee stopped the fight. Seventeen early finishes for “Somer” who won the WBC US Silver title last year with a first round stoppage of 17-2 Ravshan Hudaynazarov. Thirteenth loss by KO/TKO for Borquez but only his second fight in two years.
Torres vs. Vazquez
Torres wins the WBC Youth Silver belt with unanimous decision. Southpaw Torres had heaps of height and reach over Vazquez and floored Vazquez with a right hook just before the bell to end the first round. Vazquez survived and went to war. He just kept walking through the punches from Torres and whacking away with uppercuts and rights to the head. Torres the harder and more accurate puncher was making Vazquez pay for every step forward he took often sending Vazquez reeling back and outpunching him inside. The frantic pace told and they were arm weary over the last three rounds with Torres the clear winner. This had originally been scheduled for eight rounds but it went ten. However the judges only scored the first eight rounds! Scores 79-72.77-72 and 76-73 for “Koreano” Torres. He gets his nickname from his Asiatic features. Vazquez, 21, gave it a try but was well beaten over both eight and ten rounds.
South Kirby, England: Super Bantam: :Lee McGregor (9-0) W TKO 5 Ryan Walker (11-2). Welter: Lewis Crocker (12-0) W TKO 7 Louis Greene (12-2). Welter: Liam Taylor (22-1-1) W PTS 10 Darren Tetley (20-1). Super Light: Gary Cully (11-0) W PTS 8 Craig Woodruff (10-6).
McGregor vs. Walker
McGregor returns to action with stoppage of Walker. The taller McGregor found the range in the first with his jab and connected well with left hooks to the body and rights to the head as Walker tried to move inside. Over the second and third McGregor upped the pace mixing in some choice uppercuts. He was handing out steady punishment with Walker game but outgunned. After being shaken by a right at the start of the fourth Walker spent most of the round trapped in a corner or on the ropes as McGregor worked him over with body punches. The first punch McGregor threw in the fifth was a lead right to the head that sent Walker stumbling back and down own on his rump with his back against the ropes. He climbed to his feet but the referee decided to save him from further punishment and stopped the fight. Six inside the distance victories for 23-year-old British and Commonwealth bantam champion McGregor. First loss by KO/TKO for BBB of C Southern area champion Walker.
Crocker vs. Greene
After scoring an early knockdown Crocker has to fight hard to stop Greene. The opening round saw Greene shadowing Crocker around the perimeter of the ring looking to connect with right hands. Instead just seconds before the bell it was a left hook from Crocker that struck and sent Greene down. Greene was up at eight and the round was over. Greene continued to keep pressing and connected with some strong rights to the head and left hooks to the body but Crocker was moving well, covering well and countering well. Greene continued to walk forward in the fifth working to the body when he could get past Crocker jab but Crocker landed a series of left hooks to the body and was in control. Greene still had plenty of fire in the sixth but the counters from Crocker were taking their toll and Greene had a swelling around his left eye. In the seventh a savage left hook to the body saw Greene drop to one knee. He beat the count but was floored by a right to the head and although he managed to get up the referee stopped the contest. The 23-year-old Crocker from Belfast wins the vacant WBO European title with win No 7 inside the distance. He turned pro at 20 having competed at both the European and World Youth Tournaments. Greene lost to Larry Ekundayo for the IBF European title in 2018 but pulled off an upset win last October when he travelled to Poland and stopped the 18-0 Lukasz Wierzbicki in two rounds.
Taylor vs. Tetley
Taylor decisions Tetley in a great little scrap that was decided by two early knockdowns scored by Taylor. Southpaw Tetley made a good start staggering Taylor with a left hook in the first but the second was a fight winning round for Taylor. He forced Tetley to a corner then landed a left hook to the body forcing Tetley to go down on one knee. He was up at four and survived a focused body attack from Taylor to the bell. Tetley fought hard in the third but with just 15 seconds remaining in the round a left and right to the head from Taylor had Tetley backing off and again going down on one knee with the round ending as Tetley made it up. It looked as though Taylor’s punch was going to win him this one inside the distance. Tetley had been fighting on the back foot but from the fourth he refused to be bullied by Taylor and the fight developed into an exciting scrap. Both were rocked at times and Taylor was cut by his right eye as they battled on. Tetley just seemed to have the edge from the fourth but it was not enough to counter those two early knockdowns. Scores 96-93 twice and 95-93 all for Taylor. His only loss is a points defeat against the much more experienced Tyrone Nurse back in 2015. In his last fight in November for the British and Commonwealth title he floored champion Chris Jenkins and was looking good before a cut suffered by Jenkins saw the fight ended in the fourth round and declared a No Decision. Tetley had won the WBO European title in 2018 but never defended it. He did enough here to warrant a return with Taylor.
Cully vs. Woodruff
Lanky Irish prospect Cully has to climb off the canvas to take a close decision over Woodruff. The 6’2” Cully was able to use his longer reach to outbox Woodruff for much of the fight but Woodruff was willing to walk through Cully’s southpaw jabs and made things uncomfortable for the tricky Irishman. Cully was quicker with both his hands rattling rapid combinations off Woodruff’s head and doing some showboating. Woodruff stuck to his task and early in the fifth sent Cully flying back and down with a straight right. Cully was up early and held until his head cleared and then took control again and boxed his way through the last three rounds. Referee’s score 77-75 for Cully. He is a former European and Irish Youth champion. Welshman woodruff forced the pace all the way but apart from the right in the fifth was always second best.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Feather: Dennis Contreras (22-10-1) W TKO 5 Belmar Preciado (20-3-1). Heavy: Cassius Chaney (19-0) W TKO 4 Chauncy Welliver (57-12-5).Feather: Orlando Gonzalez (16-0) W PTS 8 Diuhi Olguin (14-14-4).
Contreras vs. Preciado
Contreras beats down Preciado with a prolonged blistering body attack. The sound of the bell for the first round had not even faded before Contreras had Preciado pinned against the ropes unloading body punches. Preciado countered well with left hooks to the body and straight rights outscoring Contreras but they just bounced off Contreras who kept coming and connecting with body shots from both hands. Preciado rocked Contreras twice early in the second but Contreras was relentless and his body punches were hurting Preciado. In the third Preciado was throwing more and landing more but he was always the one backing out of the exchanges and was in a corner and being pounded with punches at the bell. Contreras seemed to tire in the fourth. His work rate dropped dramatically and Preciado was able to take the round with his jabs and an occasional flurry of punches. Contreras was back on the attack in the fifth. He forced Preciado to the ropes and connected with a left to the head that unhinged Preciado’s legs and a series of punches ending with a right to the head that sent Preciado to the floor. Preciado only just beat the count and despite the fact he looked unsteady the referee decided to let him continue and then literally rushed across the ring ready to stop the fight which he did so after just a couple of punches from Contreras. Mexican Contreras was having only his second fight in two years but registered win No 21 by KO/TKO. His record did not look that good when compared to that of Preciado but he had been in the ring with opponents such as Emanuel Navarrete and Hugo Ruiz. The only fighter anywhere near world class on Preciado’s record is former WBO featherweight title challenger Hiroshige Osawa and he knocked Preciado out in nine rounds. The rest of his opposition has been mediocre. He was to have fought Michael Conlan before the pandemic but he has blown any chance of a Conlan fight.
Chaney vs. Welliver
Chaney stops a bloated Welliver in four rounds. This was a total farce and I can’t understand how any matchmaker can think that the 6’2” Welliver weighing 378lbs (27 stone, 171.6kg) was ever going to be anything more than a flabby punch bag for Chaney. That’s how it turned out with Chaney doing the pitching and Welliver the catching until the referee stopped the fight in the fourth round.. The 6’6” Chaney, a former US National PAL gold medal winner and US Championships bronze medallist, is not exactly slim and came into this fight at 263 ¾ lbs and even then was giving away 115lbs!. He did not turn pro until he was 27 and has scored thirteen wins by KO/TKO but is being over protected fighting only poor level opposition. To describe Welliver as elephantine would be an insult to elephants. Welliver was once a very useful fighter but this was his first fight for almost two years and he was 49lbs heavier than in that last fight.
Gonzalez vs. Olguin
Puerto Rican Gonzalez has too much class for experienced Olguin. The young southpaw outboxed Olguin comfortably over the first three rounds. Olguin put in a big effort in the fourth and fifth but Gonzalez was always in control and Olguin faded out of the fight over the closing rounds as Gonzalez skills proved too much for him. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Gonzalez a former Pan American Youth champion. Mexican Olguin is 1-5-1 in his six most recent fights.
Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Middle: Twaha Kiduku (16-6-1) W PTS 10 Abdallah Paziwapazi (27-8-1,1ND). Feather: Ibrahim Mgender (24-6) W PTS 10 Nasibu Ramadhani (29-16-2).
Kiduku vs. Paziwapazi
In their second meeting Kiduku overcomes the much bigger Paziwapazi to win the national title. These two had clashed back in 2017 in a fight that ended in a majority draw with Kiduku looking unlucky not to get the decision. Kiduku, really just a super welter and 4” shorter than Paziwapazi Kiduku walked through Paziwapazi’s punches and battered away at Paziwapazi’s body. He had Paziwapazi on the back foot throughout the fight but had to take a lot of punishment coming in. He was busier and was forcing Paziwapazi to fight at a higher pace then Paziwapazi wanted and Paziwapazi tried late. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for Kiduku. Five of Kiduku’s losses have come on his visits to Europe with four of his opponents being unbeaten. Last September he weighed just 150lbs so this was a big jump in weights for him. In November Paziwapazi was knocked out in two rounds by Rocky Fielding and weighed 170lbs.
Mgender vs. Ramadhani
Southpaw Mgender take a unanimous decision over Ramadhani to lift the vacant national featherweight title. Mgender is a former undefeated Global Boxing Council world champion and has some brave management. They have put him in with Julius Indongo, Charles Manyuchi, world rated Azinga Fuzile and the then 27-0 Eduardo Hernandez. But he did fool them once by outpointing 30-0 Zapir Rasulov. Similar overmatched story for the 5’3” Ramadhani who is 1-5 in fights in the UK.
Rangsit, Thailand: Bantam: Petch Sor Chitpattana (56-1) W TKO 6 Tongpeth Taeyawong (5-3-1). Fly: Petchmanee (33-1) W PTS 6 Hector Villa (0-2).
Sor Chitpattana vs. Taeyawong
Sor Chitpattana (Tasana Salapat) retains the WBC Asian title in a contest so typical of when a world rated Thai faces a novice. For five rounds Sor Chitpattana treated it as sparring. He stayed on the back foot for five rounds letting Taeyawong throw punches. Sor Chitpattana blocked or dodged most of the punches as long as Taeyawong took no liberties. It was a different Sor Chitpattana in the sixth as he exploded on Taeyawong flooring him twice the first time with a left to the body and the second with a left and a right to the head and the “fight” was over. Sor Chitpattana goes to 41 wins by KO/TKO and his eighth in a row since losing on points to Takuma Inoue for the interim WBA title in 2018. He is rated WBA 7/WBC 9. Thai champion Taeyawong, 17, suffers his third inside the distance defeat.
Petchmanee vs. Villa
Usual paid sparring for Petchmanee (Panya Pradabsri) as he outpoints American novice Villa. He has never faced a testing opponent except for China’s Chaozhong Xiong. He lost that fight and three of his last four opponents had never previously had a fight. Villa is described as a US citizen born in Mexico and based in Thailand. If his left leg was Russian and his right leg British he could be a poster boy for the United Nations. Disgraceful a fighter rated No 2 in the world “fighting” a guy who has never previously had a pro fight.
Neidersachen, Germany: Heavy: Marco Huck (42-5-1) W PTS 10 Dennis Lewandowski (13-5). Super Light: Rafal Jackiewicz (52-26-2) W PTS 6 Rico Mueller (25-4-1)**
Huck vs. Lewandowski
In his first fight since June last year Huck plods to victory over an obese Lewandowski. This was every bit as much a farce as Chaney vs. Welliver. Lewandowski was so fat that Huck gave up hitting him to the body as his punches could not penetrate the rolls of fat around Lewandowski’s midriff. Huck switched to head hunting and although landing at will on his ponderous and glacially slow moving opponent he was unable to finish the fight early. Scores 100-90 for Kapt’n Huck on the three cards. The 35-year-old Huck, a former WBO and IBO cruiser champion, was having his first fight since a one round No Decision against Nick Guivas in May 2019. He is hoping to fight again in October. Passing Lewandowski as “fit to box” is a joke. How fit can a guy be when he is 6’2” tall and weighs 336lbs (24 stones, 152.5kgs). Fit to be a punch bag-yes-a fighter no.
Jackiewicz vs. Mueller
Even at 43 Former European champion Jackiewicz shows there is still some life left in him as he takes a split decision over Mueller who storms out of the ring in disgust. Jackiewicz was 1-9 going into this one so an embarrassing defeat for Mueller who had lost a majority decision to Jeremias Ponce for the vacant IBO title in September. Mueller was only ten years old when Jackiewicz won the European title in 2008. **Mueller’s team have appealed the decision so it current shows as a No decision on BoxRec.
Suwalki. Poland: Middle: Maciej Sulecki (29-2) W PTS 10 Sasha Yengoyan (44-8-1). Super Welter: Przemyslaw Zysk (14-0) W PTS 8 Tomi Silvennoinen (9-2). Super Middle: Mateusz Tryc (10-0) W KO 2 Sladan Janjanin (27-7).
Sulecki vs. Yengoyan
Sulecki outpoints a durable Yengoyan as he prepares to return to the USA to seek another title shot. Despite the usual fiery start from Yengoyan Sulecki took the first and second rounds and then staggered Yengoyan with a left hook in the third. From there Sulecki was in the driving seat. He was finding the range with jabs and rights to the head and when Yengoyan tried to hide behind a high guard Sulecki went to the body. He was connecting with rights through the middle rounds and shook Yengoyan a few times later in the fight. Yengoyan takes a very good punch and he always fought back but had to survive a rocky ninth and frustrated Sulecki’s attempt to put him away in the last. Scores 100-90 X 3 for Sulecki. His losses have come on points against Daniel Jacobs in 2018 and in June last year against Demetrius Andrade for the WBO title. Belgian-based Armenian Yengoyan,35, was 40-2-1 but is now 4-8 in his most recent action.
Zysk vs. Silvennoinen
Zysk wins again as he decisions Silvennoinen. A lively start to this one as they traded heavy punches in the first round. Finn Silvennoinen staggered Zysk with a right in the second but the Pole recovered and used his longer reach and strong right crosses to take over. He outscored Silvennoinen over the third and fourth but Silvennoinen countered well to edge the fifth and sixth. They both scored heavily in the seventh and Zysk was able to use his jab to control the eighth. Scores: 78-74 twice and 77-75 for Zysk his seventh points win in his last eight fights. Silvennoinen has a five bout winning streak broken.
Tryc vs. Janjanin
Easy win for Tryc over the exhibitionist Janjanin. After flooring Janjanin in the first round Tryc forced Janjanin to go down one knee with a series of punches in the second. Janjanin was up quickly and as the referee counted the eight proceeded to do an exotic hip-shaking body-twisting dance. He continued to clown around until another burst of punches saw him drop for the second time. More clowning until a couple of uppercuts convinced him to go down for the third time. He got to his feet and just walked to his corner taking out his mouthguard as the towel came in but the referee ignored Janjanin’s action and the towel and completed the ten count. Waste of time for Tryc. He was a top level amateur but did not turn pro until he was 26. Janjanin belongs in a circus.
Sao Paulo, Brazil: Super Middle: Esquiva Falcao (27-0) W TKO 1 Morrama Dheisw de Araujo Santos (5-5). Super Feather: Robinson Conceicao (14-0) W TKO 2 Eduardo Pereira Dos Reis (24-8).
Falcao vs. Santos
Southpaw Falcao blasts out badly overmatched fellow-southpaw Santos in the first round. Falcao forced Santos to the ropes and put him down with a left to the head. Santos managed to get up but was put down three more times by similar punches before the massacre was halted. The 27-year-old 2012 Olympic silver medallist has 19 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated IBF 5(3)/WBO 7/WBC 7/WBA 13 but has not had even a sniff of a title shot. I guess that the fight he would want most is a shot at Ryota Murata who holds the secondary WBA title as Murata beat him in the final in London and in the semi-finals of the World Championships. Brazilian super welter champion Santos just cannon fodder for Falcao.
Conceicao vs. Dos Reis
Another mismatch sees Rio gold medal winner Conceicao annihilate poor Dos Reis. Conceicao towered over the 5’5” Dos Reis and scored three knockdown with some savage punching for his seventh win by KO/TKO in his first fight since June last year. Fifth inside the distance loss for Dos Reis.
Venice, FL, USA: Super Fly: Cristofer Rosales (30-5) W TKO 4 Jeno Tonte (9-9). Bantam: Melvin Lopez (22-1) W TKO 2 Szilveszter Kanalas (14-11).
Rosales vs. Tonte
Total mismatch as former WBC champion Rosales stops inept Hungarian Tonte. A waste of time and space putting on fights like these. Rosario gets win No 21 by KO/TKO. Tonte has now lost six of his last seven fights inside the distance without managing to make it past the fourth round in any of those losses
Lopez vs. Kanalas
This “contest” even worse as Lopez brushes aside Kanalas in two rounds. Kanalas now has ten losses by KO/TKO. He is 1-8 in his last 9 fights and he has only managed to last beyond the third round once.
Fight of the week (Significance): Jose Carlos Ramirez’s win over Viktor Postol keeps alive the possibility of a fight with Josh Taylor to unite the four title in the division
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Liam Taylor vs. Darren Tetley and Vladimir Hernandez vs. Alfredo Angulo provided plenty of entertainment but Jack Culcay vs. Abass Baraou was something very special.
Fighter of the week: Tim Tszyu for his win over Jeff Horn
Punch of the week: The thunderbolt left cross from Elvis Rodriguez that stretched out Cody Wilson gets the vote
Upset of the week: Vladimir Hernandez coming in at two days notice and beating Alfredo Angulo
Prospect watch: Australian lightweight Liam Wilson is 8-0 and looked good at the weekend.
No facemasks on show in either Australia or Tanzania.
Very strange to see the fight between Luis Torres and Jose Luis Vazquez for the WBC Youth title going ten rounds but the winner decided on what the score was after eight rounds. That’s a first.
How can Dennis Lewandowski 6’2” and 336lbs and Chauncy Welliver 6’2” 378lbs be “fit” to box. That’s a total of 714lbs so between them they are carrying the weight of almost seven flyweights-3 ½ each
Disappointing to note again instances of fights being stopped so the glove tape could be fixed-even in Nevada where I thought they had solved the irritating problem
What a pity to see some of these great fights staged before so few people
By Eric Armit
-Alex Povetkin climbs off the floor twice in the fourth round to floor and stop Dillian Whyte in the fifth
-Shawn Porter outclasses Sebastian Formella in an IBF eliminator
-Joe Smith crushes a worn looking Eleider Alvarez
-Former WBA secondary title holder Rob Brant gets a victory in his first post-COVID-19 bout
-Sergio Martinez returns to the ring with a win over Jose Fandino but Yoan Pablo Hernandez’s return is sunk by a surprisingly aggressive Kevin Johnson
- IBF No 1 cruiser Ruslan Fayer is stopped by fellow-Russian Alexei Papin
-Wins for Vladimir Shishkin, Peter Kadiru, Magomed Kurbanov, Sebastian Fundora and Julian Rodriguez
Brentwood, England: Heavy: Alex Povetkin (35-2-1) W TKO 5 Dillian Whyte (27-2). Super Middle: Jack Cullen (18-2-1) DREW 10 Zak Chelli (7-1-1). Welter: Chris Kongo (12-0) W TKO 9 Luther Clay (13-2).Heavy: Alen Babic (4-0) W TKO 2 Shawndell Winters (13-4).
Povetkin vs. Whyte
Povetkin climbs off the floor twice in the fourth round to knock Whyte down with a perfect left hook early in the fifth which upsets a few plans and puts Povetkin back into the picture at the top of the heavyweight tree.
After a cautious start by both boxers Povetkin was the livelier scoring with some body punches. Whyte stopped Povetkin in his tracks with a jab but other than that came up short with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Povetkin
A close round. Whyte was reaching the target with his jabs but rocked Povetkin with a right cross landed well to the body. Povetkin also went to the body a couple of times but Whyte did the better work in the round.
Score: 10-9 Whyte Tied 19-19
With his longer reach Whyte was find gaps for his jab and landed nicely to the body. He knocked Povetkin off balance a couple of times but Povetkin scored with some hooks.
Score: 10-9 Whyte Whyte 29-28
Whyte scored with two rights and then landed a left hook that saw Povetkin drop to one knee. He was up immediately and after the count Whyte took his time probing with his jab and looking for another opening. That gave Povetkin time to recover and he then did well with body punches and had Whyte on the back foot. With just fifteen seconds remaining in the round as Povetkin moved in Whyte landed a left hook to the temple that put Povetkin down again. Povetkin made it to his feet and at the end of the eight count the bell went before Whyte could land another punch.
Score: 10-7 Whyte Whyte 39-35
They traded punches at the start of the eighth then Povetkin exploded a booming left hook to Whyte’s chin. Whyte fell back flat on the canvas with part of his body under the bottom rope and referee immediately signalled the fight was over.
Huge win for the 40-year-old Russian as he collects the vacant WBC interim title. Although he had outboxed Hughie Fury in August his dreary draw with Mike Hunter in December made him look a safe bet as an opponent for Whyte. Whyte is demanding a return and Povetkin has said he is agreeable. With both Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua tied up with other business it would make a sensible fight for both Povetkin and Whyte. However this is loss is a massive blow for Whyte as winning the WBC interim title would have kept his name right there and made it more difficult for Fury or Joshua to ignore him. A revenge win over Povetkin is the only fight that will get him back to a seat at the heavyweight table but this fight showed that with the heavyweights everything can change with just one punch as the late Tommy Morrison found out against outsider Michael Bentt.
Cullen vs. Chelli
The 6-3” Cullen and Chelli fight to a disputed split draw. Cullen was using his height and reach well over the first two rounds but Chelli was pressing hard. Cullen’s jab had raised a nasty swelling around Chelli’s left eye in the third. Cullen started the fourth well but late in the round Chelli began to find the range with his own jab and some heavy single shots to take the round and in addition Cullen was cut over his left eye. Chelli continued to get the better of the exchanges in the sixth rocking Cullen with a left hook. Cullen tried to take the fight to Chelli in the seventh and eighth but again the harder punches were coming from Chelli. Cullen was tiring but he started both the ninth and tenth with some good work with his jab but in both rounds Chelli was stronger and outlanding Cullen and looked to have done enough to offset his slower start. Scores 97-93 Chelli, 96-95 Cullen and 95-95. Chelli, 22, was coming off a close points defeat against unbeaten Kody Davies. Cullen had lost on an eighth round stoppage against Felix Cash for the Commonwealth title in November.
Kongo vs. Clay
Good contrast of styles as boxer Kongo and fighter Clay produced a good scrap until Kongo ends things with two lefts in the ninth. Kongo used his longer reach over the first two rounds to score on the outside. Clay was trying to come in under the jab but was being caught by counters and Kongo was able to smother Clay’s work inside with some holding. Clay had more success in the third and fourth as he was jabbing well himself and able to get past Kongo’s jab. Near disaster in the fifth for Clay. He was pursuing the retreating Kongo and getting inside. As they traded punches Kongo landed a right to the head and Clay was in deep trouble. He staggered to the ropes and Kongo pelted him with punches Clay was swaying and a stoppage looked possible until Kongo punched himself out and it was Clay on top at the bell. Clay pressed through the sixth with Kongo jabbing and countering well but a right to the head had him hanging on in the seventh only for Kongo to fire back with a left and a right that shook Clay. Kongo boxed well in the eighth putting together some nice combinations and looked to be in front. Clay was shaken by a punch inside in the ninth and then he was sent reeling back by an uppercut. Kongo drove Clay around the ring bombarding him with punches but Clay survived. He then began to take the fight to Kongo again until two left hooks to the head put him down on his back and the towel was thrown in from Clay’s corner. Kongo gets his seventh win by KO/TKO and collects Clay’s WBO Global belt which will get him a world rating as Clay was rated No 11by the WBO. Kongo had a successful time as an amateur under his real name Chris Mbwakongo. British-based South African Clay had scored useful wins over Dario Morello and Freddy Kiwitt.
Babic vs. Winters
Babic annihilates Winter. Babic floored Winters with a left hook in the first and continued to clobber him in the second. He landed a series of punches and as Winters slumped to the floor the referee stepped in to save him. The 29-year-old Croat has taken less than seven rounds for his four wins. A former Croatian amateur champion he competed for Croatia at the 2017 European Championships. Winters, 39, lost on a fifth round stoppage against Joseph Parker in February.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light Heavy: Joe Smith (26-3) W KO 9 Eleider Alvarez (25-2). Middle: Rob Brant (26-2) W RTD 5 Vitalii Kopylenko (28-3). Super Light: Julian Rodriguez (20-0) W TKO 1 Anthony Laureano (13-1,1ND). Feather: Duke Ragan (1-0) W TKO 1 Luis Alvarado (1-2).
Smith vs. Alvarez
Smith pounds Alvarez to defeat in a one-sided contest as Alvarez looks about ready for retirement.
Alvarez made a bright start popping Smith with jabs but that did not last. Smith began to force Alvarez to the ropes and unload with some crude but powerful punches.
Score: 10-9 Smith
Alvarez was having trouble staying off the ropes and out of corners. Smith was using a powerful jab and some muscle to trap Alvarez and he was then bombarding Alvarez with wide swinging hooks.
Score: 10-9 Smith Smith 20-18
Alvarez had the better skills but Smith was not letting him use them. He was bullying Alvarez inside and thudding lefts and right against Alvarez’s head, Alvarez was being dragged into a brawl and losing.
Score: 10-9 Smith Smith 30-27
Alvarez boxed well for much of this round. He was firing jabs and moving. Smith just kept rolling forward and eventually he forced Alvarez to stand and trade and he was landing some wicked hooks and uppercuts. Alvarez had blood dripping from his nose at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Smith Smith 40-36
A punishing round for Alvarez. Too often he was static in front of Smith just covering up and not throwing any punches. Smith was able to tee off on Alvarez with hurtful rights and lefts with Alvarez not even trying to hold or throw much himself.
Score: 10-9 Smith Smith 50-45
Smith started this round slowly allowing Alvarez to work his jab. Once Smith stepped up the pressure Alvarez output dropped and again Alvarez was letting Smith get inside. Smith was loading up on every punch and was landing some vicious uppercuts. Alvarez punch output was dismal.
Score: 10-9 Smith. Smith 60-54
Alvarez boxed a bit more in this one and shook Smith with a right to the head that momentarily unhinged Smith’s legs. It was the best shot Alvarez had landed. Later in the round Smith pressed forward and was firing a succession of punches with Alvarez just covering up but Alvarez’s early work just gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Alvarez Smith 69-64
That proved a false down as Smith was back on top in the eighth. He was throwing more, landing more and landing harder punches. Alvarez briefly came to life putting together some rapid-fire combinations but he was staggered by a left hook late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Smith Smith 79-73
Smith ended this with his first hard punch of the round. He stepped in and detonated a right on Alvarez’s chin. Alvarez was already falling back when Smith added a left. Alvarez was flat on his back half out under the bottom rope. He seemed to decided too late to scramble to his feet and was counted out. Losses to Sullivan Barrera and for the secondary WBA title to Dmitry Bivol had pushed Smith down the ratings but his points win over Jesse Hart and now this crushing victory over Alvarez makes a title shot in 2021 a distinct possibility. For Alvarez it could be the end. He showed little movement and too often stood in front of Smith being deluged with punches and not firing back.
Brant vs. Kopylenko
Brant well on his way to victory when Kopylenko is retired with a large swelling affecting his vision. A lively first round saw both firing their jabs with Brant quickly adding some hooks to the body and matching Kopylenko’s jabs to take the round. Kopylenko just could not deal with Brant’s jab in the second. Brant was firing quick and accurate shots and Kopylenko was slow and off target. Kopylenko was weak with his jabs in the third and throwing one punch at a time. Brant was drawing the jab and then getting into range and connecting with hooks. Kopylenko missed with a charge and almost went head first through the ropes. At the end of the round Kopylenko had heavy bruising under his left eye. Brant completely outboxed Kopylenko in the fourth and fifth, He was buzzing around popping Kopylenko with jabs then nipping in to land a quick burst of punches with Kopylenko hardly throwing anything in response. The swelling under Kopylenko’s left eye had grown and Kopylenko could hardly see so his corner pulled him out. Brant starting again after losing his secondary version of the WBA middleweight title. Two losses in a row for Kopylenko who lost a split decision to Steve Butler in May last year.
Rodriguez vs. Laureano
Rodriguez stops an over aggressive Laureano inside three minutes. Laureano decided to walk through Rodriguez’s punches to get inside. Rodriguez was letting fly with bunches of punches to head and body and after just one minute a strong combination dropped Laureano on his rump. He was up at four and after the count he again tried to batter down Rodriguez. He was having some success until a left and a right rocked him and three right floored him again. He beat the count but went down for a third time under another series of punches and the fight was waived off. The 25-year-old “Hammer Hands” from New Jersey was in theory moving up to ten rounds but instead registered his thirteenth win by KO.TKO.
Ragan vs. Alvarado
Former top amateur Ragan turns pro and scores a quick stoppage win. Southpaw Alvarado just could not cope with the speed of Ragan and a neck-snapping straight right dropped him. He made it to his feet but walked away gazing out over the ropes so the referee waived his hands to signal it was over. Ragan, 22, won two US National titles, a National Golden Gloves title and silver at the PanAmerican Games. He looks a sure bet to make it to the top in the pros. Alvarado just there as a sacrifice.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Shawn Porter (31-3-1) W PTS 12 Sebastian Formella (22-1). Welter: Justin DeLoach (19-4) W TKO 1 Livan Navarro (11-1). Super Welter: Sebastian Fundora (15-0-1) W KO 6 Nathaniel Gallimore (21-5-1).
Porter vs. Formella
Porter in another league to Formella and he wins all the way to set up a title chance in 2021.
Porter was coming inside quickly behind a double jab and scoring to the body. He had Formella on the back foot. He was exerting plenty of pressure and letting fly with hooks when he caught Formella on the ropes. Formella scored with a nice right late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Porter
Porter was trying to overwhelm Formella with fierce attacks connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Formella made some space with his jab but Porter once again was all over him with hooks and uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 20-18
Porter was continuing to apply pressure. He is too quick for Formella and is putting together rapid combinations switching to head and body. Formella was trying to get into the fight with good movement and his jab but the swarming attacks from Porter are just too much for him.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 30-27
Formella had a much better round. Porter was on the back foot looking to counter and that was giving Formella a chance to work with his jab. Porter was only attacking in burst and Formella did just enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Formella Porter 39-37
Porter upped the pace. He connected with a heavy right to the head and then launched frenzied attacks. He was getting through with punches from both hands and literally chasing Formella around the ring. Plenty of body punching from Porter must take its toll later
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 49-46
Formella was not keeping Porter out. Porter was moving in behind a double jab and then throwing punches faster than Formella could block or duck and the German took some serious punishment.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 59-55
Porter rocked Formella a couple of times with rights but Formella was fighting back. Porter was still working hard on the body and after connecting with a big left hooks he had Formella rocking on the ropes at the bell
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 69-64
Porter was alternating between boxing on the retreat scoring with counters and full on charges throwing so many punches so quickly that Formella was getting rocked time and again. Porter’s right hand counter over Formella’s jab was taking away Formella’s confidence in his main weapon.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 79-73
Porter dialled back his activity in this round spending most of the fight on the back foot. That allowed Formella to find the range with his jab and connect with a couple of rights. Whenever Porter burst into life he was firing punches through Formella’s defence scoring with rights to the head and left hooks to the body and doing just enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 89-82
After being fire and fury at the start of the fight Porter was now spending more time looking to draw Formella’s lead and springing to the attack. He did that in this round letting Formella come forward behind his jab. Porter was then bursting into life driving Formella back and across the ring with a series of hooks and uppercuts to head and body. To his credit Formella did not crumble but kept taking every chance he got to punch back
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 99-91
Porter was content to box his way though most of this round. His hand speed was too much for Formella and Porter pierced his guard continually with jabs. Porter exploded into action a couple of times bombarding Formella with shots from all angles and then settled back to box for the rest of the round.
Score: 10-9 Porter Porter 109 100
Porter handed out more punishment in the last connecting with a blistering right to the head and left hook to the body to showcase his talent. Formella was under fire but fighting back hard at the end.
Score 10-9 Porter: Porter 119-109
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 120-108 Porter, Judge Pat Russell 120-108 Porter, Judge Zachary Young 120-108 Porter.
The scores tell the story. Formella was never in this fight with a chance at any stage. Porter’s hand speed, movement and combination punching were in a different class to Formella. This fight was both for the WBC Silver title and an IBF eliminator. Porter is No 1 with the WBC but this win will only have landed him the vacant No 2 spot with the IBF as Kudratillo Abduqaxorov is already No 1. Having lost to IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence on a split decision in September Porter seems assured of a return with Spence in 2012 for either belt. This was way too high a step up in quality of opposition for the 33-year-old Formella. He showed a strong jab, some good movement and plenty of guts but the truth is that he was outclassed.
DeLoach vs. Navarro
DeLoach gets a much needed win as he destroys Navarro in just over two minutes. Cuban Navarro came out throwing bombs looking to blast DeLoach away. DeLoach tried to box but Navarro’s wild attacks had him ducking and dodging. Navarro staggered DeLoach with a right but as he lunged forward he was leaving himself wide open to counters and a booming overhand right to the head sent him down heavily. Navarro made to his feet but was wobbly and when the action restarted DeLoach drove Navarro to the ropes and tagged him with some heavy head punches. Navarro went down on his side and after starting the count the referee saw he was not going to get to his feet and stopped the fight. De Loach, 26, had suffered three defeats in his last four fights against Nathaniel Gilmore, Jeison Rosario and Terrell Williams so he has a chance to rebuild. Navarro, 29, was remarkably crude for a former Elite level Cuban amateur and paid the price for his carelessness.
Fundora vs. Gallimore
The 6’5 ½” Fundora is a freakish super welterweight. His 80” reach and his southpaw style just add to the problem for his opponents as Gallimore found on the way to a sixth round stoppage loss. At 5’11” Gallimore’s tactics were simple he had to hustle Fundora to the ropes and keep him there. He had some success but Fundora was catching on the way in outfighting him inside and spearing him at distance. Gallimore managed to make the second round a brawl and did enough to take the round. Fundora was happy to fight inside with Gallimore in the third and fourth. He was using his height to lean down on Gallimore and in both rounds he was rocking Gallimore with hooks and uppercuts. Fundora battered Gillespie throughout the fifth with Gallimore spending most of the round pinned against the ropes as Fundora unloaded on him with punches from both hands. In the sixth Fundora raked Gallimore with punch after punch until the referee took pity on Gallimore and stopped the massacre. Fundora “The Towering Inferno” gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. Jamontay Clark had some answers to Fundora’s height and fought to a controversial draw with Fundora in August (one judge had Fundora winning 98-92) and in Jamaican-born Gallimore he outclassed a fighter who has wins over current IBF super welterweight champion Jeison Rosario and Justin DeLoach. Fourth loss in his last five fights for Gallimore,
Detroit, MI, USA: Super Middle: Vladimir Shishkin (11-0) W TKO 9 Oscar Riojas (21-14-1). Middle: Timur Kerefov (9-0) W PTS 8 Calvin Metcalf (10-5-1).
Shishkin vs. Riojas
In a show staged in the Kronk gym Kronk-based Russian Shishkin has too much of everything for limited but tough Riojas. Shishkin almost ended it early when he staggered Riojas with a solid left hook in the first round. Riojas survived that but was never in the fight. He was shaken again in the second and rocked badly by a big right in the eighth. He was given a brief recovery period after complaining of a punch to the back of the head but that only delayed the end for a couple of more minutes. Shishkin landed a straight right, a candidate for punch of the week, which sent Riojas down heavily. He made it to his feet but was taking more punishment and the referee stopped the fight. Shishkin, the WBC No 10 makes it ten wins by KO/TKO. He was a member of the Russian Boxing Team in the WBS and has a win over tough French world light heavyweight title challenger Najib Mohammedi. Fourth inside the distance loss for Riojas but they have all come against good quality opposition.
Kerefov vs. Metcalf
Kerefov gets unanimous decision over Metcalf. Metcalf tried to pressurise Kerefov but the Russian was scoring with crisp counters and gradually wore Metcalf down. He was putting Metcalf under more pressure over the late rounds but despite being badly shaken in the sixth and carrying a cut Metcalf fought back hard and lasted the full eight round. Scores 80-72 twice and 78-74 for Kerefov. The 30-year-old Russian was an Elite level amateur and is progressing well. Metcalf can still boast he has never lost inside the distance and gave Kerefov eight useful rounds of work.
Bucharest, Romania: Super Welter: Flavius Biea (19-1) W DISQ 4 Teodoro Nikolov (5-36-4) Biea gets expected win but some confusion over the ending. Bulgarian Nikolov manage to hustle Biea off his game plan with an aggressive start hurting the local fighter with a pair of rights in the first round but it went downhill from there. Biea used his superior skills and a powerful jab to outbox Nikolov without ever really looking impressive. The referee deducted a point from Nikolov for holding in the fourth and repeatedly warned him for ducking too low and diving in with his head down. When the bell rang to end the fourth the referee just walked to Nikolov’s corner and told his team he had disqualified Nikolov for his head work. Seventh win in a row for Biea but all against very mediocre opponents. Now only one win in his last twenty-nine fights for Nikolov.
Torrelavega, Spain: Middle: Sergio Martinez (52-3-2) W KO 7 Jose Fandino (15-7). Middle: Sergio Garcia (32-0) W PTS 10 Pablo Mendoza (9-5). Feather: Kiko Martinez (41-9-2) W RTD 2 Noe Martinez (23-11-2). Light: Jon Fernandez (21-1) W Ruben Rodriguez (8-5-1). Super Feather: Bernard Torres (12-0) W PTS 8 Alex Cazares (16-12).
Martinez vs. Fandino
Martinez returns to the ring with a stoppage of Fandino.
Martinez eased his way into the fight. From the first round he was holding both hands at hip level firing jabs up through Fandino’s guard. Fandino staged an occasional attack but Martinez was able to slip them and counter. Fandino spent most of each round with his back to the ropes behind a high guard but Martinez was piercing Fandino’s guard with right jabs. Fandino connected with a hard right at the end of the second which fired him up for a short while. Martinez began to put some combinations together over the third and fourth and was easily dodging the occasional swipe from Fandino. The fifth saw Martinez still standing in front of Fandino with his gloves resting on his thighs before slotting punches past Fandino’s guard. Fandino showed a lot more aggression and had enough success to make it a close round. Martinez stepped on the gas in the sixth. For the first time he was staying inside and trading punches. He trapped Fandino in a corner and connected with a couple of body punches, Fandino dropped to a knee but seemed to indicate he thought Martinez’s punches were low. He was up quickly and then had his best spell of the fight as he stood and exchanged punches but Martinez drove him to a corner again and landed a series of punches as the round ended. Fandino came forward in the seventh. Martinez chose to stand inside again and exchange punches allowing Fandino to land some clubbing shots. Martinez connected with a series of short left hooks to the body forcing Fandino back and then drove home one more left to the body. Fandino fell to his knees and was counted out. A win for Martinez but one that did not tell us much. Fandino was willing but limited but provided no real measure of how much Martinez has left. At 45 and in his first fight for six years there were some signs of the Martinez of old but not many and unfortunately I think his days of being to compete at the top level are over. Fandino did his job in showing enough resistance to give Martinez a few rounds of work but was way out of his league and now he will go back to his gardening and masonry work having had the honour of being in the ring with a great former champion.
Garcia vs. Mendoza
Garcia much too talented and too big for Mendoza and outpoints the game Nicaraguan. Garcia had height and reach over Mendoza and was able to score constantly with his jab and straight rights. Mendoza showed plenty of fight but had difficulty getting past Garcia’s jab and had to walk though some hooks and uppercuts to get into range. When he did get there he was able to land some crisp left hooks to the body. Garcia was on the front foot looking to break Mendoza down mixing straight punches and hooks but he is not really a knockout puncher and Mendoza was never in any serious trouble. As the rounds passed Mendoza was spending more and more time with his back to the ropes but Garcia just could not totally subdued him and to the end Mendoza was still rumbling forward whenever he could. He made Garcia work for his win which was unexpected in view of Mendoza’s lack of experience and his first round stoppage by John Docherty in February. A good workout for Garcia. Scores 99-92, 98-92 and 98-93 for Garcia. The European champion is probably the most accomplished boxer in Spain right now and as WBC No 2 he is hoping for an eliminator against No 1 Erickson Lubin but there is also the possibility of a huge domestic fight with Kerman Lejarraga. For Mendoza, a Spanish-based Nicaraguan, a third loss in a row.
Martinez vs. Raygoza
Martinez gets victory when Raygoza’s corner pulls their man out before the start of the third round. The former IBF champion engaged in his usual war with Mexican southpaw Raygoza. They were knocking lumps of each other in the first with a clash of heads looking to have opened a cut on the left eyelid of Raygoza. Martinez bombarded Raygoza with punches in the second and although Raygoza was willing to stand and trade Martinez was taking control. The Mexican did not come out for the third round due to that cut which the referee decided had been caused by a punch giving Martinez the victory. The former IBF super bantam champion has faced the best including Carl Frampton, Leo Santa Cruz, Scott Quigg and Josh Warrington and was stopped in five rounds by Gary Russell in a challenge for the WBC title in May last year. At 34 he shows no sign of even considering retirement. First fight for Raygoza since being stopped in eight rounds by Ryan Garcia in December 2017 and his fifth loss by KO/TKO.
Torres vs. Cazares
Filipino-born southpaw Torres continues to show improvement. He boxed solidly with strong, accurate jabbing and some good body punching. Mexican Cazares was competitive early but then tired and Torres took the unanimous verdict. Torres, 24, is managed by Sergio Martinez and is a Norwegian citizen. As an amateur he was Norwegian and Nordic champion and represented Norway at the European Under 22 championships. Cazares took Kiko Martinez the full ten rounds in December and has not yet lost inside the distance.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Light Fly: Axel Aragon (14-3-1) W PTS 10 Saul Juarez (25-12-2). Feather: Henry Lebron (13-0) W PTS 8 Luis Porozo (15-4). Super Light: Omar Rosario (1-0) W PTS 4 Solon Staley (1-5-1)
Aragon vs. Juarez
In an all-Mexican contest Aragon wins his first title as a pro as he easily decisions former world title challenger Juarez. Aragon made a great start buckling Juarez’s legs with a right to the head in the first and only the bell deprived Aragon of an early win. Aragon took the second round and then had Juarez in deep trouble again with a right uppercut in the third. Aragon continued to pound Juarez with punches over the fourth and fifth but Juarez just would not crumble. The pace slackened over the sixth and seventh which gave Juarez some breathing space. Aragon was tiring in the eighth from his frantic efforts to put Juarez away and Juarez came on strong over the ninth and tenth but could not put a dent into Aragon’s lead. Despite the strong late effort from Juarez the scores were 100-90 twice and 98-92 for Aragon the clear winner. The 20-year-old from Ensenada lifts the previously vacant WBA Fedelatin title. Despite losing a wide decision to Wilfredo Mendez in September Vega was then given a return with Mendez in October last year after Mendez had become WBO minimum champion and in the return contest he lost a narrow technical decision. Juarez has had shots at both the WBC minimum and light fly titles and although he lost his last two fights-to Ganigan Lopez and Jonathan Gonzalez- both were in close decisions.
Lebron vs. Porozo
Puerto Rican southpaw prospect Lebron adds another win as he outpoints Ecuadorian Porozo. A masterful performance from Lebron as he totally outboxed Porozo. The Ecuadorian has an awkward style and he was looking to confuse and confound Lebron with some rough stuff mixed in. Lebron stayed cool shrugging off a cut over his left eye and never really seemed to or needed to hit top gear. Porozo lost a point in the sixth for punches to the back of the head and never posed a threat to the poised Puerto Rican. Scores 80-71 twice and 79-72. The 22-year-old Lebron , a Puerto Rican Youth and Senior champion and Pan American Youth champion, is being exposed a number of different styles. Porozo was one of Ecuador’s most successful amateurs but is finding life tough in the pros being 1-4 in his last 5 fights, all against high level opponents.
Rosario vs. Staley
Top Rank adds another outstanding prospects to their roster in six-time national champion Rosario who won titles at Junior, Youth and Senior level. The 5’10” Rosario towered over the 5’5” Staley and he eased himself into the pro ranks winning every round. Scores 40-36 for Rosario on the three cards. Rosario, 22, was preparing for the Tokyo Olympics but when they were cancelled he decided to turn pro. Staley just someone to sit in the other corner really.
Guerande, France: Middle: David Papot (24-0-1) W PTS 8 Francis Tchoffo (19-17-1). Super Welter: Jordy Weiss (27-0) W PTS 6 Issa Mourzaev (10-14-4).
Papot vs. Tchoffo
Southpaw Papot returns with a win as he takes a unanimous decision over survivor Tchoffo. He floored Tchoffo in the first but Tchoffo used his survival skills from there to disappointing the local fans but to balance that he also gives Papot some ring time. The down side for Papot is an injury, a suspected fracture, to his left hand suffered in the fourth round. Once the hand heals Papot, the WBA No 9, will be looking to fight in the USA where he drew with James McGirt in June last year. Cameroon-born Tchoffo has never lost by KO/TKO but has been unsuccessful in two shots at the French title.
Weiss vs. Mourzaev
EU champion “Gypsy” Weiss boxes his way to his twenty-seventh victory as he decisions Mourzaev. It was an interesting contest as Mourzaev despite his poor record is a neat boxer. Unanimous victory for Weiss who is hoping to get a shot at the winner of the European title fight between champion David Avanesyan and Josh Kelly. Mourzaev a deceptive 3-9-1 in his most recent outings.
Porto Viro, Italy: Middle: Etinosa Oliha (12-0) W PTS 10 Andrea Roncon (14-5-1). Oliha makes a successful first defence of the national title as he decisions Roncon. Oliha boxed his way to victory. He preferred to fight on the outside with Roncon taking the fight to the champion and pressing hard. There were some fierce exchanges and Roncon although behind was very much in the fight until the strength and accuracy of Oliha opened a huge gap between them. Over the second half of the fight Oliha was in control hurting and slowing Roncon with an array of body punches and vicious uppercuts and despite a big effort from Roncon the champion won by a large margin. Scores 100-90, 99-92 and 98-92. The 22-year-old Oliha is of Nigerian parents. He was a top level amateur compiling a 55-13-2 record and will be looking for a shot at the EU title next year. Roncon had home advantage and was more competitive than the scores indicate but he had never been past six rounds in a fight and that was a big factor here.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Super Feather: Mauricio Lara (19-2) W TKO 8 Jesus Quijada (16-7-2). Super Bantam: Noe Robles (24-1) W KO 4 Guillermo Rodriguez (15-3).
Lara vs. Quijada
“Bronco” Lara wears Quijada down and finally finishes him at the end of the eighth round. Quijano was boxing cleverly. He was finding gaps for his jab as Lara marched in and with Lara swinging wildly at times he was connecting with some hard counters. Lara kept rolling forward and slowly the pressure began to pay off as he was finding the target on a tiring Quijada in the sixth. As Lara began to land with long lefts in the seventh Quijada’s earlier composure disappeared and he was rocked late in the round by a right to the head. Quijada was cut on his right eyelid and was inspected by the doctor who gave Quijada the clearance to continue and then smeared something on the cut as if he was Quijada’s second. The referee deducted a point from Lara for low punches he had landed in the seventh. It made no difference as Lara submerged Quijada under a torrent of punches until he dropped and the referee stopped the fight. Ten wins in a row for Lara and either 14 or 15 inside the distance. He scored a one round stoppage victory on a show last month when there was no commissioner present so it shows as a No Decision on BoxRec record. Local fighter Quijada loses inside the distance for the first time.
Robles vs. Rodriguez
Robles was too quick for Rodriguez and took control of the fight from the first round. He was connecting with some brutal body punches. Rodriguez was firing some crude counters of his own but Robles walked through them. In the fourth Robles forced Rodriguez into a corner and as Rodriguez shaped to throw a left Robles beat him to the punch with a thunderous right to the head. Rodriguez dipped at the knees and was on his way down when the referee caught him and stopped the fight. That makes it 20 wins by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old local prospect but all against moderate opposition. Rodriguez had won 12 of his last 13 fights and he suffers his first inside the distance defeat.
Tlalnepantla, Mexico: Middle: Juan Carlos Raygosa (17-15-3) W PTS 10 Dauren Yeleussinov (8-1-1).
Surprise result here as Mexican journeyman Raygosa decisions Kazak to win the vacant WBC International title Scores 96-94 twice for Raygosa and 96-94 for Yeleussinov. Yeleussinov was to have fought a couple of weeks ago and when that was cancelled this one was arranged. The plan was for Yeleussinov to get a win and a title but Raygosa tore up the script. Yeleussinov, twice Kazak amateur champion is the elder brother of Olympic gold medallist Daniyar but he is finding it not as easy as expected in the pros having been held to a draw by novice Devaun Lee in 2016
Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy: Kevin Johnson (35-17-1) W KO 7 Yoan Hernandez (29-2). Light: Heavy: Tom Dzemski (15-0) W PTS 8 Michael Eifert (6-1). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (9-0) W KO 2 Muhammed Ali Durmaz (29-29). Cruiser: Juergen Uldedaj (12-0) W KO 2 Robert Grguric (4-2). Light Heavy: Robin Krasniqi (50-6) W TKO 6 Stanislav Eschner (14-15-1).
Johnson vs. Hernandez
Johnson scuppers Hernandez’s plans for resurrecting his career as he steamrollers Hernandez to defeat in seven rounds. The fight was staged at walking pace with Johnson, much the heavier man, coming forward poking out his jab and Hernandez retreating stabbing out his jab and moving inside to land a left hook and then holding. In the second and third Hernandez was unable to stop Johnson marching forward and Johnson was able to pin Hernandez to the ropes landing some heavy clubbing punches with Hernandez doing too much holding. Johnson had Hernandez down twice in the fourth. The first saw Johnson trapping Hernandez against the ropes and Hernandez falling sideward’s to the canvas with the referee deciding it was a slip. Johnson kept up the pressure and after a series of punches Hernandez dropped to the canvas and this time was given a count. After the count Johnson had Hernandez reeling again but ran out of time. A clash of heads in the fifth saw Johnson cut over his left eye. He passed a doctor’s inspection and continued to outmuscle a very tired Hernandez who lost his mouthguard as Johnson hustled and harried him. Hernandez was shaken by a right to the head in the sixth and two lefts and a right to the head dropped him in the seventh and he was counted out. Disaster for the 35-year-old former IBF cruiserweight champion and this loss must have crushed any hopes he had of a successful return. I have been very critical of the 40-year-old Johnson in the past but right from the opening bell he fought with a purpose and focus that he has not shown for a long time. He has to be careful as he has earned good money as an imported no threat opponent but if he performs like this the work could dry up.
Dzemski vs. Eifert
Dzemski gets a majority verdict over Eifert in a clash of stalemates. Both of these boxers are members of SES Team Germany so they know each other well and they put on an excellent fast-paced skilful contest. There was never much between them at any stage of the fight. Dzemski used his longer reach to work well with his jab in the first and cracked Eifert with a right cross in the second. Eifert put Dzemski under heavy pressure in the third and connected with some heavy head punches in the fourth and fifth. Dzemski had his jab working again in the sixth as they both showed the effects of the fast pace. A stronger finish by Dzemski saw him take the seventh and he outworked Eifert in the last. Scores 77-76 twice for Dzemski and 76-76. Great little scrap and a pity there had to be a loser. Dzemski, 23, wins the IBF Youth title. He is trained by his father Dirk who boxed professionally and retired with a 27-2 record. Eifert, 22, is a former German Under-22 champion who was a successful competitor in the Bundesliga boxing.
Kadiru vs. Ali Durmaz
No problems for Kadiru here as he disposes of Ali Durmaz in two rounds. Kadiru spent the first round padding after the retreating Ali Durmaz before catching up with him and landing a few punches just before the bell. Early in the second he trapped Ali Durmaz in a corner and threw a bunch of punches. A left hook connected but the others missed and Ali Durmaz dropped to his hands and knees and just stayed there to be counted out. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the 23-year-old from Hamburg but a predictable ending. Ali Durmaz has lost 24 fights by KO/TKO and won 27 the same way so only 7 of his 58 fights have gone the distance. He was 7-1 in his last 8 fights but those seven defeated opponents had just 5 wins between them
Uldedaj vs. Grguric
In his first fight since May 2019 Albanian prospect Uldedaj brushes aside German-based Croat Grguric. After pressing hard in the first round southpaw Uldedaj ended it in the second with a hurtful body punch which sent Grguric down and he was unable to beat the count. The 22-year-old Uldedaj won bronze medals at both the European Junior and Youth Championships. Grguric never in with a chance.
Krasniqi vs. Eschner
Not everyone’s return failed in Magdeburg. In his first fight for eighteen months Krasniqi shed some rust with a sixth round stoppage of Eschner. Krasniqi was content to box on the back foot and counter the aggressive Eschner and he shook Eschner with a left hook in the first. Krasniqui’s timing was a bit off but he connected with a left hook and a right to the body with Escher beckoning him to come back with more. Krasniqi did so landing a peach of a left uppercut and a right to the head. Eschner continued to get nailed by uppercuts but he shook off the punishment and was forcing Krasniqi to raise his pace. They stood and exchanged punches in the fifth with a left hook from Krasniqi knocking Eschner’s mouthguard flying. It looked as though Eschner might last to the final bell but a ferocious attack mixing body shots and uppercuts from Krasniqi had him reeling and rocking and the referee made a timely stoppage. The 33-year-old Kosovon-born Krasniqi, a former European champion who lost in light heavyweight title shots against Nathan Cleverly and Juergen Braehmer, was having his first fight since losing his European title against Stefan Haertel in May 2019 and he looked sharp. Eschner showed plenty of determination here. His role is defined by twelve of his fifteen losses coming when facing unbeaten opponents.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Welter: Magomed Kurbanov (20-0) W KO 1 Ilya Ochkin (6-2). Zaur Abdullaev (13-1) W KO 7 Pavel Malikov (16-1-1).
Kurbanov vs. Ochkin
Kurbanov blasts out Ochkin in just 82 seconds. Ochkin had shown he was going to take the fight to Kurbanov and that proved a huge mistake, As Ochkin bundled forward Kurbanov met him with a well-timed short right to the head which sent Ochkin crashing to the canvas and he was counted out. Kurbanov has put together a run of impressive wins twelve of them coming inside the distance. The local-based “Black Lion”, a former World Junior champion, is rated WBA 5/WBO 7/WBC 11 and I anticipate that he will fight for a world title next year. Russian based Kazak Ochkin was way out of his depth.
Abdullaev vs. Malikov
In front of his home fans and in his first fight since losing to Devin Haney for the interim WBC title in September Abdullaev massacres a too gutsy Malikov scoring seven knockdowns. Abdullaev used a strong jab and counters to the body to build an early lead over the first three rounds. Malikov was competitive but lacking the power to match Abdullaev. From the fourth it was just one knockdown after another mostly from body punches. Malikov was down twice in the fourth, once in the fifth, and three times in the sixth. He showed tremendous courage as he got up each time and fought back but a left to the body in the seventh was the finisher and he was counted out. The Haney fight came much too soon for the 26-year-old Russian and the road to another title shot started here. Malikov was knocked out in eight rounds by former IBO champion Daud Jordan in 2018 but had reinstated himself with points victory over former IBF title challenger Isa Chaniev last October.
Kazan, Russia: Cruiser: Aleksei Papin (12-1) W TKO 6 Ruslan Fayer (25-2). Super Feather: Albert Batygraziev (2-0) W TKO 10 Erzhan Turgumbekov (8-1-1). Super Light: Kharito Agrba (3-0) W PTS 10 Soslan Tedeev (20-2).
Papin vs. Fayer
A minor upset here as Papin returns from his first loss as a pro with stoppage of Fayer. In the opening round Fayer was sharper slotting jabs home and finding gaps for rights. Fayer was busy, busy in the second and third. He was firing quick, light punches, well more light taps than punches, and then bursts of hooks with a bit more power. Papin was coming forward behind a high guard and starting to find the range with some body shots. Fayer continued to throw more and land more than Papin in the fourth and fifth but now Papin was getting past Fayer’s light jabs and landing some heavy single shots. Papin rocked Fayer with a right to the head at the start of the sixth. Another hard right to the side of the head sent Fayer tumbling to the floor. He was up at two but was on shaky legs. He walked away from the referee to a neutral corner. The referee followed and asked Fayer to walk forward. Fayer did but the referee was not convinced and waived the fight over. Fayer protested but not with any conviction. Papin had lost a majority verdict against Ilunga Makabu for the WBC Silver title in August last year and now that Makabu is WBC champion Papin obviously wants a return and deserves one on this showing, Fayer was No 1 with the IBF so he has blown any chance of a fight against whoever wins the long since forgotten WBSS tournament (it has been 14 months since the semi-finals). He wants a return but does not have a strong claim after this loss.
Batyrgaziev vs. Turgumbekov
Southpaw Batyrgaziev has a war with Turgumbekov before winning on a late stoppage, Batyrgaziev took an early lead but over the middle rounds Turgumbekov took control and then Batyrgaziev came on strongly at the finish. He had Turgumbekov hurt but then threw Turgumbekov to the canvas so no count. When the action started again Batyrgaziev landed a series of savage punches and the fight was stopped. Batyrgaziev has had a meteoric rise. He started in kickboxing but after watching the 2016 Olympics he decided to switch to boxing. He won the Russian champion three years in a row. In 2017 he beat Olympian Vladimir Nikitin and in the 2018 championships he beat European silver medallist Gabil Mammadov. He lost to Cuban Lazaro Alvarez in the quarter-finals of the 2019 world championships but later in the year won his third Russian title. He qualified for Tokyo but then the pandemic intervened. He won a WBA Asian title in his first pro fight. A bright future ahead. Kyrgyzstan boxer Turgumbekov gave Batyrgaziev a harder test than expected.
Agrba vs. Soslan
Southpaw Agrba overcomes injury to outpoint Tedeev. Agrba was well in front after five rounds but then injured his right hand and boxed the second half of the able only to use his left but still took the unanimous decision. The Georgian-born Russian was World University champion and twice won silver at the Russian Championships but lost to England’s Pat McCormack in the final of the 2019 European Games. Tedeev had won his last seven fights.
Redditch, England: Light Heavy: Shakan Pitters (14-0) W PTS 12 Chad Sugden (11-2-1). Cruiser: Isaac Chamberlain (11-1) W TKO 3 Anthony Woolery (2-3).
Pitters wins the vacant British title with a wide unanimous points victory over Sugden. Pitters is 6’6” tall and that advantage was one that Sugden was never able to overcome. Pitters was able to work on the outside with Sugden struggling to get close enough to be effective. Pitters is not a big puncher and other than a split lip Sugden was never really in any trouble but he could not apply enough pressure to wear down Pitters. Pitters took no chances mostly sticking to a jab-right cross offence and although he rocked Sugden with a right in the eleventh he was always going to have to go the distance for his win. Scores 118-112 twice and 119-110 for Pitters. The Birmingham fighter scored a useful victory over Dec Spellman for the English title but there are stiffer challenge ahead. Sugden was 7-0-1 in his last eight fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Alex Povetkin’s win over Dillian Whyte has shaken up the heavyweight ranks.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Tom Dzemski vs. Michael was a close fought entertaining fight.
Fighter of the week: Alex Povetkin for showing his career is not over yet.
Punch of the week: Three good right hand candidates in the driven right from Vladimir Shishkin that dropped Oscar Riojas, the short right from Magomed Kurbanov that put out the lights for Ilya Ochkin and the thunderous right from Joe Smith that finished Eleider Alvarez but the award has to go to the perfect left hook from Povetkin that ended his fight with Dillian Whyte.
Upset of the week: Kevin Johnson was supposed to lose to Yoan Pablo Hernandez but he rubbished the script but again it is Povetkin’s win over Whyte that gets the vote.
Prospect watch: Only one fight in the pro ranks but Duke Ragan has the amateur credentials to make him a top prospect.
Certainly a pick-up in action this week
One comeback sees a degree of success and one a disaster. Sergio Martinez won but his age was showing and Yoan Pablo Hernandez should put the gloves away again and it is time for Eleider Alvarez to do the same.
Strange to see a doctor smearing a substance over a fighters cut after examining him and clearing him to continue-isn’t that the seconds job and one that should not be done when the doctor is just there to assess the cut?
You don’t find too many fight records like that of Muhammad Ali Durmaz: 29 wins 27 by KO/TKO, 29 losses 24 by KO/TKO so of his 58 fights only seven have gone the distance.
Good to see a boxing show at the Kronk gym a hallowed venue
By Eric Armit
It has been a good week/bad week in boxing. The Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Teo Lopez fight will now go ahead at MGM Grand on 17 October. We know who Saul Alvarez’s next opponent will be, there are some more green shoots of recovery emerging and we have gone a whole week without any of the sanctioning bodies inventing a new title although the WBC is investigation the need for a new division. On the down side boxing in the Philippines took a big hit when ALA Boxing decided to pull out after 35 years of being a major force in boxing there and some proposed fights have fallen by the wayside.
Lomachenko showed how much he wanted the Lopez fight and what he was willing to do to get the deal done. He agreed to reduce his cut from $3.5 million to $3.25 million with that $250,000 cut going to boost Lopez purse from $1.25 million to $1.5 million. Both fighters will finish up with more than those amounts when ancillaries are added in. Lomachenko’s move puts to shame those fighters whose ego has seen them walk away from a big fight rather than cut a deal. Bob Arum has said it will not be a PPV fight. He is concerned that with so many people losing their jobs due to COVID-19 that there may a reluctance to pay the PPV fee. I am not so sure. This is a fight that every boxing fan would want to see and if people want something bad enough they will find the money but Arum knows this business better than anyone else and if he feels he can make money out of this fight working with ESPN then even I am not dumb enough to question him.
Just as a contrast Top Rank won the bidding for the vacant WBO featherweight title fight between Emanuel Navarrete and Jessie Magdaleno with a bid of $250,000. They were the sole bidders.
It’s a good sign to see a big heavyweight fight as Dillian Whyte and Alex Povetkin clash on Saturday in Eddie Hearn’s back garden. It is for the interim WBC title as a sop to Whyte who has almost grown old in the WBC No 1 position. I can’t think of any boxer who has been rated No 1 in any division and yet gone almost three years without getting a title fight (he was installed as No 1 in November 2017). The WBC are fooling themselves if they think that this interim title and a Diamond belt are in anyway compensation for the disgraceful way Whyte has been treated.
Green shoots! Boxing has been given the go ahead in South Africa but with strict provisions laid down. Rodney Berman has a card scheduled for 10 October topped by a return fight between super welterweights Boyd Allen and Brandon Thysse scheduled for 10 October. These two fought a draw in May last year. He is also targeting early December for another show.
Another encouraging sign is Hennessy Sports staging their first post-virus card in Redditch on Saturday topped by a British title fight between light heavyweights Shakan Pitters and Chad Sugden and this will be shown live and free on terrestrial TV.
Returning is not an easy road for many promoters. With the additional cost of complying with the condition laid down by national governments and no attendance or TV breaking even is going to be tough or at times impossible.
The proposed unification fight between bantamweight champions Naoya Inoue and John Riel Casimero has fallen through. Bob Arum advised that the schedule for the fight was compromised by the COVID-19 restrictions which had seen the US Embassy in Japan closed making it impossible for Inoue to get a visa. Casimero will now defend his WBO title against Ghana’s Duke Micah on September 28 as part of the show at the Mohegan Sun featuring Charlo twins Jermall and Jermell and Mario Barrios in world title fights. I guess Inoue’s attitude to the fight falling through would be “no sweat”. He has worked with a Japanese company to develop a sauna suit to help with weight making. No news as to whether David Benavidez has placed an order for one. Top Rank are now aiming for Inoue to defend his IBF and WBA bantam titles against Jason Moloney which is good match.
Other fights that have slipped away include the WBC/IBF light heavyweight title defence for Artur Beterbiev against IBF No 1 Meng Fanlong which was to have taken place on 25 September With Fanlong pulling out there is talk that either IBF No 6 Adam Deines or No 9 Igor Mikhalkin may be in the other corner. It is interesting that Deines, who was expected to fight on the SES card in Magdeburg on Saturday, is no longer on the card. The 3 October IBF eliminator between Lee Selby and Australian George Kambosos is back on the table after Kambosos refused to accept a proposal from Eddie Hearn of a cut in their previously agreed purse from $150,000 to $100,000. The IBF may now call for purse bids. Daniel Dubois fight of 19 August is still on but instead of Erik Pfeiffer Dubois will now face Dutchman Ricardo Snijders who has an 18-1 record. The downside to Snijders is that he is not a real heavyweight. Most of his fights have been at cruiser and in May last year he was floored and lost a wide points decision to Joel Tambwe Djeko for the IBO Inter-Continental cruiserweight title. He was 213 ½ lbs for a fight in September but that looks to be a career high weight.
The news of ALA’s closure is a big blow for boxing in the Philippines. Business man Tony Aldeguer set up ALA Boxing back in 1985 and helped develop the careers of many of the top fighters from the Philippines such as world champions Donnie Nietes and Milan Melindo and fighters such as Z Gorres, AJ Banal, Rey Bautista and Michael Domingo. ALA had a good team employing former world title challenger Edito (Ala) Villamor and his brother Edmund as trainers. The impact of COVID-19 and the end of their working relationships with their broadcasting network made it impossible for ALA to continue and I wonder if there will be other causalities. ALA fighters are now all free agents including world rated Albert Pagara and Nietes a four division world champion with a record of 17-0-2 in world title fights and just one loss in his forty-seven fights with the loss being a split decision back in 2004. At 38 Nietes needs a new promoter and some contests. He has not fought since December 2018 and relinquished the WBO super fly title in February 2019.
Another piece of bad news was to hear one of Manny Pacquiao’s advisors talking up a fight between Manny and Conor McGregor saying that nine out of ten Filipino’s wanted the fight. Not sure what that says about fight fans in the Philippines. It will probably sell but as a finale to Manny’s career it stinks. Manny is working hard on his political duties. He is involved in an investigation into the alleged part played by the Philippines Bureau of Customs and Excise into a shipment of $126 million of illegal drugs from China.
The WBC should send a thank you card to David Benavidez. When he lost his WBC super middleweight title on the scales he opened the door for the WBC to nominate Saul Alvarez and No 1 Avni Yildirim for the vacant title. It gives the WBC a big sanctioning fee and a high profile fight. Yildirim became No1 with the WBC for losing a disputed decision to Anthony Dirrell and has not fought since February 2019! Of course Alvarez is the holder of the secondary WBA a title and the ridiculous WBC Franchise title but I assume he will relinquish the WBA title as you can hardly be the WBC full champion and the secondary WBA champion-even our sport can’t be that stupid. I need to stop saying the sanction bodies can’t get even more stupid as they seem to be taking those words as a challenge.
The fact that the WBC are reviewing the need for a new division for fighters weighing between 200 and 225lbs won’t be welcomed by most fans. There are times when I believe all of the sanctioning bodies operate Title Invention Teams (TITS). The WBA get on my tits most of all but let’s not forget the Jose Sulaiman was the first to introduced the interim and silver titles. This is new division proposal is a little different. The WBC also introduced the light flyweight, super flyweight; super middleweight and cruiserweight divisions and I don’t now believe that boxing people see them as unnecessary. Before their introduction if you weighed more than 185lbs you were too heavy to be a light heavy so could find yourself having to fight guys weighing 240-250lbs and more. At the other end of the scale if you weighed 105lbs then you would be fighting guys who weighed 112lbs and even more than that by fight time. That’s a lot for the small guys to give away.
As an example I looked at the last recorded weights of twelve of the top heavyweights in the world:
Tyson Fury 272lbs
Deontay Wilder 231lbs
Anthony Joshua 237lbs
Ole Usyk 215lbs
Alex Povetkin 229lbs
Andy Ruiz 283lbs
Dillian Whyte 271lbs
Mike Hunter 226lbs
Dereck Chisora 260lbs
Luis Ortiz 236lbs
Joseph Parker 245lbs
Kubrat Pulev 248lbs
Looking ahead the next generation / currently unbeaten heavyweights are also above 225lbs: Joe Joyce 270lbs, Daniel Dubois 240lbs, Filip Hrgovic 241lbs, Efe Ajagba 242lbs, Tony Yoka 239lbs, Junior Fa 267lbs, Guido Vianello 230lbs, Cassius Chaney 250lbs and Peter Kadiru 239lbs so all over 225lbs.
It makes a case I might support in return for a vow not to introduce another set of interim, silver, gold, bronze, tin titles etc. Now come on don’t laugh I am serious but of course once again the TITS will be dancing on the tables as they gleefully tot up the potential sanctioning fees.
Sorry to see Sergio Martinez returning to the ring. “Maravilla “fights Spaniard Jose Fandino in Oviedo on Friday. Even at 45 Martinez should not have any problem beating Fandino but he has already approached the WBA about getting approval to challenge Ryota Murata the holder of their secondary middleweight title.
Boxing has rallied around to help Ricardo Mayorga the former WBA and WBC welterweight champion and WBC super welterweight champion. The Nicaraguan is in a bad way and former WBA Minimumweight and light flyweight champion Rosendo Alvarez together with Mauricio Sulaiman have helped get Mayorga into rehabilitation to fight his problems with drugs and alcohol. Alvarez is now a major promoter in Nicaragua. He does not get the respect he deserves. At a time when Ricardo Lopez was 47-0 and on his way to the International Boxing Hall of Fame he twice fought Lopez in unification fights with the first ending in a technical draw with one judge having Alvarez five points in front and then lost a split decision to Lopez in the return. Lopez retired with a record of 51-0-1.
Good old reliable WBA. When they hit rock bottom they keep right on digging. Their new interim WBA champion Rolando Romero was rated No 7 before winning the title last week. That’s despite having had only eleven fights, never having fought a ten round fight and only one eight round fight in which he beat a guy with a 5-0 record. Pity all those poor suckers who think they actually have to beat reasonable opposition to be awarded with a title fight. It takes quite something to make the other sanctioning bodies look good but the WBA can do it in their sleep. Come to think they probably were asleep when Romero slipped past them
By Eric Armit
-David Benavidez losses the WBC super middleweight title on the scales but then hands out a hiding to Roamer Angulo with the title only on the line for Angulo
-Rolando Romero wins the vacant WBA interim lightweight title with very controversial victory over Jackson Marinez
-Carl Frampton returns with a stoppage victory over Darren Traynor and Michael Conlan halts experienced Sofiane Takoucht
-Felix Cash retains the Commonwealth middleweight title with stoppage of Jason Welborn
-Maxi Hughes scores upset points victory over world rated Jonjo Carroll
-Otto Wallin keeps his name in the heavyweight mix as he beats Travis Kauffmann who is unable to continue after injuring his left arm
-Israil Madrimov, Archie Sharp and Try Williamson all continue their winning starts.
South Kirkby, England: Light: Maxi Hughes (21-5-2) W PTS 10 Jonjo Carroll (18-2-1). Super Light: Sean McComb (11-0) W PTS 10 Star Ozgul (15-5). Super Light: Craig MacIntyre (12-0-1) W TKO 5 Ishmael Ellis (11-3). Welter: Sahir Iqbal (8-0) W PTS 8Maredudd Thomas (11-0).
Hughes vs. Carroll
Hughes gets the biggest win of his career as he takes very close unanimous decision over fellow-southpaw Carroll. The Dubliner made a busy start trying to take control and although Hughes tried to match him over the first two rounds Carroll looked to have a slight edge but the rounds were very close. Hughes then upped his pace and pressed Carroll hard in the third and fourth to even things up. The fifth was tight with both scoring with hard lefts and Carroll looked stronger in the sixth. Hughes bounced back with a good seventh as he kept marching forward closing down Carroll’s space. A left from Carroll rocked Hughes at the start of the eighth. Carroll was almost 8lbs heavier than in his victory over Scott Quigg in March and at first that extra weight had helped him outmuscle Hughes but he started to slow over the last two rounds, Hughes began to move and box frustrating Carroll in the ninth and then connecting with a couple of hard lefts in the last to just take the decision. Scores 96-95 twice and 97-93 for Hughes. His previous best performance had been a draw with Martin Joseph Ward but he had failed twice in shots at the British title. Hughes was very much the underdog here but this win should put him in with a chance of some good paydays. A setback for Carroll. He had lost to Tevin Farmer in a challenge for the IBF super featherweight title in March last year but put himself back in the picture with that eleventh round stoppage of Scott Quigg in March. He will need to bounce back quickly if he is to land another title fight.
McComb vs. Ozgul
Ulster southpaw McComb outboxes a strong but limited Ozgul to take the unanimous decision. Ozgul came forward in the first trying to hustle the stylish McComb out of his comfort zone. McComb settled in the second and was soon popping Ozgul with right jabs and scoring with lefts at distance. The lanky McComb took the second round shaking Ozgul with a right and was easing his way through the third when a clash of heads opened a cut over his right eye. That led to a fierce attack from Ozgul at the start of the fourth but McComb remained in control. He was able to work on the outside dictating the fight taking the fifth and sixth round with some excellent skilful boxing. Ozgul blazed back over the seventh and eighth and brought blood from McComb’s nose. Fighting a ninth round was into the unknown for McComb but he was scoring well with his jab and raking Ozgul with body punches. He took the ninth round but on one occasion he was bundled to the floor by Ozgul. When he got up the fight was stopped for a few seconds as McComb had a problem with his right eye. It turned out that when the referee stuck out a hand to help McComb to his feet he had accidentally poked McComb in the eye with his finger. McComb cruised through the tenth to victory. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-92 for the 27-year-old McComb. In the amateurs he was Irish champion in 2013, 2015 and 2017, competed at the World Championships and the 2018 Commonwealth Games and won a bronze medal at the European Games. He showed here that he is making good progress. As a private citizen McComb also managed the strange feat of foiling two separate burglaries on the same day! London-based Turk Ozgul has been in with some top level opposition such as Viktor Postol and Anthony Yigit and he did his job well giving McComb his first taste of ten rounds.
MacIntyre vs. Ellis
Macintyre floors and stops Ellis. The 6’0” tall Macintyre was pursuing the retreating Ellis over the first two rounds occasionally managing to cut off the ring and connecting with left hooks to the body and straight rights. Ellis was circling the perimeter of the ring not looking to engage and was pinned to the ropes for much of the third round. Ellis dropped to the floor under a series of punches late in the fourth and was almost floored again by a right uppercut. After MacIntyre scored with a series of rights in the fifth the referee stopped the contest. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old Glaswegian. Ellis had lost a couple of close decision in Midlands Area title fights but was poor here.
Iqbal vs. Thomas
Iqbal withstands a late surge from Thomas to take the unanimous decision. This one was a battle of jabs in the first round with Iqbal being quicker and more accurate. From the second Thomas was taking the fight to Iqbal was finding gaps for his jabs and connecting with long rights. His accuracy and good defensive work saw him build a lead over the first five rounds. Thomas kept coming and Iqbal was under heavy fire in the sixth. He is not a puncher and he lacked the power to keep Thomas out and Thomas looked to have taken the last three rounds but could not overtake Iqbal’s lead on the cards. Scores 78-74, 78-75 and 77-76 all for Iqbal. The Bolton 24-year-old, a former British champion at Junior and Youth level, wins the vacant WBC Youth title. Welshman Thomas looked unlucky not to get a draw.
Tokyo, Japan: Feather: Ryo Segawa (10-1) W KO 6 Yuri Takemoto (8-2-1). Segawa retains the national title with kayo of Takemoto. The challenger used some southpaw jabbing to hold off the aggressive champion in the first round. Segawa managed to get inside in the second landing rights to the body in some hot action. The third and fourth saw both have some success and after five rounds the judges all had Segawa in front with two scores of 48-47 and one of 49-46.Takemoto attacked hard at the start of the sixth but a right to the body from Segawa had him badly hurt and a series of punches put Takemoto on the floor. There was just one second remaining in the round and although Takemoto struggled to rise he was counted out. Second defence of the title for Segawa the WBC No 8. He has put together nine consecutive wins including victories over former WBA title challenger 21-1 Ryo Matsumoto and 19-2-1 Reiya Abe. A University of Agricultural graduate Segawa is a salesman for a confectionary company and makes sure to give their products a plug when interviewed. Takemoto, 24, won the All-Japan Rookie title in 2018 and with more experience could come again.
Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Welter: Hassan Mwakinyo (17-2) W PTS 12 Tshibangu Kayembe (9-1-3). Super Bantam: Tony Rashid (12-1-2) W KO 2 Yamikani Mkandawire (5-8-1).
Mwakinyo vs. Kayembe
Mwakinyo delights his home fans with convincing victory over tough but crude DRC fighter Kayembe. Mwakinyo was able to use his longer reach to score on Kayembe who trundled forward behind a high guard occasionally bursting out with some swinging punches. Mwakinyo targeted Kayembe’s body early and was putting together some hefty combinations. Kayembe was rocked a few times but always bounced back. He landed a hard left hook in the fourth that sent Mwakinyo staggering but Mwakinyo quickly recovered. The lights failed before the start of the sixth round and Kayembe’s team claimed it was deliberate to give Mwakinyo time to recover after a torrid fifth. Kayembe did not work consistently. He would just hide behind his guard and let Mwakinyo pick his spot and then walk away before lunging back with some wild but dangerous looking swipes. Trouble broke out at the end of the eighth when Mwakinyo landed a punch just after the bell. Kayembe’ s team climbed into the ring to protest along with a few other who had no right to be there but peace was eventually restored. Mwakinyo really dominated for most of the fight. He has a strong jab and mixes his punches well. He connected with powerful uppercuts and long rights in sustained attacks. Kayembe had to soak up quite a lot of punishment but when he looked in trouble he took his licks and then swung back. Scores 119-109 twice and 116-112 for Mwakinyo who is now the owner of the WBFederation Inter-Continental belt. Seven consecutive wins including a stoppage of Sam Eggington for the 25-year-old Mwakinyo who is probably the best fighter in Tanzania right now. At 5’5” the DRC fighter Kayembe, also 25, is just too small for this division and his last recorded fight was two years ago at super light so he was never expected to win this one.
Rashid vs. Mkandawire
“AK47” Rashid pounds Mkandawire to defeat inside two rounds. Rashid was ripping into Mkandawire from the start with Mkandawire not able to match the fierce punching from the local fighter. In the second Rashid forced Mkandawire into a corner and let fly with shots from both hands. Mkandawire started to throw a right but Rashid beat him to the punch with a southpaw right hook of his own which clattered onto Mkandawire’s chin. He dropped to the canvas on his hands and knees and was counted out. ABU champion Rashid is now 8-0-2 in his last ten fights and has nine inside the distance finishes. Malawian Mkandawire suffers his fourth defeat in his last five fights.
Mkandawire 27yo Malawi 2 wins id 3 losses id, lost 3 of 4
Brentwood, England: Middle: Felix Cash (13-0) W TKO 5 Jason Welborn (24-9). Super Feather: Zelfa Barrett (24-1) W TKO 8 Eric Donovan (12-1). Super Welter: Kieron Conway (15-1-1) W PTS 10 Navid Mansouri (20-4-2). Super Middle: John Docherty (9-0) W TKO 7 Anthony Fox (8-13-4)
Cash vs. Welborn
Cash breaks down and stops Welborn in a one-sided Commonwealth title clash. Cash was into his stride quickly stabbing home strong jabs and finding the target with rights to the head. Welborn connected with a good left hook but tumbled along the ropes after being knocked off balance by a left hook. Welborn showed plenty of aggression at the start of the second but Cash blocked or dodged most of the punches before sending Welborn back on his heels with a straight right and then scoring with jabs and body punches. Cash worked well with his jab in the third and again found Welborn open for rights to the head. He went to the body a few times-Welborn had been stopped by body punches in each of his last two fights- but strayed low and was given a severe warning. Welborn tried to rough Cash up and take him out of his stride but Cash ended the round with a series of punishing shots. Cash was putting his punches together impressively in the fourth. Welborn was taking a lot of punishment but fighting back just enough to satisfy the referee that he was still in the fight. Cash landed a low punch early in the fifth and after having warned him in the third this time the referee deducted a point from Cash and gave Welborn a short recovery break. Cash then piled into Welborn hammering at him with hooks to the body. Welborn tried to fire back but a chopping right to the side of the head sent him down on one knee. Welborn beat the count but another right to the head sent him down to a knee again and when the towel came in from Welborn’s corner the fight was over. Second defence of the Commonwealth title for 27-year-old Cash and his ninth inside the distance finish as he shows progress with every fight. Former British middleweight champion Welborn is showing signs of wear. This is his third loss in a row by KO/TKO having been beaten in four rounds by Jarrett Hurd for the IBF/WBA.IBO super welter titles in 2018 and in eight rounds by James Metcalf for the Commonwealth super welter title in June last year. At 34 perhaps it is time to put the gloves away.
Barrett vs. Donovan
Barrett provides a perfect finish to a fast-paced competitive fight with Donovan as two left hooks seal Donovan’s fate. Irishman Donovan had the better of the opening round. He was on target with long southpaw lefts and just a bit busier than Barrett. In the second Barrett picked up his pace jabbing well and scoring with rights to the body with Donovan connecting with some right counters but being outscored. Very few punches were thrown until late in the third round. Both were cagey waiting to counter but over the last thirty seconds Donovan forced Barrett into a corner and they traded punches with both landing well. The fourth saw Donovan coming forward but being met by counters from Barrett and Barrett bossed the action in the second half of the round ripping home some good body punches. Donovan was impressive in the fifth with short, explosive punches from both hands and he was getting the better of the exchanges. Donovan fought in bursts in the sixth but was stopped in his tracks by a right to the head from Barrett who connected with a couple more useful rights. The eight year younger Barrett was looking the fresher and he put Donovan under intense pressure in the seventh before flooring the Irishman with a perfect left hook to the head. Donovan was up at four but looked unsteady. After the count he tried to punch his way out of trouble but was dropped by a series of head punches just before the bell. He managed to get up at the count of eight and go to his corner. A gutsy Donovan took the fight to Barrett in the eighth but he was punching with a harder puncher and a peach of a left hook to the chin dropped him on his back and the referee stopped the fight without bothering to count. Commonwealth champion Barrett, 27,wins the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title and registers his fifteenth victory by KO/TKO in his most impressive showing to date. His sole loss was a majority decision against Ronnie Clark and he has put that behind him with four wins. He comes from a boxing family. He is a cousin of Commonwealth light heavyweight champion Lyndon Arthur and is trained by his uncle former British and European super lightweight champion Pat Barrett who lost in a challenge for the WBO welterweight title against Manning Galloway. It is a pity that talented Donovan did not turn pro until he was a month short of his 31st birthday. He was an outstanding amateur and showed some touches of real class here.
Conway vs. Mansouri
Conway proves just too strong for experienced Mansouri and collects the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title on a wide unanimous decision. Mansouri’s hand speed and movement gave Conway a few problems early but once Conway settled down behind his jab he was in the driving seat. Mansouri was buzzing around pumping out quick punches but Conway’s jab was the dominant punch and he was also finding the range for some hard rights to the head. Sheer work rate had Mansouri with a slight lead after three rounds but from the fourth the bigger and stronger Conway was ramming home jabs and clouting Mansouri with blistering rights. Neither fighter is a puncher but the power was with Conway and Mansouri was finding himself too often with his pinned against the ropes and under fire. A stoppage looked likely when Conway was connecting with hooks, uppercuts and clubbing rights on Mansouri in the seventh but Mansouri has never lost inside the distance and he used his experience to survive. Mansouri was cut over the left eye but it was not a serious injury. Conway tried desperately to finish a tiring Mansouri over the last two rounds but Mansouri was still there at the final bell. Scores 98-92 for Conway on the three cards. The 24-year-old from Northampton is 5-0-1 in his last 6 fights with the draw being against Ted Cheeseman for the British title. A result that is enhanced by Cheeseman’s win earlier this month over IBF No 5 Sam Eggington. Mansouri 31, was 19-1-2 at one stage of his career but since 2018 has done most of his fighting in Spain and this result sees him suffer his third defeat in his last four outings.
Docherty vs. Fox
Scottish hope Docherty adds his seventh win by KO/TKO as he floors Fox twice on the way to a seventh round stoppage victory. Tall southpaw Docherty controlled the fight from the first round. He utilised his reach to stab Fox with right jabs and found the target with long rights. Fox circled the perimeter of the ring rarely managing to get off the ropes or to reach the taller Scot with a meaningful punch. A left to the side of the head dropped Fox at the bell to end the third but he was up immediately and able to go to his corner. Docherty really just followed the retreating Fox around the ropes in the fourth but with very little variety in his work. Fox launched some lunging attacks in the fifth which opened the fight up and Docherty finally began to put some combinations together but was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads. A series of lefts from Docherty at the end of the sixth had Fox reeling and he went down on one knee under a hail of punches in the seventh. He made it to his feet but a series of hooks and uppercuts from Docherty had him in deep trouble and the referee stopped the fight. The 22-year-old Docherty was Scottish, British and Commonwealth Youth champion and competed at the World and European Youth Championships before winning a bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. This was his first move up to eight rounds so it is early days but he shows plenty of promise. German-born Brit Fox had won his last three fights.
Kissimmee, FL. USA: Super Bantam: Ricardo Espinoza (25-3) W PTS 10 Brandon Valdes (13-1). Super Bantam: Jorge De Jesus Romero (17-0-1) DREW 8 Daniel Lozano (15-9-1)
Espinoza vs. Valdes
Espinoza mauls and brawls his way to victory over Valdes to collect the WBO Youth belt. All of the early pressure came from Esparza. He was giving away height and reach to Valdes but was able to rumble his way inside where he ripped home hooks to the body. Colombian Valdes had some success with his jab but it was not a strong enough punch to keep Espinoza out. Valdes did some good work in the third. He boxed well on the back foot countering with rights. He also held on the inside to smother Espinoza hooks. Espinoza was pressing relentlessly over the fourth and fifth and although crude at times he was outworking Valdes. The sixth was a bit closer but again whist Valdes was scoring with counters Espinoza was pumping hooks to the body inside despite persistent holding from Valdes. The action was messy in the seventh, eighth and ninth as both fighters were feeling the pace but it was Espinoza who was doing the scoring inside. Valdes stood and traded in the tenth and caught Espinoza with some hard hooks but Espinoza had more left and he finished the fight strongly with another range of body punches. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Espinoza. The 23-year-old “Hindu” from Tijuana registered useful wins over Daniel Lozano, Yeison Vargas and Ricardo Nunez but was knocked out in the twelfth round by John Riel Casimero for the interim WBO bantamweight title in April last year. The scores after eleven rounds were 105-103, 103-105 and 104-104 so as tight as it gets. Espinoza is down at No 13 in the WBO ratings now so a long way to go to get another title shots. Valdes, 21, had never gone ten rounds and only gone eight once and he had very little left at the end.
De Jesus vs. Lozano
Miami-based Cuban Romero remains unbeaten with a majority draw against Lozano in a disappointing fight. Lozano was to have fought another fighter on the card but was swopped to face De Jesus. The styles did not mix and produced a poor fight. Scores 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Lozano. A bit of realism in Romero’s record as he has yet to face any testing opposition. Lozano had lost five in a row before this but included in there are losses to Carlos Cuadras, Ricardo Espinoza and Joshua Greer so he has met far better quality fighters than De Jesus.
London, England: Light: Carl Frampton (28-2) W TKO 7 Darren Traynor (16-4). Feather: Michael Conlan (14-0) W TKO 10 Sofiane Takoucht (35-4-1).Super Feather: Archie Sharp (19-0) W PTS 10 Jeff Ofori (10-3-1). Super Welter: Troy Williamson (15-0-1) W PTS 10 Harry Scarff (8-2).
Frampton vs. Traynor
Frampton return to action with a stoppage of an overmatched Traynor. Frampton took the first round. He was quicker with his jab more accurate with his hooks when he moved inside. Traynor was a bit more active in the second and third but was not committing with his jab. Frampton was quicker and was able slot jabs through Traynor’s defence then step in quickly and score and get out before Traynor could counter. Frampton was cruising in the fourth and fifth able to pick off the taller Traynor with jabs and then slip in a few rights. Traynor was throwing more punches but was unable to find the range with his jab and Frampton was confidently boxing with his hands down using some clever bobbing and weaving to frustrate Traynor. Frampton finally put his foot on the pedal late in the sixth. He had Traynor backing up with a series of punches. Traynor punched back but a wicked left to the body sent him to the canvas face down. He did not look like getting up but at six he suddenly leapt up to his feet and with the bell having gone he survived. Frampton was walking Traynor down in the seventh and when he connected with a left to the body Traynor just threw his hands in the air and walked away leaving the referee to waive the fight over. Comfortable, undemanding return to the ring for Frampton and some rounds of work. He was just ½ lb inside the lightweight limit for this one but WBO super featherweight champion Jamal Herring (or Jonathan Oquendo who challenges Herring on 5 September) look to be the target as Frampton aims to become a three-division champion. It was disappointing to see Traynor quit but Frampton was a huge leap in the quality of opposition for Traynor and this was only his second fight in two years.
Conlan vs. Takoucht
Conlan controls the fight all the way and after flirting with disqualification, losing two points for low blows, gets late stoppage of Takoucht. Within the first minute of the fight Conlan had already switched to southpaw and was finding Takoucht’s body with right hooks. Takoucht, also a southpaw, was not quick enough to block further quick burst of punches from Conlan and was missing with his counters. Conlan went low with a punch and was warned. Conlan’s hand speed was too quick for Takoucht and again in the second Conlan was stabbing home jabs and hooks to the body. Clever upper body movement had Takoucht threshing air but again Conlan was told to keep his punches up. Takoucht had a small measure of success in the third as he managed to find the target with some jabs but again Conlan was doing most of the scoring. He was given a third warning for a low punch and near the end of the round a disgracefully low shot saw Takoucht given a time out and Conlan yet another warning. Conlan switched guards a couple of time is the fourth. He was dazzling Takoucht with his lightning jabs and bobbing and weaving under the Frenchman’s attempts to counter. He hurt Takoucht with some legitimate body punches but after getting away with going low again when he landed way below the belt late in the round the referee belatedly deducted a point from Conlan. Takoucht had a little success getting inside in the fifth and yet again a punch from Conlan landed on Takoucht’s thigh. The referee would have been justified in disqualifying Conlan but instead deducted another point. Conlan had a pained look on his face as if he was being victimised but he was in fact being treated too leniently. Conlan had done the better work in the round but even landed well low again without being warned. Conlan took the sixth but seemed flat. Some of the snap was missing from his punches and his output dropped. It may have been the two deductions that affected his normal attacking style. He upped his pace in the eight and hurt Takoucht with some vicious hooks to the body. Takoucht was finding the range for his jab but being outlanded. The pace dropped again in the eighth and ninth with Conlan sometimes ignoring his jab and just walking in behind a high guard but he was still the one doing the scoring. It looked as though Takoucht might last the distance until a left hook unhinged his legs. Conlan fired a barrage of punches and as Takoucht staggered back the referee came in and halted to fight. A patchy performance from Conlan. Very impressive early but he seemed to go a bit flat in the late rounds before providing a blistering finish. He is rated IBF 6(5), WBC 13 and is on track for a title shot in 2021. He really has to take on board his near disqualification here. He tends to dip when throwing body punches so they start below the belt and curve upwards but he consistently went low in this fight and a less tolerant referee might have disqualified him and that is a dumb way to lose a fight. Takoucht is an experienced former European champion nearing the end of his career. He was stopped in two rounds by Josh Warrington in a challenge for the IBF featherweight title in October which is the only other time he has failed to last the distance.
Sharp vs. Ofori
Sharp gets a very tight decision over Ofori in a fight that saw Sharp build a lead over the early rounds only for Ofori to claw his way into the fight and make it very close at the end. Clever boxing from the start by Sharp. He was on the back foot blocking or weaving around Ofori’s punches. He was finding gaps for fast jabs constantly switching guards and darting in with quick attacks with Ofori just shadowing Sharp and not having much success. Sharp was outboxing Ofori at distance and smothering him inside. Ofori was waiting too long to let his punches go and was not really pressing Sharp hard enough allowing Sharp to dictate the pace and use his higher level skills to outbox Ofori. The fight changed from the fifth as Ofori increased his pace and made better use if his own jab. It was the first round he had won but he built on that getting inside more in the sixth. Sharp got back on track in the seventh with smart defensive work and good counters. Sharp had struggled to make the weight for this fight and Ofori’s pressure began to tell as he outworked a tiring Sharp in the eighth and ninth and although the last was close Ofori just did enough to edge it to make the fight one that could go either way. The referee scored the fight 96-95 for Sharp. For winning their European super featherweight title the WBO have the twenty-five-year-old Sharp No 4 in the world but he has yet to be tested even domestically. He was to have defended the WBO European title here but when he did not make the weight it was changed to a lightweight fight. Londoner Ofori is now 1-3-1 in his last five fights but the other two losses have come against good quality opposition in unbeaten Alfie Price and Ohara Davies
Williamson vs. Scarff
Williamson retains the IBF European title. The decision was unanimous but it was not an impressive performance by Williamson. He had the better skills but was never able to make space to make that skill pay as Scarff, although the taller with the longer reach, chose to hustle and harry the champion. It was a hard if unspectacular fight open at the beginning and then contested on the inside with neither fighter really dominant and neither in any trouble during the ten rounds. The hustling, busy style of Scarff made it hard work for Williamson but it was Williamson who showed better when he did make some space. Scarff forced Williamson to work hard and the champion was tiring by the end twice losing his mouthguard in the last round. Scores 97-94, 96-94 and 96-95 for Williamson. The 28-yerar-old from Darlington was British and English champion in the amateurs and competed in the World Series of Boxing. He will have better nights. Former undefeated English champion Scarff was coming off a loss to Anthony Fowler in November.
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Middle: David Benavidez (23-0) W RTD 10 Roamer Alexis Angulo (26-2). Light: Rolando Romero (12-0) W PTS 12 Jackson Marinez (19-1).Heavy: Otto Wallin (21-1,1ND) W TKO 5 Travis Kauffman (32-4,1ND).
Benavidez vs. Angulo
Benavidez has no trouble winning the fight but loses his battle with the scales and his title when he comes in overweight and is stripped of the WBC belt so only Angulo had an interest in it as a the title.
Comfortable first round for Benavidez. He was able to use his big edges in height and reach to score at distance and when he moved inside scored to the body with left hooks and clubbing rights. Angulo threatened briefly when he took Benavidez to the ropes and got though with some uppercuts.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez
Angulo made a fiery start to the second rushing forward pinning Benavidez to the ropes and getting past Benavidez guard with rights. Once that storm blew itself out Benavidez was picking Angulo off with his jab and banging in rights to head and body
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 20-18
It was a similar pattern in this round with Angulo raging forward taking Benavidez to the ropes and throwing punches but as in the second Benavidez quickly took control. He was finding plenty of gaps in Angulo’s high guard and when Angulo tried to come forward he was stopped in his tracks by booming left hooks.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 30-27
Target practice for Benavidez. Angulo was just standing in front of Benavidez with a guard that leaked and Benavidez was able to pick his spot. Jabs, left hooks and rights to the head were bouncing off Angulo whose only contribution was some wild swipes.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 40-36
One-sided hardly describes this. Benavidez was safely standing in front of Angulo and taking his time to decide which punch to throw and where to land it. To have any chance to win Angulo had to be coming forward cutting off the ring but instead he was more often going back and just occasionally lunging forward swinging wildly.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 50-45
Angulo showed a bit of life late in this round but for most of the three minutes Benavidez was able to score with almost every punch. Just before the bell Benavidez put together a couple of meaty combinations with every punch landing on a static Angulo.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 60-54
Angulo tried to come forward more in this round but had very little success. Angulo was telegraphing his wild attacks and with his longer legs Benavidez could skip back out of range and then bombard the off balance Angulo with counters. Again Benavidez was putting together five and six punch combinations and showing his frustration that Angulo was still on his feet.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 70-63
It really was now just a question of how much punishment could or should Angulo be allowed to take. Again he tried to advance a bit more but he was still far too slow and even when he had Benavidez on the ropes the fire had gone out of his attacks. Benavidez was dropping his hands doing a little showboating, firing punches of the wrong foot and fighting as if he was bored by the whole business.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 80-72
Angulo put in a bigger effort in this round than in any other. He constantly marched forward throwing punches and had some success. Benavidez was still able to land any punch he liked and was not really threatened even when against the ropes but at least Angulo had shown some determination.
Score: 10-9 Benavidez Benavidez 90-81
An early attack by Angulo seemed to wake Benavidez up and he really cut loose. Angulo was reeling under a storm of punches. He took the punishment but his head was snapped back by uppercuts and he ended the round on unsteady legs and sensible retired in his corner.
Much too easy for 23-year-old Benavidez. He has indicated that he will get back to heavy work and try to regain his title or go for one of the other versions of the super middleweight crown. The 36-year-old Florida-based Colombian Angulo lost almost every round when he challenged Gilberto Ramirez for this title in 2018 but a points win over unbeaten Anthony Sims in January gave some cause for hope that Angulo might be competitive in this one but he flopped badly.
Romero vs. Marinez
Romero wins the interim WBA lightweight title with a hugely controversial unanimous decision over Jackson Marinez. It seems that the three judges were the only one who saw Romero as the winner and one of the judges actually had Romero winning by an unbelievable eight points.
Romero took the opening round. He was letting fly with his punches early. He was a bit crude and not always accurate but Marinez did very little work.
Score: 10-9 Romero
Marinez is much the better technician and he had his jab on target in the second. He was also connecting with some rights to the head. Romero was lunging in with jabs but his timing and accuracy was off.
Score: 10-9 Marinez TIED 19-19
Marinez was again working well with his jab. he was much quicker than Romero and used his longer reach to score before Romero could get into range. Romero was over-committing himself with his jab and leaving himself open to counters.
Score: 10-9 Marinez 29-28
Romero forced the fight harder and threw more punches in this round but was often wildly off target. Marinez kept his jab in play and countered the wide-open Romero as rushed in with his attacks scoring with the cleaner punches.
Score: 10-9 Marinez Marinez 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Glenn Feldman 40-36 Romero, Judge Frank Lombardi 40-36 Romero, Judge Don Trella 39-37 Romero
Romero was able to get inside more in this round and Marinez was not as effective with his jab. Romero connected with a burst of punches late in the round including a good left hook.
Score: 10-9 Romero Marinez 48-47
Another good round for Romero. He was getting through with rights to the head and lefts to the body. Again Marinez’s jab was not as effective and he was getting caught with punches he had slipped earlier.
Score: 10-9 Romero TIED 57-57
Marinez went back to the jab and Romero was not launching as many attacks as he had in earlier rounds. He was wild with his punches when he did come forward. Marinez landed some good counters and was using good movement to slip Romero’s swings.
Score: 10-9 Marinez Marinez 67-66
Romero changed his approach in this one. He had been taking a huge step forward when he threw a jab. That gave Marinez time to see it coming and also left Romero off balance. Now he was marching forward with short quick steps giving Marinez less time to block or counter and it was working for Romero who was able to score with hooks inside.
Score: 10-9 Romero Tied 76-76
Official Scores: Judge Feldman 78-74 Romero, Judge Frank Lombardi 79-73 Romero, Judge Don Trella 78-74 Romero
Big round for Marinez. He changed his tactics. Now he was taking the fight to Romero and landing clubbing head punches. Romero was pawing at his left eye as Marinez poured on the punches driving Romero back and keeping him under fire and Romero was now showing a cut over his left eye which bothered him for the rest of the fight.
Score: 10-9 Marinez Marinez 86-85
Marinez was on the front foot again. He was spearing Romero was jabs at distance connecting with long rights and left hooks and countering Romero with heavy rights when Romero barged forward throwing wildly inaccurate shots.
Score: 10-9 Marinez Marinez 96-94
Romero was a desperate fighter and he was throwing desperate punches. He was missing and leaving himself open to counters from Marinez. Marinez was snapping jabs through Romero’s guard and was now happy to stand and trade punches and was winning the exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Marinez Marinez 106-103
Marinez took the last. He was stabbing Romero with jabs moving in quickly to land hooks inside with Romero too slow and lacking any fire in his attacks. When Romero did get inside Marinez was tying him up and then breaking away to connect with punches of his own.
Score: 10-9 Marinez Marinez 116-112
Official Scores: Judge Feldman 116-112 Romero, Judge Frank Lombardi 118-110 Romero, Judge Don Trella 115-113 Romero
Most observers saw Marinez a clear winner the scores for Feldman and Trella looked wrong but not outrageous but Lombardi’s score and his marking all four late rounds to Romero is inexplicable. They are all very experienced and trustworthy individuals but for me they got this one wrong. Romero, 24, is strong but crude and very limited and Marinez is a stylish fighter but not outstanding. For the WBA now to give Romero the status of a world lightweight champion alongside Vasyl Lomachenko and Gervonta Davis is beyond a joke-as are the WBA
Wallin vs. Kauffman
Wallin wins inside the distance as Kauffmann injures his left arm in the fifth round and is forced to retire with Wallin already seeming on his way to victory. Wallin was looking to fight on the outside where he could use his height and reach to outscore Kauffman and he managed that in the opening round and also connected with a couple of clubbing head punches. Kauffmann tried to walk through Wallin’s jab in the second and third but was too slow to be effective and Wallin was able to ping him with jabs and connect with some thumping lefts and then tie Kauffmann up inside. It was too easy in the fourth as Wallin was able to pierce Kauffmann’s guard repeatedly with right jabs and as an exhausted Kauffmann trundled forward thump Kauffmann with lefts to the head and rights to the body. Kauffmann threw a left in the fifth then dropped his left arm obviously having suffered an injury. He tried to continue using just his right but eventually the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. The 6’5 ½” Wallin won but did not really impress. He received a lot of praise for going the distance against a blood splattered with Tyson Fury in September where he put up a creditable performance but other than that he has not really been tested. Twice beaten by Anthony Joshua in the amateurs he outpointed fellow-Swede Adrian Granat for the European Union title in 2018 but that result said more about Granat than Wallin. His only rating right now is No 15 with the IBF and I feel he will struggle against better quality heavyweights. Kauffmann, 34, was having his first fight since being knocked out in ten rounds by Luis Ortiz in December 2018 and formal retirement beckons.
Dayton Beach, FL, USA: Welter: Alberto Palmetta (14-1) W TKO 6 Tre’Sean Wiggins (11-4-3). Argentinian Palmetta proves too strong for Wiggins and floors and halts him in six rounds in this all-southpaw clash. In the first round the tall, slender Wiggins was boxing cleverly on the back foot using a sharp jab to keep the aggressive Palmetta out. Palmetta was ducking trying to get under Wiggins jab but Wiggins was tying him up when he did get past the jab. Wiggins jab was quick and accurate but lacked any real snap and Palmetta was willing to eat the jab to get close. By the fifth Palmetta was applying more and more pressure and Wiggins was beginning to lose his composure and being forced to stand and trade. In the sixth Palmetta overwhelmed Wiggins with a searing attack. He trapped Wiggins in a corner pounding him with punches until a left uppercut connected and dropped Wiggins to the floor on his hands and knees. He only just beat the count and as Palmetta landed another pair of uppercuts the referee stopped the contest. Palmetta, 30, a former Olympian and Pan American Games bronze medallist, is now the owner of the previously vacant WBA International title after registering his eighth inside the distance win in a row. Wiggins was coming off creditable draws against Branden Pizarro and Mykquan Williams but his lack of power undid him in the fight.
Tulsa, OK, USA: Super Welter: Israil Madrimov (6-0) W PTS 12 Eric Walker (20-3). Super Light: Shakhram Giyasov (10-0) W KO 3 Wiston Campos (31-8-6 (22-4).
Madrimov vs. Walker
Madrimov finally has to go past the sixth round for a win as he outscores a competitive Walker. Madrimov, constantly switching guards, went in front early rocking Walker with a right to the head in the first. Walker rode with that and showed he was there to give the favourite a hard night as he was the fighter connecting with rights in the second. Madrimov’s corner were urging him to attack the body and he did that to good effect over the third and fourth with Walker slowing by the fifth. A left to the head had Walker badly hurt in the sixth but the fighters then got tangled and fell to the canvas. Walker recovered and scored with some body punches at the end of the round. Despite slowing Walker was still very much in the fight and he more than matched Madrimov with body punches in the seventh and eighth. The fight should have been over in the ninth. Madrimov landed a leaping left hook and the impetus of the punch took him into Walker with his shoulder and Walker went down on his back by the ropes. The referee decided that it was the shoulder charge and not the hook that put Walker down but Walker was already on his way from the left hook. It is doubtful whether Walker would have beaten the count but of course there was no count and the referee then gave Walker five minutes to recover. Madrimov kept up the pressure in the tenth and eleventh but was deducted a point in the twelfth for a low punch. He quickly put that right by flooring a weary Walker who beat the count and stayed out of trouble to the bell. Scores 116-110 twice and 116-111 for Madrimov. “The Dream” from Uzbekistan has scored creditable wins over Alejandro Barrera and Charlie Navarro but on the basis of that his No 2 ranking with the WBA is way too high. It will have done him good to go twelve rounds and his aim now presumably a title shot in 2021 which is very much is on the cards. Walker, 37, certainly earned his pay here by taking Madrimov the distance. He spent thirteen years in prison-aged 16 to 29 but has rebuilt his life through boxing.
Giyasov vs. Campos
Giyasov wins one-sided contest with stoppage of Campos. Giyasov was hunting Campos around the ring in the first getting through with jabs and rights to the body with southpaw Campos only throwing a few counters. Giyasov stepped up the pressure in the second. He was again scoring with rights and Campos had lost all interest in the fight and was already just looking to survive. Giyasov shadowed Campos around the ring in the third. Campos was just walking around the perimeter of the ring and only poking out an occasional jab. Just before the bell he came to life and surged forward until a left to the body put him down and he writher in agony as the referee counted him out. The 27-year-old Uzbek “Wonder Boy” has won eight times by KO/TKO and is No 7 with the WBA. As an amateur he won a gold medal at the World Championships and silver at the Rio Olympics. He was also Uzbek, Asian and World Universities champion. Campos came in as a late substitute and was a waste of space and time.
Mexico City: Super Welter: Carlos Ocampo (28-1) W PTS 10 Jorge Luis Garcia (18-3). “Chema” beats “Chino” as “Chema” Ocampo takes the decision over “Chino” Garcia; Ocampo was in control early with Garcia being forced to spend a lot of time against the ropes and under fire. Ocampo had the stronger jab and the harder punch. They were fighting at a fast pace and with the fight being in Mexico City both fighters tired early. Ocampo was controlling the fight. He rocked Garcia with a right late in the seventh and handed out steady punishment in the eighth. Garcia had the longer reach but was never able to bring that into play as Ocampo pounded home punches over the ninth and tenth looking to finish the fight inside the distance but Garcia hung in there. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Ocampo. Now six consecutives untesting wins for the fighter from Ensenada since being knocked in the first round of a challenge to Errol Spence for the IBF title in 2018. Garcia’s other two losses have both been split decisions
Fight of the week (Significance): Carl Frampton’s win keeps him on the road to a shot at the super featherweight title
Fight of the week (Entertainment): It ended inside the distance but Zelfa Barrett vs. Eric Donovan provided plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Bad Boy/Good Boy David Benavidez as he loses his WBC super middleweight title on the scales but then outclasses and stops Roamer Angulo.
Punch of the week: The two left hooks from Zelfa Barrett the one that scored the first knockdown of Eric Donovan and the second which ended the fight were both real belters
Upset of the week: Maxi Hughes outpointing world rated Jonjo Carroll was not predicted
Prospect watch: Northern Ireland super lightweight Sean McComb 11-0 is progressing well
Observations: There were approximately 350 spectators allowed in to watch the Japanese title fight between Ryo Segawa with masks and social distancing observed. For the Hassan Mwakinyo vs. Tshibangu Kayembe there was a full house of spectators with no social distancing and not a mask in sight. Different cases for different places. Eddie Hearn is still using his back garden for staging the fights. I guess when spectators are allowed in it will not be beer but a glass of lemonade and cucumber sandwiches. It seems to me that if a fighter gets three or four warning for low blows and then has a point deducted he should be on a final warning and disqualified if he does it again. Otherwise what does the referee say when he deducts the first point “if you do that twice more I will disqualify you”?
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