By Eric Armit
- Petchmanee (Panya Pradabsri) snaps the 54-bout unbeaten run of Wanheng (Chayaphon Moonsri) to win the WBC minimumweight title.
-Joe Joyce wins the battle of Britain as Daniel Dubois is counted out in the tenth round of their heavyweight fight
-Daniel Jacobs continues his super middleweight campaign with split decision over Gabe Rosado
-Badou Jack returns to the ring with points victory over Blake McKernan
-Tony Yoka keeps busy with a points win over Christian Hammer
-Michael Magnesi wins the vacant IBO super featherweight title with stoppage of Patrick Kinigamazi
-There are wins for Emmanuel Tagoe, Daniyar Yeleussinov, Jack Catterall and Hamzah Sheeraz
World Title/Major Shows
Nakhon Sawan, Thailand: Minimum: Petchmanee (35-1) W PTS 12 Wanheng (54-0).
Wanheng (Chayaphon Moonsri) sees both his reign as WBC champion and his unbeaten record ended as he loses a very close unanimous verdict to Petchmanee (Panya Pradabsri). Petchmanee had a good game plan and he stuck to it. The challenger made a fast start attacking Wanheng with the body as his target in the first. The champion came back strongly picking his punches well and doing enough to take the second but Petchmanee upped his pace over the third and fourth again focusing on the body aiming to tire Wanheng as they went into the late rounds. After four round the scores were 39-37 for Petchmanee on two cards and the third had then even at 38-38. Petchmanee continued his surge through the fifth maintaining a fast pace and scoring again with strong shots to the body. Wanheng showed champion quality as he took the fight strongly to Petchmanee in the sixth matching Petchmanee punch for punch in a fight that was warming up into a classic battle. Petchmanee swung things back his way in an exciting seventh. With Wanheng fighting hard to hold on to his title the rounds were close but once again Petchmanee came back strongly to collar the eighth. At this point the fight was still very much in the balance with all three judges having Petchmanee in the lead at 77-75. Wanheng closed the gap by taking the ninth and despite the pace and his 35 years Wanheng still looked fresh. Petchmanee saw his lead being whittled away and he again used some ferocious body punching to win the tenth. Wanheng needed to take the eleventh to stay in the fight with a chance but he slowed slightly and Petchmanee landed enough to have the edge. Wanheng pressed hard over the first two minutes of the twelfth hunting Petchmanee down and outscoring him and despite a late surge in the round by Petchmanee Wanheng did enough to win the round but it was not enough to save his title. Scores 115-113 for Petchmanee from all three judges. Petchmanee’s only loss was a majority decision against Chinese fighter Chaozhong Xiong in China in 2017 and he had scored 16 wins since then although many of those 16 fights were just really paid sparring against novices seven of whom had never previously had a fight. This one was very close with many having Wanheng the winner and he certainly deserves a return bout. Petchmanee’s mandatory challenger (well the WBC No 1 which as Dillan Whyte can testify is not something you can rely on) is Filipino Melvin Jerusalem. Although Jerusalem lost a disputed decision to Wanheng in January 2017 he subsequently lost to 12-3-1 Joey Canoy and only beaten three very low level opponents so his WBC rating is inexplicable but there he is at No 1. Hopefully somehow justice will win out and Wanheng will get his return fight and soon. For Wanheng the loss is a double blow. He not only lost his title but also his place in the pecking order of world champions who retired undefeated. If he had retired before this title defence he would have been No 2 in the all-time list of champion who retired undefeated behind Jimmy Barry (68) but above Ricardo Lopez (52) and Floyd Mayweather Jr (50).
London, England: Heavy: Joe Joyce (12-0) W KO 10 Daniel Dubois (15-1). Super Light: Jack Catterall (26-0) W PTS 10 Abderrazak Houya (14-3). Super Welter: Hamzah Sheeraz (12-0) W TKO 10 Guido Pitto (26-8-2).Cruiser: Jack Massey (17-1) W PTS 8 Muhammad Ali Bayat Farid (16-2-1). Heavy: David Adeleye (4-0) W TKO 2 Danny Whitaker (4-213
Joyce vs. Dubois
In this battle of big punchers in the end it was a left jab that got the job done as Joyce gets a kayo win over Dubois who chose to take the count over concern for a swollen shut left eye. In the first round Joyce continually found the target with his jab and Dubois only launched an occasional attack. Dubois changed tactics in the second and came out firing punches. Joyce looked far less comfortable on the back foot and Dubois did the scoring. Dubois continued to come forward in the third and fourth but was not sustaining his attack which was allowing Joyce to get back into the fight with his jab and Joyce edged the fourth. Dubois was showing a serious swelling over his left eye from Joyce’s jabs and it was beginning to affect his vision. I had it 38-38 at this stage Joyce made a solid start to the fifth but Dubois came on late and tested Joyce’s chin with a couple of rights to the head. Dubois better speed and mobility saw him take the sixth and seventh as he again put Joyce on the back foot. Dubois left eye was now closed and he showed some anxiety over the injury. Joyce had his jab working again in the eighth and he used that almost exclusively targeting Dubois left eye. Dubois landed some rights but they just bounced off Joyce. With Dubois good work over rounds 5, 6 and 7 I had Dubois 77-75 ahead but he almost shut down in the ninth doing very little work as Joyce and worked the jab and tried some meaty rights. Early in the tenth Joyce banged home a solid left that landed smack on the left eye of Dubois who turned away from the action and knelt on the floor not willing to chance any more damage to his eye and allowed himself to be counted out. Not a great fight with the eye injury being the deciding factor and not any supremacy by either fighter. Joyce. 35, now owns the British, European, Commonwealth, WBC Silver and WBO International titles so will have to spend some of his purse money on a new trophy cabinet. He was rated WBC 11/WBO 11/IBF 13 with Dubois WBO 2 and WBC 7. Joyce will now move into the No 2 spot with the WBO behind Olek Usyk so if Anthony Joshua retains his titles against Kubrat Pulev Joyce will be right in line for a shot at the Joshua vs. Usyk winner or against Usyk for the vacant WBO title. I felt that Dubois made a sensible decision. He is only 23 so can obviously come again and this was his first experience of dealing with such a potentially threatening injury and with his vision so badly affected things were only going to get worse in the fight.
Catterall vs. Houya
Houya tried to put Catterall under pressure early but Catterall camped in the centre of the ring and used his southpaw jab, some clever movement and hard lefts to boss the action. Heads clashed in the fourth but luckily neither fighter was cut. Houya always stayed competitive looking to attack but Catterall was getting his punches off first and outboxing Houya. Catterall had been finding the target regularly with his left and near the end of the sixth a left hook sent Houya down on his back. He was hurt but made it to his feet and to the bell. Houya was rocked again in the seventh but was still willing to trade with Catterall even if he was not having much success. A left from Catterall floored Houya again in the ninth. Catterall tried hard to put Houya away but the Tunisian boxed his way through the remainder of the ninth and was still fighting strongly at the end of the tenth. Referee’s score 99-90 for Catterall. Houya provided exactly the kind of fight that Catterall needed after a year without of forced inactivity. The 27-year-old from Chorley is No 1 with the WBO with his best wins being against domestic opposition in Ohara Davies and Tyrone McKenna. He is the mandatory challenger to Jose Carlos Ramirez but with a unification match against Josh Taylor easily the biggest fight in the division how so Catterall’s chance might come is difficult to say. French-based Houya, a former undefeated ABU champion, did his job well but has now suffered consecutive losses having lost a wide points verdict against Spaniard Jon Fernandez in December.
Sheeraz vs. Pitto
Sheeraz makes successful defence of the WBO European title with late stoppage of Argentinian Pitto. At 6’3” tall Sheeraz was just too much to tall and had too much of a reach advantage for Pitto. Sheeraz showed a strong jab and mixed his punches well to head and body. Over the first half of the fight he dominated the action constantly switching guards unnecessarily but he connected with some sweet hooks and uppercuts. Pitto kept marching forward bobbing and weaving and pumping out punches and over the sixth, seventh and eighth outworked Sheeraz. The ninth saw Sheeraz come to life again and he finished the fight in the tenth. A thunderous right sent Pitto staggering into the ropes and Sheeraz blasted away until the referee stopped the fight. Eighth inside the distance win for the 21-year-old Sheeraz who shows plenty of promise. Barcelona-based Pitto won and lost in fights against Jack Culcay and lost to Zaurbek Baysangurov for the vacant IBO super welter title in 2014 but is on the slide now being 1-4-1 in his last 6 fights.
Massey vs. Farid
Massey comfortably boxes his way to victory over a limited Bayat. Massey had lots of reach over Bayat and was content to box on the back foot piercing Bayat’s guard with stiff jabs and adding in occasional straight rights. Bayat was not quick enough to put Massey under any serious pressure. Bayat tried to weave his way inside but just never really found a way past Massey’s jab often enough to give Massey any problems. Massey went on the front foot a bit more over the seventh and eighth but never looked as though he wanted to finish this one early being glad to get in the ring time. Referee’s score 79-74. Massey, 27, a former ABA champion lost a very close verdict to Richard Riakporhe for the vacant title in December so he may build towards a return fight or aim for Commonwealth champion Chris Billiam Smith who he beat in the ABA final. Bayat a Dubai-based Iranian had been carefully under matched with 13 of his victims only managing 15 wins between him and the other three having poor records also.
Adeleye vs. Whitaker
Adeleye continues to show promise as he easily disposes of Whitaker. An uneventful first round saw Adeleye shadowing Whitaker around the ring probing with his jab and trying a few rights. Whitaker was in reverse gear and showing no real aggressive intent. Adeleye got down to business in the second hurting Whitaker with a right the dropping him with a left hook. Whitaker made it to the vertical but dropped again under a series of punches one of which landed when Whitaker’s knee touched the canvas. The referee warned Adeleye and gave Whitaker a chance to recover but Whitaker when he got up walked to a corner and his team indicated they wanted the fight stopped. The 24-year-old Londoner has won his four fights by KO/TKO taking less than eight rounds to do so. He won ABA titles at Novice, Senior Novice and Senior levels and at the British Universities Championships. He is a university graduate with a BA in Business Management with a dissertation on management in boxing. It is early days but he is another young English boxer to make a note of. Whitaker was carrying too much weight at 260lbs and was in way over his head.
Hollywood, FL, USA: Super Middle: Daniel Jacobs (37-3) W PTS 12 Gabriel Rosado (25-13-1,1ND). Light: Emmanuel Tagoe (32-1) W PTS 10 Mason Menard (36-5). Heavy: Mahammadrasul Majidov (3-0) W TKO 3 Sahret Delgado (8-1). Welter: Daniyar Yeleussinov (10-0) W TKO 2 Julius Indongo (23-3).
Jacobs vs. Rosado
If a fighter is only as good as his last fight then Daniel Jacobs is in trouble. He managed to eke out a very close split decision over Gabe Rosado in a disappointing flat performance. Rosado just did enough to edge a slow opening round but then Jacobs came to life and outscored Rosado over the second and third. Rosado was the one forcing the fight but Jacobs had a good fourth as he constantly pierced Rosado’s guard with his jab and landed some good rights. It might have been expected that Jacobs would kick-on from there but the pace of the fight was slow, Jacobs punch output dropped and Rosado pressed hard to take a low-action fifth. Jacobs came back into the fight over the sixth and seventh and connected with some good body punches. Rosado had a higher work rate but less accuracy and Jacobs should have been dominating this fight but seemed to mentally dip in and out of the action. Jacobs had built a lead but faded out again over the ninth and tenth rounds that saw very little activity. With Rosado taking those two rounds the fight was poised and just when he needed to put in a big effort Jacobs hardly worked at all in the eleventh. Despite how close the fight was neither fought with the expected passion in the last and Jacobs just did enough to take it and the decision. Scores 115-113 twice for Jacobs and 115-113 for Rosado. As if losing by such a narrow margin was not enough agony for Rosado the announcer messed up and started to announce the winner “from Philadelphia” which was Rosado’s home but then corrected his error confirming the winner came from Brownsville-if there was a winner in this fight. Jacobs admitted he had approached the fight as a sparring session and nearly paid the price. He is rated WBO 3/WBC 5/WBA 5/IBF 9(7) and is much better than he showed in this fight. He was at 167 ½ lbs tonight so may decide to stay at super middle but with Saul Alvarez already booked to fight Callum Smith there is not much to attract him in this division in the near future. Rosado, 34, deserves credit for running Jacobs so close. He had lost important fights against Willie Monroe, Martin Murray and Maciej Sulecki and was No 11 middle with the WBC but running Jacobs this close could get him some more useful paydays.
Tagoe vs. Menard
In his first fight in the USA for six years Tagoe takes a majority decision over Menard. Styles dictated tactics here with the smart boxing Tagoe using clever movement and fast hands to outbox the ever aggressive Menard. Tagoe was shooting quick but light jabs and then firing some cracking counters. Menard was marching forward looking to get close where he could work on the body to slow the Ghanaian but Tagoe was doing some holding inside to stifle Menard’s work and was warned for that in the fourth. Menard’s task was not made any easier by cut over his left eye which hampered his vision later but it did not deter the Louisiana fight from continuing to roll forward. Both scored well over the middle rounds with Tagoe establishing a lead with some crisp right counters and rocked Menard in the eighth with a right. Tagoe then seemed to take his foot off the gas and Menard came on strong over the ninth and tenth to make it close. Scores 98-92 and 96-94 for Tagoe and 95-95. Tagoe, 31, is a former undefeated IBO champion and after losing his first paid fight he has put together a 32 bout winning streak. His opposition has been mainly experienced but aging fighters on the way down but now he is in the USA the level of that opposition should improve. He is No 5 with the WBO but there are some very good fighters ahead of him in the queue for a shot at Teo Lopez. “Rock Hard Mighty” Menard from Rayne has been in some tough fights suffering a brutal KO loss against Ray Beltran, a stoppage loss against Devin Haney and a 44 second blow away defeat against Lopez. He went back home and scored two wins in 2019 now he has to decide whether to stick with small money winnable fights back home or big money big risk fights
Majidov vs. Delgado
Madijov obliterates poor Delgado. An uninspiring start saw Delgado engage reverse gear and stick with it. Majidov was tracking him around the ring connecting with a few jabs until the end of the round when a succession of head punches had Delgado shaky. It was one-way traffic again in the second with Majidov landing heavy jabs bringing blood from Delgado’s nose and catching him with a variety of shots to head and body. Delgado decided to attack in the third and landed a couple of left hooks. A left from Majidov made Delgado stumble and then Majidov drove him to the ropes and landed three heavy rights to the head that had Delgado virtually out on his feet as the referee jumped in to stop the fight. The 34-year-old Russian-born Azeri has won his three fights inside the distance. He won gold medals at both the 2011 and 2013 World Championships stopping Erislandy Savon and beating Ivan Dychko and Anthony Joshua in 2011 and won a bronze medal at the London Olympics. At 6’3” he is not big by today’s standard but he very mobile and a good puncher. It was some time before Delgado recovered and as for his conditioning he is also 6’3” but weighed 70lbs more than Madijov!
Yeleussinov vs. Indongo
In a clash of southpaws Kazak Yeleussinov blows away Indongo in two rounds. After an opening exchange of jabs Yeleussinov rocked Indongo with a left uppercut and as they traded punches later in the round a short left hook dumped Indongo on his rump. He got up and survived to the bell. Indongo tried to work with his jab in the second but two rights to the head put him on the floor and although he made it to his feet he walked away from the referee indicating he wanted no more. This was for the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title and marks the first title as a pro for former Rio gold medallist and World Amateur Champion. Yeleussinov beat Josh Taylor, Jamal Herring and Josh Kelly in the amateurs but has so far travelled under the radar as a pro but at 29 now needs to move along. Namibian Indongo, a former WBA and IBF champion, looked the goods when he knocked Eduard Troyanovsky cold and outclassed Ricky Burns but quick losses to Terrence Crawford and Regis Prograis brought a touch of reality to his record and at 37 he does not look to have any future. In boxing.
Nantes, France: Heavy: Tony Yoka (9-0) W PTS 10 Christian Hammer (25-7). Heavy: Viktor Vykhryst (5-0) W PTS 6 Kamil Sokolowski (10-20-2).
Yoka vs. Hammer
Yoka outpoints Hammer in a disappointing fight and also suffers a hand injury. Yoka used his longer reach to slot jabs home and land long rights. Hammer was rumbling forward behind a high guard but Yoka was tying him up inside. Hammer came charging out in the second swinging wide punches and their heads banged together with Hammer suffering a cut over his right eye. Yoka continued to score at distance and Hammer was trying to rough Yoka up inside. The pattern did not change much in the third and fourth with Yoka still able to find gaps for his jab and long rights to the head but there was too many clinches for the fight to be entertaining. Hammer was given a warning at the start of the fifth for wrestling Yoka to the canvas. The Romanian showed a little more fire but Yoka was still the one doing the scoring. Hammer did better in the sixth throwing more and landing some hooks but he was deducted a point for hitting on the break. Yoka was given a warning for a butt at the start of the seventh another round with too much wrestling and too little fighting. Yoka was still picking up points at distance and looked good when he did put his punches together but it was a poor fight. Hammer walked away from the action at the start of the eighth complaining of another butt but the referee ignored him. Things livened up for a short while as they both had some success but again it descended into a holding and wrestling competition and the ninth and tenth were equally uneventful . Scores 100-89 for Yoka from the three judges. Yoka gets another win but he never seemed to get out of second gear and showed little fire against an awkward opponent but it was reported that he had suffered a fracture of his hand which may have affected his performance and will mean the cancellation of his fight for the EU title against Peter Milas which it was hoped to stage in December. He won gold medals at the World Championships and the Rio Olympics and beat both Filip Hrgovic and Joe Joyce in both competitions so the quality is there but he is not showing it yet in the pros. Hammer had used his strength to beat down both Erkan Teper and David Price. He is very crude and limited but strong and he has taken both Alexander Povetkin and Luis Ortiz the distance.
Vykhryst vs. Sokolowski
Vykhryst gets some useful ring time as he decisions Pole Sokolwski. The 6’5” Ukrainian was 5” taller than Sokolwski and showed a strong jab and power in his straight rights. He is quite mobile for his size and mixed his punches well but there are still some rough edges to be smoothed out. Sokolowski persisted in trying to get inside but had very little success and a series of punches ending with a left hook floored him late in the third. Vykhryst continued to land well and rocked Sokolowski with a big right cross in the fifth but Sokolwski kept bouncing back and made Vykhryst work hard for the whole six rounds testing Vykhryst’s chin with a right cross in the last. Scores 60-53 on all three cards for Vykhryst. He lost to Joe Joyce at both the European Olympic qualifiers for Rio and in the WSB where he was knocked out in two rounds but the 28-year-old European Championships and European Games gold medal winner is certainly one to watch. British-based Pole Sokolowski has only lost by KO/TKO three times and two of those were against Dillan Whyte and Nathan Gorman and he showed a good chin here.
Fondi, Italy: Super Feather: Michael Magnesi (18-0) W TKO 5 Patrick Kinigamazi (32-3).
Local fighter Magnesi wins the vacant IBO title as he floors Rwandan Kinigamazi twice on the way to a fifth round victory. Magnesi set a fast pace in the opening round. He was walking in behind a high guard looking to get close and land with left hooks and uppercuts. Kinigamazi was boxing on the back foot almost exclusively with his left jab but not being able to keep Magnesi out. Magnesi stepped up his attacks in the second switching guards and getting through with hooks and uppercuts from both hands. Kinigamazi switched to southpaw and was landing some hard counters but Magnesi was either blocking or ignoring them. Kinigamazi tried to stand and punch with Magnesi in the third but the ferocity of Magnesi’s attacks had him retreating and short straight right sent him into the ropes and down. He bounced up quickly and then stayed off the ropes and out of corners as he boxed his way to survival. The fourth was a great round as Kinigamazi decided to stand and exchange punches with Magnesi. It was punch for punch and if Kinigamazi had more power he might have turned the fight his way but terrific body punches from Magnesi were taking their toll. Magnesi was hounding Kinigamazi in the fifth and rocked him a number of times. Kinigamazi tried to come forward but was met with a stunning short right hook that sent him crashing to the floor. He made it to his feet but wobbled a bit and the referee waived the fight over. An impressive all-action display by 26-year-old Magnesi and the tenth inside the distance win an fifth in a row. He is a former undefeated Italian champion was Italian Youth champion and was part of the Italia Thunder team in the WSB. He was rated No 5 by the EBU. No big names on his record but those should follow now that he has the IBO title. First loss by KO/TKO for the 37-year-old Swiss-based Kinigamazi a former WBFederation champion who had won his last 14 fights but proved underpowered here.
Culiacan, Mexico: Light Heavy: Julio Cesar Chavez Jr (52-5-1) W TKO 4 Jeyson Minda (14-3-1). Super Bantam: Karim Arce (18-0-2) W PTS 10 Jesus Carlon (9-8-2).
Chavez returns home to Culiacan to try to kick start his career yet again. Chavez was crowding Minda and getting through with left hooks to the body. Minda managed to give Chavez a bloody nose but lost the round. Chavez’s pressure paid off in the second as he dropped Minda with a barrage of punches just before the bell but Minda beat the count. Minda had a good spell in the third scoring with hooks and uppercuts but was soon under fire again. He dropped to one knee under a shower of punches and the bell went as Minda got up. A right to the head floored Minda in the fourth and the Ecuadorian’s corner waived the towel to end the fight. Chavez had looked poor in losing a technical points decision against novice Mario Cazares and a blonde rinse can’t cover the fact that he has gone back a long way. He is under temporary suspension in both Nevada and Arizona and should not have been allowed to fight here. Minda was suffering his third inside the distance loss in his last four fights.
Arce vs. Carlon
In his first ten round fight Arce gets a unanimous decision over Carlon but there were concerns over Arce after the fight. Despite his indifferent record Carlon gave Arce a very tough night flooring and having Arce in trouble in the first. Arce held on and survived and these two then put on a great fight matching the heavier punching of Arce against the higher output of Carlon. In the end the judges gave Arce the decision and both were heavily applauded. Arce then complained of a fierce headache, dizziness and vomiting and he was taken to a local clinic but no update available at this time.
La Calera, Argentina: Feather: Mayco Estadella (8-0-1) W PTS 10 Reuquen Arce (12-3-2).
Estadella comfortably outpoints Arce to win the interim national title. Arce jumped into the attack from the first bell but southpaw Estadella avoided the early rushes and began to find the range with his right jab. Arce continued to press but Estadella was controlling the pace of the fight with his jab and slotting home straight lefts. Arce had a good fourth round but much of his early fire had gone and Estadella handed out plenty of punishment in the fifth. There was nothing spectacular in Estadella’s work as he fed Arce a diet of right jabs and straight lefts with the occasional body shot and from the eighth he dominated the fight with Arce mostly on the back foot and under fire. Scores 99-92 ½, 98 ½, 98-93 ½ for the “Little Lion” from Villa Maria as he enters the ten round class for the first time. Arce, the Argentinian No 1 at super feather, was 11-0-2 going into this and a slight favourite
Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Feather: Ibrahim Class (24-6) W PTS 10 Simon Ngoma (6-2).
Southpaw Class (Ibrahim Mgender) retains the Global Boxing Council title with unanimous decision over Zambian Ngoma. This was not an easy fight for Class. Ngoma had a big edge in height and he came to fight. Class was under severe pressure at times but Ngoma had poor footwork a not much of a defence. Class scored two flash knockdowns and constantly found the target with rights to the head. Ngoma’s attacks were wild and uncoordinated but he threw plenty of punches with enough getting through to rock Class once or twice. The very slippery canvas saw both boxers sliding to the floor on numerous occasions. The better skills of Class made the difference here. Scores 98-88 twice and 95-91. Class put together a run of eight victories but then suffered back-to-back inside the distance defeats against Azinga Fuzile and Eduardo Hernandez. Ngoma had won his last four fights.
Lagos, Nigeria: Bantam: Habeeb Oladeji (1-1) W PTS 10 Tunde Olojede (3-2). Light: Rilwan Oladosu (14-0) W PTS 8 Prince Nwoye (3-4). ). Super Light: Olaide Fijabi (13-0) W TKO 4 Dennis Mbat (0-9). Welter: Rilliwan Ayodele Babatunde (12-0) W TKO 2 Jubril Olalekan (0-2
Oladeji vs. Olodeji
In the fourth show of the year in Nigeria Oladeji wins the national bantamweight title with a split decision over Olojede
Oladosu vs. Nwoye
“Real One” Oladosu, 28, the West African champion remains unbeaten with a clear unanimous verdict over substitute Nwoye
Fijabi vs. Mbat
Fijabi returns to action for the first time since December 2018 and stops a competitive Mbat in four rounds. Fijabi is a former unbeaten ABU champion and has seven wins by KO/TKO
Babatunde vs. Olalekan
Tall welterweight “Baby Face” Babatunde, 24, the West African champion, halts Olalekan for his fourth inside the distance win in a row.
Gabarone, Botswana: Super Bantam: Onkarabile Mothibedi (4-2) W PTS 12 Tshepang Babui (3-4-2).
Mothibedi wins the vacant WBFoundation International title with unanimous decision over fellow-Botswanan Babui. This was a bit of a bizarre fight with Mothibedi being 5’” 11” and Babui 5’3 ½”. Some of the attraction was taken out of the fight when Babui failed to make the weight coming in 4kgs too heavy. Mothibedi used his jab to move ahead over the early rounds but Babui began to take control from the fifth and ate into Mothibedi’s lead. Mothibedi rallied over the closing rounds and was a good winner. He claimed that he had slowed his work rate over those middle rounds as he had never been past six rounds before and wanted to pace himself. Babui had lost to South African Tholumusa Ngema for this title in April last year.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Cruiser: Badou Jack (23-3-3) W PTS 8 Blake McKernan (13-1). Light Jermaine Ortiz (14-0) W KO 7 Suliman Segawa (13-3-1).Heavy: Joe Cusumano (19-3) W KO 6 Gregory Corbin (15-4,1ND). Feather: Edward Vazquez (9-0,1ND) W PTS 8 Irvin Gonzalez (14-314
Jack vs. McKernan
Jack gets in eight rounds of work against inexperienced McKernan. Jack was on the front foot tracking down a retreating McKernan all the way. Jack was sparing with his punches but he had a high accuracy with those he was throwing. McKernan tried a bit of aggression now and then. Jack connected with some hard right crosses in the third but McKernan took them well. Jack went to the body more over the fifth and sixth but was generally satisfied with landing a couple of punches but not putting together any substantial combinations. Jack finally cut loose in the eighth driving McKernan around the ropes connecting with heavy rights to the head and digging in body punches but McKernan absorbed the punishment and was still there at the final bell. All three judges had it 80-72 for Jack. The 37-year-old former WBC super middle and holder of the secondary WBA light heavyweight title was 188 ¾ lbs and was having his first fight since losing a split decision against Jean Pascal for the secondary WBA title. He is still rated WBC 5/WBA 13 at light heavyweight. McKernan, 33, was only really required to give Jack some ring time and he did that and no more.
Ortiz vs. Segawa
Ortiz floors Segawa twice for stoppage. Ortiz was using plenty of movement and flashing jabs with Segawa coming forward applying pressure but a bit slower than the flashy Ortiz. As Ortiz upped his pace from the third Segawa was finding Ortiz speed and clever defensive work a big problem. Segawa had a good fifth as he connected with some heavy rights but by the sixth Ortiz was back in control with his fast jabs and in the seventh a tiring Segawa went down from a left hook to the body. Initially when he got up Segawa took out his mouthguard but then put it back in and tried to continue but slumped to the canvas under another attack and the fight was stopped. Ortiz wins the vacant WBC US title. In the amateurs he was New England Golden Gloves champion but lost out to Gary Antuanne Russell at the US Trials and missed out on the 2016 Olympic Games. First loss by KO/TKO for Segawa who coincidentally failed to win his way through the African Trials for Rio.
Cusumano vs. Corbin
Cusumano wins the vacant WBC US title with stoppage of Corbin. The 32-year-old Virginian has scored 17 of his 19 wins by KO/TKO but in a previous shot at this title in August last year he was floored and outpointed by Steve Vukosa. Fourth loss in a row for 40-year-old Corbin.
Vazquez vs. Gonzalez
Vazquez wins a split decision over Gonzalez in the best fight on the card. These two went to war all the way with never much between them but in the end the superior movement and hand speed just gave Vazquez a slight edge. Texan Vazquez has won his last eight fights and Gonzalez his last two.
Tokyo, Japan: Feather: Musashi Mori (12-0) W TKO 11 Tsuyoshi Tameda (21-6 -2).
Japanese prospect Mori overcomes a slow start to get late stoppage of Tameda. Tameda made the early running. He set a fast pace with a high work rate and plenty of pressure. He was in front on two cards after the first four rounds but had used up plenty of energy. In the fourth southpaw Mori began to come forward more and connect with straight lefts and uppercuts. Tameda bounced back to have a good eighth and the fight was in the balance with the judges all disagreeing with each other at 76-76, 78-74 for Tameda which looked too generous and 77-75 for Mori. From the ninth Mori dominated the action and a straight left opened a cut over the right eye of Tameda who survived a doctor’s inspection. Mori piled on the punishment until the referee stepped in to save Tameda in the eleventh round. The 20-year-old cherubic-featured Mori was making the third defence of the WBO Asia Pacific title and in the WBO world where sanctioning fees count more than the quality of the opposition he is No 4 in their ratings. He made a remarkable recovery from the time when he was 13 and a car ran into the back of him leaving him with a broken hip and two broken legs. He recovered so quickly that he was Japanese Under 15 champion in 2011 and 2014 and turned pro At 17. He was All Japan Rookie King an annual tournament for Japanese fighters in their first year as pros. Tameda suffers his fourth inside the distance defeat but he gave Mori a tough test.
Bangkok. Thailand: Super Light: Sangarthit (10-0) W Atchariya (13-0).
Thai teenager Sangarthit (Phoobadin Yoohanngoh) retains the WBA Asian title with stoppage of Atchariya. Still only 16, he will be 17 in January, Sangarthit showed real maturity here has he boxed conservatively early and then crushed Atchariya. The challenger had the longer reach and used that to put Sangarthit on the back foot and showed good hand speed testing Sangarthit’s chin with some quick rights. The champion boxed cleverly on the retreat firing quick accurate counters that had the effect of slowing the challenger. Sangarthit showed some classy defensive skills in the fifth before coming forward taking the fight to Atchariya. At the start of the sixth Sangarthit ducked under a couple of punches from Atchariya then came up an over with a right to the side of the head that sent Atchariya sprawling on the canvas. Sangarthit turned tiger and had Atchariya stumbling around the ring before putting him down with a right. Another right brought the third knockdown with the referee immediately waiving the end to the fight. Fifth inside the distance for Sangarthit and the first defence of his title. He turned pro at 14 and shows tremendous potential. Atchariya was considered a prospect a couple of years back and he had met better opposition but had no answer when Sangarthit cut loose
Luis Guillon, Argentina: Light: Claudio Daneff (11-1-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Agustin Kucharski (6-2-1).
Argentinian No 3 Daneff overcomes the longer reach of the 6’0” tall Kucharski to forge a victory. Southpaw Daneff was much the better technical boxer and worked his way inside to attack the body of Kucharski. The taller man landed some good counter hooks but Daneff’s accurate work and harder punch gave him a big edge and Kucharski had to take on board quite a bit of punishment and never really managed to threaten Daneff’s dominance. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Daneff/ He wins the vacant WBC Latino title having won the same title last year at lightweight. Although short on experience Kucharski had turned in a good performance in drawing with 17-0 Hugo Roldan in December.
Junin, Argentina: Middle: Abraham Buonarrigo (7-0) W Luis Vera (10-16-2).
Buonarrigo gets the win but in a bizarre ending. Buonarrigo the bigger and stronger man had taken the first three rounds and was putting pressure on Vera in the fourth. Vera threw a counter which missed and then just knelt with one knee on the canvas. He got up but whilst the referee was giving him the eight count Vera then began arguing with someone outside the ring and then with the referee showing no inclination to fight on and the referee stopped the fight with Vera still arguing. Buonarrigo was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds and gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. He is Argentinian No 2 super middleweight. Four inside the distance losses in a row for Vera who could face some disciplinary action.
Brisbane, Australia: Super Light: Justin Frost (11-1-1) W PTS 10 Waylon Law (12-7).
Frost regains the Australian title with majority decision over Law in a hard-fought very close contest. When these two clashed in September Law won a split decision and took Frosts title and his unbeaten tag so sweet revenge for Frost. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Frost and 95-95. Law seems to specialise in close fights as six of his contests have ended in a majority decision and three in a split decision.
Mexicali, Mexico: Super Welter: Jorge Paez Jr (41-13-2,1ND) W KO 4 Christian Solano (28-26-4).
Paez stops Solano in four rounds in a clash of two fighters badly in need of a win. Solano was 6” taller than Paez with a much longer reach but it did him no good as Paez just walked through Solano’s weak jab and beat Solano around the ribs. Paez was all over Solano pumping home body punches. Solano went down in the third complaining of a punch to the back of the head. Later in the round a vicious left hook to the body finished Solano. He went down on one knee and stayed there as the referee counted out the ten. The 32-year-old Paez had lost 6 of his last 7 fights and this will probably be just a stop on the way further down. Solano, 39, has won only one of his last 10 fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Joe Joyce’s win over Daniel Dubois puts him firmly in the mix at heavyweight and could see him fight for the heavyweight title in 2021.
Fight of the week (Entertainment);Pechmanee’s win over long time WBC minimumweight champion Wanheng was twelve rounds of all out action as Wanheng fought bravely to try to hold on to his title.
Fighter of the week: Petchmanee for beating a champion who was undefeated in 54 fights with honourable mention to Joe Joyce for his big win over Daniel Dubois.
Punch of the week: The short right hook from Michael Magnesi that finished Patrick Kinigamazi was a beauty
Upset of the week: Petchmanee was an outsider against Wanheng
Prospect watch: Japanese featherweight Musashi Mori 12-0 shows promise and I will watch Thai 16-year-old hope Sangarthit 10-0 a bit longer before committing myself.
A pity to see Wanheng taking that one fight too many. If he had retired he would have had that meritorious second place in the all-time ranking of world champions who retired undefeated with the most fights. Not only that but 54 is not good enough to get him into the top ten of:
A) Fighters with the longest unbeaten run at the start of their career but lost subsequent fights.
B) Fighters with the longest unbeaten run at any time in their career It is tough ar the top Wanheng
Amateur fights seem to be coming back to “haunt” the top heavyweights. In recent months we have had a Russian who knocked out Deontay Wilder, a Pole who beat Daniel Dubois and this weekend Mahammadrasul Majidov who beat Anthony Joshua now if we can just get Max Babanin to turn pro we will have someone who beat Tyson Fury
Seems like we have regressed on the highly technical science of binding a glove. In the Tony Yoka vs. Christian Hammer fight Yoka’s tape came loose three times in the space of a couple of rounds. The tape being used looked about as broad as my thumb. It causes a halt in the action and could even cause injury if it snapped into a boxers eye. Nevada has solved it and Britain has solved it so why can’t France do so?
It’s a strange world when a 5’11” Onkarabile Mothibedi makes the weight for a super bantam bout and his opponent 5’3 ½” Tshepang Babui come in 4 kgs overweight. You would have expected the 5’11” boxer to be the one to struggle.
By Eric Armit
-Javier Fortuna stops Antonio Lozada as he waits for a shot at the WBC lightweight title
-Former light heavyweight champion Tavoris Cloud returns with a win
-Conor Benn outpoints Sebastian Formella in a war in London and heavyweights Fabio Wardley and Alen Babic score quick wins
-O’Shaquie Foster, William Zepeda and Eduardo Hernandez score wins in Los Angeles
-Yves Ulysse beats Mathieu Germain and Steve Claggett stops David Theroux in first round of super light tournament in Montreal
London, England: Welter: Conor Benn (17-0) W PTS 10 Sebastian Formella (22-2).Heavy: Fabio Wardley (10-0) W TKO 2 Richard Lartey (14-4). Bantam: Liam Davies (8-0) W RTD 6 Sean Cairns (7-3).Heavy: Alen Babic (6-0) W TKO 3 Tom Little (10-9).
Benn vs. Formella
A maturing and improving Benn outpoints Formella in a great scrap. Benn made an impressive start as he forced Formella back with his jab and was then stepping inside Formella’s jab to land left hooks to the body. Formella tried to establish his own jab but Benn was quicker and also connected with a right cross that had Formella blinking. Formella connected with a straight right just before the bell but Benn shook it off. Formella stood and traded with Benn in the second looking to land a chopping right over Benn’s low left but again Benn was quicker and although a bit wild at times he was doing most of the scoring particularly with left hooks to the body. Formella started the third jabbing and moving and had some success but he had no answer to the snappy jabbing by Benn. A clash of heads saw Formella turn away from the action but there was no cut. When the action resumed they stood and traded punches in what was proving to be an entertaining fight. Plenty of action in the fourth as Formella tried to force Benn onto the back foot. They both landed plenty of punches but Benn was landing more and harder shots with a couple of straight rights forcing Formella to back off. Benn unloaded with a whole series of slashing left hooks in the fifth and Formella looked to be in trouble but he regrouped and came right back at Benn. In the sixth Benn drove Formella around the ring with a succession of rights but Formella refused to crumble and fought back hard. A brutal seventh saw them both take and give punishment and it seemed that Formella was willing to walk through Benn’s punches making Benn work hard to test the English fighters stamina which had been questioned in the past. Benn welcomed Formella to the eighth round with vicarious rights as they went to war. Formella was fighting in slow motion as the frantic pace began to take its toll but by the end of the round he had Benn under fire. Benn rattled off some impressive combinations at the start of the ninth and later connected with clubbing rights. It seemed surprising Formella was still standing but he was and he was fighting back. Benn staggered Formella with a huge left hook in the last but the German survived that and seemed to just be focusing on going the distance which he did. Scores 100-91, 99-91 and 99-92 for Benn. A greatly improved and mature performance from Benn who has sharpened his skills without sacrificing any of his power. Formella was a big step up in the level of opposition and Benn showed he was ready for this level. Despite the scores this was a cracking, entertaining contest and the scores do not do justice the fighting heart of Formella whose determination to stand and punch with a noted puncher played a large part in making this such a good fight. A former undefeated IBO champion Formella’s only loss was on points against Shawn Porter for the vacant WBC Silver title in August.
Wardley vs. Lartey
Whilst Daniel Dubois and Joe Joyce are grabbing the headlines Wardley is growing as a threat to them both. The Ipswich heavyweight again showed his power with a second round single punch destruction of Lartey. Wardley took the first round to study Lartey allowing the Ghanaian to apply some pressure and land some shots. In the second Lartey made the mistake of letting his left hand stray away from his chin for a split second to block a left from Wardley and Wardley launched a thudding right into the gap which dropped Lartey in a heap and no count was needed. The 25-year-old 6’5” English champion makes in nine inside the distant finishes in a row and with his tactical awareness and his punch he is a great prospect (Lartey was knocked out in four rounds by Dubois and took Nathan Gorman the full ten rounds). Lartey is just not in the same class as the British prospects.
Davies vs. Cairns
Davies beats Cairns in an entertaining fast-paced contest for the English title. Davies took the first round as he made life difficult for southpaw Cairns with some high volume punching. Cairns steadied things with a better second round getting through with some hard lefts. Davies upped his work rate and Cairns struggled to compete and the harder he tried the more gaps he left for Davies to exploit. Davies dominated the fight from the fourth and was finding the target consistently with jabs and left hooks. He handed out steady punishment in the fifth and sixth and Cairns was retired by his corner at the end of the sixth. Only the third quick win for Davies and his first opponent with a positive record but importantly it is his first title and at 24 there is time to build slowly. BBB of C Central Area champion Cairns had been victorious in his last four fights.
Babic vs. Little
Babic steam rollers Little into defeat in three rounds. Babic had forecast a first round win and he went out looking to do just that. He gave the much bigger and heavier Little a torrid time but Little came though it and was punching back at the end of the round. Babic went on to the attack again in the second forcing Little to the ropes and just throwing punches. Some connected some didn’t. Little managed to score with his jab and some counters but Babic just walked through them and kept punching. Little survived that onslaught but Babic ended it in the third. He was loading up on every punch and it looked as though he was in danger of punch fatigue. Finally he unloaded a clubbing right that had Little falling and Babic landed a couple more shots as Little was on his way down. Little made it to his feet and tried to counter the storm of punches from Babic but in the end he was overpowered and bludgeoned to the canvas and the referee waived the fight over. There is nothing fancy about “The Savage” the 30-year-old Croat has taken less than thirteen rounds for his six wins. Powerful but wild and wide-open at times. Fifth inside the distance defeat for Little, all inside five rounds and he also suffered a burst ear-drum in the first round.
Los Angeles, CA, US: Light: Javier Fortuna (36-2-1,1ND) W TKO 6 Antonio Lozada (40-5-1). Light: Austin Dulay (14-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Jose Gallegos (19-10).
Fortuna vs. Lozada
Fortuna too quick and mobile for the tall, ungainly Lozada and stops him in three rounds. Lozada was much the taller man and had a big edge in reach. In the first Fontana was content to circle Lozada looking for an opening. He leapt in with a left that staggered Lozada. Fortuna then drove Lozada around the ring before dropping the Mexican with a left. Lozada was up quickly and survived the round due to Fortuna throwing wild and inaccurate punches and a clash of heads saw Fortuna cut over his right eye. Fortuna was looking to end it with one big punch in the second but again was missing widely at times and was warned for a low punch. Fortuna looked to have scored a knockdown at the start of the third but it was ruled a slip. Lozada was trying to work with his jab but there was no snap in the punch. Fortuna attacked the body throughout the fourth with Lozada not having the power or the footwork to keep Fortuna out. The pace dropped in the fifth. Lozada was trying to draw a bead on Fortuna with his jab and had a little success whereas Fortuna hardly threw a punch in the whole three minutes. Fortuna came to life in the sixth. He staggered Lozada with a series of punches then trapped him in a corner and blazed away with punch after punch and when a left snapped Lozada’s head back the referee stopped the fight. A former holder of the WBA secondary title Fortuna had a good 2019 beating Sharif Bogere and Jesus Cuellar and is No 2 behind Vasyl Lomachenko but is not in the top 10 with any of the other sanctioning bodies so may struggle to force his way into a title fight. Lozada was 40-2 in 2018 but a run of 0-3-1 indicates he is past his best.
Dulay vs. Gallegos
Dulay puts a loss in February to Diego Maldonado behind him and starts again with a unanimous decision over Gallegos. Dulay was into his stride in the first quickly spearing Gallegos with right jabs and rocking him with a left. Dulay continued to use his longer reach to land his jab in the second and was firing strong lefts. Gallegos got into the fight with some quick attacks but was shaken by a left uppercut. Dulay’s higher work rate, strong jab and clever movement made it difficult for Gallegos to get into the fight in any meaningful way. Both were marked up in head clashes in the middle rounds as Dulay continued to boss the action with Gallegos always looking to come forward and having some success as he pumped out hooks inside. By the end of the seventh Gallegos was way behind and had a growing bump under his left eye from that earlier clash of heads but he had a good eighth finding the target with rights and getting inside to score with hooks from both hands. Dulay was on top again in the ninth and took the tenth. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Dulay. The Nashville fighter had lost a unanimous decision to Diego Maldonado in February so a good return to action. Gallegos came in as a substitute but had fought in September so was in some form of shape. He was 2-4 going into this contest with all four losses to unbeaten fighters with combined records of 74-0-1 so matched tough.
Los Angeles: CA US: Super Feather O’Shaquie Foster (18-2) W KO 9 Miguel Roman (62-14). Light William Zepeda (22-0) W KO 5 Roberto Ramirez (23-3-1). Super Feather: Eduardo Hernandez (30-1) W KO 3 Eduardo Garza (15-3-1).
Foster vs. Roman
Notable win for Foster as he imposes himself on Roman beating the experienced Mexican on the inside and outside. Great start for Foster as at just around the half way mark in the opening round he cracked Roman with a powerful straight right that had Roman stumbling and then dropping to his hands and knees. Roman got up the count of eight and then survived some punishment from Foster to make it through the round. Roman then went back to rolling forward trying to get inside to work to the body. He did not have much success as Foster used plenty of classy movement and fast, accurate counters to make Roman pay for every step. When he did get inside Roman did some good work to the body but even inside Foster’s hand speed gave him the edge and as Foster constantly switched guards Roman was getting caught with punches from a number of different directions. Roman had a good fifth as Foster chose to go toe-to-toe allowing Roman to spend useful time inside but when Foster went back to his boxing in the sixth he was in charge again. Roman has a great chin and relies on work rate and attrition to wear his opponents down. At 35 and after 75 fights those tactics were not working but it looked as though Foster would have to settle for a points victory. Early in the ninth as Roman left himself wide-open Foster hit him with a right and then a left hook which dropped Roman on his back. Roman was up at six but looked unsteady. When the action resumed Foster trapped Roman on the ropes and unloaded punches until the referee stopped the fight. Foster retains the WBC Silver title with his eleventh victory by KO/TKO. The 27-year-old “Ice Water” already has useful wins over Frank De Alba, Jon Fernandez and Alberto Mercado and is No 8 with the WBC. As Roman was No 6 Foster should be in line for a promotion. Roman is showing the effects of a long, gruelling career. He has had three shots at winning a world title and this is only his fifth loss by KO/TKO but the only way for him from here is down which is a pity as I like him as a fighter and he has the heart of a lion.
Zepeda vs. Ramirez
Zepeda breaks down and halts Ramirez in five rounds. Ramirez used his longer reach and good movement to outbox Zepeda in the first. Zepeda upped the pressure in the second and Ramirez did not have the punch to keep Zepeda at bay. He was getting past Ramirez’s jab and scoring with southpaw lefts although Ramirez finished the round with a strong attack. Zepeda was connecting with lefts throughout the third and Ramirez’s was starting to unravel as he was throwing wild and inaccurate punches and getting caught with counters. Zepeda hounded Ramirez for the whole three minutes of the fourth putting together some hurtful combinations and Ramirez was reeling at the bell. Zepeda picked up where he left off in the fifth driving Ramirez around the ropes. Strangely it was Zepeda who lost his mouthguard but when that was replaced he drove Ramirez to a corner and was bombarding Ramirez with punches and with Ramirez not punching back Ramirez’s corner waived a towel to get the referee to stop the fight. The 24-year-old Zepeda is on an impressive twelve-bout streak of inside the distance finishes but is not yet rated as his opposition has been very ordinary but he is ready to step up. Ramirez was having his first fight for a year. He was competitive, probably edging the first two rounds, but then his lack of power let him down.
Hernandez vs. Garza
Hernandez blasts a gutsy Garza to defeat in three rounds. Some crunching left hooks from big puncher Hernandez quickly had Garza on the retreat and Hernandez was ramming home strong lefts and rights as hr dominated the first round with Garza already cut under the left eye from a punch. Garza tried to take the fight to Hernandez in the second but a couple of neck-snapping uppercuts had him backing off. Hernandez was putting together powerful combinations and he rocked Garza with a series of punches at the bell. Garza was now cut under his right eye. Hernandez staggered Garza with a right in the third then Garza chose to try to punch with Hernandez. He had some success but was eventually overpowered and a ripping left hook to the body saw him drop to one knee and he was counted out. Hernandez was 28-0 with 26 wins by KO/TKO before he was surprisingly stopped inside a round by Roger Gutierrez in July last year. He was close to a title fight before that loss and is still No 9 with the WBC but will now have to battle his way back into contention. He turned pro at 16 and is still only 22 so has plenty of time but needs to work on his defence. Garza was 9-0-1 going in with his only loos being on points against future WBO title challenger Tramaine Williams so was a reasonable level opponent for Hernandez as he rebuilds.
San Carlos, Mexico: Super Middle: Juan Jose Barajas (11-0-1) DREW 10 Gabriel Lopez (10-4-1).
The WBC Latino title remains vacant after Barajas and Lopez fight to a split draw. This was a lively fights as Barajas tried to use his much longer reach and his 6’3” height to work at distance with Lopez rumbling forward pumping out hooks and uppercuts. Barajas rocked Lopez with a left hook in the third and his accurate jabs had a swelling growing under the left eye of Lopez. Barajas continued to outscore Lopez and the lump under the left eye of Lopez continued to grow. However Barajas was bleeding heavily from the mouth and it was subsequently revealed he had suffered two fractures to his jaw. Barajas continued to pick up the points with his jab but it looked as though he had a serious jaw injury. The fight became untidy as they both tired. Lopez was walking onto more and more punches but handing out plenty of stick himself to make it close although Barajas looked the winner. Scores 97-95 Barajas, 96-94 Lopez and 95-95. Disappointment for 24-year-old Californian Barajas who had scored wins over useful tests in Lanell Bellows and Fidel Hernandez. Mexican Lopez had lost his last three so he stops that from becoming a habit.
Dayton Beach, FL, USA: Light Heavy: Tavoris Cloud (25-3) W TKO 3 Ryan Soft (4-12-1,1ND). Super Light: Jeremy Hill W TKO 3Travis Castellon (16-4-1).
Cloud vs. Soft
Cloud given an easy win (I resisted the temptation to say a soft touch) as he returns to action for the first time in four years. Cloud took a round to shift any rust and then pounded on Soft in the second. A strong attack punctuated with a right to the head floored Soft in the third. He managed to get to his feet but was unsteady and the referee waived the fight over. The time when he was IBF light heavy champion and made four successful title defences must seem a life time ago for Cloud who lost his title to Bernard Hopkins and then suffered crushing losses against Adonis Stevenson and Artur Beterbiev before retiring in 2014. He will find it tough to get back to the top.
Hill vs. Castellon
Hill continues to carry the banner for New Orleans as he continues his winning ways with stoppage of southpaw Castellon. Hill took charge of the fight in the first and then dropped Castellon at the end of the second. Hill continued to score heavily in the third before flooring Castellon with a right. Castellon made it to his feet but another volley of hard punches saw the referee leap between the two fighters to stop the action -just as the two fighters stepped apart-and the referee finished up on the floor. Nine inside the route wins for the 6’2” Hill. He was an Elite level amateur winning a gold medal at the Ringside World Championships tournament but failed to get through the US Team Qualifiers for Rio. Castellon hasn’t just fallen away he has nosedived in going from 16-0-1 to four inside the distance defeats on the bounce.
Mimi, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (24-1) W RTD 1 Jesus Martinez (27-12). Welter: Jameson Bacon (25-4) W KO 2 Roque Junco (10-7-1). Super Bantam: Jorge de Jesus Romero (19-0-1) W TKO 7 Facundo Ased (9-4). Super Welter: Mekhrubon Sanginov (8-0-1) W TKO 7 Cleotis Pendarvis (21-7-2). Cruiser: Serik Musadilov (8-0) W KO 1 Daniel Najera (9-6-1).
Lopez vs. Martinez
Lopez gets his second first round win in a row as substitute Martinez retires after being down twice in the opening round. Lopez established his jab early and then landed a swift combination of body punches. Martinez was sloppy with his work and left himself open and two hooks to the body saw him drop to one knee. He got up at eight but a left hook to the ribs sent him down for the second time. He made it his feet as the bell went. Martinez was finished and he retired in his corner. Lopez, 23, continues his rebuilding project with his third win since upset stoppage loss against Chilean Jose Velasquez in October last year. Florida-based Colombian Martinez, 39, came in at short notice and was really pitiful.
Bacon vs. Junco
Bacon rescues a poor start with a thunderous left hook that flattens Junco. Not an impressive start by Bacon as he allowed the light punching Junco to come forward and put him under pressure and when Bacon did throw punches they were pretty wild. It was the same in the second with Bacon letting Junco control the fight. That made Junco overconfident and as he stood exchanging punches with Bacon a tremendous left hook to the chin rendered him virtually unconscious so that he was out cold when he hit the floor and it was six or seven minutes before Junco recovered. Second quick win in five weeks for former Philippines champion Bacon and his seventeenth win by KO/TKO. Junco was having his first fight outside of Argentina and is really just prelim level being 3-5 in his last 8 contests.
Romero vs. Ased
Romero floors Argentinian Ased in the second round but then seems to lose interest allowing Ased to last until the seventh. Romero was on target with body punches in the first with Ased already looking to be focusing on survival. A solid left to the body floored Ased in the second but he beat the count and despite absorbing more body punches made it to the bell. Ased boxed and moved over the next three rounds to stay out of trouble as Romero seemed to go off the boil allowing Ased to get a toe-hold in the fight. Romero finally woke up in the sixth pressurising Ased and putting together some sharp attacks. Romero ended it in the seventh with a straight right to the body that had Ased on the floor gasping in agony and although he made it to his feet he signalled to his corner he had enough and the fight was stopped. Cuban Romero, 26, was a disappointment in both a draw with Daniel Lozano in August and a points win over modest Luis Valdes in October and he let Ased hang around too long in this fight. Fourth inside the distance loss in a row for Ased since leaving Argentina with his two previous of the four contests having resulted in first round defeats.
Sanginov vs., Pendarvis
Nevada-based Tajik Sanginov finishes more experienced southpaw Pendarvis in four rounds. Sanginov was able to use his height and reach to keep the much smaller Pendarvis under pressure with Pendarvis rarely venturing far from the ropes. Pendarvis was looking to draw Sanginov’s lead and counter but had difficulty doing that with the physical advantages Sanginov had (Sanginov had boxed at 81kgs in the amateurs) and Pendarvis was taking punishment when Sanginov was able to trap him on the ropes. Sanginov finally caught up with Pendarvis in the fourth dropping him to his knees with a right to the head. Pendarvis made it to his feet but two lefts dropped him again. Sanginov jumped up on the ropes to celebrate but Pendarvis arose again and it took another series of punches flooring Pendarvis for the third time to force the finish. Sanginov, 24, had stumbled last time out only getting a draw against novice Fred Wilson but looked much better here. The unattached Sanginov was a bronze medallist at the Asian Youth Championships and competed at both the World Youth and World Olympic qualifier way up at 81kgs but lost out on a chance to compete in Rio. Pendarvis, 34, fought in an IBF title eliminator back in 2013 and was then inactive for four years. He has now lost his last three fights.
Musadilov vs. Najera
Musadilov massacres poor Najera inside a minute. The hard-punching Kazak came out fired up. He drove Najera to the ropes and then worked him into a corner and unloaded with clubbing shots to head and body until Najera crashed to his knees and was counted out after only 43 seconds. The 26-year-old “Panda” Musadilov has won all of his fights inside the distance needing less than 13 rounds to finish eight very low level opponents. He was runner-up in the Kazakhstan Championships in 2016 and won tournaments at both 91kgs and +91kgs. Fifth inside the distance loss for Najera.
Minsk, Belarus: Light Heavy: Ali Izmailov (5-0) W TKO 9 Ruslan Fayer (25-3). Super Light: Nadzir Bakhshyieu (6-11-3) W PTS 6 Sean Fennell (7-1).
Big win for Izmailov as he stops former world rated Fayer. It was obvious from the start that Izmailov had the harder punch and it looked as though he had put Fayer down in the second but the referee decided it was a push. Fayer slowly worked his way into the fight but Izmailov’s power was always a factor. From the seventh Izmailov began to land more power shots and Fayer began to crumble. Izmailov looked to have punched himself out in the eighth but he came back with a vengeance in the ninth. Fayer was already stumbling when Izmailov launches a brutal attack. Two left hooks to the body were followed by a series of head punches that had Fayer tottered forward trying to hold. Izmailov turned Fayer onto the ropes and then landed more heavy head punches before the referee came in to save Fayer. The 27-year-old Izmailov was in his first ten round fight. He had won a bronze medal at the Russian championships and after turning pro in August last year had already beaten former WBC light heavyweight title challenger Dmitry Sukhotsky and 18-1 Sergei Ekimov so very quick progress. Fayer had been on the verge of a world title fight when he entered the WBSS cruiserweight tournament. He was 23-0 but lost to Andrew Tabiti and in his last fight in August was halted by Aleksi Papin.
Bakhshyieu vs. Fennell
Something of an upset here as local low level prelim fighter Bakhshyieu takes a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten British hope Fennell. Scores 59-57 twice and 59-58 for Bakhshyieu who had lost his last four fights. Setback for 21-year-old Fennell but plenty of time to regroup.
Dubai, UAE: Cruiser: Lambert Fogoum (9-1-1) W TKO 5 Hany Atiyu (15-4).
Fogoum retains the UBO African title with stoppage of Egyptian Atiyu. Fogoum was just too strong and aggressive for Atiyu who tried to use his longer reach to work at distance but just could not keep Fogoum out. It ended in the fifth when Fogoum pinned Atiyu against the ropes and landed a series of body punches. The referee came in and gave Atiyu a standing count. It did not help Atiyu and he went down again under an attack from Fogoum and the towel came in from Atiyu’s corner. Seven wins in a row for the 31-year-old from Cameroon who is based in Dubai and his eighth inside the distance finish. First fight for four years for Atiyu who back in 2014 was knocked out in 75 seconds by Roy Jones in a fight for the WBU (German version) cruiserweight title.
Rimouski, Canada: Super Light: Yves Ulysse (19-2) W TKO 7 Mathieu Germain (18-2-1). Super Light Steve Claggett (29-6-2) W RTD 6 David Theroux (16-4).
Ulysse vs. Germain
Ulysse batters Germaine to defeat in a grudge match with the bad blood starting before the pre-fight press conference and continuing through the fight and beyond the post-fight press conference. Although Ulysse had a slight edge Germain was in the fight over the first two rounds but then Ulysse took over and dominated the action. The dirty stuff soon broke out with a deliberate butt and an elbow used as a punch from Germain and Ulysse repeatedly rubbing German’s face with his glove bindings. In the legal action Ulysse was handing out more and more punishment with Germain fading out of the fight. In the seventh two rights to the head sent Germain sprawling on the canvas twisting his ankle as he went down. After the count Germain tried to hold but Ulysse shrugged him off and Germain fell to his knees. As there had been no punch there was no count but Germain was badly shaken. After another right to the head dropped him and the referee stopped the fight. Lots of rumours surrounded Ulysse before the fight that he was not training hard and his mind set was not right. He certainly showed he is still a dangerous fighter but even post the win he was very subdued. This was Ulysse’s first fight since losing a close decision to Ismael Barros in December when a win could have led to a world title shot. He collects the WBC Francophone and NABF belts. Second inside the distance defeat for Germain. There were a couple of bumps in the road for Germain last year as after 16 straight wins he fought a draw with Steve Claggett and was knocked out by Mexican Uriel Perez.
Claggett vs. Theroux
Claggett just proves to strong for Theroux. Over the first two rounds Theroux was marching forward behind a high guard trying to take the fight to Claggett and being willing to stand and trade. In the third Claggett’s left hooks to the body began to drain the resistance out of Theroux. By the sixth Theroux had nothing left and he spent much of the round against the ropes and took a sustained beating with his corner pulling their man out of the fight at the end of the round. The 31-year-old winner from Calgary wins the vacant NABA title with his nineteenth inside the distance victory. Theroux is an entertaining fighter but two losses against Mexican imports and this crushing defeat shows his limitations.
These two fights are part of a round-robin tournament where all four fighters will fight each other at least once with points being awarded for a win, a loss or a draw in a league format and the fighter who tops the leagues will get a $50,000 prize but the with the beatings Germain and Theroux took it seems a pointless exercise (no pun intended)
General Santos City, Philippines: Super Feather: Marlon Tapales (34-3) W TKO 2 Eden Sonsona (36-11-2). Bantam: Aston Palicte (26-4-1) W RTD 2 Reymark Taday (10-12-1). Fly: David Apolinario (13-0) W Bonjun Loperez (12-13-1).
Tapales vs. Sonsona
Tapales returns with a win as he floors Sonsona three times for victory. It was obvious this was not going to be a long fight as Tapales dropped Sonsona twice in the first with hooks to the head. Sonsona decided attack was the best defence and stood and traded punches at the start of the second. He pinned Tapales to the ropes and landed with hooks to head and body until Tapales forced his way off the ropes and then it was bombs away as they just stood and threw punches before Tapales rocked Sonsona with a right hook and dropped him with a left. Sonsona went down but although he beat the count he just turned away and the referee waived the fight over. Southpaw Tapales, 28, is a former WBO bantam champion but he was stripped off the title when he failed to make the weight for his first defence. He moved up to super bantam but was stopped in eleven rounds by Ryosuke Iwasa in December last year in a fight for the interim IBF title. The IBF have him at No 4(2) so a title shot in 2021 is a real possibility. Sonsona, 31, challenged for the IBO bantam title way back in 2008 and made it to a high position in the ratings in 2015 when he blasted out 22-0 Adrian Estrella in two rounds but that was yesteryear as this is his sixth consecutive loss.
Palicte vs. Taday
It was like man against boy here as Palicte put in some ring time against the smaller and lighter Taday. Palicte picked Taday off with jabs connected with left ho0oks to the body and straight rights but never really pressed his attacks allowing Taday to launch some wild windmilling attacks. Palicte upped his pace in the second round handing out some severe punishment and Taday decided he had taken enough and dropped out of the fight at the end of the round. Palicte will be hoping it will be third time lucky for him. The 29-year-old Filipino turned in a great performance in fighting to a draw with Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO super fly title in 2018 but was stopped in ten rounds by Kazuto Ioka for the same title in June last year. He is still No 10 with the WBO so a third title shot might be in his future. Eight defeats in his last nine fights for Taday.
Apolinario vs. Loperez
Southpaw Apolinario floored Loperez in the first and had him in deep trouble later in the round with the referee jumping in and giving Loperez a standing count which helped him to survive the round. Loperez had to withstand a body bettering in the second and took more punishment in the third. Loperez attacked fiercely at the start of the fourth but Apolinario rocked him with a right hook and landed heavily to the body. Loperez was finished and retired at the end the round. Now nine wins by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old local prospect. Poor Loperez is 2-9 in his recent outings.
Tampa, FL, USA: Welter: Harold Calderon (23-0) W KO 4
Gustavo Vittori (23-7-1). Light Heavy: Radivoje Kalajdzic (25-2) W PTS 8 Denis Grachev (20-11-1). Welter: Mark Reyes (14-0) W KO 1 Diego Perez (13-11-1).
Calderon vs. Vittori
In a battle of southpaws Calderon topples Vittori in four rounds. It was Calderon’s fight from the first. He easily slotted punches through the Argentinian’s guard in the first and then floored him in the second. Vittorio sparked briefly at the begging of the third but Calderon quickly took control again and by the end of the round Vittori was unsteady on his feet and cut. Calderon applied the finishing touch putting Vittori down just before the bell and Vittori was counted out. Sixth inside the distance win in a row for the 33-year-old Miami-Based Honduran who has yet to be put in a fight that will give a measure of how far he can go-and time is running out. Fourth fight outside of Argentina for Vittori and fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Kalajdzic vs. Grachev
Routine win for Kalajdzic as he outboxes a very much fading Grachev. Kalajdzic won all the way but left his attempt to end it inside the distance too late. With the points already in the bag he floored Grachev just as the bell went to end the eighth round. Scores 80-71 twice and 79-72 for Kalajdzic. After winning his first 21 fights Bosnian Kalajdzic dropped a split verdict to Marcus Brown in a fight in 2016 that saw both fighters on the floor. After three modest wins he was given a shot at Artur Beterbiev for the IBF light heavy title in May last year but was stopped in five rounds and this is his return to the ring. Russian Grachev is 38 and his recent fights have seen him go 8-11 so his future is behind him.
Reyes vs. Perez
Quick victory for home town fighter Reyes as he stops Perez in the first round. Reyes put Perez on the retreat with some sharp jabbing and then stepped in with a brutal left hook to the body. Perez went down in pain. He dragged himself up but was bent double and dropped again and the referee halted the fight. All over in 42 seconds. Now twelve victories by KO/TKO for 24-year-old Reyes including nine in his last nine fights. Third time in his last three fights that Perez has fallen in the first round.
Ecatepec, Mexico: Light: Francisco Vargas (27-2-2) W TKO 3 Otto Gamez (19-4). Welter: Luis Montelongo (14-8) W PTS 12 Luis Vidales (16-7). Super Welter: Ricardo Banuelos (13-51) W PTS 12 Diego Cruz (21-9-2).
Vargas vs., Gamez
Former WBC super feather champion “Bandito” Vargas returns to action with a third round stoppage of Gamez. After taking the first two rounds Vargas nailed Gamez with a left hook followed by a straight right flooring Gamez. The fight was stopped without a count and it was a good few minutes before Gamez was able to get up and leave the ring. Vargas lost his WBC title to Miguel Berchelt in 2017 and was beaten Berchelt again in a return match in May last year. Venezuelan Gamez has gone from 18-1 to 19-4 after three consecutive defeats.
Montelongo vs. Vidales
With his seventh win in his last eight fights “Little Wolf” Montelongo, 25, wins the Mexican title with split verdict over champion Vidales. Scores 116-112 and 115-114 for Montelongo and 116-112 for Vidales. Vidales, 21, was making the first defence of his national title.
Banuelos vs. Cruz
In the best fight of the night Banuelos lifts the vacant Mexican title with a unanimous decision over Cruz. Success at the third attempt for Banuelos who had lost and drawn in previous title fights. Cruz falls to 2-6-1 in his last nine outings.
La Calera, Argentina: Light: Jose Romero (24-0) WPTS 12 Javier Clavero (27-8).
Romero wins the interim South American title with convincing victory over seasoned pro Clavero. Romero used his better skills and clever movement to frustrate the ever pressing Clavero. Fighting mainly on the back foot Romero piled up the points with fast, accurate jabs and stinging counters. Clavero had some success when he managed to get inside or pinned Romero against the ropes but those moments were rare and Romero took a clear unanimous verdict. Scores 19-110 ½, 117 ½ -114 ½, 116-114 ½ all for unbeaten Romero. The 24-year-old former undefeated Argentinian champion should really be looking to move up to face some international level opposition now. Clavero, a former South American champion, had high hopes when he went 19-1 in his opening 20 fights but 8-7 tells a different story.
Rome, Italy: Light Heavy: Adriano Sperandio (12-1) W PTS 10 Luca Spadaccini (6-1-3).
In his first fight for 18 months local favourite Sperandio collects the vacant Italian title with a unanimous decision over Spadaccini. Sperandio proved too quick and too mobile for Spadaccini. He was much the better technical boxer working well with his jab and being quick enough to land accurate shots inside and get out before Spadaccini could counter. Spadaccini’s sheer aggression was enough to earn him a couple of rounds but generally he was playing catch-up against the fleeter Sperandio and never really threatened Sperandino’s dominance. Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 97-93 for the new champion. Sperandio, 32, rebounds with this win after losing a very close decision to 23-0 Marko Nikolic for the WBC Mediterranean title in May 2019. Spadaccini, 31, was in his first ten round fight. The two draws on his record were technical draws and he will look to regroup and challenge for the title again next year.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Light: Rikki Naito (23-2) W RTD 9 Yusuke Konno (16-5).
Naito retains the OPBF title with injury victory over Konno. This was expected to be a classic boxer vs. puncher contest with southpaw Naito having the skills and Konno trying to impose himself with constant aggression. The first two rounds followed that expectation with clever boxing from Naito taking the opening round but successful pressure tactics from Konno giving him the second. Naito boxed smartly over the third and fourth and was up on all cards at 40-36 twice and 39-37. Naito increased his lead in the fifth connecting with a series of jabs and hooks. Konno suddenly came back into the fight in the sixth as he was able to get inside and pound away at Naito’s body and looked capable of springing a surprise. Konno had a poor seventh and it was apparent that he had damaged his left arm and was effectively fighting with just one hand and although he fought bravely through the eighth and ninth he was forced to retire. Fourth successful defence of the OPBF title for Naito. Naito was 59-9 as an amateur. He is the son of Junichi “Cassius” Naito who was also an OPBF champion. Naito’s two losses have been to Kenichi Ogawa who went on to beat Tevin Farmer for the IBF title but tested positive for a banned substance. Konno, a former Japanese super light champion, had won his last five fights and after the injury deserves another shot at the title.
Tijuana, Mexico: Welter: Alessandro Riguccini (25-0) W TKO 3 Ivan Alvarez (29-11-1). Super Welter: Damian Sosa (16-1) W RTD 6 Ernesto Olvera (11-5-1), Super Feather: Manuel Jaimes (11-0) W PTS 8 Cristian Santiago Vazquez (15-1-1).
Riguccini vs. Alvarez
Riguccini gets repeat win against Alvarez. Over the first two rounds Alvarez was able to use his longer reach to keep the smaller Italian out but it was tame stuff with very little fire on show from either boxer and with neither putting any snap into their punches. It looked like some mild sparring with a “you don’t hurt me and I won’t hurt you pact”. Riguccini broke the pact early in the third as Alvarez walked in Riguccini buried a right into the oncoming Mexican’s body. Alvarez went down face first on the canvas and the referee did not bother to count. Riguccini had knocked Alvarez out in one round when the Mexican travelled to Riguccini’s home town of Florence in April last year, one of only two fights Riguccini has had in Italy. At 5’5” Riguccini is small for a welterweight which could count against when he steps up to better opposition. He is a former world kickboxing and full contact champion. He holds the WBC Silver interim title and is rated No 24 by them. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Alvarez whose recent record reads 2-4-1
Sosa vs. Olvera
Local fighter “Samurai “Sosa gets his ninth win by KO/TKO as he stops Olvera in seven rounds. Sosa had the better skills with Olvera just swinging wide punches and getting caught with counters. His sheer aggression made him competitive but he was soaking up punishment. A diet of body shots weakened Olvera in the sixth and a series of head punches had him staggering and he retired in his corner at the end of the round. Sosa has scored five wins since losing his unbeaten tag when being outpointed to Russian Artem Oganesyan in March 2019. All four of Olvera’s losses have been to unbeaten fighters including visits to Canada and France.
Jaimes vs. Vazquez
Good win for Jaimes as he decisions Vazquez to collect the vacant WBC Youth title. Vazquez threw plenty of punches but mostly they were just arm punches with no power and Jaimes was also able to block most that Vazquez threw. Jaimes had a lower work rate but a higher success rate with his punches and although never looking like stopping Vazquez he was a clear winner. The young Californian won on scores of 78-74 twice and 80-72. The 20-year-old Jaimes was in his first eight round bout and this is only the second time he has had to go the distance having beaten 9 of his previous 10 opponents by KO/TKO. Vazquez, 19, was coming off a useful win over 24-2-1 Russell Fiore.
Cambridge, New Zealand: Cruiser: Joshua Francis (10-1-1) W TKO 1 Kyle Mereweather (1.1).
Francis again shows his power as he finishes poor Mereweather inside a round. After some sparring one huge right cross from Francis floored Mereweather heavily and the fight was over. After a 1-1-1 start to his career Francis is now 9-0 with 7 wins by KO/TKO four of them inside the opening round. He was defending the ANBF Australasian title. Mereweather’s previous pro experience was just one four round bout.
Valencia, Spain: Super Welter: Dylan Moran (15-1,1ND) W PTS 8 David Bency (14-18-1). Light: Juan felix Gomez (9-0) W PTS 8 Izan Dura (3-6).
Moran vs. Bency
Useful eight rounds of work for Irish hope Moran. Spaniish-based Nicaraguan Bency was typical of the Nicas based in Spain in that he tried hard, kept pressing but lacked the power and skill to pose any threat to the talented 5’ 11” tall southpaw Moran. All three cards read 79-73 for Moran. The 25-year-old from Waterford gets his fifth win on the bounce. He suffered an upset loss when he was stopped in three rounds by novice Denis Okoth in Catskills, NY, in June last year. Now eight losses in a row for Bency which is another trait the Nicas share.
Gomez vs. Dura
Both of these fighters are from Valencia but that was the only thing they shared, “Juanfe” Gomez is a southpaw and a much better boxer. In his first fight for 13 months after a slow opening round Gomez brought his better skills into play and he dominated the fight with only his lack of power making it possible for Dura to go the full eight rounds. Scores 79-73 for Gomez on all three scorecards. He will be looking to fight for the national title next year. Dura keeps his record of not losing inside the distance.
Gniew, Poland: Light Heavy: Pawel Augustynik (12-0) W PTS 10 Dariusz Sek (28-7-3). Super Middle: Bartlomiej Grafka (23-38-4) W PTS 6 Rafal Jackiewicz (51-28-3). Heavy: Kamil Mroczkowski (1-0) W TKO 2 Mateusz Rybarski (1-12).
Augustynik vs. Sek
On the first Queensberry Polska show Augustynik wins wide unanimous points decision over veteran Sek. Augustynik was looking to get inside and work on the body with Sek trying to work at distance with his right jabs. Augustynik piled on the pressure and Sek found himself fighting with his back against the ropes and spent much of the fourth round trapped in a corner. Augustynik continued to dominate the action in the fifth and sixth with Sek landing occasional counters and lefts from Augustynik rocked Sek in the seventh. In the eighth a right hook dropped Sek. He beat the count then Augustynik piled on the punches with Sek responding enough to convince the referee he was still able to compete. The pace dropped in the ninth and then they fought hard through the tenth with Augustynik getting the better of the exchanges. Scores 100-89 twice and 97-92 for Augustynik who lifts the WBC International Silver belt. Hopefully that will lead to some international level fights for Augustynik. Sek, 34, had lost 3 of his last 4 fights by KO/TKO so he steadied his slide but the only way for him now is down.
Grafka vs. Jackiewicz
Plenty of pride on show here as these two seasoned pros battle to settle the argument over who should have been give the verdict in their drawn fight in September. Grafka tried to use his physical advantages to bully Jackiewicz but the former European champion used his better skills to stay off the ropes and in the centre of the ring where he had space to work. The rounds were close with some powerful rights from Grafka just giving his the edge. They traded punches throughout the fifth but Grafka’s hard rights had Jackiewicz under pressure in the sixth. Scores 58-56 twice and 59-55 for Grafka. These two have reached this point by very different routes with Jackiewicz, now 43, winning a European title and challenging for the IBF title and Grafka, 32, spending much of his career as a travelling loser with few highlights.
Mroczkowski vs. Rybarski
Some interest here in the first pro fight of heavyweight Mroczkowski who scored wins over both Daniel Dubois and Peter Kadiru in the amateurs. He stalked Rybarski in the first then floored him with a body punch at the start of the second. Rybarski made it to his feet but a clubbing right to the head put him down again and the fight was stopped. It will be interesting to see how Mroczkowski develops as a pro. He weighed 120kgs for this fight-down from 150kgs! He aims to get to 110kgs in the future. Seventh loss by KO/TKO for Rybarski.
Szydlowiec, Poland: Light: Damian Wrzesinski (21-1-2) W PTS Luis Viedas (26-10-1). Middle: Lukasz Maciec (25-3-1) W PTS 8 Marek Andrysek (5-1).
Wrzesinski vs. Viedas
Comfortable win for Polish International champion Wrzesinski. Not a big puncher he collected the points round by round with plenty of left jabs and quick but light combinations. Viedas, just 5’3”, spent much of the fight on the end of Wrzesinski’s jab and mainly confined himself to occasional attacking bursts. Wrzesinski was lucky he was fighting at home as he landed too many low punches which might have lead to a disqualification elsewhere. Viedas never really threatened and Wrzesinski took the decision on scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. He is hoping to challenge for the EU or EBU titles next year. Viedas had won his last 14 fights but really just against prelim fighters of very modest ability.
Maciec vs. Andrysek
Former EU title challenger Maciec returned to the ring for the first time since October 2018 with a split points victory over newcomer Andrysek. Maciec showed plenty of rust and Czech Andrysek was able to keep the fight close over the first six rounds. Maciec began to find the range and paced the fight better than Andrysek which proved the difference in the end. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Maciec and 77-75 for Andrysek. The 31-year-opld pole had won 8 of his last 9 fights before retiring with the loss being against Hugo Centeno in 2015. Andrysek, the Czech super middle champion had dropped 8lbs since his fight in February and would do better going back to super middle.
Tokyo, Japan: Welter: Jin Sasaki (9-0) W TKO 1 Tatsuya Miyazaki (9-14-1).
Another “Monster”? Much too early to say but teenager Tsutomu (Jin) Sasaki has been getting plenty of attention as he stacks up the inside the distance wins. He dropped Miyazaki to his knees with a thumping right to the head. Miyazaki got to his feet but was then battered from all angles before left uppercut dumped him on to the ropes and then down to the floor. The 19-year old East Japan Rookie of the Year turned pro at 17 after only being 1-3 in amateur fights but has scored eight wins inside the distance with this being his third opening round win in a row. Much too early to say how far he can go but worth watching. Poor Miyazaki has won just one of his last eleven fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): Javier Fortuna’s win over Antonio Lozada keeps him in place for a shot at the WBC title.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Conor Benn and Sebastian Formella went to war for ten rounds.
Fighter of the week: Conor Benn for his much improved performance
Punch of the week: The brutal left hook from Jameson Bacon that had Roque Junco out cold the moment it landed and honourable mention for the right to the head from Fabio Wardley that finished Richard Lartey
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: O’Shaquie Foster 18-2 looked good in stopping Miguel Roman
A memory of Antonio Margarito as O’Shaquie Fosters’ trainer examined the gloves Miguel Roman was to use and found some padding had been removed. New gloves and the fight went on but some questions need answering.
Strange. Two shows scheduled for Tijuana on Saturday. Once postponed on the advice of the local Health Authorities-and the other one goes ahead!
Two shows floored by COVID-19 as the card in Belgium to feature 17-0 Jessy Petitjean was cancelled and a Kings’ Promotions card in Philadelphia cancelled
Tough for fighters everywhere. In Quebec they have a thoroughly sanitised and private gym with great facilities but Public Health forbids its use so they have to train in their backyards which is happening all over.
By Eric Armit
-Terrence Crawford Stops Kell Brook in three rounds to retain the WBO welterweight title
-Huge controversy over No Decision ruling in the WBA super flyweight title fight between Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney
-Denzel Bentley gets injury win over Mark Heffron in their return fight for the British title
-The 6’8 ½” German Christian Thun and Cuban Jose Larduet get wins in heavyweight action
-Prospects Tyler Howard, Ray Muratalla and Duke Ragan victorious in Las Vegas
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Terrence Crawford (37-0) W TKO 4 Kell Brook (39-3). Super Fly: Joshua Franco (17-1-2,1ND) ND 2 Andrew Moloney (21-1,1ND). Bantam: Joshua Greer (22-2-2) DRAW 8 Edwin Rodriguez (11-5-2). Middle: Tyler Howard (19-0) W PTS 8 KeAndrae Leatherwood (22-8-1). Light: Ray Muratalla (11-0) W TKO 3 Luis Porozo (15-5). Feather: Duke Ragan (3-0) W PTS 4 Sebastian Gutierrez (1-1).
Crawford vs. Brook
Another imperious performance from Crawford as after a slow start he finished Brook in the third.
A round in which neither fighter committed himself to even throwing purposeful jabs. Both were tentative and one strong left jab which stopped Crawford in his tracks was enough for Brook to take the low action round.
Score: 10-9 Brook
Once again a cautious start from both fighters. Brook connected with his jab early. Late in the round Crawford clipped Brook with a right to the head but jabbing from Brook just gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Brook Brook 20-18
There was more action in this one as Crawford went on the offensive. Brook landed some good right counters but Crawford ended the round strongly with some punches inside to take the round.
Score:10-9 Crawford Brook 29-28
After some early sparring as Brook walked in throwing a right Crawford slammed a right jab to the head of Brook who stumble sideways across the ring and half way out through the ropes. Brook disentangled himself from the ropes but as he was doing so Crawford landed three heavy punches before the referee jumped in and gave Brook a standing count. When the action resume Crawford banged home heavy punches to the head from both hands and Brook fell back into the ropes and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight
Crawford retains the WBO title. The three-division champion from Omaha is now 15-0 in world title fights with his eighth consecutive inside the distance win. The mark of a great champion. He now wants Manny Pacquiao and it would be a great reward for Crawford for the brilliant career he has had so far. I honestly think it would be a bad move for Pacquiao as I feel he would then end his career with a loss but if there is enough money then it might happen. If not then Errol Spence is the fight every boxing fan should be rooting for. This may be the end for Brook. He looked very sharp for the first three rounds but fell apart quickly under Crawford’s punches. If he does retire then winning a world title and in 42 fights losing only to the best of the best in Gennady Golovkin, Errol Spence and Crawford is something he can be proud of.
Franco vs. Moloney
Franco retains the WBA title on a No Decision it being adjudged that damage to his right eye that prevented him from continuing after the second round was caused by a clash of heads. A hugely controversial decision which looked to be a basic injustice as the video replays showed no such clash and instead clearly showed punches from Moloney that started and increased the swelling
Sparkling opening round from Moloney. He was constantly moving stabbing out quick accurate and solid jabs through the middle of Franco’s guard and connecting with rights to the body. Franco was moving forward in a straight line and too slow to counter effectively.
Score: 10-9 Moloney
In the break Franco was getting treatment for a swelling under his right eye and that eye was already starting to close. Again Moloney was too quick for the static Franco scoring with his jab and quick bursts of punches. The referee halted the action half way through the round and asked the doctor to examining the effect of the swelling and although the eye was virtually closed the doctor allowed the fight to continue.
Score: 10-9 Moloney Moloney 20-18
Before the start of the third round the doctor examined Franco again and decided that Franco could not continue. Initially it looked as though Moloney was going to be declared the winner on a stoppage but then it was ruled a No Decision. The Nevada officials went to the replay official and after about 25 minutes they reported they had seen significant head clashes in the first round and confirmed the No Decision ruling. The replay did not seem to show any significant head clashes in the opening round but did show a solid jab that thudded on to the right eye of Franco with the swelling showing immediately and Moloney connected with a left hook and more jabs to the same point under Franco’s right eye. Continual replays showed no clash of heads that could have caused the swelling and in fact when Moloney did move inside his head landed on the left shoulder of Franco. The TV people watched and showed the first round over and over and totally disagreed with the decision and Bob Arum was absolutely incensed at Moloney being robbed of his victory. The problem will now be dumped into the laps of the WBA who at the very least must order a return match with parity on the purse split but that is small consolation for Moloney who looked to have gained revenge for the loss of his title to Franco in June but boxing also gets a black eye from this injustice.
Greer vs. Rodriguez
Another disappointing performance from Greer as he needs a big finish to earn a draw with Rodriguez. Greer was much the better boxer but he just did not work hard enough and faded in and out of the fight. That allowed Rodriguez to build a lead and Greer had to sweep the last two rounds for the draw. Scores 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Rodriguez. Greer had a 19-bout winning streak snapped in a points loss to Mike Plania in June so he should have been looking to make a statement here but instead has some hard thinking to do. Facing Greer marked a change for Rodriguez as his last five opponents had all been unbeaten with Rodriguez a respectable 3-1-1 in those five contests.
Howard vs. Leatherwood
This was not a good night for some of the favoured fighters on the undercard. Howard also struggled in what should have been a routine win for the younger man. Leatherwood made the better start putting Howard on the back foot and with Howard cut in a clash of heads in the second things were not going Howard’s way. He did better over the second half of the fight being helped when a tiring Leatherwood lost a point for continually holding in the sixth. It was anyone’s fight going into the eighth with the fighters being level on two cards. Howard pulled off the win by dropping Leatherwood with a body punch to win on scores of 77-73, 76-74 and 77-75. The 26-year-old Tennessee “Hercules” will learn from this one and come back stronger. Leatherwood has been matched tough with Andy Lee, Caleb Truax, Steve Rolls and Christian Mbilli all registering wins over the man from Tuscaloosa.
Muratalla vs. Porozo
Muratalla too quick, slick and powerful for Porozo. Muratalla used aggression and quick hands to take the first round but the best punch was a right to the head from Porozo to let Muratalla know he was in a fight. Muratalla repaid Porozo in the second shaking him with a fast accurate four-punch combination and scoring with a hurtful right to the body. Muratalla connected with a sweet right uppercut in the third but it was body punches that undid Porozo. Three consecutive strikes from Muratalla’s left hook saw Porozo drop to a knee. He was up at six but had lost his mouthguard so managed some additional recovery time as it was reinserted. When the fight continued Muratalla forced Porozo to the ropes and landed a series of punches that dropped Porozo in a heap in a corner and the fight was stopped. Ninth inside the distance win for the 23-year-old from California and his sixth in a row as he continues to make good progress. Ecuadorian Porozo suffers his fifth loss in his last six fights.
Ragan vs. Gutierrez
Ragan is still new to the pro ranks and has yet to be really tested. He did his job here against the much taller Gutierrez flooring him in the second and winning every round with the scores being 40-35 from the judges. The talented 23-year-old from Cincinnati scored wins over Ruben Villa and Lee McGregor in the amateurs. He could have boxed in Tokyo but instead chose to turn pro. Gutierrez in way over his head.
South Kirkby, England: Super Welter: Tursynbay Kulakhmet (2-0) W PTS 10 Macaulay McGowan (14-1-1). Welter: Jack Rafferty (13-0) W PTS 8 Tom Hill (9-2). Welter: Paddy Donovan (5-0) W PTS 6 Jumaane Camero (10-7).
Kulakhmet vs. McGowan
New Kazak hope Kulakhmet outclasses McGowan. Kulakhmet was in charge from the start putting McGowan under pressure in sweeping the first four rounds. McGowan managed to get into the fight briefly in the fifth but seemed to be fighting only to survive. Kulakhmet floored McGowan with a clubbing right in the seventh but McGowan beat the count and a frustrated Kulakhmet lost a point in the eighth for pushing McGowan to the canvas as the Englishman defied Kulakhmet’s efforts to end the fight early. Scores 99-89 for Kulakhmet on the three cards. The 26-year-old Kulakhmet wins the vacant WBC International title in only his second pro fight. He won a gold medal at the Asian Youth Championships and the Asian Games and a bronze at the World Championships. McGowan was up at ten rounds for the first time and had won his last four fights.
Rafferty vs. Hill
Rafferty starts strongly and finishes strongly to take the referee’s verdict over Hill. This was a hard-fought entertaining fight with both handing out and absorbing some stick as you might expect with two fighters nicknamed “Demolition Man” and “One Bomb” respectively. Referees score 78-75 for Rafferty. A former Elite level amateur Rafferty was in his first eight round contest. Hill was trying to rebuild after a fourth round TKO loss to Ellis Corrie for the BBB of C Northern Area title.
Donovan vs. Camero
Limerick southpaw Donovan takes another move forward as he decision’s Londoner Camero. Donovan showcased some slick skills and accurate counter punching. Camero pressed hard but lacked the power or speed to compete. Referee’s score 60-55 for Donovan. The 21-year-old Andy Lee trained Irishman won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships and gold at the Irish Under-18’s as well as competing at the World and European Youth Championships. Camero had won his last three fights.
London. England: Middle: Denzel Bentley (14-0-1) W RTD 4 Mark Heffron (25-2-1). Middle: Caoimhin Agyarko (8-0) W TKO 7 Robbie Chapman (6-6). Light Heavyweight: Tommy Fury (4-0) W TKO 2 Genadij Krajevskij (0-12).
Bentley vs. Heffron
After fighting to a draw with Heffron in September Bentley wins this return bout as Heffron is forced to retire with his left eye swollen shut. The first round was Heffron’s as he was scoring with jabs to the body and connected with a strong right and a left hook to the body. Heffron was quicker with his jab at the start of the second but then Bentley went on the front foot scored with a thudding right and followed that with succession of hard rights to the head. Bentley found the range with his jab and bombarded Heffron with punches with Heffron in disarray and it was clearly Bentley’s round. Heffron was showing an ugly swelling under his left eye from those rights and already the eye was closing. Bentley targeted the swelling in the third landing some hard crosses there. Heffron scored with good rights and left hooks and finished the round with a fierce attack but time was running out with the swelling growing bit by bit. Bentley found the target with more rights in the fourth with Heffron throwing big punches trying to turn the fight his way but by the end of the round the swelling had closed Heffron’s left eye completely and sensibly he was pulled out of the fight. Bentley, 25, wins the vacant British title and will now be aiming to build on his No 14 rating with the WBO. Heartbreaker for Heffron, 28, having lost to current WBO No 1 Liam Williams for the same vacant British title 2018. The injury spoiled what was sure to have been a fiercely competitive and entertaining fight.
Agyarko vs. Chapman
Impressive performance from Agyarko as he dominates and then stops a willing Chapman. The switch-hitting Agyarko showed early that he had the quicker hands and better skills. He constantly pierced Chapman’s guard with strong jabs and worked well with hooks to the body. He rattled Chapman with a sharp left hook late in the third and with some body shots in the fourth. Chapman was willing to trade when he could particularly in a free swinging fifth but did not have the power to compete. In the seventh a right cross suddenly had Chapman’s legs doing an involuntary dance and Agyarko exploded with a succession of head punches that had Chapman swaying and defenceless and the fight was stopped. The 23-year-old Belfast-based “Black Thunder” gets his fourth consecutive inside the distance win. A former Irish Youth and Senior champion (he boxed as Caoimhin Agyarko Hines) he looks a very good prospect with excellent skills and real power in his punches. He survived a horrendous knife attack in 2017 we he had his throat slashed and had to undergo emergency surgery but was back in the ring within five months and winning trophies. Fifth loss in a row for Chapman who comes to fight and entertain.
Fury vs. Krajevskij
With elder brother Tyson watching Fury blasts out Krajevskij in two rounds. Fury was too quick for the limited Krajevskij in the first. He was stabbing out jabs then moving in quickly with some shots inside. Krajevskij relied on crude rushes and Fury was able to connect with hooks and uppercuts as Krajevskij lunged forward. The second was an untidy round with far too much wrestling but just seconds before the bell Fury connected with a devastating right uppercut that had Krajevskij on the way down with Fury landing three more punches but the right was the finisher. The 21-year-old from Manchester who appeared on the Love island reality show, gets win No 3 by KO/TKO. Although he is Tyson’s brother he is just 6’0” tall. I guess there was not much height left in the family bank when he was born. British-based Lithuanian Krajevskij has yet to win a fight so they were taking no chances with Tommy here.
Benavidez, Argentina: Middle: Alejandro Silva (12-0-1) W Javier Maciel (33-9). Super Light: Jeremias Ponce (26-0) W TKO 1 Ruben Lopez (13-14-4).
Silva vs. Maciel
On this Marcos Maidana promotion Silva took a close unanimous decision over seasoned pro Maciel in a fast-paced, entertaining fight. Silva used hand speed and good movement to outbox Maciel in the opening rounds with Maciel pressing hard and looking the heavier puncher. Silva was moving around Maciel to find angles for his punches with Maciel having success when he could pin Silva to the ropes. In the fifth a left uppercut from Maciel dropped Silva face down on the canvas. It looked over as he did not move for three or four seconds but then pushed to his feet. A combination of movement and holding from Silva and wildly inaccurate punching from Maciel allowed Silva to survive and he was fighting back by the end of the round. From there Silva dominated the action out-manoeuvring and outpunching Maciel and by the end he looked to have won by a wide margin but the Judges had it close. Scores 95-94 twice and a more accurate score of 97-92 all for Silva. The 27-year-old “Raven” is the national champion but his title was not on the line in this fight. He had won 7 of his last 8 fights by KO/TKO but 37-year-old Maciel, who came in as a late substitute, has a strong chin. Maciel lost to Dmitry Pirog in a fight for the WBO middleweight title in 2011 but now fills the role of travelling loser having lost his last three fights on the road.
Ponce vs. Lopez
Ponce stops Lopez in 2:30 of the opening round. Ponce towered over the 5’ 5 ½” Lopez and used his reach to force Lopez onto the back foot. Ponce was stalking Lopez around the ring landing jabs and throwing long rights with Lopez darting in with an occasional burst of punches. When Lopez launched another of his attacks Ponce landed a wicked right to the body. Lopez momentum saw him throw a couple of punches before the pain from the body shot kicked in and he collapsed to his knees. He was up at eight and as boxers often do walked towards a corner with his back to the referee who signalled to the retreating Lopez to turn and raise his gloves. The referee then waived his arms to end the fight as an unbelieving Lopez turned to find the fight was over. He protested bitterly but the decision had been made. The 24-year-old Ponce, the IBO champion, gets his sixteenth inside the distance victory and is rated IBF 7(6). Lopez, 37, is 1-6-1 in his last 8.
Luis Guillon, Argentina: Super Middle: Marcelo Coceres (29-1-1) W PTS 10 Sebastian Papeschi (15-3). Bantam: Luciano Baldor (16-2) W PTS 10 Hector Gusman (15-7). Fly: Junior Zarate (14-2) W PTS 8 Abel Silva (5-6-3).
Coceres vs. Papeschi
Coceres wins a unanimous decision over former South American champion Papeschi. It was southpaw Papeschi who edged the first round but almost met disaster in the second. A left to the head from Coceres put Papeschi down heavily and he only just survived. From there it was a close fight with first one and then the other having periods of dominance but with Coceres holding on to the advantage from the knockdown and just being quicker and more accurate. Scores 97-92, 97 ½ -94 and 96-95 for “El Terrible” Coceres. He was having his first fight since an eleventh round kayo loss to Billy Joe Saunders last November for the WBO super middle title. He gave Saunders a rough night with the scores at the finish being 96-94 twice for Saunders and 96-94 for Coceres. Typically in this cynical sanctioning body world he was parachuted into the WBO ratings at No 10 to qualify for the fight and then promptly thrown overboard and dropped completely from the ratings despite giving Saunders such a hard fight. Papeschi is the No 1 challenger for the Argentinian title
Baldor vs. Gusman
Baldor adds another title to his collection as he decisions Gusman. When they met in a six round fight in June last year Baldor took a wide points decision. No real difference this time. Being 5’ 11 ½” (181cm) Baldor sets a difficult problem for any bantamweight and Gusman never came close to solving it. Baldor was able to score consistently with his jab at distance and also land some tasty right crosses. Gusman could not stay inside long enough to do any damage and his frustration was evident in the tenth when he lost a point for holding. Scores 100-89 for Baldor on all three cards as he gathers win No 10 in a row. He won the vacant WBA Fedebol title to add to the Argentinian and South American titles he already holds. Seven losses in his last eight fight for Senor Gusman.
Zarate vs. Silva
Zarate was also going over old ground as he registered his second points victory over Abel Silva. Zarate came out on top again on scores of 78 ½-75 ½ 77 ½ -75 ½ and 77-76 ½ The 31-year-old “Demon” was a leading light in the amateur ranks in Argentina representing them at the 2007 World Championships and the 2011 Championships where he decisioned future WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards. He has struggled a little as a pro but has reversed both of his losses. Silva suffers his sixth consecutive defeat,
Llanquihue, Chile: Super Feather: Junior Cruzat (8-0) W TKO 3 Juan Jimenez (8-10,1ND). A focused body attack from Cruzat disposes of Jimenez inside three rounds. A series of left hooks to the body had Jimenez dropping to one knee in the first. He bounced up and tried to punch with Cruzat but was put down by another left hook to the ribs. He was slower getting up but then went toe-to-toe with Cruzat to the bell. Cruzat continued to score with body punches in the second but Jimenez took the punishment and traded blows throughout the round. More shots to the body forced Jimenez to one knee in the third. After the count Cruzat piled on the punches until Jimenez turned away from the action and walked back to his corner with the referee stopping the fight. Jimenez indicated he had injured his right arm but was taking a beating. The 19-year-old Cruzat signed with Australian Dragon Fire team led by Australian Tony Tolj in May and this is his first fight under that banner. Five losses in a row for Jimenez.
Mantova, Italy: Super Light: Mohamed Khalladi (15-8-1,1ND) W KO 7 Arblin Kaba (12-1). Welter: Tobia Giuseppe Loriga (32-8-3) W PTS 10 Dario Socci (12-6-2,1ND).
Khalladi vs. Kaba
Khalladi registers his second dramatic win in two months as he flattens Kaba in the seventh round. When Andrea Scarpa pulled out of the Italian title fight with Kaba it was a big risk taking Khalladi as a very late substitute after his chilling one punch kayo of Domenico Valentino in September. The risk looked small when Kaba took the fight to Khalladi in his normal aggressive fashion rocking Khalladi in the opener and putting him on the floor in the second. Khalladi beat the count and gradually altered his tactics boxing to create some space and frustrate Kaba’s attacks. Kaba was trying to swing the fight his way in the seventh but as he went to throw a wide right Khalladi beat him to the punch and landed a thunderbolt of a right to the jaw which sent Kaba to the canvas flat on his back and out. Tunisian Khalladi, 32, was a very unimpressive 10-8-1 after losing to Anthony Yigit in February last year but has since won five fights in a row including upset victories over 21-3 Marcello Matano, Valentino and now Italian champion Kaba. The work may dry up if continues to look so dangerous. Kaba’s title was not on the line but that bolt of lightning from Khalladi shattered his unbeaten tag.
Loriga vs. Socci
Loriga retains the Italian title with majority decision over Socci. It might have been expected that the 43-year-old Loriga would start fast and then fade but it worked out the other way. It was Socci who went in front early with some brisk work with his jab and straight rights. He had the edge until pressure from Loriga began to tell from the fourth. He was getting past Socci’s jab to work to the body and gradually took control over the second half of the fight outworking the younger man to take the decision. Scores 96-94 twice for Loriga and 95-95. Loriga has been a pro for 17 years. When he originally launched his career he went 24-0-1 before losing to Julio Cesar Chanez Jr. On the domestic front he has been Italian champion in two divisions and is 4-2-2 in domestic title fights. Socci turned pro in the USA and has also fought in Germany, Mexico, South Africa, the Czech Republic and the UK and in fact this was his first fight in Italy in his eight year career.
Auckland, New Zealand: Super Welter: Andrei Mikhailovich (13-0) W PTS 8 Marcus Heywood (4-3-1). Cruiser: David Light (16-0) W TKO 1 Lance Bryant (12-8). Light: Richie Hadlow (2-0) W PTS 5 Nort Beauchamp (18-3) . Cruiser; John Parker (5-0) W TKO 2 Jason Tuala (2-2).
Mikhailovich vs. Heywood
Mikhailovich wins the vacant New Zealand title with unanimous decision over Heywood. Mikhailovich clearly outscored Heywood over the first two rounds but Heywood came into the fight over the middle rounds to make it close before Mikhailovich finished strongly to take the two closing rounds. Mikhailovich a clear winner but he looked laboured at times. He has done most of his fighting at middleweight and did not seem to have the same power at the lower weight. Now 22 Mikhailovich has a remarkable story. A couple in Auckland watched a documentary on an orphanage in Russia in which baby Mikhailovich and his brother appeared. The New Zealand couple then adopted the two kids and brought them to New Zealand. Heywood was unbeaten in his last four fights.
Light vs. Bryant
“The Great White Shark” continues to gobble up the opposition as he racks up his tenth win by KO/TKO. Light had finished Bryant in two rounds in 2018 this time he blasted Bryant out in the first to retain the national title. The 28-year-old Light has beaten good level Australians Mark Flanagan and Trent Broadhurst and should now be looking to move up to better opposition to improve his No 8 rating from the WBO. The youngest of eight children Light was New Zealand amateur champion at heavyweight and won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. “Buster” Bryant, 40, extends his losing sequence to five fights.
Beauchamp vs. Hadlow
Surprise result on the surface as Beauchamp struggles against inexperienced Hadlow but Hadlow’s lack of pro fights hides a considerable amount of amateur success. Beauchamp had trouble with the naturally bigger Hadlow who boxed mainly as a light welterweight in the amateurs. The rounds were close but Hadlow just had the edge. Thai-born southpaw Beauchamp (Anut Srijan) was 12-1 in his last 13 fights including a victory over Joel Bruckner but was having only his second fight since July 2018. Hadlow, 32, was New Zealand champion in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.He won a gold medal at the Oceania Games and competed at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 so a lot of experience but at 32 it will be difficult for him to win big as a pro.
Parker vs. Tuala
There is another Parker in New Zealand but John is younger and smaller than brother Joseph. Tuala came in as a late substitute but never had a chance and the fight was halted in the second round. Parker was twice New Zealand Youth champion but at 5’9 ½” and having fought at just over the light heavy limit in the amateurs he is going to struggle against natural 200lbs fighters. He finished his days as an amateur in 2012 but a wrist injury kept him out of the ring until 2016. Even then his troubles were not over as a routine brain scan in 2018 showed a brain aneurysm which required surgery and he was out of the ring for over three years before returning to action last month. Tuala was having only his second fight in almost four years.
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Christian Thun (6-0) W TKO 3 Mirko Tintor (15-4-1). Heavy: Jose Larduet (4-0,1ND) W TKO 1 Ferenc Urban (7-2).
Thun vs. Tintor
The German Giant Thun, 28, wins the vacant IBO Continental title with stoppage of southpaw Tintor. At 6’8 ½” “The Hurricane” was just too big and strong for the obese Tintor who held and wrestled to survive. Thun scored a knockdown in each of the first two rounds before the fight was stopped with Tintor citing an injury to his left bicep. Thun spent ten days sparring with Anthony Joshua in preparation for this fight. He gets his fourth win by KO/TKO and his first pro title. Thun took up boxing whilst studying economics in London and took his first steps in boxing at the old Peacock gym. Bosnian Tintor was a late substitute. He suffers his fourth loss in his last five fights but the win in that sequence was over 16-1 Mohamed Soltby which gave him some respectability as an opponent for Thun
Larduet vs. Urban
Larduet brutalises poor Urban. The Cuban put Urban down three times with heavy head punches before the fight was stopped after just 76 seconds. The 30-year-old 6’4 ½” Larduet won a cupboard full of trophies as an amateur. If there is a concern it is over his weight control. He started out fighting at 178lbs as an amateur and was 266lbs when he turned pro. Hungarian cruiser champion Urban was too small and giving away too much weight.
London, England: Super Middle: Jack Cullen (18-2-1) W PTS 10 John Docherty (9-1). Bantam: Ukashir Farooq (14-1) W PTS 10 Angel Aviles (20-6-1). Light Heavy: Thomas Whittaker Hart (5-0) W PTS 8 Jermaine Springer (7-2).
Cullen vs. Docherty
Cullen climbs off the floor to outpoint previously unbeaten Docherty. The fight started very badly for Cullen as he found himself on the canvas within the first thirty seconds of the contest. Cullen beat the count and the rebounded to take the second. A clash of heads saw Docherty cut over the right eye in the third as Cullen made good use of his longer reach. From there the rounds were close and only a stronger finish from Cullen enabled him to walk away with a wafer-thin decision. Scores 96-94 twice and 95-94 for Cullen. Good win for Cullen. He is rebuilding after losing to Felix Cash for the British and Commonwealth titles in November. Setback for former top amateur Docherty but the young Scottish southpaw can also rebound.
Farooq vs. Aviles
Farooq much too talented for Mexican Aviles and wins a wide unanimous decision. This was to have been for the WBA Continental title but Aviles failed to make the weight so only Farooq could win the title which he did on scores of 100-90, 100-91 mad 99-91. First fight for the Pakistani-born Scot since losing by the smallest of margins again Lee McGregor for the Commonwealth and British titles in November. Aviles, a former IBO super fly challenger, had won his last eight fights.
Whittaker-Hart vs. Springer
Liverpool prospect Whittaker-Hart gets routine win as he moves up to eight rounds and builds his pro record. Referee’s score 79-74. The 25-year-old Whittaker-Hart was English and British champion in the amateurs and compete at both the European and World Championships. Springer played his part by making Whittaker-Hart work for his win.
Los Angeles, Ca, USA: Middle: Amilcar Vidal (12-0) W KO 2 Edward Ortiz (11-1-2). Heavy: Efetobor Apochi (10-0) W KO 2 Joe Jones (11-3).
Vidal vs. Ortiz
Vidal, one of the very few active professional boxers from Uruguay, halts Ortiz in two rounds. Vidal took his time working his way past the long reach of the 6’2” Ortiz but ended it in the second. Vidal connected with a powerful right over a lazy jab from Ortiz which sent Ortiz back to the ropes on unsteady legs. Vidal pounded on Ortiz and although Ortiz managed to work his way off the ropes he was driven there against and being bombarded with head punches until the referee stepped in-which he should have done much earlier. Eleventh inside the distance win for the 24-year-old Californian-based Vidal and his third victory over an unbeaten opponent. Texan Ortiz had collected victories over useful opposition in Kurtiss Colvin and Alexis Camacho but was blown away in this one.
Apochi vs. Jones
Apochi shows impressive punching power as he destroys Jones in three rounds. He floored Jones in the first with a burst of thumping head shots. Jones managed to beat the count but was down again in the second from a terrific right. Once again he arose and made it to the bell but another knockdown in the third saw the fight halted. The 33-year-old Houston-based Nigerian has won all of his bouts by KO/TKO. He studied microbiology at University in Nigeria whilst boxing as an amateur. He twice won a silver medal at the All-African Games and a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he scored a win over currently world rated Jai Opetaia. A bit late to call him a prospect but he can certainly punch. Second loss in a row for Jones.
Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Welter: Hass Mwakinyo (18-2) W TKO 4 Jose Carlos Paz (23-12-1).
Mwakinyo wins this WBFederation eliminator with stoppage of Paz. Mwakinyo’s strong jabbing put him in front from the first round. He handed out steady punishment over the first three rounds then ended the fight in the fourth. A body punch put Paz down and although he beat the count he was floored again. He made it to his feet but was against the ropes and taking heavy shots when the referee stopped the fight. Eighth win in a row for the 25-year-old Tanzanian who will now get a shot at the vacant WBFed world title. Paz has now lost his last five fights, all of them in different countries.
Windhoek, Namibia: Middle: Lukas Ndafoluma (18-3) W Christian Ukelo (7-8).
Ndafoluma returns with a win as he stops Ukelo in five rounds. Ukelo was competitive for a while and was giving Ndafoluma some trouble. He was attacking in the fifth but leaving himself open and Ndafoluma landed a big right that sent Ukelo flying back and down. He struggled to get to his feet but for some reason the referee stopped counting at eight and indicated for Ukelo to get up. When he did he just walked back to his corner making the decision the referee should have made. A needed win for “The Demolisher” Ndafoluma who was 2-2 in his last four fight with the losses in bouts in Kazakhstan and Russia. Seventh loss in a row for Ukelo.
Nadi, Fiji: Super Welter: Jese Ravudi (11-4-1) W TKO 9 Ronald Naidu (10-5-38
Ravudi vs. Naidu
In a clash of Fijian champions Ravudi gets revenge for loss against Naidu as he halts him in the ninth round to win the vacant WBFoundation title. Ravudi, the Fijian super welter champion, makes it 5 wins in his last 6 fights and victory No 5 by KO/TKO. Fijian welterweight champion Naidu had scored a unanimous decision over Ravudi in November.
Hwaseong, South Korea: Heavy: Sung Min Lee (7-1-1) DREW 10 Hyun Tae Bae (6-1-2). Light: Moo Hyun Kim (6-1) W KO 7 Dong Hyun Won (3-4).
Lee vs. Bae
Not much skill but plenty of honest endeavour here as Lee and Bae fought to a majority draw in a Korean title fight. Lee was taller but as the Korean cruiser champion he was giving away 25lbs in weight to heavyweight Lee. Really these two stood and knocked bits of each other over ten very competitive rounds. Scores 95-95 twice and 97-93 for Bae. Lee was making the first defence of the national title. He had won his last six fights. Base had won the cruiser title in February 2019 and this was his first fight since then. Neither of these fighters is going to progress above domestic level.
Kim vs. Won
Kim wins the vacant Korean title with seventh round stoppage of Won. Kim made a good start as he floored Won in the first and then broke him down gradually before knocking him over just three seconds before the end of the seventh round with the bell not able to save Won. First ten round fight and first title for Kim. At 36 Won is on the way out with his third loss in a row. Had to be careful how you write about Won. Who lost-Won-lost sounds like the cue for an Abbott and Costello classic sketch.
Fight of the week (Significance): Terrence Crawford’s win over Kell Brook might lead to a fight with Manny Pacquiao but if not then Shawn Porter is his mandatory challenger.
Fight of the week (Entertainment)Nothing stood out.
Fighter of the week: Terrence Crawford as he goes 15-0 in world title lights
Punch of the week: Mohamed Khalladi again showed his power as he flattened Arblin Kaba with one right hand.
Upset of the week: Khalladi was just a late substitute and was definitely not expected to beat Italian champion Kaba
Prospect watch: Lightweight Ray Muratalla (11-0) looked very good in his win over experienced Luis Porozo
The furious debate will rumble on for some time over the No Decision verdict in Franco vs. Moloney. The video replay is meant to settle incidents such as this but the condemnation of the decision and therefore of those responsible for operating the process was almost universal.
Good to see two more shows in Argentina as the return gathers pace there and good to see Marcos Maidana promoting and not talking about returning to the ring.
Los Angeles: CA US: Light William Zepeda (21-0) vs. Roberto Ramirez (23-2-1). Super Feather O’Shaquie Foster (17-2) vs. Miguel Roman (62-13). Super Feather: Eduardo Hernandez vs. Eduardo Garza (15-2-1).
Three competitive matches on paper.
Dayton Beach, FL, USA: Light Heavy: Tavoris Cloud (24-3) vs. Ryan Soft (4-11-1).
First fight in over six years for former IBF light heavy champion Cloud
Mimi, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (23-1) vs. Brandon Benitez (15-2).
Reasonable test for Nicaraguan hope Lopez. Cuban Jorge De Jesus (18-0-1) and former WBC fly champion Cristofer Rosales may also be on the card
Rimouski, Canada: Super Light: Yves Ulysse (18-2) vs. Mathieu Germain (18-11) and Super Light Steve Claggett (28-6-2) vs. David Theroux (16-3),
Two good domestic matches and heavyweight Simon Kean will also fight on the card
Magdeburg, Germany: Unbeaten cruiser Roman Fress faces reasonable test in Italian Francesco Versaci
Rome, Italy: Adriano Sperandio and Luca Spadaccini fight for the vacant Italian light heavy title
Tokyo, Japan: Rikki Naito (22-2) defends the OPBF super light title against Yusuke Konno (16-4).
London, England: Conor Benn (16-0) defends the WBA Continental welter title against Sebastian Formella. Unbeaten heavyweights Fabio Wardley and Alen Babic also on the card
Los Angeles, CA, US: WBC No 1 lightweight Javier Fortuna (35-2-1) faces Mexican Antonio Lozada (40-4-1).
Tampa, FL, USA: Welter Harold Calderon (22-0) vs. Gustavo Vittori (23-6-1). Light Heavy: Radivoje Kalajdzic (24-2) vs. Denis Grachev (20-10-1)
By Eric Armit
Devin Haney retains the WBC world lightweight title with wide unanimous decision over Yuriorkis Gamboa
-Junto Nakatani stops Giemel Magramo in eight rounds to win the vacant WBO flyweight title
-In heavyweight fights Luis Ortiz dismisses Alex Flores in 45 seconds, Frank Sanchez stops Brian Howard in four rounds, and Chinese hope Zhilei Zhang knocks out Devin Vargas in four and Fillip Hrgovic stops Rydell Booker in five rounds
-Unbeaten Russians Roman Andreev, Magomed Kurbanov, Evgeny Romanov and Evgeny Tischenko all win inside the distance in Ekaterinburg
World Title/Major Shows
Tokyo Japan: Fly: Junto Nakatani (21-0) W TKO 8 Giemel Magramo (24-2).
Nakatani wins the vacant WBO title with stoppage of a brave Magramo in a one-sided fight.
The scale of Magramo’s task was immediately apparent as Nakatani was taller with a long reach and was also a southpaw. With Nakatani’s long legs and wide stance the Japanese fighter was able to step beyond Magramo’s reach and counter the Filipino as he came forward. Nakatani was piercing Magramo’s guard with right jabs and then connected with a straight left that knocked Magramo back on his heels and to the ropes and then followed with a series of punches.
Score: 10-9 Nakatani
A confident Nakatani chose to stay inside and trade punches and a right to the head staggered Magramo. Nakatani alternated between fighting inside and outpunching Magramo and staying outside scoring with his jab. Magramo broke through with some sharp uppercuts late in the round but was again eating jabs.
Score: 10-9 Nakatani Nakatani 20-18
A more competitive round. Magramo was swarming forward applying pressure for the whole three minutes and was landing hooks inside. Nakatani was also scoring inside and put together a series of punches that forced Magramo back and did enough to win the round.
Score: 10-9 Nakatani Nakatani 30-27
Magramo continued to march forward but he was paying a price. As he came forward Nakatani was scoring with hooks, uppercuts and straight punches and then landing heavy left hooks to the body inside. Magramo had some success with hooks but not much.
Score: 10-9 Nakatani Nakatani 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Masahiro Nopda 40-36 Nakatani, Judge Biney Martin 40-36 Nakatani, Masakazu Murase 40-36 Nakatani.
Nakatani totally controlled this one. As Magramo advanced he was raking Magramo with punches and then outscoring Magramo on the inside. With the height disparity Magramo was having to take three or four steps to get inside and was being countered all the way.
Score: 10-9 Nakatani Nakatani 50-45
As in the third Magramo pressed for the whole three minutes. Again he was being caught with punches on the way in and had only limited success inside with Nakatani landing some solid body punches. Magramo was warned for coming in with his head down but Nakatani could also have been warned for pushing Magramo’s head down.
Score: 10-9 Nakatani Nakatani 60-54
A big round for Nakatani. He refused to let Magramo come inside dodging Magramo’s rushes and connecting with accurate punches at distance. Late in the round he scored with a series of punches that had Magramo floundering.
Score: 10-9 Nakatani Nakatani 70-63
Nakatani was loading up on his punches and Magramo was being forced to back out of the exchanges by some vicious body punches and lefts to the head. Nakatani connected with a succession of punches and Magramo slid face down on the canvas. He made it to his feet but the referee completed the eight count then waived the fight off.
At 5’7” Nakatani is tall for a flyweight and Magramo was never able to figure out a way to stay inside long enough to be effective. With 16 wins by KO/TKO Nakatani also has a respectable punch. He started out weighing 104lbs so is climbing through the weights and at 22 a move to super fly and beyond is possible. Magramo, 26, had won his last seven fights inside the distance but as hard as he tried here the physical handicaps against Nakatani were too much for him. He can regroup and look for another title shot.
Hollywood, FL, USA: Light: Devin Haney (25-0) W PTS 12 Yuriorkis Gamboa (30-4). Heavy: Zhilei Zhang (22-0) W KO 4 Devin Vargas (22-7). Heavy: Fillip Hrgovic (12-0) W TKO 5 Rydell Booker (26-4).
Haney vs. Gamboa
Haney retains the WBC title (that’s the real one not the ridiculous franchise one) with a comfortable points victory over Gamboa but doesn’t really make any kind of statement in his win.
Gamboa’s problems were quickly apparent. He was giving away too much height and reach, had slower hands. Not a lot of scoring in the round but Haney connected with jabs to the body and a pair of combinations.
Score: 10-9 Haney
Haney hardly needed to use his right. With his reach and hand speed he was able to stick Gamboa with jabs at distance and even his best punch was a left to the jaw. When Gamboa came forward he was having to lean in a long way and leaving himself open to counters.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 20-18
Gamboa opened the round by getting inside and scoring with some hooks. Haney then took over and put Gamboa on the back foot. He was still scoring well with the jab but certainly using his right in this one scoring with some blazing right crosses.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 30-27
Haney was working well with the jab and putting together some fast combinations when Gamboa stretched and left himself open. His speedy footwork allowed him to get forward into range to score then out before Gamboa could counter.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 40-36
It was jab time again from Haney as he worked his jab to head and body and connected with some straight rights. Gamboa managed to get close enough to connect with a couple of hooks but Haney’s movement had him swishing air.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 50-45
This was a close round. Gamboa stepped up his attacks getting inside to land some hooks and he held and smothered some of Haney’s work. Haney’s output dropped but he did enough scoring with his jab to just take the round. Haney
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 60-54
Haney boxed his way through this one just controlling the fight with his jab. He was circling a static Gamboa spearing him with the jab and occasionally mixing in a combination. Gamboa has a sliver of success when he briefly pinned Haney to the ropes but was just too slow.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 70-63
There was bit more action in this one as they stood and traded punches for a while. Haney landed a sharp left hook that hurt Gamboa and did the same with a right later in the round. Haney continued to do the majority of the scoring and Gamboa was holding a lot trying to stay inside and smother Haney’s work.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 80-72
Another round for Haney. Gamboa had no answer to Haney’s jab and was being caught by right crosses. The Cuban did put together one nice sequence of punches but otherwise just had to eat jabs. Haney was winning but was not sustaining any of his attacks and the fight was too one-sided to be entertaining.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 90-81
Haney boxed rings around Gamboa and finally began to put his punches together a bit more. Gamboa could not match Haney’s speed in the centre of the ring and was too slow to cut the ring off so was having a frustrating night.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 100-90
Haney made a purposeful start to the round coming forward behind his jab and looking to land his right. Gamboa was diving inside and holding. He took that too far clinging to Haney and refusing to let go and finally the referee deducted a point from Gamboa*.
Score: 10-9* (10-8) Haney Haney 110-98
Haney showed some real fire in the last standing and trading punches and scoring with some fierce hooks and uppercuts. Gamboa was getting the worst of the exchanges and started holding again with Haney losing a bit of impetus but he managed to break free and was again unloading some heavy punches to the bell.
Score: 10-9 Haney Haney 120-109
Second title defence by Haney but he never really got out of second gear and didn’t really need to. He is hugely talented and still only 21 so will be a huge factor in the future of the division. The sort of question the stupid “franchise” title throws up is whether Luke Campbell and Ryan Garcia are fighting an eliminators to challenge for the world title or the franchise title? Haney twice beat Garcia in the amateurs but that was a long time ago. Javier Fortuna is No 1 with the WBNC but as Dillian Whyte found out being No 1 with the WBC carries no real significance as you are not automatically the mandatory challenger. Let’s hope things get clearer in 2021. Gamboa was a huge star in the amateurs and blazed a trail to world titles at featherweight. He then lost his way and has not been the same fighter since losing to Terrence Crawford in 2014. At 38 his career as a top line fighter is effectively over whether he fights on or not.
Zhang vs. Vargas
Zhang crushes Vargas in four rounds Zhang had huge physical advantages over Vargas and he made good use of them in the first. He tracked Vargas around the ring being surprisingly mobile and doing a good job of cutting off the ring and scoring heavily with body punches. Vargas was more competitive in the second. He stood and traded with Zhang finding gaps for quick punches but they just bounced off Zhang. The Chinese fighter scored heavily late in the round and Vargas fired back with a burst of punches. Zhang connected with thudding body shots in the third and although Vargas again found gaps he could not match Zhan’s power and looked very tired. Vargas was shaping to throw a right in the fourth when Zhang beat him to it and exploded a thumping right cross that had Vargas tumbling back and ending up face down on the canvas. He tried to rise but just slumped back to the canvas and was counted out. The 6’6”, 37-year-old Chinese southpaw has 15 wins by KO/TKO but is yet to really face a testing opponent. This was only his second fight in two years so he needs to be more active. He competed at the highest level as an amateur representing China at the 2003 and 2005 World Championships before winning a bronze medal in both the 2007 and 2009 Championships. He took a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics but lost to Anthony Joshua in London in 2012. When he signed him back in 2014 Dino Duva described as the next Klitschko but that prophecy remains unfulfilled. Vargas, 38, represented the USA at the 2004 Olympics but his pro career has been disappointing.
Hrgovic vs. Booker
Hrgovic feeds on an overmatched Booker. Hrgovic made a steady start in the first jabbing the tubby Booker who although a lot smaller was 6lbs heavier. Hrgovic began to put his punches together well and scored with straight rights. Booker just played the part of a punch bag in the second as Hrgovic unloaded some heavy hits until a series of punches dropped Vargas to his knees in the last few seconds of the round. He was able to get up and return to his corner. Just target practice for Hrgovic in the third and fourth. Booker threw an occasional leaping left hook but other than that he played the nail to Hrgovic’s hammer and survived some huge shots. Between rounds the referee warned Booker he would stop the fight unless Booker showed more and when a very short show of aggression from Booker died out and Hrgovic connect with some head punches the referee halted the one-sided spectacle. The 28-year-old Croatian “Stone Man” has ten wins by KO/TKO. He showed improvement particularly in firing combinations but he is still a bit slow. He needs some more testing opposition. Right now he is doing his bit in supporting senior citizens with 5 of his last 6 opponents ranging in age from 38 to 41. Booker, 39, lost on points to James Toney in 2004 and was then out of the ring and in jail for 14 years under some questionable circumstances. Since returning he is 4-3 with points losses against Jermaine Franklin and Kubrat Pulev so Hrgovic is the first guy to beat him inside the distance.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Heavy: Frank Sanchez (16-0) W TKO 4 Brian Howard (15-4). Heavy: Luis Ortiz (32-2,2ND) W KO 1 Alex Flores (18-3-2). Heavy: Michael Polite Coffie (11-0) W TKO 2 Joey Abell (35-11,2ND). Heavy: Carlos Negron (22-3) W KO 2 Rafael Rios (11-3).
Sanchez vs. Howard
Sanchez overpowers Howard with some impressive punching. Howard scored with a good right early in the first but Sanchez responded with a quick burst of punches and then kept Howard on the back foot with some strong jabs. Sanchez spun Howard around with two punches in the second. Howard connected with a an uppercut inside but Sanchez was finding the target with his jab and some body punches. In the third Sanchez had done most of the scoring before staggering Howard with a right hook inside. He landed two more punches as Howard stumbled back across the ring and down. He was up at four and the bell went after the eight count was completed. Sanchez sent Howard to the canvas with a left hook at the start of the fourth. Again Howard was up quickly but Sanchez leapt on him and put him down with two heavy head punches. Howard got up and took the fight to Sanchez but when he went down again from two rights the referee stopped the fight. The 28-year-old Cuban makes it twelve inside the distance wins. He is rated WBO 10/WBA 14 and has solid power and is rapidly becoming a factor in the heavyweight division. He is a former Cuban champion at 91kg. It is claimed he was 214-6 as an amateur despite having suffered at least eleven losses but he beat Erislandy Savon which not too many have and he is certainly a danger man. Howard, 40, got the high profile fight on the back of a 66 second blow out of Carlos Negron in August 2019 but he was not in the same class as Sanchez.
Ortiz vs. Flores
Ortiz disposes of Flores with farcical ease. Ortiz was not looking to hang around. He quickly forced Flores to the ropes with a right jab and landed a couple of good punches. Flores moved away and Ortiz followed taking him to the ropes and landing a stiff right jab to the body. Ortiz looked surprised as Flores went down and although Flores just made it to his feet he stumbled and the fight was stopped after just 45 seconds. So easy for Ortiz as he gets win No 27 by KO/TKO. Ortiz is No 3 with both the WBC and WBA and with Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury both looking to face each other next year at 41 time is not on the Cuban side. Whenever Flores tries to move up he loses early with both Charles Martin and Joseph Parker having stopped him within four rounds.
Coffie vs. Abell
Coffie gets a win over Abell who injures his right bicep during a knockdown. Not much action in the first as Coffie was on the back foot just looking to counter but not throwing much. Abell was a bit more aggressive and got through with a couple of hooks. Abell forced Coffie to the ropes in the second but Coffie landed a brutal left hook to the body and a right to the head and Abell went down. He arose to one knee then stood up but indicated to the referee that he had injured his right bicep and was unable to continue. Eighth win inside the distance for the 6’5” 34-year-old Coffie. He was 267 ¾lbs (121kgs) for this fight and has been as high as 282lbs so a big guy. He spent eight years in the US Marines and did not turn pro until he was 31. Abell, 39, has been a pro for 15 years and is way past his best. Whenever he moves up he loses inside the distance having been stopped by both Kubrat Pulev and Tyson Fury but just occasionally he pulls off an unexpected win.
Negron vs. Rios
Not much of an advert for heavyweight boxing this was a scrappy confused bout with no skill on show from either boxer. After taking the first round Negron both landed and absorbed some meaty stuff as they just threw wild punches at each other. Negron finished one series of punches with a blow to the back to the head which put Rios down. It was an obvious foul and Rios was given a period of recovery time but did not look happy as the fight continued. Negron scored with some sweeping hooks and again landed a punch to the back of the head which saw Rios drop to his knees. He got up and the fight should have been stopped then but the referee did not do his job and let the fight continue with Negron landing more big head punches before the referee finally jumped in. Puerto Rican Negron makes it 18 wins by KO/TKO. He is 6’6” tall but he is also 63lbs heavier than when he first turned pro and that showed around his waist. Rios had won his last nine fights but against abysmal opposition.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Eimantas Stanionis (11-0) W TKO 9 Justin DeLoach (19-5). Middle: Chordale Booker (15-0) W PTS 8 Sanny Duversonne (11-1-2).
Stanionis vs. DeLoach
Lithuanian hope Stanionis hunts down and stops DeLoach. DeLoach made good use of his 5” height advantage and longer reach to score in the early action, Stanionis was tracking DeLoach behind a high guard but DeLoach was finding gaps. DeLoach continued to outscore Stanionis but Stanionis was pressing harder and harder and DeLoach didn’t have the punch to keep Stanionis out. As DeLoach tired Stanionis was closing the distance and he staggered DeLoach with a heavy right late in the seventh with DeLoach badly shaken and hanging on to last to the bell. Stanionis was pressing hard in the eighth. De Loach was moving slower and punching less and Stanionis was starting to land some heavy punches. Stanionis caught up with DeLoach in the ninth and put him down with a left hook to the ribs. DeLoach was up at seven then Stanionis bombarded him with punches until he went down again. He arose and the referee made him walk around a bit before letting the fight continue and when two rights to the head had DeLoach stumbling the fight was stopped. The 26-year-old Stanionis gets his eighth win inside the scheduled distance. He was an Elite level amateur winning the Lithuanian title in 2013, 2014 and 2015, scored a victory over Jeff Horn, won a silver medal at the European Union Championships, a gold medal at the European Championships and competed at the Rio Olympics. DeLoach’s career continues in free fall as he has dropped from 17-1 to 2-4 with losses in important fights.
Booker vs. Duversonne
Southpaw Booker just edges past Duversonne on a split decision. This was a fast-paced competitive fight where both fighters had their moments of domination. Booker used his pressure tactics to take the first two rounds with Duversonne taking the next two by boxing at distance where his longer reach gave him the edge but there was plenty of close-quarters stuff in all four rounds. Duversonne’s jabs had Booker’s mouth dripping blood in the fifth as he again scored well with Booker fighting in bursts. Duversonne also had the better of the sixth as he rocked Booker with uppercuts. Duversonne looked close to stopping Booker in the seventh as he had him reeling around the ring under a storm of blows. At a crucial point Booker lost hi mouthguard and the time to replace it enabled him to hang on to the bell. Booker had more left and he out mauled Duversonne in the last. Scores 77-75 twice for Booker and 77-75 for Duversonne who looked worth at least a draw. Booker, a former US National champion, was having his first fight since beating Wale Omotoso in May 2019 whereas Duversonne, who suffered his second loss in a row, was having his second fight in less than four weeks.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Light: Roman Andreev (24-0) W KO 2 Pavel Malikov (16-3-1). Super Welter: Magomed Kurbanov (21-0) W TKO 2 Dmitry Mikhaylenko (23-7). Heavy: Evgeny Romanov (15-0) W KO 2 Siarhei Liakhovich (27-9). Cruiser: Evgeny Tischenko (8-0) W KO 2 John McCallum (12-2).
Andreev vs. Malikov
This was the most anticipated fight of the night and it turned out to be short but entertaining. In the opening round Andreev was taking the fight to Malikov stabbing out jabs and then putting together some quick-fire combinations. There were plenty of fierce exchanges. Malikov was throwing less but he landed a couple of heavy punches and Andreev’s face was covered in blood from a nose bleed at the end of the round. They went back to war in the second. Andreev was working well with his jab but both were connecting with explosive punches to head and body. Andreev’s face was again covered in blood and a right from Malikov sent him staggering back. As they traded punches Andreev connected with a left hook to the head and then an overhand right that sent Malikov down on his back and he was counted out. Exciting and brutal whilst it lasted. Andreev has been a pro for twelve years and has scored 24 wins 17 inside the distance but does not seem to have progressed far and at 34 time is against him. He is No 14 (12) with the IBF which is a long way from a title fight. Malikov, also 34, suffers his second bad kayo loss in a row having been floored six times and knocked out in seven rounds by Zaur Abdullaev in August.
Kurbanov vs. Mikhaylenko
Kurbanov dismisses Mikhaylenko inside two rounds. Kurbanov bossed the first round tracking Mikhaylenko around the ropes and scoring with jabs and some clubbing rights to the head. When Mikhaylenko did come forward Kurbanov just brushed aside his attacks. Mikhaylenko was trying to weave his way inside in the second when a body punch had him turning away from the action and walking to a corner. The referee indicated the fight should continue and Kurbanov bombarded Mikhaylenko until Mikhaylenko managed to get out of the corner. Kurbanov attacked again and a wicked left to the body again saw Mikhaylenko retreat into a corner and although he stayed on his feet he was bent double and not able to continue. The 25-year-old Kurbanov “The Black Lion” is rated WBA 4/WBO 7/WBC 12 and has 12 wins by KO/TKO. He is a former World Junior champion. Right now it seems that 2021 might be a bit early but I can see him fighting for a world title in 2022. After winning his first 21 fights it has been a slippery slope for Mikhaylenko and he will probably continue to slide.
Romanov vs. Liakhovich
Romanov bullies and batters a shot Liakhovich inside two rounds. Liakhovich was trying to keep Romanov out with a weak jab in the first and Romanov was able to connect with rights over the top of Liakhovich’s jab. Just before the bell he pinned Liakhovich to the ropes and blasted him to head and body. Romanov continued to put pressure on Liakhovich in the second sending him to the ropes and bombarding him with punches. Liakhovich fought his way off the ropes a couple of times but when he was forced back there again Romanov unloaded with some solid thumps and Liakhovich slumped to his knees and made no attempt to beat the count. Eleventh inside the distance win for the 35 year-old Romanov. He was a top line amateur and included a third round kayo of Deontay Wilder back in 2008 in his victories. He was European and World Junior champion and won the Russian title in 2009. He dropped boxing in 2010 and did not fight again until he turned pro in 2016. At 6’0” and around 220lbs the new WBC weight category would be just right for him. Belarusian Liakhovich, 44, was WBO champion for a brief few months but is now 2-6 in his last eight fights and did not look good here.
Tischenko vs. McCallum
Tischenko wins the vacant WBO European title with inside the distance victory over McCallum. Since he was giving away so much in height and reach McCallum was forced to try and bundle his way inside to hustle Tischenko out of his stride. Tischenko was mainly on the back foot scoring with his jab and throwing long southpaw lefts to the body. Tischenko was dealing easily with the rushed attacks of McCallum in the second and used a series of jabs to drive McCallum into a corner before connecting with a rib-busting left to the body that saw McCallum drop to his knees. He managed to get up but not quite before the referee had counted ten. The 6’5” 29-year-old Russian gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. Formerly a policeman in ST Petersburg he had a stellar time as an amateur winning a gold medal at the Olympics in Rio, twice taking gold at the World championships, and getting gold medals at European Youth, Under-23 and Senior level. Impressive but he may have to try his luck in the USA to lift his profile. Englishman McCallum had won his last five fights but was out of his depth here just not being big enough to compete with Tischenko.
Bruschsal, Germany: Super Welter: Slawa Spomer (12-0) W PTS 10 Philipp Wiesenhofer (9-4-1). Spomer wins the vacant BDB German title with points victory over Wiesenhofer. Spomer towered over the feisty little Wiesenhofer and although he handed out serious punishment in every round he could not stop Wiesenhofer. Spomer staggered Wiesenhofer with a right late in the third and constantly landed brutal body punches and rights to the head. After taking the punishment Wiesenhofer would plough forward again almost running and pumping out wild punches. Spomer did some showboating in the late rounds but is not quite quick enough for that and was rattled with some head punches and bled from the nose. When he took things series he was much too good for the limited Wiesenhofer and won every round. Competent performance by Spomer but he will struggle as he moves up. Wiesenhofer had won 7 of his last 8 fights but 6 of his victims had only two wins between them and the other victim had lost twice as many as he had won.
Windhoek, Namibia; Super Feather: Jeremiah Nakathila (20-1) W TKO 2 Immanuel Andeleki (8-7). Welter: Mikka Shonena (17-0) W PTS 6 Ebenestus Kaangundue (6-5). Super Light: Harry Simon Jr (12-0) W PTS 4 Rafael Lita (2-3).
Nakathila vs. Andeleki
On the first boxing card in Namibia since the onset of COVID-19 and in all-Namibian bouts Nakathila wipes out Andeleki in two rounds. Nakathila could not pin down Andeleki in the first but an overhand right put Andeleki down in the second. He struggled to his feet but was unable to continue. The 30-year-old “Low Key” holds the WBO Global title and has 15 wins by KO/TKO. Andeleki loses inside the distance for the fourth time.
Shonena vs. Kaangundue
Shonena displayed a lack of punching power as he failed to stop overmatched Kaangundue. He scored heavily in every round but Kaangundue refused to fold. Scores 59-55 twice and 60-54 for Shonena. He is the WBO African champion. Fourth loss in a row for Kaangundue.
Simon vs. Lita
Simon gets a unanimous decision over novice Lita but in a poor and listless performance. Scores 39-37 twice and 40-36 for Simon the 23-year-old son of the former undefeated WBO middleweight champion. Third consecutive loss for Lita.
Tokyo, Japan: Middle: Takeshi Inoue (16-1-1) W Nath Nwachukwu (6-0-2). In a substitute main event former WBO title challenger Inoue wins a unanimous verdict over Nwachukwu. Inoue took charge early in the fight with fast accurate jabbing. The inexperienced Nwachukwu finally worked his way into the fight in the fourth and a clash of heads saw Inoue cut and marked on his forehead. Inoue seemed to lose his way a little after that clash but then his experienced and his better boxing skills steady him and he emerged a bloody but deserving winner. Scores 79-73, 78-74 and 78-75 for Inoue but a pyrrhic victory because of the cut. This is his fourth win since an unsuccessful challenge to Jaime Munguia for the WBO super welter title in January 2019. Nwachukwu was All Japan Rookie of the Year in 2018. This was his first eight round fight and his inexperience showed here
Irapuato, Mexico: Welter: Jose Luis Rodriguez (12-2-2) W Alejandro Chavez (12-4). This was Rodrigez’s fight all the way to the delight of his home town fans. With a more varied attack and a tighter defence he had Chavez on the back foot and under pressure with Chavez showing only occasional bursts of aggression before going on the retreat again. Rodriguez landed some hard head punches at the start of the fifth then switched to the body and dug in a left hook which sent Chavez down on his knees and he was counted out. Rodriguez, 22, wins the interim WBC Fecombox title and gets his sixth consecutive victory. Chavez had won his last three fights.
Bang Phun, Thailand: Feather: Amnat Ruenroeng (21-4) W PTS 8 Pungluang (54-9). Fly: Thananchai (11-1) W KO 4 Pigmy Kokietgym (61-14-2). Bantam: Nawaphon (50-1-1) W TKO 4 Yutthichai (10-11).
Ruenroeng vs. Pungluang
Both of these former world champions have seen better days but they put on an entertaining and competitive eight round fight. Ruenroeng boxed on the back foot raking the oncoming Pungluang with counters and then standing and exchange with both fighters landing heavy shots. This was no exhibition match and both fighters showed flashes of temper with the referee asking them to clean things up. Ruenroeng did all of the good work for the early rounds and then when he tired over the last three rounds tied Pungluang up inside and did enough to hold on to his lead. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74 for Ruenroeng. He is a former IBF flyweight champion who learned to box whilst in jail and was released so he could follow a professional career. At 40 he is unlikely to fight for a title again but in August he gave Srisaket a hard time in losing a ten rounder. Pungluang, 31, a former WBNO bantamweight champion, is on the down slope and with this loss his recent record is 2-6.
Thananchat vs. Pigmy
Thananchat retains the WBC Asian title with victory over oldie Pigmy Kokietgym. Pigmy has a wealth of experience but that was no substitute for the 6” height difference and the youth of Thananchat. The younger man was able to score well at distance with Pigmy just too slow to get close enough to work inside. Thananchat showed good skills a fast jab and variety in his punches switching smoothly from head to body. Pigmy just kept rolling forward smiling through the counters he was eating. That ended in the fourth when a left hook to the body dropped him to his knees. He was up at eight but another left hook to the body sent him down again and he was counted out. Thananchat looked very useful. He is 20 and after an early defeat has won ten on the bounce eight by KO/TKO including a victory over formerly world rated Kompayak. Pigmy (Wicha Phulaikhao) had his best days as a minimumweight losing twice in challenges for the WBA title but at 5’1” and 39 his days of making 105lbs are behind him.
Nawaphon vs. Yuttichai
Easy win for Nawaphon as he stops Yuttichai in four. Nawaphon kept the fragile-looking Yuttichai under pressure before putting him on the floor with a right to the head in the third. He floored Yuttichai again later in the round with another right and when Yuttichai went down from a body punch in the fourth the fight was stopped. The 29-year-old Nawaphon was halted in three rounds by Juan Hernandez in a challenge for the WBC flyweight title in 2017 but has rebounded with 14 wins including a stoppage of Ruenroeng. He is No 2 with the WBC at bantam so is in line for a short at the winner of Nordine Ouabaali’s defence against Nonito Donaire. Tenth inside the distance loss for Yuttichai
Bonita Springs, FL, USA: Super Welter: Cornelius Bundrage (37-6,1ND) W RTD 4 Antoine Elerson (4-26-2)
Bundrage returns to action with a win as he forces a fourth round retirement on a seriously overmatched Elerson. Elerson was 7” taller than the 5’6” Bundrage but that is not much good to you if you can’t box. Bundrage had no problem getting inside and weakening Elerson with body punches and Elerson retired at the end of the fourth round. This was the first fight for over three years for the former IBF super welterweight champion as he gives it another try at the advanced age of 47. Now 20 losses by KO/TKO for poor Elerson.
Rock Hill, SC, USA: Super Light: Alberto Palmetta (15-1) W TKO 5 Saul Corral (31-15). Argentinian southpaw Palmetta breaks down and halts Corral in five rounds. Palmetto got off to a flying start flooring Corral in the first. Corral survived but took severe punishment over the next three rounds with the referee close to stopping the fight a couple of times. Corral stayed around until the fifth but was still taking a beating and the referee stepped in to save him.
Palmetta moves to nine consecutive wins inside the distance. He was a leading light for Argentina in the amateurs winning bronze medals at the South American Games and the Pan American Games. Corral has won just 3 of his last 9 fights,
Fight of the week (Significance): Devin Haney’s winning title defence keeps alive the hope for some interesting bouts at lightweight
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Too many fights were one-sided and even though it only lasted into the second round Roman Andreev vs. Pavel Malikov did provide some fireworks.
Fighter of the week: Devin Haney for his title defence
Punch of the week: Two punches on the show in Ekaterinburg were impressive with the right from Andreev that finished Malikov outstanding and Magomed Kurbanov’s body punch that ended his fight with Dmitry Mikhaylenko brutal but I will go for the powerhouse straight right from China’s Zhilei Zhang that flattened Devin Vargas
Upset of the week: None.
Prospect watch: Lithuanian welterweight Eimantas Stanionis (11-0) did an impressive job in stopping Justin DeLoach
Good to see boxing return to Namibia with more shows planned.
Not so good to see a gym in Japan closed due to COVID-19.
A heavyweight weekend with five heavyweight fights on the show in Los Angeles, two in Hollywood and another in Ekaterinburg and not one of them went the distance.
Fillip Hrgovic is in danger of losing his “Stone Man “nickname and getting tagged the “The Pensioner Puncher” if he keeps fighting “seasoned” opponents.
A (Evgeny) Romanov in Ekaterinburg-Lenin will rest uneasy in his grave.
By Eric Armit:
-Gervonta Davis becomes the holder of titles in two separate divisions simultaneously as he knocks Leo Santa Cruz out with a brutal uppercut
- Naoya Inoue crushes Jason Moloney in another monster power performance
-Oleksandr Usyk decisions Dereck Chisora to cement his spot as No 1 in the WBO heavyweight ratings and mandatory challenger to Anthony Joshua
-Jamie Munguia moves up to middleweight and beats Tureano Johnson when a gashed lip prevents Johnson from continuing
-Elwin Soto retains the WBO light flyweight title with unanimous verdict over Carlos Buitrago
-Mario Barrios keeps the secondary WBA super lightweight title with stoppage of Ryan Karl
-George Kambosos outpoints Lee Selby in IBF final eliminator to become mandatory challenger to Teo Lopez for the IBF lightweight title
-Murat Gassiev has his first fight as a heavyweight and demolishes Nuri Seferi inside a round
-Regis Prograis returns to action with early win over Juan Heraldez
-Tommy McCarthy wins the vacant European light heavyweight title with victory over Bilal Laggoune
World Title/Major Shows
Indio, CA, USA: Middle: Jaime Munguia (36-0) W RTD 6 Tureano Johnson (21-3-1). Light Fly: Edwin Soto (18-1) W PTS 12 Carlos Buitrago (32-6-1,1ND). Welter: Rashidi Ellis (23-0) W PTS 12 Alexis Rocha (19-2-1). Super Feather: Lamont Roach (20-1-1) W KO 3 Neil John Tabanao (17-8). Super Middle: Bektemir Melikuziev (6-0) W Alan Campa (17-6,1ND).
Munguia vs. Johnson
Munguia beats Johnson in a brutal close-quarters battle. Johnson made his tactics clear from the start. He took the fight inside going toe-to-toe with Munguia and denying him punching room. Munguia was unhappy under the pressure as they both landed with hooks and uppercuts. Munguia did better over the second and third as he used a strong jab to provide some punching room. Despite that for much of the time Johnson positioned himself on Munguia’s chest and was connecting to head and body. Both were taking punishment in a real war of attrition. Munguia’s harder punch and some good work with his jab became more of a factor over the fourth and fifth and although he could not keep Johnson out for long he was making Johnson pay a big price for every forward step. By the sixth Johnson was cut by his left eye and being caught regularly by fierce uppercuts from Munguia. One particularly vicious uppercut caused an ugly gash on the upper lip of Johnson. With about 30 seconds to go in the round the referee asked the doctor to examine the cuts to Johnson’s lip and around the left eye and the questionably doctor cleared Johnson to continue but the cuts were too serious and with his face covered in blood Johnson’s team pulled him out at the end of the round. Johnson certainly provided a tough entry to the middleweight division for the 24-year-old former undefeated WBO super welter champion from Tijuana. Munguia is No 1 with the WBO and No 2 with the WBC so a title fight in 2021 beckons. Bahamian Johnson has lost important fights against Curtis Stevens and Sergey Derevyanchenko but had scored a good win over unbeaten Jason Quigley in July last year. He was No 6 with both the WBA and WBC but at 36 he may never get a title shot.
Soto vs. Buitrago
If Johnson may never get a title fight Buitrago was having his sixth shot at winning a title but is now 0-5-1 in those attempts. Little Soto has a very low profile but is a talented fighter with a respectable punch. Soto went on the offensive in a close first with Buitrago forcing the fight harder in the second. Buitrago was going for quantity with the clever Soto throwing less but lending more and harder shots. The champion swept the third, fourth and fifth with Buitrago largely the one fighting a defensive fight. Buitrago had a better sixth but the seventh was Soto’s round as he found the target continually with his jab and had Buitrago under pressure on the ropes at the bell. The eighth and ninth were close with Buitrago boxing cleverly but hampered by a swelling by his right eye that was starting to close. Despite the urging from his corner Buitrago was finding it hard to keep Soto out and the champion was confident enough in the last to make a present of the round to Buitrago by just avoiding trouble. Wildly varying scores saw Soto the winner at 119-109, 117-111 and 115-113 so one judge saw it as nearly a clean sweep and another one round away from a draw. This was not a high profile fight so no social media storm over the widely differing scores. Soto, 23, was making the second defence of the WBO title he won with an upset last round stoppage of Angel Acosta in June last year. After an early career loss he has now scored 16 consecutive wins. He boxed for Mexico Guerreros in the WSB but failed to get through the Americas qualifications for Rio and turned pro. When Buitrago turned pro at 16 he was being compared to Alexis Arguello and Ramon Gonzalez by Nicaraguan sources. He won his first 27 fights before fighting to a draw against Merlito Sabillo for the WBO minimum title in 2013 and then suffered his first loss on a very controversial decision in a challenge to Knockout CP Freshmart for the interim WBA interim title. He has lost in four more title challenges since then. Don’t rule out title challenge No 7.
Ellis vs. Rocha
Ellis takes a unanimous decision over Rocha that nets him the WBC International Silver title. After an entertaining first round in which both fighters had their moments Ellis used his superior speed to outbox southpaw Rocha over the second and third connecting with snappy hooks and accurate counters. Rocha’s work was not as spectacular but he was landing heavily to the body and after a fourth that could have gone to either fighter Rocha ignored a warning for straying low in the fifth and captured the round by sticking to his body punching hoping to slow Ellis. The sixth was close but Ellis used his speed and skill to take the seventh and then outlanded Rocha in the eighth and controlled the ninth from the outside to establish a substantial lead. Rocha put in a big effort over the last three rounds storming forward and cutting into the lead Ellis had built but Ellis stayed cool and countered well and he made sure if the verdict with a strong last round. Scores 116-112 twice and 115-113 all for Ellis. He is rated WBA 5/IBF 10 and with this win has covered the bases having won minor IBF and WBA titles in his previous two fights. Rocha had scored a good win over Brad Solomon in February and at 23 this could just turn out to be a bump in the road.
Roach vs. Tabanao
Roach consigns Filipino Tabanao to retirement with a third round victory. Tabanao admitted his preparation for this fight had been far from ideal and a focused body attack from Roach quickly found him out. After landing with some good shots to the ribs in the first two rounds in the third Roach dug in a left hook to the body and Tabanao dropped to his knees and was counted out. After good victories over Alberto Mercado and Jonathan Oquendo Roach lost on points to Jamel Herring last November in a challenge for the WBO super feather title. Fourth loss on the bounce for Tabanao all in very tough matches against Angelo Leo, Tramaine Williams and Irving Turrubiartes who had combined records of 53 when he met them and Tabano indicated he would now retire
Melikuziev vs. Campa
Californian-based Uzbek Melikuziev blasts out Campa in three rounds. Melikuziev put Campa down twice in the second round and once in the third and the fight was over. Melikuziev, 24, is now the owner of the WBO Inter-Continental belt. He has to be considered a threat in the division having won gold medals at the Youth Olympic Games, Youth World Championships and the Asian Championships as well as a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and a bronze at the 2017 World Championships. Fourth loss in his last five fights for Campa-all of the defeats against unbeaten fighters,
San Antonio, TX, USA: Super Feather: Gervonta Davis (24-0) W KO 6 Leo Santa Cruz (37-2-1). Super Light: Mario Barrios (26-0) W TKO 6 Ryan Karl (18-3). Super Light: Regis Prograis (25-1) W TKO 3 Juan Heraldez (16-1-1).Light: Isaac Cruz Gonzalez (20-1-1) W TKO 1Diego Magdaleno (32-4). Light: Michel Rivera (19-0) W PTS 10 Ladarius Miller (21-214
Davis vs. Santa Cruz
Davis becomes a title holder in two divisions simultaneously as he knocks out Santa Cruz with a brutal uppercut.
Davis scored with two left hand counters but Santa Cruz fired back with a quick three-punch combination. He was using his longer reach to score on the back foot and Davis was short with his punches. Santa Cruz drove forward with a series of punches and in trying to avoid them Davis overbalanced and went down but it was rightly not counted as a knockdown and Santa Cruz ended the round by connecting with a couple of jabs and a right to the body.
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz opened the round by scoring with two body punches. Davis was trying to lure Santa Cruz in so he could counter with his left but Santa Cruz was able to use his jab to score at distance. In a show of temper Davis threw Santa Cruz to the canvas in retaliation for a punch to the back of the head. Santa Cruz ended the round by forcing Davis to the ropes but Davis ducked and dived around the punches..
Score: 10-9 Santa Cruz Santa Cruz 20-18
The early part of this round was close because of what was not happening. Santa Cruz was off target and Davis defending with skill but was not throwing much. That changed later as Davis began to find the distance with his left and landed some solid shots.
Score: 10-9 Davis Santa Cruz 29-28
Santa Cruz went low a number of times without being warned and that fired up Davis who was again finding the target with his rights to the body. Santa Cruz was not using his jab and apart from a three-punch bunch his attacks were ragged.
Score: 10-9 Davis Tied 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Glenn Feldman 38-38 Tied, Judge Alejandro Rochin 38-38 Tied, Judge David Sutherland 38-38 Tied
Classy work from Davis in this one. He was quick enough to score with long lefts at distance and his defensive manoeuvres left Santa Anna swishing air. When Santa Cruz missed Davis made him pay with quick hooks inside .
Score: 10-9 Davis Davis 48-47
The fight changed. Now Davis was storming forward behind a high guard ignoring the punches Santa Cruz was landing and cutting loose with vicious hooks and uppercuts. A low punch saw the action halted whilst Santa Cruz was given recovery time then Davis attacked fiercely again and as Santa Cruz threw a right Davis ducked inside it and came up with a tremendous uppercut to the head that sent Santa Cruz down flat on the canvas out cold. It was perfection! Santa Cruz never saw it coming and it was quite a few minutes before he recovered.
Davis retains the WBA lightweight title and wins the WBA super featherweight title. The 25-year-old “Tank” has now won fifteen in a row by KO/TKO with names such as Jose Pedraza, Liam Walsh, Francisco Fonseca, and Jesus Cuellar, Yuriorkis Gamboa on the list and now Santa Cruz who had never before lost inside the distance in the list. I can’t see him keeping the super feather title as there are great fights there at lightweight against Teo Lopez and Vasyl Lomachenko if they can be made. For Santa Cruz a fight with Miguel Berchelt might be attractive once he recovers from the brutal knockout.
Barrios vs. Karl
Barrios retains the secondary WBA title with a stoppage of strong but limited Karl.
A lively opener with Karl busy, busy but Barrios cooler, more accurate and catching Karl with some sharp counters. Karl was roughing Barrios up inside and they both landed crisp shots late in the round.
Score: 10-9 Barrios
Karl came flying out of his corner wading in to Barrios pumping out punches. The sheer volume of punches was forcing Barrios on the defensive and Karl was able to land with hooks. Barrios was connecting with sharp counters but was outworked.
Score: 10-9 Karl TIED 19-19
Barrios outboxed Karl. He moved more, jabbed more and countered Karl’s rushing attacks with hooks to the body. Karl was looking crude as he swung wildly.
Score: 10-9 Barrios Barrios 29-28
Karl was piling forward again but some of the fire seemed to go out of his work as he was having trouble getting past the left jab of Barrios. A jab from Barrios knocked Karl back on his heels and he was hurt by a number of short hooks as Barrios began to come forward more.
Score: 10-9 Barrios Barrios 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Ruben Carrion 39-37 Barrios, Judge Wilfredo Esperon 39-37 Barrios, Judge Jose Roberto Torres 40-36 Barrios
Karl found the fire again. He was back to his swarming persona as he piled into Barrios. Much of his work was wasted but he was keeping Barrios too busy defending to attack and although caught with some counters late he had done enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Karl Barrios 48-47
Barrios connected with some body shots and as Karl came forward a right to the side of the head saw Karl drop to one knee. He bounced up immediately and went after Barrios actually scoring with two huge rights to the head. Barrios fired back and then a clash of heads opened a big gash on Karl’s forehead. The referee asked the doctor to examine him but Karl was also bleeding from the mouth. Despite the flowing blood the fight continued and with his face a mask of blood Karl just kept marching into punch after punch until he fell to the floor on his hands and knees and collapsed onto his back and the fight was stopped.
Barrios, 24, a native of San Antonio now has 17 wins by KO/TKO but as the holder of the WBA secondary title he is in no man’s land not even a mandatory challenger so he will have to wait and see what happens next year between Josh Taylor and Jose Carlos Ramirez. Fellow Texan “ Cowboy Karl “ too brave for his own good and with only one way of fighting. He was No 9 with the WBA having been shoveld into their ratings for beating someone rated No 554 by BoxRec!
Prograis vs. Heraldez
Prograis shed’s some rust before wiping out Heraldez. After studying Heraldez for two minutes Prograis went to work forcing Heraldez around the ring throwing hooks and uppercuts. None connected solidly but it was already apparent that Heraldez was out of his depth. There was very little action in the second with neither fighter committing themselves to attack. In the third a straight right from Prograis dumped Heraldez on the floor. He was on his feet quickly but after the count Prograis jumped on him with a barrage of punches until the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. First fight for Prograis since losing a majority verdict against Josh Taylor in October last year in the final of the WSSB tournament. A defeat that cost Prograis his WBA title. He is No 1 with the WBC so is mandatory challenger to Jose Carlos Ramirez for that version of the super light title. Californian Heraldez had stopped 17-2 Eddie Ramirez and drawn with former IBF super feather champion Argenis Mendez in his last two fights.
Cruz vs. Magdaleno
Cruz catches Magdaleno cold with a ferocious attack putting Magdaleno own twice and blowing him away in just 53 seconds. Cruz went to work immediately forcing Magdaleno back into his own corner and bombarding him with body punches until with less than 20 seconds gone in the round Magdaleno went down. He was up at four and after the eight count he tried to trade punches with Cruz but was overwhelmed by a succession of punches then two neck-snapping uppercuts and fell to the canvas on his back with his head resting on the bottom rope. The referee did not count but just waived for assistance for Magdaleno as the bout ended after just 53 seconds. Mexican “Pitbull” Cruz, 22, registers win No 15 by KO/TKO in his most impressive performance so far. He has beaten Jose Felix and Thomas Mattice and is No 6(4) with the IBF. At 34 it will be hard for Magdaleno to climb back after this.
Rivera vs. Miller
Not a great fight this one but a good win for Rivera which gets him the USBA belt. Rivera took most of the early rounds with Miller not really getting untracked until later in the fight. Miller tried to put Rivera under pressure in the second half of the fight but he could not make any inroads to Rivera’s lead and put in a very disappointing performance, Scores 97-93 for Rivera from all three judges. Dominican Rivera, 22, is rated No 11 by the WBA and was coming off a career best win in February when he stopped Fidel Maldonado in the tenth round. Miller had won his last twelve bouts with his victims including former WBA super feather champion Jezzrel Corrales in July last year.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Bantam: Naoya Inoue (20-0) W TKO 7 Jason Moloney (21-2). Super Feather: Robson Conceicao (15-0) W PTS 10 Luis Coria (12-4). Super Light: Julian Rodriguez (21-0) W TKO 3 Jose Lopez (29-8-2).Heavy: Jared Anderson (7-0) W TKO 1 Luis Pena (6-2). Super Light: Andy Hiraoka (16-0) W TKO 4 Rickey Edwards (12-5).
Inoue vs. Moloney
Inoue blasts out Moloney in another display of “Monster” power Round 1
Inoue won the battle of the jabs in the first and connected with a couple of rights. Moloney drove Inoue to the ropes twice but was unable to land anything of note and Inoue connected with a right cross to the head which was the best punch of the round.
Score: 10-9 Inoue
This was a fast-paced open fight and Moloney did some good work with quick jabs over the first two minutes. Inoue was hunting him over the last minute scoring with jabs to head and body and a solid straight right to the head to take the round.
Score: 10-09 Inoue Inoue 20-18
Inoue really stepped up the pressure in this one. He was hounding Moloney around the ring scoring with hooks and uppercuts . Moloney was perpetually on the back foot countering when he could but getting caught with some hard shots.
Score: 10-9 Inoue Inoue 30-27
Another round of Inoue hunting down Moloney. Inoue was getting through with jabs and hooks to the body. Moloney was boxing well and connected with a couple sharp combinations to make it close but Inoue was blazing away with punches at the bell.
Score: 10-9 Inoue Inoue 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Patricia Morse Jarman40-36 Inoue, Judge Max DeLuca 39-37 Inoue, Judge Tim Cheatham 40-36 Inoue
A closer round as Moloney took the fight to Inoue driving him to the ropes and scoring with body punches. Moloney also slotted home some jabs. Inoue was loading up on his punches and late in the round a heavy right to the head shook Moloney and he had to hold on as he was hurt by another right.
Score: 10-9 Inoue Inoue 50-45
Inoue landed a heavy right at the start of the round and then put Moloney down with a short left hook. Moloney was up at four and when the action restarted he jabbed and moved constantly frustrating Inoue’s attempts to land another big punch and worked his way to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Inoue Inoue 60-53
Inoue was not throwing much just looking to land one big punch. Moloney worked constantly with his jab moving quickly in and out and it looked as though he would make it to the bell. With just ten seconds to go Inoue exploded a right over the top of Moloneys jab. It crashed onto the challengers chin and sent him down heavily on his back. He rolled over at six trying to rise but fell back to the floor and the referee waived the fight over with just one second left in the round.
Inoue was defending the IBF and WBA belts. He has kept his power as he has moved from light flyweight, super flyweight and bantamweight as his figures of 15 wins by KO/TKO in his last 17 fights against world class opposition shows. He is also 15-0 in world title fights. His power conceals what an excellent boxer he is with great defensive and offensive skills. A fight with WBO boss John Riel Casimero is the next logical step-but the super bantamweights are not that strong right now so Inoue could even like the thought of becoming a four-division champion! Moloney did his best. He was up against a special fighter but didn’t shirk his task and it is quite possible that he could be fighting for a world title again next year-just not against Inoue.
Conceicao vs. Coria
Conceicao takes a close decision over Coria that is anything but straight forward. After a competitive opening round a left from Coria in the second floored Conceicao and he only just made it out of the round. The Brazilian got back into the fight by outscoring Coria in the third only to lose a point for a low punch in the fourth. The action heated up over the fifth and sixth with both scoring well but Conceicao losing another point for going low. Coria landed the harder punches in the seventh leaving Conceicao with lots of work to do to save his unbeaten record. Conceicao outscored Coria in the eighth but the ninth was close before Conceicao staged the strong finish to win the last. Scores 95-92 twice and 94-93 for Conceicao. The 32-year-old Rio gold medal winner has struggled to impress but this was an entertaining scrap that can only be good for his profile. All four of Coria’s losses have been very close decisions and he is a better fighter than his record indicates.
Rodriguez vs. Lopez
Rodriguez stretches his winning run to 21 with inside the distance stoppage of Lopez. A crunching left hook to the body dropped Lopez in agony in the first and a right to the head floored the advancing Lopez in the second. Rodriguez brought down the curtain in the third. The end was obviously near when Lopez was sent to the floor in the third by a solid jab but it was another left hook to the body that caused the fourth knockdown and finished the fight. No names yet on the record of the 26-year-old from New Jersey but he outclassed Jerry Belmontes and destroyed experienced Hevinson Herrera in 59 seconds. Lopes was a very creditable opponent with victories against Shoki Sakai, Roberto Ortiz and Lupe Rosales.
Hiraoka vs. Edwards
Japanese prospect Hiraoka gets his second win in the USA as he floors Edwards twice before the fight is stopped in the fourth round. Promoted by Top Rank the 24-year-old southpaw’s father is Ghanaian. Hiraoka turned pro whilst still in High School in Yokohama and was East Japan Rookie of the Year in the lightweight division and won the inaugural Japanese Youth title in 2018. Edwards drops to 1-5 in his last six outings.
Anderson vs. Pena
Anderson blitzes Pena for another first round victory. Anderson was landing heavy punches from the first bell. He was driving Pena around with vicious body shots and clubbing rights to the head. He pinned Pena against the ropes and was again digging in rib bending body punches and rocked Pena with an uppercut. Pena managed to escape briefly but was soon being pounded. The referee was looking on carefully but Pena fired back enough to be allowed to continue for a short while but with more head punches landing the referee stopped it at 2:46 of the round. The 20-year-old "Big Baby" from Toledo gets his fifth first round win and his seven fights have lasted less than twelve rounds. The downside is he is not learning anything from these fights and might develop some bad habits from being able to steamroller the opposition so easily but at just 20 he is a towering prospect. Second inside the distance defeat for Pena.
London, England: Heavy: Oleksandr Usyk (18-0) W PTS 12 Dereck Chisora (32-10). Light: Geroge Kambosos (19-0) W PTS 12 Lee Selby (28-3). Cruiser: Tommy McCarthy (17-2) W PTS 12 Bilal Laggoune (25-2-2).
Usyk vs. Chisora
Usyk gets a close unanimous decision over Chisora to cement his No 1 ranking with the WBO putting him in a position to apply pressure on Anthony Joshua for a title fight. Chisora was determined to take the fight to Usyk and he did so in the first. He was either dodging or ignoring Usyk’s jab and landed some clubbing shots to head and body knocking Usyk into the ropes with a right to the shoulder. Chisora continued his march in the second. He was wild at times but was connecting with solid right hooks and Usyk was looking decidedly uncomfortable under the pressure. Chisora had taken the first two rounds but in the third Usyk moved more and scored with quick counters stopping Chisora from getting inside. He connected with two hooks to the body and a right to the head to show he was starting to find his rhythm. Chisora connected with a clubbing right to the head at the start of the fourth and then chased Usyk down hard. I had Chisora winning three of the first four rounds but that was as good as it got for the Londoner. He had expended a heap of energy in chasing down Usyk and that began to tell. Although his tactics had been working well Chisora chose to change to southpaw in the fifth. Usyk upped his pace in the fifth and sixth constantly moving and firing bursts of punches at the advancing Chisora and by the end of the sixth Chisora was already looking tired. The seven was a clincher round for Usyk. After outboxing Chisora for most of the round he landed a left hook and a right to the head that shook Chisora. A series of punches sent Chisora back into the ropes but the bell went before Usyk could finish the job. Usyk was in control in the eighth and ninth putting his punches together well and switching angles. Now it was mainly Usyk on the front foot but he indicated later he had injured his left hand in the ninth. Chisora was able to press hard in the tenth as Usyk used his left hand very little and it was Chisora’s round. Over the last two rounds Usyk was again moving too quickly for Chisora to be able to do any effective work and the Ukrainian swept to victory. Scores 115-113 twice and 117-112. I had wider at 116-114 but that is effectively only one point different to the score from two of the judges. The 33-year-old Usyk must now wait to see what happens in Joshua’s fight in December with Kubrat Pulev and if Joshua wins that then Joshua vs. Fury will dictate what happens with the heavyweights in 2021. If the WBO threaten to strip Joshua he will most likely relinquish the title as the Fury fight (s) are the beigest fights in the division and will trump all. Chisora had scored useful victories over Senad Gashi, Artur Szpilka and David Price last year but is unlikely to get a return with Usyk and with the heavyweight division just a two-man race in 2021 might find himself filling the role of gatekeeper and a fight against the winner of Joe Joyce vs. Daniel Dubois might be of interest.
Kambosos vs. Selby
Australian Kambosos gets split decision over Selby to put himself in line for a shot at either the IBF or WBO titles.
As expected Selby was in continuous movement in the first with Kambosos tracking him. Neither landed much but Selby was too tentative with his jab and Kambosos just did enough to edge the round. Selby was more positive with his work in the second and took that one. This was to be the pattern for the first nine rounds of the fight where first and then the other would take a round. Kambosos took the third round connecting with a hard right and pinning Selby to the ropes and firing punches as the round ended. The fourth also went to Kambosos as he landed well with his jab and scored with short hooks inside. All of these rounds were close and the fifth followed that pattern as Selby‘s good work with his jab and his quick movement frustrated the attacks of Kambosos. Strong hooking to the body saw Kambosos earn the sixth but despite some more work to the body from Kambosos in the seventh Selby ‘s quicker hand speed saw him do enough to take the round. Kambosos scored with some hurtful body punching in the eighth but Selby closed the gap again in the ninth which was the best round so far as both boxers had their moments with Selby’s hand speed giving him the openings he needed. At that stage it was anyone’s fight but from there it was Kambosos who kicked on. He upped his aggression doing a better job of cutting off the ring and landing the better punches as Selby’s pace dropped with the Australian sweeping the last three rounds. Scores 118-110 and 116-112 for Kambosos and 115-114 for Selby. This was an IBF final eliminator so a huge win for 27-year-old Kambosos who becomes the mandatory challenger to Teo Lopez and with Selby having been No 1 with the WBO he is in a strong position as he will also be No 1 with them. Since Lopez now holds three versions of the super light title (Devin Haney is WBC world champion) Kambosos should either get a shot at Lopez or if Lopez goes up to super light should get a shot at one of the vacant titles. Selby showed enough for him to still have a part to play but at 33 and being a fighter whose speed is his greatest asset he will need to rebound quickly
McCarthy vs. Laggoune
McCarthy outboxes Belgian Laggoune to win the vacant European title. Laggoune made a positive start taking the fight to McCarthy scoring with strong jabs and heavy rights. McCarthy had his jab working well in the second and put together some little burst of punches. Laggoune connected with a heavy right but was lunging in and missing. Laggoune was picking off McCarthy’s jabs in the third and coming inside with long rights and then connecting with hooks to the body to take the round. McCarthy began putting on the style from the fourth. He was quicker with the jab, using good upper body movement to dodge the Belgium’s punches holding his hands at hip level and whacking Laggoune’s ribs. He carried that over into the fifth. McCarthy was again outboxing Laggoune in the sixth when after a right from McCarthy landed Laggoune turned away from the action pawing at his right eye. The referee called a time out and the doctor examined the eye but there was no obvious sign of damage so the fight continued with McCarthy piling forward chasing Laggoune around the ring with Laggoune just trying to stay out of trouble for the remainder of the round. Laggoune still seemed to be trouble by the eye in the seventh and McCarthy was piercing his guard with jabs and connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Laggoune was still throwing occasional rights but his output had dropped. A big left hook shook Laggoune in the eighth and in the ninth he went staggering into the ropes being off balance and McCarthy followed up pouring on the punches. They were two tired fighters in the tenth and eleventh but Laggoune dredged up the energy to take the fight to McCarthy again and earned both rounds. McCarthy had more left in the twelfth. He was dancing away from Laggoune’s lunges popping him with jabs and catching him with counters as Laggoune came forward. A frustrated Laggoune kept gesturing for the McCarthy to stand and fight but McCarthy boxed to the bell. Scores 116-112 and 116-113 for McCarthy and a dissenting 114-114. Two good wins in a row for the 29-year-old McCarthy following his victory over unbeaten Fabio Turchi in October. He is talking about a world title fight but that is some way off yet. Laggoune had drawn with Dmytro Kucher for this title back in 2015 so it has been a five year wait for another chance. He lost here but could yet get a third chance with some wins under his belt.
Warwick, RI, USA: Super Feather: Toka Kahn Clary (28-2) W TKO 2 Jonathan Perez (38-26,1ND).
Comfortable return to action for Clary as he stops Perez in two rounds. Clary dominated the first with an overmatched Perez mainly on the defensive. In the second a southpaw left from Clary sent Perez into the ropes. The Colombian showed some fire by punching his way off the ropes but Clary had him backing up again and a left uppercut dumped Perez on the floor propped up against the ropes. Perez climbed to his feet but was bent double and when he just dropped to his knees again the referee stopped the fight. First outing for the Liberian-born former National Golden Gloves champion for exactly 14 months. He has won 9 of his last 10 fights but the loss was in a big fight against Kid Galahad in Boston where he was beaten on a unanimous decision. Colombian Perez, who started out as a flyweight, is 2-11 in his last 13 fights.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Cruiser: Yamil Peralta (7-0) W PTS 10 Marcos Karalitzky (7-4-2). Feather: Federico Pedraza (12-0-1) W PTS 12 Alain Luques (27-10).
Peralta vs. Karalitzky
Boxing returns to Argentina behind closed doors as Peralta defends the South American title with comfortable decision over Argentinian No 8 Karalitzky. It took Peralta a couple of rounds to really hit his form but his better skills, longer reach and strength edges over Karalitzky, who is really just a fattened up light heavy, put him in control. Peralta bossed the action with his jab and connected constantly with straight rights. Karalitzky had some success with rights and put in a big effort over the closing rounds but was well beaten. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116 ½ -114 for Peralta. The 29-year-old local boxer, a former star of Argentinian amateur boxing, was making the first defence of the South American title. Karalitzky really an overmatched prelim fighter.
Pedraza vs. Luques Castillo
Southpaw Pedraza wins the South American title with verdict over Luques Castillo. The younger Pedraza took control from the start against Luques Castillo. His accurate jabbing saw him sweep the first three rounds before Luques Castillo warmed-up Luques Castillo outscored Pedraza in the fourth as Pedraza looked to be coasting. Pedraza was back on top over the middle rounds as he went from counter punching to a more aggressive approach. A clash of heads saw in the seventh saw Pedraza cut but the doctor ruled the fight could continue. Pedraza had only been past six rounds once and he looked be tiring in the ninth but he bounced back in the tenth and Luques Castillo struggled to make it to the end. Scores 118-110 twice and 118-112 for 24-year-old Pedraza who extends his winning run to ten contests. Luques Castillo was making the fifth defence of the South American title.
Guarulhos, Brazil: Super Welter: Diego Allan Ferreira Lablonski (7-0) W PTS 10 Morrana Dheisw de Araujo Santos (5-6). Super Middle: Claudiomar Pedra dos Santos (8-7-2) W KO 2 Joselito dos Santos (17-13).
Lablonski vs. Santos
Lablonski collects the vacant national title with points win over champion Santos. It look as though it might be a quick finish as Lablonski battered Santos to the floor in the first but Santos got up and lasted the distance. Lablonski also wins the UBO International title. Santos was making the fifth defence of his title and all of his losses have come inside the distance.
Claudiomar de Santos vs. Joselito dos Santos
Claudiomar wins a Brazilian title at the third attempt as he knocks out oldie Joselito in two rounds for the vacant super middle crown. Southpaw Claudiomar was quicker and more mobile than Joselito and pressed hard in the first round. Joselito tried switching guards in the second but a right to body and a left to the head put him down and he was counted whilst trying to get up. The 39-year-old Claudiomar also wins the vacant American Boxing Federation belt. Joselito, 47, now has twelve losses by KO/TKO after being 10-2 in his last 12 fights.
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania: Super Middle: Twaha Rubaha (16-6-1) W RTD 7 Sirimongkhol Singwangcha (97-5). Heavy: Shaban Hamadi Jongo W KO 5 Alphonce Mchumiatumbo (14-8-1). Super Welter: Maono Ally (11-5-1) W KO 3 Joseph Sinkala (13-13-1).
Rubaha vs. Singwangcha
This really was a farce as a tubby Singwangcha lumbered around for six rounds still having enough boxing knowledge to outsmart Rubaha at times. Finally in the seventh Singwangcha was exhausted and stumbling and at the end of the round went back to his corner and sat on the canvas looking out into the crowd. Someone gave him a drink of water from a bottle and he then climbed up and went to two corners of the ring climbing on the ropes to thank the fans. The referee had no idea what was going on until Singwangcha walked to Rubaha’s corner to congratulate him at which point the referee lifted Rubaha’s hand. The fight was to have been for the WBC ABC title but recognition of that was withdrawn before the fight. At 43 and about 50lbs over his fighting weight when he was a two-division world champion Singwangcha should shun the glory of going for 100 professional wins and retire. Rubaha really just a club level fighter.
Jongo vs. Mchumiatumbo
Jongo uses his size and weight advantages to club more experienced Mchumiatumbo to defeat in a slow cumbersome fight. Jongo ended it in the fifth as he sent Mchumiatumbo flat on his back on the canvas with two huge rights. Worryingly the first landed flush on the back of Mchumiatumbo’s head which had him stumbling with his head down and the finisher landed on the jaw and pitched him to the canvas on his back out cold. Sixth win in a row for Jongo sixth loss by KO/TKO for Mchumiatumbo.
Ally vs. Sinkala
Ally took the first two rounds and then ended it in the third. A booming right to the head sent poor Sinkala flying across the ring into the ropes and down and he was counted out. Seventh win by KO/TKO for “The Monster of Bagamoyo”. Seventh inside the distance loss for the much smaller Sinkala.
Rangsit, Thailand: Super Feather: Wancha CP Freshmart (17-1) W KO 5 Omar El Ouers (0-2-1). Super Bantam: Kongfah CP Freshmart (34-1-1) W TKO 5 Emmanuele Corti (0-1).
Wancha vs. El Ouers
Wancha (Kittithat Ungsrivongs) wins in the end but El Ouers proves a tougher test than expected. The Thai pressed hard but El Ouers showed a solid guard and some hurtful counter punching and it even looked as though he had scored a knockdown but it was ruled a slip. El Ouers looked to be tiring in the fourth but at the end of the round the open scoring had them even on two cards at 38-38 with third reading 39-37 to Wancha. In the fifth a stunning right from Wancha put El Ouers down. The Moroccan tried to rise but slumped back to the floor and was counted out. Wancha, 21, wins the vacant WBC ABC title with his tenth inside the distance victory. His loss came against China’s Que Xu in 2018 and this is his seventh win as he rebuilds. El Ouers had drawn with 32-1 Kongfah in his last contest and showed here he can fight.
Kongfah vs. Corti
Just public sparring with pay for Kongfah (Jakkrawut Majoogoen) as he stops Thai-based Italian Corti in five rounds. Only in Thailand will you find a world rated fight such as Kongfah fighting a total novice. The 25-year-old Kongfah is 20-0-1 since his lone lost on a seventh round kayo against Daigo Higa in Japan in 2015. Corti may have had fights in Muay Thai or other MMA’s in Thailand but this is his first formal boxing match.
Krasnaya Polyana, Russia: Heavy: Murat Gassiev (27-1) W TKO 1 Nuri Seferi (41-10).
Gassiev eases his way into the heavyweight ranks with quick dismissal of veteran Seferi. After a slow start where they just prodded each other with jabs Gassiev landed a left hook to the body and a straight right to the head. That had Seferi backing up then a booming right the chin sent him crashing to the canvas. He was up a six but looked unsteady and after completing the eight count the referee stopped the fight. All done in 107 seconds. In his first fight since losing his IBF and WBA cruiserweight titles to Oleksandr Usyk in July 2018 Gassiev must have been hoping for a bit more ring time as Seferi had only lost inside the distance once but that big right from Gassiev was too much for him. Gassiev will be looking to get into action again as soon as possible . Seferi , 43, mentioned retirement after 21 years as a pro.
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Viktor Vykhryst (4-0) W RTD 4 Yakup Saglam (43-8). Heavy: Michael Wallisch W RTD 5 Kai Kurzawa (38-10).
Vykhryst vs. Saglam
Vykhryst stops Saglam in a slow-paced one-side contest. Vykhryst worked behind a solid jab occasionally mixing in a straight right with Saglam not really doing much at all. In the second Saglam just lay against the ropes in a corner letting Vykhryst pound on him but never looked in any trouble. In the third Saglam strode forward throwing punches and put Vykhryst under some pressure. Vykhryst was finally able to take control as he hammered Salam with punches until Saglam again went onto the back foot. There was a long delay before Saglam came out for the fourth and after eating punches throughput the round he retired. The 6’5” 28-year-old Ukrainian is still very much a learner in the pro ranks. He looks slow and his jab lacks authority but he is big and can dig and will improve over time. He was Ukrainian, European and European Games champion so he is carrying the burden of some very high expectations. Turkish-born Saglam is just too old at 43 to provide any kind of test for Vykhryst.
Wallisch vs. Kurzawa
Wallisch gets a much needed and very predictable win as he forces Kurzawa to retire after five rounds. Wallisch was just too big for the elderly Kurzawa and it was really no more than some useful sparring work. Kurzawa fired back enough punches to stay in the fight but it was one-sided. Wallisch floored Kurzawa in the third, fourth and fifth and Kurzawa sensibly retired for the night. Local fighter Wallisch, 35, was carefully guided to a 19-0 record but then ambition caused the wheels to come off as Efe Ajagba, Tony Yoka and Joe Joyce all beat him inside the distance. Kurzawa, 43, is a former challenger for the EBU light heavyweight title but his form of those days is lost in the sands of time or in the folds of fat he carries being 30lbs above his days of old.
Pont-Sainte-Maxence, France: Super Bantam: Hugo Legros (11-1-2) W PTS 10 Thomas Barbier (10-21-1).
Local fighter Legros wins the French title at the second attempt as he outpoints champion Barbier. Legors made an attacking start to get his nose in front. The bout was closer over the middle rounds as Barbier fought hard to hold on to his title. Barbier continued his pressure over the last two rounds but Legros was countering well and was stronger at the finish. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Legros. The new champion has now won 10 of his last 11 fights. Barbier, 37, was making the first defence of the national title.
Berlin, Germany: Middle: Sven Elbir (17-1) W PTS 10 Rafael Sosa (61-15).
“Batman” Elbir wins the vacant WBA International title with decision over Uruguayan oldie Sosa. This marks the fifth win for Elbir since losing a very narrow decision to Patrick Wojcicki in 2018. Wojcicki is now to fight in an IBF final eliminator so with hindsight an expensive loss for Elbir. Sosa 40 is a 16 year pro who has travelled the world and rarely losses inside the distance.
Cancun, Mexico: Middle: Oziel Santoyo (12-1-1) W PTS 8 Manuel Gallegos (17-1). Super Bantam: Alexis Bastar (17-1-1) W TKO 7 Israel Gasparrillo (10-2).
Santoyo vs. Gallegos
Santoyo springs a surprise for the second time in a row as he snaps the 17-bout winning record of Gallegos with a unanimous decision and extends his own winning run to twelve.. Santoyo pressed hard all the fight and outworked Gallegos who was looking to end the fight with one punch to add to his 15 inside the victories. He was leaving himself open and was rocked a number of times as Santoyo emerged the clear winner. In his last fight in June 2019 Santoyo took a unanimous decision over favoured Omar Chavez. Gallegos had won 8 of his last 9 fights by KO/TKO but against a much lower level of opposition.
Bastar vs. Gasparrillo
Southpaw Bastar makes hard work of stopping less experienced Gasparrillo. Bastar handed out heavy punishment to Gasparrillo but Gasparrillo just kept coming in his crouching style and began to connect with more punches the longer the fight went. Bastar pulled the fight out of the fire in the seventh with a right hook that put Gasparrillo down and out. The Cancun southpaw extended his unbeaten run to 17 fights. Gasparrillo had won his last ten fights.
Valencia, Spain: Super Welter: Jorge Fortea (21-2-1) W RTD 5 Kelly Figueroa (12-15-4). A double winning night for Fortea. In front of his home fans he halts Figueroa and then proposes in the ring to his girl friend who accepts. Too late to duck and dive now Jorge. This was a more aggressive showing than usual from Fortea who broke down the tough but limited Venezuelan southpaw with Figueroa not coming out for the seventh round. Fortea had a seven-bout winning streak snapped in November when he lost on points to IBF No 1 Bakhram Murtazaliev. Figueroa is now 0-7-1 in his last 8 but surprisingly the draw was with 18-2-1 Ricardo Silva in December.
Fight of the week (Significance): The knockout of Leo Santa Cruz by Gervonta Davis could lead to some great fights at lightweight-if they can be made.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Jaime Munguia vs. Tureano Johnson was a war until Johnson had to retire. Mario Barrios vs. Ryan Karl was a madcap slugfest whilst it lasted.
Fighter of the week: Gervonta Davis for his devastating kayo of future Hall of Famer Leo Santa Cruz with honourable mentions to Naoya Inoue and Oleksandr Usyk
Punch of the week: It has to be the uppercut that knocked Leo Santa Cruz out cold. It was a good week for candidates with the beautifully delivered right from Inoue that finished Moloney and the thunderous right from Murat Gassiev that laid out Nuri Seferi and the left hook to the body from Lamont Roach that nearly cut Neil Tabanao in half.
Upset of the week: none really although Isaac Cruz blowing away Diego Magdaleno inside a minute was unexpected.
Prospect watch: Above named 22-year-old Isaac Cruz who is 20-1-1
Good to see boxing back in Argentina but not so good to have a major fight in Japan fall a victim to the virus
Some fighters never get a sniff of a world title shot. Carlos Buitrago has had six and is still not a champion. Is that a record?
Momentary confusion as the fighter wearing the green red and white of Mexico on his shorts was Gervonta Davis and not Leo Santa Cruz. A fashion statement or provocation?
With both former cruiserweight champions Olek Usyk and Murat Gassiev in the heavyweights it is getting pretty crowded. Anyone fancy making a bit of room by moving down to the new division 224lbs division?
How about that Sirimongkhol Singwangcha! Still fighting at 43. He started out as a flyweight, won WBC titles at bantam and super feather and in 2018 won the Thai light heavyweight title, 26-years a pro, 101 fights and 97 wins.
By Eric Armit
-Juan Francisco Estrada retains the WBC super flyweight title with late stoppage of Carlos Cuadras
-Roman Gonzalez scores wide unanimous decision over Israel Gonzalez in WBA super flyweight title defence
-Julio Cesar Martinez stops Moises Calleros who comes in overweight for their WBC flyweight title fight
Sergei Lipinets and Custio Clayton fight to a majority draw so the interim IBF welterweight title remains vacant
-Dilan Prasovic stops Edin Puhalo in WBO cruiserweight final eliminator
-Australia’s Jai Opetaia gets win No 21 and heavyweight hope Justis Huni wins the Australian title in his first pro fight
- Fabio Turchi, Xavier Martinez and Subriel Matias score wins
World Title/Major Shows
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Fly: Juan Francisco Estrada (41-3) W TKO 11 Carlos Cuadras (39-4-1). Super Fly: Roman Gonzalez (50-2) W PTS 12 Israel Gonzalez (25-4). Fly: Julio Cesar Martinez (17-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Moises Calleros (33-10-1). Super Middle: Diego Pacheco (10-0) W TKO 2 Juan Mendez (12-3-2).
Estrada vs. Cuadras
Estrada retains the WBC title as he fights back after a slow start and an early knockdown to wear out and stop a tremendously courageous and competitive Cuadras in a return contest that has to be a candidate for Fight of the Year.
These two know each other well so no study time needed. Cuadras made a confident start coming in behind a double jab with straight rights. He constantly pierced Estrada’s guard and ended the round with a blazing attack.
Score: 10-9 Cuadras
The second was closer. Estrada was marching forward scoring with hooks to the body over the first half of the round. Over the second half Cuadras was again on target with hard jabs and clubbing right to Estrada’s head and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Cuadras 20-18
A big round for Cuadras. Again he was controlling the action with his jab. He was also working well with his left hook and straight rights. Estrada was effective with left hooks but late in the round a left hook from Cuadras sent Estrada tumbling back into the ropes. He used his gloves to avoid going all of the way down and was given a count. Cuadras piled into Estrada after the count but Estrada fought him off.
Score: 10-8 Cuadras Cuadras 30-26
An already entertaining match livened up even more in the fourth. Estrada came out throwing punches from the bell. He was just walking through the jab of Cuadras and belting Cuadras with clubbing overhand rights, hooks and uppercuts focusing on the body and forcing Cuadras back and outscoring him. Cuadras replied with some short bursts of punches and connected with a good left hook late in the round but had been outscored.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Cuadras 39-36
The fifth was all action as they took turns to land heavily with both hands. The jab of Cuadras was not as potent as it had been and Estrada was able to connect with a series of left hooks and uppercuts to the body and rights to the head rocking Cuadras on a couple of occasions. Cuadras fired back as they traded punches to the bell with Estrada bossing the exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Cuadras 48-46
This was a savage war of attrition fought at a frantic pace. Estrada was marching forward letting fly with a whole array of punches. Cuadras was rocked time and again and just kept on firing back. He finished the round with a strong attack but Estrada had already done enough to win the round.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Cuadras 57-56
This round was closer as Cuadras won the early exchanges using his jab again and connecting with hooks. Estrada gradually took control swarming forward pumping out punches hooking wickedly to the body and forcing Cuadras on the back foot in yet another exciting round.
Score: 10-9 Estrada TIED 66-66
Once again Cuadras was getting the better of the exchanges early but the relentless attacks of Estrada forced him to back off. Estrada raked Cuadras with punches shaking him with a left hook and it was usually Cuadras who broke off the exchanges but each time it looked as though Estrada might overwhelm him Cuadras battled back.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 76-75
The pressure was getting to Cuadras. Estrada was coming forward loading up on his punches bombarding Cuadras with heavy hooks and uppercuts. Cuadras was fighting in short fiery bursts of eight or ten punches at a time but without direction or power and he was tiring from the pace Estrada was setting.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 86-84
Another great round. Cuadras showed why he had been a world champion as he dredged up the energy to move more and still pump out rapid bunches of punches. Estrada was walking through whatever Cuadras threw and connecting with solid punches to head and body but this time he had been outworked although the effort drained what energy Cuadras had left.
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Estrada 95-94
Estrada jumped on Cuadras from the bell and drove him back before connecting with a left hook that had Cuadras falling back to the floor against the ropes. He was up quickly and after the count Estrada drove him around the ring piling on hooks and uppercuts. Cuadras was floundering but stopped to fire a counter only to get nailed by a powerful right that again put him down. He sat on the canvas for a few seconds as if he was done but then climbed unsteadily to his feet. The referee decided he was able to continue although he looked to have nothing left. Despite his exhaustion he stood with Estrada trading punches until two left hooks to the head had him staggering back across the ring and the fight was stopped after a truly memorable contest.
Estrada was making the second defence of his WBC title. This defence was his first contest for 14 months which might explain his slow start. He is 15-1 in his last 16 fights many of them title fights against the best in the world. He has reversed the only loss in that sequence by outpointing Srisaket for this title. As Srisaket is No 1 in the WBC ratings it looks as though there will be third fight next year. Former WBC champion “Prince” Cuadras, 32, made six defences when champion and was 35-0-1 before losing his title to Roman Gonzalez in 2016. Subsequent defeats against Estrada and Mc Williams Arroyo dented his reputation but his showing in this fight where he was very much in it until exhaustion and Estrada caught up with him showed he can still compete at this level.
Gonzalez (Chocolatito) vs. Gonzalez
The little Nicaraguan marvel (Chocolatito) Gonzalez makes a successful first defence of his WBA title as he pounds out a unanimous decision over Mexican Israel Gonzalez
A good opening round from Gonzalez. He used his longer reach to keep pinging Chocolatito with jabs and connected with some useful left hooks. He used plenty of movement to frustrate Chocolatito’s attempts to cut off the ring and when he was pinned to the ropes smart upper body movement dented Chocolatito’s attacks.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez
Chocolatito turned up the heat pressing harder and doing a better job of cutting off the ring forcing Gonzalez to stand and exchange punches more. Gonzalez was firing jabs through Chocolatito’s guard and landing left hooks to the body. Chocolatito ended the round connecting with a series of rights to earn the round.
Score: 10-9 Chocolatito TIED 19-19
Chocolatito set out to overwhelm Gonzalez with an array of punches. Gonzalez was forced to stand and exchange punches and Chocolatito stayed in close punishing Gonzalez to the body. Gonzalez still found gaps for his jabs but did not have the power to deter Chocolatito.
Score: 10-9 Chocolatito Chocolatito 29-28
Remorseless pressure from Chocolatito. He was crowding Gonzalez and whilst still landing his customary left hooks the spectacular shots were straight rights to the head that snapped Gonzalez’s head back. Gonzalez was throwing plenty of punches particularly rights to the head but Chocolatito waited out those storms and then went back to pounding on Gonzalez.
Score: 10-9 Chocolatito Chocolatito39-37
Another round that followed the pattern of pressure from Chocolatito and spectacular but brief spells of punching from Gonzalez. By the end of the round Gonzalez was against the ropes covering up letting Gonzalez find gaps for his left hooks and not throwing anything back.
Score: 10-9 Chocolatito Chocolatito 49-46
A closer round as Gonzalez threw more punches and came forward giving himself some punching room. Other than that once again he was under pressure for all three minutes with Chocolatito bouncing punches off his head and banging home body shots.
Score: 10-9 Chocolatito Chocolatito 59-55
Gonzalez could be excused for thinking he was in a boxing version of Groundhog Day. With every new round there was Chocolatito swarming forward with his arms going like pistons. After firing a couple of fast combinations Gonzalez then went into his shell and by the end of the round was just standing against the ropes covering up and making no attempt to fire any counters.
Score: 10-9 Chocolatito Chocolatito 69-64
For a while it looked as though Gonzalez might get something out of this round as he scored early with more of his batches of punches. Unfortunately Chocolatito just shrugged them off and by the end of the round was bouncing punch after punch off Gonzalez who had gone back into his defensive shell.
Score: 10-9 Chocolatito Chocolatito 79-73
More of the same. Before the sound of the bell had faded Gonzalez found himself against the ropes and under fire. He kept trying to drive Chocolatito off and scored with some good punches but Chocolatito just kept coming back and eventually Gonzalez went into his shell.
Score: 10-9 Chocolatito Chocolatito 89-82
A round for Gonzalez. He punched with Chocolatito throughout the round. He was again firing bursts of punches but in this round there were more bursts and he sustained them more. Chocolatito was not throwing as many punches and on a couple of occasions punches from Gonzalez sent him back on his heels.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Chocolatito 98-92
Gonzalez started trying to pick up from where he ended the tenth. He was snapping out jabs and straight rights. Unfortunately that did not last long and soon he was under assault again as Chocolatito ground him down forced him to the ropes and worked him over with a variety of punches
Score: 10-9 Chocolatito Chocolatito 108-101
For three minutes these two knocked bits off each other. Chocolatito poured on the pressure and Gonzalez was determined to stand and punch with him. He was getting the worse of the exchanges but still urged Chocolatito to do his worst even though he faded a little at the end.
Score: 10-09 Chocolatito Roman Gonzalez 118-110
Official Scores: 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 all for Roman Gonzalez
The relentless pressure from “Chocolatito” just proved too much for a gutsy Israel Gonzalez. After two stoppage losses against Thai Srisaket in the space of six months in 2017 Chocolatito went from being rated one of the top Pound for Pound fighters in the world to being written off. He proved himself by coming back and beating Khalid Yafai to win the WBA title in February and even at 33 not too many will be looking to write him off any time soon. Israel Gonzalez fought hard and bravely but just did not have the power or the punch to keep Chocolatito out. He lost on points against Yafai in a title challenge in 2018 but had earned his second title chance with a win over 28-1 Sho Ishida in Japan. At 23 he has a very good chance of getting another shot.
Martinez vs. Calleros
Martinez crushes over matched Calleros in two rounds. Calleros failed to make the weight so could not win the title but then he never had much chance anyway and Martinez again showed his power.
Martinez was looking dangerous in the first with left hooks. He shook Calleros early and then with less than one minute gone another left hook knocked Calleros back and he put both gloves on the canvas to break his fall. After the count Calleros tried to move and jab but was staggered by a left hook to the head and had to absorb some more punishment before the bell of a one-sided round.
Score 10-8 Martinez
Martinez continued the pounding of Calleros in the second and every punch he threw seemed to shake Calleros. For a period Calleros settled down to do some good work with his jab and take the fight to Martinez. That ended when Calleros became over confident and stood and traded with Martinez. A left rocked Calleros and a blistering right effective knocked him out on his feet. He fell back into the ropes and with Martinez pounding him the referee stopped the fight.
“The King” Martinez, 25, was making the second defence of the WBC title and showed why he is considered the hardest puncher in the flyweight division. Fourth inside the distance defeat for Calleros who weighed 5 ½ lbs over the flyweight limit. He went from unrated by the WBC in September to No 20 in October but still not inside the top 15.
Pacheco vs. Mendez
Pacheco destroys overmatched Mendez in the second round. The 6’4” Pacheco towered over the 5’9” Mendez and almost put him down twice in the opening round. Mendez survived but some hurtful upper cuts in the second forced him to step back and go down on his knees and the referee halted the fight. The 19-year-old from Los Angeles has eight wins by KO/TKO including five first round finishes. Mendez just a sacrificial lamb.
Uncasville, CT, USA: Welter: Sergey Lipinets (16-1-1) DREW 12 Custio Clayton (18-0-1). Super Feather: Xavier Martinez (16-0) W PTS 12 Claudio Marrero (24-5). Super Light: Subriel Matias (16-1) W TKO 7 Malik Hawkins (18-1).
Lipinets vs. Clayton
The interim IBF title remains vacant after Lipinets and Clayton fight to a majority draw.
Very cautious opener with neither fighter really committing themselves with their jabs. Lipinets was the one coming forward and he connected with a couple of body punches and Clayton did not throw any punches of consequence.
Score: 10 9 Lipinets
No real action in this round. Lipinets tried some punches but was short. Clayton was constantly on the back foot and tried some jabs and long rights and made the better contact which was just enough to give him a nothing much round.
Score: 10-9 Clayton TIED 19-19
Lipinets landed a couple of body punches and a hard right to the head. He continued to track the retreating Clayton and pinned him to the ropes scoring with hooks to the body. Clayton tried a pair of right counters but was just not throwing enough punches.
Score: 10-9 Lipinets Lipinets 29-28
Lipinets was again trying to take the fight to Clayton who hardly strayed away from the perimeter of the ring. Lipinets caught Clayton on the ropes and landed with a four-punch combination. Clayton then landed a right hook to the body, the best punch in the fight so far and that gave him the confidence to come forward and score with his jab and a right to give him a narrow edge.
Score: 10-9 Clayton TIED 38-38
A good round for Clayton. He had just been probing with his jab but he started to use it as a weapon in this round. He was banging it through the guard of Lipinets and following it with some strong rights. He was still fighting on the back foot but Lipinets was finding it hard to cut him off.
Score: 10-9 Clayton Clayton 48-47
Clayton was using his jab in the early exchanges but eventually Lipinets was getting past the jab and Clayton retreated to the ropes. He was getting trapped against the ropes and Lipinets was able to bombard him with hooks to head and body with Clayton only throwing occasional counters.
Score: 10-9 Lipinets TIED 57-57
Lipinets spent the round hunting down the retreating Clayton. He was able to pin Clayton to the ropes and score to head and body with Clayton just covering up. Clapton landed two clubbing rights before the bell but by then he had already conceded the round.
Score: 10-9 Lipinets Lipinets 67-66
One for Clayton. He was using his jab as a range finder and it worked as he bombed Lipinets with three heavy right crosses. When Lipinets came forward Clayton countered him with body punches. Lipinets was just not quick enough to cut off the ring in this round and had little success.
Score: 10-9 Clayton TIED 76-76
A closer round. Lipinets tried to press harder and had some success. Clayton kept sticking the oncoming Lipinets with jabs and connecting with right crosses. Lipinets did a lot better with hooks to the body when he managed to run Clayton down and just did that often enough to edge the round
Score: 10-9 Lipinets Lipinets 86-85
Clayton worked hard with his jab throughout this round. He was piecing the Kazak's guard both to head and body and connecting with clubbing head shots. Lipinets tried to fire himself up but was not fast enough to force Clayton to stand and trade and was getting caught with sneak punches.
Score: 10-9 Clayton TIED 95-95
Clayton outboxed Lipinets. His left jabs were snapping the Kazak’s head back and he was connecting with fast rights to the head. He was showing how one dimensional Lipinets is and easily escaped from the ropes when Lipinets came forward and was quicker with his counters.
Score: 10-9 Clayton Clayton 105-104
Clayton’s round. He stuck Lipinets repeatedly with the jab then stepped in with clubbing rights. Lipinets tried desperately to get Clayton to trade and was throwing some wild shots but Clayton was constantly moving and jabbing and then picking his moment to step in with right crosses and move on.
Score: 10-9 Clayton Clayton 115-113
Official Scores: 115-113 Clayton, 114-114 draw, 114-114 draw
The interim IBF title remains vacant. Not a great fight. Clayton fought to win not to entertain. Lipinets was a slight favourite going into the fight but in the end he was lucky to come away with a draw. If Clayton had been more adventurous in the early rounds he could have won this one clearly. Lipinets was a big step up in quality of opposition for Clayton so that may have guided his early tactics. Lipinets had lost a wide decision against Mikey Garcia for the IBF super light title in 2018 then scored wins over Lamont Pearson and Jayar Inson to get a No 3 rating from the IBF. Hopefully these two will meet in a return and with Errol Spence due to defend the IBF and WBC titles against Danny Garcia on 5 December and Shawn Porter at No 2 there will be plenty of time for a rematch before a title fight becomes possible for the winner.
Martinez vs. Marrero
Martinez gets off the floor twice in the eighth round to collect a close unanimous decision over Marrero. Although Martinez made the better start Marrero was quickly able to pull back that lead in a fight that saw plenty of close rounds as the ascendancy ebbed and flowed. Martinez built a small lead by the end of the sixth but both men were soon showing the marks of war around their eyes and Marrero had to pass a doctor’s inspection at the start of the seventh. He was passed fit and Martinez attacked hard to add that round to his collection. The wheels came off for Martinez in the eighth. Early in the round a right to the temple sent him tumbling to the canvas. He was up quickly but after the count a wild attack from Marrero saw him go down again under a shower punches. Again he beat the count but with less than a minute gone in the round there was a chance there for Marrero to finish the fight. Martinez survived a brief hurricane of punches from Marrero who seemed to punch himself out and Martinez was the one coming forward at the bell. Marrero’s chance had come and gone and although they fought on fairly even terms the rest of the way Martinez just had a slight edge. Scores 115-111 Martinez, 114-112 for Martinez and 114-112 for Marrero. Martinez, 22, was No 7 going into the WBA eliminator and Marrero No 4 so it pushes Martinez a little higher up the ladder and Marrero slides a little bit down the snake.
Matias vs. Hawkins
Puerto Rican Matias returns after his first pro loss and stops Hawkins in six rounds. Matias was hunting down the taller Hawkins getting past his jab and firing hooks inside. Matias was using upper body movement rather than trying to block the punches from Hawkins and Hawkins was having trouble keeping him out. The flashy Matias often dropped both arms and when he threw punches Hawkins was never sure from which angle they were coming. Matias was warned for low punches but he was undismayed and just kept crowing Hawkins. He had Hawkins reeling on the ropes in the third and by the fourth Hawkins was holding more. The doctor had a look at Hawkins at the start of the fifth but the fight continued. Hawkins fought hard at the early part of the fifth standing and trading with Matias but in the sixth he dropped to a knee under an attack from Matias, He beat the count but took some heavy punishment. The bell went to start the seventh and Hawkins left his corner but before a punch was thrown the referee took him over to the doctor who advised the fight should be stopped. Matias has a rebuilding project after an upset loss against Petros Ananyan in February. Hawkins has scored wins over Ray Serrano and Al Rivera but found the talent and eccentric style of Matias just too much.
Fortitude Valley. Australia: Cruiser: Jai Opetaia (20-0) W TKO 6 Ben Kelleher (13-2-2). Heavy: Justis Huni (1-0) W TKO 7 Faiga Opelu (13-2-1).
Opetaia vs. Kelleher
Opetaia returns to the ring for the first time since November and takes care of some domestic business by stopping previous victim Kelleher. Southpaw Opetaia had everything going for him: height, reach faster hands, quick movement and youth-although Kelleher did come to fight and had the classier tattoos. From the outset Opetaia used his advantages to score at distance. By the second he was bringing his left into play more often and stringing together some impressive combinations. Kelleher kept rolling forward but was too slow to cut off the ring and paid for that as Opetaia bounced quick-fire light combinations and some more solid straight lefts. If there was a fault it was that Opetaia was mainly head hunting. A frustrated Kelleher threw Opetaia to the canvas in the fourth but Opetaia upped his pace in the fifth mixing straight punches, hooks and uppercuts and skipping away from any counters thrown by Kelleher who was now cut over his right eye. Opetaia ended it in the sixth. He relentlessly bombarded Kelleher with head punches driving him around the ring for over a minute before, with Kelleher just covering up; the referee finally stepped in as the towel flew from Kelleher’s corner. A sparkling, quality performance from Opetaia. The 24-year-old from Sydney has now won 15 of his last 16 fights by KO/TKO and is rated No 4 by the IBF but since positions 1 and 2 are vacant he is the second highest rated fighter behind Kevin Lerena and there is talk of a meeting of the two with the winner then being the mandatory challenger for Mairis Breidis. Opetaia suffered an injury to his left hand but it was not reported to be in any way serious. He was defending the WBO Global and IBF Asia Oceania titles but has yet to face a top level opponent with his three victims in 2019 being No’s 320, 255 and 81 in the current Box Rec ratings but he looked really impressive here. He is talking about moving up to heavyweight eventually. Both of Kelleher’s losses have come against Opetaia as he was stopped by Opetaia in three rounds in 2018 for the Australian title. The New Zealander had won his last six fights and gave it try here but the class gap was too wide.
Huni vs. Opelu
Opetaia may have been the big name on the card but he was overshadowed by 21-year-old Huni who set a national record that can never be beaten as he won the Australian heavyweight title in his first pro fight. The 6’3” 240lbs local fighter was much too mobile and quick for Samoan Opelu. His movement had the stocky Opelu swishing air and open for counters. Huni poured on the punishment scoring with heavy single shots and some quick, accurate combinations catching Opelu with every punch in the book. None of it seemed to make any impression on Opelu who continued to march forward and managed to test Huni’s chin particularly with a wicked uppercut. Despite the constant punishment Opelu just spread his arms wide goading Huni to do his worst and kept coming back for more. He was trapped on the ropes in the seventh with Huni unloading huge head punches when Opelu’s corner finally threw in the towel. Huni is the first Australian fighter to win the World Youth championship title at heavyweight and won a bronze medal at the World Championships losing on a walk over due to injury in the semi-finals. He was beaten by much more experienced 6’ 7” Uzbek Bahodir Jalolov in the final of the 2020 Asian/Oceania Olympic Qualifier but by finishing second still qualified and intends to fight at the Olympics in 2021. His aim is to become the first Australian to fight for the world heavyweight title since Alex Leapai who lost to Wlad Klitschko in 2014 and naturally to win it. He is certainly one for the future. Samoan-born Opelu, 26, was 8-0-1 before this and was making the first defence of the Australian title.
Milan, Italy: Cruiser: Fabio Turchi (18-1) W PTS 10 Nikolajs Grisunins (12-2-1). Welter: Dario Morello (15-1) W PTS 8 Nestor Maradiaga (8-9-1).Super Middle: Ivan Zucco (12-0) W RTD 3 Pavel Zgurean (7-5). Super Welter: Mirko Natalizi (8-0) W RTD 3 Frane Radnic (11-19).
Turchi vs. Grisunins
After losing his unbeaten tag and his WBC International title to Tommy McCarthy in October last year Turchi needed a win. Latvian Grisunins, also a southpaw, was a known quantity having sparred with Turchi in the past and was a light puncher who had never lost inside the distance so was a good non-threatening choice as an opponent. Turchi worked his right jab well in the first and used a double jab in the second to open Grisunins up for a straight left that brought blood pouring from the Latvian’s nose. Turchi increased his face in the third connecting with some crisp uppercuts and lefts to the head. Grisunins countered when he could landing a big left in the fifth but was under pressure throughout the middle rounds. A clash of heads saw Turchi cut over the right eye in the seventh. That made Turchi a little more cautious and gave Grisunins some encouragement but Turchi boxed his way through the last three rounds for an emphatic win. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. This was a more restrained and technically better performance from Turchi than in the past. The loss to McCarthy has seen him drop out of the world ratings so he will be looking to rebuild although getting cut may delay his programme. Grisunins, 36, had won his last five fights and gave Turchi the work he needed,
Morello vs. Maradiaga
This night was to have featured the semi-finals of a EURO 50,000 prize welterweight title tournament but Morello’s opponent fell out and the other semi-final had to be abandoned so Morello faced late import Maradiaga. Morello had too much skill for the limited but willing Nicaraguan. Madriaga did his best and when a left seemed perhaps to have caused Morello to go down in the fourth the referee did not count it as a knockdown. Morello is not a hard puncher and he relied on his skills and constant changes of guard to see him win the rounds and take the unanimous decision. Morello, a former WBO Global champion lost that title to Luther Clay in September last year and this was his first fight since then. Fifth defeat in a row for 19-year-old Venice-based Maradiaga.
Zucco vs. Zgurean
Zucco again showcased his burgeoning tablet against a willing Zgurean. Southpaw Zucco impressed with his speed and power and staggered Zgurean a couple of times in the second round but Zgurean also had some success with straight rights. Zucco dominated the third with the fire having gone out of Zgurean and at the end of the round he retired with a suspected broken jaw. Zucco, 25, rolls on with his eighth inside the distance win in his last nine fights and looks a good prospect. Italian-based Moldovan Zgurean strictly a 4 and 6 round fighter.
Natalizi vs. Radnic
Easy night for Natalizi as he dismantles poor Croatian Radnic. The Croat boxer was willing but woeful. Natalizi in each of the three rounds and Radnic did not come out for the fourth. Natalizi, 25, is a former Italian amateur champion and boxed for Italia Thunder in the WSB. Fifth inside the distance victory win for Natalizi but nineteenth loss in a row for Radic
Belgrade, Serbia: Cruiser: Dilan Prasovic (14-0) W TKO 9 Edin Puhalo (19-1). Prasovic wins WBO final eliminator with stoppage of Puhalo in a poor fight featuring too much clinching and a lack of technique from Puhalo. Montenegrin Prasovic floored Puhalo with a left hook to the temple in the second and by the fourth Puhalo was bleeding heavily from the nose. Prasovic dominated the action before the fight was halted in the ninth round. Prasovic was on top in the ninth when a clash of heads opened a bad cut over the right eye of Puhalo. He looked at the referee as if to complain and Prasovic took advantage of that stupid mistake from Puhalo and landed a left hook to the body. Puhalo went down on one knee still complaining. He got up and walked to a corner and stood there with blood streaming from the cut over his eye and made no attempt to continue so was counted out on his feet. The 25-year-old Prasovic has won 9 of his last 10 fights by KO/TKO and will now be the mandatory challenger for the winner of the vacant WBO title fight between Krzys Glowacki and Lawrence Okolie on 12 December. Prasovic has a good level of skill but that he is No 3 in the WBO ratings without ever facing any fighter within a million miles of any version of world ratings is a condemnation of the way ratings are distorted now. Going into this fight Prasovic’s last three victims were rated 103, 235 and 309 in the Box Rec ratings and Puhalo’s opposition had been so much worse that Box Rec rated him 76. Bosnia Puhalo had actually won his last 17 fights by KO/TKO but as with Prasovic his last three opponents illustrated the disgrace of his No 4 rating as Box Rec had them rated 231, 420 and 262 and with the WBO that’s good enough to “earn” you a final eliminator.
Bilbao, Spain: Feather: Andoni Gago (24-3-3) W TEC DEC 6 Brayan Mairena (10-17-1). Middle: Jhon Jader Obregon (7-0) W PTS 8 Rafael Chiruta (17-43-1).
Gago vs. Mairena
Gago wins technical decision over a combative Mairena. In the first round the referee warned both fighters over head clashes and before the end of the round Gago was cut over his left eye. Nicaraguan Mairena had scored well in the first but Gago started to find the target with the harder punches in the second. They traded punches over the third with Gago again landing well but Mairena fighting hard. The referee deducted a point from Mairena for punches to the back of the head in the fourth. Gago was in control in the fifth but the tiring Mairena did not wilt. At the end of the round it was decided that Gago’s cut was too serious for him to continue and it was stopped with the result being decided by the judge's cards with Gago in front 48-46 twice and 49-45. European champion Gago is 8-0 with one technical draw in his last nine fights and is awaiting a date for his title defence against Gavin McDonnell with no date set. Spanish-based Mairena did his best here which turned out to be more than expected from a guy who has now lost his last 17 fights,
Obregon vs. Chiruta
Colombian-born Obregon takes unanimous verdict over the crude but always dangerous Chiruta. The taller Obregon used his longer reach to outbox Chiruta with Chiruta his usual wild self. Every one of Obregon’s victims have had negative records but he showed good skills and has his eyes on a challenge for the Spanish title. Romanian Chiruta, 40, is a former GBU world champion and has sprung surprises in the past with inside the distance wins over Ruben Varon, Reece Cartwright and Davide Doria
Kissimmee, Fl, USA: Super Bantam: Belmar Preciado (21-3-1) W KO 1 Rodolfo Hernandez (30-10-1,1ND).Light: Otar Eranosyan (3-0) W TKO 4 Emiliano Garcia (16-6-1).Super Welter: Bryan Polaco (4-0) W KO 1 Ryan Favela (0-1)
Preciado vs. Hernandez
Preciado takes just 19 seconds to finish Hernandez. These two went at it straight away trading hooks and it looked like it might be a candidate for Fight of the Week until a wicked left to the body dropped Hernandez to his knees and he was counted out. The 32-year-old Colombian was having his first outing since suffering an upset inside the distance loss against Dennis Contreras in this same ring in August. Mexican Hernandez has now fallen to three straight inside the distance defeats but the opposition in the form of Yenifel Vicente, Jonathan Guzman and now Preciado has made it a tough road for him.
Eranosyan vs. Garcia
Eranosyan put Garcia down in the second, third and fourth rounds before the massacre was halted. After softening up Garcia in the first Eranosyan put Garcia down with a right to the head in the second. Eranosyan continued to score heavily in the third flooring Garcia with a left hook. Garcia went down under a series of punches in the fourth and was then taking a pounding against the ropes when the fight was stopped. The 27-year-old Miami-based Georgian has considerable amateur experience behind him having won a bronze medal at both the World and European Championships and a silver medal at the European Union Championships. Garcia was 16-1 mainly against low level domestic opposition but reality has arrived in the shape of a run of 0-5-1 since competing outside of his home range.
Polaco vs. Favela
Polaco obliterates pathetic Favela in 44 seconds. Favela had no idea of how to defend himself and no footwork. Polaco cut loose with hooks and uppercuts before connecting with a rib-bending left to the body. Favela tumbled into and almost out through the ropes. He dragged himself off the ropes and down to his knees and was counted out. The 22-year-old 6’2” Puerto Rican southpaw had nothing in front of him here but he has the look of a fighter with lots of talent. Really Favela had no right to be in the ring at all-with anyone.
Massa, Italy: Fly: Francesco Barotti (8-1) W TEC DEC 6 Tommaso Melito (4-7-1). Feather: Davide Tassi (11-0) W PTS 10 Emiliano Salvini (19-32-2). 6
Barotti vs. Melito
Barotti wins the vacant Italian title with technical verdict over Melito. Barotti took the fight to Melito who boxed well at a distance but Barotti was more mobile and more accurate with his punches. Barotti moved in to the lead after a strong fourth round and Melito was cut over his left eye in the fifth. Barotti badly shook Melito with right in the sixth and with Meiito’s wound worsening the fight was stopped and the score cards. Barotti was in front on two cards 59-55 and 58-56 and the other card had them level at 57-57. Home town fighter Barotti, 28, scores his sixth win in a row and becomes the first Italian to be crowned as flyweight champion for 16 years. Melito had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
Tassi vs. Salvini
Tassi win the vacant national title with a wide unanimous decision over old warrior Salvini. Tassi had 4” height and a much longer reach over Salvini and boxed intelligently. Salvini kept marching forward but was being outboxed. Tassi had Salvini in deep trouble in the eighth but Salvini’s experience and a good chin saw him survive and fight to the last bell. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Tassi to make it a home double. For Tassi this was his first ten round fight and first national title fight. Salvini, 41, is a former Italian bantam and super bantam champion and is 3-9-1 in Italian title fights across four divisions and has suffered four losses in European Union title challenges,
Fight of the week (Significance): Juan Francisco Estrada’s win over Carlos Cuadras sets him up for some more big fights next year.
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Estrada vs. Cuadras a candidate for Fight of the Year.
Fighter of the week: Estrada for climbing off the floor and stopping Cuadras
Punch of the week: The right from Julio Cesar Martinez that ended his title defence against Moises Calleros was special
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: I will take a punt on new Australian heavyweight champion Justis Huni
It has been a long time since Australia had a real heavyweight prospect so there is a large body of expectation for Justis Huni to deal with.
Oh how times change. I can remember following the careers of great Italian flyweights such as Salvatore Burruni, Fernando Atzori, Franco Udella and Slavatore Fanni but those days seem to be past never to return. Francisco Barotti in winning the vacant Italian title on Saturday is the first fighter to hold that title for sixteen years-a dying breed-not just in Italy but some other parts of Europe
I watched with horror as Ryan Favela was obliterated in 44 seconds by outstanding Puerto Rican prospect Bryan Polaco. Favela had no idea of how to hold his hands, his footwork was nonexistent yet someone decided he was worthy of a boxing licence and someone thought putting him in with Polaco was a match worth making. I can’t understand those mind sets-thankfully.
By Eric Armit
-Teo Lopez takes unanimous decision over Vasyl Lomachenko to unify the IBF, WBA and WBO title and to win the WBC Franchise title
-Lewis Ritson takes controversial decision over former IBF lightweight Miguel Vazquez
-Arnold Barboza outpoints Alex Saucedo
- Edgar Berlanga edges closer to a record as he stops Lanell Bellows for his fifteenth consecutive first round win since turning professional
-South African Thulani Mbenge returns with a win but Xolisani suffers shock loss against Prince Dlomo
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Teo Lopez (16-0) W PTS 12 Vasyl Lomachenko (14-2). Super Light: Arnold Barboza (25-0) W PTS 10 Alex Saucedo (30-2). Super Light: Josue Vargas (18-1) W PTS 10 Kendo Castaneda (17-3). Super Middle: Edgar Berlanga (15-0) W TKO 1 Lanell Bellows (20-6-3,1ND). Feather: Jose Durantes Vivas (20-1) W TKO 1 John Moralde (23-4).
Lopez vs. Lomachenko
Lopez unifies the IBF, WBA and WBO titles (and the WBC Franchise title) with a unanimous decision over Lomachenko who wastes his chance of victory with a too slow start as he throws away seven of the first eight rounds on two cards and all eight on the third.
Lopez landed the first punch of the fight a right to the body on a retreating Lomachenko. Lopez managed to land two more punches to the body on a moving Lomachenko who simply gave the round away by hardly throwing a punch at all and not landing one.
Score: 10-9 Lopez
Lopez made a lively start clubbing Lomachenko with a right to the head and following that with some body punches. Lomachenko was constantly on the retreat with Lopez tracking him. Lomachenko connected with two left counters to make it close but did not do enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Lopez Lopez 20-18
Lopez scores with a couple of body punches at the start of the round as he continued to shadow the retreating Lomachenko. Lopez landed a couple of punches to the body late in the round and although Lomachenko started to come forward he was not throwing enough punches.
Score: 10-9 Lopez Lopez 30-27
A dire round with very little action from either fighter. What punches were landed came from Lopez who at least was throwing punches even if short with most and with Lomachenko suffering from punch constipation only prodding out some light jabs. The statistics told the tale with Lopez having thrown 149 punches and scored with 35 and Lomachenko thrown 36 and landed 13.This was an important fight but not an entertaining one. You can’t win rounds if you don’t throw punches
Score: 10-9 Lopez Lopez 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 40-36 Lopez, Judge Julie Lederman 40-36 Lopez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 40-36 Lopez
Again it was Lopez tracking the back-peddling Lomachenko. Lopez scored with a couple of strong body punches and a right to the head and that was enough to give him a round in which the number of punches Lomachenko threw was in single figures.
Score: 10 9 Lopez Lopez 50-45
Lomachenko showed some more life at the start of this round coming forward scoring with jabs. However he then went back on the retreat and Lopez finished the round strongly with some body punches
Score: 10-9 Lopez Lopez 60-54
A punch in the second round had started a reddening under Lopez’s left eye and it was now a small swelling. As in the sixth Lomachenko again was more positive early and scored with a right cross which was the best punch he had landed so far. After that Lopez was finding the target with hard single punches to take the round.
Score: 10-09 Lopez Lopez 70-63
Finally a fight broke out. Lomachenko was coming forward looking to take the fight to Lopez. He was throwing more punches and putting together some sharp combinations catching Lopez with two powerful lefts to the head. Lopez was caught out by the change of tactics and was too slow with counters. But was it going to prove that Lomachenko had already given away too many rounds?
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lopez 79-73
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 79-73 Lopez, Judge Julie Lederman 80-72 Lopez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 79-73 Lopez.
Another round for Lomachenko. He was taking the fight to Lopez scoring with snappy jabs and then putting together little bursts of punches. Lopez looked much less composed on the back foot. He was still dangerous but was off target with his punches.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lopez 88-83
Lomachenko was in control of the fight now. He was coming forward throwing punches connecting with jabs then two/three punch bursts. Lopez was on the back foot and being outscored. A low punch caused a break in the action just before the bell as Lomachenko was given some recovery time.
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lope 97-93
Lomachenko was hustling and chasing down Lopez. He was putting his punches together well with Lopez restricted to one punch at a time. Lomachenko kept up the pressure until late in the round when Lopez connected with some hard body punches but it was Lomachenko’s round
Score: 10-9 Lomachenko Lopez 106-103
Lomachenko gave it a try in the last round and started well but then Lopez produced a strong finish as he drove Lomachenko back with hooks and uppercuts over the last half of the round. Just before the bell Lopez suffered a bad cut on his right eyelid. If that had happened earlier then the fight would have had to be stopped but with just seconds to go the doctor allowed the fight to continue and Lopez drove his way to victory.
Score: 10-9 Lopez Lopez 116-112
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 116-112 Lopez, Judge Julie Lederman 119-109 Lopez, Judge Steve Weisfeld 117-111 Lopez.
Lopez was a deserving winner although to me not nearly as wide a margin as that shown in the score of experienced Judge Julie Lederman who has been severely criticised for her score. However the main culprit here was Lomachenko who had obviously planned to start slow and then come on strong . The Lomachenko of the first seven rounds was nothing like the one we are used to and even at the end some of the clever movement and fast combinations were missing. Lopez pressed hard from the start and received the reward his effort deserved. Many take the view that if there is a return (although I understand there was no return clause in the contract) then Lomachenko will take on board his mistakes from this fight and emerge then winner. If there is a return let’s just hope it will be more entertaining fight than this one. The question of whether Lopez is now world champion of all four sanctioning bodies is in doubt. It is disingenuous of the WBC to describe Devin Haney in their official ratings as World Champion and then say Lopez has won the WBC world title. If the WBC world champion does not hold the WBC world title what title does he hold?
Barboza vs. Saucedo
Barboza continues his progress towards a world title shot late in 2021 with convincing unanimous decision over WBO No 6 Saucedo. Barboza began the fight with a southpaw guard as they were both looking to dominate. Barboza scored early with a strong left hook with Saucedo digging in left hooks to the body. The high pace continued in the second with Sauced knocking Barboza off balance with a left hook but Barboza, still fighting southpaw, scored with some hard straight lefts. Barboza started to open a gap in the points from the third with some fast combinations and in the fourth outworked Saucedo and connected with some heavy rights to the head. The pace was still hot in the fifth with Saucedo marching forward landing with hooks and Barboza getting through with the heavier punches in heated exchanges. It was close-quarters stuff throughout the sixth with Saucedo swarming forward chucking hooks and Barboza more accurate and landing the harder punches but Saucedo just having the edge. The action slowed a little in the seventh with a moment of controversy. As Barboza backed out of an exchange Saucedo landed with a left and Barboza dropped to his haunches in a corner and put his left glove on the canvas to steady himself. The referee ruled it a slip but at the end of the round the Nevada Commission’s replay representative informed the referee it was a genuine knockdown so it was a 10-8 round for Saucedo. That made the scores close but Barboza took the eighth and ninth and rocked Saucedo a couple of times in the tenth although Saucedo fought hard all the way. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93 for Barboza. The 28-year-old Californian has wins over Mike Reid, Mike Alvarado and Tony Luis and is rated WBC 7/WBO 7 Mexican Saucedo, 26, lost on a seventh round TKO when challenging Maurice Hooker for the WBO title in 2018 but had rebuilt well with victories against Rod Salka and Sonny Fredrickson.
Vargas vs. Castaneda
The speed and skill of Vargas are just too much for Castaneda as Vargas eases his way to a wide unanimous verdict. Southpaw Vargas controlled the action from the first bell. He was snapping out his jab and firing quick combinations with Castaneda waiting too long to let his punches go. In the second Vargas put Castaneda down with a straight left. It was not a heavy knockdown and Castaneda was in no real trouble when he arose. The knockdown gave Vargas a good lead and he built on that over the middle rounds being quicker to the punch and frustrating Castaneda’s attempts to cut off the ring using quick footwork and clever upper body movement. Castaneda connected with a solid right in the sixth with that being the best he could manage against a slick Vargas. Not a big puncher Vargas looked to be trying to boost his Ko% with a big effort in the eighth but Castaneda continued to come forward and never really looked in any trouble as Vargas outboxed him over the last two rounds. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 98-91. The 22-year-old Puerto Rican’s only loss was on a disqualification and he has won his last twelve fights. Texan Castaneda has now suffered three losses in a row but in tough asks against unbeaten Yomar Alamo who took a majority decision and Jose Zepeda.
Berlanga vs. Bellows
Berlanga makes it fifteen first round wins in fifteen fights . Although giving away a lot of height and reach Bellows scored first connecting with a couple of sharp jabs. Berlanga missed with a three right crosses as Bellows stepped inside them. Berlanga was loading up on every punch with a couple whistling past the chin of Bellows. He connected with two rights which shook Bellows and then unloaded a series of head punches that had Bellows staggering across the ring and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Berlanga, 23, Brooklyn-born of Puerto Rican antecedents can certainly punch and this is the first time Bellows, who had won his last two fights, has been stopped. Berlanga marches on hopefully to another test.
Vivas vs. Moralde
Vivas annihilates Moralde. Mexican Vivas came out throwing a storm of punches immediately putting Moralde on the back foot. As he marched forward Moralde landed some hard counters but Vivas shook them off and floored Moralde with a left to the head. Moralde beat the count but a huge right to the chin sent him back to the ropes and two left hooks to the body sent him down and the referee stopped the fight. All over in 76 seconds. The only loss Vivas has suffered was a wide decision against world title challenger Ruben Villa in September last year and this is his third win as he rebuilds, Filipino Moralde has now lost three fights by KO/TKO but his losses have been to a very good level of opposition including Toka Khan Clary, WBO champion Jamel Herring and unbeaten Xavier Martinez.
Minsk, Belarus: Super Light: Eduard Troyanovsky (29-2) W PTS 10 Renald Garrido (25-28-3).Light: Elnur Samedov (11-1) W TKO 8 Alexander Podolsky (11-2). Super Middle: Germaine Brown (9-0) W PTS 8 Dmitrii Chudinov (21-8-3).
Troyanovsky vs. Garrido
”The Eagle” is still flying but not exactly soaring as Troyanovsky gets by the always competitive Garrido on a majority decision in this clash of veterans. The taller Troyanovsky started well boxing and keeping Garrido on the end of his jab and countering with some tasty uppercuts. Over the second half of the fight Garrido kept pressing just rolling forward towing punches and as Troyanovsky tired he was able to get past Troyanovsky’s jab to work inside. Garrido had Troyanovsky reeling in the eighth and Troyanovsky fell into the ropes so it could have been scored as a knockdown but the referee just pulled Garrido off Troyanovsky and let the fight continue. Garrido looked a possible winner but Troyanovsky turned in a strong last round so it could have gone either way. Scores 97-94 and 96-94 for Troyanovsky and 97-97. The 40-year-old former IBF champion looked a spent force. He is No 14(13) with the IBF but is only going in one direction and that is not up. Garrido is Garrido. There is nothing fancy about the wild swinging 37-year-old Frenchman but on his night he is a handful for anyone. This is his seventh loss in his last eight fights but with a bit of luck he could just as easily have won seven of his last eight.
Samedov vs. Podolsky
Samedov gets off the floor to stop Podolsky. In a competitive match Podolsky had the edge early with his longer reach and some strong hooks. In the third Podolsky scored with a couple of hard rights on the advancing Samedov who stumbled as he moved inside and briefly went down on one knee resulting in a count. Samedov recovered and finally made his aggression tell. He wore down Podolsky before dropping him with a short right in the eighth. Podolsky got up but Samedov then drove him around the rind landing a series of unanswered head punches until the referee stepped in to save Podolsky. Only the third inside the distance win for former undefeated Russian champion Samedov. He was born in Azerbaijan but moved to Russia when very young. Podolsky’s only other loss was against Spanish prospect Jon Fernandez.
Brown vs. Chudinov
Despite being relatively inexperienced Britain’s Browne floors and clearly outpoints a faded Chudinov. The Russian “Night Wolf” tried to hustle and harry Browne out of his stride but Browne stuck to his boxing and found the careless Chudinov an easy target. Browne had won his last three fights by KO/TKO and he gave Chudinov a taste of his power when he floored Chudinov with a perfectly timed right cross in the third round. Chudinov almost ended face down on the floor but he managed to break his fall with his hands and then got up quickly. He was very unsteady but Browne left him off the hook and missed the chance of a dramatic victory. Instead Brown boxed his way through the fight continually finding gaps for counters and was a good winner. The 26-yerar-old BBB of C Southern Area champion paced the fight well despite not having been past six rounds before. Chudinov, 34, a former interim WBA champion, is on the slide being 0-5-1 in his last six contests.
Kissimmee, FKL. USA: Super Light: Antonio Moran (26-4-1) W TKO 6. Emanuel Colon (17-2-1). Welter: Xander Zayas (6-0) W TKO 1 Anthony Curtiss (2-6).Light Heavy: Rafayel Simonyan (8-0) W KO 6 Eric Abraham (6-6).
Moran vs. Colon
Definitely a candidate for Fight of the Week as Moran and Colon go to war for six rounds. The fight swung one way and then the other as both have impressive percentages of wins inside then distance. The taller Moran was willing to work inside and for five rounds it could have gone either way Moran had more depth in his experience and had met better opposition. A series of heavy, accurate punches suddenly had Colon fall apart in the sixth. Moran raked him with a succession of straight punches and hooks that had Colon reeling around the ring until two heavy rights dropped him on his back. He made it to his feet but was in no condition to continue. Mexican Moran was 2-2-1 going into this one with the losses being against Jose Pedraza and Devin Haney and the draw with unbeaten 17-0 Yomar Alamo. This is his nineteenth win by KO/TKO. Buffalo-based Puerto Rican Colon was inactive in 2018 and his three fights in 2019 were all first round wins so he had seen only seven minutes action in the last three years.
Zayas vs. Curtiss
Zayas pulverises Curtiss inside a round. The outstanding young prospect blitzed Curtiss with savage combinations driving him around the ring. Curtiss tried to punch back but was overwhelmed and the referee halted the massacre. Still just 18 Zayas, a former US Under-19 champion, is the youngest fighter ever to be signed by Top Rank. He now has five wins by KO/TKO, four in the first round. He was too young to be able to qualify for the 2020 Olympics and 2024v was too long to wait. With his talent he could be the star boxer of the 2020’s.
Simonyan vs. Abraham
Armenian-born Simonyan breaks down and halts Abraham in the sixth. The strength and aggression of Simonyan eventually proved too much for Abraham. In the sixth Abraham touched down briefly from a right to the head. Simonyan then battered Abraham to the floor twice more and he was counted out. Azeri-born Simonyan, 26, makes it five wins in a row by KO/TKO. Third consecutive inside the distance loss for Abraham all against unbeaten opponents.
Plant City, FL, USA: Super Light: Ryan Martin (24-1) W KO 1 Hevinson Herrera (25-19-1). Welter: Jose Miguel Borrego (18-2) W TKO 6 Luis Florez (25-17,1ND). Super Welter: Cecil McCalla (23-4) W TKO 2 Fidel Monterrosa Munoz (39-23-1,1ND).
Martin vs. Herrera
Martin gets his second win of the year as he knocks out Herrera in the first round. The fight was over in 105 seconds and gives Martin his fourteenth win by KO/TKO. He tested positive for banned substances androsterone and etiocholanone (metabolites of testosterone) after his fight with Josh Taylor in 2018 and was given a four year suspension by the UK Anti-Doping Agency but the Agency is not recognised in the USA. Colombian Herrera is now 0-15 outside of his home country.
Borrego vs. Florez
Mexican southpaw Borrego makers it 16 wins by KO/TKO with stoppage of Florez and pushes the Colombian a bit further down the slope. The 22-year-old Borrego has won his last four fights. Florez has the distinction of being the only fighter to have beaten Miguel Berchelt. He did it back in 2014 and did it by stopping Berchelt in 99 seconds. It has been largely downhill since then with 8 losses in his last 9 fights.
McCall vs. Munoz
McCall makes it two wins in four months as he halts Munoz. After winning his first 20 fights McCall hit a bad patch when he moved up to face stiffer opposition and went 1-4 so has some rebuilding to do. On a bad night for Colombians Munoz drops to just 1 win in his 11 most recent contests.
Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Fly: Innocent Evarist (10-1-2) ( ?? see below) Prince Patel (23-1-1).Super Fly: Julias Kisarawe (32-7-1) W PTS 10 Msabaha Salum Msabaha (9-2-1).
Evarist vs. Patel
Evarist seems to have been declared the winner in this one after clearly outpointing Patel but subsequently that was changed to a draw. The 5’11” Evarist scored at distance with his jab and outworked Patel over the first three rounds. He was on the front foot constantly throwing punches with Patel under pressure and not throwing enough punches back. By the fourth Evarist's jabs had Patel bleeding from the nose. In the fifth Patel began to apply some pressure of his own but he was tending to walk in behind a high guard and was being caught by counters on the way in. Patel continued to take the fight to Evarist over the sixth and seventh and was scoring to the body but Evarist was again the one doing most work. Evarist’s punches were not heavy but they were scoring. Evarist had a good eighth round punishing Patel with jabs and hooks but was deducted a point in the ninth for careless head work. Evarist dominated the last three rounds with Patel just trying to survive and Evarist had another point deducted for a butt in the last. No scores were given but it looked as though Evarist had been declared the winner. There was quite a bit of discussion between Patel and his team and the supervisor and after the show went off the air it was stated there had been an error in the scoring and the result was a draw. Irrespective of the revised result this was a clear win for Evarist. He had lost on a second round stoppage against Patel in May last year when he was unable to continue after being hit low. He had never gone past six rounds in a fight previously but he was the stronger man at the end. It was a poor performance by Patel who had lost to Michell Banquez for the IBO title in July last year but then won four times and collected the ABU title. The WBO Africa and WBO Global titles were up for grabs (Africa is not on the globe?) so presumably they are both still vacant.
Kisarawe vs. Msabaha
Kisarawa outpoints Msabaha to win the vacant UBO African title. Scores 97-93 for Kisarawe from all three judges. Kisarawe was stopped in five rounds by Prince Patel in 2018 but had outpointed Msabaha in February last year.
Galapa, Colombia: Super Fly: Jose Soto (15-0,1ND) W KO 1 Angel Berrio (15-8). In his first fight for eleven months Soto destroys Berrio in the first round. The action was close encounter stuff as the exchanged punches inside. Soto landed a couple of hooks to the head that had Berrio retreating to the ropes. Soto followed and landed a vicious left hook to the ribs and with Berrio already on his way down landed a couple of head punches but it was the body shot that really did for Berrio who was counted out kneeling on the canvas. The 22-year-old Soto, a former Colombian Youth Champion, has six inside the distance wins. Berrio has now suffered five losses and fought one No Decision in his last six appearances.
Karlsruhe, Germany: Super Middle: Petro Ivanov (13-0-2) W TKO 4 Yusuf Kanguel (19-4-1). Heavy: Evgenios Lazaridis (17-3) W TKO 1 Eugen Buchmueller (17-7). Super Middle: Juergen Doberstein (26-4-1) W PTS 6 Roman Hardok (6-2).
Ivanov vs. Kanguel
Relatively unknown Ivanov halts Kanguel in four rounds. Ivanov did enough to edge the first two rounds with Kanguel doing better in the third. Late in the fourth Ivanov shook Kanguel with hooks and uppercuts and a series of head punches had Kanguel collapsing into the ropes and down. He struggled to his feet but was unsteady and the referee waived the fight over. Kanguel tried to protest but it was a good stoppage. Ukrainian Ivanov wins the vacant WBC International Silver title. The 24-year-old was not too much of a surprise package having stopped then unbeaten French prospect Louis Toutin and won every round against experienced Roman Shkarupa. German Kanguel, 36, retired after five rounds against Vincent Feigenbutz in 2018 but had won the WBC Mediterranean title with points win over 18-0-1 Vartan Avetisyan in February last year.
Lazaridis vs. Buchmueller
This one was over quickly. As Buchmueller came forward and threw an overhand right Lazaridis came inside it and caught Buchmueller with a powerful right uppercut that dropped Buchmueller to the canvas on his back. Buchmueller tottered to his feet and was swaying on his legs so after the eight count the referee signalled that the fight was over. The 32-year-old 6’3” Greek Lazaridis gets win No 11 by KO/TKO. He lost on points to Agit Kabayel in July. Kazak born Buchmueller, 40, loses inside the distance when he gets ambitious enough to step up.
Doberstein vs. Hardok
Another Kazak-born fighter Doberstein too good for Hardok and takes a unanimous decision. He had too much experience for Hardok having only lost on a majority decision over twelve rounds against Robin Krasniqi a few years back but he was coming off a seventh round kayo loss suffered against Juergen Braehmer in December. Russian-born German Hardok, a former German champion, was having his first fight for over two years.
Peterborough, England: Super Light: Lewis Ritson (21-1) W PTS 12 Miguel Vazquez (42-10). Super Bantam: Marc Leach (15-1-1) W PTS 10 Qais Ashfaq (8-1). Thomas Patrick Ward (29-0-1) TEC DRAW 8 Thomas Essomba (10-6-1).
Ritson vs. Vazquez
Although being 3-4 in his last 7 fights may make it seem that Vazquez has accepted the role of a useful scalp for the local boxer he showed here the value of experience and certainly looked to have outscored Ritson. The home fighter was coming forward from the start. Vazquez was comfortable on the back foot constantly moving and slotting punches through Ritson’s high guard. Ritson connected with a sharp left hook but was not closing Vazquez down. Ritson upped the pressure in the second but the clever movement and accurate punching of Vazquez was often frustrating Ritson’s attacks. The pattern of the fight did not alter much. Vazquez was throwing light punches moving in and out quickly and changing angles. Ritson was doggedly determined marching forward and landing the harder punches but not enough of them. It was brilliant tactical work by Vazquez and the only question was whether he could maintain the pace over the twelve rounds. Ritson worked well when he was able to get inside but was not cutting off the ring and giving Vazquez too much room. Many of Vazquez’s punches were no more than light taps and Ritson was blocking a lot of Vazquez punches but just not throwing enough punches himself. Vazquez’s punch output dropped late in the fight and he was moving less. That led to a bit more success for Ritson but some clever ducking and weaving from Vazquez was still making it difficult for Ritson to score. Ritson pressed hard over the last two rounds but Vazquez countered well and looked to have done enough to win but no such luck/justice. Scores 117-111 and 115-113 for Ritson and 116-113 for Vazquez. Ritson wins the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title. It could be the judges preferred his aggression and harder punches but on this showing his No 2 rating from the WBA flatters him. Former IBF lightweight champion Vazquez, 33, showed there is still plenty of life left in him and he is capable of giving anyone trouble on his night but losses to Ohara Davies and Batyrzhan Jukembayev last year have also marked his ceiling.
Leach vs. Ashfaq
An upset here as Leach floors former elite level amateur Ashfaq twice on the way to a unanimous points victory. This was a fast-paced technical match between two good boxers. Leach was quick and light on his feet with Ashfaq looking to have the sounder technique and more power. Leach was using his speed to nip in and score and Ashfaq was trying to exert as much pressure as he could. Leach looked to be just in front after three rounds and late in the fourth he shook Ashfaq with a left to the head and then lunged inside following it up with another punch. Ashfaq went down. He protested he was pushed but was given a count. Ashfaq fought his way back into contention in the fifth and sixth. In the seventh a right and a left from Leach unbalanced Ashfaq and he went down. He again complained that he had been pushed but it was a second 10-8 round for Leach. Again Ashfaq battled his way into the fight but despite a strong finish it was not enough. Scores 96-92, 96-93 and 95-93 for Leach. No title at stake but a big win for Leach. After losing his first pro fight he is now 15-0-1 in his last 16. A set-back for Ashfaq. In the amateurs he won silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships a bronze at the European Games and represented Britain at the 2016 Olympics.
Ward vs. Essomba
Disappointing end to an entertaining fight as a cut suffered by Ward ends the action and the scorecards make it a draw. Ward, the WBO No 3 was a heavy favourite over Essomba who was giving away height and reach and is a natural flyweight. Ward dominated the first two rounds but from the third fierce attacks from Essomba saw the Cameroons fighter get into the action. He gave Ward all sorts of trouble with hooks and uppercuts in the fourth. From there it became a much closer fight with Ward doing the scoring at distance and catching Essomba with counters and Essomba working feverishly and going to the body when he managed to get past Ward’s jab. In the seventh a clash of heads saw Ward suffer a bad cut over his left eye and although the fight continued through the eighth before a punch could be thrown in the ninth the fight was stopped and the scorecards came into play with the ninth scored as equal. Scores 88-84 Ward, 88-85 Essomba and 86-86. A fight Ward will want to forget as he looks for a chance to challenge Angelo Leo for the WBO title in 2021. Former Commonwealth flyweight champion Essomba had lost over twelve rounds against world rated Sunny Edwards in August. He is never in a bad fight and as he showed here and in his win over unbeaten Sean McGoldrick he can be a handful on his night.
Miami, FL, USA: Super Feather: Mark Bernaldez (21-4) W KO 3 Julian Aristule (34-14,1ND). Welter: Brian Norman (18-0,1ND) W TKO 1 Juan Rodriguez (13-8). Super Bantam: Jorge De Jesus Romero (18-0-1) W PTS 8 Luis Valdes (7-4-1) welter Jameson Bacon (24-4) W TKO 2 Gonzalo Dallera (6-9). Super Fly: Joahnys Argilagos (5-0) W TKO 1 Samuel Gutierrez (16-28-6).
Bernaldez vs. Aristule
Bernaldez batters Argentinian southpaw Aristule to defeat in three rounds. Bernaldez easily took the first round and it was obvious that Aristule was not going to last long. A series of punches from Bernaldez floored Aristule early in the second and he continued to hunt down Aristule before putting him down again with a left to the head just before the bell. In the third Bernaldez pinned Aristule against the ropes and pounded him until Aristule fell to his knees and was counted out. Fifteen wins by KO/TKO for the Filipino “Machete”. His losses have all come on the road against good quality opposition in their backyard. Former Argentinian super bantam champion Aristule has been in with some good opposition but at 37 is way past his best and this is his fifth defeat in a row.
Norman vs. Rodriguez
Norman adds another inside the distance victory. The teenager from Atlanta blew away Rodriguez in 86 seconds of the opening round. Norman immediately took the fight to Rodriguez hunting him around the ropes and connecting with hooks to the body. He drove Rodriguez to a corner with a pair of left hooks and then landed a cracking right to the jaw that sent Rodriguez tumbling into the ropes and down to the canvas. Rodriguez struggled to his feet but was counted out before he made it. Norman, 19, the son of Brian Norman who fought Jean Pascal, Edwin Rodriguez and Dominic Wade, turned pro at 17 and has scored 15 wins by KO/TKO. Rodriguez is on the down slope with seven losses in his last eight contests.
Romero vs. Valdez
Romero remains unbeaten with points win over inexperienced Mexican Valdes. Romero pressed the fight with the taller Valdes willing to stand and trade punches but he lacked the power to dissuade Romero. Romero kept driving forward but never really had Vargas in any trouble and Vargas occasionally just leaned against the ropes willing Romero to bring on the pressure. He found enough gaps in the guard of the advancing Romero to be competitive but never really threatened Romero’s dominance. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 for Cuban Romero a former Florida State champion. Romero was coming off a majority draw against experienced Daniel Lozano but did not show enough here to indicate he will be a factor in the division. Valdes, 21, just a prelim fighter who gave Romero some work.
Bacon vs. Dallera
Body punching from Bacon proves too much for Dallera, Bacon used a fast, accurate jab to box his way through the first round and shook Dallera with a sharp left uppercut. Dallera knocked Bacon off balance with a right in the second but then Bacon connected with a wicked left hooks to the body that had Dallera backing up and Bacon unloaded with hard punches to head and body. Dallera was stubborn and fought back until a left hook to the body saw him drop to his knees in agony and the referee immediately stopped th4e fight. Filipino Bacon, a former Philippines champion, returned to the ring last year after seven years out and is 4-1 since returning. Fifth loss in a row and eighth loss by KO/TKO for Argentinian Dallera.
Argilagos vs. Gutierrez
Cuban Argilagos dismantles veteran Gutierrez in the first round. A focused body attack from Argilagos soon had Gutierrez in trouble and he was floored and the fight was halted just past the 2:00 mark. Two first round victories in a row for Argilagos. The 23-year-old was a star of the Cuban team winning a gold medal at both the 2015 and 2017 World Championships as well as a bronze medal in Rio and was Cuban and World Junior champion. Seasoned veteran Gutierrez had lost on points to former WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales just 23 days ago,
Johannesburg, South Africa: Welter: Thulani Mbenge (16-1) W PTS 10 Mardochee Kuvesa Katembo (13-3-1). Light: Prince Domo (12-10-1) W TKO 6 Xolisani Ndongeni (26-2). Light: Khaya Busakwe (6-1) W TKO 3 Kabelo Bikitsha (4-2).
Mbenge vs. Katembo
Former IBO champion Mbenge returns with a win as he decisions Congolese hope Katembo. Mbenge had much the better skill set but was occasionally inconvenienced by the wild attacks of Katembo. Mbenge was a bit slipshod at times but his jab gave him a big edge and he was more controlled and accurate in his work. Katembo never stopped trying to pressure Mbenge coming forward throughout the fight but good movement and sharp counters from Mbenge piled up the points and he was a clear winner and collects the vacant ABU title. Scores 100-91, 98-92 and 98-93 for Mbenge. This was his first bout since losing his IBO title on a controversial decision against Sebastian Formella in Germany in July last year and with more action he will get sharper. He has wins over Diego Chaves and Miguel Vazquez and will be looking for some big international fights next year. In his last fight Katembo looked unlucky to have to settle for a draw with Obodai Sai in Ghana in August last year.
Domo vs. Ndongeni
Big shock for Ndongeni as in his return to action a careless moment and a booming left hook from Dlomo spoils his night. Ndongeni had a big edge in skills over Dlomo. Ndongeni was boxing well using his superior hand speed to score and duck around big swinging punches from Dlomo. Heads clashed twice in the second round with Ndongeni cut over his left eye. He passed a doctors inspection and continued to pile up the points working inside with hooks from both hands. He worked Dlomo over in the fourth and a stoppage looked possible but Dlomo survived. Ndongeni had Dlomo shaken again in the fifth and was dominating the action in the sixth. He fired a series of punches but failed to see a huge left hook from Dlomo. When it connected Ndongeni dropped his hands to his side and fell backwards flat in the canvas. He struggled up at eight but collapsed into the ropes and the fight was stopped. Ndongeni had put together a run of 25 wins before losing on points to Devin Haney in January last year. He scored a domestic win in September 2019 and this was his first fight since then and marked his move up to super light. Dlomo was given no chance of winning here and had scored only four inside the distance victories but suddenly his Rand value will have soared
Busakwe vs. Bikitsha
Busakwe stops Bikitsha in defence of his Gauteng title. Busakwe scored with some good rights in the first and got the best of some frantic trading at the end of the round. Bikitsha’s best weapon was his jab and he used it to keep Busakwe on the back foot in the second but Busakwe was stringing together some combinations. There was some lively back-and-forth action in the third until Busakwe cracked Bikitsha with a solid right to the chin. Bikitsha was badly stunned and went to the ropes and as Busakwe began to unload on him the referee stopped the contest. All six of Busakwe wins have come inside the distance. Bikitsha had lost on points to former Commonwealth champion Tshifihiwa Munyai in December.
Levallois-Perret, France: Bantam: Elie Konki (10-0) W PTS 10 Anuar Salas (20-8-1). Light: Yves Mendy (45-5-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Alain Sangue (11-4-1). Light: Yazid Amghar (24-0) W KO 5 Daniel Mendoza (11-10,1ND). Super Feather: Guillame Frenois (48-2-1) W PTS 8 Alexander Cazares (16-13).
Konki vs. Salas
European Union champion Koki adds the WBA Inter-Continental title with decision over Salas. A typical Konki fight as he showcased his great defensive work, his lack of power and his confidence occasionally bordering on arrogance. As his “Spider” nick name suggests Konki has exceptionally long arms and he used that reach to control the fight. His skill was sufficient for him to never be really threatened by Salas but he also never looked likely to win inside the distance. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Konki. Salas tried to walk Konki down and always worked hard whereas Konki occasionally surfed the action. Salas falls to 0-5-1 in his last six appearances.
Mendy vs. Sangue
Mendy gets in eight rounds of work against inexperienced fellow-Frenchman Sangue. Mendy rarely got out of third gear and at times looked for more from Sangue. Although Sangue had very little to offer he competed well enough to edge a round and last the distance. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for Mendy. The 35-year-old Mendy is No 5 with the WBC having won 15 of his last 16 fights and having won and lost against Luke Campbell. Teo Lopez already has some mandatory defences lining up so Mendy may never get a title chance. Sangue had won his last four fights and was moving up to eight rounds for the first time.
Amghar vs. Mendoza
Former undefeated European Union champion Amghar
given an easy night against Nicaraguan Mendoza. The visitor really did not belong in the ring with Amghar but he ploughed forward taking his punishment for four rounds. It became too much for Mendoza in the fifth and after absorbing a series of punches and then one left too many he dropped to sit on the canvas and he was counted out. After eight years as a pro and 24 fights Amghar has not really made much of an impression but perhaps he is trying to change that as this is his sixth inside the distance win on the bounce. Spanish-based Mendoza has lost all five of his fights in Europe but this is the first time he has failed to last to the end.
Frenois vs. Cazares
French southpaw Frenois is getting to the veteran stage but still had much too much skill for Mexican Cazares. Frenois was able to coast much of the way and although he rocked Cazares a couple of times never looked likely to win inside the distance. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Frenois. The 37-year-old former undefeated European champion put together a 15-0-1 run before losing to Tevin Farmer in a challenge for the IBF title in July last year. He is No 9 with the IBF so has a faint hope of getting another shot. Cazares is 0-7 in his fights in Europe.
Fuerstenwalde, Germany: Super Welter: Mike Jaede (15-0) W RTD 6 Oszkar Fiko (33-29-1). Heavy: Djuar El Scheich (12-0) W RTD 5 Hasan Kurnaz (8-7). Middle: Ronny Mittag (31-4-4) W RTD 7 Taras Golovashchenko (3-4).
Jaede vs. Fiko
In a terrible excuse for a “world” title fight Jaede wins the vacant Global Boxing Council belt with victory over poor Fiko who retired after five rounds. The 27-year-old German has won 8 of his last 9 fights inside the distance but the opposition has been so poor they probably needed help to get in the ring as well as out. Fourteenth loss by KO/TKO for Fiko.
El Scheich vs. Kurnaz
El Scheich wins the vacant Global Boxing Council Inter-Continental title with victory over Kurnaz. Syrian-born El Scheich gets win No 11 by KO/TKO. All seven of Kurnaz’s losses have come inside the distance and five rounds is an achievement as it is the longest he has lasted in a losing fight.
Mueller vs. Golovashchenko
A very welcome win for local favourite Mittag as Golovashchenko retires after five one-sided round. At one time Mittag's record stood at a very respectable 29-2-1 including a victory over Conrad Cummings in London. But he has fallen on hard times being 0-2-3 going into this fight although in fairness the opposition has been strong. Four consecutive losses for Ukrainian Golovashchenko
South Kirby, England: Welter: Michael McKinson (19-0) W PTS 10 Martin Harkin (13-1). Bantam: Paul Butler (32-2) W PTS 8 Ryan Walker (11-3). Fly: Jay Harris (18-1) W PTS 10 Marcel Braithwaite (9-3).
McKinson vs. Harkin
Southpaw McKinson floors Harkin three times on the way to a unanimous decision. Not a big puncher-only two wins by KO/TKO-McKinson provided some power here. In the opening round he connected with a couple of rights to the head and an off balance Harkin went down. McKinson repeated the feat in the second this time using two lefts to send Harkin to the floor and he had Harkin down again in the fifth. None of the knockdowns were heavy and although being outboxed Harkin was competitive without every really threatening McKinson’s mastery. Scores 100-88, 99-88 and 97-91 for McKinson. He has wins over 18-2-1 Evgeny Pavko and 17-0-2 Luis Veron and is No 8 with the WBO. Harkin was coming off a victory over unbeaten James Moorcroft.
Butler vs. Walker
In his first fight for a year Butler took the opportunity to shed some rust and get some rounds under his belt as he outpointed Walker. Butler was in control of the fight and connected with some heavy punches but Walker stuck to his job and gave Butler a reasonable level of competition. Referee’s score 79-73 for Butler. Sixth undemanding win for Butler since losing to Emmanuel Rodriguez for the IBF bantamweight title in 2018 in a fight for which Butler failed to make the contract weight. He is No 3 in the IBF bantam ratings with No 2 vacant but as he has not beaten anyone in the current IBF ratings Butler can’t fill that spot. Londoner Walker was stopped in five rounds by Lee McGregor in August.
Harris vs. Braithwaite
A win but also some disappointment for Harris. This was to have been a defence of his British and Commonwealth flyweight titles but that plan was scrapped when Braithwaite was way over the division limit and came in to this at 116lbs. Harris got some useful ring time and Braithwaite kept intact his record of never losing inside the distance. Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 97-93 for Harris. This was the Welshman’s first fight since losing on points against Julio Cesar Martinez for the WBC flyweight title in February. The former undefeated European champion is rated WBC 5/WBA 6 so still in the mix for a title shot. Braithwaite lost on points against Sunny Edwards for the British super fly title in February but had Edwards on the floor in the fight.
Asakuchi, Japan: Fly: Seigo Yuri Akul (15-2-1) W PTS 10 Seiya Fujikita (13-5). In a fight held over from March due to COVID-19 Akul retains the Japans title with verdict over Fujikita. Akul wanted to work on the outside but ended up fighting inside which helped Fujikita to compete over the first half of the fight. Over the second half Akul dominated to emerge the clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Akul but Fujikita made it a closer fight than those scores indicate. The 25-year-old local fighter was making the first defence of the national title. Fujikita, 32, had won 5 of his last 6 fights but was in his first ten rounder.
Fight of the week (Significance): It has to be Teo Lopez’s win over Vasyl Lomachenko
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Arnold Barboza vs. Alex Saucedo featured plenty of action with honourable mention to Antonio Moran vs. Emanuel Colon
Fighter of the week: Teo Lopez
Punch of the week: Has to be the left hook from Prince Dlomo that ended his fight with Xolisani Ndongeni. The right cross from Germaine Brown that dropped Dmitrii Chudinov and the perfectly delivered right uppercut from Evgenios Lazaridis were good contenders.
Upset of the week: I guess Lopez beating Lomachenko could be considered an upset but when it comes to the gap in class then the award has to go to 11-10-1 Dlomo knocking out 26-1 Ndongeni whuich gets my vote with an honourable mention to British novice Germaine Brown beating Dmitrii Chudinov also unexpected.
Prospect watch: Welterweight Brian Norman just 19 and 18-0 with 15 wins by KO/TKO looks worthy.
Confession time. I had been citing Tyrone Brunson’s 19 consecutive first round wins at the start of a career as the record and over looked Yemeni Ali Raymi who recorded 21 at the start of his career. Raymi’s opposition was beyond dreadful but 21 it is. He had his last fight at the age of 41 and was dead two months later. He was actually a colonel in the Yemeni Republican Guard and was killed on 23 May 2015 in an air strike on the Yemeni capital during the Yemini civil war.
Nevada made use of a “replay representative” over the weekend and his review resulted in what the referee had termed a slip as in fact a legitimate knockdown. This was also employed on Rodney Berman’s show in South Africa with Hall of Fame ring official Stanley Christodoulou as the replay representatives. It is good to see technology being used where it rights a wrong.
Cuba might not mind too much if some of their top amateurs defect when past their best but that can be the case for Robeisy Ramirez and Joahnys Argilagos. Ramirez 26 is a two-time Olympic gold medallist and former Pan American Games winner and Argilagos, 23, won gold medals at the World Junior Championships and at the 2015 and 2017 World Championships as well as taking bronze at the 2016 Olympics. Those defections must have been blows the Cuba’s medal hopes at future events.
Next time Devin Haney fights he will have to be introduced as the WBC champion-who ummmm does not hold the WBC title!!
By Eric Armit
-Emanuele Navarrete scores two knockdowns but in the end needs a big last round to take the decision over Ruben Villa in their fight for the vacant WBO featherweight title.
-Robin Krasniqi wins the interim WBA and IBO light heavyweight titles with kayo of Dominic Boesel
-David Lemieux returns to the ring with a stoppage of Francy Ntetu and heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov blows away Dillon Carmen on the same show in Canada.
-Matteo Signani retains the European middleweight title with dramatic stoppage of Maxime Beaussire
-Liam Williams halts Andrew Robinson to keep on track for a shot at a version of the world middleweight title next year
-Charles Conwell, Denys Berinchyk and Peter Kadiru all score wins
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Feather: Emanuel Navarrete (33-1) W PTS 12 Ruben Villa (18-1). Middle: Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (9-0) W KO 2 Gonzalo Gaston Coria (16-4).Middle: Lorenzo Simpson (9-0) W PTS 8 Sanny Duversonne (11-0-2). Super Light: Elvis Rodriguez (10-0-1 Cameron Krael (17-17-3).
Navarrete vs. Villa
Navarrete wins the vacant WBO title but after scoring two early knockdowns a great comeback by Villa meant that the 25-year-iold Mexican needed to win the last round to win the fight
Southpaw Villa was working his jab early with Navarrete just pushing out punches with his languid style. Villa was busier and quicker and looked confident until an almost casual but well hidden left hook from Navarrete that came up inside Villa’s right toppled him onto his backside. Villa was up at four and when the action resumed had no trouble evading the crude efforts of Navarrete to land another punch.
Score: 10-8 Navarrete
Navarrete changed to southpaw in the second and connected with a long left. Villa was boxing carefully not committing himself. Navarrete switched back to orthodox and was connecting with long rights. Villa was confident enough by the end of round to launch some attacks of his own but Navarrete was dangerous with big swinging punches.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 20-17
Villa boxed cleverly in the third. He was circling Navarrete stabbing him with right jabs and occasionally stepping in to connect with a left. Navarrete was looking crude as he missed wildly at times leaving himself open to counters and was frustrated by Villa’s quick footwork.
Score: 10-9 Villa Navarrete 29-27
Navarrete stepped up his pace in the fourth trying to cut off the ring. He was still not quick enough but there was danger in every punch he threw. Villa made the mistake of standing and trading punches with Navarrete and as Villa threw a left a solid left hook to the head from Navarrete arrived first which saw Villa go down on one knee. Villa was up immediately but more shaken than by the first knockdown. However he held and moved to the safety of the bell.
Score: 10-8 Navarrete Navarrete 39-35
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 38-36 Navarrete, Judge Max DeLuca 39-35 Navarrete, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 39-35 Navarrete
Navarrete chased Villa throughout the round. He was missing lots but also landing some solid hooks from both hands and Villas did well to absorb a heavy right. Villa was moving and jabbing but there was no power in his punches and he was busy keeping out of trouble.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 49-44
This was the closest round so far. Villa was into the groove with his jab and again his constant movement was frustrating Navarrete. Gradually through the round Navarrete began to get closer and was scoring with the better punches late to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 59-53
Good boxing from Villa. He was threading jabs through the porous defence of Navarrete and looked in control until a punch from Villa landed on the back of Navarrete’s head. An enraged Navarrete drove forward throwing punches with a right to the side of the rocking Villa. Villa waited out the storm and then took the fight to Navarrete and outscored him.
Score: 10-9 Villa Navarrete 68-63
A classy round from Villa. Plenty of movement constantly changing direction leaving Navarrete swishing air then darting in with two or three quick punches and out. Again Navarrete became frustrated and was leaving gaps as he lunged forward and threw wild punches and Villa took advantage of those gaps to bang home counters.
Score: 1O-9 Villa Navarrete 77-73
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 76-74 Navarrete, Judge Max DeLuca 77-73 Navarrete, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 77-73 Navarrete
Navarrete tried to up his pace in the ninth but just could not pin down the speedy Villa who was continually finding his way past Navarrete’s guard and easily dodging Navarrete’s telegraphed swings. Navarrete tried to finish the round strongly but it was Villa coming forward and landing
Score: 10-9 Villa Navarrete 86-83
Now Villa’s confidence was way up. He was flitting around Navarrete piercing his guard with jabs and then choosing his moment to stand and punch with Navarette before dancing away from Navarrete’s clumsy swings.
Score: 10-9 Villa Navarrete 95-93
Excellent boxing from Villa and now he was willing on occasion to take the fight to Navarrete. He was also making Navarrete pay with counters every time the Mexican lunged forward leaving an opening and he ended the round by sending Navarrete to the ropes with a left.
Score: 10-9 Villa Tied 94-93
Navarrete needed this round and he won it clearly. Villa fought as though all he had to do was survive to emerge the winner so he never threw enough punches. Navarrete hunted him down for the full three minutes connecting with hooks from both hands as Villa scampered around the ring and it was clearly Navarrete’s round.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 114-112
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 114-112 Navarrete, Judge Max DeLuca 114-112 Navarrete, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 115-111 Navarrete
Navarrete becomes a two division champion and opens the door to some tasty fights at featherweight against other champions Josh Warrington, Leo Santa Cruz and Gary Russell but he nearly threw this one away. He does everything wrong and his footwork is almost comical but his power has usually been enough to see him through. Villa was a big outsider in the betting but he fought back magnificently to claw back the points from the two knockdowns and only poor tactics in the last round cost him an unlikely victory.
Alimkhanuly vs. Coria
I am starting to wonder if the gyms are empty in Kazakhstan because every time you turn around there is another top level Kazak fighter knocking people over. Alimkhanuly is certainly top level and his knockout of Coria was frightening. He was hunting down Coria in the first of this clash of southpaw and floored him with a counter straight left. It wasn’t a heavy knockdown and Coria was able get up and survive a few other hefty shots in the round. In the second Coria walked onto a right hook that staggered him. He boxed his way out of trouble and seemed to be settling to do some good work when a left hook sent him tottering back. Alimkhanuly landed a couple of hook and then a thunderbolt of a left that sent Coria flying to the canvas face down half out under the bottom rope. The referee started to count and then saw it was pointless and waived the fight off so that Coria could get some attention. The 27-year-old Kazak wins the WBO Global title (whatever that means). He has yet to meet a name fighter but has impressed in knocking out both 27-3-3 Stuart McLellan and Albert Onolunose. He is already rated WBO 4/WBC 9/IBF 11 (9)/WBA 15. His amateur achievements include gold medals at the World Championships, the Asian Championships the Asian Games and the Kazak Championships. First inside the distance loss for Coria but he looked fragile every time Alimkhanuly landed a punch.
Simpson vs. Duversonne
Simpson skills too good for a competitive but outboxed Duversonne. Some nice, tidy boxing from both in the first with Simpson’s hand speed just giving him the edge. Duversonne was waiting too long to throw his punches in the second and Simpson was more active connecting with right hooks to the head and lefts to the body. Duversonne pressed hard in the third and fourth but just could not find the target as Simpson continued to work to the body and displayed some classy defensive moves. Simpson had the fifth well in hand until just before the bell a right from Duversonne knocked him off balance and he put a glove on the canvas. Simpson was more embarrassed than hurt and the bell went as the count was completed. He outboxed Duversonne over the sixth and just had the edge in a competitive seventh as Duversonne attacked hard. Simpson stood and punched with Duversonne early in the eight and then went back to his boxing on his way to victory. Scores 78-73 twice and 79073 all for Simpson. The 2o-year-old “Truck” Simpson carries with him some outstanding achievements as an amateur winning the US Silver Gloves a record equalling six times-one more than Oscar De La Hoya managed. He is an example of boxing being a youngster’s saviour. Simpson comes from Park Heights one of the most dangerous and deprived areas of Baltimore. His grandfather is in prison and his father was murdered when Simpson was just four. Sanny Duversonne is also another man with a past finding his way thanks to boxing having spent three years in prison in Florida for burglary. He had scored ten straight wins before this loss.
Rodriguez vs. Krael
Dominican southpaw Rodriguez racks up another quick win. Neither fighter committed himself to offence in the first with Rodriguez the more active with his right jab. After working patiently with his jab early in the second Rodriguez finally began to put together some combinations over the closing minute and immediately Krael looked uncomfortable as he had to absorb some hefty hooks to the body and was staggered by a right to the head. In the third a clubbing right to the side of the head sent Krael down on his rump. He made it to a kneeling position but no further and was counted out. All of Rodriguez’s wins have come inside the distance and the draw is a technical one. He looks ready to move up to tougher tests. Only the second inside the distance loss for Krael.
Magdeburg, Germany: Light Heavy: Robin Krasniqi (51-6) W KO 3 Dominic Boesel (30-2). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (10-0) W PTS 10 Roman Gorst (6-1). Cruiser: Roman Fress (11-0) W TKO 2 Daniel Venci (11-7). Light: Nenad Stancic (8-0) W PTS 8 Andrea Sito (5-1-3).Middle: Anatoli Muratov (22-2-1) DREW 8 Siarhei Huliakevich (43-13-2). Super Welter: Edison Zani (6-0) W TKO 2 Bronislav Kubin (20-26-2).
Krasniqi vs. Boesel
Krasniqi ignores the odds and gets a career saving win as he kayos Boesel in the third round. The first two rounds were fairly even Boesel looked to have just edged the first and Krasniqi evened things up by shading the second. In the third Boesel turned up his aggression pressurising Krasniqi but he went down from a hard Krasniqi right hook. It was a punch but the referee missed it and treated it as a slip denying Boesel the recovery time an eight count might have given him. Krasniqi knew his punch had shaken Boesel badly and he stormed into Boesel landing two heavy rights to the head which sent Boesel down on his back and after the referee started to count he quickly realised Boesel was not getting up and ended the fight. Huge win for the Kosovon-born 33-year-old Krasniqi. He wins both the WBA interim and IBO titles in his third shot at a world title. He had lost to Nathan Cleverly and Juergen Braehmer in earlier title challenges. Winning these titles now could lead to some career best pay days for Krasniqi but he confirmed there is a return clause in the contract and Boesel has said he will enforce it. Big blow for Boesel who apart from losing his two titles will also lose his No 1 ranking with the WBA. He had rebuilt steadily after an eleventh round stoppage loss to Karo Murat for the European title in 2017 with wins over Enrico Koelling and Sven Fornling.
Kadiru vs. Gorst
Kadiru moves up to ten rounds for the first time and wins the German title with convincing points victory over unbeaten Gorst. Kadiru used his height and longer reach to take control of the centre of the ring and box on the outside. Kadiru controlled the action over the first three rounds and it was the fourth before Gorst finally made some headway but even then the quicker Kadiru outscored him and had no trouble holding off Gorst’s occasional counter attacks. There were too many clinches for it to be an exciting scrap. Kadiru found the target a few time with his uppercuts and scored with good rights late in the fight but never really had Gorst in any kind of trouble and had to settle for a victory on points. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Kadiru. The 23-year-old from Hamburg is progressing steadily but not spectacularly. Gorst was making the first defence of the national title and Kadiru was a big step up from the quality of his previous opposition.
Fress vs. Venci
Fress massacres Czech oldie Venci. Fress dropped Venci twice in the first round and twice more in the second and the fight was stopped. The 6’3”-yet another Kazak-born fighter- was defending the German International title and registers win No 6 by KO/TKO. He is a former German Under-17 and Under-21 champion and competed for Germany at the World Youth and World Senior championships. The 41-year-old Vance was having only his second fight since March 2018.
Stancic vs. Sito
Stancic wins the vacant WBC Youth title with victory over Sito. Stancic boxed well through the first three rounds then floored Sito in the fourth. He continued to outscore Sito over the second half of the fight before dropping Sito again in the last but could not put the Italian away. Scores 80-70 twice and 99-91 for 21-year-old Stancic. He is a former German Youth champion and winner of bronze a medal at the German championships in both 2015 and 2016. First eight round fight for both fighters and first fight outside Italy for Sito
Muratov vs. Huliakevich
After a promising start Muratov fades and only gets a split draw against seasoned veteran Huliakevich. In his first fight for thirteen months Muratov looked to be on his way to victory after taking the first two rounds and dropping Huliakevich with a right in the third. Huliakevich didn’t crumble but fought back hard over the remainder of the fight and clawed back Muratov’s early edge to get a deserved draw. Scores 77-75 Muratov, 76-75 Huliakevich and 76-76. Kazak-born Muratov had scored 14 wins on the bounce before his spell of inactivity. Belarusian Huliakevich, 39, is now 1-10-1 in recent outings and has been a pro for 17 years.
Zani vs. Kubin
Zani controlled this one from bell to stoppage. His pressure tactics saw the experienced Kubin constantly stuck against the ropes. Two knockdowns scored by Zani in the second brought the referee’s intervention. Southpaw Zani, 23, was moving up to six rounds for the first time. Albanian Zani whose idol is Roy Jones was a star performer for Hamburg Giants in the Bundesliga, He left Albania in 2014 to escape a blood feud involving his family. He is not yet a naturalised German citizen although he was German Amateur champion in 2016. Fourteenth inside the distance loss for Kubin.
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Welter: Charles Conwell (13-0) W KO 9 Wendy Toussaint (12-1). Welter: Janelson Figueroa (16-0) W TKO 1 Nicklaus Flaz (9-2). Welter: Brandun Lee (20-0) W TKO 1 Jimmy Williams (16-4-2,1ND).
Conwell vs. Toussaint
Conwell breaks down and finally wins on a count out over Toussaint. From the start Conwell was taking the fight to the taller Toussaint coming forward in a crouch and behind a high guard leaving Toussaint with not much of a target. Toussaint’s jab was not strong enough to deter Conwell so Conwell was working to the body with hooks from both hands. Toussaint kept throwing counters but was never able to get on the front foot enough. He was being hurt by vicious left hooks to the body from Conwell and was fighting without conviction. Conwell really didn’t alter his pace much and it was a well executed methodical breakdown of Toussaint. For a spell over the middle rounds Toussaint moved well and jabbed well but was under pressure all the time and Conwell was winning the rounds. Despite injuring his right in the seventh Conwell ended it in the ninth. Toussaint was looking confident and coming forward more. There were danger signs in a couple of uppercuts from Conwell and then he connected with a sickening right uppercut that had Toussaint backing away and then going down on one knee. He stayed there on one knee and was counted out. Tenth victory by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old from Cleveland and the second defence of his USBA title. In the amateurs he won the National Golden Gloves and after losing is first bout in the US Olympic Trials he fought back to win the Trials and also won the Americas Trials but lost to India’s Vikas Krishan in the preliminary rounds in Rio. He is currently No 9 with the IBF. Haitian Toussaint was in his first ten round fight and whilst he showed some good skills lacked the punch to hold off Conwell.
Figueroa vs. Flaz
Impressive performance from Figueroa (Bocachica) as he blows away Puerto Rican Flaz inside a round. Figueroa dropped Flaz early but it was not a heavy knockdown. The next one most certainly was as a thunderous right cross buckled Falz’s legs before a left hook sent Flaz crashing to the floor propped up against the ropes. He managed to beat the count but looked unsteady. When the action resumed Figueroa connected with three left hooks and a right and as Flaz started to go down the referee stepped in and waived the fight over. The 21-year-old is Detroit born with Puerto Rican parents. He has won eleven by KO/TKO and has been very much under the radar until now. His father has posted a video of Figueroa flooring a 15-year-old Teo Lopez with a right cross and Figueroa also beat kayo specialist Brandun Lee (see below) in the amateurs. Flaz had won his last four fights.
Lee vs. Williams
Williams looked a reasonable test against “Kayo Kid” Lee but was blasted out in just 94 seconds. Lee came out firing and drove Williams to the ropes and bombarded him with punches. Williams sagged to where he was sitting on the middle rope and as it was holding him up he was given a count. After the count a fearsome right from Lee put him down on his back. Somehow Williams made it to his feet at four and he convinced the referee he was capable of continuing. A pile-driver of an overhand right from Lee then dropped him on his back suspended over the ropes with his upper body hanging half outside the ring and the referee just waived the fight off. Lee, 21, has impressive statistics with his total of first round wins already standing at twelve and having won his last eleven fights inside the distance. He is a four-time US National Junior champion. The only other fighter to have beaten Williams inside the distance is WBA title challenger Abel Ramos
Mandaue City, Philippines: Light Fly: Christian Araneta (18-1) W PTS 10 Richard Rosales (14-13-2). Feather: Peter Apolinar (12-1) W PTS 10 Jetro Pabustan (30-8-6). Light Fly: Mark Vicelles (12-0-1) W TKO 4 Junuel Lacar (8-6-3).
Araneta vs. Rosales
Prospect Araneta returns to action and returns to the winning column with wide points victory over experienced Rosales. Southpaw Araneta floored Rosales in the fifth and sixth on the way to taking the decision on scores of 99-89 twice and 100-88. The 25-year-old from Cebu City suffered his first loss in September last year on a fourth round retirement against 20-1 Daniel Valladares. No disgrace there as in February this year Valladares fought a technical draw with Pedro Taduran for the IBF minimumweight title. Rosales has tasted defeat in 7 of his last 8 fights but all against good level opponents.
Apolinar vs. Pabustan
Apolinar extends his winning run to seven as he outpoints southpaw Pabustan, Scores 98-92 twice and a closer 96-94. He had won 6 of his last 7 inside the distance so this gave him some useful ring time. Pabustan, 30, lost on a technical decision in a challenge to Pungluang for the WBO bantam title in 2017.
Vicelles vs. Lacar
“Thunder” Vicelles lived up to his nickname as he overpowered Lacar flooring him in the second, third and finally the fourth round. With Lacar under pressure and not punching back the fight was stopped. Southpaw Vicelles, 24, gets his sixth inside the distance win. Lacar was 1-4-2 going in and this is loss No 4 by KO/TKO.
Lesniki, Ukraine: Light: Denys Berinchyk (14-0) W RTD 7 Viorel Simion (22-4). Super Middle: Maksym Bursak (37-6-2) W PTS 8 Dmytro Semernin (14-7-1). Welter: Mishiko Beseli (21-1) W PTS 8 Vasyl Kurasov (12-6).
Berinchyk vs. Simion
There is no time for boredom when Baranchyk fights in fact even before the first bell. A master of dramatic entrances this time Berinchyk flew down by wire from the roof to the centre of the ring on a chairlift. Nothing boring in the ring either as he outclasses experienced Simion and forces an eighth round retirement by the Romanian. Berinchyk’s speedy movement and fast hands were just too much for Simion. Southpaw Berinchyk was constantly changing direction and angles for his punches. He was stepping past Simion then connecting with a series of hooks and then bobbing and weaving around Simion’s punches and peppering him with jabs and rattling him with hooks from both hands. Simion stuck to his task but was hardly ever able to land a clean punch on Berinchyk. In the sixth Berinchyk drove Simion to the ropes with a series of punches and Simion dropped to his haunches. He made it to his feet just as the bell rang. Unusually the referee penalised Simion a point when his corner took too long to fix a loose glove tape but it made no difference. Berinchyk pounded on Simion until a succession of hard head shots saw Simion go down again. Simion beat the count and there was only time for him to be rocked by a strong combination before the bell went and Simion retired. Fourth defence of the WBO International title for the 32-year-old Ukrainian but just 14 fights in five year as a pro, only one minor appearance outside Ukraine and only moderate level opposition has resulted in a much lower profile than his ability deserves. He is No 4 with the WBO and I would give him a good chance against any other lightweight except Vasyl Lomachenko, Teo Lopez and Gervonta Davis but time is running out for him. As an amateur he won silver medals at the world championships and the London Olympics and beat a number of guys who are top professionals now. Simion, 38< was also a top amateur competing at the 2004 Olympics. He made a good start as a pro going 21-1 before a points loss against Scott Quigg in 2017 and a one round destruction by Shakur Stevenson in 2018 ended his ambitions and he looked an old man here
Bursak vs. Semernin
Former undefeated European champion Bursak keeps his very very faint chance of another world title shot alive as he outpoints Semernin. Bursak pressured Semernin for most of the fight and was in control. Tall southpaw Semernin fired back hard enough to make Bursak work for the whole eight rounds but without ever being threatening. Scores 79-73 twice and 79-74 for Bursak. The Kiev fighter has lost to Gilberto Ramirez for the WBO super middle title and Zac Dunn for the IBO title but he boosted his standing in a thrilling battle with David Lemieux in December which saw both fighters on the floor with Lemieux winning a split decision.
Beseli vs. Kurasov
Despite his impressive record Georgian-born Beseli is no world beater and he struggled here to get past young Ukrainian Kurasov. Scores 78-74 and 77-76 for Beseli and 77-75 for Kurasov. Beseli went 18-0 at the start of his career before losing on a sixth round stoppage against Dominican Kelvin Dotel and it has been strictly low level fights since then. Kurasov has now lost 5 of his last 7 fights.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-2-2) W TKO 6 Shingo Kawamura (16-6-4).
Teshigawara a class above Kawamura and halts him in six rounds. Boxing coolly Teshigawara found the range early with lead rights and was getting in landing his punches and getting out before Kawamura could fashion any good counters. After four rounds all three score cards read 40-36 for Teshigawara. He continued to dominate the action in the fifth and floored Kawamura with a volley of punches in the sixth. Kawamura got up but was taking punishment when the referee pulled Teshigawara off to save him. Second defence of his OPBF title for Teshigawara who has scored nine inside the distance victories in his last ten fights. He is No 3 with the IBF but with positions 1 and 2 vacant he is their highest rated fighter but can’t go to No 1 or 2 because he has not beaten a rated fighter. Second shot at the OPBF title for Kawamura who was 0-2-3 before this fight.
Roosdaal, Belgium: Super Light: Mohamed El Marcouchi (25-2) W PTS 6 Angelo Turco (8-17-2).
With El Marcouchi having height and reach plus hand speed and quicker movement this fight was only going to end with El Marcouchi the winner with the only question being whether Turco could stay the distance. El Marcouchi used his jab to put Turco on the back foot from the start and the centre of the ring was a place Turco rarely visited. El Marcouchi is not a big puncher but he found plenty of gaps for straight rights and worked the body well with Turco occasionally darting forward trying to get close enough to cause El Marcouchi problems. El Marcouchi stepped up his work rate over the fourth and fifth as Turco tired but Turco found something left in the tank and they traded punches throughout the sixth. This was original to be an eight round fight but was then reduced to six with El Marcouchi winning every round. The 32-year-old Miami-based Belgian suffered his only loss when he was disqualified against Mexican Samuel Gonzalez in December 2018 and has now rebounded with five wins. At 5’5 ½” Turco is used to being the smaller man. With this loss he is now 0-11-2 in his last 13 fights.
Dubai, UAE: Light: Maxi Hughes (22-5-2) W PTS 10 Viktor Kotochigov (12-1). Super Light: Hovhannes Bachikov (1-0) W PTS 8 Samuel Gonzalez (22-7).
Hughes vs. Kotochigov
Second good win in a row for Hughes as he takes unanimous verdict over unbeaten Kazak Kotochigov and relieves Kotochigov of the prestigious WBC International title. A confident Kotochigov was coming forward taking the fight to Hughes but the more experienced southpaw stayed cool and moved well and countered well. Hughes changed tactics in the second bringing the fight to Kotochigov staggering him with a straight left and then scoring repeatedly with more lefts to head and body. Hughes had a big third dropping Kotochigov heavily with a left hook and a stoppage looked close as he drove Kotochigov along the ropes showering him with hooks until the bell. Hughes had the better of the exchanges in the fourth but Kotochigov had steadied himself and was back in the fight. The fifth was close although Hughes was still landing the harder punches and Kotochigov had a swelling under his left eye. From the sixth Kotochigov upped his pace and put more pressure on Hughes and by the seventh he was slowly making inroads into the substantial lead Hughes had built over the first half of the fight. Hughes was countering well and was more accurate with his punches although holding more and he did enough to maintain his early advantage despite a strong finish from Kotochigov. Scores 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94 for Hughes. This victory and his upset win in August over Jono Carroll could see Hughes replacing Kotochigov in the WBC ratings. Kotochigov fought hard but his limitations were evident as he didn’t have the skill or experience to match Hughes.
Bachikov vs. Gonzalez
This fight for Bachikov marks the launching of another elite level amateur into the professional ranks. The Armenian was given an stern test for his professional baptism as Gonzalez has a good chin and plenty of experience as well as occasionally overturning the form book. Bachikov looked strong and showed a nice variety of punches but did not look anything very special as he ground out his victory. Scores 80-72 from the three judges for Bachikov. He had ten years of moderate amateur success before breaking through by winning gold medals at the 2017 European Championships and the 2019 European Games. Additionally he twice collecting bronze medals at the World championships and representing Armenia at the 2016 Olympics. Gonzalez had won 7 of his last 8 fights.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Bantam: Saul Sanchez (14-1) W TKO 1 Daniel Lozano (15-10-1). Sanchez steam rollers a badly faded Lozano with three knockdowns in the opening round. Sanchez blasted Lozano with a series of heavy hooks and a body shot sent Lozano back into a corner and he dropped to one knee. After the count Sanchez again connected with some savage punches with Lozano again forced to take a knee. A couple of hard rights to the head saw Lozano dip with his knee clearly touching the canvas but the referee decided it was not a knockdown which cost Lozano any chance of a recovery as Sanchez pounded him with punches until he again dropped to a knee and the fight was stopped. Californian Sanchez, 23, collects the vacant WBA Fedecentro title with his eighth inside the distance finish. Lozano looked close to a world title fight when he beat Jonathan Vidal in 2014 but a loss to David Carmona blew that chance. His recent form is 0-6-1 and although the opposition has been tough he is only headed in one direction.
Shawinigan, Canada: Heavy: Arslanbek Makhmudov (11-0) W TKO 1 Dillon Carman (14-6). Super Middle: David Lemieux (42-4) W KO 5 Francy Ntetu (17-4). Super Middle: Lexson Mathieu (9-0) W KO 1 Tim Cronin (12-5-2).
Makhmudov vs. Carmen
With Makhmudov having won all of his fights inside the distance and Carmen having suffered five losses by KO/TKO the only question here was how long Carmen would last. How about 27 seconds! As Makhmudov came forward Carmen landed a glancing right to the head but was then forced back to the ropes. Makhmudov landed a light jab and then a stiffer half jab/half hook that snapped Carmen’s head back and Carmen went down. He started to rise and then dropped to a knee. When did get up he put his gloves on the referee to steady himself and then stood with his head bowed. The referee had a good look at him and decided to stop the fight at which point Carmen came to life and started protesting vigorously but the fight was over. The 31-year-old 6’ 5 ½” Montreal-based “Russian Lion” was making the second defence of the NABF title. He gets his eighth first round win but is currently unrated due to the lack of quality of his victims. Third inside the distance defeat in a row for former Canadian champion Carmen having been knocked out by Evgeny Romanov in 113 seconds and stopped by Simon Kean in three rounds. Makhumudov’s jab will not be one of the candidates for “Punch of the Week”
Lemieux vs. Ntetu
In a patchy performance Lemieux stops Ntetu in the fifth round. Lemieux was his normal fierce self in the first two rounds getting past the longer reach of Ntetu and forcing him to the ropes where he drove straight rights to the head through the guard of Ntetu and connected with solid body punches. Ntetu did a bit better in the third not spending so long on the ropes and finding time to land some counters of his own. Lemieux was raging again in the forth with Ntetu again having problems getting away from the ropes. Lemieux punished him with series of punches to head and body. Later in the round he rocked Ntetu with a couple of left hooks driving Ntetu along the ropes. As Lemieux followed him he walked onto a hard right counter that knocked him down. It was clearly a punch but the referee missed it and treated it as a slip. A right to the head in the fifth had Ntetu sliding along the ropes and down. He got to his feet but stayed against the ropes and Lemieux landed a left hook and a right that sent Ntetu down again and the referee stopped the fight. Lemieux looked fleshy and was fighting at his heaviest weight in his career but his power saw him through. Since being outclassed by Billy Joe Saunders in a WBO middleweight title fight in 2017 Lemieux has scored four wins over good level opposition but had to get off the floor twice in his split decision victory over Maksym Bursak in December. He is rated WBC 3/WBA 4/WBO 5 in the super middles a division which is in suspended animation right now waiting to find out what will happen with Saul Alvarez. With his exciting style there is always a chance Lemieux might get a shot at one of the other titles. After suffering inside the distance losses against David Benavidez, Marcus Brown and Erik Bazinyan Ntetu was inactive throughout 2019 and this was his first fight for two years.
Mathieu vs. Cronin
Mathieu continues to build his reputation as he puts away Cronin in the first round. Mathieu went after Cronin from the start driving him to a corner and then unleashing an array of punches until two left hooks to the body saw Cronin sag to the floor. Mathieu collects the vacant NABF title with win No 8 by KO/TKO. He looks a real talent. The 6’2” Cronin is 1-4-1 in his last six fights and this is the second time he has been stopped.
Caen, France: Middle: Matteo Signani (30-6-3) W TKO 2 Maxime Beaussire (29-3-1). This looked a risky fight for Signani as he was putting his European title on the line against Beaussire in front of Beaussire’s home fans and was facing a challenger with an impressive looking record. As it turned out it was an easy night for the Italian. Beaussire attacked strongly in the first rolling forward pumping out punches and having some success. Signani was mainly on the back foot but he was scoring with some accurate counters on the advancing Beaussire. The challenger was again plunging forward in the second. He was able to score with hooks inside but was leaving himself open to counters. Beaussire ignored the warning signs and as they came out of a clinch Signani had some punching room and he landed a perfect left hook which sent Beaussire down face first. He rolled over and somehow climbed to his feet and tried to indicate to the referee that he was able to continue. That did not fool the referee who waived the fight off and was quick enough to catch the Frenchman as he staggered along the ropes and was about to collapse in a corner. Major success has come late for the 41-year-old Italian. He is a former Italian and EU champion who had lost a split decision to Emanuele Blandamura before winning this title at the second attempt. His mandatory challenger is Martin Murray which should produce a good payday and he is rated No 10(8) by the IBF. This was Beaussire third attempt to win a European title having lost to Zakaria Attou for the EU title and Sergio Garcia for the EBU title with both fights at super welter so moving up a division has not helped.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Super Welter: Brando Thysse (13-2-1) W KO 3 Boyd Allen (5-1-1). Super Welter: Roarke Knapp (10-1-1) W TKO 2 Tristan Truter (8-3). Super Light: Jabulani Makhense (10-0,1ND) W KO 1 Eric Kapia (22-4-2). Cruiser: Lebogang Mashitoa (8-1) W PTS 10 Keaton Gomes (6-2).
Thysse vs. Allen
Thysse produces a classic left hook to end a fight that was not by any description a classic. With Thysse having height and reach over Allen it was natural that Allen would try to get inside to work. Unfortunately too often Allen got inside and held and wrestled. Thysse did what clean work there was but found it hard to escape Allen’s clutches. Just seconds before the end of the third round Thysse finally saw a gap. Probably excited at the opening he did a little hippy jig and then belted Allen with a peach of a left hook. Allen went down heavily but climbed up unsteadily and drifted to a corner. The referee had a good look at Allen and rightly decided to stop the fight. Thysse therefore emerges as the winner of Rodney Berman’s 4@War tournament. A very profitable night for Thysse as he gets 60% of the $46,000 dollar prize, plus a diamond ring and the WBA and IBO Pan African Belts and equally important revenge for a split decision loss to Allen in May last year. Allen, formerly a MMA fighter, complained that the referee did not ask him to step forward after the count but it had been a heavy knockdown.
Knapp vs. Truter
In a battle for third and fourth place in the 4@War tournament Knapp blasts out Truter in the second round. Truter knew Knapp was a puncher and successfully boxed his way through the first round using his longer reach to fight at distance. The longer reach did not save him. In the second Knapp set Truter up with a hard left hook then put together a succession of punches that had Truter reeling and waving his arms erratically before a booming right that sent Truter to the floor with the referee not needing to count. The 22-year-old Knapp was knocked out in seven rounds by Thysse in the semi-finals of the tournament but he has skill and power and will make progress from here. The 4@War tournament has been a downer for Truter-literally. He had a seven bout winning streak when he was stopped in the tenth round by Boyd Allen in his semi-final and was crushed even earlier by Knapp here.
Makhense vs. Kapia
Makhense continues his winning ways with an impressive first round destruction of DCR’s more experienced Kapia. He floored Kapia for the first time with a right and a left to the top of Kapia’s head. The second came from a punch that landed on the back of Kapia’s head and luckily Makhense missed with two punches when Kapia had his knee on the floor. Makhense looked to have scored another knockdown but that was not counted and then he drove Kapia to the canvas with a succession of punches and the referee stopped the fight as Kapia fell to his knees. Fifth early win for Makhense a former Commonwealth Youth Championships bronze medal winner. He is No 1 in the South African ratings and holds both the WBA Pan African and IBF Continental titles. One to follow. Kapia went 18-0-1 when he first turned pro but life gets tougher the higher you climb.
Mashitoa vs. Gomes
The last time these two met Gomes probably felt hard done by as he lost a split decision but from the scores it looked as though the judge who voted for Gomes might have been having an off day. No such complaints this time. In a scrappy match southpaw Mashitoa boxed rings around Gomes being too quick and too busy never giving Gomes the chance to make use of his reach advantage. Gomes was docked a point for holding but it was not a factor in the scoring as Mashitoa won widely on the cards. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 97-92 for Gauteng champion Mashitoa.
London. England: Middle: Liam Williams (23-2-1) W KO 1 Andrew Robinson (24-5-1). Heavy: Nathan Gorman (17-1) W PTS 10 Richard Lartey (16-2-1). Super Middle: Willy Hutchinson (13-0) W TKO 1 Jose Fandino (15-8).
Williams vs. Robinson
Williams retains the British title with first round win over Robinson. This one was almost over when they cracked heads together at the start of the fight. There was a suspicion that it was more a butt from Williams than an accident. Both fighters were cut. Robinson was cut over his left eye and seemed dazed. Williams might have had in mind his cuts loss to Liam Smith. On this occasion his cut was high on his hairline but to rule out any chance of cuts becoming a factor Williams blitzed Robinson who still looked dazed. Williams connected with a couple of head punches and then drove home a left hook to the body that sent Robinson down and he was rising when he was counted out. The 28-year-old Welshman has scored victories over Mark Heffron, Karim Achour and 26-1-1 Alantez Fox. He is rated No 2 by the WBO and No 3 by the WBC so can look forward to a title fight in 2021. Robinson scored an excellent win last year when he travelled to Poland and outpointed 41-0-1 Damian Jonak.
Gorman vs. Lartey
Gorman returns with a win as he decisions Lartey in a poor contest. Gorman looked slow and it was obvious from his career highest weight of 273 ¾ lbs that he was not in top shape. Luckily Lartey was also at his career highest of 256 ¼ lbs so there would be no fancy footwork in this fight. Gorman was able to control the fight with his jab with Lartey lacking the tools to really compete and the pace of the fight was pedestrian. Neither fighter was seriously inconvenienced and there was an excess of holding which made a dull fight ever duller but the important thing for Gorman was a win and some ring time. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-92 for Gorman, first fight for Gorman since a fifth round kayo loss against Daniel Dubois in July 2019. He will improve on this with a bit more activity. Lartey was knocked out by Dubois in four rounds in April 2019 so had 18 months of rust to shake.
Hutchinson vs. Fandino
Scot Hutchinson wastes no time in disposing with Spanish visitor Fandino. After a quick scan to see what Fandino brought to the fight Hutchinson cut loose. He put Fandino down with a bunch of punches and although Fandino got up another fierce attack from Hutchinson had Fandino dazed and on shaky legs and the referee stopped the action. Nine wins by KO/TKO for the tall Scot and the second time in a row he has ended a fight within the first three minutes. Spaniard Fandino was knocked out in seven rounds by Sergio Martinez in Martinez’s return to the ring in August.
Mecklenburg, Germany: Super Middle: Sebastiano Lo Zito (20-1) W PTS 10 Frane Radnic (11-18). Southpaw Lo Zito “The Sicilian Stallion” comfortably holds onto his German International title with unanimous decision over Croat Radnic. Lo Zito’s record is heavily padded and not a reflection of his ability. Croatian champion Radnic is even worse than most of Lo Zito’s victims having lost his last 18 fights now but usually goes the distance with only four losses by KO/TKO
Fight of the week (Significance): Navarrete’s win over Ruben Villa was the big fight of the weekend
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Nothing stood out
Fighter of the week: Robin Krasniqi for resurrecting his career with victory over Dominic Boesel
Punch of the week: So many to choose from. Brandun Lee and Janelson Figueroa both flattened their opponents with real thunderbolts and the left hook from Andre Thysse that dropped Boyd Allen was a beauty as was the left hook from Matteo Signani that ended Maxime Beaussire’s hopes of a European title but I go for the driven left from Zhanibek Alimkhanuly that destroyed Gonzalo Coria.
Upset of the week: Robin Krasniqi was not expected to beat Dominic Boesel
Prospect watch: Welterweight Brandun Lee 20-0 is worth following to see
Good to see boxing return in the Philippines as they utilise the “bubble” that has worked so well elsewhere.
Rodney Berman has brought boxing back in South Africa so another good sign
A welcome also to the show in Shawinigan Canada which was the first show since COVD-19 stopped the sport there. All of the boxers had been in isolation for two weeks before the October 10 card.
Encouraging for German boxing that the TV coverage of Krasniqi vs. Boesel, the first televised German boxing for some time drew 2.5 million viewers and a crowd of 2000 attended the show in Magdeburg. There was also a good crowd for the European title fight in Caen, France.
Not all good news on the virus front as the French heavyweight title fight in Paris between Newfel Ouatah and Nicolas Wamba was cancelled due to a member of Wamaba’s team testing positive for the virus.
Nothing boring about Denys Berinchyk. His acrobatic-like high wire chairlift ride from roof to ring centre is just one more of his exotic ideas. He once came to the ringside on a horse and appeared in the Ukrainian TV show Dancing with the Stars. And he can fight-honest!
Berinchyk was not the only one making a dramatic entrance at the weekend as Maxime Beaussire wore a steel helmet and was accompanied into the ring by a procession of knights in armour to celebrate Normandy heritage. Unfortunately Italian Matteo Signani ruined the party by stopping Beaussire in two rounds.
The father of welterweight Janelson Figueroa certainly got his unbeaten son some attention as he released a video of Janelson flooring Teo Lopez with a powerful right in a spring session. Lopez’s father protested that Teo was a teenager at the time but a knockdown is a knockdown
In this age of macho nicknames it was lovely to see Maxi Hughes shorts emblazoned with “Grandad”. Now that’s family.
By Eric Armit
-Jose Zepeda knocks out Ivan Baranchyk in a Fight of the Year candidate that features eight knockdowns in five wild rounds
-Gabriel Floes outpoints Ryan Kielczewski for win No 19
-Filipino featherweight Mark Magsayo goes to 21-0 with victory over Rigoberto Hermosillo
-Joshua Buatsi retains the WBA International title with stoppage Marko Calic
-Former WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket stays busy with second round victory over Filipino Jomar Fajardo
-Usman Wazeer stops Indonesian Boido Simanjuntak to win the vacant Asian Boxing Federation welterweight title in Islamabad in Amir Khan’s inaugural boxing promotion in Pakistan
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Jose Zepeda (33-2,2ND) W KO 5 Ivan Baranchyk (20-2). Light: Gabriel Flores Jr (19-0) W PTS 10 Ryan Kielczewski (30-5). Heavy: Guido Vianello (7-0-1) W Kingsley Ibeh (5-1-1). Feather: Duke Ragan (2-0) W PTS 4 John Moraga (1-2).
Zepeda vs. Baranchyk
Zepeda knocks out Baranchyk in the fifth round after a truly thrilling battle that saw eight knock downs in a fight would have electrified a stadium full of fans and provided an unforgettable fifteen minutes of drama. A candidate for Fight of the Year. Baranchyk does not have a reverse gear so he was taking the fight to Zepeda jabbing strongly and throwing right crosses going for power rather than accuracy. Just two minutes into the round he connected with a right that sent Zepeda back off balance and he went down on his haunches. He used his right glove to make sure he did not go all the way down and so was given a count. Zepeda did not look badly hurt but a left hook from Baranchyk put him down again. He was up quickly and the bell went when the eight count was completed. Early fireworks and a great start for Baranchyk with more to come. Baranchyk started the second by throwing a punch so wildly that he lost his balance and had to put his gloves on the canvas but it was not a knockdown. An over-exited Baranchyk was lunging forward swinging with wide punches and a counter left to the head from Zepeda dropped him. When he got up he looked a little shaky. He floundered back as Zepeda followed him landing hooks to the head and this time it was Zepeda who walked onto a counter right and was put down. He was quickly and again did not look in trouble. Only half way through the second and already four knockdowns! Zepeda boxed his way through the rest of the round with Baranchyk still flying in wildly. Zepeda was boxing carefully in the third. It is as well there was no audience as some of Baranchyk’s swings would have decapitated the first ten rows. His carelessness saw him wide open and three consecutive lefts from Zepeda dropped him and opened a cut over the Belarus fighter’s left eye. After the count Baranchyk was a little more cautious and Zepeda connected with some strong straight lefts. Baranchyk was hounding Zepeda in the fourth driving forward and getting through with some solid shots. Zepeda was looking to counter and just before the end of the round Zepeda landed a strong left hook the put Baranchyk down on his back for knockdown No 6 in the fight. Baranchyk beat the count but he was now showing heavy bruising under both eyes. The bell went to end to round before either could throw another punch. Baranchyk continued his aggression throughout the fifth. Zepeda was finding gaps for powerful counters but as Baranchyk came forward he landed a strong right that sent Zepeda flying back into a corner and almost down. The referee decided the ropes had held Zepeda up so he saw it as knockdown No 7 and applied a count. When Baranchyk launched his next attack Zepeda met him with a right to the body and a thumping left to the head that sent Baranchyk to the floor and he was counted out on his back. It was almost five minutes before they lifted Baranchyk to a stool and six before he could stand after such a savage battle. Going into the fight Zepeda was rated No 2 by the WBC 2 and No 3 by the WBO but not in the top 15 by the IBF or WBA. With WBC/WBO champion Jose Carlos Ramirez ordered to face Jack Catterall and Josh Taylor just having successfully defended the IBF and WBA titles- and aiming for a unification fight with Ramirez- Zepeda will have to wait for his title shot until sometime next year. In the mean time he picks up the WBC Silver title with this win. If he does get that title shot he will be hoping for a change of luck having lost to Terry Flanagan for the WBO light title due to a dislocated shoulder and been beaten by Ramirez on a majority decision for the WBC title in February 2019. Former IBF champion Baranchyk had lost his title against Josh Taylor in May last year but in October stopped Gabriel Bracero and was No 4(3) with the IBF. It will take him some time to recover from this punishing contest but he will be back. They weren’t needed but at the end of the fourth round all three scorecards had Zepeda in front 37-35. What a pity there was not an audience there to see these two warriors provide such a memorable contest.
Flores vs. Kielczewski
Imperious boxing display from young Flores as he outboxes experienced Kielczewski all the way. The blistering hand speed of Flores had Kielczewski’s face a deep red in the first minute of the fight/ It was all looking too easy until a left hook from Kielczewski sent Flores staggering back to the ropes. He was rocked again by a right but then settled down to cautiously outbox Kielczewski for the rest of the round. After a close second Flores took charge of the fight from the third. Kielczewski had no real answer to the movement or hand speed of Flores who was firing multi-punch combinations to head and body. Kielczewski was trying to walk down Flores but he was just not quick enough to cut off the ring. He ended up just tracking Flores around the ring not letting his punches go and when he did he usually ended up swiping air. Flores ended the fourth with a flourish connecting with a volley of punches and used a range of precise shots to dominate the fifth and rocked Kielczewski with an uppercut in the sixth. The pace dropped in the seventh with the punch output from Flores fading away but he connected with a short left hook that was the best punch in the round. Flores boxed on the back foot throughout the eighth spearing Kielczewski with jabs and short bursts of punches and then changed tactics in the ninth coming forward and slashing Kielczewski with well-timed combinations and connecting with a crunching right cross. Flores eased his way through the tenth getting his punches off first and using speedy footwork to leave Kielczewski always a pace or two behind. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. Another sparkling performance from the 20-year-old from Stockton. He has not yet figured in the ratings but must do soon and is aiming for a title fight next year. If there is a concern it is that as the level of his opposition has improved his inside the distance wins have faded away. This is his sixth points win in a row so he may have to sit down on his punches more to find the power he will need against higher quality opposition. Kielczewski “the Polish Prince” has already experienced the difference when the opposition gets tougher. He was 22-0 at the start of his career but losses to Miguel Flores, Frank De Alba and Tommy Coyle have injected some reality into his hopes.
Vianello vs. Ibeh
Vianello remains undefeated but it was a close thing here as he fought a majority draw against the 38lbs heavier Ibeh. The Phoenix-based Nigeria had early encouragement when Vianello was cut over the left eye in the first round. From there this developed into a gruelling contest with both fighters showing signs of battle by the end. Vianello just did the cleaner work and probably just deserved the decision but it was close enough for no argument. Scores 57-57 twice and 59-55 for Vianello. A disappointing show by the highly touted Italian prospect. Ibeh had won his last four fights including reversing his only loss.
Ragan vs. Moraga
Ragan gets in four rounds of work against late substitute Moraga. The hot young prospect was cut by one of many head butts from Moraga but was always in control. Scores 40-36 from the three judges. Ragan’s first fight lasted less than two minutes so Moraga, who only took the fight at three days notice, did what he was paid to do.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Feather: Mark Magsayo (21-0) W PTS 10 Rigoberto Hermosillo (11-3-1). Welter: Paul Kroll (8-0) W PTS 10 Lucas Santamaria (11-2-1).
Magsayo vs. Hermosillo
Magsayo, rated one of the best young fighters in the Philippines, take a split decision over Hermosillo. This was a case of power vs. quantity as the busy Hermosillo threw more and landed more but the harder punches from Magsayo impressed two of the judges enough for them to score for him. A punch from Magsayo opened a cut over the right eye of Hermosillo in the first round but it was never really a factor in the fight. Mexican southpaw Hermosillo took the fight to Magsayo early working well to the body but Magsayo was finding the target with heavy rights. Hermosillo shrugged those off and stayed busy continuing to drive forward into hard counters from Magsayo. The fight looked even until the closing rounds. In the ninth a left hook from Magsayo staggered Hermosillo and Magsayo then built on that to also take the last to emerge the winner. Scores were nowhere near in agreement at 100-90 and 96-94 for Magsayo and 96-94 for Hermosillo. Magsayo, 25, the WBC No 4, had not fought since August last year when he outclassed former WBO bantamweight Pungluang so he will be aiming to do better next time out. Third loss in a row for Hermosillo, all against unbeaten fighters.
Kroll vs. Santamaria
Kroll continues his winning ways with a hard earned points victory over Santamaria. Kroll made a good start but was in trouble in the second when a vicious left to the body almost cut him in half. He retreated in agony and Santamaria tried desperately to end the fight but failed. Kroll recovered and got back in the fight but was having trouble with the busier Santamaria who was constantly switching guards. Kroll’s pressure and heavy right hand punching gave him the edge over the later rounds and he came out a clear winner although the scores of 99-91 twice and 96-94 for Kroll looked a little harsh on Santamaria. Philadelphian Kroll, 25, won the US Olympic Trials for Rio but then lost out at the Americas, WSB/APB and World Qualifiers so no trip to Rio. Santamaria was coming off an impressive unanimous decision victory over 22-1 Mykal Fox in August.
Milton Keynes, England: Light Heavy: Joshua Buatsi (13-0) W TKO 7 Marko Calic (11-1). Middle; Linus Udofia (16-0) W TKO 9 John Harding (8-2-1). Heavy: Alen Babic (5-0) W TKO 3 Niall Kennedy 13-2-1).
Buatsi vs. Calic
Buatsi breaks down and halts Calic in seven rounds. Lots of tentative jabs in the first round with Calic also firing overhand rights but not connecting and Buatsi just having the edge. Over the second and third Calic began to find the target regularly with right crosses and Buatsi was under fire for much of those six minutes which gave Calic a lead in the points. Buatsi was throwing more punches over the fourth and in the fifth two huge rights to the head from Buatsi had Calic in deep trouble on the ropes. He almost went down clutching Buatsi and covering up to survive. Calic was still trying his luck with rights in the sixth and fighting in short bursts but he was fading badly and now Buatsi was in control. Calic’s work rate dropped and the snap had gone out of his punches. Two heavy rights sent Calic back across the ring at the start of the seventh. More rights saw Calic buckle at the knees and touch the canvas with his gloves. After the count Calic looked very reluctant to continue and as Buatsi pinned him against the ropes the towel was being waived from Calic’s corner. Fifth defence of the WBA International title and eleventh win by KO/TKO for the 27-year-old Ghanaian-born Buatsi. He was vulnerable to Calic’s rights early but in the end proved too strong for the Croatian. He is rated WBA 2/IBF 3(2)/WBC 12/WBO 14 but that is not necessarily in his best interests. He has yet to face any rated opponent and it is a huge leap from foes such as Ryan Ford and Calic to Artur Beterbiev and Dmitry Bivol. Box Rec has him No 20 in their ratings. He has not fought anyone in the EBU top 20 and yet as No 2 if things went his way he could find himself the mandatory challenger to Beterbiev before he has another fight. Calik’s opposition has been strictly low grade but he looked dangerous over the first three rounds before coming apart.
Udofia vs. Harding
Udofia scores late stoppage victory. Harding used a quick accurate jab to take the first round but then the pressure and some heavy body punches from the stronger Udofia saw Harding falling behind. Udofia continued to dominate the action and Harding began to tire. Harding flared back into life in the eighth and started the ninth well but a right hook put him down. He made it to his feet and looked ready to continue but the referee stopped the fight. British-based Nigerian Udofia retains the English title with his eighth stoppage victory. Harding was having his second try at the English title having been stopped in eight rounds by Jack Cullen last year.
Babic vs. Kennedy
Babic saves the night for Croatia as he floors Kennedy on his way to a third round victory. Babic has won all of his fights by KO/TKO taking less than ten rounds to do so. At 6’1” and weighing 199 ¼ he is really a cruiserweight. A bad result for Irishman Kennedy as it is his second inside the distance loss in a row having been halted in five rounds by Devin Vargas in August last year.
South Kirby, England: Super Light: Ohara Davies (22-2) W PTS 10 Tyrone McKenna (21-2-1) . Light Heavy: Serge Michel (11-1) W TKO 4 Liam Conroy18-6-1). Cruiser: Steven Ward (13-1) W PTS 6 Jone Volau (5-6).
Davies vs. McKenna
Davies wins the MTK Golden Contract super lightweight final and lifts McKenna’s WBC International title with a majority verdict. As expected Davies was taking the fight to McKenna early with southpaw McKenna boxing on the back foot and countering. Davies connected well with rights over the first two rounds but McKenna was doing some good defensive work and slotting home counters. There was plenty of back and forth action over the fourth and fifth with Davies landing the harder punches. McKenna was on the front foot in the sixth and scoring well but suffered a cut on his right eyelid. Most of the rounds were very close with a just a punch or two making the difference. Davies went down in the ninth but it was a slip and not a knockdown and Davies just did enough in the end to deserve the decision. Scores 96-94 twice for Davies and 95-95. Since losing to Josh Taylor in 2017 Davies has won 7 of his last 8 contests with the loss a close decision against WBO No 1 Jack Catterall. McKenna had also lost a close fight to Catterall and then gone on to score five victories but he looked fortunate to get the decision over Mohamed Mimoune if the semi-final of the MTK tournament.
Michel vs. Conroy
Michel earned his place in the MTK light heavyweight tournament final with a stoppage of Conroy. Michel just had the edge in the first two rounds and connected with a right counter late in the third that saw Conroy drop to one knee. He managed to survive but the fourth was painful. Conroy tried to make amends for the count by taking the fight to Michel and as he stormed forward a right to the head floored him heavily. He made it to his feet but when he again tried to rush Michel he was put down by an uppercut and the fight was stopped. Michel “The Bavarian Sniper” was born in Russia but is now a German citizen. He was a top flight amateur beating world rated Tyrone Zeuge and competing at both the World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. He lost on a kayo to Canadian Ryan Ford but won a convincing victory over unbeaten Tommy Philbin in the quarter-finals of the tournament. He will now face Ricards Bolotniks in the final. Former English champion Conroy had lost to Joshua Buatsi and Steven Ward but outpointed Andre Sterling in his quarter-final.
Ward vs. Volau
Ward starts his rebuilding project with a points win over inexperienced Fijian-born Volau. It looked as though Volau made the better start and took the first round. From there the superior boxing of Ward saw him sweep the remaining rounds. Referee’s score was 59-55 for Ward. In the amateur he was a five-time Irish champion and won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games. Things seemed to be going along nicely when he took a technical decision over Liam Conroy for the WBO European title which landed him a world rating. Unfortunately the roof fell in when he was floored three times and stopped in the first round by Ricards Bolotniks in the quarter-finals of the MTK tournament. At 30 it will be an uphill battle. Fifth loss in a row for Volau.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Feather: Kenichi Ogawa (25-1-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Kazuhiro Nishitani (21-5-1). Super Fly: Hayate Kaji (15-0) W PTS 8 Hiroki Yajima (9-9-3).
Ogawa vs. Nishitani
Ogawa continues his drive towards another world title shot as he outpoints Nishitani in a war that saw both fighters on the canvas. Ogawa was putting pressure on Nishitani over the first two rounds but a left hook from Nishitani in the third floored Ogawa. He beat the count but was badly shaken and had to clinch to survive. Ogawa rebounded and floored Nishitani with a right in the fourth and then again took control. Nishitani remained dangerous with left hooks and had a good eighth but Ogawa’s faster hand speed gave him the edge over the last two rounds. Scores 97-91 for Ogawa on the three cards. Ogawa was briefly a world champion. Back in 2017 he outpointed Tevin Farmer to win the vacant IBF title but both his A sample and his B sample tested positive for a banned substance so his win was changed to a No Decision and he was fined 20% of his $70,000 purse and banned for a year. Since returning he has scored two wins in low level outings and then his fight in December with Joe Noynay ended in a technical draw. He is No 3 with the IBF but since the No 1 spot is vacant he is effectively the second highest rated fight by them. Nishitani, the Japanese No 3 and a former undefeated Japanese lightweight champion, had won his last six fights.
Kaji vs. Yajima
Japanese prospect Kaji floors a gutsy Yajima twice on the way to a wide unanimous decision. It looked like being an early night when Kaji put Yajima down in the first. Yajima made it to his feet and fought hard enough to win a couple of rounds but was in deep trouble at the end. He was floored again in the seventh and lost a point for holding as he strove to keep his record clear of any inside the distance losses. Scores 78-70 twice and 79-69 for Kaji. The Teiken gym fighter was All-Japan Rookie (newcomer) of the Year in 2015 and is No 2 in the Japanese ratings. Yajima has suffered 4 defeats in his last 5 fights.
Wielk Kleniz, Poland: Cruiser: Nikodem Jezewski (19-0-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Marek Prochazka (9-3-1). Jezewski returns to the ring and collects the vacant Polish International title with a unanimous verdict over Czech Prochazka. Jezewski made his traditional aggressive start mixing his punches well and finding gaps for his body punches. Czech Prochazka showed a sound defence but was unable to put much pressure on Jezewski due to the longer reach of the Pole. The visitor scored well in the eighth and it became apparent that Jezewski had injured his right hand and he used it sparingly over the last two rounds. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 for Jezewski. Despite his impressive statistics the 29-year-old Pole has not yet made any real impact. Prochazka, a former Czech title challenger, has yet to lose inside the distance and his defensive work kept that type of loss off his record.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Feather: Dennis Contreras (23-10-1) W KO 6 Carlos Flores (20-1). Super Feather: Hairon Socarras (23-1-3) W TKO 3 Julio Buitrago (13-24,2ND).
Contreras vs. Flores
In a clash of two Mexicans Contreras shows how misleading records can be as he knocks out previously unbeaten Flores in six rounds. Contreras went after Flores from the outset and Flores was forced onto the back foot. He showed some neat movement and quick, accurate punches to outscore Contreras in the second and third but no real power and just could not halt the forward march of Contreras. From the fourth it was man against boy as Contreras relentlessly walked through the punches from Flores connecting with hard shots to head and body. He bombarded Flores with head punches late in the fifth with only the bell saving Flores. He then ended it in dramatic fashion in the sixth. A huge left uppercut followed by a right to the chin sent Flores to the canvas and he was counted out. Contreras retains the WBA Fedecentro belt after having turned his career around. A run of 1-8-1 in 10 fights saw him considered as guy on his way to nowhere. However in his last three fights he has defeated unbeaten 12-0 Fernando Garcia, stopped 20-2-1 Belmar Preciado and now the 20-0 Flores so combined records of 52-2-1. Flores, 20, has a heavily padded record with 13 of his victims never having won a fight and all the others having negative records.
Socarras vs. Buitrago
Socarras given an easy task as he starts to rebuild after his first pro loss. After three one-sided rounds Buitrago’s team threw in the towel pulling their man out. Cuban Socarras gets his fifteenth win by KO/TKO. He was brought down to earth when he clashed with Ryan Walsh in October last year in England being halted in nine rounds. Poor Nicaraguan Buitrago has won just 2 of his last 22 fights and to make matters worse he turned pro as a minimumweight so has put on 26lbs since those days.
Brussels, Belgium: Light Heavy: Oscar Ahlin (19-2) W TKO 2 Achilles Szabo (25-25). Super Welter: Nabil Messaoudi (1-0) W KO 1 Samuil Dimitrov (2-10-1).
Ahlin vs. Szabo
Ahlin overwhelms a poor Szabo for a second round stoppage victory. With Szabo’s record this was never going to last long and Ahlen nearly ended it with a knockdown in the first. Szabo made it to the bell but was put down three more times in the second and the fight was stopped. The 30-year-old Swedish “Golden Boy” now has 17 inside the distance wins but his opposition has been mainly sub-standard and losses to Bernard Donfack and Patrick Mendy puts his record into context. Hungarian Szabo suffers loss No 13 by KO/TKO and his sixth defeat in his last seven fights.
Messaoudi vs. Dimitrov
Former top amateur Messaoudi makes his first professional bout a brief one as he uses just one left hook to put Bulgarian Dimitrov down and out in the opening round. All over in 30 seconds including the count. The 22-year-old 5’10” Messaoudi represented Belgium at both the European Under-22 championships and the European Championships. Seventh loss by KO/TKO for 21-year-old Dimitrov. He is a southpaw but when you are only around for 30 seconds that counts for nothing.
Plovdiv, Romania: Heavy: Bogdan Dinu (20-2) W KO2 Frank Bluemle (16-9-2). Super Welter: Yosif Panov (18-3) W TKO 6 Moussa Gary (10-3-2).
Dinu vs. Bluemle
Another easy win for Dinu as he floors German Bluemle twice the second time for a count out. Dinu was just too big for the German who did not put up much of a fight. The 34-year-old 6’5” Romanian won his first 18 fights before getting too ambitious and paying for it with inside the distance losses to Jarrell Miller and Kubrat Pulev. Bluemle way down the hill with seven quick defeats in his last nine fights.
Panov vs. Gary
“Viper” Panov extends his winning run to sixteen with victory over Gary. The fight went longer than expected but it ended in the sixth when a booming straight right floored Gary. He scrambled around trying to rise but the towel came in from his corner and the count was stopped. After three early losses when fighting in Scotland the 24-year-old Bulgarian has stuck to non-threatening opposition mainly in Bulgaria. Frenchman Gary was 9-0-2 at the start of his career but is 1-3 since then with this being his first loss by KO/TKO.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Welter: Hironobu Matsunaga (17-1) W TKO 7 W Yuto Shimizu (14-5-2).Super Bantam: Ryohei Takahashi (19-4-1) W PTS 8 Kyohei Endo (3-4).
Matsunaga vs. Shimizu
Matsunaga holds on to the national title with stoppage of Shimizu. Although Shimizu had height and reach over Matsunaga he just could not cope with the aggression of the champion who was getting inside and connecting with southpaw right hooks. Although Shimizu found the target with straight rights by the fifth he was bleeding heavily from the nose and was down 50-45, 49-45 and 48-47 on the cards. Matsunaga continued to score heavily in the sixth and opened a cut over Shimizu’s left eye in the seventh. Shimizu had nothing left and a series of punches from Matsunaga brought the referee’s intervention. Tenth win in a row for Matsunaga and his eleventh win by KO/TKO. He was making the second defence of the title. He overcame an orbital fracture under his left eye and a detached retina before finally winning the Japanese title in May last years. First inside the distance loss for Shimizu, the Japanese No 1, who was having his second shot at the title.
Takahashi vs. Endo
Former IBF title challenger Takahashi gets a win but has to climb off the canvas. They fought on fairly even terms over the first two rounds but Takahashi put Endo down with a left hook in the third. He also took the fourth and fifth. Endo knocked Takahashi down in the sixth but Takahashi recovered and over the last two rounds although under pressure his better skills made him a clear winner. Scores 77-74 from each judge for Takahashi. He gets his third win since being stopped in eleven rounds by JT Doheny in a challenge for the IBF title. The inexperienced Endo did well to last the distance.
Islamabad, Pakistan: Welter: Usman Wazeer (4-0) W TKO 4 Boido Simanjuntak (24-55-3).
Big event but a poor fight on Amir Khan’s first promotion in Pakistan as local fighter Wazeer stops veteran Indonesian loser Simanjuntak in the fourth round. This was a slow paced fight with young Wazeer boxing behind his jab and putting together some combinations with Simanjuntak only really going through the motions. Simanjuntak traded punches occasionally but body punches from Wazeer had him hurt in the third. In the fourth it was clear that Simanjuntak had finished for the night and he stood against the ropes allowing Wazeer to throw punches to head and body without reply and then slumped to the canvas with the referee immediately stopping the fight. The Abu Dhabi-based “Asian Boy” Wazeer, 20 wins the vacant Asian Boxing Federation title. Difficult to make any judgement on him as his previous experience consists of three four round fights, one in Dubai and two in the Philippines and Simanjuntak was no sort of test. Obviously the hope is that Amir Khan promoting there will build more local fighters but the pro sport could hardly even be described as grass roots there. Simanjuntak was as careful a choice as you could get. The 36-year-old Indonesian southpaw has lost inside the distance 24 times and is now 1-21-1 in his last 23 fights.
Bang Phun, Thailand: Bantam: Srisaket (49-5-1) W TKO 2 Jomar Fajardo (17-18-2).Light: Apichet (7-0) W PTS 8 Musheg Adolan (7-2).
Srisaket vs. Fajardo
Former WBC super fly champion Srisaket (Wisaksil Wangek) wins his second fight since boxing resumed in Thailand. His opponent Filipino Jomar Fajardo showed courage beyond the call of duty as he took serious punishment before his team pulled him out during the second round. Fajardo was trapped on the ropes and being battered by hooks and uppercuts with the referee showing no sign of stopping the pounding until Fajardo’s second climbed in the ring. The Thai had a real struggle before getting the decision over Amnat Ruenroeng in August but looked sharp here. He is 1-1 in two battles with WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada and as he is No 1 with the WBC he must be in line for a third fight next year. Fajardo much too brave. He is now 2-7 in his nine most recent contests with sixth of the seven losses by KO/TKO.
Apichet vs. Adolan
Apichet remains unbeaten as he takes a majority verdict over Adolan but looks very lucky to do so. Apichet had to survive two counts, one in the second and one in the third to take the decision. Scores 76-74 twice for Apichet and 75-75. He remains WBC Asian Boxing Council champion. Third time Apichet has been lucky to stay unbeaten having twice scored very narrow victories over former WBA and WBO title challenger Chonlatarn. Adolan, an Armenian-born Thai-based Russian, is a former Muay Thai boxing trainer and had won his last seven fights by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week (Significance) Jose Zepeda vs. Ivan Baranchyk which puts Zepeda in line for a title shot
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Jose Zepeda vs. Ivan Baranchyk= 8 knock downs!
Fighter of the week: Jose Zepeda for coming off the canvas four times to beat Baranchyk
Punch of the week: The left from Zepeda that scored the eighth knockdown and ended his war with Baranchyk
Upset of the week: Mild upset as Dennis Contreras stops 20-0 Carlos Flores and Kingsley Ibeh fight to a draw with prospect Guido Vianello
Prospect watch: No special one this week
Some excitement over Amir Khan’s first promotion in Pakistan and hopes for a growth of professional boxing there. We have already seen boxing start up in a small way in Vietnam but cautious optimism needs to be observed. Boxing was going to explode in China when Zou Shiming turned pro but now they have just one champion in Can Xu, the holder of the secondary WBA featherweight title, and in China there is now only the occasional nursery show. It was also hoped that Vijender Singh would kick-start professional boxing in India but very little has happening there. It will be just as hard to build a following in Pakistan.
Strange how a boxer can find unexpected form. Take the case of Dennis Contreras. The Mexican featherweight had a run of very bad form going 1-8-1 in ten fights from there he was won three fights in a row against opponents with combined records of 52-2-1. Quite a change.
Eight knockdowns in a fight is pretty unusual but by no means a record. If we ignore everything before 1950 the record is held by Howard King vs. Hans Friedrich in Reno in May 1955 which saw 15 knockdowns in a fight that went the full ten rounds with Freidrich on the floor 14 times and losing the decision
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!
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