By Eric Armit
-Jamal James wins the vacant WBA interim title at welterweight by outpointing Thomas Dulorme
-Cuban David Morell collects the vacant WBA interim super middleweight title in only his third pro fight as he decisions Lennox Allen
-Chris Billam-Smith retains the Commonwealth cruiserweight title with stoppage of Nathan Thorley
World Title Fight Card
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Jamal James (27-1) W PTS 12 Thomas Dulorme (25-4-1). Super Middle: David Morell (3-0) W PTS 12 Lennox Allen (22-1-1) Welter: Lucas Santamaria (11-1-1) W PTS 10 Mykal Fox (22-1).
James vs. Dulorme
James wins the vacant WBA interim title with unanimous decision over Dulorme in a low key fight lacking any real highlights.
Comfortable first round for James. He was able to use his longer reach and his 4” height advantage to work with his jab on the outside mixing in some downward chopping rights to the head. Dulorme was not quick enough to cut off the ring so was largely ineffective.
Score: 10-9 James
Dulorme had a better second round. He attacked strongly ducking under the jabs from James and connecting to the body. James managed to open some space and picked Dulorme off with jabs but Dulorme trapped James on the ropes and got through to the body again
Score 10-9 Dulorme TIED 19-19
Good round for James. After some early pressure from Dulorme James took over driving Dulorme to the ropes and scoring with left hooks to the body and overhand rights.
Score: 10-9 James James 29-28
A close round but just edged by Dulorme. There was no conviction behind the jabs from James and Dulorme was able and get through with body punches as James just circled the ring not throwing much at all.
Score: 10-9 Dulorme TIED 38-38
James took this one. He kept moving and Dulorme just could not cut the ring off. James was able to score with quick jabs and then step in with a straight right followed by a left hook then use his long legs to step well out of range of any counters.
Score: 10-9 James James 48-47
Dulorme made a strong start. James was not moving enough or punching enough and Dulorme got through with left hooks to the body. James suddenly came to life and bombarded Dulorme with a shower of punches and just did enough to take the points.
Score: 10-9 James James 58-56
James jabbed and moved and then connected with occasional quick rights and with Dulorme unable to hunt James down it was a clear round for James which he punctuated with a series of chopping rights to the head before the bell.
Score: 10-9 James James 68-65
Dulorme chased for three minutes without ever getting close to landing a solid punch. James was picking him off at distance and banging home single rights. He was frustrating Dulorme’s attempts to fight inside by holding and turning his body away from Dulorme leaving him with no target.
Score: 10-9 James James 78-74
Dulorme upped his pace and had some success at the start of the round but not a lot. James was circling, slinging jabs and clipping Dulorme with rights and just doing enough to steal the round. So far the fight was lacking any highlights and Dulorme showed no likelihood of changing the pattern.
Score: 10-9 James James 88-83
A low scoring round but one in which Dulorme got close enough often enough to connect with some left hooks to the body and with James staying cautious and throwing little except one straight right that stopped Dulorme in his tracks Dulorme took the round.
Score: 10-9 Dulorme James 97-93
Dulorme chased hard again in this one. He managed to get close and scored with left hooks but James was also popping him with jabs. A clash of heads saw a lump appear under Dulorme’s left eye and he again landed some left hooks.
Score: 10-9 Dulorme James 106-103
James easily took the last round. He moved quickly and constantly stabbing home jabs and quick straight rights with Dulorme never able to get close enough to do any useful work as he chased in vain.
Score: 10-9 James James 116-112
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 117-111 James, Judge Zachary Young 116-112 James, Judge Alejandro Rochin 116-113 James.
With his 6’2” height and long reach James will pose problems for anyone he fights but he is not in the same class as Terence Crawford, Errol Spence or Manny Pacquiao. He is not entertaining enough for anyone to want anyone to break down doors to get him one of those fights and the interim title has little real value. He fought his fight here and won well but Dulorme was disappointing. He never really posed a threat. He had lost a very close decision to No 1 Yordenis Ugas and drawn with Jessie Vargas but he never got to grips with the physical advantages enjoyed by James.
Morell vs. Allen
Cuban youngster Morell take a wide unanimous over Allen to win the vacant WBA interim title
Morello was fired up taking the fight to Allen and firing flashy combinations. Allen connected with a couple of jabs but Morell was far quicker and unleashed a succession of punches as the round ended.
Score: 10-9 Morrell
Morell’s hand speed was giving Allen problems but he worked well with his jab and blocked or dodged many of the punches from the young Cuban and knocked Morell off balance with a right hook even though the confident Morell was already finding time to showboat.
Score: 10-9 Allen TIED 19-19
A dominating round for Morell. After some early jabbing from Allen Morell forced him to the ropes and piled on the punches to head and body from both hands. Allen fired back when he could catching Morell with a hard right hook and fought his way of the ropes before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Morell Morell 29-28
An early flurry of punches from Morell was enough to give him this round. Apart from that he was again showboating and leaving himself open to counters with Allen not quick enough to take advantage of the openings.
Score: 10-9 Morell Morell 39-37
Allen marched forward throughout the round but paid for it as Morell raked him with punches on the way in and either blocked or danced away from Allen’s punches. Morell was landing plenty but never really made a dent in Allen.
Score: 10-9 Morell Morell 49-46
Morell launched a wild attack at the start of this one. He pinned Allen against the ropes and kept him there belabouring him with punches. Allen saw out the storm but was rocked by four successive rights to the head later in the round.
Score: 10-9 Morell Morell 59-55
Morell was putting his punches together well in the seventh but could not stop Allen coming forward. He was connecting with hooks and uppercuts from different angles with Allen walking through the punches but not doing much inside. With only two pro fights, both of which ended early and the rest of his experience being in amateur fights this was probably the first time Morell had been as far as seven rounds.
Score: 10-9 Morell Morell 69-64
The pace dropped over these three minutes. Allen was still trying to force the fight but Morell was finding gaps with straight rights and the occasional uppercut and looked to be coasting.
Score: 10-9 Morell Morell 79-73
Morell had slowed but he still connected with some choice uppercuts and with Allen not able to get inside to work it was Morell’s round but he looked arm weary at times.
Score: 10-9 Morell Morell 89-82
The spring had gone out of Morell’s legs but Allen was more exhausted and the young Cuban worked Allen over on the ropes with hooks and uppercuts without ever really shaking Allen. Morell seems to have trouble with the word “break” and through the fight often hit on the break.
Score: 10-9 Morell Morell 99-91
Allen landed a sharp left counter early in this round but then Morell dominated the action. He was scoring with overhand lefts and threading uppercuts throught Allen’s guard and although Allen finished the round with a flourish it was not enough.
Score: 10-9 Morell Morell 109-100
Allen looked to have more left. Morell was wild as he tried to close the fight out and was caught repeatedly by counters from Allen who finished the fight the stronger.
Score: 10-9 Allen Morell 118-110
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 120-108 Morell, Judge Rudy Barragan 119-110 Morell and Judge Steve Morrow 118-110 for Morell
The 22-year-old Cuban can claim to have equalled Vasyl Lomachenko and Saensak Muangsurin who both won a world title in their third professional fight. The big difference was that they both won genuine world titles and not the fabricated interim title. It shows how low the standing of the WBA is when no one is too surprised that they rated Morell No 3 in the world after winning two preliminary bouts against fighters who only just scrape into the top 100 in the division. With Callum Smith (real champion), Saul Alvarez (secondary champion) and Fedor Chudinov (Gold champion) they now have four world champions in the super middleweight division. Nevertheless Morell showed some classy skills and real power but his problem is that as he is a “world champion” he will not be able to drop down to take some useful learning fights. Allen was never really in this fight with a chance and it is ridiculous that he should get a title fight in only his third fight in the last five years.
Santamaria vs. Fox
Santamaria scores important upset victory as he floors and outpoints world rated southpaw Fox. Santamaria was giving away nearly 8” inches against the 6’3 ½” Fox but made the perfect start as he sent Fox to the canvas in the first round. Fox recovered and it turned into a competitive scrap. Fox tried to fight at distance but just could not keep Santamaria out often enough or long enough to impose himself on the fight. Despite that it looked closer than the scores indicate but Santamaria was a clear winner. Scores 99-90, 97-92 and 96-93 for Santamaria. The 22-year-old winner from California is 9-0-1 in his last ten fights and was in his first ten round contest. Fox, the WBA No 13, went 19-0 before losing to unbeaten Uzbek Shohjahon Ergashev but had worked his way back with three wins.
Brentwood, England: Cruiser: Chris Billam- Smith (11-1) W TKO 2 Nathan Thorley (14-1). Super Welter: Anthony Fowler (13-1) W TKO 7 Adam Harper (9-2).
Billam-Smith vs. Thorley
Heavy-handed Billam-Smith halts Thorley in two rounds. After controlling the early action with strong jabs and straight rights with less than ten seconds to go in the round Billam-Smith connected with a perfectly timed right to the head. Thorley tried to move inside and hold but Billam-Smith managed to land a couple of lefts and Thorley dropped to one knee in a delayed action from that initial right. Thorley was up quickly and when the eight count ended with the round already over he returned to his corner. Billam-Smith put Thorley down early in the second with two clubbing rights to the head. Thorley was up at seven and then took the fight to Billam-Smith but walked onto a huge right counter that dropped him. Again he beat the count but swayed badly and the referee waived the fight over. Billam-Smith was making his first defence of the Commonwealth title. He has ten inside the distance wins with his only loss coming against unbeaten WBA No 3 Richard Riakporhe. Welshman Thorley didn’t have the power to match Billam-Smith.
Fowler vs. Harper
Fowler much too good for Harper and halts him in seven rounds. Fowler was in control of this one from the opening bell. With his longer reach and faster hands he was able to score at distance and raked Harper with body punches inside. He was twice warned about low punches in the first round and had a point deducted when he went low again in the second. Harper was showing a cut over his left eye by the end of the round. Fowler floored Harper with a right cross in the fourth and only the bell saved Harper. The fifth and sixth were one-sided with Fowler pounding on Harper but he went low again late in the sixth and was given a final warning. Fowler continued to connect with heavy shots in the seventh and when a long right rocked Harper the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Fourth win in a row and tenth by KO/TKO for Fowler with his only loss coming on a split verdict against Elite class amateur Scott Fitzgerald. The 29-year-old former Commonwealth gold and World bronze medallist and 2016 Olympian has talent and power and should be fighting for the British title soon. English champion Harper brave but in over his head. His other loss was on points against Australian Michael Zerafa for the vacant Commonwealth title in 2018
Grosseto, Italy: Super Feather: Mario Alfano (15-1-1) W TKO 2 Nicola Cipolletta (14-10-2). Alfano becomes national super feather champion for the second time as he floors and halts perennial challenger Cipolletta in the second round. With neither fighter being a puncher the fans were expecting ten rounds of tactical boxing. Cipolletta the more technical fighter began well boxing cleverly and scored well in the opening round. The roof fell in on him the second as Alfano exploded with a big right hook which had Cipolletta badly shaken and a left hook which sent Cipolletta staggering into the ropes. Alfano bombarded him with punches and Cipolletta fell sideways to the canvas. He somehow made it to his feet but was reeling and the referee rightly halted the contest. Alfano had won this title back in 2016 but was tonight coming off a loss against Lavisas Williams in Verona (NY) in June last year in an unsuccessful trip to the USA. This is only his fourth win by KO/TKO. Cipolletta, a former Italian featherweight champion, was having his fourth shot at the super featherweight title.
Managua, Nicaragua: Light: Francisco Fonseca (26-3-2) W TKO 1Eusebio Osejo (30-25-3). Super Feather: Marcio Soza (20-6-2) W PTS 8 Franco Gutierrez (10-5)
Fonseca vs. Osejo
Fonseca finishes southpaw Osejo in two minutes. Fonesca used his longer reach to put veteran Osejo on the defensive. He threw a long right that landed low with the referee indicating for him to keep his punches up. Osejo was hurt by the punch and edged along the ropes into a corner. Fonseca followed and landed a couple of lefts to the body but Osejo was already on his way down in delayed action to the first right and he sat out the count. Fonseca is looking for another title shot. He was beaten by Gervonta Davis and Tevin Farmer in bouts for the IBF super feather title and in November last year drew with unbeaten Alex Dilmaghani for the vacant IBO belt. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he was clobbered in just 80 seconds by Ryan Garcia in his last fight in February. Osejo now makes his money as a loser. His recent form reads just two wins in his fourteen fights spread across six different countries.
Soza vs. Gutierrez
No quarter asked or given in this one as Nicaraguans Soza and Gutierrez battered away at each other for eight rounds. The result could have gone either way but the judges gave it to the more experienced Soza on a majority verdict. From on the road to nowhere Soza has turned the corner with ten consecutive victories. Gutierrez looked as though he might do the same when he put together a run of six wins but he is now1-4 in his last 5.
Bucheon, South Korea: Welter: In Duk Seo (13-3-2) W TEC DEC 10 Jung Kyoung Lee (8-4-1). Seo wins the vacant WBA Asian title with technical decision over southpaw Lee. This was a savage scrap which swung one way and then the other. It was the aggression of Seo against the better skills of Lee and over the first four round Lee’s higher work rate and better boxing had him in front on a couple of cards 40-37 and 39-37 with the third judge favouring Seo 39-37. Things changed over the middle rounds as Lee started to slow from the pace he had set and although the fifth and sixth were close Seo began to dominate the action. Leo just could not keep him out and was forced into a brawl spending much of the time trapped on the ropes. After eight rounds Seo had edged in front 78-74 and 77-76 on two cards and was even at 76-76 on the third. A clash of heads in the eighth had seen Lee cut over his right eye and although he fought hard he soaked up a lot of punishment in the ninth and tenth. The referee had the doctor examine the cut before the start of the eleventh and the doctor ruled the cut was too bad for Lee to continue. It was decided on the cards with Seo winning ion scores of 98-92, 97-94 and 96-94. Third time lucky for Seo who in his last two contests had suffered defeats in a shot at this same title and also for the vacant OPBF Silver title. Lee is a former OPBF super welter champion who had gone 5-1-1 before this loss.
Marbella, Spain: Super Feather: John Carter (13-0-1) W TKO 8 Ibon Larringa (13-4). Super Welter: Kerman Lejarraga (31-2) W PTS 10 Tyrone Nurse (37-7-2). Light: Samuel Molina (15-0) W TKO 2 Ruben Garcia (5-9-2).
Carter vs. Larrinaga
Big win for Carter as he stops felloe-Spaniard Larringa in eight to collect the vacant European Union title. Carter was a heavy favourite and he fought like it. He attacked strongly from the start and had Larringa under siege. Larringa began to find the target with his jab in the third until a hard right put him on the floor. He survived the round but was rocky again at the end of the fifth and lost a point in the sixth for holding. Rights from Carter had Larringa reeling in the eighth and with Larringa’s team ready to throw in the towel the referee stopped the fight. Seventh consecutive win for Carter. He raises his total of inside the distance victories to seven but I think he will struggle against better class opposition. Larringa a poor level EU title challenger. He lost every round against Michael Conlan in May 2018 and was beaten in seven rounds by Carlos Ramos for the vacant Spanish feather title in November 2018.
Lejarraga vs. Nurse
Lejarraga takes wide unanimous decision over Nurse. Nurse took a few rounds to settle into any rhythm in this fight. Lejarraga took advantage of that to comfortably take the first three rounds. He took control of the centre of the ring jabbing well and scoring with some hefty rights. From the fourth Nurse, who had been looking to match Lejarraga in trading in the centre of the ring, changed his tactics and started to fight off the ropes letting Lejarraga come to him and countering the Spaniard. Nurse did better in those exchanges and his clever defensive work was frustrating Lejarraga’s attacks. Lejarraga continued to force the fight and was picking up rounds but good work from Nurse was making it closer. Lejarraga’s looked to be tiring and Nurse outscored Lejarraga in the eighth and the ninth was an even round. They both put in a big effort in the last with Lejarraga just having the edge. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 all for Lejarraga. “The Revolver” from Bilbao takes another step along the road to recovery with his third win in a row, but those two inside the distance losses to David Avanesyan still hangs over him like a cloud. Nurse, a former British super lightweight champion, has been a pro for twelve years. He went through a rough spell that saw him suffer four losses in a row but all of the results were close and debatable. He had worked his way back with two wins late last year and is a difficult opponent on his night.
Molina vs. Garcia
Molina gets a stoppage win but hugely controversial ending. Garcia outboxed Molina in the first but became overconfident and was showboating and mocking Molina in the second. He had his hands down inviting Molina to land a punch. Molina did. He nailed Garcia with a crunching right which landed on the bell-or after it as Garcia’s team claimed. Garcia lurched around the ring before collapsing to the canvas in a corner propped up against the ropes. Even when he got up he was obviously in a daze and distressed and the referee decided he could not continue and stopped the fight. Garcia and his team protested loud and long but the verdict stood although there may be a protest. Molina, 21, is Spanish champion and was national Under-19 champion in the amateurs. Despite his protests Garcia’s record will now show he is 1-7 in his last eight contests.
Fight of the week (Significance): The WBA interim victories for both Jamal James and David Morell have added another dimension to the welterweight and super middleweight divisions
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Marcio Soza and Franco Gutierrez knocked lumps off each other in eight rounds of war in Managua with honourable mention to the In Duk Seo vs. Jung Kyoung Lee WBA Asian title fight.
Fighter of the week: David Morell for winning the interim title in only his third pro fight.
Punch of the week: The right hand counter from Chris Billam-Smith in the second round of his fight with Nathan Thorley. It was a beauty.
Upset of the week: Lucas Santamaria’s win over Mykal Fox
Prospect watch: None I have not already spotted for you
Eddie Hearn’s back garden is becoming a busy fight camp.
I would love to hear how the WBA justify putting David Morell (only two prelim fights) above Daniel Jacobs, John Ryder, Anthony Dirrell, David Lemieux etc. in their ratings but I am not holding my breath.
A couple of clarifications. A) In California even if a fighter is on his feet when the fight is stopped it is registered as a KO but I will put it as a TKO where I know that has happened. B) If a fighter retires between rounds Box Rec list it as a retirement after the completed round and not before the next round and I will follow the same rule.
By Eric Armit
-Angelo Leo collects the vacant WBO super bantamweight title as he outpoints late substitute Tramaine Williams
-Ted Cheeseman outpoints Sam Eggington for the IBF International title in a candidate for Fight of the Year
-Lyndon Arthur remains unbeaten and retains the Commonwealth title with decision against Don Spelman
-Former WBC super flyweight champion Srisaket outpoints former IBF flyweight champion Amnat Ruenroeng in an all-Thai clash
-James Tennyson wins the vacant British lightweight title with stoppage of Gavin Gwynne
World Title Shows:
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Bantam: Angelo Leo (20-0) W PTS 12 Tramaine Williams (19-1). Super Bantam: Raeese Aleem (17-0) W TKO 10 Marcus Bates (11-2-1). Light Heavy: Joseph George (11-0) W KO 9 Marcos Escudero (10-2).
Leo vs. Williams
Leo wins the vacant WBO title with wide unanimous victory over Williams who makes a promising start and then falls away badly
Williams was quickest off the mark. He used speedy southpaw jabs and straight lefts to score and used good upper body movement to get away from Leo’s punches.
Score: 10-9 Williams
It was more of the same in the second. Williams was getting his punches off first and was on target with straight lefts then tying Leo up on the inside.
Score: 10-9 Williams Williams 20-18
This round was closer but it was Leo who was firing the quicker and more accurate jabs and connecting with rights to the body. Williams was not throwing many punches and holding inside.
Score: 10-9 Leo Williams 29-28
Clear round for Leo. He was outworking Williams who was waiting too long to counter effectively. Leo had success with lead rights and worked to the body inside.
Score: 10-9 Leo Tied 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Don Trella 38-38, Judge Don Ackerman 38-38, Judge Glenn Feldman 38-38
This was a poor round during which neither fighter really did much effective work but Leo’s lead rights and some body punches inside just gave him a slight edge.
Score: 10-9 Leo Leo 48-47
Williams handed this round to Leo. He chose to fight inside but again held more than punched and Leo was able to pile on the hooks to the body. Leo went low and the action was stopped whilst Williams got some recovery time and Leo continued to outland Williams in close.
Score: 10-9 Leo Leo 58-56
Williams did well when he jabbed and moved at the start of this round but then could not keep Leo out. The last two minutes of the round saw them brawling inside where Leo was landing bunches of punches and Williams doing very little work.
Score: 10-9 Leo Leo 68-65
Another round where instead of using his footwork and hand speed to score at distance Williams stood and mauled with Leo. Leo was pumping out bursts of punches with Williams throwing one at a time
Score: 10-9 Leo Leo 78-74
Official Scores: Judge Trella 78-74 Leo, Judge Ackerman 77-75 Leo, Judge Feldman 78-74 Leo
Williams was not using his right jab at all now and I wondered whether he had injured the hand but there was no comment on that. Leo was able to continue forcing the fight inside and pounding Williams to the body with Williams unable to find any space or leverage to counter.
Score: Score 10-9 Leo Leo 88-83
Leo spent the tenth round hunting Williams down. Williams could not keep him out and again his jab was nowhere in sight. Leo was raking Williams with body punches with nothing much coming back. Leo was given a recovery break when Williams landed low.
Score: 10-9 Leo 98-92
Another three minutes of pressure from Leo. Williams was only throwing occasional lefts and not making any attempt to punch inside allowing Leo to totally dominate the action.
Score: 10-9 Leo Leo 108-101
No change to the pattern of the fight Leo was again marching forward throwing punches with Williams on the retreat just looking to stay out of trouble and still not using his right hand even when commonsense screamed out it was the logical punch.
Score: 10-9 Leo Leo 118-110
Official Scores: Judge Trella 118-110 Leo, Judge Ackerman 117-111 Leo, Judge Feldman 118-110 Leo
The new champion from Albuquerque had scored useful wins over Mark John Yap and Cesar Juarez but other than those wins he is largely untested. Leo was to have faced Steve Fulton but Fulton tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Williams. Leo adjusted to having to face a southpaw at such short notice. The super bantam division is not strong at this moment and if Naoya Inoue were to move up he could easily become a four-division champion. Williams was never able to keep Leo out or match his work rate and his failure to use his right over the late rounds was puzzling as there was no mention of an injury. He was to have fought Raeese Aleem on the card but was moved up to the main event after Fulton’s positive test for the virus.
Aleem vs. Bates
Aleem adjusts to a late change of opponent and registers his second win over Bates. Having fought each other before neither fighter needed much study time with Aleem dominating the centre of the ring and Bates circling and darting in with quick punches. They both landed good left hooks in the first and Aleem had the better of the exchanges in the second. Aleem began to find the range with rights to the head in the third and had Bates on the back foot as he doubled up his jabs in the fourth. Bates tried to get on the front foot to pressure Aleem in the fifth but by the end of the round Aleem was back in control. He outlanded Bates in the sixth and seventh and hurt him with a body punch in the eighth In the ninth Bates began to show signs of trouble with his right wrist and he took heavy punishment in the round with Aleem then in front 90-81 on all three cards. A hard left hook from Aleem had Bates turning away from the exchanges in the tenth and the referee stopped the fight. The 30-year-old Aleem has had some periods of inactivity but has now collected six KO/TKO victories on the bounce including a stoppage of useful Adam Lopez. Bates lost a wide points decision to Aleem back in 2018. Somehow, even though he had never been in a fight scheduled for eight round or contested a title the WBA had him No 8 in their ratings and this was labelled as an eliminator
George vs. Escudero
George gets his second win over Escudero as he comes from behind to score a dramatic kayo in the ninth round. George made a good start connecting with a lunging left hook in the first but Argentinian Escudero finished the round strongly with body punches and outworked George in the second. Both did some good work in the third and fourth with Escudero working strongly to the body and he was throwing more and landing more in the fifth. Escudero continued to force the fight in the sixth and seventh and had built a solid lead. George put his punches together well at the start of the eighth but again more and harder punches were coming from Escudero. Before the start of the ninth two judges had Escudero ahead 79-73 and 77-75 and the third looked out with his score of 79-73 for George. It all became academic in the ninth when a devastating left uppercut put the advancing Escudero down and out. George had won a hotly disputed decision when they fought in November but there was no question over the impact of that left uppercut giving George his seventh win by KO/TKO. Big disappointment for Escudero who looked on the way to revenging his loss in November.
Minsk, Belarus: Light: Georgi Chelokhsaev (19-1-1) W PTS 10 Aik Shakhnazaryan (23-4). Middle: Andrey Sirotkin (18-1) W TKO 4 Artem Karpets (21-15). Light: Vladimir Myshev (10-0) W RTD 7Oscar Amador (10-26).
Chelokhsaev vs. Shakhnazaryan
Chelokhsaev gets a split decision over Shakhnazaryan but a very questionable one. Shakhnazaryan overcame Cheloksaev’s edges in height and reach to chug forward getting inside and bombarding Chelokhsaev with punches to head and body. Chelokhsaev countered with jabs and straight rights but just could not stem the attacks of Shakhnazaryan and spent most of the fight on the back foot and against the ropes with the bobbing and weaving Shakhnazaryan presenting a difficult target. Chelokhsaev managed to put Shakhnazaryan under some pressure over the last two rounds as Shakhnazaryan tired and his work rate dropped which may have influenced the judges but Shakhnazaryan had already done enough to look a clear winner. Scores 97-94 and 96-95 for Chelokhsaev and 96-95 for Shakhnazaryan. The 26-year-old Chelokhsaev, the Russian champion, extends his winning streak to 14 contests. He was inactive from November 2018 to November 2019 and this is his third win since returning to action. Armenian-born Russian Shakhnazaryan, 27, suffered consecutive losses in 2015 to Abner Lopez and to Eduard Troyanovsky in a fight for the vacant IBO title. He put together a good sequence scoring victories over DeMarcus Corley and 21-2 Fedor Papazov but then suffered an injury defeat against novice Elnur Samedov in his last fight in April 2019. He was rated No 10 in the EBU non European Union ratings.
Sirotkin vs. Karpets
Sirotkin gets count out win over Karpets but the finishing punch looked low. Sirotkin made a positive start shooting out jabs and trying some right crosses. In the second Karpets began to use his longer reach and was able to keep Sirotkin out. Sirotkin changed guards throughout the third and connected with some rights to the head of Karpets. Sirotkin went back to orthodox in the fourth forcing Karpets around the ring before trapping him on the ropes and connecting with a right to the body then a left hook to the body which looked low and dropped Karpets to the floor in agony. He tried to rise but never made it. Sirotkin, a 35-year-old southpaw, is a former police lieutenant who came to boxing after being a World and European champion in kick boxing. His loss was on a stoppage against John Ryder in 2018 but he recovered from that with a win over useful Apti Ustarkhanov in February this year. He is No 11 with the EBU. Poor Ukrainian-born Pole Karpets, 36, is 0-14 in his last 14 fights.
Myshev vs. Amador
Myshev moves to ten wins as Amador does not come out for the seventh round. The young southpaw from Moscow invested heavily in a body attack over the first three rounds with Amador countering but lacking the punch to halt Myshev’s from forcing him to the ropes where he could work inside. Myshev floored Amador with a straight left in the fifth but Amador was up at five and then fought back hard to force Myshev onto the back foot and Myshev seemed to run out of ideas. In the end it was a swelling around both eyes that forced Amador’s corner to withdraw their man at the end of the sixth round. Sixth win by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old Myshev. In the amateur he was champion of Moscow four times. A graduate of the Russian State University he is a member of The Money Team Russia a Floyd Mayweather Jr project. When still an amateur he competed in the Russian reality show “Fight in the Big City “where he lost in the final to Georgi Chelokhsaev. Spanish-based Nicaraguan Amador drops to eighteen losses in a row.
London, England: Light Heavy: Lyndon Arthur (17-0) W PTS 12 Dec Spelman (16-4). Middle: Caolmhin Agyarko (7-0) W TKO 9 Jez Smith (11-2-1). Super Feather: Nick Ball (13-0) W PTS 8 Jerome Campbell (6-1).
Arthur vs. Spelman
Good, solid show from Arthur as he shrugs off a hand injury suffered early in the fight and outpoints Spelman to retain the Commonwealth title. Spelman knew that to have a chance he would have to pressure Arthur in every round but the champion put on a classic exhibition of boxing on the back foot. Spelman’s fierce attacks gave him the edge in the first. Arthur then began to use his height and longer reach to outbox Spelman. He was connecting with sharp right uppercuts as Spelman came forward and the challengers face was looking bruised and busted. Spelman appeared to rock Arthur with a right in the third but he was taking punishment. Arthur’s work rate dropped over the middle rounds and he wasted energy with some showboating but then took control again. He speared Spelman with jabs and again connected with some hurtful uppercuts. Even when Spelman was able to force Arthur to the ropes Arthur was raking Spelman with left hooks and fierce body punches. Despite the punishment Spelman showed real grit to keep taking the fight to Arthur but the champion always looked composed and Spelman had no real answer to the superior sped and Arthur’s jab. Scores 119-109, 116-112 and 116-113 for Arthur with the first score looking harsh on Spelman. The 6’2” 29-year-old from Manchester was defending the Commonwealth title for the first time. He is trained by former British and European champion and WBO title challenger Pat Barrett. There is talk of a fight with Anthony Yarde but nothing signed yet. Former English champion “Kid Nytro” Spelman fought hard but came up short.
Agyarko vs. Smith
Confident performance by promising Agyarko as he breaks down a tough Smith and scores three knockdown on his way to victory. Agyarko tried to overwhelm Smith with a storming first round as he drove Smith around landing with bursts of left hooks. Smith settled into the fight in the second using his longer reach to create some space but he was under heavy pressure again in the third from a whole stream of left hooks. Agyarko maintained the pressure in the fourth but Smith was responding with heavy rights to the head. The pace slowed in the fifth but in the sixth Smith was being forced to spend more time pinned against the ropes as Agyarko bombarded him with hooks and uppercuts. Smith looked to be wilting under the body battering. In the seventh a vicious left hook to the body and a neck-snapping right uppercut delivered by Agyarko saw Smith drop to one knee. He was up at eight and nearly went down again sitting on the middle rope. He stayed up and withstood another barrage of punches to make it to the bell. Agyarko attacked relentlessly in the eighth with a gutsy Smith finally being forced to go down on one knee after some rib-bending hooks. He got it to his feet and survived to the bell. Agyarko ended it in the ninth. He connected with a couple of head punches and an exhausted Smith dropped to the floor. He again dragged himself to the vertical but the referee made a good decision to stop the fight. The 23-year-old Croydon-born Belfast-based “Black Thunder” was impressive both in the ferocity of his attacks and the clever way he changed his punching angles. Definitely one to watch as a man who survived a slashed throat in a street incident that required emergency surgery and extensive rehabilitation to continue his career. Smith, 26, had moved up from welterweight and although he fought hard he was simply overwhelmed in the end.
Ball vs. Campbell
Ball a clear winner in this clash of unbeaten fighters. At just 5’3” Ball has no choice but to force his fights and try to work inside. He swarmed forward with two-handed attacks forcing Campbell to fight on the back foot and too often off the ropes. Campbell was cut over the right eye and bruised over the same eye in the second round but the cut was never a factor. Campbell did well when he could create some space and by the sixth Ball was bleeding persistently from the nose. Campbell was boxing well in the seventh until a lunging attack from Ball rocked him and he was sent flying into the ropes and slumped to sit on the middle rope. It saved Campbell from going down and the referee saw it as a knockdown and gave him a count. Referee’s card was 79-72 for Liverpudlian Ball who came into boxing through Thai kick boxing. First eight round fight for Campbell.
Brescia, Italy: Super Bantam: Alessio Lorusso (11-4-2) W PTS 10 Iuliano Gallo (9-4). An all-southpaw contest sees Lorusso outpoint Gallo in first defence of the national title. In a fast-paced fight Lorusso’s skills were too much for the limited Gallo. Lorusso was snapping out quick, accurate jabs and often switching guards and Gallo just could not apply enough pressure to threaten Lorusso. A left hook floored Gallo in the fourth. Gallo was not badly hurt and continued to try to take the fight to Lorusso but the champion eased his way to a wide points victory. Scores 98-91 twice and 99-90 for Lorusso. The 24-year-old heavily tattooed “Mosquito” was making the first defence of his title and has turned his career around with six consecutive victories. In his last fight in May last year former champion Gallo lost a controversial decision against Terry Le Couviour for the European Union title.
Radom, Poland: Super Welter: Oskari Metz (12-0) W PTS 8 Michal Syrowatka (22-3).
A hugely disappointing performance by Pole Syrowatka sees him lose every round against unsung Finn Metz. For two rounds Syrowatka was competitive but Metz was connecting with strong rights and won both rounds. After that Syrowatka looked slow and out of shape. He just seemed to be focusing on surviving. Metz forced the fight working well with his left. He had no problem finding the target with hard rights and outworked Syrowatka to claim an easy victory. Scores 80-72 for Metz from all three judges. The 28-year-old Finn was moving up to eight rounds for the first time. There was nothing in his record to make him seem a threat to the much more experienced Syrowatka. For the Pole he was being lined up for a big domestic fight with the 19-1 Przemyslaw Runowski but may have blown it with the poor showing.
Brentwood, England: Super Welter: Ted Cheeseman (16-2-1) W PTS 12 Sam Eggington (28-7). Light: James Tennyson (27-3) W TKO 6 Gavin Gwynne (12-2). Feather: Jordan Gill (25-1) W PTS 10 Reece Bellotti (14-4). Heavy: Fabio Wardley (9-0) W TKO 3 Simon Vallily (17-3-1). Light: Dalton Smith (6-0) W KO 5 Nathan Bennett (9-1).
Cheeseman vs. Eggington
Cheeseman gets unanimous decision over more experienced Eggington in a war that is definitely a candidate for Fight of the Year. Both men were looking to dominate from the start and stood and traded jabs and short hooks to the head with Eggington coming forward and Cheeseman countering. Cheeseman just did enough to take that opening round and he added the second to his tally when under pressure from Eggington he connected with a left hook and a big right counter that made Eggington’s legs quiver and almost put him down before he fell sent backwards to the ropes. Cheeseman bombarded Eggington with punches but Eggington worked his way off the ropes and was connecting with hooks and uppercuts at the bell. No clinches on show as they stood in close and traded punches. Cheeseman with a stream of hooks to the body again getting the better of some savage exchanges. The fourth was close with Eggington forcing the fight and landing chopping head punches and Cheeseman doing better at distance. Eggington was on top in the fifth until two rights to the head had him covering up under pressure and Cheeseman outscored Eggington for the rest of the round. The sixth was close and as the pace momentarily slowed Eggington had the edge in the seventh and had blood dripping from Cheeseman’s damaged nose. They traded on equal terms in the eighth until a right snapped Eggington’s head back and Cheeseman ended the round strongly. This was a savage battled as they bounced punches off each other, quality and powerful punches. Eggington kept himself very much in the fight as he took the ninth but Cheeseman battled back to the take the tenth. Eggington’s experienced showed as he had something left to take the last two rounds but it was just not enough to overcome the early lead established by Cheeseman. Scores 116-113 twice and 115-114 for Cheeseman who wins the IBF International title. Cheeseman had to win this one after suffering losses against Sergio Garcia for the European title and Scott Fitzgerald for the British title. He fought his heart out here and deserved the decision. Eggington had scored an impressive kayo victory over 31-2 Orland Fiordigiglio last year and was rated No 5(4) by the IBF so a huge setback for him.
Tennyson vs. Gwynne
The assassin strikes again as Tennyson halts Gwynne in six rounds. Tennyson was ripping in body punches and forcing the fight in the first. Gwynne stayed cool, boxed well and showed a willingness to punch with Tennyson. In the second Tennyson was pressing relentlessly coming in behind a high guard and the letting fly with hooks and uppercuts. Gwynne tried to get on the front foot late in the round but in doing that was fighting Tennyson’s fight. The third was a good round for Gwynne. He used a fast, accurate jab and clever footwork to frustrate Tennyson’s attempts to get inside and took the round. Fierce attacks from Tennyson in the fourth and fifth were getting him inside where he was scoring with vicious body punches. Gwynne landed some good counters but he was never going to be able to outpunch a puncher. Gwynne boxed and moved well in the sixth but Tennyson harried him until he connected with a couple of body shots and a right to the head that saw Gwynne take a couple of steps back and go down on one knee. He was up at eight but Tennyson poured on the punches driving him to the ropes and unloading heavy shots until the referee stepped in to save Gwynne. Tennyson collects the vacant British lightweight title with win No 23 by KO/TKO. After losing on a fifth round stoppage against Tevin Farmer for the IBF super feather title in 2018 Tennyson moved up to lightweight and has scored five straight inside the distance wins since then. He is rated No 9 by the WBO. With Luke Campbell, Lee Selby and Terry Flanagan in the lightweight there are some good domestic fights for Tennyson if they can be made. You always get entertainment with the aggressive style of Tennyson-he does not do boring! Welshman Gwynne had lost on points to Joe Cordina for this title in August with Cordina then relinquishing the title and moving down to super featherweight. Gwynne was the underdog but he made Tennyson fight hard for his victory
Gill vs. Bellotti
Gill takes unanimous verdict over Bellotti in a competitive, fast-paced technical battle. Gill’s quicker and more accurate jab put him in control early with Bellotti just that bit slower. Gill frustrated Bellotti’s attempts to get inside with some good footwork and stiff jabs and turned away quickly when Bellotti tried to work inside. Bellotti began to get more into the fight over the middle rounds. He was moving in quicker cutting off the ring and forcing Gill to stand and trade and landed well to the body. Gill rocked Bellotti with a left hook in the sixth forcing Bellotti to hang on and with Bellotti cut over the right eye Gill was back in control by the seventh. Constantly moving he was slotting jabs through Bellotti’s guard cleverly side-stepping his attacks and countering with short right hooks. Bellotti just could not close the distance fast enough to be effective inside. Gill’s jab kept jerking Bellotti’s head back in the ninth and although Bellotti put in a big effort that probably gave him the last round it was nowhere near enough. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-95 for Gill. He put up a poor performance in being floored three times before retiring in an upset defeat against modest Mexican Mario Tinoco in May last year so this is an important win for him. A set-back for former Commonwealth champion Bellotti as he suffers his second loss in a row and his fourth loss in his last six fights.
Wardley vs. Vallily
Powerful and skilful showing by Wardley as he halts Vallily in three rounds. A cautious opening round saw Vallily a bit more active but the best punch was a short left hook from Wardley one of the few punches he threw in the first. Wardley was much more active in the second. He started to put together some fast combinations and was quick enough to just lean back out of the way of Vallily’s punches and connect with some quick counters. Wardley opened the third with some stiff jabs. As Vallily came forward Wardley backed into a corner. He showed great reflexes in swaying to let Vallily’s punches swish air and then countered with a left hook that sent Vallily stumbling back across the ring to the far ropes. Wardley chased after him. He was unloading punches to head and body and with Vallily not punching back the referee stopped the fight. The 6’5” 25-year-old from Ipswich, who is managed by Dillan Whyte, makes it eight successive inside the distance victories as he wins the vacant English title and adds his name to the long list of outstanding heavyweight prospects. Vallily had won his last four fights but was blown away here for his third defeat by KO/TKO
Smith vs. Bennett
Smith wins with dramatic fifth round kayo. In the first Bennett used his height and reach to put Smith on the back foot. He was jabbing well and trying some long rights until just before the bell a right to the head from Smith sent him lurching to one side and made his legs quiver. Bentley boxed cautiously in the second still jabbing well but Smith was landing some hurtful left hook counters. Bennett worked hard behind his jab in the third and fourth but Smith displayed some excellent defensive skills and looked dangerous every time he threw a punch. The fifth was following the same pattern with Bennett getting frustrated at his inability to land a good punch when an overhand right from Smith crashed into the side of his head and put him down flat on his back. The referee started to count but then saw Bennett was not going to get up and stopped the count so that Bennett could get medical attention. The 23-year-old Smith was moving up to eight rounds for the first time but then made that irrelevant with his fifth consecutive inside the distance win. A former Elite level amateur he is an outstanding talent. Bennett suffers his first TKO/KO loss.
Neuwied, Germany: Welter: Ilhami Aydemir (18-1) W RTD 7 Ahmed El Hamwi (19-10-2). Turkish-born German Aydemir wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean title as Belgian El Hamwi is forced to retire at the end of the sixth round with a damaged right hand. El Hamwi was quick off the mark firing punches with both hands whilst Aydemir tended to look for openings that did not come. Aydemir was on the front foot in the second finding the target with sharp jabs and blocking most of El Hamwi’s punches. An overhand right from Aydemir sent El Hamwi stumbling into the ropes in the third but El Hamwi recovered. In the fourth El Hamwi looked to have injured his right hand as he often shook the hand after landing a punch. Aydemir was by then getting the better of the exchanges. After four rounds all three judges had the fight 38-38. Aydemir took the fifth with some excellent jabbing with El Hamwi in pain every time he used his right. The referee spotted El Hamwi’s distress but El Hamwi indicated he was willing to continue. El Hamwi actually connected with a couple of good rights in the sixth but Aydemir was doing most of the scoring with his jab and left hooks. At the end of the round El Hamwi retired with what was probably a broken hand. The scores at the retirement were 58-56 for Aydemir from all three judges. Now nine wins in a row for Global Boxing Union champion Aydemir. Belgian El Hamwi was giving Aydemir a real test until his hand injury which he said happened in the second round. He came in 1 ½ lbs over the contract weight so could not win the title.
Bank Phun, Thailand: Super Fly: Srisaket (48-5-1) W PTS 10 Amnat Ruenroeng (20-4). Srisaket outpoints oldie Ruenroeng in a rare clash of Thai former world champions. Srisaket (Wisaksil Wangek) was taking the fight to Ruenroeng early with a slightly tubby former champion boxing adroitly on the back foot. Srisaket seemed a bit rusty and Ruenroeng was accurate with his counters and did the scoring in the opening round. Ruenroeng boxed well again in the second and third as Srisaket struggled to find his rhythm and a clash of heads in the third opened a cut on Srisaket’s left eye lid. The cut was in a bad place with the blood running into Srisaket’s eye and it hampered him throughout the fight. He picked up the pace from the fourth round and with Ruenroeng dangerous only in bursts Srisaket clawed back Ruenroeng’s early lead and took control. He marched forward for the rest of the fight sending out a steady stream of punches with Ruenroeng backing up and relying on occasional counters as age caught up with him. Srisaket’s cut was bad enough for the fight to be halted but it was never again examined by the doctor and he ground down Ruenroeng over the late rounds for a clear victory. Scores a too wide 99-91, 97-94 and 96-93 all for Srisaket. First fight for Srisaket since losing his WBC super fly title to Juan Francisco Estrada on a close decision in April last year taking the score between these two to one win apiece. He is No 1 with the WBC so should get a chance to regain the title in early 2021. Former IBF flyweight champion Ruenroeng, now 40, who competed at the 2016 Olympic Games, showed there is life in him yet and gave Srisaket plenty of trouble until he slowed.
Kiev, Ukraine; Super Middle: Petro Ivanov (12-0-2) W PTS 8 Roman Shkarupa (28-11-2). Middle: Andrii Velikovskyi (17-2-1) W TKO 5 Ruslan Shchelev (16-17-1) Heavy: Olek Zakhozhyi (14-0) W PTS 8 Kostiantyn Dovbyshchenko (7-7-1). Feather: Oleg Malinovskyi (26-0) W PTS 8 Andrei Isayeu (30-17). Heavy: Vladyslav Sirenko (13-0) W RTD 5 Pavlo Krolenko (3-6) Heavy: Viktor Vykhryst )1-0) W Semen Pakhomov (2-10).
Ivanov vs. Shkarupa
On Olek Usyk’s first outing as a promoter Ivanov was just too young and too quick for a shop-worn Shkarupa. He was threading jabs through Shkarupa’s guard and curing rights around Shkarupa’s gloves with Shkarupa too slow to block or effectively counter. Shkarupa had some success when Ivanov chose to stand and punch with him but even then he was being outlanded. As Shkarupa tired and Ivanov ran out of ideas there was too much clinching for this to be an entertaining fight. No scores but Ivanov looked to have won every round. The 24-year-old Ukrainian, the WBC Youth champion, is rated No 11 in the EBU non-European Union ratings. Now 40 Shkarupa is a tired old fighter and is now 1-7 in his last 8 fights.
Velikovskyi vs. Shchelev
German-based Ukrainian Velikovskyi halts Shchelev in five rounds. After an even first round Velikovskyi took control and bossed the fight from there. Shchelev just could not match the pace set by the younger and busier Velikovskyi. Under continuous pressure Shchelev resorted to spitting out his mouthguard and after a couple of warnings the referee stopped the fight late in the fifth when Shchelev repeated the offence. Velikovskyi, 25, is 8-0-1 in his last 9 outings including fights in Finland, Estonia, France and Poland, where he scored an upset win over 20-2 Patryk Szymanski, and Ukraine. Only one win in his last eight fights for Shchelev
Zakhozhyi vs. Dovbyshchenko
The 6’9” Zakhozhyi eases his way to victory over the 6’1” Dovbyshchenko. Other than his height and reach Zakhozhyi doesn’t really have that much to offer. He was able to find Dovbyshchenko at distance and connected with some hard straight rights but Dovbyshchenko was usually able to rumble past the jab throwing roundhouse swipes at which point Zakhozhyi grabbed and held until the referee pulled them apart. Lots of holding and no highlights as Zakhozhyi took the decision. At 231lbs he is mobile for his height with his best win to date being a points verdict over Kevin Johnson but I can’t see him developing into a threat. Dovbyshchenko overweight and slow but takes a punch well.
Malinovskyi vs. Isayeu
Ukrainian southpaw Malinovskyi floors Belarus oldie Isayeu on the way to a unanimous points victory. Malinovskyi put Isayeu down in the fourth. After over eight years as a pro and twenty-five victories Malinovskyi has yet to make any real impression and time is running out for him. Time ran out a long time ago for forty-year-old Isayeu who challenged for the European title back in 2010. Ten consecutive losses tells its own story.
Sirenko vs. Krolenko
Sirenko beats Krolenko in four rounds. Krolenko shook Sirenko and the audience when he landed a heavy overhand right less than a minute into the fight. Sirenko was rattled but he dug in and worked his way through the crisis. From that point it was one-sided as Sirenko pounded Krolenko with jabs and banged home left hooks to Krolenko’s ample body. In the fourth Sirenko threw a left hook to the head that skimmed past Krolenko’s chin and banged against Krolenko’s left elbow. Krolenko turned away in pain shaking his left arm and knelt by the ropes. The referee had the doctor examine Krolenko but Krolenko insisted he was able to continue. With Krolenko unable to use his left arm Sirenko bombarded him with punches and wisely Krolenko retired at the end of the round. The 25-year-old 6’ 3 ½” Ukrainian now has 13 victories by KO/TKO. He served overtime in this one as ten of his previous fights have ended in the first round. In the amateurs he was Ukrainian Youth champion and a silver medallist at the European Youth Championships as well as competing at the World Youth Championships and the European Games. Fist loss by KO/TKO for Krolenko.
Vykhryst vs. Pakhomov
A farcical mismatch sees Vykhryst stop Pakhomov. With height advantage and huge edge in reach Vykhryst was able to do much as he liked. He followed Pakhomov around the ring connecting with jabs long rights and lefts to the ribs. You did not need a computer to keep score of the punches Pakhomov threw you could do it just using the fingers on one hand. Vykhryst continued to batter Pakhomov around the ring in the second with Pakhomov not throwing a single punch. He backed into a corner and then knelt down and stayed there until he was counted out showing no inclination to get up. The 6’5” Ukrainian former amateur star is boxing as Victor Faust in Germany . Six losses by KO/TKO for Pakhomov
Fight of the week (Significance): Angelo Leo vs. Tramaine Williams adds another factor to the super bantamweight division
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Ted Cheeseman vs. Sam Eggington
Fighter of the week: Joint award to Cheeseman and Eggington for a playing their part in an outstanding contesting combining quality and brutality
Punch of the week: The left uppercut from Joseph Geroge that flattened Marcos Escudero just wins out over the right to the head from Dalton Smith that put Nathan Bennett down and out. Dalton right, George left uppercut
Upset of the week: Eggington was favoured over Cheeseman so a bit unexpected
Prospect watch: British heavyweight Fabio Wardley 9-0 8 wins by KO/TKO looked good
COVID-19 strikes again as Stephen Fulton tests positive and is pulled out of the WBO super bantamweight title fight against Angelo Leo
A novel approach sees Eddie Hearn stage a show in his back garden it looks to be about the size of Wembley Stadium). We have had them in hotels, car parks, lakeside venues and now a Fight Camp in a back garden. Necessity is the mother of invention.
Oleg Usyk put on his first show in Kiev with a full crowd, no social distancing and not a mask in sight worn by any official or the crowd.
By Eric Armit
-Oscar Valdez stops Jayson Velez in ten as he campaigns for a shot at the Super Feather title
-Vergil Ortiz breaks down and stops Sammy Vargas in seven rounds
-Joe Joyce crushes Michael Wallisch in three rounds
-Isaac Dogboe returns and stops Chris Avalos as he moves up to featherweight
-Edgar Berlanga makes it 14 first round wins at the start of his career as he flattens Eric Moon and Elvis Rodriguez gets his second inside the distance win in less than three weeks
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Oscar Valdez (28-0) W TKO 10 Jayson Velez (29-7-1). Light Heavy: Edgar Berlanga (14-0) W KO 1 Eric Moon (11-3). Feather: Isaac Dogboe (21-2) W TKO 8 Chris Avalos (27-8). Welter: Elvis Rodriguez W KO 2 Dennis Okoth (4-4-1).
Valdez vs. Velez
Valdez struggled early to find his range and timing but then ended the bout emphatically halting Velez in the last round.
Velez was taking the fight to Valdez in the first reddening Valdez face with jabs and throwing rights. Valdez connected with some hard body shots and did enough to take a close opener. Velez was busier in the second throwing lots of punches with Valdez looking to counter but not throwing much. Velez used his longer reach to score at distance in the third and fourth. He was busier with Valdez on the back foot but landing crisp counters and two left hooks rocked Velez in the fourth. Velez was again forcing the fight in the fifth until just before the bell a wide left hook counter dumped him on his rear. He was up at eight and the bell went before Valdez was able to throw another punch. Velez marched forward in the sixth but there was very little power in his punches and Valdez was now catching him more often with counters and twice rocked Velez with lefts to the head. Velez fought back and pressured and outworked Valdez throughout the seventh and eighth. He was still being caught by counters but walked through them. Velez had been warned earlier for a low punch and when he landed another at the start of the ninth the referee deducted a point from him. Velez tried to claw back some ground but late in the round he was staggered badly by a left hook and Valdez connected with a series of head punches. Velez stormed forward throwing punches in the last but was raked with counters until an overhand right followed by a left hook put him on the canvas. He made it to his feet at eight but when a right to the head sent him tumbling into the ropes and down the fight was stopped. Second fight at super featherweight for 29-year-old Valdez after relinquishing his WBO super bantamweight title. He is now No 1 with the WBO and the WBC at super feather and will be aiming to become a two-division champion in 2011. Velez made Valdez work hard all the way but tired from the pace he had set himself and suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Berlanga vs. Moon
Berlanga against showcases his power as he destroys Moon inside the first round. Moon came out throwing punches but some stiff jabs from Berlanga put him on the back foot. Berlanga hunted Moon around the ring before trapping him on the ropes connecting with two body shots followed by two clubbing rights to the head. Moon dropped to his knees and as he tried to rise he tumbled to the canvas on his side and the referee immediately waived the fight off. Done and dusted in just 62 seconds. Fast? No only the sixth fastest finish for Berlanga who has won all of his 14 fights inside a round. He is ready for tougher tests but at 23 there is no need to rush. Moon was 4-1 in his previous 5 contests but Berlanga just punched too hard.
Dogboe vs. Avalos
Dogboe gets his first win since suffering back-to-back losses to Emanuel Navarette as he finally subdues a tough Avalos in the last round. Despite not having fought for fourteen months Dogboe looked sharp from the start. He was slotting jabs through the guard of Avalos and digging in with some hurtful left hooks with Avalos constantly on the retreat. Avalos did better in the second round. He was standing and trading and scoring inside with hooks from both hands. Dogboe had success with overhand rights and left hooks but looked to have been rattled by a right before the bell. After some early exchanges in the third Dogboe took over with strong jabs and left hooks to the body in a fast-paced contest. Dogboe dominated the fourth with a sustained body attack. When he shifted to the head he twice stung Avalos with overhand rights. Avalos looked to be wilting under the jabs and body shots from Dogboe in the fifth but a low punch from Dogboe saw the referee deducted a point from the Ghanaian. Dogboe continued to hunt Avalos down in the sixth with Avalos tiring and getting caught with jabs and quick rights. Avalos was livelier in the seventh. He was throwing hooks from both hands and then smothering Dogboe’s work on the inside. Dogboe launched a savage attack in the last round rocking Avalos with lefts and rights to the head. There was no escape for Avalos and after hurting Avalos with a left hook to the head a thunderous head-snapping right to the head was enough for the referee to step in and save Avalos. The 25-year-old “Royal Storm” is small for a featherweight at 5’4” but he has the backing from Top Rank and good credentials so can be guided to a title shot in 2021 but it remains to be seen if he can make it at featherweight. Former IBF and WBA title challenger Avalos was having only his second contest in three years. He has been in too many hard fights and is unlikely to be able to work his way to a third title chance.
Rodriguez vs. Okoth
Rodriguez racks up his second inside the distance win in the last three weeks. Neither fighter committed themselves to little more than tentative jabs until late in the opening round when Rodriguez landed with a strong southpaw right hook to the body. Rodriguez tracked Okoth around the ring in the second before connecting with a powerful straight left that dropped Okoth on his back. The referee did not bother with a count and it was some time before Okoth was able to get up. The tall, 24-year-old, Dominican southpaw has won inside the distance eight times with the draw being a technical one. He looks special. Second loss by KO/TKO for Okoth who represented Kenya at both the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Fly: Kenta Nakagawa (19-3-1) W TEC DEC 9 Yuta Matsuo (15-5-2)
Southpaw Nakagawa makes a successful first defence of the national title in his second reign as champion. The secret for Nakagawa was to box at distance and keep the aggressive Matsuo out. The contrasting styles made for an interesting fight with Nakazawa scoring with straight lefts and Matsuo with hooks on the inside. After five rounds two judges had it close at 48-47 for Nakagawa with the third seeing Nakagawa in front 49-46. Matsuo tried to force the pace over the second half of the fight but the quicker hands and greater accuracy of Nakagawa saw him increase his lead. He looked to be on his way to a points victory when a clash of heads in the ninth saw both fighters cut-Nakagawa over his left eye and Matsuo on his forehead. With both fighters shedding blood the fight was stopped and went to the judges cards with Nakagawa winning on scores of 88-84 twice and 88-83. Nakagawa, 34, turned pro in 2004 but was inactive between 2005 and 2011. He returned to action to eventually win the national title in 2016 only to lose it in 2017 before regaining it again in 2019. Matsuo, 30, was having his second shot at this title.
Minsk, Belarus: Light: Isa Chaniev (14-3) W PTS 10 Vladyslav Melnyk (11-2). Super Middle: Sergei Gorokhov (10-2-2) W PTS 10 Levan Shonia (15-19). Super light: Gaibatulla Gadzhialiev (7-2-1) W TKO 8 Artem Ayvazidi (12-19-1).
Chaniev vs. Melnyk
Chaniev builds an early lead then holds off a strong finish from Melnyk. Chaniev took control circling Melnyk scoring with jabs and overhand rights and then darting in with a cluster of punches. Melnyk was just not quick enough in countering and his timing was off. Chaniev swept the first four rounds before Melnyk began to score well with hooks in the fifth and did enough to edge the sixth. Chaniev rebounded and used his strength to collect the seventh and eighth. Melnyk battled back and outscored Chaniev over the last two rounds but it was not enough to swing the fight his way. Scores 99-92, 98-93 and 98-94 for Chaniev. A much needed win for the 27-year-old Russian after a loss to Richard Commey for the vacant IBF title and to Pavel Malikov. Ukrainian Melnyk, 21, showed promise and was coming off an impressive win over unbeaten German Edgar Walth.
Gorokhov vs. Shonia
Gorokhov held off an aggressive Shonia in the first round and then used his better skills to pick up the points. A strong but crude Shonia remained competitive and Gorokhov struggled to keep him out although he rocked Shonia a couple of times in the sixth. Shonia just kept motoring forward scoring with clubbing shots inside but Gorokhov was able to pound Shonia with jabs and counters as he boxed his way to victory. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Gorokhov. Russian Gorokhov fought two draws with modest opposition in 2020. Eight losses in a row for Shonia who has never been beaten inside the distance.
Gadzhialiev vs. Ayvazidi
Gadzhialiev gets a late stoppage victory over Ayvazidi. Gadzhialiev worked his way inside using good upper body movement and battered at Ayvazidi’s body over the early rounds. Ayvazidi showed some nice skills but he lacked the power to get Gadzhialiev’s respect. Gadzhialiev kept changing angles and connecting with some strong hooks and uppercuts mixing his punches cleverly to head and body. Gadzhialiev strayed low in the fourth and lost a point but a left to the ribs put Ayvazidi down in the fifth and after the eight count a right to the body floored him for the second time but he fought back to make it to the bell. Ayvazidi put in a brave effort in the sixth taking the fight to Gadzhialiev but was being caught with rights to the head and left hooks to the body. In the seventh a tiring Ayvazidi was badly hurt by a punch that landed on his waistline and stepped back in pain Gadzhialiev then landed a right that landed on the left thigh of Ayvazidi. He went down and the referee stopped the fight. Although Russian-born the 29-year-old Gadzhialiev fought for Azerbaijan as an Elite class amateur competing at the 2012 Olympics, getting a bronze medal at the World Championships and putting together an impressive 11-3 record in the WSB but he has disappointed as a pro. Sixth loss in a row for Ukrainian Ayvazidi
Indio, California: Welter Vergil Ortiz (16-0) W TKO 7 Sammy Vargas (31-6-2). Middle: Shane Mosley Jr (16-3) W PTS 8 Jeremy Ramos (11-9). Super Bantam: Hector Valdez (13-0) W PTS 8 Josue Morales (11-12-4)
Ortiz vs. Vargas
Ortiz breaks down and batters a courageous Vargas to defeat in seven rounds. Impressive start from Ortiz. His jab had reddened the face of Vargas in the first thirty seconds and he continued to pierce the guard of Vargas before connecting with some flashy hurtful combinations later in the round. A good second round from Vargas as he bobbed and weaved under Oritz’s jab and worked inside with hooks and uppercuts. Ortiz just could not find the target with his jab and was on the back foot throughout the round. Ortiz was more accurate with his jab in the third and connected with some vicious hooks. Over the last minute of the round Vargas was again boring in and denying Ortiz punching room. The pace slowed over the first two minutes of the fourth but then Ortiz exploded into action. He rocked Vargas with a left hook and then bombarded him with punches driving Vargas across the ring to the ropes and pinned him there under pressure to the bell. Ortiz took the fifth round off. He was content to smothering Vargas work inside but rarely threw a right, worked only with his jab and allowed Vargas to get in close. Ortiz upped his pace in the sixth. He was using a stiff jab to keep Vargas on the back foot and landing overhand rights. Ortiz launched a furious attack in the seventh. He connected with a series of head punches until Vargas lunged forward and down bringing Ortiz down with him with both ending on the canvas. When they were up Ortiz continued to batter Vargas around the ring until the referee jumped in to save Vargas. Ortiz retains the WBA Gold belt with his sixteenth inside the distance victory. The 22-year-old from Dallas looked a little flat at times but he finished with a real power showing. The WBA Gold title is a dead end. He could be rated No 1 and be the mandatory challenger to Manny Pacquiao but as he sits outside the ratings he can’t be the mandatory challenger unless he relinquishes the Gold belt. He is developing into a real threat but is not yet ready for IBF/WBC champion Errol Spence or WBC champion Terence Crawford but will be by late 2021. Canadian-based Colombian Vargas posed some problems for Ortiz early but did not have the punch to match Ortiz and suffers his third inside the distance defeat with Errol Spence and Danny Garcia the other fighters to have stopped him.
Mosley vs. Ramos
Mosley outboxes Ramos to take a comfortable unanimous decision. The 6’1” tall Mosley made good use of his height and longer reach to outwork Ramos and he swept the first three rounds although Ramos worked hard to get inside and keep the fight close. Mosley went off the boil in the middle rounds but was still doing most of the scoring. He picked up the pace again in the sixth and closed strongly against a tiring Ramos to take the decision. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Mosley. He has won 6 of his last 7 fights with the loss coming against Brandon Adams in the final of the 2018 Contender series but at 29 he is going no further. Puerto Rican Ramos falls to 2-8 in his last 10 outings.
Valdez vs. Morales
Valdez easily outpoints Morales to make it a double for Dallas. The Texan was able to keep the light punching Morales on the defensive in every round. He was quicker than southpaw Morales forcing the fight all of the way. Morales showed a nice jab and some quick movement but was in survival mode for much of the fight. Valdez tried hard to finish it inside the distance but never really had Morales in any serious trouble and had to settle for winning by decision. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Valdez but it was difficult to see which round Morales did enough for one judge to award him it. Valdez was coming off a third round kayo of former IBF light fly title challenger Luis Alberto Rios. Morales keeps his record clear of any inside the distance losses.
Castro Urdiales, Spain: Welter: Jon Miguez (12-0) W PTS 10 Zoltan Szabo (27-24). Miguez floors late substitute Szabo twice on the way to a unanimous points victory in the first post-virus show in Spain. Szabo made an aggressive start against the clever boxing of Miguez and did enough to make the fight even after four rounds. Miguez changed that by flooring Szabo heavily with a left to the head in the fifth. From there Miguez was the boss and he sealed the win by dropping Szabo with a body punch in the eighth. Szabo had fought hard but he was exhausted but survived as Miguez tried to end the fight early. Good performance for the 23-year-old “Goodboy” in a useful learning fight. Szabo was a substitute for a substitute. He came in at just one week’s notice and gave Miguez some needed work.
London, England: Heavy: Joe Joyce (11-0 W TKO 3 Michael Wallisch (20-4).Super Bantam: Chris Bourke (8-0) W PTS 10 Ramez Mahmood (11-1).Middle: Denzel Bentley (13-0) W RTD 6 Mick Hall (15-3).
Joyce vs. Wallisch
Joyce batters Wallisch to defeat inside three rounds. Wallisch tried to stand and trade with Joyce in the opener but was quickly forced onto the back foot as Joyce rammed home jabs. Wallisch landed three consecutive rights to the head but Joyce just shrugged them off and clubbed Wallisch with punches to head and body. Joyce continued to rumble forward in the second. Wallisch was able to find the target with head punches but they just bounced off Joyce who kept bludgeoning Wallisch with shots to head and body until Wallisch dropped to one knee and then sat on the bottom rope. He made it to his feet and Joyce was unable to land any more heavy punches before the bell. A series of thumps from Joyce saw Wallisch drop to a knee at the start of the third. Wallisch got up at eight but some more heavy shots from Joyce made Wallisch fall to his knees and the referee stopped the fight. When Wallisch’s best punches just bounced off Joyce the fight was virtually over. Joyce is just so powerful that he steamrollers opponents and so far no one has been able to stand up to Joyce’s power. Daniel Dubois will have been cheered to see how easily the slow Wallisch was able to land rights to the head of Joyce but it remains to be seen whether he can move the mountain. All four of Wallisch’s losses have come inside the distance and he is a very ordinary fighter with a cleverly padded record.
Bourke vs. Mahmood
This was a fast-paced close fight between two quick good technical boxers. Bourke staggered Mahmood with a left in the second and attacked hard but Mahmood recovered quickly and forced the fight in the fourth. It continued to be a close fight with neither fighter able to take charge and it was an interesting rather than exciting contest. In the end it was the quality of the counter lefts and body punching from southpaw Bourke which gave him an edge over the jab and higher work rate of Mahmood. Bourke looked to have a built a winning lead and despite a late effort from Mahmood he looked a good winner. Referee’s score 96-94 for Bourke. An international level amateur Bourke, 25, collects the vacant BBB of C Southern Area belt. Mahmood, 26, was moving down after winning the BBB of C Southern Area feather title last year and will bounce back.
Bentley vs. Hall
Bentley gets the win as hall is pulled out by his corner due to a swelling around his right eye. Bentley uses a hands-down loose limbed style shooting punches from various angles but also scoring with a fast jab. Hall continually changed direction to throw Bentley off and did some good work with his own jab. Bentley switched to southpaw in the third. Hall found it hard to adjust to that and Bentley was able to connect with a series of left hooks. Both fighters switched guards a couple of times in the fourth. Hall had success with some rights but the eye-catching word was coming in the flashy hooking from Bentley. Hall marched forward in the fifth. Bentley was catching him with quick hooks but Hall kept pressing. He was getting through but there was a swelling around his left eye and Bentley was catching him with punches from a variety of angles. Hall took heavy punishment in the sixth and now there was a serious swelling under his right eye. He battled hard to the bell and then his corner wisely pulled him out of the fight. The 25-year-old Bentley had only 17 amateur fights but already shows class and has won eleven contests by KO/TKO. Hall’s other two losses came against jack Arnfield and this is only his second fight in three years and he put in a very competitive showing here.
Kobe, Japan: Light Fly: Kenichi Horikawa (41-16-1) W TKO 10 Daiki Tomita (14-2). Horikawa shows that age is just a number as he stops Tomita to win the vacant OPBF title at the age of forty. Horikawa outboxed Tomita who lacked the experience to turn the fight his way. Horikawa worked well with his jab and pierced Tomita’s guard with straight rights and then used good footwork to avoid Tomita’s lunging attacks. After eight rounds Horikawa was up on two cards 78-74 and 80-72 on the third. If Tomita was hoping Horikawa would fade he was disappointed. In the tenth Horikawa forced Tomita to the ropes and bombarded him with punches with the referee stopping the fight as Tomita dropped to the canvas. Horikawa the oldest pro in Japanese rings had previously lost in a fight for the OPBF minimum title and was 3-6 in Japanese title fights . Tomita, 22, like Horikawa, had also failed in a shot at the OPBF minimum belt but had won the WBO Asia Pacific title in September.
Michoacan de Ocampo, Mexico: Welter: Alejandro Davila (21-1-2) W PTS 10 Lupe Rosales (36-26). Super Welter: Carlos Molina (33-11-2) W PTS 10 Abraham Juarez (16-6).
Davila vs. Rosales
Davila halts experienced veteran Rosales in nine rounds to win the vacant WBC Fecombox title. Davila rebuilding after having a 21-bout unbeaten record ruined by a tenth round stoppage loss against Mikael Zewski in Canada in November. Rosales, 38, was considered a prospect when he went 25-1 at the start of his career but that was a long time ago.
Molina vs. Juarez
It is also quite a time since 37-year-old Molina was IBF super welterweight champion but he is sticking to East-West home is best. After a string of losses on his travels he gets his fourth win in Mexico over ordinary level opponents with a stoppage of inexperienced Juarez. No happy homecoming for Juarez who has lost fights in Canada, Italy, France and Germany
Augustow, Poland: Light Heavy: Pawel Stepien (14-0-1) W PTS 10Marek Matyja (17-2-2). In a return contest for the vacant national title Stepien outboxes Matyja and looks a clear winner but has to settle for a split decision. Stepien made a cautious start jabbing to keep Matyja out and scoring with straight rights. Matyja attacked strongly in the third getting inside and occasionally trapping Stepien on the ropes. The accuracy of Stepien’s jabs and counters began to have an effect and Matyja was struggling to close the distance. He put in a big effort in the last but was always second best and Stepien stayed cool and worked his way to victory. Scores 97-93 twice for Stepien with the third judge to everyone’s amazement turning in a 98-93 card for Matyja. Stepien remains unbeaten but for a guy with five first round victories he was expected to show a bit more aggression. Matyja had drawn in two previous attempts at the national title
Bang Phun, Thailand: Bantam: Nawaphon (49-1-1) W KO 4 Suradech Ruhasirj (6-2)
WBC No 2 Nawaphon halts novice Ruhasirj in four rounds. Nawaphon chose to just walk through Ruhasirj but the fellow-Thai showed a fast accurate jab and constantly connected with rights to Nawaphon’s head. However Nawaphon marched forward landing vicious punches to head and body. In the fourth Nawaphon sent Ruhasirj reeling into the ropes. As Ruhasirj ducked a left he turned his head into a booming right that sent him face down on the canvas and the fight was over. Nawaphon lost on a third round stoppage against Juan Hernandez in a challenge for the WBC flyweight title in 2017. He has scored 13 wins since then but all against unthreatening opposition and I can’t see him giving too much trouble to the winner of Nordine Oubaali vs. Nonito Donaire WBC title fight. Third loss in a row for Ruhasirj
Kariya, Japan: Light Fly: Masamichi Yabuki (11-3) W KO 1 Tsuyoshi Sato (10-2-1). Yabuki wins the vacant Japanese title with first round kayo of Sato. Yabuki floored Sato early with a left hook. Sato beat the count but a right put him down again and he was counted out. All eleven of Yabuki’s wins have come by way of KO/TKO. He now wants to challenge the new OPBF champion Kenichi Horikawa who won the OPBF title on Saturday. Sato had won his last nine fights but suffered his second inside the distance loss here.
Fight of the week (Significance): The win by Joe Joyce keeps him on track for a huge fight with Daniel Dubois with honourable mentions to the wins for Oscar Valdez and Vergil Ortiz which will also lead to some big fights
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Nothing stood out
Fighter of the week: Virgil Ortiz for the beating he handed out to a competitive Sammy Vargas
Punch of the week: The right from Nawaphon that flattened poor Ruhasirj was a thunderbolt.
Upset of the week: None. All of the favourites won
Prospect watch: None I haven’t already spotted
Good to see Golden Boy back on the scene.
The Henry Tanajara vs. Mercito Gesta fell through but this time it was not due to COVI-19 but Gesta suffering from food poisoning.
Fourteen first round wins in a row at the start of his career for Edgar Berlanga but he needs another five to equal the record held by Ty Brunson.
Good to see boxing returning to Spain.
By Eric Armit
-Felix Verdejo returns in style as he stops unbeaten Will Madera inside a round
- In his first fight for sixteen months former undefeated European heavyweight champion Agit Kabayel comfortably outpoints Greek Evgenios in front of a live audience in Magdeburg
-Boxing returns in Japan as Olympian Satoshi Shimizu retains OPBF featherweight title with stoppage of Kyohei Tonomoto and Daishi Nagata halts unbeaten Koki Inoue to win the Japanese super light title
-Heavyweight prospects Jared Anderson and Peter Kadiru get quick wins
Tokyo, Japan: Feather: Satoshi Shimizu (9-1) W TKO 7 Kyohei Tonomoto (9-3-1). Super Light: Daishi Nagata (15-2-1) W TKO 7 Koki Inoue (15-1).
Shimizu vs. Tonomoto
Shimizu almost ended this one in the opening round. A left put Tonomoto down and although he beat the count he was down again from a right. After surviving that disaster Tonomoto worked his way back into the fight but he continued to take punishment from taller southpaw Shimizu. In the seventh Shimizu broke through again and had Tonomoto badly shaken and ready to go and the referee stopped the fight. The 34-year-old double Olympian (He competed in 2008 and won a bronze medal in 2012 losing to Luke Campbell) was making the fourth defence of the OPBF title. He has some rebuilding to do after suffering a shock stoppage loss against Joe Noynay in his last fight a year ago. Japanese Youth champion Tonomoto was 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights but only rated No 14 by the OPBF.
Nagata vs. Inoue
A major upset as unfancied Nagata wins this all-southpaw scrap with stoppage of Inoue. Nagata took the fight to Inoue from the start and was getting through with right jabs and lefts to the head. A clash of heads saw Inoue badly cut over his right and there was also a growing swelling around the eye. Inoue’s timing was out and he seemed to have lost some of the power that had given him twelve inside the distance victories. After five rounds two judges had it close at 48-47 but the third saw it wider at 49-46 for Nagata. Inoue fought back hard in the sixth but his injuries were worsening and when the referee asked the doctor to examine Inoue in the seventh the doctor advised the fight be stopped. Nagata, 30, was 61-25 in his time as an amateur and is now 7-1 in his last 8 fights. This win earned him the Japanese title. Inoue, the cousin of Naoya Inoue, announced his retirement after the fight. He is just 28 and it is expected that his retirement may be short lived
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Felix Verdejo (27-1) W TKO 1 Will Madera (15-1-3). Heavy: Jared Anderson (5-0) W TKO 1 Hector Perez (7-3).Feather: Martino Jules (10-0) W PTS 8 Aleem Jumakhonov (8-3-2).
Verdejo vs. Madera
Verdejo blows away unbeaten Madera inside a round. After the initial sparring Madera began coming forward trying to get inside against the jab of taller Verdejo. There were just twenty seconds to go in the round when Verdejo staggered Madera with a counter right. Madera was on unsteady legs and Verdejo unleashed a barrage of punches forcing Madera to a corner and two thudding rights and a left hook sent Madera down where he sprawled with his upper trunk out under the bottom rope. Madera tried to rise but fell back and the fight was stopped. Good to see the 27-year-old Puerto Rican back in form. A 2012 Olympian (he lost to Vasiliy Lomachenko in the quarter-finals) had his career interrupted by injuries received in a motorcycle accident and then blew his chance of a fight with Terry Flanagan for the WBO light title when he was stopped in ten rounds by Antonio Lozada in what was meant to be a warm-up for the Flanagan fight. A title shot sometime in 2021 looks a very real possibility. Perhaps even against Lomachenko. Madera,29, was unbeaten with a couple of useful wins and had good amateur experience behind him including New York Golden Gloves and Empire State titles but Verdejo just punched too hard for him.
Anderson vs. Perez
Perez feels the destructive power of Anderson and is floored and stopped in 105 seconds. Anderson jabbed strongly and then rocked Perez before connecting with an overhead right that dropped Perez to his knees and the fight was stopped. Still only twenty Anderson has won each of his five contests in the first round with only one opponent lasting more than two minutes. The 6’-4””Big Baby” was US National champion at 200lbs (91kg) in both 2017 and 2018 and is a star of the future. It had been hoped that Puerto Rican Perez, who had won his last four fights, might give Anderson some ring time but Anderson simply obliterated him.
Jules vs. Jumakhonov
The only really competitive fight on the show saw Jules remain unbeaten by outboxing Californian-based Tajik Jumakhonov to take a majority decision. Southpaw “Titan” Jules had skill and speed on his side and he outboxed the aggressive Jumakhonov out-throwing and out-landing him over the first three rounds. Jules lacked the power to keep Jumakhonov outside permanently and hooks from Jumakhonov on the inside had blood dripping from Jules’ nose from the fourth round and the Tajik was working well to the body and connecting with clubbing head shots over the fifth and sixth. It looked as though Jumakhonov might take control but Jules used some excellent footwork to reassert himself as he boxed his way to victory. Scores 78-74 twice for Jules and 76-76. The 23-year-old from Allentown was moving up to eight rounds for the first time. He turned pro after losing out at the US Olympic Trials for a spot on the team for Rio and he still have work to do as a pro. Jumakhonov was 7-1-1 going in and has an entertaining style.
Wiesbaden, Germany: Super Middle; Shefat Isufi (30-4-2,1ND) W TKO 3 Bosko Misic (20-13).Middle: Uensal Arik (31-2) W TKO 4 Dustin Amman (4-2). Super Middle: Arben Shemallari (8-0) W PTS 8 Istvan Zeller (38-30).Light Heavy: Marko Stankovic (5-0) W KO 3 Ericles Torres Martin (20-15-1)
Isufi vs. Misic
Isufi gets active again with stoppage of Bosnian Misic in three rounds. He scores win No 22 by KO/TKO and collects the German interim title. The Serbian-born German lost widely against Billy Joe Saunders for the WBO super middle title in May last year. Eleventh inside the distance loss for southpaw Misic.
Arik vs. Amman
Arik halts horribly overmatched Ammann in four rounds in a fight for the interim German title. The 39-year-old German-born Turk has won thirteen on the bounce but his opposition has been somewhat less than moderate and the 22-year-old Ammann fits into that category.
Shemallari vs. Zeller
In a night of rubbish titles Shemallari wins the vacant Universal Boxing Federation belt by outpointing consistent loser Zeller over eight rounds. This is the first time German Shemallari had had to go the distance for victory with his seven previous victims lasting less then thirteen rounds between them and naturally none of them had positive records. Now 32 Shemallari did not turn professional until he was 31. Hungarian Zeller suffers his tenth defeat in a row
Stankovic vs. Torres
Stankovic (Stark) makes it a double for Serb/German fighters with kayo of ancient Cuban southpaw Torres and is now the proud owner of the UBF European title. First fight for Stark for two years and fourth victory by KO/TKO. Five consecutive losses for 43-year-old Torres
Cologne, Germany: Heavy: Hussein Muhamed (15-0) W TKO 2 Frank Bluemle (16-8-2).
Muhamed marches on with second round stoppage of Bluemle. The 6’5” Muhamed was too big and punched too hard for Bluemle who has spent most of his career fighting at cruiserweight and the fight was halted in the second round. Of Syrian parentage the 29-year-old German has scored 13 of his wins by KO/TKO and another by disqualification with only the experienced, but elderly, Yakup Saglam lasting the distance. Muhamed started working as a sparring partner for Anthony Joshua before the Klitschko fight and has continued to be used by Joshua but without a name promoter behind him he has a low profile. Bluemle is 2-6in his last 8 fights.
Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy: Agit Kabayel (20-0) W PTS 10 Evgenios Lazaridis (16-3). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (8-0) W RTD 3 Eugen Buchmuller (16-6). Super Middle: Artur Henrik (1-0) W PTS 4 Miguel Aguilar) 11-66-1).
Kabayel vs. Lazaridis
Kabayel shakes the dust from sixteen months without a fight and wins wide unanimous decision over Lazaridis. Kabayel found the range early and was connecting with stiff jabs and long rights. The 6’6” Lazaridis was taller and heavier but slower and from the second round Kabayel was able to control the fight with his jab. Lazaridis had to soak up some hefty right crosses but he did so and punched back when he could showing a willingness to trade punches with Kabayel. From the fifth the fight was very one-sided. Kabayel was just pacing forward firing his jab and following that with a right cross. He did hurt Lazaridis in the seventh with a left hook to the body but he was one-paced. There was very little variety in his work and he threw very few body punches. Lazaridis had a good eighth round but Kabayel dominated the ninth and tenth as he put in a big effort trying for a stoppage but Lazaridis stopped him in his tracks with a right just before the final bell and never really looked to be in any trouble. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Kabayel. The 27-year-old Kabayel, a German of Kurdish descent wins the vacant WBA Continental title. A former undefeated European champion who has a win over Dereck Chisora Kabayel will now be hoping to land some big fights through Top Rank in the USA after this fight was carried by ESPN. Right now he does not figure in the top 10 with any of the four sanctioning bodies but there are plenty of good fights out there for him. His trainer stated that Kabayel had suffered a hand injury in training before the fight but did not advise his trainer until the injury caused some pain during the fight but it was never a factor. “Achilles” Lazaridis did the job he was there to do. The 32-year-old Greek, an elite level amateur, went the full ten rounds and found the target often enough to remind Kabayel he was in a fight. Lazaridis would make a useful test for the many of the young heavyweights coming through now.
Kadiru vs. Buchmuller
Kadiru gets injury win over Buchmueller. Kadiru had big advantages in height, reach and weight and used his longer reach to stab home fast jabs in the first round with Buchmueller too slow to counter. Kadiru continued to use his longer reach to score in the second with Buchmueller trying some wild lunges. After missing with a wild right Buchmueller suddenly gripped his right shoulder and dropped to one knee. He flinches badly when the referee had the doctor examine his shoulder but Buchmueller chose to box on and Kadiru failed to apply any pressure so Buchmueller made it to the bell. Kadiru spent the first part of the third on the back foot just jabbing and not looking to take advantage of Buchmueller’s injury. He opened up over the second half of the round finally firing some rights. At the bell Buchmueller walked back to his corner shaking his head and his team pulled him out of the fight. Third inside the distance win in a row for Kadiru but it was a very insipid performance. The 23-year-old 6’4 ½” prospect won gold medals at both the Youth Olympic Games and the European Under-22 Championships. He is quick with good movement but still has a long way to go and much to learn particularly in what he does with his left hand after throwing a jab as he seems to leave himself wide open to counters. Ironic that 39-year-old Kazak-born Buchmueller should have to retire with a shoulder injury as he came in at very short notice when Ruben Wolf pulled out with an arm injury. Buchmueller is 0-4 in contests against unbeaten fighters.
Henrik vs. Aguilar
Former German amateur champion Henrik turns pro with a win over Nicaraguan journeyman Aguilar. Really just a workout for Henrik. He showed nice movement, good hand speed and put together some flashing combinations. As always Aguilar did just enough to avoid a stoppage and gave Henrik a peaceful entry into the professional ranks. Scores 40-36 for Henrik on the three cards. The 22-year-old from Bremen fought as Artur Ohanyan-Beck in the amateurs and was German champion at Under-18, Under-19, Under 21 and elite level. He did not want to carry the hyphenated Ohanyan-beck name as a professional so chose the fight under his father’s Christian name of Henrik. Spanish-based Nicaraguan Aguilar is certainly consistent-as a loser. He is 0-53-1 in his last 54 fights.
Fight of the week (Significance): With his quick destruction of Will Madera Felix Verdejo has put himself very much in the title scene.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Not much to chose from with Martino Jules and Aleem Jumakhonov the only really close fight
Fighter of the week: Felix Verdejo at his explosive best
Punch of the week: The right from Jared Anderson
Upset of the week: Daishi Nagata for his win over unbeaten Koki Inoue
Prospect watch: None that I have not already named
Top Rank is doing a great job of staging boxing matches under very strict circumstances but it is about time they caught a break. In earlier shows injuries and COVID-19 tests have forced late changes and their show in Las Vegas last Tuesday was hard hit when Filipino Mark John Yap came in almost 9lbs over the contract weight and fellow Filipino John Vincent Moralde tested positive for COVID-19 decimating the show-but they went ahead anyway in the best tradition of the entertainment business.
The SES show in Magdeburg saw a sensible approach to social distancing with estimates of between 600 and 1000 attending.
It was held in an open air setting with a beautiful lake as a backdrop.
To look forward to:
Top Rank offering on Tuesday will feature Oscar Valdez against Jeyson Velez as Valdez works towards a shot at WBO champion Jamel Herring- with former WBO super bantam champion Isaac Dogboe, Edgar Berlanga, Guido Vianello and Elvis Rodriguez in eight round fights
In Tokyo on Wednesday champion Kenta Nakagawa defends the national super fly title against Yuta Matsuo.
On Friday Vergil Ortiz and Sammy Vargas clash at welter in Indio with Hector Tanajara vs. Mercito Gesta also on the bill.
Also on Friday in Miami former WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales faces Jeno Tonte, Melvin Lopez tackles Szilveszter Kanalas, and Reymart Gaballo vs. Szilveszter Ajtal with John Vincent Moralde also listed if he clears the virus testing.
Saturday sees a Queensberry show in London with Joe Joyce against Michael Wallisch.
By Eric Armit
-Jose Zepeda keeps on track for third world title challenge with win over Kendo Castaneda
-Luis Alberto Lopez wins split decision over Andy Vences
-Carlos Takam comes in as a late substitute and outpoints Jerry Forrest
-Boxing returns to the UK with Brad Foster retaining his British and Commonwealth titles with point victory over James beech
-Super Bantamweight Carlos Castro moves to 25 wins as halts Cesar Juarez
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Luis Alberto Lopez (21-2) W PTS Andy Vences (23-2-1). Welter: Jose Zepeda (32-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Kendo Castaneda (17-2). Light: Andres Cortes (13-0) W PTS 8 Alejandro Salinas (10-4).
Lopez vs. Vences
Lopez just edges past Vences on a close split decision. An even first round saw Vences using his longer reach to stab Lopez. with jabs. Lopez was trying to jump past the jab and connect with bursts of hooks. Vences had the better of the exchanges in the second. He was using his jab well and connected with a couple of strong right crosses. Lopez had his jab on target over the first half of the third but Vences outscored him over the last two minutes using jolting jabs and straight rights to edge into the lead. Vences solidified that lead by taking the fourth. Lopez just could not get past Vences jab and was being caught with rights at distance. Lopez upped his pace in the fifth and was getting through with hooks inside with Vences losing some of his accuracy. A clash of heads saw Lopez cut over his right eye and Vences suffer a small cut on his forehead. The referee asked the doctor to examine Lopez’s cut but the fight continued with Lopez getting the better of some wild exchanges. Lopez attacked fiercely in the sixth and a huge right uppercut had Vences staggering badly and in trouble. He was fighting through a fog. Lopez was clubbing him with rights and driving him around the ring with punches jarring Vences as he struggled to stay up and somehow he made it to the bell. It was Vences landing the big punches in the seventh until a clash of heads resulted in a cut over the left eye of Vences. The doctor decided the cut was not serious enough for the fight to be halted and Vences continued to outscore Lopez with long lefts and rights. The pace dropped in the eighth but Lopez just did the better work only for Vences to press hard in the ninth and take the round scoring with some good rights to the head. He also outscored Lopez in the tenth with Lopez’s work rate dropping off. Scores 96-94 twice for Lopez and 96-94 for Vences. I saw Vences as the winner but it had been a hard close fight. An important win for Mexican Lopez who has won 9 of his last 10 fight with the loss coming against unbeaten Ruben Villa. He did well to win this one as he suffered a broken thumb. Now he will look to crash the world ratings. A bad thirteen months for Vences as he lost his unbeaten record against Albert Bell in June last year. His next fight will be crucial in deciding whether he has hit his ceiling.
Zepeda vs. Castaneda
Zepeda comprehensively outpoints an aggressive but limited Castaneda. Zepeda outboxed Castaneda without every really going in to high gear. He constantly found gaps for his southpaw jabs and frustrated Castaneda’s attempt to counter with some great defensive work. He was constantly changing angles and raking Castaneda with accurate shots from both hands. Castaneda tried switching to southpaw a few times but it made no real difference which guard he adopted. Zepeda seemed comfortable at just boxing on the back foot and winning the rounds without really sitting down on his punches and going for an inside the distance finish. Castaneda just could not find a way into the fight he was not quick enough to pressurise Zepeda. Castaneda had some success over the seventh and eighth rounds as Zepeda seemed to coast his way through those rounds before taking charge again over the closing two rounds to ease his way to the decision. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Zepeda. The 31-year-old Californian is due some luck in a world title fight. When he fought Terry Flanagan for the vacant WBO light title in 2015 he had retire after two rounds with a dislocated shoulder and in February last year lost a majority verdict to Jose Carlos Ramirez for the WBC super light title. He is No 3 with the WBC so he has good chance of getting a third title shot next year. Texan Castaneda came in as a substitute when Ivan Baranchyk was injured. He had scored useful victories over 24-3 Eudy Bernardo and 20-2 Stan Martyniouk This is his second loss in a row having dropped a majority verdict against unbeaten Yomar Alamo in February. He was not expected to win here but he gave Zepeda ten useful rounds of work.
Cortes vs. Salinas
This was the fight of the night as Cortes extended his 100% record. From the opening bell these two ignored the niceties and spent eight rounds trying to knock bits off each other. Pressure from Salinas forced Cortes to fight with his back against the ropes in the early action. Cortes was countering well and just stealing the points but was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads in the second round. Salinas had a big fourth as late in the round a hard right stunned Cortes and he went down on one knee. That gave Salinas an edge in the scoring but Cortes recovered quickly and as Salinas slowed Cortes battled back and then forged ahead with a strong finish to take a deserved decision. Scores 79-73, 77-74 and 76-75 for Cortes which illustrated how close and difficult to score many of the rounds were. Las Vegan Cortes, 23, is making good progress. Salinas from Ohio has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights. All against unbeaten opposition.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Heavy: Carlos Takam (39-5-1) W PTS 10 Jerry Forrest (26-4). Super Bantam: Carlos Castro (26-0) W RTD 4 Cesar Juarez (25-9).
Takam vs. Forrest
Takam comes in at short notice and outpoints Forrest in a dull contest. Takam fought a more controlled fight than normal. He was bouncing on his toes and outboxing a negative Forrest who seemed reluctant to commit himself and allowed Takam to take the first round. Forrest was more positive in the second coming forward behind his southpaw jab but neither fighter was throwing much or landing much. Takam is no speedster but he was quicker and getting his punches off first to take the third and fourth rounds. Takam was cut over his right eye in the fifth but again did enough to take the round with Forrest just not active enough. Takam took the sixth. He used his 20lbs extra weight to force Forrest back scoring with a series of rights and working Forrest over on the ropes. The seventh and eighth went to Forrest’s as he connect with some goods lefts eating into Takam’s lead. Takam’s work rate dropped and he was clinching more. Takam was on his toes in the ninth bouncing around and spearing Forrest with single punches. Forrest was lumbering forward for all three minutes but was too slow with his footwork and his punches. Both landed some clubbing shots in the last with Takam just that bit more accurate. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Takam. The 39-year-old Cameroon-born Frenchman came in at just two weeks notice after Jarrell Miller yet again tested positive. He tired late but his higher punch output deservedly got him the decision. He had been scheduled to face Oscar Rivas next Tuesday but injury ruled Rivas out and although Takam’s father had died just a week ago he felt this was an opportunity he could not pass up. He has lost big fights against Alex Povetkin, Joseph Parker, Anthony Joshua and Dereck Chisora but winning here keeps his hopes of another big fight very much alive. Forrest was a disappointment. He had taken unbeaten Jermaine Franklin to a split decision loss. He was slow and crude at times with poor footwork and has scored his wins on the backwoods circuit.
Castro vs. Juarez
Castro pounds a gutsy Juarez into a fourth round retirement. Good first round for Castro. With his much longer reach he was popping Juarez with jabs and catching him with rights when Juarez came forward. Juarez had a little success when he could take Castro to the ropes but that was a rare event. Castro was keeping Juarez on the end of his jab in the second and when Juarez tried to lunge inside he was staggered by a right. Juarez has a solid chin and he was soon coming forward again and drawing Castro into some exchanges but Castro was the one scoring with the better punches. Castro was using his jab to set Juarez up for overhand rights in the third and he again staggered Juarez with a couple of rights to the head. A focused body attack had Juarez backing up and he was taking some serious hurt at the bell. Castro handed out some savage punishment in the fourth. He was cutting Juarez in half with hooks to the body and staggering him with hooks and uppercuts to the head. Juarez would not fall but his corner wisely retired their man at the end of the round. Castro, 26, has climbed to No 3 with the WBC after victories over 32-1 Genisis Servania, 18-2 Mario Diaz and former WBC super bantam title challenger Jesus Ruiz. The IBF and the WBO also have him in the top 10 so 2021 could see him scrapping for a world title. He is a very upright stylist with a strong jab and good variety in his punches. Juarez has lost to Nonito Donaire and Isaac Dogboe in title fights but took a beating when being floored and stopped by unbeaten Angelo Leo in December.
Pionki, Poland: Light: Damian Wrzesinski (20-1-2,1ND) W KO 4W Otto Gamez (19-3). Heavy: Marcin Siwy (21-0) W TKO 1 Kamil Bodzioch (6-1)
Wrzesinski vs. Gamez
Local fighter Wrzesinski beats Venezuelan inside four rounds. Wrzesinski took the first round with some strong jabs although Gamez showed some clever upper body movement and quick hands. Gamez was livelier in the second. He was holding his hands low and springing forward with some useful hooks. Wrzesinski was finding the target with long rights in the third and with Gamez, who has spent most of his career fighting at super bantam, lacking the power to keep him out Wrzesinski continued to get through with heavy rights with Gamez looking shaky at the bell. Wrzesinski rocked Gamez with rights at the start of the fourth and Gamez looked ready to go but the right that put him down only seemed to skim past the Venezuelan’s head. Gamez showed no inclination to get up and just sat watching the referee count him out. Wrzesinski, 33, retains the Polish International title with his sixth inside the distance win. His only loss is a majority verdict against Jean Pierre Bauwens in 2017 and he is 9-0-1, 1ND since then but against carefully selected opposition. Gamez record is misleading. Like so many Venezuelan fighters his record is heavily padded with 19 of his victims having only 12 wins between them and he collapsed here once Wrzesinski applied pressure.
Siwy vs. Bodzioch
Siwy blows away novice Bodzioch. Siwy went after the quick finish and Bodzioch was forced to stand and trade. A left followed by a right to the head put Bodzioch down heavily. He made it to his feet but Siwy drove him to the ropes and staggered him with another big right the referee stepped in. Despite his impressive statistics Siwy only creeps into the EBU ratings at No 17 due to his low quality opposition. Bodzioch was overmatched here but is only 24 so he will have time to recover from this poor performance.
London, England: Super Bantam: Brad Foster (13-0-2) W PTS 12 James Beech (12-1). Super Welter: Hamzah Sheeraz (11-0) W RTD 6 Paul Kean (12-2). Light: Mark Chamberlain (6-0) W TKO 1 Stu Greener (3-5).
Foster vs. Beech
Foster successfully defends his British and Commonwealth titles with a hard-fought unanimous verdict over fellow Midlander Beech. The fight started at a hectic pace and that set the pattern for the whole twelve rounds. Foster’s combination punches gave him the first two rounds but Beech banged back to take the third. Beech was cut over the left eye in the fourth and Foster was impressive with his hooking to the body with both hands. The fifth was a little scrappier and close but both fighters scored well in the sixth with Foster again attacking hard to the body but with Beech countering well. A right from Foster brought blood from Beech’s nose in the seventh. The pace of the fight was still high with both landing quality punches in a fight that was there for either fighter to take. The entertainment level was high and it was a pity there were no spectators to enjoy the spectacle. Foster outlanded Beech in the eighth but was warned for being careless with his head and was cut over his left eye. Again the body work from Foster was impressive but Beech kept firing back hard. Both landed with good punches in the tenth with Foster slightly ahead but with the fight still liable to go either way. Foster’s body punching paid dividends over the final two rounds as he hammered at Beech with combinations of hooks and uppercuts to emerge a clear winner. Scores 116-113 twice and 117-111 for Foster. The 22-year-old “Blade” was making the fourth defence of the British title making him the owner of the Lonsdale Belt the highest quality trophy in boxing and this was the third defence of his Commonwealth belt. He is making great progress. Despite losing Beech enhanced his profile with his performance here. This is the fifth fight in which he has suffered a cut so that may be a problem for him.
Sheeraz vs. Kean
Sheeraz continues his excellent progress with battering of Kean. Great start for Sheeraz as with just ten seconds gone in the opening round he landed a short right to the head that dumped Kean on the floor. Kean beat the count and survived by boxing and moving. The 6’1” Sheeraz dominated the second with some stiff jabs and landed a rib-bending left to the body that hurt Kean. Sheeraz kept up the pressure over the third and fourth with Kean punching back when he could but spending most of the time pinned to the ropes as Sheeraz connected with long rights. Kean did a bit better in the fifth firing hooks to the body of the taller Sheeraz but he took a pounding on the ropes before the bell. Sheeraz continued to land heavily in the sixth and with Kean cut over his right eye and never in with a chance his corner stopped the fight before the start of the seventh. The 21-year-old Sheeraz dedicated his victory to his aunt who died from COVID-19 leaving five children including quadruplets motherless. He retains the WBO European title with his seventh inside the distance win and he looks an outstanding prospect. Scottish Area champion Kean had won his last four fights but was never in with a chance after that first right hand.
Chamberlain vs. Greener
Southpaw hope Chamberlain gets another first round victory. Chamberlain sent Greener into the ropes with a left hook then landed a couple of body punches before two brutal lefts sent Greener down and the fight was stopped. All over in 55 seconds. Fourth first round finish for the 21-year-old former English Elite Level champion. Greener was coming off a win over unbeaten Tyler Davies but was wiped out in this one.
Rosarito, Mexico: Welter: Ronald Cruz (21-5) W TKO 4 lisandro de los Santos (25-20-1). Feather: Malikai Johnson (7-0-1) W TKO 1 Rigo Cruz (2-4).
Cruz vs. de los Santos
Cruz batters poor de los Santos to defeat in four rounds. In a farcical one-sided bout Cruz handed out a beating to Mexican de los Santos all the way. Cruz lost a point in the third for low punches but other than that slip he just hammered away at human punch bag de los Santos until the referee called him off in the fourth round. A very chubby looking Puerto Rican-born Cruz was having his first fight since suffering three tough losses in a row in 2014 against Kermit Cintron, Errol Spence and Dmitry Mikhaylenko. de los Santos has a 100 % record. All of his 20 losses have come by KO/TKO
Johnson vs. Cruz
A bad night for boxers carrying the name Cruz. “Machine Gun” Johnson ended this one quickly. He was digging in some vicious body punches until Cruz dropped to his knees. Cruz just beat the count but the referee would not let him continue so all over in the first round. The 22-year-old Newark-born Johnson is now based in Sacramento. He started out in kick boxing. The draw on his record was a technical draw and he gets his third first round victory. All four of Cruz’s losses have come inside three rounds.
Toowoomba, Australia: Super Light: Steve Spark (10-1) W TKO 4 Michael Whitehead (7-4-1).
In front of his home town fans Sparks retains the IBF Australasian title with stoppage of Whitehead. Sparks dropped Whitehead in the first and fourth rounds before the fight was stopped as Whitehead dropped to the floor under a barrage of punches. Now ten wins by KO/TKO including a run of eight on the bounce for the 23-year-old Australian No 1. Whitehead going in the opposite direction with four losses in his last five fights.
Dusseldorf, Germany: Super Welter: Ahmed El Mousaoui (33-3-1) W TKO 2 Sergej Wotschel (14-5-1). Light Heavy: James Kraft (18-0-1) W PTS 6 Karel Horejsek (17-13-3).
El Mousaoui vs. Wotschel
Frenchman El Mousaoui crushes Wotschel in two rounds. El Mousaoui handed out serious punishment to a game Wotschel in the first. Wotschel tried to punch with El Mousaoui in the second but wilted under some left hooks to the body and was shaken with overhand rights before the referee jumped in and halted the fight. El Mousaoui, 30, lost important fights against Jeff Horn and Ceferino Rodriguez but has re-established himself with a run of nine wins against an acceptable level of opponents. German-based Russian Wotschel had won 8 of his last 9 fights and this is his first loss by KO/TKO.
Kraft vs. Horejsek
Home advantage played a big part here as Kraft takes a split decision over Czech Horejsek. The visitor was able to rumble past the reach of the 6’3” Kraft and did enough damaged inside to earn at least a draw but to no one’s surprise the judges gave Kraft a split decision win. The 23-year-old “Baby Boy” from Munich turned pro at 17 so is still learning the sport and being carefully protected but in struggling to get by the 38-year-old Horejsek he looks to still need plenty of protection. On a good night Horejsek can be competitive as in the past he has drawn with Lennox Clarke and Adam Deines and taken Rocky Fielding the distance.
Biloxi, MS, USA: Cruiser: DeShon Webster (12-3-3) DREW 10 Samuel Clarkson (22-6-1). Middle: Vladimir Hernandez (11-4) W PTS 10 Aaron Coley (16-3-1). Super Feather: Jeremy Hill (12-0) W PTS 8 Xavier Wilson (11-2-1). Super Middle: Lorenzo Simpson (8-0) W KO Alex Duarte (16-9-1).
Webster vs. Clarkson
In the first boxing show in the USA in front of a live audience since early March Webster and Clarkson fight to a draw in an entertaining contest. Clarkson was forcing the fight early but Webster was boxing well. He was landing more with Clarkson throwing fewer but heavier shots. Clarkson rocked Webster with a right in the fifth but Webster steadied himself and looked to have a small lead after eight. Clarkson came on strong with a series of hooks to take the ninth and chased Webster down in the tenth to close the gap. Scores 95-95 twice making it a majority draw with a score of 96-94on the third card but it was not announced who had the 96-94 score. Both were in need of a victory with Webster losing over twelve rounds against Tervel Pulev in December and Clarkson to Israel Duffus in March.
Hernandez vs. Coley
Minor upset as Hernandez rebounds from consecutive losses to take a split decision over fellow-southpaw Coley. This was close to the final bell with Hernandez just outworking the taller Coley. The judge’s cards showed two scores of 96-94 for Hernandez and 96-94 for Coley. Denver-based Mexican Hernandez has a couple of useful victories on his record but had been stopped by Israil Madrimov and outpointed by French star Souleymane Cissokho in his last two fights. Californian Coley had won 7 of his last 8 outings.
Hill vs. Wilson
Hill gets unanimous decision over Texas-based Wilson. Scores 78-73, 77-74 and 77-76 for Hill. Good win for the lanky Hill but the scores are deceptive as Hill scored two knockdowns in a fight that saw both fighters rocked on numerous occasions in what was otherwise very closely contested. Hill was moving up to eight rounds for the first time.
Simpson vs. Duarte
No round given but “Truck” Simpson produces a savage left hook to the body that almost cut poor Duarte in half. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 20-year-old southpaw from West Baltimore. He is one to watch having won a gold medal at the US Silver Gloves Tournament for six year in a row as he grew from 95lbs to 165lbs. He also took gold at the National Police Athletic and the US Under-17 and Under-19 Championships. In the background at just four years of age he had the trauma of watching his father bleed to death from a gunshot wound on the streets of West Baltimore. Brazilian Duarte suffers his tenth loss by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week (Significance): Carlos Takam’s win should see him get at least one more big payday
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Brad Foster vs. James Beech was twelve rounds of quality and exciting action with honourable mention to Andres Cortes vs. Alejandro Salinas in an eight round war
Fighter of the week: Jose Zepeda for brushing aside useful Kendo Castaneda to keep himself in the title picture
Punch of the week: The left to the body from Lorenzo Simpson which had Alex Duarte writhing on the canvas in agony
Upset of the week: No biggie but Andy Vences was a slight favourite over Luis Alberto Lopez
Prospect watch: British super welter Hamzah Sheeraz 11-0 who shoed skill and power in halting Paul Kean.
Activity picking as between Tuesday and Saturday there were shows in America, Poland, United Kingdom, Australia, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Mexico, New Zealand, Thailand and South Korea.
Inventiveness to the fore as the show in Germany was staged in a car park with the spectators watching the action from their cars and on big screens.
Some different approaches with referees in London wearing masks and those in Nevada not doing so.
No Commission personnel present at the show in Rosarito so again Box Rec will show the fights as No Contest or not record them at all
Tuesday 14 Las Vegas Top Rank: Super Feather: Jamel Herring defending the WBO title against Jonathan Oquendo
Thursday 16 Las Vegas Top Rank Feather: Miguel Marriaga vs. Mark John Yap. Light Felix Verdejo vs. Will Madera
Saturday 18 Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy; Agit Kabayel vs. Evgenios Lazaridis. Heavy: Peter Kadiru vs. Ruben Wolf. Spectators will be allowed in for this fight with the approval of the local Health Board and with some social distancing.
Almaty, Kazakhstan, MTK Global: Super Middle: Dauren Yeleussinov vs. Arman Rysbek plus a number of other small shows.
By Eric Armit
-Two-division champion Jose Pedraza returns to action and outpoints Mikkel LesPierre
–Alex Saucedo continues to rebuild with win over Sonny Frederickson
-Albert Bell, Josue Vargas, John and Jose Enrique Durantes victorious in ten round action
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Alex Saucedo (30-1) W PTS 10 Sonny Fredrickson (21-3). Super Light: Josue Vargas (17-1) W PTS 10 Salvador Briceno (17-6). Super Light: John Bauza (14-0) W PTS 8 Larry Fryers (11-3).
Saucedo vs. Fredrickson
Saucedo gets wide unanimous decision as he dominates fight against Fredrickson. Saucedo was in control from the first and never let Fredrickson get a toehold in the fight. Saucedo shook off a hard right in the first to hurt Fredrickson with a left and then forced him to the ropes and had him rattled with a left. The pattern was the same in the second and third rounds with Saucedo’s aggression taking him past the taller Fredrickson’s jab. Fredrickson made a promising start to the fourth but then pressure from Saucedo again had him backing to the ropes and taking punishment. Saucedo was throwing more and landing more and although Frederickson had the longer reach he could not keep Saucedo out. Despite the occasional right hand counters from Fredrickson Saucedo was busier over the middle rounds. Saucedo had never gone past the eighth round in a fight whereas Fredrickson had gone ten in two of his last three fights but Saucedo had paced the fight well and finished the stronger to emerge a clear winner. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Saucedo who gets his second win since being stopped in seven rounds by Maurice Hooker in a WBO title challenge in November 2018. This was a competent performance from Saucedo but he has a lot of work to do before he gets anywhere near a title shot again. Second loss in a row for Fredrickson who had dropped a majority decision to unsung Samuel Teah in November. He does not look capable of progressing further.
Vargas vs. Briceno
Puerto Rican southpaw Vargas extends his winning run to eleven as he outpoints a combative Briceno. The speed and accuracy of Vargas were just too much for Briceno as he constantly rocked the slower Mexican with rapid-fire combinations. Briceno pressed hard all the way and had some success when he worked his way inside or when Vargas chose to stand and trade but other than that it was one-sided. A clash of heads in the sixth opened a cut on the left eyelid of Vargas and in the eighth Briceno was cut over his right eye but neither cut was serious. Vargas continued to outscore a tiring Briseno in the ninth and then held off a desperate finish from the Mexican in the last. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Vargas. The 22-year-old “The Prodigy” has been matched sensible and was coming off a ten round win over Ireland’s Noel Murphy in December. His only loss was a disqualification. In the amateurs he won a bronze at the National PAL Junior Championships and silver at the USA Youth Championships so worth following. Briceno was 3-2 in his 2019 contests with the losses being on points against unbeaten fighters Gabriel Flores and Yomar Alamo.
Bauza vs. Fryers
Bauza made it a double for Puerto Rico as he took the points against Ireland’s Fryers. The young “El Terrible” had the better skills and boxed on the back foot spearing the aggressive Fryers with right jabs and counter lefts. Fryers did his best to drag Bauza into a brawl but had very little success as Bauza used clever lateral movement, well placed right jabs and sharp uppercuts to frustrate the Irishman’s attacks. Fryer was never able to apply enough pressure to throw Bauza off his game plan as Bauza showcased some excellent skills. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Bauza. Now based in New Bergen Bauza went one better than Josue Vargas by winning a gold medal at the USA Youth Championships. He has an abundance of skill but six points wins in a row indicate he needs to build more power. Fryers had considerable amateur experience but at 29 and after two losses in a row may have reached his ceiling.
Kiev, Ukraine: Super Welter: Stanyslav Skorokhod (20-2) W TKO 5 Vlad Tantsiura (2-6). Super Light: Aram Fanilan (17-1) W TKO 1 Nadzir Bakhshyieu (5-10-3). Heavy: Igor Shevadzutskiy (4-0) W TKO 1 Igor Pylypenko (5-50-2)
Skorokhod vs. Tantsiura
Skorokhod racks up his third inside the distance win on the bounce as he stops inexperienced Tantsiura in five rounds. Skorokhod had won every round before the fight was halted in the fifth with Tantsiura’s face a mask of blood from cuts. The 31-year-ols US-based Ukrainian had two fights in Canada last year winning both and collecting the interim NABA title. Southpaw Tantsiura has lost his last five contests.
Fanilan vs. Bakhshyieu
Fanilan gets only his second inside the distance win as a body punch finishes overmatched Bakhshyieu in the opening round. The left hook almost cut Bakhshyieu in half. The Ukrainian’s only defeat is a points loss against Mexican Rene Tellez for the WBC Youth title in 2018 and he has now rebuilt with four wins. Third TKO loss in a row for Bakhshyieu.
Shevadzutskiy vs. Pylypenko
Shevadzutskiy gets his third first round win as floors and halts poor Pylypenko. Shevadzutskiy is a Ukrainian version of Andy Ruiz. He plodded after the reluctant Pylypenko before knocking him off balance with one left hook and putting him down with a second. Pylypenko managed to drag himself to his feet but the towel had come in and the referee waived the fight off. The 30-year-old South African-based Shevadzutskiy is 6’3” but weighed in at 293lbs for this his fourth win by KO/TKO. He is a former Ukrainian champion and European Championships quarter-finalist. The 6’5 ½” Pylypenko has now lost 27 in a row including all ten of his fights last year.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Jose Pedraza (27-3) W PTS 10 Mikkel LesPierre (22-2-1). Light: Albert Bell (17-0) W PTS 10 Mark Bernaldez (20-4). Feather: Jose Enrique Durantes (19-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Jackson (16-1).Feather: Robeisy Ramirez (4-1) W PTS 6 Adan Gonzalez (5-3-2). Super Light: Elvis Rodriguez (7-0-1) W TKO 1 Danny Murray (5-4,1ND).
Pedraza vs. LesPierre
Masterful first round from Pedraza as his movement and hand speed saw him piercing the slower LesPierre’s defence with flashing combinations. Pedroza kept changing guards in the second. He pinned Les Pierre against the ropes bombarding him with punches. LesPierre managed to get off the ropes but Pedraza continued to find gaps for hooks and uppercuts until Les Pierre rallied at the end of the round. The early part of the third was fairly even but Pedraza shook Les Pierre with an overhand left and finished the round with a series of quick, accurate shots. The fourth was a better round for LesPierre. He was on the front foot putting pressure on Pedraza who was off target with many of his punches. Pedraza looked comfortably in charge in the fifth until a straight left to the body from LesPierre dumped him on his butt. He was up quickly and later in the round put LesPierre down with a solid right and a left hook to the head. Les Pierre easily beat the count and boxed his way to the bell. At the start of the sixth the referee sent both fighters to a neutral corner after he was asked to review the knockdown of Pedraza. Replays showed LesPierre landing a punch and as Pedraza moved back he tripped over Les Pierre’s foot and went down. It was decided that it was a trip and not a knockdown making it a 10-8 round for Pedraza. The sixth, seven and eighth rounds saw Pedraza’s punch output drop but he outboxed a plodding LesPierre without really dominating the action. Pedraza upped his pace in the ninth shaking Les Pierre with a left hook and letting fly with some sharp combinations. Early in the tenth Pedraza dropped LesPierre with a counter left. LesPierre made it to his feet and Pedraza tried to finish it but then backed off and settled for going the distance. Scores 99-89 twice and 100-88 for Pedraza. The two-division world champion was having his first fight since losing on points to Jose Zepeda in September. He has dropped out of the ratings but is of course still a very marketable fighter so a shot at a third world title is a possibility. Trinidadian LesPierre lost heavily to Maurice Hooker in a challenge for the WBO title in March last year but was coming off a win over a reasonable level opponent in Canadian Roody Pierre Paul.
Bell vs. Bernaldez
These two were mismatched physically and also in talent and Bell did pretty well whatever he liked on the way to winning every round on the cards. Bell had a 6” edge in height and a much longer reach forcing a determined but limited Bernaldez to chase the fight. For a fighter with the boxing skills of Bell he has somehow managed to make progress under the radar but that can’t go on much longer. In a faultless display he picked Bernaldez apart at distance and slipped and slid around Bernaldez punches to score with strong rights inside. Bernaldez applied continuous pressure but Bell was threading punches through the brave Filipino’s guard and raking him with long rights. The only downer for Bell came in the ninth round. He clouted Bernaldez with a straight right and then stepped back from the action shaking his right hand which he had injured when landing the punch. Despite the injury he was able to outbox a tiring Bernaldez in the last round. Three scores of 100-90 for Bell. A former National Golden Gloves and National Police Athletic League gold medal winner the 27-year-old from Toledo had scored good wins over 22-0-1 Andy Vences and useful Frankie De Alba last year and is rated No 13 by the WBC. This was literally too big an ask for Bernaldez but the only guys to have beaten him are all high quality fighters.
Ramirez vs. Gonzalez
Ramirez gets revenge win over Gonzalez who ruined the former amateur star’s pro debut with a points victory in August. The brilliant Cuban southpaw had been floored in the first round of their previous fight but took no chances in this one. He used his superior skills and speed to control the action. Gonzalez pressed hard and was busier but not as accurate with his punches in this bad tempered match. The Cuban southpaw never quite subdued Gonzalez who swung desperately in the last trying to find a winning punch but the tight guard and precision work from Ramirez saw him take every round. Scores 60-54 for Ramirez from all of the judges. Revenge was important for the 26-year-old Ramirez and now he can continue to build his career. The two-time Olympic champion scored victories over Shakur Stevenson, Michael Conlan, Andrew Selby and Tugstsogt Nyambayan in international competitions and world leaders Lazaro Alvarez and Andy Cruz in Cuban national tournaments and has immense potential. Gonzalez goes back to bread-and–butter fights but no one can erase his win over Ramirez from the records.
Rodriguez vs. Murray
Dominican prospect Rodriguez pulverises Murray in the first round. Murray flitted around the ring circling Rodriguez pushing out tentative jabs and rights that fell short. Rodriguez was stalking Murray and suddenly uncorked an explosive southpaw jab that sent Murray back and down out through the bottom rope. Murray struggled back in to the ring but was on his back pawing at what might have been an orbital bone injury and the fight was stopped. The 24-year-old Rodriguez looked impressive. The draw on his record was a technical draw and his seven wins have all come by KO/TKO. Murray way out of his league.
Durantes vs. Jackson
“Executioner” Durantes gave a good solid performance in decisioning Jackson. The young Californian-based Mexican had to work hard for his win but was clearly the better fighter. Scores 97-93 for Durantes on all three cards. The only loss for this Mexican Championships silver medallist is a unanimous decision against unbeaten Ruben Villa which snapped a seventeen bout winning start for Durantes. Jackson has a couple of decent wins but has done most of his fighting in the Dominican Republic where the matching making is pretty horrible. To put it into context if it was a dating agency you could end up having dinner with Quasimodo’s twin sister.
Moscow, Russia: Middle: Magomed Madiev (14-0-2) DREW 10 Artur Osipov (16-2-1). Super Middle: Pavel Silyagin (3-0) W TKO 7 Artysh Lopsan (2-1-1). Welter: Shakhabas Makhmudov (7-0) W TKO 1 Fedor Glazkov (4-1-1). Super Feather: Albert Batyrgaziev (1-0) W RTD 8 Armen Ataev (5-2-1). Welter: Sergey Vorobyov (10-1) W TKO 5 Pavel Mamontov (12-10-2). Cruiser: Shigabudin Aliev (9-0) W TKO 2 Artush Sarkisyan (6-8),
Madiev vs. Osipov
Madiev retains the Russian title with draw against Osipov. It was a difficult fight to score with Madiev the aggressor but not really working hard enough when he got inside. Osipov was more accurate and the harder punches and he had Madiev rocking badly in the sixth. One judge had it 96-95 for Osipov, one scored it 95-95 and the third was on another planet giving it to Madrimov 100-90. The 25-year-old Madiev’s other draw was against useful Argentinian Guido Pitto. In the amateurs Madiev, twice Russian Youth champion, won silver medals at the European and World Youth Championships and a bronze at the World Military Championships but was not impressive here. Osipov lost in domestic matches in his two fights in 2019 but had registered a low level win in March.
Silyagin vs. Lopsan
Former outstanding amateur Silyagin was a few classes above novice Lopsan. All Lopsan had going for him was his 6’2” height but he was dropped in the first, down twice in the fourth and after a further knockdown in the seventh the fight was stopped. Silyagin, 27, was Russian champion and won bronze medals at the European Games and the World Championships. He was a regular member of the Russian Patriotic Boxing Team in the WBS putting together a 11-1 score and registering a win over currently unbeaten Joshua Buatsi. This win nets him the WBA Asian title. Lopsan just cannon fodder.
Makhmudov vs. Glazkov
Heavy-handed Makhmudov blows away Glazkov in two rounds. Glazkov managed to survive the first round but a wicked left hook to the body forced him to go down on one knee in the second. He managed to get up but was driven to the ropes and a crushing right to the head sent him tumbling to the canvas and the fight was over. The 23-year-old Makhmudov makes it six wins by KO/TKO. He turned pro in May 2018 but also continued to box in amateur competitions and won the Russian national title in 2019. A university student he is another former member of the Russian Patriotic Boxing Team. Glazkov was never in with a remote chance.
Batyrgaziev vs. Ataev
Batyrgaziev collects a title in his first pro fight as he beats Ataev in seven rounds. A star in the amateurs Batyrgaziev took his time and broke down fellow southpaw Ataev with powerful jabs and straight lefts. He varied his attack and was equally comfortable on offence and defence. Ataev absorbed a solid beating until finally with their man bloody and just soaking up punishment his corner pulled him out before the start of the eighth. The 22-year-old Batyrgaziev started out in kick boxing and did not turn to boxing until after watching the 2016 Olympics and deciding he wanted to try to qualify for Tokyo. He was Russian champion in 2017, 2018 and 2019 and was a quarter-finalist at the World Championships. The rescheduling of the Tokyo Olympics has seen him turn pro. Ataev had won his last three fights by KO/TKO but all he showed here was courage.
Vorobyov vs. Mamontov
Vorobyov overcomes Kazak Mamontov. Vorobyov won every round and it was really just a case of how long it would take him to catch up with a reluctant Mamontov. The end came in the fifth when a body punch sent Mamontov down on one knee. He managed to clamber to his feet but the fight was stopped. Russian champion Vorobyov gets win No 7 by KO/TKO. He broke through in 2018 with a victory over 34-0 Konstantin Ponomarev. Mamontov is now 1-8 in his most recent outing but usually goes the distance.
Aliev vs. Sarkisyan
Tall cruiser Aliev uses the punch of the night to flatten Sarkisyan in the sixth round. Aliev took Sarkisyan to the ropes and then exploded a right cross to the jaw that sent Sarkisyan to the canvas and it took a long time before Sarkisyan was in any condition to get up. In his last fight in July last year Aliev outpointed oldie Kevin Johnson. Sarkisyan was coming off a kayo win over 9-0 Ualikan Bissengulov.
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Feather: Mauricio Lara (19-2) W TKO 1 Alejandro Palmero (8-6-1). Super Feather: Irving Turrubiartes (23-0) W TKO 5 Hector Colin (9-13). Bantam: Joel Cordova (12-5-2) W PTS 8 Martin Tecuapetla (15-13-4).
Lara vs. Palmero
Lara continues his good run as he stops Palmero late in the first round. A left hook from Lara unhinged Palmero’s legs and a burst of head punches had Palmero turning away and staggering on stiff legs into a neutral corner with the referee stopping the fight. The 22-year-old “Bronco” makes it eight wins in a row seven inside the distance. Only the third fight in four years for Palmero.
Turrubiartes vs. Colin
Turrubiartes marches on with fifth round stoppage of Colin but it was not smooth all the way. Both fighters were on the floor in the first three rounds before Turrubiartes power proved the differences and he forced the stoppage in the fifth. No names on the record of the 22-year-old from Monterrey so real test yet to come. Former Mexican title challenger Colin suffers his seventh inside the distance defeat.
Cordova vs. Tecuapetla
In the best fight of the night Cordova and Tecuapetla went to war over eight rounds. It was back-and-forth action with a decision that could have gone either way with the three judges favouring Cordova. Scores 77-75 twice and 79-74. Cordova is now 6-0-2 in his last 8 bouts and turning his career around with wins over 20-2-3 Jose Quirino and former WBC flyweight champion Juan Hernandez. Tecuapetla is capable of giving anyone trouble on a good night. He has wins over Saul Juarez and Dwayne Beamon and only lost on a split verdict when he challenged Akira Yaegashi for the for the IBF light fly title in Japan.
Fight of the week (Significance): Jose Pedraza’s win over Mikkel LesPierre adds another factor to a talent-heavy super light division
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Only eight rounds but Joel Cordova vs. Martin Tecuapetla was action all the way.
Fighter of the week: Albert Bell’s classy display against Mark Bernaldez impressed
Punch of the week: The right from Shigabudin Aliev that blasted out Artush Sarkisyan was tops just ahead of the right jab from Elvis Rodriguez that finished Danny Murray and the body punch from Aram Fanilan that left Nadzir Bakhshyieu writhing on the canvas in agony.
Upset of the week: None
Prospect watch: Dominican super lightweight Elvis Rodriguez looks good.
Top Rank is showing the way for shows in this time of COVID-19 with their “bubble” formula and protocols with those involved tested and then “quarantined” on the designated hotel floor. Two weeks ago the positive test for Mikkel LesPierre’s manager saw the fight against Jose Pedraza cancelled and all of LesPierre’s team having to leave the bubble and when the father of Josue Vargas exited quarantine to stroll around the MGM Grand on Tuesday he was not allowed back in and could not work his son’s corner.
The use of action replay to review the “knockdown” suffered by Jose Pedraza in the fifth round of his fight with Mikkel LesPierre is an innovation that may well now become standard for fights in Las Vegas-and perhaps elsewhere. For me not reviewing the replay until the start of the sixth round raises some questions. Referee Kenny Bayliss sent both boxers to a neutral corner and then left the ring to view the replay which took two minutes and resulted in a three minute break between the end of the fifth and the start of the sixth. It might have been better if Bayliss had left the ring during the regulation one minute break as an extra one or two minutes recovery time could be vital in a fight.
The Mexican DF Commission again refused to recognised or appoint representatives for the show yesterday in Mexico City so the results will be shown as No Contest on the fighter’s records in BoxRec. The main supporting bout between Carlos Ocampo and Jorge Luis Garcia was cancelled because Garcia’s trainer tested positive for COVID-19.
By Eric Armit
-Miguel Berchelt returns with a stoppage over Eleazar Valenzuela in anon-title fight
-Joshua Franco wins the secondary WBA title at super fly with graphite-thin unanimous verdict over Andrew Moloney
-Jason Moloney looks good with retirement victory over Leonardo Baez
-Abraham Nova makes it 19 wins as he decisions Avery Sparrow
-Chris Diaz impresses as he outscore Jason Sanchez
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Fly: Joshua Franco (17-1-2) W PTS 12 Andrew Moloney (21-1). Feather: Chris Diaz (26-2) W PTS 10 Jason Sanchez (15-2).
Moloney vs. Franco
Moloney loses the secondary WBA title in his first defence as Franco stages a strong finish to take a very close unanimous decision. Moloney made a fast, confident start in the first. He was on the front foot stabbing out jabs and firing straight rights and mixing in left hooks. Franco was cautious and throwing very little. The second round was more even. Franco was on the front foot more and letting his punches go rocking Moloney with a left uppercut. Moloney continued to work well with the jab and ended the round with a series of hooks. Franco was the aggressor for much of the third as he landed with jabs and sweeping hooks at distance. Moloney again finished the round strongly but Franco had done enough to make it his round, Franco was the aggressor throughout the fourth but Moloney was boxing neatly on the back foot finding gaps with his jabs and banging home left hooks.
Scores: Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 39-37 Moloney, Judge Julie Lederman 39-37 Moloney, Judge Dave Moretti 40-36 Moloney
The fifth was Franco’s best round so far. He was strong with his jab, crowding Moloney and moving forward with hooks and uppercuts as he upped his work rate. Moloney was less accurate and being outworked. The champion forced his way back into the fight in the sixth. He was getting his punches off first and then moving to deny Franco a chance to connect with his long hooks. In the seventh Maloney alternated between getting inside and working to the body and standing off and beating Franco to the punch and he was more accurate with his punches. The eighth was close. Franco pressed hard letting fly with hooks from both hands and started the round well. Moloney then used speed movement and accuracy to pick up the points and his better finish gave him the round.
Scores: Judge Jarman: 78-74 Moloney, Judge Lederman 77-75 Moloney, Judge Moretti: 78-74 Moloney.
Franco’s round. The fight had been fought at a fast pace and now in the ninth Moloney looked to be tiring. He was throwing less and being caught with punches he had slipped before as Franco applied more and more pressure. The tenth was a good round for Franco. He was again coming forward throwing long swinging hooks looking stronger and rattling punches off Moloney’s head. Moloney went down briefly but it was more of a slip/push and there was no count. Suddenly an overhand right from Franco opened a cut over the left eye of Moloney. That fired up Franco and he was raking Moloney with punches at the bell. In the eleventh Franco forced Moloney to the ropes and connected with a series of head punches. They caused Moloney to overbalance and he put his gloves on the canvas to avoid toppling forward. That resulted in a count which proved to be the moment that decided the result. When the standing eight count was finished Franco pursued Moloney around the ring connecting with some heavy head shots. Moloney was mostly using his left glove to protect the cut that was bleeding again and that opened him up to right hooks over the last minute of a punishing round. Franco pressed hard in the last. Moloney boxed and moved but it was Franco who was doing the scoring and he took the round.
Scores Judge Jarman 114-113 Franco, Judge Lederman 115-112 Franco, Judge Moretti114-113 Franco.
In the end it was that time moment in the eleventh when Moloney’s gloves touched the canvas that cost him his title. Franco paced the fight better and was much stronger over the closing rounds. He had Moloney reeling in the eleventh and the champion might well have gone down anyway. Texan Franco was an outsider . He had gone 1-0-2 in three tough bouts with former WBC bantamweight title challenger Oscar Negrete and outpointed 17-2 Mexican Jose Burgos. With the real WBA champion being Ramon Gonzalez and Juan Francisco (WBC), Jerwin Ancajas (IBF) and Kazuto Ioka WBO) holding the other versions of the title he still has to prove he is worthy of a place alongside them but at 24 he has time to develop further. Moloney complained of feeling dizzy and nauseas after the fight and was taken to the hospital for examination where he was diagnosed as having suffered two perforated eardrums which must have affected him in the fight and as his nose was also broken he had some serious handicaps to overcome. Although it was closed Moloney stated he thought Franco was a worthy winner but the 28-year-old Australian will still be a threat in this division.
Diaz vs. Sanchez
Puerto Rican “Smurf” Diaz continues his rebuilding process with a unanimous decision over Sanchez. Diaz was in charge from the outset. He was quick off the mark with his jabs and his fluid movement gave Sanchez problems. He built an early lead with Sanchez not really able to get into the fight until after the half way mark when he upped his work rate. Even then the better, quicker and more accurate work was coming from Diaz as he shook Sanchez late in an impressive performance. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Diaz. He has lost badly in fights against Masayuki Ito for the vacant WBO super feather title and Shakur Stevenson for minor IBF and WBO titles. There are indications that he may decide to drop down to super bantamweight in the future. Sanchez was also aiming to put some bricks back in his career wall after being floored and outpointed by Oscar Valdez in a challenge for the WBO feather title in June last year.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Bantam: Jason Moloney (21-1) W RTD 7 Leonardo Baez (18-3,1ND). Light: Abraham Nova (19-0) W PTS 10 Avery Sparrow (10-2,1ND. Feather: Orlando Gonzalez-Ruiz (15-0) W PTS 8 Luis Porozo (15-3).
Moloney vs. Baez
After twin brother Andrew lost his WBA title two days before it was up to Jason to restore family pride and he did so in style forcing a tough Baez to retire after seven rounds. Moloney looked composed in the opening round. He was getting his punches off first and mixing in some crisp hooks. Baez the bigger man was strong but slower and advancing in a straight line whereas Moloney kept using plenty of lateral movement. Baez pressed hard at the start of the second and connected with a couple of rights to the head. Moloney continued to be quicker to the punch and late in the round stood inside and outworked Baez. It had been a close round and Baez complained after a clash of heads saw him cut over his right eye. After Baez scored with some clubbing shots in the third Moloney went inside again in the fourth and looked stronger forcing Baez back with hooks and uppercuts. Baez landed heavily in the opening exchanges in the fifth before Moloney took control going toe-to-toe with Baez and getting the better of the trading inside. After an even start in the sixth Moloney was hammering home straight rights. Baez tried to walk through the punches but was taking punishment. In the seventh Baez put in a big effort but a cut was opened over his left eye and Moloney pounded him to head and body. Baez looked spent and his corner retired him in the interval. At the end Moloney was up by five points on two cards and three on the other. The 29-year-old Australian’s only loss was a split decision to Emmanuel Rodriguez in a challenge for the IBF bantam title in a WBSS Tournament fight in 2018. This is his fourth win over good level opposition since then and he is rated WBA 3/IBF 4/WBC 4/WBO 5. This win is No 18 inside the distance and he should get another title shot late this year or early next once the WBSS Tournament is completed. Mexican Baez, 24, had won 11 of his last 12 fights including a victory over unbeaten Argentinian Alberto Melian and former WBA Interim champion 25-2 Moises Flores so a demanding test for Moloney.
Nova vs. Sparrow
Nova retains his 100% record with unanimous decision over Sparrow. The cagey, slick Sparrow gave Nova plenty of problems over the early rounds. Although this was Sparrow’s first fight for fifteen months he showed no rust. Not a noted puncher Sparrow found the target with light, quick jabs and used plenty of movement to frustrate Nova. Sparrow had taken the fight at just three weeks notice and Nova attempted to slow him by working the body but Sparrow was throwing more and looked to be in front after five rounds. Nova increased his punch output over the second half of the fight and finally began to use his edges in height and reach. A right to the head rattled Sparrow in the eighth and Nova built on that success to stage a strong finish sweeping five of the last six rounds. Scores a too wide 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Nova. A good learning fight for Nova against a difficult opponent. The 26-year-old Nova is Puerto Rican-born of Dominican parents and was US National Champion in 2014 but failed to make it through the US Trials for the 2016 Olympics. His father and four of his brothers also boxed. He has split his fighting time between the USA and Belgium. He is No 7 with the WBO but needs some more fights before he is ready to tackle such as Miguel Berchelt or Leo Santa Cruz. Despite his lack of experience Philadelphian Sparrow has already scored upset victories over 19-1-1 Jose Lopez and Hank Lundy. On the debit side an inside the distance win over Jesus Serrano in 2018 was changed to a No Decision as Sparrow tested positive for a banned substance.
Gonzalez-Ruiz vs. Porozo
As with Nova Gonzalez also found himself in a testing fight against an awkward opponent. It looked as though Gonzalez might add to his ten inside the distance wins when he floored Porozo with a peach of a southpaw left hook in the second round. Luckily it came late in the round as Porozo was badly shaken. Porozo has a good chin and beat the count. From there Gonzalez had problems landing cleanly on the Ecuadorian who used a crouching, forward leaning style to befuddle Gonzalez. After Gonzalez took the third Porozo got into the fight and was clawing back Gonzalez’s lead over the fourth and fifth. There were breaks in the action in the fifth, sixth and seventh due to low punches from Gonzalez but he put the fight beyond Porozo’s reach with a knockdown in the seventh and a strong eighth. Scores 77-73 twice and 76-74 all for Gonzalez. The 24-year-old with the “Golden Left Hand” is one of the hottest prospects around but Porozo was a difficult opponent to look good against. Gonzalez is being matched sensibly and will have better nights. Porozo had a wealth of amateur experience having represented Ecuador at the 2008 Olympics and 2009 and 2011 World Championships and former WBA super featherweight champion Alberto Machado is the only one to have beaten him by inside the distance.
Mexico City, Mexico: Light: Miguel Berchelt (38-1) W TKO 6 Eleazar Valenzuela (21-14-4,1ND). Super Light: Omar Aguilar (18-0) W TKO 1 Dante Jardon (32-7). Feather: Rafael Espinoza (15-0) W TKO 2 Luis Guzman (8-15). Feather: Alan David Picasso (14-1) W PTS 8 Florentino Perez (14-6-2).
Berchelt vs. Valenzuela
Berchelt overpowers and breaks down a gutsy Valenzuela. In the first they traded jabs until late in the round when Berchelt let his hands go connecting with long rights and left hooks to the body. Surprisingly the bell went twenty-five seconds early and the action stopped until the mistake was realised and the fight continued. Just before the bell a left hook from Berchelt floored Valenzuela. He was up quickly and the bell went to end the round. In the second Berchelt battered Valenzuela to the ropes and landed vicious hooks to the head and body. Valenzuela took the punishment and then walked though Berchelt’s punches putting Berchelt on the back foot until Berchelt cut loose with more hooks and uppercuts before the bell. Valenzuela took the fight to Berchelt in the third and was getting throught with jabs and hooks. A left from Berchelt landed on Valenzuela’ thigh and Valenzuela was given a short break to recover and then was again forcing Berchelt back. It looked as though he might win the round until Berchelt cut looses with a volley of punches. He staggered Valenzuela with a left uppercut and as he continued to rock Valenzuela with head punches the referee looked on the point of a stoppage but Valenzuela gustily lasted to the bell. In the fourth Berchelt snapped Valenzuela’s head back with hooks and handed out a savage beating. Valenzuela refused to take a step back and continued to walk through Berchelt’s punches scoring with some hard jabs and body shots. Berchelt’s punch output dropped at the start of the fifth allowing Valenzuela some success but by the end of the round Valenzuela looked worn down and exhausted. Valenzuela bravely walked forward in the sixth. Berchelt shook him with hooks and then sent him into a corner with a long left hook and the referee sensibly stepped in to save Valenzuela. Some useful ring time for Berchelt as he looks forward to a fight against former undefeated WBO featherweight champion Oscar Valdez, the No 1 challenger for his WBC title. Valenzuela made Berchelt fight hard for his win and showed real courage to keep taking the fight to Berchelt. He suffers his fourth inside the distance defeat.
Aguilar vs. Jardon
Aguilar blasts out veteran Jordan in 57 seconds. A left hook shook Jardon badly and two rights to the head had him stumbling backwards. Aguilar followed him connecting with left hooks and as Jardon reached the ropes two thunderous head punches had Jardon reeling and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Both fighters looked surprised at the stoppage and Jardon protested it vigorously but it was a justified stoppage. The 21-year-old Aguilar has 17 wins by KO/TKO 13 of them in the first round but his opposition has been very modest. Jardon, a WBC title challenger at super feather, looked very fleshy at 141lbs and a bit shop-worn but with his experience he was a reasonable test for young Aguilar
Espinoza vs. Guzman
Espinoza makes it thirteen wins by KO/TKO as his fight with Guzman is stopped in the second round. A left hook from Espinoza opened a severe cut on the right eyebrow of Guzman and the doctor ruled that the cut was too bad for Guzman to continue. At 6’1” the 26-year-old from Guadalajara may not be able to stay at super feather for long. Sixth loss in a row for Guzman
Picasso vs. Perez
Teenager Picasso boxes his way to victory over “Violento” Perez. The first round was painful for Picasso as Perez connected with a low punch which could have resulted in castration. Perez did enough to win that round but then Picasso used his skill and speed to win the rest. The much smaller Perez rolled forward making life difficult at times for Picasso but had to take heavy punishment in the seventh and eighth. Scores 79-73. 79-74 and 78-74 for Picasso. Tenth win on the bounce for the 19-year-old Picasso who turned pro at 16. He is progressing well having beaten some good level opposition last year. Perez keeps his record of never losing inside the distance.
Plant City, FL, USA: Super Light: Ryan Martin (23-1) W RTD 6 Carlos Velasquez (27-37-2). Super Welter: Cecil McCalla (22-4) W TKO 1 Matias Garcia.
Martin returns to the ring with a win. Martin was finding gaps for his jabs and right crosses in the first. Oldie Velasquez had little to offer and Martin was in full control over the second and third. He upped the pressure in the fourth and handed out some severe punishment in the fifth with Velasquez buckling under the barrage of punches. The sixth was another painful round for Velasquez as Martin drove him back with straight rights and although Velasquez finished the round on his feet he had nothing to offer and his corner retired him before the start of the seventh. First fight for Martin since losing to Josh Taylor in the WBSS Tournament in November 2018. He tested positive for a banned substance and is recorded as being under suspension until May 2021 but this is boxing and Ohio (where he is licensed and Florida (where he fought) don’t seem to care about things like that. Thirteenth win by KO/TKO for “Blue Chip” Martin. Nicaraguan Velasquez, 40, has lost 4 of his last 5 fights.
McCalla vs. Garcia
In his first fight in almost a year McCalla has no trouble in brushing aside poor Nicaraguan Garcia. McCalla stalked the pathetic Garcia scoring two knockdowns with clubbing head punches. Garcia just managed to struggle to his feet after the second knockdown but the referee waived the fight off. After going 20-0 at the start of his career McCalla lost to Chris van Heerden, Ishe Smith and Tony Harrison in 2015 and has only fought sporadically since then with this being his third fight almost five years. For Garcia this was his thirteenth loss in his last fifteen fights.
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Fight of the week (Significance): Joshua Franco vs. Andrew Moloney as Franco adds his name to the super flyweights roster
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Franco vs. Moloney was a close hard-fought match
Fighter of the week: New super flyweight champion Joshua Franco with honourable mention to Jason Maloney
Punch of the week: The left hook from Miguel Berchelt that put Eleazar Valenzuela down in the first round was a beauty
Upset of the week: Franco was an outsider against Moloney
Prospect watch: Super Lightweight Omar Aguilar 18-0 is worth following
The Federal Commission in Mexico City refused to provide supervisors for the Berchelt vs. Valenzuela show so BoxRec will register all of the fights as No Contest and not as wins/losses.
Mixed fortunes for the Moloney twins but they both put on impressive performances.
Disappointing to see Ryan Martin being allowed to fight despite a ban for doping which will not expire until May 2021.
By Eric Armit
-Filipino Mike Plania wins upset decision over WBO No 1 bantam Joshua Greer
-Giovani Santiago goes to 26-0 with debateable decision over Antonio DeMarco
-The Jose Pedraza vs. Mikkel LesPierre fight is called off after LesPierre’s manager tests positive for COV-19 on the day of the fight
-Gabriel Flores moves up for his first ten round fight and is 18-0 after outpointing Josec Ruiz
-WBO super bantam champion Emanuel Navarrete halts Uriel Lopez in non-title action for win No 28 by KO/TKO
-Edwin Palomares spring upset as he stops 25-2 Carlos Ornelas
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Bantam: Mike Plania (24-1 W PTS 10 Joshua Greer (22-2-1). Welter: Giovani Santillan (26-0) W PTS 10 Antonio DeMarco (33-9-1). Super Welter: Bobirzhan Mominov (11-0) W PTS 6 Cameron Krael(17-16)
Plania vs. Green
Filipino Plania gets a big win as he floors WBO No 1 bantam Greer twice on the way to a majority decision victory. Plania made a dream start putting Greer down with a left hook in the opening round. Greer survived the crisis and began to work his way into the fight from the second. Plania continued to be dangerous with his left hooks and he produced another in the sixth to score his second knockdown. Greer was not out of the fight and he began to eat into Plania’s lead as the Filipino tired over the late rounds. The stronger Greer clearly won the last three rounds but it was not enough to offset Plania’s early work and the two knockdowns. Scores a harsh 97-91, and 96-92 for Plania and 95-95. The 23-year-old “Magic” Plania makes it nine wins in a row since suffering his only defeat against former WBO champion Juan Carlos Payano in 2018. He was unrated before this one but that will change now and obviously a fight with WBO champion John Riel Casimero would be a dream match but Casimero has his eyes on a unification fight with Naoya Inoue. Greer had scored good wins over Nikolai Potapov and Antonio Nieves but this is a huge set back when a title fight had looked a certainty for him later this year or early next.
Santillan vs. DeMarco
Santillan maintains his 100% record but looks lucky to do so as he takes a razor-thin majority verdict. Santillan’s youth and strength were expected to prevail against former WBC light champion DeMarco who had been finding life tough. Santillan worked hard trying to force the fight against the older man but DeMarco’s experience showed. He was if anything busier than fellow-southpaw Santillan and more accurate with his work. Most of the rounds were close with neither fighter dominating and the punch stats showed little between them but DeMarco just seemed to have the edge. The judges saw it differently on scores of 96-94 twice for Santillan and 95-95. The 28-year-old “Gallo de Oro” from San Diego was facing his toughest test so far and if he takes away his lessons from this fight he could be challenging for a title by late 2021 or early 2022. At 34 DeMarco still has plenty to offer but his run of just two wins in his last eight fights put him in the “useful scalp for younger fighters to collect” category.
Mominov vs. Krael
The Kazaks march on. Mominov outworks and outpunches a useful Krael for a points victory. Mominov pressed the fight working behind a stiff jab and scoring well in the early rounds with short punches from both hands. Krael has a good chin and plenty of heart and weathered the early punishment to fight back hard over the closing rounds. Mominov was cut over his left eye and lost a point in the last round for a punch to the back of the head but it had no effect on the final result. Scores 58-55 twice and 57-56 for Mominov. The 28-year-old former World Military Champion is making steady progress. Hawaiian Krael is now 1-3 in his last 4 fights but the win in that run was over useful Ravshan Hudaynazarov.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Light: Light Gabriel Flores (18-0) W PTS 10 Josec Ruiz (21-3-3).
Flores vs. Ruiz
When the manager of Trinidadian Mikkel LesPierre tested positive for COVID-19 on the morning of the fight with Jose Pedraza that bout was cancelled and Flores found himself topping the bill. The unbeaten prospect stepped up in style winning every round over Honduran Ruiz. After dominating the first round with some powerful jabs and good movement Flores put Ruiz down in the second with a left hook followed by a straight right. Ruiz made it to his feet and saw out the round and never again looked seriously hurt. Flores boxed for much of the fight on the back foot rattling Ruiz with counters. Ruiz tried hard to get inside to work on the body but the lateral movement and speed of Flores frustrated those attempts with Floes too slick to be caught. He plugged Ruiz with stiff jabs and hard rights and outpunched and outlanded the slower Latino all the way with only his lack of punching power (just six inside the distance wins) and the sturdy chin of Ruiz (just one loss by KO/TKO) allowing the fight to go the distance. Scores 100-89 for Flores for all three judges. Still only 20) he signed pro with Top Rank at 16) Flores is an immense talent and is being sensibly matched. He could be a real title threat by 2022. Miami-based “Scorpion” Ruiz is flattered by his record as his opposition has been somewhat less than modest but he gave Flores some useful ring time.
Collard vs. Kaminsky
After winning only one of his first five fights Cassius Clay Collard has found some form and he took a deserved split decision over previously unbeaten Kaminsky. Collard made a strong start working well to head and body and soon had Kaminsky bleeding from the nose. Kaminsky worked the body trying to slow Collared but also suffered a cut over his left eye. He was countering well but lacked the power to keep a storming Collard out and although he made a strong finish it was not enough to overcome Collard’s early dominance. Scores 58-56 twice for Collard and 58-56 for Kaminsky. Collard is now 6-1 in his last 7 fights with four of those wins coming against unbeaten fighters albeit with modest records. Israeli Kaminsky, 19, “The Lion of Zion” was a silver medallist at the US Under-19 championships. He has plenty of time and now needs to take a deep breath and start again.
Mexico City, Mexico: Feather: Feather: Emanuel Navarrete (31-1) W TKO 6 Uriel Lopez (13-14-1). Edwin Palomares (13-3-1) W TKO 5 Carlos Ornelas (25-3).
Navarrete vs. Lopez
Navarrete gets a workout as he halts Lopez in six rounds. Navarrete was not putting a great deal into this early. He was content to use his longer reach to keep banging home jabs on the advancing Lopez. Navarrete was constantly changing guards and although not loading up on his punches he was keeping a high work rate. Lopez kept marching forward and had some success but not much. Lopez landed a cracking right to the chin in the fourth and that caused Navarrete to up his pace. He was spearing Lopez with long jabs and powerful hooks and uppercuts but to his credit Lopez kept marching into the hurt zone. A short left hook stopped Lopez in his tracks in the fifth and a series of shots from both hands dropped Lopez to his knees. He was up at eight and had to survive some fierce attacks to make it to the bell. In the sixth Navarrete handed out a brutal beating to a game Lopez who just kept soaking up the punishment and trying to punch back. The end came when Navarrete forced Lopez to the ropes and then buried a straight right to the body that saw Lopez fall to his knees. He made it to his feet but the referee just waived the fight off. The 28-year-old WBO super bantam champion gets win No 28 by KO/TKO and his twenty-sixth victory in a row. It is difficult to see who can match him at his weight or to see any big money fights in his division so by next year he will probably be trying unify the titles at featherweight. Lopez just a gutsy journeyman.
Palomares vs. Ornelas
Palomares gets a career best win and springs a major upset as he halts Ornelas in five rounds. Ornelas started well scoring with his right jab and straight lefts. In the second Palomares, sporting pink hair, was getting past the jab and scoring with hooks and uppercuts inside and he dominated the action in the third with relentless attacks. Ornelas tried to turn things around with some lefts in the fourth but was soon on the retreat as Palomares banged home to head and body with both hands forcing Ornelas to hold. Ornelas simply surrender in the fifth. He dropped to one knee when under pressure and then started to rise only to go down on one knee again. He stood up at nine but the referee rightly stopped the fight. Palomares, 24, the Mexican featherweight champion, had put up a good performance in taking 21-0 Irving Turrubiartes to a split decision in his last fight but BoxRec had him 25 positions below Ornelas in their world ratings. Ornelas was rated in the world’s top 15 as he went 21-0 at the start of his career but is now 3-4 in his last 7 with all three losses by KO/TKO.
Arlamow, Poland: Super Middle: Robert Parzeczewski (25-1) W PTS 8 Sladan Janjanin (27-6). Feather: Kamil Laszczyk (28-0) W TKO 5 Piotr Gudel (10-5-1).Super Middle: Przemyslaw Gorgon (10-6-1) W PTS 6 Patryk Szymanski (20-4)
Parzeczewski vs. Janjanin
Pole Parzeczewski brutalises Bosnian Janjanin on the way to a wide unanimous decision. Parzeczewski scored a knockdown in the first, two in the second and one each in the third and fifth rounds. Despite this and a broken nose, Janjanin survived the eight rounds and did a “victory” dance at the end of the fight to celebrate going the distance. Parzeczewski was not taking this fight lightly and tried hard to get the much smaller and lighter Bosnian out of the fight but failed and also suffered an injury to his right hand. The scores were 80-67 for Parzeczewski on all three cards. He has useful wins over Dariusz Sek, Dmitri Chudinov and Patrick Mendy and is said to be facing experienced Canadian Ryan Ford in his next fight. Janjanin is 4-5 in his last nine fights including a points loss to Martin Murray in November.
Laszczyk vs. Gudel
No problem here for Laszczyk. His speed gave him a big edge and he rocked Gudel with a right to the head in the first round. Accurate jabs and some tasty left hooks gave Laszczyk the second round and he scored well with right hooks in the third. In the fourth a right to the head forced Gudel to drop to one knee. He made it to his feet and the bell saved him. Laszczyk ended it in the fifth flooring Gudel twice before the referee intervened. After nine years as a pro and with a 28-0 record the 29-year-old Pole has been fed a stream of soft-touch opponents and seems to be going nowhere-slowly. Now 3 losses in his last 4 fights for Gudel
Gorgon vs. Szymanski
Szymanski’s slide continues as he losses a split decision to a very ordinary Gorgon. Szymanski had much the better technique and used his skills to edge in front. He then seemed to lose his way and boxed very defensively looking to hold and smother Gorgon’s attacks. Gorgon finished strongly and a right to the head saw Szymanski take a knee in the last round. Scores 58-55 twice for Gorgon and 57-56 for Szymanski. Just very ordinary prelim fighter Gorgon was 3-3-1 in his previous 7 fights and should not have caused Szymanski any problems but after winning his first nineteen fights, including five victories in the USA Szymanski has fallen to 1-4 in his last 5 with three of those losses inside the distance.
Fight of the week (Significance): Mike Plania’s win over WBO No 1 Joshua Greer has shaken up the WBO bantamweight ratings
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Plania vs. Greer was close and hard fought
Fighter of the week: Plania for beating WBO No 1 Greer with honourable mention to Gabriel Flores beating useful Josec Ruiz in his first ten round fight
Punch of the week: The right to the body from Emanuel Navarrete which finished Uriel Lopez
Upset of the week: Plania beating Greer was a surprise as was Edwin Palomares stopping 25-2 Carlos Ornelas
Prospect watch: No new names this week
Next Week’s Action:
Tuesday 23 June
Las Vegas: Super Fly: Andrew Moloney (21-0) vs. Joshua Franco (16-1-2) (WBA super fly title): Feather: Chris Diaz (25-2) vs. Jason Sanchez (15-1). Light: Joseph Adorno (14-0-1) vs. Alexis del Bosque (17-5).
Thursday 25 June
Las Vegas: Bantam: Jason Moloney (20-1) vs. Leonardo Baez (18-2). Light Abraham Nova) 18-0) vs., Avery Sparrow (10-1).
Friday 26 June:
Small shows in Tijuana and Haltom City, Texas
Saturday 27 June
Shows in Brampton, Canada, Czech Republic, Wuppertal Germany, Mexico City, Moscow and South Korea.
By Eric Armit
-Jesse Magdaleno beats Yenifel Vicente who is thrown out after losing four points for low blows and Adam Lopez edges out Luis Coria
-As boxing returns in Germany Jack Culcay scores comfortable decision over Howard Cospolite and prospects Marten Arsumanjan, Vincenzo Gualtieri, Jama Saidi and Artur Mann score wins
-Mariusz outpoints Kevin Johnson in the first action in Poland post the lockdown
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Jessie Magdaleno (28-1) W DISQ 10 Yenifel Vicente (36-5-2,1ND). Feather: Adam Lopez (14-2) W PTS 10 Luis Coria (12-3).
Magdaleno vs. Vicente
Magdaleno gets the win as he is two quick for the aggressive Vicente who suffers two knockdowns and four deductions for low punches before being thrown out in the tenth. Vicente was trying to force the fight in the first stalking the elusive Magdaleno. He managed to trap Magdaleno on the ropes but was caught by a sharp right counter to the temple and went down. It was not a heavy knockdown and Vicente was up early and easily made it to the bell. Vicente continued to chase down Magdaleno in the second and third but Magdaleno was just too quick for him. The fourth amazingly saw Vicente lose three points for low punches. Vicente had landed low a couple of time in the third and when he went low again early in the fourth the referee deducted a point. Then with just over a minute gone in the round Vicente landed a vicious low right which had Magdaleno dropping his guard and turning away and as he went down Vicente landed a hard right to the head. Magdaleno was on the floor for over two minutes with a doctor attending him. It seemed a clear case for disqualification but Magdaleno got up and the referee indicated he was deducting a point from Vicente and with all of that is was five minutes before the fight resumed. When it did Vicente attacked wildly and after yet another low punch the referee again deducted point from Vicente and Magdaleno boxed and countered his way to the end of an incident filled round which instead of being 10-9 for Magdaleno was a 10-6 round. Vicente had not learned his lesson from the first round and in the fifth was wide open as Magdaleno put him down with a strong counter right jab over Vicente’s low left. Vicente continued to chase down Magdaleno but was too wild and Magdaleno was too quick and too tricky. As his frustration and desperation increased Vicente suffered another deduction when within ten seconds of the start of the last round he landed way below the belt. Vicente then connected twice more below the belt and the referee finally disqualified him. Third win over good level opposition for the former WBO champion since moving up to featherweight. He sits at No 4 in the WBO ratings behind Michael Conlan, Ryan Walsh and Carl Frampton and as the champion is fellow-Top Rank fighter Shakur Stevenson a title fight in 2021 is feasible. Dominican Vicente was 23-0-2 at one time but has found it tougher against better quality opposition and was lucky not to get thrown out of this fight long before the tenth.
Lopez vs. Coria
An excellent scrap between Lopez and Coria reminded us of what we had been missing during the lockdown as Lopez had to hold off a strong finish from Coria to take a majority decision. Coria made a fast start getting inside and outscoring Lopez. Lopez made some adjustments from the third using his better skills to pile up the points. Coria came back into the fight late as Lopez tired and busted up Lopez who had huge swellings around both eyes but Lopez had done enough over the middle rounds to just deserve the verdict. Scores 96-94 twice for Lopez and 95-95. Lopez wins the vacant NABF title. Lopez was to have fought Coria in November but instead he stepped in at just one day’s notice to tackle Oscar Valdez and save the show. Although stopped in the seventh round he had Valdez down in the second. Coria, 21, was coming off three low level wins and was in his first ten round fight. His performance here should get him plenty more assignments.
Berlin, Germany: Super Welter: Jack Culcay (28-4) W PTS 12 Howard Cospolite (18-8-3), Middle: Marten Arsumanjan (10-1-1) W RTD 7 Bjoern Schicke (16-1-1). Middle: Vincenzo Gualtieri (15-0) W PTS 10 Alexander Pavlov (10-1). Middle: Jama Saidi (17-1) W PTS 8 Jay Spencer (1-2). Cruiser: Arthur Mann (16-1) W KO 3 Rad Rashidi (18-7).
Culcay vs. Cospolite
“Golden Jack” eases himself back with a good workout against French journeyman Cospolite. The former holder of the secondary WBA super welter title was making the first defence of the WBO International title. Culcay had the better skill set and more power but at times he made it harder than it needed to be as he elected to fight inside and not use his superior boxing. One of the reasons from working inside was that despite bouncing his punches off the head of Cospolite he was not making a dent in the Frenchman’s aggression so he eventually started to target the body more. Without ever really threatening an upset Cospolite made Culcay work hard all the way. Scores 117-111, 116-110 and 116-112 for Culcay. The 34-year-old Ecuadorian-born Culcay only lost to Demetrius Andrade for the WBA title on a split decision and gave Sergey Derevyanchenko a good fight last year. He is rated in the top ten by both the IBF and WBO and another title chance is not out of question. Cospolite, 37, has lost in shots at the EBU and EU tiles but only been stopped once.
Arsumanjan vs. Schicke
A minor upset here as home team fighter Schicke losses his unbeaten tag and his EU title against fellow German Arsumanjan. The fight was even over the early rounds but the power and strength of Arsumanjan became the deciding factor. He pressured Schicke into fighting inside and began to break the unbeaten fighter down. Arsumanjan scored heavily with head shot in the sixth and Schicke’s corner retired their man at the end of the round. Schicke went to hospital just for observation. Big win for Arsumanjan who had his cousin Arthur Abraham in his corner. This was a big step up in opposition as he gets his fourth win in a row rebuilding after a shocking first round kayo loss to a fellow novice in 2018. Schicke had been carefully matched so has a recover job on his hands.
Gualtieri vs. Pavlov
Gualtieri just does enough to get by Pavlov in a desperately close fight for vacant German title. Some good early work with his jab saw Pavlov give Gualtieri some problem over the first three of rounds. Without really being totally dominant Gualtieri found his rhythm and swept the middle rounds to establish a good lead. Pavlov ate into that lead by taking the eighth and ninth to make it close but Gualtieri earned the decision with a strong last round. Scores 96-94 and 96-95 for Gualtieri and 95-95. “El Capo” has faced a mixed level of opposition and there is still room for some improvement. Pavlov was going past six rounds for the first time and had faced only some very weak opposition but he impressed here.
Saidi vs. Spencer
Saidi is just too talented for the strong but limited Spencer and outboxes him all the way. Not a big puncher Saidi never really looked like ending it early but he won every round. Scores 80-72 for Saidi from all three judges. The 26-year-old German “Hammer”, a former undefeated IBF and WBO European champion was having his first fight since putting up a creditable performance in losing a close unanimous verdict against Culcay in November. A former German kickboxing champion he has wins over experienced Sasha Yengoyan and Predrag Radosevic. Ghanaian Spencer has done all of his fighting in Germany
Mann vs. Rashid
Kazak-born German Mann makes it nine inside the distance wins with kayo of Rashid. Mann controlled the fight with his jab in the first before flooring Rashid with a combination late in the second. He ended it in the third with brutal uppercut that put Rashid down and out. The 29-year-old “Thunderman” was stopped in four rounds by Kevin Lerena in a challenge for the IBO cruiser title in March last year and this is his second win as he seeks to re-establishes himself
Konary, Poland: Heavy: Mariusz Wach (36-6) W PTS 10 Kevin Johnson (34-17-1).
Only a super optimist could have expected this fight to be entertaining. This struggle between two 40-year-old former world title challengers was a slow and dreary affair. Wach won it almost exclusively with his jab as he used his 6’7 ½” height and 82” reach to keep the 6’3” Johnson out. Johnson was a little livelier than in some of his recent performances but only just. He looked to have done enough to take the third and was competitive over the fourth and fifth but other than that he was never in the fight. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for Wach as he wins the Polish International title. The big Pole hardly used his right and after the fight stated he had injured the hand but the way he is fighting now the Scandinavians should sue him over his “Viking” nickname. Over the years Johnson has fallen from 27-1-1 in his first 29 fights to 7-16 in his last 23 and this is his fifth loss in a row.
Fight of the week (Significance): Both Culcay and Magdaleno showed they still have a part to play
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Adam Lopez vs. Luis Coria gave the fans a treat
Fighter of the week: Jack Culcay performed well
Punch of the week: The uppercut from Artur Mann that flattened Rad Rashid
Upset of the week: Marten Arsumanjan winning over Bjoern Schicke was not on the cards
Prospect watch: No one stood out
Observations: Obviously the absence of spectators was strange but it was also curious to see everyone except the fighters and referees wearing masks which obviously makes the strictest testing of those three for every fight important as you can’t have social distancing in the ring!
By Eric Armit
-Brandun Lee shines on ShoBox and looks a high quality prospect
-Seasoned pro Tshifihiwa Munyai wins the vacant South African title
-A spate of five BBB of C Area title fights mark the temporary shutdown of boxing in Britain.
Hinckley, MN, USA: Super Light: Brandun Lee (19-0) W TKO 3 Camilo Prieto (15-3). Super Light: Brian Norman Jr (17-0,1ND) W TEC DEC 7 Flavio Rodriguez (9-2-1). Feather: Aram Avagyan (10-0-1) W PTS 8 Dagoberto Aguero (15-1).
Lee vs. Prieto
Lee much too good for Prieto and just brushes him aside. Prieto seemed to be in survival mode before he even got off his stool and stayed that way. Lee just stalked Prieto in the first rocking him with a right and marking up his face with piercing jabs as well as doing some showboating. Lee upped his pace in the second connecting with overhand rights and left hooks and ramming jabs into Prieto’s face but not really sustaining his attacks. After landing with jabs in the third Lee rocked Prieto with a right counter. He then drove Prieto around the ring landing with hooks and more rights to the head before opening up with a ferocious burst of punches that had Prieto experience some deep hurt until the referee jumped in and stopped the fight. The 5’11” tall Californian turned pro at 17 and is still only 20. He is not being rushed with his first 16 bouts spent fighting four and six rounds in Mexico, where there is virtually no lower limit as to when a fighter can turn pro, and small shows in the USA. It will be difficult to withstand the pressure to push him forward now as he has won his last ten fights inside the distance, has only been taken the distance twice and has recorded eleven first round wins. His amateur record is given as 181-9 and he is said not have lost an armature fight since 2014. Here he certainly looked impressive with his speed and power but he can’t really be fully assessed until he meets much better opposition. Prieto had won his last seven fights with a couple of experienced opponents in those seven but he fought scared here.
Norman vs. Rodriguez
Norman gets technical victory over Rodriguez. Norman was being given a reasonable test by Rodriguez but was on his way to victory until a severe bumping of heads in the seventh saw Rodriguez suffer a vertical cut over his right eye and the fight was stopped. The cards decided it with Norman getting the decision on scores of 68-65 twice and 69-64. The 19-year-old from Georgia , who also turned pro at 17, is the son of Brian Norman Sr who had 30 bouts as a pro between 2003 and 2011 facing guys such as Joe Greene, Jean Pascal, Edwin Rodriguez and Dominic Wade and ended with a 17-11,2 ND record. Young Norman has 14 wins by KO/TKO and as with Lee has done most of his fighting in Mexico. Both of Rodriguez’s losses have now been to undefeated opponents.
Avagyan vs. Aguero
In a clash of former Elite level amateurs Avagyan climbs off the floor twice to get majority decision over Aguero. It was a disastrous start for Avagyan. A thunderous right floored him heavily in the first. He survived that but when they were exchanging heavy punches in the second another strong right floored him. He made it to his feet and to the bell and then over the next six rounds clawed back the deficit from those two early floorings. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Avagyan and 76-76. The 29-year-old Armenian won bronze medals at the European Championships in 2013 and 2015 and competed at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics where he lost to Michael Conlan. This is the second time in a row he has had to climb off the floor for victory. Dominican Aguero’s record is so typical of fighters from the Republic with his first ten victims having just eight wins between them. As an amateur he was Dominican champion representing the Republic at the World Championships and the World Military Championships and won a silver medal at the Pan American Games.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Feather: Facundo Arce (12-2-2) W KO 5 Claudio Echegaray (22-4-2). Arce continues his good run as he pounds on Echegaray until finishing the one-sided fight in the fifth. Arce had Echegaray in deep trouble early in the first dropping his more experienced rival with Echegaray just surviving to the bell. Echegaray took more punishment in the second and third but was put down twice in the fourth. A fierce attack from Arce in the fifth pinned Echegaray in a corner and as Arce unloaded with heavy punches Echegaray slid to the canvas and the towel came in from Echegaray’s corner. Arce, 24, retains the WBA Fedebol title with his sixth inside the distance finish. He is 11-0-2 in his last 13 fights. At one time Echegaray was 21-0-1but 1-4-1 shows serious slippage.
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Adrian Curiel (16-3) W PTS 10 Rosendo Guarneros (16-4-2). Super Light; Jose Antonio Rodriguez (32-8) W TKO 8 Jose Andres Periban (9-7-1).
Curiel vs. Guarneros
Curiel just too clever for strong but limited Guarneros. The local youngster had the better of the opening rounds with his jabs and straight rights and after four rounds was up 40-36, 39-36 and 38-37. Over the next four rounds Guarneros struggled to get into the fight he was throwing big punches but with little accuracy and was being slowed by body punches from Curiel. It was Curiel who was stronger over the last two rounds and he ran out an easy winner. Scores 98-91, 98-92 and 96-93 for Curiel who picks up the Vacant WBC Fecombox title. Guarneros is 1-3-1 in his last 5 including a points defeat by Sunny Edwards in September.
Rodriguez vs. Periban
Rodriguez gets very late win as he stops Periban with just eleven seconds left in the fight. The 32-year-old southpaw, a former challenger for the interim WBA super feather title, has 28 wins by KO/TKO. He had a mixed year against Filipino opponents in 2019 scoring an upset ninth round stoppage of Mercito Gesta but losing a technical decision to Romero Duno. Periban was given an indefinite suspension in 2016 for assaulting a referee but despite the suspension not being lifted he has continued to fight but not too well as he is 0-4-1in his last 5.
Stoke, England: Super Middle: Nathan Heaney (10-0) W PTS 10 Christian Schembri (17-8). Neighbourhood fighter Haney wins his first title as he decisions Schembri in a contest for the vacant IBO Continental title. Haney hit Schembri with everything hooks, uppercuts right crosses but could not put the Maltese boxer away. He rocked Schembri numerous times and opened a cut over Schembri’s left eye. Schembri’s best round was the seventh when he scored to the body. Haney looked to have Schembri in trouble with a left hook in the ninth but Schembri survived. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Haney. He is looking for some bigger fights and is a big local ticket seller. First fight in Britain for Schembri. Haney drew an unusual warning from the referee as during the fight he joined in the singing with his supporters!
Bolton, England: Light: Reece MacMillan (12-1) W TKO 5 Chris Conwell (11-4). Bantam: Sean Cairns (7-2) W RTD 4 Lee Clayton (10-5,1ND).
MacMillan vs. Conwell
Good win for MacMillan as he stops a spirited Conwell for a rare inside the distance win. The 24-year-old MacMillan had won his last seven fights on points and was moving up to ten round class for the first time. Conwell just a bit too rusty after just one fight each in years 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Cairns vs. Clayton
Cairns collects the vacant BBB of C Central Area title as he forces a fourth round retirement from Clayton. The 33-year-old Liverpudlian southpaw has won his last four fights. Clayton suffers his second inside the distance loss in a row in his second try at winning the Area title.
London, England: Super Welter: Dean Richardson (12-0) W TKO 7 Konrad Stempkowski (9-3). Sean Phillips (7-1-1) W TKO 1 Davis Pagan (10-3). Cruiser: Iain Martell (9-0) W PTS 10Jose Lopes (9-3).
Richardson vs. Stempkowski
Richardson wares down and halts Stempkowski in the seventh. Richardson was just too strong for Stempkowski and ended it in the seventh pinning Stempkowski to the ropes and unloading punches until the referee stepped in at the same time as Stempkowski’s corner chucked in the towel. The tall 24-year-old Londoner retains the BBB of C Southern Area title as he collects win No 9 by KO/TKO. British-based Austrian Stempkowski has lost 3 of his last 4 contests.
Phillips vs. Pagan
Phillips gets his second quick win in a row as he blasts out Pagan inside a round. Phillips attacked strongly from the opening bell before forcing Pagan into a corner and landing two vicious left hooks which sent Pagan to the floor. He managed to rise but was very shaky and the fight was stopped after just 100 seconds. Last time out Phillips stopped Josh Groombridge in the first round. Phillips is the new BBB of C Southern Area champion. Pagan was just blown away by the quick start of Phillips and has now suffered three inside the distance defeats.
Martell vs. Lopes
There were three Southern Area title fights on the card and this was the only one to go the distance. It was a hard-fought close encounter which could really have gone either way with Martell giving away height and reach to the 6’3” Lopes but the referee saw Martell the winner on his card at 97-95. First title for Martell after not turning pro until he was 27. Angolan Lopes lost a 96-95 decision to Wadi Camacho in an early shot at this same Southern Area title.
Liverpool, England: Cruiser: Damian Chambers (11-1) W TKO 2 James Farrell (9-2). Chambers looked sharp from the start. He used his longer reach to slam jabs through Farrell’s guard and landed with some hefty rights. A right from Farrell seemed to hurt Chambers but he continued to find gaps for his jab. Within seconds of the start of round two a right from Farrell crashed onto Chambers’ jaw and put him down. He was up at seven and when the action resumed Farrell walked in trying to finish things but then he found himself on the floor from a right. The referee indicated it was a slip but Farrell only came half way up then dipped at the knees before getting vertical and he looked shaky. Chambers tried desperately to find a finisher with a still staggering Farrell trying to hold. Chambers broke free and connected with a thunderous right to the head. Farrell went down backwards hitting his head on the bottom rope before it bounced from there to the canvas and it was quite some time before he was able to get up and even then he needed lots of attention. Seventh inside the distance victory for Chambers who wins the vacant BBB of C Central Area title. Farrell had been stopped inside a round in a fight in June but had won his last two contests.
Santiago, Chile: Fly: Andres Campos (9-0) W PTS 10 Pedro Villegas (12-1). Super Light: Ramon Mascarena (12-1) W PTS 8 Jesus Bravo (19-3-1).
Campos vs. Villegas
Campos manages a double whammy as he defends one title and wins another. Over the first three rounds it was Villegas on the front foot with the smaller Campos darting in with quick attacks. Eventually the attacks of Campos forced southpaw Villegas onto the back foot and Campos took control. He took Villegas to the ropes in the sixth and floored him with a left to the body but Villegas beat the count. From there some clever work by Villegas frustrated Campos but he was quicker and busier and boxed his way to the win. The judges did not all agree on how competitive the fight had been as they turned in cards of 98-91, 97-92 and 95-94. Chilean champion Campos, 23, retains the WBA Fedebol title and picks up the WBO Latino belt. First fight outside Ecuador for Villegas.
Mascarena vs. Bravo
Mascarena floors and decisions Bravo. The local fighter had no trouble dealing with the height , the longer reach or the southpaw style of Peruvian Bravo. He put Bravo down in the fourth and controlled the action against the more experienced visitor. Scores 78-72 twice and 78-73. Mascarena’s loss was a second round stoppage in a wild fight with the 25-2-1 Mexican Bryan Flores in Ciudad Juarez in June which saw both of them on the floor. This is second win since then. Bravo was 18-0-1 until he met better opposition and he is now 1-3 in his last 4.
Guatemala City, Guatemala: Bantam: Jonathan Coutino (8-0) W TKO 9 Jose Rios (15-8-1,3ND). Guatemalan southpaw Coutino gets late stoppage victory over Rios. Not a lot of class on show here in a bad tempered, scrappy fight. Coutino had slightly better technique than the limited Rios and his straighter punching gave him the edge. There was plenty of rough stuff going on inside and after numerous transgressions Rios eventually lost a point for a punch to the back of the head. This one was schedules for nine rounds and as Rios attacked wildly in the last he was walking into right after right from Coutino and was reeling and defenceless when the referee stopped the fight. The 19-year-old local collects the WBA Fedecentro title which was vacant. Nicaraguan Rios falls to 0-4, 1 ND on his current run.
Tijuana. Mexico: Super Welter: Hector Zepeda (19-1) W PTS 10 Mario Vera (6-1). Zepeda continues to ease his way back as he takes unanimous decision over Vera. The 22-year-old native of Tijuana was able to use his longer reach and better skills to outbox the aggressive but crude Vera who soaked up the punishment and kept lunging forward. Zuniga’s loss came in June when he was stopped by the 6’5 ½” Sebastian Fundora and this is his second low level win as he rebuilds. Vera is 33 but just a 4 and 6 round practitioner.
Tijuana, Mexico: Super Light: Omar Aguilar (17-0) W TKO 1 David Algeria (10-4). Feather: Alan David Picasso (13-1) W PTS 10 Jesus Quijada (16-6-2). Middle: Dubiel Sanchez (14-0-2) DREW 8 Dilan Loza (15-3-1).
Aguilar vs. Algeria
Aguilar makes it six inside the distance wins in a row as he halts Algeria in the first. Aguilar came out firing and quickly had Algeria on the retreat. He caught up with him and one left jab/left hook to the chin put Algeria down. He managed to rise but was shaky and the fight was stopped. All over in 34 seconds. The 20-year-old from Ensenada has 16 wins by KO/TKO including 12 in the first round. He collects the WBC Youth Silver title. Algeria is 1-3 in his last 4 but the win was over experienced Eduardo Escobedo.
Picasso vs. Quijada
Picasso wins the vacant WBC Youth belt with unanimous verdict over seasoned pro Quijano. Picasso used his speed, skill and accuracy to outbox the aggressive Quijada and won all the way flooring Quijada in the sixth with a body punch on his way to a convincing victory. Scores 99-90, 99-90 and 99-89 for Picasso. Now nine consecutive wins for the 19-year-old from Mexico City who has experienced Victor Proa and 17-1-1 Anthony Jimenez in his list of victims. Quijada was 4-0-1 going into this contest.
Sanchez vs. Loza
Sanchez fights back from two knockdowns to earn a draw with Loza in an all out war. Sanchez was the harder punches on paper but it was the accuracy of Loza that gave him an edge and saw him move in front with those knockdowns. Sanchez fired back hard to overcome the knockdowns and to deal with the physical advantages held by the 5’11” Loza in what might be voted the preliminary fight of the year in Tijuana. A draw looked about right. Scores 76-74 Loza, 76-74 Sanchez and 75-75. Sanchez, 20, had won his last seven fights and Loza steadied his ship after losing last time out.
Randburg, South Africa: Light: Tshifihiwa Munyai (32-6-1) W PTS 12 Siphosethu Mvula (15-4-1). Cruiser: Akani Phuzi (11-0) W KO 3 Alick Gogodo (4-5). Super Middle: Ryno Liebenberg (20-7-1) W PTS 8 Alex Kabengu (5-3-2).
Munyai vs. Mvula
Munyai wins the vacant National title with unanimous points victory. Over the early rounds the pressure came from Mvula but his attacks were uncoordinated and Munyai was rarely troubled. Mvula survived a doctor’s examination of a cut over his left eye and faded late in the fight with Munyai controlling the action. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112 for Munyai. Despite the 34year-old Munyai having held the Commonwealth and WBA Pan African titles and having fought for the secondary WBA super bantam and IBO titles this is the first time in his 16 year career that he had contested the National title. Mvula, a former National super fly champion, posed some problems with his eccentric style but was just not strong enough to match the naturally bigger Munyai .
Phuzi vs. Gogodo
Phuzi gets his fifth inside the distance win as he scores third round kayo over Gogodo. Phuzi was under pressure occasionally from the crude attacks of Gogodo but had a far superior technique and was in control by the third. A clubbing right to the side of the head had Gogodo stumbling across the ring to the ropes and he dropped to one knee and was counted out. The 25-year-old South African already has victories over veterans Wilberforce Shihepo and Vikapita Meroro. Malawian Gogodo has won only one of his last six contests.
Liebenberg vs. Kabengu
Good, solid showing from the more experienced Liebenberg. He was the better boxer but Kabengu came to fight and they staged some exciting exchanges. Liebenberg had things well in hand and whilst he was helped by Kabengu losing a point in the fifth he did not need the help as he floored Kabengu in the sixth and was a clear winner. Scores 78-72, 79-71 and 77-73 for Liebenberg. At 36 Liebenberg could not afford to lose this one. He had won only two of his previous eight fights but all eight fight against high grade opposition and mostly on the other guy’s turf. Congolese Kabengu’s other losses have been to unbeaten fighters.
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