By Eric Armit
-Juan Francisco Estrada scores revenge win over Srisaket to become the WBC super flyweight champion
-Daniel Roman gets majority verdict over JT Doheny to unify the WBA and IBF super bantamweight titles
-Regis Prograis and Nonito Donaire progress to the finals of the WBSS tournament with inside the distance victories over Kiryl Relikh and late substitute Stephon Young
-Robert Easter vs. Rances Barthelemy ends in a draw leaving the secondary WBA and IBO lightweight titles vacant
-Jessie Vargas comes from behind to halt Humberto Soto
- Lerrone Richards decisions Tommy Langford and wins the vacant Commonwealth super middleweight title
-Alessandro Riguccini (23-0) and Fabio Turchi (17-0 score wins
-Anthony Sims, Daniel Dubois, Sunny Edwards and heavyweight Efe Ajagba all progress with victories.
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
Inglewood, CA, USA: Super Fly: Juan Francisco Estrada (39-3) W PTS 12 Srisaket (47-5-1). Super bantam: Daniel Roman (27-2-1) W PTS 12 TJ Doheny (21-1). Super Welter: Jesse Vargas (29-2-2) W KO 6 Humberto Soto (69-10-2,1ND). Super Middle: Anthony Sims (19-0) W PTS 10 Vaughan Alexander (14-3). Super Light: Shakhram Giyasov (8-0) W PTS 10 Emanuel Taylor (20-6). Super bantam: Alberto Melian (5-0) W PTS 10 Isaac Zarate (16-5-3). Super Bantam: Ronny Rios (30-3) W RTD 5 Daniel Olea (13-8-2). Feather: Murodjon Akhmadaliev (6-0) W KO 3 Carlos Carlson (23-5).
Srisaket vs., Estrada
In a hard fought title fight Estrada outboxes champion Srisaket on a unanimous decision to get revenge for a majority points loss against Srisaket in February last year.
Very good first round from Estrada. He was quicker to the punch coming in behind his jab connecting with a couple of hooks and then backing out of range before Srisaket could counter. Before the bell Estrada was standing in the pocked and landing some sharp hooks.
This was a much closer round. Estrada was boxing cleverly with plenty of movement and a strong jab. Srisaket was meeting him on the way in with a stiff jab and scoring with some rights and just took the round,
Score: 10-9 Srisaket Tied 19-19
Another close round. Srisaket was relying heavily on straight rights and Estrada on the accuracy of his jab. Both landed some sharp shots but again Srisaket just had the edge.
Score: 10-9 Srisaket Srisaket 29-28
Brilliant round from Estrada. He was buzzing around Srisaket stabbing home jabs and moving too quickly for Srisaket to counter. As the round progress Estrada was putting together some flashing combinations to head and body. Srisaket tried switching to southpaw but it did not help.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Tied 38-38
Another round for Estrada. His footwork and hand speed were giving him a big edge with his jab the dominating punch. He was slotting jabs through Srisaket’s guard then putting together bundles of punches with Srisaket a static target.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 48-47
Srisaket had some success with left hooks to the body at the start of the round but Estrada was soon back in the groove. He was popping Srisaket with jabs then stepping in with hooks and out again. He even threw in an Ali shuffle as his confidence grew on the back of his classy boxing.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 58-56
It was embarrassingly easy for Estrada. He was too quick for Srisaket who was either on the beck foot trying to get away from Estrada’s jab or lunging forward too slowly to connect. Estrada just kept moving and punching finding gaps for left hooks and straight rights.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 68-65
Srisaket had no answer to the hand speed and movement of Estrada. The challenger was banging home hard jabs and straight rights and even taunting Srisaket. As the round closed Estrada was now staying in close and forcing Srisaket back with hooks. Srisaket again switched to southpaw. A clear sign of desperation.
Score: Score 10-9 Estrada Estrada 78-74
Srisaket’s title was slipping away. Estrada was in total control easily evading Srisaket's rushes and stabbing home jabs and twice rocked Srisaket with quick rights. Srisaket was not throwing enough or pressing enough but there was some sign of Estrada slowing.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 88-83
Finally a round for Srisaket. Estrada had come down of his toes and was standing in front of Srisaket and trading. Srisaket had changed to southpaw and was connecting with strong straight lefts. Estrada was still more accurate but not throwing as many punches as he had been in the last six rounds.
Score: 10-9 Srisaket Estrada 97-93
A low punch from Srisaket had Estrada turning away in pain. He was given a few seconds to recover and Srisaket was given a warning. When the action resumed Estrada was standing and exchanging with Srisaket and a heavy left staggered him. They continued to trade punches with Srisaket connecting well with straight lefts to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Srisaket Estrada106-103
Estrada had more left in the tank and was again too quick and accurate for Srisaket who was swinging in hope knowing he needed a knockout. Just before the bell Estrada cemented his victory as he connected with series of head punches that had Srisaket on the back foot.
Score: 10-9 Estrada Estrada 116-112
Official Scores: Judge 115-113 Estrada, Judge 115-113 Estrada, Judge 116-112 Estrada
Outstanding skilful display by Estrada, 29, as he becomes a two division champion. Roman Gonzalez was No 2 behind Estrada in the WBC ratings and he might want to fight Gonzalez. Estrada has reversed two of the three losses he has suffered so a return with Gonzalez would give him the chance to wipe the slate clean. Srisaket will want a return and the scores were close enough for him to deserve one. The loss breaks a 20 bout winning run for Srisaket and his strong finish shows at 32 he is still a force in this division.
Roman vs. Doheny
Roman unifies the WBA and IBF titles with a strong finish that results in a majority points victory over Doheny in an outstanding title fight.
After a cautious start with Doheny circling and Roman shadowing Roman began to come forward with more purpose looking to get inside but southpaw Doheny countered with straight lefts and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Doheny
Doheny was quicker and more mobile and again was connecting with counters. Roman was pressing harder in this round, Late in the round he moved in quickly and landed a left hook to the head that sent Doheny back into the ropes and although he did not go down he put his left glove on the floor to steady himself and was given a count. When the action resumed he boxed his way to the bell without difficulty.
Score: 10-8 Roman Roman 19-18
Good skilful work from Doheny in this round. He was on the back foot getting his punches off first and finding the target with his countering lefts. Roman was not quick enough to cut off the ring and always a pace behind.
Score: 10-9 Doheny Tied 28-28
The pace changed in this one as Doheny decided to stand and exchange punches. Roman got the better of the trading over the first minute but then Doheny drove forward scoring with hooks from both hands and did enough to take the round
Score: 10-9 Doheny Doheny 38-37
Official Scores: Judge Edward Hernandez 38-37 Doheny, Judge Max DeLuca 38-37 Roman, Judge Zachary Young 38-37 Doheny
A close round. Roman was able to cut down the ring more often and connect with some of his combinations. Still plenty of movement and quick hands from Doheny but his left counters were not getting through.
Score: 10-9 Roman Tied 47-47
Roman’s round. He was closing the distance with quick steps and pinning Doheny on the ropes and firing hooks. Doheny was still boxing well and countering but Roman was landing the harder punches.
Score: 10-9 Roman Roman 57-56
A big round for Doheny. He began to connect with straight lefts and hooks and was driving Roman back. Roman was in trouble and unsteady. He was twisting and turning trying to avoid the punches and he stumbled forward and down. The referee ruled it was a slip not caused by any specific punch and did not apply a count. Roman was rocked a few more times. He then began to punch back and they traded punch after punch with Roman being rocked by another left but firing back enough in a great action round to prevent it being a 10-8 round without the knockdown.
Score: 10-9 Doheny Tied 66-66
A close round and a less dramatic one. Doheny did not throw very many lefts and Roman did not cut the ring downs so well. They both had some success with Roman ending the round scoring with rights to the body and long lefts.
Score: 10-9 Roman Roman 76-75
Official Scores: Hernandez 77-74 Doheny, DeLuca 77-75 Roman, Young 77-74 Roman
Plenty of action in the ninth. Roman was starting to dominate the action with stiff jabs and hooks to the body. Doheny was not moving as much or throwing as much. When he did attack hard with rights Roman showed good defensive moves to dodge the shots and came back with punches of his own hurting Doheny with a left to the body.
Score: 10-9 Roman Roiman 86-84
Doheny was tiring. Now Roman was able to hunt him down trap him on the ropes and work inside. He was marching forward throughout the round with very few counters coming from Doheny and Roman scoring at range and in close.
Score: 10-9 Roman Roman 96-93
Hugely important round for Roman. Doheny tried to stay in the centre of the ring and connect with his straight lefts. Roman drove him back with a strong attack then ducked under Doheny’s jab and came up inside with a perfectly delivered left hook to the body that had Doheny turning away and going down on one knee. He was up at six and when the action resumed Roman tried to finish it hurting Doheny with another body punch but Doheny made it to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Roman Roman 106-101
No mad last round flings. Doheny was moving well again staying off the ropes and slotting home straight lefts. Roman did not press as hard and it was Doheny landing punches at the bell.
Score 10-9 Doheny Roman 115-110
Official Scores: Hernandez 113-113 tied, DeLuca 116-110 Roman, Young 116-110 Roman.
Roman continues to improve. He was making the fourth defence of the WBA title and registers his nineteenth win in a row. A further unification fight with WBC champion Rey Vargas or WBO champion Emanuel Navarrete would be an attraction but the WBA or IBF may move to force a fight with their No 1 challengers. A strong competitive performance from Doheny until he tired late in the fight but he will be back in contention soon and will fight for a title again.
Vargas vs. Soto
Vargas gets stoppage win over veteran Soto but is made to fight hard and looked to be behind before the stoppage. Soto hassled Vargas out of his comfort zone in the first launching a series of two-handed attacks. Heads clashed but neither fighter was cut. A low left from Vargas saw Soto drop to the floor in pain but he was able to resume fighting after a few seconds recovery time. Vargas worked hard with his jab in the second but could not keep Soto out and in a clash of heads Vargas was cut on his left eyelid. Over the remainder of the round and in the third, fourth and fifth Soto was getting inside to connect with left hooks and rights to the head. Vargas just could not settle into the fight and Soto had him under heavy pressure at the end of the fifth. At this point the concern for Vargas had to be that if the cut worsened and the fight was stopped and went to the cards he was facing defeat. Early in the sixth Vargas landed a long straight right that sent Soto back and down. He rolled over and was up quickly after the eight count but Vargas drove him to the ropes and bombarded him with punches until Soto stopped trying to fire back and the referee stopped the fight. Former champion Vargas needed a win after draws against Adrien Broner and Thomas Dulorme but made heavy work of it here. He is rated WBA 2/WBC 2/WBO 3 so he should shot land another title shot either later this year or early next but he will have to improve on this showing. Soto, 38, was coming off an upset victory over Brandon Rios in February and showed he has plenty of fight left in him.
Sims vs. Alexander
“The magician” Sims wins by unanimous decision over Alexander but in a flat performance. Sims had the better skill set and was at his best when he boxed on the outside against the more aggressive Alexander. He used a strong jab to keep Alexander out and connected with some sharp counters. Over the late round he was forced to stand and exchange punches but the fight never really caught alight as Sims seemed to settle for a points win and Alexander was not throwing enough punches to really threaten. As the action cooled there were boos coming from a dissatisfied crowd as Sims eased his way to victory. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-94 all for Sims. After a points win in his first pro fight Sims then won his next 17 by KO/TKO. Despite his lack of experience Alexander was the first real test for the 24-year-old Sims. Alexander, 33, is the elder brother of former superlight and welterweight champion Devon. He returned to the ring in 2016 after serving an eleven year prison sentence.
Giyasov vs. Taylor
Brooklyn-based Uzbek Giyasov celebrates signing a contract with Matchroom with a win over experienced Taylor. Giyasov only just evaded an upset after being nailed by a left hook from Taylor in the first round. He regrouped and outworked Taylor rocking him with rights to the head. Giaysov set a fast pace and that told on Taylor over the late rounds but Taylor was always competitive and Giyasov had to work in a fight that proved his toughest so far. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-93 but Taylor made it look a lot closer than that. Giyasov, 25, won a silver medal at the Rio Olympics and took gold medals at the 2017 World Championships the Asian Championships and the World Universities Championships. “Tranzformer” Taylor 28 has been beaten in big fights by Chris Algieri, Adrien Broner, Antonio Orozco and in May 2017 Lucas Matthysse which was his last fight before this one.
Melian vs. Zarate
Argentinian Melian gets a win but has to climb off the floor twice to take the decision. The former top amateur floored Zarate in the third but then had to survive knockdowns in the seventh and tenth rounds to claim victory. Scores 95-92 twice and 94-93 for Melian. He was defending the WBA/NABA title. In the amateurs he represented Argentina at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics as well as three World Championships and was a member of the Argentinian Condors team in the World Series of Boxing. Californian southpaw Zarate had registered a good win in outpointing Horacio Garcia but was stopped in nine rounds by unbeaten Murodjon Akhmadaliev in November. He has only two wins by KO/TKO so his putting Melian down twice must put a question over the Argentinian.
Rios vs. Olea
Rios gets back into the winning column with victory over former Mexican Olea. Rios was looking to end this early. He forced the pace with a focused body attack which had Olea in survival mode. Olea took the punishment for five rounds but then retired in his corner. Rios lost on points to Rey Vargas for the WBC super bantamweight title in 2017. He had his rebuilding plan sabotaged by a sixth round stoppage against Azat Hovhannisyan in March last year. Fourth loss in a row for Olea.
Akhmadaliev vs. Carlson
As with fellow-Uzbek Giyasov Akhmadaliev is another Olympian making his way as a pro and he impressed as he floored Carson heavily in the fifth with the referee not even bothering to count. The 24-year-old Akhmadaliev stopped Isaac Zarate in nine round in his last fight in November. Akhmadaliev won silver medals at the World and Asian Championships, losing to Michael Conlan in the World, and was a bronze medallist in Rio. Carlson put together a 22 bout winning streak before losing to Shinsuke Yamanaka for the WBC bantam title in 2017 but is a poor 1-4 since then.
Lafayette, LA, USA: Super Light: Regis Prograis (24-0) W TKO 6 Kiryl Relikh (23-3). Bantam: Nonito Donaire (40-5) W KO 6 Stephon Young (18-2-3).
Prograis vs. Relikh
Prograis wins the WBA title and moves on to the final of the WBSS tournament with stoppage of a game Relikh who is pulled out of the fight by his corner during the sixth round.
Relikh was coming forward taking the fight to Prograis. Relikh had some success with long rights whilst Prograis was just moving and watching for an opening. Relikh suddenly decided to switch to southpaw. He threw a right which landed on the head of Prograis just a split second before a left from Prograis thudded into Relikh’s body. He stopped then turned away from Prograis and started walking towards the ropes. It took a second for Prograis to realise that Relikh was in trouble then he rushed after Relikh and landed a strong left to the head and Relikh dropped to one knee. He was up at seven and the bell rang before Prograis could land another punch.
Score: 10-8 Prograis
Relikh looked to have recovered and was coming forward behind his jab and trying right crosses. The round was fairly even until Prograis landed a left that staggered Relikh. Prograis then almost ran forward throwing punches with Relikh on the retreat. Prograis landed another heavy left but Relikh fired back with his last punch landing flush on the head of Prograis but just a split second after the bell. After he returned to his corner the referee warned him about the punch. Relikh was now showing a bad cut on the bridge of his (perhaps broken) nose.
Score: 10-9 Prograis Prograis 20-17
Relikh worked solidly in this one. He kept firing his jab and letting his rights go. He was catching Prograis with those rights. Prograis looked dangerous every time he threw his left but was tending to fight in bursts and apart from one left to the body he did not really land anything of consequence.
Score: 10-9 Relikh Prograis 29-27
A quieter round. Relikh was still advancing behind his jab and firing rights but Prograis was showing some classy upper body movement to dodge the punches and countering with lefts and it was his round.
Score: 10-9 Prograis Prograis 39-36
Prograis was staying on the back foot with Relikh trying to track him down. Prograis was quick and clever and was spearing Relikh with right jabs and started the blood trickling again from Relikh’s cut on his nose which was enough to win the round.
Score: 10-9 Prograis Prograis 49-45
Having been mostly boxing on the back foot Prograis changed in this round walking forward and landing a series of body punches. Relikh’s cut was bleeding heavily and he was being caught with some hard head punches Relikh was bobbing and weaving but getting caught and his corner called for the fight to be stopped and it was.
Another mesmerising performance from Prograis who has a style all of his own. His hand speed, movement and power must make him the favourite but whoever wins in the Josh Taylor vs. Ivan Baranchyk match on 8 May will give him a tough fight. Relikh was hampered by the nose injury early but he kept taking the fight to Prograis. He just did not have the tools in his box to beat a fighter such as Prograis.
Donaire vs. Young
When Donaire lost in title fights to Jessie Magdaleno and Carl Frampton it seemed as though his career was winding down but now it is in full throttle as he qualifies for the final of the WBSS bantamweight tournament with a stunning one punch kayo of substitute Young in a WBA bantamweight title defence.
In a cautious first round Donaire was shadowing a retreating Young who had some success with straight lefts. Donaire did his scoring late in the round with his jab and right hooks but there was not a lot of action with Donaire just doing enough.
Score: 10-9 Donaire
Better second round from southpaw Young. He continued to circle the ring popping Donaire with jabs and firing straight lefts. Donaire was waiting too long to get his punches off and finding the ever moving Young a difficult target.
Score: 10-9 Young Tied 19-19
A good round for Donaire. He was letting his hands go getting close and catching Young with jabs. Young was still moving but the pressure from Donaire saw him on the defensive. Donaire connect with two jabs and then shook Young badly with a right late in the round and Young looked in trouble as Donaire raked him with punches.
Score: 10-9 Donaire Donaire 29-28
They say knowledge is power well now Donaire knew he could hurt Young and Young knew he could get hurt. As a result Donaire was pressing hard for the whole three minute connecting with jabs and left hooks. Young was still moving but too often he was just trying to hide behind a high guard as Donaire rocked him again with a right.
Score: 10-9 Donaire Donaire 39-37
Official scores: Judge Bruce McDaniel 39-37, Judge Jose Roberto Torres 39-37 and Judge Laurence Cole 39-37 all for Donaire.
Young seemed to get a little of his confidence back in this round. He was scoring with some gook counters but gradually Donaire again took control and was chipping away at Young with hooks from both hands and connecting with jabs and straight rights.
Score: 10-9 Donaire Donaire 49-46
Young again scored with some counters early but Donaire was hunting him down and Young stopped punching and was just looking to stay out of trouble. No way. A huge explosive left hook from Donaire put him down flat on his back and the referee immediately stopped the fight.
After 18 years as a pro Donaire showed that quality is timeless. The finishing punch in this fight is a candidate for Punch of the Year. He got a lucky break when Ryan Burnett was forced to retire in their fight with a back injury but there was no luck involved here. Already a four-division champion he won titles from flyweight up to featherweight and now has gone back down collecting titles at super bantamweight and bantam. An amazing career. Young came in at very short notice after Zolani Tete had to withdraw due to injury but was said to be preparing for another fight so in good condition. He showed some good skills but quickly faded when he felt the little Filipino’s power.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Robert Easter (21-1-1) DRE W 12 Rances Barthelemy (27-1-1,1ND). Super Light: Viktor Postol (31-2) W PTS 10 Mohamed Mimoune (21-3). Welter: Terrell Williams (18-0) W PTS 10 Justin DeLoach (18-4).Heavy: Efe Ajagba (10-0) W TKO 2 Michael Wallisch (19-2). Feather: Ranfis Encarnacion (16-0) W KO 2 Jose Bustos (14-10-3).
Easter vs. Barthelemy
The secondary WBA and the IBO lightweight titles remain vacant after Easter and Barthelemy finish ell even after a poor fight totally devoid of highlights.
A posing round as neither fighter threw many punches and neither committed himself with the punches he did show. Easter was the only one who did land a punch so largely took the round by default
Score: 10-9 Easter
Barthelemy scored with a couple of lefts to the body early but then never landed another punch but circled the perimeter of the ring. Easter was not cutting the ring off but he landed a couple of jabs and a couple of rights.
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 20-18
Barthelemy switched to southpaw in this round but if you don’t throw punches your stance become immaterial. What scoring there was came in jabs and a couple of rights from Easter
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 30-27
Another nothing round. Easter landed a few jabs and a right Barthelemy was coming up short with his punches. I swear I could hear the CompuBox guys snoring.
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 40-36 Easter, Judge Eric Cheek 39-37 Easter, Judge Glenn Trowbridge 39-37 Easter
Barthelemy changed his tactics here and started going forward and throwing punches. He connected with lefts to the body one of which was the best punch so far. Easter was on the back foot and connected with one hard right but was caught by a left counter from Barthelemy
Score: 10-09 Barthelemy Easter 49-46
Another round for Barthelemy largely again by default. He was staying centre ring and lunging forward with lefts to the body Easter was holding back on his punches with the exception of one good straight left. Barthelemy was showboating for much of the time but did enough to win this one
Score: 10-9 Barthelemy Easter 58-56
There were so few punches thrown with evil intent in this one that it was difficult to believe it was the seventh round as both fighters were as cautious as if it were a cagey opener. Not much in the round but again Barthelemy landed just a bit more with his best punch a left to the body.
Score: 10-9 Barthelemy Easter 67-66
Easter had been suffering from punch constipation over the last three rounds but he did much better at the start of this one. He forced Barthelemy to the ropes and fired hooks and uppercut in the first sustained attack by either boxer. He connected with a left to the body and a right to the head. Unfortunately he then went on the retreat again and Barthelemy landed another good body punch something he was not doing enough of and it was Easter’s round.
Score 10-9 Easter Easter 77-75
Official Scores: Cheatham 77-75 Easter, Cheek 76-76 and Trowbridge 76-76
Easter’s round. Again there was too much probing and not enough punching. The best shots were two rights to the head from Easter. Barthelemy kept threatening to do something but never did.
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 87-84
Another round devoid of any real action. Easter was just popping his jab out and coming up short. Barthelemy was looking to counter but not enough punches were coming his way for that to be effective but he did manage to score with a couple of punches.
Score: 10-9 Barthelemy Easter 96-94
A bit more action in this one. Instead of just jabbing Easter was moving in behind the jab and scoring with rights to the head. Barthelemy had some success with counters later in the round but the early burst from Easter gave him the round.
Score: 10-9 Easter Easter 106-103
The fight went out with a whimper instead of a bang. Even now neither fighter was willing to commit himself to attack. Easter was the one coming forward but ineffectively and left counters from Barthelemy gave him the round.
Score 10-9 Barthelemy Easter 115-113
Official Scores: Judge Cheatham 115-113 Easter, Judge Cheek 115-113 Barthelemy, Judge Trowbridge 114-114
Neither fighter deserved to win as neither fighter exhibited the commitment you expect in a world title fight. Their styles never gelled and neither fighter took even the slightest risk to try to lift the title. The CompuBox statistics show that there was not a single round in which either fighter landed ten punches which sums this one up. They will both be pushing for a return and with the split draw they have a case but just who will want to pay to see it is harder to figure out and neither would be an attraction against the real WBA champion Vasyl Lomachenko.
Postol vs. Mimoune
Postol ends a ten-bout unbeaten run by Mimoune as he wins a clear unanimous decision. Knowing the styles of these two fighters I did not expect an exciting contests and that’s how it turned out. Over the early rounds both were waiving their jabs in the air looking more to mesmerise than punch. Postol made the fight by constantly shadowing Mimoune around the ring but when they did trade punches it tended to be brief flurries of slaps. There was some quality work from both in the third and Postol found the range in the fourth with Mimoune connecting with a quality left hook in the fifth and Postol landing straight lefts in the sixth and seventh and generally outworking Mimoune in all of the rounds. Postol had a productive eighth as he opened a cut on Mimoune’s right eyelid with a punch and later in the round forced home a series of hooks. Postol controlled the action from distance in the ninth and tenth. Mimoune needed to get inside and throw more punches but he did neither. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for Postol. The 35-year-old Ukrainian had only one bout in 2016, losing his WBC title to Terrence Crawford in a unification fight for the WBC and WBO titles, and one fight in 2017. He lost in June 2018 to Josh Taylor but with Mimoune No 3 in the WBC ratings and Postol No 4 he has put himself back in the title picture with this win. Mimoune was a disappointment as he had won the EU and European titles against some good level European opposition and collected the IBO title by outpointing 22-0 Argentinian Emiliano Dominguez. He has a rebuilding job to do and perhaps not an easy one.
Williams vs. DeLoach
Both fighters needed a win here for different reasons. Williams in a drive to get into the world ratings before time passes him by and De Loach to rebound after losses to fellow prospects Nathaniel Gallimore and Jeison Rosario. It was close all the way and the result could have gone to either man but in the end it was Williams who stayed on track with a split decision. Scores 96-94 twice for Williams and 96-94 for De Loach. Thirty-five -year-old Williams is trying to put the memory of his 2015 fight with Prichard Colon behind him. Colon collapsed after the fight with rabbit punches from Williams being blamed by some for injuries to Colon. Williams did not fight again for two years and had only one fight last year but is hoping to be more active from now on. DeLoach may need to take a step back as the Gallimore and Raison fights were tough with DeLoach on the floor twice in each fight. At 25 he has time to replan his way ahead.
Ajagba vs. Wallisch
Wallisch outclassed and beaten inside two rounds by Nigerian prospect Ajagba who exposed the flaws in the Germany’s leaky defence. Ajagba was finding lots of gaps in Wallisch high guard. He was threading jabs through and then straight rights before switching and jabbing to the body. Wallisch was getting close with a rushing attack but not really landing anything when he got there. It was too easy for Ajagba in the second. He banged home a series of jabs and straight rights until Wallisch dropped to his knees. With the German on his knees Ajagba clipped him with a right. The referee called a time out and when Wallisch indicated he was ready the referee waived for the fight to continue. Wallisch walked forward throwing hooks but jabs from Ajagba had him backing up and Ajagba had Wallisch on the ropes and taking punishment when the referee had seen enough and stopped the action. The 25-year-old 6’5” Ajagba has taken less than 16 rounds for his ten wins including a victory over Amir Mansour. He holds the record the fastest ever win in a pro fight when his opponent angered by a pay dispute stepped out of the ring immediately the bell was rung for the first round so a one second victory. Ajagba won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games beating current unbeaten pro Junior Fa in a preliminary bout. He took gold medals at the African Games and the African Olympic Games Qualifier but lost to Ivan Dychko in Rio. Wallisch, 33, had been steered away from any threatening contests until he was knocked out in five round by Christian Hammer in his last fight in December.
Encarnacion vs. Bustos
Dominican Encarnacion moves to eleven wins by KO/TKO as he floors Bustos twice in the second for the knockout. No testing fights yet for the 24-year-old former Dominican Youth champion. Now five losses by KO/TKO for Mexican Bustos.
Indio, CA, USA: Super Light: Yves Ulysse (18-1) W PTS 10 Steve Claggett (27-6-2). Bantam: Joshua Franco (16-1-1) W PTS 10 Oscar Negrete (18-2-1). Welter: Alexis Rocha (13-0) W PTS 10 Shoki Sakai (23-10-2). Welter: Mike Reed (24-2) W TKO 2 Yardley Armenta Cruz (25-14,1ND).
Ulysse vs. Claggett
When these two clashed in October 2017 Claggett took the split decision and Ulysse’s unbeaten tag so Ulysse was looking for revenge in this all-Canadian clash. Claggett made a very strong start. Over the first two rounds he had Ulysse on the retreat with a powerful jab and plenty of pressure. In the third Ulysse stopped going back and stood and exchanged punches getter the better of the trading by staying inside to negate Claggett’s jab and scoring with hooks and uppercuts. Claggett had his jab working again in the fourth and had built a lead but Ulysse upped the pace in the fifth and sixth throwing more and landing more with Claggett’s jab no longer effective. Claggett slowed over the seventh and eighth but then rallied and staged a strong finish but it was just not enough to make up for his mid-fight slump. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 for Ulysse. Three good wins have seen the 30-year-old Ulysse get into the rankings at WBC 6/WBO/IBF 8(7). He wins the vacant WBA Gold belt. After beating Ulysse Claggett lost on points against Danny O’Connor and in January this year boxed a draw with unbeaten Mathieu Germain so he has been taking tough assignments.
Negrete vs. Franco
Franco goes one step better than when these two drew in October as he takes split decision. Negrete was quicker to the punch and had more variety in his work over the first two rounds walking past Franco’s jab and landing overhand rights. Franco settled a bit more in the third countering the forward marching Negrete. Over the fourth and fifth Negrete outworked Franco with storming attacks throwing hooks from both hands. Franco changed tactics in the seventh and eighth taking the fight to Negrete upping his punch output and putting Negrete under pressure. They traded on equal terms over the ninth and tenth and for me Negrete had just done enough to take a very close decision but the split verdict went to Franco. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Franco and 98-92 for Negrete. The 23-year Texan “Professor” collects the NABF title held by Negrete and wins the vacant WBA International title. Former Colombian amateur champion Negrete, 31, lost to Rey Vargas for the WBC super bantam title in December 2017.
Rocha vs. Sakai
Southpaw Rocha keeps his 100% record with unanimous verdict over Sakai. Rocha was generally on the front foot connecting with strong right jabs and following with straight lefts and hooks to the body. Sakai fought in bursts looking to counter. He had enough success to be competitive when he took the fight to Rocha but was just too slow with his counters and Rocha outpunched Sakai inside. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 all for Rocha. The 21-year-old from Santa Ana, the brother of Ronny Rios, was a successful fighter at Youth level winning gold at the Ringside World Tournament and competing at the World Junior championships. Mexican-based Japanese fighter Sakai falls to 2-5-2 in his last 9 fights.
Reed vs. Cruz
In his first bout for thirteen months Reed starts his climb back with stoppage of Cruz. Reed took control of the fight in the opener. He was forcing Cruz to back up and banging straight southpaw lefts through Cruz’s guard. In the second Reed worked Cruz over against the ropes landing to head and body and knocked out Cruz’s mouthguard. Reed continued to drive Cruz around the ring in the second scoring with straight lefts, hooks and uppercuts and the referee stepped in and halted the fight. After 23 wins on the spin Reed stumbled badly with consecutive losses in big fights against Jose Carlos Ramirez and Antonio Barboza. He looked sharp here. Eleven of Cruz’s losses have come by way of KO/TKO.
Brescia, Italy: Super Bantam: Luca Rigoldi (20-1-1) W PTS 12 Anthony Settoul (24-8). Light: Domenico Valentino (7-0) W PTS 6 German Lara (12-8-2).
Rigoldi vs. Settoul
Rigoldi much too good for challenger Settoul in a voluntary defence of his European title. The Italian southpaw bossed the action all the way. He was scoring well to head and body with Settoul willing but not having the power or skill to inconvenience Rigoldi. Settoul spent much of the fight defending with his back to the ropes but always managed to fight back hard enough to never really be in any danger of the referee having to save him. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109 for 26-year-old Rigoldi. The former European Union champion has reversed his only loss and has now won eleven in a row. Frenchman Settoul, 32, also a former European Union champion, is now 5-6 in his last 11 fights but there are losses there in fights against Ryan Burnett and Nonito Donaire as well as Abigail Medina who fought for the interim WBA title in November. An encouraging sign is the Italian state TV put this one out live. The first time they have screened live pro boxing in almost two years.
Valentino vs. Lara
Just a stroll in the park for the talented Valentino. The Italian champion was in a different class to Nicaraguan southpaw Lara who constantly resorted to holding. Valentino seemed content to let Lara stay around and only really upped the pace very late as he won every round. At 34 and with a great amateur record behind him he will need to take some chances if he is even to fight for the EU title let alone the European title. He competed at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics but did not qualify for Rio. He took bronze medals at the 2005 and 2011 World Championships silver at the 2007 World Championships losing to Frankie Garvin in the final but lifted gold in 2009 with a victory over Jose Pedraza. What a pity he did not turn pro earlier. Lara was having only his second fight since July 2016.
Glasgow, Scotland: Bantam: Ukashir Farooq (12-0) W TKO 5 Kyle Williams (10-1). Farooq retains the British title with stoppage of English champion Williams. In a lively fast-paced opener Farooq was scoring with some scorching left hooks to the body and showing some clever upper body movement to dodge punches from Williams was under heavy pressure fired back fiercely. Williams took the fight to Farooq at the start of the second but over the last minute Farooq was connecting with hooks and uppercuts and floored Williams with a series of punches just before the bell. Williams was up at six with the bell going when the eight count was completed. Williams fought hard over the third and fourth and tried switching to southpaw. Williams was having to soak up hooks as Farooq worked inside. In the fifth a very low left hook saw the fight stopped and Williams given some recovery time. He then tried to trade with Farooq but a right to the side of the head dropped him face down on the floor. He staggered up but the referee waived the fight off and Williams toppled over again. Second defence of the British title for 23-year-old “Untouchable” Farooq. One more defence and he gets to keep the Lonsdale Belt the most stylish and prestigious belt in boxing. Born in Pakistan Farooq moved to Scotland when just six and is former Scottish and British Youth champion and a very good prospect. He has won 5 of his lat 6 fights by KO/TKO and is now looking to face unbeaten fellow-Scot Lee McGregor who is Commonwealth champion. Williams gave it a real go here but was outgunned.
Dallas, TX, USA: Luis Hernandez (17-0) W TKO 7 Diego Sanchez (18-0). Hernandez just too god for prelim fighter Sanchez in this clash of unbeaten young Mexicans. Hernandez was able to use his edges in height and reach to boss the battle on the inside and his superior strength to bully teenager Sanchez inside and on the ropes. Sanchez fought hard but eventually the body work from Hernandez weakened him. In the seventh Hernandez bombarded Sanchez with punches forcing him to the canvas. Sanchez beat the count but was being rocked again and the fight was halted. The 22-year-old “Matador” now has 15 wins by KO/TKO and it will be interesting to see how he fares as he moves up. Sanchez, 19, turned pro at 16 and had 15 wins by KO/TKO but had only competed at prelim level. He had won his last 6 fights by KO/TKO but the six victims had combined records of 13-93.
Florence, Italy: Welter: Alessandro Riguccini (23-0) W TKO 1 Ivan Alvarez (28-10-1).Cruiser: Fabio Turchi (17-0) W KO 1Sami Enbom (18-3). Super Welter: Orlando Fiordigiglio (31-2) W PTS 10 Stephen Danyo (15-2-3). Middle: Emanuel Blandamura (29-3) W PTS 6 Nikola Matic (16-41). Super Feather: Devis Boschiero (47-6-2) W PTS 6 Yesner Talavera (15-6-1,2ND). Fly: Mohammed Obbadi (19-1) W KO 1 Jerson Larios (7-5). Middle: Matteo Signani (28-5-3) W PTS 6 Frane Radnic (11-13).
Riguccini vs. Alvarez
Riguccini returns home to Italy and to the city of his birth Florence and blitzes Mexican Alvarez in the first round. Alvarez made a positive enough start standing and exchanging punches with Riguccini until some body punches had him retreating to the ropes. Riguccini trapped him there and unloaded punch after punch until Alvarez slumped to his knees after just 40 seconds. He was up at seven but Riguccini jumped on him and pounded away until Alvarez when down on one knee to escape the storm. Alvarez made it to his feet at eight put was driven to the ropes by body punches and went down again and the fight was waived off after just 100 seconds. The 31-year-old local was making the first defence of the interim WBC Silver title and has 19 wins by KO/TKO. Before turning to boxing Riguccini, a computer engineering graduate, and a world champion in MMA. After three fights in Italy in 2012 he moved to Mexico where he now stays and is trained by Jorge Barrera the brother of Marco Antonio Barrera. Experienced Mexican Alvarez suffers his fourth loss by KO/TKO. Last year he fought a draw with unbeaten Canadian Kane Heron but he was blown away here.
Turchi vs. Enbom
Riguccini’s win was quick but nowhere near as quick as that achieve by Turchi who put Finn Enbom away with a body punch after just 76 seconds. After some preliminary sparring Turchi walked forward and curled a southpaw left hook around the elbow of Enbom and onto his ribs. Enbom collapsed to his knees with his head touching the canvas and he was still in that position when the referee counted him out. Turchi, also a native of Florence, lifts the vacant WBC International title with his thirteenth win by KO/TKO. A former Elite level amateur who was Italian champion four times won a silver medal in the World Military Games and gold at the Mediterranean Games. His father was Italian light heavy champion and his partner is a kickboxing practioner so plenty of boxing in his background. A lot more was expected from Enbom who did not look a bad test but that was a wicked body punch.
Fiordigiglio vs. Danyo
This was the most competitive and best fight on the night. Danyo was the better technical boxer and Fiordigiglio the stronger . Danyo was master at distance and had the wider variety in his work but Fiordigiglio kept walking forward and driving home hooks and uppercuts inside. It looked as though Danyo built a lead with those better skills but with Fiordigiglio forcing the fight hard over the later rounds in close. All three judges had Fiordigiglio winning on a score of 96-93 but the decision was not universally popular. Fiordigiglio, 34, the WBO No 14, collects the vacant IBF International title. He has come up short in two shots at the EBU title but is 10-1 in his last 11 fights. All three of Dutchman Danyo’s losses have been by points in the other guy’s country against Custio Clayton in Canada and Felix Cash in London and now Fiordigiglio in Italy. He is a former Dutch amateur champion who represented Holland in the European and World Championships.
Blandamura vs. Matic
Just really some paid sparring for Blandamura. He is a few classes above the limited Mitic and eased his way to victory with no problems along the way. Blandamura has lost inside the distance to Billy Joe Saunders and Michele Soro in fights for the vacant European title and an even bigger fight for the secondary WBA belt to Ryota Murata. Six defeats in a row for Bosnian Matic.
Boschiero vs. Talavera
EBU super feather champion and former WBC title challenger Boschiero has a frustrating night trying to hunt down Nicaraguan survivalist Talavera. Boschiero tried hard to make Talavera fight but the Nicaraguan preferred to duck and clinch, He did try to punch back but had no power. Boschiero chased and won all six rounds and got in some work but little else. First fight for the 37-year-old Boschiero since losing a split verdict to England’s Thomas Patrick Ward for the vacant WBC International title in November. He is No 2 with the EBU so a shot at champion Samir Ziani is a possibility. First fight for Talavera since July 2017 and only his second in three years so perhaps he had forgotten how to fight
Obbadi vs. Larios
On other nights Obbadi might have registered the fastest win on the night but he was only the third quickest here as he did not put out Nicaraguan novice Larios until 2:57 of the opening round. Obbadi looked sharp firing quick jabs and straight rights. The ending was strange. Obbadi side-stepped an attack by Larios who continued to lunge forward and was almost past Obbadi when Obbadi curved a right over the Nicaraguan’s left shoulder which sent him down and he was counted out. The 25-year-old Moroccan-born Obbadi is a former European champion whose loss came on a seventh round retirement against future WBC champion Cristofer Rosales in 2017. He has won six on the bounce and is mandatory challenger for European champion Jay Harris. First fight outside of Nicaragua for Larios and his third loss in a row.
Signani vs. Radnic
With purse offers due for his challenge to European champion Kamil Szeremeta on 30 April Signani warms up with six rounds of undemanding work against Croat boxer Radnic and takes the unanimous decision. The 39-year-old Italian, a former undefeated EU and Italian champion, is 13-1-1 in his last 15 fights with the loss being against Emanuele Blandamura for the vacant European title in 2016. Now thirteen consecutive losses for Radnic
Sydney, Australia: Heavy: Bowie Tupou (28-6) W KO 3 Randall Rayment (9-5). Feather: Luke Jackson (18-1) W KO 3 Boonsom Phothong (17-25-2). Feather: Billy Dib (44-5,2ND) W KO 1 Surachet Tongmala (7-12).
Tupou vs. Rayment
Tupou gets revenge for a loss to Rayment in November as he rolls over Rayment for a stoppage. In the first Tupou was rumbling forward shooting out his jab and using his 44lbs weight advantage to force Rayment back (Tupou 289lbs-Rayment 245 ¼ lbs). Rayment was countering but unable to stop Tupou coming forward. Rayment moved more and jabbed more in the second catching Tupou with rights but a right from Tupou stiffened Rayment's legs and it was clear Tupou had more power. Tupou stormed into Rayment at the start of the third taking him to the ropes and connecting with a right cross that put Rayment face down on the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight. There was a time when the 36-year-old former professional rugby league football player was world rated but losses to Malik Scott and Bryant Jennings and a first round kayo by Joseph Parker put some realism into things. It got worse for Tupou with split decision losses to Julius Long and Rayment but Tupou began a recovery with a first round kayo of Roger Izonritei and collected the vacant WBA Asia belt in this fight. Second loss by KO/TKO for 32-year-old Rayment having been knocked out in five rounds by Kyotaro Fujimoto for the OPBF title in 2017
Jackson vs. Phothong
Jackson gets his second consecutive wins since losing to Carl Frampton in August. Now eight wins by KO/TKO for the Tasmanian but Phothong was a very poor opponent being 0-13,1ND in his last 14 fights all 13 losses by KO/TKO with 11 of them ending in fewer than three rounds.
Dib vs. Tongmala
Another very poor match. Dib hardly bothered to raise his gloves higher than his waist as he strode forward scoring with clubbing punches to the head of Thai Tongmala. The Thai had no footwork and very little defence but he did show determination not to fold. Eventually Dib drove him along the ropes with lefts and rights to the head until Tongmala went down and the referee started but did not bother to complete the count. First fight for the 33-year-olf former IBF champion since losing to Tevin Farmer in August. He had announced his retirement but that did not last long. Poor Tongmala has lost 9 of his last 10 fights (the win was over a guy who had never won a fight) all nine of those were by KO/TKO and all inside four rounds. He is now 0-4 in Australia and all four losses inside three rounds. A late choice perhaps but would that excuse hold up if Tongmala had been seriously hurt?
Laval, France: Welter: Jordy Weiss (23-0) W PTS 12 Jussi Koivula (24-6-1). Bantam: Vincent Legrand (30-0) W PTS 6 Edgari Sarkisani (4-8-2).
Weiss vs. Koivula
Weiss retains the EU title with decision over Finn Koivula. Over the first two rounds Weiss built a lead with some accurate jabbing and right crosses. Koivula made the third close but Weiss forced Koivula to fight with his back to the ropes for much of the fourth. At that point two judges had the champion in front 40-36 with the third having it 39-37. Koivula had a good fifth scoring well inside but Weiss restored his dominance over the sixth and seventh with some strong body punching and sound defensive work but the eighth was close as Koivula fought back hard. After eight rounds the scores were 79-73 twice for Weiss and 78-74. A good ninth from Weiss really decided the fight but Koivula finished strongly making the tenth close and then outscoring a tiring Weiss over the eleventh and twelfth rounds. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 for “The Gypsy”. This is the second defence of the European Union title for the 25-year-old Weiss who is No 2 in the EBU ratings behind Britain’s Josh Kelly but if Kelly vs. the champion David Avanesyan can’t be made then Weiss will be next in line. Koivula the EBU No 6 put up a good effort here. He has lost in challenges for both the EBU and European Union titles and at 35 may not get another shot-but never say never in boxing.
Legrand vs. Sarkisiani
In a contest to keep the rust away Legrand wins every round against Georgian teenager. The 27-year-old southpaw, a former undefeated European flyweight champion, has now moved up to super bantam where he is No 7 with the EBU. Sarkisiani, 19, is 0-3-1 in his last 4 fights. I sometimes wonder if the Georgian boxing industry will get a business award for exporting so many reliable losers.
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Feather: Rene Alvarado (31-8) W TKO 6 Eusebio Osejo (30-23-3,1ND). WBA No 1 Alvarado gets stoppage win over seasoned pro Osejo. Perhaps with a title fight in mind Alvarado attacked hard looking to get this over early. He was throwing fierce combinations and connecting with his signature left hooks to the body. Unfortunately Osejo refused to fold and Alvarado was leaving himself open to counters and Osejo scored with plenty. No doubt Alvarado was winning but it was turning into hard work until the doctor ordered the fight stopped before the start of the seventh round due to a bad cut over the right eye of Osejo. Six wins in a row including victories over Roger Gutierrez, Denis Shafikov and Carlos Morales have taken Alvarado to No 1 but if he wants to join twin brother Felix, the holder of the IBF light flyweight belt, as a world champion he will have to tighten his defence as both the WBA champion Gervonta Davis and holder of their secondary title Andrew Cancio are a class or two above Osejo. After a run of 0-7-1 Osejo has done better in 2019with two wins.
Lincoln, RI, USA: Light: Jamaine Ortiz11-0) W TKO 1 Victor Jones (15-5). Local hero Ortiz ended this one in quick time. After shadowing Brazilian Jones around the ring he pounced with a booming right that floored Jones. He climbed to his feet bit was on shaky legs and the fight was stopped after just 110 seconds. Ortiz, 23, the WBC Youth champion, makes it six wins by KO/TKO. Now five fights outside Brazil and five losses by KO/TKO for Jones, four of them in the first round.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Welter: Malik Hawkins (15-0) W PTS 8 Andre Byrd (7-7-2). Heavy: Darmani Rock (15-0) W TKO 2 Mike Bissett (15-12-1).
Hawkins vs. Byrd
After a good win over Ray Serrano last year Hawkins was inactive for eleven months and has stepped back a stride since with a couple of undemanding wins. He registered one here with a unanimous decision over Byrd, The nearest he came to an inside the distance win is when Byrd genuflected before him under pressure in the seventh. Byrd has never lost by KO/TKO and can still keep that boast true as he stayed there over the last three minutes. Scores80-71 twice and 78-74 all for
Hawkins. The tall 23-year-old from Baltimore will be looking to face bigger test as her climbs towards the ratings. A busy Byrd is 1-3 in 4 fights this year.
Rock vs. Bissett
Rock steamrollers an overmatched Bissett in two rounds and moves into double figures for wins by KO/TKO. The 23-year-old Philly prospect at 6’5” and 275lbs is in the Andy Ruiz and Jarrell Miller big and heavy league. I thought when he turned pro he might take some weight off but he has actually put on 30lbs. A former Youth Olympic Games silver medal winner and US Champion he failed to get through the US Olympic Trials. Bissett had won his last two fights but at 6’3” and being over 60lbs lighter than Rock was never going to last long.
London, England: Super Middle: Lerrone Richards (12-0) W PTS 12 Tommy Langford (21-4). Heavy: Daniel Dubois (11-0) W TKO 4 Richard Lartey (14-2). Super Fly: Sunny Edwards (11-0) W TKO 8 Pedro Matos (7-2).Super middle; Zak Chelli (7-0) W PTS 10 Jimmy Smith (7-2). Super Light: Jack Catterall (24-0) W KO 3 Oscar Amador (10-17).
Richards vs. Langford
Richards proves a revelation as he outboxes more experienced Langford on the way to a unanimous decision. After a quiet opening round in the second and third Richards start to find the range with his right jab and was landing with straight lefts. His quick movement was making Langford come up short with his punches and a straight left in the third rocked Langford. In the fourth Langford had some success getting past the jab to land to the body. Richards was popping Langford with jabs in the fifth and catching Langford coming in with lefts. Langford tried to rough Richards up in the clinches but Richards stayed cool and outboxed Langford in the sixth. Langford stepped up his pace and had a good seventh. Richards began to get on to the front foot in the eighth with his jab and straight lefts and when Langford did drive forward he was stopped in his tracks by an uppercut. Langford staged a strong attack at the end of the ninth but Richards used clever movement to slip most of the punches. Richards landed a great uppercut in the tenth that stopped Langford in his tracks. He then drove Langford back with a series of hooks and uppercuts that had Langford floundering but did not really follow-up on that success. Langford tried to stage a strong finish but over the last two rounds Richards was the fresher and threw and landed more punches. Scores 118-110, 118-111 and 116-113 all for Richards. He wins the vacant Commonwealth and WBO International titles. Despite his lack of pro experience he had almost 100 Youth and Amateur fights. Langford was a big step up in the level of his opposition but he boxed smoothly, intelligently and showed speed and power. Former British champion Langford has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights. The other two losses were split decisions against Jason Welborn but he cannot afford another loss in a domestic fight so will probably go a bit lower and start again.
Dubois vs. Lartey
Dubois much too good for Ghanaian Lartey and after dominating the first three rounds floors and halts Lartey in the fourth. In the first Dubois tried to blow Lartey away with a flying start but Lartey weathered the storm and showed a useful jab. Dubois was doing the scoring but there was too much holding. Dubois staged another attack just before the bell. Dubois started the second with some strong jabs and hooks to the body. Lartey was given a warning then some respite after a Dubois punch was low. Dubois continued to dominate the action with his jab but Lartey looked to have shaken him with a right before Dubois recovered and ended the round strongly. Dubois rattled Lartey with a right in the third and Lartey held and had to prised off by the referee. They then exchanged hooks in a wild swinging free-for-all. Dubois landed some hard hooks but also left himself open to counters. Dubois ended it in the fourth. He connected with a couple of choice uppercuts then a right to the head and a left hook put Lartey down heavily. The Ghanaian made it to his feet at eight but the referee waived the fight over. At 21 and after just 11 fights Dubois is still a work in progress and that is what he is doing-progressing. He has a strong jab and some hurtful body punches and will only get better. Lartey didn’t fold at the first punch but his style is rudimentary.
Edwards vs. Matos
Edwards retains the WBO European title with one-sided beating of Portuguese novice Matos. Edwards was streets ahead of Matos in every aspect of the sport. He was too quick and too slick. He was able to stand in front of Matos with his hands down and then fire a burst of punches with Matos not able to block or counter. It really was just public sparring for Edwards as he constantly switched guards and occasionally went onto the back foot luring Matos onto counters and then stayed inside and traded punches. Matos tried to take the fight to Edwards and managed to bring a swelling under the right eye of Edwards but was too slow and lacked the skill to be competitive. Edwards pounded on Matos in a one sided seventh rocking him with a left at the bell. Edwards was connecting again with head punches at the start of the eighth and the referee stepped in and called it off. Too easy for Edwards. The WBO No 8 is the elder brother of WBC flyweight champion Charlie and will be hoping to emulate him but he is in a tough division as the Juan Francisco Estrada vs. Srisaket fight showed. Matos was having only his second fight in 18 months and Box Rec had him No 223 in the world but he was good enough to challenge for the WBO European title.
Chelli vs. Smith
Chelli wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with points victory over Smith. Chelli's quick hands and footwork gave him the edge from the outset. He was firing jabs in twos and threes and coming over with rights. Smith was jabbing strongly but not quick enough in attack or defence. A left hook to the head from Chelli in the third and a right in a wild fourth were the best punches in the early action and Chelli busy style gave him the edge over the middle rounds. In the eighth a cracking left hook to the body had Smith backing away and going down on one knee. He was up at seven and although taking more punishment he was still in the fight at the bell. Chelli was firing overhand rights trying to finish it in the ninth and he rocked Smith with a left hook late in the tenth but Smith fought back hard to the bell. Referee’s score 100-89 for Chelli. The 21-year-old from Fulham was English Junior and Youth champion and won a silver medal at the World Cadet Championships. He was in his first ten round fight and handled the distance well and looks a good prospect. Smith was also up at ten rounds for the first time but Chelli just had too much speed and variety in his work for Smith to match.
Catterall vs. Amador
Just a breeze for Catterall as gets in some work in preparation for challenging Maurice Hooker for the WBO title. Catterall was able to keep the very limited Amador on the end of his right jab in the first round and Amador was too slow to block or counter. Catterall got down to work in the second connecting with straight lefts and right hooks to the body then eased off late in the round. Catterall ended it in the third. He landed a vicious left uppercut and a body punch and Amador dropped to one knee and was counter out. No date yet for the Hooker fight but Catterall is WBO No 1 so it will come. Amador was a late substitute. He has lost his last eleven fights eight of the in Britain.
Lanus, Argentina: Super Light: Jeremias Ponce (24-0) W PTS 12 Leonardo Amitrano (15-4). Ponce gets another win but a split decision and it was not a popular decision. Amitrano swept the early rounds and looked comfortable as Ponce just could not settle into the fight. Ponce picked up the pace over the middle rounds to make it close but Amitrano finished strongly and looked to have done enough to win. He was deducted a point in the eleventh but that was balanced out by a twelfth round penalty against Ponce for a butt. Scores 116 ½ -112 ½ and 114-112 for Ponce and 115-111 for Amitrano. Ponce lifts Amitrano’s South American title but his own Argentinian title was not on the line. Hopefully there will a return with both titles up for grabs.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Welter: Dwight Ritchie (19-1) W PTS 8 Jung Hoon Yang (10-10). Cruiser: Jason Wheatley (4-0) W KO 1 Filimoni Naliva (5-1). Feather: Jai Alexander (10-0) W PTS 8 Krishnil Mudaliar (8-4).
Ritchie vs. Yang
Ritchie “The Fighting Cowboy” rounds up another win with a points victory over Korean Jung. A former undefeated Australian champion Ritchie’s only loss is a points defeat by Koki Tyson in 2016 which cost Ritchie his OPBF title. A run of five wins has taken him to No 12(11) in the IBF ratings. This is Jung’s first fight since June 2017 and he is 1-4 in his last 5.
Wheatley vs. Naliva
Local heavyweight hope Wheatley won the World Boxing Foundation Australasian title with first round stoppage of Fijian Naliva. The 6’5” 28-year-old Warrior represented Australia at the World Championships in 2013 and 2015and the Rio Olympics before taking a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games in Australia last year. He is currently No 10 in the Australian ratings but will climb. First fight outside of Fiji for novice Naliva.
Alexander vs. Mudaliar
Another victory for the locals as Alexander took split decision over Fijian Mudaliar for the vacant World Boxing Foundation Australasian belt. After leaving the sport for four years Alexander returned in 2017 and has won eight on the bounce since then. He is No 3 in the Australian ratings. Mudaliar, who was once Fijian super flyweight champion, has lost his last three fights.
Karlsruhe, Germany: Super Middle: Evgeny Shvedenko (12-0) W PTS 10 Nadjib Mohammedi (41-8). Heavy: Ruann Visser (15-2) W TKO 1 Madars Trivols (1-3). Heavy: Olek Zakhozhyi (11-0) W TKO 8 Mariano Ruben Diaz (13-14-1). Heavy: Vlad Sirenko (11-0) W KO 1 Leandro Robutti (6-4).
Shvedenko vs. Mohammedi
Shvedenko gets an important win over experienced Mohammedi but it was very close. Shvedenko worked hard with his jab and landed some heavy overhand rights in the early rounds but found Mohammedi a difficult target with his crouching always moving style and Mohammedi was also sharp with his jab. Shvedenko had a good third shaking Mohammedi with a right and dominating the exchanges. Mohammedi has great stamina and he outworked Shvedenko in the fourth but the Russian upped his own pace in the fifth and did enough to take the sixth. Shvedenko had moved in front but all of the rounds were close and Mohammedi came right back to edge the seventh with some good close work. Mohammedi kept marching forward in the eighth but Shvedenko was stabbing out powerful jabs and controlled the action and again used his jab and hard rights to edge the ninth and tenth. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 all for Shvedenko. The German-based Russian champion wins the vacant IBO International title. Mohammedi felt he had been robbed but many rounds were close and the 96-94 looked about right. Mohammedi has lost in shots at the interim WBO light heavy against Nathan Cleverly and for the IBF/WBA/WBO titles against Sergey Kovalev and has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights.
Visser vs. Trivois
Thankfully this rubbish did not last long. Visser knocked Trivois into the ropes with a right cross and then connected with a strong right uppercut. Trivois was badly shaken and after another couple of punches from Visser sent him skidding along the ropes the referee stopped the farce. The 6’ 9 ½” South African gets his thirteenth win by KO/TKO. Last time out in February he was outpointed by Zimbabwean Elvis Moyo. At 6’3” and giving away over 50lbs Trivois was never in with a chance.
Zakhozhyi vs. Diaz
Giant Ukrainian Zakhozhyi stops a game Diaz in the eighth round. Zakhozhyi towered over the Argentinian and after a slow first round was handing out heavy punishment all the way. Diaz has never lost inside the distance and he stayed in this fight with a mixture of a great chin and some crafty defence. He nearly made it to the final bell but was pinned to the ropes soaking up damaging punches and not fighting back and the referee stepped in and saved him. The 6’9 ½” “Karlsruhe-based Hunter” is a sculptured body type usually coming into a fight at about 230lbs. This is his ninth win by KO/TKO. Strangely he seems to dip back into the amateurs as he fought in an amateur tournament in Odessa in 2018. The 37-year-old Diaz really just a beefed-up cruiser so did well to last to the eighth.
Sirenko vs. Robutti
Another rubbish match that was over early (I think I might have to introduce a Worst Match category). Sirenko was tracking a tubby Robutti along the ropes. Robutti decided to try to swap punches but a solid left hook sent him on his way down. Unfortunately his rump landed on the middle rope and he bounced up into the path of a fearsome right to the temple that dumped him on his side on the floor. The referee started to count but then stopped and called for assistance for Robutti. South-based Ukrainian Sirenko, 24, and 6’3 ½” gets his ninth first round win and his tenth in all by KO/TKO. He is much too good for the level of opposition he is being faced with. He was Ukrainian Youth champion and won a silver medal at the European Under-19 Championships. Robutti just a four and six round prelim fighter now has three losses by KO/TKO.
Oldham, England: Super Middleweight: Marcus Morrison (20-3) W PTS 8 Darryl Sharp (5-51). Super Feather: Zelfa Barrett (21-1) W TKO 2 Edwin Tellez (12-50-5).
Morrison vs. Sharp
Disappointing performance by Morrison. He had a much superior set of skills and both height and reach over Sharp. Southpaw Sharp just kept bustling forward taking Morrison to the ropes and working with hooks. Morrison was catching Sharp with some good counters but they were not keeping Sharp out. When he had room to box Morrison was in charge but that did not happen enough. Morrison had a big seventh round driving Sharp around the ring. He landed some clouting punches but Sharp just shook his head and asked for more. Morrison’s cleaner work just gave him the edge. Referee’s score 77-75 for Morrison. Fourth win in a row for Morrison but a much harder night than anticipated. Sharp always comes to fight. He has now lost his last 37 fights but has only been stopped once in his 56 fights.
Barrett vs. Tellez
In his first fight since outpointing Tellez in June Barnett goes over old ground but this time manages to stop travelling loser Tellez in two rounds. This is only the second fight for Barrett since losing a twelve round majority decision to Ronnie Clark for the vacant IBF European title in February last year. Hopefully he will be more active now. One win in his last 28 fights for the 5’2” Tellez who is too small to be fighting super featherweights.
Ecatepec, Mexico: Super Bantam: Aaron Alameda (25-0) W KO 3 Jordan Escobar 14-8-2). Alameda just too big and too powerful for the little Nicaraguan. Jordan hustled and bustled Alameda for two rounds before a body punch finished him. Escobar came out firing punches immediately forcing Alameda to the ropes. The Nicaraguan continued his aggression throughout the first but was walking onto some hard hooks from Alameda. Jordan was not helped by many of Alameda’s punches landing low. Escobar piled forward again in the second denying Alameda punching room but again was walking onto and through some fierce counter to the body-and below. In the third a vicious left to the body dropped Jordan to his hands and knees and he was counted out. “Nogales” southpaw Alameda now has 13 wins by KO/TKO. He is No 13 with the WBC but has yet to be really tested. Jordan, just a beefed up super flyweight, just did not have the power to be a threat.
East London, South Africa: Fly: Jackson Chauke (17-1-1) W TKO 9 Thabang Ramagole (15-6-1). Light Fly: Nkosinathi Joyi (28-5) W PTS 12 Nhlanhla Tyirha (4-1). Super Fly: Athenkosi Dumezweni (12-3) W PTS 12 Jonas Sultan (15-5).
Chauke vs. Ramagole
Veteran Chauke finally wins a South African title as he comes from behind to stop Ramagole. The fight started badly for former Olympian Chauke when he was dumped on the canvas in the first round. Ramagole built on that success outboxing the slower Chauke and building towards victory. Chauke scuppered that plot with a ferocious attack in the ninth sending Ramagole to the canvas three times before the fight was stopped. The 33-year-old Chauke competed at the 2008 Olympics and he was considered a sure thing to reach the top in South African boxing. When he challenged for the national title in 2013 he was well beaten by Lwandile Sityatha and then had only one fight in the next four years. This is his fifth win in a row by KO/TKO since returning and it may have taken him over ten years but he is finally South African champion. Ramagole had scored three wins in 2018 but this is his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Joyi vs. Tyirha
Teenage prospect Tyirha comes up short in an ambitious challenge to WBO African champion Joyi. This time youth would not be served. Tyirha had less than 18 rounds of experience in the pro ranks and Joyi almost two hundred. That proved critical here. Tyirha set a very fast pace but Joyi was working to the body and eventually that began to pay dividends. Tyirha also wasted some energy with some flashy moves and as Joyi increased the pressure the teenager became ragged in his work and faded out of the fight. Scores 116-113 twice and 118-112 for Joyi. A fitting time for the 35-year-old former IBF and IBO minimumweight champion to score a victory as he had his first pro fight exactly seventeen tears ago. Tyirha had received rave reviews when he won the South African title in only his fourth fight. He did not take a bad beating here but did get a lesson that he needs to absorb and use.
Dumezweni vs. Sultan
Important win for Dumezweni as he collects the vacant WBC Silver title over Filipino Sultan. Southpaw Dumezweni was in control flooring Sultan in the ninth and outclassing him. Scores 119-108, 119-109 and 117-109. The South African has won 9 of his last 10 fights and reversed the loss. Sultan scored three big wins in beating Makazole Tete, Sonny Bo Jaro and John Riel Casimero (who won the interim WBO bantam title last week) but lost on points to Jerwin Ancajas for the IBF super flyweight title last May.
Glattbrug, Switzerland: Middle: Ramadan Hiseni (12-0) W PTS 10 Christian Schembri (15-6). Young local Hiseni wins the vacant WBC Youth Silver title as he outpoints the more experienced Schembri. Hiseni was quicker and more accurate in his work. He came near to an early finish when he staggered Schembri in the eighth but the visitor was saved by the bell. Hiseni then boxed his way to the decision. Scores 99-91 twice and 99-90 for the 22-year-old prospect who trained with Jeff Mayweather in Las Vegas for this fight. Malta’s Schembri had won his last four fights
Fight of the week (Significance): Four title fights were significant with Juan Francisco Estrada outpointing Srisaket and Daniel Roman edging out TJ Doheny in Inglewood with both fights potential return matches and Regis Prograis and Nonito Donaire proceeding to the WBSS finals
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Daniel Roman vs. TJ Doheny
Fighter of the week: Juan Francisco Estrada for a brilliant victory over Srisaket
Punch of the week: Nonito Donaire’s left hook that flattened Stephon Young. Danny Roman’s left hook to the body in the eleventh that put TJ Doheny on the floor was fearsome. Fabio Turchi left hook to the body of Sami Enbom also rates a mention
Upset of the week: None really
Prospect watch: Both Shakhram Giyasov and Lerrone Richards scored wins and are ones to follow.
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