By Eric Armit
-Brian Castano retains the secondary WBA super welter title with split draw against Erislandy Lara
-Luis Ortiz keeps his hopes of another title shot alive with a win in an entertaining heavyweight fight against Christian Hammer
-Agit Kabayel retains European heavyweight title with a win over Andriy Rudenko
-WBO No 1 bantam Ricardo Espinoza stops Ricardo Nunez and lies in wait for whoever emerges as WBO champion after the WBSS tournament ends
-Jordan Gill gets win No 22 and the WBA feather International title with stoppage of Emmanuel Dominguez
-Eduardo Ramirez comes from behind to halt Bryan de Gracia for vacant WBA Gold title at featherweight
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
New York, NY, USA: Super Welter: Brian Castano (16-0-0) DREW 12 Erislandy Lara (25-3-3). Heavy: Luis Ortiz (31-1) W PTS 10 Christian Hammer (24-6) . Feather: Eduardo Ramirez (22-1-3) W TKO 9 Bryan De Gracia (24-2-1). Cruiser: Edwin Rodriguez (31-2) W PTS 10 Mitch Williams (16-6-3), Bantam: Antonio Russell (13-0) W TKO 6 Jose Cardenas (16-4).
Castano vs. Lara
Castano retains the secondary WBA title with split draw against former champion Lara in a contrast in styles fight which was close from bell to bell.
Good first round for Lara. The Cuban kept probing with his right jab and threading straight lefts through Castano’s guard. With Lara trapped on the ropes Castano fired a series of punches but Lara ducked or blocked them.
Score: 10-9 Lara
Castano is not a boxer. He rarely used his jab here except as a prelude to ducking and lunging forward leading with his right aiming to get close and throw hooks and uppercuts. Lara was anticipating Castano’s attacks and either stepping back out of range or scoring with counters. Again most of the scoring was coming from the straight lefts of Lara.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 20-18
A better round for Castano. He harried Lara around the ring doing a better job of cutting off Lara’s escape routes and firing burst s of hooks. Lara was making less use of his jab and was kept busy defending himself.
Score: 10-9 Castano Lara 29-28
Lara countered many of Castano’s rushes in this round but Castano continued to hunt Lara around the ring getting inside and launching a series of punches. He just did enough to win the round with Lara showing a swelling under his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Castano Tied 38-38
Official Scores; Judge Julie Lederman 38-38, Judge John Mckaie 39-37 Lara, Judge Kevin Morgan 38-38
A closer round. Lara rarely got off the ropes as Castano tracked him looking for an opening. Lara was largely relying on left hand counters and landed enough to look likely to pinch the round until a broadside of hooks and uppercuts from Castano gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Castano Castano 48-47
Another close round but straight lefts from Lara gave him a slight edge. Castano was still pressing and throwing bindles of hooks whenever he had Lara punned in a corner but Lara was blocking most of those punches and firing more accurate lefts through the leaky guard of Castano.
Score: 10-9 Lara Tied 57-57
A similar picture here. Castano kept pressing but Lara kept slotting lefts through the Argentinian’s guard. Castano was again punching in bursts but was nothing like as accurate as Lara and even though Lara was throwing one punch at a time they were getting through.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 67-66
Third round in a row for Lara. Once again his laser guided straight left was piercing the high guard of Castano throughout the round. Lara was using his right jab for nuisance value putting Castano out of his stride and stifling his attacks and Castano was having trouble getting close enough often enough to trouble Lara
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 77-75
Official Scores; Lederman 77-74 Lara, McKaie 78-74Lara, Morgan 77-75 Lara
Lara outboxed Castano in this one. He kept his jab in Castano’s face and then shot lefts down the line past Castano’s guard. Castano was waiting too long to launch his attacks and was either inaccurate or tied up inside when he did attack.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 87-84
Castano’s title was slipping away and he stepped up the pace in this one throwing himself into the attack. Lara continued to box on the back foot and showed excellent defensive skills and connected with his trade mark straight lefts and edged the round.
Score: 10-9 Lara Lara 97-93
Castano took this one. He pressured Lara all the way. Lara was still the more accurate but he looked to be tiring and threw less. Castano went for quantity and connected with enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Castano Lara 106-103
Castano stormed forward in the last throwing punches. Lara again threw less but was more accurate but Castano punch output had Lara under pressure and enough of Castano’s punches were getting through to more than offset the precise punching by Lara.
Score: 10-9 Castano Lara 115-113
Official scores: Lederman 114-114, McKaie 115-113 Lara, Morgan 115-113 Castano
This was the first defence for the 29-year-old Castano since being upgraded from interim champion. He has come through three tough fights in a row beating Frenchmen Michel Soro 30-1-1 and Cedric Vitu 46-2 in France and although a return fight would be justice for Lara Castano could make a case for something easier. Lara is due some luck in close fights. He lost a majority decision to Paul Williams in 2011, a split decision against Saul Alvarez in 2014 and dropped his WBA world title against Jarrett Hurd on a split verdict in April last year. He deserves another shot at Castano but whether he will get it is another matter.
Ortiz vs. Hammer
Ortiz keeps his hopes of another title shots alive with unanimous decision over a crude but strong and willing Hammer. A lively enough opener as Ortiz probed with his right jab and fired straight lefts with Hammer using a high guard and just looking to get inside to work. Early in the second Hammer made Ortiz sag at the knees with a right and he launched a furious attack but Ortiz quickly re-established his control with his jab. By the end of the round Ortiz was scoring with solid lefts with Hammer under pressure and throwing wild rights. Ortiz was circling Hammer in the third and fourth popping him with jabs and finding the target with straight lefts. Hammer was only throwing single punches but was landing with enough rights to be competitive. Ortiz opened the fifth with a series of straight lefts that had blood dripping from Hammer’s nose but then eased the pressure allowing Hammer some success and Ortiz was also showing blood from his nose. Ortiz finished the round with a strong attack. Ortiz dominated the sixth with his jab and Hammer was getting more desperate with his wild rights. Hammer started the seventh with a sharp uppercut inside but then Ortiz took over again with his jab and straight lefts. Hammer had a much better eighth. He was only firing rights but they were getting through to head and body and Ortiz was looking tired. If Ortiz had looked tired in the eighth he was dancing on his toes in the ninth. He was circling Hammer pinging him with jabs and connecting with his left. Hammer was taking the punches and still flinging and landing some hopeful rights. There were no fireworks in the last as Ortiz did the scoring with Hammer really content to stay there to the bell after which he lifted his arms in triumph-for going the distance. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Ortiz. Although the 39-year-old Cuban was expected to finish this one early he will have been happy to show he can go ten rounds at what was a good paced fight for heavyweights and he keeps himself in the picture for the now very confused heavyweight situation. He will be hoping for another fight with Deontay Wilder but right now all he can do is keep winning and keep hoping. German-based Romanian Hammer (real name Cristian Ciocan) has wins over Erkan Teper and David Price. He is slow and crude but strong and takes a good punch. After a couple of inside the distance losses early in his career Tyson Fury is the only one to have beat en him before the final bell.
Ramirez vs. De Gracia
Ramirez gets huge win as he withstands constant pressure from De Gracia before halting de Gracia in the ninth. After a fast and fairly even first round De Gracia started to control the fight from the second. He was forcing Ramirez onto the back foot and scoring with long rights. Ramirez tried to use his longer reach to score with his right jabs but De Gracia was busier and getting past the jab and connecting with sharp punches to the head and they both scored well in the third. De Gracia stepped up the pace in the fourth with Ramirez trying to match him. De Gracia was connecting with hooks inside and outscoring Ramirez but Ramirez was landing some good punches of his own. De Gracia chased Ramirez down throughout the fifth piling forward throwing hooks to the body. Ramirez was countering when he could and just before the bell they stood toe-to-toe and blazed away. More pressure from De Gracia in the sixth and seventh as he pressured Ramirez relentlessly. There were some danger signs as De Gracia was leaving himself open to counters. Ramirez seemed to rock De Gracia with a right in the eighth but De Gracia responded with a series of hooks and once again they just stood and battered away at each other. De Gracia was throwing himself forward in the ninth. He had just landed a couple of good punches when Ramirez nailed him with a right uppercut inside. De Gracia’s legs wobbled and Ramirez forced De Gracia to the ropes showering him with punches. De Gracia threw a couple of punches and came off the ropes but he was staggering and when a right sent him tumbling back to the ropes the fight was stopped. This was a great little fight with a dramatic end and with De Gracia rated No 1 by the WBA and Ramirez No 3 a shot at Leo Santa Cruz is not out of the question. Ramirez has nine wins by KO/TKO and collects the WBA Gold title. His only loss was handed to him by Lee Selby in an IBF featherweight title fight in December 2017. This was 25-year-old De Gracia’s first fight outside of Panama and despite his No 1 rating with the WBA he had never fought a rated fight or anyone of consequence.
Rodriguez vs. Williams
Third win in a row for Rodriguez in his campaign up at cruiser but a very flat performance. He only just got past southpaw Williams in a slow and untidy fight with neither fighter really taking control and with too much holding and too little clean work. No real highlights with Rodriguez getting the verdict on scores of 96-94 twice and 98-92. The former WBA super middle title challenger took fifteen months out after a kayo loss to Thomas Williams in 2016 and seems to be struggling to make an impact up at cruiser. Williams, 36, suffered consecutive losses against world rated fighters Ryad Merhy and Arsen Goulamirian in 2017.
Russell vs. Cardenas
Russell marches on with stoppage of young Mexican Cardenas. Russell made a fast start putting Cardenas down with a series of lefts to the head in the first . Cardenas only survived to the bell by holding for which he was given two warnings. Russell took the fight to Cardenas in round after round. Cardenas used his longer reach to make a nuisance of himself but there was no power in his punches. Straight from the bell to start the sixth Russell blasted Cardenas to a corner and showered him with punches. Cardenas was actually managing to throw an occasional punch but the doctor had move up to the ring apron and the referee stopped the fight. A younger brother of WBC feather champion Gary, Antonio, 26, has eleven wins by KO/TKO including six in his last six fights. First inside the distance defeat for Cardenas.
Hollywood, FL: Bantam: Ricardo Espinoza (23-2) W TKO 10 Ricardo Nunez (29-9). Welter: Derrieck Cuevas (20-0-1) W PTS 10 Ed Paredes (38-8-1). Feather: Hairon Socarras (21-0-3) W PTS 8 Carlos Ruiz (16-6-2).
Espinoza vs. Nunez
Espinoza just too powerful and aggressive for experienced Panamanian Nunez. Espinoza was much stronger in the two opening rounds getting inside and hurting Nunez with body punches. Nunez did a bit better in the third as he tried to box from a distance but Espinoza was too strong to be kept out and again was landing hurtful body punches. Espinoza continued to drive forward in the fourth just brushing aside Nunez’s punches and hooking to the body. The pace eased in the fifth with Espinoza still doing the scoring but in the sixth he launched a fierce attack with Nunez forced to just try and stay inside and smother Espinoza’s punches. Nunez boxed more in the seventh which looked a close round and Espinoza was not as effective with his body punching in the eighth and ninth which Nunez may have just edged. That was a false dawn for Nunez’s hopes as in the tenth he was stunned by a left hook. Espinoza then came forward landing to the head with both hands as Nunez tumbled into the ropes and the referee stepped in and saved him. The 21-year-old WBO No 1 from Tijuana goes to 19 wins by KO/TKO. His best wins have been against Daniel Lozano and the 17-0 Yeison Vargas. As No 1 he is obviously in line for a title fight but with WBO champion Zolani Tete involved in the WBSS he may have to wait until later this year for a shot at whoever is the champion then. Nunez, 31, lost to Moruti Mthalane for the IBF flyweight title in 2012 and to Juan Carlos Reveco for the secondary WBA title in 2013. In his most recent fight he lost a technical decision to Carlos Cuadras in August and is not really strong enough to be competitive at bantam.
Cuevas vs. Paredes
Puerto Rican Cuevas wins the WBA Fedelatin title with unanimous decision over rusty veteran Paredes. Cuevas pressed the fight all the way with Paredes trying to counter to keep Cuevas out. The Puerto Rican was usually able to keep Paredes on the back foot and pinned to the ropes but he never really had Paredes in any serious trouble. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-73 all votes for Cuevas. After an early career draw the 24-year-old Cuevas has collected 14 consecutive wins. Paredes, 34, was having his first fight since May 2017.
Socarras vs. Ruiz
Socarras remains undefeated with close unanimous decision over Mexican Ruiz. Scores 77-75 twice and 79-73 for Socarras. The 26-year-old Cuban turned pro at 18 and his career has dragged along with the two draws against fighters he should have beaten but he showed good form in outpointing useful Jose Nieves in August. Ruiz has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights and was outpointed by Shakur Stevenson in August.
Philadelphia, PA,USA: Super Welter: Tyrone Brunson (28-7-2) W TKO 9 Jamal Davis (18-14-1). Brunson punches too hard for oldie Davis. In the first Davis was prowling after the retreating Brunson until Brunson rocked Davis badly with a right and then launched a furious attack scoring with more rights until Davis steadied himself enough to stave off further attacks. Davis continued to come forward in the second but a left to the head wobbled him badly and he had to hold on. Davis marched forward throughout the fight but as the fight progressed Brunson was getting on to the front foot more and rocked Davis with right in the sixth and with a left in the seventh. It was clear Brunson had the power and he floored Davis with a chopping right late in the eighth. Davis made it to his feet but stumbled and the bell went before Brunson could land another punch. In the ninth a right put Davis down again, he was up at eight but when another punch from Brunson saw him staggering the referee stepped in and halted the fight. Local fighter Brunson, 34, has 25 wins by KO/TKO and is 6-1-1 in his last 8 fights including a win over Kermit Cintron and a loss to Brandon Adams. Brunson still holds the record for the most consecutive first round wins at the start of career at 18. Davis, 37, had won 4 of his las5 fights.
Eveleigh, Australia: Bantam: Brock Jarvis (16-0) W KO 1 Philip Cuerdo (11-6-1). Jarvis gets this one over quickly. Just before the bell to end the first round he delivered a series of body punches that drove Cuerdo to the canvas and he was counted out. The Jeff Fenech trained Jarvis collects the vacant IBF Youth title with his fifteenth win by KO/TKO. At 5’7” Jarvis is big for a super bantam and that usual struggle to make weight was made worse by his asthma and there was some doubt as to whether he would be able to make the weight and go ahead with this fight but he won that battle too. Filipino Cuerdo now has five inside the distance losses.
Melbourne, Australia: Cruiser: Kane Watts (21-3) W PTS 10 Jayden Joseph (7-2-1). Heavy: Willis Meehan (8-0) W KO 1 Julian Ruiz (11-9).
Watts vs. Joseph
Local fighter Watts wins the vacant WBA Oceania title with unanimous decision over Tasmanian Jayden Jordan. Watts floored Joseph early and looked a comfortable winner. Two of the judges saw it that way scoring it 99-90 and 97-92 but the third judge had it 95-94 also for Watts but indicating he would have seen Joseph the winner but for the knockdown. The 36-year-old Watts, a former Australian champion, returned with a win in September after almost two years of inactivity. He has his own plumbing business but you would have thought that with name like Watts he would have been an electrician. Joseph, also a former Australian champion, suffers his second loss in a row. There was tragedy on the night as after trouble that started in the arena and continued outside one man was shot and killed and two were seriously injured. The police were searching for two suspects who had been spotted running from the scene. The shootings were not associated with the boxing but are reported to be part of an ongoing underworld feud.
Meehan vs. Ruiz
Southpaw Meehan makes it seven wins on the trot by KO/TKO as he disposes of ancient Argentinian Ruiz inside a round. The 23-year-old 6’5” Meehan is the son of former WBO heavyweight title challenger Kali Meehan. Willis also plays professional rugby league and this is his fourth one round victory. Dad Kali challenged Lamon Brewster for the WBO title in 2004 losing on a split decision. Now 8 losses by KO/TKO for 42-year-old Ruiz.
Legionowo, Poland: Super Feather : Viktor Kotochigov (8-0) W KO 6 Piotr Gudel (9-3-1). Cruiser: Michal Cieslak (18-0,1ND) W RTD 7 Youri Kayembre Kalenga (24-6).
Gudel vs. Kotochigov
Kazak Kotochigov wins the vacant Polish International title with stoppage of Pole Gudel. From the first Gudel was bustling forward but was having problems getting past the long reach of the taller Kazak and he was staggered by a left hook in the first. Gudel had some success with his rushing attacks in the second but Kotochigov was more accurate and he handed out a severe beating to Gudel in rounds three and four. The fifth was another painful round for Gudel as Kotochigov speared him with jabs and straight rights at distance and rocked him with uppercuts inside. Gudel was still marching forward in the sixth when a short left hook to the temple sent him staggering across the ring and down in a heap at the ropes. Gudel staggered to his feet at sixth but then tumbled face first into a corner and the referee immediately halted the fight. Fourth win by KO/TKO for 25-year-old Kotochigov who has fought in seven different countries for his eight wins. Gudel had won his last four fights.
Cieslak vs. Kalenga
Cieslak outboxes and then forces Kalenga out of the fight. The tall Pole was almost a full head taller than Kalenga and he used his longer reach well slotting home jabs and rights. Kalenga attacked hard in the first but Cieslak showed clever movement and was countering accurately with left hooks. Kalenga’s tactics were to take Cieslak to the ropes and then fire wild punches and he was leaving himself open for hooks from Cieslak. Cieslak was confident enough to be switching guards as he outboxed Kalenga over the third and fourth and Kalenga’s task was made ever harder after a punch from Cieslak opened a cut over Kalenga’s left eye in the fifth. The cut was worsened after a clash of heads in the same round and a series of jabs from Cieslak had blood dripping from Kalenga’s nose. A pair of left hooks shook Kalenga in the sixth and his work rated dropped as he was fading rapidly. Cieslak cut loose in the seventh changing guards and scoring heavily with both hands. Two left hooks followed by a series of head punches staggered Kalenga and Kalenga retired at the end of the round. The 29-year-old 6’3” Pole, the EBU No 18, has twelve wins by KO/TKO. Kalenga, 30, born in the DRC but now living in Paris, is a former WBA interim champion who lost to Denis Lebedev in 2015 for the real WBA title. He has slipped down the rankings after defeats against Yuniel Dorticos, Kevin Lerena and Mateusz Masternak.
Cardiff, Wales: Super Light: Akeem Ennis-Brown (13-0) W PTS 10 Bilal Rehman (12-1). Super Middle: Alex Hughes (13-0) W KO 1 Wilmer Gonzalez (19-13-1). Bantam: Jay Harris (15-0) W PTS 6 Brett Fidoe (13-49-5).
Ennis-Brown vs. Rehman
Ennis-Brown retains the IBF European title with wide unanimous decision over Rehman. On one side of the scales you had the tall long limbed Rehman and balancing that the unusual quick southpaw style of Brown. It was Brown who won out. He is perpetual motion and outworked Rehman in round after round. The styles did not fit well together and there was too much holding. Ennis-Brown was much quicker and was constantly ducking under Rehman’s lead and working inside and was a clear winner but he will have better nights. Scores 99-91 for Ennis-Brown from the three judges. He has wins over Chris Jenkins and Darragh Foley. Central Area champion Rehman has a win over useful Lee Appleyard.
Hughes vs. Gonzalez
Welshman Hughes makes it four first round wins in a row as he finishes Nicaraguan Gonzalez in just 124 seconds. Gonzalez came out aggressively trying to take the fight to the much taller Hughes but was short with his jabs. He tried to get closer by putting his head down and lunging forward but Hughes connected with some sharp uppercuts. Hughes fired a combination to the head then dug a vicious left hook in the body of Gonzalez and the Nicaraguan dropped to the floor. He arose at seven but when the action restarted another left to the body dropped Gonzalez and he was counted out. The 6’2” Hughes, 25, seems to have found a power source as prior to these four quick wins he had scored five consecutive points victories. Now based in Spain Gonzalez gets his fourth loss in a row and last time out in April last year he lost inside a round to Lennox Clarke
Harris vs. Fidoe
Harris gets in some ring time and actually has to work hard against late substitute Fidoe. Harris had loads of height and reach over the 5’2” Fidoe and was always rolling forward behind his jab and firing hooks and uppercuts inside. Despite his record Fidoe has plenty of skills but little power. That did not stop him from standing and trading with Harris and he had success with hooks inside. Harris pressed hard but Fidoe is also pretty slick and although Harris won every round Fidoe made him work hard in every round and did enough to pinch a couple of rounds on his work rate. Referee’s score 59-57 for Harris. The Commonwealth champion Harris really has his sights set on either or both British and European titles and is rated No 11 (9) by the IBF. Experienced journeyman Fidoe came in at just 24 hours notice and did his usual job of fighting hard and staying the distance. He has 49 losses but only one of those came inside the distance.
Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy: Agit Kabayel (19-0) W PTS 12 Andriy Rudenko (32-4). Heavy: Tom Schwarz (24-0) W KO 2 Kristijan Krstacic (17-2). Light Heavy: Adam Deines (17-0-1) W TKO 3 Zoltan Sera (32-18-1). Super Welter: Mohammed Rabii (9-0) W PTS 8 Rafal Jackiewicz (50-22-2).Heavy: Erik Pfeifer (4-0) W KO 1 Angelo Rizzo (5-1-1).Heavy: Pater Kadiru (1-0) W PTS 6 Artur Kubiak (1-1).
Kabayel vs. Rudenko
Kabayel retains the European title with wide unanimous decision over a tough Rudenko. In the opener Kabayel was more mobile and quicker with his hands. He worked on the outside firing quick jabs and straight rights. The slower Rudenko was walking Kabayel down looking to land big rights but was just too slow. Rudenko improved in the second and third. He did a better job of cutting the ring off and landed some good rights but had no real defence against the champions jab. Kabayel was standing and trading more. This was warming up into an interesting contest. Kabayel was on the front foot more now but Rudenko showed he also had a strong jab and was dangerous if crude with rights. In the fifth Kabayel looked to be breaking Rudenko down as he connected with jabs, hooks and uppercuts. The fight seemed to be over when he sent Rudenko to the floor with a left hook to the body in the sixth. Rudenko made it to his feet but it looked as though he did not want to continue and Kabayel landed some more hurtful body punches. Surprisingly Rudenko then fought back hard getting inside and connecting with clubbing head punches and had the better of the action to the bell. Kabayel dominated the seventh and eighth forcing Rudenko back with powerful jabs and again landing with left hooks to the body. Rudenko soaked up some fierce punishment in the ninth but fought back often enough in the tenth to stave off a stoppage. Rudenko had a better eleventh. As both tired he was coming forward behind his jab and chucking rights. Kabayel rocked Rudenko with a right cross but his work rate had dropped. Kabayel wasn’t looking to take any chances in the last and it was Rudenko marching forward and throwing punches who seemed to take the round. Scores 119-109, 117-110 and 116-111for Kabayel. The 29-year-old German of Turkish antecedents was making the third defence of the European title. He is rated IBF 3 (2)/WBC 8/WBO 9 so very much in the mix for a title shot if not this year then early next. He has points wins over 26-1Herve Hubeaux and Dereck Chisora. Ukrainian Rudenko, 35, has lost on points against Lucas Browne, Hughie Fury and Alex Povetkin and although limited is very strong.
Schwarz vs. Krastacic
Another inside the distance win for Schwarz as he kayos Krastacic. In the first Schwarz strode forward behind his jab and landed some clubbing rights to Krastacic’s body. Schwarz started to put some combinations together later in the round but other than an occasional jab Krastacic did nothing. Schwarz was finding the range with rights to the head in the second. Krastacic came to life and connected with a couple of head punches. Schwarz was warned for pushing Krastacic to the canvas and when the action started again Schwarz forced Krastacic to the ropes and connected with a series of punches with a right dropping Krastacic. He clawed his way to his feet but after the eight count some more head punches dropped Krastacic again. He again got up but slowly and obviously was finished but the fight continued and as Schwarz scored with some more cuffing punches Krastacic dropped to the floor and sat out the count. The 24-year-old 6’5 ½” Schwarz retains the WBO Inter-Continental and makes it 16 wins by KO/TKO. His No 2 rating by the WBO is ridiculous as he has never faced an opponent remotely near to the WBO or the EBU ratings. The EBU rate him No 16 which is more realistic. He is big, strong and young enough to improve but is very slow. With his WBO No 2 rating-behind Dillian White- in theory he could soon become WBO No 1 but any thought of him fighting Anthony Joshua this year would be nonsense. Don’t be fooled by Krastacic’s statistics as he has been matched with very poor opposition.
Deines vs. Sera
German southpaw Deines moves to ten wins on the bounce as he beats Hungarian Sera in three rounds. In a messy first round Sera was already in survival mode being warned twice for holding. He also threw himself to the canvas after missing with a wild swing. Deines was sticking to his jab and trying rights and he put Sera down just before the bell with a punch that struck an off balance Sera on the shoulder .The bell went as Sera got up. Deines put Sera down at the start of the second with a right. Sera was not badly shaken but went back to his survival plan. He was warned twice more for holding with Deines finding the target with counters as Sera threw himself forward swinging wildly. There were two more warnings for Sera in the third for thrusting forward and ramming his head into Deines but Deines ended the fight by catching the rushing Sera with two lefts to the head. Sera was up at nine but unsteady and the referee stopped the fight., Deines, 28,who scored an important victory over unbeaten Stefan Haertel in 2018, makes it eight wins by KO/TKO. Sera now has 14 losses by KO/TKO.
Rabii vs. Jackiewicz
Olympic bronze medallist Rabbi outpoints Polish veteran Jackiewicz. The Pole tried to take the fight to Rabii but the Moroccan was too quick for him. Rabii was content to work on the back foot sliding around Jackiewicz and scoring flashing combinations. Jackiewicz stuck to his task but the foot speed and swift upper body movement of Rabii meant he was always one or two steps behind the Moroccan. Rabii seemed to have Jackiewicz hurt with a strong attack in the seventh but other than that Jackiewicz, whilst losing every round, was never really in any danger of not lasting the distance. Scores 80-72 for Rabii from the three judges. The 25-year-old Rabii was World Amateur champion in 2015 beating Josh Kelly and eventual Olympic gold medallist Daniyar Yeleussinov on the way to the gold medal. Former European welter champion Jackiewicz is now 42 and has lost 5 of his last 6 outings.
Pfeifer vs. Rizzo
Poor match sees Pfeifer kayo Italian novice in one round. The 32-year-old Russian-born German gets his third win by KO/TKO. Pfeifer was German champion five times, won a gold medal at the 2009 European Union Championships, was twice a bronze medallist at the World Championships but failed to medal at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. His best days may be behind him. Rizzo’s five victims had just five wins between them.
Kadiru vs. Kubiak
Yet another name to watch for in the crowded ranks of young heavyweight prospects. Kadiru eases his way into the professionals with a points victory over novice Kubiak. Scores 60-54 for Kadiru from the judges. He towered over Kubiak and showed a strong jab and good movement but rarely put his punches together. It will take him a while to adjust to the professional ranks but then he has time. Kadiru, 22, born in Hamburg of Ghanaian parents, won a silver medal at the Youth World Championships losing to American Darmani Rock in the finals and then took gold at the World Youth Olympics gold with a revenge win over Rock. He was also crowned the European Youth Champion in both 2014 and 2015 beating Daniel Dubois, in the 2014 Championships. Great potential.
Peterborough, England: Feather: Jordan Gill (23-0) W TKO 3
Emmanuel Dominguez (24-8-2). Feather: Leigh Wood (21-1) W KO 2 Abraham Osei Bonsu (13-4-1). Cruiser: Richard Riakporhe (9-0) W TKO 4 Tommy McCarthy (13-2) . Light Heavy: Anthony Sims (18-0) W TKO 6 Mateo Veron 28-22-3,2 ND). Super Bantam: Qais Ashfaq (5-0) W PTS 6 Fadhili Majiha (23-12-4). Super Middle: John Docherty (4-0) W TKO 2 Yailton Neves (4-14)
Gill vs. Dominguez
Imperious performance from Gill as he dismantles Mexican Dominguez in three rounds. Most of the early work in the first round consisted of probing jabs but Gill connected with a sharp double left hook and ended the round with a right to the head and a left hook. Dominguez landed a quick left hook in the second but then Gill let his hands go and rocked Dominguez with a good combination and then with a left hook. A right to the head made Dominguez’s legs wobble and the last punch of the round, a right to the head sent Dominguez staggering sideways. A four-punch combination from Gill in the third knocked Dominguez over. Dominguez beat the count but was on unsteady legs. Gill then pushed Dominguez to the canvas so no count. A right and a left put Dominguez down again and although he got up when another punch from Gill sent him stumbling to the ropes the fight was over. The 24-year-old former Commonwealth champion wins the vacant WBA International title with his seventh victory by KO/TKO. For former Mexican super bantam champion Dominguez, 25, this is his second loss by KO/TKO.
Wood vs. Bonsu
Wood wins the vacant Commonwealth title with easy stoppage of overmatched Ghanaian. Wood controlled the opening round with stiff jabs and was scoring well with hooks. Bonsu was constantly retreating around the ring prodding with his jab and throwing wide and inaccurate rights. Bonsu had shown nothing in the first and was in trouble early in the second dropping to the canvas from a wicked left hook to the body. He beat the count but was under pressure with Wood patiently stalking him. He pinned Bonsu to the ropes and landed a trio of body punches with Bonsu dropping to a knee. The referee started to count but then just waived the fight over. Wood gets his eleventh win by KO/TKO. His only loss came against Gavin McDonnell in 2014 and this is his ninth win in a row. Former Ghanaian champion Bonsu suffers his second inside the distance defeat.
Riakporhe vs. McCarthy
Londoner Riakporhe retains the WBA Inter-Continental title with stoppage of McCarthy. There was plenty of action over the first two rounds with both fighters connecting with some strong punches with McCarthy perhaps just a shade in front. The third was also close but a left from Riakporhe seemed to rock McCarthy. Riakporhe was landing heavy jabs in the fourth. McCarthy was coming forward confidently until a huge right cross from Riakporhe saw McCarthy sag at the knees. Riakporhe jumped on him connecting with head punches until McCarthy dropped to one knee. He was up at seven and after the count Riakporhe launched a thunderous right which missed wildly, and probably had them ducking in the dressing rooms, and then bundled McCarthy to the floor. Obviously no count but Riakporhe pursued McCarthy across to a corner and another booming right saw the referee stop the fight. The 29-year-old Riakporhe, who is managed by Dillian Whyte, gets his eighth inside the distance victory. At 6’5” he is big for a cruiser and carries plenty of power. He is of Nigerian parentage and has overcome being stabbed in the chest when 15 and spending some time in prison. He has turned his life around and although enjoying some success as an amateur only turned professional after gaining a university degree. McCarthy’s only other loss was on points against Matty Askin in 2016
Sims vs. Veron
Another display of speed and power from Sims as outclasses experienced Veron. Sims used his quick jab to set Veron up for left hooks to the body and Veron was on the back foot from the first round. In the second Sims was putting together some impressive combinations with very little coming back from Veron. The young American continued to punish Veron in the third and fourth and a strong left hook staggered Veron in the fifth. Sims ended it in the sixth. He drove Veron down and almost through the ropes with a straight right and when the action resumed he pounded Veron with punches before putting him face down on the floor with another right. Veron spit out his mouthguard but made it to his feet only for the referee to waive the fight off. The 24-year-old from Indiana makes it 17 wins in a row by KO/TKO. Argentinian Veron has a spotty record but was coming off an upset win over Lolenga Mock in January. This is his ninth loss by KO/TKO.
Ashfaq vs. Majiha
Leeds southpaw Ashfaq wins every round against Tanzanian Majiha as he progresses along the road to the top level. Referee’s score 60-54. The 25-year-old Ashfaq won gold medals at the Commonwealth Youth Games, the English Elite Championships and the British Championships. He collected silver at the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships losing to Michael Conlan at both events and was a bronze medallist at the 2105 European Games but lost out in his first fight at the Rio Olympics. One to follow. Majiha was coming off an impressive performance where he had unbeaten Cuban Nelson Machado on the floor before losing a split decision.
Docherty vs. Neves
Docherty is also a top prospect. The young Scot floored Neves in the first and forced the stoppage just before the bell at the end of the second. The 21-year-old Commonwealth Games gold medal winner has taken less than six rounds for his four wins. British based Portuguese southpaw Neves has lost four times by KO/TKO.
Tijuana, Mexico: Feather: Jhon Gemino (19-11-1) W TKO 7Carlos Ornelas (22-2). Light Fly: Dewayne Beamon (16-1-2) DRE W 8 Maximino Flores (24-4-2,2ND).
Gemino vs. Ornelas
Gemino comes from behind to stop an overconfident Ornelas. It was Gemino who moved into the lead over the first two rounds. Southpaw Ornelas had the longer reach but Gemino was drawing the jab and scoring with sharp counters. In the third Ornelas was starting to open Gemino up with his jab and then banging lefts to the body. The third, fourth and fifth were close but Ornelas was continually forcing the fight and outscoring Gemino. In the sixth Ornelas controlled the action and was scoring with a series of uppercuts with Gemino looking to be fading. Ornelas came out trying to end it in the seventh. He was forcing Gemino along the ropes with hooks to the body. Gemino came off the ropes and rocked Ornelas with a left hook. They stood and traded hard punches with Gemino again hurting Ornelas with a left. Ornelas just ducked his head and walked forward throwing hooks but was caught with another left hook that staggered him. He tried to drive forward again but was wide open and a left hook to the chin sent him down and he rolled around before leaping to his feet a second too late and being counted out. Gemino, “The Disaster”, proved that for Ornelas. The Filipino was 2-3 in his last 5 but two of those losses were to Emanuel Navarrete and Denis Shafikov and he was coming off an inside the distance win in Japan. Big setback for Ornelas. After 21 wins in a row he suffered a shock stoppage at the hands of novice Willmank Brito in September so his recover is off the tracks.
Beamon vs. Flores
Beamon and Flores wage war but in the end have to settle for a share of the points. It was a brutal battle with neither fighter wanting to take a step back and the fight swung one way and then the other and their faces carried the signs of the battle. In the end the judges could not all agree with two of them seeing it dead even so it ended as a majority draw. Beamon, 33, was hoping a win here would push him into the world ratings so a draw does not help. Flores is 5-1-2 in his last 8 fights having lost on points to WBC No 1 Andrew Selby in 2017.
Arendal, Norway: Welter: Jonathan Eniz (24-11-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Deniz Ilbay (21-2). Cruiser: Kal Robin Havnaa (14-0) W KO 3 Rad Rashid (16-5).
Eniz vs. Ilbay
Eniz springs a surprise and picks up the vacant IBO Inter-Continental title with close split verdict over Ilbay. Southpaw Eniz boxed well over the opening three rounds but Ilbay stepped up the pace from the fourth forcing Eniz on to the retreat. Ilbay was chasing the quick Eniz down doing most of the scoring but finding him a difficult target and was being caught by surprise counters. It was expected that Ilbay would continue to dominate but his attacks stalled and it was Eniz who was talking the lead. The rounds and the fight were close to the end. It swung to Eniz when he launched a ferocious attack late in the twelfth showering Ilbay with punches and taking the round. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 for Eniz and 115-113 for Ilbay. Second upset win this year for the 24-year-old Eniz after beating former IBF champion Cesar Cuenca in January
As for German champion Ilbay after losing to Egidijus Kavaliauskas in Las Vegas in 2016 he had been steered carefully through six wins but needs to start again had won his last six fights
Havnaa vs. Rashid
Havnaa returns to action with a kayo of oldie German Rashid. In his first fight for almost 11 months Havnaa took a couple of rounds to get into his stride and ended the fight in the third with a powerful left hook to the body. Rashid dropped to his knees and was counted out. The 30-year-old home town fighter has 12 wins by KO/TKO and collects the vacant IBO International title. He is the son of former undefeated WBO cruiserweight champion Magne Havnaa. German Rashid, 39, gets his second loss by KO/TKO in his last three fights.
Fajardo, Puerto Rico: Super Light: Subriel Matias (13-0) W TKO 6 Wilberth Lopez (23-11).
Matias keeps his 100% record with stoppage of fellow-southpaw Lopez. After a quiet opening round Matias pressed relentlessly in the second. Lopez was pinned to the ropes for the whole three minutes as Matias worked him over inside with hooks and uppercuts. Matias continued the pressure in the third and fourth .Lopez was trying to counter but Matias was either bobbing around the counters or ignoring them and just ceaselessly pumping out punches. The fifth is new territory for Matias as he has never had to go past the fourth round for victory. Lopez had a good spell at the start of the round when for a change he had Matias pinned to the ropes and was unloading with both hands. Matias then drove Lopez back and around the ring showering him with punches from both hands. In the sixth Matias drove Lopez from corner to corner. He was not loading up on his punches but the sheer volume overwhelmed Lopez and he dropped to his knees and was counted out. The 26-year-old “Browny” has an incredible work rate but he won’t always be up against light punchers such as Lopez and that’s where a question remains but 13 inside the distance wins in 13 fights including victories over Daulis Prescott, Adrian Estrella and Fernando Saucedo are a pretty good start. Second inside the distance loss in a row for Lopez.
London. England: :Light Heavy: Kirk Garvey (12-2) W PTS 10 Miles Shinkwin (15-4) W. Garvey lifts Shinkwin’s English title on a split decision in a close hard fought battle. The taller Garvey came on over the middle rounds to edge in front. Shinkwin staged a strong finish over the ninth and tenth but it was just not enough to save his title. Scores 96-94 twice for Garvey and 97-94 for Shinkwin. Much needed win for Garvey as he had lost to Andre Sterling for the BBB of C Southern Area title in November so he avoided the stain of consecutive defeats. Shinkwin, a York Hall favourite, was coming off an impressive revenge victory over Joel McIntyre and was hoping a win would propel him into a second shot at the British title.
Leeds, England: Super Bantam: Jack Bateson W TKO 1 Pablo Narvaez (9-12-7). Former top amateur Bateson wastes no time is disposing of Nicaraguan loser Narvaez. The Leeds fighter floored Narvaez twice and the bout was halted just past the two minute mark. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old Bateson as he aims to make his mark in the already talent-heavy British scene. In the amateurs fighting at light flyweight Bateson was English and UK champion at both Youth and Senior level took a gold medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games and a bronze medal at the European Championships as well as being a member of the British Lionhearts team at the World Series of Boxing. Poor Barcelona-based Narvaez is now 0-8-1 in his last 9 fights.
Los Antiguos, Argentina: Welter: Adrian Veron (24-3) TKO 3 Sergio Liendo (12-5,1ND). Veron crushes Liendo in three rounds in all-southpaw contest. Veron used his longer reach and superior power to boss the action over the first two rounds. In the third a chopping left to the head dropped Liendo. He beat the count but Veron landed a devastating straight left that put Liendo down heavily and the fight was stopped by the referee as the towel came in from Liendo’s corner. Veron, 30 was defending his South American title and moves to 16 wins by KO/TKO, He gets his third win on the bounce after suffering consecutive inside the distance losses to Cesar Barrionuevo. Fifth defeat by KO/TKO for Liendo.
Columbus, OH, USA: Heavy: Junior Fa (17-0) W TKO 1 Newfel Ouatah (16-3). Fa decimates poor Ouatah inside a round. Fa was tracking Ouatah around the ring with the taller Frenchman just pawing with a weak jab. As they came out of a clinch a thudding right from Fa dumped Ouatah on the canvas propped up against the ropes. Ouatah got up but it looked as though he did not beat the count. The fight continued and Fa pounced on Ouatah who dropped to his knees under a flurry of punches. This time Ouatah was up at four and after the eight count was completed Fa again drove Ouatah to the canvas. The Frenchman was up quickly again and Fa rushed him to ropes landing a couple of punches and as Ouatah fell to his knees the fight was stopped. Tenth win by KO/TKO for 29-yeart-old New Zealander Fa. He is best known for scoring two wins over Joseph Parker in the amateurs but with 17 wins and a No 8 rating from the WBO those Parker wins no longer define him. Former French champion Ouatah, 33, looked old and fragile in this one.
Central Point, OR, USA: Heavy: Mike Wilson (20-1) W RTD 6 German Perez (11-4-3). In his first fight since losing to WBA champion Denis Lebedev Wilson just too strong for Mexican Perez. Wilson dominated the fight from the start keeping Perez on the end of strong jabs and clouting him with heavy rights. He had Perez rocking in the fourth and fifth and opened a cut over Perez’s left eye. Wilson continued to pummel Perez in the sixth and Perez’s corner pulled their man out of the fight at the end of the round. After the glamour of Monte Carlo it is back to bread and butter fights for Wilson as he rebuilds. This is only Perez’s second fight since 2015 so no real threat.
Fight of the week (Significance): Brian Castano’s draw with Erislandy was the only world title fight so it qualifies
Fight of the week (Entertainment) Eduardo Ramirez vs. Bryan De Gracia and Brian Castano vs. Erislandy deserves a mention
Fighter of the week: Luis Ortiz for showing he is still a force with honourable mention to Agit Kabayel who could yet force himself into a title fight
Punch of the week: The right uppercut from Eduardo Ramirez that marked the beginning of the end for Bryan De Gracia was a beauty as was the Jhon Gemino left hook that ended the fight with Carlos Ornelas and the thunderous right from Richard Riakporhe that was the beginning of the end for Tommy McCarthy
Upset of the week: Jonathan Eniz was not supposed to beat Deniz Ilbay and Jhon Gemino was supposed to lose to Carlos Ornelas
Prospect watch: Light Heavy Anthony Sims 18-0 with 17 wins in a row by KO/TKO and Australian bantam Brock Jarvis 16-0 are both worth following.
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