By Eric Armit
-Emanuele Navarrete scores two knockdowns but in the end needs a big last round to take the decision over Ruben Villa in their fight for the vacant WBO featherweight title.
-Robin Krasniqi wins the interim WBA and IBO light heavyweight titles with kayo of Dominic Boesel
-David Lemieux returns to the ring with a stoppage of Francy Ntetu and heavyweight Arslanbek Makhmudov blows away Dillon Carmen on the same show in Canada.
-Matteo Signani retains the European middleweight title with dramatic stoppage of Maxime Beaussire
-Liam Williams halts Andrew Robinson to keep on track for a shot at a version of the world middleweight title next year
-Charles Conwell, Denys Berinchyk and Peter Kadiru all score wins
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Feather: Emanuel Navarrete (33-1) W PTS 12 Ruben Villa (18-1). Middle: Zhanibek Alimkhanuly (9-0) W KO 2 Gonzalo Gaston Coria (16-4).Middle: Lorenzo Simpson (9-0) W PTS 8 Sanny Duversonne (11-0-2). Super Light: Elvis Rodriguez (10-0-1 Cameron Krael (17-17-3).
Navarrete vs. Villa
Navarrete wins the vacant WBO title but after scoring two early knockdowns a great comeback by Villa meant that the 25-year-iold Mexican needed to win the last round to win the fight
Southpaw Villa was working his jab early with Navarrete just pushing out punches with his languid style. Villa was busier and quicker and looked confident until an almost casual but well hidden left hook from Navarrete that came up inside Villa’s right toppled him onto his backside. Villa was up at four and when the action resumed had no trouble evading the crude efforts of Navarrete to land another punch.
Score: 10-8 Navarrete
Navarrete changed to southpaw in the second and connected with a long left. Villa was boxing carefully not committing himself. Navarrete switched back to orthodox and was connecting with long rights. Villa was confident enough by the end of round to launch some attacks of his own but Navarrete was dangerous with big swinging punches.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 20-17
Villa boxed cleverly in the third. He was circling Navarrete stabbing him with right jabs and occasionally stepping in to connect with a left. Navarrete was looking crude as he missed wildly at times leaving himself open to counters and was frustrated by Villa’s quick footwork.
Score: 10-9 Villa Navarrete 29-27
Navarrete stepped up his pace in the fourth trying to cut off the ring. He was still not quick enough but there was danger in every punch he threw. Villa made the mistake of standing and trading punches with Navarrete and as Villa threw a left a solid left hook to the head from Navarrete arrived first which saw Villa go down on one knee. Villa was up immediately but more shaken than by the first knockdown. However he held and moved to the safety of the bell.
Score: 10-8 Navarrete Navarrete 39-35
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 38-36 Navarrete, Judge Max DeLuca 39-35 Navarrete, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 39-35 Navarrete
Navarrete chased Villa throughout the round. He was missing lots but also landing some solid hooks from both hands and Villas did well to absorb a heavy right. Villa was moving and jabbing but there was no power in his punches and he was busy keeping out of trouble.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 49-44
This was the closest round so far. Villa was into the groove with his jab and again his constant movement was frustrating Navarrete. Gradually through the round Navarrete began to get closer and was scoring with the better punches late to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 59-53
Good boxing from Villa. He was threading jabs through the porous defence of Navarrete and looked in control until a punch from Villa landed on the back of Navarrete’s head. An enraged Navarrete drove forward throwing punches with a right to the side of the rocking Villa. Villa waited out the storm and then took the fight to Navarrete and outscored him.
Score: 10-9 Villa Navarrete 68-63
A classy round from Villa. Plenty of movement constantly changing direction leaving Navarrete swishing air then darting in with two or three quick punches and out. Again Navarrete became frustrated and was leaving gaps as he lunged forward and threw wild punches and Villa took advantage of those gaps to bang home counters.
Score: 1O-9 Villa Navarrete 77-73
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 76-74 Navarrete, Judge Max DeLuca 77-73 Navarrete, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 77-73 Navarrete
Navarrete tried to up his pace in the ninth but just could not pin down the speedy Villa who was continually finding his way past Navarrete’s guard and easily dodging Navarrete’s telegraphed swings. Navarrete tried to finish the round strongly but it was Villa coming forward and landing
Score: 10-9 Villa Navarrete 86-83
Now Villa’s confidence was way up. He was flitting around Navarrete piercing his guard with jabs and then choosing his moment to stand and punch with Navarette before dancing away from Navarrete’s clumsy swings.
Score: 10-9 Villa Navarrete 95-93
Excellent boxing from Villa and now he was willing on occasion to take the fight to Navarrete. He was also making Navarrete pay with counters every time the Mexican lunged forward leaving an opening and he ended the round by sending Navarrete to the ropes with a left.
Score: 10-9 Villa Tied 94-93
Navarrete needed this round and he won it clearly. Villa fought as though all he had to do was survive to emerge the winner so he never threw enough punches. Navarrete hunted him down for the full three minutes connecting with hooks from both hands as Villa scampered around the ring and it was clearly Navarrete’s round.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 114-112
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 114-112 Navarrete, Judge Max DeLuca 114-112 Navarrete, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 115-111 Navarrete
Navarrete becomes a two division champion and opens the door to some tasty fights at featherweight against other champions Josh Warrington, Leo Santa Cruz and Gary Russell but he nearly threw this one away. He does everything wrong and his footwork is almost comical but his power has usually been enough to see him through. Villa was a big outsider in the betting but he fought back magnificently to claw back the points from the two knockdowns and only poor tactics in the last round cost him an unlikely victory.
Alimkhanuly vs. Coria
I am starting to wonder if the gyms are empty in Kazakhstan because every time you turn around there is another top level Kazak fighter knocking people over. Alimkhanuly is certainly top level and his knockout of Coria was frightening. He was hunting down Coria in the first of this clash of southpaw and floored him with a counter straight left. It wasn’t a heavy knockdown and Coria was able get up and survive a few other hefty shots in the round. In the second Coria walked onto a right hook that staggered him. He boxed his way out of trouble and seemed to be settling to do some good work when a left hook sent him tottering back. Alimkhanuly landed a couple of hook and then a thunderbolt of a left that sent Coria flying to the canvas face down half out under the bottom rope. The referee started to count and then saw it was pointless and waived the fight off so that Coria could get some attention. The 27-year-old Kazak wins the WBO Global title (whatever that means). He has yet to meet a name fighter but has impressed in knocking out both 27-3-3 Stuart McLellan and Albert Onolunose. He is already rated WBO 4/WBC 9/IBF 11 (9)/WBA 15. His amateur achievements include gold medals at the World Championships, the Asian Championships the Asian Games and the Kazak Championships. First inside the distance loss for Coria but he looked fragile every time Alimkhanuly landed a punch.
Simpson vs. Duversonne
Simpson skills too good for a competitive but outboxed Duversonne. Some nice, tidy boxing from both in the first with Simpson’s hand speed just giving him the edge. Duversonne was waiting too long to throw his punches in the second and Simpson was more active connecting with right hooks to the head and lefts to the body. Duversonne pressed hard in the third and fourth but just could not find the target as Simpson continued to work to the body and displayed some classy defensive moves. Simpson had the fifth well in hand until just before the bell a right from Duversonne knocked him off balance and he put a glove on the canvas. Simpson was more embarrassed than hurt and the bell went as the count was completed. He outboxed Duversonne over the sixth and just had the edge in a competitive seventh as Duversonne attacked hard. Simpson stood and punched with Duversonne early in the eight and then went back to his boxing on his way to victory. Scores 78-73 twice and 79073 all for Simpson. The 2o-year-old “Truck” Simpson carries with him some outstanding achievements as an amateur winning the US Silver Gloves a record equalling six times-one more than Oscar De La Hoya managed. He is an example of boxing being a youngster’s saviour. Simpson comes from Park Heights one of the most dangerous and deprived areas of Baltimore. His grandfather is in prison and his father was murdered when Simpson was just four. Sanny Duversonne is also another man with a past finding his way thanks to boxing having spent three years in prison in Florida for burglary. He had scored ten straight wins before this loss.
Rodriguez vs. Krael
Dominican southpaw Rodriguez racks up another quick win. Neither fighter committed himself to offence in the first with Rodriguez the more active with his right jab. After working patiently with his jab early in the second Rodriguez finally began to put together some combinations over the closing minute and immediately Krael looked uncomfortable as he had to absorb some hefty hooks to the body and was staggered by a right to the head. In the third a clubbing right to the side of the head sent Krael down on his rump. He made it to a kneeling position but no further and was counted out. All of Rodriguez’s wins have come inside the distance and the draw is a technical one. He looks ready to move up to tougher tests. Only the second inside the distance loss for Krael.
Magdeburg, Germany: Light Heavy: Robin Krasniqi (51-6) W KO 3 Dominic Boesel (30-2). Heavy: Peter Kadiru (10-0) W PTS 10 Roman Gorst (6-1). Cruiser: Roman Fress (11-0) W TKO 2 Daniel Venci (11-7). Light: Nenad Stancic (8-0) W PTS 8 Andrea Sito (5-1-3).Middle: Anatoli Muratov (22-2-1) DREW 8 Siarhei Huliakevich (43-13-2). Super Welter: Edison Zani (6-0) W TKO 2 Bronislav Kubin (20-26-2).
Krasniqi vs. Boesel
Krasniqi ignores the odds and gets a career saving win as he kayos Boesel in the third round. The first two rounds were fairly even Boesel looked to have just edged the first and Krasniqi evened things up by shading the second. In the third Boesel turned up his aggression pressurising Krasniqi but he went down from a hard Krasniqi right hook. It was a punch but the referee missed it and treated it as a slip denying Boesel the recovery time an eight count might have given him. Krasniqi knew his punch had shaken Boesel badly and he stormed into Boesel landing two heavy rights to the head which sent Boesel down on his back and after the referee started to count he quickly realised Boesel was not getting up and ended the fight. Huge win for the Kosovon-born 33-year-old Krasniqi. He wins both the WBA interim and IBO titles in his third shot at a world title. He had lost to Nathan Cleverly and Juergen Braehmer in earlier title challenges. Winning these titles now could lead to some career best pay days for Krasniqi but he confirmed there is a return clause in the contract and Boesel has said he will enforce it. Big blow for Boesel who apart from losing his two titles will also lose his No 1 ranking with the WBA. He had rebuilt steadily after an eleventh round stoppage loss to Karo Murat for the European title in 2017 with wins over Enrico Koelling and Sven Fornling.
Kadiru vs. Gorst
Kadiru moves up to ten rounds for the first time and wins the German title with convincing points victory over unbeaten Gorst. Kadiru used his height and longer reach to take control of the centre of the ring and box on the outside. Kadiru controlled the action over the first three rounds and it was the fourth before Gorst finally made some headway but even then the quicker Kadiru outscored him and had no trouble holding off Gorst’s occasional counter attacks. There were too many clinches for it to be an exciting scrap. Kadiru found the target a few time with his uppercuts and scored with good rights late in the fight but never really had Gorst in any kind of trouble and had to settle for a victory on points. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Kadiru. The 23-year-old from Hamburg is progressing steadily but not spectacularly. Gorst was making the first defence of the national title and Kadiru was a big step up from the quality of his previous opposition.
Fress vs. Venci
Fress massacres Czech oldie Venci. Fress dropped Venci twice in the first round and twice more in the second and the fight was stopped. The 6’3”-yet another Kazak-born fighter- was defending the German International title and registers win No 6 by KO/TKO. He is a former German Under-17 and Under-21 champion and competed for Germany at the World Youth and World Senior championships. The 41-year-old Vance was having only his second fight since March 2018.
Stancic vs. Sito
Stancic wins the vacant WBC Youth title with victory over Sito. Stancic boxed well through the first three rounds then floored Sito in the fourth. He continued to outscore Sito over the second half of the fight before dropping Sito again in the last but could not put the Italian away. Scores 80-70 twice and 99-91 for 21-year-old Stancic. He is a former German Youth champion and winner of bronze a medal at the German championships in both 2015 and 2016. First eight round fight for both fighters and first fight outside Italy for Sito
Muratov vs. Huliakevich
After a promising start Muratov fades and only gets a split draw against seasoned veteran Huliakevich. In his first fight for thirteen months Muratov looked to be on his way to victory after taking the first two rounds and dropping Huliakevich with a right in the third. Huliakevich didn’t crumble but fought back hard over the remainder of the fight and clawed back Muratov’s early edge to get a deserved draw. Scores 77-75 Muratov, 76-75 Huliakevich and 76-76. Kazak-born Muratov had scored 14 wins on the bounce before his spell of inactivity. Belarusian Huliakevich, 39, is now 1-10-1 in recent outings and has been a pro for 17 years.
Zani vs. Kubin
Zani controlled this one from bell to stoppage. His pressure tactics saw the experienced Kubin constantly stuck against the ropes. Two knockdowns scored by Zani in the second brought the referee’s intervention. Southpaw Zani, 23, was moving up to six rounds for the first time. Albanian Zani whose idol is Roy Jones was a star performer for Hamburg Giants in the Bundesliga, He left Albania in 2014 to escape a blood feud involving his family. He is not yet a naturalised German citizen although he was German Amateur champion in 2016. Fourteenth inside the distance loss for Kubin.
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Welter: Charles Conwell (13-0) W KO 9 Wendy Toussaint (12-1). Welter: Janelson Figueroa (16-0) W TKO 1 Nicklaus Flaz (9-2). Welter: Brandun Lee (20-0) W TKO 1 Jimmy Williams (16-4-2,1ND).
Conwell vs. Toussaint
Conwell breaks down and finally wins on a count out over Toussaint. From the start Conwell was taking the fight to the taller Toussaint coming forward in a crouch and behind a high guard leaving Toussaint with not much of a target. Toussaint’s jab was not strong enough to deter Conwell so Conwell was working to the body with hooks from both hands. Toussaint kept throwing counters but was never able to get on the front foot enough. He was being hurt by vicious left hooks to the body from Conwell and was fighting without conviction. Conwell really didn’t alter his pace much and it was a well executed methodical breakdown of Toussaint. For a spell over the middle rounds Toussaint moved well and jabbed well but was under pressure all the time and Conwell was winning the rounds. Despite injuring his right in the seventh Conwell ended it in the ninth. Toussaint was looking confident and coming forward more. There were danger signs in a couple of uppercuts from Conwell and then he connected with a sickening right uppercut that had Toussaint backing away and then going down on one knee. He stayed there on one knee and was counted out. Tenth victory by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old from Cleveland and the second defence of his USBA title. In the amateurs he won the National Golden Gloves and after losing is first bout in the US Olympic Trials he fought back to win the Trials and also won the Americas Trials but lost to India’s Vikas Krishan in the preliminary rounds in Rio. He is currently No 9 with the IBF. Haitian Toussaint was in his first ten round fight and whilst he showed some good skills lacked the punch to hold off Conwell.
Figueroa vs. Flaz
Impressive performance from Figueroa (Bocachica) as he blows away Puerto Rican Flaz inside a round. Figueroa dropped Flaz early but it was not a heavy knockdown. The next one most certainly was as a thunderous right cross buckled Falz’s legs before a left hook sent Flaz crashing to the floor propped up against the ropes. He managed to beat the count but looked unsteady. When the action resumed Figueroa connected with three left hooks and a right and as Flaz started to go down the referee stepped in and waived the fight over. The 21-year-old is Detroit born with Puerto Rican parents. He has won eleven by KO/TKO and has been very much under the radar until now. His father has posted a video of Figueroa flooring a 15-year-old Teo Lopez with a right cross and Figueroa also beat kayo specialist Brandun Lee (see below) in the amateurs. Flaz had won his last four fights.
Lee vs. Williams
Williams looked a reasonable test against “Kayo Kid” Lee but was blasted out in just 94 seconds. Lee came out firing and drove Williams to the ropes and bombarded him with punches. Williams sagged to where he was sitting on the middle rope and as it was holding him up he was given a count. After the count a fearsome right from Lee put him down on his back. Somehow Williams made it to his feet at four and he convinced the referee he was capable of continuing. A pile-driver of an overhand right from Lee then dropped him on his back suspended over the ropes with his upper body hanging half outside the ring and the referee just waived the fight off. Lee, 21, has impressive statistics with his total of first round wins already standing at twelve and having won his last eleven fights inside the distance. He is a four-time US National Junior champion. The only other fighter to have beaten Williams inside the distance is WBA title challenger Abel Ramos
Mandaue City, Philippines: Light Fly: Christian Araneta (18-1) W PTS 10 Richard Rosales (14-13-2). Feather: Peter Apolinar (12-1) W PTS 10 Jetro Pabustan (30-8-6). Light Fly: Mark Vicelles (12-0-1) W TKO 4 Junuel Lacar (8-6-3).
Araneta vs. Rosales
Prospect Araneta returns to action and returns to the winning column with wide points victory over experienced Rosales. Southpaw Araneta floored Rosales in the fifth and sixth on the way to taking the decision on scores of 99-89 twice and 100-88. The 25-year-old from Cebu City suffered his first loss in September last year on a fourth round retirement against 20-1 Daniel Valladares. No disgrace there as in February this year Valladares fought a technical draw with Pedro Taduran for the IBF minimumweight title. Rosales has tasted defeat in 7 of his last 8 fights but all against good level opponents.
Apolinar vs. Pabustan
Apolinar extends his winning run to seven as he outpoints southpaw Pabustan, Scores 98-92 twice and a closer 96-94. He had won 6 of his last 7 inside the distance so this gave him some useful ring time. Pabustan, 30, lost on a technical decision in a challenge to Pungluang for the WBO bantam title in 2017.
Vicelles vs. Lacar
“Thunder” Vicelles lived up to his nickname as he overpowered Lacar flooring him in the second, third and finally the fourth round. With Lacar under pressure and not punching back the fight was stopped. Southpaw Vicelles, 24, gets his sixth inside the distance win. Lacar was 1-4-2 going in and this is loss No 4 by KO/TKO.
Lesniki, Ukraine: Light: Denys Berinchyk (14-0) W RTD 7 Viorel Simion (22-4). Super Middle: Maksym Bursak (37-6-2) W PTS 8 Dmytro Semernin (14-7-1). Welter: Mishiko Beseli (21-1) W PTS 8 Vasyl Kurasov (12-6).
Berinchyk vs. Simion
There is no time for boredom when Baranchyk fights in fact even before the first bell. A master of dramatic entrances this time Berinchyk flew down by wire from the roof to the centre of the ring on a chairlift. Nothing boring in the ring either as he outclasses experienced Simion and forces an eighth round retirement by the Romanian. Berinchyk’s speedy movement and fast hands were just too much for Simion. Southpaw Berinchyk was constantly changing direction and angles for his punches. He was stepping past Simion then connecting with a series of hooks and then bobbing and weaving around Simion’s punches and peppering him with jabs and rattling him with hooks from both hands. Simion stuck to his task but was hardly ever able to land a clean punch on Berinchyk. In the sixth Berinchyk drove Simion to the ropes with a series of punches and Simion dropped to his haunches. He made it to his feet just as the bell rang. Unusually the referee penalised Simion a point when his corner took too long to fix a loose glove tape but it made no difference. Berinchyk pounded on Simion until a succession of hard head shots saw Simion go down again. Simion beat the count and there was only time for him to be rocked by a strong combination before the bell went and Simion retired. Fourth defence of the WBO International title for the 32-year-old Ukrainian but just 14 fights in five year as a pro, only one minor appearance outside Ukraine and only moderate level opposition has resulted in a much lower profile than his ability deserves. He is No 4 with the WBO and I would give him a good chance against any other lightweight except Vasyl Lomachenko, Teo Lopez and Gervonta Davis but time is running out for him. As an amateur he won silver medals at the world championships and the London Olympics and beat a number of guys who are top professionals now. Simion, 38< was also a top amateur competing at the 2004 Olympics. He made a good start as a pro going 21-1 before a points loss against Scott Quigg in 2017 and a one round destruction by Shakur Stevenson in 2018 ended his ambitions and he looked an old man here
Bursak vs. Semernin
Former undefeated European champion Bursak keeps his very very faint chance of another world title shot alive as he outpoints Semernin. Bursak pressured Semernin for most of the fight and was in control. Tall southpaw Semernin fired back hard enough to make Bursak work for the whole eight rounds but without ever being threatening. Scores 79-73 twice and 79-74 for Bursak. The Kiev fighter has lost to Gilberto Ramirez for the WBO super middle title and Zac Dunn for the IBO title but he boosted his standing in a thrilling battle with David Lemieux in December which saw both fighters on the floor with Lemieux winning a split decision.
Beseli vs. Kurasov
Despite his impressive record Georgian-born Beseli is no world beater and he struggled here to get past young Ukrainian Kurasov. Scores 78-74 and 77-76 for Beseli and 77-75 for Kurasov. Beseli went 18-0 at the start of his career before losing on a sixth round stoppage against Dominican Kelvin Dotel and it has been strictly low level fights since then. Kurasov has now lost 5 of his last 7 fights.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Hiroaki Teshigawara (22-2-2) W TKO 6 Shingo Kawamura (16-6-4).
Teshigawara a class above Kawamura and halts him in six rounds. Boxing coolly Teshigawara found the range early with lead rights and was getting in landing his punches and getting out before Kawamura could fashion any good counters. After four rounds all three score cards read 40-36 for Teshigawara. He continued to dominate the action in the fifth and floored Kawamura with a volley of punches in the sixth. Kawamura got up but was taking punishment when the referee pulled Teshigawara off to save him. Second defence of his OPBF title for Teshigawara who has scored nine inside the distance victories in his last ten fights. He is No 3 with the IBF but with positions 1 and 2 vacant he is their highest rated fighter but can’t go to No 1 or 2 because he has not beaten a rated fighter. Second shot at the OPBF title for Kawamura who was 0-2-3 before this fight.
Roosdaal, Belgium: Super Light: Mohamed El Marcouchi (25-2) W PTS 6 Angelo Turco (8-17-2).
With El Marcouchi having height and reach plus hand speed and quicker movement this fight was only going to end with El Marcouchi the winner with the only question being whether Turco could stay the distance. El Marcouchi used his jab to put Turco on the back foot from the start and the centre of the ring was a place Turco rarely visited. El Marcouchi is not a big puncher but he found plenty of gaps for straight rights and worked the body well with Turco occasionally darting forward trying to get close enough to cause El Marcouchi problems. El Marcouchi stepped up his work rate over the fourth and fifth as Turco tired but Turco found something left in the tank and they traded punches throughout the sixth. This was original to be an eight round fight but was then reduced to six with El Marcouchi winning every round. The 32-year-old Miami-based Belgian suffered his only loss when he was disqualified against Mexican Samuel Gonzalez in December 2018 and has now rebounded with five wins. At 5’5 ½” Turco is used to being the smaller man. With this loss he is now 0-11-2 in his last 13 fights.
Dubai, UAE: Light: Maxi Hughes (22-5-2) W PTS 10 Viktor Kotochigov (12-1). Super Light: Hovhannes Bachikov (1-0) W PTS 8 Samuel Gonzalez (22-7).
Hughes vs. Kotochigov
Second good win in a row for Hughes as he takes unanimous verdict over unbeaten Kazak Kotochigov and relieves Kotochigov of the prestigious WBC International title. A confident Kotochigov was coming forward taking the fight to Hughes but the more experienced southpaw stayed cool and moved well and countered well. Hughes changed tactics in the second bringing the fight to Kotochigov staggering him with a straight left and then scoring repeatedly with more lefts to head and body. Hughes had a big third dropping Kotochigov heavily with a left hook and a stoppage looked close as he drove Kotochigov along the ropes showering him with hooks until the bell. Hughes had the better of the exchanges in the fourth but Kotochigov had steadied himself and was back in the fight. The fifth was close although Hughes was still landing the harder punches and Kotochigov had a swelling under his left eye. From the sixth Kotochigov upped his pace and put more pressure on Hughes and by the seventh he was slowly making inroads into the substantial lead Hughes had built over the first half of the fight. Hughes was countering well and was more accurate with his punches although holding more and he did enough to maintain his early advantage despite a strong finish from Kotochigov. Scores 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94 for Hughes. This victory and his upset win in August over Jono Carroll could see Hughes replacing Kotochigov in the WBC ratings. Kotochigov fought hard but his limitations were evident as he didn’t have the skill or experience to match Hughes.
Bachikov vs. Gonzalez
This fight for Bachikov marks the launching of another elite level amateur into the professional ranks. The Armenian was given an stern test for his professional baptism as Gonzalez has a good chin and plenty of experience as well as occasionally overturning the form book. Bachikov looked strong and showed a nice variety of punches but did not look anything very special as he ground out his victory. Scores 80-72 from the three judges for Bachikov. He had ten years of moderate amateur success before breaking through by winning gold medals at the 2017 European Championships and the 2019 European Games. Additionally he twice collecting bronze medals at the World championships and representing Armenia at the 2016 Olympics. Gonzalez had won 7 of his last 8 fights.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Bantam: Saul Sanchez (14-1) W TKO 1 Daniel Lozano (15-10-1). Sanchez steam rollers a badly faded Lozano with three knockdowns in the opening round. Sanchez blasted Lozano with a series of heavy hooks and a body shot sent Lozano back into a corner and he dropped to one knee. After the count Sanchez again connected with some savage punches with Lozano again forced to take a knee. A couple of hard rights to the head saw Lozano dip with his knee clearly touching the canvas but the referee decided it was not a knockdown which cost Lozano any chance of a recovery as Sanchez pounded him with punches until he again dropped to a knee and the fight was stopped. Californian Sanchez, 23, collects the vacant WBA Fedecentro title with his eighth inside the distance finish. Lozano looked close to a world title fight when he beat Jonathan Vidal in 2014 but a loss to David Carmona blew that chance. His recent form is 0-6-1 and although the opposition has been tough he is only headed in one direction.
Shawinigan, Canada: Heavy: Arslanbek Makhmudov (11-0) W TKO 1 Dillon Carman (14-6). Super Middle: David Lemieux (42-4) W KO 5 Francy Ntetu (17-4). Super Middle: Lexson Mathieu (9-0) W KO 1 Tim Cronin (12-5-2).
Makhmudov vs. Carmen
With Makhmudov having won all of his fights inside the distance and Carmen having suffered five losses by KO/TKO the only question here was how long Carmen would last. How about 27 seconds! As Makhmudov came forward Carmen landed a glancing right to the head but was then forced back to the ropes. Makhmudov landed a light jab and then a stiffer half jab/half hook that snapped Carmen’s head back and Carmen went down. He started to rise and then dropped to a knee. When did get up he put his gloves on the referee to steady himself and then stood with his head bowed. The referee had a good look at him and decided to stop the fight at which point Carmen came to life and started protesting vigorously but the fight was over. The 31-year-old 6’ 5 ½” Montreal-based “Russian Lion” was making the second defence of the NABF title. He gets his eighth first round win but is currently unrated due to the lack of quality of his victims. Third inside the distance defeat in a row for former Canadian champion Carmen having been knocked out by Evgeny Romanov in 113 seconds and stopped by Simon Kean in three rounds. Makhumudov’s jab will not be one of the candidates for “Punch of the Week”
Lemieux vs. Ntetu
In a patchy performance Lemieux stops Ntetu in the fifth round. Lemieux was his normal fierce self in the first two rounds getting past the longer reach of Ntetu and forcing him to the ropes where he drove straight rights to the head through the guard of Ntetu and connected with solid body punches. Ntetu did a bit better in the third not spending so long on the ropes and finding time to land some counters of his own. Lemieux was raging again in the forth with Ntetu again having problems getting away from the ropes. Lemieux punished him with series of punches to head and body. Later in the round he rocked Ntetu with a couple of left hooks driving Ntetu along the ropes. As Lemieux followed him he walked onto a hard right counter that knocked him down. It was clearly a punch but the referee missed it and treated it as a slip. A right to the head in the fifth had Ntetu sliding along the ropes and down. He got to his feet but stayed against the ropes and Lemieux landed a left hook and a right that sent Ntetu down again and the referee stopped the fight. Lemieux looked fleshy and was fighting at his heaviest weight in his career but his power saw him through. Since being outclassed by Billy Joe Saunders in a WBO middleweight title fight in 2017 Lemieux has scored four wins over good level opposition but had to get off the floor twice in his split decision victory over Maksym Bursak in December. He is rated WBC 3/WBA 4/WBO 5 in the super middles a division which is in suspended animation right now waiting to find out what will happen with Saul Alvarez. With his exciting style there is always a chance Lemieux might get a shot at one of the other titles. After suffering inside the distance losses against David Benavidez, Marcus Brown and Erik Bazinyan Ntetu was inactive throughout 2019 and this was his first fight for two years.
Mathieu vs. Cronin
Mathieu continues to build his reputation as he puts away Cronin in the first round. Mathieu went after Cronin from the start driving him to a corner and then unleashing an array of punches until two left hooks to the body saw Cronin sag to the floor. Mathieu collects the vacant NABF title with win No 8 by KO/TKO. He looks a real talent. The 6’2” Cronin is 1-4-1 in his last six fights and this is the second time he has been stopped.
Caen, France: Middle: Matteo Signani (30-6-3) W TKO 2 Maxime Beaussire (29-3-1). This looked a risky fight for Signani as he was putting his European title on the line against Beaussire in front of Beaussire’s home fans and was facing a challenger with an impressive looking record. As it turned out it was an easy night for the Italian. Beaussire attacked strongly in the first rolling forward pumping out punches and having some success. Signani was mainly on the back foot but he was scoring with some accurate counters on the advancing Beaussire. The challenger was again plunging forward in the second. He was able to score with hooks inside but was leaving himself open to counters. Beaussire ignored the warning signs and as they came out of a clinch Signani had some punching room and he landed a perfect left hook which sent Beaussire down face first. He rolled over and somehow climbed to his feet and tried to indicate to the referee that he was able to continue. That did not fool the referee who waived the fight off and was quick enough to catch the Frenchman as he staggered along the ropes and was about to collapse in a corner. Major success has come late for the 41-year-old Italian. He is a former Italian and EU champion who had lost a split decision to Emanuele Blandamura before winning this title at the second attempt. His mandatory challenger is Martin Murray which should produce a good payday and he is rated No 10(8) by the IBF. This was Beaussire third attempt to win a European title having lost to Zakaria Attou for the EU title and Sergio Garcia for the EBU title with both fights at super welter so moving up a division has not helped.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Super Welter: Brando Thysse (13-2-1) W KO 3 Boyd Allen (5-1-1). Super Welter: Roarke Knapp (10-1-1) W TKO 2 Tristan Truter (8-3). Super Light: Jabulani Makhense (10-0,1ND) W KO 1 Eric Kapia (22-4-2). Cruiser: Lebogang Mashitoa (8-1) W PTS 10 Keaton Gomes (6-2).
Thysse vs. Allen
Thysse produces a classic left hook to end a fight that was not by any description a classic. With Thysse having height and reach over Allen it was natural that Allen would try to get inside to work. Unfortunately too often Allen got inside and held and wrestled. Thysse did what clean work there was but found it hard to escape Allen’s clutches. Just seconds before the end of the third round Thysse finally saw a gap. Probably excited at the opening he did a little hippy jig and then belted Allen with a peach of a left hook. Allen went down heavily but climbed up unsteadily and drifted to a corner. The referee had a good look at Allen and rightly decided to stop the fight. Thysse therefore emerges as the winner of Rodney Berman’s 4@War tournament. A very profitable night for Thysse as he gets 60% of the $46,000 dollar prize, plus a diamond ring and the WBA and IBO Pan African Belts and equally important revenge for a split decision loss to Allen in May last year. Allen, formerly a MMA fighter, complained that the referee did not ask him to step forward after the count but it had been a heavy knockdown.
Knapp vs. Truter
In a battle for third and fourth place in the 4@War tournament Knapp blasts out Truter in the second round. Truter knew Knapp was a puncher and successfully boxed his way through the first round using his longer reach to fight at distance. The longer reach did not save him. In the second Knapp set Truter up with a hard left hook then put together a succession of punches that had Truter reeling and waving his arms erratically before a booming right that sent Truter to the floor with the referee not needing to count. The 22-year-old Knapp was knocked out in seven rounds by Thysse in the semi-finals of the tournament but he has skill and power and will make progress from here. The 4@War tournament has been a downer for Truter-literally. He had a seven bout winning streak when he was stopped in the tenth round by Boyd Allen in his semi-final and was crushed even earlier by Knapp here.
Makhense vs. Kapia
Makhense continues his winning ways with an impressive first round destruction of DCR’s more experienced Kapia. He floored Kapia for the first time with a right and a left to the top of Kapia’s head. The second came from a punch that landed on the back of Kapia’s head and luckily Makhense missed with two punches when Kapia had his knee on the floor. Makhense looked to have scored another knockdown but that was not counted and then he drove Kapia to the canvas with a succession of punches and the referee stopped the fight as Kapia fell to his knees. Fifth early win for Makhense a former Commonwealth Youth Championships bronze medal winner. He is No 1 in the South African ratings and holds both the WBA Pan African and IBF Continental titles. One to follow. Kapia went 18-0-1 when he first turned pro but life gets tougher the higher you climb.
Mashitoa vs. Gomes
The last time these two met Gomes probably felt hard done by as he lost a split decision but from the scores it looked as though the judge who voted for Gomes might have been having an off day. No such complaints this time. In a scrappy match southpaw Mashitoa boxed rings around Gomes being too quick and too busy never giving Gomes the chance to make use of his reach advantage. Gomes was docked a point for holding but it was not a factor in the scoring as Mashitoa won widely on the cards. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 97-92 for Gauteng champion Mashitoa.
London. England: Middle: Liam Williams (23-2-1) W KO 1 Andrew Robinson (24-5-1). Heavy: Nathan Gorman (17-1) W PTS 10 Richard Lartey (16-2-1). Super Middle: Willy Hutchinson (13-0) W TKO 1 Jose Fandino (15-8).
Williams vs. Robinson
Williams retains the British title with first round win over Robinson. This one was almost over when they cracked heads together at the start of the fight. There was a suspicion that it was more a butt from Williams than an accident. Both fighters were cut. Robinson was cut over his left eye and seemed dazed. Williams might have had in mind his cuts loss to Liam Smith. On this occasion his cut was high on his hairline but to rule out any chance of cuts becoming a factor Williams blitzed Robinson who still looked dazed. Williams connected with a couple of head punches and then drove home a left hook to the body that sent Robinson down and he was rising when he was counted out. The 28-year-old Welshman has scored victories over Mark Heffron, Karim Achour and 26-1-1 Alantez Fox. He is rated No 2 by the WBO and No 3 by the WBC so can look forward to a title fight in 2021. Robinson scored an excellent win last year when he travelled to Poland and outpointed 41-0-1 Damian Jonak.
Gorman vs. Lartey
Gorman returns with a win as he decisions Lartey in a poor contest. Gorman looked slow and it was obvious from his career highest weight of 273 ¾ lbs that he was not in top shape. Luckily Lartey was also at his career highest of 256 ¼ lbs so there would be no fancy footwork in this fight. Gorman was able to control the fight with his jab with Lartey lacking the tools to really compete and the pace of the fight was pedestrian. Neither fighter was seriously inconvenienced and there was an excess of holding which made a dull fight ever duller but the important thing for Gorman was a win and some ring time. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-92 for Gorman, first fight for Gorman since a fifth round kayo loss against Daniel Dubois in July 2019. He will improve on this with a bit more activity. Lartey was knocked out by Dubois in four rounds in April 2019 so had 18 months of rust to shake.
Hutchinson vs. Fandino
Scot Hutchinson wastes no time in disposing with Spanish visitor Fandino. After a quick scan to see what Fandino brought to the fight Hutchinson cut loose. He put Fandino down with a bunch of punches and although Fandino got up another fierce attack from Hutchinson had Fandino dazed and on shaky legs and the referee stopped the action. Nine wins by KO/TKO for the tall Scot and the second time in a row he has ended a fight within the first three minutes. Spaniard Fandino was knocked out in seven rounds by Sergio Martinez in Martinez’s return to the ring in August.
Mecklenburg, Germany: Super Middle: Sebastiano Lo Zito (20-1) W PTS 10 Frane Radnic (11-18). Southpaw Lo Zito “The Sicilian Stallion” comfortably holds onto his German International title with unanimous decision over Croat Radnic. Lo Zito’s record is heavily padded and not a reflection of his ability. Croatian champion Radnic is even worse than most of Lo Zito’s victims having lost his last 18 fights now but usually goes the distance with only four losses by KO/TKO
Fight of the week (Significance): Navarrete’s win over Ruben Villa was the big fight of the weekend
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Nothing stood out
Fighter of the week: Robin Krasniqi for resurrecting his career with victory over Dominic Boesel
Punch of the week: So many to choose from. Brandun Lee and Janelson Figueroa both flattened their opponents with real thunderbolts and the left hook from Andre Thysse that dropped Boyd Allen was a beauty as was the left hook from Matteo Signani that ended Maxime Beaussire’s hopes of a European title but I go for the driven left from Zhanibek Alimkhanuly that destroyed Gonzalo Coria.
Upset of the week: Robin Krasniqi was not expected to beat Dominic Boesel
Prospect watch: Welterweight Brandun Lee 20-0 is worth following to see
Good to see boxing return in the Philippines as they utilise the “bubble” that has worked so well elsewhere.
Rodney Berman has brought boxing back in South Africa so another good sign
A welcome also to the show in Shawinigan Canada which was the first show since COVD-19 stopped the sport there. All of the boxers had been in isolation for two weeks before the October 10 card.
Encouraging for German boxing that the TV coverage of Krasniqi vs. Boesel, the first televised German boxing for some time drew 2.5 million viewers and a crowd of 2000 attended the show in Magdeburg. There was also a good crowd for the European title fight in Caen, France.
Not all good news on the virus front as the French heavyweight title fight in Paris between Newfel Ouatah and Nicolas Wamba was cancelled due to a member of Wamaba’s team testing positive for the virus.
Nothing boring about Denys Berinchyk. His acrobatic-like high wire chairlift ride from roof to ring centre is just one more of his exotic ideas. He once came to the ringside on a horse and appeared in the Ukrainian TV show Dancing with the Stars. And he can fight-honest!
Berinchyk was not the only one making a dramatic entrance at the weekend as Maxime Beaussire wore a steel helmet and was accompanied into the ring by a procession of knights in armour to celebrate Normandy heritage. Unfortunately Italian Matteo Signani ruined the party by stopping Beaussire in two rounds.
The father of welterweight Janelson Figueroa certainly got his unbeaten son some attention as he released a video of Janelson flooring Teo Lopez with a powerful right in a spring session. Lopez’s father protested that Teo was a teenager at the time but a knockdown is a knockdown
In this age of macho nicknames it was lovely to see Maxi Hughes shorts emblazoned with “Grandad”. Now that’s family.
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