By Eric Armit
-John Ryder outpoints Daniel Jacobs in WBA super middleweight eliminator
- Felix Cash survives two knockdowns to outpoint Magomed Madiev as middleweight
-IBF’s top rated super bantamweight Lee McGregor is held to a draw by Argentinian Diego Ruiz
-Noel Gevor out points Youri Kayembre Kalenda at cruiserweight
-Danny Dignum stops Grant Dennis
World Title/Major Shows
London, England: Super Middle: John Ryder (31-5) W PTS 12 Daniel Jacobs (37-4) . Middle: Felix Cash (15-0) W PTS 10 Magomed Madiev (15-1-2). Super Bantam: Ellie Scotney (4-0) W PTS 10 Jorgelina Guanini (9-4-2). Middle: Austin Williams (10-0) W TKO 6 Javier Maciel (33-16). Super Bantam: Hopey Price (7-0) W TKO 4 Ricardo Roman (14-13-3).
Jacobs vs. Ryder
Huge result for Ryder as he takes controversial split decision over Jacobs in a WBA eliminator. A quiet opening round saw Jacobs doing what scoring there was as he jabbed well and connected with a couple of rights. The pattern continued in the second as Jacobs continually circled away from Ryder’s powerful left and found the target with a left to the head and a straight right late in the round. In both the third and the fourth Jacobs just kept sliding jabs through the middle of Ryder's guard and adding in an occasional right with Ryder just not quick enough and not letting his hands go. Ryder just could not get into the fight as he was finding Jacobs too slick and quick and Jacobs did the scoring again in the fifth. Ryder changed tactics in the sixth. Now he was storming forward throwing punches and he landed a straight left to the head, his best punch so far, but he also had to absorb some heavy hits from Jacobs. Ryder took the seventh again getting inside and scoring with clubbing punches and the eighth saw him hunting down a vulnerable looking Jacobs scoring with a series of head punches with Jacobs switching to southpaw to try to stem the tide.. More of the same in the ninth, Jacobs scored with a couple of counters but now he had slowed and was having to stand and trade with Ryder and getting the worst of the exchanges and Ryder was even out jabbing him. The tenth was close but Ryder finished it with a strong attack and Jacobs looked to have edged the eleventh. There was not a great deal of action from two tired boxers in the last with Jacobs again probably just taking it. Scores 115-113 twice for Ryder and 115-113 for Jacobs. With Jacobs having taken the first five rounds clearly and finished just the better he can consider himself unlucky but if Ryder had started his charge earlier then he would have been a clear winner. Ryder was No 4 with the WBA and Jacobs No 9 so I am not sure how much this win will advance Ryder to a title shot as Saul Alvarez calls the shots on his fights and of course the WBA no longer have interim titles so it is a waiting game for Ryder. This was only the second fight in 15 months for Jacob and he undeniably struggled and floundered under Ryder’s pressure at times. At 35 he can’t afford any defeats so he will need to find a way back and soon.
Cash vs. Madiev
Cash has to take two counts and overcome a point deduction to take the unanimous decision over Madiev. Cash used his longer reach to score in the first and also landed some sharp left hooks to the body. Cash seemed to be boxing comfortably in the second when Madiev darted past his jab and connected with a sharp left hook that knocked Cash off balance and he went down on his hands and knees looking shaken. He was up immediately but in deep trouble as Madiev pounded him with left hooks to the body and neck-snapping uppercuts and he had to hold. For a few seconds a stoppage looked possible but by the end of the round Cash was standing and trading and landed two solid rights before the bell. Cash outscored Madiev in the third landing jabs to head and body and digging in some hurtful body punches but Madiev scored with a big right to the head late in the round. Cash also took the fourth, fifth and sixth using his reach to spear Madiev with jabs and working to the body with Madiev not closing Cash down quickly enough or throwing enough punches. The pace slowed in the seventh but Cash worked systematically with his jab over the eighth and ninth with Madiev too static and just not throwing enough punches. Cash was down early in the tenth as he tumbled back into the ropes from a punch from Madiev. He clutched the ropes so did not go down but was given a count. The punch had opened a bad cut over the left eye of Cash and Madiev sensed an opportunity and raced forward throwing punches with Cash clinching to smother the attacks and being deducted a point for holding. Cash steadied himself and they brawled to the final bell. Scores 95-92 twice and 94-93 for Cash. He collects the vacant WBC International belt. Cash outboxed Madiev for much of the fight but the two knockdowns made him look vulnerable particularly as Madiev-just four wins by KO/TKO-is not rated as a puncher. This was Madiev’s first fight outside of Russian and he looked strong but limited.
Scotney vs. Guanini
Scotney takes tight unanimous decision over Argentinian Guanini in an entertaining scrap and a good showcase for female boxing. Fireworks from the first bell as Guanini, the shorter boxer, tried to overwhelm Scotney with punches in the first. Scotney stood and traded with her but was being outworked. Scotney rocked Guanini with rights in the second. Scotney had a good third as she moved and boxed instead of brawling but was cut over her left eye in a clash of heads. The fight was conducted at a fast pace Scotney was at her best when she stuck with her boxing but Guanini kept up her swarming attacks. Scotney just had the edge as she was able to score at distance and she finished the stronger but ruined that when losing a point in the last round for holding. Scores 96-94 twice and 95-94 for Scotney who wins the vacant WBA Female Inter-Continental belt. Third loss in a row for former IBF Female super fly title holder Guanini.
Williams vs. Maciel
Williams uses a focused body attack to wear down and stop seasoned Argentinian pro Maciel. It all started brightly for Maciel as he opened the first round by scoring with a couple of rights to the body but then Williams connected with solid body punches of his own and had Maciel backing off. A straight left sent Maciel tumbling into the ropes and down. Maciel was up quickly but then spent a painful last minute as Williams connected with a series of body punches. There was nothing competitive about the fight. Maciel soaked up heavy punishment in each round but always did enough to convince the referee to let the fight continue and was dangerous with an occasional wild overhand right. Williams put Maciel down with a left to the body in the sixth. Maciel was up at seven but went down again under a series of punches. He was up again but looked finished and did not hold up his gloves when asked to do so. Instead the referee lifted them for him and then stopped the fight as Williams was unloading on Maciel again. Houston-based Williams, 25, was a good level amateur and this is his eighth inside the distance win as a pro. Maciel, 37, has lost his last ten fights but this is only the third time he has been beaten by KO/TKO.
Price vs. Roman
Price stops Mexican Roman in four rounds. Price had height and reach against Roman who had no idea how to overcome that. A straight left dropped Roman less than a minute into the fight. Roman survived but Price landed heavily to head and body over the second and third with Roman doing well to stay on his feet. Two lefts to the body forced Roman to one knee in the fourth and Price was lucky not to get disqualified for hitting Roman whilst he was on one knee. Roman made it to his feet but was trapped on the ropes just covering up when the referee stopped the mismatch. The 21-year-old Price won gold medals at English, British and European Junior level and gold at the Youth Olympic Games and silver at the Youth World Championships. Roman no sort of test as he has had just one fight each in years 2018,2019, 2020 and 2021and this is his sixth loss by KO/TKO
London, England: Middle: Danny Dignum (14-0-1) W TKO 6 Grant Dennis (I7-4). Super Bantam: Lee McGregor (11-0-1) DREW 10 Diego Ruiz (23-4-1).
Dignum vs. Dennis
Dignum retains the WBO European title with stoppage of Dennis. Southpaw Dignum put Dennis under pressure from the start with Dignum doing most of the scoring but Dennis showing some clever defensive work and countering well. Dignum suffered a cut on his left eyelid when their heads clashed in the third. Dignum was controlling the action with powerful jabs and connected with hard lefts in the fourth and fifth with Dennis struggling to stay off the ropes and in the fight. Early in the sixth a left from Dignum forced a badly shaken Dennis down on one knee. He beat the count but was very shaky and Dignum dropped him twice more with lefts. Dennis made it to his feet each time but the fight was stopped. Third successful defence for Dignum who is rated No 4 with the WBO which owes more to his having fought for their European belt than the quality of his opposition having been held to a draw by Andrey Sirotkin in his last fight in April last year. Dennis was stopped in eight round by Sirotkin in October 2020 and had won two four round fights in 2021
McGregor vs. Ruiz
Disappointment for McGregor as he has to settle for a draw against what should have been just a moderately competitive keep busy fight. McGregor came out punching and Ruiz spent much of the opening round fight with his back against the ropes. McGregor continued the pressure in the second but Ruiz found gaps for some useful counters. McGregor got through with some heavy shots in the third but was shaken by a left hook letting him know he was in a fight. McGregor dialled back the pressure in the fourth and fifth boxing and outscoring Ruiz. The Argentinian fired back and looked to have edged the sixth. The seventh and eighth were hard fought and both close with Ruiz looking to have taken the seventh and McGregor the eighth. From there McGregor had more left and finished the stronger and looked to nave enough to get the decision but the referee scored it 95-95. Following wins over Kamil Guerfi and Vincent Legrand McGregor is rated No 6 with the WBA and No 7 by the WBC but is actually the highest rated contender in the IBF ratings at No 3 as the first two positions are vacant. He is a long way from being ready to challenge Naoya Inoue and this result leaves him with some work to do to validate any of those high ratings. Ruiz had been stopped in nine rounds by Michael Conlan in 2019 but he should not have presented any real threat as he had lost 99-91 to 8-0 Shabaz Masoud from Stoke in November.
New York, NY: Super Bantam: Ariel Lopez (17-1-1) W PTS 8 Winer Soto (22-9). Super Feather: Jose Gonzalez (16-0-2 W PTS 6 Aaron Lopez (6-6).
Lopez vs. Soto
Lopez continues to rebuild with a unanimous decision over Colombian Soto on scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73. Second consecutive win for Lopez who was unbeaten in his first 16 fights before losing on points against Chilean Jose Velasquez in May last year. In his next fight Velasquez lost in a challenge to Murodjon Akhmadaliev for the IBF and WBA titles. Born in Mexico Lopez moved to New York with his parents when quite young and won a New York Golden Gloves title but his immigrant status is unsettled so that hangs over him even now. Fifth loss in his last six fights for Soto.
Gonzalez vs. Lopez
Southpaw “Chocolatito” Gonzalez remained unbeaten with a comfortable win over Lopez. Scores 60-54 twice and 59-55. Eighth consecutive win for Gonzalez but as with Soto five losses in his last fights for Mexican Lopez.
Concordia, Argentina: Super Feather: Ayrton Gimenez (14-0,1ND) W PTS Jonathan Arena (11-11-1).
Gimenez makes it seven consecutive victories as he decisions Arena. Gimenez boxed on the back foot over the first half of the fight scoring constantly with accurate counters and blocking nor dodging Arena’s attacks. From the sixth Gimenez took the fight to Arena and despite suffering a cut in the tenth emerged a comfortable winner. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for 22-year-old . The No Decision came in a fight that was abandoned due to a riot. Arena was coming off an unexpected win over useful 20-3-3 Kevin Acevedo.
Riga, Latvia: Cruiser: Noel Gevor (26-2) W PTS 12 Youri Kayembre Kalenga (27-7).
Gevor boxes his way to a clear victory over Kalenga in a fight that never really generated much heat. Kalenga did the better work in the first round landing a couple of meaty hooks as Gevor flitted around the ring just prodding with his jab. Gevor was more positive and stronger with his jabs in the second and drilled home some straight rights. Kalenga upped the pressure in then third and shook Gevor with a left nook just before the bell and Gevor was showing a small cut over his right eye. Kalenga applied plenty of pressure at the start of the fourth but over the second half of the round Gevor had his jab working well and just edged the round. Gevor had his best round so far in the fifth. He was finding gaps for his jabs catching the oncoming Kalenga with right counters and sliding away from Kalenga’s attacks. He then outboxed the slower Kalenga over the sixth and seventh. Kalenga looked to be tiring and from the eighth Gevor began to take some chances and stood trading punches scoring with hooks from both hands. That allowed Kalenga to also score and make the eighth close but Gevor’s more accurate punching gave him the ninth clearly. There was little that Kalenga could do to change things. He was just too slow and too tired and Gevor stuck to his back foot boxing slotting home jabs and scoring on the advancing Kalenga with straight rights and boxed his way comfortably to the last bell . Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 for Gevor. Gevor wins the vacant WBC Silver title. His losses have come against Krzys Wlodarczyk and Mairis Briedis. Despite fourteen months of inactivity he is No 4 with the WBC but I can’t see him as a threat to any of the current title holders. The Armenian-born German has stuck with Noel for his first name but is using his birth-name of Mikae3lyan also now. Kalenga, the WBC No 10, is powerful but slow and never really threatened Gevor in this fight.
Berazategui, Argentina: Super Bantam: Hector Sosa (13-0) W PTS 10 Mauro Barrios (5-5).
Sosa beats late substitute Barrios despite a last round knock down. Sosa was in control early with some choice body shots and looked close to ending the fight in the fifth. A standing count allowed Barrios a chance to recover. The pace slowed over the next three rounds with Sosa still having the edge but Barrios did enough to take the ninth and floored Barrios in the tenth with Sosa hanging on to the bell. Scores 97-91 twice and 96-94 for Sosa. He was supposed to defend his South American title but his original opponent pulled out very late and Barrios, the son of former WBO super feather champion Jorge Rodrigo Barrios, came in as a substitute having his first fight for two years.
Hyeres, Frane: Middle: Bruno Surace (21-0-2) W PTS 8 Victor Garcia (8-11-4).
French champion Surace, 23, keeps busy with comfortable win over Garcia. No real problems for Surace as he took the decision on scores of 79-73 twice and 78-74. After a couple of early draws he has won 18 in a row. A former French Universities champion he is still studying Law at Aix University. Garcia has won just one of his last twelve bouts.
Malaga, Spain: Light: Samuel Molina (19-1,1ND) W TKO 5 Victor Julio (16-3).
Third win in succession for Molina as he rebuilds after an inside the distance defeat against Artem Harutyunyan in September. Colombian Julio showed some good defensive work at the start of the fight but bit by bit Molina upped the pressure and finished the fight in the fifth as Julio went down under a series of punches and the fight was stopped. Tenth win by KO/TKO for Molina but he blotted his copy book having a win changed to a No Decision in a Spanish title fight when he tested positive for a banned substance. Three fights outside Colombia in a row and three losses in a row for Julio.
Badiadel Valles, Spain: Light: Frank Urquiaga (16-2-1) W PTS 6 Engel Gomez (8-5-1).
In his first fight for eleven months Peruvian-born Spaniard Urquiaga floored Nicaraguan Gomez in the first round but failed to finish the fight then and had to go the full six rounds for the win on a unanimous decision. Third fight for Urquiaga since losing a majority decision against Anthony Crolla in Manchester in November 2019. Fifth loss in a row for Gomez.
Brentwood, England: Super Light: Billy Allington (10-1-3) W PTS 10 Jamie Robinson (11-5-2).
Allington wins a split verdict over Robinson to collect the vacant English title. This was a classic small hall fight with not a great deal between them. After an aggressive start Allington then worked on the back foot slotting jabs through Robinson’s defence and landing right counters as Robinson came forward. Robinson had his success when he could get past Allington’s jab and when he could force Allington to stand and trade punches. They maintained a fast pace for the full ten rounds with Allington’s better skills and accurate jabbing just giving him the edge. Allington rocked Robinson twice with rights in the tenth as they both finished battered, bloodied and bruised. Scores 97-93 and 97-94 to Allington and 97-94 to Robinson. These two had fought to a draw lover eight rounds in March last year and they are well matched.
Sheffield, England: Heavy: Kash Ali (21-1) W TKO 6 Rhys Kaney (2-2).
Ali gets an inside the distance win but not much credit to be gained out of this one. He broke down and floored novice Kaney twice in the sixth for the stoppage. Sixth win in a row for Ali and his twelfth victory by KO/TKO but he needs much better opposition if he is going to break into the strong British heavyweight picture.
Fight of the week (Significance): John Ryder vs. Daniel Jacobs was the highest profile fight but its significance is difficult to measure as Saul Alvarez is not looking to defend any of the super middleweight titles he holds.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): A small hall ten rounder but Billy Allington vs. Jamie Robinson provide plenty of entertainment over the ten rounds.
Fighter of the week: John Ryder for his win over Daniel Jacobs.
Punch of the week: The left hook to the chin from Magomed Madiev that forced Felix Cash to take a count was spot on
Upset of the week: Lee McGregor only getting a draw against Diego Ruiz was unexpected
Prospect watch: Middleweight Austin Williams 10-0 is worth watching.
Only the poverty of major cards this week with just the Ryder vs. Jacobs fight anything like a top liner. It seems to be a feast or famine week by week this year.
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