By Eric Armit
-Terrence Crawford Stops Kell Brook in three rounds to retain the WBO welterweight title
-Huge controversy over No Decision ruling in the WBA super flyweight title fight between Joshua Franco and Andrew Moloney
-Denzel Bentley gets injury win over Mark Heffron in their return fight for the British title
-The 6’8 ½” German Christian Thun and Cuban Jose Larduet get wins in heavyweight action
-Prospects Tyler Howard, Ray Muratalla and Duke Ragan victorious in Las Vegas
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Terrence Crawford (37-0) W TKO 4 Kell Brook (39-3). Super Fly: Joshua Franco (17-1-2,1ND) ND 2 Andrew Moloney (21-1,1ND). Bantam: Joshua Greer (22-2-2) DRAW 8 Edwin Rodriguez (11-5-2). Middle: Tyler Howard (19-0) W PTS 8 KeAndrae Leatherwood (22-8-1). Light: Ray Muratalla (11-0) W TKO 3 Luis Porozo (15-5). Feather: Duke Ragan (3-0) W PTS 4 Sebastian Gutierrez (1-1).
Crawford vs. Brook
Another imperious performance from Crawford as after a slow start he finished Brook in the third.
A round in which neither fighter committed himself to even throwing purposeful jabs. Both were tentative and one strong left jab which stopped Crawford in his tracks was enough for Brook to take the low action round.
Score: 10-9 Brook
Once again a cautious start from both fighters. Brook connected with his jab early. Late in the round Crawford clipped Brook with a right to the head but jabbing from Brook just gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Brook Brook 20-18
There was more action in this one as Crawford went on the offensive. Brook landed some good right counters but Crawford ended the round strongly with some punches inside to take the round.
Score:10-9 Crawford Brook 29-28
After some early sparring as Brook walked in throwing a right Crawford slammed a right jab to the head of Brook who stumble sideways across the ring and half way out through the ropes. Brook disentangled himself from the ropes but as he was doing so Crawford landed three heavy punches before the referee jumped in and gave Brook a standing count. When the action resume Crawford banged home heavy punches to the head from both hands and Brook fell back into the ropes and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight
Crawford retains the WBO title. The three-division champion from Omaha is now 15-0 in world title fights with his eighth consecutive inside the distance win. The mark of a great champion. He now wants Manny Pacquiao and it would be a great reward for Crawford for the brilliant career he has had so far. I honestly think it would be a bad move for Pacquiao as I feel he would then end his career with a loss but if there is enough money then it might happen. If not then Errol Spence is the fight every boxing fan should be rooting for. This may be the end for Brook. He looked very sharp for the first three rounds but fell apart quickly under Crawford’s punches. If he does retire then winning a world title and in 42 fights losing only to the best of the best in Gennady Golovkin, Errol Spence and Crawford is something he can be proud of.
Franco vs. Moloney
Franco retains the WBA title on a No Decision it being adjudged that damage to his right eye that prevented him from continuing after the second round was caused by a clash of heads. A hugely controversial decision which looked to be a basic injustice as the video replays showed no such clash and instead clearly showed punches from Moloney that started and increased the swelling
Sparkling opening round from Moloney. He was constantly moving stabbing out quick accurate and solid jabs through the middle of Franco’s guard and connecting with rights to the body. Franco was moving forward in a straight line and too slow to counter effectively.
Score: 10-9 Moloney
In the break Franco was getting treatment for a swelling under his right eye and that eye was already starting to close. Again Moloney was too quick for the static Franco scoring with his jab and quick bursts of punches. The referee halted the action half way through the round and asked the doctor to examining the effect of the swelling and although the eye was virtually closed the doctor allowed the fight to continue.
Score: 10-9 Moloney Moloney 20-18
Before the start of the third round the doctor examined Franco again and decided that Franco could not continue. Initially it looked as though Moloney was going to be declared the winner on a stoppage but then it was ruled a No Decision. The Nevada officials went to the replay official and after about 25 minutes they reported they had seen significant head clashes in the first round and confirmed the No Decision ruling. The replay did not seem to show any significant head clashes in the opening round but did show a solid jab that thudded on to the right eye of Franco with the swelling showing immediately and Moloney connected with a left hook and more jabs to the same point under Franco’s right eye. Continual replays showed no clash of heads that could have caused the swelling and in fact when Moloney did move inside his head landed on the left shoulder of Franco. The TV people watched and showed the first round over and over and totally disagreed with the decision and Bob Arum was absolutely incensed at Moloney being robbed of his victory. The problem will now be dumped into the laps of the WBA who at the very least must order a return match with parity on the purse split but that is small consolation for Moloney who looked to have gained revenge for the loss of his title to Franco in June but boxing also gets a black eye from this injustice.
Greer vs. Rodriguez
Another disappointing performance from Greer as he needs a big finish to earn a draw with Rodriguez. Greer was much the better boxer but he just did not work hard enough and faded in and out of the fight. That allowed Rodriguez to build a lead and Greer had to sweep the last two rounds for the draw. Scores 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Rodriguez. Greer had a 19-bout winning streak snapped in a points loss to Mike Plania in June so he should have been looking to make a statement here but instead has some hard thinking to do. Facing Greer marked a change for Rodriguez as his last five opponents had all been unbeaten with Rodriguez a respectable 3-1-1 in those five contests.
Howard vs. Leatherwood
This was not a good night for some of the favoured fighters on the undercard. Howard also struggled in what should have been a routine win for the younger man. Leatherwood made the better start putting Howard on the back foot and with Howard cut in a clash of heads in the second things were not going Howard’s way. He did better over the second half of the fight being helped when a tiring Leatherwood lost a point for continually holding in the sixth. It was anyone’s fight going into the eighth with the fighters being level on two cards. Howard pulled off the win by dropping Leatherwood with a body punch to win on scores of 77-73, 76-74 and 77-75. The 26-year-old Tennessee “Hercules” will learn from this one and come back stronger. Leatherwood has been matched tough with Andy Lee, Caleb Truax, Steve Rolls and Christian Mbilli all registering wins over the man from Tuscaloosa.
Muratalla vs. Porozo
Muratalla too quick, slick and powerful for Porozo. Muratalla used aggression and quick hands to take the first round but the best punch was a right to the head from Porozo to let Muratalla know he was in a fight. Muratalla repaid Porozo in the second shaking him with a fast accurate four-punch combination and scoring with a hurtful right to the body. Muratalla connected with a sweet right uppercut in the third but it was body punches that undid Porozo. Three consecutive strikes from Muratalla’s left hook saw Porozo drop to a knee. He was up at six but had lost his mouthguard so managed some additional recovery time as it was reinserted. When the fight continued Muratalla forced Porozo to the ropes and landed a series of punches that dropped Porozo in a heap in a corner and the fight was stopped. Ninth inside the distance win for the 23-year-old from California and his sixth in a row as he continues to make good progress. Ecuadorian Porozo suffers his fifth loss in his last six fights.
Ragan vs. Gutierrez
Ragan is still new to the pro ranks and has yet to be really tested. He did his job here against the much taller Gutierrez flooring him in the second and winning every round with the scores being 40-35 from the judges. The talented 23-year-old from Cincinnati scored wins over Ruben Villa and Lee McGregor in the amateurs. He could have boxed in Tokyo but instead chose to turn pro. Gutierrez in way over his head.
South Kirkby, England: Super Welter: Tursynbay Kulakhmet (2-0) W PTS 10 Macaulay McGowan (14-1-1). Welter: Jack Rafferty (13-0) W PTS 8 Tom Hill (9-2). Welter: Paddy Donovan (5-0) W PTS 6 Jumaane Camero (10-7).
Kulakhmet vs. McGowan
New Kazak hope Kulakhmet outclasses McGowan. Kulakhmet was in charge from the start putting McGowan under pressure in sweeping the first four rounds. McGowan managed to get into the fight briefly in the fifth but seemed to be fighting only to survive. Kulakhmet floored McGowan with a clubbing right in the seventh but McGowan beat the count and a frustrated Kulakhmet lost a point in the eighth for pushing McGowan to the canvas as the Englishman defied Kulakhmet’s efforts to end the fight early. Scores 99-89 for Kulakhmet on the three cards. The 26-year-old Kulakhmet wins the vacant WBC International title in only his second pro fight. He won a gold medal at the Asian Youth Championships and the Asian Games and a bronze at the World Championships. McGowan was up at ten rounds for the first time and had won his last four fights.
Rafferty vs. Hill
Rafferty starts strongly and finishes strongly to take the referee’s verdict over Hill. This was a hard-fought entertaining fight with both handing out and absorbing some stick as you might expect with two fighters nicknamed “Demolition Man” and “One Bomb” respectively. Referees score 78-75 for Rafferty. A former Elite level amateur Rafferty was in his first eight round contest. Hill was trying to rebuild after a fourth round TKO loss to Ellis Corrie for the BBB of C Northern Area title.
Donovan vs. Camero
Limerick southpaw Donovan takes another move forward as he decision’s Londoner Camero. Donovan showcased some slick skills and accurate counter punching. Camero pressed hard but lacked the power or speed to compete. Referee’s score 60-55 for Donovan. The 21-year-old Andy Lee trained Irishman won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships and gold at the Irish Under-18’s as well as competing at the World and European Youth Championships. Camero had won his last three fights.
London. England: Middle: Denzel Bentley (14-0-1) W RTD 4 Mark Heffron (25-2-1). Middle: Caoimhin Agyarko (8-0) W TKO 7 Robbie Chapman (6-6). Light Heavyweight: Tommy Fury (4-0) W TKO 2 Genadij Krajevskij (0-12).
Bentley vs. Heffron
After fighting to a draw with Heffron in September Bentley wins this return bout as Heffron is forced to retire with his left eye swollen shut. The first round was Heffron’s as he was scoring with jabs to the body and connected with a strong right and a left hook to the body. Heffron was quicker with his jab at the start of the second but then Bentley went on the front foot scored with a thudding right and followed that with succession of hard rights to the head. Bentley found the range with his jab and bombarded Heffron with punches with Heffron in disarray and it was clearly Bentley’s round. Heffron was showing an ugly swelling under his left eye from those rights and already the eye was closing. Bentley targeted the swelling in the third landing some hard crosses there. Heffron scored with good rights and left hooks and finished the round with a fierce attack but time was running out with the swelling growing bit by bit. Bentley found the target with more rights in the fourth with Heffron throwing big punches trying to turn the fight his way but by the end of the round the swelling had closed Heffron’s left eye completely and sensibly he was pulled out of the fight. Bentley, 25, wins the vacant British title and will now be aiming to build on his No 14 rating with the WBO. Heartbreaker for Heffron, 28, having lost to current WBO No 1 Liam Williams for the same vacant British title 2018. The injury spoiled what was sure to have been a fiercely competitive and entertaining fight.
Agyarko vs. Chapman
Impressive performance from Agyarko as he dominates and then stops a willing Chapman. The switch-hitting Agyarko showed early that he had the quicker hands and better skills. He constantly pierced Chapman’s guard with strong jabs and worked well with hooks to the body. He rattled Chapman with a sharp left hook late in the third and with some body shots in the fourth. Chapman was willing to trade when he could particularly in a free swinging fifth but did not have the power to compete. In the seventh a right cross suddenly had Chapman’s legs doing an involuntary dance and Agyarko exploded with a succession of head punches that had Chapman swaying and defenceless and the fight was stopped. The 23-year-old Belfast-based “Black Thunder” gets his fourth consecutive inside the distance win. A former Irish Youth and Senior champion (he boxed as Caoimhin Agyarko Hines) he looks a very good prospect with excellent skills and real power in his punches. He survived a horrendous knife attack in 2017 we he had his throat slashed and had to undergo emergency surgery but was back in the ring within five months and winning trophies. Fifth loss in a row for Chapman who comes to fight and entertain.
Fury vs. Krajevskij
With elder brother Tyson watching Fury blasts out Krajevskij in two rounds. Fury was too quick for the limited Krajevskij in the first. He was stabbing out jabs then moving in quickly with some shots inside. Krajevskij relied on crude rushes and Fury was able to connect with hooks and uppercuts as Krajevskij lunged forward. The second was an untidy round with far too much wrestling but just seconds before the bell Fury connected with a devastating right uppercut that had Krajevskij on the way down with Fury landing three more punches but the right was the finisher. The 21-year-old from Manchester who appeared on the Love island reality show, gets win No 3 by KO/TKO. Although he is Tyson’s brother he is just 6’0” tall. I guess there was not much height left in the family bank when he was born. British-based Lithuanian Krajevskij has yet to win a fight so they were taking no chances with Tommy here.
Benavidez, Argentina: Middle: Alejandro Silva (12-0-1) W Javier Maciel (33-9). Super Light: Jeremias Ponce (26-0) W TKO 1 Ruben Lopez (13-14-4).
Silva vs. Maciel
On this Marcos Maidana promotion Silva took a close unanimous decision over seasoned pro Maciel in a fast-paced, entertaining fight. Silva used hand speed and good movement to outbox Maciel in the opening rounds with Maciel pressing hard and looking the heavier puncher. Silva was moving around Maciel to find angles for his punches with Maciel having success when he could pin Silva to the ropes. In the fifth a left uppercut from Maciel dropped Silva face down on the canvas. It looked over as he did not move for three or four seconds but then pushed to his feet. A combination of movement and holding from Silva and wildly inaccurate punching from Maciel allowed Silva to survive and he was fighting back by the end of the round. From there Silva dominated the action out-manoeuvring and outpunching Maciel and by the end he looked to have won by a wide margin but the Judges had it close. Scores 95-94 twice and a more accurate score of 97-92 all for Silva. The 27-year-old “Raven” is the national champion but his title was not on the line in this fight. He had won 7 of his last 8 fights by KO/TKO but 37-year-old Maciel, who came in as a late substitute, has a strong chin. Maciel lost to Dmitry Pirog in a fight for the WBO middleweight title in 2011 but now fills the role of travelling loser having lost his last three fights on the road.
Ponce vs. Lopez
Ponce stops Lopez in 2:30 of the opening round. Ponce towered over the 5’ 5 ½” Lopez and used his reach to force Lopez onto the back foot. Ponce was stalking Lopez around the ring landing jabs and throwing long rights with Lopez darting in with an occasional burst of punches. When Lopez launched another of his attacks Ponce landed a wicked right to the body. Lopez momentum saw him throw a couple of punches before the pain from the body shot kicked in and he collapsed to his knees. He was up at eight and as boxers often do walked towards a corner with his back to the referee who signalled to the retreating Lopez to turn and raise his gloves. The referee then waived his arms to end the fight as an unbelieving Lopez turned to find the fight was over. He protested bitterly but the decision had been made. The 24-year-old Ponce, the IBO champion, gets his sixteenth inside the distance victory and is rated IBF 7(6). Lopez, 37, is 1-6-1 in his last 8.
Luis Guillon, Argentina: Super Middle: Marcelo Coceres (29-1-1) W PTS 10 Sebastian Papeschi (15-3). Bantam: Luciano Baldor (16-2) W PTS 10 Hector Gusman (15-7). Fly: Junior Zarate (14-2) W PTS 8 Abel Silva (5-6-3).
Coceres vs. Papeschi
Coceres wins a unanimous decision over former South American champion Papeschi. It was southpaw Papeschi who edged the first round but almost met disaster in the second. A left to the head from Coceres put Papeschi down heavily and he only just survived. From there it was a close fight with first one and then the other having periods of dominance but with Coceres holding on to the advantage from the knockdown and just being quicker and more accurate. Scores 97-92, 97 ½ -94 and 96-95 for “El Terrible” Coceres. He was having his first fight since an eleventh round kayo loss to Billy Joe Saunders last November for the WBO super middle title. He gave Saunders a rough night with the scores at the finish being 96-94 twice for Saunders and 96-94 for Coceres. Typically in this cynical sanctioning body world he was parachuted into the WBO ratings at No 10 to qualify for the fight and then promptly thrown overboard and dropped completely from the ratings despite giving Saunders such a hard fight. Papeschi is the No 1 challenger for the Argentinian title
Baldor vs. Gusman
Baldor adds another title to his collection as he decisions Gusman. When they met in a six round fight in June last year Baldor took a wide points decision. No real difference this time. Being 5’ 11 ½” (181cm) Baldor sets a difficult problem for any bantamweight and Gusman never came close to solving it. Baldor was able to score consistently with his jab at distance and also land some tasty right crosses. Gusman could not stay inside long enough to do any damage and his frustration was evident in the tenth when he lost a point for holding. Scores 100-89 for Baldor on all three cards as he gathers win No 10 in a row. He won the vacant WBA Fedebol title to add to the Argentinian and South American titles he already holds. Seven losses in his last eight fight for Senor Gusman.
Zarate vs. Silva
Zarate was also going over old ground as he registered his second points victory over Abel Silva. Zarate came out on top again on scores of 78 ½-75 ½ 77 ½ -75 ½ and 77-76 ½ The 31-year-old “Demon” was a leading light in the amateur ranks in Argentina representing them at the 2007 World Championships and the 2011 Championships where he decisioned future WBC flyweight champion Charlie Edwards. He has struggled a little as a pro but has reversed both of his losses. Silva suffers his sixth consecutive defeat,
Llanquihue, Chile: Super Feather: Junior Cruzat (8-0) W TKO 3 Juan Jimenez (8-10,1ND). A focused body attack from Cruzat disposes of Jimenez inside three rounds. A series of left hooks to the body had Jimenez dropping to one knee in the first. He bounced up and tried to punch with Cruzat but was put down by another left hook to the ribs. He was slower getting up but then went toe-to-toe with Cruzat to the bell. Cruzat continued to score with body punches in the second but Jimenez took the punishment and traded blows throughout the round. More shots to the body forced Jimenez to one knee in the third. After the count Cruzat piled on the punches until Jimenez turned away from the action and walked back to his corner with the referee stopping the fight. Jimenez indicated he had injured his right arm but was taking a beating. The 19-year-old Cruzat signed with Australian Dragon Fire team led by Australian Tony Tolj in May and this is his first fight under that banner. Five losses in a row for Jimenez.
Mantova, Italy: Super Light: Mohamed Khalladi (15-8-1,1ND) W KO 7 Arblin Kaba (12-1). Welter: Tobia Giuseppe Loriga (32-8-3) W PTS 10 Dario Socci (12-6-2,1ND).
Khalladi vs. Kaba
Khalladi registers his second dramatic win in two months as he flattens Kaba in the seventh round. When Andrea Scarpa pulled out of the Italian title fight with Kaba it was a big risk taking Khalladi as a very late substitute after his chilling one punch kayo of Domenico Valentino in September. The risk looked small when Kaba took the fight to Khalladi in his normal aggressive fashion rocking Khalladi in the opener and putting him on the floor in the second. Khalladi beat the count and gradually altered his tactics boxing to create some space and frustrate Kaba’s attacks. Kaba was trying to swing the fight his way in the seventh but as he went to throw a wide right Khalladi beat him to the punch and landed a thunderbolt of a right to the jaw which sent Kaba to the canvas flat on his back and out. Tunisian Khalladi, 32, was a very unimpressive 10-8-1 after losing to Anthony Yigit in February last year but has since won five fights in a row including upset victories over 21-3 Marcello Matano, Valentino and now Italian champion Kaba. The work may dry up if continues to look so dangerous. Kaba’s title was not on the line but that bolt of lightning from Khalladi shattered his unbeaten tag.
Loriga vs. Socci
Loriga retains the Italian title with majority decision over Socci. It might have been expected that the 43-year-old Loriga would start fast and then fade but it worked out the other way. It was Socci who went in front early with some brisk work with his jab and straight rights. He had the edge until pressure from Loriga began to tell from the fourth. He was getting past Socci’s jab to work to the body and gradually took control over the second half of the fight outworking the younger man to take the decision. Scores 96-94 twice for Loriga and 95-95. Loriga has been a pro for 17 years. When he originally launched his career he went 24-0-1 before losing to Julio Cesar Chanez Jr. On the domestic front he has been Italian champion in two divisions and is 4-2-2 in domestic title fights. Socci turned pro in the USA and has also fought in Germany, Mexico, South Africa, the Czech Republic and the UK and in fact this was his first fight in Italy in his eight year career.
Auckland, New Zealand: Super Welter: Andrei Mikhailovich (13-0) W PTS 8 Marcus Heywood (4-3-1). Cruiser: David Light (16-0) W TKO 1 Lance Bryant (12-8). Light: Richie Hadlow (2-0) W PTS 5 Nort Beauchamp (18-3) . Cruiser; John Parker (5-0) W TKO 2 Jason Tuala (2-2).
Mikhailovich vs. Heywood
Mikhailovich wins the vacant New Zealand title with unanimous decision over Heywood. Mikhailovich clearly outscored Heywood over the first two rounds but Heywood came into the fight over the middle rounds to make it close before Mikhailovich finished strongly to take the two closing rounds. Mikhailovich a clear winner but he looked laboured at times. He has done most of his fighting at middleweight and did not seem to have the same power at the lower weight. Now 22 Mikhailovich has a remarkable story. A couple in Auckland watched a documentary on an orphanage in Russia in which baby Mikhailovich and his brother appeared. The New Zealand couple then adopted the two kids and brought them to New Zealand. Heywood was unbeaten in his last four fights.
Light vs. Bryant
“The Great White Shark” continues to gobble up the opposition as he racks up his tenth win by KO/TKO. Light had finished Bryant in two rounds in 2018 this time he blasted Bryant out in the first to retain the national title. The 28-year-old Light has beaten good level Australians Mark Flanagan and Trent Broadhurst and should now be looking to move up to better opposition to improve his No 8 rating from the WBO. The youngest of eight children Light was New Zealand amateur champion at heavyweight and won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. “Buster” Bryant, 40, extends his losing sequence to five fights.
Beauchamp vs. Hadlow
Surprise result on the surface as Beauchamp struggles against inexperienced Hadlow but Hadlow’s lack of pro fights hides a considerable amount of amateur success. Beauchamp had trouble with the naturally bigger Hadlow who boxed mainly as a light welterweight in the amateurs. The rounds were close but Hadlow just had the edge. Thai-born southpaw Beauchamp (Anut Srijan) was 12-1 in his last 13 fights including a victory over Joel Bruckner but was having only his second fight since July 2018. Hadlow, 32, was New Zealand champion in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.He won a gold medal at the Oceania Games and competed at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 so a lot of experience but at 32 it will be difficult for him to win big as a pro.
Parker vs. Tuala
There is another Parker in New Zealand but John is younger and smaller than brother Joseph. Tuala came in as a late substitute but never had a chance and the fight was halted in the second round. Parker was twice New Zealand Youth champion but at 5’9 ½” and having fought at just over the light heavy limit in the amateurs he is going to struggle against natural 200lbs fighters. He finished his days as an amateur in 2012 but a wrist injury kept him out of the ring until 2016. Even then his troubles were not over as a routine brain scan in 2018 showed a brain aneurysm which required surgery and he was out of the ring for over three years before returning to action last month. Tuala was having only his second fight in almost four years.
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Christian Thun (6-0) W TKO 3 Mirko Tintor (15-4-1). Heavy: Jose Larduet (4-0,1ND) W TKO 1 Ferenc Urban (7-2).
Thun vs. Tintor
The German Giant Thun, 28, wins the vacant IBO Continental title with stoppage of southpaw Tintor. At 6’8 ½” “The Hurricane” was just too big and strong for the obese Tintor who held and wrestled to survive. Thun scored a knockdown in each of the first two rounds before the fight was stopped with Tintor citing an injury to his left bicep. Thun spent ten days sparring with Anthony Joshua in preparation for this fight. He gets his fourth win by KO/TKO and his first pro title. Thun took up boxing whilst studying economics in London and took his first steps in boxing at the old Peacock gym. Bosnian Tintor was a late substitute. He suffers his fourth loss in his last five fights but the win in that sequence was over 16-1 Mohamed Soltby which gave him some respectability as an opponent for Thun
Larduet vs. Urban
Larduet brutalises poor Urban. The Cuban put Urban down three times with heavy head punches before the fight was stopped after just 76 seconds. The 30-year-old 6’4 ½” Larduet won a cupboard full of trophies as an amateur. If there is a concern it is over his weight control. He started out fighting at 178lbs as an amateur and was 266lbs when he turned pro. Hungarian cruiser champion Urban was too small and giving away too much weight.
London, England: Super Middle: Jack Cullen (18-2-1) W PTS 10 John Docherty (9-1). Bantam: Ukashir Farooq (14-1) W PTS 10 Angel Aviles (20-6-1). Light Heavy: Thomas Whittaker Hart (5-0) W PTS 8 Jermaine Springer (7-2).
Cullen vs. Docherty
Cullen climbs off the floor to outpoint previously unbeaten Docherty. The fight started very badly for Cullen as he found himself on the canvas within the first thirty seconds of the contest. Cullen beat the count and the rebounded to take the second. A clash of heads saw Docherty cut over the right eye in the third as Cullen made good use of his longer reach. From there the rounds were close and only a stronger finish from Cullen enabled him to walk away with a wafer-thin decision. Scores 96-94 twice and 95-94 for Cullen. Good win for Cullen. He is rebuilding after losing to Felix Cash for the British and Commonwealth titles in November. Setback for former top amateur Docherty but the young Scottish southpaw can also rebound.
Farooq vs. Aviles
Farooq much too talented for Mexican Aviles and wins a wide unanimous decision. This was to have been for the WBA Continental title but Aviles failed to make the weight so only Farooq could win the title which he did on scores of 100-90, 100-91 mad 99-91. First fight for the Pakistani-born Scot since losing by the smallest of margins again Lee McGregor for the Commonwealth and British titles in November. Aviles, a former IBO super fly challenger, had won his last eight fights.
Whittaker-Hart vs. Springer
Liverpool prospect Whittaker-Hart gets routine win as he moves up to eight rounds and builds his pro record. Referee’s score 79-74. The 25-year-old Whittaker-Hart was English and British champion in the amateurs and compete at both the European and World Championships. Springer played his part by making Whittaker-Hart work for his win.
Los Angeles, Ca, USA: Middle: Amilcar Vidal (12-0) W KO 2 Edward Ortiz (11-1-2). Heavy: Efetobor Apochi (10-0) W KO 2 Joe Jones (11-3).
Vidal vs. Ortiz
Vidal, one of the very few active professional boxers from Uruguay, halts Ortiz in two rounds. Vidal took his time working his way past the long reach of the 6’2” Ortiz but ended it in the second. Vidal connected with a powerful right over a lazy jab from Ortiz which sent Ortiz back to the ropes on unsteady legs. Vidal pounded on Ortiz and although Ortiz managed to work his way off the ropes he was driven there against and being bombarded with head punches until the referee stepped in-which he should have done much earlier. Eleventh inside the distance win for the 24-year-old Californian-based Vidal and his third victory over an unbeaten opponent. Texan Ortiz had collected victories over useful opposition in Kurtiss Colvin and Alexis Camacho but was blown away in this one.
Apochi vs. Jones
Apochi shows impressive punching power as he destroys Jones in three rounds. He floored Jones in the first with a burst of thumping head shots. Jones managed to beat the count but was down again in the second from a terrific right. Once again he arose and made it to the bell but another knockdown in the third saw the fight halted. The 33-year-old Houston-based Nigerian has won all of his bouts by KO/TKO. He studied microbiology at University in Nigeria whilst boxing as an amateur. He twice won a silver medal at the All-African Games and a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games where he scored a win over currently world rated Jai Opetaia. A bit late to call him a prospect but he can certainly punch. Second loss in a row for Jones.
Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Welter: Hass Mwakinyo (18-2) W TKO 4 Jose Carlos Paz (23-12-1).
Mwakinyo wins this WBFederation eliminator with stoppage of Paz. Mwakinyo’s strong jabbing put him in front from the first round. He handed out steady punishment over the first three rounds then ended the fight in the fourth. A body punch put Paz down and although he beat the count he was floored again. He made it to his feet but was against the ropes and taking heavy shots when the referee stopped the fight. Eighth win in a row for the 25-year-old Tanzanian who will now get a shot at the vacant WBFed world title. Paz has now lost his last five fights, all of them in different countries.
Windhoek, Namibia: Middle: Lukas Ndafoluma (18-3) W Christian Ukelo (7-8).
Ndafoluma returns with a win as he stops Ukelo in five rounds. Ukelo was competitive for a while and was giving Ndafoluma some trouble. He was attacking in the fifth but leaving himself open and Ndafoluma landed a big right that sent Ukelo flying back and down. He struggled to get to his feet but for some reason the referee stopped counting at eight and indicated for Ukelo to get up. When he did he just walked back to his corner making the decision the referee should have made. A needed win for “The Demolisher” Ndafoluma who was 2-2 in his last four fight with the losses in bouts in Kazakhstan and Russia. Seventh loss in a row for Ukelo.
Nadi, Fiji: Super Welter: Jese Ravudi (11-4-1) W TKO 9 Ronald Naidu (10-5-38
Ravudi vs. Naidu
In a clash of Fijian champions Ravudi gets revenge for loss against Naidu as he halts him in the ninth round to win the vacant WBFoundation title. Ravudi, the Fijian super welter champion, makes it 5 wins in his last 6 fights and victory No 5 by KO/TKO. Fijian welterweight champion Naidu had scored a unanimous decision over Ravudi in November.
Hwaseong, South Korea: Heavy: Sung Min Lee (7-1-1) DREW 10 Hyun Tae Bae (6-1-2). Light: Moo Hyun Kim (6-1) W KO 7 Dong Hyun Won (3-4).
Lee vs. Bae
Not much skill but plenty of honest endeavour here as Lee and Bae fought to a majority draw in a Korean title fight. Lee was taller but as the Korean cruiser champion he was giving away 25lbs in weight to heavyweight Lee. Really these two stood and knocked bits of each other over ten very competitive rounds. Scores 95-95 twice and 97-93 for Bae. Lee was making the first defence of the national title. He had won his last six fights. Base had won the cruiser title in February 2019 and this was his first fight since then. Neither of these fighters is going to progress above domestic level.
Kim vs. Won
Kim wins the vacant Korean title with seventh round stoppage of Won. Kim made a good start as he floored Won in the first and then broke him down gradually before knocking him over just three seconds before the end of the seventh round with the bell not able to save Won. First ten round fight and first title for Kim. At 36 Won is on the way out with his third loss in a row. Had to be careful how you write about Won. Who lost-Won-lost sounds like the cue for an Abbott and Costello classic sketch.
Fight of the week (Significance): Terrence Crawford’s win over Kell Brook might lead to a fight with Manny Pacquiao but if not then Shawn Porter is his mandatory challenger.
Fight of the week (Entertainment)Nothing stood out.
Fighter of the week: Terrence Crawford as he goes 15-0 in world title lights
Punch of the week: Mohamed Khalladi again showed his power as he flattened Arblin Kaba with one right hand.
Upset of the week: Khalladi was just a late substitute and was definitely not expected to beat Italian champion Kaba
Prospect watch: Lightweight Ray Muratalla (11-0) looked very good in his win over experienced Luis Porozo
The furious debate will rumble on for some time over the No Decision verdict in Franco vs. Moloney. The video replay is meant to settle incidents such as this but the condemnation of the decision and therefore of those responsible for operating the process was almost universal.
Good to see two more shows in Argentina as the return gathers pace there and good to see Marcos Maidana promoting and not talking about returning to the ring.
Los Angeles: CA US: Light William Zepeda (21-0) vs. Roberto Ramirez (23-2-1). Super Feather O’Shaquie Foster (17-2) vs. Miguel Roman (62-13). Super Feather: Eduardo Hernandez vs. Eduardo Garza (15-2-1).
Three competitive matches on paper.
Dayton Beach, FL, USA: Light Heavy: Tavoris Cloud (24-3) vs. Ryan Soft (4-11-1).
First fight in over six years for former IBF light heavy champion Cloud
Mimi, FL, USA: Bantam: Melvin Lopez (23-1) vs. Brandon Benitez (15-2).
Reasonable test for Nicaraguan hope Lopez. Cuban Jorge De Jesus (18-0-1) and former WBC fly champion Cristofer Rosales may also be on the card
Rimouski, Canada: Super Light: Yves Ulysse (18-2) vs. Mathieu Germain (18-11) and Super Light Steve Claggett (28-6-2) vs. David Theroux (16-3),
Two good domestic matches and heavyweight Simon Kean will also fight on the card
Magdeburg, Germany: Unbeaten cruiser Roman Fress faces reasonable test in Italian Francesco Versaci
Rome, Italy: Adriano Sperandio and Luca Spadaccini fight for the vacant Italian light heavy title
Tokyo, Japan: Rikki Naito (22-2) defends the OPBF super light title against Yusuke Konno (16-4).
London, England: Conor Benn (16-0) defends the WBA Continental welter title against Sebastian Formella. Unbeaten heavyweights Fabio Wardley and Alen Babic also on the card
Los Angeles, CA, US: WBC No 1 lightweight Javier Fortuna (35-2-1) faces Mexican Antonio Lozada (40-4-1).
Tampa, FL, USA: Welter Harold Calderon (22-0) vs. Gustavo Vittori (23-6-1). Light Heavy: Radivoje Kalajdzic (24-2) vs. Denis Grachev (20-10-1)
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