By Eric Armit
-Emanuel Navarrete stops a gutsy Chris Diaz in the last round and remains WBO featherweight champion
-Kenshiro Teraji defends the WBC light fly title for the eighth time as he decisions Tetsuya Hisada
-Michael Magnesi retains the IBO super featherweight title with first round victory over Khanyile Bulana
-In Barcelona Sandor Martin outpoints Key Prospere in a European super light title defence and Andoni Gago is still European featherweight champion after a controversial technical draw against Gavin McDonnell with Kevin Lejarraga stopping Jez Smith.
-Felix Cash stops Denzil Bentley to unify the British and Commonwealth middleweight titles and Callum Johnson returns with a win
- Edgar Berlanga floors Demond Nicholson four times but has to go the full eight rounds as his streak of 16 consecutive first round wins comes to an end.
World Title/Major Shows
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Feather: Emanuel Navarrete (34-1) W TKO 12 Christopher Diaz (26-3). Super Light: Josue Vargas (19-1) W PTS 10 Willie Shaw (13-3). Super Middle; Edgar Berlanga (17-0) W PTS 8 Demond Nicholson (23-4-1). Light: Jamaine Ortiz (14-0-1) DREW 8 Joseph Adorno (14-0-2).Feather: Orlando Gonzalez (17-0) W PTS 8 Juan Antonio Lopez (15-9). Welter: Xander Zayas (8-0) W KO 1 Demarcus Layton (8-2-1).
Navarrete vs. Diaz
Navarrete stops challenger Diaz in the last round after an exciting title fight.
Good opening round for Navarette he was floating around the ring in his customary languid style poking jabs through Diaz’s guard and then unleashing a few powerful swings. Diaz was content to stay out of range but Navarette landed a couple of shots just before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete
Better from Diaz. He dropped a couple of rights over the top of lazy jabs from Navarrete then used quick lateral movement to avoid Navarrete’s attempts to close him down and landed a couple of nice hooks.
Score: 10-9 Diaz TIED 19-19
Total change of pace by Navarrete. He was quickly closing Diaz down and connecting with hooks and uppercuts. Navarrete kept pressing firing lots of punches. Navarrete is so unconventional the Diaz could never be sure what punch would be coming from where. Diaz regrouped and attacked at the end of the round but already there was a swelling under his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 29-28
Diaz was having a good round. Fast movement was frustrating Navarrete’s attempts to close him down and connected with a couple of crisp left hooks. Then suddenly it was not such a good round for Diaz. Navarrete started to throw a right and then instead let fly with a left hook and his feet were almost off the ground when it landed but it sent Diaz down. He got up and then dropped down on one knee before getting up at eight. He stepped in close to Navarrete and punched with him to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Navarette Navarrete 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Christopher Flores 39-36 Navarrete, Judge Patricia Moses Jarman 39-36 Navarrete, Judge Alex Levin 39-36 Navarrete.
An entertaining round. Showing no ill effects from the knockdown Diaz set out to control the action. He was quicker and was looking to exchange punches with Navarrete and connected with some good hooks. Navarrete spent most of the round on the back foot but again when he landed his power showed but Diaz just edge the round.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Navarrete 48-46
Another action-filled found. Diaz was taking the fight to Navarrete. He was forcing Navarrete onto the back foot walking through Navarrete’s counters and scoring with hooks to the body inside. Navarrete was landing heavy counters but could not keep Diaz out and Diaz rocked him a couple of times. Diaz was warned for kidney punches.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Navarette 57-56
The pace stayed hot as Diaz continued to try to walk through Navarrete but this time Navarrete was meeting him with bursts of counters. Diaz shrugged them off but in a clinch he again landed a punch to the kidney’s of Navarrete and the referee deducted a point*. Diaz was relentless but he was paying a price for his aggression and by the end of the round he was like a guy walking into a storm and being buffeted by the wind.
Score: 10-9 (10-8*) Navarrete Navarrete 67-64
Navarrete started the round with a series of long swinging hooks but again Diaz moved in close trying to deny Navarrete the room he needed for those dangerous long shots. Diaz was having some success but then Navarrete unleashed a salvo of hook and uppercuts and Diaz dropped to the canvas. Diaz was up at eight but a storm of punches from Navarrete forced him to his knees. He arose at eight and was now showing a gash under his left eye. There were only ten seconds left in the round but instead of trying to clinch Diaz traded punches with Navarrete.
Score: 10-7 Navarrete Navarrete 77-71
Official Scores: Judge Christopher Flores 79-69 Navarrete, Judge Patricia Moses Jarman 78-70 Navarrete, Judge Alex Levin 78-70 Navarrete.
Navarrete raked Diaz with punches early in the round but Diaz showed no sign of caving in and connected with some good hooks. Navarrete was fighting in bursts and in the act of throwing a combination he tumbled backwards to the floor. Not really surprising as Navarrete must have the worst footwork of any champion and poor balance. He was soon on the attack again with Diaz standing up well to the pressure.
Score: 10-9 Navarrete Navarrete 87-80
Diaz seemed to have recovered from the horrors of the seventh round and he outworked Navarrete getting in close and hooking to the body. Navarrete just let his punches go in isolated bunches and effectively took a breather.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Navarrete 96-90
Diaz was bouncing around as if it was the first round. He was darting in firing hooks and then tying Navarrete up inside. Navarrete put together some nice sequences of punches but Diaz simply outworked him.
Score: 10-9 Diaz Navarrete 105-100
Diaz came out throwing punches and Navarrete again found himself on the back foot as Diaz dug in with hooks to the body but then the energy seemed to drain from Diaz. Despite that he kept moving forward throwing tired punchers and Navarrete was also slowing. It looked as though this one was going the distance until Navarrete scored with two clubbing rights to the head. A left hook had Diaz stumbling and almost going down. Navarrete had Diaz’s head bouncing around with punches from both hands. The referee looked ready to step in when Diaz stumbled to one side and a push from Navarrete sent him to the canvas. The referee could have stopped it but he gave Diaz a count. Diaz was up at seven and looked in a bad way. Initially the referee stepped back to let the fight continue but then rightly decided to stop the fight. Navarrete was making the first defence of the WBO title with win No 29 by KO/TKO. Some sources say 28 but he scored a stoppage in a non-title fight in Mexico City in June last year but as it was not under the Commission there it shows as a No Decision). The featherweights are not one of the strongest divisions right now and I really can’t see his mandatory challenger James Dickens as any real threat to Navarrete. This was a highly entertaining fight due in no small part to the way the Diaz chose to take the fight to Navarrete and even in defeat the 26-year-old Puerto Rican must have boosted his stock. His other losses have been on points against Masayuki Ito for the vacant WBA super feather title and Shakur Stevenson.
Vargas v. Shaw
After an early scare southpaw Vargas settled into the fight and emerged a good winner. Vargas was coming forward confidently in the first when a right counter from Shaw had him staggering backwards. Shaw piled in throwing punches taking Vargas to the ropes and connecting with a series of punches. Vargas survived the storm and although Shaw remained dangerous on occasion Vargas controlled the rest of the fight. He was piercing Shaw’s guard with quick, accurate jabs and firing rapid lefts to the head. Shaw tried to counter but Vargas either used classy body movement to get around the punches or was stepping back quickly out of range. Shaw tried coming forward behind a high guard but uppercuts from Vargas quickly showed that was not a good idea. Vargas was just too quick for the one-paced Shaw and slowed Shaw with some juicy body shots. The fight became untidy late with too many clinches as they both tired. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for 22-year-old Puerto Rican Vargas. His only loss was a disqualification and he has won thirteen in a row with the last five all by decision. Shaw proved dangerous but limited.
Berlanga vs. Nicholson
It had to happen sometime and in his seventeenth fight Berlanga finally heard the bell to signal the start of the second round. He floored Nicholson four times but his streak of first round wins was snapped. In the first Berlanga was trying to line Nicholson up for some heavy rights but Nicholson moved well and had no real trouble getting through the first three minutes. Nicholson was looking to trade with Berlanga in the second and had some success. He went down under a shower of punches in the second but it looked more as though he tumbled forward rather than was knocked down. Berlanga piled on the punches but Nicholson survived. Nicholson was finding flaws in Berlanga’s defence in the fourth but went down again and this time it looked as though Berlanga threw him down. Berlanga was just too strong for Nicholson to really compete with. He showed no real respect for Berlanga’s reputation but he was the one who broke of the exchanges each time. A fierce attack from Berlanga had Nicholson reeling and going down for a third time in the fifth and taking some heavy punishment in the sixth and seventh. Berlanga came near to finishing it when he put Nicholson on the floor with a right in the eighth but Nicholson got up and was there at the bell. Scores 79-69 twice and 79-68 for Berlanga. Good experience for the 23-year-old. The 16 first round finishes had made it impossible to judge anything other than his power and it was evident here there was things that needed to be worked on. The only fighter to have beaten Nicholson inside the distance is Jesse Hart back in 2018. He had won five fights since then and proved a much needed test for Berlanga.
Ortiz vs. Adorno
A great little scrap sees Ortiz down twice but fight back hard and get a well deserved draw. Ortiz outboxed Adorno in the first before experiencing an almost disastrous second. Adorno connected with a savage left hook which had Ortiz bleeding heavily from a probably broken nose and then floored Ortiz with a vicious left hook. Ortiz made it through the round and then used his speed and better skills to get back into the fight and edge ahead. In the seventh an uppercut from Adorno sent Ortiz tumbling into the ropes which held him up resulting in Ortiz being counted. Ortiz had more left in the eighth but he could not claw back all of the points from the two knockdowns and had to settle for a majority draw with one judge having Ortiz the winner 76-74 and the other two scoring it 75-75. A loss to Gary Antuanne Russell at the US Trials prevented Ortiz from competing at the Rio Olympics and he showed some slick boxing here. Second successive draw for Adorno who had ended up all even against 14-7-3 Hector Garcia in January last year.
Gonzalez vs. Lopez
Puerto Rican Gonzalez also had an inside the distance streak ended in this fight as after ten wins by KO/TKO he had to go the full eight rounds for victory. Gonzalez took charge from the first but found fellow southpaw Lopez a better fighter than his record indicated. Gonzalez was sharper and outboxed Lopez over the first three rounds before rocking him with a blistering left in the fourth. Lopez just told Gonzalez to bring it on and they exchanged insults often. Lopez was strong and determined and opened a cut on the right cheek of Gonzalez in the sixth. He just could not match the hand speed of Gonzalez and was cut over his right late in the last round as Gonzalez fired his way to victory. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for Gonzalez. The 25-year-old from Puerto Rico is making steady progress and a step up to ten rounds can’t be far away. Lopez is limited but tough and drops to 3-7 in his last ten outing.
Zayas vs. Layton
Zayas obliterates Layton in under a minute. Zayas came out throwing punches. Layton tried to keep him out with jabs but a booming left hook sent him into a corner and Zayas exploded with punches to head and body until another left hook sent Layton slumping to the canvas and he was counted out after just 56 seconds. The 18-year-old Puerto Rican gets his fifth first round win. No need to rush him but he needs some useful ring time. Layton never had a chance.
Osaka, Japan: Light Fly: Kenshiro Teraji (18-0) W PTS 12 Tetsuya Hisada (34-11-2).
In his first fight for sixteen months Teraji makes a successful defence of the WBC title with wide unanimous decision over a strong and gutsy Hisada.
Hisada made a confident start taking the fight to the champion and getting the better of the exchanges in a low key round.
Score: 10-9 Hisada
Hisada continued to plunge forward with Teraji showcasing some slick skills. He was connecting with eye-catching rights and one of those landed and put Hisada on the floor. It was the first time Hisada had been dropped but he showed his fighting spirit by getting up and again taking the fight to Teraji.
Score: 10-8 Teraji Teraji 19-18
Hisada again showed some real aggression in this one. He piled on the pressure walking through counters from Teraji and scoring well to the body and outworking Teraji.
Score: 10-9 Hisada TIED 28-28
Teraji began to take control. Hisada found that even though he continued to have some success the speed and accuracy of Teraji’s work was giving him the edge and Teraji’s confidence was growing as he found the range after a slow start.
Score: 10-9 Teraji Teraji 38-37
Official Scores: Judge Yoshikazu Furuta 38-37 Teraji, Judge Hisatoshi Miyazaki 38-37 Teraji, Judge Masahiro Noda 40-35 Teraji
This was the best round so far. Teraji continued to pick up the points with his classy boxing and sharp counters. Hisada was not letting Teraji have things all his own way and he had some success as he upped his pace to make it a close round but Teraji was doing most of the scoring.
Score: 10-9 Teraji Teraji 48-46
Hisada was not letting up and again he attacked hard scoring with hooks and overhand rights. Teraji had upped his pace and he made Hisada pay for his aggression with some great counters and put together some exciting combinations and landed hurtful body punches.
Score: 10-9 Teraji Teraji 58-55
It was a case of for round 7 see round 6. Hisada was putting in a great effort expending lots of energy but the classy work from Teraji meant that Hisada saw very little reward for his efforts as Teraji was superior in defence and attack and although Hisada was making the rounds close he just could not find a way to win one.
Score: 10-9 Teraji ` Teraji 68-64
Another round for Teraji. He was outboxing Hisada and had more power. More and more Teraji was raking Hisada with body punches and although Hisada seemed to just absorb them and kept coming you had to feel they were having an effect.
Score: 10-9 Teraji Teraji 78-73
Official Scores: Judge Yoshikazu Furuta 78-73 Teraji, Judge Hisatoshi Miyazaki 78-73 Teraji, Judge Masahiro Noda 79-72 Teraji
Teraji continued to target Hisada’s body and the cumulative effect of that assault began to show in the round. Hisada was still full of aggression but his output dropped. Teraji dominated the action piercing the challengers guard with jabs and those body punches and it became to some extent a case of whether Hisada would make it to the final bell.
Score: 10-9 Teraji Teraji 88-82
Easily Teraji’s round as Hisada looked to be fading giving Teraji more room to set himself for his punches. He was scoring consistently to head and body whereas Hisada was unable to sustain his aggression and was no real threat to the champion.
Score: 10-9 Teraji Teraji 98-91
One thing Hisada still had was determination and he dredged up some energy to again be piling forward but that only made Teraji’s job easier as Hisada was right there in front of him. Teraji finished the round strongly making Hisada wince with a body punch and banging home some savage head punches.
Score: 10-9 Teraji Teraji 108-100
Hisada went down fighting. He once again drove forward with Teraji having to adjust to facing a rejuvenated challenger and a level of pressure that he had not had to deal with over the last four rounds. Teraji rose to the challenge and again the quality and accuracy of his punches more than offset Hisada’s brave final fling and Teraji took the round.
Score: 10-9 Teraji Teraji 118-109
Official Scores: Judge Yoshikazu Furuta 118-109 Teraji, Judge Hisatoshi Miyazaki 118-109 Teraji, Judge Masahiro Noda 119-108 Teraji
The 29-year-old Teraji was making the eighth defence of the WBC title. He has a complete set having won the WBC Youth, Japanese and OPBF titles. Fourteen of his eighteen fights have been title fights and he has the ability to unify the four versions of the title if the fights can be made. He is the son of a former Japanese middle and OPBF light heavyweight champion so quite a physical difference between father and son. Originally Teraji fought as Ken Shiro with the name taken from a famous manga character but under any name he is a very talented performer. At 36 it may be the end of the line for Hisada, a former Japanese champion, he lost to Hiroto Kyoguchi for the WBA title in his last fight in October 2019 so it might be a good time to put the gloves away as he is unlikely to get another shot.
Sydney, Australia: Heavy: Paul Gallen (11-0-1) W TKO 1 Lucas Browne (29-3).
Gallen blasts out Browne in less than two minutes. Browne came out poking and prodding with his left using his height and longer reach to force Gallen back to the ropes. Brown let fly with a couple of punches to the head but Gallen turned Browne to the ropes and then landed a series of rights that put Browne down. He was up at four and when the eight count was completed Browne tried to stand and punch with Gallen but Gallen staggered him with a right and then kept pounding Browne with rights until Browne went down again. Although he staggered to his feet the referee had waived the fight over after just 1:55. Sixth inside the distance for the 39-year-old Australian Rugby League player Gallen. He was giving away 7” in height and 33lbs but the 42-year-old Browne was pathetic and the win said more about Browne than Gallen who is tremendously strong but has only rudimentary technique. Nine of his victim had only five wins between them and the draw was three fights ago against 44-year-old Barry Hall who was having his only pro fight. Brown, a former holder of the secondary WBA title, had been knocked out in three rounds by Dave Allen in April 2019.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Light: Frank Martin (13-0) W TKO 7 Jerry Perez (13-0). Light Heavy: Marcus Browne (24-1) W PTS 10 Denis Grachev (20-13-1).
Martin vs. Perez
Martin, an outstanding amateur continues his progress for pay as he stops unbeaten Perez in seven rounds. Perez got through with some hard rights in the first but Martin took over from the second. The Detroit-born southpaw found the target regularly with lefts and used clever movement to spin away from Perez’s attacks. Perez upped his pace in a competitive fifth but he was rocked by a left from Martin late in the round. It was over in the seventh as Martin put Perez down with a left hook. Perez beat the count but was taking punishment when the referee stopped the fight. Both fighters were moving up to ten round level for the first time. Martin, 26, a National Golden Gloves gold medallist and a silver medal winner at the US National Championships gets his tenth inside the distance victory. Californian Perez had registered ten inside the distance wins but did not have to skills or power of Martin.
Browne vs. Grachev
In his first fight for twenty months Brown wins every round against Grachev. Scores 100-90 on the three cards for Browne. He will now be aiming to work his way back to a return with Jean Pascal who floored him three times before a cut brought their fight for the interim WBA title to a halt with Pascal winning a technical decision and taking Browne’s title. The 30-year-old New Yorker is No 2 with the WBC with curiously the WBA secondary champion Pascal at No 1 with the WBC so a return is certainly on the cards. Also curious is that this fight received no coverage and no publicity. Russian Grachev at 38 is on the other side of the hill with just one win in his last seven fights.
Sydney, Australia: Super Feather: Liam Wilson (9-0) W PTS 10 Francis Chua (8-2-1). Super Feather: Bruno Tarimo (26-2-2) W PTS 10 Kye MacKenzie (21-3). Welter: Steve Spark (12-1) W PTS 8 Jack Brubaker (16-4-2). Welter: Leonardo Zappavigna (38-4) W TKO 3 Danny Kennedy (9-3-1).
Wilson vs. Chua
Wilson continues his progress with points victory over southpaw Chua. Wilson had plenty of height and reach over Chua and a much higher level of skills. He was switching guards and slotting punches home. Chua was cut in the second but just kept throwing punch after punch to make the third close. Wilson was finding the target with left hooks. He rocked Chua badly in the fourth and by the fifth there was some concern over Chua’s injury. Chua looked to have shaken Wilson in the eighth but Wilson was the one doing the major share of the scoring in the ninth and neither had much left for the last round as the fight petered out. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-94 for Wilson. A clear win for the Australian No 1 but not a hot performance from Wilson who stated after the fight that he had injured his hand in the third round. The 25-year-old remains one of the best prospects in Australia. Chua, the Australian No 6, was too small and did not have the power to match Wilson but he showed plenty of guts.
Tarimo vs. MacKenzie
Relocating to Australia has been a great career move for little Tarimo as he gets another outstanding win by decisioning the much taller MacKenzie. Tarimo just kept coming and was busier and more accurate. MacKenzie never used his physical advantages and Tarimo emerged a wide winner despite being deducted a point in the eighth for a low punch. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93 for the 25-year-old Tanzanian who has taken Australian citizenship and is No 3 in the National rankings. He is 5-0-1Tec Draw in his last six fights including wins over Joel Brunker and Nathaniel May. He was defending the IBF International title and wins the vacant IBO Inter-Continental belt. MacKenzie had lost and won against Francis Chua and was having his first fight since November 2019 and this is a big setback for him.
Spark vs. Brubaker
Spark gets off the floor to score wide decision over more experienced Brubaker. Brubaker got a great start flooring Spark with a right in the first but then Spark began to connect with some strong rights to the head and took rounds two and three to even the scoring. Spark took the fourth to move ahead and then totally dominated the fifth and never let Brubaker into the fight after that. Scores: 77-74 twice and 80-72 for Spark. The 24-year-old Queenslander, a former undefeated Australian super lightweight champion, lost on a majority decision in China in his second professional fight but has put together an impressive run including eight inside the distance wins in a row before this contest. He is No 1 in the Australian National Boxing Federation rankings. Two losses in succession for Brubaker but sixteen months apart as he was stopped in four rounds by Tim Tszyu in December 2019.
Zappavigna vs. Kennedy
Zappavigna eases his way back into action with a third round stoppage of overmatched Kennedy. First fight since June 2018 for the 33-year-old former Australian and IBO champion and IBF title challenger. He had announced his retirement after taking a beating from Alex Saucedo. He would be giving away a bit of weight against Tim Tszyu might it might be a fight that could be made but Zappavigna would be an outsider if it came off. Kennedy, born in Jersey in the Channel Islands, had been stopped in the tenth round by Ben Kite in an Australian welterweight title fight in December.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Welter: Hironobu Matsunaga (18-1) W PTS 10 Rei Nakajima (4-1). Super Feather: Reiya Abe (21-3-1) W TEC DEC 7 Koshin Takeshima (4-2-1).
Matsunaga vs. Nakajima
Matsunaga remains Japanese champion but had to fight hard to retain his title. Nakajima was quick and accurate early but the more experienced Matsunaga made good use of his longer reach and pressed hard upsetting Nakajima’s tactics and had edged in front on all three cards after five rounds at 48-47 twice and 49-46. Nakajima just could not break Matsunaga’s stranglehold on the fight and despite a big effort in the ninth he could not close the gap. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94. Third defence of the title for southpaw Matsunaga, 33, and his twelfth win in a row. Nakajima was in his first ten round fight and the experience will be good for him.
Abe vs. Takeshima
Abe gets unanimous technical decision over Takeshima. The first round went to Takeshima but little else went his way. A clash of heads saw him cut in the second and Abe scored a knockdown in the third. Takeshima was cut again in the fourth and just could not settle. He was outboxed by clever southpaw Abe and also deducted a point for holding in the seventh and later in the round the fight was stopped due to his cuts. Scores 68-63, 68-64 and 67-64 for Abe. He is No 3 in the Japanese ratings No 3 and has drawn and lost in shots at the National title. Takeshima lacked the experience to deal with Abe and suffers his second loss in a row.
West Point, NY, USA: Super Light: Juan Romero (14-0) W PTS 10 Deiner Berrio (22-3-1). Welter: Angel Ruiz (17-1) W PTS 8 Bobirzhan Mominov (12-1). Super Middle: Christian Mbilli (18-0) W TKO 5 Jesus Gutierrez (27-5-2).
Romero vs. Berrio
In the first post-COVD show in New York State Mexican Olympian Romero takes unanimous verdict over Colombian Berrio. In the opening round Romero was using his big advantages in height and reach crowding Berrio and doing the scoring. In the second Romero again controlled the action but suffered a cut over his right. Romero continued to get the best of the exchanges but Berrio although outworked fired back with some dangerous overhand rights. A sustained attack in the fifth had Berrio looking to be tiring but the Colombian stayed in the fight. Romero outlanded Berrio in the sixth and seventh but Berrio fought back hard over the last three rounds to make those rounds close. Scores 98-92 to Romero on the cards of the three judges. Romero, 31, a soldier in the Mexican Army, competed in the World Championships and 2016 Olympics and was a series winner in the WSB but did not turn pro until he was 27. He has been given some good tests and come through them but the clock is ticking for him. “Monster” Berrio was 20-0-1 before back-to-back losses in Russia. He came in at just one week’s notice for this fight.
Ruiz vs. Mominov
Mild upset as Ruiz fights his way through a few low punches to score two knockdowns and take the unanimous decision. Mominov worked his way into a lead taking the fight to Ruiz but the fight turned in the fifth. Mominov had been guilty of going low with his punches and he did it one time too many in the fifth. Ruiz was given time to recover and the referee took a point off Mominov and to complete the turnaround Ruiz floored Mominov just before the bell to end the round. Mominov stormed his way through the sixth but any claw back that spell earned him disappeared when he was dropped by a left in the seventh. The Kazak attacked hard through the eighth but could not close the gap. Scores 76-73 twice and 75-74 for Ruiz showing how the deduction and two knockdowns cost Mominov victory. Mexican southpaw Ruiz was having his first outing since being stopped in two rounds by Javier Flores in October 2019. Californian-based Mominov, a former World Military Champion, will bounce back to the winning column soon but he needs to clean up his act.
Mbilli vs. Gutierrez
OK I am high on “Solide” Mbilli and he was impressive here in destroying Mexican Gutierrez. He was giving away height and reach to the 5’11” Gutierrez who tried to pressure Mbilli from the start but Gutierrez could not match the strength of the Cameroon-born Frenchman as they went toe-to-toe over four rounds. Mbilli ended it in the fifth with two knockdowns. A couple of heavy rights and two uppercuts put Gutierrez down for the first time and he only just made it to his feet. He chose to try to punch with Mbilli but a right and a left to the head dropped him again and the referee did not bother with a count. The 25-year-old hope has only been taken the distance once as a pro. He won gold medals at the European Youth and European Union Championships. He also scored three wins over England’s Anthony Fowler but lost to eventual gold medallist Arlen Lopez at the 2016 Olympics. Gutierrez was beaten inside the distance in consecutive fights by Steven Butler and Esquiva Falcao but had won his last two fights.
Zagarolo, Italy: Super Feather: Michael Magnesi (19-0) W KO 1 Khanyile Bulana (12-1).
Magnesi retains the IBO title with controversial first round stoppage of Bulana. The Challenger was much taller with a longer reach and he started well enough with some jabs until pressure from Magnesi put him on the back foot. Magnesi tracked Bulana around the ring with Bulana throwing punches as Magnesi marched forward. Magnesi caught up with Bulana and connected with a couple of rights to the head and as Bulana backed out the of exchange Magnesi clipped him with another right to the chin. The South African went down on his back but quickly arose to a kneeling position not looking at all distressed and watching the count. He seemed to be at nine but the referee decided he had arisen too late and indicated he had counted Bulana out. There was some confusion with Magnesi going over to Bulana and shrugging his shoulders as if to indicate he did not think the count had been completed but the fight was over. First defence of the IBO title for the 26-year-old “Lone Wolf” and his sixth inside the distance win on the trot. Bulana, the South African No 2, was having his first fight since September 2019. He did not look to have the power to keep Magnesi out but it was an unsatisfactory ending.
Barcelona, Spain: Super Light: Sandor Martin (38-2) W PTS 12 Key Prosper (14-2-1). Feather: Andoni Gago (24-3-4) TEC DRAW 5 Gavin McDonnell (22-2-2). Super Welter: Kevin Lejarraga (32-2) W TKO 7 Jez Smith (12-3-1). Feather: Bernard Torres (14-0) W KO 2 Anuar Salas (20-9-1).
Martin vs. Prosper
Martin remains European champion with unanimous points victory over Prosper in a fight night sold as Spain vs. England. Southpaw Martin had everything going for him skill, speed, accuracy, great defensive moves and experience. Southpaw Prosper exerted plenty of pressure and some less acceptable tactics to try to complicate things for Martin but had very little success. Martin outboxed Prosper over the first two rounds and rocked him in the third. Prosper kept taking the fight to Martin and had some success particularly in the eighth when he was able to make Martin stand and trade. He then undid his work as in quick succession he was deducted a point for low punches and another for hitting to the back of Martin’s head although neither deduction looked justified. Sheer aggression landed Prosper a couple of rounds but Martin was masterful in his control of the fight and a good winner. Scores 119-107, 117-109 and 117-110 for Martin. Nine consecutive wins for Martin and a second successful defence of the European title. The only loss he has suffered in his last 24 fights was on points against Antony Yigit in 2017. He is rated No 7 by both the WBA and WBC so like many other super lights he is waiting to see what shakes out from the unification fight next month between Josh Taylor and Juan Carlos Ramirez. For Luton’s Prosper (Kayamba Prospere), the English champion, this fight has come too early in his career but at 36 it was a chance he had to take even though he lacked the experience to really threaten Martin. He will go back to domestic fights and rebuild.
Gago vs. McDonnell
Gago retains the European title with controversial majority technical draw against McDonnell. There was a total contrast in styles here. The much taller McDonnell wanted to box on the outside and the smaller, aggressive Gago was launching lunging attack to force McDonnell to the ropes where he could then work on the Englishman’s body. McDonnell emerged from an exchange in the first with a cut over his right eye which the referee ruled as having resulted from a clash of heads but with some protesting it was a punch that did the damage. Gogo attacked constantly if not always accurately hustling McDonnell out of his stride. Gago threw more and landed more with the quality rather than quantity coming from McDonnell. The doctor inspected McDonnell’s cut in the fourth round but allowed the fight to continue until the bell and then before there was any action in the fifth the doctor ruled the cut too bad for McDonnell continue with the fifth round being scored 10-1 it went to the judge's cards and they returned scores of 48-48, 48-48 and 50-46 for McDonnell resulting in a majority draw which incensed Spanish sources as they saw Gago as a clear winner and he certainly seemed to have done most of the scoring. Gago was making the first defence of the European title and an 8-0-1 run had seen him rated IBF 6(5)/WBC 14. McDonnell has lost in fights at super bantamweight for both the vacant WBC title where he dropped a majority decision against Rey Vargas and the WBA title where he was stopped in ten rounds by Daniel Roman. This was his first fight for 16 months. Hopefully there will be a return and normally the champion would want that in his home territory but that did not work out well for Gago here.
Lejarraga vs. Smith
Lejarraga gets off the canvas twice to stop Smith. Smith boxed well over the first two rounds but was under relentless pressure from the strong Lejarraga. That changed dramatically in the third when a right uppercut from Smith put Lejarraga down heavily. He made it so his feet and managed to survive to the bell although he was now showing a swelling by his right eye. Lejarraga came back strongly in the fourth only to be put down for a second time. Lejarraga had difficulty landing anything of consequence in the fifth due the good defensive work of Smith but the fight changed again in the sixth. A focused body attack from Lejarraga had its effect and Smith was the one visiting the floor. Lejarraga attacked a tiring Smith in the seventh ramming home body punches with Smith doubled over trying to smoother the shots until the referee stopped the fight. The stoppage looked very premature and Smith protested. The Basque “Revolver” gets win No 25 by KO/TKO but this fight illustrated his strength in attack and his weakness in defence which were already evidenced by his two inside the distance losses to David Avanesyan. Smith came very close to an upset here but instead suffers his third inside then distance defeat in his last four contests.
Torres vs. Salas
Norwegian based-born in the Philippines and fighting in Spain but above all successful that’s Bernard Angelo Torres. The 24-year-old southpaw registered another win last night in Barcelona. He floored Colombian Anuar Salas with a right in the first round and staggered him badly with another punch in the second and the referee stopped the fight to save Salas from further punishment. Promoted by Sergio “Maravilla Martinez” Torres is now 14-0 with 6 wins by KO/TKO. Salas is now 20-9-1 with 4 losses by KO/TKO.
Canberra, Australia: Feather: Brock Jarvis (19-0) W TKO 6 Nort Beauchamp (18-4). Middle: Issac Hardman (9-0) W RTD 7 Mark Lucas (10-3). Super Feather: TC Priestley (4-4) W RTD 9 Ben Dencio (8-4).
Jarvis vs. Beauchamp
Jarvis makes it nineteen wins with stoppage of Beauchamp. Initially Jarvis looked to box at distance but as Beauchamp kept marching forward Jarvis decided to get down in the trenches with him in a competitive opening round. Jarvis scored with some savage rights and lefts in the second but they just bounced off Beauchamp who did not seem to possess a reverse gear. Beauchamp had some success as they fought inside in the third but was being hurt by body punches from Jarvis. Beauchamp managed to pin Jarvis to the ropes at the start of the fourth but by the end of the round Jarvis landed so many devastating shots it was a wonder Beauchamp was still on his feet. Jarvis upped his pace in the fifth again scoring heavily to the body with Beauchamp just hanging in the fight and no more. Jarvis continued to bombard Beauchamp with punches in the sixth shaking off Beauchamp’s desperate attempts to hold until the referee came in and stopped the fight despite vigorous protests from Beauchamp. The Jeff Fenech-trained Jarvis, 23, has to be one of the best prospects in Australia but he now needs to step up to a higher class of opponent. He was defending his WBO Global title and collected the vacant IBF Pan Pacific title in this fight. Seventeen of his nineteen wins have come by KO/TKO. Thai-born New Zealander Beauchamp has never been knocked down as an amateur or a pro and you could see why in the way he absorbed everything Jarvis threw at him but this is his second loss on the bounce.
Hardman vs. Lucas
Former MMA fighter Hardman stops Lucas in Australian title defence. Lucas was making the fight early as both landed some strong punches. Lucas kept pressing over the third and fourth but Hardman was boxing well and countering Lucas as he surged forward. It was still a close fight in the fifth but a clash of heads opened a cut over the left eye of Lucas. They both scored well in the sixth but the superior power of Hardman was obvious in the seventh as he handed out severe punishment to a fading Lucas and at the end of the round his corner pulled him out of the fight. The 24-year-old “The Headsplitter” from Brisbane has seven victories by KO/TKO. He won the national title with a majority verdict over more experienced Tej Pratap Singh in December and was also defending the IBF Australasian and WBO Oriental titles. First inside the distance defeat for Lucas who had outpointed former IBO champion Renald Quinlan in his last fight in October 2019.
Priestley vs. Dencio
Former Australian champion Priestley regains the title with second win over Dencio. This one was hard fought all the way. Each had good spells. Dencio was cut over his left eye in the second but it was not a factor in the fight. Not a great deal of skill but plenty of interchanges of heavy punches. The fight was posed to go either way after eight but Priestley broke though in the ninth. He staggered Dencio with a right and put him down with another right. Dencio managed to make it to his feet but after the referee gave him a cautionary look he decided Dencio was finished and stopped the fight. Priestley had stopped Dencio in seven rounds to win the vacant Australian title in April 2019 but never defended the title and it was declared vacant. Now 3 losses in his last 4 fights for local fighter Dencio
Cordoba, Argentina: Super Welter: Diego Ramirez (23-4-1) W PTS 10 Maico Sommariva (9-3). Super Welter: Alejandro Silva (15-0-1) W TKO 4 Jonathan Wilson (18-5-1).
Ramirez vs. Sommariva
Ramirez moves through to the final of the Super Welter Super 8 tournament with split decision over Sommariva. This one was close until Sommariva faded late. Sommariva, the local fighter, made the better start putting Ramirez under pressure with Ramirez taking time to settle. As the fight developed the cleaner work, greater accuracy and extensive experience of Ramirez proved crucial and he staged a strong finish to take the split verdict. Scores of 97-93 ½ and 97-95 ½ to Ramirez and 97-95 ½ for Sommariva. Ramirez’s biggest victory was his second round stoppage of 28-2 Bradley Skeete in 2018 but consecutive defeats against Maximiliano Veron and Custio Clayton knocked him back and he only got through to the semi-final of the Super 8 on a technicality after drawing with Nicolas Palacios in the quarter finals. Sommariva had never been in a ten round fight before and that caught up with him late in this fight.
Silva vs. Wilson
Silva retains the Argentinian title and advances to the final of the Superb 8 tournament with stoppage of Sanchez. Outstanding performance from Silva as he was in charge from the start and floored Wilson in both the third and fourth rounds to force the stoppage. A savage left hook floored Wilson in the third and it was a series of punches that put him on the floor in the fourth. “The Raven” has now won his last 13 fights and will go on to face Ramirez in the final of the Tournament named The Miguel Angel Castellini Cup after the late WBA light middleweight champion who was a victim of COVID-19 last October. Silva won his quarter final when his opponent Gabriel Diaz was disqualified after biting a chunk out of Silva’’s arm. Wilson had won 6 out of his last 7 going into this fight and was making his second unsuccessful challenge for the Argentinian title.
Vancouver, Canada: Cruiser: Ryan Rozicki (13-0) W TKO 6 Sylvera Louis (8-7). Moe Zawadi (1-0) W TKO 1 Olivier Tshitumba (1-1).
Rozicki vs. Louis
Rozicki gets another inside the distance win as he stops Louis in the sixth round. The 6’2”, 26-year-old from Nova Scotia has won all of his 13 fights by KO/TKO. Louis, 38, came in as a late substitute and now 5 of his 7 losses have come by KO/TKO.
Zawadi vs. Tshitumba
Canadian prospect Zawadi has his first pro fight and stops Tshitumba in the opening round. The 19-year-old from Ontario was Canadian Junior champion in 2017, Youth champion in 2018 and 2019 and won gold at the Canadian Winter Games so one to follow. Congolese boxer Tshitumba was having his first fight for four years.
Gdansk, Poland: Cruiser: Youri Kayembre Kalenga (26-6) W KO 9 Michal Plesnik (9-5).
Former interim WBA champion Kalenga dismantles Plesnik before ending things in the ninth. Kalenga’s timing was out but he was too strong for the Slovakian. Kalenga was credited with a dubious knockdown in the second but head punches caused two genuine knockdowns in the fourth and at the end of that round he was 40-33 up on the three cards. Plesnik did well to stay in the fight but by the end of the eighth he had tired badly. A well-timed left hook put Plesnik down in the ninth and the referee saw no need for a count. Kalenga wins the vacant WBC Francophone title with his nineteenth quick win. He is calling out WBC champion and fellow-DRC fighter Ilunga Makabu but is currently No 13 in their ratings and over the past five years has lost important fights against Denis Lebedev, Yuniel Dorticos, Kevin Lerena, Mateusz Masternak and Michal Cieslak so a win over Plesnik won’t make much of an impression. First inside the distance defeat for Plesnik who was way out of his league here.
Belgrade, Serbia: Super Middle: Sergei Gorokhov (11-2-2) W TKO 10 Marko Nikolic (27-1).
Very much an upset as unsung Russian Gorokhov stops Nikolic in the last round to snap the Serbian’s 27-bout winning run. Gorokhov connected with some eye-catching punches putting Nikolic in trouble early. Nikolic fought back hard from the third using his height and reach to outbox and outpunch Gorokhov and by the end of the ninth the local hero looked to have built a winning lead. Knowing he was losing Gorokhov launched a fierce attack and landed a succession of clubbing punches which had Nikolic stumbling and staggering and the referee stopped the fight with just 32 seconds remaining in the contest. After a poor start to his career the 31-year-old Gorokhov had put together a little unbeaten run of five wins and two draws but there was nothing to say he should have been a problem for Nikolic. He wins the vacant WBC International Silver title the first title of his career. Fireman Nikolic has been very carefully matched but they made a mistake this time.
London. England: Middle: Felix Cash (14-0) W TKO 3 Denzel Bentley (14-1-1). Light Heavy: Callum Johnson (19-1) W TKO 2 Emil Markic (32-3).
Cash vs. Bentley
Cash stops Bentley in three rounds to unite the Commonwealth and British titles. A frantic start saw Bentley letting his fists fly but then be badly staggered by a right from Cash. Bentley recovered and showed some silky skills but was rocked a couple more times by Cash and who continued to hunt Bentley to the bell. There was plenty of movement and plenty of jabs from Bentley in the second but Cash continued to walk him down. Bentley boxed well and managed to avoid trouble but Cash looked dangerous with his overhand rights particularly as Bentley persistently held his left hand low. Cash caught up with Bentley in the third. He forced Bentley to the ropes and then connected with a series of head punches that had Bentley slumping and helpless and the referee made a good stoppage. Cash retains the Commonwealth title and takes Bentley’s British title with his tenth and most impressive win. Bentley had drawn with and then stopped Mark Heffron in 2020 and was No 9 with the WBO but he lacked the punch to keep Cash out and paid the price for that and a too casual defence.
Johnson vs. Markic
Johnson overwhelms Markic and batters him to defeat in two rounds. Johnson immediately jumped on Markic forcing him to the ropes and showered him with hooks to the body. Markic managed to get off the ropes but Johnson continued to find the target with hooks. Johnson was rolling forward when a right from Markic saw Johnson sag at the knees and almost go down. He staggered back and Markic went after him throwing punches but Johnson recovered and soon had Markic trapped on the ropes again and under fire. Markic boxed well at the start of the second but Johnson quickly took control and had Markic pinned against the ropes and landed a series of lefts to the head until Markic slumped to the floor and the referee stopped the fight. First fight for Johnson since beating Sean Monaghan in three rounds in February 2019 but obviously no sign of rust. His only loss is a fourth round kayo by Artur Beterbiev for the IBF title in October 2018. The long period out has seen him drop in the ratings and miss a chance to fight for the European title so he will want to keep active with fellow-Brits Lyndon Arthur, Anthony Yarde, Joshua Buatsi, Craig Richards and MTK Global tournament winner Ricards Bolotniks all rated. Bosnian Markic, 38, was rated No 15 by the WBO but he could not cope with the power and aggression of Johnson and he was not rated in the top 15 in the EBU ratings.
Gqeberha, South Africa: Fly: Jackson Chauke (20-1-1) W PTS 12 Luyanda Ntwanambi (7-1-1). Super Fly: Yanga Sigqibo (15-1-1) W PTS 12 Jerald Paclar (15-5-3). Light Fly: Sivenathi Nontshinga (10-0) W PTS 10 Christian Araneta (19-2). Feather: Lerato Dlamini (15-1) W PTS 10 Hassam Milanzi (9-0-1).
Chauke vs. Ntwanambi
Chauke takes a majority verdict over Ntwanambi to retain the South African title and get his hands on the WBO Global title. Ntwanambi defied his lack of experience to run Chauke very close and survived a knockdown to be fighting hard to the last bell. Scores 116-111 and 115-112 for Chauke and 114-114.Ten wins in a row now for 35-year-old Chauke. After twelve years as a pro Chauke will be hoping to get a shot at champion Junto Nakatani although he was rated No 13 and Ntwanambi was unrated before this fight. Ntwanambi was having his first fight since September 2019.
Sigqibo vs. Paclar
Sigqibo holds on to the WBO Inter-Continental belt as he finishes in front on all three cards. Paclar gave Sigqibo a tough fight getting past the extended reach of the South African and applying persistent pressure. Sigqibo was on the canvas three times but two were slips and the other came from a punch to the back of Sigqibo’s head so none of them counted. The South African boxed cleverly against the aggressive Filipino and just deserved his victory but the fight was closer than the scores made it look as Sigqibo won on tallies of 116-112 twice and 116-113. It is now twelve wins on the trot for Sigqibo and his third successful defence of the WBO Inter-Continental title. He is No 4 in the WBO ratings and with the WBC tournament sweeping up No 1 Srisaket and No 3 Roman Gonzalez Sigqibo might even get a call to challenge champion Kazuto Ioka. Paclar was having his fight for seventeen months and was unbeaten in eight before this fight.
Nontshinga vs. Araneta
Nontshinga survives a late knockdown to win a close unanimous verdict over Filipino Araneta. Both are reputed punchers but instead of a slugging match both showed they could box and the fight was interesting rather than exciting. There was never much of a gap between them and it looked as though a knockdown scored by southpaw Araneta in the twelfth might get him the win but the judges saw Nontshinga as the victor. Scores 114-113 twice and 115-112 for Nontshinga. The South African “Special One” at 4’11” always has to find a way to overcome that handicap. He was No 3 with the IBF with the first two spots vacant and this win over No 4 rated Araneta clears the way to make him mandatory challenger to champion Felix Alvarado. Araneta’s only other loss was a retirement after four rounds against Mexican Daniel Valladares in 2019 but he rebounded with two wins in 2020.
Dlamini vs. Milanzi
Dlamini returns with a win as he outpoints Zimbabwean Milanzi. The WBC No 3 holds the WBC Silver title which he won in Jeddah in July 2019 by outclassing 15-0 Filipino David Penalosa so will be hoping to get a title shot sometime this year or early next. He took a unanimous decision here and after losing his first pro fight has run up 15 consecutive victories. Milanzi had been inactive for 19 months.
Hamburg, Germany: Light: Artem Harutyunyan (10-0) W PTS 12 Vladyslav Melnyk (13-4). Heavy: Senad Gashi (21-3) W KO 3 Dominic Vial (6-1).
Harutyunyan vs. Melnyk
Harutyunyan collects the WBA International title with very narrow split decision over Melnyk. This was Harutyunyan’s first fight for fifteen months and it showed as Melnyk went ahead over the early action. Harutyunyan fought his way back into contention over the middle rounds but seemed to fade late and looked a lucky winner. Scores 115-113 and 115-114 for Harutyunyan and 115-113 for Melnyk. The 30-year-old Armenian-born German won a bronze medal in Rio. He had broken his hand twice in training and had moved down to lightweight so there were some excuses for his indifferent performance. Melnyk was a substitute for a substitute. The 22-year-old Ukrainian has kept busy with this his fifth fight in the last nine months. He is now 2-3 in those fights but deserved at least a draw in this one.
Gashi vs. Vial
Gashi registers yet another inside the distance win as he hammers overmatched Vial. Gashi had no problem getting through the longer reach of Vial of the 6” taller Vial and Vial’s 310lbs was more of as handicap than a help to him. Gash regularly connected with rights to the head until Vial fell in the third and with his girth there was no way he was going to get up. The Kosovon-born German was carefully guided to a 17-1 record but consecutive losses against Carlos Takam (TKO 7) and Dereck Chisora (wide points) marked his ceiling. This is his fourth inside the distance victory since his loss to Chisora with all 21 wins coming by KO/TKO. Vial had won his last five fights on stoppages all against opposition with negative records.
Ginowan, Okinawa: Bantam: Ryosuke Nishida (4-0) W PTS 12 Daigo Higa (17-2-1).
Newcomer Nishida breaks through in a big way with wide unanimous decision over former WBC flyweight champion Higa to win the WBO Asia Pacific title. Nishida was just too big for Higa. He was coming down from super bantam and Higa was coming up from flyweight and Nishida had a much longer reach and was 4” taller. Nishida used his southpaw jab to control the action over the opening three rounds. Higa, fighting in front of his own fans, managed to get inside over the fourth and fifth but Nishida matched him there. All of Higa’s wins have come inside the distance but he did not have the same power in this division and Nishida boxed coolly and continually scored with accurate counters never letting Higa get a toe-hold in the fight. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110 for Nishida. In his last fight Nishida, 24, had outpointed former WBO bantamweight title challenger Shohei Omori so a meteoric rise as he will now be looking to crash the world ratings. Higa fell from grace when he failed to make the weight for a defence of the WBC title in 2018. The fight went ahead and Cristofer Rosales stopped Higa to become the new champion. Higa was suspended by the Japanese Board with the suspension ending in October 2019 but Higa had failed to impress in going 2-0-1 since then.
Culiacan, Mexico: Super Light: Erik Leon (14-1-1) W TKO 5 Adalberto Moreno (12-4).
Leon vs. Moreno
Power showing from Leon as he stops Moreno in the fifth round. Leon’s only loss had been on points so he was not about to leave this one to the judges. Moreno was not one to take a step back and he paid for that as he tried to match Leon punch for punch. Leon scored three knockdown before ending it in the fifth round. As they traded punches a booming left cross dropped Moreno flat on his back and his corner immediately threw in the towel. Thirteenth inside the distance win for the tall, 27-year-old Venezuelan. He is now 2-1-1 in 4 fights in Mexico. Naturally being Venezuelan his record back there was rubbish with his twelve victims having combined record of 11-90. Moreno just a 4 and 6 round prelim fighter but he had scored more wins than all eleven of Leon’s opponent in Venezuela combined.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Feather: Bryan Acosta (15-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Diego Andrade Jr (12-4-2).
Neighbourhood fighter Acosta continues his unbeaten run with a unanimous points win over Diego Andrade. Score 97-93 twice and 98-92 for Acosta. Second win this year for the 22-year-old “Latino” who holds the WBC Fecarbox title. Andrade was coming off an important win over 29-1-2 Jorge Lara in December.
Bangkok, Thailand: Light Heavy: Teerachai (45-1 W RTD 6 Sirimongkhol (97-5).
Teerachai retains the WBA Asia title with win over fellow-Thai Sirimongkhol. Teerachai, 29 was just too young (relatively) fnisor super veteran Sirimongkhol, 43, who used his vast experience to compete until retiring with a shoulder injury after the sixth round. Teerachai was knocked out in eight rounds by Lucas Matthysse in a fight for the secondary WBA welterweight title in 2018. Sirimongkhol was WBC bantamweight at super featherweight ages ago.
Fight of the week (Significance): Emanuel Navarrete vs. Christopher Diaz
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Navarrete vs. Diaz gets the nod with a honourable mention to the battle between Jermaine Ortiz and Joseph Adorno
Fighter of the week: Navarrete as he again shows he has the power to crush the best with an honourable mention to Kenshiro Teraji for his eighth title defence
Punch of the week: The left hook from Erik Leon that flattened Adalberto Moreno was impressive
Upset of the week: Ryosuke Nishida (3-0) beating former world flyweight titlist Daigo Higa has to count as an upset.
Prospect watch: Lightweight Frank Martin 13-0 is progressing well.
It is amazing how Emanuel Navarrete makes so many mistakes and has so many faults and yet it all work for him. I wonder what it must be like to train a fighter who breaks all of the rules on how to box.
If you want an example of how the COVID-19 can affect a boxer you just have to look at Teerachai. In November 2019 he was a super welterweight and in his next fight in December 2020 he was a light heavyweight!
There is no way that Thai Sirimongkhol will ever get voted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame. He has been a pro for almost 17 years. He won two world titles one at bantamweight and one at super featherweight. He has had 102 fights with a 97-5 record. He turned pro as a flyweight and in 2018 won the Thai light heavyweight title and is still fighting at 43.
A real Puerto Rican fiesta on the Top Rank show in Kissimmee with a Puerto Rican or a fighter of Puerto Rican descent in every fight
Nationalities were also the feature of two other shows with the two European title fights and Kevin Lejarraga vs. Jez Smith publicised as Spain vs. England and the show in South Africa billed as South Africa vs. Philippines. Not exactly local rivalries but if helps to sell tickets go for it.
Good to see a live crowd for the Top Rank show. We are getting there gradually.
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