By - Eric Armit
-Jamel Herring retains the WBO super feather title as challenger Jonathan Oquendo is disqualified for a butt
-Yordenis Ugas outpoints Abel Ramos to win the vacant secondary WBA welter title
- In a Fight of the Year candidate Samir Ziani retains the European super feather title as he stops Alex Dilmaghani just nine seconds before the end of the twelfth round
-Steve Nelson takes another step toward a shot at the super middleweight title with stoppage of DeAndre Ware
-Akeem Ennis-Brown wins the Commonwealth super light title with decision over champion Philip Bowes
World Title/Major Shows
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Jamel Herring (22-2) W DISQ 8 Jonathan Oquendo (31-t). Super Middle: Steve Nelson (17-0) W TKO 6 DeAndre Ware (13-3-2). Light Fly: Jesse Rodriguez (12-0) W TKO 1 Janiel Rivera (18-7-3). Heavy: Jared Anderson (6-0) W TKO 4 Rodney Hernandez (13-10-2).
Herring vs. Oquendo
In a horrible fight Herring retains his WBO title as Oquendo is disqualified when Herring is unable to continue due to a cut brought about by a butt from Oquendo in the fifth round.
Not a great start for Herring as his foot slipped and he was on the floor after just five seconds of the round. Oquendo at 5’4” was giving away 6” in height to Herring and a correspondingly large amount in reach. Oquendo was lunging inside and was warned for holding and a punch to the back of the head as well as Careless head work all within the first minute. Herring was doing what scoring there was and tying up Oquendo inside.
Score: 10-9 Herring
Herring was picking off Oquendo with right jabs at distance and catching Oquendo with counters. Oquendo was rushing in with his head down and his head banged into Herring's face but luckily neither fighter was cut. Part of the problem was that with Oquendo 6” shorter and crouching Herring had to dip down if he was to land any body punches so their heads were very likely to clash
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 20-18
Herring continued to find the target with his jabs and occasional straight lefts. Oquendo was still rushing forward with his head down. After connecting twice with long lefts as Oquendo again rushed in Herring met him with a perfectly executed left uppercut which dropped Oquendo on his butt. Oquendo was up quickly and although Herring connected with some more uppercuts Oquendo survived the round. This bout was not good advert for world title boxing. It featured a few split seconds of action and then clinch after clinch with Oquendo holding instead of trying to work inside.
Score: 10-8 Herring Herring 30-26
Dominant round for Herring. He was catching Oquendo outside with jabs and straight lefts and then stepping back and countering the incoming Oquendo with hooks. Oquendo was still doing too much holding and his wild swipes were off target.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 40-35
Official Scores: Judge Tim Cheatham 40-35 Herring, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 40-35 Herring, Judge Julie Lederman 40-35 Herring
Oquendo was having some success as he scored with rights on his way in. He had been leading with his head throughout the fight and when he did it in this round he opened a cut over Herring’s right eye. Herring passed a doctors examination and as Oquendo continued to play the billy goat the referee had decided that the butt was intentional and after the end of the round he deducted a point for butting*.
Score: 10-9(-1*)=8 Herring Herring 50-43
The story of this round was clinch, clinch, clinch and more clinches. Oquendo was still plunging in head first flinging a few wild punches and missing. Herring was doing the scoring with counters before they got tangled again.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 60-52
Herring did better in this when instead of waiting and countering Oquendo he took the fight to Oquendo and rattled him with straight lefts to the head but for most of the round it was a case of Herring countering before Oquendo dived inside head down and held.
Score: 10-9 Herring Herring 70-61
This round was one long maul with the fighters tangled up and very few punches landed. Each time the referee pulled them apart Oquendo jumped back in head first. There were few punches landed and the few that were came from Herring.
Score 10-9 Herring Herring 80-70
Official Scores: Tim Cheatham 80-70 Herring, Judge Patricia Morse Jarman 80-70 Herring, Judge Julie Lederman 79-71 Herring.
There was confusing at the end of the round as the referee gave no indication he was about to disqualify Oquendo until after the bell when both fighters had gone to their corners. Herring was having trouble with his vision and was not able to continue. As the cut in question had been the result of a head butt the referee then disqualified Oquendo. It was confusing but justified and Oquendo could have been thrown out earlier
This was a very ugly title fight some but little blame on Herring’s part. He showed his skills but just could not escape Oquendo’s embrace for more than a few seconds at a time. The 34-year-old ex-Marine was a surprise winner of the US Trials for the 2012 Olympics but failed to medal. He looked to have lost his way with defeats against Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller but found his way again under the Top Rank banner beating 20-1 Filipino John Vincent Moralde and comprehensively outpointing champion Masayuki Ito in May last year to win the WBO title. This is his second defence having outpointed Lamont Roach in November. Although fellow Top Rank fighter Shakur Stevenson is No 1 with the WBO. The aim is for a defence against Carl Frampton currently ranked No 8 by the WBO-any bets on a promotion in the ratings for Frampton ? The 37-year-old Oquendo, had lost to Jesus Cuellar for the secondary WBA feather title in 2015 and was outpointed by Lamont Roach in May last year but had come back with a victory over Charles Huerta in November.
Nelson vs. Ware
The power of Nelson just too much for Ware. It looked as though Nelson might end this fight in the first when a right to the head unhinged Ware’s legs but he managed to remain upright. Both landed some hard shots in the second but Nelson was cut over the left eye in a clash of heads. He remained in control working solidly behind a strong jab over the third and fourth with Ware competitive not really strong enough to keep Nelson out. In the fifth another clash of heads saw Nelson cut again over the left eye and he immediately turned away from the action dabbing at the cut. It was serious enough for the referee to ask the doctor to examine it but the fight continued. Nelson shook Ware with a punch in the fifth and ended it in the sixth. He connected with a series of punches that sent Ware staggering to the ropes. Ware tried to get out of trouble but was hunted down and when Nelson connected with heavy uppercuts the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Nelson, 32, the WBO No 7, is on a roll with seven of his last eight wins coming by way of KO/TKO. “Toledo “Axeman” Ware had bounced back from a loss to Cam Kilic with a points victory over unbeaten Ronald Ellis but then slipped up again with a stoppage loss to Vladimir Shishkin. Loser or not Ware was a hero as when Top Rank’s Pete Susens collapsed at the weigh-in it was Ware who took control and carried out cardiopulmonary resuscitation which probably saved Pete’s life. Well done DeAndre!
Rodriguez vs. Rivera
Rodriguez obliterates Rivera in the first round. Puerto Rican Rivera was brought in to give Rodriguez a test but he was blown away. Rodriguez put Rivera under pressure immediately and a series of punches had Rivera off balance and briefly being held up by the ropes before straightening up. The referee gave Rivera a count but he looked steady. Rodriguez changed that with two lefts to the head that pitched Rivera into the ropes which again held him up and resulted in a second count. When the action resumed Rodriguez chased Rivera into a corner and a couple of lefts dropped River to the canvas propped up against the ropes and the referee stepped in immediately to save him from more punishment. All over in 2:03 of the opening round. Still only 20 Rodriguez is a former two-time US Under-17 champion and the brother of Joshua Franco the holder of the secondary WBA super flyweight title. Joshua fights under their mother’s name and Jesse under their father’s name. Eighth victory by KO/TKO for Texan Jesse James (wasn’t he from Missouri?) Rodriguez. Only the second time Rivera has lost inside the distance. The other one was back in 2014 when he challenged Adrian Hernandez for the WBC light fly title. He lost on a split decision when he fought Wilfredo Mendez in May last year and only one fight later Mendez won the WBO minimum title so an impressive win for Rodriguez.
Anderson vs. Hernandez
Anderson eventually crushes Hernandez but Hernandez gives the 20-year-old puncher a few rounds of work. Hernandez bounced out at the bell rushing Anderson and trying to catch him off guard. Anderson showed some good footwork and just waited out Hernandez rushing attacks. He then worked with his jab before clouting Hernandez with some heavy shots before the end of the round. Over the second and third Anderson was landing strongly to head and body with Hernandez really just looking to survive. Anderson was just toying with Hernandez in the fourth until two lefts staggered Hernandez. Anderson then forced Hernandez back and dropped him in a heap with a left at which point the fight was stopped. The 20-year-old 6’4” “Big Baby” from Toledo has won all six of his fights by KO/TKO and has taken less than eleven rounds to get those wins but he badly needs some stiffer tests to take him further. Hernandez is the first fighter to last beyond the third round against Anderson. Hernandez was a good test at this stage. He has beaten 16-0 LaRon Mitchell and 17-0 Onoriode Ehwarieme and early in his career went the distance with Michael Hunter and Adam Kownacki.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Yordenis Ugas (26-4) W PTS 12 Abel Ramos (26-4-2). Super Light: Batyr Akhmedov (8-1) W TKO 1 Rey Perez (24-12). Welter: Cody Crowley (19-0) W PTS 10 Josh Torres (22-7-2).
Ugas vs. Ramos
Cuban Ugas wins the vacant secondary WBA title (Manny Pacquiao is the real champion) with split decision over Ramos.
This opening round turned caution into an art form. Ugas connected with seven jabs and Ramos just one punch. No rights in sight (must have been slow if I am indulging in poetry).
Score: 10-9 Ugas
The round was dominated by jabs from Ugas. He was quick and accurate. He also connected with a right to the head and a left hook. Ramos was permanently on the back foot but finally found the target with some jabs.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 20-18
Another round for Ugas, Ramos tried to get on the front foot and had some success with his jab but Ugas had the stronger jab and he connected with a right to the body and a left hook to the head. Ramos forced Ugas into a corner late in the round but did not break through the Cuban’s defence.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 30-27
There was no way that Ramos could win a battle of the jabs but that was pretty well all he was throwing. Ugas was doubling up on his jab and connected with a solid left hook. A left hook was the best punch Ramos had thrown so far. He did better in this round but he was not throwing or landing enough to be competitive.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 40-36
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 38-38 tied, Judge Edward Hernandez 39-37 Ugas, Judge Zachary Young 39-37 Ugas
A round for Ramos. He was more confident with his jab and started to get inside and put together some sharp combinations. Ugas was off target with his jabs and Ramos came out best as they traded hard punches at the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Ramos Ugas 49-46
Finally a fight had broken out as Ramos was willing to stand and trade with Ugas. Ugas was scoring more. Again he was using a double jab to get close and connected with a left/right/left series of punches. Embarrassing for Ugas is that he missed with a wild right and dived head first through the ropes and almost out of the ring. They exchanged some power punches at the end of the round with Ugas scoring with heavy rights to the head.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 59-55
It was back to the battle of the jabs in this one and it was a round for Ugas. He was finding gaps for his left and also scoring to the body. Ramos was tentative with his jab and coming up short. When they briefly exchanged punches late in the round Ugas was the one connecting.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 69-64
Another round for Ugas. Despite his lack of success with it Ramps was sticking to his jab. Ugas was getting through with his double jab and twice connected with heavy rights that had Ramos backing off. He was also scoring to the body something that was missing from the tactics of Ramos.
Score: 10-9 Ugas Ugas 79-73
Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 78-74 Ramos, Judge Edward Hernandez 77-75 Ugas, Judge Zachary Young 78-74 Ugas.
Ramos practically gave this round away. For most of the round he threw only jabs and nothing else. He was short with his jabs and Ugas was on target with his and also scored with some useful hooks. Ramos came to life over the last thirty seconds but it was Ugas connecting with more and harder punches.
10-9 Ugas Ugas 89-82
A much better round for Ramos. He refused to be backed up and was following through on his jab and staying in punching distance landing sharp hooks and uppercuts. Ugas was barely using his jab and his punch output dropped.
Score: 10-9 Ramos Ugas 98-92
Another good round for Ramos. Again he stood in front of Ugas and was quicker with his jab and landed some hooks inside. Ugas was not jabbing much and although he connected with two hard rights just before the bell Ramos had done enough to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Ramos Ugas 107-102
Ugas took the last round. No fireworks from Ramos allowing Ugas to constantly slide home jabs and late in the round it was Ugas firing volleys of punches with Ramos being outlanded.
Score: 10-9 Ugas `Ugas 117-111
Official Scores: Official Scores: Judge Lou Moret 117-111 Ramos, Judge Edward Hernandez 115-113 Ugas, Judge Zachary Young 115-113 Ugas.
A considerable difference between how Moret scored the fight and Hernandez and Young saw it. Also a difference how I scored it. It’s never the full or the only measure but according to CompuBox Ugas scored more punches in every round than Ramos and Ugas also scored with more jabs more body punches and more power punches over the twelve rounds but fights aren’t decided by computers-yet.
Ugas had lost a unanimous decision to Shawn Porter for the WBC title in March last year but then wins over Omar Figueroa and Mike Dallas earned him a title shot with the WBA. After losing a majority decision to Jamal James-currently the interim WBA champion-Ramos scored eight consecutive victories including wins over Jimmy Williams and Brian Perrella and was No 6 with the WBA.
Akhmedov vs. Perez
Perez waded in at the start with Akhmedov catching him with straight lefts. Perez continued to come forward and connected with two stiff rights. Southpaw Akhmedov then cut loose and floored Perez with a left to the body that had Perez go down on his hands and knees in pain. It looked to me that Perez got up at 9 ½. Akhmedov jumped on him and Perez went down from some more body punches and although the referee started the count he saw that Perez was in agony and he stopped the fight. First fight for Uzbek-born Russian Akhmedov since losing on points to Mario Barrios for the secondary WBA title in September and he looks sure to challenge for a title again next year. Perez’s career has been a bit of a switchback ride. Every time he puts together some good wins he then loses a big fight.
Crowley vs. Torres
Unbeaten Canadian “Crippler” Crowley moves to 19 wins as he sweeps the board against Josh Torres with the three judges all agreeing on 100-90 for the score. Torres had won his last seven fights six by KO/TKO but he showed no such power here.
South Kirby. England: Super Light: Akeem Ennis- Brown (14-0) W PTS 12 Philip Bowes (20-4). Light Heavy: Dan Azeez (12-0) W TKO 9 Andre Sterling (11-3). Super Middle: Padraig McCrory (11-0) W TKO 1 Mickey Ellison (12-3). Super Light: Harlem Eubank (10-0) W TKO 8 Martin McDonagh (8-2).
Ennis- Brown vs. Bowes
Styles did not mix well in this contest between two southpaws and that led to a disappointing fight with Ennis-Brown taking the unanimous decision and collecting the Commonwealth and vacant British titles. With his jerky style and extravagant footwork Ennis-Brown was the one taking the fight to Bowes. Ennis-Brown was throwing more and landing more but Bowes was the one connecting with the harder single punches. The early rounds were very close and Bowes was cut over his left eye in the fourth caused by the head of a lunging Ennis-Brown. Too much holding was spoiling the fight and the referee warned both boxers in the fourth and again at the start of the fifth both rounds which Bowes seemed to edge. Ennis-Brown flaps his punches so gets very little power into them but he was flailing away and scored well in the sixth and seventh. Bowes was trying to stop Ennis-Brown working inside and he was given a severe warning for holding in the seventh and lost a point in the eighth for the same offence. Things went better for Bowles in the tenth as he landed some heavy punches and Ennis-Brown was cut over the left eye by a clash of heads. The doctor had a look at the cut but cleared Ennis-Brown to continue. His higher punch output and the deduction had put Ennis-Brown in front and he held on to his lead over the last two rounds. Scores 115-112 twice and 116-111 all for Ennis-Brown. He adds Bowes to his list of victims which already includes Glenn Foot, Chris Jenkins and Darragh Foley. His lack of a punch and his waste of energy with extravagant and pointless footwork may be a disadvantage against higher ranked opposition. Bowes, 36, was making the second defence of the Commonwealth title and was having his first fight since March 2019 so eighteen months without a fight cannot have helped his cause.
Azeez vs. Sterling
Azeez continues to make progress as he stops Sterling. After a close first round the quicker hand speed and accuracy of Azeez saw him take the second with Sterling cut above his left eye in the round but Sterling rebounded to edge the third. Sterling tried to up his pace in the fourth but instead was warned for holding and had to soak up some hard head punches. In the fifth Sterling landed his best punch of the fight but the hard right cross did not even shake Azeez who came back to knock Sterling off balance with a right forcing Sterling to put his gloves on the canvas resulting in a count. Azeez dominated the seventh and eighth with Sterling looking bruised, battered and tired as he lost his mouthguard in an exchange. In the ninth as Azeez had Sterling against the ropes and was unloading with both hands the towel came in from Sterling’s corner. It surprised the referee and the two fighters but it was a good decision by Sterling’s team. The 31-year-old Mark Tibbs trained Azeez retains the English title with his eighth inside the distance victory. A university finance graduate he did not turn pro until he was 28. First loss by KO/TKO for Sterling but third defeat in his last four fights.
McCrory vs. Ellison
Impressive performance by McCrory as he obliterates Ellison inside a round. McCrory was firing rights from the start with Ellison trying to use his longer reach to score at distance. A left hook from McCrory staggered Ellison and McCrory followed up connecting with two hard rights to the head. The second right sent Ellison into the ropes and he slid down balancing on the third rope hanging half out of the ring. He then slumped to the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight. The 32-year-old from Belfast gets his fifth quick win and one to match his stoppage of Steve Collins Jr in August last year. Ellison came in on the back of three wins including a victory over 15-0 Charlie Schofield.
Eubank vs. McDonagh
These two had clashed twice when amateurs with McDonagh winning both times. That might explain an opening round that took caution to extremes. McDonagh then did most of the scoring over the second and third with southpaw straight lefts. McDonagh was boxing confidently in the fourth until a left hook from Eubank staggered him badly and from there Eubank seemed to get stronger and stronger and McDonagh’s confidence faded. With just 40 seconds remaining in the eighth and last round Eubank again struck with a left hook that unhinged McDonagh’s legs and he connected with a right and a left that send McDonagh down. He struggled to his feet at eight but was unsteady and the fight was stopped. Eubank, the cousin of Chris Eubank Jr, gets his third inside distance win and revenge for those two losses in the amateurs. Including Harlem, Chris Senior and Chris Junior there are nine boxers/former boxers in the extended Eubank family. Former top level amateur McDonagh had won his last three fights
Tokyo, Japan: Light: Shuichiro Yoshino (13-0) W PTS 12 Valentine Hosokawa (25-8-3).
Yoshino holds on to his three titles as he outclasses former Japanese super light champion Hosokawa. Yoshino, with a 5” height advantage, imposed himself on the fight early with a strong jab and some straight rights and left hooks. Hosokawa had some success with his right hooks but was being outscored. After four rounds Yoshino led on the cards 39-37 twice and 40-36. Yoshino built on that lead stopping Hosokawa in his tracks with right in the sixth and taking the seventh and eighth at which point the champion was in front 79-73 twice and 80-72. Yoshino never gave Hosokawa a chance to get into the fight hurting him with a body attack in the tenth but Hosokawa did not crumble and was still fighting at the final bell. Scores 119-109 twice and 120-108 for Yoshino. This is his sixth defence of the national title first defence of the OPBF and WBO Asian Pacific titles for Yoshino. He is rated WBO 11/IBF 15(13)/WBC 15. “Old Timer” Hosokawa,39, pleased many Japanese fans when he won the national super light title at the age of 36 and at his third attempt but lost it in his third defence.
Grozny, Russia: Super Middle: Aslambek Idigov (19-0) W PTS 10 Stanislav Kashtanov (36-6). Heavy: Abdulkerim Edilov (3-0) W TKO 1 Denis Bakhtov (39-18).
Idigov vs. Kashtanov
Las Vegas-based Russian Idigov takes unanimous decision over Ukrainian-born veteran Kashtanov. At 5’8” Idigov is small for a super middle and he was conceding height and reach to the 6’0” tall Kashtanov. Idigov’s swarming arracks were more effective than the cultured style of experienced Kashtanov who just could not keep Idigov out and paid the price. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Idigov who retains the WBO European title. Idigov, 24, has victories against Ronny Landaeta Roberto Racz and last time out in February he beat Ryan Ford on a majority decision. His WBO European belt gets him a No 6 rating with them. I might start using the phrase “WBO Sanction Fee Gift Title” because that is what it is. It has nothing to do with the quality of any opponent as it is the promoter who picks the opponent for his fighter and not the WBO. In better days the 36-year-old Kashtanov was a challenger for the WBA secondary and interim titles but has now lost four on the bounce-all against good opposition.
Edilov vs. Bakhtov
Former martial arts star Edilov batters poor Bakhtov to defeat inside a round. Bakhtov hardly threw a punch as Edilov steamrollered him to the canvas in the first round. All three of Edilov’s wins have come inside three minutes. The opposition has not been strong but neither has it-up until this fight- been woeful. Edilov was Russian integrated martial arts and world universal combat champion. Now 40 Bakhtov was once a decent fighter but how has an eight bout losing streak.
Moscow, Russia: Light Heavy: Gasan Gasanov (17-9-1) W PTS 10 Artur Ziyatdinov (12-1). Super Bantam: Mukhammad Shekhov (7-0-1) DREW 10 Magomed Kurbanov (6-0-1). Super Light: Andrey Maik (7-0) W PTS 10 Radik Grigoryan (6-1-1).
Gasanov vs. Ziyatdinov
Despite some poor recent form Gasanov pulls out a surprise win over undefeated Ziyatdinov. The problem for Ziyatdinov was that he just could not keep the Russian southpaw out. Ziyatdinov was boxing cleverly and scoring well at distance and took an early lead but from the fourth Gasanov would not be denied and heavy pressure saw him edge into the lead over the next four rounds. Ziyatdinov rallied to make the eight a close round. Despite his 75% record of inside the distance wins there was no power in Ziyatdinov’s punches and Gasanov was able to walk through them and score with his jab and clubbing rights and he finished the fight the stronger man taking the closing rounds. Scores 97-93 twice and 97-94 all for Gasanov. The 29-year-old Gasanov was 1-4 in his last five fights so very much an outsider but now he is Russian champion. Montreal-based Ziyatdinov had been carefully matched in Canada and was a big disappointment here. He had won a number of Ukrainian championship titles before Russia annexed the Crimea
Shekhov vs. Kurbanov
In a hard-fought close contests Shekhov and Kurbanov battle to a split draw. In a contrast of styles the quick and clever Shekhov used his southpaw skills and plenty of movement to hold off the attacks from the stronger but slower Kurbanov. It really was a case of which style you preferred as neither fighter was able to dominate. That produced three very different scores of 99-92 Shekhov, 96-94 Kurbanov and 95-95 so the WBA International title remains vacant. Uzbek-born Shekhov was a top level amateur and is making steady progress as a pro. Kurbanov was also a high level amateur he also competed in four series of the WSB where he scored a win over Michael Conlan.
Maik vs. Grigoryan
Ukrainian-born Russian Maik lifts the WBA Asia title with points decision over Armenian Grigoryan. Maik used lots of speed and a hard working jab to outbox the aggressive Grigoryan for his fifth points win in a row. Grigoryan staggered then dropped Maik with a left hook in the second but just could not build on that.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Light: Antonio Moran (25-4-1) W KO 6 Luis Solis (25-11-4). Welter: Xander Zayas (5-0) W TKO 1 Orlando Salgado (1-1). Middle: Nikoloz Sekhniashvili (7-0) W TKO 4 Alexis Gaytan (5-7). Fly: Anthony Olascuaga (1-0) W Edwin Reyes (8-6-3). Super Welter: Bryan Polanco (2-0) W TKO 1 Joshua Sikes (0-1). Welter; Marques Valle (1-0) W Jenato Harris (0-2).
Moran vs. Solis
Moran wins this all-Mexican contest with stoppage of Solis. Moran used his jab to control this fight. On the occasions when Solis did get past the jab Moran was waiting with left hooks to the body. Solis kept walking forward and did connect with some body punches but Moran’s corner told their man not to get involved but stick to his jab. They finally turned him loose in the fourth and he rocked Solis with a left hook. Moran continued to get through to head and body in the fifth with Solis now on the back foot. In the sixth Solis missed with a right leaving himself open and a solid left to the body dropped him to his hands and knees. He spat out his mouthguard and never looked like beating the count. Moran, 27, was knocked out cold by Devin Haney last May but rebounded well with a draw against 17-0 Yomar Alamo in October. Now three inside the distance losses in his last four fights for Solis with Antonio Barboza stopping him in five rounds and Kerman Lejarraga kayoing him in four.
Zayas vs. Salgado
Zayas celebrates his eighteenth birthday a day early as he stops Salgado in one round. Salgado came out firing punches with Zayas backing up and waiting for the storm to end. When it did Zayas took over hurting Salgado with jabs forcing him to the ropes. He connect with a number of punches before a straight right dropped Salgado in a heap with the referee immediately stopping the fight. Puerto Rican Zayas, a former US National Youth champion, needed special dispensation from the Florida Commission as he was under 18 when the show was put together. The 5’10” teenager had taken less than ten rounds for his five wins. Salgado gave it a shot but never had a chance.
Sekhniashvili vs. Gaytan
Georgian Sekhniashvili overwhelms tall Texan Gaytan. The Georgian hope hunted down Gaytan for three rounds walking through Gayton’s jab and scoring to head and body. A volley of shots floored Gaytan in the fourth and although he beat the count he was pinned to the ropes and shipping punishment when the fight was halted. The 26-year-old Sekhniashvili gets his fifth early win. In the amateurs he was twice national champion at 81kg and represented Georgia at the European Games and European Championships. Gaytan falls to 1-4 in his most recent fights.
Olascuaga VS. Reyes
In an undercard full of promising fighters 21-year-old Olascuaga finished Reyes in two rounds. He dropped Reyes with a perfect left hook in the second. Reyes arose but was staggered badly by two more left hooks and the referee stepped in to save Reyes. Olascuaga won a last chance qualifier to get to compete at the final US Olympic Trials for Tokyo but had to withdraw with injury after winning his first fight. Third loss on the trot for Guatemalan Reyes.
Polanco vs. Sykes
Polanco gives Zayas some competition for the role of the most promising young fighter in Puerto Rico as he blasts out Sykes in the first round. Southpaw Polanco put Sykes with a straight left. Sykes got up but another left floored him and the fight was stopped after just 84 seconds. Despite turning pro the 22-year-old 6’2” Polanco, a four- time the national champion, is aiming for a gold medal at the rearranged Tokyo Olympics. His two fights have together lasted less than three minutes. Sykes no test.
Valle vs. Harris
New York-born Valle took nine seconds longer than Polanco for his win. He put Harris down with a left to the body and although Harris managed to beat the count he was floored again by a body shot and the fight was finished. The 21-year-old 6’1” Valle won a silver medal at the 2018 US National Championships. Harris in over his head-literally.
Casas Grandes, Mexico: Super Feather: Abel Mendoza (25-0) W PTS 7 Edgar Martinez (19-26-1). Super Welter: Dewayne Bonds (8-3-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Ever Ceballos (11-26-1).
Mendoza vs. Martinez
Mendoza collects the American Boxing Federation Continental Americas belt by outpointing Martinez. Mendoza floored Martinez with a right in the fourth and won every round. The 24-year-old Texan has a heavily padded record. There is not a single opponent on there who would not be flattered to be described as mediocre. Martinez falls into that category with his recent form showing just one win in his last 17 fights.
Bonds vs. Ceballos
Bonds also wins the American Boxing Federation Continental Americas title with stoppage of poor Ceballos. The El Paso southpaw floored Ceballos early in the second. Ceballos lost his mouthguard and when he made to his feet he was looking for it but the referee happened to be standing on it as did the eight count. After the count a punch from Bonds staggered and he touched the deck with his gloves to stay upright and the referee stopped the fight. Fifth win by KO/TKO for Bonds and fifth win by KO/TKO. Tenth loss in a row for inept Ceballos and loss No 21 by KO/TKO.
South Kirby, England: Super Feather: Samir Ziani (32-3-1) W TKO 12 Alex Dilmaghani (19-2-1,1ND). Cruiser: Isaac Chamberlain (12-1) W TKO 1 Matt Sen (5-3). Super Light: Stephen McKenna (5-0) W KO 1 Gary McGuire (1-17).
Ziani vs. Dilmaghani
Ziani scores a late stoppage of Dilmaghani and retains the European belt in yet another exciting EBU title fight. No time wasted on cautious probing from these two southpaws. Ziani took the fight straight to Dilmaghani with fast jabs and hooks from both hands. That suited Dilmaghani and he replied in kind as they set off at a furious pace. They were practically mirror images of each other as they both fired accurate jabs and put together snappy combinations. So many punches were being landed by both fighters that the rounds were close. Much of the action was toe-to-toe. Ziani continued to take the fight to Dilmaghani with Dilmaghani unable to force him back but doing the better work inside. Dilmaghani seemed to build a lead over the third, fourth and fifth but every round was hotly contested and the pace of the fight saw action in every second of each round. Dilmaghani was warned for pushing his elbow in Ziani’s face in the sixth and then ironically Ziani’s shoulder banged into Dilmaghani’s face and opened a cut under Dilmaghani’s right eye. Ziani ended the round with a fierce attack which had Dilmaghani under serious pressure. Ziani continued that impetus into the seventh but Dilmaghani took the eighth. In the ninth a clash of heads saw Ziani cut over the right eye and as Ziani had done in the sixth Dilmaghani fed off that cut to pump out bursts of six or seven punches at a time. Ziani was tending to throw less but harder. The action slackened off a little in the tenth as the pace of the contest affected both fighters but in the eleventh it became apparent that Ziani had more left in the tank. Dilmaghani was trying to punch with Ziani but Ziani was remorseless and gradually beat the resistance out of Dilmaghani. The sheer volume of punches from the champion was overwhelming Dilmaghani and he looked an exhausted fighter at the bell. Ziani showered Dilmaghani with punches in the twelfth with Dilmaghani stumbling and grabbing Ziani’s legs as he fell to the canvas. He climbed to his feet very slowly and Ziani continued to batter him with punches. Dilmaghani could hardly stand but was given a warning for holding. He then tumbled down to his knees with his head hanging outside the ropes. He somehow made it to his feet but when the referee indicated for him to both lift his hands and walk forward he did neither but the referee indicated for the fight to continue. Ziani punched Dilmaghani across the ring until he collapsed into the ropes and down to the floor. Even then the referee chose to count to eight before stopping the fight. It is great pity there had to be a loser and also that there was not a live audience to add that special flavour to such n exciting contest but thanks to Hennessy Promotions it was available live on terrestrial TV so had a big audience that way. Ziani, 32, was making the second defence of the European title. He has lost two big fights in the past to Richard Commey and Guillame Frenois but this is his tenth win in a row. He is rated IBF 12(11)/WBC 15 so unlikely to get a title shot but he showed what an excellent champion he is in this fight. The loss is obviously a big setback for Dilmaghani and he took the sort of punishment that can have a lasting effect. It is a disgrace that the fight was not stopped earlier. I can understand to some extent Dilmaghani’s team seeing their fighter three minutes away from a major title (Dilmaghani was in front on two cards 106-103 and 105-104) but they let him take too much unnecessary punishment. The action of the referee is less forgivable. After the first knockdown Dilmaghani was in a daze not even looking at the referee. When the referee motioned for him to lift his gloves he did not do so and when the referee asked to step forward (not even to the side) he only did so after the referee had already turned away signalling for the fight to continue. Bothering to give an eight count after the second knockdown only to then waive the fight over denied Dilmaghani a few extra seconds of medical attention that could have been crucial. It is easy to sit and write this when you are not the one making those split second decisions but I believe the referee erred badly in this case. Dilmaghani was unable to come to the centre of the ring for the result and was helped from the ring by the paramedics.
Chamberlain vs. Sen
Chamberlain is making up for lost time. After two years out of the ring he has now scored two inside the distance victories in sixteen days. Chamberlain was landing early and Sen tried to force Chamberlain back. As he came forward he was rocked by a couple of punches but plunged on and with Chamberlain against the ropes he threw some clubbing punches. Chamberlain waited for an opening and then exploded a left hook on Sen’s chin. Now it was Sen against the ropes and a string of powerful uppercuts had Sen reeling with the referee coming in to save him just 50 seconds into the round. Sixth win by KO/TKO for Chamberlain. Back in 2018 Chamberlain lost a wide points decision against Lawrence Okolie in a clash of unbeaten prospects. Okolie is to fight for the vacant WBO title and Chamberlain will be looking to follow the same path. Third inside the distance loss for Sen with all three coming in the first round.
McKenna vs. McGuire
Spiteful punching McKenna blasts out yet another opponent. McKenna came out firing punches took McGuire to a corner and showered him with punches until McGuire went down. McKenna stupidly threw a punch at McGuire when he was on the floor and was lucky to only get a severe warning. When the action resumed McKenna put McGuire down twice more and although he made it to his feet the referee waived the fight over. The 23-year-old McKenna has won all five of his fights by KO/TKO four in the first round and one in the second. In the amateurs he was Commonwealth Youth and Irish Youth champion and won a silver medal at the European Youth Championships. He put together a 155-24 record before handing in his vest. McGuire has a terrible record but this is only the fourth time he has been stopped.
Brisbane, Australia: Welter: Ben Kite (17-4-1) W PTS 10 Tysinn Best (12-2). Super Light: Waylon Law (13-7) W PTS 10 Justin Frost (10-1-1).
Kite vs. Best
In a battle between two Queenslanders the more experienced Kite comes off the floor in the first round then goes on to outpoint national champion Best. Scores 97-92 twice and 95-94 for Kite. Win No 12 in a row for Kite who was defending his Australasian title. Four of Kite’s last five fights had lasted the full ten rounds which gave him an edge over Best. Best was defending the Australian title for the second time. He had been knocked out in the first round by Korean champion In Duck Seo in June last year and had scored two wins in five round fights later in the year.
Law vs. Frost
On a bad night for Australian champions this result has to count as a big upset as Law wins the national title on a split decision over champion Frost in his first fight for three years. Scores 97-93 and 97-94 for Law and 96-94 for Frost. Back in 2014 Law had been knocked out in six rounds by Kyle McKenzie in a challenge for the Australian super feather belt but six year later and two divisions higher he is a champion. Frost was defending the title for the first time having beaten former amateur star Jackson Woods for the vacant title in November.
Mexico City, Mexico: Fly: Joselito Velazquez (13-0) W PTS 10 Brandon Gallardo (3-2-1).
Velazquez marches on with wide unanimous decision over Gallardo. Velazquez applied plenty of pressure early with body punches, some of which strayed low. Despite his lack of experience Gallardo made Velazquez work hard and landed some power shots in both the third and the seventh rounds. Velazquez won the rest of the rounds but he could not break Gallardo down and despite having Gallardo rocking in the last had to settle for a points victory. All three judges saw it for Velazquez 98-92. As a former Olympian and gold medal winner at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games a lot is expected of Velazquez and he is not being rushed. Gallardo really just a prelim fighter with only one six round bout on his record so he performed better than expected here.
Tijuana, Mexico: Fly: Angel Ramos (25-1-2) W TEC DEC 7 Jorge Villalobos (10-1-3). Southpaw Ramos makes it eight straight wins with a technical decision against Villalobos as a cut brings the fight to an end after seven rounds. Scores 69-64 twice and 70-63 for Ramos. The Ensenada fighter’s loss came against Maximino Flores and the draw was with WBC super flyweight challenger Dewayne Beamon. For “Pajarito” Villalobos the was too high a step in his opposituion
Managua, Nicaragua: Super Bantam: Alexander Mejia (16-1) W PTS 8 Harvy Calero (6-9-2). Feather: Giovanni Gutierrez (10-1-1) DREW 8 Martin Diaz (16-12-1,2ND).
Mejia vs. Calero
Mejia gets his seventh win in a row as he takes a unanimous verdict over Calero. Mejia’s only loss is a very creditable majority decision defeat against former WBO featherweight title challenger Hiroshige Osawa, Calero is on a run of five losses.
Gutierrez vs. Diaz
Gutierrez and Diaz battled their way to a split draw. Scores 77-75 Gutierrez, 76-73 Diaz and 76-76. Gutierrez loss came against 22-1 Mike Plania in Miami in December. Diaz is 1-3-1 currently with the losses all against good level opposition.
Fight of the week (Significance): Jamel Herring’s successful defence of the WBO super feather title may open the door for Carl Frampton to have a shot at becoming a three division champion
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Has to be Samir Ziani vs. Alex Dilmaghani
Fighter of the week: Yordenis Ugas who clearly beat Abel Ramos to win the vacant secondary WBA welter title-no matter what the judges thought
Punch of the week: The left uppercut from Jamel Herring that dropped Jonathan Oquendo in the third may not have ended the fight but it was a thing of beauty-in boxing terms.
Upset of the week: Club fighter Gasan Gasanov was not supposed to beat prospect Artur Ziyatdinov but he did but for me Waylon Law returning after three years out of the ring and winning the Australian title counts just a bit higher
Prospect watch: Light Fly Jesse Rodriguez who is 12-0 after wiping out former world title challenger Janiel Rivera in the first round.
No masks no social distancing in Australia. Always interesting to see the different approaches.
Not too many shows can compete with the one in Moscow that had 28 fights scheduled! No chance of getting home early and catching the wife in the bed with the milkman (do they have milkmen in Russia? Maybe it’s Vodkamen)
Mexican boxer Jorge Villalobos has the nickname of “Pajarito”-Being of a certain age it is a name I will always associate with Mexican Ricardo Moreno who won 59 of his 60 victories by KO/TKO unfortunately eight of twelve losses came the same way so with one draw only six of his 73 fights went the distance in a 23 year career. You didn’t blink when Ricardo was fighting but today I guess some at ringside might miss the knockout being too busy with their mobile phones updating their social media pages. I’ll give up when I see referees doing it between rounds.
A good weekend for prospects with Padraig McCrory, Xander Zayas, Bryan Polanco, Marques Valle, Isaac Chamberlain, Stephen McKenna, Jesse Rodriguez and Batyr Akhmedov all scoring first round wins.
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