By Eric Armit
-Jesse Rodriguez springs a massive upset as he outpoints Carlos Cuadras to win the vacant WBC super flyweight title
-Keith Thurman returns to action with a wide unanimous points victory over Mario Barrio
- Leo Santa Cruz and Luis Nery get points wins on their return to activity
-Chris Eubank floors Liam Williams four times on the way to a unanimous decision
Claressa Shields retains he four title with victory over Ema Kozin
-Jamie Mitchell stops Carly Skelly in defence of her WBA Female bantamweight belt
-Rene Cuarto retains the IBF minimumweight belt with technical decision over Pedro Taduran
World Title/Major Shows
Phoenix, AZ, USA: Super Fly: Jesse Rodriguez (15-0) W PTS 12 Carlos Cuadras (39-5-1). Feather: Ray Ford (11-0-1) W PTS 10 Edward Vazquez (11-1,1ND). Bantam: Jamie Mitchell (8-0-2) W KO 4 Carly Skelly (4-1-1). Fly: Fernando Diaz (11-1-1) W PTS 10 Lorenzo Smith (10-1).
Rodriguez vs. Cuadras
In a major upset late stand-in Rodriguez wins the vacant WBC title with comfortable unanimous decision over Cuadras
Cuadras was quickly off the mark. He was jabbing strongly and firing hooks to the body with Rodriguez looking tentative., Rodriguez settled and landed a good straight right to the forehead but again Cuadras was getting through with body punches
Score: 10-9 Cuadras
Cuadras must have realised this was not going to be an easy night when Rodriguez took control in this round. He was firing right jabs through the centre of Cuadras guard and following with straight lefts. He put together some sharp combinations switching his attack from head to body. Cuadras banged back hard but was mostly kept on the back foot.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez TIED 19-19
Once again Rodriguez was full of confidence. He had the quicker hands and was finding gaps for his jab. He suddenly stepped around Cuadras and landed a right uppercut that dumped Cuadras on his rump. Cuadras was up immediately and stood and traded punches with Rodriguez. Again Rodriguez was slotting fast punches through Cuadras guard but Cuadras was banging back to the body. There was a pause in the action after a punch from Rodriguez went low and Cuadras ended the round with a strong attack
Score: 10-8 Rodriguez Rodriguez 29-27
Rodriguez’s speed was giving him a big edge. He was piercing Cuadras guard with shots to the head and then clouting him with hooks to the body from both hands forcing Cuadras on to the back foot. Cuadras kept throwing hooks to the body most of which Rodriguez was blocking. Cuadras was warned for a low punch and seconds later Rodriguez also went low and was warned.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 39-36
Official Scores: Judge Barry Lindenman 39-36 Rodriguez, Judge Steve Morrow 39-36 Rodriguez, Judge Dennis O’Connell 39-36 Rodriguez
Cuadras was more positive in this round. He was stabbing out strong jabs and then letting fly with bunches of hooks and connected with two sharp uppercuts. Rodriguez was snapping punches through gaps in the guard of Cuadras but although often wild Cuadras was throwing more punches and he finished the round with a strong burst of shots.
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Rodriguez 48-46
Good round from Rodriguez. He was just too quick with his right jab/straight left combinations and had Cuadras backing up. When they went toe-to-toe Rodriguez was getting the better of the exchanges and he scored with a series of hard lefts before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 58-55
Cuadras came back into the fight in this one. He was using his jab more and on the front foot more. He was landing beefy hooks to the body and some choice uppercuts. Rodriguez was moving less and throwing less
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Rodriguez 67-65
Rodriguez took this round easily. He was firing fast accurate jabs and sending lefts through Cuadras leaky guard. He was constantly moving, changing angles and getting his punches through, over and around the guard of Cuadras and rocked Cuadras with a big left.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 77-74
Official Scores: Judge Barry Lindenman 77-74 Rodriguez, Judge Steve Morrow 77-74 Rodriguez, Judge Dennis O’Connell 78-73 Rodriguez.
Cuadras had been consistently throwing more punches than Rodriguez but they were missing or being blocked. On the other hand Rodriguez hardly wasted a punch. Spearing jabs, scything body shots and particularly a beautiful right uppercut in this round typified the action as Rodriguez collected the points again.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 87-83
Some encouragement for Cuadras here. He made better use of his jab and was not so wild with his hooks. He kept Rodriguez under pressure and although Rodriguez connected with a series of punches in the middle of the round Cuadras was able to trap him against the ropes and work to the body for the first time in the fight.
Score: 10-9 Cuadras Rodriguez 96-93
Rodriguez took this one clearly. He was back to constantly changing angles and scored time and again with lefts to the head. Cuadras was lunging forward throwing punches wildly and paying for that in the coin of precise counters from Rodriguez.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 106-102
Cuadras tried to stage a strong finish. He threw lots of punches but as with the story of the fight much of it was just aimless and inaccurate. Rodriguez stayed cool finding gaps firing quick punches and moving before Cuadras could find the target as he wrapped up the decision.
Score: 10-9 Rodriguez Rodriguez 116-111
Official Scores: Judge Barry Lindenman 115-112 Rodriguez, Judge Steve Morrow 117-110 Rodriguez, Judge Dennis O’Connell 117-110 Rodriguez.
The new champion has already talked about going down to his flyweight as he had weighed inside that division limit and even the light flyweight limit in his last six fights. Rodriguez was drafted into face Cuadras for the vacant title when former champion Srisaket had to pull out due to illness. Rodriguez was not even rated in the WBC’s top 40 flyweights and in fact was in their light flyweight ratings at No 6 so was jumping two divisions and was probably selected partly for being available and unbeaten but also being a southpaw like Srisaket. Before turning pro he was twice US Youth champion and a silver medal winner at the World Junior Championships. We will have to wait to see whether Rodriguez wiil go down to flyweight or chose to face Srisaket the fighter he replaced. This was Cuadras first fight since his eleventh round stoppage loss against Juan Estrada in October 2020 and only his second fight since September 2019. Although still only 31 he looked an old fighter in this one but will probably fight on hoping for another title shot.
Ford vs. Vazquez
Ford holds off an aggressive Vazquez and gets a split decision victory. Vazquez was looking to get inside in the first with Ford jabbing and moving with neither really asserting themselves. Vazquez closed Ford down well in the second lunging past Ford’s jab to work with body punches. Ford had better skills but in the third he was letting Vazquez hustle him and Vazquez was piling forward pumping out punches. In the fourth Ford was warned for holding but used his reach and quicker hands to make room to work and took the fourth but Vazquez had enough success to make the fifth close. Ford was able to score with jabs and following rights in the sixth and seventh whilst keeping Vazquez on the outside. Vazquez drove forward in the eighth with Ford using plenty of slick footwork and sliding home jabs before scoring late with a good left to the head. Ford did the scoring at the start of the ninth round again snapping out southpaw jabs but Vazquez was able to work to the body inside as the round closed. Ford wrapped up the decision with the better work in the last round firing bursts of punches going for quantity rather than power. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Ford and 96-94 for Vazquez with the 98-92 looking too generous to Ford. The 22-year-old former National Golden Gloves champion retains the WBA Continental Americas belt-a belt that ridiculously gets him a No 9 ranking with the WBA irrespective of his opposition. Texan Vazquez was going ten rounds for the first time.
Mitchell vs. Skelly
Mitchell dismantles a plucky Skelly in four rounds in defence of her WBA Female title. Mitchell floored Skelly late in the first round and then again at the end of the second. Mitchell bombarded Skelly with punches in the third but Skelly did not crumble. When Mitchell continued to score heavily in the fourth the referee stepped in and halted the fight. “ The Miracle” Mitchell, 37, won the title in October with a majority decision over Shannon Courtney in Liverpool. Shannon had forfeited the title when she failed to make the weight for a defence against Mitchell. Liverpudlian southpaw Skelly had won the vacant WBC Female International title in October.
Diaz vs. Smith
Diaz gets a close unanimous decision over Smith. The first round clearly went to Smith and things did not look good for Diaz. He settled and then boxed well. Diaz suffered a shock knockdown in from a left hook in the fifth but recovered and edged in front getting the better of the action in the eighth only for Smith to fire back strongly in the ninth and they put everything into a frantic last. Scores 96-93 twice and 95-94 for Diaz who was in his first ten round fight. He wins the WBC US title. Smith’s record padded to the extreme with not one of his ten victims having won a fight.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Keith Thurman (30-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Mario Barrios (26-2). Feather: Leo Santa Cruz (38-2-1) W PTS 10 Keenan Carbajal (23-3-1). ). Super Bantam: Luis Nery (32-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Castro (27-1).Welter: Lucas Santamaria (13-2-1) W PTS 10 Abel Ramos (27-5-2Super Welter: Jesus Ramos (18-0) W TKO 6 Vladimir Hernandez (13-5). Super Light: Omar Juarez (13-1) PTS 10 Ryan Karl (19-4).
Thurman vs. Barrios
Thurman returns to the ring in impressive fashion as he outscores and outclasses Barrios. The fight started at a fast pace as both fighters sought to dominate the action. Thurman connected with some tasty left jabs but Barrios just took the round scoring with straight rights and Thurman was already showing a bruising under his left eye. Barrios connected with a right at the start of the second but Thurman had the better of the exchanges shaking Barrios with a left hook and finishing the round strongly. Thurman took over completely in the third rocking Barrios with left hooks and hurting him with a right late in the round. In the fourth a right and a left from Thurman drove Barrios back and Barrios was dripping blood from his mouth before being shaken by a left just before the bell. Thurman scored heavily as they traded punches in the fifth and by the end of the round Barrios was dripping more blood from his mouth and also now from his nose. Barrios was more competitive in a quieter sixth but was badly hurt by a crunching left hook to the body. Thurman eased his pace in the seventh but still outboxed Barrios and a right from Thurman added further damage opening a cut over Barrios’ left eye. The only upside in the round for Barrios was a left to the body which stopped Thurman in his tracks and was his best punch of the fight to that point. Thurman continued to hand out heavy punishment in the ninth but Barrios banged back strongly and looked to have done enough to win the round. Thurman dialled his output down in the tenth but was still getting through with some heavy single shots. Barrios continued to shed blood from his nose in the eleventh which was a close round as again Thurman seemed to be saving himself for a big effort in the last. Thurman did go down in the round but it was correctly ruled a slip. Thurman stepped up his pace again in the last and did enough to pocket the round before easing up to the bell. Thurman took the decision on scores of 118-110 twice and 117-111. Thurman was having his first fight since losing a split decision to Manny Pacquiao in July 2019 and on this form he is definitely a threat in the division. Barrios was moving up in weight after having lost his secondary WBA super lightweight belt on a stoppage against Gervonta Davis in June last year.
Santa Cruz vs. Carbajal
Santa Cruz returns to the ring and puts on a vintage performance as he takes every round over Carbajal in Carbajal’s home city. Having been out of the ring for fifteen months Santa Cruz spent the first round just rumbling forward getting his jab working and finding his range. The second round was an unfortunate round for Santa Cruz. Although he won it clearly he suffered a cut under his left eye in a clash of heads. Something he did not need having been out for such a long time. Santa Cruz began to find his rhythm in the third but they bumped heads again in the fourth and Santa Cruz was cut on his right eyelid with the doctor inspecting the damage but letting the fight continue. Carbajal worked hard to make the fifth close but Santa Cruz picked up the pace in the sixth keeping Carbajal on the back foot and driving home hooks to the body but again the action was halted as the doctor took another look at Santa Cruz’s injuries and cleared him to continue. Santa Cruz put Carbajal under relentless pressure over the remaining rounds rocking him a couple of times but never looking likely to end it early. Scores 100-90 from the judges for Santa Cruz. After his dramatic kayo loss against Gervonta Davis Santa Cruz needed to win this one and he did it in some style. The cuts will delay him but he will be looking to get back into some title action and a fight against George Kambosos or Devin Haney would be attractive as would a clash with Vasyl Lomachenko if politics allowed. Carbajal had won his last eighteen fights but against mediocre opposition and Santa Cruz was a few bridges too far.
Nery vs. Castro
Nery takes a split verdict over Castro in a flat and uninspired performance. It looked as though it might be an early night when Nery put Castro down with a solid left just 47 seconds into the fight. Castro sat on the canvas until the count reached eight and then jumped to his feet. Nery launched a frenetic attack but despite having his neck snapped by another left Castro made it to the bell. Castro settled in to his boxing in the second and third using his longer breach to score at distance and it helped that Nery was playing the part of a cagey counter-puncher and not exerting much pressure. The danger signs were there again in the fourth as Nery rocked Castro with a right but Nery seemed content to sit back and only fight in bursts. Castro kept marching forward behind his jab but was being frustrated by bobbing and weaving by Nery and rarely found the target with his rights but Nery was throwing very little in a fight that never really caught alight. Castro was outworking Nery without doing very much and was being gifted rounds. Nery finally came to life over the ninth and tenth finding the target with powerful lefts and only just edged the decision. Scores 96-93 and 95-94 for Nery and 95-94 for Castro. This was Nery’s return to the ring for the first time since losing his WBC super bantamweight title on a seventh round kayo against Brandon Figueroa in May last year. He wins the WBC Silver belt. He said he wanted to show he could box and was not just a wild slugger but he took that too far here and but for the first round knockdown it would have been a very different outcome. Castro has impressive statistics and was No 2 with the WBC but that seems to be a quantity rather than quality rating as there are no rated fighters on his list of victims.
Santamaria vs. Ramos
Santamaria takes unanimous decision over Ramos in a fierce ten round battle. Good start for Ramos as he connected with a left hook to the temple in the first minute which sent Santamaria stumbling across the ring to the ropes. Ramos rushed to capitalise on that and landed a couple of rights but Santamaria recovered and found the target with jabs and right hands. Ramos looked to outscore Santamaria in the second and staged a storming attack in the third hounding Santamaria pinning him to the ropes and sending his mouthguard flying with a solid right. The fourth was close with Santamaria switching guards and defending well. A great fifth round saw lots of fiery exchanges but with accurate jabbing and greats countering giving Santamaria the round. Some of the fire went out of Ramos in the sixth and seventh. He battled back in the eighth but Santamaria was the one storming forward in the ninth scoring with scorching uppercuts with Ramos now on the back foot and under pressure. They both had good moments in the tenth and the decision could have gone either way. Judges scores 96-94 twice and 98-92 all for Ramos with the last score totally unjust to Ramos. Santamaria had convincingly beaten Devon Alexander in his last fight in August and came in at two weeks’ notice to replace an injured Josesito Lopez . This was advertised as a WBC eliminator but a rating is the most Santamaria is likely to get out of this win. Ramos had lost a split verdict to Yordenis Ugas for the vacant secondary WBA title in 2020 but rebounded with a stoppage of Omar Figueroa Jr. in May and had been hoping this might open the door to a title shot but this verdict slammed the door in his face.
Ramos vs. Hernandez
Ramos stops Hernandez in an all-southpaw war. Hernandez put Ramos under pressure with a swarming attack at the start of the first but Ramos began to find the target with his longer reach over the last minute of the round and probably did enough to edge it. Hernandez continued to come forward throwing hooks and uppercuts in the second and third. Ramos was countering with short shots inside but was being outworked. Ramos did better in the fourth. He was blocking many of Hernandez’s punches and upped his own output scoring with right hooks as Hernandez came forward. The fifth was a slower round with neither fighter landing many clean shots but the better defensive work from Ramos gave him the edge. The sheer volume of Hernandez’s punches had him on top in the sixth until late in the round when a big right from Ramos stopped him in his tracks and had him wobbling. Ramos jumped on him and battered Hernandez across the ring to the ropes and he was bouncing punches off Hernandez head when the referee made a well times stoppage. The 20-year-old 5’10” Ramos moves to 15 wins by KO/TKO. Neither fighter was in the ratings but Ramos was coming off victories over 24-2 Jesus Bojorquez, experienced Javier Molina and 19-1 Brian Mendoza and Hernandez over Alfredo Angulo and Julian Williams.
Juarez vs. Karl
Juarez gets a split decision over Karl. Juarez buckled Karl’s knees with the first punch he threw but Karl shook off the effects quickly and outworked Juarez for the rest of the round. Karl hustled Juarez in the second but again rights from Juarez shook him a couple of times and although Karl worked hard in the third he was staggered by a left hook. Karl scored well to the body in the fourth and just outworked Juarez but Juarez more accurate punching and better defence gave him the sixth. Karl battled his way back into the fight as he pressured Juarez throughout the sixth. Juarez lost a point for an elbow smash in the seventh with Karl badly cut over his left eye and Juarez winning the round making it a 9-9 round. Karl kept storming forward over the closing rounds trying to overwhelm Juarez by volume but with Juarez connecting with counters on the always open Karl it was going to be close on the cards. The scores were 96-93 and 95-94 for Juarez and 95-94 for Karl. Juarez had lost a majority decision against useful Philippines champion Al Rivera in June with a ninth round knockdown costing him the decision. Karl is a fans fighter with a belligerent lay it all on the line style who was kayoed in six round by Mario Barrios in October 20
Cardiff, Wales: Middle: Chris Eubank Jr (32-2) W PTS 12 Liam Williams (23-4-1). Middle: Claressa Shields (12-0) W PTS 10 Ema Kozin (21-1-1). Welter: Samuel Antwi (14-1) W PTS 10 Conah Walker (10-1-1). Welter: Chris Jenkins (23-4-3) W PTS 8 Julius Indongo (23-5). Heavy: Otto Wallin (23-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Kamil Sokolowski (11-25-2). Super Light: Harlem Eubank (13-0) W RTD 5 Viorel Simion (22-8). Light: Caroline Dubois (1-0) W PTS 6 Vaida Masiokaite (I2-25-4).
Eubank vs. Williams
Eubank scores four knockdowns on his way to taking the unanimous decision after a nasty bad tempered scrap. Williams was looking to take the fight to Eubank from the start. He scored with a good right early but was caught by some sharp jabs. As he powered forward late in the round a powerful jab put him down. He was up quickly and after the count went after Eubank but was caught with a couple of rights. Williams came forward again throughout the second but Eubank found a gap for a right to the side of the head and clipped Williams on the temple with a left as he went down. This time Williams was shaken but he again tried to take the fight to Eubank getting caught with a couple of counters. Eubank boxed cleverly in the third and as things heated up they swapped punches after the bell with Eubank being given a warning. The referee lectured both boxers at the start of the fourth. Eubank was taunting Williams and as Williams ploughed forward once more he ran onto a left jab and went down for the third time. Williams did better in the fifth but Eubank was boxing cleverly and picking his punches well. In the sixth Eubank spent too much time taunting the supporters of Williams and Williams pressed hard for the full three minutes and probably just edged the round. This really was no fight for the faint hearted with plenty of animosity between the fighters and plenty of rough stuff going on with the referee having to work hard to keep control. Williams' all-out aggression and Eubank’s tendency to only fight in bursts allowed Williams to get into the fight over the middle rounds. Eubank picked up the pace in the tenth upping is work rate and taking the fight to Williams for a change. He then effectively settled the fight by flooring Williams for the fourth time in the eleventh. A body punch caused Williams to lose his balance and he stumbled down. He was up immediately protesting the knockdown but he was given a count. Eubank danced and dodged his way through the last still taunting Williams who just could not catch him. Scores 117-109, 116-108 and 116-109 for Eubank. An important win but not a pretty one for Eubank. He again showed his talent and his ability to frustrate opponents and fans. Eubank is rated No 1 by the WBA so should get a shot at Ryota Murata this year but he is also No 3 with the WBC so that might be another route for him. Williams had a thoroughly unpleasant and frustrating night. He lost on points against Demetrius Andrade for the WBO title in April last year and this loss will badly effect his current ranking with the WBC, WBA and WBO leaving him with a serious rebuilding job to do.
Shields vs. Kozin
Shields proves to be a good few levels above unbeaten Kozin and wins every round. After a useful opener Shields began to unload on Kozin in the second and then dominated from there. She kept rolling forward scoring with hurtful body punches and southpaw Kozin could not keep her out and spent much of the night against the ropes or trapped in a corner. Kozin work hard in the sixth trying to get a toe-hold in the fight and Shields eased up a little in the seventh but had Kozin backing up under pressure and continued to land hard, accurate shots to the end. Scores 100-90 for Shields on all three cards. Shields retains the IBF, WBA and WBC titles but would have been looking for a more spectacular victory with a fight with unbeaten WBO title holder Savannah Marshall the aim. They exchange enough insults here to drum up plenty of interest although with all four titles on the line and Shields looking to avenge a loss to Marshall in the amateurs this one sells itself. Kozin has held five minor versions of the super middleweight and middleweight titles but was out of her league against Shields.
Antwi vs. Walker
Antwi holds on to the English title with a majority decision over Walker. This was a close, hard-fought contest all the way. Early aggression from Walker saw him take the first two rounds but Antwi began to counter effectively from the third and those accurate shots saw him reverse the position by taking the next three rounds. Walker continued to press hard and took the sixth to even things up before a strong finish from Antwi was just enough to see him take the majority decision. Scores 97-94 and 96-94 for Antwi and 95-95. Seventh successive win for Antwi who was making the first defence of the English title. Midlands Area champion Walker deserves a return as many saw him come out ahead in this one.
Jenkins vs. Indongo
Former Commonwealth and British champion Jenkins too good for a very faded Indongo. Jenkins pressed the fight from the start with Indongo having to work hard to keep Jenkins out. Jenkins continually stepped up the pace and Indongo was already looking tired and had to use all of his experience to stay in the fight. A hand injury forced Jenkins to box with a bit more caution letting Indongo score well in the sixth and seventh but Jenkins ended the fight strongly and was a clear winner. Referee’s score 78-75 for Jenkins. First fight for the Welshman since suffering broken ribs in his loss to Ekow Essuman in July. Now 38 former IBF and WBA super lightweight champion Indongo gets his third successive defeat.
Wallin vs. Sokolowski
Sweden’s Wallin would have been looking to put on an impressive show here but this fight never caught fire. Wallin was able to use his edges in height and reach to outscore Sokolowski. The Pole had performed well in six recent fights against unbeaten opposition but Wallin was a better class than those opponents and was never troubled but never sparkled. Referee’s score 79-74 for Wallin. Despite a good showing against Tyson Fury and wins over Travis Kauffman and Dominic Breazeale Wallin is not currently rated and he will have to take some risks if that is to change. Durability is Sokolowski’s forte and he has only been beaten inside the distance three times.
Eubank vs. Simion
Eubank pushes Romanian Simion a little further down the hill. Once an elite level amateur and an unbeaten pro Simion is now just there for the money. Eubank was too young too quick and too busy for Simion. Eubank dominated the action putting together some impressive combinations. Simion flared into action briefly in the fourth but that quickly died out and Eubank piled on the pressure and connected with some hurtful body shots in the fifth. Simion retired at the end of the round. Fifth victory by KO/TKO for Eubank who is the cousin of Chris Jr. Now 40 Simion has lost five in a row four of them inside the distance.
Dubois vs. Masiokaite
Dubois wins her first professional fight as she takes all six rounds against Lithuanian Masiokaite. Dubois had her right jab working and on target from the first bell. Dubois came close to a knockdown as she buckled Masiokaite’s knees in the third but Masiokaite managed to stay on her feet and Dubois dominated the rest of the way. Referee’s score 60-54 for Dubois. Caroline, the 21-year-old sister of Daniel Dubois, was Youth Olympic champion, World Youth Champion and 4-time European Youth Champion and a quarter-finalist in Tokyo so an exciting addition to the pro ranks. Eighth loss on the bounce for Masiokaite.
Digos City, Philippines: Minimumweight: Rene Cuarto (20-2-2) W TEC DEC 7 Pedro Taduran (14-4-1,1 ND ).
Cuarto retains the IBF title with technical majority decision over Taduran. In an untidy fight Taduran was the one driving forward but too often head first and with wild punches. Cuarto was doing a lot of holding to stop Taduran working inside. Cuarto shook Taduran with a couple of uppercuts in the first and was credited with a dubious knockdown in the second when an off balance Taduran touched the canvas with his gloves. In an exciting third they stood and traded body punches. Taduran looked to be getting the better of the exchanges and Cuarto delivered a deliberate butt opening a cut over Taduran’s right eye and he was deducted two points for that infraction. Taduran continued to hound Cuarto in the fourth with Cuarto having to hold to smother Taduran’s punches and getting a warning. After four rounds with the knockdown of Taduran and the two points deduction against
Cuarto all three judges had it 37-37 each. The action was frantic in the fifth with Taduran chasing Cuarto down. Cuarto was scoring with counters but was again warned for holding. Taduran was down again in the sixth but it also was a questionable knockdown as he went down on one knee after missing with a punch and Cuarto did not land a punch. There was concern over Taduran’s cut and the doctor examined him in the sixth but let the fight continue. Just seconds into the seventh the referee again asked the doctor to examine Taduran and after lots of confusion it was confirmed the doctor had advised the fight be stopped and it went to the cards with Cuarto winning on scores of 66-64 and 65-44 for Cuarto and 65-65. Cuarto had won the title with a very close unanimous decision over champion Taduran a year ago but with the two questionable knockdowns Taduran could consider himself unlucky.
Moscow, Russia: Super Light: Yauheni Dauhaliavets (8-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Eniz (27-17-1,1ND). Super Middle: Mikhail Dauhaliavets (6-0) W KO 2 Victor Exner (7-9-1). Super Light: Georgi Chelokhsaev (20-2-1) W TKO 2 Mukhaamadsalim Sotvoldiev (7-6-2).
Dauhaliavets vs. Eniz
A good night for Belarusians as both Dauhaliavets brothers scored wins here but in very different ways. Despite his mediocre record Argentinian Eniz is a clever boxer and he came to win this one. He surprised Dauhaliavets with a quick, confident start showing plenty of movement and scoring well with hooks and uppercuts. From the second Dauhaliavets used his superior strength to bull Eniz around stepping inside with strong jabs and clubbing head shots and moved in front. Eniz did enough to keep it close and then despite a cut outworked Dauhaliavets and built a good lead. Dauhaliavets produced a strong finish over the ninth and tenth. It did not seem enough but the judges gave the decision to Dauhaliavets with no scores announced. Dauhaliavets, represented Belorussia at the European Games, European Championships and World Championships and has wins over Fedor Papazov and Georgi Chelokhsaev who scored a victory on the undercard. Eniz has faced some tough nights on his travels losing to Batyrzhan Jukembayev and Subriel Matias and at home to Jeremiah Ponce.
Dauhaliavets vs. Exner
Elder brother Mikhail has an easier night. He had Exner shaken a number of times in the first without scoring a knockdown. In the second he staggered Exner twice with southpaw rights to the head and then dropped him with a right hook. Exner made it to his feet but went down on his knees under a series of punches and was counted out. Mikhail had over 100 amateur contests and competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games. This is his sixth win by KO/TK. Fourth inside the distance loss for Argentinian Exner who was overmatched.
Chelokhsaev vs. Sotvoldiev
Chelokhsaev blows away Sotvoldiev in two rounds. This was one-sided as Chelokhsaev dropped Sotvoldiev to his knees with a right to the head in the first. He then used the same punch to floor Sotvoldiev in the second and the fight was stopped. Russian Chelokhsaev put together a 14-bout unbeaten streak before losing a split decision to Yauheni Dauhaliavets in November 2020 and this is his first ring appearance since then. A return with Dauhaliavets looks to be the next step. Fourth defeat in a row for Sotvoldiev.
Canuelas, Argentina: Light: Claudio Daneff (14-2-1) W TKO 3 Gustavo Pereyra (11-14-4). Welter: Leandro Fonseca (10-0-1) W TKO 8 Ramon De La Cruz (23-32-3).
Daneff vs. Pereyra
Daneff destroys Pereyra in three rounds. From the opening bell the local fighter put Pereyra under pressure landing jabs and hooking strongly with both hands. The fight continued to be one-sided in the second with Daneff scoring with southpaw lefts to head and body. It was all over in the third as Daneff drove Pereyra around the ropes and with Pereyra reeling under the onslaught the referee halted the fight. The 25-year-old Argentinian champion wins the vacant WBC Latino title with his eighth victory by KO/TKO. Poor Pereyra is now 1-9 in his most recent fights.
Fonseca vs. De La Cruz
Fonseca much too good for a badly sliding De La Cruz. Fonesca controlled the fight from the start with De La Cruz having to use all of his experience to stay in the fight. Fonseca landed heavily over the fifth, sixth and seventh and closed the show in the eighth. A fierce attacking spell saw De La Cruz forced to take two standing counts and his corner threw in the towel with just five seconds remaining in the round. The lanky “Hurricane” gets his ninth consecutive win. Seventh inside the distance defeat for De La Cruz who is 1-16-1 in his last 18 contests.
Isere, France: Feather: Jordan Rodriguez (5-0) W TKO 6 Jean Alvarez (7-46-2). Super Welter: Yanis Mehah (10-0) W PTS 8 Mykhailo Sovtus (4-8).
Rodriguez vs. Alcaraz
Home town fighter gets a keep busy win over southpaw Alvarez. Former French amateur champion Rodriguez won the French pro title in only his fourth fight. He missed out on Tokyo due to injury and the pandemic. Alvarez has lost his last ten fights.
Mehah vs. Sovtus
Mehah makes it a double for Boxing Team Berjallien and gets some useful ring time as he decisions Ukrainian Sovtus on scores of 78-73 on the three cards. Mehah was four-time French amateur champion. Sovtus had won 2 of his last 3 fights.
Borgo San Lorenzo, Italy: Light Heavy: Vigan Mustafa (24-5) W PTS 10 Luca Spadaccini (7-2-3).
Kosovon-born former champion Mustafa lifts the vacant Italian title with unanimous decision over Spadaccini. The 42-year-old used his better skills to set the tempo for the fight and Spadaccini could do little to change things as he was comprehensively outboxed by the more experienced Mustafa. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Mustafa who has won 5 of his last 6 fights. Second unsuccessful title shot for Spadaccini.
Tokyo, Japan: Bantam: Kyosuke Sawada (15-2-2) W TEC DEC 5 Kenshin Oshima (7-2-1).
After numerous postponements and disappointments Sawada wins the vacant Japanese title with technical decision over Oshima. The first round went to Oshima as he overcame a slow start to end the round strongly. In the second Oshima did well early rocking Sawada but a right from Sawada sent Oshima reeling into the ropes which held him up and he was given a count. As heads banged together in the third Sawada suffered a bad cut high above his right eye which bled heavily. Oshima looked to have had the better of the exchanges in the fourth and Sawada survived an examination of the cut by the doctor. The fight continued but with blood streaming from the cut the fight was stopped early in the fifth and went to the cards. The knockdown proved decisive. Scores of 48-46 and 48-47 for Sawada and 48-46 for Oshima. Sawada, top level amateur who won 61 of his 85 fights, had two title shots cancelled due to the pandemic and a third shot ended in a technical draw. He lost his first two pro fights so is unbeaten in his last 17. Oshima, who was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds, had won his last seven.
Aktau, Kazakhstan: Middle: Meiirim Nursultanov (16-0) W RTD 5 Andrey Sirotkin (19-2-1). Light Heavy: Bekzad Nurdauletov (4-0) W TKO 9 Chico Kwasi (5-1-1).
Nursultanov vs. Sirotkin
Nursultanov records another win as Sirotkin’s team pull their man out of the fight after the fifth round. Sirotkin got off to a good start. He was working well with his right jab constantly piercing Nursualtanov’s guard and following behind his jab with straight rights. Nursultanov was countering well but being outworked. Nursultanov stepped up the pressure in the third and Sirotkin’s work became untidy as he was forced onto the back foot. By the end of the fourth Sirotkin was showing a growing lump under his left eye from heavy rights from Nursultanov and had stopped using his jab. Nursultanov piled on the punches in the fifth driving Sirotkin around the ring with Sirotkin reeling in to the ropes and just looking to survive and although he made it to the bell his corner pulled him out due to the damage around his right eye. Oxnard-based Nursultanov, 28, wins the vacant WBO International title. He was star of the Worlds Series of Boxing putting together an 11-1 record including wins over Arlen Lopez and Troy Williamson. Sirotkin's only previous loss was against John Ryder and he drew with WBHO No 4 Danny Dignum in April last year.
Nurdauletov vs. Kwasi
Kazak Nurdauletov beats Kwasi due to injury. Nurdauletov had early problems with the long arms and awkward style of the Dutchman. However, Kwasi was getting no leverage in his punches and showed poor footwork and Nurdauletov was able to get past Kwasi’s jabs to score to the body. Nurdauletov kept putting Kwasi under pressure and by the eighth Kwasi was flagging badly. In the ninth as Kwasi threw a straight right he shouted in pain and twisted down to the canvas. He had obviously suffered an injury to his should and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Nurdauletov, 23, wins the vacant WBO Youth title. He was World Amateur champion in 2019 beating Cuban Julio Cesar De La Cruz on the way to the gold medal and boxed at the Tokyo Olympics. Kwasi, also 23, started out at kickboxing and his lack of boxing technique showed here.
General Santos City, Philippines: Fly: David Apolinario (16-0) W RTD 4 Mike Kinaadman (7-15-2). Super Fly: Vince Paras (16-2) W TKO 4 Reymark Taday (10-15-1). Bantam: Ben Mananquil (18-2-3) W RTD 5 Crison Omayao (24-23-5).
Apolinario vs. Kinaadman
Apolinario pounds out Kinaadman. Apolinario connected with slashing hooks and uppercuts in the first and shrugged off a hard right from Kinaadman in the second and floored Kinaadman with a right to the head. Kinaadman was down again in the third with a right to the body and he put Kinaadman on the floor twice with body punches in the fourth and Kinaadman did not come out for the fifth. Eleventh inside the distance finish for the 23-year-old “Doberman” who is No 7 with the WBA. Kinaadman is consistent-as a loser with only one win in his last thirteen bouts.
Paras vs. Taday
Former IBF minimum title challenger Paras stopped overmatched Taday in four rounds. Paras, who lost to Hiroto Kyoguchi for the IBF minimumweight belt in 2018,was having his first fight since September 2019. Taday falls to 1-10 in his last eleven appearances.
Mananquil vs. Omayao
Local southpaw Mananquil returned to action with a win as “Cowboy” Omayao retired after five one-sided rounds. Mananquil had an eight-bout unbeaten streak going until he lost on a tenth round stoppage against Yuki Kobayashi in Osaka in May 2019 and this is his first fight since then. Omayao is without a win in his last eight bouts and has been beaten inside the distance in six of those fights.
Cancun, Mexico: Super Fly: David Cuellar (21-0) W KO 6 Ricardo Blandon (15-5).
Local prospect Cuellar wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox title with kayo of Nicaraguan Blandon. Cuellar scored two knockdowns Blandon survived an early visit to the canvas but was counted out after going down from a body punch in the sixth. Cuellar, 20, gets win No15 by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week (Significance): Both the win for Thurman over Barrios and Rodriguez over Cuadras open further possibilities.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Lucas Santamaria vs. Abel Ramos provided plenty of action
Fighter of the week: Jesse Rodriguez for the way he handled more experience Carlos Castro despite jumping two divisions
Punch of the week: The Rodriguez right that dropped Cuadras was sharp and precise
Upset of the week: Has to be Rodriguez beating Cuadras
Prospect watch: The talent that Caroline Dubois displayed in her first pro fight could take her far.
Rosette: For the undercard to Thurman vs. Barrios that included some good matches for the fans and viewers.
Red Card: For the referee off the Cuarto vs. Taduran fight who counted two dubious knockdowns, constantly interrupted the action and caused so much confusion at the end of the fight that none of the boxers or their team or, the other officials realised the fight was over for minutes after it was stopped.
-The Kazakh amateur ranks keep turning out more and more talent for the pro ranks. Meiirim Nursultanov did not win any major titles as an amateur but his 11-1 record in the World Series of Boxing included victories over Olympic, World and Pan American gold medallist Cuban Arlen Lopez and Troy Williamson and Bekzad Nurdauletov was 2019 World Amateur champion. Both looked good in wins at the weekend.
- If you are looking for a fight then don’t pick on Ukrainian middleweight Andrey Sirotkin. Apart from his 19-2-1 record he has also been a world Full Contact Kickboxing champion, a Police Officer unarmed combat champion and Sambo self-defence champion- a martial art that was tested in Tokyo and will be included in the next Games
-We are all sure there are too many titles floating about in professional boxing but with so few boxers chasing so many titles the picture can get ridiculous in Female boxing. Claressa Shields and Ema Kozin her opponent on Saturday have owned a store full of titles.
Shields holds/has held in order:
WBC Silver super middleweight
IBF super middleweight
WBC super middleweight
WBA super middleweight
WBC Diamond middle,
WBO super welter
WBC super welter
WBA super welter
Slovenian Kozin’s tally is:
WBC International middle
Global Boxing Council middle
WBFederation super middle
WBC Silver super middle
IBA super middle
Global Boxing Union super middle
WBC interim middle
22 titles between and them and counting!
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