Just moments ago Chinese fans had the chance to see a WBA Super Bantamweight title fight, that ended with a 3rd round KO win for defending champion Nehomar Cermeno (25-5-1-1, 15) as he stopped previously unbeaten Thai Nop Kratingdaenggym (17-1, 5) [ณพ ฐิติพงศกร] and continued his career run in China, where he is now 2-0 (2).
Cermeno had won the title earlier this year in China, when he stopped Qiu Xiao Jun in the 12th round, to put his career back on the map after a period in the proverbial boxing wilderness. Although the bout had been a bit of an upset, especially given that Cermeno had been inactive and was much older than Jun, he was favoured to retain his title here against Nop who was stepping up massively in class. That step up was unfortunately too much for the Thai.
Nop started the fight fine and actually seemed to be giving Cermeno some, albeit limited, problems with his speed and energy. The first round was relatively even and so to was the second with Nop giving a solid account of himself in the early stages. Although Nop wasn't looking out classed it did seem like he was putting more into things than Cermeno who looked like he was happy to cruise in first gear and see what the Thai had in his arsenal.
In round 3 Cermeno began to up the ante and when he did that Nop seemed unable to cope, almost freezing after being tagged. A combination from the Venezuelan veteran dropped the Thai who failed to recover and looked in agony in his corner some facial swelling.
With the win Cermeno opens up doors to either continue in Asia, possibly fighting in China again next year, or could potentially look to get big fights in the west, maybe even finishing a trilogy with Anselmo Moreno, who has stated he is moving to 122lbs. There are options out there for Cermeno, but his low reward status may make him a champion that some would rather avoid.
For Nop he took an opportunity to fight for a world title and came up short, the suggestion is that he wouldn't ever win a world title and he'd have been stupid turn this opportunity down. Sadly though it's hard to imagine him developing enough to ever be able to compete properly at this level and he will likely drop back down to PABA level and notch up a long winning run before getting another shot by a champion looking for an easy defense.
Last September we saw Shinsuke Yamanaka (26-0-2, 18) [山中慎介] retain his WBC Bantamweight title with a narrow and controversial split Anselmo Moreno (36-5-1, 12). Today the two men had a rematch and there was no controversy about this one which had a very conclusive ending. A 7th round KO by Yamanaka, who scored his 11th defense of the title.
Of course the ending is only part of our story and how we get to the ending is often more interesting, and boy was this interesting with multiple momentum swings and both fighters being hurt multiple times.
The first started not with round 1 of fight 2 but with round 13 of the Yamanak Vs Moreno rivalry. Moreno came out fast and we had real highlight moments from both, with Yamanaka being clearly hurt from a series of solid left hands from the challenger, before landing his own left late and letting Moreno taste his power. You'd have assumed both would have though twice about about trading but they continued and Moreno was dropped late in the round. Despite both trading neither looked particularly reckless for the most part, instead trying to set things up with the jab, feinting and looking to draw counter opportunities. It was high speed chess with shot guns.
Moreno adjusted in round 2 and the pace started slower, though Moreno did pick things up mad with through the round with both standing fairly centrally and trading technically sound shots. There wasn't the drama of the opening round, but it always felt like we were on the verge of something big happening. The following round something big did happen with with both men being staggered and taking heavy but technically well thrown leather, for the most part.
In round 4 we saw Yamanaka have great success in the middle of the round, backing up the challenger and rocking him, it was a brilliant start but the round spun completely when Yamanaka had a left hand countered and was dropped hard himself. Although he got back to his feet he was clearly hurt and Moreno knew it as the two each swung in big shots. Those big shots resulted in Yamanaka being rocked again on the bell.
The open scoring favoured Yamanaka, just, with two scorecards reading 38-37 to Yamanka, twice, and the third card had the bout 37-37.
Round 5 again saw both men show of their best traits. Moreno was finding a way to land his left hand, he had all but neutralised Yamanaka's jab, which had been a key punch in his arsenal in the early rounds. With the jab gone Yamanaka managed to have some success in the middle of the round with the straight left hand and even landed a solid uppercut. The champions success was over-shadowed though when he was rocked big time, almost going down again, with a massive counter from Moreno. How Yamanaka stayed up was a mystery but it had saved him from a 10-8 round.
In the opening moments of round 6 the fight totally changed. Yamanaka landed what could only be described as a monstrous left hand which detonated clean on Moreno's jaw. Moreno fell hard from the shot and it seemed like the bout could be over there and then. Moreno's champion's spirit showed as he somehow got to his feet. Despite getting up he was clearly hurt and spent the round surviving, holding, moving and did next to nothing offensively in a round that seemed to spell the end.
Moreno managed to come out for round 7 but never looked like a man who had recovered and Yamanaka stalked him from the off, dropping him again with a humongous left hand. Again Moreno showed insurmountable courage to beat the count, some how. The referee allowed him to continue, though could easily have waved it off there and then. A follow up attack sent Moreno down again and that was it with the referee immediately calling a halt to the bout.
For Yamanaka the win clears up the doubts of the first bout. They show that at 33 he's learning, or re-learning, new things, he used his jab here more than he has in years. He scored a win that could well define his career, and cements his place as the premier Bantamweight on the planet.
The Panamanian, who had been really confident coming in to this one, had talked about moving up in weight and we suspect that'll be what he does now. This is however his first stoppage loss and it was a painful one, with the 4 knockdowns and other massive shots landing. His career isn't over but this was a damaging defeat and could have long term effects on his ability to take a shot.
With the WBC and Ring magazine titles around his waist Yamanaka will have several things in his sights. He is 2 defenses away from tying the Japanese defense record of 13 defenses, by Yoko Gushiken, and has long wanted a bout in the US. Perhaps, just maybe, a US bout will come in 2017 along with that Japanese record
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
We often write fighters off and try to send them to the retirement home. Sometimes it really is for their own health, after all what is Roy Jones Jr still doing in the ring? Sometimes however they really do still have it, despite what we all believe. That was shown earlier today when Japanese veteran, and general boxing legend, Hozumi Hasegawa (35-6, 16) [長谷川 穂積] shocked the boxing world to become a 3-weight world champion.
The 35 year old former Bantamweight and Featherweight champion had been written off by all, including ourselves, but put in a thrilling performance to force a stoppage of heavy handed Mexican Hugo Ruiz (36-4, 32).
Hasegawa's skills were on show early and he seemed to take the opening round, though had been deducted a point under the WBC rules for a headclash and the effort he put in essentially got him a 9-9 round before Ruiz upped his pace and we began to see the Mexican try to make the most of his power and size advantage. Despite being younger Ruiz was slower and his punches seemed to be read well by Hasegawa who continued to look the faster and smart fighter. Despite being faster there was always a risk that he would be tagged and hurt.
Through 4 rounds the fight was close. The Japanese fans, who were able to watch the bout on Sky Perfect 1, seemed to feel their man was doing just enough to have a lead going into the first round of open scoring though the judges didn't agree, having Ruiz in the lead on a split decision after 4 rounds. With the cards reading 38-37 Hasegawa and 38-37 and 39-36 Ruiz
Knowing he was behind Hasegawa changed the tempo and pace of the bout, upping the ante and taking the bout more to Ruiz. Whilst it seemed like a foolish tactic, walking into the firepower of Ruiz, he actually managed to stifle the Mexican who was struggling. Ruiz's struggles were worsened slightly when he cut Hasegawa over the left eyelid, originally ruled a punch though came from a headbutt as seen on replay with the WBC rules then costing Ruiz a point.
Despite the cut Hasegawa wasn't going to be denied and continued to take the fight to Ruiz who looked to have no answer for the southpaw left hand of Hasegawa. After 8 rounds the judges had flipped their view on the bout with one having Hasegawa up 78-72, another having it 76-74 to the Japanese fighter whilst the dissenting judge had Ruiz up 76-74.
In round 9 Hasegawa took a big hook but saw it off and fired back at Ruiz who looked like he was going all in for the round. By the end of the round Ruiz was done and knew it with his team keeping him in the corner following the round.
Ruiz reign, which began earlier this year with an opening round win over Julio Ceja was ended in his first defense. It was a disappointing reign in many ways but we doubt many would complain about seeing him again. The story however is all about the 35 year old Hasegawa who has finally become a 3-weight world champion, achieving one of his boxing dreams. Whether he continues to fight on and defend the title is yet to be seen but what is clear is that this win is one of his most memorable and will help define a career as modern Japanese legend. The HOF in Canastota may be a big ask, but his his effect on Japanese boxing has been huge and he really deserves to tell every one off for writing him off.
To quote the brilliant boxmob - "長谷川!ありがと", "Hasegawa, thank you"
(Image courtesy of daily.co.jp)
Middleweight destroyer Gennady Golovkin (36-0, 33) continued his reign as the WBC, IBF, WBA Super and IBO Middleweight champion earlier today as he scored a 5th round TKO over brave Englishman Kell Brook (36-1, 25). With Brook giving a much better effort than many had expected.
The first saw Golovkin look for a KO from the opening seconds and he buzzed Brook in the opening moments. Brook however bit down on his gum shield, showed his cojones and started to fight back. The Englishman had success in the later stages of the opening round and then build on that success with an excellent effort in round 2, landing some nasty shots including a vicious uppercut whilst taking advantage of Golovkin's wreckless aggression. Despite the success of Brook in round 2 he did appear to suffer some facial damage with the fighter himself suffering a pretty clear eye injury.
In round 3 Golovkin stepped it up and really started the round aggressively with some damaging shots to Brook in the first half of the round. The second half of the round saw Brook again boxing well, settling to the task at hand with some solid shots. Again Brook grew success from success and in round 4 the Englishman again had some genuine moments as his confidence built, though he was forced to take some bombs, including a monster on the bell.
In round 5 Golovkin got off to a fast start and hurt Brook early in the round before landing shot after shot. Brook remained on his feet but took a pounding with his corner trying to pull their man out. Golovkin continued to land until the referee finally saw Brook's corner waving the towel and stepped in.
The Kazakh destroyer didn't look his best. From the off it looked like he lacked respect for Brook, launching ridiculously stupid shots at the Englishman and not using his footwork or his jab properly. Brook was quick on his feet in the early stages but when Golovkin finally got his boxing together, in round 5, the bout looked very one sided.
For Brook the loss will be a set back, however it will be one that he will get serious praise from. He will likely continue his career at 154lbs and will almost certainly have notable success going forward, if the injury to his eye isn't too serious long term
The amazing road journey of Johnriel Casimero (23-3, 15) continued earlier today as he made his European debut and stopped the gutsy but inexperienced Charlie Edwards (8-1, 3) in the 10th round to retain the IBF Flyweight title.
Early on Casimero took advantage of Edwards' inexperience and landed body shots whilst making Edwards' look impotent in reply. Despite being the taller man Edwards was unable to land a meaningful jab, control the range, tempo or pretty much anything. To Edwards' credit he refused to be over-whelmed but it was clear the two men were in totally different classes with Edwards looking like a British level guy facing a world class fighter.
In rounds 5 and 6 Casimero slowed down notably, it seemed like he was looking to detonate a bomb for an eye catching KO rather than really set up his shots. With the Filipino looking for a big shot he let Edwards into the fight slightly and their would be a case for Edwards to have deserved either of the rounds, but it seemed more like a case of Casimero being overly relaxed rather than Edwards coming on.
Knowing that he shouldn't look for a big shot to finish it there and then Casimero got back to what he had been doing, out landing Edwards ans showing the gulf in ability and experience. By the end of round 8 it was beginning to look like a beating for Edwards, who gritted his teeth through some heavy leather but did little to get the champion's respect and it began to look like a case of when, and not if, Casimero was going to stop the Englishman.
The stoppage finally came in round 10 after Casimero landed a monstrous left hand that dropped Edwards and a follow up forced the referee to save Edwards.
For the Englishman the beating became painful, and actually saw his promoter try and get him saved from punishment late in the fight. He may bounce back but he may also never become the fighter that some had hopes. For Casimero it's a well paid first defense and we suspect he'll be in the mix come the end of the year for a big fight in Japan, possibly against OPBF champion Daigo Higa, or possibly in Mexico against Juan Francisco Rodriguez. Although the best payday would likely be a bout with Zou Shiming it's fair to say that Bob Arum won't be in a rush to put the Chinese star in with Casimero.
An amazing fact, but in someways a disappointing one, is that no Japanese fighter has ever won a world title bout in Europe. That record continued earlier today as Japanese Light Welterweight Keita Obara (16-2-1, 15) [小原 佳太] suffered a painful second round loss to Russian puncher Eduard Troyanovsky (25-0, 22) in a bout held in Moscow for the IBF and IBO titles.
The opening round was a close one with both fighting cautiously, neither wanting to over-commit or take too many risks. It saw Obara being tagged by one notable right hand and one uppercut whilst landing one solid right hand of his own, pretty much everything else that connected was a jab with both understanding that the other man had serious power.
Whilst Obara seemed to acquit himself well for the opening round that was all forgotten in round 2 when Troyanovsky moved into third gear and Obara failed to respond before being hurt. A follow up attack sent Obara through the ropes and outside of the ring and immediately saw Troyanovsky celebrate with a backflip. Obara's fighting instinct kicked in and he pulled himself form the ground and back into the ring ring but hadn't recovered from the shots that had sent him out of the ring and and he was stopped soon afterwards from a follow up attack that forced the referee to stop him.
For the champion the this was one of his most impressive performances. A slow start saw him move through the gears, hurt his man and follow up with a vicious attack that leaves the champion as arguably the most destructive fighter at 140lbs today. Maybe not the most skilled, that's obvious Terence Crawford, but the most destructive.
For Obara the next move will be a difficult one. He could go back to Japan and fight at Oriental level, with fights against the likes of Al River and Hiroki Okada being interesting assignments, a move up in weight could also be interesting, with bouts against the likes of Suyon Takayama, Jack Brubaker and Toshio Arikawa. Sadly though the loss, and the nature of it, will be hard to bounce back from and it could be that he takes a long break before considering a ring return.
Earlier today “The Monster” Naoya Inoue (11-0, 9) [井上 尚弥] returned to Zama for his first fight at home in 3 years and gave the local fans exactly what they wanted as he scored a 10th round win over gutsy Thai Petchbarngborn Kokietgym (38-8-1, 18) [เพชรบางบอน ก่อเกียรติยิม]
The Japanese fighter showed a bit of everything in his arsenal for the fans who saw him box, fight, brawl and eventually finish his man.
The fight started rather slowly with both men looking to establish their jabs though quickly heated up with Inoue bringing in his combinations, tagging the body hard and even hurting the Thai with a right hand near the end of the right. Petchbarngborn, to his credit, looked calm and composed for the most part but it was clear that Inoue had gears to go through.
Inoue started to go through some of those gears at times in round 2 as he showed both his boxing ability, jabbing and moving and keeping Petchbarngborn from setting himself at all, and his fighting ability taking the action to the Thai and unloading some frightening combinations. It was clear the Japanese youngster had no intention of seeking an early finish and was instead using the early rounds to try things out and box well within himself.
As we went through round 3 it seemed Inoue was getting more and more satisfied with his work and he began to really put on a showcase with some gorgeous punch picking to both head an body and sublime movement that left Petchbarngborn chasing shadows. The following round saw Inoue become a pure boxer moving and refusing to throw almost any right hands, depending almost entirely on the jab, as if it was a jab-only sparring session.
Having become comfortable with his jab Inoue allowed Petchbarngborn to bring the fight too him and the two spent much of round 5 trading shots on the inside, with the Thai having some success, including several low ones that left Inoue showing his inexperience and dropping his hands. The Thai got several free shots on Inoue, to little effect, but was later punished by the Japanese youngster who really took it to the Thai with nasty body shots later in the round.
With Petchbarngborn's confidence growing he started to take the fight to Inoue again in round 6 and seem to catch the Japanese fighter behind the head at one point. From then on however Inoue seemed to begin to take things seriously and started to use the Thai for target practice with Petchbarngborn looking weary walking to his corner to end the round. It was as if he'd tried all his tricks and they'd had success, but he'd been given a beating for trying them.
Having allowed Petchbarngborn moments in rounds 7 and 8 Inoue got on his big in round 9 and mentally tortured the Thai with his movement and jab. It was mental torture for the challenger, who didn't take much a physical battering but struggled to land anything the entire round whilst being fed a steady diet of jabs.
Having sharpened his tools through the first 9 rounds Inoue began to show what he was truly capable of in round 10 letting a 2 fisted attack go that hurt the Thai. With his man hurt Inoue went on the all out offensive with Petchbarngborn firing back whilst on the retreat. Sadly for the challenger he was unable to stop the onslaught, despite showing unreal toughness, and eventually went down. He had taken a hiding in the round and yet still tried to get to his feet, but was counted out in the act of rising.
The performance, for fans watching, wasn't the most impressive from Inoue however it looked like a controlled performance for the most part. Almost as if he was focusing on particular things rather than being his most destructive. It was a performance that seemed more like a spar at times. But when he went to close the show he did close it.
For Petchbarngborn his performance was really credible. He showed his toughness and, looking at this performance, he may well have given Paul Butler fits had Butler not failed to make weight. He had his moments against Inoue but never looked like he was going to make much of a dent on the Monster, other than the low blows he landed relative early on.
After the fight Inoue's right hand did appear to have been damaged as his team cut the wraps off, but it wasn't massively bad, like it has been in the past when it's been swollen, and it should be fine going forward. It will however be at the back of his mind in the coming days as he travels to the US to watch next weekend's “Super Fight” between Roman Gonzalez and Carlos Cuadras.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
It's fair to say that Filipino boxing is riding a genuine high at the moment following big wins this year for the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Johnriel Casimero and Marlon Tapales. The latest Filipino to score a major win was Jerwin Ancajas (25-1-1, 16) who made the most of his opportunity earlier today and claimed the IBF Super Flyweight title, out pointing the previously unbeaten McJoe Arroyo (17-1, 8).
The fight started quietly with neither man wanting to take many risks, and although Ancajs was coming forward there was little of note from either man. It seemed a smart tactic from both, given that neither has fought this year, but it was clear that the fight wasn't going to remain a slow and cautious bout through out and the one that upped the pace first was going to be the one taking control.
The one that upped the pace was Ancajas who began to move through the gears in the middle rounds, and by the end of round 6 he was beginning to take control over the champion, who looked like a man who had no second gear to move in to. With Ancajas pushing the pace he began to really dominate and gave Arroyo a beating through round 7, 8 and 9, dropping the Puerto Rican for a count in round 8 and being unlucky not to get another knockdown scored in his favour the following round.
The key for Ancajas had been a steady body attack which took the legs and power from Arroyo, leaving him very flat footed and at times a sitting duck to more body shots. Although weary the visitor knew he'd have to do what he could to turn things around in the later rounds and started trudging, heavy legged, towards the challenger looking for a Hail Mary. The tactic was a foolish one from Arroyo, who lacked the footwork or hand speed to connect, and he was left chasing a speedier and fresher fighter who continued to land the eye catching shots.
With the knockdown, and the fact Ancajas was the one to take the initiative, it seemed like the Filipino had been the comfortable winner, and that was reflected on two of the cards, with scores of 118-109 and 117-110 telling the story of the fight, the third card however was far too close at 115-112.
For Ancajas this win is a career changing victory. It's taken him from a man being paid small sums as a fringe contender to a man who will be chased for a big fight either to end the year or in 2017. Given he earned less than $4,000 for this fight, turning down a much larger payday to travel, the gamble has paid off and potential money bouts with the likes of Naoya Inoue, Roman Gonzalez, Luis Concepcion, Kohei Kono, Sho Ishida, Carlos Cuadras or Takuma Inoue are looming.
Arroyo, who had won the title in a questionable manner last year against Arthur Villanueva, sees his reign and unbeaten record end in what was a genuinely poor effort. He proved his toughness and heart but looked very much like a third rate fighter coming up against some one who was hungry and talented.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.