Brescia, Italy: Welter: Timo Schwarzkopf (16-1) W PTS 12 Gianluca Frezza (25-4-2,1ND). Heavy: Franz Rill (13-1) W KO 4 Salvatore Erittu (28-3). Cruiser: Fabio Turchi (6-0) W PTS 8 Jiri Svacina (12-21).
Schwarzkopf vs. Frezza
Schwarzkopf outpoints local fighter Frezza to win the vacant IBF International title. It was a disappointing fight taking place in temperatures which tired both fighters. Schwarzkopf made the better start working in close with short hooks. Frezza allowed himself to be drawn into a close-quarters battle but too often was winging away with wild, wide hooks instead of using his boxing skills. When he did work at a distance it was too late to turn the fight his way. Schwarzkopf effectively closed the door as he rocked Frezza with a series of hooks in the eleventh and ran out a clear winner on a split decision with only the Italian judge disagreeing. Scores 117-111 and 116-112 for Schwarzkopf and 114-114 from the Italian judge. Kosovon Schwarzkopf,24, real name Festim Kryeziu, won his first 14 fights before losing on points against Antony Yigit in March last year. He was then inactive for a year before returning with a win in March this year. Frezza, 36, built a run of 18 fights unbeaten but that was snapped when he lost to Charles Manyuchi for the WBC International title in July last year.
Rill vs. Erittu
A bad night for Italian fighters sees Erittu suffer a defeat that might herald the end of his career. Rill bossed this one from the start. He used a sharp jab and some heavy rights to take the first round and although Erittu had a better second Rill was in front on all three cards going into the fourth. A left hook to the body in that round from Rill dropped Erittu to his knees and he could not beat the count. The Canadian-born German-based Rill, 28, went the distance with Robert Helenius in December for the vacant EBU title. He is limited but has a good punch, this being his ninth win by KO/TKO, and a strong chin. Sardinian Erittu, 35, a former Italian cruiser and heavy champion, has lost inside the distance in all of his three defeats. Rill’s win made it a winning double for Oktay Urkal who also trains Schwarzkopf. He has built a good reputation as a trainer. He was 38-4 as a pro winning the EBU and WBC International titles and with all four losses coming in world title fights.
Turchi vs. Svacina
Top prospect Turchi finally gets in some rounds as survivor Svacina lasts the full eight sessions. It made for a dull fight with Svacina spoiling holding and hiding behind a tight defence and Turchi unable to break him down. Turchi won ever round and by the end of the eight rounds Turchi had effectively doubled his pro experience in one fight having won his other five fights in less than eight rounds in total. The 22-year-old southpaw from Florence was Italian amateur champion in 2012 and 2013 and won silver and bronze medals in World Youth Championships. Czech Svacina, 38, has only lost four times by KO/TKO.
Arezzo, Italy: Super Welter: Adriano Nicchi (23-5-2) W KO 3 Ferenc Szabo (14-19-2). Fighting in front of his home fans Nicchi continued his rebuilding with win over Hungarian. Nicchi is a notoriously slow starter and struggled to find the target in the first two rounds. He had acquired the target by the third and a right put Szabo down and out. The 35-year-old former Italian champion had a bad 2013 being knocked out in two rounds by Sergey Rabchenko for the EBU title and losing an upset decision to Spaniard Javier Garcia Roche. He was then away from the ring for 22 months and this is his second low level win since returning. Szabo, 31, has lost his last 5 fights and has 14 losses by KO/TKO.
Taguig City, Philippines: Super Fly: Aston Palicte (21-2) W KO 7 Vergilio Silvano (21-7-1). Super Fly: Lolito Sonsona (19-1-4 W PTS 8 John Ray Logatiman (4-4-1).
Palicte vs. Silvano
Palicte gets second win over southpaw Silvano as he proves too big and too strong. Palicte was able to use his big size advantage to build a lead. He floored Silvano with a right uppercut in the fifth only to suffer a questionable knockdown himself when legs got tangled in the sixth. Silvano was making inroads to Palicte’s lead in the seventh when an uppercut to the body from Palicte had him hurt and a right uppercut to the chin put Silvano down and out. The 26-year-old Palicte wins the vacant IBF Pan Pacific title and goes to 18 wins by KO/TKO. He had outpointed Silvano for the vacant WBO Oriental title in November. He had a run of 10 wins, 9 by KO/TKO snapped when he lost a split decision to Junior Granados in Mexico in March. Former IBF minimum title challenger Silvano has lost 3 of his last 4 fights.
Sonsona vs. Logatiman
Sonsona returns to action with a points win over Logatiman. Sonsona was having his first fight for two years and took a while to get going but managed to get a unanimous decision on scores of 78-74 twice and 77-75. After being unbeaten in his first 17 fights “Thunder Shot” Sonsona then lost to useful Ardin Diale and went 3-0-2 before dropping out of boxing in 2014. Logatiman, 22, has lost 3 of his last 4 fights.
Glasgow, Scotland: Light: Ryan Collins (13-2) W TEC DEC 4 Andrew MacKay (5-1). Heavy: Gary Cornish (23-1) W PTS 6 Tomas Mrazek (10-55-6).
Collins vs. MacKay
Collins wins vacant Scottish title with technical victory over previously unbeaten MacKay. Collins used a sharp jab to pile up the points and had built a lead before a clash of heads saw him suffer a serious cut over his left eye and the bout went to the referee’s card with Collins being in front 39-37. Collins, 22, who had over 70 amateur fights, has won his last five fights and is the first Scottish champion from Irvine. Mackay, a 24-year-old from Inverness, has been promised a return.
Cornish vs. Mrazek
Cornish goes over old ground as he outpoints Mrazek. The “Highlander” had no trouble with the Czech southpaw winning every round in a keep busy fight. Referee’s score 60-54.This is the second win for the 6’7” (201cm) from Inverness since his crushing 97 seconds loss against Anthony Joshua in September for the vacant CBC title. He is scheduled to fight Canadian Dillon Carman in Toronto in September in a fight for the now vacant CBC title. Mrazek lost on a seventh round stoppage against Cornish in 2013.
Ontario, CA, USA: Heavy: LaRon Mitchell (13-0) W KO 3 Epifiano Mendoza (42-23-1) Southpaw Mitchell gets another inside the distance win as he halts experienced Mendoza. The 6’4” (193cm) Mitchell had big edges in height and reach over Mendoza but accommodated the Colombian veteran by standing and trading. Mendoza was competitive in this scenario but Mitchell was still out-landing him. In the third a left to the body collapsed Mendoza and although he made it to his feet he was still in pain and the fight was stopped. The 36-year-old from San Francisco has won all of his fights by KO/TKO and has yet to be taken past the fourth round. He came to boxing very late but a silver medal at the US National Championships earned him a place at the US Olympic Trials where he beat Dominic Breazeale but lost twice to Lenroy Thompson. His real job is that of elementary school teacher. All you really need to know about Mendoza is that he is 40-years-old and weighed 150lbs during his first year as a pro in 2000 but was 230lbs for this fight. He lost in four rounds to Chad Dawson for the WBC light heavy title in 2007 and was knocked in one round by Breazeale in 2014.
Tampa, FL, USA: Super Fly: Ricardo Rodriguez (14-3) W PTS 10 David Quijano (16-6-1). Rodriguez retains his WBO Latino title with unanimous decision over Puerto Rican Quijano. This was a tough, bloody scrap with both fighters willing to stand and trade. The Puerto Rican was the aggressor and the harder puncher but Rodriguez won the rounds on the basis of his quicker hand speed and higher work rate. Rodriguez was hampered by cuts from early in the fight but used his height advantage and effective counters to pile up the points. Quijano kept coming forward but Rodriguez finished the stronger and deservedly took the verdict. Scores 98-92 from all three judges although the fight looked closer than that. Mexican Rodriguez, 26, has lost just two of his last 14 fights. Both losses were close decisions to David Carmona and after taking a split decision over Rodriguez in October Carmona went straight into a WBO title fight losing on points against Japanese star Naoya Inoue. Rodriguez has good wins over Jonathan Vidal, Daniel Lozano and Miguel Cartagena. Quijano, 29, lost on points against Omar Narvaez for the WBO super fly title in 2012. He then lost consecutive fight against very tough opposition in Emmanuel Rodriguez and McJoe Arroyo but had rebounded well with a win over Daniel Lozano.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Feather: Sydney Maluleka (17-7) W PTS 12 David Rajuili (7-5-1). Maluleka retains his IBF African title with wide unanimous decision over Rajuili. The champion was so dominant that he could and should have won inside the distance. Instead the “Skeleton chose to waste time clowning against his modest challenger. Scores 118-110 twice and 119-110. First defence of his title for former South African champion Maluleka. Rajuili, the BSA No 6 super feather, was never really in the fight. Free entry ensured a good crowd in attendance.
Soweto, South Africa: Super Light: Warren Joubert (25-4-5) W PTS 12 Lungisa Jikani (14-9-1). Joubert retains his South African title with wide unanimous decision over weak challenger Jikani. Joubert’s speed and skill were just too much for the hard-punching but limited Jikani. He outboxed the challenger and also featured a strong body attack. The only thing missing was a stoppage but “The Warrior” continues his resurgence with 6 wins in his last 7 fights. He had scored a wide points victory over Jikani in April 2015 in his first reign as national champion. Jikani was No 1 with the BSA but not in the same class as Joubert.
London, England; Heavy: Anthony Joshua (17-0) W KO 7 Dominic Breazeale (17-1). Super Middle: George Groves (24-3) W PTS 12 Martin Murray (33-4-1). Super Light: Andrea Scarpa (20-2) W TKO 6 John Wayne Hibbert (17-4). Middle: Chris Eubank (23-1) W TKO 4 Tom Doran (17-1).Middle: Anthony Ogogo (10-0) W RTD 1 Frane Radnic (11-3). Super Fly: Kal Yafai (19-0) W TKO 1 Jozsef Ajtai (15-4). Heavy: Dillian Whyte (17-1) W KO 6 Ivica Bacurin (25-10-1).Super Light: Conor Benn (3-0) W KO 1 Lukas Radic (3-7-1).
Joshua vs. Breazeale
Joshua again shows his power and precision as he outclasses game Breazeale before applying the finishing touch in the seventh round. Joshua took the first round as he was quicker with his jab and scored with the better punches, a right to the body, a left hook and a four-punch combination all of which pierced Breazeale’s guard but Breazeale seemed to absorb the punches well. Joshua was letting his hands go in the second landing some good head shots and the speed of his combinations were too much for Breazeale. Near the end of a round a Joshua right hook seemed to unhinge Breazeale’s legs and he staggered back and along the ropes with his knees dipping as if he was going down. It could be that the referee also thought that because he stepped in front of Joshua stopping him from capitalising on that success. Breazeale survived by holding and although Joshua again landed some heavy punches Breazeale fired back some counters to make it to the bell. Joshua dominated the third out jabbing Breazeale scoring with speedy and powerful combinations and shaking the challenger with a left hook just before the bell. Breazeale had a better fourth round as the pace dropped. He moved more and let his hands go more although again the better and harder punches were coming from Joshua with another spectacular left hook rocking Breazeale. Joshua was back in charge in the fifth jerking Breazeale’s head back with jabs and scoring with a straight right /left hook/ right cross combination. Joshua was breaking Breazeale down in the sixth. The challenger’s right eye was almost closed from a swelling under the eye and he had no answer to the speed and accuracy of Joshua’s jab and the right crosses which inevitably followed. Early in the seventh Joshua landed a big left hook then sent Breazeale back to the ropes with a right and a left to the head. Breazeale retreated along the ropes to the corner and Joshua followed and landed three head punches which saw Breazeale slump to the floor on his side. He made it to his feet and after the eight count Joshua drove Breazeale along to another corner and a series of head punches floored Breazeale and the referee did not need to count but immediately waived the fight over. First defence of his IBF title for Joshua and he has yet to hear the bell for the start of the eighth round. His jab was as powerful as ever but it was the speed, accuracy and power of his combinations that added another dimension and again showed how good he is at getting a hurt opponent out of there. New Zealander Joseph Parker is his mandatory challenger and that is an intriguing match between two young unbeaten fighters who can punch and if he gets past Parker the next two in line are Kubrat Pulev and David Haye so interesting times ahead. Breazeale’s height had previously been a useful tool for him allowing him to make use of his jab against smaller fighters but with Joshua out-jabbing him he had nothing else in his armoury. He gave Joshua seven rounds of work without ever threatening the Brit’s title.
Groves vs. Murray
Groves scores decisive and clear decision over Murray to put himself in line for a fourth world title fight. Both fighters fought cautiously over the opening three rounds. Groves took them all as Murray was hiding behind a high guard and throwing single punches and too few of those. Groves was working his jab well finding gaps in Murray’s defence and countering with quick combinations. The fight finally caught fire in the fourth. Groves was on the back foot spearing the advancing Murray with jabs and short hooks. Murray bulled Groves into a corner and landed some hard body punches. Groves escaped and Murray was warned about carelessness with his head. Murray landed a good right and a left hook. He kept Groves on the back foot and landed another left hook to the body and again had Groves pinned on the ropes at the bell. Groves was showing a small cut over his right eye at the start of the fifth and although Murray pressed forward Groves was peppering him with quick jabs and scored with some good body shots to make it 4-1 in rounds. Groves was on the front foot in the sixth scoring with straight rights only for Murray to eventually push Groves back before they stood and trade heavy punches in the best action of the fight with Groves again having the edge. In the seventh Murray was pressing early trying to pin Groves on the ropes. He had some success with body punches but Groves was countering well and scored with a good left uppercut. Just before the bell a right uppercut from Groves crashed into Murray’s chin and he was badly shaken backing into a corner and then lunging forward and holding just as the bell went. Murray was still feeling the effects of that punch in the eighth and Groves dominated the round with Murray looking unsteady and Groves scoring with hard hooks. For a while it looked as though Groves might get an inside the distance win when he staggered Murray with a short left hook but Murray fired back briefly until more hard hooks from Groves had him backing off and just looking to stay out of trouble. Groves seemed to be coasting in the ninth and Murray was coming forward catching Groves on the ropes and unloading heavy punches to the body. With less than 10 seconds to go in the round a straight right from Groves suddenly had Murray backing to the ropes in disarray and he dipped down with his knee almost touching the canvas but the bell went before Groves could exploit that and Murray’s early work helped him edge the round. Murray went for broke in the tenth taking Groves to the ropes and after landing a left started firing punch after punch with most getting through. Groves managed to sidle along the ropes but a thunderous right to the head sent him into a corner. He got out and then landed two rights of his own that had Murray holding on as they battled to the bell with both fighters looking very tired and Murray again taking the round. Somehow Murray found the strength to press the fight again in the eleventh and was on top early only for Groves to bang back at the end to make it a close round which he probably just edged. In the twelfth Murray was so far behind he needed a stoppage. He came out throwing punches putting Groves under pressure but was wild with his shots and Groves landed a right and suddenly Murray’s legs were gone but an exhausted Groves did not have the strength to end it early. Scores 118-110 for Groves from all three judges. An important win in a brutal encounter for Groves. He retains his WBA International title. He is rated WBC 2/WBO 3/WBA 4and IBF 10(9). With those ratings despite losses in title fights to Carl Froch twice and Badou Jack he could challenge for a title later this year. Murray, 33, only made the weight at the second attempt and like Groves is batting 0-3 in world title fights. His only rating at this time is No 10 with the WBA so he is unlikely to get another shot.
Scarpa vs. Hibbert
Scarpa springs a surprise as he beats tough Hibbert on a cuts stoppage. Scarpa had edges in height and reach over Hibbert who was barrelling his way inside to fire hooks to the body with Scarpa blocking most of them and catching Hibbert with counters as he came forward. In the second Hibbert landed a long right but was caught with a left hook which opened a bad cut over his right eye. Scarpa opened up taking Hibbert to the ropes and landing a series of hard head punches. Hibbert got back into the fight and was working inside scoring with hooks from both hands but his face was covered in blood at the bell. Scarpa used his jab and left hooks to catch the advancing Hibbert in the third and the blood was soon flowing again from Hibbert’s cut. He kept ploughing forward but Scarpa ended the round with a series of counters. Hibbert pressurised Scarpa for the whole three minutes in the fourth getting inside and scoring with hooks from both hands to the body. Scarpa was on the back foot but again was landing punches on the area of the still badly bleeding cut. Hibbert was coming forward again in the fifth and getting home with heavy hooks but was nailed on the way in with by a left jab and a ferocious right to the head that pitched him face down on the canvas. He was up at five and after the eight went straight back into Scarpa forcing him back and slamming away at the body. Scarpa found room to land some more heavy counters shaking Hibbert with a left hook. With the cut so bad it was strange that there had been no examination by the doctor. That finally came late in the sixth after a series of punches from Scarpa had Hibbert floundering and the doctor decided the cut was too serious for the fight to continue. Huge win for former Italian champion Scarpa, 29, as he collects the vacant WBC Silver title and can expect to crash WBC ratings not having been in their top 40 prior to this fight. The 6’0” (183cm) has good skills and showed punching power. Hibbert, 31, showed amazing courage to plough forward despite that bad cut and perhaps if the fight had gone into the later rounds that pressure might have paid dividends. Now he needs time for the cut to heal but with his crowd pleasing style will be back.
Eubank vs. Doran
Eubank retains his British title as Doran tries to take too big a step up in quality. A scrappy first round saw both fighters miss more than land. Eubank did the cleaner scoring with a stiff jab and when stepping inside he turned himself side on so that most of Doran’s punches were landing on the back of Eubank’s head. Both scored with good left hooks at the start of the second but there were no extended exchanges with Eubank again taking Doran’s right out of the fight by his side on approach and again Doran was restricted to punches to the back of Eubank’s head. Eubank launched a sustained attack in the third letting his hands go for the first time. He drove Doran to the ropes and landed heavy shots and then drove Doran across the ring trapping him on the ropes and landing hooks and uppercuts. Doran was blocking some of the punches and Eubank missed with some of the punches but plenty were getting through. Doran escaped again but was soon being driven across the ring again until he tumbled forward onto two right uppercuts and went down on one knee. He was up quickly and when the eight count was completed Eubank did more posing than punching and Doran survived by good movement and some counters of his own although Eubank again had him trapped on the ropes at the end of the round. Eubank made a slow start to the fourth just stabbing out his jab. Again he suddenly burst into action hurting Doran with a left hook to the body. He followed that up with a right to the head and a right uppercut which put Doran down on his hands and knees. He was up at four and after the eight count another right uppercut put him down. It looked as though Eubank might let this chance slip as he came forward with his hands down at knee level but another brutal right uppercut sent Doran down for the fourth time in the fight. He made it to his feet but the referee abandoned his count and stopped the fight. Eubank, 26, retains his British title and makes it 18 wins by KO/TKO. He is calling out Gennady Golovkin but then so are plenty of others and at this time it is still just talk. He is rated WBC 2/WBA 2/IBF 6(5)/WBO 13 so could move into the mandatory position later this year but he will need a win over a name fighter to nail down a fight with Golovkin. This was too big a step for Welshman Doran, 28, who whilst showing some good skills was outclassed. He can rebuild and be a force in domestic action.
Ogogo vs. Radnic
Ogogo destroys poor Radnic. It was obvious early that this was going to be a short fight. Ogogo scored with a sharp left hook to the body and another left had Radnic on shaky legs. The Croatian fighter tried to survive by ducking low and trying to get inside to hold. Ogogo scored with some long rights and late in the round a short left hook put Radnic down on his back. He slowly made it to his feet at nine just as the bell went and he retired in his corner. No sort of test at all for Ogogo but this is his second fight in a month and after ten months of inactivity it is good just to see the classy 27-year-old former Olympic bronze medal winner getting fights. Three losses in a row for Radnic all against unbeaten fighters and his first defeat inside the distance.
Yafai vs. Ajtai
This was a farcical match as Yafai halted the Hungarian teenager inside a round. Yafai was hunting Ajtai from the start with the Hungarian speeding around the ring in top gear. A right to the body saw Ajtai stumble into a corner where he half went down but then stood up and was holding his side in agony throughout the eight count. He then started going around the ring even faster but never actually throwing a single punch of his own. He slid to the canvas under pressure from Khalid but there was no count. Another body punch from Khalid saw Ajtai touch the canvas with his glove and then scuttle across the ring in a crouch to the ropes and down. He was up quickly but after the eight count the referee rightly stopped the one-sided farce. The 27-year-old from Birmingham is much too good to need pointless wins like this. He is rated IBF 6(4)/WBC 8/WBA 11/WBO 13 so he is going to need to face a world rated opponent if he is to land a title fight. Poor Ajtai, 19, has fought as low as 103 ¼ lbs and had been stopped in two rounds by Andrew Selby but was sellable on the basis of taking Chinese star Shiming Zou ten rounds just two weeks earlier but Kal is a much heavier puncher.
Whyte vs. Bacurin
Bacurin was in survival mode from the start circling never far from the ropes with the ring centre being another country for him. Whyte was letting his hands go but just not able to nail the experienced Croat. Whyte was weighing a career high and some of his speed was lacking and he was also missing with some swipes but was doing what scoring there was. Bacurin was not looking to enter into any exchanges just keeping on the move, stopping to throw one or two punches and holding for which he was warned in the third round. Whyte strong-armed Bacurin with his forearm when the Croat was against the ropes in the fourth forcing him to lean way back and the Croat went down claiming he had wrenched his back. He was given some recovery time but again warned later in the round for holding. Whyte stepped up his attacks in the fifth trying to get Bacurin out of there. The Croat was trying to hold again but Whyte threw him off and down to the floor earning a warning from the referee. Whyte finished the round by rocking Bacurin with a big right to the head. Whyte was throwing wild rights at the start of the sixth with Bacurin slipping to the floor to avoid them. Eventually a right put Bacurin down on his knees and he watched the referee count to ten without trying to get up. First fight for the 28-year-old “Body Snatcher” since his loss to Joshua in December. He was recovering from an injury to his right shoulder. He was a career highest at 253 ¼ lbs but will get fitter and faster and there are plenty of good domestic and foreign fights for him. Bacurin, 34, came in as a late choice and was giving away 44lbs which was too much but he gave Whyte some much needed ring time.
Benn vs. Radic
Benn gets first round win as he shows both power and patience against Czech Radic. The visitor came forward trying to throw punches with Benn stepping back out of distance and looking for openings. He was not throwing wild shots but instead kept cool and then exploded when the chance presented itself. A right to the head sent Radic staggering back into a corner and although Benn landed a left hook as he put Radic down it was that head-snapping first right that had done the damage. Radic was up quickly and tried to take the fight to Benn but he was nailed with another big right and then two left hooks and a thunderous right put him face down on the floor with the referee immediately waiving the fight over. It was a heavy knockout and Radic needed medical attendance before getting to his feet over a minute from when he went down. The Essex 19-year-old seems to have inherited dad Nigel’s power and showed some good skills on the way to his second one round win. Radic, 24, now has six losses by KO/TKO but those Benn punches would have put a great many fighters out of commission.
New York, NY, USA: Welter: Keith Thurman (27-0) W PTS 12 Shawn Porter (26-2-1). Super Welter: Jarrett Hurd (18-0) W TKO 10 Oscar Molina (13-1-1). Super Light: Regis Prograis (18-0) W TKO 4 Luis Edurado Florez (21-4). Light Heavy: David Benavidez (15-0) W TKO 7 Francy Ntetu (16-1). Heavy: Adam Kownacki (14-0) W TKO 3 Jesse Barboza (11-1-1).
Thurman vs. Porter
Thurman retains his WBA title with close but unanimous decision over Porter although the decision is not universally popular. Both were trying to establish command early leading to some furious but untidy work as they are both clever and quick boxers and good defensive work saw neither really land anything of consequence although Thurman probably just did enough to edge it. Porter did enough to take the second pinning Thurman on the ropes and firing hooks and uppercuts although Thurman fired back with a nice combination. Porter was pressing again in the third but Thurman showed excellent defensive skills and some neat counters Porter was warned for straying low with a left hook. Thurman landed some nice counters only for Porter to respond with a punch that seemed to hurt Thurman at the end of the round but the champion had taken the round. Thurman had a big fourth. A left hook saw Porter’s knees dip and although he fought back he had been shaken. In the fifth they both had good spells. Again Porter was doing most of the chasing and throwing more punches getting through with a great right/left combination to the head of Thurman. Porter was often swinging wide shots with Thurman quicker and more accurate with his punches but Porter’s work catching the eye more. It was pressure, pressure, pressure from Porter in the sixth as he outworked Thurman. It was Thurman applying the pressure in the seventh but Porter responded with a nice two punch combination and it was a close round which Thurman probably did enough to take. Porter came back in the eighth landing a thumping left to the body that had Thurman crouching in agony and retreating in disarray but Thurman landed sharp accurate counters and it was again a close round. The ninth was full of fierce exchanges with both throwing and landing hard punches in action that had the crowd on their feet with Porter probably putting this one in the bank as Thurman ended the round with a small cut over his left eye and a swollen cheek. Both tired a bit in the tenth with Thurman landing a left hook late that saw Porter stagger across into a corner but Thurman was wild with his follow-up punches and Porter was banging back at the bell. Thurman probably took this one to give him a small lead. Both showed their tiredness as the pace dropped in the eleventh with the smarter boxing of Thurman giving him a winning lead and he landed the best punches in the round a head-snapping left/right combination. They both put everything into the last round of what had been an exciting tough scrap. Scores 115-113 from all three judges for Thurman. The dissention was on the basis of the aggression and work rate of Porter but Thurman had been more accurate and his excellent defence work and fast two-handed counters rightly earned him the decision. It was a fight worthy of a return. Thurman, 27, was making the second defence of his title. Porter was his mandatory challenger so now he can look for a voluntary fight. He has said he wants Danny Garcia but may have to settle for an easier defence. Former IBF champion Porter will be hoping he gets his return but is likely to have to wait a while before he gets it.
Hurd vs. Molina
Hurd gets a breakthrough win that greatly enhances his profile and marks him as one to watch. Hurd was using a fast, slick jab in the first with Molina going for left hooks to the body. Hurd took Molina to the ropes ducked inside a left from Molina and landed a head-snapping right uppercut that put Molina down. He was up immediately and fought back well to the bell. Hurd took the second and third being quicker and more accurate with his jab using a better variety of punches with Molina trying to get on the front foot and work the body. War broke out in the fourth as they stood toe-to-toe and swapped hard punches giving Molina an edge but in the fifth Hurd was getting the better of the exchanges throwing more and landing more. Hurd was not using his superior skills in the sixth giving Molina the fight he wanted but was sharper and more accurate and Molina’s face was breaking out in bumps and bruises. Molina had more success in the seventh with his left hooks to the body but was way behind on points. Hurd continued to pour on the punishment in the eighth coming forward relentlessly scoring inside with chopping hooks and uppercuts jerking Molina’s head back and slowly wearing the tough Mexican down and Molina looked to have nothing left as he was caught with a series of head punches just before the bell. Hurd handed out some hellacious punishment in the ninth with Molina taking a savage beating and hardly being able to muster the strength to throw a punch. Molina found some energy in the ninth throwing left hooks and overhand rights but Hurd was soon slamming home hooks and uppercuts. As Molina tried to dodge out of distance Hurd gave him a hard push that sent Molina down heavily but rightly no count. In the last round Hurd was again dishing out hooks and uppercuts from both hands and after a series of head punches rocked Molina and made him dip at the knees the referee stopped the fight. Very impressive showing by Hurd. He had the skills to outbox Molina but chose to show he could brawl too. The 25-year-old from Maryland has 12 wins by KO/TKO and was coming off a sixth round stoppage of unbeaten Frank Galarza (17-0-2) in November. He is rated IBF 9 (8)/WBA 10 and can now look forward to some higher profile fights. Californian Molina, the WBA No 10, had drawn with unbeaten Dominique Dalton (17-0) in September but was well beaten here. Although born in California he won a World Youth gold medal and fought at the 2012 Olympics for Mexico.
Prograis vs. Florez
Prograis marches on. The unbeaten southpaw from Houston put Florez down in the second and continued to score with heavy punches with the referee finally intervening in the fourth to stop the fight. The 27-year-old “Rougarou” collects the vacant NABF Junior title and has won 11 of his last 12 fights by KO/TKO including a victory over useful Aaron Herrera in March. He was an elite class amateur competing at both the US Championships and National PAL but lost out in the final US Olympic Trials to Brian Perrella and Sammy Vazquez. Former Colombian light champion Florez suffers his first loss by KO/TKO
Benavidez vs. Ntetu
Benavidez gets his win with controversial stoppage. Benitez looked the stronger and was bossing the early action working the body well with Ntetu making a slow start and having to hold to smother Benavidez’s inside work. Ntetu was getting through with some of his punches as Benavidez showed he was better at attack than defence. Unfortunately the unbeaten fighter from Montreal is not a big puncher and was slowly being beaten down. The doctor examined Ntetu at the end of the sixth concerned that the Canadian was taking too much punishment. Ntetu replied by having a good seventh scoring with some of his best punches in the fight but after Benavidez landed a heavy right the referee stepped in and halted the fight to the surprise of both fighters and the anger of the crowd. Benavidez, 19, the brother of the former undefeated interim WBA super light champion Jose Benavidez, now has 14 wins by KO/TKO including 7 in a row. He is No 15 with the WBA even though he is still only fighting eight round fights! DRC-born Ntetu, 34, was finally getting some exposure after almost six years as a pro and hopefully will get a return fight.
Kownacki vs. Barboza
Podgy Pole Kownacki continues unbeaten with stoppage of Jesse Barboza. Kownacki kept going forward using his heavier weight to wear Barboza down and by the third Barboza had nothing left and the fight was stopped. The 27-yerar-old from Brooklyn has 11 wins by KO/TKO but his opposition has been modest at best. As an amateur he competed at both the NGG’s and National Pal Tournaments and represented the USA in an international against Ireland. At 6’3” (191cm) and 264 ¼ lbs (119kgs) he is not one of the ranks of sculptured heavyweights. Barboza was 8-0-1 in his previous 9 fights including two first round knockouts in his last two fights.
Dallas, TX, USA: Super Middle: Matt Korobov (26-1) W PTS 8 Brian Vera (23-11. Welter: Mike Alvarado (36-4) W PTS 8 Josh Torres (15-5-2,1ND). Super Feather: Erick De Leon (12-0) W TKO 6 Carlos Valcarcel (14-8-4).
Korobov vs. Vera
Korobov keeps his career alive with points win over veteran battler Vera. Korobov jumped on a rusty Vera early flooring the Texan twice in the first round and again in the second but then somehow managed to engineer a workman like performance out of what should have been a spectacular finish. Vera survived those two rounds and from the fourth was boxing his way into the fight and looked to have hurt the Russian with a left hook in the fourth and a right in the fifth only for Korobov to land a hard punch of his own in the sixth. Korobov had the edge in skills and used that edge to stay in control although Vera grew progressively more competitive as he shed the rust. Korobov had Vera down in the last from a left uppercut and ran out a clear winner. Scores 79-69 twice and 78-70. The 33-year-old Russian southpaw has disappointingly failed to trade in his two world amateur championship victories for a pro title losing to Andy Lee for the vacant WBO title in December 2014. He has dropped out of the ratings so may not get another chance. Vera, 34, was having his first fight for a year. He had faded out of the picture after two losses to Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and one each to Willie Monroe and Rocky Fielding. There is work there if he wants it but only as an “opponent”.
Alvarado vs. Torres
Despite having returned to action in March with a win Alvarado show plenty of rust in getting a majority verdict over Torres. Over the early rounds Torres was the one forcing the fight and doing enough to pick up the rounds. Alvarado really only got rolling from the fourth but from then he was scoring regularly with his jabs, combinations and overhand rights. Torres remained competitive but he lacked the power to really be a threat once Alvarado was in his stride and the veteran from Colorado was coming forward and landing thumping rights and looked to have done enough to make up for his slow start. Scores 78-74, 77-75 for Alvarado and 76-76. The 35-year-old former interim WBO super light champion understandingly took a break after loses in consecutive brutal fights against Ruslan Provodnikov, Juan Manuel Marquez and Brandon Rios but we will have to wait for sterner tests to see how much he has left. “Pitbull” Torres did enough to earn himself a spot as a test for some of the young prospects.
De Leon vs. Valcarcel
It would be cruel to describe Korobov and Alvarado as yesterday’s men but accurate to say De Leon is one for the future. He battered Valcarcel to defeat inside six rounds and in fact the experienced Puerto Rican did well to last six rounds. De Leon was on fire early flooring Valcarcel in the first. Valcarcel used the experience gained over years at the top of the amateur ranks and twelve years as a pro to survive that early shock and a knockdown in the third but was outclassed by the hand speed and accurate combination from the Mexican-born American. A body punch in the sixth proved just too much and with Valcarcel in pain the fight was stopped. De Leon, who boxed from the Kronk gym as an amateur and was the NGG champion in 2009, 2010 and 2011makes it seven wins by KO/TKO. Valcarcel, 34, a 2000 Olympian, has disappointed as a pro and is now 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Florencio Varela, Argentina: Cruiser: Pablo Farias (27-2) W PTS 10 Jorge Olivera (27-13). Despite a hand injury Farias has no problem in beating Olivera. From the second round when he injured his hand Farias was having to work his left jab hard but was able to outbox the Uruguayan. Olivera probably did enough to take the fifth round but other than that Farias was a comfortable winner. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 97-93 for “Pokemon”, the FAB No 3. He wins the vacant WBO Latino title. A natural super middle Farias is small for a cruiser. His two losses are a disqualification against Jose Clavero and a fifth round loss to Arthur Abraham for the vacant WBO European super middle title in 2012. He was inactive from February 2013 until returning with a win in March. Olivera, 34, “The Black Pearl” is 3-8 in his last 11 fights spread over five different countries.
Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium: Light Heavy: Bilal Laggoune (20-0-2) W KO 3 Hakim Chioui (31-6-1). Light Heavy: Joe Fournier (5-0) W TKO 2 Mustapha Stini (11-42-1).
Laggoune vs. Chioui
Stand out performance from hometown fighter Laggoune as he destroys Frenchman Chioui to win the vacant WBC Francophone title. The Belgian dominated from the start shaking Chioui with a right and a left to the body in the first and banging home hard combinations. Chioui tried hard to get into the fight in the second taking the fight to Laggoune but walking onto some hard counters. In the third as Chioui was again pressing he was stunned by a hard right . Laggoune tried to end it quickly but in his haste pushed Chioui down and it was rightly ruled a slip. When the action resumed Laggoune trapped Chioui in a corner and put him down with a barrage of punches and the fight was waived off with Chioui needing attention before regaining his feet. The 23-year-old Belgian has 10 wins by KO/TKO. In October he fought a draw with Dymtro Kucher for the vacant EBU cruiser title but instead of getting a return match was pushed aside with Kucher going on to halt Enzo Maccarinelli for the vacant title. Laggoune has bounced back in an impressive way travelling to Miami’s 5th Street gym to improve his technique and moving down to light heavy where he will be a force. Chioui, 29, a former French champion, was 23-1-1 with 18 wins by KO/TKO in his first 25 fights but is a more moderate 8-5 since then including inside the distance losses against both Nadjib Mohammedi and to Igor Mikhalkin for the EBU title.
Fournier vs. Stini
No real problems here for Fournier as he halts veteran Belgian loser Stini in two rounds to make it 5 wins by KO/TKO in 5 fights. The Hounslow-born Miami Beach-based Fournier has taken less than 8 rounds to win his 5 fights. He sponsors Laggoune and helped the Belgian get some gym work in Miami. After a run of 20 losses the 41-year-old Stini had actually won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic: Super Welter: Stepan Horvath (17-5) W TKO 4 Ferenc Hafner (26-10). Czech fighter Horvath punches too hard for Hungarian oldie Hafner to retain his WBO European title. Horvath dominated the fight before flooring Hafner three times in the fourth round to finish the contest. The 33-year-old was previously the interim champion. He has 7 wins by KO/TKO and is No 14 with the WBO. He had a spell of 5 losses in 6 fights, 4 by KO/TKO, including inside the distance defeats against Frank Buglioni, Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams. Since then he has stuck to fighting at home and has won his last 5 fights Southpaw Hafner, 40, falls to 8 losses by KO/TKO.
Walvis Bay, Namibia: Welter: Deniz Ilbay (16-1) W PTS 12 Bethel Ushona (34-5-1). Super Feather: Oscar Chauke (35-11-3) W PTS 12 Abraham Ndaendapo (14-3,1ND). Feather: Rofhiwa Maemu (10-5-2) W KO 3 Gottlieb Ndokosho (17-5,1ND).
Ilbay vs. Ushona
In an upset German newcomer Ilbay gets split verdict over local hero Ushona and wins the vacant World Boxing Federation title. The 21-year-old Ilbay used his youth and strength to pressure Ushona in every round. He forced Ushona to continually fight on the inside with his back to the ropes and outworked the local fighter. Ushona managed to shake Ilbay with an uppercut in the fourth round and landed some good combinations but it was Ilbay’s constant pressure that was the dominating factor in the fight. There were no knockdowns although Ushona was down twice from slips with Ilbay the clear winner but having to settle for a split decision. Scores 117-111 and 115-113 for Ilbay with the Namibian judge scored it a ridiculous 118-110 for Ushona! The fighter from Cologne had his 15 fight winning streak snapped in April when he lost every round and the decision to outstanding Lithuanian prospect Egidijus Kavaliauskas in Las Vegas-now he has a world title. This was set up to get the long serving Ushona, 34, a world title but he is now 2-3 in his last 5 fights.
Chauke vs. Ndaendapo
Chauke seems to like Namibia as he gets his second win there. The South African veteran outboxed the less experienced local to win the vacant WBFed title. Again Chauke looked a clear winner but had to settle for a split decision with two judges having him in front 115-112 and 114-113 with the third judge giving it to Ndaendapo 117-112 . The 35-year-old “Golden Boy” Chauke a former South African super bantam and feather champion was recovering after consecutive losses to Tshifihiwa Munyai and Macbute Sinyabi late last year. Ndaendapo, 32, had won his last 8 fights. The local crowd was not happy at their heroes losing these two big fights and the ring officials needed a police escort to get safely to the dressing rooms.
Maemu vs. Ndokosho
South African No 2 Maemu made it a bad night for Namibia as he knocked out favourite Ndokosho in three rounds. The Sowetan “War Child” gets his sixth win by KO/TKO and has turned his career around with six wins in a row. The 37-year-old former Namibian champion Ndokosho had won 8 of his last 9 fights, losing only to Chauke but must be nearing the end of his career.
Mayaguez, Puerto Rico: Super Feather: Edgar Lopez (13-1-1) W PTS 8 O’Nell Negron (11-3-2). Lopez wins the vacant WBA Fedecaribe title with clear unanimous decision over fellow-Puerto Rican Negron. Lopez was too quick and too smart for Negron and took the decision on scores of 80-72 twice and 78-74. The 27-year-old is a pretty smart man outside the ring as well as inside working as an associate with one of the major law firms in Puerto Rico and is a certified public accountant obtaining the highest CPA grade in Puerto Rico. He was studying and boxing whilst winning a silver medal at the Puerto Rican National Championships. After a good start O’Nell is now 3-3-1 in his last 7 fights .
I would like to dedicate this report to Jack Obermayer who passed away recently. A fellow boxing writer whose work I admired and loved. I admired his style of writing but enjoyed every bit as much his notes and comments of all those symbols of American culture “the diner” he stopped at on his travels to cover over 3000 boxing shows. I only wish I had the chance to know you better. RIP Jack