Carson, CA, USA: Feather: Oscar Valdez (22-0) W PTS 12 Miguel Marriaga (25-2). Super Bantam: Jessie Magdaleno (25-0) W TKO 2 Adeilson Dos Santos (18-3). Super Middle: Gilberto Ramirez (35-0) W PTS 12 Max Bursak (33-5-1). Welter: Mahonry Montes (33-6-1) W PTS 10 Francisco Santana (24-6-1. Welter: Alex Besputin (7-0) W PTS 8 Breidis Prescott (30-10). Feather: Shakur Stevenson (1-0) W TEC DEC 6 Edgar Brito (3-3-1). Welter: Maxim Dadashev (7-0) W KO 3 Bilal Mahasin (9-4-1). Super Light: Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (1-0) W TKO 2 Victor Vazquez (7-3).
Valdez vs. Marriaga
Valdez retains his WBO title but is given a very hard evening by the ever aggressive Marriaga
Valdez used a quick accurate jab to counter Marriaga who was forcing the fight but was frustrated by good defensive work from Valdez.
Marriaga continued to march forward in the second and made this a closer round but again Valdez although on the back foot was more accurate.
Score 10-9 Valdez 20-18
This time the pressure from Marriaga saw him getting though with hooks and uppercuts and Valdez was showing the marks of battle and Marriaga was working the body well.
Score 10-9 Marriaga 29-28
Valdez got back on top in this round. Again he was getting his punches off quickly throwing less than Marriaga but was more accurate and was finding plenty of gaps in Marriaga’s defence.
Score 10-9 Valdez 39-37
Marriaga took this one. He kept on top of Valdez giving Valdez very little room and very little rest. Both scored with some choice body punches but Marriaga had the better of the exchanges.
Score 10-9 Marriaga 48-47
Marriaga started the round well scoring with hooks to the body from both hands and straight rights. Valdez used his speed and accuracy to have a good spell but Marriaga finished the round the stronger.
Score 10-9 Marriaga 57-57
Valdez pulled out a round when he needed it. He was getting his punches off first with Marriaga struggling to connect as Valdez ducked, weaved and frustrated Marriaga’s attempts to score with anything substantial.
Score 10-90 Valdez 67-66
Marriaga evened the scores again, this time he stayed on top of Valdez. The sheer volume of punches from Marriaga prevented Valdez from countering effectively and he had to use all of his skill to stay out of trouble.
Scores 10-9 Marriaga 76-76
Again Marriaga was pressing hard and Valdez was moving less but countering more as they often stood toe-to-toe and both were rocked. I could not separate them as they both had good spells.
Score 10-10 Even 86-86
This was the crucial round. As Marriaga continued to come forward a left hook to the chin from Valdez sent him staggering back on rubber legs and dumped him on his rump. It was a heavy knockdown and Marriaga only just got up as the count reached eight. Valdez stormed after Marriaga. Although landing some heavy punches too much of what he was throwing was wild and inaccurate. He steadied himself but by then Marriaga had recovered and was fighting back at the bell.
Score 10-8 Valdez 96-94
There was no finesse on show in this round as they just stood in front of each other and punched constantly. Both landed and both absorbed plenty of punches ignoring how tired they must have felt and the accuracy of Valdez just gave him the edge.
Score 10-9 Valdez 106-103
Valdez went for broke early in the round landing the bigger and more frequent punches and he needed that start as he punched himself but had done enough to hold off a strong finish by Marriaga over the last minute of the round.
Score 10-9 Valdez 116-112
Official scores: 119-108, 118-109 and 116-112 all for Valdez.
Make no mistake this was a very tough test for Valdez. As I saw it the fight could have gone either way until the knockdown in the tenth. After that Valdez had the confidence to take the last two rounds and Marriaga was over committing himself to try to drag back those two points for the knockdown. Second title defence for the 26-year-old Valdez and on this showing he might struggle against the other three champions. Colombian Marriaga, 30, was a very live challenger and was No 1 with the WBO. He lost a wide unanimous decision to Nicholas Walters for the WBA title in a fight in which Walters lost the title on the scales. He had scored five wins since then and he will feel he deserves a return but Valdez is entitled to some voluntary defences so Marriaga may have to look elsewhere for a title shot.
Magdaleno vs. Dos Santos
Magdaleno blows away Brazilian challenger in impressive style.
Magdaleno made a fast start. Dos Santos had height and reach over the champion but Magdaleno went straight to work. He was getting past the Brazilian’s reach and scoring inside and also drawing the lead and stepping in with fast counters.
Score 10-9 Magdaleno
In the second Magdaleno let Dos Santos come to him and then fired a series of quick shots to the head. Magdaleno then plunged inside and landed two southpaw lefts to the head that put Dos Santos down. The Brazilian beat the count but a tigerish Magdaleno chased him throwing hooks and finally put Dos Santos down again with two clubbing rights to the temple. Dos Santos tried to grab Magdaleno’s legs on the way down and the fight was immediately waived off without a count. Successful first defence of his WBO title for Magdaleno and win No 17 by KO/TKO. Cesar Juarez is the No 1 in the WBO ratings based on an upset win over Albert Pagara but Nonito Donaire is No 2. Donaire easily beat Juarez for the vacant WBO title in December 2015 and he wants a chance to revenge the loss to Magdaleno in November which cost the Filipino his WBO title. Dos Santos, 25, was No 12 with the WBO after passable wins over Walberto Ramos and Devis Perez.
Ramirez vs. Bursak
Easy defence of his WBO title for Ramirez as Bursak has nothing really to offer against the reach, hand speed and clever boxing of the champion and loses every round.
Ramirez made good use of his physical advantages. He was spearing Bursak with jabs and catching the challenger with hooks when he tried to get inside
Score 10-9 Ramirez
Bursak scored with a good left hook early in the round but Ramirez repaid him with a much better left hook and also banged home body punches. Bursak was warned twice for holding as he tried to stay inside.
Score 10-9 Ramirez 20-18
Bursak kept trying to plough his way inside but was paying a price in the shape of uppercuts and hooks as he moved forwards. At distance both the reach and the hand speed of Ramirez were dominant.
Score 10-9 Ramirez 30-27
Once again Ramirez bosses the action. He had Bursak under fire with a stream of right hooks and uppercuts. Bursak managed to get through with a couple of punches late in the round but was also warned again for holding.
Score 10-9 Ramirez 40-36
Ramirez made good use of his reach advantage in this one spearing Bursak with right jabs and then firing fast combinations as Bursak struggled to stay competitive. They clashed head twice but luckily neither was cut. Bursak was deducted a point for holding.
Score 10-8 Ramirez 50-44
Ramirez worked the body hard in this one with hooks from both hands. Bursak kept trying to march forward but Ramirez was able to score at a distance and finished the round with a strong attack.
Score 10-9 Ramirez 60-53
Ramirez applied more pressure in this round firing quick combinations with Bursak just unable to block or duck most of what was coming his way. Once again they clashed heads and the referee warned them both to be more careful
Score 10-9 Ramirez 70-62
Already it was not a case of who would win but whether Ramirez could halt Bursak. He was taking pot shots at distance and firing hooks with less and less coming back from Bursak.
Score 10-9 Ramirez 80-71
The fight was too one-sided to be entertaining and as Ramirez dominated more and more Bursak was launching less attacks and going into survival mode
Scores 10-9 Ramirez 90-80
A rapidly tiring Bursak was warned for holding again. He tried to come forward but Ramirez stepped up the pace and punished the challenger to the body
Score 10-9 100-89
It was all Ramirez again in this one. He was slotting home right jabs and banging combinations to the body. Bursak finally clinched once too often and the referee deducted Bursak a point for the offence.
Score 10-8 Ramirez 110-97
Bursak was too tired to try to stage a big finish and Ramirez was able to drive him back around the ring landing hooks from both hands inside with Bursak just covering up or holding to make it to the final bell.
Score 10-9 Ramirez 120-106
Official scores 120-106 for Ramirez from all three judges
Successful if simple first defence for the 24-year-old Mexican southpaw. He had also taken every round when beating Arthur Abraham for the title in April last year. Jesse Hart is his No 1 rated challenger but with Abraham, No 2, outpointing No 3 Robin Krasniqi tonight in Germany as unlikely as it may seem Abraham will be hoping for a return with Ramirez. I can’t see that ending differently than the first fight. Bursak was a manipulated challenger. His only win last year was in April against a guy with a 12-4 record and yet seven months later he suddenly appeared at No 10 in the WBO ratings for November so it is no wonder it was an easy night for Ramirez.
Montes vs. Santana
Montes scores a minor upset as he takes split verdict over Santana. The fight fell into three sections. Over the early rounds the action was close. Although Santana had an edge in reach it was Montes boxing from distance and Santana doing god work in close. Montes asserted himself over the middle rounds and floored Santana in the fifth and built a substantial lead. It needed to be as Santana came on strong over the closing rounds. Scores 96-93 and 95-94 for Montes and 97-92 for Santana. After going 25-0-1 over his first 26 fights Montes had moved up in quality of the opposition he faced and was 7-6 in his last 13 fights. Santana, 30, had also faced top opposition recently with losses to Sadam Ali and Jose Benavides and a win over Ed Paredes.
Besputin vs. Prescott
Besputin too young, strong and aggressive for Prescott. The Russian southpaw was pressurised the Colombian from the first bell walking forward throwing fast combinations of hooks and uppercuts from both hands. Prescott was forced to stand and trade and absorbed a chunk of punishment. Besputin suffered a cut far back on his head from a Prescott elbow in the sixth but took his revenge in the seventh putting Prescott down. He also had the Colombian hurt in the last. Scores 80-71 for Besputin from all three judges as the 25-year-old prospect continues his climb. Besputin won gold medals at both Youth and Senior level at the European championships. Prescott, 33, has moved onto the down slope and is 6-7 in his last 13 fights.
Stevenson vs. Brito
Stevenson gets win in his first pro fight but Brito proves a tougher and more reliant opponent than expected. A bloody battle saw Brito cut over his left eye in the second from a clash of heads and deducted a point in the third for a butt. Stevenson showcased his supreme skills and won every round but just could not get the gutsy Brito out of there. The doctor finally ruled that Brito’s cut was too bad for the fight to continue and the judges all had Stevenson un front 60-54 giving him the technical decision. Not quite the sensational start predicted but make no mistake the 19-year-old Stevenson is a huge talent. He won gold medals at the Youth Olympic, World Junior and World Youth Championships and won his way through the US Trials and Americas Trials before being unlucky to have to settle for a silver medal in Rio. Brito did more than expected here.
Dadashev vs. Mahasin
Dadashev gets another inside the distance win. The Russian had Mahasin in trouble a couple of times before landing a beautiful left hook to the chin in the third that put Mahasin down and out cold. Now 6 wins by KO/TKO for the 26-year-old former high ranking amateur. Mahasin had won his last two fights and was a reasonable level of opponent for this stage of Dadashev’s career.
Gaibnazarov vs. Vazquez
Yet another outstanding amateur turns pro as 2016 Olympic gold medal winner Gaibnazarov overcomes a rude shock to get his victory. You expect all kind of starts for these top guys but not one where they find themselves on the floor in the first round of their first pro fight. That’s what happened to Gaibnazarov. He shook off that bad start to floor and then stop Vazquez in the second round. Apart from his Olympic gold the 25-year-old southpaw from Uzbekistan is a former Uzbek champion and won a silver medal at the World Championships and scored wins over Jose Ramirez, Kenneth Sims and Gary Antuanne Russell. The 21-year-old Vazquez had won his last three fights.
New York, NF, USA: Welter: Shawn Porter (27-2-1) W TKO 9 Andre Berto (31-5). Super Welter: Jermell Charlo (29-0) W TKO 6 Charles Hatley (26-2-1).
Porter vs. Berto
This was a fight neither man could afford to use but in the end the speed and relentless pressure brought Porter the victory.
Both fighters made a cautious start and there were few highlights but Berto just did a little more than Porter.
Score 9-10 Berto
Porter was doubling up on his jab and moving in behind it throwing hooks inside. He took Berto to the ropes and trapped him there for almost a full minute. He was the only one doing any work inside as he went to the body. Their heads clashed with Berto pawing at his right eye but Porter suffered a small cut over his left eye. With only seconds remaining in the round Porter shook Berto with a left uppercut and as Berto went back Porter landed a right to the temple which sent Berto down on one knee. He was up quickly and after the eight count the bell went.
Score 10-8 Porter 19-18
Porter took the third. He was getting his punches off quicker and again had Berto pinned to the ropes as he worked inside. Not all of his punches were landing but Berto was just holding and not working. A clash of heads opened a cut over the left eye of Berto.
Score 10-9 Porter 29-27
Berto did a bit better in this round taking the fight to Porter and landing some strong hooks. He also complained a couple of time about careless head work from Porter. Once again Porter was throwing and landing more punches. A clash of heads late in the round this time saw Berto cut over his left eye. The referee stopped the action to have the doctor inspect the injury but the fight was allowed to continue.
Score 10-9 Porter 39-36
Porter’s hand speed and quicker movement was again giving Berto problems. Porter landed a sharp left uppercut and was able to take Berto to the ropes and score with body punches. The referee had the doctor examine Berto’s cut as the blood was trickling into Berto’s eye. The doctor gave the OK for the fight to continue and a fired up Porter had Berto too busy defending to throw any punches.
Score 10-9 Porter 49-45
Before the action started the doctors simultaneously examined the eye injuries suffered by both fighters and let the action continue. There were was more posing than punching but with the hand speed of Porter again giving him the edge as he was doubling up on his jab at the end of the round.
Score 10-9 Porter 59-54
There was very little action and very few clean punches landed by either boxer. The best punch was a left to the body from Berto so I just gave him a small advantage
Score 9-10 Berto 68-64
This round was brutally one-sided. Porter drove Berto to the ropes early in the round and kept him there until late in the round. Porter was scoring with left hooks to the body and overhand rights. The referee would break them and Berto would move two or three paces away from the ropes and then just back himself onto the ropes again. There was not much coming back from Berto who seemed to tire badly and a stoppage seemed near.
Score 10-9 Porter 78-73
Berto had to survive yet another doctor’s inspection before the action started. Porter attacked ferociously and then pushed Berto who tumbled back into the ropes. Berto half fell through the ropes and was struck on the head by one of the ropes. He stood up rubbing his head expecting the referee to call a break but Porter pounced on him and landed a couple of hooks with Berto sagging to sit on the middle rope. The referee applied a standing count. Berto complained that he had hurt his head but again Porter pounced quickly. A left hook had Berto’s legs performing a little dance and as a right propelled Berto in to a corner the referee stopped the fight.
Former IBF welter champion Porter was No 3 and Berto No 4 in the WBC ratings and Keith Thurman was in the audience so it looks as though that might be a fight for the future. Berto, 33, was having his first fight for a year and just could not match the speed of Porter’s attacks and threw too few punches to be competitive. He announced his retirement after the fight.
Charlo vs. Hatley
Charlo knocks Hatley out cold with as brutal a kayo punch as you will ever see.
Both fighters made a cautious start. Neither was really committing themselves and few clean punches were landed and neither did enough to win the round
Charlo started the round well firing home some left hooks and getting through with his jab. A clash of heads saw Charlo cut over his left eye and Hatley looked to be taking the round until a straight right from Charlo sent Hatley staggering back across the ring and he fell into the ropes which held him up otherwise he might have hit the floor.
Score 10-9 Charlo 20-19
The first punch of the round was a cracking left hook to the body from Charlo. Hatley was looking apprehensive and for good reason as Charlo stunned him with a straight right that sent Hatley staggering back and followed with a solid jab to the head and another right that put Hatley down. He got up quickly and did not look badly hurt. Hatley boxed and moved and Charlo was unable to land anything more of note.
Score 10-8 Charlo 30-27
Hatley was under fire again in the fourth. Another jarring jab had him going backwards and after that another long right shook him. Charlo was throwing very few punches just looking to land big punches and not using his jab. Hatley landed a sharp left hook but was warned for a deliberate attempt at a butt and was able to dick under some wild punches from Charlo at the bell. The referee went to Hatley’s corner and warned him to keep it clean after that attempted butt.
Score 10-9 Charlo 40-36
A booming jab from Charlo again staggered Hatley who spent the next minute avoiding any exchanges but just dancing backwards and forwards along the ropes. He then reversed tactics and took the fight to Charlo. He landed a couple of good left hooks as the y stood and traded for the first time but the punch of the round was a neck-snapping uppercut from Charlo.
Score 10-9 Charlo 50-45
Hatley tried to come forward in the sixth but a jab stopped him in his tracks. Charlo opened up throwing punches with both hands and Hatley tried to trade with him. Charlo laded a couple of punches and then a right to the temple staggered Hatley. Charlo stepped around him to change angles and Hatley followed Charlo towards the ropes on unsteady legs but trying to throw punches. Charlo came over the top with a brutal right that sent Hatley down half out under the ropes out cold and the referee immediately called for medical help for Hatley.
It was about five minutes before they were able to get Hatley up and sit him on a stool and he was still dazed and confused. The final right was brutal and it seems strange that Charlo has only a 48% kayo rating. He was making the first defence of his WBC title and with his hand speed and power the 26-yerar-old Texan is a threat to anyone in the division including Saul Alvarez. Hatley, 31, had won his last nine fights including inside the distance wins over Saul Roman and Anthony Mundine so had earned a title fight but it is hard to understand how someone can still be rated after being inactive for 17 months.
Leicester, England: Middle: Avtandil Khurtsidze (33-2-2) W TKO 5 Tommy Langford (18-1). Super Light: Tyrone Nurse (34-2-2) DREW 12 Joe Hughes (15-2-1). Bantam: Zolani Tete (25-3) W PTS 12 Arthur Villanueva (30-2). Super Middle: Darryl Williams (15-0) W PTS 10 Jahmaine Smyle (14-5-2). Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (10-0) W KO 1 Darren Snow (5-13-1). Super Light: Sam Maxwell (2-0) W TKO 5 George Wright (4-2). Heavy: Daniel Dubois (2-0) W TKO 2 Blaise Mendouo (3-2).
Khurtsidze vs. Langford
A crude but strong Khurtsidze floors and halts Langford to win the interim WBO title.
Langford had huge height and reach over the small Khurtsidze which was not much of an advantage as Khurtsidze was coming in ducking low and getting under Langford’s punches and working to the body. Khurtsidze’s style is 100% crude, but effective, he holds and hits inside and is dangerous with wild punches when storming forward. Think a middleweight Tony Galento (if you don’t know who Tony Galento is ask your dad/granddad). Even in this opening round Khurtsidze was already throwing his arms wide and letting Langford have free shots with Langford unable to hurt Khurtsidze or find space to make his better boxing count.
Score 10-9 Khurtsidze
Langford has a much better round. He moves more and counters Khurtsidze’s lunges and gets home some shots. Khurtsidze just keeps coming and is still a big threat with swinging punches he launches whilst square on or off the wrong foot
Score 10-9 Langford 19-19
More of the same from Langford in the third. He is catching Khurtsidze with right counters and firing home hooks with Khurtsidze sometimes just standing in range and taking the punches before lunging forward again. If anything Langford is almost doing too well as his confidence grows he is standing and punching too much and not keeping his defence tight ignoring the danger in Khurtsidze swinging punches. A clash of heads causes a cut over the left eye of Langford.
Score 10-9 Langford 29-28
Brilliant boxing from Langford. He constantly slots home jabs and scores with hooks and uppercuts as Khurtsidze is unable to get inside and is left swishing air or being tied up inside as Langford is just too quick.
Score 10-9 Langford 39-37
Langford starts the fifth with some jabs but as he is backing up his hands are not up protecting his head and a sweeping left from Khurtsidze sends him into a corner and down on his knees. He struggles to rise and is unsteady on his feet and the referee stops the fight. It was a good call as Langford did not look ready to continue.
Brooklyn-based Georgian Khurtsidze is only 5’4” (163cm) which is ridiculously small for a middleweight but he is immensely strong, has a good chin and a big punch and is wildly aggressive. He lost a very close decision to Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in 2010 for this same interim WBA title and had steamrollered his way to nine wins since then including a tenth round stoppage of unbeaten Antoine Douglas in his last fight in March last year. This win nets him a shot at the real WBO champion Billy Joe Saunders in July so Saunders is in for an interesting night. Langford, 27, showed some good skills but in the end could not keep Khurtsidze out and paid the price for letting his right hand stray from its defensive duties. He will come again.
Nurse vs. Hughes
Nurse holds on to his British title with a split draw against Hughes. Nurse was much the taller and had a big edge in reach. Those factors plus an edge in experience and a familiarity with going twelve rounds made Nurse the favourite but Hughes pushed forward from the start. Nurse used his reach to box over the early rounds and he was tying up Hughes when the challenger got inside but Hughes was making good use of his own jab to keep the fight close. Both fighters had good spells in a fight that was constantly swinging one way and then the other. Hughes scored well in the sixth and Nurse came back to take the seventh and a sharp uppercut from Hughes was the best punch of the eighth which he took. That was how the fight continued and with the decision in the balance they both fought hard to the bell and it was obviously going to be a very close decision, Scores 116-113 for Nurse, 116-113 for Hughes and 115-115. It had been a cracking British title fight and hopefully they will do it all again. Nurse,27, was making the third defence of his British title having scored good wins over Chris Jenkins, Willie Limond and Tommy Coyle in his last three fights. Hughes, 26, relinquished the English title before this fight and came close to moving up to British champion. He has lost only one of his last 13 fights and that was to unbeaten and world rated Jack Catterall.
Tete vs. Villanueva
Once again Tete gives a boxing master class to win the vacant WBO title. The South Africa had an edge in reach and was much quicker both with his hands and his movement. Villanueva was forced to lunge in with his attacks and Tete was either standing and countering him with southpaw left or taking a long step back leaving Villanueva with no target and then countering as Villanueva tried to recover his balance. Tete scored with a beautiful left counter in the second and an even better one in the third. That one saw Villanueva dip at the knees and Tete pounced on him and unloaded heavy punches but Villanueva got out of trouble and scored with a couple of counters of his own late in the round. At times Tete was softening or shortening the jab to tempt Villanueva to dive in with an attack and had his left perfectly positioned to land a counter as Villanueva came forward. It was impossible to see a way for the Filipino to win this one or even to be competitive as he was being outboxed and outthought all the way. Villanueva had some success with his counters and short hooks when he moved inside but was only fighting in bursts whereas Tete was constantly jabbing to score points and break Villanueva’s rhythm. It might be possible to find a round somewhere to give to Villanueva but that was an effort. Additionally he spent most of each round circling, looking for an attack angle and burning energy whist Tete was able to conserve energy by just stepping around the ring centre. In the eleventh a short left put Villanueva down. He tried to protest but it was a genuine if not heavy knockdown caused by a punch. Tete boxed his way comfortably through the last round to win a very wide unanimous decision. Scores 119-108 twice and 120-107 all for Tete. The brilliant South African had a lucky break when on Friday Marlon Tapales failed to make the weight for a title defence in Japan. The Japanese challenger would have become champion if he won the fight but Tapales scored a stoppage win. That still left the title vacant so this eliminator became a fight for the vacant title. Tete, a former undefeated IBF super fly champion would be more that a match for any fighter in this division. Villanueva, 28, lost a technical decision to McJoe Arroyo for the vacant IBF super fly title in 2015. He had scored three wins since then and was No 1 with the WBO, one position above Tete.
Williams vs. Smyle
Williams overcomes the handicap of cuts over both eyes to win the English title from champion Smyle on a split verdict. As with the Nurse vs. Hughes fight this one was constantly on a knife edge capable of swinging either way. It was a war from the start an outstandingly competitive contest. Williams was cut over his left eye in the third but despite giving away height and reach too the much bigger looking Smyle he dragged Smyle into a toe-to-toe scrap that was a contender for Fight of the Year. Smyle fought hard to hold on to his title and Williams shrugged off a cut over his right eye in the eighth as they battled all of the way to the final bell. Scores 98-93 and 97-93 for Williams and 96-95 for Smyle. Frank Warren immediately announced there would be a return match. The 27-year-old Londoner Williams had won 5 of his last 7 fights by KO/TKO and this was the first time he had gone past the eighth round in a fight. Local fighter Smyle was 6-0-1 in his last 7 with the draw being a technical one and he was making the second defence of his English title.
Yarde vs. Snow
Yarde gets another inside the distance win. The hard punching young prospect put Snow down twice the last with a blistering body punch. The 25-year-old from Essex has 9 wins by KO/TKO including six in the first round. Sixth loss by KO/TKO for Snow
Maxwell vs. Wright
Maxwell gets his second pro win with stoppage of Wright. The tall London-born Commonwealth bronze medallist was English and British champion and competed in the WSB. He has the distinction of a win over Albert Selimov who in turn was the only man to beat Vasyl Lomachenko as an amateur. Second loss by KO/TKO for Wright.
Dubois vs. Mendouo
Dubois only took 35 seconds to get his first win but this time he had to actually come out for the second round. Dubois shook Mendouo with a couple of rights to the head but he stood up and posed a few problems for Dubois to solve. At the end of the round he had Mendouo trapped in a corner and was unloading with bell saving Mendouo. Dubois ended it early in the second. He landed a couple of hard rights and then drove Mendouo into a corner and rocked him time and again with head punches. Mendouo started to slip down the ropes so the referee stepped in and applied a count. When the count was finished Mendouo indicated he wanted no more at the same time as the referee waived the fight over. The big 19-year old Dubois only had a few amateur fights so is not the finished article but he has immense potential. The much smaller British based Cameroon Mendouo gave it a try with some wild swings but was in over his head literally.
Liverpool: England: Middle: Martin Murray (35-4-1) W PTS 12 Gabriel Rosado (23-11,1ND). Super Middle: Rocky Fielding (24-1) W PTS 12 John Ryder (24-4). Light: Sean Dodd (13-2-1) W PTS 12 Lee Appleyard (10-3). Super Light: Tom Farrell (12-0) W PTS 10 Tommy Carus (8-3-2). Super Feather: Joe Cordina (1-0) W TKO 4 Jose Aguilar (16-33-4).
Murray vs. Rosado
Murray boxes his way to controversial majority decision over Rosado. This one was hard to score all the way. The both started well having good spells in the first round. Murray forced the fight more in the second with Rosado banging back to keep things tight. Again there were some furious exchanges and evidence of quite a bit of needle as they exchanged hard punches in the third and fourth. Murray started to open a gap over the middle rounds having a good fifth and sixth-apart from a very low right that earned Murray a strong rebuke from the referee-but he finished the sixth round strongly. The pace dropped for a while which suited Murray as he seemed to edge the eighth and ninth to open the gap further. Rosado is a battler and he came on strong over the tenth and eleventh and they fought hard to the bell in the last Murray seemed to have done enough to just take the decision and all would probably been OK apart from one of the scores. One judge had it even at 114-114 and another had Murray the winner by 116-112 but the third score of 119-109 for Murray incensed Rosado and that led to some recriminations and pushing and shoving in the ring. Murray, 34, wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title. He is looking for a fifth shot at a world title. Whilst Gennady Golovkin broke him down and halted him his draw with Felix Sturm and losses to Sergio Martinez and Arthur Abraham were all questionable. His only rating before this fight was No 8 with the WBA. He should now get a WBO ratings but getting another title shot is a different matter altogether. Rosado has lost to Golovkin and Peter Quillin in title shots. He is 2-4 in his last 6 fights but all against high class opposition and this fight shows he still has plenty left and can give any rated fighter a tough night.
Fielding vs. Ryder
Fielding wins the vacant British title with split decision over southpaw Ryder. After a messy first round the fight warmed-up with both fighters landing good punches to the body. Fielding tried to keep the fight an open one but Ryder was determined to get inside. It was close over the first three rounds but over the middle rounds Fielding made space for himself and was able to box and build a useful lead. He needed it as Ryder came on strong in the ninth pressing hard with Fielding forced to stand and trade in close. Fielding was able to box outside early in the tenth but Ryder came on strong at the end of the round as he forced his way inside. Ryder continued to press over the last two rounds but Fielding’s early lead saw him take the decision-but it was very close. Scores 116-113 and 115-114 for Fielding and 115-114 for Ryder. This was a much happier occasion than Fielding’s previous fight for this title when he was halted inside a round by Callum Smith in 2015. He had scored two wins in 2016 but the one against Chris Rebrasse was also a split decision. There are plenty of good fighters and fights to be made in this division and the 29-year-old Liverpool fighter will be looking to be in the mix. Londoner Ryder was making his third attempt to win this title having lost a hotly disputed decision against Billy Joe Saunders and being stopped in seven rounds by Nick Blackwell in previous efforts. He lost on points to Jack Arnfield in September but had bounced back with a good win over Adam Etches. He deserves a return and a fourth shot at the title.
Dodd vs. Appleyard
Dodd wins the vacant Commonwealth title as he overcomes a shaky start to outpoint Appleyard. The first round was a double whammy for Dodd. A right from Appleyard sent Dodd tumbling into the ropes badly shaken and the punch also opened a cut over Dodd’s left eye. It took Dodd a couple of rounds before he got into his stride after that poor start. Once he was rolling his awkward but effective style saw him take control of the fight. His quick accurate jabbing saw him outboxing the more conventional Appleyard. He quickly recovered the lost ground from that first round and as he upped his work rate he built a good lead. Appleyard stayed competitive but good defensive work from Dodd blunted many of his attacks and with his local fans cheering him on it was a clear and relatively comfortable win for Dodd. Scores 117-112, 117-113 and 116-112 all for Dodd. The 32-year-old local fighter has been a late developer and he signalled his arrival in two very close fights with unbeaten Scott Cardle for the British title being unlucky to lose the first and more than earn a draw in the second. Appleyard was 7-1 in his last 8 fights and with more experience can come again.
Farrell vs. Carus
Farrell beats Carus in fight of local friends. Friendship or not this was a hard fought close battle Farrell was the favourite but Carus was competitive all the way bringing blood from Farrell’s nose. Farrell only really pulled away over the late rounds when his extra experience and greater strength came into play. Referee’s score 97-95. Farrell, the WBA International champion will be moving onward and upwards. Carus had the additional handicap of only fight in the previous 18 months.
Cordina vs. Aguilar
Yet another Olympian moves into the pros as Welsh prospect Cordina halts Nicaraguan Aguilar. It was a classy and impressive display from Cordina. He constantly scored with stiff jabs and fine combinations of hooks and uppercuts. In the third a series of three uppercuts shook Aguilar and he also had to survive some wicked left hooks to the body. Aguilar usually goes the distance and might have made to the bell but in the last round as Cordina unloaded more power punches the referee stopped the one-sided fight despite protests from Aguilar. As well as competing at the 2016 Olympics the 25-year-old Cordina won a gold medal at the European championships and a bronze at the Commonwealth Games and boxed for the British Lionhearts in the WSB so yet another outstanding prospect. Now 17 losses in a row for Aguilar but then is what he is supposed to do.