Fight of the week: Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jason Sosa. Any fight with Lomachenko in it is a must for me.
Fighter of the week: Vasyl Lomachenko – none better.
Punch of the week: Nothing too spectacular this week but the straight right that Egidijus Kavaliauskas drilled Ramses Agaton with and the combination from Zelfa Barrett that ended his fight with Ross Jameson were both a bit special.
Upset of the week: None all of the fights went the way they were expected to go.
One to watch: Daniel Dubois early days but has potential and Olek Gvozdyk.
Montreal, Canada: Super Light: Batyrzhan Jukembayev (9-0) W TKO 7 Cosme Rivera (41-24-3). Heavy: Simon Kean (9-0) W KO 1 Michael Marrone (21-6).
Jukembayev vs. Rivera
Canadian based Kazak southpaw Jukembayev grinds down and halts veteran Rivera to win the vacant IBO International title. The hard punching southpaw applied constant pressure over the first two rounds and then floored the Mexican with a left in the third. Rivera fought back hard and in the fourth opening a cut under the right eye of Jukembayev. The cut was not a serious hindrance and Jukembayev pounded Rivera in the fifth and sixth. He put Rivera down again in the seventh and although Rivera beat the count he was being brutalised on the ropes when the referee stopped the fight. The 26-year-old Jukembayev made a stuttering start with his first two fights being No Decision due to cuts but he has now won 8 of his last 9 fights by KO/TKO. He was never Kazak champion as an amateur but did well in a couple of amateur tournaments under the Kazak spelling of his name Dzhukembayev. Rivera, 40, lost to Zab Judah for the IBF/WBC/WBC welter titles back in 2005. He still gets the occasional win back in Mexico but now has 10 losses by KO/TKO and is10-6 in his last 16 fights.
Kean vs. Marrone
Kean gets another quick win but even he was disgusted with this one. After a bit of sparring the Canadian threw a long jab to the fat midriff of Malone and Malone went down writhing on the canvas and was counted out. Now 8 wins by KO/TKO for the 28-year-old Olympian but this was a disgrace. When Marrone, 31, first turned pro he won his first 18 fights but then something went badly wrong and he is now 3-7 in his last 10 fights with six losses by KO/TKO including three in a row all inside three rounds.
Adelia Maria, Argentina: Light: Javier Jose Clavero (21-2) W PTS 10 Pablo Barboza (24-11). Big night for the citizens of Adelia Maria as local boy Clavero wins the vacant national title in the first Argentinian title fight held there. After Barboza was put on the canvas in the first the result was never in doubt. Barboza, a former national champion, is a seasoned campaigner and a southpaw and so he stayed competitive but he had to take a standing count in the fourth and took a hammering in the eighth putting a win beyond his reach. Scores 99-90, 97-91 and 97-94 ½ all for Clavero. After an early loss Clavero, 23, then won 18 on the bounce before losing to Aik Shakhnazaryan in Russia for WBC International Silver title. He had returned with a win in November. “Bad Boy” Barboza, 32, was stripped of the Argentinian title for failing to defend it and is on the down slope with 7 losses in his last 8 fights.
Copenhagen, Denmark: Super Middle: Lolenga Mock (39-14-1) W PTS 10 Derek Edwards (27-6-1). Mock gets another win on his comeback as he beats Badou Jack conqueror Edwards. Unusually for Mock he was quickly into his stride and Edwards was struggling to get a foot hold in the fight. A left hook from Mock floored Edwards in the second and although Edwards beat the count he was showing very little fire. Mock was throwing more and landing more but Edwards showed some good defensive work and was never really in trouble again. Mock eased up over the last couple of rounds and coasted to victory. Scores 100-89, 98-91 and a strange 95-94 which without the knockdown would have given Edwards at least a draw. The 44-year-old DRC-born “Lumumba Boy” Mock had David Haye on the floor when he fought him back in 2003 and has won eight in a row since returning to the ring in 2015. Edwards, 37, is the only fighter to have beaten Badou Jack. He did that in 2014 flooring Jack twice and stopping him in 61 seconds. He has now lost four in a row on points with the other three losses being against Andre Dirrell, Gilberto Ramirez and Erik Skoglund. This was his first fight since losing to Skoglund in December 2015
Puerto Penasco, Mexico: Super Bantam: David Sanchez (31-4-2) W PTS 8 Victoriano Nunez (12-25-4). Sanchez continues to rebuild with a points win over modest Nunez. The former WBA interim champion title challenger floored Nunez three times but could not finish it. Nunez soaked up punishment and kept punching back to make it good fight despite the three knockdowns,. Scores 79-89 twice and 79-71 all for Sanchez. The “Tornado”, 25, has a win over current WBO bantam champion Marlon Tapales. He won the interim WBA super fly title in 2014 and made two defences before losing the title to Luis Concepcion in 2015. He was stopped in four rounds by Luis Nery in July last year and this is his second win since then. Nunez is now 2-8 in his last 10 fights.
Christchurch, New Zealand: Super Welter: Bowyn Morgan (11-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Gunnar Jackson (25-9-3). Morgan gets his second win over Jackson and collects the IBO Oceania title. Morgan used a focused body attack to wear down the more experienced Jackson. Experience came into play at the end as Jackson had his best round, and in fact the only one the judges credited him with even though Morgan produced a flurry of punches just before the final bell. Scores 99-91 from all three judges for Morgan. The 28-year-old local, the New Zealand Boxing Federation champion, had decisioned Jackson in October. His only loss is against current Commonwealth champion Kris George. He is a former New Zealand amateur champion and competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Championships. Jackson, 30, has been in with Anthony Mundine, Kerry Hope and Ryota Murata
Toa Baja, Puerto Rica: Super Light: Jovanie Santiago (10-0-1) PTS 10 DeMarcus Corley (48-27-1). Santiago gets the scalp of former champion Corley as he climbs off the floor twice to dominate the second half of the fight. Corley boxed well early in the first round. Santiago was pressing and landed a couple of rights to the body but Corley nailed him with a right hook counter and put him down. Santiago was up quickly and boxed his way to the bell. Santiago tried to take the fight to Corley in the second but walked onto another right and was down again. He was up at two and after the eight count took the fight to Corley but another counter jerked his head back just before the bell. Santiago pressed in the third and had some success but Corley showed his class with sharp punching and good defensive work. Corley put Santiago down late in the fourth with a counter but the referee ruled it a slip. Corley was showing signs of tiring as Santiago worked the body in the fifth, sixth and seventh. There was too much holding in the eighth as Corley’s work rate dropped. Santiago just outworked Corley over the ninth and tenth but the referee was working harder than either boxer over those two rounds as Santiago ran out a deserved winner. Scores 95-93 twice and 96-92 all for Santiago who wins the UBF International title. The 27-year-old Puerto Rican was inactive from 2008 until 2014 and has won eight fights since returning six by KO/TKO. Former WBO champion Corley, 42, had won 6 of his last 7 fights but faded badly here.
Bloemfontein, South Africa: Welter: Tsiko Mulovhedzi (11-7-3) W Dario Socci (10-2-1,1ND). Minimum: Siphamandla Baleni (11-1-1) W PTS 12 Thembelani Okolo (5-2-1). Feather: Lerato Dlamini (8-1) W KO 7 Sinethembra Bam (10-1).
Mulovhedzi vs. Socci
Mulovhedzi wins the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title with close unanimous decision over Socci. It was action all the way as Socci took the fight to Mulovhedzi. They both had good spells with neither able to open a real gap in the points. Mulovhedzi was hampered by a cut over his right eye over the last three rounds. Socci was also cut but his were not so severe. Going into the last round the fight seemed to be in the balance but a sustained attack from Mulovhedzi which kept Socci pinned to the ropes gave him the edge. Scores 117-112, 115-113 and 114-113 all for Mulovhedzi. The first score seemed harsh on the effort put in by Socci. Known as “Cruel Junior” Mulovhedzi was anticipating that he would lose his IBO title for not defending it for a year but that has not happened yet. Mulovhedzi said he would now chase a shot at the IBF title but that is way out of his reach. German-based Italian Socci turned pro in the USA and was 8-0-1 1ND in his last 10 fights
Baleni vs. Okolo
Baleni retains the South African title with points win over Okolo. First defence of the title for 26-year-old “Toy Toy” and fifth win in a row. “Guitarman” Okolo-yes he carries a guitar in the ring with him-was having his second shot at the national title.
Lerato vs. Bam
Lerato extends his winning run and collects the vacant IBF Youth title with kayo of Okolo. The Colin Nathan trained Lerato was in his first fight scheduled for more than six rounds but that proved no problem. After losing his first pro fight the South African No 6 has now won eight on the bounce six by KO/TKO. Bam, the IBF Youth champion at super bantam is South African No 2 in that division.
Newport, Wales: Super Bantam: Robbie Turlely (18-6) W RTD 9 Bobby Jenkinson (10-3-1). Light Heavy: Morgan Jones (10-0) W KO 6 Harry Matthews (14-24-2).
Turley vs. Jenkinson
Neighbourhood fighter Turley delights his home fans as he halts former champion Jenkinson. The first round probably went to Jenkinson who made an aggressive start but Turley scored a knockdown in the second and took control from there. Normally a defensive boxer Turley took the fight to Jenkinson and had him bleeding from the nose and in trouble in the sixth. Jenkinson did not crumble and fought on. Despite some roughing up tactics from JenkinsonTurley continued to dominate the action and in the ninth after Jenkinson had landed a good right Turley responded with a right of his own and then a body punch that put Jenkinson down. As he was making it to his feet his corner threw in the towel and Turley was Commonwealth champion. This must have seemed an impossible dream for Turley. Concerns over a routine brain scan led to the BBB of C withdrawing the Welshman’s licence. He persevered and had further examinations and when neurosurgeons said there was no risk to his health the Board re-licensed him. He was out for a year whilst this was sorted out and is now 5-1 in his last six fights with the loss being against unbeaten Thomas Patrick Ward. Jenkinson sprang a major upset when he stopped world rated Lewis Pettitt to win the vacant Commonwealth title in 2015 but lost the title in his first defence to Gamal Yafai.
Morgan vs. Matthews
Jones halts Matthews with a ferocious body punch. Jones had controlled the fight with his classy boxing using a stiff jab to set up his attacks. He seemed to be coasting at times and it looked as though Matthews would go the distance as he usually does. Jones ended those expectations in the sixth with a right hook to the body that had Matthews on his knees in agony and he was counted out. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the Chris Sanigar managed South African-born Jones. Matthews is one of those called in to test upcoming British talent and this is only the second time he has lost by KO/TKO.
Lincoln, RI, USA: Welter: Jimmy Williams (13-0-1) W PTS 10 Nick DeLomba (11-2). Williams wins the vacant WBC United States title with unanimous verdict over local rival DeLomba. William s made a great start sending DeLomba to the floor late in the first round with an overhand right. Williams continued to press his attacks and again had DeLomba under heavy fire. With DeLomba not really able to get into his stride until the middle rounds and Williams having an impressive sixth Williams had built a winning lead. As the pace slowed over the late rounds DeLomba found some success but never really closed the gap.Scores97-92 twice and 98-91for Williams. Now 9 wins in a row for the 30-year-old Williams. New England champion DeLomba had won his last three fights.
Oxon Hill, MD, USA: Super Feather: Vasyl Lomachenko (8-1) W RTD 9 Jason Sosa (20-2-4). Cruiser: Olek Usyk (12-0) W PTS 12 Michael Hunter (12-1). Light Heavy: Olek Gvozdyk (13-0) W TKO 3 Yunieski Gonzalez (18-3). Super Light: Mike Reed (22-0) W PTS 10 Reyes Sanchez (26-10-2). Super Middle: Jesse Hart (22-0) W TKO 5 Alan Campa (16-3.1ND). Welter: Egidijus Kavaliauskas (16-0) W KO 4 Ramses Agaton (18-6-3). Super Light: Patrick Harris (11-0) W PTS 8 Omar Garcia (6-7).
Lomachenko vs. Sosa
Lomachenko stages another master class as he as he showcases his exquisite skills in forcing Sosa into a ninth round retirement.
Lomachenko easily took the first round. He slotted home right jabs and straight lefts and worked Sosa over on the ropes a couple of times. His footwork and upper body movement frustrated any attempt Sosa made to land a punch.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko
Sosa tried to force the fight hard in the second and scored with a crisp combination but late in the round Lomachenko landed a couple of left hooks to the body and then had Sosa looking disorganised under a cluster of head punches.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 20-18
Sosa did better in the third. He was coming in under Lomachenko’s guard and landed a cracking left hook to the body. He continued to come forward but Lomachenko was scoring with lightning combinations and although it was the closest round so far it went to Lomachenko. Sosa was showing a swelling on his left eyelid.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 30-27
Lomachenko staged a master class in this one. Sosa was storming in but was facing too many punches coming from too many different angles. When he tried to counter he was throwing punches to where Lomachenko had been but no longer was.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 40-36
Lomachenko was every bit as dominant in this one. Sosa was being buried under a storm of jabs, hooks and uppercuts thrown with accuracy, speed and quantity. Sosa was like a guy trying to fight his way head down through an ice storm with Lomachenko almost playing with his at times.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 50-45
Sosa tried hard in the sixth and showed some good defensive work but was being outclassed. Lomachenko was constantly changing angles slotting home jabs. He was going for quantity rather than power throwing 5-6-7 punch combinations. They were not all landing but most of them did and Sosa was left to swish punches in the air as Lomachenko’s clever movement bewildered Sosa. The swelling over Sosa’s left eye was getting bigger.
Score 10-9 60-54
More blazing combinations from Lomachenko. Both fighters had done some showboating in the sixth and they indulged in it in the seventh but there was an edge to it. Sosa continued to come forward and Lomachenko continued to land with an array of punches.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 70-63
Lomachenko made a quiet start to the eighth but then he launched a furious attack. Sosa was bedazzled and bewildered as punches rained down on him. He never knew where the next punch was coming from and the referee took a close look at the punishment Sosa was taking.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 80-72
Sosa put in a big effort at the start of the ninth but as the round progressed Lomachenko again began to bang home punches to head and body with Sosa gamely trying to punch back but being drive around by combinations from Lomachenko
Score 10-9 90-81
At the end of the round Sosa’s team retired their man which was the sensible decision but perhaps it could have been made a round or two earlier. Lomachenko was making the second defence of his WBO title. I can’t see any of the other super featherweight title holders-Gervonta Davis (IBF), Jezreel Corrales or Miguel Berchelt beating him but with Jorge Linares and Mikey Garcia up at lightweight a fight with either would be one to saviour with WBO champion Terry Flanagan also an alternative or even Orlando Salido, the only man to beat Lomachenko as a pro but Lomachenko’s team seemed to dismiss that idea. Sosa had relinquished his secondary WBA title for this fight and gave it his best. Despite a draw with Nicholas Walters and wins over Javier Fortuna and Stephen Smith Sosa just found Lomachenko to be another class altogether.
Usyk vs. Hunter
Usyk gets the win and retains his WBO title but had to overcome a slow start and stronger resistance than expected from Hunter. The champion was slow off the mark and Hunter was throwing plenty of punches over the first three rounds. There was no real power in them but they were coming in sufficient quantity to put Usyk out of his stride and even start a swelling on the Ukrainian’s right cheek. Usyk had his jab working in the fourth and from then on he dictated the fight as his punch output steadily increased. He took the fourth and as he increased his work rate from the fifth onwards it was really a case of whether Hunter could last the distance. Usyk has an enormous work rate for a cruiser and as he was also throwing more power punches Hunter was having to fight harder and harder to stay in the fight. The combination of volume and power seemed to indicate a stoppage was on the cards. Just when it looked as though that might happen the high volume work Usyk had put in began to tell on him and he tired. That allowed Hunter to weather the rough patches and by the end of the eleventh it looked as though Usyk would have to settle for a points win. In the last Usyk found the target with a series of hard shots and Hunter was badly rocked and in danger of going down. The referee stepped in and gave Hunter a standing count and that brief respite was enough for Hunter to last to the final bell. Scores 117-113 from all three judges for Usyk. The 30-year-old Usyk was making the second defence of his title and although a clear winner did not look as quick or as impressive as he had in wins over Krzys Glowacki and Thabiso Mchunu and it seems likely that a move up to heavyweight might be on the cards eventually. Hunter, 28, has already gone one step further than dad Michael Snr, the original “Bounty Hunter”. The only world title Hunter Snr fought for was the International Boxing Association heavyweight title but Michael Jr is young enough and performed well enough here to make another title shot a possibility further down the line.
Gvozdyk vs. Gonzalez
Gvozdyk made a fast start. He was circling the perimeter of the ring constantly stabbing out his jab and letting go quick combinations. Gonzalez came on strong at the end of the round letting fly with rights but Gvozdyk caught him with a counter left hook at the bell. The movement and hand speed of Gvozdyk gave Gonzalez problems in the second. The Ukrainian was stepping in behind his jab and landing quick combinations and getting out before Gonzalez could counter. Gonzalez kept pressing and had some success but two overhand rights before the bell seemed to buzz the Cuban. The third round again saw Gvozdyk stabbing out his jab and then firing quick combinations. Gonzalez rushed in to try to land something of his own and was staggered by a right uppercut. He stumbled forward punching and leaving himself open and Gvozdyk landed a right that sent Gonzalez stumbling and down briefly on one knee. He bounced up immediately but the referee rightly gave him an eight count. When the action resumed Gonzalez again walked into trouble being caught with an overhand right and a left hook. Gvozdyk then landed a couple of clubbing rights that saw Gonzalez staggering. His legs were rubbery and he was caught by two more counters and pushed down. Gonzalez tried to punch his way out of trouble but some more head punches sent him down face first and the fight was stopped. Class performance from Gvozdyk. He has good boxing skills, quick hands and real power. This is his seventh win in a row by KO/TKO including victories over rated boxers Nadjib Mohammedi, Tommy Karpency and Isaac Chilemba. He is already rated WBC4/WBO 6/IBF 7(6)/WBA 8 and none of those ratings flatter him. The former 29-year-old Olympic bronze medallist was unbeaten in two years at the WSB and is coming up fast behind Andre Ward, Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson and could be a world champion by 2018. Cuban Gonzalez won his first 16 fights and then lost a very controversial decision to Jean Pascal and a majority verdict to Vyacheslav. He has power but his defence let him down here.
Reed vs. Sanchez
Southpaw Reed makes a successful move up to ten rounds with wide unanimous points decision over Mexican Sanchez. The Mexican had height and reach over Reed but he made no use of either. Reed started fast and never let Sanchez into the fight. He outworked Sanchez inside and outboxed him on the outside. Reed had Sanchez in trouble in the third but could not put the finishing touches to take advantage of the opportunity. Reed had made the body the focus of his attacks and scored consistently with hooks to that region. The aim was to wear the Mexican down but Sanchez took the punishment well. Reed was comfortable enough to do some showboating in the last and going ten rounds will have been a good experience for him. The 24-year-old “Yes Indeed” is a former National Golden Gloves champion ad a US National Championships silver medal winner. No names on his record yet but some good learning fights. Sanchez, 31, was world rated at one time but lost the big ones and came into this fight on the back of three losses but to be fair Dante Jardon and Carlos Molina were two of the fighters who beat him that sequence..
Hart vs. Campa
Hart beats Campa after five one-sided rounds. The Philly fighter dominated every round. He was landing heavy jolting and jarring punches with Campa showing guts in staying in the fight. Hart had been particularly effective with his uppercuts and when he landed another booming one in the fifth the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Campa had not been down but he was just soaking up the hurt. Hart, 27, retains his USBA title and picks up the vacant WBA-NABA title as he goes to 18 wins by KO/TKO. He has wins over Dashon Johnson- which nearly ended in disaster when he was in deep trouble in the last and only just survived-and Andrew Hernandez so his No 1 rating with the WBO looks much too generous but Hart is calling out WBO champion Gilberto Ramirez and as the mandatory challenger that’s his right. Mexican Campa was 7-1 going in with the loss being a third round stoppage against Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Kavaliauskas vs. Agaton
Kavaliauskas blows away Mexican Agaton in what looked a reasonable test on paper. After taking the first two rounds the Lithuanian floored Agaton twice in the third round. In the fourth Kavaliauskas worked Campa into a corner and drilled him with a straight right putting him down and out. The 28-year-old Kavaliauskas has 13 wins by KO/TK. He has been sensibly matched against decent level opposition. There will be pressure now with Latvia having a world champion the other Baltic States will want one too. Southpaw Agaton had a spell of 4 losses in 5 fights but they were all against unbeaten fighters with combined records of 71-0 and his loss to Konstantin Ponomarev was a majority decision.
Harris vs. Garcia
Harris gets some useful rounds from this one. His last three fights had lasted less than six rounds between them and he had never been past six rounds. He won every round here with scores of 80-72 from each of the judges. The 22-year-old from Maryland competed at the highest level as an amateur just missing out on a place at the final US Trials for the 2012 Olympics. He being brought along at a measured pace as at 22 he has plenty of time. Now 6 losses in his last 7 fights for Garcia but he did his job by going the distance.
Manchester, England: Super Welter: Liam Smith (25-1-1) W TKO 9 Liam Williams (16-1-1). Light: Terry Flanagan (33-0) W PTS 12 Petr Petrov (38-5-2). Super Light: Jack Catterall (18-0) W KO 3 Martin Gethin (28-9-1). Super Welter: Jimmy “ Kilrain” Kelly (21-1) W PTS 10 Rick Godding (23-2-1). Super Welter: James Metcalf (15-0) W RTD 5 Jason Ball (9-24-1). Super Middle: Mark Heffron (15-0) W TKO 2 Achilles Szabo (19-16). Bantam: Paul Butler (24-1) W TKO 4 Carlos Ruben Dario Ruiz (21-10). Super Feather: Zelfa Barrett (16-0) W TKO 6 Ross Jameson (2-9-1). Heavy: Daniel Dubois (1-0) W TKO 1 Marcus Kelly (1-1).
Smith vs. Williams
Smith gets win as Williams is forced out of the fight by a cut. Smith failed to make the weight being 1 ½ lbs over so the WBO title remains vacant.
Smith effectively gave the first round away. Williams moved around the static Smith working his jab and landing some hooks to the body. Smith tracked Williams around the ring but was not letting his hands go.
Score 10-9 Williams
Williams took this one. It was a repeat of the first. Smith was coming forward behind a high guard with Williams stabbing him with his jabs and landing uppercuts with Smith throwing very few punches.
Score 10-9 Williams 20-18
No change here. Smith was still not throwing or landing enough punches. Williams was using a stiff jab to keep Smith out and scored with a nice combination of left hooks to head and body. Smith badly needed to get closer and let his hands go. Smith was cut by his right eye and Williams suffered a lesser cut by his right eye. The referee indicated that both cuts were caused by punches..
Score 10-9 Williams 30-27
This one was a bit closer. Smith threw a few more punches and Williams a few less. The quality work was coming from Williams who was simply outworking Smith
Score 10-9 Williams 40-36
Smith pressed hard in this one but as he came forward Williams was slotting home jabs and scoring with hooks to the body. Smith was trying to get Williams to the ropes where he could work the body with his favoured left hooks but Williams never let that happen and continued to pepper Smith with punches. Another round for Williams.
Score 10-9 Williams 50-35
Williams made the better start to the sixth but Smith was finally getting to work inside and throwing much more punches. Williams was still scoring with some accurate counters but Smith came on strong to take the round
Scores 10-9 59-55
Smith was again able to work inside in this one. William’s work rate had dropped and Smith was getting home with left hooks to the body. The cut by Smith’s right eye had worsened and the referee had the doctor examine it and he allowed the fight to continue. Smith’s round
Score 10-9 Smith 68-65
Williams outworked Smith in the eighth. He was constantly getting through with his jab and scoring to the body with hooks. Smith was not throwing as many punches and although he closed the round with a couple of good shots it was one more round for Williams
Score 10-9 Williams 78-74
Smith was looking strong in the ninth. Williams was standing and trading more and that was giving Smith a chance to score with clubbing lefts to body and rights to the head. There was plenty of blood on Smith’s face and after heads clashed he indicated out into the crowd his frustration over what he saw as dangerous head work from Williams. On minute later Smith’s head banged into the right side of Williams head. Williams stepped back immediately knowing he was cut and he was distracted by that allowing Smith to finish the round strongly. Williams was cut on the eyelid of his right eye. It was dangerous and bleeding heavily and after the doctor examined it Williams was retired by his corner.
Score 10-9 Smith 87-84
Official scores after nine rounds 86-85 for Williams from all three judges. From the official scores the fight was poised. Williams had won many of the early rounds but Smith was starting to get through more with his body punches. Smith was badly cut himself but it felt as though the fight had turned his way. When the injuries heal these two could go again as it was a hard, competitive fight and Williams showed he belonged at this level. Unfortunately the boxers were let down by some of their fans with fighting breaking out in the crowd before security managed to suppress it.
Flanagan vs. Petrov
Flanagan retains the WBO title with unanimous decision over Petrov but he has to work hard for his win with this fight being much closer than the official scores indicate but he dug in and ground out the victory.
The first round saw both boxers probing with their jabs. It was looking to be a fast-paced, open fight. They both scored with quick single punches with Flanagan just having the edge with a flurry of punches before the bell.
Score 10-9 Flanagan
Petrov was coming forward throughout the second. Flanagan scored with a crisp southpaw right counter but Petrov finished strongly landing a couple of jabs and a long right to take the round.
Score10-9 Petrov 19-19
Flanagan took the third. He was working well with his right jab and scoring with left hooks to the body. Petrov was lunging in with his attacks and Flanagan was able either to dodge them or tie Petrov up.
Score 10-9 Flanagan 29-28
Petrov started the round well landing some long punches but late in the round Flanagan was getting through with rights and left. A punch sent Petrov stumbling sideways and he almost touched down. After that Flanagan ended the round strongly.
Score 10-9 Flanagan 39-37
Petrov got back into the fight by winning the fifth. He was hustling Flanagan out of his stride and scoring with hooks and uppercuts inside. When he had Flanagan on the ropes he got through with two lefts to the body and a right uppercut. Both fighters were warned Petrov for being careless with his head and Flanagan for holding.
Score 10-9 Petrov 48-47
Flanagan was in control in the sixth. He stayed in ring centre getting his punches off first scoring with the jab and straight lefts. Petrov was still lunging in with his attacks and the force of one saw both fighters on the floor. Petrov scored with a couple of straight rights but it was Flanagan’s round.
Score 10-9 Flanagan 58-56
Flanagan’s round. He was effective early with straight lefts and when Petrov lunged forward he was taking a step back countering and then tying the little Russian up. Flanagan was showing excellent footwork and quicker hand speed and was getting home with punches on the outside.
Score 10-9 Flanagan 68-65
The eighth was a close round. Flanagan used excellent footwork to frustrate Petrov’s charges and scored with good left. In the middle of the round Petrov scored with a series of hooks as Flanagan stupidly stood in front of him but Flanagan picked his punches well as the round ended to make it a close. Flanagan was given a “last” warning for punches to the back of the head. I though Petrov just edged this one
Score 10-9 Petrov 77-75
Another close round with Petrov working his way inside and scoring with hooks early as Flanagan struggled to keep the challenger out. Flanagan then went back to boxing and moving and landed punches on the advancing challenger just doing enough take the round but it could have been scored either way.
Score 10-9 Flanagan 87-84
Flanagan took the tenth. He was boxing on the outside firing off his punches first. Petrov kept pressing but was not throwing enough. Flanagan seemed to tire a bit at the end of the round but finished with a flourish.
Score 10-9 Flanagan 97-93
Petrov’s round. He marched forward arms pumping. Flanagan countered him early but the sheer pressure was getting Petrov past Flanagan’s jab and he was banging away inside with hooks and uppercuts. A clash of heads opened a vertical cut over the right eye of Petrov and immediately the blood began to trickle into Petrov’s eye but it was his round.
Score 10-9 Petrov 106-103
Flanagan had one of his best rounds in the last. He moved, kept off the ropes. He scored constantly with his favoured right jab straight left with Petrov never able to close the distance to work inside
Score 10-9 Flanagan 116-112
Official scores 120-108, 118-110 and 116-112 all for Flanagan
Fifth defence of his title for 27-year-old Flanagan but the respective styles made this an untidy fight at times. The cleaner scoring came from Flanagan with Petrov too often lunging in wildly. When Petrov did get close Flanagan grabbed and held on and was lucky not to lose a point for that. Naturally Flanagan wants to get in with some of the big names in the division but he will have to do much better than he did here. Petrov, 34, never stopped advancing but he did not show any of the cool accurate punching he had shown in winning the ESPN Boxcino tournament or in wins over Gamaliel Diaz, Marvin Quintero and Michael Perez. He is a class fighter but I can’t see him getting another world title shot.
Catterall vs. Gethin
From the start Catterall was getting through with his southpaw jabs and straight lefts with the taller Gethin not fast enough to block or counter the punches. The longer the round went the easier Catterall was finding it to pierce the porous defence of Gethin. Early in the second Gethin stood like a statue as Catterall banged home four punches in a row. Again and again Catterall was scoring with blistering right jab/straight left combinations with Gethin looking bewildered and unable to block them. A left to the chin followed by a cuffing right that landed on the back of his head put Gethin down. He was up early and after the eight count and although Catterall again landed some hard combinations Gethin made it to the bell. Gethin went down twice early in the third but each was counted as a slip. Catterall took Gethin to the ropes and landed a series of punches which saw Gethin drop to his knees and this was a genuine knockdown. Gethin got up and went back into the fight but it was a lost cause and had been since the first round. When Gethin was put down by a left he made it clear to the referee he was not going to continue and after counting to eight the referee waived the fight over. This was the sixth defence of his WBO Inter-Continental for the 23-year-old Catterall and his tenth win by KO/TKO. Although he has yet to face a rated opponent he is No 2 with the WBO but he has talent and power. Former British lightweight champion Gethin, 33, went through a bad patch where he was 2-5 in 7 fights and some were forecasting his retirement. However he showed he could still be dangerous with a stoppage of John Wayne Hibbert in November but this fight was one too many and it is good to hear has decided this is his last fight.
Kelly vs. Godding
They don’t get much closer than this as Kelly wins by a single point over Godding in an excellent fight where the styles merged to produce some great action. Kelly was looking to force the fight from the outset throwing plenty of punches and Godding was willing to let him come and counter throwing less but more accurate and bigger punches. Over the middle rounds Kelly’s pressure was cutting down Godding’s space and that was where Kelly built his slender lead. There were furious exchanges in the seventh and eighth as Godding stood his ground and they fired away putting offence before defence. The last three round were every bit as close as the previous seven and the decision could have gone either way but the referee had the decision to make and he gave it to Kelly 96-95. Kelly, 24, was stopped in seven rounds in a too ambitious challenged to Liam Smith for the WBO title in 2015. He has scored five wins since then and this one sits just behind the Smith fight as his most important and hardest. It keeps alive his hopes of another title shot somewhere down the line. Godding, 32, had his career interrupted when he had only one fight in 2013 and was inactive in 2014. He has since lost on points to unbeaten Gary Corcoran but showed here that he can compete with the best.
Metcalf vs. Ball
Liverpool’s “Kid Shamrock” gets his seventh win by KO/TKO as Ball retires after the fifth round. Metcalf, 28, is showing steady progress. He is aiming to emulate or surpass the achievements of his father Shea Neary who was World Boxing Union champion and made five defences of the title against some good level opposition before losing the title to Micky Ward. Ball has now lost 8 of his last 9 fights but usually lasts the distance.
Heffron vs. Szabo
Excellent prospect Heffron continues to make up for lost time as he repeats a previous win. He has earned his “Kid Dynamite” nickname with 13 wins by KO/TKO. Heffron was quicker and had a reach advantage and he was looking to unload heavy punches from the start. He was warned for a low punch in the first with Hungarian southpaw Szabo given some recovery time. The Hungarian could not get past the long jab of Heffron and was having to soak up some vicious left hooks to the body and straight rights. In the second Heffron scored with some hurtful body punches and shook Szabo with a right uppercut. He drove Szabo around the ring before putting him down with a series of punches. Szabo got up but after the eight count just walked away and the referee stopped the fight. The 25-year-old from Oldham had stopped Szabo in 30 seconds in 2013. He was a top class amateur but after winning his first eleven fights was then inactive from October 2015 until November 2016 due to contractual problems. This is his fourth win since returning. Hungarian southpaw Szabo has scored most of his wins at home and is a fully paid up member of the travelling losers club.
Butler vs. Ruiz
Butler is a class or two above Ruiz and it showed. The Ellesmere Port fighter was too quick and too accurate for Ruiz to have the chance of staying around long. After a slow first minute Butler then went to work. He was stabbing his jab into the face of the Argentinian and following in with crisp left hooks to the body and straight rights. Ruiz was just too slow to block or counter. Ruiz was a little more adventurous in the second and third and scored with a long right. Butler was getting through with flashing combinations and landing heavily to the body. Ruiz was becoming reluctant to throw punches and when he did Butler was stepping in and landing four or five. Butler took Ruiz to the ropes in the fourth and unloaded with heavy punches from both hands. Ruiz was dumped on his rear against the ropes. He was up at five and ready to continue. Initially the referee looked as though he might agree with that but then took a closer looked and waived the fight over. It was a good stoppage. The 28-year-old former undefeated IBF bantam champion makes it 13 wins by KO/TKO and seven victories since his loss to Zolani Tete. He is rated IBF 6(4)/WBA 8/WBC 10/WBO 14 but the fight he would like to get is against fellow Brit Jamie McDonnell for the secondary WBA title. Ruiz in way over his head and he has now lost 7 of his last 8 fights.
Barrett vs. Jameson
Local fighter Barrett shows his power with his seventh win in a row by KO/TKO. Jameson was willing to march forward trying to get inside the longer reach of Barrett and he paid for that in the first round. As Jameson steamed in Barrett landed a short right counter that put James on down. There was not enough time left in the round for Barrett to finish things. The fight was one-sided for much of the time. Barrett has great movement real speed and power and a gutsy Jameson just refused to quit. I looked as though might make it to the final bell but Barrett dropped him with a counter. Jameson made it to his feet and got a brief respite as Barrett had to have his mouthguard put in but then he finished in style. A left and right to the head set Jameson up and two crushing head punches dumped him in a corner and the fight was stopped. The 23-year-old “Brown Flash” Barrett has plenty of talent and is one to follow. Jameson took his lumps and earned his pay but was way out of his class.
Dubois vs. Kelly
There was big excitement over the pro debut of teenager Dubois. He was considered the best bet for a British gold medal at the 2020 Olympics but decided instead to turn pro. Unfortunately his appearance was only brief and in a fight that was farcical. He towered over the flabby Kelly who lunged forward head down swinging wildly. Dubois landed a left hook that sent Kelly tumbling into a corner and Dubois landed a couple of more shots as Kelly dropped to the canvas on his hands and knees. He was up at eight and unsteady and the referee stopped the fight. All over in 35 seconds.
The 6’4 ½” 19-year-old was British champion and English Youth champion and has tremendous potential so it will be interesting to see how he develops. He has to succeed if he wants to be the best fighter in the family as his younger sister Caroline won a gold medal at the European Youth and Junior championships last year and he has a younger brother and another sister who are fighting as amateurs. Kelly had no chance.
Cancun, Mexico: Super Feather: Cris Mijares (56-8-2) W PTS 10 Tomas Rojas (48-15-1,1ND). Bantam: Aaron Alameda (19-0) W PTS 8 Edgar Jimenez (22-13-2). Welter: Roberto Ortiz (35-1-1) W PTS 8 Guadalupe Rosales (33-12).
Mijares vs. Rojas
Mijares gets hotly contested unanimous decision over Rojas. This was a fight between two southpaws, two former WBC champions and two fighters who had clashed for the Mexican super flyweight title way back in 2004. Mijares won that one easily but this was very different. Mijares was boxing cleverly over the first two rounds staying in the ring centre allowing Rojas to buzz around him. He was throwing less punches but being the more accurate. Rojas changed the fight in the third and fourth. He was banging home his right jab and landing long straight lefts. Mijares was driven out of the centre of the ring and under pressure. They went toe-to-toe at the end of the fourth with Rojas getting the better of the exchanges and Mijares face was already bruising and swelling. Mijares upped his punch output in the fifth but it was a close round. Rojas had his rhythm disrupted by a very low punch from Mijares late in the round but he outscored Mijares clearly in the sixth. Mijares came back to take the seventh hunting Rojas down and landing the cleaner punches. Rojas took the eighth using good movement and hand speed to pick up the points but Mijares outmanoeuvred him in the ninth and scored with the accurate punches. Going into the last I had Rojas one point in front. It got nasty in the tenth. As they traded punches Mijares head banged into that of Rojas. Rojas immediately turned away putting his glove to his forehead and as he turned away Mijares landed a couple of punches to the back of Rojas’s head. The referee stepped between them as Mijares went to throw another punch and Rojas slammed his elbow into the face of Rojas. Mijares went down on his knees in his own corner and the referee deducted a point from Rojas for hitting on the break. Rojas spat out his mouthguard in protest and walked back to his corner. When the action resumed they fought hard to the bell. I thought Rojas did enough to win the round but with the deduction it made it a 9-9 round and so I still had Rojas the winner. Scores 96-93, 96-94 and 95-94 all for Mijares. At 35 Mijares is looking distinctly shop worn. He still has great skills. He does things a bit slower now but with nine wins on the bounce and a No 4 rating with the WBC another title shot is not an impossible dream. Although a year older Rojas was much quicker. He had also won his last nine fights but was out of the ratings so this was quite a blow as he deserved at least a draw but will not be getting a rating anytime soon.
Alameda vs. Jimenez
Southpaw prospect Alameda gets another win. Alameda made a fast start and built a lead over the first three rounds. Jimenez got into the fight and took the fourth and fifth but the younger fighter was back in control after that and took the unanimous decision. Scores 79-73 twice and 77-75. The 23-year-old from Nogales is being carefully matched and is yet to face a name fighter. Former Mexican fly champion Jimenez was 4-1-1 in his last six fights with the loss being a third round kayo by IBF No 12 (10) Shoei Omori in Japan
Ortiz vs. Rosales
“Massa” Ortiz returns to the ring with a win. This was a close, hard fight with the experienced Rosales very much a live opponent. Ortiz sealed the win with a knockdown in the sixth to take the unanimous decision. Scores 78-73, 77-73 and 77-74 all for Ortiz. The 31-year-old from Torreon went 31-0-1 in his first 32 fights. He collected the WBC Silver title and was rated in the top three but in 2014 suffered a crushing second round loss to Lucas Matthysse. After three wins he stopped boxing in March 2016 and this is his fight since then. Rosales, 35, lost four fights in a row in 2013/2014 and was then out of the ring for 28 months but had won two fights on his return.
Bell Ville, Argentina: Super Welter: Jose Carlos Paz (20-6-1) W TKO 8 Gumersindo Carrasco (23-5,1ND). Paz wins a bloody and bad tempered bout with the stoppage of Carrasco. With Carrasco moving up to super welter Paz was naturally the bigger man and he used that strength and effective counter punching to build an early lead. Carrasco ate into that by taking the fifth but Paz came back to floor Carrasco in the sixth. Both fighters were shaken by punches a couple of times, both were cut and there were numerous fouls. Carrasco came back strongly in the seventh as Paz seemed to be tiring. In the eight Paz landed a big right and had Carrasco in trouble. A strong left then shook Carrasco and the referee gave him a standing count. At that point Carrasco’s corner threw in the towel. Now 12 wins by KO/TKO for Paz. After going 16-1 in his first 17 fights Paz stumbled going 3-5-1 in his next 9 including two losses in a row in tough domestic fights going into this one, so a much needed victory. Carrasco, 30, was unbeaten in his first 17 fights before losing to Brit Lee Purdy in 2012 and was coming off a controversial loss in his last fight.
Sydney, Australia: Super Light: Darragh Foley (11-2) W TKO 6 Sonny Katiandagho (11-2). Welter: Jack Brubaker (13-1-1) W KO 2 Mark Sales (22-41-4). Cruiser: Jai Opetaia (10-0) W TKO 2 Kyle Brumby (4-13-3).
Foley vs. Katiandagho
Southpaw Foley gets win over Filipino but only after a hard, close fight. Foley did enough to take the first round as Katiandagho made a slow start. The Filipino, known as the “Pinoy Hearns” , had a better second. In what is not an unusual occurrence when a southpaw and an orthodox style come together so do heads and Foley suffered a small cut as their heads bumped a few times. Katiandagho staged an all out assault in the third and it was his round although he was warned for throwing punches after the bell. The fourth and fifth were close but probably went to the Filipino and by the sixth Foley was showing a badly swollen right cheek and was behind on points. However the Kent-born Foley switched guards and found a big right that put Katiandagho down. The Filipino just could not get up and his seconds climbed through the ropes and the fight was stopped. The 28-year-old former undefeated Australian champion was making the second defence of his WBA Oceania title and now has eight KO/TKO finishes. Katiandagho was a very live opponent. He had won his last nine fights and was No 1 welter in the Philippines ratings.
Brubaker vs. Sales
Brubaker makes a successful third defence of his OPBF title with second round kayo of Filipino southpaw Sales. This was a good fight but an unusually poor match for an OPBF title fight where the standard is usually quite high. Brubaker drilled Sales with a straight right for the only knockdown of the fight. “Ripper” Brubaker, 25, has won 5 of his last 6 fights by KO/TKO and showed real quality last year when he climbed off the floor to outpoint Japanese fighter Suyon Takayama (24-1). Sales, 35, was No 6 in the Philippines but somehow No 5 in the OPBF ratings.
Opetaia vs. Brumby
Too easy for hot prospect Opetaia as he handed out a beating to Brumby until a merciful referee stopped the fight in the second round. Now seven wins by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old Sydney southpaw who is definitely a fighter to keep an eye on. Brumby came in as a late substitute and he gets his second loss by KO/TKO.
Bunbury, Australia: Feather: Nathan May (17-1) W PTS 12 Randy Braga (20-3-1). Light: Brandon Ogilvie (18-2-1) W PTS 10 Junjesie Ibgos (11-2).
May vs. Braga
Home town fighter May wins the vacant IBF Pan Pacific title with unanimous verdict over Filipino Braga. May admitted the fight had been tougher than he expected. He landed plenty of thumping hooks but Braga never looked like going over and May said he was amazed at the way Braga simply rebounded from some of his biggest punches. Southpaw Braga was most effective with body punches and although May was a clear winner this was one of his toughest outings. The judges came up with score of 120-109, 119-109 and 115-113 which again shows how subjective scoring is. The 21-year-old May makes it 13 wins in a row. Braga, the Philippines champion, had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Ogilvie vs. Ibgos
Ogilvie wins the vacant Australasian title with decision over Filipino southpaw Ibgos. Ogilvie’s speed made the difference here. Local reports had Ogilvie on the floor in the third but that is not reflected in the scorecards. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-89 all for Ogilvie. He was coming off a points loss to current Commonwealth champion Geroge Kambosos which snapped a 12 fight unbeaten run for Ogilvie. Ibgos, 22, had won 9 of his fights by KO/TKO so some risk here for Ogilvie.
Hameenlinna, Finland: Light Heavy: Timo Laine (19-81ND) W PTS 10 Janne Forsman (22-7). Laine wins the vacant Finnish title with points victory over Forsman. Laine went out in front early with Forsman just off the pace. Forsman finally got rolling over the middle rounds but was in trouble late in the eighth from a fierce attack from Laine. It looked as though Laine was on his way to a stoppage win but despite tiring Forsman was competitive in the ninth. Laine took the last round rocking Forsman with a right hook but Forsman hung on to the bell. Scores 99-93, 97-95 and 96-95 all for Laine. The 32-year-old new champion lost back-to-back fights against Tommy Langford and Robert Swierzbinski in the middle of last year but has now won his last four fights. Forsman had been travelling around looking for paydays and had fought in Germany, USA, Canada and Belgium and picked up five losses on his travels.
Sedan, France: Feather: Sofiane Takoucht (31-3-1) W PTS 12 Alexander Cazares (15-9). Former European champion Takoucht returns to action with a points win over Mexican Cazares to win the vacant IBF International title. The experienced French southpaw had the superior skills and edges in height and reach. Cazares kept coming forward in round after round and was dangerous at times but Takoucht dealt well with the pressure. It was a tough choice going for a twelve round fight after almost 20 months out of the ring and Takoucht paced the fight well coasting a few times which allowed Cazares some success and made for an entertaining fight. Scores 117-111,116-112 and 115-113 all for Takoucht. The Frenchman has lost only two of his last 18 fights and the losses were on a split and a majority decision both to then world rated Alex Miskirtchian. Spanish-based Cazares was 5-2 in his last 7 fights with tough losses to Karim Guerfi and Paul Butler.
Le Puy-en-Velay, France: Light: Samir Ziani (24-3-1) W RTD 4 Giorgi Gachechiladze (22-27-1). Ziani gets his second win in a week. The former undefeated French champion dropped the first round as Georgian Gachechiladze made an aggressive start forcing Ziani onto the back foot and Ziani spent much of the first round trapped on the ropes. In the second Ziani created space to fight on the outside and found plenty of gaps in the Georgian’s defence. Gachechiladze is very small for a super feather and had to keep marching forward but a solid body punch in the third halted him in his tracks and had him in trouble. Ziani increased the pace in the fourth landing a series of head punches and now it was Gachechiladze with his back to the ropers. The Georgian decided he had taken enough punishment and retired at the end of the round. Ziani, the European No 5, lost by a very narrow margin against fellow-Frenchman Guillame Frenois for the European title in November and deserves a return shot. Gachechiladze is 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Budapest, Hungary: Super Light: Daniel Mehesz (9-0-1) DREW 10 Gabor Kovacs (22-9-1). Teenager Mehesz is still the Hungarian champion after retaining his title with a majority draw against the more experienced Kovacs. Despite only having nine fights behind him Mehesz handled the southpaw style and the height and reach advantages of Kovacs well and looked unlucky not to get the decision. Scores 95-95 twice and 96-94 for Mehesz. The 17-year-old champ[ion only turned pro in January last year. He also holds the WBC Youth title which he won in his fifth fight with a wide unanimous decision over Kovacs. Only 20 himself, Kovacs is a busy fighter and is now 6-3-1since losing to Mehesz in April last year.
Marrakech, Morocco: Light Heavy: Richard Jkitou (25-0) W TKO 3 Shawn Miller (15-4-1). Super Light: Mohamed El Marcouchi (18-1) W PTS 12 Sherrif Quaye (11-1-1).
Jkitou vs. Miller
Frenchman Jkitou wins the vacant WBFederation title with kayo of Miller. A slow first round was won by Jkitou. He began to let his punches go in the second and had Miller on the back foot with the American spending much of the round on the ropes hiding behind a high guard. Jkitou took Miller to the ropes early in the third and was scoring with heavy shots. As Miller turned to try to get out of the corner a last punch from Jkitou caught him on the back of the head and he went down and was counted out. The 31-year-old former undefeated French champion makes it 18 wins by KO/TKO. He was returning to the ring for the first time since August 2015. He is immensely strong but slow. Miller, 35, lost to Frenchman Tony Averlant for this same title in 2015 and in his last fight in August lost a technical decision to Trent Broadhurst.
El Marcouchi vs. Quaye
Belgian El Marcouchi wins the vacant ABU title with split decision over Ghanaian Quaye. This was much tougher than anticipated as Quaye came in as a late substitute and had much less experience. Despite that and despite being deducted a point for hitting on the break in the ninth Quaye looked to have done enough to at least get a share of the decision but it is hard to win on the road. The early rounds were close with Quaye building a slight lead. El Marcouchi came on strong over the middle rounds and Quaye was hit with the deduction in the ninth but he seemed to stage the stronger finish. Scores 115-112 and 114-113 for El Marcouchi and 116-112 for Quaye. Now 16 wins in a row for the Miami Beach based El Marcouchi who was jumping from six rounds to twelve rounds. Perhaps tougher domestic opposition would have made Quaye better prepared but despite being national champion only two of Quaye’s victims had positive records and they too were novices.
Zakopane. Poland: Super Welter: Maciej Sulecki (24-0) W KO 3 Michi Munoz (25-7). Sulecki makes it six wins in a row by KO/TKO. The Pole dominated the first round before flooring Munoz twice in the second. A short left hook caused the first knockdown and a three-punch combination put Munoz on the floor again. It was all over in the third from another left hook that put Munoz down and out. This was the 27-year-old Brooklyn-based Pole’s first fight since a career best tenth round stoppage of unbeaten Hugo Centeno Jr (24-0,1ND) in June. Former IBF champion Carlos Molina accompanied Munoz and Sulecki was quick to throw out a challenge to him. Now five losses by KO/TKO for Munoz.
M’Saken, Tunisia: Super Middle: Moez Fhima (24-4-2) W Aliklych Kanbolatov (16-3). French-based Tunisian Fhima wins the UBO title with unanimous decision over Russian Kanbolatov. Fhima had to overcome a cut and an injury to his right wrist but was a clear winner. Fhima pressed the fight most of the way with Kanbolatov forced to fight on the back foot. The Russian countered well and finished strongly but Fhima’s early work saw him emerge the winner. Scores 118-111, 117-111 and 115-113 all for Fhima. The 36-year-old Fhima drew and lost to Karim Achour for firstly the French and then the European Union title but had won the African Boxing Union title in his last fight in April last year. Kanbolatov held this title back in 2014 but never defended it. He had won his last four fights but against opponents who could only muster five wins between them.
London, England: Feather: Jason Cunningham (22-3) W PTS 12 Ben Jones (22-6-1,1ND). Jason Cunningham is a Commonwealth champion again after just squeezing past Jones on a split decision. Scores 116-113 and 115-113 for Cunningham and 115-113 for Jones. This was always going to be a close exiting fight as Hellraiser main events usually are and it could have gone to either man. The Doncaster southpaw is a former undefeated Commonwealth bantam champion and is now 9-1 in his last 10 fights. The loss being against current WBA super fly champion Khalid Yafai and this is his fifth win since then. “Duracell” Jones was 7-0,1ND decision in his last 8 fights and came so close here.
Swindon, England: Welter: Michael McKinson (11-0) W PTS 10 Ryan Martin (7-1). McKinson gets close unanimous decision over neighbourhood fighter Martin to win the vacant WBC Youth title. In an excellent contest Martin struggled to deal with the clever, slick boxing of southpaw McKinson. The local fighter was just not throwing enough punches and most of the early rounds went to McKinson. Martin’s body punching began to pay off in the second half of the contest but the rounds were very close and McKinson seemed to be just doing enough to maintain his lead. Martin finished strongly taking the last two rounds but it was a bit too little and a bit too late. Scores 98-93, 97-94 and 97-95 all for McKinson. The 22-year-old Portsmouth-born Belfast-based McKinson was going past six rounds for the first time but stood the pace well. Martin, 23, was moving up from eight rounds and can overcome this set back.
Barcelona, Spain: Super Welter: Isaac Real (17-2-1) W PTS 8 Giorgi Ungiadze (39-33). Super Feather: Juli Giner (20-2-1) W DISQ 8 Kakha Avetisian (46-42-1). Light: Jerobe Santana (15-0) W PTS 6 Giorgi Gviniashvili (11-5-1).
Real vs. Ungiadze
Real gets a keep busy fight in preparation for his contest with unbeaten fellow countryman Sergio Garcia for the vacant WBC Silver title. Real had the Georgian down in the first but Ungiadze was far from finished. He proceeded to give Real a good test even shaking the local fighter with a punch in the seventh but Real was a clear winner taking every round and the unanimous decision. The former European champion has only lost to quality fighters in Jack Culcay and Cedric Vitu so his fight with the 23-0 Garcia is an even money fight and a huge one for Spain. Ungiadze is the run of the mill Georgian-have bags will lose- fighter although he did fight for the world title in February-OK it was only the UBO title.
Giner vs. Aveitisiani
You could almost hear Ray Charles crooning “Georgia On My Mind” as Giner made it 2-0 for local fighters over Georgian opponents. This was also supposed to be a nice sedate work out for “The Rock” who is waiting for the date to be set for his home advantage challenge against Guillame Frenois for the European title. Things went badly wrong in the first round when Giner injured his right hand. He was able to use his skills to beat Aveitisiani with one hand until Aveitisiani was thrown out in the last round for a number of fouls. It was later confirmed that there was no break or fracture so hopefully Giner will be ready when required. As with Ungiadze to paraphrase another song “ It’s Not So Nice To Go Travelling”
Santana vs. Gviniashvili
WBC Youth champion Santana was yet another looking for some preparative work as he faces Frenchman Marvin Petit 20-1-1in France on 6 May. A tough assignment but then you have to fight one of these EBU/EU titles. The young Spaniard showed more aggression than usual so look out Mr Petit. The 24-year-old Las Palmas fighter has not yet had to past eight rounds for a win. Georgian Gviniashvili from the same visiting losers mould as his fellow travellers.
Osaka, Japan: Shun Kubo (12-0) W RTD 10 Nehomar Cermeno (26-6-1).
Minor upset as novice Kubo beats experienced Cermeno to win the secondary WBA title. The fight swung one way and then the other over the first four rounds. Cermeno was getting through with good rights and Kubo was coming back with a strong jab and southpaw lefts. After four rounds it was even with all four judges scoring it 38-38. Kubo was quicker and more accurate over the fifth and sixth and built a slight lead. That changed in the seventh when a combination from Cermeno put Kubo down. He beat the count. He was badly shaken but made it to the bell. He recovered well and took a close eighth. After eight rounds with Kubo taking the fifth, sixth and eighth despite the knockdown he was in front 76-75 on two cards and behind 76-75 on the third. The ninth and tenth were close rounds with Cermeno being in front by a point on two cards at 95-94. On that basis it was a big surprise when he retired at the end of the tenth round. The tall 27-year-old new champion won the OPBF title in his ninth fight. Cermeno was a huge step up in quality of opposition for Kubo but the gamble paid off. Not sure where 37-year-old Cermeno goes from here. The Panamanian-based Venezuelan benefited from an easy passage to the title but simply quit in this one.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Super Welter: Josesito Lopez (35-7) W PTS 10 Saul Corral (23-9). Super Light: Alejandro Luna (22-0) W PTS 10 Andrey Klimov (19-4)
Lopez vs. Corral
Lopez recovers from a couple of facial injuries to take wide unanimous decision over Corral. Lopez already had the win in the bag when he floored Corral in the last. Scores 100-89 from all three judges. The 32-year-old Californian took 21 months out after losing to Andre Berto for the interim WBA welter title in 2015 and this is second win as he rebuilds. Mexican Corral had won 4 of his last 5 fights losing on points to Sadam Ali in September
Luna vs. Klimov
Luna gets another win as he takes unanimous decision over experienced Klimov. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93. The 25-year-old Californian is ready to move up. Russian Klimov, 34, has only lost to high quality opposition in Terrence Crawford, Jose Pedraza for the IBF title and unbeaten Liam Walsh and all on points.