January 20, 2015
January 20, 2015
Leo-Santa-Cruz

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January 16

Verona, NY, USA: Middle: Willie Monroe Jr (19-1) W PTS 10 Brian Vera (23-9). Middle: Brandon Adams (15-1) W TKO 2 Lekan Byfield (6-7-2). Welter: Taras Shelestyuk (10-0) W KO 1 Antonio Fernandez (5-21-2). Light: Vitor J De Oliveira Freitas (8-0,1ND) W TKO 1 Mike Doyle (2-14-1).

Monroe vs. Vera

Monroe gets his biggest win so far as he outboxes experienced Vera to take a wide unanimous decision. From the first “The Mongoose” was just too fleet of foot and hand for a solid, determined but much slower Vera. Monroe had his southpaw right jab working from the outset and despite pressurising hard Vera was not able to cut off the ring and force Monroe to the ropes. When Vera did get close Monroe was either smothering Vera’s punches or landing fast combinations and getting away again. Vera had some success in the fourth when he did manage to trap Monroe on the ropes but by the end of the round Monroe was back to his stick and move system. In the fifth a light right from Monroe caught Vera when he was off balance and the Texan’s glove momentarily touched the canvas and the referee gave Vera a count. Later in the round Monroe landed a much harder shot and hurt Vera. The pattern stayed basically the same over the remaining rounds with Vera pursuing and Monroe too quick and too clever to be caught and catching Vera with counter after counter. Scores 99-90, 98-91 and 97-92. The 28-year-old son of Willie “The Worm” Monroe came to prominence last year by winning the ESPN Boxcino title beating Donatas Bondorovas, Vitaliy Kopylenko and Brandon Adams which somehow garnered him a No 3 rating with the WBA. His lone defeat was to Daniel Boone in 2011 and this was his eighth win since then. He is also rated WBO 7/WBC 13 but needs more big fights before going for a title. Vera, 33, had been inactive since losing the second of back-to-back fights against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr in March last year. His has been a roller-coaster career typically being kayoed in two rounds by Jaidon Codrington in “The Contender Series”, beating Andy Lee, losing to James Kirkland, getting two wins over Sergio Mora, losing to Max Bursak beating Serhiy Dzinziruk etc. He has shown resilience in the past but is not getting any younger.

Adams vs. Byfield

Bad mismatch ends early. “Cannon” who lost to Monroe in the ESPN Boxcino final was fed a record-padder in Byfield and ended the fight early. A straight right put Byfield down at the end of the first round but he lasted to the bell. Another right floored Byfield in the second and a right to the body and one to the head put him down again. He made it to his feet but the fight was stopped. The 25-year-old Californian makes it 10 wins by KO/TKO. He scored good wins over Daniel Edouard and Ray Gatica to get to the Boxcino final but as with Vera just could not get to grips with the slick Monroe and was clearly beaten. Adams will participate in this year’s Boxcino but at light middle. Byfield, 28, had a couple of reasonable level wins but was coming off a loss to Charles Whittaker last month.

Shelestyuk vs. Fernandez

Ukrainian Shelestyuk destroys Fernandez in 101 seconds. A hard combination from Shelestyuk sent Fernandez stumbling into a corner and a series of punches rounded off with a right hook sent him down to the canvas with the referee suspending the count as it was obvious Fernandez was not getting up and needed some time to recover. The tall 29-year-old makes it 7 wins by KO/TKO. He needed an impressive performance after only squeezing past Patrick Boozer on a split decision last time out in September. He has the amateur credentials having been Ukrainian champion in 2009/10/11, winning a gold medal at the World Championships and a bronze medal at the European championships but a loss to Brit Fred Evans in 2012 which ended his Olympic dream. He has an early career inside the distance win over Adams. Fernandez, a 36-year-old from the US Virgin Isles, is 1-8 in his last 9 fights.

De Oliveira vs. Doyle

Brazilian prospect gets this one over in 84 seconds. The 21-year-old nephew of former champ Acelino Freitas beat Doyle to the punch putting him down with a crunching left hook. Doyle beat the count but the follow-up attack had the referee halting the fight. De Oliveira, a former Brazilian Youth champion and World Youth Championships contestant has 5 wins by KO/TKO. Poor Doyle is 0-10-1 in his last 11 fights.

 

La Guairá, Venezuela: Super Feather: Johan Perez (20-2-1) W PTS 12 Humberto Gutierrez (29-6-2). Welter: Juan Carlos Prada (32-1-1) W KO 2 Likar Ramos (26-6). Super Welter: Alfonso Blanco (9-0) W TKO 2 Edinson Garcia (23-19).

Perez vs. Gutierrez

Perez wins the vacant NABA title with wide unanimous decision over fading Mexican Gutierrez. With big edges in height and reach “El Terrible” outboxed the former interim WBA champion. Scores 119-107 twice and 120-106. First fight for the local 31-year-old since dropping his interim title to Maurice Herrera on a majority verdict last July. Mexican Gutierrez, 26, is 1-4-1 in his last 6 fights and looks to be on the down slope.

Prado vs. Ramos

Prado returns to the winning column and collects the interim WBC Fecarbox title with kayo of Ramos. An uppercut to the body in the second put Ramos down and he could not get up before the referee finished the count. The 30-year-old southpaw has 21 wins by KO/TKO and was returning to action after losing on an eighth round stoppage against Luis Carlos Abregu after having had the Argentinian down earlier in the fight. The former Olympian drew his first pro fight and the loss to Abregu broke a 30 bout winning streak. He is rated No 13 by the WBA. Southpaw Ramos, 29, another former WBA interim champion, dropped out of the ratings after back-to-back losses to Juan Manuel Marquez and Claudio Olmedo and also as a result of fighting only once in years 2012,2013 and 2014.

Blanco vs. Garcia

Blanco gets back in the ring and wins in two rounds over poor Colombian Garcia. It was a one-sided messy fight with Garcia going down too easily and the referee finally stopping the fight in confused circumstances so a win but not a satisfactory one for Blanco. The lanky 28-year-old Venezuelan was having his first fight since March 2012. An Olympian and a World Championships silver medalist in 2007and bronze medalist in 2009 he scored wins over James DeGale, Darren Sutherland, Marco Periban, Shawn Porter, current WBA interim champion Dmitry Chudinov and Alex Theran as an amateur. A better performance was expected out of Garcia.

 

January 17

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Heavy: Deontay Wilder (33-0) W PTS 12 Bermane Stiverne (24-2-1). Super Bantam; Leo Santa Cruz (29-0-1) W TKO 8 Jesus Ruiz (33-6-5). Super Light: Amir Imam (16-0) W TKO 5 Fidel Maldonado Jr (19-3,1ND). Light Heavy: Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (12-0) W TKO 9 Garrett Wilson (13-9-1). Heavy: Eric Molina (23-2) W TKO 8 Raphael Zumbano (35-9-1).

Wilder vs. Stiverne

Wilder wins WBC title as he formulates a game plan and sticks to it with Stiverne never really getting into the fight. Wilder had the height and reach and made good use of them with Stiverne only able to get to grips occasionally and spending much of the time following Wilder around the ring and eating jabs. Wilder made use of his jab to easily take the first round and was robbed off a legitimate knockdown in the second. Over the last ten seconds of the round Wilder flailed away with hard cuffing shots to the head of Stiverne who tumbled forward on his way down. He grabbed hold of Wilder and pulled Wilder down with him but whilst Wilder climbed up with ease Stiverne sagged backwards and was unsteady when he got up. It was not ruled a knockdown but should have been. Stiverne had some success in the third and fourth rounds as he chased Wilder and they traded hard punches with Stiverne getting through with some body shots. Going into the fifth round for the first time as a pro Wilder used his jab to control the round with Stiverne having a good round in the sixth but he was being caught again and again by jabs. In the seventh Wilder drove a straight right down the pipe which pierced Stiverne’s guard and visibly staggered the champion. Wilder drove Stiverne to the ropes and landed a series of head punches. Over the following rounds Wilder used his jab, hard rights and good movement to frustrate Stiverne who, unable to effectively cut off the ring, was reduced to throwing wild shots in the hope one of them might land. They didn’t and Wilder was able to box his way to a comfortable points decision. Scores 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109. The 29-year-old “Bronze Bomber” answered questions about his stamina and took some hard punches without being troubled he also showed he could box and box to a game plan which were all positives. If there are any questions left they are there because of the poor performance of Stiverne who was just too slow and was unable to put enough pressure on Wilder to really extend the new WBC champion. With Wlad Klitschko now committed to facing Bryant Jennings Wilder was mentioning Tyson Fury as a potential challenger with a unification match for all of the belts with Klitschko later in the year. Wilder became the first American champion since Shannon Briggs( a name I was hoping not to have to mention) won the title in 2006 and he did it on Muhammad Ali’s birthday. Nice one Deontay. Stiverne,36, was making the first defence of his WBC title and he let himself down badly. He did not seem to have any alphabetic version of a game plan and surrendered his title without showing the fire and determination of a champion. He still has a part to play in the division but is unlikely to get another title shot.

Santa Cruz vs. Ruiz

Santa Cruz retains his WBC title with predictable stoppage of Ruiz. For two rounds these two locked horns in typically Mexican style standing and trading with both fighters throwing plenty of punches and working the body. From the third the accuracy and power was with Santa Cruz. He was still focusing on the body but it was evident that he was the harder puncher and that Ruiz’s shots were not enough to discourage the champion’s relentless attacks. Santa Cruz was breaking Ruiz down throughout the fourth, fifth and sixth and although Ruiz was still being combative he was slowing and shipping more and more punishment. The seventh was a brutal round with Santa Cruz battering away at Ruiz who was pinned on the ropes for most of the three minutes and looked ready to go. A straight right and a body punch had Ruiz hurt and more rights and a wicked left hook all added up trouble for Ruiz. In the eighth a stunning straight right sent Ruiz stumbling back into the ropes and Santa Cruz just launched a ceaseless barrage of punches until the referee stopped the fight. Fourth defence of his WBC title for Santa Cruz who is now calling out Abner Mares but would willingly take Guillermo Rigondeaux, Carl Frampton or Scott Quigg so plenty of options out there. The 26-year-old Mexican. “Estrella” Ruiz, 25, loses inside the distance for the third time. He was rated No 15 featherweight by the WBC and had done nothing to earn a title shot. However he was competitive for a couple of rounds before the extra power from Santa Cruz began to grind him down.

Imam vs. Maldonado Jr

Imam gives a classy performance but has to climb off the floor to beat Maldonado. The young Imam found himself under pressure in the first round and Maldonado also seemed to be bossing the second until a bolt out of the blue in the shape of a right from Imam floored Maldonado who only survived because the punch landed so late in the round. The third round was a roller-coaster ride for Maldonado. It started out great for him as almost before the sound of the bell had faded he floored Imam with a left. It was the first time Imam had been on the floor in his career so far but he kept his composure and used another hard right to put Maldonado down. Maldonado beat the count but was on shaky legs and another attack from Imam saw Maldonado lurching forward and putting both gloves down resulting in another knockdown. The impetus was now with Imam and he dominated the fourth before ending things in style in the fifth. Maldonado was continuing to pressure the young prospect but another right followed by a left hook put Maldonado down for the fourth time and although he made it to his feet the fight was stopped. The 24-year-old “Young Master” (he borrowed it from Joe Gans who was known as “The Old Master”) wins the vacant WBC Con Am title and goes to 14 wins by KO/TKO. The lanky Don King fighter already has useful wins over Yordenis Ugas and Santos Benavides. As an amateur he won a silver medal at the PAL Tournament and a bronze at the NGG’s but lost to Errol Spence at the US Olympic Trials. He is WBA No 8 and one to watch. Albuquerque’s Maldonado, 23, “The Atrisco Kid” suffered consecutive losses to Fernando Carcamo and Michael Perez in 2012 but had rebounded with six wins and a no decision including a victory over Luis Ramos (23-1) so was very much a live opponent.

Shabranskyy vs. Wilson

Shabranskyy hands out a solid beating to game Wilson until the fight is stopped in the ninth round. Wilson was a late substitute and coming down from cruiser. Additionally he was giving away a bunch in height and reach (Shabranskyy H 6’3 ½” 192cm R 193cm x H Wilson 5’8” 173cm R 184cm) when you add Shabranskyy’s power this was only going to end one way and Wilson did well to last as long as he did. It looked like being a short fight when Shabranskyy floored Wilson just before the bell at the end of the second. However Wilson had only failed to last the distance once before and he showed a good chin. He needed it as Shabranskyy belaboured him to head and body in every round before scoring a knockdown in the eighth with a hard right to the jaw. Wilson saw out the round and stayed on his feet throughout the ninth but it was one-way traffic and after consulting with the referee Wilson’s corner men retired their man. The 27-year-old Ukrainian “Lion Heart” makes it 6 wins by KO/TKO in his last 7 fights and 10 in all. A former Youth kick boxing champion Shabranskyy was runner-up in the Ukrainian Championships in 2008 and 2009 and competed in the WSB. Wilson “The Ultimate Warrior” , 32, has now lost 4 fights in a row with the other three being at cruiser against Alex Alekseev, Vyacheslav Glazkov and Thabiso Mchunu. He got a world rating with wins over Aaron Williams, Omar Sheika, Chuck Mussachio and Andres Taylor before hitting his four loss slide.

Molina vs. Zumbano

Molina makes it 5 wins in a row as he halts Brazilian in the last round. After a slow start Molina took control being the stronger man and had Zumbano under pressure and rocking with body punches in the sixth before scoring with a series of head punches in the eighth that forced the referee’s intervention. The 32-year-old “Drummer Boy” now has 17 wins by KO/TKO but the really important fight saw him destroyed inside a round by Chris Arreola in 2012. The big Texan is rebuilding scoring wins over Tony Grano and DaVarryl Williamson on the way. Zumbano, 33, has a typical Brazilian record-wins at home-loses away from home, but he usually goes the distance.

Prague, Czech Republic: Middle: Anatoli Hunanyan (5-0) W TKO 8 Bronislav Kubin (17-16-1)

Hunanyan retains Czech title with stoppage of Kubin. The former K-1 competitor was making the first defence of the title he won with an upset victory over Stepan Horvath in April. He has 4 wins by KO/TKO. Kubin,36, a former GBU world champion, has now lost 6 of his last 7 fights.

Tokyo, Japan: Super Feather: Jomthong Chuwatana (9-0) W PTS 12 Daiki Kaneko (21-4-3)

Thai southpaw Jomthong decisions home fighter Kaneko to retain the OPBF title. The Thai started slowly and Kaneko edged the first two rounds only for Jomthong to start breaking Kaneko down with powerful right jabs and hooks to even things up with the open scores all reading 38-38 after four rounds. Jomthong kept that right jab going over the next four rounds bloodying Kaneko’s face and working the body with Kaneko going on the defensive. After eight rounds Jomthong was up on two cards by 78-74 and 77-75 but the third card failed to reflect the Thai’s dominance as it read 76-76. Jomthong also looked to have had the best of the closing rounds and seemed a clear winner but again the scores did not reflect his clear dominance although he won the unanimous decision on scores of 115-113 twice and 116-114. The 25-year-old Jomthong, a former Muay Thai exponent, was making the fourth defence of his OPBF title and looks a real threat although only rated No 12 by the WBC. Kaneko, 26, rated No 1 by the OPBF , had lost only one of his last 19 fights and that was to Takashi Uchiyama for the WBA title in December 2013 with Uchiyama having to climb off the floor for his victory.

General Santos City, Philippines: Super Feather: Adam Dui Abdulhamid (4-2) W PTS 10 JR Mendoza (10-18)

Despite coming in as a late substitute, facing a fighter who had beaten him in November and taking part in his first ten round fight Abdulhamid made good use of his edges in height and reach to box on the outside and take a unanimous decision over Mendoza. Abdulhamid got a late call after hot prospect Harmonito Dela Torre dropped out due to a shoulder injury. The southpaw known as “Big Daddy” was a top flight amateur but has struggled to impress as a pro. Experienced loser Mendoza is now 2-11 in his last 13 fights.

 

Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain: Light Heavy: Adasat Rodriguez (9-3-2) W Carlos Esteban (10-1)

Rodriguez retains the Spanish title with close unanimous decision over Esteban. It was a close fight with many rounds hard to score but with local fighter Rodriguez doing the cleaner work and just deserving the decision with Esteban’s corner contesting the result. Scores 97-93, 96-94 and 96-95. It took Rodriguez three efforts to make the weight. The 27-year-old Tenerife fighter lost to Erik Skoglund for the EU title last February. First fight schedule for more than six rounds for Esteban.

 

Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Feather: Jose Perez (11-3-2) W PTS 8 Agustine Mauras (6-1-3). Feather: Jorge Abiague (8-1) W PTS 8 Josh Crespo (3-1-2). Middle: Elvin Ayala (27-6-1) W PTS 6 Aaron Mitchell (27-2-1). Heavy: Zhang Zhilei (2-0) W TKO 1 Perry Filkins (0-1).

Perez vs. Mauras

Perez goes 1-0-2 in his series with Mauras after winning unanimous verdict. As with their first two fights this was again a close one over the first five rounds with Perez just taking the first round but Mauras evening things up by winning the second. The pattern was repeated over the next two rounds with Perez scoring well to the body in the third and Mauras hurting Perez with a left in the fourth. Perez fired back to take the fifth hurting Mauras with some good left hooks and then also collected the sixth and seventh rounds being quicker and more accurate with his shots. Mauras tried to turn things around in the last but Perez stayed out of trouble and finished the round strongly. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73. The 28-year-old Perez, a former New England super feather champion, wins the vacant New England lightweight title. A much needed win for Perez after a run of two defeats and then two draws with Mauras. Mauras, 24, loses his unbeaten tag in his first eight round fight.

Abiague vs. Crespo

Abiague makes one of his rare appearances and edges out Crespo on a split decision. After a couple of even early rounds Crespo broke through in the third rocking Abiague but failing to take full advantage of the moment and Abiague was able to recover. From the fourth Abiague was in control and despite a big effort from Crespo in the last boxed his way to a deserved win. Scores 78-74 twice for Abiague and 77-75 to Crespo. Cuban-born Abiague, 34, wins the vacant New England title. He turned pro in 2008 after winning the NGG title at 51kg but had only 4 fights in 5 years before becoming more active last year. Crespo, 26, has had a similar low activity with only 7 fights in almost 4 years.

Ayala vs. Mitchell

Ayala returns and gets in six rounds of work against oldie Mitchell and takes unanimous decision. Ayala wins on scores of 60-54, 59-55 and 58-56. Ayala, 34, lost to Arthur Abraham for the IBF middle title in 2008. After consecutive losses to Lajuan Simon and David Lemieux he accumulated six wins before being floored twice and wiped out in 70 seconds by Curtis Stevens in January 2013. This was his first fight since then. Mitchell’s figures look good until you realise that he is 45-year-old, was having his first fight in over six years, and came in as a late substitute. Coincidentally Ayala outpointed Aaron’s twin brother Eric Mitchell in 2012.

Zhang vs. Filkins

Zhang makes it two wins in a throw-away mismatch. The big Chinese fighter took only 70 seconds to stop poor Filkins. With his amateur credentials, his size and his power the 6’6” (198cm) southpaw is wasted in “fights” like this. The only positive is that Filkins lasted 53 seconds more than Zhang’s only other pro opponent. Zhang won a silver medal at the 2008 Olympics and bronze medals at the World Amateur Championships in 2007 and 2009 but lost to Brit Anthony Joshua at the London Olympics. About 70 seconds is all that could have been expected out of Filkins who at 6’0” (183cm), with some MMA experience but no pro boxing record and also a late substitute was a real no-hoper.

 

Cebu City, Philippines: Super Fly: Melvin Gumban (19-0) W KO 1 Welijan Ugbaniel (13-3-1).

Gumban wins the vacant Philippines Boxing Federation (PBF) title with quick stoppage of Ugbaniel. A left hook to the body put Ugbaniel down and he failed to beat the count with just one second remaining in the round. So near yet so far. The 24-year-old “Top Gun” has 10 wins by KO/TKO and is GAB No 2. Ugbaniel, the GAB No 9, had lost only one of his last nine fights going in.

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Abbreviations

ABC=Asian Boxing Council an affiliate of the WBC

ABF=Asian Boxing Federation. I assume this is an affiliate of the IBF

ABU=African Boxing Union an affiliate of the WBC

ACC=WBC Asian Council Continental title

ANBF=Australian National Boxing Federation who administer Australian titles

BBB of C=British Boxing Board of Control

BBB of C Southern/Central/Midlands/Scottish Area etc. British Area titles

BDB= Bund Deutscher Berufsboxer one of the German boxing bodies

B & H=Bosnia & Herzegovina

BSA=Boxing South Africa responsible for administering boxing in South Africa

CBC=Commonwealth Boxing Council a sanctioning body for titles competed for by citizens of Commonwealth countries

CISBB-WBC title covering the rump of the USSR and the Slovenian Boxing Board

DRC=Democratic Republic of the Congo

EBU=European Boxing Union

FAB=Argentinian Boxing Federation

FFB=French Boxing Federation

GAB=Philippines Games & Amusement Board responsible for administering boxing in the Philippines

GBC= Global Boxing Council a sanctioning body

IBA=International Boxing Association a sanctioning body

IBF=International Boxing Federation a sanctioning body

IBO=International Boxing Organisation a sanctioning body

JBC =Japanese Boxing Commission

NABA=North American Boxing Association, a WBA affiliate

NABF=North American Boxing Federation a WBC affiliate

NABO= North American Boxing Organisation, a WBO affiliate

NCC=National Championships of Canada

NGG=US National Golden Gloves

NZPBF=New Zealand Professional Boxing Federation a national sanctioning body

OPBF=Orient & Pacific Boxing Federation

PABA=Pacific & Asian Boxing Association, a WBA affiliate

PBF=Philippines Boxing Federation, a sanctioning body in the Philippines

UBF=Universal Boxing Federation a sanctioning body

UBO=Universal Boxing Organisation a sanctioning body

USBA= United States Boxing Association, an IBF affiliate

USBO=United States Boxing Organisation an WBO affiliate

WBA=World Boxing Association a sanctioning body

WBC=World Boxing Council a sanctioning body

WBFed=World Boxing Federation, a sanctioning body

WBFound=World Boxing Foundation, a sanctioning body

WBU=World Boxing Union, a sanctioning body

IBF WBA Rating=Both bodies leave vacancies in their ratings so when showing a IBF or WBA rating for a fighter where there is a vacant position ahead of them in the rankings which affects his rating I will put his numerical rating i.e. No 6 and in brackets and his rating based on the number of fighters ahead of him so IBF 6 (5) shows his numerical position is 6 but there are in fact only 5 fighters listed ahead of him due to one or more of

the higher rating positions being vacant.