Ciudad Del Carmen, Mexico: Super Feather: Cris Mijares (52-8-2) W PTS 10 Vergel Nebran (13-9-1).Super Feather: Luis May (17-8-1) W PTS 10 Oscar Moran (9-6). Super Light: Robert Manzanarez (31-1) W KO 2 Daniel Valenzuela (34-26-2). Super Light: Ivan Alvarez (20-5) W KO 6 Nestor Garcia (20-9).
Mijares vs. Nebran
Mijares has to climb off the floor for win. After a feeling-out first round Mijares was pressing hard in the second already going to the Filipino’s body. However the crowd was silenced late in the round when a right from Nebran put Mijares on the deck. The Mexican recovered but it did not get much better in the third as Mijares ended the round bleeding from a cut on his right eyebrow and leaking blood from his nose. Mijares did not back down but was circumspect in his approach slamming home body punches without opening himself to counters. The fifth saw blood coming from the Filipino’s nose and whilst the better shots were being landed by Mijares, Nebran was still willing to stand and exchange hard shots. Mijares was in total control in the seventh and eighth belabouring Nebran to head and body as the less experienced fighter tired. In the ninth Mijares got revenge for that second round embarrassment as he put Nebran down with a southpaw left hook. Mijares went all out trying to end it but despite having blood smeared all over his face and absorbing brutal body punches Nebran made it to the bell. In the 10th Mijares settled for boxing his way to the win. Scores 98-90 twice and 97-91. The 33-year-old former IBF/WBA/WBC super-fly champion is rated No 8 feather by the WBC and has not given up on the chance of another title shot. Nebran, 25, exceeded expectations. He was not listed in the GAB top 15 and was 3-5 in his last eight fights going in but he fought well and gave the local fans a scare.
May vs. Moran
May retains the NABF title with split verdict over Moran. “Duro” May was favourite and the local fighter and he took the fight to Moran from the opening session. However Moran matched him and the action was fast and furious in every round as they traded punches from bell to bell. It was hard to score some rounds but May probably just did enough. Scores 96-94 and 96-95 for May and 96-94 for Moran. The 31-year-old May is 6-1-1 in his last eight fights with the loss coming on a trip to Japan. After going 4-5 in his first nine fights Moran had won his last five.
Manzanarez vs. Valenzuela
Youngster Manzanarez gets his 10th win in a row with second round knockout of experienced Valenzuela. Win number 25 by KO/TKO for the Phoenix-born Manzanarez who suffered an upset loss to Alejandro Barrera in 2012 but knocked Barrera out in the return in 2013. He is now 20 having turned pro at 15. Valenzuela loses by KO/TKO for the 22nd time.
Alvarez vs. Garcia
Southpaw Alvarez continues his good run with stoppage of Garcia. Now 15 wins by KO/TKO for Alvarez. He has won his last seven fights with five of those victories by KO/TKO. Garcia is 5-4 in his last nine bouts.
Ostrowiec Świętokrzysk, Poland: Heavy: Mariusz Wach (31-1) W TKO 6 Konstantin Airich (21-11-2). Light Heavy: Jessy Luxembourger (7-0) W PTS 8 Robert Parzeczewski (8-1). Light Heavy: Michal Gerlecki (11-0) W PTS 8 Pablo Sosa (4-5-3).
Wach vs. Airich
Wach gets his fourth win in a row as he beats a well-worn Airich. Not too much action in the opener. Airich started the second going to the body but the Pole ended the round well staggering Airich with a punch and Airich was glad to hear the bell. The gigantic “Viking” Wach is a slow fighter and sometimes takes time to warm-up but he had Airich shaky again in the third. The fourth was another round with little activity but Wach started getting through with good punches in a more active fifth and Airich did his share scoring a couple of times with jab/hook/jab combinations. The sixth saw a tired Airich under constant pressure with Wach banging home bursts of head punches and Airich in deep water. He spat out his gumshield to get a breather but was being rocked by Wach’s clubbing rights and it was no surprise when Airich’s corner threw in the towel with less than 20 seconds left in the round. The 35-year-old 6’7 ½” (202cm) New Bergen-based Wach was outclassed by Wladimir Klitschko in a challenge for the IBF/WBA/WBO titles in 2012 but showed a strong chin. He was then inactive for almost two years. Since returning he has beaten Samir Kurtagic, Travis Walker, Gbenga Oluokun and now Airich. There was confusion after this fight with talk of another fight in Poland and a fight with Anthony Joshua in September which came as a surprise to Wach and they can’t both be right. “Sandman” Airich, 36, is on the downward slope being 2-7 in his last nine fights including being stopped in three rounds by Joshua in September.
Luxembourger vs. Parzeczewski
Local fighter Parzeczewski loses his unbeaten tag as he is outpointed by Frenchman Luxembourger. It was by no means a stirring battle but the cleaner scoring and higher work rate was coming from the visitor who was particularly effective with right hooks. Parzeczewski was trying to force the fight but Luxembourger was able to slot home punches through the poor defence of the Pole and leaving him with a heavy nose bleed. Over the closing rounds there was too much clinching and Luxembourger was able to box his was to the unanimous decision. Scores 79-73, 78-76 and 77-75. Good away win for the 25-year-old Frenchman in his first fight outside France. “Arab” Parzeczewski, 21, was a disappointment as this is the type of fight he has to win if he is going to get anywhere.
Gerlecki vs. Sosa
Best fight of the night sees Gerlecki pushed hard to get past tenacious Argentinian Sosa. Despite his very modest record Sosa is no pushover. He comes to fight and fights hard. Gerlecki was picking and placing his punches better with Sosa rumbling forward forcing the more accomplished Gerlecki to stand and trade. The Pole was particularly effective with his right hooks and Sosa with body punches and the crowd was treated to an exciting fight with Gerlecki’s better technique just allowing him to take the deserved majority decision. Scores 80-72, 77-75 and 76-76. Good win for the 27-year-old Pole as he is forced to go the full eight rounds for the first time. As an amateur he won silver and bronze medals at the Polish championships at 91kg before moving down to 81kgs where he again collected silver. Spanish-based Sosa, 27, has been in with Erik Skoglund, Enrico Koelling and Eduard Gutknecht where he held the local fighter to a draw and was coming off a fourth round knockout of previously unbeaten Hungarian Richard Baranyi.
Bilbao, Spain: Feather: Andoni Gago (11-1-2) W TKO 10 Sergio Romero (8-5-4). Welter: Kerman Lejarraga (10-0) W PTS 6 Jair Cortez (0-20-3). Feather: Mikael Mkrtchyan (14-0) W PTS 6 Edwin Tellez (9-17-5).
Gago vs. Romero
After overcoming some early rough stuff Gago retains Spanish title with late stoppage of Romero. Gago just had the edge in the first but was lucky to escape an injury from the first of Romero’s butts. In the second there was another clash of heads and this time the champion suffered a bad cut on his right eyebrow. Romero was warned about being careless with his head and in the third the referee took away a point. Gago was coming forward throwing punches in his usual style and Romero just could not match him and only the bell prevented Gago ending it in the fourth. Gago survived a doctor’s inspection of his cut and continued to put pressure on Romero who was in trouble again in the eighth. Romero survived the ninth and it looked as though the fight would go to the scorecards but with a minute left in the fight he put Romero down and the challenger was unable to continue. The 30-year-old local was making the second defence of his national title and has won his last five fights. Romero, 30, was a curious 4-1-4 in his previous nine fights including two draws in other attempts at winning the Spanish title
Lejarraga vs. Cortez
Disappointment all round here as Lejarraga’s original opponent was turned down because he was still under suspension from a previous inside the distance loss and Lejarraga failed to finish late substitute Cortez inside the distance. It was probably hard for the Spanish prospect to get himself up for this fight. It looked over the first four rounds as though Lejarraga was going to get that quick win but Cortes is a good survivor and he gutted it out to the end of the six rounds, losing every round. Lejarraga, 23, the Spanish No 6, had won his last four fights by KO/TKO, two of those in the first round, so the fans were not happy. In fairness Ecuadorian Cortez has only lost by KO/TKO three times and took Lejarraga the full four rounds in the Spaniard’s first pro fight in 2013.
Mkrtchyan vs. Tellez
Spanish-based Armenian Mkrtchyan was just too skilled and quick for Tellez. He outboxed the Nicaraguan who stood up to the punishment well but could only offer some wide, wild swings in reply. Mkrtchyan, 22, looks a nice boxer but without a great deal of power. Tellez was game but never in the fight.
Newport, Wales: Cruiser: Craig Kennedy (12-0) W PTS 10 Courtney Fry (19-7). Super Feather: Gary Buckland (30-6) W TKO 3 George Gachechiladze (17-19-1)
Kennedy vs. Fry
Kennedy just squeezes past veteran Fry. Fry pushed the local fighter hard All the way. A knockdown scored by Kennedy in the fourth made all the difference in a close fight. Scores 95-93, 96-94 and 95-94. Good win for the 30-year-old 6’3” (191cm) from Cardiff. Fry, 40, a former Commonwealth gold medal winner and Olympian, suffered losses to Enzo Maccarinelli and Roy Jones Jnr but was coming off a good win over Jon-Lewis Dickinson.
Buckland vs. Gachechiladze
“Dynamo” Buckland a former British champion dominated the first two rounds using an array of hooks and uppercuts. He had the Georgian trapped on the ropes and a battery of unanswered punches saw the referee stop the fight. Buckland suffered consecutive losses to Gavin Rees and Richard Commey in 2014 and ended a poor year by losing in December in the Prizefighter Tournament so this a welcome return to the ring and a welcome win. Gachechiladze falls to 2-8 in his last 10 fights.
Huntington, NY, USA: Super Light: Cletus Seldin (17-0,1ND) W TKO 4 Ranee Ganoy (36-12-2). Local favourite Seldin floors Ganoy twice to retain his WBC International Silver title. “The Hebrew Hammer” put Ganoy down in the second round and the fight was stopped when Seldin put the experienced Filipino down again in the fourth. The Brooklyn 24-year-old, a former body builder, has shown his power with 14 wins by KO/TKO. The no contest was due to a cut suffered by Bayan Jargal in their fight in July last year but Seldin floored Jargal twice and halted him in seven rounds in a return in December. Ganoy, 35, won a number of important bouts when based in Australia and also collected the WBFound title.
Apodaca, Mexico: Welter: Adrian Torres (7-2) W TKO 1 Victor Rangel (11-2-3).
Torres wins the Nuevo Leon State title with controversial stoppage of Rangel. These two were exchanging bombs from the start and at the end of the first round just as the bell sounded Torres exploded a left to the chin that put Rangel down. The referee was counting and Rangel made it to his feet but was unable to continue. Rangel’s corner and much of the crowd felt the punch landed after the bell but the decision stood. Torres, 35, turned pro back in 1998 but after four wins was out of the ring for almost 15 years. He had six wins by KO/TKO. Rangel loses inside the distance for the first time.
Montreal, Canada: Middle: David Lemieux (34-2) W PTS 12 Hassan N’Dam (N’Jikam) (31-2). Super Middle: Schiller Hyppolite (16-1) W PTS 10 Kevin Thomas Cojean (16-7-1). Light: Dierry Jean (29-1) W PTS 10 Jerry Belmontes (19-7).Light: Ghislain Maduma (17-1) W TKO 2 Michele Focosi (20-4-2). Super Welter: Steve Butler (12-0-1) DREW 8 Jaime Herrera (12-3-1). Welter: Mian Hussain (12-0) W PTS 8 Ivan Pereyra (19-5). Heavy: Luis Ortiz (22-0,2 ND) W TKo 1 Byron Polley (27-19-1,2ND).
Lemieux scores four knockdowns on his way to winning the vacant IBF title. The Canadian was giving away height and reach but his relentless aggression was enough to get him inside where he was deadly. Lemieux just edged the first by scoring with some good left jabs and whilst N’Dam was settling into his stride by boxing on the outside. Lemieux had N’Dam on the ropes in the second and landing punches to the body when N’Dam was propelled forward off the ropes and as he toppled forward he grasped Lemieux around the waist and the both tumbled heavily to the floor. It was not a knockdown. Lemieux took N’Dam to the ropes again and landed a series of shots to head and body. N’Dam was swaying to avoid the punches but a brutal left hook saw him slump down kneeling on the canvas and there was no doubt that this was a genuine knockdown. N’Dam got up and survived the round with some difficulty. Lemieux was still pressing in the third but with his corner anxious that he was going to punch himself out and N’Dam finishing the round strongly. N’Jikam had his jab working and was getting through using his superior skills to edge the fourth with Lemieux head hunting and not as accurate. The roof fell again on the Cameroon-born Frenchman in the fifth. A Lemieux left hook put him down and after he got up and took the eight count he was put down again by yet another left hook. He was up and shaky but the bell prevented Lemieux capitalising on that success. Lemieux was landing heavy punches again in the sixth as N’Dam recovered from the trauma of the fifth but N’Dam turned the tables for a while trapping Lemieux in a corner and unloading on the Canadian to edge the round. The action slowed at the start of the seventh with Lemieux trying to follow orders to not waste energy with wild shots and N’Dam boxing at a distance. In the last half minute of the round Lemieux landed a jab/short left hook which did not look powerful but N’Dam went down for a fourth and last time in the fight. Lemieux did the better work in the eight with his body punches but N’Dam took the ninth and the 10th was close. N’Dam had a big 11th round as he twice shook the Canadian with clean shots. In the last N’Dam again looked to have Lemieux in trouble but failed to follow through and by the end of the round strangely it was Lemieux fighting as though he needed a knockout and N’Dam trying to avoid getting dragged into exchanges. Scores 115-109 twice and 114-110. If you assume that N’Dam would have lost the three rounds in which he was knocked down anyway (9-10 becoming 8-10) then those knockdowns would have cost the Frenchman at least three points (four if the judges saw the fifth round as 7-10) it shows how close the fight was outside of the knockdowns. Lemieux, 26, did not look like a future world champion in 2011 when being crushed in seven rounds by Marco Antonio Rubio and outpointed by Joachim Alcine but a run of eight wins including victories over Fernando Guerrero and Gabriel Rosado got him this chance and he took it in exciting style. Lemieux vs. Golovkin? Why not, just get there early although he will pressed to meet his mandatory challenger – if the IBF can sort out who that is! N’Dam, a former interim champion, showed his classy skills and amazing resilience. He was on the floor six times against Peter Quillin and four times here. Putting him down is one thing, keeping him down is another.
Hyppolite vs. Cojean
Hyppolite wins clearly but shows a lack of stamina over the late rounds. The Haitian-born Canadian boxed to his usual standard over the first five rounds outboxing the strong but limited Frenchman and looking like the world rated fighter he is. Cojean is not good enough to get into the EBU or EU ratings and was coming down from light-heavy but he was getting stronger as Hyppolite showed worrying signs of tiredness. In the fifth Hyppolite was on the floor. The referee ruled it was a slip but the effect on Hyppolite indicated it could have been a punch as he seemed shaky. For a couple of rounds there was suddenly the possibility of an inside the distance win for light-punching Cojean as Hyppolite looked unsteady and took a lot of punishment in a rocky eighth. However, the Canadian gutted it out and recovered in the last round to get the decision and save his world rating. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92. Not an impressive performance for 29-year-old “Batman” Hyppolite who adds the new WBC Francophone title to his WBC International Silver crown. He is rated WBC 10/IBF 14 (13) and he showed he could win even on an off night. The 26-year-old Cojean had moved down to super-middle after failing to win the French title at light-heavy and was 6-3 in his previous nine fights.
Jean vs. Belmontes
Jean shows he is back to top form as he gets wide unanimous decision over tough Texan Belmontes. The former IBF title challenger made a strong start taking the fight to Belmontes and getting through with some stinging punches. At the end of the second an overhand right to the side of the head had Belmontes stumbling forward and touching the canvas with his right glove which was counted as a knockdown but the Texan fought back hard in the next two rounds. Jean was in total command in the fourth and fifth landing quick combinations with Belmontes unable to match Jean for pace or power. The fight was less one-sided over the next three rounds but Jean had Belmontes in some distress in the ninth and took the tenth to win comfortably. Scores 99-89, 99-90, 98-91. Jean retains the NABF tile in his second defence. Good to see the Haitian-born 33-year-old put his personal problems from 2014 behind him. He is rated WBO 6/IBF 12(11) and there is every chance he will get the opportunity to fight again for a title after his loss to Lamont Peterson for the IBF title in January last year. “The Corpus Christi Kid” Belmontes, 26, won his first 17 fights but is now 2-7 in his last nine. The losses have been to top drawer opposition such as Eric Hunter, Francisco Vargas, Abner Cotto and Miguel Vazquez and to Omar Figueroa for the WBC light title. He made Jean work harder in this one than the scores indicate.
Maduma vs. Focosi
Maduma back and looking sharp. In his first fight since losing to Kevin Mitchell in an IBF eliminator in May last year he floors Italian Focosi twice and halts him early in the second round. A left uppercut pierced Focosi guard and put him down the first time and a left hook followed by a right to the head put Focosi down again and the referee immediately stopped the fight. Now up at light-welter the 30-year-old Dominican Republic fighter makes it 11 wins by KO/TKO. Maduma’s long layoff was due to a shoulder injury suffered in the Mitchell fight and stress fractures in both shins. Focosi, 32, has had three shots at the Italian title with two losses and a draw the outcome. He had won his last two fights.
Butler vs. Herrera
Butler remains unbeaten but lucky to do so. It started out looking as though it would be just another quick win for the Canadian youngster as he caught the aggressive Herrera with a right cross at the end of the first round and deposited the Illinois fighter on the deck. Herrera made it out of the round and in the second was trading shots with Butler. He landed a good right but Butler countered with a left/right combination which put Herrera down for the second time. Instead of losing heart Herrera fought his way back into the contest remaining aggressive and forcing Butler to fight at a high pace in each round. It could be that Butler had difficulty adjusting from looking as though he was in for an easy night to suddenly having to scrap desperately to preserve his unbeaten record but his work rate dropped dramatically and Herrera just kept coming. Both fighters were exhausted and the last round was untidy with Butler stumbling after a hard punch from Herrera and pulling Herrera down to the canvas with him. Herrera had the better of the exchanges easily piercing Butler’s guard. Scores 75-75 twice and 77-74 for Herrera with Butler needing those two knockdowns to preserve his unbeaten tag. Butler suffered a fracture to his right hand in the second round which could explain why he struggled in this one but his defence was very porous at times and the 19-year-old prospect needs to take the lessons away from this near thing and put them into practice. Herrera was a difficult fighter to assess going in. He had a big win last August when he beat Mike Jones inside the distance but in his last fight in December had been knocked out in two rounds by unbeaten Egidijus Kavaliauskas.
Hussain vs. Pereyra
Hussein remains unbeaten with points victory over Mexican Pereyra. Not many highlights in this one as Hussein was able to outbox Pereyra in every round but there was not much action for the crowd to enjoy in a fight which never caught alight. Southpaw Hussein wins every round but failed to add to his six wins by KO/TKO. Scores 80-72 from all three judges. Hussein, 24, has good amateur credentials including a bronze medal at the PanAmerican Games. Pereyra had lost inside the distance to Silverio Ortiz and Antonin Decarie in his two fights last year.
Ortiz vs. Polley
Cuban veteran Ortiz gets a win which did nothing for him or for boxing. In his first fight since returning from suspension he halted poor Polley inside a round in a pathetic excuse for a fight. Ortiz towered over the fat Polley and just kept prodding out long southpaw jabs with Polley trying a couple of head down rushes. Ortiz eventually began to throw shots to Polley’s ample body. He caught Polley with some body shots as Polley tried to move in and Polley stepped back and was on his way down when Ortiz added a left to his chest. Polley was up at six and when the fight resumed another quick series of punches from Ortiz saw Polley slump forward on his hands and knees. A straight left put Polley down again and the referee waived the fight off without a count. The 36-year-old former amateur star was given a suspension after testing positive when beating Lateef Kayode inside a round in September. Now 16 losses by KO/TKO for Polley who weighed 273lbs (124kg) with most of it around his waist. Even Ortiz looked disgusted.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Shawn Porter (26-1-1) W PTS 12 Adrien Broner (30-2). Welter: Errol Spence (17-0) W TKO 3 Phil Lo Greco (26-2). Light: Robert Easter (14-0) W KO 2 Miguel A Mendoza (21-6-2). Middle: Terrell Gausha (15-0) W PTS 8 Luis Grajeda (18-5-2). Heavy: Mike Hunter (8-0) W TKO 4 Deon Elam (14-3).
Porter vs. Broner
Porter gets unanimous decision over Broner. Both fighters started cautiously with hardly a punch thrown in the first half of the round. Porter had been retreating but he suddenly launched himself forward driving Broner back to the ropes and landing a few punches. Porter returned to his back foot boxing and apart from another couple of rushes from Porter there was little action with Broner not landing a single punch in the round. Porter was the one coming forward in the second. There was too much wrestling and clinching but what scoring there was came from Porter with Broner still not letting his punches go. In the third Porter was again busier working inside with Broner holding and getting a stern warning from the referee. Porter scored with hard left hook which again had Broner holding on. In the fourth Broner was caught off balance by a Porter attack and his gloves briefly brushed the canvas. The referee stopped the action to clean Broner’s gloves but there was no knockdown. Broner was throwing the fight away not scoring on the outside and just holding and wrestling on the inside whilst Porter was getting through with hooks to the body. Broner was finally throwing punches in the sixth his best round of the fight to that point. Broner was also more active in the seventh trying to counter Porter’s rushes with a left hook but Porter was much the stronger of the two and was just walking through Broner’s punches. Broner had a better eighth round even managing to put Porter on the back foot and was countering Porter’s rushes with left hooks and straight rights in the ninth. Porter was relentless in the early stages of the 10th pursuing Broner around the ring with Broner under pressure and again not being able to keep Porter out. Porter was trying to walk Broner down in the 11th in fact sometimes increasing from a walk to a jog as Broner showed plenty of fancy footwork as he avoided Porter’s attempts to trap him. When Porter did get inside Broner was again holding and finally the referee deducted a point from Broner which was long overdue. By the last Broner knew he needed a knockout. Ten seconds into the round a short left hook from Broner put Porter down. He was up at the count of four and did not look too shaken. Even now Broner was not letting his punches flow and the fight dribbled away with too much holding and wrestling until the final bell. Scores 118-108, 115-111 and 114-112. The first score seemed too wide and the third too close with even the middle one being generous to Broner. Former IBF welter champion Porter, 27, was having his second fight since losing his title to Kell Brook in August last year. He was just too strong and aggressive for Broner even at catchweight and this win will set him up for more big money fights. Broner was never able to keep Porter out and was lucky not to have been thrown out for the clinching and wrestling he did. He showed no more than brief glimpses of the talent that had won titles in three divisions. He is still only 25 and perhaps a move down to light-welter is called for.
Spence vs. Lo Greco
Spence continues to look the best of the bunch from the unsuccessful US Olympic team of 2012 and from what he has shown is not flattered by the WBC No 8 rating. He found Lo Greco a tough unorthodox opponent but adjusted and got the job done. The first round was untidy with Lo Greco rushing in head first and throwing short quick punches. Spence was blocking most of them but Lo Greco was roughing the young southpaw up and Spence did little scoring. In the second Spence was targeting the body of Lo Greco with great success every time Lo Greco came forward he was being punished with left and right hooks to the body and Spence also landed a crunching left to the head. The Canadian was taking his lumps and trying to force Spence back but was more dangerous with his head than with any punch. Lo Greco came in as a very late sub when Roberto Garcia pulled out and he was already looking tired after two rounds. Lo Greco started the third with two long rights to the body and then Spence thumped in three body punches and a right to the side of the head which sent Lo Greco slumping side wards down to his knees. Lo Greco was up at four and at the end of the eight count he tried to force Spence back only to be caught with some more body punches and a straight shot to the head that had him stumbling back. Again Lo Greco rumbled forward trying to put Spence on the back foot but for every step back Spence took he was hammering home thudding punches to Lo Greco’s head and body. Finally Spence forced Lo Greco to the ropes and bombarded him with punches until the referee ended the fight. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old Texan. He has good wins over Ronald Cruz and Samuel Vargas (20-1-1) and in order to get to London had to beat now unbeaten pros Samuel Vasquez, Bryant Perrella and Amir Imam. Canadian/Italian Lo Greco, 30, won his first 25 fights before losing to Shawn Porter in May 2013 and was then inactive until returning to the ring with a win last March. Spence would probably still have been too good for him but coming in at such short notice gave him no chance.
Easter vs. Mendoza
Toledo’s Easter remains unbeaten as he floors Mexican Mendoza twice on the way to his 11th win by KO/TKO. The tall 24-year-old was an alternate for the US Olympic Team. Now fore losses in a row for Mendoza
Gausha vs. Grajeda
Gausha continues to progress with points win over useful Grajeda. Gausha took the early rounds thanks to some great work with his jab but with Grajeda also showing good skills and not being out of the fight. Gausha had a big round in the third when he put Grajeda on the floor with a left/right combination. Grajeda got up and despite the knockdown and a blood smeared visage he fought his way to the bell as Gausha was wild in his attempts to end the fight. From then on it was a close, competitive fight with Gausha’s jab again prominent and he showed good defence when Grajeda tried hard to claw back the lost points from the knockdown. Scores 79-72 twice and 78-73. The 27-year-old 2012 Olympian from Cleveland has good wins over experienced fighters in Charles Whittaker and Norberto Gonzalez and tackling a tough battler like Grajeda just adds to his experience. Grajeda, 28, is 1-4-1 in a sequence of tough fights with the loss to Austin Trout in December the only time he has been beaten inside the distance.
Hunter vs. Elam
Hunter brushes aside Elam in four rounds. The unbeaten heavy hope just hit too hard for the fragile Elam. Hunter had Elam down for the first time in the second round and then proceeded to floor Elam twice more in each of the following two rounds before the referee stopped the fight. The 26-year-old, twice US National Champion and a NGG Champion fought Artur Beterbiev at the 2012 Olympics and they finished all square at 10-10 but the five judges all went for Beterbiev in the tie-breaker. Elam has moved up from cruiser. He nearly made a big breakthrough in that division when he floored former champion Victor Ramirez twice in the first round only to be knocked out in the second.
Oakland, CA, USA: Super Middle: Andre Ward (28-0) W TKO 9 Paul Smith (35-6). Super Bantam: Antonio Nieves (12-0-1) W Stephon Young (13-0-2). Middle: Luis Arias (11-0) W TKO 3 Tony Brinson (4-3).
Ward vs. Smith
Ward returns with stoppage of Brit Smith. This one might not have happened after Smith failed to make the contract weight of 172lbs (he weighed 176.4lbs) and then failed to make the adjusted rehydrated weight of 181lbs (he weighed 184.4). Once the fight did start Ward was quickly using his left jab to keep a defensive minded Smith on the back foot. Smith was mainly hiding behind a high guard and looking to score with counters. Smith had been doing a good job of blocking many of Ward’s punches but from the third Ward was throwing more combinations and piercing Smiths guard time and again. Smith was trying to get on the front foot but was leaving openings that Ward exploited. The pattern was the same in the fourth, fifth and sixth with Smith again trying to get on the front foot but with Ward using the jab and straight rights to force Smith back. A clash of heads at the end of the fifth round luckily did not see either fighter cut although both came out with bruises high on their forehead. Ward had been exclusively head hunting and fighting in spurts and Smith’s face was marking up badly with swelling over his right eye. Ward was loading up more on his rights in the seventh and opened a cut over Smiths left eye although Smith did get home with a good clubbing right. The eighth was totally one-sided with Ward almost exclusively using the jab/straight right and getting through Smith’s guard time and again but he added some variety with a head-snapping left uppercut. Ward began to taunt Smith by wind-milling his right before throwing it and Smith hard a few words for Ward at the end of the round. In the ninth Ward was walking in slamming home straight rights. Smith was bravely trying to punch back but with the rights thudding home and Smith looking to have a badly injured nose (fractured) Smith’s corner threw in the towel and the fight was over. First fight for 31-year-old Ward in 19 months and only the second in 33 months. He was much too good for Smith but there is a queue of tougher opposition lining up for a shot at “Son of God”. Smith gave it a shot but Ward was a class above the 32-year-old Liverpudlian. He was selected as an opponent at relatively short notice so that may have affected his preparation and he found this a much more difficult task than his two losing fights to Arthur Abraham.
Nieves vs. Young
Nieves said goodbye to his 100% record as he is held to a draw by Young. Nieves looked to have done enough to take this one despite a strong finish from Young but the judges were divided on it. Scores 77-75 for Nieves 78-74 for Young and 76-76. Nieves, 28, is a former NGG silver medallist and a university graduate. Southpaw Young, 26, was also a top line amateur getting a silver medal at the NGG’s and just missing out at the final US Olympic Trials.
Arias vs. Brinson
“Cuba” Arias is yet another former star amateur who preserved his unbeaten record on the show. The Eddie Mustafa Muhammad trained fighter put Brinson down in both the second and third rounds to force the stoppage. “Cuba” , born in Milwaukee not Havana, the 25-year-old has very impressive amateur credentials winning a silver medal at the World Cadet Championships, a bronze medal at the World Junior Championships and twice being US National champion. He has wins as an amateur over Shawn Porter and Marcus Browne and on his way to winning the 2010 National Championships he beat Tony Harrison, D’Mitrius Ballard and Jesse Hart but lost to Hart at the last stage of the US Olympic Trials. Great but no guarantee of pro success. Brinson no real test.
Milan, Italy: Middle: Michel Soro (27-1-1) W KO 8 Emanuele Blandamura (23-2). Super Light: Andrea Scarpa (18-2) W KO 1 Emanuele De Prophetis (16-8)
Soro vs. Blandamura
Soro wins vacant European title with impressive crushing of Blandamura. The first round saw little action but in the second Soro was making good use of his left jab to pierce the guard of the Italian. Blandamura went over during the round but it was correctly ruled a slip. Blandamura had a good third and had his best round in the fourth taking the fight to Soro and scoring with straight punches and hooks. The tide began to turn in the fifth. Both fighters were trading punches and both getting through. A chopping right from Soro forced Blandamura to back off. The Italian then scored with a couple of body punches but was caught by a hard right hook. Soro drove Blandamura across the ring to the ropes but Blandamura scored with a right to the chin only for Soro to score with two clubbing head shots. In the sixth it was obvious that Soro now felt he could win this and soon. Blandamura was moving round the perimeter of the ring trying to stay out of trouble but Soro was banging home some vicious hooks to the body. Blandamura tried to keep Soro out with his jab but he had a haunted look and Soro was tracking him around the ring. Blandamura used lots of movement, his jab and some quick flurries of light punches to stop Soro launching any more big punches. Blandamura was again boxing sensible in the seventh stabbing out the jab but he was spending too long on the ropes and holding his left down at belt level. He paid for that when Soro cracked home a right hook. Blandamura escaped only to be caught with another right and the Italian “lost” his gumshield. He got a small respite whilst it was recovered and placed in his mouth and he survived the round. Blandamura decided to stand and trade with Soro in the eighth and was getting the better of the exchanges and forcing Soro back. As Blandamura came forward Soro feinted a left jab and then slammed home a straight right to the head of Blandamura. The Italian landed flat on his back with his arms outstretched. Somehow he made it to his feet but was on tottering legs and the fight was rightly stopped. Two big wins in a row for the hard-punching Ivory Coast-born 27-year-old Soro following his impressive fourth round stoppage of Glen Tapia last month. His only loss is on points against Zaurbek Baysangurov for the WBO title in 2012 and he has scored nine wins and fought a draw with unbeaten Antoine Douglas since then. He was not in the world ratings prior to this fight but he should be. Blandamura, 35, a former EU champion was trying to win the European title for the second time having been knocked out by Billy Joe Saunders in a fight for the vacant title in July last year. He is a talented boxer but made the mistake of trying to trade with a harder puncher.
Scarpa vs. De Prophetis
Scarpa bombs out veteran De Prophetis in the first round to retain the Italian title. Scarpa was much taller and used his jab to keep De Prophetis on the outside. De Prophetis was moving forward trying to get past the jab and Scarpa nailed him with a left hook. De Prophetis went down and jumped up too quickly, was on wobbly legs and the referee stopped the fight. First defence of his national title for the 28-year-old from Turin who is EBU No 12 and has won his last 17 fights. De Prophetis, 39, a former undefeated Italian champion has now lost five of his last six fights.
Comitan, Mexico: Super Feather: Emanuel Lopez (19-4-1) W TKO 10 Roland Giono (17-6,1ND). Super Feather: Miguel Berchelt (26-1) W TKO 5 Sergio Puente (22-2). Super Feather: Julio Barraza (11-0) W TKO 1 Oscar Arjona (9-3).
Lopez vs. Giono
Lopez retains the WBA interim title with stoppage of Panamanian Giono. Lopez made a confident start using a stiff jab to set up Giono for body punches. Giono was coming forward strongly in the third scoring with stiff jabs and slashing hooks to the body but late in the round he was hurt by a body punch from Lopez and was reeling from head punches as the round ended. The challenger recovered and over the next three rounds he continued to come forward concentrating on landing to the body. Unfortunately he was leaving his guard in the corner and was wide open to counters from Lopez who was also throwing five punch combinations to every punch Giono landed. The action slowed in the seventh but Lopez was methodically beating Giono down and opened a cut on the left eyebrow of the Panamanian. In the ninth Giono began to fall apart under the bombardment from Lopez and instead of trying to regroup he was standing in the pocket and trying to turn the fight. He lacked the power and in the tenth Lopez was landing head shot after head shot. A left hook sent Giono tumbling back to the ropes where Lopez bombarded him with more punches and when Giono staggered forward trying to grab Lopez he was sent reeling back to the ropes and Lopez was unloading again when the referee stopped the fight. Successful first defence for 25-year-old Lopez and eighth win by KO/TKO. He was lucky to get the shot at the interim WBA title in the first place so it remains to be seen how he will cope with better opposition. Giono, 28, gave it his best try here he never backed down from an exchange and matched Lopez in the early trading but he just presented too easy a target for the head punches of Lopez and in the end courage was not enough. He leaped into the WBA ratings for winning their Fedecaribe title against a guy win a 5-0-1 record so lucky to be getting this shot but put up a brave effort.
Berchelt vs. Puente
Berchelt uses a relentless body attack to force Puente out of the fight. The “Scorpion” was ripping punches to the body over the first two rounds draining away Puente’s strength and stamina. In the third Berchelt had Puente pinned on the ropes for much of the round and when Puente managed to get clear of the ropes Berchelt scored with a vicious left uppercut that drove Puente across the ring to the opposite corner where he threw a whole series of short cuffing punches with Puente just covering up under the storm and the referee keeping a close eye to see whether a stoppage was justified but Puente made it to the bell. In the fourth Berchelt seemed to have punched himself out and Puente was able score with some stiff jabs and force Berchelt to the ropes. Puente did not follow up and Berchelt was able to get to centre ring where they again traded punches with Berchelt lacking the fire of the third round. Over the closing minute of the round Berchelt again had Puente on the ropes sending in scorching left hooks to the body and straight rights to the head but this time Puente banged back scoring with head shots. Both looked tired in the fifth but a left hook to the body from Berchelt saw Puente momentarily drop his hands and then back to the ropes. This time it was Berchelt who did not press his advantage and Puente came forward with Berchelt avoiding trading. With just seconds left in the round Berchelt had Puente on the ropes again and landed four left hooks to the body and a right to the chin. Puente returned to his corner at the bell and told his seconds he was finished for the night. The 23-year-old Merida fighter makes it 23 wins by KO/TKO. He has put the shocking one round loss to Luis Eduardo Flores in March last year behind him and is up at No 2 with the WBO and No 6 with the WBC. “Dandy” Puente was considered to be a trough test. His only loss had been on points against Fernando Montiel in August and he had a good win over Nery Saguilan earlier.
Barraza vs. Arjona
Zanfer prospect Barraza blasts out late sub Arjona inside a round. Barraza stunned Arjona early with a left hook to the chin. The Yucatan fighter fell into the ropes and down on the canvas. He made it to the vertical and although still unsteady he tried to fight back only to be put down again by a three punch combination. Somehow he again climbed to his feet but another left put him down for the third time and the fight was over. The Sonora prospect has nine wins by KO/TKO. First loss inside the distance for Arjona.
Ballerup, Denmark: Super Middle: Patrick Nielsen (26-1) W PTS 12 Charles Adamu (23-7). Cruiser: Micki Nielsen (18-0) W PTS 8 Ismail Abdoul (56-35-2). Super Light: Anthony Yigit (14-0-1) W TKO 7 Tony Owen (16-4). Feather: Dennis Ceylan (15-0-1) W PTS 10 Sergio Prado (11-5-1). Super Middle: Tim Robin Lihaug (13-1) W KO 4 Arne Ernstsen (7-1). Heavy: Otto Wallin (12-0) W KO 2 Olek Mazikin (14-12-2). Light: Rashid Kassem (9-0) W TKO 6 Rey Mora (7-2-1). Light Heavy: Deion Jumah (5-0) W TKO 4 Karel Horejsek (3-3-1).
Nielsen vs. Adamu
Nielsen gets predictable win as he takes every round against tough, durable but limited Adamu. In the first round a southpaw left from Nielsen shook Adamu but the Ghanaian survived and avoided any trouble in the second which was again dominated by the Dane. Adamu was in survival mode in the third but Nielsen suffered a cut on his forehead in a clash of heads and the fight became untidy for a while. As the rounds passed Nielsen found it easy to penetrate Adamu’s guard but could not shake the Ghanaian again as he had in the first. With Nielsen dominating and Adamu showing his resilience the entertainment value was low. Nielsen won every round but this was by no means a tough test. Scores 120-108 from all three judges. Now up at super middle 24-year-old Nielsen makes it four wins since losing on points to Dmitry Chudinov for the interim WBA middle title in June last year. He retains the WBA International super-middle title but the sanctioning bodies still have him rated at middle and he is WBO 4/WBA 6(5)/IBF 8. Adamu, 37, a former CBC champion, has only been stopped once and that was by George Groves.
Nielsen vs. Abdoul
This one was as predictable as it gets you could bet your house on Nielsen winning every round and Abdoul still being there at the end of the fight. The Dane had height and reach on his side as well as youth and was able to outbox and out manoeuvre the older and slower Belgian but unable to cause him any serious trouble. Abdoul showed his usual determination to fight hard and ignore punishment but never really threaten. It was eight rounds of work for Nielsen with little chance for him to shine. Scores 80-72 from all three judges. The 22-year-old Dane is rated IBF 5(3) which is too high for the standard of opposition he has beaten. Abdoul, 38, has only lost once by KO/TKO and that was to Krzys Wlodarczyk way back in 2002.
Yigit vs. Owen
Yigit comes out on top in this all-southpaw battle but with Owen giving the Swede a few problems. Yigit continues to look one of the best Nordic prospects and he was looking to overpower Owen early. The Brit was not about to fold and they traded hard punches. Yigit was getting the better of the exchanges but also getting hit a lot more than he had in previous fights. Luckily Owen is not a power puncher so the risk to Yigit was manageable and after Owen had a good fourth round Yigit was in total control. By the seventh the speed and accuracy of Yigit’s attacks had worn Owen down and the referee stopped the fight. Now six wins by KO/TKO for the brilliant 23-year-old Swede a former Nordic amateur champion who represented Sweden at the 2012 Olympics and at the European and World Championships. Owen, 28, a former Southern Area champion put up a very creditable performance against the man ranked No 7 by the EBU.
Ceylan vs. Prado
Ceylan wins every round but game Prado never stops trying. There were some heated exchanges in the first and also a clash heads which luckily saw no one cut. From the second Ceylan was the one pressing the fight with Prado too often pinned to the ropes as Ceylan worked him over. The Spaniard showed some good defensive work but that was not winning rounds and by the third he was also fighting with the handicap of a cut over his left eye. Ceylan kept the pressure on in the fourth and fifth with Prado launching a big attack in the sixth but Ceylan still being the one doing the more effective work. The Dane continued to outbox the Spaniard but to his credit Prado never looked like folding and although always second best he fought hard to the last bell. Scores 100-90 from all three judges. The 26-year-old Ceylan, a four-time Danish amateur champion and 2012 Olympian, was in his second 10 round bout having scored a win over experienced former IBF super fly champion Dmitry Kirilov in March. Spaniard Prado, 32, a former undefeated EU and Spanish champion, was 7-1-1 in his previous 9 fights with the loss being to Kid Galahad for the vacant European super bantam title.
Lihaug vs. Ernstsen
Lihaug wins this battle for Norwegian bragging rights with stoppage of Ernstsen. This was shaping up to be a good close fight. Ernstsen was making use of a reach advantage to thread punches through the guard of Lihaug but Lihaug was scoring with the harder punches. Both fighters were looking to establish dominance with the exchanges fierce and balanced. For most of the fourth round Ernstsen was using that pesky jab again but suddenly Lihaug unleashed a crunching left hook that sent Ernstsen crashing to the canvas. He somehow made it to his feet but his legs were not behaving themselves and the referee rightly stopped the fight with one second remaining in the round. Now 10 wins in a row for Lihaug since an upset knockout loss to Oscar Ahlin in 2013. He has eight wins by KO/TKO. Ernstsen, 24 was trying to move up from six rounds for the first time. He showed some neat skills until struck by that thunderbolt.
Wallin vs. Mazikin
Wallin halts veteran Mazikin in two rounds. In the first round the visitor from the Ukraine showed some of the skills that made him a top class amateur but that was a brief glimpse. Wallin went to work in the second flooring Mazikin twice with the Ukrainian being counted out on the second knockdown. Tall, slim southpaw Swede Wallin, has won seven in a row by KO/TKO and has 10 inside the distance wins in total. He is still working his way through the usual East European travelling losers but shows promise. Mazikin, 40, was a World Championships silver medal winner and competed at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games losing to Audley Harrison in those Sydney Olympics. He did not turn pro until he was 30 and has now lost his last six fights.
Kassem vs. Mora
Kassem gets another stoppage win when Mora does not come out for the seventh round. The Danish prospect was giving Mora some difficult angles to cover and flashing home punches that the Nicaraguan probably never saw coming. Mora stuck with it trying to counter Kassem but was floored by a hard right in the third round and only the bell saved him. Kassem continued his attacks over the next three rounds with a brave Mora soaking up the punishment until his corner pulled him out of the fight at the end of the sixth round. Kassem was another top notch amateur representing Denmark at two World Championships. He takes time off from his work as a bricklayer to train and fight. Mora, 21, was having his first fight for a year and his first fight in Europe.
Jumah vs. Horejsek
Jumah unimpressive in win over Czech. This fight was on then off then on again with the problem being that Jumah came in way over the agreed 79kgs. Eventually Horejsek agreed to go on with the fight despite the discrepancy. The fight was devoid of any real highlights over the first three rounds with Jumah doing what clean scoring there was. It livened up in the third when a right from Jumah put Horejsek on the floor but the Czech retired at the end of the round with an injured shoulder. The 25-year-old Londoner Jumah has talent but this was only his second fight in 18 months. At 33 Horejsek is a four/six round trier and nothing more.
Rumilly, France: Super Welter: Islam Teffahi (16-5-2,1ND) W PTS 12 Sebastien Madani (35-3-1).
Major disappointment for the local fans as Belgian-based Tunisian Teffahi wins majority decision over Madani to win the vacant WBC Francophone title (WBCFRA). Scores 116-112, 115-113 and 114-114. Teffahi, 32, now has five wins and one draw in his last six fights including a victory over useful Ayoub Nefzi. Madani, 34, a former undefeated French champion lost only one of his first 34 fights but after going 1-2-1 in his most recent four fights, including a loss and draw against Brazilian Anderson Clayton for the WBFed title, has announced his retirement.
Lohbruegge, Germany: Super Welter: Sebastian Formella (9-0) W PTS 10 Mazen Girke (13-62-2). Heavy: Senad Gashi (8-0) W TKO 2 Ratko Draskovic (33-12-2).
Formella vs. Girke
Formella wins every round against trial horse Girke to retain the German International and GBC Intercontinental titles. The 28-year-old local was just too quick for Girke. He has fast hands and slick footwork and good upper body movement. Girke made Formella look better by trundling forward in every round soaking up punishment but being persistent. The big problem for Formella was his lack of power and even when he was landing punches flush on the chin of Girke he could not shake him or stop Girke’s forward march and he seemed to tire in the last round. Scores 100-90 from all three judges. Formella is tall and slim and looks fragile and that lack of power could be a big drawback. Girke, also German, is supposed to be a southpaw but he fought this one orthodox for all 10 rounds. He has now lost his last five fights.
Gashi vs. Draskovic
Gashi was throwing bombs from the start and finding the target with a left jab right cross combination working well for him. Draskovic had the edge in height and reach and was trying to use his jab to keep Gashi out. As the opening round progressed Gashi began to get ragged with his work leading with rights and leaving gaps in his defence. Gashi was looking to end this quickly and he floored Draskovic with two right hooks to the body just after the bell to start the second round. Draskovic went down on one knee then climbed to his feet at the count of five. After the eight count Gashi landed two more rights to the body and Draskovic again took a knee. When he got up the fight was stopped. Kosovan “GachineGun” Gashi, 25, wins the vacant GBC Intercontinental title. All eight of his wins have come early, six in the first round and now two in the second. He looks strong and hits hard but is hittable. Montenegrin Draskovic, 49, had won five of his last six fights but has earlier defeats against Audley Harrison, Matt Skelton and Danny Williams.
San Pedro Suls, Honduras: Feather: Josec Ruiz (13-2) W Emmanuel Dominguez (14-3-1).
Ruiz retains WBC Fecarbox title with draw against Mexican Dominguez. It was “Scorpion” Ruiz vs. “Poison” Dominguez and they cancelled each other out. This was all-out war with very little defence on show. Both fighters were rocked as they simply stood toe-to-toe exchanging hooks and uppercuts. Dominguez came close to victory in the third when he landed three hooks to the body that put Ruiz down. The local fighter got up but two more wicked body punches put him down again. Ruiz survived the round and then was the one coming forward. He shook Dominguez time and again with rights to the head and Dominguez continued to bang away to the body of Ruiz. It was just one continuous slugfest with Ruiz just doing enough to claw back the points lost in the third round to retain his title. Ruiz, 20, complained of an injury to his left arm after the fight and Dominguez complained about the result.
Giyani, South Africa: Feather: Oscar Chauke (34-9-3) W PTS 12 Prince Ndlovu (8-2-4).
Chauke holds on to his national title with wide unanimous decision over newcomer Ndlovu. The challenger was competitive over the first four rounds as Chauke seemed lethargic and Ndlovu had even built a slight lead. The champion woke up in the fifth flooring Ndlovu and taking over the fight. Chauke had Ndlovu down again in the ninth although a slippery ring surface may have played a part in that but there was no mistake in the last round when Chauke scored his third knockdown. Scores 118-108, 116-106 and 117-109. The 34-year-old Chauke turned pro at 19 and he is a former South African and WBFound feather champion. Hometown fighter Ndlovu was 3-0-3 in his last six fights going into this one and his lack of experience was evident in the way he faded out of the fight.
Manchester, England: Super Welter: Jimmy Kilrain Kelly (15-0) W KO 3 Isaac Aryee (19-8).
Kelly wins the vacant WBC Youth title with victory over Ghanaian. Kelly decided early that the way to beat Aryee was to attack the body. As a result the African was subjected to an array of strength sapping body punches over the first two rounds. No need to change a winning formula so Kelly continued the tactics into the third and after yet more vicious body punches Aryee went down on one knee in agony and stayed there until the referee tolled the ten. Now seven wins by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old local fighter who had held the Youth Silver title. The lanky Aryee is 4-3 in his last seven fights with the three losses all on his travels.
Valley Forge, PA, USA: Cruiser: Garrett Wilson (14-9-1) W TKO 3 Anthony Caputo Smith (15-5). Super Light: Milton Santiago (11-0) W PTS 6 Jose M Castro (4-5).
Wilson wins Pennsylvania State title with knockout of Smith. Competitive first round sees Wilson come on strong at the end to just edge the round. In the second a left hook from Wilson puts Smith down and Smith does well to survive to the bell. All over in the third as a vicious right uppercut sends Smith down with his head thudding on the canvas. He made a brave attempt to get up but the referee waived the fight over. Wilson, 32, gets back to winning ways after four losses, three on points, against world rated fighters in Alex Alekseev, Vyacheslav Glazkov and Thabiso Mchunu and a stoppage loss in January against unbeaten Vyacheslav Shabranskyy. He has good inside the distance wins over Chuck Mussachio and Andres Taylor. Smith had lost three out of four going in but again top opposition in Sean Monaghan, BJ Flores and Ola Afolabi
Santiago vs. Castro
Teenage prospect Santiago makes it 11 wins with points victory over Castro The 18-year-old from Philadelphia had Castro under pressure in every round. Castro had brief success in the second when he floored Santiago with a right but Santiago dominated the round so much that it was scored only 9-10 against him. After that Castro was really just trying to survive and doing so. Scores 59-55 from all three judges for El Santo. Four losses in a row now for Puerto Rican Castro.
Riverdale, GA, USA: Super Light: Randall Bailey (45-8,1ND) W TKO 2 Gundrick King (18-15). Bailey returns to the ring with a win. The former WBO super light and IBF welter champion was much too good for King and floored him with a right in the second. King made to his feet but Bailey landed a few more shots and the referee stopped the fight. First fight since November 2013 for 40-year-old Bailey but he will need stiffer tests than this to find out how far he can go on this comeback. Seventh loss in a row and 10th loss by KO/TKO for 36-year-old King.
Malvinas Argentinas, Argentina: Welter: Ricardo R Villalba (14-2-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Victor H Velazquez (17-7). Super Fly: Juan Jose Jurado (12-0) W PTS 10 Elias D Coronel (5-9).
Villalba vs. Velazquez
Villalba gets unanimous decision after tough scrap with Velasquez. Villalba had the better skills but this was a war rather than a tactical battle. Villalba took the first with some choice body punches and worked Velazquez over on the ropes in the second. Velazquez was having the better of the third round when he was nailed by a right from Villalba and put down. Velazquez was not badly hurt and he was back on the attack by the end of the round. Both had moments of domination in the fourth but the pace slackened in the fifth. Villalba was scoring hard to the body in the sixth with Velasquez under pressure but dangerous with counters. Villalba seemed to be tiring in the seventh allowing Velazquez to score with some good head shots. Villalba came to life again in the ninth opening up Velazquez with his jab and banging home thumping hooks to the body. Both fighters were exhausted in the last and both were wobbled on occasion but Villalba kept his act together and was the more accurate with his punches. Scores 98-91, 98-92 and 98 ½ -92 ½ . This was to have been a defence of his Argentinian title for Velazquez but both fighters came in over the weight (quite fashionable these days). The 25-year-old Villalba was unbeaten in his first 13 fights but had stuttered and gone 2-2 in his next four before this win. He was rated FAB No 7. Velazquez, 33, had won his last three fights including a revenge victory over former WBO and IBO title challenger Sebastian Lujan.
Jurado vs. Coronel
“Harry” Jurado wins the vacant national title with close unanimous decision over Coronel. Jurado withstood a fast start from Coronel to build a lead by the half way point in the fight. Southpaw Coronel then began to pick up rounds taking the sixth with some useful work to the body. Jurado fought back to make the seventh a round that could have been scored either way. Coronel again used his southpaw jab to edge the eighth and ninth and despite the best efforts of Jurado in the last Coronel staged a strong finish. Good effort but not just enough to convince the judges who scored it 97-96, 97 ½-97 and 96 ½-94 ½ for Jurado. The 28-year-old new champion, the FAB No 2, had beaten Coronel by a wide margin in an eight round fight last year but this time it was much tougher. Coronel, 25, was rated No 3 by FAB.
Las Vegas, NV: Super Light: Rances Barthelemy (23-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Antonio DeMarco (31-5-1). Welter: Sammy Vasquez (19-0) W PTS 10 Wale Omotoso (25-2). Super Middle: J’Leon Love (20-1, 1 ND) W TKO 7 Jason Escalera (15-4-1). Super Middle: Ronald Gavril (13-1) W PTS 8 Jessie Nicklow (24-7-3). Welter: Haskell Rhodes (24-0) W PTS 8 Jared Robinson (15-3).
Barthelemy vs. DeMarco
Barthelemy gets wide unanimous decision over DeMarco. The tall Cuban was just too slick for the former WBC light champion. Barthelemy was able to use his jab to keep DeMarco on the outside and also mixed in a few switches of his guard. De Marco had no choice but to keep pressing forward and paid the price being caught time and again with counters. Barthelemy floored DeMarco with a straight left late in the fourth and the Mexican southpaw just could not catch Barthelemy for long enough to do any useful work of his own. Barthelemy had been straying low with his punches and the referee deducted a point for that infringement in the ninth but he outboxed DeMarco in the last again switching guards frequently. Scores 99-89 from all three judges. The 28-year-old former undefeated IBF super-feather champion will be a force at this poundage. First time in his career that 29-year-old DeMarco has suffered back-to-back losses after being outpointed by Jessie Vargas for the WBA secondary title in December.
Vasquez vs. Omotoso
Vasquez passes his toughest test to date as he takes unanimous decision over dangerous Omotoso. Southpaw Vasquez was just that bit too quick for the Nigerian scoring continually with sharp accurate combinations. Vasquez was bloodied in head clashes in the fourth and sixth rounds and again by an accidental elbow from Omotoso in the seventh. Omotoso got into the fight over the late rounds but despite the cuts above both eyes and a nosebleed Vasquez stuck to his boxing and was a clear winner. Scores 98-92 from all three judges. Impressive performance from 29-year-old former US Army and Inter-Forces champion who should be but isn’t currently in the world ratings. Omotoso, 30, has lost his two big fights as he was also outpointed by Jessie Vargas in 2013 but he remains a good quality fighter and a dangerous one.
Love vs. Escalera
Love rebounds from a first round knockdown to halt Escalera. In a wild first round Love shook Escalera and Escalera fired back a left hook to put Love on the floor. Love got up and was not seriously hurt. In the succeeding rounds it was Love who was landing the bigger and better punches and a sustained barrage by Love in the seventh saw the fight stopped. Love climbing back to contention with his second win since knockout loss to Rogelio Medina in March. Escalera had scored wins over unbeaten fighters Naim Terbunja and Norbert Nemesapati but in his last fight in August lost a wide unanimous decision to Badou Jack.
Rhodes vs. Robinson
Rhodes only just holds on to his unbeaten tag with split draw against Robinson. Rhodes built a lead over the early rounds but faded badly and had to fight hard in the last to get the draw. Scores 77-75 for Rhodes, 77-75 for Robinson and 76-76. The 27-year-old “Hackman” Rhodes has been carefully protected so we might be finding his real level is much less than his record might indicate. Robinson’s two losses have been to unbeaten prospect Amir Imam and Michael Perez (20-1-2) so no disgrace in those losses. On the plus side “The Quiet Storm” won plenty of local amateur titles and took bronze medals at both the US National and National PAL tournaments.