Toowoomba, Australia: Welter: Kris George (12-1) W PTS 12 Cameron Hammond (16-1). Super Feather: Brent Rice (5-0) W PTS 10 Matt Casboult (5-1).
George vs. Hammond
Local fighter George springs surprise as he floors and beats Hammond to win the vacant Commonwealth title with a unanimous decision. Although better known as a puncher George applied some good boxing behind a stiff jab to win this one. Hammond just did not get into the fight in any meaningful way and performed way below expectation and he was on the floor in the sixth as George fought his way to victory in front of his home fans. Scores 119-109 which looked too wide, 117-111 and 116-111. The 27-year-old George, the Australian No 3, has now won his last 5 fights. Hammond, 27, a former top amateur who competed at the 2012 Olympics did not do himself justice here but he will rebuild and come back better.
Rice vs. Casboult
Rice wins the vacant Australian title in this clash of novices to make it a good night for boxers from Toowoomba. Southpaw Rice was just that bit quicker with his punches in an open fast-paced bout. Casboult tried to press the fight but Rice showed excellent movement and counter punching Casboult was always competitive as he tried switching guards during the fight to turn thing his way but just coming up short as Rice took the majority verdict. Scores 97-94and 97-95 to Rice and 95-95. Rice, a former Australian amateur champion, had never gone past four rounds before but lasted the pace well. Casboult, 22, was jumping from six rounds to ten and hopefully will get a return.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Zac Dunn (23-0) W PTS 12 Liam Cameron (19-5). Super Light: Czar Amonsot (33-3-3) W TKO 7 Kaewfah Tor Buamas (23-1). Cruiser: Mark Flanagan (21-4) W KO 2 Orlando Farias (31-16). Super Middle: Blake Caparello (24-2-1) W KO 1Ricky Torrez (26-8-1).
Dunn vs. Cameron
Dunn wins the vacant Commonwealth title with unanimous decision over Brit Cameron. Although Cameron had height and reach over Dunn he chose to force the fight early with Dunn boxing skilfully. Eventually Dunn, who had been looking for the kayo settled to his boxing and took over the fight and Cameron began to spend more time under fire on the ropes. Cameron showed good defensive skills and scored with some good counters and was competitive much of the way but Dunn had more power and his work rate was just too much for Cameron to handle as he finished every round and the fight strongly to emerge a clear winner. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 all for Dunn. The 25-year-old former undefeated IBO champion from Melbourne has wins over Max Bursak and Les Sherrington and is rated WBC 6/WBO 6/WBA 13. He is ready to move on to the big stage in 2017and has the power to be a force in the division. Cameron, 26, was having his first fight for 13 months. He had won 4 of his last 5 fights with the loss being to Nick Blackwell for this same title in April last year.
Amonsot vs. Kaewfah
Amonsot extended his unbeaten run to 17 fights as he halts Thai Kaewfah in seven rounds. The Australian-based Filipino floored Kaewfah twice in the sixth round and after he put Kaewfah down again in the seventh the fight was stopped. The 31-year-old southpaw was making the first defence of his interim WBO Oceania title and gets win No 21 by KO/TKO. The WBA No 7 is 15-0-2 in that 17 bout unbeaten run. Don’t be fooled by the impressive looking statistics for the Thai. Twelve of his victims had never previously had a fight and the rest were moderate at best.
Flanagan vs. Farias
Flanagan wins vacant WBO Oceania title with kayo of Argentinian oldie Farias half way through the second round. “Bam Bam” a former undefeated Australian champion gets win No 14 by KO/TKO. The Australian No 1 has won his last 10 fights on the bounce including 8 by KO/TKO. Farias, 43. Now has 12 losses by KO/TKO and was coming off a 38 second kayo loss to Canadian heavyweight Dillon Carman on 15 October
Caparello vs. Torrez
Early night for Caparello as he blows away poor Bolivian inside one round. A series of punches put Torrez down early in the first. When the fight resumed a right uppercut and a southpaw straight left put Torrez down again for the count. The 30-year-old “El Capo” was stopped in two rounds by Sergey Kovalev in a challenge for WBO light heavy title in 2014 and when he went back down to super middle he lost on points to Andre Dirrell in April this year. This is his second win since then. Bolivian Torrez, 37, now has 8 losses by KO/TKO, 7 of them in the first round.
Brentwood, England: Welter: Bradley Skeete (25-1) W PTS 12 John Thain (16-3). Middle: Lee Markham (17-3-1) W PTS 12 Andrew Robinson (18-3), Super Feather: Boy Jones Jr (11-0-1) W PTS 10 Martin Hillman (8-3). Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (9-0) W KO 1 Ferenc Albert (22-11).
Skeete vs. Thain
Brilliant display of boxing from Skeete as he defends his British title with points win over Scot Thain. The first five rounds saw Skeete already setting out his stall with a dominating jab and faster hands. Thain showed a good jab of his own and landed enough hard rights to keep the fight close. From the half way mark Skeete began to pull away. He was controlling the fight with the speed and accuracy of his jab and his straight rights had Thain bleeding from both the nose and mouth. The challenger continued to try to press the fight but Skeete showed an excellent defence and was sharp and accurate with his counters. By the ninth Skeete had also opened a cut over the left eye of Thain which also began to swell up. Thain tired over the closing rounds and by the end Skeete found time for some minor showboating as he eased his way to victory. Scores 118-111 twice and 116-112 all for Skeete. The tall 29-year-old former undefeated Commonwealth champion is rated IBF 4/WBO 5. His only loss was close verdict to Frankie Gavin in 2014 and this is his sixth win since then. Thain, 29, came in as a late replacement for Shayne Singleton and was moving down from super welter. Taking those factors into consideration the Scot deserves plenty of praise for pushing Skeete all the way.
Markham vs. Robinson
This was a battle of the jabs from the off. Markham was marching forward behind his jab with Robinson on the back foot having a longer reach but often coming up short. The aggression was all coming from Markham who was throwing a wider variety of punches with Robinson looking tentative. Eventually Markham began to ignore his jab just walking in behind a high guard which gave Robinson the opportunity to score with his jab and hooks as Markham advanced. With the relentless forward march of Markham the boxing match was turning into a brawl with both men working inside with hooks and uppercuts but neither finding the leverage to dictate. Markham created some space in the seventh and landed three heavy punches to the head but then it was back to the close quarters stuff with both landing inside making the rounds difficult to score. Markham came close to winning the fight in the eighth. He landed a clubbing right and suddenly Robinson was badly wobbled. Markham landed more heavy head punches with Robinson floundering. Markham was too wild with his punches and Robinson survived to be scoring with right hooks and uppercuts at the bell. Probably feeling he was behind Robinson came forward over the last two rounds as they both fought hard to the bell in a great scrap. Scores 96-95, 97-95 and 98-93 all for Markham but really this was close enough to go the other way without too much complaint. Markham retains his English title. He broke through with a draw against Frank Buglioni and set down another marker in only losing a very narrow decision to Luke Blackledge for the Commonwealth title in October last year. This is his third win since then. Robinson, 32, did his bit to this such a good fight. He lost to Buglioni in 2014 and then had a run of five wins before going down to Sam Sheedy in July on a split decision.
Jones vs. Hillman
Teenager Jones wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with points victory over Hillman. The tall, slim Jones had big edges in height and reach and used a ramrod jab to score as Hillman was forced to press the fight. Hillman had some success early when he was able to trap Jones on the ropes but he was having to take punishment as he came forward. Jones found the target regularly with his jab, straight rights and left hooks to the body. The Jones jab had Hillman bleeding from the nose from the early rounds as Hillman had no choice but to keep walking forward trying to get close. Jones mixed his combinations and just kept firing that jab and Hillman just could not get close enough often enough to have any chance of winning. Referee’s score 99-92 for Jones. The 19-year-old from nearby Chingford was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and has now won 9 on the bounce after an early career draw. He is 6’0” (183cm) and very slim so may grow into higher divisions as he develops. Hillman was also going ten rounds for the first time. He had won his last 5 fights.
Yarde vs. Albert
Just a keep busy fight for hard-punching prospect Yarde. From the start Yarde was getting throught with his jab with Albert mainly hiding behind a high guard and trying a couple of tentative jabs. Yarde landed a booming left hook to the body and Albert went down in agony. He popped up again almost immediately but then the real pain kicked in and he went down on one knee and was counted out whilst still screwing up his face in agony. The 25-year-old Yarde hits too hard for opponents like this. He has 8 wins by KO/TKO including four first round victories so less than 15 rounds of action. He can certainly punch and looks very much one to watch. Romania-born, Hungarian-based Albert gets his sixth loss by KO/TKO and was out of his class.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Cruiser: Dario Balmaceda (14-14-2) W TKO 8 Pablo Farias (27-2).
Balmaceda springs huge upset as he wears down and halts Farias. This was the fourth meeting between these two and Farias had won the previous three two of them inside the distance. He may have taken this one lightly as he looked badly out of shape and after a competent enough start but from the fifth he rapidly began to fade. He slowed badly and Balmaceda kept pressing until Farias was almost stationary. Balmaceda floored Farias with a right in the seventh. Farias made it to his feet but had deliberately spat out his mouthguard and was deducted a point. In the eighth Balmaceda put Farias down with a long right. Farias made it to the vertical but a trio of overhand rights put him down and almost out under the ropes. He climbed up but his corner threw in the towel and the fight was over. Balmaceda, 32, was 2-8 in his last 10 fights going in including a third round stoppage by George Groves in 2013. After losing to Arthur Abraham for the WBO European title in 2012 “Pokemon” Farias, 28, the Argentinian No 4 had won his last 8 fights, 6 by KO/TKO and this should have been win No 9 but his conditioning was very questionable.
San Bernedetto del Tronto, Italy: Middle: Andrea Manco (13-1-2) W Roberto Bassi (10-1-1). Manco retains the national title with unanimous decision over Bassi. These two had fought a draw in June in a bout held in Bassi’s hometown when a single point deduction against Bassi cost him the fight. This was also held in Bassi’s hometown but this time Manco was a clear winner. His win was due to his ability to get inside where he could neutralise the superior skills of Bassi. The hometown fighter was the more accurate but could not match the work rate of Manco and also lost a point in the sixth but it was not a factor in Manco’s win. Scores 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94 for Manco with the middle score looking the best reflection of the fight. Second defence for Manco. His only loss was to 22-1-1 Alessandro Goddi for the WBC International Silver title. Bassi, a former undefeated Italian super middle champion was 7-0-1 going into this one.
Santa Rosa City, Philippines: Super Light: Al Rivera (17-2) W KO 2 Adones Cabalquinto (23-3) Rivera flattens Cabalquinto for the second time to retain his OPBF title. In this all-southpaw battle both were working their right jab and looking to land bombs in the first round and Rivera found himself on the floor. he recovered to make it to the bell. In the second he jarred Cabalquinto with his jab and as Cabalquinto threw a jab of his own Rivera came in over the top with his left which slammed onto the side of the advancing Cabalquinto’s head and dumped him face down on the canvas for the count. The 23-year-old “Machine Gun” lost his first pro fight so is now 17-1 in his last 18 and has won his last 7 fights by KO/TKO including a previous two round kayo of Cabalquinto in November last year. Cabalquinto, 28, had won 21 in a row before that loss to Rivera and he had a disappointing points loss in July against 7 fight novice Quadratillo Abduqaxorov in Singapore.
Moscow, Russia: Middle: Arif Magomedov (18-1) W TKO 2 Chris Herrman (21-11-1). Magomedov returns with a win as he halts German Hermann in two rounds. Magomedov was stalking Hermann around the ring in the first trying to trap the German on the ropes. When he did he was landing heavy hooks which had Hermann bending double to avoid the trouble and getting warned twice for ducking too low. Magomedov landed another left hook and a right to the chin which saw Hermann lurch over and briefly touch the canvas with his gloves. The Referee gave him the eight count and then Magomedov landed a right to the body and a left to the head that deposited Hermann on his bottom in a corner. Hermann got up and lasted to the bell. Early in the second more body punches saw Hermann bent double with his gloves brushing the floor but it was not counted as a knockdown. More left hooks saw Hermann down on his knees. He again got up and continued but a left hook and a couple of clubbing rights to the head put him down again and the fight was stopped. First fight for the 24-year-old “Predator” since losing his unbeaten record in an upset loss to Andy Hernandez in May, he makes it 11 wins by KO/TKO and has wins over then unbeaten fighters Mike Zerafa and Derrick Webster and is No 10 with the IBF. Hermann, 30, now has 9 losses by KO/TKO and is 2-7 in his last 9 fights.
Gijon, Spain: Feather: Kiko Martinez (36-7-1) W PTS 8 Leonel Hernandez (10-17-2). Former IBF bantam champion Martinez gets back to winning ways as he decisions Hernandez. He is now 5-3-1 in his last 9 fights but the three losses were all in title fights against Carl Frampton, Scott Quigg and Leo Santa Cruz. Next target is to land a shot at the unbeaten European feather champion Dennis Ceylan. Now 10 losses in his last 11 fights for Spanish-based Nicaraguan Hernandez.
Norwich, England: Super Light: Philip Bowes (14-3) W PTS 10 Nathan Dale (20-1). Bowes goes into Dale’s backyard and comes away with a win in an entertaining contest. Dale was coming forward taking the fight to Bowes but the visitor was scoring with some sharp counters from his southpaw stance and opened up with some quick combinations in the fourth. Dale did better in the fifth and sixth with the seventh very close. Bowes swung it his way in the eighth when he floored Dale with a left and then they both fought hard to the bell with Bowes a clear winner. Referee’s score 97-93 as the 32-year-old Bowes who makes it six wins in a row. The 25-year-old local fighter Dale will still be a big draw card in Norwich so can rebuild on that base.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Feather: Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1) W RTD 7 Nicholas Walters (26-1-1). Welter: Konstantin Ponomarev (31-0) W PTS 8 Silverio Ortiz (35-19). Welter: Juan Ruiz (18-0,1ND) W TKO 1 Fernando Carcamo (21-8). Light Heavy: Trevor McCumby (24-0) W TKO 1 Donovan George (25-7-2,1ND).
Lomachenko vs. Walters
Lomachenko outclasses Walters to retain his WBO title. As usual there was more fussin’ than fighting in the first with both boxers tentative with their jab and no punch of consequence thrown or landed. Walters looked determined to press the fight more in the second and did score with a nice hook to the body but Lomachenko’s movement was making it difficult for Walters to set himself and Lomachenko landed a few punches at the end of the round to edge it but so far it had been a mainly technical battle. There was some more action in the third but not a great deal. Lomachenko scored with a couple of southpaw straight lefts and a right hook but his exceptional footwork was almost freezing Walters who just could not find a target to aim at. At this point it was an interesting fight but not an exciting one. In the fourth Lomachenko got through early with a straight left but then pushed Walters to the floor and got a warning. There was a little more action mostly from Lomachenko who kept changing angles on a bemused Walters and threading through right jabs and straight lefts. Lomachenko was in total control in the fifth. He was firing home right jabs and straight lefts getting in and out before Walters could counter and using some foot work Willie Pep would have proud of. There was a moment of comedy at the end of the round when the referee and the two fighters just stood and looked at each other as if none of them knew whether the bell had gone on not-it had. Walters tried throwing big rights in the sixth but he just could not connect as Lomachenko sped around him peppering him with fast flurries from both hands until Walters was just backing up knowing that anything he threw would miss and bring retribution at the hands of Lomachenko. The seventh was embarrassing for Walters. The speed of Lomachenko’s movement and hands had Walters befuddled and bedazzled. The punches were coming in so fast and from so many different angles that Walters was slowly drowning under punches and by the end of the round Lomachenko was almost playing with him. It was another “No Mas” with Walters seeing no way to get in the fight and already embarrassed enough to want out of there and he retired in his corner. It was too one-sided to be a great or even a very good fight. What it was was a showcase for the exhilarating skills of the Ukrainian southpaw. There is not a super feather out there who could match him and he could easily move up to lightweight and dominate that division but talk of Manny Pacquiao coming down to lightweight to fight Lomachenko is just hot air. Walters was having his first fight for over eleven months and just met the most accomplished fighter around today. He needs to drop down a level, get some fights and hopefully by then Lomachenko may have moved on to conquer other fields.
Ponomarev vs. Ortiz
Ponomarev just too big and too skilful for Mexican oldie Ortiz. The tall Russian was walking Ortiz down with the Mexican veteran on the back foot looking to draw the lead and counter but Ponomarev was just too young and too quick. Ponomarev was able to come forward behind his jab scoring with long lopping punches but also throwing in some left hooks to the body and straight rights with Ortiz only letting his hands go in short bursts and not with much accuracy. Constant pressure in the third saw Ortiz dip at the knees but he stayed upright although the fight was one-sided. Ponomarev was leaving some openings and Ortiz scored with some hooks to the head but mostly the Mexican was soaking up punishment as Ponomarev won every round. Scores 80-72 from all three judges. The 24-year-old “Talent” who turned pro at 17 has wins over 26-0 Mike Zewski and 26-0 Brad Solomon and is rated WBC5 /IBF5 /WBO 7. Ortiz, 33, had a good run over the period 2010 to 2014 going 15-1 but then dropped 4 decisions in a row against Edgar Ortega, Pablo Cesar Cano, Frankie Gomez and Custio Clayton but had a good win last month when he stopped unbeaten 16-0 Canadian Mian Hussein.
Ruiz vs. Carcamo
Impressive win for Ruiz as he belts out Carcamo inside a round. Ruiz put Carcamo down twice before the fight was stopped after 2:43 of the opening round. Now 11 wins for the 30-year-old Tijuana-based Venezuelan. Mexican Carcamo lost in the final of the ESPN Boxino Tournament in 2014. He won three fights in 2015 and made a good start to 2016 with a win over 19-1 Daniel Echevarria before being knocked in ten rounds by Carl Gorham in Mexico in July.
McCumby vs. George
McCumby Brutalises George inside two minutes. George came forward confidently poking out his jab with McCumby on the back foot. It was noticeable that when McCumby did throw punches they were potential showstoppers. A left hook to the head had George backing up on unsteady legs and McCumby followed him to the ropes and a left and right to the head sent George down on his knees. He got up and said he was OK to continue but he did not look OK. With George on the ropes McCumby blasted him with a series of head punches with George trying to punch back. He managed to get off the ropes but McCumby drove him across the ring and a barrage of booming lefts and right saw George slump to the canvas and the referee stopped the fight without a count. The 24-year-old from Glendale now has 19 wins by KO/TKO including 7 in his last 8 fights and 2017 will be his breakthrough year for sure. George had lost on points to Sean Monaghan and Lionell Thompson in his last two fights and this is only his third loss by KO/TKO
Cardiff, Wales: Light: Terry Flanagan (32-0) W TKO 8 Orlando Cruz (25-5-1). Middle: Tommy Langford (18-0) W PTS 12 Sam Sheedy (17-2). Light: Craig Evans (16-1-2) W PTS 10 Thomas Stalker (11-2-3). Super Welter: Liam Williams (16-0-1) W TKO 8 Gabor Gorbics (22-5). Light: Kid Galahad (21-0) W TKO 3 Rey Mora (7-20-1).
Flanagan vs. Cruz
All of the action in the first round of this contests between two southpaws was in the centre of the ring. Flanagan the naturally bigger man (5’9 ½” 177cm to 5’4” 163cm for Cruz) and had the longer reach with Cruz just a little quicker with his hands but Flanagan just did enough to take the round. Flanagan was the one coming forward all the way through the second with Cruz looking to leap in with quick counters but Flanagan did enough work with his jab to be two rounds up. The third round was totally forgettable as neither boxer threw any punches with venom. Flanagan paced after Cruz as the challenger went backwards never straying more than a few feet from the ropes. I gave that one to the referee as he issued two warning for holding and wrestling which was more activity than either fighter produced. In the fourth Flanagan made up for the lack of action in the previous round as he drove Cruz into a corner and landed rights and lefts to the head of Cruz who went in to his shell inviting some more head punches and Flanagan obliged to finish a strong round. It was head punches as the height difference made it very difficult for Flanagan to go to the body. Flanagan opened up again in the fifth with Cruz hiding behind a high guard and letting Flanagan punch away. Cruz went flying to the canvas but it was a push not a punch. It was as if Cruz had already gone into survival mode as he just stood behind a high guard and Flanagan was now able to go to the body against a static target. Cruz moved more and threw more punches in the sixth but Flanagan was walking him down and doing what good scoring there was. In the seventh the fight was one-sided with Cruz just looking to survive and Flanagan following him around the ring trapping him on the ropes and pounding away to head and body. In the first few seconds of the eighth Flanagan landed a few hooks the last of which landed on the back of Cruz’s head as he went down. He was up five complaining but was given the eight count. Flanagan drove Cruz to the ropes with a series of head punches and Cruz slumped down. He was up before the count of eighth but did not respond when the referee asked him if he wanted to continue and the referee signalled the end of the fight. “Turbo” Flanagan was making the fourth defence of his title and has 13 wins by KO/TKO. Cruz, 35, was just too small. That is not surprising as he lost to Orlando Salido for the WBO feather title in 2013 and defended the WBO NABO super feather title seven weeks before this fight so for defending one of their minor titles at super feather the WBO elevated him to No 13 lightweight in their November ratings.
Langford vs. Sheedy
Langford wins the vacant British title with split decision over Sheedy. Apart from Sheedy being a southpaw there were other differences in their styles. Langford was very orthodox in his approach sticking to a stiff jab straight rights and hooks to the body. Sheedy was quicker and flashier throwing fast combinations. Langford tended to work for three minutes in every round coming forward churning out punches whereas Sheedy worked in bursts. It developed into a fast-paced even contest with Langford scoring regularly and ignoring some of the wilder antics of Sheedy who would suddenly walk away from the action or stand stock still in the pocket with both hands down. Both scored with good punches in the fourth. Langford a landed a good right in the only for Sheedy to bang back with a straight left. An exciting seventh saw both fighters again landing with good punches although Sheedy took time out to taunt Langford instead of working. That steady work rate had helped Langford build a good lead. In the ninth Sheedy put in a big effort coming forward with Langford on the back foot for a change and Sheedy landed enough to take the round. He tried to do the same in the tenth and eleventh but he was over reaching with his right jabs and Langford made him pay with short hooks. Sheedy was tending to flap and slap with his punches whereas Langford’s were shorter and crisper. Sheedy spun Langford around by his arm in the eleventh and threw Langford to the floor. Seconds after Langford got up he slipped in a corner and was effectively down. Sheedy threw a chopping punch which missed and was about to throw another when the referee grabbed his arm. When the action resumed Langford finished the round strongly. In the last Sheedy had more left in the tank and perhaps also knew he was likely behind and he took the round as he pursued Langford landing flurries of light punches to the head. Scores 117-113 and 116-114 to Langford and 115-113 to Sheedy with Langford a deserving winner. The 27-year-old Devon-born Birmingham- based WBO No 2 has had a run of good wins over quality opposition. Sheedy, 28, lost a split decision to Navid Mansouri in July last year for the English super welter title but had won a split decision over 18-1 Andrew Robinson three months ago. This was close enough for him to call for a return but Langford will be casting his eyes upwards to a world title fight.
Evans vs. Stalker
Evans takes Stalker’s WBO European title. No need for introductions here as these two have gone 20 rounds with each other in two fights both of which ended in a draw. As a result both southpaws were firing blazing combinations in the first round. After a slow start the second also burst into life with Stalker the taller man with the longer reach taking centre ring and Evans circling him. They again were throwing plenty of punches and both landing with Evans just doing the better work. The constant exchanges made for an exciting fight. There was a mixture of some inaccurate shots and some high quality punching from both boxers. Stalker was throwing more but Evans was more accurate. Evans took the fourth clearly. He was dropping his hands and taunting Stalker and then leaping forward to score with quick punches and diving and dodging away from Stalker’s punches. The fifth was also won by Evans. He unloaded a series of hooks to the head early in the round and twice had Stalker pinned on the ropes and under fire later in the round. Stalker used his skills more in the sixth and seventh making more use of his reach advantage, placing his punches well and avoiding getting into too much trading. Stalker again boxed cleverly at the start of the eighth before Evans scored with some fast hooks only for Stalker to end the round strongly. Despite Evans celebrating victory a couple of times the ninth was close with both boxers having spells of success but neither dominating the round. Evans took the last with bursts of hooks in close and took the majority decision. Scores 98-92, 96-94 and 95-95. I had Evans the winner but by no means as wide as the first score and just a little wider than the second. After two majority draws and now a majority decision it shows just how well matched these two are. Evans wins the vacant WBO European title and with it a world rating. The 27-year-old Welshman’s only loss was a close but unanimous decision against unbeaten Scott Cardle for the vacant British title in May last year which he followed with the two draws against Stalker. Stalker was an outstanding elite level amateur being captain of the British Olympic boxing squad and his only previous loss was a stoppage against Jack Catterall for the WBO European title in 2014. He did not turn pro until he was 28 so his career has had to be rushed a bit so this was a big setback.
Williams vs. Gorbics
Williams slowly breaks down clever Hungarian for stoppage. Williams was chasing Gorbics down from the start scoring with a strong jab with Gorbics hiding behind a high guard and throwing the occasional punch. Gorbics did much better in the second. He was coming forward quickly throwing hooks from both hands and getting through with an occasional jab. Williams was still marching forward behind his jab but it was a close round. Williams was taking the fight to Gorbics again in the third and fourth. He was the harder puncher and scored with some meaty rights with Gorbics sneaking home some quick punches of his own but he lacked the power to keep Williams out. The fifth saw Williams hand out some heavy punishment but Gorbics kept firing back even doing some showboating but William’s punches were slowing him. Williams was slowly breaking Gorbics down with booming lefts and rights with Gorbics tiring but still firing counters when he could. He also provided some light entertainment when he missed with a punch threw himself forward did a full head over heels back to his feet as the referee and Williams watch bemused. It was relentless pressure from Williams in the seventh. He hurt the fading Hungarian with a left to the body and a straight right late in the round. Williams ended it in the eighth with a thudding right to the body that saw Gorbics slump down in a corner. He just made it to his feet before the count was competed but could not straighten up and the fight was stopped. Williams wins the vacant WBO European title and makes it 11 wins by KO/TKO. He is a big strong fighter at this weight and is rated WBO 3/IBF 11/WBA 12. Gorbics came in as a late replacement and only his lack of power let him down as he showed quick hands and plenty of guts.
Galahad vs. Mora
Easy night for Galahad against limited Nicaraguan. Constantly switching guards and dazzling Mora in the first round Galahad really went to work in the second round flooring Mora with a left. It was all over in the third as Galahad put Mora down twice with body punches and the fight was stopped. Third win for the former British, European and Commonwealth champion since returning after a ban for a positive test. Now 19 losses in a row for poor Mora.
Cebu City, Philippines: Light Fly: Milan Melindo (35-2) W PTS 12 Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (31-5-1). Welter: Jason Pagara (40-2) W KO 1 Jose Alfaro (28-11-1,2ND). Feather: Albert Pagara (27-1) W PTS 10 Ray Commey (16-3). Super Feather: Jimmy Paypa (19-3-1) W KO 3 Jerry Nardo (21-10)
Melindo vs. Sakkreerin
Melindo wins the vacant interim IBF title with unanimous decision over Thai Fahlan. With Fahlan being taller with a longer reach Melindo was barrelling forward getting inside and doing some good work to the body but also showing a powerful jab. Fahlan showed some nifty footwork and scored well with his own jabs with the fight very even over the early rounds. Despite now having the handicap of a cut on his nose Melindo had a big seventh when he nailed Fahlan with a left to the head and landed a hard combination to have Fahlan holding on at the bell. The Thai rebounded to take the eighth, ninth and tenth but Melindo had paced the fight well and showed tremendous stamina to stage a strong finish which brought him victory. Scores 115-113 twice and 117-111 all for Melindo. It did not look as close as the first two scores and the last was a bit unkind to the skills of the Thai. The 28-year-old “Method Man” makes it third time lucky. He had lost on points against Juan Francisco Estrada for the WBA and WBO flyweight title in 2013 and lost a technical decision to Javier Mendoza for the IBF light flyweight title in May last year but had rebounded well with a win over 19-2 Max Flores in May. He is now in line for a shot at the real IBF champion Akira Yaegashi who is currently sidelined with a torn rotator cuff injury. Yaegashi will have until the end of March to put his title on the line against Melindo and if he fails to do that he may be stripped of the title. Sakkreerin, 23, lost a technical decision against Katsunari Takayama for the IBF minimumweight title in April 2015 and had won four low level bouts since then. His father was IBF minimum champion so he will keep trying to bring a second title to the family.
Pagara vs. Alfaro
Pagara uses vicious body punches to kayo Alfaro inside a round. After some cautious sparring a left to the head looked to have shaken Alfaro. He backed to the ropes and Pagara threw some good body punches. Alfaro got back to the centre of the ring but again after some sparring Pagara got home with a couple of body punches which saw Alfaro backing to the ropes. Pagara stepped in with two more body punches and Alfaro went down on his knees and was counted out. The 28-year-old “El Nino” moves to 25 wins by KO/TKO. He has lost only one of his last 29 fights and reversed that loss. He is No 1 with the WBO so effectively mandatory challenger to Terrence Crawford. Nicaraguan Alfaro, 33, a former holder of the secondary WBA title at lightweight was fleshy and very passive in this one.
Pagara vs. Commey
Pagara makes it a winning double for the family as he outpoints rugged Ghanaian Commey. The fight was slow over the opening two rounds as Pagara looked to work his way back to the confident fighter he was before his shock loss to Cesar Juarez in July. The Filipino started rolling from the third and was soon stringing together some eye-catching combinations. Commey was being outboxed and outscored but he proved tough and kept punching back. Pagara looked to have Commey in trouble in the fifth but the Ghanaian rallied and was competitive over those middle rounds. Pagara took over completely as Commey tired over the closing rounds. He made a big effort to get Commey out of there in the ninth but Commey was still there still fighting back at the bell. Scores 99-91 for Pagara from all three judges. The 22-year-old “Prince Albert” was having his first since that upset eighth round kayo defeat against Juarez but with the ALA team behind him he will be back in contention in 2017. Commey was tough but limited but he gave Pagara just what he need in the shape of a win and ten useful rounds of work.
Gonzalez Catan, Argentina: Super Welter: Brain Castano (13-0) W KO 6 Emmanuel De Jesus (17-2). Welter: Fabian Maidana (11-0) W TKO 2 Cristian Romero (16-9-1).
Castano vs. De Jesus
Castano climbs off the floor and wins the interim WBA title with kayo of Puerto Rican De Jesus. They were both letting their hands go from the start De Jesus scored with some good left jab/straight right attacks with Castano firing back. There was considerable confusion as the referee signalled the end of the round-40 seconds early. He realised his mistake and called the fighters back to continue the round. Castano took full advantage shaking De Jesus with a left and right to the head and then driving De Jesus back along the ropes with a series of right and lefts and the Puerto Rican slumped to his knees by the ropes. He was up and ready continue after the eight count but the bell went. Just after the bell for the second round De Jesus stunned the vociferous home crowd and Castano as he dropped the local hero with a short right. Castano was up quickly but hurt and De Jesus marched forward for the rest of the round landing some hard punches but just not hard enough and Castano survived. De Jesus was walking Castano down for most of the third round. Forcing Castano back with his jab and scoring with hooks. In the last twenty seconds Castano began firing back and it was De Jesus having to cover up. The fourth followed the same pattern with De Jesus using his jab to control the action and letting hooks go but again when Castano opened up late in the round De Jesus was getting rocked by rights. Rivera took the fifth. Again Castano was being forced back by the jab but both were throwing bombs with Castano looking dangerous with his rights. In the sixth Castano hurt De Jesus with a couple of head punches and De Jesus was in trouble and on the run. Castano stalked him around the ring and with De Jesus against the ropes a right to the body saw De Jesus pitch forward to his knees and he could not get up. Now 10 wins by KO/TKO for 27-year-old Castano. First loss inside the distance for De Jesus. The match just shows the cynical manipulation so typical of the WBA. Castano jumped from being unrated to No 6 for beating Marcus Upshaw (who had lost his last two fights) and then up to No 2 without fighting. The De Jesus case even more cynical. The Puerto Rican went from nowhere in their August ratings to No 9 in September’s ratings. His achievements this year consists on an eight rounds point loss to 6-2-2 Jeff Rosales in March and a second round kayo of Eric Pinero 3-5 in April. Just blatant manipulation so typical of the WBA.
Maidana vs. Romero
Maidana gets another quick win. After a cautious first round that Maidana did enough to win he ended it in the second. A three-punch combination sent Romero staggering back and a right propelled him half way out of the ring. Romero dropped off the ropes onto a knee and was in no condition to continue and the referee stopped the fight without a count as Romero’s corner climbed into the ring to save their man. The 24-year-old younger brother of Marcos now has 8 wins by KO/TKO. Fellow Argentinian Romero suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
London, England: Super Light: Ohara Davies (14-0) W PTS 12 Andrea Scarpa (20-3). Super Feather: Martin Joseph Ward (16-0-2) W PTS 12 Ronnie Clark (17-4-2). Super Light: Martin Gethin (28-8-1) W TKO 4 John Wayne Hibbert (17-5). Super Welter: Carson Jones (40-11-3) W TKO 6 Ben Hall (9-0-1). Light Heavy: JJ McDonagh (14-3) W TKO 1 Jake Ball (7-1).
Davies vs. Scarpa
Davies gets best win of his career so far and importantly wins the WBC Silver title which should propel him into the world ratings. In the first although Scarpa was taller and had a longer reach Davies was so fast with his jab that he was already jerking back Scarpa’s head and able to get through with some hooks. He also landed a long straight right the best punch of a one-sided first round. No change in the second and third just more of the same. Scarpa was constantly on the retreat with the ring centre being a no man’s land to him. He tried a couple of right crosses but neither landed. He was being comprehensively outboxed by a less experienced fighter. Scarpa was a little bit more adventurous in the fourth and fifth scoring with a stiff jab a right cross but Davies was still throwing more and landing more and keeping Scarpa on the back foot. Davies was a bit less accurate with his rights in the sixth but Scarpa could not escape the jab as Davies pocketed another round. Scarpa was on the front foot for much of the seventh but he was just looking to get home one big right whilst Davies was scoring points throughout the whole round and. The Italian did enough work to make the eighth and ninth close but Davies had his jab in Scarpa’s face time and again and was scoring with some clubbing punches as well as showing some nice defensive work. Davies seemed to tire in the tenth as Scarpa again increased his output but yet again Davies had his jab working well and scoring with some good punches in leaping attacks. Davies launched a blistering attack in the eleventh driving Scarpa back. The jab was nowhere in sight but instead he was scoring with long looping punches with both hands and Scarpa was the one looking tired. The last round was again dominated by Davies as he landed thumping hooks and uppercuts countering wild swings from Scarpa and Davies got a win that will move him up to a whole different level. Scores 120-108 from all three judges which is a true reflection of the fight. Taking this fight was a bit of a gamble as the 24-year-old “Two Tanks” from Hackney, London had never had to go past six rounds in any of his previous fights and Scarpa was rated WBC 8/IBF 8(6) but the gamble paid off big time. Italian Scarpa, 29, had leapt into the world ratings with a win over John Wayne Hibbert in June but was outclassed and never even came close to getting into the fight.
Ward vs. Clark
Ward retains British title with close unanimous decision over Clark. Ward made a smart start slotting home quick jabs and firing combinations as southpaw Clark came forward. He was getting his punches off first and his hand speed and good footwork allowed him to get in and out before the slower Clark could counter. Clark stepped-up his pace in the third closing the gap in quick steps and making it a close round. Ward was back to his speedy best in the fourth with Clark swinging wildly but not connecting. It was different in the fifth as Clark did beginning to find the target with hard hooks to take the round. Ward came back to take the sixth and seventh slotting home his jabs and quick one-two’s counter the ever advancing Clark and showing good defensive work. In the eighth ward was standing and trading more giving Clark a chance to get into the fight and the Scotsman edged it. Ward continued to be the quicker man in the ninth but Clark continued to press and score with a good left to the body late in the round. The tenth saw Ward scoring with a series of rights but late in the round Clark connected with a left hook that sent Ward staggering across the ring and down. Ward climbed up immediately and after the eight count was completed the bell went before Clark could capitalise on the knockdown. Clark had a good eleventh but just could not nail Ward again and Ward outscored Clark in the last. Scores 116-112, 115-113 and 114-113 all for Ward. The 25-year-old from Brentwood has scored some good wins over European level opposition in Sergio Blanco 21-1-1, 16-2-1Mario Pisanti and former European Union champion Ruddy Encarnacion. He won the British title in September with an impressive stoppage of Andy Townend. He is No 10 with the WBC. Scottish champion Clark 31, came in as a substitute here and gave Ward some problems with his aggression and strength and played his part in an excellent contest.
Gethin vs. Hibbert
Gethin wins the vacant IBF International title as he soaks up punishment before finding the punches to turn the fight his way and upset the favourite. Hibbert had control as long as he could keep the fight in the centre of the ring where he could use his jab and left hooks to the body. Gethin was coming forward trying to take Hibbert to the ropes where he could score with hooks to the body. Gethin was having to walk through Hibbert’s strong jab, left hook and uppercuts but was landing some meaty rights to the head when he got close. Hibbert was doubling and tripling his jab in the third and could not seem to miss Gethin with quick hooks and uppercuts and Gethin had to soak up a lot of punishment, particular right crosses, for very little return. Hibbert was again in charge at the start of the fourth until he was caught with his back to the ropes and Gethin landed a left hook and a straight right which made Hibbert’s legs wobble. Hibbert tried to hold but Gethin landed two more left hooks. Hibbert seemed to recover and he fired off a whole series of short hooks and looked to be taking charge again until two big rights from Gethin followed by a left and a right had Hibbert on shaky legs. He again punched his way out of trouble but three consecutive rights to the head from Gethin sent Hibbert down flat on the canvas and the referee immediately waived the fight off. Gethin, 33, had looked to be heading for the end of his career after being 3-5 in his last 8 fights but this will give him a new lease of life. Hibbert, a former undefeated Commonwealth and “WBC International champion felt so crushed by this loss that he announced his retirement.
Jones vs. Hall
Jones gets a win and collects the WBC International Silver title when Hall is pulled out of the fight by his corner as he suffers an arm injury. Jones had a good first round catching Jones with some accurate counters. Jones turned up the pressure in the second as the exchanged heavy shots and they continued to trade punches in the third but with Jones hurting Hall late with a right. In the fourth Jones was on top scoring with clubbing shots rocking Hall who showed some concern over his left shoulder. The fifth saw Jones rock Hall with an uppercut and in the sixth Hall was clutching his left shoulder and effectively trying to fight with one hand his corner threw in the towel. The 30-year-old from Oklahoma City took Kell Brook to a majority decision, then lost to Brook on a TKO and scored a controversial first round win over Brian Rose only to lose in a return match so he has had some interesting times in British rings. For Hall, 23, this was a gamble as he was taking a big step up in class of opponents and he will regroup and rebound.
McDonagh vs. Ball
Minor upset here as Ireland’s McDonagh blitzes unbeaten Ball in 93 seconds to win the vacant WBA International title. In theory McDonagh was just there as a test but he put Ball down twice before the referee stopped the fight. The 30-year-old McDonagh, the Irish super middle champion, now has 7 wins by KO/TKO. He is 6-1 in his last 7 fights with the loss being to world rated Schiller Hyppolite. Ball, 24, was an elite level amateur and this was looked upon as a good level test for him. This sort of thing can happen to any boxer so Ball will be back.
Torreon, Mexico: Super Light: Jose Lopez (27-6-2) W PTS 10 Shoki Sakai (21-7-1). Lopez gets majority decision over Japanese fighter Sakai. The local fighter just had the edge. The fight was close over the early rounds with both fighters scoring well inside with head and body punches but the pressure and aggression from Lopez was just enough for two judges to see him the winner with the third coming up with a draw. The 25-year-old “Piston badly needed the win being 1-3-1 in his last 5 fights. Sakai, 25 has been based in Mexico City from the start of his career and is trained by Hall of Fame member Ignacio Beristan. He was 4-1-1 in his previous six fights.
David, Panama Feather: Bryan De Gracia (20-0-1) W TKO 9 Gilberto Cortez (7-3). De Gracia wins the vacant WBA Fedecaribe title with late kayo of fellow-Panamanian Cortez. Cortez was competitive early rocking De Gracia with a couple of smart uppercuts inside as De Gracia was off form. Eventually the unbeaten youngster began to roll. He put Cortez down with two left hooks to the chin and went off to celebrate his win only for Cortez to somehow beat the count. The second knockdown was controversial. De Gracia landed a hard left which started Cortez towards the canvas but De Gracia helped him on his way with a right to the back of the head. De Gracia ended it in the ninth with the third knockdown coming from a left to the head which deposited Cortez in a corner. He tried to use the ropes to pull himself up but the fight was over. The 23-year-old “The Rock”, the WBA No 7, now has 16 wins by KO/TKO including 8 in his last 9 fights but he was unhappy with his poor start to this fight. Cortez, 22, really just a prelim fighter, suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Agoncillo, Philippines: Light: Ryan Sermona (20-8) W TKO 5 Roberto Gonzalez (27-3). Super Light: Jheritz Chavez (6-1-2) W TKO 7 Al Sabaupan (25-3-1).
Sermona vs. Gonzalez
Gonzalez makes the mistake of trying to get revenge for a previous loss but in front of his home fans gets stopped and loses his Philippines title to southpaw Sermona . After winning his first 20 fights Gonzalez was knocked out by Sermona in five rounds in 2012. Gonzalez had recovered well and had won seven fight in a row, six by KO/TKO and won the vacant national title. Sermona had slipped back into the herd being 6-5 in 11 fights since his win over Gonzalez. Looked like a reasonable gamble for Gonzalez but now Sermona is champion of the Philippines and has 13 wins by KO/TKO. “Bad Boy from Batangas” Gonzalez, 26, suffers his third loss by KO/TKO.
Chavez vs. Sabaupan
A bad night for the local fans as another neighbourhood fighter suffers an upset defeat. The less experienced Chavez makes it four wins by KO/TKO as he halts Sabaupan. The 25-year-old “Goodboy”, a former WBC Eurasia and Pacific champion was coming off a points loss in Russia in March so a welcome win to end the year. Southpaw Sabaupan was rated No 2 in the Philippines so a big blow for him. His other losses had come in Mexico to tough opponents Marvin Quintero and Ricardo Dominguez.
Uncasville, CT, USA: Super Welter: Patrick Day (13-2-1) W PTS 10 Virgilijus Stapulionis (27-3-1). Day takes another step along his road to a more settled career. The former top amateur got a good win here over the very useful Stapulionis. After an even start to the fight Day floored the Lithuanian in the third and used that as a springboard to a unanimous decision. Scores 99-90, 98-91 and 97-92 but it was a closer fight than the scores indicate and at this point in his career any win is a good win for Day. The 24-year-old former National Golden Gloves champion was the No 1 rated in his weight class as an amateur. He lost a majority decision to Alantez Fox in 2015 which was understandable but a 79 seconds stoppage by 9-14-1 Carlos Garcia in November put a big question mark up which he has yet to answer. The Oxnard-based Stapulionis was 5-0-1 going in.