Fight of the week: Zhanat Zhakiyanov vs. Rau’shee Warren with an honourable mention to Baranchyk vs. Ramos
Fighter of the week: Zhanat Zhakiyanov
Punch of the week: The first straight right from Easter in the tenth round
Upset of the week: ‘Unknown’ Zhakiyanov beating Warren
One to watch: Giovanni Santillan 21-0
Tokyo, Japan: Feather: Ryo Takenaka (16-3-1) W KO 4 Ryuto Araya (11-5-1). Super Light: Koichi Aso (21-7-1) W TKO 8 Kazuki Matsuyama (13-8-1).
Takenaka vs. Araya
Takenaka retains the OPBF title with stoppage of Araya. The first round saw Araya make a good start using a sharp jab to keep Takenaka on the outside for much of the round but Takenaka was dangerous with counter. Takenaka pressed hard in the second and a left/right combination put Araya down. The challenger made it to his feet and survived to the bell. In the second Takenaka made serious inroads to Araya’s condition. Araya tried to fight back in the third but Takenaka was quicker and had more power. In the fourth a devastating combination from Takenaka put Araya down for the second time and his corner chucked in the towel. Under the rules of the Japanese Commission that is registered as a kayo but for me a knockout needs the count to be completed Third successful defence for 31-year-old Takenaka, the WBA No 8, and win No 9 by KO/TKO. He won the title by beating useful Filipino Vin Rufino and in his last fight had taken a wide unanimous verdict over Filipino Randy Braga (19-1-1). Araya, 29, the Japanese No 5, drops to three losses by KO/TKO. This was his first fight scheduled for more than eight rounds
Aso vs. Matsuyama
In a case of try, try and try again Aso wins the vacant Japanese title with stoppage of Matsuyama in his third attempt at becoming a national champion. Not much skill on show here just blood and thunder toe-to-toe stuff. The first round was close but from there Aso stepped up the pace and was getting the better of the furious exchanges. At the half way mark Aso was in front 49-46 on two cards and 50-46 in the third. Knowing was a long way behind Matsuyama tried to increase his attacks. He had some success but was taking more than he was giving. A wild seventh saw both just throwing leather with Aso scoring heavily. A big right in the eighth stunned Matsuyama and Aso landed a series of head punches which saw Matsuyama’s corner throw in the towel. Aso goes to 14 wins by KO/TKO. Matsuyama now has four losses by KO/TKO. Although he was No 2 to Aso he was only 1-2-1 in his last four fights and again was in his first scheduled ten round fight.
Toledo, Ohio: Bantam: Zhanat Zhakiyanov (27-1) W PTS 12 Rau’shee Warren (14-1,1ND) . Light: Robert Easter (19-0) W PTS 12 Luis Cruz (22-5-1). Light: Jamal Herring (15-1) W Art Hovhannisyan (17-3-3). Middle: Terrell Gausha (20-0) W PTS 10 Luis Hernandez (15-4). Super Feather: Raynell Williams (11-0) W Justin Savi (29-9-2).
Zhakiyanov vs. Warren
Zhakiyanov makes Warren an ex-champion as he overcomes horror start to beat down the champion and collect the WBA and IBO titles. It is difficult to think of a worse start than Zhakiyanov made in this fight. After trying to walk down the retreating Warren he was caught with a punch that momentarily stunned him. Warren cut looses driving Zhakiyanov back to the ropes and landing a series of head punches and then a short southpaw left hook that saw Zhakiyanov drop to the canvas. He was up quickly and impatiently waited for the end of the eight count. He then strode across the ring only to be dropped for a second time. By now Warren’s fans were already celebrating but Zhakiyanov was up and again took the fight to Warren who found himself on the back foot until the bell. A 10-7 round for sure. Zhakiyanov was hunting Warren down in the second but Warren probably scored with enough counters to edge the round. The third and fourth were Zhakiyanov’s rounds . He pressured Warren trapping him on the ropes roughing him up inside and scoring consistently with right hooks and forcing Warren to fight the fight Zhakiyanov wanted. After four rounds Warren was in front on two cards at 39-35 and38-36 and the other card read 37-37. Zhakiyanov continued to dominate the action in the fifth. He was relentless denying Warren any room and scoring with short hooks from both hands with Warren being hustled out of his stride. That first round was already looking like another country. Warren came back into the fight in the sixth and seventh as he moved more, threw more punches and smothered much of Zhakiyanov’s work and despite a strong finish to the seventh from Zhakiyanov Warren probably edged both rounds. Warren had a couple of good spells in the eighth but it was Zhakiyanov’ round as he hustled, bustled and scored with hooks inside with Warren looking to be tiring. After eight rounds the scoring was 77-74 for Warren, 76-74 for Zhakiyanov and 75-75. So all to play for. Warren made a good start to each of the ninth and tenth rounds but then it was all Zhakiyanov as he stormed into Warren scoring with clubbing shots with Warren just not able to match the amazing work rate of the little Kazak fighter or his strength. Zhakiyanov effectively ended the fight by stamping all over Warren in the eleventh. The champion had no snap in his punches and could not find any punching room as Zhakiyanov powered relentlessly forward. It was the same in the last. Warren started well as they stood toe-to-toe and swapped punches but then the Kazak storm blew away Warren’s confidence and Zhakiyanov pounded away to the bell. Great comeback victory for the 33-year-old Kazak who showed real grit and tremendous stamina. His style is not pretty but it is very effective. Despite being a former undefeated European champion and having scored impressive wins over Kamil Guerfi and Yonfrez Perez Zhakiyanov was relatively unknown but not now. He repaid the faith of his manager Philippe Fondu and trainer Ricky Hatton and is now looking for a unification match with IBF champion Lee Haskins. For 29-year-old Warren who loses his titles in his first defence it is back to the beginning. He has tremendous skills but just could not handle the remorseless pressure Zhakiyanov brought to the ring. He wants a return match but will have to find an answer to the pressure exerted by Zhakiyanov.
Easter vs. Cruz
Easter keeps his IBF title as he outclasses a gutsy Cruz who is down in each of the last three rounds but stays the distance. Easter was able to use his huger height and reach advantages to work on the outside over the first two rounds with Cruz just lunging with his attacks. Easter also took the third and fourth working behind his jab but Cruz was more aggressive. He was walking Easter down but had no answer to the stabbing jab from Easter and there was already a bump showing beneath his right eye. After four rounds Easter was well in front on scores of 40-36 twice and 39-37. Cruz had a better fifth. He was still eating the jab but got inside and scored with some good hooks. Easter launched a furious attack at the start of the sixth and seventh taking Cruz to the ropes and bombarding him with hooks and uppercuts and overhand rights. He then went off the boil allowing Cruz some success but scored with stinging rights to the head later in the each round. Easter took a round off in the eighth just boxing on the back foot pushing out the jab but the pedestrian-paced Cruz just could not close the distance to do any scoring. After eight rounds Easter was still way ahead on scores of 79-73 on two cards and 78-74 on the third. Cruz had his best round of the fight in the ninth as Easter’s work rate dropped and the challenger was able to score with hooks and uppercuts and the occasional clubbing right. That was as good as it got for Cruz. Fifteen seconds in to the tenth a straight right from Easter shook him badly and he took a couple of steps back and went down. Easter drove Cruz around the ring trying to finish the job but he was wild with many of his punches and Cruz showed plenty of guts and was still there at the bell. Easter hardly threw a punch in the eleventh and Cruz was actually outscoring him but with ten seconds to go another long right thundered onto Cruz’s chin. He slumped into the ropes which propelled him forward and he stumbled past Easter with Easter turning to follow and landing a left with Cruz already on his way to the floor. He was up at eight and the bell went. Cruz was just trying to survive in the twelfth. He stood up to a lot of punishment until he was nailed with another right and fell forward to the canvas. Easter went to a corner and climbed up the ropes to celebrate his victory. It was a bit premature as Cruz was up at eight and able to continue and stayed out of trouble to the bell. Scores 119-106, 118-107 and 117-108 all for Easter. Fighting in his home town and making the first defence of the title he won with a debateable split decision over Richard Commey the 26-year-old Easter was a prohibitive favourite and really Cruz was no threat at any time in the fight. His mandatory challenger is Denis Shafikov who is just 5’ 5” tall and might have to take his stool with him when he leaves his corner or he will be uppercuting Easter in the testicles. Puerto Rican Cruz showed guts but not much else. He suddenly crept into the IBF ratings posted 1 November at No 15 despite not having fought since April. No change there then.
Herring vs. Hovhannisyan
Former US Marine Herring returns with a win as Hovhannisyan retires at the end of the third round. First fight for Olympian Herring, 31, since losing to Denis Shafikov on a tenth round stoppage last July. Armenian Hovhannisyan was 15-0-2 in his first 17 fights but some challenging assignments have seen him fall to 2-4-1 in his last 7fights
Gausha vs. Hernandez
Olympian Gausha remains undefeated as he climbs off the canvas to get wide unanimous decision over Hernandez. Although a clear winner it was not an easy night for Gausha. He managed to outbox the aggressive Puerto Rican but Hernandez never stopped rolling forward. It looked as though an upset was on the cards when Gausha was floored heavily in the third. It was a shaky moment but Gausha fought his way through it. Hernandez continued to assert pressure and landed some big punches but Gausha was in control again and used a superior skills set to pocket the rounds. His cause was helped when Hernandez lost a point in the seventh for one low punch too many and Gausha ground out a solid win over a very competitive opponent. Scores 98-90 twice and 97-91 all for Gausha. The 29-yerar-old Gausha has been stepping up gradually. He is a former two-time USA champion and is looking to become the second most famous sportsman to come from Glenville after the great Jesses Owens. “La Roca” Hernandez, 30, gave Gausha a torrid time . he seems to be the opponent of choice for unbeaten prospect having lost in the past to Eddie Gomez, Rashidi Ellis and Esquiva Falcao
Williams vs. Savi
Williams floors and halts Savi in two rounds. In his first fight for a year the former top amateur from Cleveland gets his sixth win by KO/TKO over a fading Savi. It seems that if you can get past the second round against Williams you can go the distance as three of his wins by KO/TKO have come in the first round and three in the second. The former US national champion and 2008 Olympian needs to be more active. Savi, from Benin, was 23-0 at one time but is now 6-9-2 in his last 17.
Miami, OK, USA: Super Light: Ivan Baranchyk (14-0) W PTS 10 Abel Ramos (17-2-2). Light Heavy: Joseph Williams (11-0) W PTS 10 Lenin Castillo (15-1-1).
Baranchyk vs. Ramos
Another great Shobox main event sees Baranchyk use his strength and stamina to outlast Ramos in a fight which saw both contestants on the canvas. Baranchyk fought in his trademark style rumbling forward forcing Ramos to stand and trade and always throwing punches but not always accurately. Ramos was more than equal to the task early taking the first two rounds with his stiff jab and more accuracy. He also looked to be on his way to winning the third when a big overhand right from Baranchyk put him down. Ramos did not seem badly hurt and after the eight count he got revenge as he floored the oncoming Baranchyk with a precise counter. The action continued to be hot in the fourth as Ramos looked to have Baranchyk hurt early with a series of body punches only for the Russian to steal the round by flooring Ramos with a left hook. Again Ramos made it to his feet and war resumed and Ramos battled hard enough to take the fifth. The fight swung back to Baranchyk in a furiously contested sixth in which Ramos seemed to be hurt and fading before the bell of a great round. Both fighters were showing the marks of battle on their face. Baranchyk’s nose had been bleeding for a few rounds and Ramos had swellings around both eyes but neither wanted to go defensive. In the end Baranchyk just had that much more left in the tank than Ramos and slowly began to take charge hurting Ramos in the eighth and opening a cut under his left eye. Ramos kept firing counters but Baranchyk just kept coming and outworking Ramos. They fought toe-to-toe to the final bell with Ramos being badly shaken and exhausted but staying the course at the end a great ring war but Baranchyk had won the contest over the last four rounds. Scores were a very harsh 99-91, 97-92 and 97-93 all for Baranchyk. The 24-year-old Russian, the IBF No 7, retains his IBF USBA title, Although born in Russia he boxed for Belarus in the amateurs winning a World Junior gold medal and competing at the World Championships. Now he is based in New York. He is never in a dull fight and with him it is more of a war of attrition than a noble art. Ramos, 25, had won his last three fights and played big a part here in an outstanding contest
Williams vs. Castillo
Williams outworks Castillo over the late rounds to win a majority verdict. The story of the fight was the aggression of Williams enabling him to get inside and work the body enough to take charge of the fight late. Castillo bossed the fight early when he could keep Williams out but when Williams did get inside Castillo was doing more holding than fighting allowing Williams to boss that phase a flirting with a points deduct. Nothing pretty about the style of Williams but it was effective and he was the stronger fighter over the last three rounds and deserved the decision. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Williams and 76-76. The 28-year-old Williams from Queens was moving up to eight rounds for the first time. Although now weighing just over the light heavy limit he was New York Golden Gloves champion in 2011 at super heavyweight, then heavyweight in 2012 and finally light heavy in 2013. He was US National Champion in 2012 but lost out to Mike Hunter at the US Olympic Trials. Dominican Castillo, 28, had a useful draw against unbeaten Travis Peterkin and had won his last three fights.
Pamel-Roosdaal, Belgium: Light Heavy: Doudou Ngumbu (36-7) W PTS 12 Bilal Laggoune (20-1-2). Super Middle: Timur Nikarkhoev (13-1) W TKO 2 Mohamed El Achi (9-1-3). Super Light: Jean Pierre Bauwens (40-3-2) W PTS 8 Jean Pierre Habimana (6-8-3).
Ngumbu vs. Laggoune
An excellent and close WBC Francophone title fight sees visitor Ngumbu snap the unbeaten streak of Belgian Laggoune and take away the local fighter’s title. The first four rounds were evenly split with Laggoune taking the first two rounds and Ngumbu banging back to take the third and four leaving the fight finely poised with all three judges scoring it 38-38. The next four rounds saw the quality drop off a little as there was too much clinching and Laggoune drew a rebuke from the referee for some low punches. Ngumbu looked to have had the better of the action but it was still on a knife edge with the scores being 77-75, 75-77 and 76-76. Although Ngumbu was 11 years older than Laggoune he lasted the pace better and was stronger over the closing rounds and was a deserved winner. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 for Ngumbu and 116-112 for Laggoune. The 35-year-old DRC-born French fighter Ngumbu is better than his record shows. He has scored wins on the road over Aleksy Kuziemski and Vyacheslav Uzelkov and beat Johnny Muller in Monaco. His losses have been to quality opposition such as Isaac Chilemba, Igor Mikhalkin, Andrzej Fonfara and Umar Salamov. At 24 Laggoune is young enough to rebound from this. He is a former European Union champion and drew with Dymtro Kucher for the vacant EBU title but never got a deserved second chance. He won the Francophone title with an impressive kayo if Hakim Chioui.
Nikarkhoev vs. El Achi
Nikarkhoev retains his Belgian title with early stoppage of El Achi. Both fighters had problems with the slippery canvas but Nikarkhoev scored two knockdowns. He floored El Achi early in the second round when he put El Achi down with a head shot and after another knockdown the fight was stopped. The Russian-born 23-year-old Nikarkhoev now has 10 wins by KO/TKO. His loss was a fifth round stoppage against world rated Turk Avni Yildirim last July and this is his third win since then and his first defence of his national title. Frenchman El Achi,28, made a stuttering start as his first three fights all ended as a draw so he had won nine in a row before this one.
Bauwens vs. Habimana
Former European Union champion Bauwens gets the unanimous decision but is struggling to find some form. Habimana made Bauwens fight hard for his victory. The Belgian looked to be in some trouble in the third but steadied the ship and did enough to get the verdict. Scores 78-74 twice and 77-76. Bauwens has lost twice in European Union title fights on a majority verdict to Ruben Nieto and Manuel Lancia on a split decision. He also lost a unanimous verdict to local rival Steve Jamoye but turned in a poor performance in his last fight only managing a split draw with Bibi Ondoua (12-6). Habimana from Rwanda had won 5 of his last 6 fights and was competitive here.
Calais, France: Super Welter: Joffrey Jacob (15-0-1) W PTS 10 Fouad El Massoudi (14-9). Super Welter: Zakaria Attou (24-6-2) W PTS 6 Ambrosi Sutidze (11-8-5). Bantam: Thomas Masson (16-3-1) W PTS 6 Joseafat Reyes (6-7-1).
Jacob vs. El Massoudi
Jacob retains the national title with unanimous verdict over El Massoudi. It was not an easy night for Jacob and from bell to bell he had to fight hard. His lack of a punch is a drawback and that helped El Massoudi keep the pressure on. First defence for the 25-year-old youngest member of the famous Jacob clan but he will need stronger opposition if he is to get into the EBU ratings. El Massoudi is 2-5 in his last 7 fights but there are tough matches against Kevin Bizier and puncher Sasha Yengoyan in the opposition.
Attou vs. Sutidze
European Union champion Attou keeps busy with a points victory over competitive Sutidze. Scores 60-54,59-55 and 58-56. Negotiations are ongoing for his EU title defence against fellow-countryman Maxime Beaussire. He won the title in a huge upset by beating world rated Emanuele Della Rosa (36-21). Georgian Sutidze 1-4-1 in his last 6 fights.
Masson vs. Reyes
Masson also keeping busy with a European title fight ahead. The former undefeated European champion was a comfortable winner over Mexican Reyes. Scores 59-55 twice and 58-56 all for Masson. He has won his last 8 fights but Vincent Legrand is a slight favourite to retain his title when they meet. Now 5 losses in his last 6 fights for Reyes.
Tecate, Mexico: Super Light: Antonio DeMarco (32-6-1) W PTS 10 Luis Solis (20-7-4). DeMarco wins but is not in impressive form. Solis was aggressive early throwing bursts of hooks but DeMarco made good use of his southpaw jab to edge the first round. Solis scored with a good combination in the second but DeMarco fired a straight left which put Solis down. He made it to his feet at nine and survived the round. The third was close as Solis was continuing to fire hooks and did enough to edge it. DeMarco was the one handing out punishment in the fourth. The fifth was war as both fighters were showing little in the way of defence. Although DeMarco was landing brutal shots he was also taking some heavy incoming shots from Solis. DeMarco took the sixth and seventh scoring with right hooks and left uppercuts as Solis tired. DeMarco looked to have Solis in deep trouble in the eighth but Solis survived and fought back. Two exhausted fighters just slung wild punches at each other in the ninth and tenth. Scores 99-89 from all three judges for DeMarco. The 31-year-old former WBC light champion was having his first fight for 14 months and it showed as he took too many punches and will have to improve if he is to make his way at super light. Solis, 24, made this a very hard fight for DeMarco. He had a rough 1-4 spell but had won his last four fights.
Caguas, Puerto Rico: Light Fly: Angel Acosta (16-0) W TKO 10 Japhet Uutoni (12-2). Fly: Janiel Rivera (15-2-3) W KO 2 Juan Guzman (22-6).
Acosta vs. Uutoni
Acosta floors Namibian Uutoni five times on the way to victory. The young Puerto Rican showed his power early shaking Uutoni with a left in the first round which sent Uutoni stumbling into the ropes which was all that prevented him from going down. Acosta scored the first knockdown with left hook in round two. Acosta tried desperately to finish the fight then but Uutoni showed guts and some clinching to get to the bell. Uutoni did better in the third dropping his arms and throwing wide but effective punches. The fourth saw Acosta handing out punishment to head and body and he registered his second knockdown with a booming right. Uutoni was badly hurt but he was saved by the bell. Acosta pressured again in the fifth only for Uutoni to fight back hard in the sixth but. A big attack from Acosta had Uutoni in trouble in the seventh when again he was saved by the bell. Uutoni lost a point in the eighth for pushing Acosta’s head down and as they traded at the end of the round a punch from Acosta floored Uutoni for the third time. Uutoni got up but the bell went too soon after the eight count for Acosta to end things. It was the same thing in the ninth with Acosta flooring Uutoni late and the bell coming to the Namibian’s rescue. It was finally all over in the tenth as Acosta scored knockdown No 5. Uutoni managed to get to his feet and although he was unsteady on his legs he protested the stoppage. The 26-year-old Acosta has won all of his 16 fights by KO/TKO and was No 2 with the WBO. The WBO champion Kosei Tanaka was at ringside and these two will clash soon. Uutoni, 37, was probably Namibia’s most successful amateur winning a gold and a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games, being African champion, winning a bronze medal at the World Military Championships and competing at the World Championships and the Olympic Games. He was a ridiculous No 1 with the WBO despite never having faced an opponent in their ratings and he just could not handle the power of the young Puerto Rican.
Rivera vs. Guzman
Rivera floors Guzman twice for easy win. After the second knockdown Guzman just sat on the canvas in mid ring until the count was completed. The 25-year-old Rivera lost in three rounds in an over ambitious challenge for the WBC light fly title in 2014 and is now 5-0-1 since then and has nine wins by KO/TKO. Third inside the distance loss in a row for Dominican Guzman.
Carshalton, England: Super Light: Anthony Yigit (19-0-1) W PTS 12 Lenny Daws (30-5-2). Yigit give Sweden its first European champion for 32 years as he takes wide unanimous verdict over local fighter Daws in a contests for the vacant title. It was a case of youth vs. experience and this time youth won out. Yigit’s team had set out a fight plan for southpaw Yigit to use his speed to outbox Daws early and set a high work rate and then finish strongly against the much older British fighter. That two-point plan worked. The Swede jumped out to an early lead taking the first three rounds with Daws finally getting rolling in the fourth as he was able to work inside. Scores at that point were 39-37 twice and 40-37 all for Yigit. Daws continued his good work into the fifth and looked to be in a position to claw back the Swede’s early lead. Then Yigit stepped up the pace over the sixth seventh and eighth to move further in front. That saw the scores at 79-74, 78-74 and a closer 77-75 with Daws having a mountain to climb with the championship rounds to come. Again the plan worked as despite never having gone past ten rounds Yigit was much stronger over the late rounds and ran out a clear winner. Scores 118-110, 118-111 and 116-112. The 25-year-old Swede becomes only the seventh Swedish fighter to win a European title and the first since Anders Eklund who won the heavyweight title in 1985, lost it to Frank Bruno in the same year and then regained it in 1987 only to again lose it the same year. Yigit was an outstanding amateur winning bronze medals at the European Championships and competing at the World Championships and the 2012 Olympics where he lost a 24-23 decision to eventual silver medal winner Denis Berinchyk. The 37-year-old Daws, a former British and European Union champion, had come up short in two previous attempts to win the title losing a very controversial decision to Michele Rocco in 2013 and an equally controversial disqualification against Ruben Nieto in December 2015. That was followed by a frustrating 14 months of delays before he went into this one and the inactivity could not have helped Daws..
Palm Springs, CA, USA: Super Feather: Rafael Rivera (24-0-2,1ND) W TEC DEC 6 Giovanni Caro (27-19-4). Rivera gets past veteran Caro on a technical decision. Caro’s best days are behind him, a long way behind him, but his usual aggressive style made it a close and interesting fight over the first three round as he was forcing Rivera to stand and trade. The unbeaten fighter from Tijuana was winning the rounds with his higher punch output and accuracy but the tall veteran from Mexico City was always in his face. Eventually Caro started to fade from the fast pace and was also picking up cuts including two on his forehead and one above his right eye. With Caro’s face covered in blood the doctor examined him at the end of the sixth round. Caro was not allowed out for the seventh and it was decided on the score cards which all read 60-54 for Rivera. Despite a win over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in December 2015 Rivera is not currently rated but must be on the brink of crashing the rankings. He turned pro at 18 and was a modest 3-0-2 in his first five fights but has now accumulated a string of 20 wins and a No Decision in his last 21 bouts. Caro, 34, came close to winning the IBF super bantam title in 2011 lost a split decision to Takalani Ndlovu in South Africa with a score of 114-113 for him and two scores of 114-113 to Ndlovu. He has gone a long way down since then being 3-10 in his last 13 fights and in September lost a four round decision to a fighter with a 2-2 record.
Fort Washington, MD, USA: Super Light: Mykal Fox (13-0) W PTS 8 Tre’Sean Wiggins (7-3). This should have been a routine win for unbeaten Fox but fellow southpaw Wiggins made him fight hard all the way. In past fights the 6’3 ½” (192cm) Fox had been able to use his reach advantage to control the fight but Wiggins, himself tall for the weight at 5’11” (180cm), was able to get past the jab often enough to make it a close competitive fight . Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Fox and 76-76. The Fox family only does tall with brother Alantez a 21-0-1 super middle being 6’5” (196cm). This was a good learning fight for Fox and Wiggins really just a 4 and 6 round prelim fighter did well until he faded late.
Biloxi, MS, USA: Super Light: Regis Prograis (19-0) W KO 1 Wilfrido Buelvas (18-7). Cruiser: Cedric Agnew (29-2) W TKO 1 Martin Verdin (21-20-2), Super Welter: Eric Walker (15-0) W TKO 2 Zack Kuhn (9-4-1).
Prograis vs. Buelvas
Prograis given an easy one as he beats Colombian Buelvas inside a round. One right to the body was all that was needed for Prograis to put Buelvas down on his hands and knees in agony where he was counted out. This was an unusually poor NABF title match. The Houston-based southpaw now has 16 wins by KO/TKO but as the WBC No 8 he should be facing better opposition than this. Buelvas is 3-6 in his last 9 fights.
Agnew vs. Verdin
Agnew blows away late choice Verdin in the opening round. First fight for Agnew since August 2015 so some excuse for poor opposition. The 30-year-old Agnew was knocked out in seven rounds by Sergey Kovalev for the WBO title in 2014 so will be hoping to work his way back to another title fight.
Walker vs. Kuhn
Yet another quick ending here as Walker dismisses Kuhn in two rounds. The 33-year-old “Baby Face” now has 8 wins by KO/TKO. He was imprisoned at the age of 16 spent and spent 13 years in jail in two terms so did not turn pro until he got out in 2013. He claims a 61-1 record in the prison boxing programme and was helped to turn pro by a one-time fellow prisoner Brad Solomon. Let’s hope he has a successful career. Two losses by KO/TKO in a row for Kuhn.
Mar del Plata, Argentina: Cruiser: Roberto Bolonti (39-6,1ND ) W PTS 12 Dario Balmaceda (14-15-2). Hometown fighter Bolonti wins the vacant South American title with split decision over Balmaceda. These two had clashed in an eight round fight in November where Bolonti floored Balmaceda twice and won a unanimous decision. Bolonti was on top when he had room and could use his jab. He constantly pierced Balmaceda’s guard but rarely managed to land anything with real power. Balmaceda had to get inside to be effective but his work was often frustrated as both he and Bolonti were doing too much clinching. Bolonti did what clean work there was and he deserved the decision which should have been unanimous. Scores 119-114 and118-114 for Bolonti and 115-115 ½ for Balmaceda. The 38-year-old “La Bestia” lost to Juergen Brahmer for the secondary WBA light heavy title in 2014 and also suffered defeats against Tony Bellew, Danny Green, Youri Kayembre and Kevin Lerena but has not lost a domestic match since 2006. Balmaceda, 32, is 3-9 in his last 12 fights but was coming off a good win over Pablo Farias (27-2) in November.
Fredericksburg, Denmark: Super Middle: Derrick Findley (26-21-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Daniel Heinze (6-1). Findley just too experienced for Dane and wins unanimous decision . The Gary “Superman” made a great start flooring Heinze with a left in the first round. Findley also worked inside in the second to take that round too. Heinze got into the fight in the third. It was close but he outworked Findley over the fourth, fifth and sixth. Despite seeming to be tiring Findley raised his game to take the seventh but it swung back to the Dane in the eighth. Both were tried now but Findley did just enough over the last two rounds to deserve the verdict. Scores 96-93 twice and 95-94. Second fight in Denmark for the 32-year-old Findley who lost on points to Lolenga Mock last September. Findley is a have gloves will travel journeyman who now loses more than he wins but he was coming off a victory making it the first time since 2012 he has won two fights on the bounce. Heinze, 29, was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and had only 38 rounds behind him compared to over 260 for Findley. He needs to step back and then take some easier fights and come again.
Kankaanpaa, Finland: Light Heavy: Sami Enbom (14-0) W TKO 1 Giorgi Gogebashvili (11-4-2). Super Light: Jarrko Putkonen (14-2-1) W PTS 6 Giorgi Gviniashvili (10-4-1). Middle: Timo Laine (18-8,1ND) W PTS 6 Gary Abiyan (34-31-1). Feather: Matti Koota (1-0) W RTD 4 Nugzar Chavchavadze (16-9).
Enbom vs. Gogebashvili
Enbon gets quick win as Gogebashvili retires half way through the first round with a shoulder injury. Seventh win by KO/TKO for the 29-year-old former good class amateur. Unfortunate loss for Gogebashvili but now two fights outside of Georgia and two losses.
Putkonen vs. Gviniashvili
Putkonen given good test by competitive Gviniashvili but takes majority decision. Scores 60-54, 58-56 for Putkonen and 57-57. Putkonen, a former Finnish amateur champion, suffered losses in tough fights against Jack Catterall and Robbie Davies in Britain but is now 2-0-1 in his last three. Gviniashvili has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights
Laine vs. Abiyan
Laine warms up for his forthcoming Finnish title fight with unanimous decision over experienced Georgian loser Abiyan. Scores 60-54 for Laine from all three judges. The 32-year-old Laine also had tough losses behind him in fights against Tommy Langford and Robert Swierzbinski but had won his last three fights. Abiyan, 43, makes a decent living as a travelling victim.
Koota vs. Chavchavadze
Koota, a major feature of amateur boxing in Finland, turns pro and gets a curious win. He was on his way to a points victory when Chavchavadze left his corner at the start of the fourth round and then stopped and before a punch was thrown decided he did not want to go on so just walked back to his corner. The 26-year-old Koota was Finnish amateur champion. He competed at the World Cadet Championships and won a bronze medal at the World Junior championships as well as winning a number of major tournaments. In addition he represented at the World and European Championships so a useful addition to pro boxing in Finland. Chavchavadze has yet to win a fight outside Georgia.
Kistarcsa, Hungary: Welter: Daniel Mehesz (9-0) W TKO 4 Mihaly Donath (9-5-1). Super Welter: Laszlo Szilvai (7-1) W TKO 1 Gabor Farkas (15-13-2).
Mehesz vs. Donath
Teenager Mehesz retains his WBC Youth Silver title with stoppage of southpaw Donath. The 17-year-old “Zumi” gets win No 4 by KO/TKO. He was making the second defence of his WBC title. Romanian-born Donath, 22, had three losses and a draw in his first four pro fights so was 9-1 going into this one.
Szilvai vs. Farkas
Szilvai wins the vacant Hungarian title as Farkas collapses within the first minute. After some light sparring a Szilvai left hook to the body put Farkas down in agony. He just beat the count but another left to the body put him down and the referee just signalled it was all over. The 22-year-old Szilvai has 4 wins by KO/TKO. His loss was in his last fight in September on points in a four round bout against Adnan Amar (25-3) in Sheffield. Farkas, 26 was making his second try at winning a national title. He now has 8 losses by KO/TKO.
Raleigh, NC, USA: Super Fly: Dewayne Beamon (10-0) W TKO 10 Christian Esquivel (29-11). Beamon adds another title as he wears down Esquivel for a stoppage in the last round. The local fighter wins the vacant Universal Boxing Federation (UBF) super fly title and the IBO International title. Beamon scored a fifth round retirement win in December over experienced William Gonzalez, a former IBF bantamweight title challenger, who was 5-1 in his last 6 fights, so a good performance there. He previously held the UBF featherweight title and the UBF All American bantam title. He moves to 7 wins by KO/TKO. Esquivel was 24-2 at one time before losing on an eleventh round stoppage against Shinsuke Yamanaka for the vacant WBC bantam title in 2011. Including that loss he is 5-9 in his last 14 fights with all nine losses by KO/TKO.
Guadalajara, Mexico: Welter: Juan Jose Velasco (15-0) W PTS 10 Fernando Marin (13-2-3). Velasco retains the WBA Fedebol title with unanimous decision over Marin. Argentinian Velasco edged a close first round and then broke though in the second flooring Marin with a left hook to the body. Marin survived and then had a good period where he made up much of the leeway from the knockdown as Velasco’s work rate dropped and Marin was able to take the fight inside. The fight could have gone either way after the sixth. Velasco then produced a big effort of his own and did enough to take the rounds from six to nine creating some space where his better skills came into play and establish a winning lead holding off a strong finish from Marin in the last round. Scores 98-91, 97-92 and 95-94 all for Velasco. The 29-year-old from Buenos Aires was making the first defence of his title and also having his first fight outside of Argentina.. Marin is just 18 but had already gone twelve rounds three time so plenty of experience. He turned pro at 13 and was 8-1 in his last 9 fights,.
Lautoka, Fiji: Super Welter: John Chotka Krishna Jr( 9-0-1) W TKO 5 Ronald Naidu (4-2-2). Krishna returns home to get a win. The Perth-based Fijian was fighting at home for the first time since turning pro in 2005,. The first two rounds were fairly even but once Krishna started to go to the body Naidu faded quickly and was exhausted when the fight was stopped in the fifth round. Only 10 fights in 11 years as a pro for Krishna who hopes to be more active. His father fought for the Australian middleweight title back in 1979. Naidu was 3-0-2 in his last 5 fights.
Velbert, Germany: Heavy: Werner Kreiskott (24-19-2) W DISQ 4 Epifiano Mendoza (43-25-1). Kreiskott gets unusual win as Colombian Mendoza is disqualified for spitting at the referee. This was a poor fight with too much wrestling and in the third round the referee deducted a point from Mendoza for hitting with the inside of the glove. The fight did not get much better and in the fourth the referee parted the fighters and was about to deduct another point from Mendoza who then spat in the direction of the referee and was disqualified. The 38-year-old Kreiskott was defending his World Boxing Union title (German edition) and the World Boxing Federation International title. He is 12-0-1 in his last 13 fights against carefully selected opposition and has said he will have one more fight and then retire. Mendoza, 41, lost to Chad Dawson for the WBC light heavy title in 2007 when he was a good fighter. No weights given but all you need to know about Mendoza’s condition is that in 2000 he weighed 150 pounds and in his last fight in December he was 245lbs!