Fight of the week: Adrien Broner vs. Adrian Granados with honourable mention to Lamont Peterson vs. David Avanesyan
Fighter of the week: Lamont Peterson as he comes back from a lay-off to win the secondary WBA title.
Punch of the week: The straight right from Kanat Islam that flattened Robson Assis
Upset of the week: Jonathan Maicelo beating Jose Felix Jr.
One to watch: Roberto Manzanarez 34-1
Dishonourable mention: the farcical Alex Dimitrenko vs. Milos Dovedan
Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Alex Dimitrenko (38-3) W TKO 2 Milos Dovedan (2-28). Dimitrenko wins a farcical excuse for a fight as he floors Serb Dovedan seven times before the referee waived the fight over in the second round. About a minute into the fight a right to the head put Dovedan down. He was up quickly then down again from two straight rights then down twice more, the third knockdown from a right that landed on his left glove and the fourth from a left jab. In the second round two body punches saw Dovedan down again. He sagged into the ropes under the next attack sitting on the bottom rope and was given a count as the ropes were holding him up. The seventh knockdown came from a straight right and when Dovedan got up at eight he just turned his back and the referee waived the fight over-thank goodness. First “fight” for the 6’7” (201cm) 34-year-old Dimitrenko since being knocked out in three rounds by Joseph Parker in October. If this was intended as a warm-up for Dimitrenko’s 18 March fight with unbeaten Swede Adrian Granat it was a waste of time. And on this form Granat has to be the favourite. Now 19 losses in a row for 38-year-old Serb Dovedan, 16 of those losses by KO/TKO and 15 of those 16 losses have come inside three rounds. As a “match” it was a farcical.
Costa Mesa, CA, USA: Light Heavy: Mike Lee (19-0) W PTS 8 Justin Thomas (18-2). Lee gets the majority decision but it is not an impressive performance. Lee landed a stinging right late in the first round but lacked his usual fire. A clash of heads saw Lee go down in the second but it was rightly not called as a knockdown. There were a number of head clashes throughout the fight but luckily no one was cut. Lee was forcing the fight but Thomas was scoring well with counters. From the fourth round Lee seemed to lose some of his spark but he hurt Thomas in the sixth and drove the Baton Rouge fighter to the ropes. Thomas recovered quickly and remained competitive to the end. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Reed and 76-76. Lee, 29, has a different background to many boxers. With well off parents he went to a private school and eventually to Notre Dame where he graduated with a good enough score to get job offers from Wall Street but he decided to go as far as he can as a boxer before trying anything else. Thomas, 33, from Baton Rouge had won his last six fights. This was his first fight outside of Louisiana and this performance should get him some more assignments.
Panama City, Panama: Super Fly: Edgar Valencia (11-2-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Jean Piero Perez (21-9-1). Super Fly: Gilberto Pedraza (14-3-2) W PTS 6 Jose Calvo (3-8-3).
Valencia vs. Perez
Valencia gets unanimous verdict over Perez. The local southpaw made a good start flooring Perez in the second round but from there he had to fight hard. Perez had much the greater experience but Valencia paced the eight rounds well and deserved the decision. Scores 78-74, 77-74 and 76-75 all for Valencia. The 26-year-old former Panamanian bantam champion was a good level amateur representing Panama at both the Central American and Central American and Caribbean Games. Venezuelan Perez, 35, lost in two rounds to Juan Reveco in a challenge for the interim WBA title in 2011 and took highly rated Milan Melindo (27-0) to a majority decision in 2012. However, after three losses in a row by KO/TKO, all to very high level opposition, he was then inactive from December 2014 until returning with a win in October.
Pedraza vs. Calvo
Pedraza eases back into action with unanimous verdict over Calvo. Pedraza opened a cut over the left eyebrow of Calvo in the second and had him down and almost out in the third. Calvo was competitive over the late rounds so gave Pedraza some useful ring time. Scores 58-55 twice and 59-54 all for Pedraza. The one time rated 24-year-old, a former undefeated Panamanian champion, was having his first fight in 14 months. Calvo, also Panamanian, is now 1-6-1 in his last 8 fights.
El Paso, TX, USA: Light: Jonathan Maicelo (25-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Jose Felix Jr (35-2-1). Middle: Esquiva Falcao (17-0) W PTS 8 Jamie Barboza (19-11).
Felix vs. Maicelo
Felix blows his WBO No 3 ratings as he hits the canvas five times against a clever and dangerous Maicelo. In the first round Maicelo was moving taking the fight to Felix and one minute into the fight an overhead right clipped Felix on the head and it was followed by a fast left hook to the chin which put Felix down heavily. Felix made it to his feet but looked unsteady. After the eight count Felix came forward and a left jab sent Maicelo staggering back into the ropes. He recovered and they boxed on equal terms to the bell. Felix had a better second round as he worked behind his jab. Maicelo was still dangerous and landed a hard combination but it looked like Felix’s round. Felix was working the jab well in the third and landed a snappy left hook. Maicelo still looked dangerous and he snatched the round as he landed double left hooks just before the bell which put Felix down for the second time. The bell went just as the eight count was completed. The fourth was close with both fighters having good spells and Felix just doing enough to edge it. Early in the fifth a Maicelo left hook put Felix down again. Immediately after the eight count another left hook put Felix down for the second time in the round. Maicelo tried desperately to end it. He shook Felix a couple of times but Felix fought his way to the bell. Maicelo took the sixth with pressure for the three minutes but Felix came back to take the seventh with his more accurate work. In the eighth a very low punch from Felix saw Maicelo given an extended rest and the Peruvian seemed to be tiring as Felix took the round. Felix looked to getting on top in the ninth but as he drove Maicelo across the ring he was wide open and a right/left/ right combination to the head put him down for the fifth time. Felix looked more disgusted with himself than hurt and after the eight count he weathered savage attacks from Maicelo and then they just stood toe-to-toe and slung wild punches to the bell. Felix tried desperately to land a kayo punch in the last but Maicelo was able to counter as Felix ignored defence and the Peruvian danced to the final bell. Scores 97-88, 96-90 and 95-90 all for Maicelo. The 33-year-old “The Last Inca” lost a wide points verdict to Darleys Perez for the interim WBA title in 2015 but had rebuilt to some extent with three wins. This was his first fight for nine months and the win should see him catapulted into the WBO ratings. For the 24-year-old Felix it is a big set-back. He lost a close decision to Bryan Vasquez for the interim WBA super feather title in 2014 but had won his last nine fights against an acceptable level of opposition and now has to start all over again.
Falcao vs. Barboza
Falcao marches on as he gets wide unanimous decision over Costa Rican Barboza. The Costa Rican crowded Falcao early in the first but had little success and he was wobbled by a combination at the end of the round. Falcao was just too quick and accurate and over the second and third despite Barboza’s attempts to bustle the Brazilian out of his stride Falcao was handing out a deal of punishment. From the fourth the fight was totally one-sided as Falcao increased the pace and Barboza was unable to get out of the way of Falcao’s punches or land anything of significance himself. At times it looked as though Barboza was ready to go but he hung in there and stayed the full route but was battered and beaten at the end. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 all for Falcao. The 27-year-old Falcao won a bronze medal at the World Championships and a silver medal at the 2012 Olympics beating Brit Anthony Ogogo in both competitions. His brother Yamaguchi won a bronze in London. Falcao is making sensible progress against credible opposition. Barboza, 38, had two shots at the interim WBA super middle title but lost both.
Wilmington, DE, USA: Cruiser: Roy Jones (65-9) W TKO 8 Bobby Gunn (21-7-1). Super Welter: Kanat Islam (23-0) W KO 1 Robson Assis (16-4). Super Feather: Frank De Alba (21-2-2) W PTS 6 German Meraz (55-42-1). Super Bantam: Dagoberto Aguero (11-0) W PTS 6 Olimjon Nazarov (14-4).
Jones vs. Gunn
Easy win for Jones. There was not much action in the first two rounds. Gunn was less aggressive than expected not throwing much and Jones was off with his distance and timing and did not let his hands go until late in the second. Jones worked exclusively with his left jab in third not throwing any rights and again Gunn was waiting too long and throwing too little. I doubt if he threw ten punches in the round. Gunn got inside a couple of times in the fourth but then just held. Jones was already clowning with both hands on his thighs and just shooting out one punch at a time. Jones began to get serious in the fifth. He sent a series of hard rights and lefts though Gunn’s non-existent guard with Gunn a stationary target throwing nothing back. Gunn managed to take Jones to the ropes for a period in the sixth but once there Jones just tied him up and at the end of the round Jones was again scoring some hard hooks and uppercuts. It was all Jones in the seventh and late in the round he landed a long left to the head that unhinged Gunn’s legs and had him stumbling but Jones made no attempt to follow up which even surprised Gunn. He threw his arms open as if to say to Jones this is serious why have you let me off the hook. It was the last action of the fight as Gunn’s corner retired their man at the end of the round. Jones wins the vacant World Boxing Foundation title so is a five division champion from middleweight to heavyweight. He insists prolonging his career until he is a shadow of the great fighter he was will not affect his legacy. Maybe not but I just wish he had not fought to where he is a shadow of the great fighter he was as these are not the Roy Jones memories I want. Gunn, 43, could only have won here by pressing the fight all the way but he let Jones fight at his own pace and presented a static target which together with a leaky defence made things easy for Jones.
Islam vs. Assis
Islam saves his 100% record by knocking out Brazilian before a serious cut promises a No Decision ending. Islam came out firing and quickly had Assis under pressure with rights to the head. Assis tried to bang back and a clash of head just 30 seconds into the fight saw a bad gash open over the right eye of Islam. It was deep and long and after a few seconds the referee stopped the action and asked the doctor to examine the cut. Islam survived the inspection. Soon the blood was rolling down the face of Islam affecting his vision and with blood smeared across his face it seemed certain the fight would be stopped soon and declared a No Decision. With that in mind Islam just walked forward throwing lefts and rights with Assis countering when he could. After shaking the Brazilian with a right Islam landed a straight right to the head which saw Assis go down heavily with his head banging on the canvas. He rolled around trying to get up but was counted out and it was some time before he recovered. All over in 132 seconds. The 32-year-old Chinese-born, Florida-based Kazak fighter Islam, real name Hanati Silamu, moves to 19 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated WBA 4/WBO 6/IBF 15(14). Assis, 38, a former Brazilian champion, looked older than 38 and he falls to four losses by KO/TKO.
De Alba vs. Meraz
Just some useful ring time for De Alba as he outpoints Mexican Meraz. De Alba is not a big puncher and Meraz is a survivor supreme so this was always going the distance. De Alba easily took the first four rounds with Meraz just looking to stay in the fight. Over the fifth and sixth Meraz stood and traded a while and threw in some clowning and was still there at the final bell as usual. Scores 60-54 from all three judges. The 29-year-old Puerto-Rican born Pennsylvanian-based De Alba has lost only one of his last 24 fights and that was a majority verdict against Omar Douglas in 2015. This is his fourth win since then. This was fight No 99 in just under twelve years as a pro for the 30-year-old Meraz and at that activity rate he could go on to 150. He has only lost eight times by KO/TKO.
Aguero vs. Nazarov
Dominican prospect Aguero boxes his way to majority decision over Nazarov. Aguero used slick boxing and quick hands to establish an early lead. Nazarov was pinning his faith on landing fewer but harder punches but it did not work in those stages. From the fourth Aguero chose to stand and fight more and the rounds were closer but Aguero looked a clear winner. Scores 59-55 and 58-56 for Aguero and 57-57. The 23-year-old Aguero was an outstanding amateur winning silver medals at the Pan American Games and Pan American Youth Championships and competing at the World Junior, World Youth, World Military Games and World Senior Championships. Uzbek Nazarov, 31, has lost three in a row, all to unbeaten fighters.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Light: Robert Manzanarez (34-1) W KO 4 Gamaliel Diaz (40-16-3). Manzanarez impresses in his first fight in the USA. Diaz was trying to take the fight inside against the lanky loose-limbed Manzanarez who just prodded with his right jab and was looking to score with counter hooks. Diaz continues to pressure in the second with Manzanarez getting a warning for pushing the veteran down to the floor. Manzanarez was not looking to keep Diaz out with his jab as his best work was done with hooks as Diaz moved in. A left looked to have shaken Diaz and he backed across the ring. Diaz worked his way out of trouble but Manzanarez was dangerous with those hooks and shook Diaz again with a left hook. Diaz came forward throughout the third but could not pin the quick Manzanarez down and was getting frustrated. Diaz was soon coming forward again in the fourth but a left hook to the ribs saw him step back and then go down on one knee in a delayed action knockdown. He was in a great deal of pain and was counted out still on one knee. The 22-year-old Arizona-born Mexican Manzanarez was having his first fight for 11 months but there was no sign of rust. He now has 28 wins by KO/TKO and this is his biggest win so far. He turned pro at 15 and reversed his only loss with a kayo victory. He has an unusual style. He has a long reach but puts no power in his jab just flicking it out and then fires hooks and uppercuts with a lot of power. The 36-year-old Diaz, a former WBC super feather champion, is not the force he was and is now 2-6-1 in his last 9 fights.
Singapore: Light Heavy: Ryan Ford (10-0) W TKO 9 Sam Rapira (15-4).
Ford becomes a “world champion” as he stops Rapira to win the vacant Universal Boxing Organisation crown. New Zealander Rapira had the superior skills but Ford was the stronger and just kept forcing the fight slowly wearing Rapira down. Ford finally broke through in the ninth as he landed a heavy combination to the head. Rapira was badly shaken and under pressure on the ropes when his corner threw in the towel. The 34-year-old Ford, who first took up fighting during a stint in jail, was competing in both boxing and MMA until 2010 when he dropped the MMA to focus on boxing. This his sixth win by KO/TKO and the first time he has gone past six rounds. Rapira, 33, a former New Zealand champion who beat Vijender Singh in the Arafura Games was coming off a points loss to world rated Robert Berridge.
Ford turned his life around after a stint in prison some 15 years back. While on the inside he trained in the gym every chance he got, told anyone who’d listen he’d be a fighter when he got out.
Cincinnati, OH, USA: Welter: Adrien Broner (33-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Adrian Granados (18-5-2). Welter: Lamont Peterson (35-3-1) W PTS 12 David Avanesyan (22-2-1). Light Heavy: Marcus Browne (19-0) W KO 6 Thomas Williams Jr (20-3).
Broner vs. Granados
Broner gets controversial split decision over Granados. Granados took the first round clearly. He was dancing too much but when he set himself he was quick with his jab and landed a series of light hooks. Broner later said he had injured his left hand in this opening round. The second round was closer. Broner was scoring with some sharp counters early in the round with Granados coming on strong late but there was too much mauling and wrestling going on. Granados outworked Broner in the third. He was alternating between buzzing around and then lunging in with quick punches and staying close and working inside. Broner was just not throwing enough punches. At the end of the round Granados was showing a cut on the bridge of his nose caused in a clash of heads and a nose bleed but looked to be in front. Broner used his skills at the start of the fourth to counter Granados on the way in and was also staying off the ropes but Granados staged a strong finish to the round to make it close. Up to now Granados had been throwing twice as many punches as Broner and although not always accurate that had to count for something in the judges eyes. Broner took the fifth. Again he was countering well but also stabbing home jabs and strong right hands and Granados was not as busy as he had been and was walking onto hooks and uppercuts. All of the surplus energy Granados had wasted dancing around in the early rounds seemed to catch up with him and he was a tired fighter in the sixth. Most of the fight was on the inside and Broner was landing the cleaner and harder punches. Granados was dancing again in the seventh and it worked to some extent. Broner was unable to cut the ring down but was scoring with solid punches. Granados fired a series of quick punches before the bell so another close round. Broner took the eighth. Granados was all business pressing the action but Broner was scoring with hard counters and doing the cleaner work so it was quality vs. quantity in the round and again it was close. Granados swarmed forward again in the ninth but most of his work was ineffectual. Broner was throwing less but was more accurate scoring inside with hooks and uppercuts and getting the better of the exchanges. In the tenth as in so many rounds it was a case of Granados throwing more and Broner the one with the accuracy and for that reason in the end I felt the judges came up with the right decision. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Broner and 97-93 for Granados. I could not see it as 97-93 for either fighter. It was closer than that. Broner, 27, had agreed to meet Granados, a close friend, at 142lbs but then insisted it be at 147lbs so where his future lies is unclear but he is back in the mix calling for Manny Pacquiao and promising he is going to clean up his act outside the ring so a new Broner. Let’s wait and see. Granados, also 27, felt he had won this one and a good argument could be made for that. He is rated in the top 10 at super light by both the WBA and WBC and his entertaining style means he will be back in some more high profile fights this year.
Avanesyan vs. Peterson
Peterson wins the secondary WBA title as a strong finish sees him take the unanimous verdict. Peterson had height and reach over the champion and in a cautious first round he just did enough work with his jab to take it. Avanesyan evened things up by outworking Peterson in the second getting past the jab and scoring with short hooks. Peterson worked the jab well in the third and scored with some hooks late to edge the third. Avanesyan came back in the fourth. He showed he had a useful jab of his own and landed hooks and uppercuts inside. After four rounds it was a tight fight with two judges having it 38-38 and the third 39-37 for Peterson. Avanesyan forced the pace in the fifth occasionally changing to southpaw and outworked Peterson to take the round. Peterson swung it back his way in the sixth and seventh deciding to take the fight inside and he scored with uppercuts and scorching hooks to the body from both hands. The fight seemed to be turning his way but the eighth was close with Avanesyan strong early and Peterson working the body late in the round but Avanesyan probably just shaded it. After eight rounds it was still close with two judges having Peterson 77-75 up and the third seeing it even at 76-76. Peterson worked the body hard in the ninth with Avanesyan mostly on the back foot countering with short hooks but Peterson just edged it. Peterson took a close tenth. He was forcing Avanesyan to the ropes, and on one occasion even out through the ropes to the ring apron, and again Peterson was banging home wicked hooks to the body. The eleventh also went to Peterson. He was bulling Avanesyan around. The Russian was firing back but Peterson was landing more and with more power. Avanesyan needed a knockout in the last but that was never likely and Peterson finished strongly pounding home body punches to the bell. Scores 116-112 twice and 115-113 all for 33-year-old Peterson with all three judges scoring the last three rounds for Peterson. First fight since beating Felix Diaz in October 2015 for Peterson and now he wants the winner of Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia. First defence of his title for 28-year-old Avanesyan who was upgraded from interim champion this year. He has some rebuilding to do but he showed here he belongs in this class.
Browne vs. Williams
Browne gets win but only after flirting with disqualification. Browne won the first round being quicker to the punch with Williams making an uncertain start. In the second a jab from Browne put Williams down but Browne added a punch to the back of the head which sent Williams face down on the canvas. It probably should have been a disqualification but instead the referee gave Williams five minutes to recover and deducted a point from Browne. If Williams was hesitant at the start he was even worse as the fight continued and southpaw Browne was able to control the bout and land hard lefts in each round. In the fourth a right put Williams down and he only just made it to his feet at nine and he was rocked again right late in the fifth. In the sixth a right floored Williams for the third time and he was counted out. The 26-yerar-old 2012 Olympian Browne moves to 14 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated WBC 11/WBO 11.He had only one fight in 2016 so he needs to be more active. First fight for Williams,29, since being knocked out in four rounds by Adonis Stevenson in a challenge for the WBC title in July last year.
Milan, Italy: Super Middle: Avni Yildirim (15-0) W TKO 1 Alaksandr Sushchyts (21-4-1). Yildirim just rolls over Sushchyts. Sushchyts made a confident start scoring with a couple of hooks to the body. Yildirim was soon banging out a stiff jab and backing Sushchyts up. Sushchyts started using his own jab well but Yildirim would not be denied. He was crowding Sushchyts banging home hooks and uppercuts. He backed Sushchyts to the ropes and landed four heavy shots to head and body with Sushchyts dropping onto one knee. He watched the count and seemed to just get up at nine but the referee waived the fight off. Sushchyts’ corner protested the decision but it looked about right as Yildirim was punching too hard for Sushchyts. The 25-year-old Turk was making the first defence of his WBC International Silver title. He has useful wins over Aaron Pryor and Schiller Hyppolite and at WBC No 3 he is in line to move to mandatory challenger to the winner of the Callum Smith vs. Anthony Dirrell fight for the vacant WBC title. Belarus fighter Sushchyts, 28, had won his last 5 fights
Guaymas, Mexico: Super Light: Pedro Campa (25-0) W TKO 4 Marvin Quintero (29-8). Light Fly: Gilberto Parra Medina (24-3,1ND) W PTS 10 Mario Rodriguez (19-13-5).
Campa vs. Quintero
Campo overwhelms experienced Quintero. Campo was on the front foot from the start using a long jab and scoring with a good right to the body. Quintero only started to throw punches at the end of the round but was usually short with his southpaw lefts. War broke out in the second as they stood and traded. Quintero scored with a series of head punches and looked to have rocked Campa with a left to the head. He then forced the Hermosillo fighter back with Campa looking ruffled. Campa was walking forward at the end of the round but was wide open to counters and it was Quinter’s round. Campa forced the fight in the third taking Quintero to the ropes and scoring with blistering hooks to the body. Quintero countered with some sharp left uppercuts but Campa walked through the punches and scored with booming left and right hooks as the round ended. Early in the fourth a right from Campa suddenly had Quintero tumbling back into the ropes on shaky legs and into a corner. Campa launched a storm of hooks and uppercuts. Quintero managed to fight his way out of the corner but was trapped on the ropes again and big left hook sent him flying into the corner and he dropped to the canvas propped up against the ropes and the referee waived the fight over. The 25-year-old Campa moves to 19 wins by KO/TKO. He has wins over useful Aaron Herrera and Jose Alfaro. He has real power but defence is a foreign country for him. Tijuana’s Quintero, 30, lost a split decision to Miguel Vazquez for the WBC light title in 2012 but lost big fights to Rustam Nugaev, Jose A Gonzalez and Petr Petrov and looked a bit ring worn here.
Parra vs. Rodriguez
Parra just too strong for the smaller Rodriguez. Rodriguez made the better start getting inside against the taller Parra and firing hooks and uppercuts. Parra took the second alternating between short, chopping punches in close and boxing on the outside using his longer reach and he edged a close third. Both scored with heavy artillery in the fourth and fifth which were close rounds. Parra looked the fresher in the sixth and seventh and was scoring with sweeping hooks and uppercuts. Rodriguez was trapped on the ropes for most of the eighth and ninth held there by the naturally bigger Parra. Two tired fighters just pumped out punches in the last with Parra ending the fight with a series of head punches. Scores 99-91 and 98-92 for Parra and 97-93 for Rodriguez. Parra looked a clear winner. He is 9-1-1ND in his last 11 fights with the loss being against Donnie Nietes for the WBO light fly title in 2015. “Dragoncito” Rodriguez, 28, a former IBF minimum champion, is now 0-4-1 in his last 5 fights.
Papa, Hungary: Super Feather: Zoltan Kovacs (19-5-1) W PTS 10 Nicola Cipolletta (13-5-2). Cruiser: Imre Szello (16-0) W PTS 8 Garrett Wilson (17-12-1). Middle: Norbert Harcsa (8-0) W PTS 8 Akos Kovacs (2-2).
Kovacs vs. Cipolletta
Kovacs retains his WBO European title with points victory over Italian Cipolletta. Kovacs had Cipolletta hurt digging to head and body in the first round but the challenger fought his way out of trouble. Kovacs had built a good lead but in the seventh a clash of heads saw both boxers cut. Kovacs was cut up on his forehead and Cipolletta over his left eye. The blood affecting the champion’s vision which spurred Cipolletta to surge over the late rounds but Kovacs was a clear winner. Scores 97-93 for Kovacs from all three judges. First defence of his WBO title for 24-year-old Kovacs-he won the WBO European title by beating a Tanzanian!. He is now 16-1-1 in his last 18 fights with the loss being to Brit Mitchell Smith for this same title in 2014. Italian feather champion Cipolletta was 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights.
Szello vs. Wilson
Unbeaten Szello gets eight rounds of work from Wilson. Szello found Wilson a difficult target but dominated most rounds. Wilson had a good sixth when he shook Szello with a left but Szello used his better skills to come back in the seventh and eighth. Wilson showed his experience and was never really in trouble so did his job and earned his money. Scores 78-74 twice and 79-73 all for Szello. The 33-year-old “Imo”, the WBO No 11, remains unbeaten but I can’t help thinking that the former top flight amateur left it much too late to turn pro. Wilson is capable of an occasional upset but not here.
Harcsa vs. Kovacs
Harcsa, another former top amateur, had too much of everything for novice Kovacs. He put fellow-countryman Kovacs down four times but the youngster refused to crumble and in the end Harcsa had to settle for a wide decision. Scores 80-68 from all three judges. First eight round fight for Harcsa who represented Hungary at the World and European Championships a number of times. Kovacs came in at short notice so did well to go the full distance.
Junin, Argentina: Super Light: Emiliano Dominguez (19-0) W PTS 10 Jonathan Eniz (15-9-1). Dominguez maintains his 100% record with unanimous verdict over former victim Eniz in a rough battle that saw both fighters cut. It was southpaw Eniz who was quickest out of the gate and he edged the first two rounds. Dominguez began to motor from the third and swept the middle rounds having Eniz in trouble in the sixth. Eniz got back into the fight late and took the ninth but with Dominguez finishing stronger he collected his second win over Eniz. Scores 100-92 ½-, 99 ½-94 ½ and 98-96 all for Dominguez. The 28-year-old “La Cobrita” had outpointed Eniz in May last year. Eniz, 22, is 2-5 in his last 7 fights.
Mar de Ajo, Argentina: Super Bantam: Diego Ruiz (13-2) W PTS 10 Alan Luques Castillo (19-5). “The Prophet” Ruiz wins a close unanimous decision over Luques Castillo. Both fighters had good spells in the fight with Ruiz getting the better of the action in the first half of the fight. Over the second half of the fight Luques Castillo was on top and eating into Ruiz’s lead. Ruiz made the fight his with a strong spell in the eighth and ninth and despite a good tenth Luques Castillo could not close the gap. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 all for Ruiz. The 22-year-old Argentinian bantam champion wins the interim WBC Latino title. He has won 7 of his last 8 fights. Luques Castillo was making the first defence of his interim title.
Calgary, Canada: Super Light: Steve Claggett (25-4-1) W RTD 4 Juan Orozco (15-6-2). Claggett uses a focused body attack to wear down fleshy Mexican Orozco. The local fighter was landing hooks and uppercuts from both hands and Orozco went from slow to very slow under the constant pressure. He was finished by the end of the fourth and retired in his corner. Claggett, 27, the Canadian No 2, lost important and tough fights against Konstantin Ponomarev and in April last year to Chris van Heerden. He rebounded well with a decision over unbeaten Emmanuel Robles for the WBA/NABA title in September. Orozco is 0-3 in fights in Canada.
Zagreb, Croatia: Middle: Luka Pupek (10-0) W TKO 7 Jean Michel Hamilcaro (22-8-3). Teenager Pupek wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean title with stoppage of Frenchman Hamilcaro. Pupek was in charge from the start. Body punches put Hamilcaro down in the fifth but he survived. In the seventh Pupek put Hamilcaro down four more times and the referee stopped the fight. The 18-year-old Croatian champion has 5 wins by KO/TKO. First fight for almost two years for Hamilcaro.
Annemasse, France: Light: Patrick Kinigamazi (26-2) W PTS 8 Ruben Gouveia (10-3-1). Kinigamazi extends his current unbeaten run with points decision over local fighter. The 33-year-old Rwanda-born boxer gets his eighth win on the bounce. Gouveia had his own little streak going as he had won his last 4 fights.
Nairobi, Kenya: Super Feather: Cosmas Cheka (19-7-5) W PTS 10 David Rajuili (9-6-1). Super Middle: Daniel Wanyonyi (25-10-2) W PTS 10 Karama Nyilawila (24-16-3). Welter: James Onyango (23-11-1) W KO 2 Patrick Atuhairwe (6-4).
Cheka vs. Rajuili
Lanky Tanzanian Cheka wins decision over South African Rajuili. The 5’10” (178cm) Cheka was able to box comfortably on the outside and was a clear winner. Cheka, 26, suffered back-to-back losses to Paulus Moses and a very close decision to Zoltan Kovacs late last year. South African No 2 Rajuili had won the vacant WBFederation International title in Kenya in September but his title was not on the line in this fight.
Wanyonyi vs. Nyilawila
Wanyonyi wins this clash of experienced African fighters. He had early trouble with Nyilawila’s southpaw style but was a clear winner. The 33-year-old Kenyan, the ABU light heavy champion, was knocked out in four rounds by Bob Ajisafe for the Commonwealth title in 2015 but went the distance with Frenchman Tony Averlant for the vacant WBFederation world super middle title last year. Tanzanian Nyilawila was 5-2-1 in his previous 8 fights
Onyango vs. Atuhairwe
Kenyan Onyango shows his power again as he used a body attack to halt Ugandan Atuhairwe in two rounds. Atuhairwe was floored in the first and down for the count in the second. The 33-year-old Onyango has 19 wins by KO/TKO and had won 6 of his last 7 fights including a tenth round stoppage of Atuhairwe in 2015. Now four losses in a row for Atuhairwe.
Manila, Philippines: Feather: Drian Francisco (29-4-1) W PTS 10 Mateo Handig (13-13). Light Fly: Mark Anthony Barriga (4-0) W PTS 8 Geboi Mansalayao (10-25-5).
Francisco vs. Handig
Francisco returns to action with unanimous verdict over Indonesian Handig. The former WBA interim super fly champion was caught a few times early in the fight by right hooks from Handig but the Indonesian lacked the power to be a threat. Francisco was never fighting at full throttle but he found plenty of gaps in the defence of Handig and was an easy winner. At one time Francisco, 24, was 26-1-1 with the loss which cost him his WBA interim title being a very close decision; two judges scored it 114-113, against Thai Tepparith in Thailand in 2011. He lost an important fight to Chris Avalos in 2013 and in May 2015 suffered a shock one round blowout by fellow-Filipino Jason Canoy. Despite that he was put in with Guillermo Rigondeaux for the vacant WBC International Silver title in November 2015 losing on points and this is his ring return. Eight losses in a row now for Handig.
Barriga vs. Mansalayao
Former Olympian Barriga is still looking for his first win by KO/TKO as a pro but had little trouble in outpointing the more experienced Mansalayao. A slick boxing southpaw Barriga showed excellent skills against his naturally bigger opponent and won by a wide margin on all three ca5rds. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72. The 22-year-old Barriga has to be considered a top prospect. As an amateur he competed at the 2012 Olympics, where he was the only Filipino fighter to qualify, and also competed at both the 2011 and 2013 World Championships outpointing Paddy Barnes in the 2011 tournament. He also won a gold medal at the South East Asia Games, fought for the Italian Thunder team in the WBS and competed in the AIBA Pro bouts. It is unusual for a top Filipino amateur to go pro-none of their Olympic boxing medal winners have-so it will be interesting to see how he progresses. As for Mansalayao he is now 1-9 in his last 10 fights.
Chelyabinsk, Russia: Cruiser: Yury Kashinsky (11-0) W TKO 2 Kristijan Krstacic (13-1). Super Feather: Shavkat Rakhimov (9-0) W TKO 5 Rogelio Jun Doliguez (21-4-2). Light Rustam Nugaev (29-7-1) W RTD 7 Feruzbek Yuldashev (8-2). Super Bantam: Murad Arslanov (8-0) W PTS 10 Andrei Isayeu (30-8). Light: Muhammadkhuja Yaqubov (6-0) W PTS 10 Yogli Herrera (28-18).
Kashinsky vs. Krstacic
Russian Kashinsky retains the WBO Orient title with second round stoppage of German Krstacic. It was an easy win as Kashinsky took the first round and then floored Krstacic twice in the second to force the stoppage. The tall 32-year-old Russian now has 10 wins by KO/TKO. Krstacic, 35, had scored 10 wins by KO/TKO himself so the biter bit here.
Rakhimov vs. Doliguez
Good win for Tajik southpaw Rakhimov. He was in charge all the way against the much more experienced Doliguez and after the Filipino was floored in the fifth the fight was stopped. Second win for a Tajik boxer on the show. The 22-year-old Rakhimov adds the WBC Eurasia Pacific Boxing Council (EPBC) title to the WBO Youth title he already holds and gets his fifth win in a row by KO/TKO. Southpaw “Hercules” Doliguez, 25, the Philippines No 13, found this task too much for him. He kicked off his pro career with an 18-0-2 run. He is currently 3-3-1 but went the distance with Fernando Montiel in 2015.
Nugaev vs. Yuldashev
Nugaev gets his second win since returning to the ring and retains his WBC Asian Boxing Council (WBC ABC) title. Yuldashev was competitive early but the power and experience of “The Mongoose” proved too much and after a punishing seventh round Yuldashev retired citing a hand injury. Nugaev, 34, score good wins over Jonathan Maicelo (who beat Jose Felix on Friday) and Marvin Quintero but lost a biggie being stopped in nine bloody and brutal rounds against Denis Shafikov in an IBF eliminator in August 2014. He was then inactive until returning with a win last December over Filipino Ardie Boyose (17-0-2) for the WBC ABC title. Uzbek Yuldashev had won his last five fights but was out of his depth in this one.
Arslanov vs. Isayeu
Youth is served in this one as Russian Arslanov gets unanimous decision over Isayeu. Arslanov set a fast pace hoping to tire Isayeu and halt him in the later rounds. Isayeu could not match the Russian’s speed but he used his experience to stay in the fight and it was closer than the scores indicate. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Arslanov but a good reflection of the fight would be closer to the last score than the first. Arslanov, 22, retains his WBC EPBC title. Belarus fighter Isayeu, 36, only lost one of his first 23 fights and that loss was to Kevin Mitchell. He challenged for the European title and mixed in good company but is not the force he once was.
Yaqubov vs. Herrera
Yaqubov completes the Tajik hat-trick as he outclasses veteran Herrera. Yaqubov won all the way but Herrera showed survival skills and was still there after ten rounds. Scores 100-90 twice and 100-89 all for Yaqubov. The 21-year-old southpaw was making the first defence of his WBC ABC title. Colombian Herrera, 34, has been in with quality opposition such as Mikey Garcia, Joel Diaz Jr and Miguel Roman. He had won 6 of his last 7 fights but the wins were over very low level locals.
Manchester, England: Welter: Liam Taylor (14-1) W PTS 8 Angel Emilov (5-12).
Local fighter Taylor returns to the ring with a win. The 26-year-old “Dynamo” won every round against Bulgarian Emilov as the referee’s 80-72 scorecard shows. Taylor’ only loss was on points against current British super light champion Tyrone Nurse in April 2015. This was his first fight since November 2015 so he will be looking for more work. Emilov is 1-9 in fights in Britain but has yet to lose inside the distance on his visits.
London, England: Super Welter: Asinia Byfield (12-1) W PTS 10 John Brennan (7-5-1). Byfield holds on to his BBB of C Southern Area title as he halts Brennan in a see-saw battle. Byfield had the edge in skills but Brennan used all-out aggression to offset that. Byfield looked to have shaken Brennan early but Brennan recovered and Byfield found himself fighting off the ropes as Brennan stepped up his attacks. In the sixth just when it looked as though the pace was starting to tell on Byfield he rocked Brennan with a counter and then poured on the punches until the referee stopped the fight. Byfield’s lone loss was a single point defeat against Arthur Hermann (16-2) for this same title in April last year. Byfield rebounded in style with a win over former British title challenger Erick Ochieng for the again vacant title in October. Brennan is better than his record shows and had won his last three fights.