New York, NY, USA: Feather: Luis Rosa (22-0,1ND) W PTS 8 German Meraz (52-37-1,1ND). Super Light: Michal Chudecki (11-1-1) W PTS 8 Louis Cruz (12-1). Super Light: Jerry Belmontes W PTS 8 Valentyn Golovko (21-1,1ND). Light Heavy: Lenin Castillo (13-0-1) W KO 1 Marcelo Tavares (8-1-1).
Rosa vs. Meraz
Rosa cruises to wide unanimous verdict over Mexican travelling loser Meraz. Puerto Rican Rosa confused Meraz with his switching guards but also hurt him with body punches. Meraz soaked up the punishment and displayed his finely honed survival skills. The body attack weakened Meraz who lost a point for going to the canvas without a punch once too often and Rosa put the Mexican on the floor with a right in the seventh. Scores 79-69 twice and 80-68. The New Haven-based Rosa, 24, has good wins over Jorge Diaz, Luis Orlando del Valle and Giovanni Caro and is rated No 14(13) by the IBF. Meraz, 29, is closing in on 100 bouts but has lost only six times by KO/TKO.
Chudecki vs. Cruz
Polish hope Chudecki was probably a slight underdog here but won clearly after eight tough, exciting rounds helped by a couple of point deductions. Cruz made the better start with some neat boxing but eventually southpaw Chudecki used his superior strength to force Cruz to fight his fight. The Bronx fighter found himself having to stand and trade or often fight with his back to the ropes. Pressure from Chudecki paid dividends in the fifth as Cruz was deducted a point. Cruz also lost a point in the sixth but it was his best round to date and he had Chudecki badly shaken as he tried to get back into the fight. It was the Pole’s turn to lose a point in the seventh but he already had the fight won and although Cruz put everything into the last round Chudecki took the verdict. Scores 77-72 twice and 79-70 for Chudecki. The 29-year-old Pole was having his first fight since November 2014. In that fight he was knocked out in 87 seconds by fellow Pole Michal Syrowatka. Great things were expected from Chudecki after an amateur campaign that saw him twice win the national title, win a bronze medal at the European Union Championships and compete at both the World and European Championships but with the loss to Syrowatka and a draw in 2013 with 3-5 fighter Chris Steele in North Bergen he has stuttered rather than starred. Cruz, 25, can learn from this and regroup. He too was a top level amateur winning the New York Golden Gloves, getting silver medals at the National PAL Tournament and the NGG’s and getting to the final US Olympic Trials.
Belmontes vs. Golovko
Recent poor form had made Belmontes look like a safe opponent for unbeaten Golovko, but the “Corpus Christi Kid” could not afford another loss and fought his way to a deserved majority decision. Belmontes had to press the fight and get inside and Golovko was firing hard counters so there were plenty of furious exchanges but Golovko needed to box on the outside to win and the pressure from Belmontes prevented that but it was a very close fight. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Belmontes and 76-76. After a stellar time as an amateur when he beat Sadam Ali and Terence Crawford, Belmontes had gone on to win his first 17 fights as a pro then fell away badly going 2-8 in his next 10. There were losses to top class opposition such as Francisco Vargas, a split decision against Omar Figueroa for the WBC light title, another split decision to Abner Cotto and points losses to Miguel Vazquez and Dierry Jean. They were explicable but a first kayo loss to Jason Sosa in August put a big question mark over his career. He had won a low level bout in December so this result gives him back-to-back wins for the first time since 2012. The Ukrainian “Sabre” Golovko had compiled a winning run against some very ordinary opposition back home so this was a big step up in level for his second fight in the USA. It was a close enough fight for him to take something away from and he can come again.
Castillo vs. Tavares
Dominican Castillo ended this one in just 42 seconds. A right to the chin put Brazilian Tavares down and out. Last time out the Dominican had his best result so far in a draw with unbeaten prospect Travis Peterkin (15-0). His opposition up to the Peterkin contest had been poor but he has shown now that he can fight. As an amateur under his real first name of Gilberto the tall 27-year-old competed at both the World Junior and Senior Championships, won a gold medal at the Pan American Junior Championships and competed at the 2008 Olympics also scoring some good wins over opposition including Tureano Johnson. Tavares a return to sub-standard opposition for Castillo. The 40-year-old Brazilian “Iron Man” was having his first fight for almost two years.
Santa Clara del Mar, Argentina: Cruiser: Roberto Bolonti (37-5,1ND) W KO 6 Walter Cabral (21-14). Bolonti delights his home fans with kayo of Cabral. Bolonti was on top all the way until finally finding a hard combination to end it in the sixth. The 37-year-old Argentinian had his title shots when he took on Juergen Braehmer for the secondary WBA title in 2014 and he has said this is his last year as a boxer so is hoping to go out in style. Cabral, 45, the FAB No 4, suffers his ninth loss by KO/TKO.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Super Light: Jonathan Gaston C (16-1-1) W PTS 10 Diego Gonzalo Luque (17-3-1). Gaston holds on to his WBO Latino title with split decision over Luque. Gaston took the first two rounds but then it became a close contest, swinging one way and then the other with neither fighter really dominating or impressing. The third and fourth rounds were untidy with Gaston just doing enough to edge them and he also edged the sixth. Luque took the seventh as Gaston’s work rate dropped and over the last three rounds Gaston was too cautious letting Luque do the attacking making it very close at the end. Scores 96-94 twice for Gaston and 96-94 for Luque. Now 10 wins in a row for the FAB No 3 Gaston. Luque, the FAB No 4, had been 5-1 in his last 6 fights and deserves a return.
Blagnac, France: Super Feather: Samir Ziani (21-2-1) W PTS 10 Dame Seck (10-12-2). Cruiser: Doudou Ngumbu (35-7) W PTS 6 Gabriel Lecrosnier (18-35-4). Cruiser: Arsen Goulamirian (14-0) W KO 2 Tomislav Rudan (5-8-1).
Ziani vs. Seck
Hometown fighter Ziani outclasses Seck in the second defence of his French title. The local southpaw made a slow start but from the second round he was in total command. In his usual style he was walking forward just throwing punch after punch from both hands mainly hooks. The pressure was relentless as he hunted Seck from corner to corner with Seck too busy defending himself to launch any serious counters attacks. He had Seck reeling and rocking in the sixth but could not finish it. Seck showed real courage and did a lot of holding but he was being punished in round after round. The failure to end the fight early was the only blot on Ziani’s performance but he seemed to be going for quantity rather than quality. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. The 25-year-old Ziani was unbeaten in his first 16 fights before losing a close decision to fellow Frenchman Samir Kasmi for the vacant EU title in 2013. His other loss was again a very close verdict to world rated Richard Commey at the end of 2014. He is No 2 with the EBU behind Stephen Smith and hoping to get a shot at the winner of the scheduled title fight between champion Julio Giner and Guillaume Frenois. Seck, 27, is now 4-9 in his last 13 fights.
Ngumbu vs. Lecrosnier
Ngumbu gets back to winning ways with six good rounds of work with Lecrosnier. The 33-year-old DRC fighter won comfortably and will be looking to get back to high level fights. Scores 59-55 twice and 58-55. He has victories over Aleksey Kuziemski, Vyacheslav Uzelkov and Johnny Muller but has lost big fights to Nadjib Mohammedi, Igor Mikhalkin and Andrzej Fonfara. An elbow injury had him inactive for 10 months before he lost to unbeaten Umar Salamov in November for the WBO European title which has pushed him out of the ratings. Lecrosnier just there to fill the other corner and no real threat . He is 1-9-1 in his last 11 fights.
Goulamirian vs. Rudan
Armenian-born Goulamirian makes it eight wins by KO/TKO as he brushes aside poor Croatian. He floored Rudan with a right in the first and ended it with a left hook in the second. Too easy for the 28-year-old locally based fighter. He wore the French colours as an amateur getting a silver medal at the French Championships and winning a gold medal at the prestigious Spanish BoxAm Tournament. He is down at No 25 in the EU ratings but will climb when his opposition gets better. Rudan, 28, had one fight in 2008 and was then inactive for almost six years. Britain is not a happy place for him as he has lost there to Tony Conquest, Karl Wheeler and Jose Lopez – all on points.
Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand: Minimumweight: Samartlek (24-5) W TKO 3 Hengky Baransano (11-10). Feather: Petch Kokietgym (22-1) W PTS 6 Mathtis Bernot (0-7).
Samartlek vs. Baransano
Samartlek wins the vacant PABA title with stoppage of Indonesian Baransano. All of the power here was with Samartlek. They could have sub-let the centre of the ring as a parking spot because Baransano hardly moved more than two feet from the ropes in the whole fight. Samartlek was just walking him down behind a high guard with Baransano speeding around the ring and then stopping to throw some quick combinations and then off again. The Thai was able to just walk through Baransano’s punches and in the second a left to the body put Baransano down. He managed to evade any more trouble in the round. In the third a left hook to the body and a right uppercut put Baransano down again. He came up punching but two more knockdowns from body punches ended the one-sided fight. The 31-year-old Thai went up a division to challenge Naoya Inoue for the WBA light fly title in September 2014 but he was floored twice and halted in eleven rounds. This is his seventh win since then. Baransano, 26, was way out of his class and he suffers his sixth loss in a row by KO/TKO
Kokietgym vs. Bernot
Really just some paid sparring for Kokietgym. The clever, quick southpaw was content to let Bernot come forward in every round. He was just too fast slotting home right jabs then being gone when Bernot was looking for a target. Kokietgym threw quick combinations but did not seem to be putting much venom in his punches. Bernot just could not slow or trap Kokietgym and was being caught with long straight lefts to the body as Kokietgym slipped out from under Bernot’s attacks. Just for a change Kokietgym banged home a sharp uppercut in the fifth but he is not a puncher and contented himself with handing out a boxing lesson in the sixth. The 27-year-old Thai, a former undefeated PABA super fly and bantam champion, was away from the ring from October 2013 until February 2015 and has won five fights since his return moving him to a 15 bout unbeaten streak. Poor Thai-based Frenchman Bernot is really just fodder.
Chiang Rai, Thailand: Minimumweight: Dexter Alimento (10-0) W RTD 8 Chanachai (5-1). Bantam: Noknoi (56-4) W TKO 3 Bin Bin Pardede. Bantam: Petch Sor Chitpattana (35-0) W Kiatpracha.
Alimento vs. Chanachai
Alimento wins but the real story is the serious condition of the local fighter who collapsed in his corner and was carried from the ring on a stretcher. I have had no update on his condition but it looked very alarming. There was no sign of the drama to come as these two were well matched. Chanachai walked forward continuously looking to lean his head on Alimento’s shoulders and just work to the body. Alimento was scoring with counters and Chanachai seemed willing to take those shots to get inside and Alimento was finding it easy to get past the Thai’s guard with jabs and uppercuts. The fourth round typified the fight with Chanachai keeping Alimento with his back to the ropes for the whole three minutes. The Thai was sending clubbing hooks to the body and mixing in an occasional head punch and was denying Alimento room to get leverage on his own punches. At the end of the round all three judges had Chanachai in front 39-37. The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh rounds followed the same pattern with Chanachai crowding, crowding, crowding and working the body with Alimento landing hard counters when he could find room for leverage. In the eighth Alimento moved more and was catching Chanachai with body punches then he landed a series of head punches actually driving Chanachai back for the first time in the fight as uppercuts pierced the Thai’s guard and banged into his chin. Also for the first time Chanachai did not raise his hands in celebration as the round ended. The judge’s scores at the end of the eighth all showed 77-75 for Chanachai. Whilst we were being shown the scores in Chanachai’s corner a horror was unfolding. The bell had gone for the start of the ninth round but Chanachai was slumped on his stool head hanging down and then he slipped to the canvas. His seconds tried to haul him up to put him back on the stool but he was totally unresponsive so they lowered him to the canvas again. The horror got worse as one of his seconds actually slapped his cheeks in an effort to revive him – a gesture from boxing’s dark ages. There did not seem to be a doctor in attendance and his corner had not looked for assistance during the one minute between the end of the round and the bell being rung for the ninth. Alimento was celebrating his victory and only then did a stretcher appear but there was too long a space between the problem being apparent and any sort of medical assistance which could yet have tragic consequences. This was a competitive fight between two well matched boxers with neither seeming to take any sustained head punches until the last 30 seconds of the eighth round. No blame could be attached to the referee but what happened in Chanachai’s corner after the end of the eighth round was disgracefully negligent. Last news was that Chanachai had suffered a bleed on the brain and was in intensive care.
Noknoi vs. Pardede
Lots of probing and missing and not much action as Noknoi figured out how to deal with the much taller Indonesian. Noknoi was getting through with straight lefts in the second and then shook Pardede with a left hook and another straight right but Pardede did get through with a right just before the bell. Noknoi caught up with Pardede in the third and a solid left hook to the ribs sent Pardede down on his hands and knees and the referee waived the fight off. After going 1-4 in his first sive fights Noknoi has now won 55 on the bounce 33 of those by KO/TKO. He is WBC No 2 and WBA No 3 but his opposition has been so mediocre that it is impossible to tell if he is worthy of a title shot. Don’t know what Pardede’s record is as there are lots of shows in Indonesia that go unreported but he had only the most basic technique.
Sor Chitpattana vs. Kiatpracha
Sor Chitpattana halts Kiatpracha in four. The unbeaten Thai was too fast for Kiatpracha. He was able to catch Kiatpracha again and again with southpaw straight lefts. Although he has a flat-foot style the young Thai has very quick hands and good movement and the gap in class was clear. Kiatpracha kept rumbling forward and was willing to trade but was rocked by a left uppercut/straight right combination in the second. However, he was a live opponent and landed some good combinations of his own in the second. Sor Chitpattana really cut losses in the third landing punch after punch as he drove Kiatpracha around the ring. Straight rights, straight lefts and hooks and uppercuts from both hands. He just could not miss and ironically Kiatpracha took more head punches in the third round than poor Chanachai did in his eight rounds. The fight should have been stopped. In the fourth two thunderous lefts to the chin put Kiatpracha down on his haunches but he was up immediately and it was not counted as a knockdown. Another series of punches put Kiatpracha down again and this time the referee stopped the fight. The 22-year-old Thai is WBC No 5/IBF 15(13). He has plenty of speed but because he is on such planted feet he tends to lean in with his punches so is going to be in danger against a quick counter puncher. I have used the name Kiatpracha but even the TV did not show confirmation of this.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Feather: Julian Ramirez (16-0) W PTS 10 Chris Martin (28-7-3). Feather: Abraham Lopez (20-0-1) W RTD 7 Carlos Valcarcel (14-7-4).
Ramirez vs. Martin
Ramirez extends his winning total with a wide unanimous decision over a fading Martin. The fight lacked any real highlights as Martin rarely got into the fight or threatened Ramirez’s domination. The pattern was set early with Ramirez in his usual style pressing behind his jab and then landing hard southpaw lefts and hooks from both hands and Martin being forced on to the back foot. Ramirez looked to have Martin shaky with a left in the third as he continued to press. Martin came into the fight a bit more in the middle rounds as he tried to stay ring centre but was being outworked and did not have the mobility or the power to change things. Martin briefly halted Ramirez’s forward march with a right in the sixth but was on the back foot and Ramirez was banging home hard punches up and down. Over the last two rounds Ramirez was a little more conservative but still connecting with fast, hard combinations with little coming back from Martin. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90. The 22-year-old Ramirez, the nephew of the late great Genaro Hernandez, failed to make the weight for what was to have been a fight for the vacant WBC Youth title. He put the weight problem down to a bout of sickness which interrupted his training. The former 4-time National PAL champion was in his third scheduled 10 round fight and so far the level has been reasonable for a fighter of his age and experience. Martin, 29, was unbeaten in his first 25 fights but has now gone 5-7-1 in his last 13.
Lopez vs. Valcarcel
Lopez gets another inside the distance victory as Valcarcel retires after round seven. It was a lively fight with Valcarcel willing to trade with Lopez but it was Lopez who had the power which made it entertaining but with a predictable outcome. Valcarcel scored with a good left hook in the first and things were a bit heated at the end of the round when Valcarcel landed a punch after the bell but Lopez got his revenge through slowly breaking the Puerto Rican down with left hooks and uppercuts. A left hook had Valcarcel hurt in the fourth and Lopez was dominating more and more with each passing round. The fifth and sixth saw Lopez focusing on the body piling on the agony with big punches inside and at a distance with the body punches now taking their toll. A one-sided seventh saw Lopez rocking Valcarcel with hard punches and it was no surprise when Valcarcel retired at the end of the round. The 28-year-old heavy handed Mexican goes to 15 wins by KO/TKO. The only blot on his record is a majority draw with journeyman Juan Carlos Martinez in March and since then he has scored wins over Alfred Tetteh and Jorge Diaz. He had close to 100 bouts as an amateur but lost in the Mexican Trials for the Pan American Games team. Valcarcel, 34, was a top level amateur winning many Tournaments and qualifying for the 2000 Olympics where he lost to future double world champion Omar Narvaez. His career stumbled along until he lost four very tough fights in a row and he took three years out not returning until August last year. He had a couple of low level wins but is now just a name for younger fighters to beat.
Elk Grove, IL, USA: Welter: Dusty Hernandez Harrison (29-0) W TKO 3 Angel Hernandez (17-17-1,1ND). Harrison continues unbeaten as eye problem forces Hernandez out. The fight had not really heated up at the time of the early finish. The styles did not mix well with Harrison 6’0” to the 5’6” Hernandez. After a slow first round Harrison was getting into his stride and landing some heavy body punches. At the end of the round Hernandez was indicating a problem with his right eye and the doctor had the bout stopped. The 21-year-old from Washington has 16 wins by KO/TKO. A former National Junior Golden Gloves champion Harrison turned pro at 17 whilst still at High School. He has yet to face a recognised test but has plenty of time. Hernandez was having only his second fight in 18 months.
New York, NY, USA: Welter: Zhankhozh Turarov (18-0) W TKO 1 Joaquim Carniero (22-7).
Kazak boxer Turarov puts away Brazilian inside a round. Turarov worked Carniero to the ropes and then slammed home a straight right to the body. Carniero made it to his feet but he was on the ropes again and this time a wicked left hook to the body put him down again and as he was kneeling on the canvas in agony the referee did not bother to count but just waived his arms. The 25-year-old Turarov wins the vacant NABA world title. Strictly speaking that should be the WBA-NABA since the NABA is an affiliate to the WBA. Turarov has faced only very poor opposition in a mixture of places so it will be interesting to see how he does against a live opponent. He has 15 wins by KO/TKO and certainly showed power here but Carniero has a typically misleading Brazilian record. The 28-year-old Brazilian had won his last 9 fights but for example the last 6 opponents had total records of 6 wins and 23 losses.
Montreal, Canada: Light Heavy: Sergey Kovalev (29-0-1) W RTD 7 Jean Pascal (30-4-1,1ND). Middle: Francis Lafreniere (11-5-2) W PTS 10 Renan St Juste (26-5-1). Welter Dmitry Mikhaylenko (21-0) W PTS 10 Karim Mayfield (19-3-1). Super Light: David Theroux (9-1) W TKO 3 Juan Armando Garcia (13-3-2). Middle: Virgilijus Stapulionis (26-3-1) W TKO 2 Laszlo Fazekas (28-24-1,1ND). Super Feather: Joel Diaz Jr (21-0) W TKO 2 Abraham Gomez (22-13-1). Super Welter: Steven Butler (14-0-1) W PTS 8 Antonio Hoffmann (13-0). Super Welter: Sebastien Bouchard (12-1-0) W PTS 6 Damian Mielewczyk (9-2).
Kovalev v. Pascal
Be careful what you wish for. Pascal wanted a return with Kovalev and he got it and another beating. Kovalev started out throwing punches with intent but just missing with the big ones. Pascal was more cautious. As Pascal came in with a jab he was met by a jab from Kovalev and went down. The referee decided it was a slip and did not apply a count, but it was a genuine knockdown. In the second it was again Kovalev dominating as he scored with his jab doubling up on it at times and he wobbled Pascal with a combination. Pascal was firing back but not as often, not as accurately and not as hard. Pascal was trying to take the fight to Kovalev in the third but it was rights from Kovalev which were landing to head and body forcing Pascal onto the defensive. The fourth saw Kovalev in total control with Pascal reluctant to exchange and having to absorb shots to head and body. Kovalev totally dominated the fifth. Again he was doubling up on his jab and Pascal spent much of the round pinned to the ropes with Kovalev landing thudding punches to head and body. He shook Pascal with a straight right late in the round, a round that was so one-sided that all three judges scored it a 10-8 without a knockdown. Freddie Roach questioned Pascal as to whether he wanted to continue and Pascal said he did. It might have been as well if the fight had been stopped then as in the sixth Kovalev was again banging home powerful jabs and right hands and there was little coming back from Pascal. In the interval Roach was looking to pull Pascal out but Pascal asked for one more round. In the seventh it was all Kovalev again. The champion was the one throwing punches with Pascal only trying the occasional counter and a right looked to have forced Pascal to put a glove on the canvas to steady himself but the referee does not see it as a knockdown. Kovalev finished the round with a series of jabs and rights. A doctor entered the ring at the end of the round but it was Roach who made the decision to pull Pascal out. The 32-year-old Kovalev was making the seventh defence of his WBO title and the third defence of his IBF and WBA titles and now has 26 wins by KO/TKO. He has finished 12 of his last 13 fights by KO/TKO and it is the mark of a great fighter that, as with Gennady Golovkin, their percentage of inside the distance wins stays high even when fighting at the very top level. All we really need now is a fight with WBC champion Adonis Stevenson who put on a “Tyson-like” rant in the ring as he realises that Kovalev is eclipsing him in the eyes of the boxing public. Pascal, 33, is still a name and a good fighter but he struggled to get past Yunieski Gonzalez on a disputed decision in July and although he is still WBO 3/IBF 6(5) his next fight will decided if he still has it to remain a player or to become just a stepping-stone.
Lafreniere vs. St Juste
Canadian champion is just too young and too strong for veteran St Juste. Lafreniere took the fight to St Juste from the start forcing St Just to fight at a much higher pace than he wanted. Despite this St Juste looked to have edged the first two rounds on the back of a stiff southpaw right jab and a right that shook Lafreniere in the second. Lafreniere took over in the third and fourth despite the handicap of a bad cut over his right eye. St Juste was also cut his was not as serious. St Juste managed to stay competitive as they traded punches in every round. Lafreniere survived a doctor’s examination of his injury at the start of the fourth and stepped up the pace against a rapidly tiring St Juste. Lafreniere lacks real power but the sheer volume of his punches undermined St Juste’s stamina and for a while in the eighth it looked as though a stoppage win was on the cards but it turned out to be a good round for St Juste as Lafreniere lost a point for a low blow. Lafreniere shook St Juste with a punch in the ninth but in the end St Juste’s experience and Lafreniere lack of power saw the fight go the distance. Scores 97-92 twice and 99-90 as 27-year-old Lafreniere wins the vacant IBF International title. He had a rocky start as a pro going 3-5-2 in his first 10 fights but is now on a good run with eight wins in a row. St Juste, 43, suffered consecutive losses to Anthony Dirrell and Allan Green. After the loss to Green in November 2012 he had only one fight each in years 2013, 2014 and 2015 so it may be time to say goodbye.
Mikhaylenko vs. Mayfield
Mikhaylenko gets wide unanimous verdict over late sub Mayfield. In the first round Mayfield came out fast throwing punches trying to catch Mikhaylenko cold and fell to the canvas after missing with a wild right. Mikhaylenko saw out the storm and then took over using a stiff jab to get Mayfield backing up and then he was able to follow Mayfield around the ring perimeter scoring with left hooks and straight rights. That pretty well set the pattern for the fight with Mayfield throwing punches early only for Mikhaylenko to use his jab to put Mayfield on the back foot and pressure him relentlessly. Mikhaylenko was keeping the pace of the bout high with Mayfield, who had come in as a late substitute, already looking tired by the fourth round. Mayfield was trying to stay ring centre and occasionally to force the Russian back but as each round progressed Mikhaylenko dominated with his strength and power and higher work rate. Mayfield was showing some nice moves and in the sixth he actually set Mikhaylenko back on his heels with a jab but just before the bell a big right from Mikhaylenko had Mayfield on shaky pins. Mayfield traded more in the eighth scoring with a good right to the chin but Mikhaylenko just keeps coming and forcing Mayfield back but it looks as though neither fighter has the power to end the fight early. Mayfield came forward throwing punches in the tenth and they traded in mid ring and they both work hard for all three minutes but at the end Mikhaylenko was winning the exchanges and the fight. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Mikhaylenko. The Russian “Mechanic” wins the vacant USBA title. He has wins over Sechew Powell, Ronald Cruz and Johan Perez and is rated WBA 7/WBO 11/IBF 13. He is strong and has tremendous stamina but is not a concussive puncher relying more on wearing down the opposition. It would be harsh to judge the 35-year-old “Hard Hitta” Mayfield on this fight. He had been inactive for almost 14 months and came in as a late substitute when original opponent Ray Robinson was injured. He was unbeaten in his first 19 fights and was world rated after scoring wins over Ray Serrano and Mauricio Herrera. However consecutive losses to Thomas Dulorme and Emmanuel Taylor in 2014 derailed him and he retired after scoring a low level win in November 2014.
Theroux vs. Garcia
Local hope Theroux uses a focused body attack to wear down and then halt Mexican Garcia. The young Canadian controlled the fight before putting Garcia down in the third with a series of body punches punctuated by a left hook. Garcia beat the count but was taking more punishment and not fighting back when the fight was halted. The 22-year-old from Quebec suffered an upset seventh round stoppage against Ignacio Mendoza in April. This is his third win since then and his sixth win by KO/TKO. Garcia, 27, had won 10 in a row before losing to another Canadian prospect Mian Hussain so Theroux will take pride in doing the job quicker.
Stapulionis vs. Fazekas
Lithuanian Stapulionis dismisses Hungarian travelling loser Fazekas in quick time. Stapulionis put Fazekas down twice in the first round but the Hungarian survived to the bell. In the second a clash of heads resulted in a cut over the right eye of the Lithuanian but he then put Fazekas down twice more with the fight being stopped just before the bell at the end of the round. The 29-year-old Stapulionis, a former Lithuanian international who competed at both the World and European Junior championships before turning pro, has 19 wins by KO/TKO. He is 7-1-1 in his last nine fights with the loss being to tough Patrick Mendy and the draw a technical one against Eamonn O’Kane. Only the third time Fazekas has lost by KO/TKO and he took Paul Malignaggi the distance in September.
Diaz vs. Gomez
Californian Diaz makes it five on the bounce by KO/TKO. He pressed hard in the first closing Gomez down and preparing him for the end. In the second a right to the head floored Gomez and although he beat the count he was on wobbly pins and the fight was stopped. Now 17 wins by KO/TKO for 23-year-old Diaz. His victims include some experienced fighters but not high level opposition. He is ready for sterner tests. Mexican Gomez had gone the distance with Kevin Lavalle and Tyson Cave in previous fights in Canada.
Butler vs. Hoffmann
Butler scores a knockdown early and another one late but fails to halt previously unbeaten German-based Angolan. It looked as though Butler was in for a short night as he blasted Hoffmann with punches from both hands in the first putting Hoffmann down with a right hook. The young Canadian was on top in the second and third but then Hoffmann got into the fight coming forward and doing some good scoring of his own particularly in the fifth. Butler was still winning the rounds but was having to work hard and by the end of the seventh round his face was showing swellings from the attentions of the Angolan’s punches. Butler finished strongly landing a series of punches which sent Hoffmann down heavily. He made it to his feet and the bell went before Butler could get to him again. Scores 78-72 twice and 79-71 all for Butler. The 20-year-old “BANG BANG” was disappointing in a majority draw with Jamie Herrera in June but scored a first round stoppage in his last fight. Hoffmann, 21, found Butler a much higher quality fighter than those he had been matched with in Germany but showed determination to last the distance despite the knockdowns.
Bouchard vs. Mielewczyk
Bouchard make it 4 wins in a row with a unanimous verdict over tough Pole. It was a good competitive fight against a visitor who came to win. Scores 58-56 twice and 59-55 for Bouchard. The 28-year-old Canadian’s only loss was on points against the then unbeaten Frankie Galarza in May 2014. Mielewczyk, 26, lost his unbeaten tag with a points defeat against unbeaten fellow-countryman Krzys Kopytek in October.
London, England: Super Middle: George Groves (22-3) W RTD 5 Andrea Di Luisa (18-4). Middle: John Ryder (22-2) W PTS 12 Sergey Khomitsky (30-13-3). Super Light: John Wayne Hibbert (17-3) W KO 12 Tommy Martin (13-1). Super Feather: Martin Joseph Ward (13-0-2) W RTD 3 Mario Pisanti (16-3-1). Welter: Ben Hall (8-0-1) TKO 6 Kris Agyei-Dua (8-4-2). Super Middle: Leon McKenzie (8-0-1) W KO 1 Kelvin Young (17-5-2).
Groves vs. Di Luisa
Groves started confidently scoring with quick jabs and landing a couple of right crosses and a neat left hook. Di Luisa was willing to come forward and was switching guards but Groves was quicker and took the round clearly. Groves was getting his punches off quicker in the second with Di Luisa still trying to force the Brit back. The speedy jabs and right crosses from Groves were making it difficult for Di Luisa to get any foothold in the fight and by the end of the round there was blood leaking from the Italian’s nose. Speedy, stiff jabs from Groves had Di Luisa going backwards in the third with the Londoner letting his right go more often. Di Luisa tried switching to southpaw again but he had no answer to Groves jab and a few rights just whistled past the Italian’s chin at the end of the round. After a slow start to the fourth round Groves connected with a left/right combination that sent Di Luisa into the ropes. The Italian’s knees dipped briefly and the referee then applied a count perhaps because he felt the ropes had stopped Di Luisa going down. The Italian disputed the count but was again hurt by a right. As they rolled out of a clinch Di Luisa threw a punch and missed and tumbled to the floor. After he got up again he had to eat more jabs from Groves. In the fifth Di Luisa was no longer trying to come forward but was being marched backwards by ramrod jabs from Groves. Apart from some jabs Groves had been mainly head hunting but in the fifth a long right to the body saw Di Luisa retreat and then go down on one knee. He was up quickly but did not look a happy fighter. When the eight count was completed Groves took Di Luisa to the ropes and landed a right to the head that put Di Luisa down for the second time. Even as the referee was counting you could see Di Luisa’s corner man standing ready with towel in hand and when the eight count finished he threw it into the ring. Groves was always going to be the winner here so it was not if but how. He looked quick and focused, dominated the fight with his jab and finished it well. With Team Sauerland backing him a fourth world title fight in 2017 or earlier is a possibility for the 27-year-old “St George”. Di Luisa, 33, has suffered inside the distance losses in EU title fights to Mouhamed Ali Ndiaye and Christopher Rebrasse. He provided the opposition for Lucien Bute’s comeback fight in August being stopped in four rounds so his inside the distance losses have all been to high quality opposition.
Ryder vs. Khomitsky
Ryder gets through a difficult test to show he is still a force in a tough division. They both started sparring carefully with Ryder mostly on the back foot but he was working his jab well and Khomitsky was warned for holding as he tried to make it more of an inside fight but Ryder edged the first round. Khomitsky had a better second round and more worrying for Ryder he was a cut around his right eye suffered and again Khomitsky was warned for holding as he tried to slow the pace. The third was fairly even with Ryder moving well and picking his punches with Khomitsky seeming to slow a little after such a fast start. In the fourth and fifth Ryder moved out in front with high quality work making good use of his southpaw jab, finding gaps in the defence of Khomitsky looking sharp and slotting home counters. He was getting his punches off first. Ryder solidified his lead over the middle rounds moving into a winning position. However, although he was finding the pace hot, Khomitsky was still very much in the fight and dangerous. Some heavy rights from Ryder helped him the eighth and ninth rounds. The pace he was setting was tiring the older Belarus-based fighter and robbing him of the strength and stamina he needed to stage a storming finish. For a brief while it even looked as though Ryder might actually halt the veteran but Ryder still had to be cautious due to the dangerous power in Khomitsky’s fists. Additionally Khomitsky has a very good chin and he shrugged off any doubts about lasting the distance as tried to stage a storing finish to get the knockout he needed to win but Ryder matched him and in the end was clearly the victor. Scores 117-112, 116-112 and 115-113 for Ryder. The, 27-year-old Islington “Gorilla” wins the vacant WBA International title. He gave Billy Joe Saunders a hard fight when contesting the British and CBC titles in 2013 but after rebuilding with five wins he was then stopped in seven rounds by Nick Blackwell for the vacant British title in May. This is his second win since then and an important one as although Khomitsky had lost a close decision to Martin Murray he had stopped unbeaten Frank Buglioni, drawn with Blackwell and knocked out unbeaten Adam Etches in his last four visits to Britain.
Hibbert vs. Martin
Hibbert gets a late stoppage to retain his CBC and WBC International titles after a great scrap between two quick boxers with high quality skills. The opening round was close but a couple of good punches from Hibbert late in the round looked to have given him one in the bag. The action remained fast and even in the second but again Hibbert was showing his edge in experience by blocking most of Martin’s punches and scoring with a few of his own. Hibbert had a good third and he looked to have shaken Martin with a heavy right and drawn blood from the challenger’s nose. Martin was fighting hard and making the rounds close but Hibbert was building a lead. The fourth was Hibbert’s as well as he was dictating the pace and outboxing and outscoring Martin. They stood and traded in the fifth with Martin starting the round well but a right from Hibbert was the best punch in the round and in the sixth although Martin was firing home some punches of his own he was looking rocky and it could be argued that Hibbert had won every round up to this point. Finally in the seventh Martin got into the fight. He landed his best punches so far and Hibbert was starting to show damage around his left eye with it looking as though the younger man might be taking the fight over. Martin again dominated in the eighth with Hibbert’s left eye beginning to close Martin was the one impressing with his punches. Hibbert was fighting like a champion who saw his title in danger and although Martin may have edged the ninth it was close. Hibbert had Martin fighting with his back to ropes for periods in the tenth as Martin’s charge seemed to lose momentum and by the last Martin needed to produce a knockout to win. Instead it was Hibbert who was coming forward and landing the heavy punches with Martin in retreat. A pair of head punches saw Martin go back a step and then slump down onto one knee. It was obvious he had very little left in the tank. He watched the count but seemed to mistime it and although he arose to Martin’s disgust the referee indicated he had been counted out. If it had gone the distance Hibbert would have been the clear winner as he was in front by a long way on all three cards. The 31-year-old Hibbert has 11 wins by KO/TKO including seven in his last eight fights. The other fight was an inside the distance loss against Dave Ryan in a challenge for these two titles but he halted Ryan in a return match. Those were two dramatic fights in which both fighters were on the floor. Hibbert is rated EBU 11 and a third fight with Ryan would be a good contest. Martin, 21, had already won the English and WBA Continental titles and he made this fight a lot closer than the scores and the ending indicated. He can and will come again.
Ward vs. Pisanti
Outstanding performance by Ward as he outclasses Italian champion Pisanti. Ward was in control in the first round as a right/left combination knocked southpaw Pisanti off balance and down. The Italian beat the count but the writing was on the wall and further proof was provided in the second as a right put Pisanti down for a second time. The speed and power in Ward’s punches was just too much for Pisanti to handle and a withering series of hooks in the third saw the towel coming in from Pisanti’s corner. Successful second defence of his WBC International title for the 24-year-old with the first defence seeing him beat Sergio Blanco (21-1-1). Both fights were competitive on paper, as most WBC International fights are, but Ward has been a level above both of his challengers. One of his draws was of the technical variety but he had to climb off the floor to get a majority draw with Maxi Hughes but he beat Hughes in a return for the vacant International title. He is rated No 8 with the EBU. Pisanti, 36, gets only his second loss by KO/TKO. He had lost only one of his last 14 fights and that was a majority decision to Carmine Tommasone which cost Pisanti his Italian feather title. He rebounded from that with a victory over unbeaten Alessandro Balestri in July to win the vacant national super feather title and was the joint official for the vacant EU title.
Hall vs. Agyei-Dua
Hall wins the BBB of C Southern Area title with stoppage of champion Agyei-Dua. Hall was pressing the fight from the start and landing hard punches with Agyei-Dua forced onto the back foot. Hall ended the first with a hard right in a sign of things to come. Agyei-Dua was fighting hard to hold on to his title but again in the second and third the pressure and the harder punches were coming from Hall. They traded hooks at the start of the fourth as Agyei-Dua tried to get a hold in the fight but by the end of the round he was under fire again. Hall continued to boss the fight in the fifth and in the sixth a sustained barrage of punches punctuated by a right that staggered Agyei-Dua saw the fight stopped. Good win for the tall 22-year-old “Sensation” Hall as he continues to build towards the top. Agyei-Dua, 35, was making the first defence of his title and had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
McKenzie vs. Young
McKenzie ends this one in quick time. He came out blazing and forced Young to the ropes. He then fired punch after punch. Not all were accurate but as Young staggered off the ropes a left hook put him down on his knees. As the referee turned away to send McKenzie to a neutral corner Young got up but he immediately went down on one knee. It seemed as though he was capable of beating the count and he looked surprised when the referee completed the 10. McKenzie was formerly a striker with Premier League team Norwich and his father Clinton won both the British and European titles at super light and lost to Sugar Ray Leonard at the 1976 Olympics. This was an eliminator for the English title so the 37-year-old McKenzie who only turned pro at the age of 35, is making steady progress. Former Southern Area champion Young, 28, had gone 5-2-2 in his last 9 fights but this is his fifth loss by KO/TKO.
Rosario, Mexico: Super Fly: Luis Nery (18-0) W TKO 5 Humberto Morales (14-14-4,1ND). Super Welter: Ramon Alvarez (23-4-2,1ND) W TKO 9 James Winchester (17-12,1ND).
Nery vs. Morales
Nery in the end just too much for late substitute Morales. The Tijuana southpaw made a good start flooring Morales with a three-punch combination in the first round. He was too fast and had too much power for Morales but could not take any chances as Morales looked dangerous with his counters. The difference in hand speed meant that Nery was getting his punches home and being away before Morales could use his power. After Nery put Morales down with a body punch in the fifth Morales had nothing left and the fight was stopped. Nery has 13 wins by KO/TKO including six in his last seven fights including victories over Carlos Fontes (19-2), Jether Olivo (22-2-2) and John Mark Apolinario. He is considered one of the best prospects in Mexico and is No 7 with the WBO. Morales, a former WBC Youth champion, came in as a late substitute for WBA No 15 Dexter Flores and suffers his third inside the distance loss in a row.
Alvarez vs. Winchester
Alvarez was forcing the fight in the first scoring with heavy left hooks to the body with Winchester missing badly with intended counters. Winchester came out with a rush in the second throwing wild shots but Alvarez took control with rights to the body. Some rough stuff on the ropes consisting of punches to the back of the head from both and a forearm from Winchester saw the fight turning ugly but Alvarez finished the round strongly landing with left hooks to the body and rights to the head. Alvarez outworked Winchester in the third but the fourth and fifth were closer as Winchester tried to stay off the ropes and brawl with Alvarez. A wild sixth saw Alvarez drill Winchester with a straight right that rocked the American and they both then had a heads down mad period of windmilling arms with Winchester finally getting a point deducted for punches to the back of the head in what had become a very bad tempered fight. Winchester lost another point in the seventh for a low punch as Alvarez continued to work away bludgeoning Winchester with straight rights and left hooks and Winchester entered into a shouting match with members of the crowd at the bell. Alvarez was looking to end it in the eighth as he battered Winchester around the ring landing heavy shots to head and body. Alvarez did end it in the ninth. He opened Winchester up with a left hook and then a huge right sent Winchester sliding sideways down and out through the ropes onto the ring apron. He climbed to his feet outside the ring but was counted out before he managed to get through the ropes and to his feet again. The 29-year-old elder brother of Saul has 15 wins by KO/TKO and he wins the vacant NABF title. He is 9-0,1ND in his last 10 fights including victories over Omar Chavez (32-2-1) and Vivian Harris. He is tremendously strong with a big punch but glacially slow so would have trouble with any quick opposition. Winchester, 37, took a lot of punishment and made very few friends with his showing and is 2-8 in his last 10 fights.
Zihuatanejo, Mexico: Light: Nery Saguilan (37-5-1) W PTS 10 Leonardo Doronio (15-12-3). Welter: Cesar Barrionuevo (29-3-2,1ND) W TKO 5 Azael Cosio (20-4-2,1ND). Light: Miguel Roman (54-11) W RTD 4 Yogli Herrera (26-17).
Saguilan vs. Doronio
If there is such a thing as a typical Saguilan performance this was it as he made hard work of getting a split decision in a fight he was capable of winning easily. He only fights in spurts, sends too much time clowning and is not the world’s best trainer. Doronio fought hard in every round always coming forward using his height and reach to good effect. Saguilan had a solid defence blocking a lot of Doronio’s punches and was able to score with hooks to head and body. Saguilan would spend long periods hidden behind a high guard and then launch leaping attacks working the Filipino’s body with hooks and uppercuts and in those spells he showed his quality. Saguilan was deducted a point for hitting on the break in the eighth round. The contrast in styles made it a difficult fight to score but Doronio looked to have done enough to win the fight as he made the better start and staged the stronger finish. Scores 114-113 twice for Saguilan and 114-113 for Doronio. Saguilan retained his WBC Latino title. His career has been a bit of a see saw. He lost only one of his first 24 fights and then went 2-3-1. His currently his run is 10 wins in a row and he is No 6 with the WBC but if he is going to fight for a world title he needs to get serious and train hard neither of which he seems to be doing now. Doronio, the GAB No 5, looked unlucky here as he falls to 3-4-1 in his last eight fights.
Barrionuevo vs. Cosio
Barrionuevo batters Cosio to defeat in the WBC eliminator. There is nothing classy about the Argentinian southpaw but his power was too much for Cosio who looked to have no defence at all. In the first round Barrionuevo hammered two straight southpaw lefts through the middle of Cosio’s guard and onto the Panamanian’s chin with the second sending Cosio stumbling back and briefly touching the canvas for a knockdown to be counted. Cosio seemed determined to take the fight to the harder puncher and they both landed some heavy head punches in the second. An overhand left from Barrionuevo caught Cosio on the side of the head which sent the Panamanian down. He was up quickly and was still willing to trade. He was still trying to outpunch Barrionuevo in the third and although he got through with some of his punches they had no real effect on Barrionuevo who responded by shaking Cosio with a right cross. In the fourth they were going toe-to-toe when a left to the head and three quick uppercuts inside sent Cosio sideways and down. As before he was up quickly and back into the fight. Early in the fifth Barrionuevo walked Cosio back to the ropes. The referee broke them and Barrionuevo walked backwards with both hands at his side. Cosio moved quickly to close the distance and was nailed by a thunderous left which put him spread-eagled on the canvas. No count needed and in a notably different response to that in Thailand medical help was there immediately. The 26-year-old “Jewell” the Argentinian champion now goes on into another eliminator to find a new WBC champion. He was 3-2-2,1ND in his first 8 fights but has now lost only one of his last 27 and he reversed that loss. He has 20 wins by KO/TKO. He looked powerful but limited and there is an absence of any class opposition in his record so it is a case of look at the numbers and ignore the quality. Cosio, 34, is a similar case. Never beaten anyone remotely rated and a good puncher, 17 wins by KO/TKO, but with no defence and not too sound a chin.
Roman vs. Herrera
“Mickey” rolls on towards the 100 mark. The feisty Mexican was throwing punches in bunches from the start with Colombian Herrera letting his go as well. Pressure from Roman had Herrera on the back foot and eventually fighting with his back to the ropes and being outpunched. Herrera was looking for openings to counter but they were not there and he was taking a one-sided beating as Roman worked him over. At the end of the third round Herrera was finished and he retired in his corner. The 30-year-old Roman has won his last 16 fights including victories over Juan Carlos Salgado, Daniel Ponce De Leon, Edgar Puerta and Doronio who gave Saguilan such a tough fight. He is WBC No 3 so a fight with Jorge Linares is certainly possible but he has lost big fights against Javier Fortuna and in being literally flattened in five rounds in a WBC title challenge against Antonio De Marco so he could come up short again. Herrera, 33, had a run of 13 losses in a row and then went back to Colombia and collected four wins over low level opposition so no real threat to Roman.
Burbank, CA, USA: Light: Jose Felix Jr (33-1-1) W PTS 10 Ricky Sismundo (30-9-2). Light Heavy: Egor Mekhontsev (11-0) W PTS 8 Felipe Romero (19-11-1).
Felix vs. Sismundo
Felix almost blows his world rating as only a deducted point robs Sismundo of a draw. The Filipino pressed the fight taking it to Felix with both fighters scoring with heavy punches over the opening rounds. Felix was boxing well on the retreat ripping home body punches and seeming to edge the first two rounds but Sismundo was doing his share of scoring in a close fight. Sismundo had a good fifth constantly pressing, forcing Felix to fight inside and with his back to the ropes and shaking the Mexican late in the round with a right. The seventh proved unlucky for Sismundo. He was getting inside again and working the body and doing enough to win the round only to ruin his good work by landing a punch after the bell which cost him a one point deduction. Felix did the better work in the eighth and had his nose in front but Sismundo put the pressure on again over the last two rounds to make a very close call. Scores 96-93 and 95-94 for Felix and 95-94 for Sismundo. Without the point deduction it would have a split draw but it really was a fight that could have gone either way. The 23-year-old Felix was unbeaten in his first 28 fights before losing to Bryan Vasquez for the interim WBA super feather title in 2014. He has scored six wins since then and is rated IBF 5(3)/WBO 7 at lightweight. Sismundo, 28, does most of his fighting in Japan. He is 8-2-2 in his last 12 fights and is No 3 with the OPBF.
Mekhontsev vs. Romero
Mekhontsev continues to progress under the radar. Mexican Romero does not have the toughest of chins so a win inside the distance look a good bet but it did not happen despite the Russian flooring Romero with a southpaw left in the first round. Romero survived and although Mekhontsev won the remaining rounds clearly he was methodical rather than exciting. Mekhontsev was hampered by a cut suffered in a clash of heads in the third but came close to ending it in the fifth. Romero was cut under his left eye in a clash of heads and then floored for a second time but again he survived and lasted to the final bell. Scores 80-70 for Mekhontsev on all three cards. The 31-year-old Russian has great amateur credentials. At 91kg he won a gold medal at the World Championships and two gold medals at the European Championships and he also collected gold at 81kg at the 2012 Olympics. It remains to be seen whether he can make that successful transition from amateur to pro. “El Indio” Romero has held both the Mexican cruiser and heavy titles but loses whenever he tries to climb beyond domestic level.
Shanghai, China: Middle: Ryota Murata (9-0) W KO 2 Gaston Vega (24-11-1,1ND). Fly: Shiming Zou (7-1) W TKO 8 Natan Santana Coutinho (12-0).
Murata vs. Vega
Murata gets easy win but at 30 and with only two fights last year he needs to be more active particularly as he is facing less demanding opposition than he did when first turning pro. Murata had big edges in height and reach but did not really need them as Vega proved a light puncher with not much of a guard. Murata used his big reach advantage to force Vega back but neither fighter was finding the target. Murata missed with some right crosses before finally thudding one against Vega’s jaw. He went down heavily and it looked as though he might not get up but he gamely climbed to his feet. Murata showed his inexperience by just throwing right after right with most of them whistling over the head of the Argentinian and with Murata over confident Vega was able to land a left/right combination to the head which momentarily had Murata shaken. Murata continued to hunt Vega but was again missing with his long rights. In the second Vega tried to stay off the ropes and fight inside with some success. Murata was still hanging everything on his right crosses and finally he landed one which put Vega face down on the floor. The referee started to count and then waived the fight off with Vega needing medical attention for a while. Now six wins by KO/TKO for the 2012 Olympic gold medallist. He is rated IBF 5(4)/WBC 5/WBO 9/WBA 11 but needs to make a move soon and needs genuine tests-which this was not. Vega, 32, now has eight losses by KO/TKO. He had a split draw with Christian Rios for the Argentinian title in June but was knocked out on nine rounds by Martin Rios in November.
Zou vs. Coutinho
Zou takes his time breaking down the light punching Brazilian but stops him in the eighth round. Coutinho made a confident start coming forward throughout the first round and throwing punches. Unfortunately he was short with most of them. Zou made a cautious start and Coutinho mocked him by standing with his arms wide and wiggling his hips in a way that any Hawaiian girl would have been proud of. Zou stuck to the job at hand and landed some hard straight rights and body punches. Coutinho walked around the ring at the end of the first round waiving to the crowd as though it was the last round. Coutinho did his dance again in the second but Zou was doing the work. He had the Brazilian on the back foot with left jabs and was starting to let some combinations fly. It was more of the same over the fourth round with Zou now letting go with five or six punch combinations and Coutinho trying to fire back but lacking any real power and as the fight became one-sided it was Zou doing some showboating. It looked as though Zou might end it in the fifth as he drove Coutinho around the ring landing heavily to the head with both hands, but Coutinho gamely soaked up the punishment. Zou was really just putting on an exhibition in the sixth and in the seventh staggered Coutinho with a straight right to the head. Zou finished it in the eighth. He launched a furious attack cornering Coutinho and throwing 20 unanswered punches with the referee then stepping in a stopping the fight. The 34-year old Zou wins the vacant WBO International title. He is still a huge draw in China and rated IBF 7(6)/WBO 7/WBC 9. There is a determination to get him another title shot to see if he can go one better than his loss to Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF title in March last year. Coutinho, 21, was colourful and entertaining but too brave. He never stopped trying to come forward and was more than willing to stand and trade but was outgunned.
Charenton, USA: Heavy: Justin Jones (18-0-1) W TKO 3 Dwight Gipson (3-4). Super Welter: Jonathan Steele (7-0) W PTS 6 Marcus Beckford (3-2-3,1ND).
Jones vs. Gipson
Jones remains undefeated with stoppage of Gipson on Bad Chad Broussard’s Bouts at the Bayou show. The big men put on a good fight while it lasted but in the end Jones was just stronger and fitter and forced the stoppage. The 33-year-old Texan has won 15 in a row after an early career draw. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for game local Gipson.
Steele vs. Beckford
Steele gets majority verdict over Beckford in a hotly contested contest. It looked for a while as through the judges would not be needed as Beckford had a big second round stunning Steele with a whole series of punches only for Steele to fire back and move enough to survive the onslaught. It could be that Beckford put too much into that round as Steel got back into the fight from the fourth and clawed back the lead Beckford had established. In the end the decision could have gone either way but it went to the unbeaten fighter. Scores 59-55 and 58-56 for Steele and 57-57. Only the second time that Texan Steele, 24, has had to go the distance for win. Beckford should not be too discouraged as this a very close call. After 15 months of inactivity the New Yorker had won his two fights since relocating to Louisiana and joining Beau Williford’s gym and will continue to improve.
Pleurtuit, France: Super Middle: Kevin Thomas Cojean (18-7-1) W RTD 6 Valentin Freulon (10-3-2). Hometown fighter Cojean retains his French title with inside the distance win. After an even first round Cojean floored Freulon in the second and then handed out steady punishment in the third and fourth. Freulon put in a big effort in the fifth and took the round but he was down again in the sixth and retired at the end of the round. The 26-year-old Cojean was making the first defence of his title and now has 6 wins by KO/TKO. Cojean moves between super middle and light heavy. He is now 6-2 in his last eight fights with the two losses being on points against Juergen Doberstein and Schiller Hyppolite. Freulon, 24, suffers his first loss by KO/TKO. He was 8-0-2 at the start of his pro career but is 2-3 in his last five including a points defeat by unbeaten Brit Hosea Burton.
Kreuzberg, Germany: Welter: Kasim Gashi (8-0) W PTS 10 Pietro d’Alessio (11-22-1).
Kosovon Gashi keeps his GBA version of the German title with unanimous decision over Italian d’Alessio. Gashi had the better skill-set and was able to outbox d’Alessio and even showboated at times but d’Alessio stuck to his task . He was competitive in spates but never looked like upsetting Gashi. The 25-year-old Gashi was making the first defence of his title but has so far only met very low level opposituion. Before this win his seven victims had amassed the grand combined records of 9-18 with 5 of them never having won a fight. This was the first promotion by former WBC light heavy champion Graciano Rocchigiani, the man who almost put the WBC out of business.
Koblenz, Germany: heavy: Christian Lewandowski (8-0) W TKO 1 Marco Colic (5-4).
Another short night for the giant German hope. He took under three minutes to halt B&H boxer Colic in a poor match-up. The 6-7” (201cm) 23-year-old German has eight wins by KO/TKO and he has not yet been taken past the fourth round but neither has he met any except low level opposition. Second loss by KO/TKO for Colic who had won his last three fights.
Oviedo, Spain: Welter: Aitor Nieto (19-4) W TKO 4 Giorgi Ungiadze (34-28). Super Middle: Jose Manuel Iglesias (11-4) W KO 2 Diego Jair Ramirez (2-23-1)
Nieto vs. Ungiadze
Local fighter Nieto overcomes a hand injury to get inside the distance win. The injury to his left hand forced Nieto to use his jab only rarely but he outboxed the Georgian and opened a nasty cut that forced the referee to halt the fight in the fourth round. The lanky 32-year-old “El Diamante” a former Spanish champion, is now 10-2 in his last 12 fights with the two losses being against very good European level fighters in Ahmed El Mousaoui (20-1-1) and Ceferino Rodriguez (18-1). Ungiadze, 31, is typically Georgian being 5-6 in his last 11 fights with five wins at home and six losses on his travels.
Iglesias vs. Ramirez
Spanish champion Iglesias puts away perennial loser Ramirez. The Colombian sprang an early surprise by flooring Iglesias. An embarrassment for the local fighter against an opponent with only two wins to his name. Iglesias put things right in the second by knocking Ramirez down and out. “Punky” Iglesias, 34, has won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss being to unbeaten Brit Callum Johnson. Here he was warming up for a title defence against Alberto Pineiro in March. Losers can be kept busy with Ramirez having 15 fights last year. This is only the third time he has lost by KO/TKO.
Penglai, China: Heavy: Jun Long Zhang (20-0) W KO 3 Juan Pedro Guglielmetti (7-5).
The “Dragon King” knocks out Argentinian Guglielmetti in three rounds. The 6’3 ½” (192cm), 34-year-old Chinese fighter has recent wins over Jason Gavern and Shawn Cox. There are fights missing from his record and has only once gone past three rounds for a win although the opposition has not been strong. Guglielmetti, 42, was no real test. He had won seven of his last eight fights. He is not in the FAB ratings and is on their suspended list but that is because he fights under the banner of another organisation in Argentina.