Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Middle: Gilberto Ramirez (33-0) W PTS 10 Gevorg Khatchikian (23-2). Welter: Konstantin Ponomarev (29-0) W PTS 8 Ramses Agaton (17-3-3).Light: Saul Rodriguez (19-0-1) W TKO 1 Ivan Najera (16-2). Super Feather: Toka Kahn Clary (17-0,1ND) W RTD 2 Sergio Lopez (19-10-1). Super Feather: Casey Ramos (21-0) W PTS 8 Adones Aguelo (24-13-2). Light Heavy: Olek Gvozdyk (8-0) W TKO 3 Cleiton Conceicao (22-7-2).
Ramirez vs. Khatchikian
Ramirez stays on track for a world title shot with a wide unanimous decision over the strong and awkward Khatchikian. The tall Mexican was coming forward behind his southpaw jab and forcing Khatchikian on to the back foot. Khatchikian had a bag of tricks as he moved around with his hands at his thighs with exaggerated upper body movement then leapt in with wild swings. Over the first three rounds although Ramirez was doing most of the scoring as he hunted down the retreating Khatchikian he was getting caught too often with those wild rights. From the fourth the Mexican stepped-up the pace and began to bombard Khatchikian with hard right hooks to the body. Khatchikian had been trying to box in spurts but now Ramirez was forcing him to keep on the move and under pressure for three minutes in every round. Despite his domination of the fight Ramirez never really managed to shake Khatchikian or get him in serious trouble and Khatchikian was again getting through with the occasional rights. Ramirez turned the heat up even more over the ninth and tenth but Khatchikian took the punishment and made it to the final bell. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Ramirez. He retains his NABF and WBO International titles and is rated WBO 1/WBC 2/WBA 2/IBF 3(2). If he goes for the WBO title it will be interesting to see whether there is enough money on offer to tempt Arthur Abraham to fight outside Germany. Dutch-based Armenian Khatchikian, the EBU No 12, had lost in eleven rounds against James DeGale in a fight for the WBC Silver title in March 2014 and had then won three low level fights in Holland.
Ponomarev vs. Agaton
Ponomarev needs strong finish to get by tough Mexican southpaw on a majority decision. Agaton was having his second fight in less than a week and that may have been a factor in how this fight panned out. Over the early rounds Ponomarev had his hands full and as he tried to press the fight he was constantly being caught with sharp counters from Agaton. His work rate was helping him edge the rounds but it was not until the half way mark that he took control as Agaton tired and Ponomarev pulled away to get the deserved decision. Scores 79-73 twice for Ponomarev and 76-76. The tall 23-year-old Russian “Talant” has victories over Cosme Rivera and Steve Claggett and was coming off his best win so far a decision over Mike Zewski (26-0). He is rated WBC 7/IBF 8(7)/WBO 14. Agaton had halted Jhonny Navarrete on 14 November and now falls to 9-2-3 in his last 14 fights.
Rodriguez vs. Najera
Rodriguez blasts out Najera inside a round. Najera was coming forward behind a high guard with Rodriguez on the back foot. Rodriguez gave an early indication of what was to come when he shook Najera with a right. Najera kept pressing but was out of range with his punches. They exchanged hooks and then Rodriguez landed a stiff left jab and a straight right. Najera kept coming but a right to the body and a left hook to the chin put him on the floor. He got up but was on wobbly legs. The referee had a hard look at him and there was already a swelling under Najera’s left eye and when the action restarted a right to the head put Najera down again with the referee immediately waiving the fight over. “Neno” Rodriguez, 22, now has 14 wins by KO/TKO. No big names in there yet but he shows real promise and is ready for bigger fights. Texan Najera had gone the full ten rounds with hot Puerto Rican hope Felix Verdejo but it is not a very valid comparison as Vallejo injured a hand early.
Clary vs. Lopez
Clary just too much for Lopez. The Liberian-born Top Rank prospect did not resemble his “T Nice” nickname in any way in this one. He had the skill and power to hand out a solid beating to Lopez over the six minutes this lasted. Lopez did well to come through a fiery first round but was dropped by a right in the second. He made it to the vertical position but was badly rocked again at the end of the round and his corner pulled him out of the fight in the interval. The 23-year-old southpaw goes to 11 wins by KO/TKO. Mexican Lopez had a couple of useful results in a win over Victor Betancourt (16-0) and a draw with Joksan Hernandez but had been knocked out in four rounds by Alejandro Luna in August.
Ramos vs. Aguelo
Ramos showcases his excellent skills but also his lack of power. Aguelo had been in with some quality opposition and took the fight to the young Texan “Wizard” but with little success. Ramos was too quick busy and accurate and hardly let Aguelo into the fight as he boxed his way to a wide unanimous verdict. Scores 80-72 from all three judges. The 26-year-old from Austin has wins over reasonably testing opposition in John Jackson and Daniel Evangelista but has had to go the distance in 13 of his last 14 fights and has just 5 wins by KO/TKO. He may need to find some power as he moves up. Filipino Aguelo, 27 is 4-5 in his last 9 fights but in Nery Saguilan, Sergio Thompson, Adrian Estrella and Will Tomlinson he has been in with a much higher quality of opponent than Ramos. The losses to Saguilan and Thompson were close fights and the verdict in the Tomlinson fight was a majority one so on reflection a good performance for Ramos.
Gvozdyk vs. Conceicao
Ukrainian Olympian just punches too hard for Brazilian veteran Conceicao. Gvozdyk controlled the first two rounds with a power show that indicated an early finish. Conceicao managed to get through those rounds-just-but it was all over in the third. Gvozdyk floored Conceicao with a body punch and although Conceicao made it to his feet he went down again quickly when Gvozdyk handed out some more punishment. The tall 28-year-old Gvozdyk won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics finishing even on points but losing on judge’s count back. He also competed at the 2009 and 2011 World Championships. He now has six wins by KO/TKO. Conceicao, 36, went the distance in losing to Sean Monaghan in May and then went home to get a couple of easy wins.
Panama City, Panama: Heavy: Guillermo Jones (40-3-2) W PTS 10 Daniel Cota (17-6-1). Welter: Aristides Quintero (20-5-1) W TKO 6 Jose Miranda (13-15-3). Bantam: Edgar Valencia (8-1-1,1ND) W TKO 2 Javier Coronado (7-17-2).
Jones vs. Cota
Drug cheat Jones returns to action with easy points win over Mexican Cota. Now up at heavyweight the former WBA cruiser champion handed out steady punishment but Cota did his job and went the distance. Scores 100-90 twice and 100-91. Now 43 Jones was twice stripped off his WBA title for testing positive for a banned substance and this is his first fight since May 2013. Cota a safe pick for Jones. He was knocked out in three rounds by Deontay Wilder in 2011 and then had another inside the distance loss in August 2014 which was his last fight before this one.
Quintero vs. Miranda
Quintero gets back to winning ways with stoppage of Miranda. After a 4-4-1 start to his career Quintero, 24, ran up 15 wins in a row, 13 by KO/TKO before losing in one round against Azael Cosio in April. Fellow Panamanian Miranda, 36, drops to 9 losses by KO/TKO.
Valencia vs. Coronado
Southpaw prospect Valencia halts poor Coronado in two rounds of a non-title fight. Valencia, the national champion, was good class amateur representing Panama at the Central American Games. He has 3 wins and a No Decision in his last 4 fights. Six losses on the bounce for Coronado.
Temuco, Chile: Feather: Cristian Palma (20-10-1) W PTS 10 Luis Dee (4-3-1).
Palma retains the national title with unanimous decision over Dee. “Tiger” Palma made his usual aggressive start with Dee determined to work on the back foot and counter punch his way to victory. It was close over the opening rounds but Palma was landing more and harder punches. He was looking for a knockout over the closing rounds but Dee became even more survival minded and was happy to have gone the distance as he had never gone ten rounds before. The 30-year-old Palma is now 3-5 in his last 8 fights but the losses have been on the road against top flight opposition including Paulus Ambunda and Mitchell Smith. One of the wins was over Luis Parra for the Chilean title. Dee was 2-0-1 in his last 3 fights but out of his depth against the experienced Palma.
Belfast, Northern Ireland: Middle: Conrad Cummings (7-0-1) DREW 10 Alfredo Meli (11-0-1). Feather: Marco McCullough (14-2) W PTS 10 Sergio Prado (11-6-1), Light: Pat Hyland Jr (9-0) W PTS 6 Virgile Degonzaga (11-11-2). Welter: Paddy Gallagher (9-2) W TKO 4 Tomas Bartunek (3-4).
Cummings vs. Meli
The BBB of C Celtic title remains vacant after these two fought to a majority draw. “Dynamite” Cummings was fast out of the blocks flooring Meli with a left inside the first minute of the fight. However, Meli was not badly hurt and boxed his way to the bell. Cummings took the second after staggering Meli with a right but by the third Meli had seen out the storm and was outboxing Cummings. Meli was using his southpaw skills to box on the outside and as Cummings continued to advance Meli was spearing him with right jabs and combination punches. The fight was getting messy with Cummings getting warnings for holding and low blows from his frustration of not being able to pin down the clever Meli. The fast pace began to tell on Meli and Cummings was able to close the gap in the seventh and eighth. The ninth saw the referee deduct a point from both boxers for holding and Cummings closed the round strongly having Meli pinned on the ropes and hurt. Cummings was much the fresher in the last and staged a storming finish but it was not quite enough to cancel out the work Meli did in the middle rounds and the judges differed on how they saw it. Scores 95-92 for Cummings, 96-93 for Meli and 94-94. The 24-year-old Cummings dropped out of university to follow a boxing path. He was a top amateur who fought for the Mexican Guerreros in the WSB and had wins as an amateur over Esquiva Falcao and Cuban Carlos Banteur. Meli, 25 was also a high class amateur representing Ireland as an amateur fighting out of the famous Immaculata Boxing Club in Belfast. This one was so close that neither deserved to lose their unbeaten tag.
McCullough vs. Prado
McCullough continues his rebuilding process with wide decision over a game and dangerous Prado. The Spaniard started well hurting McCullough with a hook in the first and although McCullough did enough to win the round it made him a little more cautious. Prado also started the second brightly before the better boxing of McCullough was enough to let him pocket that round too. Over the next four rounds McCullough was in total control being busier and more accurate with his work. Prado showed some good defensive work and tried switching guards but McCullough always had the answer. McCullough had Prado hurt with a right in the seventh but the Spaniard again showed his power with some hard punches in the eighth but as he tired McCullough had him under increasing pressure over the last two rounds. Referee’s score 100-90. The 25-year-old from Belfast, a former top amateur, suffered a shock defeat when being knocked out inside a round by Hungarian journeyman Zoltan Kovacs in July but he is back on track with two wins since then. Prado, 32, is a former Spanish and EU champion at super bantam who lost on points to Kid Galahad for the EBU title in March last year and lost on points to unbeaten Dane Dennis Ceylan in June.
Hyland vs. Degonzaga
“Hylo” continues unbeaten as he outboxes Frenchman Degonzaga. Hyland had the better skills but Degonzaga was dangerous at times. Hyland was slotting home jabs and making good use of a sharp left hook to dominate every round but Degonzaga landed heavy shots in the third and had Hyland cut in the fifth. Hyland took the punches and his speed and accuracy saw him edge even those rounds. Degonzaga tried to drag Hyland into a slugging match in the sixth but the young Belfast fighter showed he could fight just as hard inside and finished strongly. Referee’s score 60-54. Good, testing six rounds of work for the 25-year-old Belfast fighter. Degonzaga after a run of bad results had been unbeaten in his last three fights.
Gallagher vs. Bartunek
Gallagher too good for inexperienced young Czech. The Belfast fighter handed out a steady beating landing stinging left hooks that had the Czech’s face visibly marked and had him almost out of the fight by the second. Gallagher put Bartunek down with a body punch in the third but got careless and was caught with a counter that had him holding to the bell. In the fourth a right put Bartunek down and although he made it to the vertical the follow up attack from Gallagher saw the fight stopped. The 26-year-old “Pat-Man” gets his fifth win by KO/TKO. Both of his losses have come in Prizefighter Tournaments and he has won his last 4 fights. Now 4 losses in 4 visits to the United Kingdom for 18-year-old Bartunek.
Houghton-le-Spring, England: Super Bantam: James Dickens (21-1) W PTS 12 Martin Ward (22-3-1). Super Bantam: Thomas Patrick Ward (16-0) W PTS 6 Rey Cajina (14-30-5).
Dickens vs. Ward
Dickens retains British title with split decision over local fighter Ward in this all-southpaw scrap. This was a close battle all the way with Ward bravely fighting through numerous cuts and staging a late surge but just coming up short. Ward actually got into his stride first doubling up on his jab and slotting home good rights in the first with Dickens getting home with a couple of rights. Ward also took the early part of the second but then Dickens found his range by the end of the round to edge it. The third saw Ward suffer two cuts as heads clashed and although he was busier Dickens was landing the heavier punches. Ward came back with his jab to take the fifth and sixth but then Dickens took the seventh and eighth and Ward the ninth with the fight swinging to Dickens in the tenth. By now Ward had cuts over both eyes and another one high on his head which were hampering his work. He staged a strong finish in the last two rounds to make the fight so close it could have gone either way. Dickens had landed the harder punches but Ward had been busier. In the end the judges scored it 116-113 and 115-114 to Dickens and 116-112 to Ward. Liverpool’s “Jazza was making the first defence of the title he won by beating Josh Wale in a good fight in March. His only loss is a tenth round stoppage by Kid Galahad for the vacant British title in 2013. He is the mandatory challenger to Gavin McDonnell, for the EBU title which would be another excellent match. Ward, 27, is 14-2-1 in his last 17 fights with the other loss being to current IBF champion Lee Haskins and the draw being a technical draw in a fight against Stuart Hall for the IBF title in 2014 when Ward was also cut again. He is a talented fighter and can go on to win a title.
Ontario, CA, USA: Super Light: Giovanni Santillan (18-0) W TKO 2 Rosbel Montoya (16-6-1). Bantam: Carlos Carlson (20-1) W PTS 8 Jose Estrella (14-9-1).
Santillan vs. Montoya
Santillan demolishes Montoya inside two rounds. Southpaw Santillan nearly finished it in the first. He floored Montoya early with a body punch and then put him down again at the end of the round and the bell went as Montoya made it to his feet. Santillan jumped on Montoya at the start of the second and after another knockdown Montoya’s corner team signalled to the referee to stop the fight. The 23-year-ol Santillan the “Gallo de Oro makes it ten wins by KO/TKO. He needed to be impressive after just scraping by on a majority decision in his last fight. Montoya’s best result was an upset decision over Filipino Jason Pagara in Cebu City in 2011 but he has lost his last 4 by KO/TKO with Pagara, now the WBO No 1, getting revenge with a stoppage win in 2012.
Carlson vs. Estrella
Carson makes it 20 wins in a row as he outpoints Estrella. After a slow first round Carson used his jab to keep Estrella on the back foot and was looking to take Estrella to the ropes where he could work away to the body. Carson clearly took the second and third but Estrella had a better fourth round. The fifth saw Carson back in charge and Estrella back on the ropes. There were a few head clashes but neither fighter was cut and with the fight becoming one-sided Estrella did well to last the distance. Scores 79-73 from all three judges. Carson, 25, hails from Tijuana but has become a big attraction at the Double Tree Hotel in Ontario. He is rated No 13 by the WBC but how a fighter who has never fought anything but 6 and 8 rounds fights and never beaten a rated fighter can be rated No 13 in the world escapes me. “Hollywood” Estrella, also from Tijuana, has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights but those who have beaten him have had total records of 51-1 when they scored their respective wins.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Feather: Horacio Garcia (30-1) W TKO 2 Raul Hidalgo (24-14). Super Bantam: Diego De La Hoya (13-0) W PTS 8 Giovanni Delgado (15-4). Welter: Alan Sanchez (17-3-1) W TKO 6 John Karl Sosa (13-1). Super Bantam: Erik Ruiz (15-4) W PTS 8 Roy Tapia (11-1-2). Middle: Jason Quigley (9-0) W PTS 4 Marchristofer Adkins (6-2).
Garcia vs. Hidalgo
Mexican “Violento” Garcia gets quick win in his first fight in the USA. Garcia made his usual aggressive start and Hidalgo was under pressure throughout the first round. In the second Garcia drove Hidalgo to the ropes and bombarded him with hooks and uppercuts until the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The 25-year-old big puncher from Guadalajara makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO. He had his 29 bout winning streak broken in May when he lost a wide verdict to former WBC bantam and feather champion Hozumi Hasegawa in Japan. Hidalgo, also Mexican, is 5-5 in his last 10 fights but the total records for those 5 that beat him add up to 83-1 so no easy ones for Senor Hidalgo.
De La Hoya vs. Delgado
De La Hoya gets another win. The young Mexican prospect showed excellent skills as he boxed on the back foot drawing Delgado in and scoring with hard counters. He was quicker and slicker than Delgado working well to head and body. Delgado never stopped trying. His pressure kept the bout interesting and he had more success in the later rounds but could never match the movement and hand speed of De La Hoya. Scores 79-73 from all three judges. The 21-year-old “Golden Kid” from Mexicali, a cousin of Oscar, has good wins over Manuel Roman and Jesus Ruiz. Delgado, 24, who Diego had sparred with in the past, is 3-4 in his last 7 fights.
Sanchez vs. Sosa
Sanchez had bid advantages in height and reach and he used them to soften Sosa up and eventually take away his unbeaten tag. At 6’1” (185cm) Sanchez was able to use his jab to keep Sosa on the outside and force him back. The main danger for Sosa came not so much from Sanchez’s jab but from the right counters he was catching the Puerto Rican with as he tried to work his way inside. Sanchez had built a good lead when one of the right counters nailed Sosa in the sixth. Sosa went down heavily and was badly shaken. Sosa made it to his feet but follow-up attacks from Sanchez saw Sosa go down twice more and the referee stopped the fight. The 24-year-old Sanchez has lost only once in his last 13 fights and that was on points against Luis Collazo in 2013. This is his fifth wins since then including a victory over Eddie Paredes. Back to the drawing board for Sosa.
Ruiz vs. Tapia
Another unbeaten fighter suffered his first loss here as Ruiz staged a strong finish to get the split decision over Tapia. There was never much between the two in a hard fought match. Tapia made the better start working inside but the rounds were close with both landing hard punches in an exciting scrap with Tapia just having his nose in front after six rounds. However his face was showing the marks of the work from Ruiz and over the seventh and eighth Ruiz did enough to win the rounds and the decision. Scores 77-75 twice for Ruiz and 77-75 for Tapia. Oxnard-based Ruiz,24, had lost 3 of his last 4 going in but the losses were to quality opposition in Jessie Magdaleno, Manuel Avila and Daniel Roman who between them had total records of 51-2-1 and two of those fights went the full ten rounds giving Ruiz an experience edge over Tapia who had never gone past six rounds before. Tapia, also 24, had wins over experienced opposition in Luis Maldonado and Juan Luis Hernandez so he can come again.
Quigley vs. Adkins
Irish star hope Quigley has to go the distance for the first time to outpoint Adkins. The Irish fighter was in charge most of the way but in the third a clash of heads saw him suffer a bad cut over his left eye. That encouraged Adkins who pressed Quigley hard over the last round but could never match the quality of the former amateur stand-out. Scores 40-36 twice and 39-37. Quigley, 24, who won gold at the European Championships and a silver at the World Championships, is an outstanding prospect. Big step up in quality for Adkins. He had won his last six fight including a victory over Shane Mosley Jr
New York, NY, USA: Super Feather: Chris Galeano (10-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Shawn Cameron (10-1). Super Welter: Carlos Garcia (10-14-1) W TKO 1 Patrick Day (11-2-1). Middle: Artur Akavov (15-1) W TKO 2 Freddy Lopez (9-3). Middle: Francy Ntetu (16-0) W PTS 8 Oscar Riojas (9-3).
Galeano vs. Cameron
Galeano gets unanimous verdict in competitive match against fellow southpaw Cameron. Over the first three rounds Cameron was giving as good as he was getting forcing the fight against the better boxing and getting through with enough to edge slightly in front. Galeano stepped up his work from the third and was timing his counters better making Cameron pay for his aggression with fast accurate shots. There was nothing Cameron could do to match Galeano’s boxing and he became wild in his attacks which just made the job easier for the classy Bronx southpaw and Galeano ran out a comfortable winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93. The 22-year-old was twice New York Golden Gloves champion and US National champion in 2013 but failed at the Last Chance Qualifier for a place at the US Trials for the 2012 Olympics. He had a bad start as a pro being floored twice and outpointed by David Rohn only for Rohn to test positive for a banned substance so the decision was changed to ND. Cameron, 33, also a New York Golden Gloves champion, served two tours in Iraq with the US Army. Both were up at ten rounds for the first time.
Day vs. Garcia
Day beat Galeano in the amateurs but is struggling as a pro. Puerto Rican Garcia landed a massive right which had Day in deep trouble and he kept firing until the referee stopped it to save Day. All over in 79 seconds. Garcia was 3-7 in his previous ten fights so did not seem to pose a threat to Day but 8 of his 10 wins have come by KO/TKO. Not sure where Day goes from here. At one time he was the No 1 rated amateur in the US in his weight division so big things were expected. His other loss was to unbeaten Alantez Fox but this one is more difficult to explain away.
Akavov vs. Lopez
Russian southpaw Akavov impresses in stoppage of Lopez. The solid built Akavov established his jab early and then began to unload his power shots. Lopez quickly crumbled and was floored with a left to the body in the second. He got up but was in no condition to continue. Akavov, the WBFoundation and WBO European champion has six wins by KO/TKO. Lopez only returned to the ring in March after almost six years away and is 2-2- since his comeback.
Ntetu vs. Rojas
DRC-born Canadian Ntetu makes heavy work of getting past Texan Rojas on a split decision. Ntetu had the skill but did not make full use of it letting Rojas brawl him out of his comfort zone. He hurt Rojas late in the fight but won the decision without impressing. Scores 77-74 and 76-75 for Ntetu and 76-74 for Rojas. Ntetu, 33, beat now world rated Schiller Hyppolite back in 2012 but has not really built on that win. Rojas has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights.
Cordoba, Argentina: Light Heavy: Walter Sequeira (17-2) W KO 1 Evert Bravo (21-5-1). Super Light: Xavier Luques Castillo (15-4) W TEC DEC 5 Damian Yapur (11-3-2).
Sequeira vs. Bravo
Sequeira overwhelms Bravo in 70 seconds including the count. Colombian Bravo was taller and tried to work on the outside. Sequeira tracked him around the ropes until he trapped Bravo in a corner. A couple of left hooks rattled Bravo and then Sequeira unleashed a barrage of punches and Bravo slumped to the canvas. He took the ten count on one knee making no effort to rise. The 28-year-old Argentinian No 1 retains his WBC Latino title. He now has 12 wins by KO/TKO and after losing his first pro fight is now 17-1 in his last 18. Bravo, 30, lost inside the distance to Tommy Oosthuizen for the IBO super middle title and after being stopped in three rounds by Roberto Bolonti in May 2012 was inactive for almost three years before returning to action this year with three low level wins in domestic fights.
Castillo vs. Yapur
Castillo gets split technical decision over Yapur. The fight never really caught fire with Castillo doing just enough work with his jab to edge the first and Yapur just edged the second. Castillo had the better of the third and fourth but a clash of heads in the fourth as Castillo closed in recklessly opened a bad cut on Yapur’s right eyebrow. The referee examined the injury but said the fight could continue but early in the fifth the cut was still bleeding profusely and the referee stopped the fight and it was decided on the scorecards with the fifth round being scored. Scores 49 ½-47 ½ and 49-48 ½ to Castillo and 49-48 ½ to Yapur. Argentinian champion Castillo, 27, wins the vacant WBA Fedebol title. He has won 6 of his last 7 fights with the loss being a majority verdict against Josh King in Australia in September last year. Yapur had a 5-0-2 run but has now lost two in a row.
Santiago, Chile: Super Fly: Miguel Gonzalez (23-1) W PTS 11 Luis Lazarte (52-12-2,1ND). Super Feather: Luis Parra (4-4-1) W PTS 10 Juan Jimenez (5-2).
Gonzalez vs. Lazarte
Gonzalez just too young, too quick and too big for experienced Lazarte and wins unanimous decision to collect the vacant WBA Fedebol title. Gonzalez stuck to his game plan using his reach and height to box on the outside with the smaller Lazarte unable to bring Gonzalez to the brawl. If anything Gonzalez was showing Lazarte too much respect and taking no chances. Although doing enough to take a couple of rounds a frustrated Lazarte was doing too much holding and too much talking. He was not just directing his remarks at Gonzalez but also at the supporters of the Chilean but again Gonzalez continued to box calmly and was a clear winner. Scores 108-101 twice and 107-103 ½. The 26-year-old “Needle” lost a wide unanimous decision to Brit Paul Butler in September 2013 but has now won six on the bounce and is rated No 13 by the WBA. Former IBF light fly champion Lazarte, 44, lost to John Riel Casimero for the WBA interim title in February 2012 in his home city of Mar del Plata a fight which was marred by disgraceful tactics by Lazarte and a full scale riot. Lazarte was then inactive until July 2014 and had won three domestic victories since then.
Parra vs. Jimenez
Parra wins the vacant national title with unanimous decision over Jimenez. An exciting contest saw both fighters on the canvas but “Little Engine” Parra was a clear winner. He used his better boxing to outclass Jimenez. When he lost to Jimenez in August he had allowed himself to be drawn into toe-to-toe trading which suited Jimenez better. Scores 97-91 twice and 98-90. Good win for the 28-year-old Parra as he had gone 1-4-1 in his previous six fights.
Kampala, Uganda: Super Light: Hamza Sempewo (13-5) W PTS 12 Abdallah Ruwanje (4-3-1). Sempewo too good for inexperienced Tanzanian and wins the East & Central African title with wide unanimous decision. Scores 119-109 from all three judges. Good win for Sempewo as he rebounds from inside the distance loss in August. Ruwanje keeps his record of not losing inside the distance his other two losses have been to useful opposition in Cosmas Cheka and Solomon Bogere.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Middle: Saul Alvarez (46-1-1) W PTS 12 Miguel Cotto (40-5). Super Feather: Francisco Vargas (23-0-1) TKO 9 Takashi Miura (29-3-2). Feather: Ronny Rios (25-1) W PTS 10 Jayson Velez (23-1-1). Super Bantam: Guillermo Rigondeaux (16-0) W PTS 10 Drian Francisco (28-4-1). Feather: Alberto Machado (12-0) W TKO 1 Tyrone Luckey (8-5-2). Fly: Jose Martinez (16-0) W PTS 8 Oscar Mojica (8-1). Heavy: Zhilei Zhang (6-0) W PTS 4 Juan Goode (6-3).
Alvarez vs. Cotto
Alvarez gets huge win as he collects the vacant WBC middleweight title with unanimous decision over Cotto. Both were cautious at the start but as the action picked up in the first round Alvarez lands a hard combination to the body to take the round. The second was very close as Alvarez opens with a left to the body and Cotto with an overhand right. The Puerto Rican is staying away from the ropes and showing good movement and he looks to have evened things up. Alvarez has a good third as he scores with lefts and rights to the head with Cotto sticking to his jab and throwing lots of punches but with little accuracy. Cotto rebounds to take the fourth and even it looks to be 2-2. Cotto is using his jab again and although he has to absorb some hard rights from Alvarez he ends the round strongly. The fifth is too close to call. Alvarez lands the best punch of the round a left hook but Cotto shows good skills slipping punches and countering and by the end of the round Alvarez has a bruise showing under his right eye. The sixth was also close with Alvarez getting through with an overhand right and Cotto again jabbing to good effect but it is obvious that Alvarez has the greater power. He is throwing less but those that do land are power shots. Alvarez collects the seventh as he snaps Cotto’s head back with a right and gets through with a big right uppercut. Cotto is sticking to his boxing but just not landing enough. The eighth is a great round the best of the fight and a candidate for Round of the Year. War breaks out as they go toe-to-toe which suits Alvarez. They both bang home hard punches Alvarez scores with hooks and uppercuts but Cotto is staying with him and firing back but Alvarez is landing more and again his power shows. Cotto fires back with a thumping left to the head but it is Alvarez’s round. The pace drops a little at the start of the ninth as they both recover from their efforts. Eventually Alvarez carries on the momentum he built in the eighth and Cotto finds it hard to keep him out. Again the Mexican is landing the heavier punches and although Cotto is countering he just does not have the same power. Cotto shows his champion qualities as he fires back to win the tenth. Alvarez is warned for a low blow and the quick accurate jabbing from Cotto makes the difference. The eleventh is close but again the better boxing of Cotto just outweighs the power of the young Mexican. Alvarez puts in the stronger finish as they stand in ring centre and battle head to head in the last. Cotto is showing a cut over his left eye but too late to be of any significance. Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 all for Alvarez the new WBC champion. As for the scores Alvarez won the fight but even the 117-111 score does not do full justice to the efforts of Cotto and I can only assume that where the rounds were close the judges went for the power shots of Alvarez over the lighter shots from Cotto. Whilst the fight did not quite live up to all expectations it was a tough exciting scrap between two great professionals and a clear indication that the sport does not need Floyd Mayweather Jnr. This was one where the fight was a fight and not a spectacle. A condition of the WBC agreeing to the fight was that the winner had to face Gennady Golovkin and Alvarez has said he is willing to do that but the contract for the fight with Cotto included mutual return fight clauses and there was also talk of whether Alvarez might want to try to get revenge against Mayweather, the only fighter to have beaten him, so we will have to see what develops. Irrespective at just 25 Alvarez has already assured himself of a place in the Hall of Fame and has plenty of years left to build his profile further still. At 35 Cotto’s future is uncertain. There is no talk of retirement and since both he and Freddie Roach thought he won the fight there is no reason for him to talk retirement. He is a big name and there are still big fights out there for him.
Vargas vs. Miura
A cut and battered Vargas pulls this one out with a vicious attack in the ninth round to win the WBA title. In the first southpaw Miura was coming forward probing with his jab but Vargas banged home a straight right that saw Miura’s legs stiffen and he stumbled back against the ropes. Vargas followed in trying to capitalise on the early success and Miura had to duck and hold as Vargas landed more rights. When Miura did hold inside Vargas still managing to score with rights and the champion must have been happy to hear the bell but on the plus side for him was that Vargas had collected a small cut under his right eye. Miura came out aggressively in the second but again it was Vargas doing the eye-catching scoring early with his rights. Miura got a warning to watch his head and the cut under the right eye of Vargas had worsened. The Japanese fighter came on strong at the end of the round scoring with southpaw left hooks to the body. Vargas started the third well with short rights but Miura was forcing him back and drawing him into a brawl. Miura was getting home hooks to the body but Vargas ended the round boxing cleverly and spearing the oncoming champion with jabs and straight rights. Vargas tried to box again in the fourth but Miura was hunting him down and scoring with a series of strong straight lefts. He scored with a peach of an uppercut and then threw a straight left that smacked into the face of Vargas and put him down. Vargas was up quickly but there was blood dripping from the cut under his right. Luckily the bell went just as Miura had Vargas in a corner and was about to try to finish things. Miura was again coming forward in the fifth and sixth with Vargas boxing on the back foot and countering. The Mexican was landing hard right counters and was more accurate but Miura was relentless coming forward throwing right hooks and straight lefts and was bossing the fight. The eighth saw Vargas trying to come forward more and he constantly pierced Miura’s guard with precise right. Miura still kept coming just walking through the punches and landing right/left combinations. Suddenly a straight left from Miura landed flush on the face of Vargas which sent the Mexican staggering backwards to the ropes badly shaken and Miura had the challenger trapped in a corner and battering away at his defences as the bell went. At the start of the ninth Vargas was behind on two cards, the right side of his face was a mess and he looked like a boxer in trouble. In the first exchange of punches Vargas landed a left uppercut and then a straight right and Miura buckled at the knees and pitch down sideward’s to the floor landing on his back. He tried to scramble to his feet but again fell forwards to the floor. He made it to his feet at the second attempt holding his arms above his head to show he was ready to continue. He stepped forward and grabbed Vargas and wrestled him across the ring holding on fast. Vargas fired punch after punch as Miura staggered under the storm and then again grabbed Vargas and wrestled him across the ring, Miura tried to fire back but it was on pure instinct and as Vargas slammed home punch after punch the referee stopped the fight. The 30-year-old “El Bandito” had pulled off a great come-from-behind win in a fight which featured action for every minute of the nine and a bit rounds. A contender for Fight of the Year”. Vargas had earned his title shots with wins over Brandon Bennett, Jerry Belmontes, Abner Cotto, Juan Manuel Lopez and Will Tomlinson. He did not turn pro until he was 25 due to a long and successful time as an amateur when he competed at the Olympic Games, World Championships and Pan American Games. Miura, 31, was making the fifth defence of his title. He had beaten Mexican Gamaliel Diaz, to win the title, and made defences again other Mexicans in Sergio Thompson, Dante Jardon and Edgar Puerta making him the scourge of Mexican feathers but despite Miura’s magnificent effort here Vargas got one back for his country.
Rios vs. Velez.
Once again a fighter has to come from behind for the win as Rios takes away the unbeaten label of Puerto Rican Velez and collects the vacant WBC Silver title. Velez outboxed Rios early letting the Californian come forward and spearing him with jabs and scoring well to the body. Rios landed a very low right but escaped without a warning. Rios turned up the heat in the second but again went low and this time was warned. The pattern was pretty well set with Velez boxing on the retreat and Rios aiming to get inside and land with hooks from both hands. Clever boxing and accuracy were allowing Velez to build a lead and in the fifth after a couple of low punches the referee deducted a point from Rios. The fight was changing as Rios began to walk through Velez’s punches which lacked any real snap and was able to work in close with hooks to head and body. Velez found himself under constant pressure and being denied the room to work his jab forcing him to stand and trade and go off his game plan. Rios kept up the pressure in the eighth with Velez spending much of the time with his back against the ropes trying to fend off the persistent attacks of Rios who scored with some good left hooks late in the round. Velez had a slightly better ninth trying to stay off the ropes and get his jab back into play moving more and scoring with some hooks and uppercuts as Rios advanced but Rios persisted and Velez had to stand and trade but landed a couple of good rights inside as the round ended. Both fought with fire in the last and both had some success. Velez was scoring with his jab and straight rights and Rios was again throwing plenty of hooks and uppercuts and looking the winner. Scores 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94 all for Rios. Rios, 25, won his first 23 fights before suffering an upset loss when he was floored and stopped by Robinson Castellanos in five round in October last year. That loss cost him his world rating but this win should see him listed again. “La Maravilla” Velez, 27, had a similar record winning his first 22 fights before being held to a draw in November by Evgeny Gradovich in a challenge for the IBF title. He was rated WBC 2/IBF 5(3)/WBA 7/WBO 10 but will now tumble down in all of those lists.
Rigondeaux vs. Francisco
The Cuban master promises much but fails to deliver. Rigondeaux was streets ahead of Filipino Francisco in speed and skill and never really let Francisco get into the fight. Things looked promising when a long left from Rigondeaux sent Francisco staggering back but it was a false dawn and Rigondeaux reverted to type. He was too quick for Francisco threading right jabs home and punishing any error the Filipino made. Francisco could not figure out a way to deal with Rigondeaux and often just stood in front of the Cuban waiting for the chance that never came. With Rigondeaux boxing carefully and picking his punches and Francisco not finding any kind of target the action, or lack of it, had the crowd restive and booing early. Despite realising he was doing his reputation no good by another brilliant but boring display Rigondeaux never took any chances and easily boxed his way to the wide unanimous decision with two judges giving him all ten rounds and one actually finding three rounds to give to the Filipino. Scores 100-90 twice and 97-93. The 35-year-old “Jackal” had been stripped off his WBA and WBO super bantam titles just a few days before the fight for inactivity although other champions had been given more leeway by both bodies. He had also been released by Top Rank and had a new promoter but it was the same old Rigondeaux. Too good for his own good and too old to change. Francisco, 33, was pulled off a show in the Philippines so was fit and but not quite ready for the skills of Rigondeaux. The former interim WBA super fly champion suffered a crushing one round loss against fellow Filipino Jason Canoy in May and is trying to rebuild but despite the short notice it was an opportunity he could not turn down
Machado vs. Luckey
Machado again displays impressive power as he crushes Luckey inside a round. A left put Lucky down the first time and although he made it to his feet Machado hunted him down and floored him again with a left/right combination. Luckey made it to his feet but there was no way Machado was letting him off the hook and he was punishing him in a corner when the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Puerto Rican southpaw is certainly living up to his “El Explosivo” nickname. The tall, 5’10” (178cm) puncher now has 10 wins by KO/TKO including 7 in a row and the last two both being first round finishes. “Hands of Stone” Luckey must have loaned his gloves to Machado. He had scored three wins and a draw in 2015 but could not take the power punching of Machado.
Martinez vs. Mojica
Puerto Rican hope Martinez remains unbeaten with points win over Mojica. Martinez fought a smart fight but Mojica contributed to his own defeat. Mojica had height and reach over Martinez but never used them and chose to fight inside. A slow first round saw them both trading body punches with not much between them. Martinez had a big second when after outboxing Mojica he had the Texan badly shaken with an uppercut. The third also went to Martinez as he landed some heavy head punches and he took the fourth by switching his focus to the body. Mojica was scoring with some of his own shots but not enough. The fifth saw Mojica’s work rate drop and Martinez was scoring well to the body. It swung the other way in the sixth as Martinez seemed to tire and Mojica was able to make the rounds much closer. Martinez was fresher in the last and dominated the action. Scores 78-74 for Martinez from all three judges. The 23-year-old “Chiquiro” from the Cotto stable is the WBC Latino champion and was coming off a knockout win over experienced Armando Vazquez in August. Mojica, 23, had been meeting a lower level opposition and sometimes struggling to get his wins.
Zhang vs. Goode
“Big Bang” Zhang gets a shock as Goode deposits him on his backside in the fourth. The 6’6” (198cm) Chinese fighter had 5” in height and 20lbs in weight over Goode but his technique is very basic and does not include a useful jab or much footwork. Goode had to lunge in with his attacks and Zhang showed some powerful hooks and uppercuts as Goode came forward busting open Goode’s nose. Zhang was boxing his way to a comfortable if laboured win when Goode leapt in with a right in the fourth round that knocked Zhang over. He was up quickly and was able to clinch and wrestle until his head cleared and by the end of the round he was again catching Goode with hooks although both Zhang and Goode looked exhausted by then. Scores 38-37 for Zhang from all three judges. Although the winner of an Olympic silver medal and two World Championship medals at 32 he is not going to get much better so not likely to go far as a pro. Goode, 31, won his first 5 fights by KO/TKO but has lost his last 3 on points.
Manchester, England: Light: Anthony Crolla (30-4-3) W KO 5 Darleys Perez (32-2-1). Super Light: Tyrone Nurse (32-2-1) W PTS 12 Chris Jenkins (16-1-1). Bantam: Ryan Burnett (12-0) W PTS 12 Jason Booth (38-14). Fly: Charlie Edwards (6-0) W TKO 6 Phil Smith (6-2). Feather: Isaac Lowe (11-0-1) DREW 10 Ryan Doyle (11-1-1). Super Welter: Brian Rose (28-3-1) W PTS 8 Ruslans Pojonisevs (16-37-1).
Crolla vs. Perez
An emotional night in Manchester as Crolla completes his fairy tale recovery from serious injury to fulfil his dream of becoming a world champion as he destroys Perez with one punch to lift the WBA crown. The opening two rounds were close with Crolla taking the first as he established his jab and scored with a good overhand right. In the second Perez was finding the target with his own jab catching Crolla as he came forward and although Crolla scored with some uppercuts Perez probably just edged it. Perez was quick with his jab again in the third but Crolla scored with a hard body punch and ended the round with a flurry of punches to take that one. Perez was boxing well in the fourth finding gaps to slot home his jab but he was showing a slight swelling by his right eye and again Crolla finished the round with a flourish. It was shaping up to be another close fight but in the fifth Crolla forced Perez to the ropes with a couple of stiff jabs and then landed a sickening left to the body. Perez went down slowly to his knees and as the count proceeded slumped further with his head touching the canvas and he was still in that position when the count was completed. Great win for 29-year-old “Million Dollar” Crolla and that nickname must reflect on how he felt on winning. He had come close when they first met in July but that ended as a majority draw. This time Crolla did not leave it to the judges and scored what must be the most popular win in British boxing this year. Colombian Perez, 32, had never failed to last the distance in any fight before this and he again showed his excellent skills and the courage to twice enter the lion’s den but that body punch was just too much for him.
Nurse vs. Jenkins
Nurse wins vacant British title on unanimous decision over Jenkins. They had clashed on the same shows as the first Crolla vs. Perez fight and their contest also ended as a majority draw as did the main event. Jenkins edged a slow first round and used his superior strength to have Nurse fighting with his back to the ropes in the second and land a good left/right combination with Nurse already showing a bruising on the left side of his head. In the third Nurse used his better skills to score with counters and Jenkins was suddenly cut up on his forehead from an accidental elbow from Jenkins and the cut bled heavily. Nurse got into his stride in the fourth using his quicker hands and some good lateral movement to outbox the Welshman. The cut on Jenkins head was bleeding again but just when things were looking good for Nurse Jenkins exploded with a right that put Nurse down. He beat the count but was taken to the ropes as Jenkins tried to repeat his success but Nurse was fight back by the bell. The knockdown had given Jenkins a boost and in the sixth he kept the pressure on making Nurse fight inside. Nurse worked himself some space in the seventh and caught Jenkins with a right counter late to take the round. Both seemed to tire in the eighth and ninth but Nurse just did enough to pocket the rounds and probably edge in front. In the tenth Jenkins was fighting under the handicap of the cut on his forehead running blood down to affect his vision and was also cut over his left eye. He suffered another cut but this one over his right eye but by sheer aggression he shut down Nurse’s work and edged the round. The eleventh was a round fought by two very tired boxers and it was untidy and close enough to go either way. Nurse just did enough to take the twelfth as he kept his boxing together and scored with good counters. Scores 115-112 twice and 116-111all for Nurse. The tall 25-year-old Nurse wins the vacant British title. His losses have come in a three round Prizefighter Tournament and a majority decision to Dave Ryan for the vacant CBC title in October last year. He was down twice in the fight against Ryan and had to climb off the floor in this one. He has abundant skills but is not a big puncher. “Rok’nRolla” Jenkins, 27, has cause to feel he was unlucky as this was a very close fight but the former star of the Welsh amateur team will be back fighting for a title in 2016.
Burnett vs. Booth
Burnett wins vacant British title as he takes every round against veteran Booth. A feel out first round comes to a dramatic end as an overhand right from Burnett puts Booth on the floor. Booth gets up and sees out the round but it is a poor start for him. It does not get much better as Burnett has both skill and power and has an old head on young shoulders as shows patience and clever tactics. Booth also knows a few tricks and tries to stay off the ropes and tie Burnett up whenever he can. Booth is rocked in the fifth and again in the eighth but never seems in danger of a stoppage. Over the late rounds Burnett starts switching guards and time and again lands spiteful combinations working the body. Booth has nothing with which to change the flow of the fight but he sticks in there taking the punishment, countering when he can. Burnett is showing the full range of his arsenal and it is impressive as he works the jab, throws in hooks and uppercuts and focuses on the body although Booth shows a good defence after that first round shock. At the end it is a one-sided fight with Burnett winning 120-107 on all three cards. The 23-year-old from Belfast also holds the WBO European title. He was inactive for a year between November 2013 and November 2014 but has been very active since then this being his sixth fight of the year. He won a gold medal at the World Youth Olympics and a silver at the World Youth Championships and is yet another outstanding talent from Belfast. Booth, 38, first won the British and CBC fly titles back in 1999 and in 2003 won the IBO super fly title. He was also CBC champion at bantam and British and CBC champion at super bantam losing a majority decision to Steve Molitor for the IBF title in 2010. He was coming into this fight off a good win over Jason Cunningham. This was his 25th fight for a major title so a very distinguished career which may not be over yet.
Edwards vs. Smith
Edwards retains his English title with stoppage of Smith. The former top amateur continues to show progress. The early rounds were fairly even with Edwards showing some vicious uppercuts. Edwards had done enough to take the five completed rounds and then ended it in the sixth with a stunning right hook that put Smith down and led to the stoppage. The 22-year-old from Surrey, twice an ABA champion and a European Championships bronze medallist, has real talent. Smith 29 has been plagued by inactivity and although he had his moments here was never really in with a chance.
Lowe vs. Doyle
Lowe holds on to his English title with split draw against Doyle. The challenger made a good start using his superior strength to boss the exchanges and landing the hard punches. Just when it looked as though the title was going to change hands Lowe got into his stride blocking or avoiding Doyle’s punches and using his speed and better skills to scoop the closing rounds and save his title. Scores 97-93 for Lowe, 96-95 for Doyle and 95-95. The 21-year-old “Westgate Warrior” came close to losing his unbeaten tag in the entertaining fight and Doyle certainly deserves a second shot.
Rose vs. Pojonisevs
Just eight rounds of useful work for Rose as he takes every round against Latvian loser whilst he waits for a big fight. Referee’s score 80-72. First fight for former WBO title challenger Rose since his revenge win over Carson Jones in August. Ten losses in his last eleven fights for Pojonisevs.
Hannover, Germany: Super Middle: Arthur Abraham (44-4) W PTS 12 Martin Murray (32-3-1). Super Middle: Eduard Gutknecht (29-3-1) W KO 4 Arman Torosyan (16-2-1).Light Heavy; Deion Jumah (6-0) W PTS 6 Fabrizio Leone (6-8). 14
Abraham vs. Murray
Once again Abraham stages a strong finish to retain his title and once again Murray come up painfully shots in a title fight. Murray started well and Abraham got his usual slow start. Murray took control of ring centre and was busier and more accurate in the first round. Abraham was trying to come forward behind his trade mark high guard but Murray was strong and had Abraham on the back foot doubling up his jab and scoring with some choice left hooks. Murray had taken each of the first two rounds and after landing his best punch of the fight so far in the third, a left hook, he did enough to be 3-0 ahead with 9 to go. After a slow start to the fourth Abraham picked up the pace and for once had Murray going back and probably just edged the round. Abraham also took the fifth just edging it as Murray was forced into holding a bit more and Abraham got through with a hard left hook. The pattern continued with the sixth a close round. Murray was still showing good skills and trying to work the body but again Abraham landed a couple of rights to nick the round. Murray was firing early in the seventh throwing some solid combinations but as Abraham fired back Murray was warned for holding and Abraham closed the round rocking Murray with a right, his best punch so far. Drama in the eighth as Murray looked to take control with hefty combinations and with Abraham firing back. A huge overhand right from Murray staggered Abraham and he was forced to hold onto the ropes to steady himself and badly shaken for the first time in the fight. The champion had recovered by the ninth and although Murray started the round brightly Abraham craftily put in a strong finish to the rounds to impress the judges probably just doing enough to take it putting him in the lead. In the tenth Abraham was again marching forward behind his high guard but this time Murray staged the stronger finish to close the gap somewhat. The eleventh was the best round so far with more exchanges with both landing hard punches and Abraham landing a hard right. Murray clinched-once too often-and the referee deducted a point from the British fighter turning what was marginally a 10-9 round for Abraham into a 10-8. With the fight close both fighters went all out in the last round Murray has some success when he took Abraham to the ropes but Abraham seemed the fresher and with the crowd behind him he ended the round strongly. Scores 116-111 and 115-112 for Abraham and 115-112 for Murray. “King Arthur”, 35, was making the fifth defence of his WBO title and is 18-3 in his world title fights. He again showed his expertise in pacing a fight and being behind early is situation normal for him. This is only the second time he has been held to a split decision, the other one being a win over Robert Stieglitz and he has only fought outside Germany twice in title fights. Murray, 33, just can’t get a break. His three losses have all been in world title fights with a split draw against Felix Sturm in Germany, a disputed points loss against Sergio Martinez in Argentina and a brave effort against the deadly Gennady Golovkin. He would certainly have a fair chance of beating WBC champion Badou Jack and WBA secondary champion Fedor Chudinov but naturally he does not want to go into another fight where his opponent has home advantage but a fight with IBF champion James DeGale would be a big fight in Britain.
Gutknecht vs. Torosyan
Gutknecht continues his run of wins at super middle with stoppage of late replacement Torosyan. The opening round was untidy with both fighters being warned for various infringement and the only real action in the round a left/right combination from Gutknecht which sent Torosyan reeling back and down. He was up immediately claiming he had been pushed but the referee applied the eight count and then the bell went. Early in the second a right from Torosyan staggered Gutknecht and knocked him into the ropes. He was in deep trouble and on shaky legs but an overanxious Torosyan only succeeded in bundling Gutknecht into a corner. The ropes kept Gutknecht up. He was still very shaky and he ducked inside and drove Torosyan across the ring and pushed him to the floor. By the end of the round Gutknecht had survived the crisis and was slamming home hard right crosses with Torosyan the one in trouble. In the third the fight suddenly became one-sided. Gutknecht was firing hard jabs through Torosyan’s guard and following up with rights to the head and Torosyan was looking a beaten man. Gutknecht continued the punishment in the fourth and after a series of punches Torosyan just knelt in a corner and after starting the count the referee waived the fight over. The Kazak-born Gutknecht, a former EBU light heavy champion, had lost big fights to Robert Stieglitz for the WBO super middle title, Juergen Braehmer for the EBU light heavy title and to Russian Dmitry Sukhotsky. He then had a disappointing draw with Argentinian novice Pablo Sosa (3-3-2). After that draw with Sosa he moved back down to super middle and this is his fourth win since the move. All going well but for that spell in the second round he was lucky that Torosyan did not capitalise on his vulnerability. Gutknecht was to have fought Tyrone Zeuge but when Zeuge pulled out sick Torosyan came in at very short notice. The Armenian-born fighter was coming off a points loss to Nuhu Lawal
Juma vs. Leone
Juma gets a win for Britain on the show. The showy 26-year-old London southpaw boxed his way to an undemanding unanimous verdict over poor Italian opponent Leone. He constantly had Leone stuck on the ropes but did not seem to have the power to seriously hurt Leone which allowed him to get out of trouble and take the fight inside. Juma showed plenty of skill boxing with his lead hand on his thigh and firing a variety of hooks and uppercuts but the fight never caught fire and Leone never looked in trouble. Scores 60-54 for Juma from all three judges. Only the third fight in almost two years for Juma who needs to be more active. Leone has lost his last seven fights all on points.
Sydney, Australia: Middle: Dwight Ritchie (13-0) W PTS 10 Ryan Waters (22-5-2).
Ritchie stays unbeaten and retains his Australian title with wide unanimous verdict over returning Waters. The 23-year-old “Fighting Cowboy” dominated the fight from start to finish with Waters having to survive a doctor’s inspection of a bad cut near his left eye in the fourth round and despite this being his first fight for almost four years he fought hard all the way with Ritchie just too young and fit for him. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90. The 23-year-old Ritchie had four wins scratched off his record as he was under age when he had the fights. Waters a former Australian super welter champion last fought in December 2011.
Ontario, Canada: Super Welter: Brandon Cook (16-0) W TKO 5 Rafael Sosa Pintos (50-13). Feather: Tyler Asselstine (15-2) W PTS 6 Diego Sanaco (21-20-5).
Cook vs. Pintos
Cook keeps his WBA Inter-Continental title as he halts Pintos in five rounds. Cook was walking Pintos down from the start. The visitor had good skills showing good movement and a quick jab but lacked the power to keep Cook out. The Canadian kept hunting and weakening Pintos with body shots and ended it in the fifth. Cook hurt Pintos with two left hooks to the body and then drove him across the ring and landed another left hook and a right uppercut. Pintos slumped to the floor but was up quickly and took the eight count. Cook got home with another two left hooks and Pintos went down but this time it was a slip. Cook then backed off and Pintos had a brief moment of coming forward and throwing some punches but then Cook backed him up to the ropes and another left hook put Pintos down. The referee started the count but then stopped and waived the fight over. The 29-year-old “Bad Boy” moves to 10 wins by KO/TKO. Uruguayan Pintos, 35, now has six losses by KO/TKO.
Asselstine vs. Sanaco
Southpaw Asselstine returns with a win as he comfortably decisions Argentinian Sanaco. The Toronto boxer won every round against his very limited opponent. Scores 60-50 twice and 58-52. This is Asselstine’s first fight since losing on points against Joel Diaz in May last year. Sanaco, 36, is 4-9-1 in his last 14 fights.
Helsinki, Finland: Light: Edis Tatli (26-1) W TKO 3 Ramaz Bebnadze (16-3). Super Welter: Jussi Koivula (19-2-1) W TKO 3 Zoran Didanovic (17-27).
Tatli vs. Bebnadze
EBU champion Tatli returns to action with a stoppage of elderly Georgian. Tatli easily took the first two rounds and then stopped Bebnadze with just one second left in the third round. The Kosovo-born Finn, 28, lost a majority decision to Richar Abril for the WBA title in September last year. He was No 6 with the WBA at the time of his challenge and despite wins in January and his victory over Yvon Mendy for the EBU title he has disappeared out of their rating completely. Bebnadze, 38, has a typical Georgian record of only three fights outside Georgia which have all ended on a loss by KO/TKO.
Koivula vs. Didanovic
Similar outcome with Koivula’s fight. The Finn took the first two rounds and then floored and halted his ancient Serbian opponent in the third. Since having his 13 fight winning streak ended by a stoppage loss to Lukasz Maciec in 2013 Koivula has struggled to find form putting on a disappointing performance when losing to Marcello Matano in Italy and only getting a split draw with Russian Artem Karasev (7-19-1) in his last fight in August. Didanovic, 43, has lost 7 of his last 8 fights
Manzano, Italy: Cruiser: Maurizio Loviglio (20-11) W TKO 12 Leonardo Bruzzese (14-2). Cruiser: Nicola Pietro Ciriani (13-1) W PTS 10 Simone Federici (7-1). Light: Massimiliano Ballisai (20-2) W TKO 4 Laszlo Fekete (13-10-2).
Loviglio vs. Bruzzese
Loviglio wins the vacant EU title with late stoppage after an exciting scrap that saw both fighters on the floor. Over the first three rounds Loviglio was able to box on the outside and keep out the aggressive charges of Bruzzese. In the fourth Bruzzese’s right comes into play and Loviglio is under pressure. In the fifth a right from Bruzzese followed by a left hook puts Loviglio on the floor. Loviglio gets up and manages to survive to the bell. In the sixth Bruzzese seems to have punched himself out trying to end it in the fifth but just as he is getting back into his stride a Loviglio left hook puts Bruzzese down and it is then his turn to get up and survive. Both fighters seem to tire in the seventh with Bruzzese just doing enough to win it but Loviglio constantly has Bruzzese trapped on the ropes over the next three rounds and he shakes Bruzzese with rights in the eleventh. In the last a left hook has Bruzzese stumbling on unsteady legs and the referee stops the right. The 33-year-old “Angel” from Turin wins the EU title at the second attempt having been floored twice and disqualified in his previous attempt in September last year. Argentinian-born Bruzzese, 32, had lost his Italian title to Loviglio on a tenth round stoppage in 2013.
Ciriani vs. Federici
Hometown fighter Ciriani wins the vacant Italian title in poor contest against Federici. It was a bad tempered fight with very little clean action. Federici younger and stronger was in the fight early having a good second round but his attacks were crude and from the middle rounds onwards Ciriani with better skills did what scoring there was and took the title. Scores 97-93, 97-94 and 96-94. Ciriani’s only loss is on points against Mirco Ricci for the vacant Italian light heavy title in March last year. This is his fourth win since then. First time past the sixth round for Federici and at 22 he will almost certainly challenge for the title again.
Ballisai vs. Fekete
Just a keep busy title for Italian champion Ballisai as he halts Hungarian Fekete in four rounds. The 30-year-old former EU champion from Turin gets his fourth win in a row, Fekete, 22, now has 7 losses by KO/TKO.
Rotherham, England: Middle: Lewis Taylor (18-1-1) W TKO 5 Jez Wilson (12-3-1). Super Welter: Sam Sheedy (16-1) W TKO 1 Frank Dodze (18-9).
Taylor vs. Wilson
Yet another English champion gets a win and keeps his crown. As expected it was the challenger Wilson who came out firing and Taylor suffered a cut over his left eye within the first three minutes. Wilson continued to press but with Taylor using his edges in height and reach he came into the fight and was breaking Wilson down. A shot to the chin in the fourth put fireman Wilson down and his trainer Glyn Rhodes stepped up to the ring to signal the end for his man. The 25-year-old Taylor, the EU No 10, took world rated Eamonn O’Kane to a close majority decision in May so this a good rebuilding step. Wilson, 36, had to recover from having his jaw broken in two places in a fight against John Ryder in April last year. He returned with a win in September but may now retire.
Sheedy vs. Dodze
Sheedy disposes of Ghanaian in the first round. The Sheffield southpaw finished this one in just two minutes so no real test. Sheedy, 27, was having his first fight since losing a split decision to Navid Mansouri for the English title in July. This is his fourth win by KO/TKO. Dodzi’s record misleading as from his last 15 victims 11 had never won a fight and 3 had negative records.
Osaka, Japan: Super Welter: Takayuki Hosokawa (28-10-4) W PTS 12 Dennis Laurente (49-7-5). Super Bantam: Hinata Maruta (1-0) W PTS 6 Jason Canoy 24-6-2).
Hosokawa vs. Laurente
Hosokawa wins OPBF title with paper thin split decision over Filipino veteran Laurente in a battle of two southpaws. Laurente was pressing the action but Hosokawa was boxing well behind his jab and had a two point lead by the end of the fourth round. Laurente kept pressing and closed the gap fracturing Hosokawa’s jaw in the sixth but the Japanese fighter showed guts and kept his game plan going and just deserved the narrow decision. Scores 115-113 and 115-114 for Hosokawa from the two Japanese judges and a totally ridiculous 118-110 to Laurente from the Filipino judge. The 30-year-old Hosokawa is now 10-1-1 in his last 12 fights but the jaw injury was serious enough to put a question mark over his future. Deposed champion “Mr Humble” Laurente, 38, is a class fighter turning pro back in 1994 and winning a hatful of titles including the GAB light/PAB light/OPBF light/GAB welter/ABC super welter and OPBF super welter. He deserves a return match or a shot at the title if it becomes vacant
Maruta vs. Canoy
I don’t know where they get them from but here is another Japanese star of the very near future. The much taller Maruta used a sharp jab and straight rights to outbox and bloody the world rated Filipino. Canoy fought aggressively and did enough to make it a close fight but was cut over both eyes, floored with a body punch in the third round and a clear loser. Scores 59-54, 59-56 and 58-55 all for the 18-year-old prospect a bronze medal winner at the Asian Junior Championships. Canoy, rated IBF 10(8) had floored Drian Francisco three times and stopped him inside a round in his last fight in May so a huge step for a fighter having his first pro contest.
Kumamoto, Japan: Minimum: Tatsuya Fukuhara (16-4-5) W PTS 10 Hiroya Yamamoto (9-4).
Fukuhara wins the vacant JBC title with unanimous decision over Yamamoto. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-94. The local southpaw did well considering he broke a rib in training a month before the fight. Yamamoto was having his second shot at winning the title.