Bolton, England: Super Light: Jack Catterall (15-0) W PTS 12 Joe Hughes (14-2). Super Middle: Luke Blackledge (21-2-2) W KO 5 Ishmael Tetteh (31-13-2). Super Light Kiryl Relikh (21-0) W RTD 4 Joaquim Carniero (23-8). Super Welter: Jimmy Kilrain Kelly (17-1) W PTS 8 Michael Mora (11-8). Middle: Vijender Singh (6-0) W TKO 3 Andrzej Soldra (12-4-1).
Catterall vs. Hughes
Catterall retains his WBO Inter-Continental title and moves into contention for the British title with unanimous decision over Hughes. This was always going to be a huge ask for the challenger. Catterall had height, reach and superior southpaw skills over Hughes. Catterall edged the first using his right jab to keep Hughes outside and scoring with quick counters as Hughes tried to get inside. Hughes tried to get closer in the second but Catterall was scoring with straight lefts and uppercuts. Hughes scored with some good left hooks in the third but Catterall was banging home long straight lefts to head and body and quick combinations and he opened a cut on Hughes’ nose. Hughes had a bit more success in the fourth as Catterall seemed happy to stand close rather than use his physical advantages. They fought more on the inside over the middle rounds with Hughes continually coming forward but Catterall more accurate as he rocked Hughes with a straight right in the seventh. They were both warned to be careful with their heads in the eighth. The pace had dropped for a while with Catterall looking to be tiring and Hughes was very much in the fight. After some sparring at the start of the ninth Catterall dug in a vicious left hook to the body. Hughes was hurt and Catterall landed more lefts but did not press home his attacks. Over the closing rounds Hughes kept coming forward but Catterall was slotting home jabs and straight lefts showing his craftsmanship as he boxed his way to victory. Scores 117-112, 117-113 and 115-113. The 22-year-old “El Gato” was making the fourth defence of his WBO title and is No 4 with the WBO but Hughes gave him twelve tough rounds. English champion Hughes had won his last 10 fights and advanced his standing with this showing.
Blackledge vs. Tetteh
Blackledge retains his CBC title as Tetteh slumps to defeat. Blackledge took the first round working behind his jab and keeping Tetteh on the back foot. Tetteh let his hands go late in the round but Blackledge scored with a couple of sharp left hooks with Tetteh looking hurt by the second. Tetteh turned it into a brawl in the second and both fighters were scoring with heavy punches. Tetteh seemed at times to be the stronger. Blackledge was getting through with more punches but a couple of hard hooks from Tetteh seemed to hurt Blackledge. They continued to brawl in the third which suited Tetteh and on a pair of punches seemed to make Blackledge’s legs twitch. He was also scoring but it looked Tetteh’s round and it was shaping up to be a hard night for Blackledge. The fourth went to Blackledge as he was making some space to use his jab. The fifth saw a controversial ending. Tetteh again started strong throwing clubbing head punches with both hands. Blackledge made some space and landed a vicious left hook to the body. Tetteh took a couple of steps back and went down on his hands and knees as if it was delayed reaction to the left to the body with a couple of Blackledge’s punches going over the top of his head as he fell. He watched the count shaking his head and then jumped to his feet just as the ten was tolled. It looked suspicious and the smile he had on his face did not help his case. The BBB of C have held on to his purse until they completed an investigation into his performance. Blackledge, 25, was making the second defence of his CBC title. He lost a close decision to IBF No 3 Erik Skoglund and then had to rebound from a one round loss to Rocky Fielding. He has done so with seven wins in a row including good victories over Liam Cameron and Lee Markham. Tetteh gets his sixth loss by KO/TKO. The end was a great pity. He had shown real power and was very much in the fight right up until he went down. His form is very consistent. He has now gone L/W/L/W/L/W/L/W/L/W/L/W/L in his last 13 fights and he did neither himself nor boxing in Ghana any favours here.
Relikh vs. Carniero
“Mad Bee” Relikh continues his run of wins by KO/TKO with Carniero out-gunned. The Belarus fighter showed some good skills and power as he blasted home heavy hooks from both hands with southpaw Carniero struggling to stay in the fight. A one-sided fourth saw Carniero soaking up punishment and his corner threw in the towel to save their man. The 26-year-old from Minsk was making the second defence of his WBA Inter-Continental title. He has won 19 of his last 20 fights by KO/TKO including 12 in a row. This is only his fourth fight outside Minsk and there are no names on his record. He is rated WBA 4/IBF 7(5) so now needs to step up in opposition. Carniero, 28, a typical Brazilian. He has yet to win a fight outside of Brazil and in January was floored twice and stopped in one round in a fight for the NBA world title.
Kelly vs. Mora
Kelly eases back with points win over Nicaraguan Mora. Kelly got in some useful work as Mora proved tougher than he showed in his only other fight in England. Kelly could have done without picking up a cut over his left eye in the fourth but he was always in command but the strong. The limited Mora did not look in trouble until the eighth. In that round Kelly had Mora down twice but the Nicaraguan was still there at the end. Referee’s score 80-72 for 23-year-old Kelly who was having his first fight since losing in seven rounds against Liam Smith for the WBO title in December. Mora, 23, based in Spain, has now lost 7 in a row and in his fight in Liverpool in September he was stopped inside a round by Marcus Morrison
Singh vs. Soldra
Indian star Singh makes it six quick wins out of six as he punches too hard for Soldra. Singh was using his jab to control the action before putting Soldra down with a right cross as they traded punches. Soldra was up quickly and although Singh rocked him with another right and unloaded some combinations the Pole had recovered by the end of the round. Soldra had come to fight and landed a good left and right at the start of the second but Singh had him in trouble again with a left to the body and two rights to the head. Soldra managed to get out of trouble and Singh was unable to find a finishing punch. In the third a right sent Soldra staggering back to the ropes and Singh threw a series of punches. Soldra fought his way of the ropes and got some extra recovery time as he had lost his mouthpiece and it had to be restored. When the action resumed Soldra was swinging wild punches and a shove from Singh sent him flying back across the ring and down heavily. Singh then landed some heavy punches and with Soldra on the ropes and not firing back the fight was stopped The 30-year-old Singh has taken less that 17 rounds for his six wins and there is still some “amateur” in his style as you would expect. As an amateur he competed at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics. He was the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal when he collected a bronze in 2008. He beat Badou Jack, Terrell Gausha, Ronald Gavril and Sergey Derevyanchenko in his vest wearing days. Soldra was halted inside a round by hard-punching German hope Vincent Feigenbutz but got a big win when he beat Dawid Ko0stecki (39-1) back in 2014.
Washington, DC, USA: Welter: Dusty Hernandez Harrison (29-0-1) DRAW 10 Mike Dallas (21-3-2). Super Bantam: Luis Orlando Del Valle (22-2,1ND) W PTS 8 Thomas Snow (18-3). Super Light: Abner Cotto (20-3) W PTS 6 Sam Amoako (21-11). Heavy: Zhilei Zhang (9-0) W TKO 1 John Orr (1-8).
Hernandez vs. Dallas
Fighting in his home city Hernandez preserves his unbeaten record with strong finish but Dallas looks unlucky not to get the verdict. Dallas set the early pace being first to the punch focusing on the body and forcing the fight. His aggression and hand speed saw him take the first three rounds and it was the end of the fourth before Hernandez showed any signs of life. Things got even worse for Hernandez in the fifth as a hard right/ left hook from Dallas put Hernandez down late in the round. Hernandez slowly began to claw his way back into the fight but with six rounds gone he faced an uphill task as he was 58-55 behind on two cards and 60-53 on the third with only four rounds left. The seventh was a tight round but Hernandez got a lucky break in the eighth. He had been roughing Dallas up on the inside including some low punches. He landed another low shot in the eighth and Dallas went down. To his disgust the referee overlooked the low punch and applied a count. That made the fight much closer and they both fought hard over the last two rounds with Hernandez doing enough to pull level in the scoring. Scores 96-92 for Dallas, 95-94 for Harrison and 95-95. The 21-year-old Harrison has been very carefully matched with Dallas being by far the best opponent he has met. He has time to learn from this close shave. Dallas, 29, “The Silent Assassin” was unbeaten in his first 18 fights but in 2011 suffered important back-to-back losses to Josesito Lopez and Mauricio Herrera. He bounced back with two good wins in 2012 but in January 2013 was crushed inside a round by Lucas Matthysse for the interim WBA super light title and did not fight again until returning with a couple of low level wins in Mexico in late 2015. This performance should get him some good paydays.
Del Valle vs. Snow
Del Valle starts as though he is going to get this one over early but in the end has to fight hard to get the verdict. Del Valle was coming forward in the first and scoring with some nice combinations against the local southpaw. The right is the usual weapon of choice against a southpaw and Del Valle used a short right to put Snow down heavily in the second. Snow did well to beat the count and see out the remainder of the round. It looked to be a vain effort when he was put down again with a right followed by a left hook in the third but that was as good as it got for Del Valle. After getting up Snow took the fight to Del Valle and began eating into the Puerto Rican’s lead with some body punches of his own. Snow was getting stronger with each round and had a big seventh. The fight was slipping away from del Valle but he fought hard in the eighth to just have the edge. Scores 76-74 for del Valle from all three judges. The 29-year-old “Orlandito” ran-up 16 wins in a row including wins over Dat Nguyen and Chris Martin before losing to Vic Darchinyan in 2012. He was beaten again by Luis Rosa in May 2014 but returned to action in March 2015 and has won four on the bounce. Del Valle had the best of both worlds as an amateur representing Puerto Rico at the World Youth Championships and the USA at the World Cup and again at the World Championships. Snow, 35, said he had injured his left shoulder early in the fight so this was a great effort from him. He was 16-1 in his first 17 fights but then suffered a bad loss being outpointed by 4-0 Nate Green in December 2013 and did not fight again for 15 months returning with two wins.
Cotto vs. Amoako
Cotto has to go the full six rounds to get the win over Ghanaian Amoako. The Ghanaian was competitive early without really winning any rounds and faded under the constant pressure from Cotto who threw more and landed more to come out a clear winner. Scores 60-54 twice and 58-56 for Cotto. The second cousin to co-promoter Miguel Cotto, the tall 29-year-old Puerto Rican travelled a similar road to fellow-Puerto Rican Del Valle. He won his first 16 fights and then went 2-3 in his next five. There was a good win over Jerry Belmontes in 2014 but the losses to Omar Figueroa, Francisco Vargas and in November 2014 to Javier Fortuna were important and dispiriting and he did not fight again until getting an easy win in February this year. Former CBC title challenger “Bruno” Amoako came in as a late pick and gets his seventh loss in a row,
Zhang vs. Orr
A farcical bit of rubbish sees Chinese fighter “Big Bang” Zhang put poor Orr down and out with a left right combination in the first round. The 6’6” (198cm) 33-year-ol southpaw, a former Olympic silver medallist who lost to Anthony Joshua in the London Games, has six wins by KO/TKO, four in the first round but has yet to face anything approaching a test. Eight losses in a row, five of those by KO/TKO for Orr.
Montreal, Canada: Light Welter: Dierry Jean (29-2-1) DREW 8 Ricky Sismundo (30-9-3). Super Welter: Steven Butler (16-0-1) W TKO 9 Ferdinand Pilz (16-1). Super Middle: Schiller Hyppolite (21-1) W KO 5 Pablo Zamora (32-14-1). Super Light: Mian Hussain (16-0) W PTS 8 Edgar Ortega (16-5). Super Light: Ghislain Maduma (18-2) W PTS 8 Cesar David Inalef (20-6-2).
Jean vs. Sismundo
Jean survives two trips to the canvas and stages a strong finish to snatch a draw against Japanese-based Filipino Sismundo. Jean made a good start taking the first but by the second Sismundo was forcing the fight with Jean struggling to keep him out. The fourth was a disaster for Jean. Both fighters launched rights but Sismundo’s got there first and put Jean down. The local fighter had a struggle to beat the count. Another right put him down late in the round. He got up and made it to the bell but his left eye was rapidly closing. Sismundo kept up the pressure in the fifth and sixth but Jean recovered and fought hard in the seventh and eighth to get a draw. Scores 76-74 for Jean, 76-74 for Sismundo and 75-75. The 34-year-old Haitian-born Jean was having his first fight since losing to Terrence Crawford for the WBO super light title in October and also coming out of a second session in rehab to help with his alcohol addiction. Sismundo, 29, is having no luck in big fights as he was coming off a very controversial loss to Jose Felix Jr where he looked unlucky to lose and where a one point deduction cost him the satisfaction of at least coming away with a draw.
Butler vs. Pilz
Butler continues his build and retains his IBF Youth title with an impressive late stoppage of unbeaten German Pilz. Butler had good advantages in height and reach and also set a higher work rate. He began to pull away from the end of the second round and scored heavily in the seventh and eighth with Pilz fading. In the ninth the German was a static target standing in front of Butler and the young Canadian scored a jab and a right uppercut. Pilz tried to move inside but Butler leapt forward and landed a long right which put Pilz down. Pilz got up but after the eight count Butler landed a straight right and a left hook then drove Pilz across the ring landing clubbing rights which put Pilz down on his back. Somehow he staggered to his feet but the towel came in from his corner. “BANG BANG” Butler, 20, makes it 13 wins by KO/TKO. Pilz, 24, a former IBF Youth champion did well to last to the ninth
Hyppolite vs. Zamora
Hyppolite climbs off the floor to score spectacular one punch kayo. Hyppolite took the first round but was put down early in the second. He took a little while to steady himself after that shock but took control in the third and fourth and finished it in the fifth. Zamora was holding his left low and Hyppolite stepped in with a right that Canelo would have been proud of. It put Zamora down heavily on his back. He struggled trying to get up but there was no way he was going to do that and his corner quickly climbed into the ring. The 29-year-old Haitian-born “Batman” makes it 15 wins in a row but it is the second time in consecutive fights he has been on the floor. He is rated WBC 6/IBF14 (13). Argentinian Zamora had won 5 of his last 6 fights but gets his ninth loss by KO/TKO.
Hussain vs. Ortega
Hussain gets another decision win as he fights through the handicap of a cut but has to hold off a strong late surge by Ortega. The Canadian southpaw dominated the first half of the fight stabbing home right jabs and hard left counters. It looked as though he was going to cruise to a win when he floored Ortega in the second but the fight changed over the last four rounds. Hussain suffered a bad cut over his left eye and Ortega began to pressure hard. Hussain survived a doctor’s examination as Ortega had a strong seventh but Hussain’s cleaner and sharper work saw him take a deserved unanimous decision. Scores 78-72 twice and 77-73. Hussain, 25, a former Canadian amateur champion and Pan American Games bronze medallist, is having to work for his win as 6 of his last 7 have gone the full distance. Ortega has lost 4 of his last 5 fights but the losses have been against tough opposition and the win was over experienced Silverio Ortiz.
Maduma vs. Inalef
Maduma gets back into the winning column as he floors and decisions Argentinian southpaw Inalef. Maduma had the superior skills and outboxed Inalef all the way. He had Inalef down in the third with Inalef getting a few seconds of additional time when he mouthpiece “fell” out. Maduma won every round on his way to the decision. Scores 80-71 twice and 80-70 for the 31-year-old from DRC. He has lost important fights, a stoppage against Kevin Mitchell in an IBF eliminator in 2014 and split decision to unbeaten Maurice Herrera in his last fight in October. Inalef, 30, the FAB No 7lost in five rounds to Brit Jack Catterall in March last year but had won his last two fights.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Cruiser: Mike Hunter (12-0) W PTS 10 Isaiah Thomas (15-1,1ND). Cruiser: Andrew Tabiti (13-0) W PTS 10 Keith Tapia (17-1). Super Middle: Ronald Gavril (16-1) W TKO 4Juan Camilo Novoa (26-7-1).
Hunter vs. Thomas
This was supposed to be the first big test for Hunter but Thomas performed way below expectations and in the end it was an easy if unexciting win for Hunter. It had a lively start as Hunter landed some heavy punches particularly a right. Those early attacks seemed to push southpaw Thomas into survival mode before the fight had really started. From then on Hunter was able to outbox a reluctant Thomas and there was little fire in the fight. Hunter was dominant but could not find a big punch to make an inside the distance win likely so it was a clear but uninspired victory for Hunter. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 all for Hunter. The 27-year-old son of former heavyweight battler Mike “Bounty” Hunter wins the vacant WBO/NBO title. A double NGG and US National champion he tied with Artur Beterbiev 10-10 at the 2012 Olympics but lost on count back. The 27-year-old Thomas was considered a great prospect when he won the World Cadet title and was trained by Emanuel Stewart but has not been active enough with no fights in 2013 and just one in 2014. He did get a win over unbeaten Jordan Shimmell in July but his December fight with unbeaten Murat Gassiev was declared a No Decision after Thomas was unable to continue after being nailed with a punch after the bell ending the first round.
Tabiti vs. Tapia
Tabiti wins this battle of unbeaten prospects. The fight started slowly and there had been more excitement when Tabiti and Tapia clashed at the weight-in. Tapia looked to be just a little bit sharper in those rounds but it was close. Tabiti got his jab working and edged the third and fourth but the fight was still low on excitement. The first of many head clashes momentarily halted the action in the fifth but neither fighter was cut on this occasion and Tabiti looked to be getting on top. Tabiti scored with a good right in the sixth but a clash of heads saw him cut over the right eye. Tabiti was staring to pile up the points with his jab and was getting the better of the exchanges in the seventh. He continued to outscore Tapia in the eighth and got a bonus in the shape of a flash knockdown when Tapia’s glove briefly touched down after Tabiti landed a right. Tapia shook Tabiti with a left in the ninth but Tabiti kept his boxing together and took the last round with Tapia again cut in a clash of heads. Scores 97-92 twice and 99-90 all for Tabiti The 26-year-old “Beast” from Chicago wins the vacant NABF title. He was a silver medallist at the US Nationals and took a bronze at the NGG’s but lost to Hunter at the US Olympic Trials. Puerto Rican-based Bronx fighter Tapia was also a top level amateur and he will now have some rebuilding to do.
Gavril vs. Novoa
Gavril too much for veteran Novoa. The Romanian broke the Colombian down scoring two knockdowns on his way to the win. Gavril almost put Novoa down with a hard combination in the first but Novoa stayed on his feet to the bell. Novoa tried to get onto the front foot from the second but Gavril showed a sound defence and banged home sharp counters. Novoa was fading fast when Gavril put him down with a body punch. Novoa got up but a right had Novoa in deeper trouble and the referee stopped the fight. The 29-year-old Gavril gets his fourth win over reasonable level opposition since losing to Elvin Ayala in March last year. Novoa, 34, was 12-1 in his last 13 fights with the loss being to Dmitry Chudinov for the interim WBA middle title in 2013 and he had scored four wins by KO/TKO since then.
Lincoln, RI, USA: Super Middle: Pete Manfredo (41-7-1) DRAW 8 Vladine Biosse (15-8-3). Manfredo returns to the ring but fails to impress as he needs a strong finish to scrape a draw. Both fighters had handicaps Manfredo was having his first fight since retiring back in November 2013 and was facing a southpaw having prepared for another opponent. Just as important Biosse’s handicap was that he came in at short notice. Biosse was sharper early as Manfredo showed plenty of rust and was being outboxed by the quicker man. Gradually Manfredo got some traction and came on over the late rounds but it was questionable whether he had done enough to close the gap. Scores 78-74 for Manfredo, 77-75 for Biosse and 76-76. The 35-year-old “Prince of Providence” will be sharper next time. Cape Verde’s Biosse snapped a five-bout losing streak but the opposition had been mighty tough including J’Leon Love, Callum Smith, Andre Dirrell and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
Pont-Sainte-Maxence, France: Light: Yvan Mendy (35-4-1) W PTS 12 Francesco Patera (15-1). Light: Guillame Frenois (41-1) W RTD 7 Giorgi Kulumbegashvili (10-8).
Mendy vs. Patera
Mendy just too strong and too experienced for young Belgian champion Patera. “The Lion”, the WBC International champion, was pushed hard by Patera but slowly but surely he ground Patera down to wrap up the unanimous decision in an entertaining fight and win the vacant European Union title. Scores 119-110,118-110 and 116-112 all for Mendy. The tough little 30-year-old hometown fighter is 10-1 in his last 11 fights with wins over Luke Campbell and Samir Kasmi. He is rated IBF 9(7)/WBC 10. Patera tried hard but Mendy was a huge step up quality of opposition for him.
Frenois vs. Kulumbegashvili
Frenois gets a few rounds in as he waits for a date for his fight for the vacant EBU title with fellow-Frenchman Samir Ziani. “L’Expert” was too quick too accurate and too smart for the very limited Georgian who retired at the end of the seventh. A first for Frenois as he never before in his 42 fights registered two consecutive inside the distance wins. He moves to 10 wins since his lone loss to Devis Boschiero for the EBU title in 2013. Second loss by KO/TKO for Kulumbegashvili.
Turin, Italy: Cruiser: Geoffrey Battelo (32-5) W TKO 5 Maurizio Lovaglio (20-12).
Experienced Battelo shows that a puncher always has a chance as he halts local fighter Lovaglio to win the European Union title. It was close but Lovaglio did enough to edge in front over the first three rounds scoring with a hard right late in the second round. Battelo was focused and looking dangerous. Lovaglio scored with some hooks early in the fifth and Battelo went down but it was a slip. Then the Belgian struck with a big straight right which knocked Lovaglio down and almost through the ropes. He got up but was put down again. He showed guts to make it to the vertical but Battelo finished it with a third knockdown. The tall 36-year-old Belgian makes it 28 wins by KO/TKO including seven in a row. He had failed in two shots at the EBU title but he will be hoping to get a third shot now. “The Angel” was making the first defence of his EU title and drops to four losses by KO/TKO.
Lilongwe, Malawi: Super Light: Mbiya Kanku (5-2-1) W TKO 1Limbani Masamba (7-4). Bad night for boxing in Malawi as none of their fighters won on this small card with the Sports Minister in attendance. In the top bout local fighter Masamba started confidently but it did not last. Zambian-based Kanku landed a big right that put Masamba down. He made it to his feet but a few more punches from Kanku saw the referee stop the fight which was unpopular with the home crowd. Kanku from the DCR wins the vacant ABU title. His record is probably incomplete. Third loss by KO/TKO for Masamba. Malawi needed him to win so it is a setback for boxing there.
La Plata, Argentina: Welter: Ceferino Rodriguez (22-1) W TKO 2 Carlos Chumbita (15-6). Spaniard Rodriguez impresses in his first fight in Argentina. The Sergio Martinez managed “Ferino V” had height and reach over “The Blue Knight” Chumbita and was able to land heavy punches on the Argentinian as he tried to bulldoze his way inside. A combination rounded off by a right to the temple put Chumbita down and although he made it to his feet he was put down again by a left just before the bell so a good first round for the visitor. It was over quickly in the second as Chumbita again rashly rushed in and was put down twice more and the fight was stopped. The 27-year-old Canary Islander, a former undefeated European Union champion, lost an upset decision in his 19th fight to modest Mohamed Mimoune but has rebounded with four wins. He is No 15 with the WBC. Now four losses by KO/TKO for Chumbita who is 3-5 in his last 8 fights but has faced some tough domestic opposition
Toowoomba, Australia: Light: Jack Asis (35-18-5) W PTS 10 Waylon Law (9-7). Super Feather: Will Young (7-4) W KO 6 Ben Warburton (11-5-1).
Asis vs. Law
Australian-based Filipino Asis extends his unbeaten run to 15 with unanimous decision over the taller but inexperienced Law. Asis was busier but Law was ready to stand and trade with him. Law scored with some good left hooks to the body but Asis was busier and was landing 4/5 punch combinations then ducking under Law’s counters and coming back up with more hooks. Although down in the second Law stayed competitive but was just being outpunched in the exchanges. Asis gets the decision on scores of 98-91, 98-92 and 97-94. The 32-year-old “Assassin”, the IBO champion, has gone from a 0-5-1 run to 14-0-1 in his last 15 fights. “Outlaw” Law, 23, was having his first fight since July 2014 but started well and did not show much rust.
Young vs. Warburton
Young retains his Australian title and retires from boxing. The popular “Iron” had to show those qualities from the outset as underdog Warburton came out in determined fashion and took the fight to Young. There were plenty of hot trading with both landing hard shots but gradually Young took over. Warburton still kept walking forward but in the sixth Young landed a hard right to the side of the head and Warburton went down on one knee. Young landed another right when Warburton was down but got away with the foul as Warburton was counted out. Young was making the first defence of his Australian title but has retired to spend more time with his family and develop his electrical business. “Benny The Jet” Warburton has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights.
Pathum Thani, Thailand: Fly: Kwanpichit (37-1-2) W KO 7 Twalib Tuwa (14-3). Super Feather: Chonlatarn (61-2) W TKO 3 Karim Migea (7-2).
Kwanpichit vs. Tuwa
Kwanpichit gets a good fight as Tuwa climbs off the floor to make the Thai work hard for his win. The Thai floored Tuwa in the second only for Tuwa to come back strongly and shake Kwanpichit before the round was over. Kwanpichit slowly broke the Tanzanian down but Tuwa was competitive all the way until a thunderous left hook put him down and out in the seventh. The 34-year-old Thai retains his WBO Orient title and makes it ten wins in a row by KO/TKO since losing to Shiming Zou for the WBO International title in 2014. Tuwa, 26, has won his last 10 fights but he is strictly a 4/6 round fighter back home.
Chonlatarn vs. Migea
Chonlatarn gets kayo win over another Tanzanian prelim fighter. Migea was of the tall very thin type and Chonlatarn took a couple of rounds to come to terms with the African’s reach but floored Migea heavily in the third and finished it in the fourth with a left hook. The 31-year-old former WBO title challenger now has 41 wins by KO/TKO. He lost to Vasyl Lomachenko for the WBO feather title in 2014 and has since kept busy with 9 wins, 8 by KO/TKO. Migea ‘s only previous loss had been a fifth round kayo against Tuwa and again he has never gone past six rounds at home.
Cardiff, Wales: Bantam: Lee Haskins (33-3) W PTS 12 Ivan Morales (29-2). Fly: Andrew Selby (5-0) W PTS 12 Louis Norman (11-2-1). Cruiser: Craig Kennedy (15-0) W PTS 10 Joel Tambwe Djeko (9-2-1). Welter: Paddy Gallagher (10-2) W TKO 1Tony Dixon (7-0). Super Light: Josh Taylor (5-0) W KO 1 Miguel Gonzalez (13-12). Middle: Conrad Cummings (9-0-1) W TKO 6 Frankie Borg (9-6).
Haskins vs. Morales
Haskins retains his IBF title as he gives the limited Morales a lesson in tactics in this all-southpaw contest. Haskins is a difficult fighter to face. He has lots of movement, is very quick with his hands and his reflexes, fires punches from different angles and can duck and dive with the best. Morales never came close to figuring out a winnable Plan A but what was even worse is that was evident that he had no Plan B. Morales was very predictable as he tried to march forward with his southpaw right jab then try to score with long straight lefts and right hooks. He had some early success but not much as Haskins was constantly using fast upper body movement to lean back from the jab and leap inside with counters. Haskin was smaller and giving away a lot in reach but he was quick enough to get inside with his own jab and his life was made easier as Morales stood upright and came forward in a straight line. For one round Morales decided not to go forward and that worked as Haskins’ whole strategy was based on counter-punching but Morales soon reverted to his forward march again. Haskins was out-throwing and out-landing Morales. There were a couple of rounds where Haskins’ work became a little untidy under pressure from Morales but other than that the fight was one-sided with the challenger’s corner failing to give Morales any useful advice on how to get into the fight with the result that what was expected to be a testing defence almost became a walk in the park for the talented. Bristol “Playboy” . Scores 118-110 twice and 119-108 all for the champion. The 32-year-old Haskins seems to be improving with age and growing into the title. He had gone from IBF interim champion to full champion in November when champion Randy Caballero came in a long way over the contract weight and was stripped of the full title. Fellow-Brit Stuart Hall is the mandatory challenger for Haskins which will be a big fight for British fans. Haskins outclassed Hall to win the European title in 2012 but Hall went on to win this same IBF title before losing it in 2014 to Paul Butler and then again in the same year losing to Caballero for the vacant title. Hall’s win over IBF top rated Rodrigo Guerrero last month clearly re-established his credentials as a challenger. Morales was a huge disappointment. The IBF had manipulated their ratings to enable them to sanction the fight only for Haskins to make him look one-paced and limited.
Selby vs. Norman
Selby wins the vacant British title in only his fifth fight. This was truly great little fight. Selby was a huge favourite to win this one and he did but the scores don’t come anywhere near reflecting a scintillating display from Norman who whilst not being able to win a round played his part in twelve rounds of constant action. Selby oozes talent. He has outlandish skills and real power but over the early rounds he had to work hard to pin down a very mobile Norman. Selby was stalking Norman and scoring with shots from both hands as he effortlessly switched guards and landed hooks to the body and straight shots to the head. Norman was using every inch of the ring and constantly slotting home punches as Selby was unloading his own. The pace never slackened with Selby going all out for a finish in the fifth putting Norman under pressure for the whole three minutes only for Norman to bounce back in the sixth and have his best round so far. Norman completely changed his tactics in the seventh and eighth standing in ring centre and trading. He was getting the worst of the exchanges but also caught the eye with some hard one-punch counters. Selby upped the ante in the ninth staggering Norman with a straight left and then hurting him again with a flashing combination but Norman recovered. A left hook had Norman in trouble again in the tenth as Selby hunted him down and fried home punches from both hands. It was a pity to see Selby go back to the ropes and then drape his two arms across the top rope and signal Norman to come in. Norman deserved more respect than that. Selby again had Norman hurt in the eleventh and he took the last as they both stood and traded punches with Norman hanging on at the end to a standing ovation from the crowd. Scores 120-109 twice and 119-110. Selby, 27, the brother of IBF feather champion Lee Selby, is hugely talented. The TV pundits got carried away talking about him being ready to challenge for a world title right now-Ramon Gonzalez , Juan Francisco Estrada, Amnat Ruenroeng-somehow I don’t think so. Thankfully his manager Chris Sanigar talked sense as usual making it clear that the plan is for Selby to get more fights under his belt before taking that leap. Norman, just 22, had lost on points to Charlie Edwards for the English title in September. He has constantly had to give away weight to get fights but after his outstanding showing here hopefully will get more jobs.
Kennedy vs. Djeko
Kennedy gets off the floor twice to win a split decision over huge Belgian Djeko. The visitor had height and reach over Kennedy and his upper body was heavyweight plus proportions. He showed his power with a Sonny Liston-like left jab but in the first Kennedy kept on the outside and just did enough with his jab to edge the round although a clash of heads left the Welshman with a bad cut just below his right eyebrow. The second was a terrible round for Kennedy as Djeko drove Kennedy to the ropes and nailed him with a huge right that put Kennedy down and he only just got up made it to the bell. Over the third, fourth and fifth Kennedy outworked Djeko scoring again and again with jabs. It did not help Djeko’s case that he clowned and showboated in the fourth and was caught by a hard right to the side of the head in the fifth. Djeko threatened danger every time he had Kennedy on the ropes and he had Kennedy down in the sixth. It was a controversial knockdown as it looked as though Kennedy was off balance when Djeko pushed him back with the inside of his arm and not his fist. Kennedy protested and finished the round strongly . Kennedy’s corner had done a great job of controlling the cut and Kennedy stuck to his boxing in the seventh eighth and ninth and edged those rounds. Djeko put in a big effort in the last as they were two tired boxers and it was a close enough round to have gone either way. Scores 95-93 twice for Kennedy and 95-93 for Djeko. Kennedy, 31, won this one on heart, by working hard in every round and being more accurate but it was nearly a disaster. Instead he wins the vacant IBF International title. The 6’6” “Big Joe” Djeko, 30, probably felt he was unlucky but he fought only in bursts and the two knockdown rounds were the only ones I though he won. He has a very curious build. His upper body is as big as that of Anthony Joshua but his legs would look more suited to Jimmy Wilde. He was always dangerous but just did not work hard enough.
Gallagher vs. Dixon
Gallagher wins vacant BBB of C Celtic title with one punch kayo of local fighter Dixon. The Welshman had height and reach but boxing on the outside is not his style and he was looking to trade with Gallagher. Dixon had a better start as he quickly had Gallagher’s face red from a series of jabs and scored with a couple of sharp uppercuts inside. Gallagher looked dangerous with some hard hooks and suddenly as they traded punches out of the blue a left hook from Gallagher sent Dixon down to the canvas face first. Dixon got to his feet but was staggering back across the ring even as the referee followed him counting and the referee had seen enough and abandoned the count. The 27-year-old from Belfast, a former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. His two losses came in a Prizefighter Tournament 2014but he has now won his last 5 fights. Dixon looked sharp and was mixing his punches well until being nailed by that left hook and at 23 he will come again.
Taylor vs. Gonzalez
A pity that on such an excellent show there had to be one piece of farcical rubbish. Taylor, yet another outstanding British prospect, knocked out Honduran Gonzalez after 93 seconds with a right jab. He had softened Gonzalez up with a hurtful body shot and the jab was a powerful one but Gonzalez was pathetic and made no effort to get up. The 25-year-old “Tartan Tornado” has yet to have to go past the second round for a win. He has the talent to make it having won silver and gold at the Commonwealth Games and represented Scotland at the European Championships. When he qualified for 2012 Olympics he was the first Scottish fighter to do so since the great Dick McTaggart back in 1956. Gonzalez has now lost ten fights in a row. There was talk of the difficulty of finding suitable opponents for Taylor. Well BoxRec lists 104 British super lights but if you match a boxer with Taylor’s talent with pathetic imports who have lost their last nine fights you are going to get a farce like this.
Cummings vs. Borg
Cummings made it a good night for boxers from Belfast as he floored Welshman Borg in the fifth and halted him in the sixth. Fourth win by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old former World Cadet Championships representative, Irish Youth and Ulster Champion who fought for the Mexican Guerreros in the WSB. Borg, 35 has now lost his last 4 fights but has a win over Kerry Hope on his record.
Riga. Latvia: Cruiser: Mairis Briedis (20-0) W TKO 9 Olanrewaju Durodola (22-3). Light: Fedor Papazov (17-2) W TKO 7 Xolani Mcotheli (13-4). Light Heavy: Sergei Ekimov (16-0) W PTS 10 Charles Adamu (25-9). Welter: Aslanbek Kozaev (29-2-1) W PTS 8 Nikoloz Gvajava (6-1-1).
Briedis vs. Durodola
Durodola was coming forward behind his strong jab and throwing long rights. He connected with a couple but Briedis was tying the big Nigerian up inside and landed a right to the side of Durodola’s head late in the round. Durodola used his powerful jab to force Breidis back in the second and banged home a right to the head. Briedis was quicker and more mobile and scored with a good right of his own. The fight had been messy and bad tempered in the second with Durodola warned for hitting on the break and the referee warned both fighter at the start of the third. Durodola drove Breidis back with a left jab/right cross and Breidis moved inside and held. As the referee broke them Durodola stupidly waived a punch at Breidis. It did not land but the referee had warned him and now he took a point away. Durodola nailed Breidis with another right which saw the Latvian’s knees dip but Durodola was too wild with his punches to capitalise in that. The fourth saw Breidis come flying out landing two hard punches to the head and then shaking Durodola with a left hook right cross combination. Breidis blasted the Nigerian along the ropes landing time and again and it looked as though he might go down. However he got off the ropes and then got a breather as he had to have his mouthpiece put back in. A right sent Durodola staggering across the ring and he shipped two more rights before getting off the ropes in a round totally dominated by Breidis. The Latvian boxed at a more measured pace in the fifth slotting home hard punches whilst Durodola’s was slow and telegraphing his shots. Breidis shoved Durodola over at the end of the round and the Nigerian went down heavily. The sixth was a mixed round for Breidis. He deservedly lost a point for continually holding and at the end of the round landed a short left hook which put Durodola down on his knees. He was up quickly complaining it was a slip but it was a genuine knockdown. The bell went just as the eight count was completed. Durodola was dangerous with his long rights early in the seventh but over the last minute Breidis took over and kept Durodola trapped on the ropes and digging in hooks to the body, uppercuts and clubbing rights. A tired Durodola was getting caught time and again by jabs and straight rights in the eighth and he looked a tired and beaten fighter at the bell. Early in the ninth a left hook sent Durodola tottering backward into a corner. Briedis followed-up and landed a couple of punches before the referee jumped in and gave Durodola a standing count. Durodola had “lost” his mouthpiece again so that had to be cleaned and replaced Briedis drove Durodola around the ring scoring with hooks and uppercuts and had the Nigerian trapped in a corner and was unloading head punches. The referee stepped into stop the fight just as Durodola started to punch back but it was a timely stoppage. The 31-year-old Breidis wins the WBC Silver title but more importantly with No 1 Illunga Makabu fighting Tonty Bellew the No 6 for the vacant WBC title and with Durodola have been rated No 2 Breidis may move in to the mandatory slot-unless Marco Huck sneaks in ahead of him. Breidis has won 8 of his last 9 inside the distance and deserves a title shot. Durodola, 35, was coming off a big upset win over unbeaten Dmitry Kudryashov but will slip back after this. The big African is strong and dangerous but slow and fights very flat-footed and lacks mobility.
Papazov vs. Mcotheli
Papazov was forcing the fight from the first with Mcotheli moving around the perimeter of the ring and Papazov trying to cut him off. Mcotheli was quick and elusive and catching Papazov with counters but did not have the power to keep the Russian out and there was danger for him inherent in his hands down style. A big left hook from Papazov had Mcotheli rocked in third but he was ducking under the punches and stayed out of trouble for the rest of the round. Mcotheli’s hands down style let him down in the fifth. Papazov staggered him with a left hook early in the round and at the end of the round another left hook sent Mcotheli skidding across the ring down with the bell going just as the eight count was completed. In the seventh a big left hook snapped Mcotheli’s head back and Papazov piled on the punches until the referee stopped the fight. The 30-year-old “Knockout Man” won his first 14 fights but then lost to Petr Petrov in the 2014 ESPN Boxcino Tournament. He came back with useful wins over Miguel Angel Mendoza and Felix Lora before losing in November last year to Miguel Angel Gonzalez. Mcotheli the IBO International champion, has lost big domestic fights against Jasper Seroka, Malcolm Klassen and in his last fight to former IBF super feather champion Mzonke Fana for the South African title. He showed good skills but with his loose, hands down style he was asking for trouble here.
Ekimov vs. Adamu
This was one of those fights that sends you to the bar for a drink. Ekimov is a tall upright very conventional boxer with about as much power as a dud battery and Adamu is slow and limited but willing and a good survivor. Ekimov was able to dictate the fight with Adamu never quite doing enough to win a round but never looking like losing inside the distance. The only highlight came in the fifth when a violent shove from Adamu sent Ekimov tumbling to the canvas. The referee took Adamu to a corner and gave him a stern lecture and when the referee finished the Ghanaian stood stiffly to attention and snapped off a parade ground salute (never seen that before) then it was back to the business at hand. Ekimov won every round. Scores 100-90 from all three judges. Despite his apparent lack of power Ekimov had won 5 of his last 6 fights by KO/TKO. Adamu, 38, has only lost by KO/TKO once and that was against George Groves for the CBC super middle title but he took both Isaac Chilemba and Rocky Fielding the distance the second of those also being for the CBC title.
Kozaev vs. Gvajava
Kozaev gets his third win in a row as he takes the unanimous verdict over Georgian Gvajava. Scores 80-74, 78-75 and 79-74. The 28-year-old Russian “Lion” won his first 26 fights before being beaten on a wide unanimous decision by Ray Robinson in 2014. He also lost by a wide margin against Taras Shelestyuk last November but is now easing himself back. Gvajava is 0-1-1 in fights outside Georgia but since he has gone the distance in those two fights he can expect to be a busy man.
Reynosa, Mexico: Super Feather: Carlos Diaz Ramirez (20-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Roberto Marroquin (25-4-1). Light: Patricio Moreno (19-1) W PTS 8 Carlos Jimenez (10-6-1).
Diaz vs. Marroquin
This was great all-action fight but one that came out with the wrong verdict. Diaz used his longer reach and some smart movement to edge the first two rounds. Marroquin broke the fight open in the third pressing Diaz hard taking the local fighter to the ropes scoring with two short rights and then landing a chopping right which sent Diaz down on his side. He was up immediately and as Marroquin continued to come forward and press Diaz against the ropes he was caught with a short left hook counter and was floored to even out the knockdowns but Marroquin’s early work was enough to give him the round. Marroquin kept up the pressure in the fourth and took that one. In close it was Marroquin who was most effective using shot hooks and uppercuts Diaz was in control when he could make some space to land his jab and long rights and Diaz used lots of movement to edge the fifth and take a slight lead. From the sixth Marroquin was in charge he was coming forward relentlessly with Diaz being forced to spend more and more time on the ropes. Both were landing hard punches in non-stop action but Marroquin was outworking Diaz and he looked to have taken rounds six to nine to build a winning lead. In the last Diaz was moving continually with hands low like a guy who knew he had won which did not fit how the fight had gone. His clever movement and quick counters helped him take the last round but for me that was just not enough. One score was a total disgrace with the judge coming up with 98-91 for Diaz with the other two also seeing it for Diaz 96-94 and 96-95. The fight was close so you could perhaps forgive the two close scores but the 98-91never. Important win for Diaz, a 21-year-old from Guadalajara who has wins over Miguel Beltran, Braulio Rodriguez and Rafael Reyes and is No 8 with the WBO. Texan Marroquin was very unlucky here; the least he deserved was a draw. After being 22-1 in his first 23 fights he lost on points to Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA super bantam title in 2012. That loss was not serious but a loss to modest Daniel Diaz and a draw with Alejandro Rodriguez were a severe drop in form. He had started on the road back with two low level wins and he showed in this fight he can climb back into contention.
Moreno vs. Jimenez
Moreno continues his rebuilding but is given eight tough rounds by Jimenez before taking the majority decision on scores of 79-73, 78-74 and 76-76. Southpaw Moreno,21, had won 17 stright before losing on points to world rated Dante Jardon in January last year and gets his second win since then. Jimenez was inactive for 16 months before returning in style in March with a knockout of 19-0 Eduardo Torres.
Kiev. Ukraine: Feather: Oleg Yefimovych (28-2) W KO 3 Eugen Sorin Tanasie (19-2-1). Super Bantam: Olek Yegorov (16-1-1) W PTS 12 Andrei Isaeu (29-7). Fly: Artem Dalakian (13-0) W TKO 8 Silvio Olteanu (16-10-1).
Yefimovych vs. Tanasie
Yefimovych a class above Tanasie as he floors the Romanian twice for a kayo victory. After a few measuring jabs Yefimovych proved faster and more accurate and Tanasie, by far the smaller man, was having to leap in to try to get inside and found himself walking into the Yefimovych jab and straight rights. Yefimovych went to work in earnest in the second. He was mixing his punches up hooking off his jab, landing uppercuts to the body and rights to the head. A short right hook to the head saw Tanasie drop to his knees. He was up at four and the bell rang just as the referee reached eight. Tanasie made a desperate effort to turn the fight his way in the third. He was walking forward throwing long rights and had some success but Yefimovych was making him pay with vicious left hooks to the body. As Tanasie walked forward again Yefimovych landed a short right to the head and Tanasie went down face-first on the floor. Somehow he made it to his feet at eight but staggered backwards and the fight was stopped. This was to be Yefimovych’s second defence of his WBA Continental featherweight title but Tanasie came in at 133 ¾ lbs. The 35-year-old Ukrainian “Doctor”, the European champion, has lost only one of his last 24 fights and that was split decision to Sofiane Takoucht back in 2010. He has run up ten wins since then and is WBA 7/WBC 14. Tanasie, 35, a former EU champion , amassed a 18-1 record but was then inactive form December 2008 until returning with a win in 2014 then had a 20 month break before scoring a win in August last year.
Yegorov vs. Isaeu
Yegorov wins the vacant WBA Continental title with a points victory over experienced Isaeu. Both fighters are upright stylists who work conventionally behind a strong jab so it was a good mix but more of a technical contests that a thunder and lightning affair. Yegorov was just that bit quicker than the older man but Isaeu used his experience to find angles and gaps. There was never much between them and it was a closer fight than the judges saw but Yegorov just had a slight edge. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 all for Yegorov. The 27-year-old Russian was outclassed by Gavin McDonnell in a fight for the vacant European title in March last year but in his next fight became a world champion-but only UBO! This is his third win since the McDonnell fight. Isaeu, a 35-year-old fighter from Belarus was 22-1 until he lost to Yefimovych for the European title back in 2010. He is 7-5 since then but is still capable of operating against a good level of opposition as he showed here.
Dalakian vs. Olteanu
Dalakian was just too young and too quick for veteran Olteanu. The Ukrainian-based fighter was boxing on the outside from a low slung guard. He used quick hands to score with single punches or a two-punch combination and was able to get away again before Olteanu could counter. Olteanu was working behind his jab but being caught by left hooks and right uppercuts when he moved in. Both landed good shots in the second and Dalakian rocked Olteanu early in the third and at the end of the round banged home two rights to the head. A right to the chin from Olteanu put Dalakian down at the end of the fourth. It was clearly a hard right that did it but the referee ruled it a slip. Olteanu chased Dalakian down throughout the fifth and sixth with the Kiev boxer scoring with counters but Olteanu getting inside and banging home left hooks to the body and rights to the head/. Olteanu was pressing for three minutes in each round and for a while it looked as though he might just turn this fight around. Dalakian finally got off the ropes and into the ring centre in the seventh and with that bit of extra space he was scoring with heavy rights every time Olteanu tried to get close. However by the end of the round Dalakian was on the ropes again with Olteanu plugging away with hooks and a frustrated Dalakian wondering what he had to do to stop Olteanu’s forward march. At the end of the seventh round the solution was appearing as the gutsy little Olteanu was now cut over the right eye and under the left. Dalakian was having a better eighth round but in the end that did not matter as with just under a minute left in the round the doctor was called to look at Olteanu’s injuries and he ruled them too serious for Olteanu to continue. Azeri-born Dalakian, 28 retains his WBA Continental title. He is quick, clever boxer and has power but Olteanu is the first real test he has had. The little 38-year-old Romanian-born Olteanu, a former WBA title challenger and European champion just does not know when to give in and he is a far better fighter than his modest record shows. A real little warrior.
Studio City, CA, USA: Super Feather: Toka Kahn Clary (19-0,1ND) W KO 4 Orlando Rizo (19-7). Middle: Esquiva Falcao (14-0) W TKO 4 Paul Valenzuela (10-3).Super Feather: Saul Rodriguez (20-0-1) W KO 7 Daulis Prescott (31-4,3ND). Heavy: Andy Ruiz (27-0) W RTD Ray Austin (29-7-4).
Kahn Clary vs. Rizo
Fighting in his first ten round fight and topping the card Kahn Clary was looking to win and impress here and he did both ending the fight with a southpaw left. The talented young Liberian-born southpaw was going for quality rather than quantity and he was slotting home quick accurate punches and shutting down any attempts by Rizo to get a foothold into the fight. He had opened a cut on Rizo’s cheek and was ready to close out the fight in the fourth flooring Rizo with an overhand left that put him down for the count. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for the talented 23-year-old who is showing he will be a force in the division in 2017. Nicaraguan Rizo, also a southpaw, gets his first loss by KO/TKO. He took former interim WBA title challenger Claudio Marrero the distance last year.
Falcao vs. Valenzuela
Falcao looks on to his way to a win when the fight is stopped due to a cut. The Olympic silver medallist from Brazil had the better of the first two rounds and then began to crank up the pressure in the third. Early in the fourth a punch opened a bad cut over the right eye of Valenzuela and when the doctor examined the wound he decided it was too severe for Valenzuela to continue. The 26-year-old Brazilian southpaw had to settle for a bronze at the World Championships and a silver at the Olympics losing to Ryota Murata at both tournaments. Mexican Valenzuela had won 7 of his last 8 fights and in May last year outpointed 17-0-1 Antonio Gutierrez.
Rodriguez vs. Prescott
Rodriguez impresses yet again as he gets win No 15 by KO/TKO. He was just too fast, aggressive and accurate for the experienced Colombian. Rodriguez took the fight to Prescott from the first bell with Prescott trying to stay competitive but never really getting into the fight. The pace began to catch up on Prescott and he was floored early in the seventh. He made it to his feet but Rodriguez then put him down and out with a left. The 23-year-old Robert Garcia trained Californian seems to be getting better with each fight and has now registered 10 wins by KO/TKO in his last 12 fights. He has inside the distance wins over Miguel Zamudio, Juan Ramon Solis, and unbeaten Ivan Najera. Prescott, 29,the brother of Breidis Prescott, was 26-1, 3ND in his first 30 fights but then lost in seven rounds to Nicholas Walter for the secondary WBA feather title in 2012. He went home to Colombia and got himself 4 easy wins before being knocked out in eight rounds by Tevin Farmer in August last year.
Ruiz vs. Austin
They say age is just a number and it looks as though weight can also be one. Ruiz is not one of you massively muscled slim-waisted heavies that has not stopped him acquiring 27 wins. He was too young and strong for oldie Austin. He floored Austin in the first and handed out a steady beating over the next three rounds with Austin retiring at the end of the fourth citing a hand injury. At just 6’2” (188cm) and weighing 248 ¼ lbs (112 ½ kgs) the 26-year-old Mexican has the physique usually associated with the victim rather than the victor but this is Win No 18 by KO/TKO for the “Destroyer” who has come down from the almost 300lbs he weight when he turned pro. Former world title challenger Austin, now 45, was having his first fight for 27 months and only his second fight in five years and hopefully this will be his last.
Mexico City, Mexico: Light Heavy: Marco Periban (25-3-1) W PTS 8 German Rafael (10-1). Periban gets the win but given a hard night by Argentinian-born Mexican-based novice Rafael. They staged an exciting contest but the overweight Periban should not have struggled at this level. Rafael just kept coming and kept punching by the end of the fifth they were both tired and Periban came out the winner due to his greater experience but had to settle for a majority decision. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Periban and 76-76. An 0-3-1 run at super middle saw Periban lose to Sakio Bika for the vacant WBC title, draw with Badou Jack and then go down against J’Leon Love and James DeGale. He has won 5 straight at light heavy since that November 2014 loss. Periban was a huge step-up in opposition for Rafael.
Kedzierzyn, Poland: Heavy: Mariusz Wach (32-2) W PTS 10 Marcelo Nascimento (22-13). Heavy: Marcin Siwy (15-0) W PTS 8 Andre Bunga (4-5).
Wach vs. Nascimento
Wach returns with a win but not very impressive. As usual Nascimento fought mainly on the defensive jumping forward with short burst of punches which Wach was just too slow to block. Wach lumbered forward stabbing out his jab but was never able to break Nascimento down. Wach had height, weight and reach on his side and made use of those from ring centre but rarely brought his right into play and rarely troubled Nascimento. In the end there were many who thought that even the little work Nascimento did should have been enough to get him the decision. Scores 98-92 (a travesty), 96-94 and 96-95. First fight for the 36-year-old “Viking” since losing to Alex Povetkin for the WBC Silver title in November. Nascimento is 5-8 in his last 13 fights consisting of 5 wins in South America and 8 losses on his roaming, 7 of those losses in European rings.
Siwy vs. Bunga
As with Wach Siwy gets a win but only just. He started well enough but he was carrying too much weight and did not seem to be in top condition. His attacks slowed and that allowed Bunga to get into the fight. It lacked any highlights and the scores indicate how near Bunga came to an upset. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-75 all for Siwy. A former World Youth champion Siwy is just too heavy and slow at 244lbs. Angolan Bunga was moving up to eight rounds for the first time and this should not have been as close as it was.
Brisbane, Australia: Super Middle: Faris Chevalier (10-1) W TKO 2 Luke Sharp (13-4-3).Feather: Jason Cooper (14-3-3) W PTS 8 John Mark Apolinario (19-8-3).
Chevalier vs. Sharp
Chevalier returns to action in style and retains his Australian title with stoppage of Luke Sharp in two rounds. Now 10 wins in a row for the French-born Aussie champion and first fight since August 2015. Sharp falls to 4-2-1 in his last 7 fights with the other loss being to world light heavy title challenger Blake Caparello in November.
Cooper vs. Apolinario
Copper rebounds from loss to Paulus Ambunda with victory over Apolinario. It was a tough, close fight in which a case could be made for either man emerging as the winner. Scores 77-75 twice for Cooper and 76-76. The 24-year-old local has won 6 of his last 7 fights. He was having his first outing since losing in Namibia to Ambunda for the vacant IBO title. Some bizarre scoring there with one seeing Ambunda winning 120-108 and one having it 115-113 for the local. Cooper is No 1 in the ANBF ratings so in line for a fight for the vacant national title. “Iceman” Apolinario, 26, was at his peak in 2012/13 when he drew twice with Roberto Vasquez for the WBA interim title at bantamweight and was then outpointed by Koki Kameda for the secondary WBA title. He had a big edge in experience over Cooper, but is now 2-6 in his last 8 fights losing to some very good opposition.
Fredericton, Canada: Super Welter: Brandon Brewer (19-0-1) W TKO 3 Diego Marocchi (18-2). Super Welter: Sammy Vargas (25-2-1) W PTS 10 Juan A Garcia (15-4-2).
Brewer vs. Marocchi
Brewer makes easy work of beating Argentinian veteran. The local fighter was forcing the fight all the way stepping up the pressure in each round. Marocchi stayed on his feet but faded out of the fight quickly and was taking a beating in the third when his corner threw in the towel. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the tall 31-year-old L’Jack but he needs to make a move soon if he is to have an impact outside of his local area. Marocchi’s record misleading as his opposition has been abysmal with 15 of his opponents never having won a fight.
Vargas vs. Garcia
Vargas becomes full WBA-NABA champion with unanimous decision over Mexican Garcia. Scores 100-93, 99-91 and 97-93 all for Vargas. The 27-year-old Canadian-based Colombian lost only one of his first 22 fights before being stopped in four rounds by Errol Spence in April last year. He has scored four wins over reasonable imports since then. Garcia, also 27, is now 0-3 in fights in Canada having lost to Mian Hussain and David Theroux in previous visits.
Mississauga, Canada: Super Welter: Brandon Cook (17-0) W PTS 10 Davide Doria (14-3-1). Super Welter: Kevin Higson (8-0) W PTS 10 Junmar Emon (6-4).
Cook vs. Doria
Cook adds another win as he outpoints German-based Italian Doria. The local “Bad Boy” had it all his own way but suffered a couple of cuts which may sideline him for a short while. Doria had a reasonably good first round but Cook was scoring well to the head. In the second a clash of heads saw Cook cut over the left eye. He continued to boss the fight and gradually shifted his focus to the body over the middle rounds. Another clash of heads in the sixth caused a cut below Cook’s left eye but it did not hinder him and he staged a strong finish as Doria faded out of the fight. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92 all for Cook. Second defence of his WBA Inter-Continental title for 29-year-old Cook the WBA No 9. The small sturdy Doria is now 2-3 in his last 5 fights.
Higson vs. Emon
Higson gets win in see-saw battle but loses his Canadian title. The Hamilton boxer found Emon a difficult opponent over the ten rounds. Higson was in control as long as he could keep Emon on the outside which he managed for much of an exciting contest. Higson had built a substantial lead before Emon staged a strong finish and Higson took the unanimous decision. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 96-94 all for Higson. They had fought over eight rounds in March last year with Higson winning with the scores showing a similar wide spread. This was advertised as being a defence of his Canadian title for Higson but it was not sanctioned and he was stripped off his title. He is one of the few boxers who are fighting despite the handicap of suffering from Type 1 diabetes. Emon’s other losses have been against top Canadian fighters in Cook and Brandon Brewer.
Hong Kong, SAR, China: Super Fly: Rex Tso (19-0) W TKO 4 Young Gil Bae (27-6-1). Middle: Ryota Murata (10-0) W TKO 4 Felipe Santos Pedroso (13-2). Super Light: Jay Solmiano (18-3-1) W TKO 2 Takahiro Oda (9-4).
Tso vs. Bae
Tso is a tall slim southpaw with quick hands and he was getting his punches off early scoring with a good right left combination. Bae was just looking to land his right and his attacks were wild and crude. Tso opened up with some impressive combinations late in the round to clearly take that one. Bae was in the fight briefly in the second as they stood toe-to-toe and traded but once some space opened Tso was cracking home right hooks and long lefts with Bae again just swinging in hope with his right and Tso closed the round with a cracking three punch combination. Tso was firing quick combinations in the third and a left hook sent Bae staggering across the ring to the ropes. Tso cut loose with a barrage of rights and lefts jarring Bae’s head back then three straight lefts drove Bae down in a corner. He was up immediately and after the eight count just tried to stand and trade and Tso bounced a series of punches of the Korean’s head just before the bell. The referee went to Bae’s corner in the interval to check he was continuing. The fourth was brutal. Tso landed punch after punch. Bae didn’t seem to know you are allowed to clinch and he just stood right in front of Tso and soaked it up. He also landed more punches in the round than he had in the rest of the fight but when Tso took him to the ropes and crashed home five or six head punches the fight was stopped. The 28-year-old Hong Kong “Wonder Kid” retains his WBC ABC title and wins the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title. He has 12 wins by KO/TKO and is rated IBF 8(6)/WBA 10/WBO 12 and WBC 18. He was hoping to challenge Kohei Kono for the WBA title in December but Kono wants the fight in September which Tso has not yet agreed to. Bae was made for him but he has speed and power and is a real threat. Bae36 had won 18 of his last 19 fights, 17 of them by KO/TKO with the loss being a ninth round stoppage against Wanheng for the WBC minimum title in November.
Murata vs. Pedroso
Olympic gold medal winner Murata overpowers Brazilian Pedroso. Murata was hunting down the reluctant Pedroso in the first round and after shaking him with a good right uppercut landed a succession of overhand rights with Pedroso glad to hear the bell ending the initial round. It was the same pattern in the second with Murata throwing long rights and left hooks to the body. He shook Pedroso with a sharp right uppercut and a chopping right with Pedroso really just looking to survive. Murata was using his jab more at the start of the third but soon resorted to the long rights. Late in the round a sharp left hook made Pedroso stagger but as Murat pushed forward he slipped to the canvas and those few seconds of relief allowed Pedroso to see out the round. In the fourth Murata drove Pedroso around and across the ring. The Brazilian tried to get home some counters but a succession of rights to the head drove him to the ropes and the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The 30-year-old Japanese fighter makes it 7 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated IBF 3(2)/WBC 5/WBO 7/WBA 9 but there is not a single name of any standing on his record and he needs to be more active after only two fights last year. Pedroso showed guts and little else. He had won his last 7 fights by KO/TKO but 6 of those losers had won only one fight between them.
Solmiano vs. Oda
Filipino southpaw “Rapido” Solmiano returns to the ring and stops lanky Oda in two rounds. Solmiano spent the first round shedding two years of rust and figuring out how to handle the 6’0 ½” (184cm) tall ginger-haired Japanese fighter. In the second round he got down to business. He backed Oda to the ropes and lashed home a right hook and a left to the head. Oda tried to fight back but Solmiano was landing head shot after head shot and the referee jumped in to stop the fight. First fight the 29-year-old former GAB champion Solmiano since losing to Keita Obara for the vacant OPBF title in April 2014 and win No 14 by KO/TKO. First loss inside the distance for Oda really just a preliminary level fighter.
Milan, Italy: Super Light: Renato De Donato (16-3-1) DREW 10 Luciano Randazzo (7-2-3). The Italian title remains vacant after these two fought to a draw. De Donato was much the taller fighter and took the first round using his hand speed and southpaw jab to open a lead. Randazzo put the pressure on in the second and third getting through with rights and keeping De Donato on the back foot and too often with his back to the ropes. After a close fourth De Donato was bringing his left into play working and created some space in the fifth and early part of the sixth with Randazzo putting the pressure on late in the round again with a series of rights. Randazzo continue that good work into the seventh and eighth again forcing De Donato onto the defensive and finding gaps to score with rights. The ninth saw De Donato finding space again but with the fight in the balance neither fighter really put a lot into the last round when a strong finish could have made them champion. Scores 94-93 for de Donato, 96-94 for Randazzo and 95-95 so they will have to do it all over again. Milanese fighter De Donato, 29, a former national champion, was a slight favourite here with his greater experience. Randazzo, 23, was going past the sixth round for the first time so will have benefited from this experience.
Astana, Kazakhstan: Super Feather: Bekman Soylybayev (9-0) W KO 2 Nikoloz Kokashvili (17-4-1). Soylybayev made a fast start banging left hooks to the body and rights to the head. Kokashvili tucked up and worked behind his jab but Soylybayev was ducking inside digging hooks to the body and as they clashed both tumbled to the canvas but there was no reason for a count. The second started with a wild exchange but soon Soylybayev was landing crunching left hooks to the body and then a left to the head put Kokashvili down and he sat out the full count without trying to rise. The 25-year-old from Almatay wins the vacant WBC EPBC title and gets his fourth win by KO/TKO. This is his first showing at home after fighting in Ukraine and California. He showed some good moves and real power. Kokashvili gets his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
London, England: Feather: Duke Micah (17-0) W TKO 4 Mikheil Soloninkin (7-19-1).
Unbeaten Ghanaian prospect Micah makes it 17 wins with stoppage of Georgian Soloninkin. After a cautious opening round Micah began to let his hands go and was getting through with accurate shots from both hands. The Georgian was in the fight at the start of the third but Micah’s power and accuracy were dominating and a punch tore open a cut over the Georgian’s left eye. It was over in the fourth as Micah poured on the punishment until the referee stopped the one-sided fight. The 24-year-old from Ghana has 16 wins by KO/TKO but most of his fights back home have been poor matches so it is good to get a view of him even against Soloninkin who has now lost 9 by KO/TKO. Micah will make his mark here.
Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Middle: Thomas Marshali (18-4-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Sajjad Mehrabi (14-1-2).
Marshali wins the vacant UBO world title with split decision over Mehrabi. They were well matched with both having spells of success and the fight was even after six rounds. Marshali used his edge in reach and some good combination punching to build a lead in the seventh and eighth but Mehrabi applied strong pressure in the ninth and tenth to again bring the scores level. Marshali took encouragement from the home crowd and edged the eleventh and with both fighters tiring neither was able to dominate the last. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 to Marshali and 115-113 to Mehrabi. The 30-year-old Tanzanian is 9-1,1ND in his last 11 fights with the loss coming in a fight in Grozny in March. Iranian Mehrabi, 30, might have got the verdict in Tehran but fought hard here in his second fight in Tanzania. He had drawn with Francis Cheka in Dar-Es-Salaam in April 2014. His last recorded fight but I did not realise there was pro boxing in Iran.