Fight of the week: Great European title fight between Cedric Vitu and Isaac Real
Fighter of the week: Daniel Roman for his victory over unbeaten Adam Lopez
Punch of the week: The short left hook from Arman Torosyan which felled Abdul Khattab
Upset of the week: None really as most fights went they way they were expected to go
One to watch: Robbie Davies Jr.
Hinckley, MN, USA: Middle: Rob Brant (22-0) W TKO 1 Alexis Hloros (18-6-2).
A poor match sees Brant get an easy win over substitute Hloros. Brant was scoring to the body early and easily blocking any attempt from Hloros to get through with punches of his own. Late in the round a series of body punches had Hloros retreating in disarray and after a left hook to the liver put him down he made it clear he was not intending to get up. “Bravo” Bryant, 26, retains his WBA-NABA title and gets win No 15 by KO/TKO. Rated WBA 3/WBO 5/IBF 13 and WBC 18 he has won 9 of his last 10 fights inside the distance but the former US Under-19 and twice National Golden Gloves champion who fought at both the World Junior and Senior championships has yet to prove himself against a rated opponent. Hloros, 37, was stopped in two rounds by both James Kirkland and Demetrius Andrade but was inactive for almost four years before returning with a couple of low level victories last year.
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Super Bantam: Daniel Roman (22-2-1) W RTD 9 Adam Lopez (16-1-1). Super Middle: Ronald Ellis (14-0-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Chris Brooker (11-3). Bantam: Stephon Young (16-0-3) W PTS 8 Olimjon Nazarov (14-4). Welter: Kenneth Sims (11-0) W PTS 8 Emmanuel Robles (15-2-1).
Roman vs. Lopez
Roman wins this WBA eliminator as he outpunches the unbeaten Lopez and forces a late retirement. Although this looked a good match Roman was in charge from the first round. He edged that round and then in the second started to land with vicious uppercuts, a punch to which Lopez had no answer. Roman continued to outscore Lopez in the third getting home with more uppercuts and some hurtful body punches. Roman almost ended things in the fourth. A left to the chin put Lopez down heavily. He only just beat the count but was bleeding heavily from the nose and was down again from a left uppercut. When he got up he was in deep trouble and did well to last to the bell. Lopez showed good recovery powers as he tried to get back in the fight from the fifth but time and again he was nailed by counters from Roman. Over the sixth and seventh Lopez continued to try to take the fight to Roman but he was being peppered with lefts and rights with his face swelling from the punishment and body shots draining his will. His corner was close to pulling Lopez out as Roman pounded on him throughout the eighth round. A painful ninth saw Lopez soaking up more hurt and his corner retired their man at the end of the round. Roman, the 26-year-old “Baby Faced Assassin” from California, gets his eighth win by KO/TKO and moves to 14 wins on the bounce. More importantly he is now in line to challenge Nehomar Cermeno the holder of the WBA secondary title. A former US Junior champion Roman has wins over experienced fighters Chris Martin and Christian Esquivel but Cermeno will be a big step in quality of opposition. “Mantequilla” Lopez, 26, was a slight favourite in this one. Last year he had scored wins over Mario Munoz (16-0-1) and ex-Olympian Carlos Valcarcel and drawn with fellow-prospect Roman Ruben Reynoso (18-1-1). He is a former World Championships bronze medallist and US Under-19 champion but he took a solid beating here and will have to regroup.
Ellis vs. Brooker
Ellis remains unbeaten with unanimous decision over the less talented Booker. Ellis made a fast start outscoring Brooker and marking his territory with a hard right in the opening round. Brooker needed to make it a close-quarters fight but Ellis was able to box on the outside taking advantage of his superior speed and skill. Ellis continued to be in control shaking Brooker with an overhand right in the fourth. From the half way point Brooker tried to turn the fight into a brawl and that slowed the action and made it into a messier fight. Ellis continued to land more and better punches with Brooker’s work deteriorating as he became frustrated over his lack of success. His holding and some roughhouse stuff did nothing for his cause or for the fight as a spectacle. Scores 79-73 twice and a too close 77-75. Ellis, a 27-year-old from Lynn missed most of 2013 as he served out a suspension for the use of a banned substance. He is now 8-0-1 since his return with the draw being against Jerry Odom. A former National Golden Gloves champion Ellis will have better nights than this as their respective styles did not make for a good fight. Brooker, 25, had put together a run of eight wins including a victory over experienced Elvin Ayala but that ended when he was halted in ten rounds by Romanian Ron Gavril in October for the vacant NABF title.
Young vs. Nazarov
“Showstopper” Young has to go the distance for his win here. Young was to have faced world rated Elton Dharry but that fell through and Nazarov stepped in at very short notice. The Uzbek did much better than might have been expected considering his lack of preparation but Young took the deserved decision. Scores 78-74 twice and 77-75 all for Young. The 28-year-old WBA No 5 has drawn in bouts against fellow unbeaten pros Antonio Nieves and Nikolay Potapov. He won medals at both the US Championships and the National Golden Gloves but failed lost out at the Olympic Trials for the US team in London. Uzbek Nazarov, 31, a former undefeated Uzbek super bantam champion, is now 4-3 in his last 7 fights with the three losses coming against unbeaten fighters.
Sims vs. Robles
Chicago’s Sims wins a wide unanimous verdict over Robles but the fight was far from easy for the unbeaten former top amateur. Over the opening three rounds Sims set a furious pace taking the fight to Robles and scoring with a whole array of fast accurate combinations. He had won 7 of his last 8 fights on points but was looking to impress the Showtime audience with a stoppage. Robles showed no sign of crumbling and the pace seemed to catch up on Sims over the middle rounds as Robles upped his own work rate. Sims had shown some signs of tiredness and lost his gumshield a couple of times. Finally in the sixth the referee deducted a point from Sims when his gumshield ended up on the canvas again. Sims settled down over the seventh and eighth and outworked Robles to emerge a clear if not comfortable winner. Scores 79-72 twice and 78-73 all for Sims. This was the first eight round fight for “Bossman” Sims and his first real test. He was a gold medallist twice at the National PAL tournament and won gold at the US Championships but failed to win his way through the US Olympic Trials for the London Olympics and went out at the second series of the 2013 World Championships. He is a talent to keep an eye on. Robles, 28, was 15-0-1 before losing a split decision to Canadian Steve Claggett in September and made Sims work hard here.
Tacoma, WA, USA: Middle: Dashon Johnson (22-20-3,1ND) W TKO 10 Ricardo Pinell (14-3-1). Back at the Battle at the Boat Johnson enjoys the experience of being the “house fighter” and floors southpaw Pinell twice on the way to a late stoppage. Instead of a short notice fight in the other guys back yard Johnson found himself given time to prepare and a fight in front of an appreciative audience. He had Pinell down in the first and fifth rounds and was well ahead after nine. It looked as though it might go to the scorecards but Pinell was being clobbered with punches half way through the last round and his corner threw in the towel to save their man. Johnson, 28, is now 6-2 in 8 fights at the Emerald Queen Casino and 7-2 in his last 9 fights. One of the two losses saw him almost pull off a massive upset when he had unbeaten Jesse Hart down and in deep water in the last round of their fight in March last year but could not find the finisher. Pinell had lost only one of his last ten fights.
Levallois-Perret, France: Super Welter: Cedric Vitu (45-2) W PTS 12 Isaac Real (16-2-1). Super Light: Franck Petitjean (18-4-3) W TKO 8 Samuel Esposito (21-4). Super Feather: Samir Kasmi (22-12-1) W RTD 6 Dame Seck (10-13-2). Light: Marvin Petit (20-1-1) W TKO 7 Juan Ocura (11-9-1). Super Welter: Souleymane Cissokho (1-0) W KO 1 Renato Goman (7-2). Heavy: Mathieu Bauderlique (11-0) W PTS 6 Matingu Kindele (9-6).
Vitu vs. Real
Vitu makes a successful third defence of his European title as he gets close unanimous decision over Real in yet another outstanding European title fight. Vitu clearly won a cagey first round scoring with a couple of southpaw right hooks whilst Real just circled the ring perimeter and hardly threw a punch. The fight really caught fire in the second. Real took Vitu to the ropes a couple of times and let fly with an array of hooks and also scored with three sneaky rights at distance. They traded punches in ring centre and Vitu scored with a good uppercut but it was Real’s round. In the third Real was looking to draw the lead and leap in with short hooks. Vitu was the better boxer and scored with some fine hooks but with just 15 seconds left in the round Real stunned the big local crowd. He stepped inside and landed a right that dumped Vitu on the floor. Vitu was badly shaken but got up at three and after the eight count the bell went just as Real rushed forward to try to end the fight. Vitu did what he needed to do and took the fourth round with quality hooks and uppercuts from both hands. After four rounds all three judges had Real in front 38-37. Vitu then proceeded to take the fight away from Real. Boxing mostly on the back foot he was dominant in mid ring and when Real did manage to take the champion to the ropes many of the Spaniards punches were inaccurate or blocked and time and again Vitu drove home telling hooks and uppercuts. Real’s chances were not helped by a cut over his left eye which was opened in the sixth. Real was only working in bursts and only when he could take Vitu to the ropes and even then Vitu’s counters were doing most of the scoring. Vitu had swept the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth rounds and was in front 77-74 on all three cards. Real badly needed to win the ninth and he put in huge effort forcing Vitu to stand and trade and this was the closest round so far but again even though many of his punches were light Vitu was throwing more and landing more. Real threw everything into the tenth and eleventh rounds. He hunted Vitu around the ring bombarding the Frenchman with hooks. Vitu kept firing counters but was under heavy pressure at the end of the eleventh and seemed to be tiring. The last round was a fiery affair. Both were just throwing punches and both landing. Real looked to have turned the fight his way with a succession of clubbing rights but with just over 30 seconds to go Vitu nailed the oncoming Real with a right hook. The Spaniard staggered back and swayed but somehow stayed up. However Vitu proceeded to land unanswered hooks and uppercuts with Real unable to throw anything back and it was Vitu’s round. Vitu won the unanimous decision with one judge scoring in 115-112 and another 115-113 but the third turned in a 117-112 card which was way out. The 31-year-old Vitu was making the third defence of his European title and has lost only one of his last 28 fights. That was a split verdict against Sergey Rabchenko when challenging for this same title. He has now won ten in a row and is rated WBC 4/IBF 4. Real, 35, was trying to regain the title he lost to Jack Culcay in 2013. It was exactly the same outcome then. In that fight he had Culcay, the current holder of the WBA secondary title, on the floor and again two of the score against him were 115-113 and 115-112. This was a great little fight and he deserves another chance.
Petitjean vs. Esposito
Petitjean wins the vacant European Union title with stoppage of Esposito. The Clichy southpaw showcased some fine skills as he slotted home a succession of right jabs and was too quick for the slower Italian. Petitjean is not a big puncher but his shots were quick and accurate and Esposito never really got a foothold in the fight. Esposito just could not pin down the Frenchman or find a way through his guard. He kept battling on but the fight became one-sided with Esposito stumbling into to punishment. Petitjean continued to control the action and score freely. He was slowly breaking down the Italian’s spirit and scored knockdowns in the fourth and sixth rounds. With the Italian showing lumps under both eyes and Petitjean piling on the agony after a third knockdown the referee stopped the fight in the eighth round. Important win for the former undefeated French champion who is 7-0-1 in his last 8 fights including victories over Alex Lepelley and Christopher Sebire. He was No 13 with the EBU going into this one but winning the EU title offers the prospect of a fight for the European title against the winner of the Lenny Daws vs. Anthony Yigit fight. For the 31-year-old former Italian champion this marks his third failure in attempts to win this EU title. His nickname is “The Wall” and he hit the wall hard enough here to announce his retirement.
Kasmi vs. Seck
Kasmi becomes French champion for the second time as Seck’s corner retire their man at the end of the sixth round of the fight for the vacant national title. Kasmi was well on the way to victory and it was a good stoppage. The 34-year-old Kasmi, a former undefeated European Union champion, continues to reconstruct his career after consecutive inside the distance losses to Hedi Slimani and Yvon Mendy. The EBU No 9 has won his last three fights. Seck was having his second shot at winning a national title but is now 3-11in his last 14 fights.
Petit vs. Ocura
Petit gets win over late substitute Ocura. Petit had been scheduled to fight for the vacant EU title but when that fell through he had to adjust to dealing with Ocura. The fight was filled with some rough tactics but the skills came from the Frenchman. Petit outboxed Ocura early and then began to break him down with accurate shots particularly some choice uppercuts and the referee stopped the fight in the seventh round. The 25-year-old former French champion lost his national title to now world rated Yvon Mendy on a very close verdict in 2013 but has now won seven on the bounce including regaining the national title. He hopes to get a shot at the EU title in April. Ocura, a Spanish-based Mexican, is now 0-5-1 since moving his base to Europe.
Cissokho vs. Goman
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Cissokho blows away Hungarian in his first pro fight. At the one minute mark Cissokho drove Goman into a corner and down under two overhand rights. Goman just beat the count and tried to fire back but was again forced to the same corner and another chopping right saw him slump to his knees and he was counted out. Apart from the Olympics the 25-year-old Senegal-born Cissokho also represented France at the World Championships and the European Championships. In each of those three major events he lost to the eventual gold medallist. Goman, 19, was a late replacement and so far it is two fights outside of Hungary and two losses by KO/TKO.
Bauderlique vs. Kindele
French southpaw Bauderlique marks his return to professional action as he outclasses and decisions Kindele. The Frenchman used a hands down flashy style but his punches laced power and Kindele marched forward in every round. Bauderlique found Kindele an easy target but he will need to tighten up his work against better opposition. With Scores 60-53 twice and 60-54. A former French amateur champion and European Championships quarter-finalist Bauderlique dipped into the WSB and then took advantage of the AIBA rules change to win a bronze medal in Rio so this marks his return to real pro boxing. Former Belgian champion Kindele has only lost one by KO/TKO and gave Bauderlique some useful ring time. With Bauderlique returning to the pros, Cissokho now joining the paid ranks and Olympic super heavy champion Tony Yoka signing a contract with French TV things are going to get very interesting there.
Preston, England: Super Light: Robbie Davies Jr (15-0) W KO 9 Zoltan Szabo (13-4). Middle: Jack Arnfield (23-2) W TKO 11 Mick Hall (13-2). Heavy: Nick Webb (10-0) W TKO 3 Chris Healey (6-3). Super Light: Andreas Maier (6-0) W TKO 1 Atif Shafiq (16-2). Super Middle: Zach Parker (10-0) W TKO 4 Bradley Pryce (38-22).
Davies vs. Szabo
Davies retains his WBA Continental title and gets a good learning fight against the clever and at times dangerous Szabo. Davis is one of those fighters who can switch guards almost in mid punch and he did that constantly throughout the fight. Although only 22 Szabo had the style and tricks of a much more experienced fighter and gave Davies some problems and some concerns early in the fight. Davis forced that action but Szabo showed tricky upper body movement and blocked many of Davies punches on his arms. Davies was taking the rounds on his much higher work rate and showed speed and skill but Szabo was a constant danger with quick rights a punched he relied on almost exclusively for scoring. Despite the clever moves from the Hungarian Davies was fully focused and pressurising Szabo hard in every round. The pressure began to tell in the sixth as Szabo, who had come in as a substitute started to visibly tire. Szabo came out firing in the sixth but again his work rate dropped away and Davies shook him badly with a left hook just before the bell. Over the seventh and eighth Davies was relentless in his attacks and Szabo was now dropping both hands and making no real move to dodge punches but just looking to get home one big punch. In the ninth Davies took Szabo to the ropes and bombarded him with punches until a wicked left hook to the ribs saw Szabo collapse to his knees and bend over in agony and he was counted out. This was the first in a series of shows to be covered by terrestrial television so 27-year-old Davies got plenty of exposure. His father Robbie Snr was an ABA champion and represented Britain at the Montreal Olympics but was only 11-4 in a short pro career. Davies has won 9 of his last 10 fights by KO/TKO and will now look for tougher tests. Szabo had shown he was a danger with a knockout win over Stephen Ormond. He posed quite a few questions for Davies and was competitive until he tired.
Arnfield vs. Hall
Arnfield gets his second win over Hall. They had clashed in the 2015 Prizefighter when Arnfield won a split decision so there was some needle here. Arnfield had big edges inn height and reach and the superior skills but Hall made a confident and aggressive start and took the first round. From the second Arnfield started to dominate the fight with his left jab. He kept banging out the jab and could not seem to miss Hall with it. He was also working in straight rights and left hooks to the body and took the next four rounds. Hall is a battler and he did just that in the sixth walking past Arnfield’s jab and doing some good scoring with rights and hooks to the body. Arnfield took the fight over from the seventh. He kept the jab in Hall’s face and was also getting to him with straight rights. Hall never stopped trying to get inside but the attention from Arnfield’s punches saw a huge, ugly lump on the right side of his forehead and damage over his left eye. Hall kept lunging forward but Arnfield was giving a textbook exhibition of jabbing and hooking and breaking Hall down. The fight had become one-sided and It was a relief when Hall’s corner pulled their man out of the fight at the end of the eleventh round. Arnfield, 27, was making the second defence of his WBA International title. He lost on points against Nick Blackwell for the British title in 2015 but had bounced back with an impressive win over John Ryder last September. Hall gave it everything here and never stopped trying to turn the fight his way doing his bit to make it fast-paced exciting contest. This was only his second fight in two years so needs to be more active.
Webb vs. Healey
Webb continues his winning ways. The 6’5” (196cm) from Surrey was just too big and too strong for the overweight Healey who was down once before the fight was stopped. The 29-year-old Webb now has nine wins by KO/TKO and is ready for stiffer opposition. Healey only returned to the ring in December after almost two years of inactivity. In his last fight in December 2014 he was 208lbs. For this one he was 251lbs.
Maier vs. Shafiq
Maier stops Shafiq in quick time. The Rotherham boxer came out smartly shooting out jabs but a right from Maier lit up the danger sign. Shafiq threw a right and Maier came over the top with a right of his own which crashes onto Shaifq’s chin and hurtled him back and down in a heap. He was up quickly but his legs were shaky and the referee called it right and stopped the fight. All over in 42 second. The 32-year-old German-based Kazak fighter only turned pro in February last year at the age of 31 and now has five wins by KO/TKO. Shafiq, 23, was having his first fight for 13 months and was caught cold here.
Parker vs. Pryce
Parker too young and too quick for veteran Pryce and gets his seventh win by KO/TKO as the fight is stopped mid way through the fourth round. This was a good learning fight for Parker and he performed well. Pryce announced his retirement after the fight. The 35-year-old Welshman won the Commonwealth title in 2006 and went on to make six defences which earned him the Denny Mancini award from the Council which I had the pleasure of presenting to him. I hope he enjoys a happy retirement
Struer, Denmark: Super Middle: Patrick Nielsen (29-1) W PTS 10 Beibi Berrocal (17-4,1ND). Middle: Arman Torosyan (18-3-1) W KO 6 Abdul Khattab (15-2). Super Middle: Stefan Haertel (13-0) W TKO 8 Tomasz Gargula (18-5-1).
Nielsen vs. Berrocal
It is rare for a Danish fighter to win a one-sided victory and get greeted by boos but that is what happened here as Nielsen put on one of his worst showings as a pro. The Danish fighter began this all-southpaw bout well enough working his jab and shaking the fleshy-looking and slow Colombian with a left in the first round. Nielsen also looked to be getting into his stride in the second scoring with stiff right jabs before landing a left to the chin that put Berrocal down on one knee. He bounced up immediately protesting that it was a slip but it looked a genuine knockdown. As early as the third round Nielsen seemed to lack confidence and was letting Berrocal force him onto the back foot and the Dane was just throwing two or three punches and then diving inside and holding. Berrocal constantly protested Nielsen holding but he was allowed to get away with it throughout the fight. The pace and quality of the fight continued to fall away in the fourth and fifth. Nielsen was still just letting a couple of punches go and then going into a clinch and when he did land he failed to capitalise on his success and spent too long holding and wrestling instead of fighting. The fight became an ugly brawl with Nielsen allowing himself to be dragged down Berrocal’s level and he seemed to be tiring. He did slightly better in the seventh and eighth but the crowd became restless at the lethargic display as they had come to expect better from Nielsen. He was winning the fight but losing the crowd and although he took the wide decision his form over the last six rounds made it justifiable to ask just how seriously he had taken this fight and whether his preparation had been 100%. Scores 98-91 from all three judges for Nielsen. The 25-year-old Dane lost on points to Dmitri Chudinov for the interim WBA middleweight title in June 2014 and then moved up to super middle. He had scored six wins including a three round stoppage of Rudy Markussen in a huge fight for Danish fans but he disappointed them here. He can and will do much better than this in the future. Berrocal. 29 had lost only one of his last 13 fights and that was a second round stoppage by Australian hope Zac Dunn. He had scored three wins against reasonable level domestic opposition since then.
Torosyan vs. Khattab
Behind on points Torosyan ends this fight with one short left hook. Local fighter Khattab edge a cautious first round. Torosyan had height and reach over Khattab and started to put on some pressure in the second but the Danish fighter was able to score well with his jab. The third was a close round but Khattab was again working well with his jab and hooks and Torosyan threw less as if looking to land one big punch. Torosyan shook Khattab with a punch in the fourth and had the Dane in some disarray. A left hook rocked Khattab again later in a bad round for the local fighter. Khattab recovered well in the fifth and took the fight to Torosyan getting inside and landing hooks but was given a stern warning for ducking too low. He was on top for the rest of the round scoring with vicious left hooks to the body. In front on all three cards Khattab started the sixth with a flurry of hooks to head and body and seemed to be taking charge. However as he walked in a short left hook to the chin from Torosyan which travelled no more than twelve inches sent the Dane down in a heap by the ropes and the referee waived the fight over without a count. With his height and reach and puncher’s reputation Torosyan was an ambitious ask for young Khattab. The 33-year-old German-based Armenian now has 15 wins by KO/TKO. He suffered consecutive losses to Nuhu Lawal and Eduard Gutknecht in 2015 and was then inactive for almost a year before returning with a low level win in November. Palestine-born Khattab was halted in five rounds by Frenchman Howard Cospolite in 2015 but had rebuilt with four wins.
Haertel vs. Gargula
Haertel again shows both his skill and lack of power although getting his first inside the distance win as a pro. Haertel looked determined to get the “no stoppage wins” monkey off his back as he made a more aggressive start than usual and had immediate success as he floored Gargula in the opening round. The Pole was not badly shaken and had no trouble lasting to the bell. Haertel continued to apply strong pressure keeping Gargula on the back foot and often pinning the Pole against the ropes. Haertel was landing lots of combinations but not really sitting down on his punches. He was winning the rounds with his work rate, accuracy and excellent skills but a knockout was never on the cards. In the end it was the one-sided nature of the fight that saw the referee halt the contest in the eighth of the scheduled ten rounds with Gargula under fire but not in serious trouble. The Pole and his corner protested strongly over the finish but their man was never in with a chance of winning. The 28-year-old Haertel was an elite level amateur and he represented Germany at the 2012 Olympics, the World Championships and the European Championships but must have finished with an anti-British complex as he went out against Anthony Fowler at the World and European Championships and to Anthony Ogogo at the Olympics. His skills can only take him so far and then his lack of power will count against him. Gargula, 42, has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights, four of them by KO/TKO.
Trenton, NJ, USA: Super Middle: Zab Judah (43-9,2ND) W TKO 2 Jorge L Munguia (12-8). Super Middle: Derrick Webster (22-1) W PTS 10 Thomas Awimbono (25-5-1).
Judah vs. Munguia
Judah takes an easy step back as he halts outclassed Munguia inside two rounds. Judah movement and had speed were too much for the plodding Honduran. After shaking Munguia badly in the first round Judah stunned him with a right hook to the head in the second. The former champion then cut loose with a cluster of punches which sent Munguia tumbling backwards to the canvas and the fight was stopped. The multi-titled “Super” was having his first fight since losing on points to Paul Malignaggi for the NABF welter title in December 2013. Now 5 losses in a row for Munguia and will take better opposition than this to find how much Judah still has in the tank.
Webster vs. Awimbono
In the joint main event New Jersey southpaw Webster cruised to a wide unanimous decision over Ghanaian Awimbono. Webster was able to comfortably outbox the Ghanaian. By the fourth round the attention from Webster’s punches caused a rapidly growing swelling by the left eye of Awimbono. Edges in height and reach, slick moves and varying the angle of his punches allowed Webster to stay in command with Awimbono just not finding the target enough to get into the fight. Webster had a big ninth as he tried to end the fight early but then breezed through the tenth to take the decision. Scores 98-92 twice and 100-90. The 34-year-old, 6’4” (193cm) “Take it To The Bank” Webster won his first 19 fights before being floored and outclassed by then unbeaten Arif Magomedov in July 2015. He was then out of the ring for eleventh months and this is his third win since returning. The 36-year-old Awimbono had an 18 bout winning streak before moving to the USA but to put that into context 14 of his victims had never won a fight and the other four were not much better.
Shijiazhuang, China: Heavy: Zhilei Zhang (14-0) W KO 1 Peter Graham (11-4-1). Light Heavy: Fanlong Meng (10-0) W KO 1 Gasan Gasanov (12-5-1). Super Light: Zhimin Wang (8-1) W PTS 10 Patomsith (16-7).
Zhang vs. Graham
Chinese heavyweight Zhang crushes Australian oldie Graham inside a round. The big southpaw floored Graham early with a right hook but Graham beat the count. Just before the bell was due another right hook put Graham down and he was counted out. The 33-year-old Zhang wins the WBO Asian Pacific title and gets his sixth first round win. The 6’6” (198cm) Zhang did not turn pro until he was 31. As an amateur he won two bronze medals at the World Championships and a silver at the 2008 Olympics where he beat Vyacheslav Glazkov on the way to the medal. In 2012 Olympics he lost to Anthony Joshua in the quarter-finals. The 41-year-old Graham was making the first defence of his title. He was inactive from November 2002 until returning to the ring in May 2012 and had won his five fights since returning.
Meng vs. Gasanov
Meng took even less time and effort that Zhang to win his fight. Another former top amateur Meng landed a vicious southpaw left to the body which saw Gasanov drop to the floor in agony and he could not beat the count. All over in 112 seconds. The 28-year-old “ Cold Blood” Meng wins the WBO Oriental title and gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. He has done most of his fighting in the USA and needed to impress after having to climb off the floor twice to outpoint Georgian Zura Mekereshvili in his last fight in September. As an amateur he represented China at the World Championships in 2009 and 2011 and the 2012 Olympics. Gasanov had won his last 5 fights but against low level opposition.
Wang vs. Patomsith
Wang wins the WBO Oriental title as he floors and outpoints Thai Patomsith. Wang had the modest Thai down in the third but could not find a finishing punch. Scores 100-89 from all three judges. Wang has also done most of his fighting in the USA. He lost his unbeaten tag in his last fight in September when he was outpointed by unbeaten Russian Ivan Baranchyk. The 35-year-old Patomsith was too small at 5’ 4 ½” (164cm) and was giving away too much height to be competitive. Six of his losses have come on the road and five of those on points.
Puglia, Italy: Super Welter: Felice Moncelli (16-4-1) W PTS 10 Francesco Lezzi (9-7-1). Moncelli wins the vacant Italian title with close unanimous verdict over Lezzi in a battle of local fighters. Moncelli used his advantages in height and reach to edge the first two rounds but the aggressive Lezzi battled back to take the next three and go out in front. After an even sixth the younger fighter, Moncelli, was standing the pace better and Lezzi was warned twice in the seventh for holding. The strong finish from Moncelli was enough to see him take the decision, but only just. Scores 96-92, 96-94 and 95-94 all for Moncelli. Moncelli regains the title he lost to world rated Emanuele Della Rosa in June 2015. That is his only loss in his last 12 fights. Lezzi started out 1-4-1 but had turned that around by going 8-2 prior to this loss.
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Bantam: Emanuel Navarrete (18-1) W TKO 6 Dennis Contreras (20-7). Navarrete extends his winning run to 13 with stoppage of game Contreras. Navarrete outworked Contreras over the first round. His pressure and work rate saw him start to take control in the second until he left himself open and was nailed by a left hook. It sent Navarrete staggering back into the ropes and for a few seconds it was Navarrete in trouble and Contreras unloading punches. Navarrete recovered quickly and soon had Contreras on the retreat under a hail of long lefts and hooks from both hands. The third saw Navarrete driving Contreras to the ropes and unleashing a storm of punches. He was going for quantity rather than power with short arm punches. Contreras did a bit better at the start of the fourth but Navarrete, occasionally switching guards, kept the punches flowing. The fifth was one-sided as Navarrete continued to bombard Contreras with hooks and uppercuts. The punishment continued in the sixth. Contreras was trapped on the ropes but showed some clever defensive work. However he was not punching back and the referee decided to step in and stop the fight-just as Contreras launched a couple of counters. He protested the stoppage but was taking a beating. The 22-year-old “Cowboy” Navarrete has 15 wins by KO/TKO. He has wins over a couple of reasonable level domestic fighters but he will have to tighten his defence when he steps up to better opposition. Contreras gets his second loss by KO/TKO. At one time he was 19-2 but has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights.
Puerto Madryn, Argentina: Super Middle: Jonathan Wilson Sanchez (11-0) W KO 4 Gustavo Urquia (8-2-1). Sanchez wins the vacant interim WBC Latino title with kayo of Urquia. Sanchez made a fast start prodding with jabs, switching guards and flooring Urquia with a right to the jaw and a left hook to the body. Urquia was not badly hurt and he took the fight to Sanchez but was wild with his attacks. There was plenty of action in the second and third with Sanchez scoring better at distance and Urquia on the inside although Sanchez looked to be getting on top late in the third. A right staggered Urquia in the fourth and as he rushed Sanchez to the ropes he missed with a right and Sanchez came over the top with his own right which sent Urquia staggering back to the canvas. He took the full count sitting on the floor. Big win for the local fighter who was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and collects his first title. The Argentinian No 10 registers his third win by KO/TKO. Second loss inside the distance for Urquia who is really just a four and six round prelim fighter.
Montreal, Canada: Middle: Francis Lafreniere (14-5-2) W TKO 7 Manuel Garcia (15-13-2,1ND). Light: Roody Pierre-Paul (13-3-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Abraham Gomez (26-14-1).
Lafreniere vs. Garcia
Canadian No 2 Lafreniere. 28, makes it 11 wins in a row with stoppage of Mexican Garcia. He has 8 wins by KO/TKO and had a good win when outpointing one time world rated Renan St Juste last year. Garcia, 30, a former Mexican title challenger, now has six losses by KO/TKO.
Pierre-Paul vs. Gomez
Pierre-Paul made it a winning double for Quebec fighters as he took a wide unanimous decision over experienced Gomez. The 32-year-old southpaw from Laval outboxed Gomez all the way and won on scores of 79-73 twice and 80-72. Back-to-back losses to a couple of imports in 2014 dented his hopes but he is now 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights and is Canadian No 5. Gomez is now 0-6 in fights in Canada.
Jakarta, Indonesia: Light Fly: Tibo Monabesa (15-0-1) W PTS 12 Rene Patilano (15-3-3). Local southpaw Monabesa wins the vacant WBC International Silver title with unanimous decision over young Filipino Patilano. The first half of the fight was fairly even but over the second half of the contest Monabesa had the edge in strength and stamina and did enough to deserve the victory. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111. The draw on the record of the WBA No 9 is of the technical variety and he defeated that opponent on points for the Indonesian title in a later contest. He has won his last 12 fights. This WBC International Silver title puts the seal on the ending of the WBC sanctions imposed after a number of fatalities in Indonesian boxing caused concern to the WBC. “Mr Nice Guy” Patilano, 25, the Philippines No 12 was 9-1-1 in his last 12 fights.