Verona, NY, USA: Super Bantam: Jesses Angel Hernandez (11-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Ernesto Garza (9-3). Super Light: Shohjahon Ergashev W (11-0) W TKO 3 Sonny Frederickson (18-1). Cruiser: Alex Zubov (17-1) W PTS 6 Lamont Capers (8-11-3).
Hernandez vs. Garza
Hernandez gets split decision over Garza in an all-southpaw contest. In an entertaining fight physical factors largely dictated the tactics. Hernandez had big advantages in height and reach but Garza countered that with tenacious aggression. Garza swung things his way as he floored Hernandez with a left in the second round but Hernandez battled back into the fight over the middle rounds. Hernandez had a good seventh but Garza never stopped pressing and with neither fighter willing to take a backward step there was give-and- take action to the final bell. Scores 95-94 and 97-93 for Hernandez and 95-93 Garza. Hernandez, 27, is 7-0,1ND in his last 8 bouts and this was his first ten round fight. Garza had won 4 of his last 5 fights and
Ergashev vs. Frederickson
Ergashev puts on impressive show as he takes control from the opening bell and batters previously unbeaten Frederickson to defeat inside three rounds. The young Uzbek southpaw shook Frederickson early in the first and came close to finishing the fight inside those first three minutes. His confidence was high enough for Ergashev to do some showboating in the second but he was all business in the third. Frederickson went down early in the round but it was ruled a slip. There was no doubt about the series of lefts that had Frederickson battered and bewildered before the referee waived off the one-sided beating. Ergashev was having only his second fight in the USA. He claims 2012 wins in over 250 amateur fights and the 26-year-old “Descendant of Tamerlane” has taken less than 20 rounds to register his eleven pro wins including seven first round victories. One to watch. The 23-year-old Frederickson from Toledo had won his last three fights by KO/TKO but the height and reach advantages his 6’1” (185cm) gave him he were brushed aside by Ergashev. Frederickson claimed 120-8 record in the amateurs. He lost in a “last chance” qualifier for the US 2012 Olympic Trials and won a bronze medal at the 2013 national PAL championships but he was outclassed here.
Zubov vs. Capers
Russian Zubov extends his current win to seven with a majority decision over Capers. Not too much excitement in this one. Despite a cut over his right eye Zubov controlled much of the fight with a strong jab and a higher work rate. Capers was competitive enough in spurts but Zubov looked a clear winner. Scores 59-56 and 58-56 for Zubov and 57-57. The Detroit-based Zubov lost on points to unbeaten Constantin Bejenaru in 2016 and although he has rebuilt at 31 he seems unlikely to climb much further. Capers is now 1-3-1 in his last five fights.
Tacoma, WA, USA: Welter: Manuel Perez (29-12-1) W PTS 10 John Jackson (17-3-3). Perez gets off the canvas to win unanimous decision over Jackson in another competitive “Battle on the Boat”. Both landed some good punches in the first but Perez made a good start to the second using his longer reach only for Jackson to fire back and put Perez down with a right to the chin. Perez made it to the bell and then got on the front foot and had the better of the next four rounds as he pressured Jackson to the ropes and scored with hooks and uppercuts. Jackson got back into the fight from the seventh and the rounds were much closer but again Perez generally had the edge. Scores 99-92, 97-92 and 96-93 all for Perez. The 33-year-old from Denver has now won 8 of his last 9 fights with the loss being to unbeaten Juan Carlos Ramirez in 2016. This was Jackson’s first fight since May 2016.
Mar de Ajo, Argentina: Super Light Jonathan Eniz (19-9-1,1ND) W KO 2 Maximiliano Veron (11-1,1ND). Eniz spring a minor surprise as he blows away unbeaten Veron inside two rounds. Veron was taller and the better boxer. He was trying to walk Eniz down with Eniz showing plenty of quick movement and looking dangerous with his southpaw lefts. Veron seemed to be settling into the fight forcing Eniz back with his jab. Eniz suddenly plunged inside and caught Veron with a short left to the chin that saw Veron go down briefly on one knee. He did not look too badly shaken and although Eniz landed a couple more lefts Veron also scored with some counters just before the bell. Veron was again boxing nicely in the second when another left put him down. This time although he was up quickly his legs wobbled and although he steadied himself when he completed the eight count the referee stopped the fight. Although the 23-year-old Eniz is the South American champion the only title on the line was Veron’s WBC Latino with some confusion over whether it was the interim or Silver version. Eniz the Argentinian No 4 lightweight, only has seven wins by KO/TKO but this is his third win that way in a row. Veron, who was a good standard amateur, was the Argentinian No 10 super light.
Neuquén, Argentina: Super Light: Leonardo Amitrano (12-2) W PTS 12 Mauro Godoy (30-3). Amitrano gets hotly disputed majority decision over Godoy. Amitrano wins the South American title with scores of 116-114 and 116 ½-116 for Amitrano and 114-114. It was the first time the 23-year-old Amitrano had gone past eight rounds. All three of Godoy’s losses have come in title fights.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Light: Rikki Naito (19-2) W TKO 9 Jeffrey Arienza (16-7-1).Super Feather: Carlo Magali (23-9-3) W TKO 10 Masatoshi Kotani (22-3).
Naito vs. Arienza
Yokohama southpaw Naito wins the vacant OPBF title with stoppage of Filipino Arienza in an all-southpaw scrap. Naito proved faster and more accurate and although Arienza kept competitive and had a strong second round he could not match the quicker and busier Naito. By the end of the eighth Arienza was soaking up punishment and tiring rapidly. After eight rounds in the open scoring the judges had Naito in front 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74. In the ninth Arienza was rocked by a straight left and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Win No 7 by KO/TKO for the 26-year-old Naito, a former Japanese super feather champion who has won 6 of his last 7 fights. Naito is the son of Junichi “Cassius” Naito a former Japanese and OPBF middleweight champion. The OPBF tends to “adjust” its ratings to fall in line with any upcoming title fights so that although Naito was No 7 in the Japanese ratings he was No 2 in the OPBF ratings. Arienza, 27, falls to 5 losses by KO/TKO and is now 4-5 in his last 9 fights including a technical decision defeat against Darragh Foley for this same title in his last fight in June last year. He was No 1 with the OPBF but No 5 with the Philippines Board in the latest ratings on their web site.
Magali vs. Kotani
Magali evened thing up for the Philippines with a stoppage of Okinawa puncher Kotani. Both fighters are reputed punchers and with Kotani having home advantage, a twelve bout winning streak and big edges in height and reach he was the favourite. However the small but strong Magali, known as “The Ferocious”, kept coming cutting down space for Kotani and pressing hard. Apart from a good chin Magali also had the edge in experience as he had been in twelve fights which had gone into the tenth round with many of those going the full twelve rounds. His pressure and power caught up with Kotani who had been past eight rounds just once and that in a fight he lost. Kotani had landed enough for one judge have him in front 78-74with the other two having Magali in front by the same score. Magali had a big ninth flooring Kotani twice and when he scored another knockdown in the tenth the referee stopped the fight. Magale had won the interim OPBF title last year and was then promoted to full champion so this was his first defence and his twelfth win by KO/TKO. Second loss by KO/TKO for Kotani and again although he was only No 13 with the Japanese Commission he was No 1 with the OPBF.
Voerendaal, Holland: Cruiser: Ricardo Snijders (11-0) W TKO 4 Erik Nazaryan (24-19-4,1ND). Dutch champion Snijders wins the vacant BeNeLux title with stoppage of Belgian Nazaryan. Snijders was on top all the way landing a selection of jabs, hooks and uppercuts. It was by no means an even match with Snijders having huge advantages of height and reach over Nazaryan. Snijders landed some good punches but Nazaryan indicated he was not hurt and signalled for Snijders to bring it on. Snijders refused the invitation and boxed on the outside. The Dutch fighter was well on his way to victory when in the fourth round a cut on the left eyelid of Nazaryan was trickling blood into his eye and the referee took him to the ringside physician who recommended the fight be stopped. A former Dutch amateur champion Snijders continues to progress. The BeNeLux titles is competed for by fighters from Belgium, Nederland and Luxemburg. Belgian Nazaryan had compiled a 13 bout winning streak before losing a low level bout in November. His physical disadvantages arise from him having weighed as low as 140lbs in 2005 and now fighting at cruiser.