Buenos Aires, Argentina: Super Bantam: Alan Luques Castillo (18-4) W TKO 2 Lucas Baez (27-15-4).
Luques regains the interim WBC Latino Silver title with stoppage of Baez. After an even first round Luques surprised Baez with a fierce attack getting through with heavy punches and forcing the referee to give Baez a standing count. When the action resumed Luques continued his attack and with nothing coming back from Baez the fight was stopped. Luques, the FAB No 3, is 9-2 in his last 11 fights. Baez, the FAB No 8 drops to 6 losses by KO/TKO.
Bankstown, Australia: Super Feather: Billy Dib (40-4) W PTS 8 Sukkasem (13-5). Super Middle: Nader Hamdan (44-11-1) W TKO 2 Plaisakda (38-24).
Dib vs. Sukkasem
Dib makes an emotional return to a place he has fought often as he tries to deal with a horrendous 2015. The former IBF champion was given eight rounds of work against a strong, willing, but limited Thai opponent. The Thai had no answer to Dib’s jab and fell into wrestling mode for which the referee deducted a point as Dib won the unanimous decision on scores of 79-72 twice and 79-73. Getting back into the ring was the important thing for Dib. Last year he lost quite a lot of money that was due to him when his promoter 50 Cent went bankrupt and in his only fight in 2015 he was stopped in three rounds by Takashi Miura in a challenge for the WBC title. Although those professional blows were hard the deepest pain came with the death of his lovely young wife Selim who died in September at the age of 21 just six weeks after they were married. His young wife was a consistent presence when he fought at the venue in Bankstown so just going back there and getting in the ring was the big battle that he won. I truly hope he prospers from here.
Hamdan vs. Plaisakda
Hamdan decides to give boxing another run. He was much too good for Thai Plaisakda and scored two knockdowns in the second round with the referee stopping the fight. The 42-year-old former WBA and WBO title challenger was having his first fight since October 2012. Thai Plaisakda, 43, lived down to expectations as he has 19 losses by KO/TKO and in 9 fights in Australia has yet to last into the third round.
Flemington, Australia: Super Middle: Bilal Akkawy (12-0-1) W PTS 10 Istvan Zeller (30-10). Super Middle: Zac Dunn (20-0) W KO 1 Rogerio Damasco (22-4-2). Light Fly: Omar Kimweri (15-3) W PTS 10 Michael Camellion (7-3-1).
Akkawy vs. Zeller
Hard-punching Sydney prospect is just too much for visiting Hungarian. Zeller had won 10 of his last 11 fights but he could not match the speed and power of Akkawy. Akkawy started out with a body attack and then in the second had Zeller on the floor. In the third the young Australian drilled home a straight right that sent Zeller crashing to the canvas again. The Hungarian got up and from then was in defensive mode as Akkawy stalked him looking to end the fight. Akkawy got a third knockdown but Zeller’s survival tactics worked well and he was still there at the bell. Scores 100-86 twice and 99-87. Akkawy, who turned pro at 18, wins the vacant WBC EPBC title to add to the IBO Youth title he already holds. The ANBF No 7 was out of the ring for nine months after a disappointing draw with Joe Rea in January last year but looked sharp here. Zeller, 26, was a known quantity have been beaten in three rounds by Zac Dunn in 2014. He had a big edge in experience over Akkawy but could not make it work for him.
Dunn vs. Damasco
Dunn gets back to form as he crushes Brazilian Damasco in just 76 seconds. The IBO champion needed only one thunderous right that put Damasco down and out. The Melbourne fighter had to put behind him a disappointing split verdict over Derrick Findley in his US debut in October and did it emphatically. The 25-year-old is rated WBO 10/IBF 10(9)/WBC 12/WBA 14(13) and has some good wins including a victory over Max Bursak so will be looking to boost his rating this year. Damasco has the usual misleading Brazilian record. In three previous fights outside Brazil he has lost them all including two in the first round.
Kimweri vs. Camellion
I have a soft spot for the 4’11” (150cm) little man from Tanzania. Work had been scarce with only 17 fights in 8 years. After just getting the better of the first three rounds Kimweri was shaken by a right in the fourth. He regrouped and then in a fast hard-fought contest he swept the remaining rounds for a wide unanimous decision. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91. The 33-year-old Australian-based African has lost only one of his last 14 fights and that was a split decision in Japan where he should have got the verdict. He wins the vacant WBA Pan African title which hopefully will lead to more work. Filipino Camellion played his part in making it a good fight. He was unbeaten in his last 5 fights going in.
Calgary, Canada: Super Welter: Stuart McLellen (13-2-3) W PTS 10 Janks Trotter (9-3-1,1ND). McLellen wins the vacant Canadian title with split decision over Trotter. How you saw this one depended on whether you went for skill or aggression. It was Trotter who was pressing the fight all the way with McLellen boxing on the back foot and finding a home for his accurate counters. Neither fighter really dominated and all of the rounds were close which explains the wide divergence in the scores as McLellen gets the split decision. Scores 99-91 and 96-94 for McLellen and 99-91 for Trotter. McLellen, a 29-year-old from British Colombia, was unbeaten in his first 15 fights before he suffered consecutive losses to Ryan Wagner and Steve Claggett in 2015. Local fighter Trotter, a former undefeated Canadian middle champion lost his only fight in 2015 being halted in 7 rounds Chris Pearson.
Aarhus, Denmark: Super Middle: Lolenga Mock (33-14-1) W KO 7 Jorge Silva (15-5). Light: DeMarcus Corley (43-26-1) W TKO 6 Osama Hadifi (11-1).
Mock vs. Silva
Mock continues his comeback with stoppage of Portuguese champion Silva. It was a one-sided fight which at time looked to be set for a very early finish. Mock had Silva in deep trouble late in the first but the bell saved Silva. It was the same in the second and third but in both rounds Mock just could not find a finishing punch letting Silva smother his best efforts and although Silva was down in the third the referee ruled it was a slip. Over the fourth, fifth and sixth Mock was pressing hard with Silva mostly stuck with his back to the ropes just trying to survive and Mock was well ahead on all three cards at the end of the sixth. As the Portuguese fighter tired Mock finally ended it in the seventh. A combination rounded off by a hard right had Silva wobbling stumbling backwards and the fight was halted. The 44-year-old DRC-born Mock, a former EU champion, goes to 13 wins id. He fought David Haye, Mario Veit, Lucien Bute and Gabriel Campillo before losing to Erik Skoglund in October 2013 and was then inactive until returning with a win in December last year. Silva, 32, had lost only one of his last nine fights but opposition not too hot.
Corley vs. Hadifi
Corley shows he can still be dangerous as he halts Hadifi. The Dane made the better start edging the first round but was down in the second only for the referee to rule it a slip. It was Corley’s turn to go down in the third but again there was no count. Corley had been outboxing Hadifi in the second and third and had his southpaw jab working well to also take the fourth. Hadifi had a better fifth as Corley seemed to be coasting but “Chop Chop” came back to life in the sixth landing a series of punches that saw the referee give Hadifi a standing count. The Dane was still wobbling and another barrage from Corley saw the fight stopped. The 41-year-old former WBO champion gets win No 25 by KO/TKO and breaks a four-bout losing streak. Hadifi, 30, Danish amateur champion in 2006/7/8 had won his eleven fights by KO/TKO and that made him think he was ready for someone as experienced as Corley but his 11 victims had combined records of 8-98 and 9 of them had failed to last out the first round so he had less than 17 rounds of experienced going into this one.
Offenbach, Germany: Light Heavy: Avni Yildirim (9-0) W PTS 12 Walter Sequeira (17-3). Cruiser: Enad Licina (29-4) W TKO 8 Drazan Janjanin (10-6). Light Heavy: Sedar Sahin (24-2) W KO 6 Beka Aduashvili (16-4). Welter: Selcuk Aydin (29-3) W TKO 1 Adnan Zilic (13-17).
Yildirim vs. Sequeira
Yildirim retains his WBC International Silver title with a hard-fought unanimous decision over Argentinian Sequeira. Usually the second string Argentinian boxers don’t travel well but that was not the case with Sequeira who was competitive all the way in a fight mostly fought inside. Yildirim made a good start taking the first two rounds with some clever boxing and a stiff jab. Sequeira started rolling from the third and Yildirim was often forced to fight on the back foot as Sequeira applied sustained pressure. The Turk kept his boxing together, even when they were both breaking the rules, and the rounds were close. The seventh was one of the best where Sequeira launched early attacks only for Yildirim to fire back later in an exciting contests. Yildirim’s better technique saw him open a winning points gap as he took the eighth and ninth but Sequeira battled back over the tenth and eleventh and they both put everything into the last round. Scores 117-111 from all three judges. The 24-year-old Yildirim was making the third defence of his title. He has a win over Glen Johnson and is No 13 win the WBC (but 19 with the EBU). Sequeira, 28, the WBC No 15, lost his first pro fight so going into this one had lost just once on a split decision in his last 18 fights. He fought hard here and although the scores were a good reflection of the fight he made some rounds close.
Licina vs. Janjanin
Licina continues his comeback with a stoppage of Janjanin to win the vacant WBC Mediterranean title. The German-based Serb had a big edge in experience and used it well to pace the bout. Janjanin had been fighting mainly at heavyweight and coming down from 220lbs in his last fight may have taken something out of him. Licina was breaking the B&H fighter down bit by bit and with Janjanin reeling on the ropes the referee made a well-timed intervention and stopped the fight. The 36-year-old Licina lost to Steve Cunningham for the IBF title in 2011 and again to Alex Alekseev for the vacant EBU title in 2012. He scored four wins and was then inactive for almost two years before returning in July last year . This victory extends his winning streak to 8 wins 7 by KO/TKO. Janjanin is 3-5 in his last 8 fights.
Sahin vs. Aduashvili
Sahin shows his power as he finishes brave Georgian Aduashvili in six rounds to win the vacant WBC EPBC title. Sahin is a hard puncher but Aduashvili was continually trying to get on the front foot and was looking to match punches with Sahin from the start. The Georgian was competitive over the early rounds but paid the price for mixing it with a harder puncher. By the end of the fifth he was very tired and his face was showing bruising from the attentions of Sahin’s punches. He was trying to trade in the sixth when a straight right from Sahin sent him falling backwards and down. He was badly shaken and really had nothing left but chose to fight on. He came forward throwing punches but Sahin chose his moment and drilled home another straight right which put Aduashvili down again. The referee started to count but could see Aduashvili was finished and the fight was stopped. The 34-year-old “Bomber” goes to 16 wins by KO/TKO. His two losses were against Robin Krasniqi in 2012 and Tony Averlant in May 2014. He had one more fight in 2014 and this was his first fight since then. Aduashvili turned pro at 16 and is just 18 now and too brave for his own good.
Aydin vs. Zilic
If you blinked you missed this one. Just six seconds into the fight Aydin seemed to throw a left and then the side of his head banged up against the right side of Zilic’s head. Zilic went down as if he had been shot flat on the canvas with his arms out in a crucifix position. He did not move a muscle until the count reached six and then he miraculously jumped to his feet by eight. He walked over to a neutral corner and as the referee went over to speak to Aydin he turned round to find Zilic had gone down on one knee and was holding onto the ropes clearly out of the fight. There was some discussion to clarify what happened with the punch/head clash with Zilic trying to convince everyone over the pain he was in and how it was solely due to the head clash. Zilic got the date wrong-the Oscars were on Saturday night not Friday and the referee was not fooled and Aydin was declared the winner. Aydin, 32, lost to Robert Guerrero for the interim WBC welter title in 2012 and to Viktor Postol in May 2014 and this is his third low level win since then.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Welter: Ntuthuko Memela (12-2-2) W RSF 10 Phillip Ndou (37-5). Big upset as unfancied Memela wins the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title with stoppage of former Floyd Mayweather Jr challenger Ndou. Southpaw Memela, 27, rated No 3 by BSA had only one fight in 2013 and one in 2014 and was 1-1 in two fights in 2015 so seemed no real threat to the much more experienced Ndou. Perhaps time and his own low level of activity just caught up with the 38-year-old fighter who was having only his second fight in almost three years.
Rustenburg, South Africa: Super Welter: Nkululeko Mhlongo (18-4) W RTD 9 Frans Ramabola (6-1). Feather: Koos Sibiya (18-10-4) W PTS 12 Ashley Dlamini (16-3-2).
Mhlongo vs. Ramabola
Mhlongo too experienced and too clever for inexperienced Ramabola and retains the WBFed Inter-Continental title. Ramabola was competitive early but then Mhlongo took control of the fight and never relinquished it. He used his height and reach to control the fight on the outside and also outpunched Ramabola on the inside. After a one-sided ninth round Ramabola retired. “The Bulldog” is the South African champion but in June last year lost in a challenge for the WBFed middle title in Brazil against Isaac Rodrigues. Mhlongo is a controversial character who when he feels he is coasting in a bout often fights with his right arm behind his back using only his left. These two were to have fought last year but Mhlongo lost two teeth when a guy smacked in the face with a brick. No mention as to whether his arm was behind his back at the time. Ramabola who holds the WBFed International and WBA Pan African titles, lacked the skill or experience to deal with Mhlongo.
Sibiya vs. Dlamini
These two fought a draw in 2013 for a Provincial title but this time Sibiya was a clear winner and collects the vacant WBFed All-African title. The WBFed gave the scores as 119-109, 119-111 and 117-110 all for Sibiya. Sibiya, the BSA No 2 had big edges in height and reach over the diminutive 5’1” (155cm) Dlamini and made that count this time. He left the sport in 2013 when he was 8-1-3 in a 12 bout sequence and did not return until losing a split decision to former IBF champion Mzonke Fana in March 2015. Dlamini, 32, the BSA No 8 had lost in 7 rounds against Jasper Seroka for the South African title in March last year .
Las Palmas, CI, Spain: Light: Jerobe Santana (11-0) W KO 5 Irakli Jeiranashvili (11-5-5). Seroka overcomes hand problem to get win. The unbeaten Canary Islander could not use his full power but ground the Georgian down before knocking him out in the fifth. Santana, 23, wins to vacant WBC Youth title in his first ten round bout and gets his fourth win by KO/TKO. Jeiranashvili typical Georgian fighter, 0-5 in fights outside Georgia,.
Madrid, Spain: Super Light: Nicolas Gonzalez (17-0) W TKO 8 Eloy Iglesias (14-3-2). Light: Cristian Morales (14-1-1) W PTS 10 Antonio Rodriguez (5-12-6). Bantam: Saul Tejada (8-6-2) W TKO 6 David Sanchez (10-5).
Gonzalez vs. Iglesias
Gonzalez retains the national title but has to come from behind for his win. Iglesias showed excellent skills outboxing the champion early. Gonzalez was trying to cut down the space for Iglesias and trap him on the ropes but Iglesias was showing plenty of movement and staying out of trouble although also trading too much for his corner’s liking. By the end of the sixth Iglesias had built a lead but Gonzalez was pressing all the time and in the seventh Iglesias was fading fast. A fusillade of 14-15 punches from Gonzalez with nothing coming back from Iglesias saw the fight stopped. Local fighter Gonzalez, 27, was making the first defence of his Spanish title. He has 12 wins by KO/TKO and is rated EU 22. Iglesias, a 25-year-old from Zaragoza, was 7-0-1 in his last 8 fights but this was his first fight scheduled for more than eight rounds.
Morales vs. Rodriguez
The Sergio Martinez managed Morales also retains his Spanish title. Morales made more use of his edges in height and reach than usual fighting a careful, controlled fight. He is not a power puncher but was scoring with his jab, straight rights and hooks with Rodriguez scoring with occasional counter rights. Rodriguez stepped up his attacks over the last three rounds and made up some ground but not enough. Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 96-94 for Morales. The 30-year-old Morales was making the first defence of the national title and is now 13-0-1 in his last 14 fights and the EU No 17. Rodriguez does not give up easily. This is his sixth attempt to win a national title in a third division and he is 0-4-2 in those six title fights but don’t rule out a 7th time lucky try.
Tejada vs. Sanchez
Another come from behind win as unfancied Tejada halts Sanchez to win the vacant Spanish title. It was all Sanchez at the start. He had had the better of the action over the first three rounds with Tejada being close to suffering a knockdown a couple of time. Sanchez continued his attacks in the fourth and blasted Tejada with only the ropes stopping Tejada from falling and the referee applied a standing count. It looked as though Sanchez was on his way to an inside the distance win but Tejada’s corner told him his only chance was to take a chance and put everything into a big attack and in the sixth he stunned Sanchez with a couple rights and put Sanchez down. Sanchez was badly shaken and he spat out his gumshield to get more time and it was 25 seconds between him going down and the fight restarting. That was still not enough time and when Tejada put Sanchez down for the second time the fight was stopped. Tejada, 30, was 3-3 last year with the three loses being away jobs in the USA, France and Canada but he showed plenty of spirit here to come back from what looked like a bad loss to snatch a gutsy win. Sanchez challenged for this same title in 2013 and lost and did not return to action until last year when he scored 4 wins in a row by KO/TKO.
Surin, Thailand: Light Fly: Jesse Espinas (13-2) W TKO 8 Paipharob (32-1). Feather: Tepparith (32-3) W TKO 6 Matthis Bernot (0-8).
Espinas vs. Paipharob
Espinas upsets the odds with stoppage of home fighter and wins the WBO Orient title. In an even first round Filipino Espinas showed he was quicker and more mobile with the Thai stronger. Espinas easily took the second round he was using plenty of upper body movement to avoid the Thai’s punches and quick footwork to move around and change angles with Paipharob too slow to respond. Paipharob had a better third as he was finally able to take Espinas to the ropes but the Filipino was still throwing lots of quick but light punches. In the fourth a left hook from Espinas put Paipharob down but the Thai rallied at the end of the round. Over the next three rounds Espinas boxed beautifully. Constantly moving and firing combinations of hooks and uppercuts with Paipharob bewildered by the speed and variety of the punishment coming his way. The Thai tried to take the fight to Espinas in the eighth but a right to the body put him down by the ropes. He made it to his feet but when the action resumed Espinas exploded with another series of hooks and Paipharob slumped to the floor with the fight being stopped immediately. The 23-year-old Filipino “Little Giant” has now won 10 of his last 11 fights. Paipharob, 32, The “King of Knockout” had won 9 of his previous 11 fights by KO/TKO and was rated WBO 2/WBA 4/IBF 6(4),but he was outclassed here.
Tepparith vs. Bernot
Tepparith much too strong for Frenchman Bernot. The Thai was loading up on his punches from the start. Bernot had the height and reach and showed some good skills but lacked the power to compete. A big right put Bernot down in the third and he was badly staggered by punches in the fourth and fifth. In the sixth a thunderous left hook crashed into Bernot’s chin and went down and out cold with the fight immediately waived over. The 27-year-old “Astro Boy” was knocked out in four rounds by Kohei Kono for the WBA title in 2012, his only loss in his last 30 fights. Second loss by KO/TKO for Bangkok-based Bernot.
Bangkok, Thailand: Super Light: Patomsuk (31-4-1,1ND) ND 2 Steve Ferdinandus (18-10-1,1ND) This one ended just as it was warming up. Aussie-based Indonesian southpaw Ferdinandus had huge advantages in height and reach and Patomsuk was having some success getting inside but not a lot. Ferdinandus was holding his hands low and shooting out his southpaw jab in a fairly even first round. In the second Patomsuk ducked inside and his head came up they clashed and Ferdinandus had a deep gash over his left eye. The fight was stopped and after much discussion was declared a No decision so the vacant IBF International title remains vacant.
Palm Bay, FL,USA: Super Fly: Ricardo Rodriguez (13-3) W PTS 10 Miguel Cartagena (14-3). Rodriguez wins the vacant WBO Latino title with points victory over Cartagena. It looked as though Rodriguez was on his way to a stoppage win when he floored Cartagena in the sixth but Cartagena survived. Cartagena was helped by a break for a low punch from Rodriguez in the seventh but he was never really in the fight as Rodriguez boxed his way to victory. Scores 99-90 twice and 98-91. Good win for the 26-year-old Mexican who was supposed to provide a good test but also to lose against former top amateur Cartagena. The danger signs were there as Rodriguez climbed off the floor to only lose on a split decision against former WBO title challenger David Carmona in October. Philadelphian Cartagena, 23, look a real prospect when he won both the US National title and the NGG’s but a 104 seconds kayo loss to Puerto Rican Emmanuel Rodriguez last year was a huge set back.
Manchester, England: Super Bantam: Carl Frampton (22-0) W PTS 12 Scott Quigg (31-1-2). Super Bantam: Gavin McDonnell (15-0-2) W PTS 12 Jorge Sanchez (15-1). Feather: Isaac Lowe (12-0-1) W TKO 8 Marco McCullough (14-3). Light Heavy: Hosea Burton (15-0) W TKO 6 Miles Shinkwin (12-1).Bantam: Ryan Burnett (13-0) W PTS 10 Anthony Settoul (21-5). Fly: Charlie Edwards (7-0) W PTS 10 Luke Wilton (16-5-1). Light Welter: Josh Taylor( 4-0) W TKO 2 Lyes Chaibi (14-10-2).
Frampton vs. Quigg
It was impossible for this fight to live up to expectations and in the end although it was a close fought contest it never really caught fire in the way expected with Frampton winning a split decision although many felt it should have been unanimous. Both made a cautious start with Frampton seeming to settle quickest but neither really dominated or scored with anything significant which was reflected in the score cards which read 20-18, 18-20 and 19-19 after three rounds. Frampton got into gear in the third getting through with his jab and slotting home some crisp hooks whilst Quigg was static and not letting his punches go. In the fourth Quigg landed his best punch to that point as he clattered home a hard right, but again Frampton was busier and by the end of the fourth had build a handy lead on two cards 40-36 and 39-37 for Frampton and the third seeing Quigg in front at 39-38. Frampton had built momentum over the third and fourth round and he sustained it over the next three rounds. The fifth saw Frampton boxing beautifully being first to the punch and outmanoeuvring Quigg who still did not seem as quick or fluid as in the past. His passive performance had the crowd becoming restless by the seventh as they were not getting the fiery Quigg they expected. Frampton was not loading up on his punches or landing bombs but he was throwing and landing more than Quigg as the WBA champion seemed to be letting the fight get away with him by default. Quigg suddenly seemed to wake up in the eighth and had a good round for the first time since way back at the start of the fight. That small recovery did not cancel out Frampton’s work in rounds , 5, 6 and 7 and at the end of the eighth Frampton had a commanding lead on two of the cards at 79-73 and 78-74 but with the third deciding Frampton had just closed the one point gap from the fourth and having it level at 76-76. Now it was Quigg who had the momentum and he attacked in the ninth having Frampton pinned to the ropes briefly as the fight finally came to life. Quigg was finishing strongly but with Frampton showing a champions resolve by fighting back hard with sharp flurries and body punches and outscoring Quigg in the last to ensure the decision did not slip away from him. Scores 116-112 twice to Frampton and 115-113 to Quigg. Frampton unifies the IBF and WBA titles. It was not a great fight but the result was more important than entertaining as both fighters at peak performance were capable of winning and the prize in the shape of future big fights was huge. Frampton, 29, showed a good boxing brain to go with his punching power and skills and was the deserved winner. The WBA have said he must fight Guillermo Rigondeaux next but that will not be a big attraction and Frampton may decided to let that title go as fights with either Leo Santa Cruz or Nonito Donaire would be huge events. Knowing in retrospect that a crunching uppercut in the fourth broke Quigg’s jaw the former WBA champions performance in going eight rounds with that injury puts a different complexion on his performance. Even without the jaw injury he might still have been outboxed by Frampton but it might also have made him less negative over the middle rounds where the fight was won and lost. Quigg did not become a poor fighter overnight. The 27-year-old from Bury is a top quality fighter with real power and when his injury heals he will quickly work his way back into contention with a return with Frampton as the target
McDonnell vs. Sanchez
McDonnell adds the vacant WBC Silver title to his collection with wide unanimous decision over overmatched Panamanian. McDonnell had huge edges in height and reach and Sanchez had no idea how to overcome them. He made a frantic start to the fight throwing plenty of wild punches. McDonnell imposed himself on the fight in the second and late in the round floored Sanchez with a right. Sanchez survived and hit back with a heavy right in the third but McDonnell was fighting a smart fight blocking the Panamanian’s punches and using his reach and speed to spear Sanchez with jabs and slotting home long rights. Sanchez began to tire from the midway mark and the fight became one-sided as McDonnell continued to find gaps in the defence of Sanchez who was confined to wild lunging attempts to get inside and McDonnell eased his way to victory. Scores 119-108, 118-109 and 118-110. The 29-year-old from Doncaster, the twin brother of Jamie McDonnell the holder of the secondary WBA bantam title, is No 9 with the WBC but could climb higher for winning the Silver title. “El Bufalo” Sanchez, 25, had no right fighting for such a high prestige title. He never fought anyone of consequence but in a typical piece of cynical manipulation he went from not being in the top 40 in the WBC ratings in January to No 14 in February!!
Lowe vs. McCullough
Impressive showing by English champion Lowe as he halts McCullough to win the vacant CBC title. Lowe got the better of a closely contested first round with some choice body punches. McCullough seemed to be slow to get into the fight and Lowe doubled his lead by getting through with some nice combinations in the second. McCullough had a better third when he finally let his hands go and ended the round with a cracking right. From there Lowe took over the fight. Clearly outworking McCullough in the fourth and sixth and McCullough’s task was made even harder when he suffered a bad cut over his left eye in a clash of heads. Lowe dominated the seventh and in the eighth and a cracking left hook saw the Belfast boxer’s corner throw in the towel and the referee stopped the fight. The 22-year-old “Westgate Warrior” had fought a tough draw with Ryan Doyle in defending his English title in November but was much sharper here. McCullough, 26, is a better fighter than he showed here and he will come again.
Burton vs. Shinkwin
Former top amateur Burton wins the vacant British title with his cousin Tyson Fury urging him on. It was an impressive win but not an easy win. Shinkwin was very much in the fight early and a punch broke Burton’s nose. However Burton’s power showed early as he floored Shinkwin with a body punch in the second. Shinkwin got up and back into the fight wisely choosing not to trade but to box and the third and fourth rounds were close with Shinkwin getting in some hard punches of his own. Burton blasted his way back in the fifth dropping Shinkwin with a right. Again Shinkwin beat the count but it was only a matter of time now. Burton fired home a big right in the sixth that had Shinkwin badly shaken and the referee made a timely intervention. The 6’4” (193cm), 27-year-old new British champion makes it 5 wins by KO/TKO. He was ABA champion in 2009 and runner-up in 2010 and with his height and power can be a force as he progresses. Shinkwin was BBB of C Southern Area champion and had won 6 his last 8 fights by KO/TKO. He was just up against a harder puncher but will take in the lesson’s and be challenging again.
Burnett vs. Settoul
Burnett adds a third title to his cabinet as he outpoints tough Frenchman Settoul to win the vacant WBC International title. Settoul showed some good skills working his jab in the first round but Burnett was just that little bit more busy. Really from there the superior speed and skill of the Belfast fighter allowed him to control the fight. He had Settoul rocking with a right in the third but Settoul is an experienced fighter and he managed to get out of trouble and stay competitive-up to a point. In reality he was just surviving but doing it with some neat boxing and clever defensive work but did not have the power to really get Burnett’s respect. It was one-way traffic in the fourth and in the fifth a thunderous right put Settoul down heavily. The Frenchman showed guts and guile to get through the rest of the round. Burnett handed out more punishment in the sixth but Settoul had regained some momentum and the seventh and the round looked about even. He withstood some heavy pressure in the eighth and ninth but had lost every round. Scores 100-89 twice and 100-90. Burnett , just 23, already holds the British and WBO European titles . He could be the next “King of Belfast”. He was a brilliant amateur claiming a 94-4 record. He won 7 All-Ireland titles and four Ulster titles and won a silver at the World Youth Championships and a gold at the Olympic Youth Games with only a serious back injury preventing from adding further titles. One to watch. Settoul, 29, is a former French and EU champion but lost in two rounds in July when thrown in with Nonito Donaire.
Edwards vs. Wilton
English champion Edwards wins the vacant WBC International Silver title. Edwards, twice an ABA champion, was just too sharp and quick for Wilton. He classy skills were too much for Wilton who was never able to get into the fight or really get any traction on his attacks. Edwards was so superior that it was almost a boxing lesson as Edwards continually changed the angel of his attacks and slotted home sharp punches from both hands in round after round. Scores 100-90 from all three judges. The 23-year-old from Epsom is yet another great English talent coming through. He was European Schoolboys champion, twice ABA champion and a European Championships bronze medallist but turned pro when his chances of qualifying for Rio looked to have slipped away. Belfast-based Wilton, a former British and CBC title challenger, was thrown in over his head against Lee Haskins in March 2014 as a late substitute and was stopped in two rounds. He had one more fight in May 2014 and this was his first fight since then.
Taylor vs. Chaibi
Scotland’s Taylor makes it four wins as a pro. The tall former amateur star took the first round and ended it in the second with a barrage of punches. Taylor, 25. Is the most promising young fighter in Scotland. As an amateur he won silver and then gold at the Commonwealth Games and competed at both the 2012 Olympics and the 2013 World Championships. So far the Edinburgh southpaw “The Tartan Tornado” has two wins in the first round and two in the second and there have been comparisons to another Edinburgh boxer named Ken Buchanan but a long way to go yet. Only the second loss by KO/TKO for Chaibi.
New York, NY, USA: Super Light: Terence Crawford (28-0) W TKO 5 Henry Lundy (26-6-1). Light: Felix Verdejo (20-0) W PTS 10 William Silva (23-1). Super Light: Julian Rodriguez (12-0) W PTS 8 King Daluz (12-3-2). Light Heavy: Sean Monaghan (27-0) W TKO 5 Janne Forsman (21-4). Feather: Christopher Diaz (15-0) W TKO 4 Angel Luna (11-2-1). Super Light: Emmanuel Taylor (19-4) W KO 6 Wilfredo Acuna (16-19).
Crawford vs. Lundy
Crawford makes it three inside the distance wins in a row in WBO title fights. Lundy was fired up for this and after some early sparring he leapt in to score with a couple of left hooks which made Crawford decide to turn southpaw and despite both letting their hands fly at the end of the round Lundy looked to have done enough early to edge the round. In the second Crawford was making good use of his height and reach as he probed with his right jab. Lundy had to leap forward to get anywhere near Crawford who was taking a quick step back and countering. There were few punches landed as Crawford just kept stabbing out the jab, never once throwing his left but again doing enough to take the round. Crawford dominated the third with his jab forcing Lundy onto the back foot and continually stabbing out the jab and throwing in a couple of straight lefts. It was a clinical, patient display by Crawford as he kept Lundy out. Lundy managed to get through with one quick jab but there were no sustained exchanges as Crawford collected the round. In the fourth Crawford was moving in behind the jab more and stepped up the pace letting the left go and Lundy just could not get inside to work. After four rounds two judges had Crawford in front 40-36 and one had the fight even. In the fifth again Crawford was fighting mainly with the jab and Lundy managed to get inside and score with a left hook. Crawford threw two jabs with the second scoring and he followed that with a straight left and as Lundy tried to duck away from it Crawford landed a chopping left suddenly making Lundy’s legs shake. Crawford trapped Lundy on the ropes throwing a series of punch with a long straight left sending Lundy tumbling into the ropes and down in a corner. Lundy was up at seven but was obviously badly hurt. Crawford trapped him in the same corner throwing a barrage of lefts and rights until the referee jumped in to save Lundy. Crawford, 28, retains his WBO title in his first defence. He was patient at the start establishing control with his jab before finishing the job with impressive power. Lundy was not a dangerous challenger but Crawford again looked one of the best fighters on the planet. Lundy, 32, looked confident early but never really figured out a way to counter Crawford’s jab and was unhinged by some ferocious punching from the champion for his second loss by KO/TKO. He was lucky to get the title shot after consecutive losses to Thomas Dulorme and Mauricio Herrera but he did his best which was never going to be enough to beat Crawford.
Verdejo vs. Silva
Verdejo too good at everything for the taller Brazilian but despite showcasing his multiple skills he fails to put Silva away. From the first Verdejo was quickest with his jab and kept moving to create angles and a static Silva had no answer. Despite the 6’1” (185cm) height and longer reach Silva was being out jabbed by the young Puerto Rican but showed some good movement of his own. Despite winning every round Verdejo was not able to nail Silva with a really big punch although the Brazilian’s face was showing some wear and tear. By the ninth there was a swelling by Silva’s left eye and Verdejo stepped up his attacks and scored heavily over the last two rounds rocking the Brazilian at times but having to settle for a disappointing points victory. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. The 22-year-old Puerto Rican retains his WBO Latino title. He has flashing skills and real punch power and is rated WBA 2/WBO 3/IBF 7(5)/WBC 12. With Anthony Crolla set to defend the WBA title against No 1 Ismael Barroso, Verdejo would move into the mandatory challenger slot although being Puerto Rican he might prefer to wait the outcome of the Terry Flanagan vs. Jose Zepeda return and then go for the winner in a WBO title fight. Silva, 28, had scored some wins outside of Brazil and beaten some decent level South American fighters but he had no plan for countering the speed and skill of Verdejo.
Rodriguez vs. Daluz
Spaniard Daluz out of his depth on his US debut. Daluz probably did enough to share an early round but Rodriguez was always going to be the winner with how being the only question. The closest Rodriguez came to an inside the distance win was in the seventh when he floored Daluz but the tall Spaniard has never lost by KO/TKO and he lasted to the end. Scores 80-71 twice and 79-72 for “Hammer Hands” Rodriguez. The 23-year-old from New Jersey has 5 first round wins so the ring time will do him good. “King” Daluz,he is really Juan Carlos which are the same first names of the king of Spain hence the nickname, had won his last three fights but could not match the power of Rodriguez.
Monaghan vs. Forsman
World Rated Monaghan halts Finn but takes to many incoming hits for comfort. Forsman’s most recent losses have both come inside two rounds and Monaghan seemed to have that in his mind as he was throwing with bad intentions from the start. Forsman decided to just walk forward and trade and although he stood up to some punishing hits he also found it easy to land on Monaghan. In the third Monaghan started to work his opening instead of bludgeoning Forsman. The Finn was fading in the fourth and with Forsman taking a battering on the ropes the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. The 34-year-old from Long Beach has 17 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated WBA 4/WBO 5/IBF 6/WBC 10 but time is running out and he would find that both Sergey Kovalev and Adonis Stevenson punch too hard for him. Forsman, 33, was 19-1 in his first 20 fights but when he tried to move up he was stopped in two rounds by Ovill McKenzie and in his last fight in December in one round by Avni Yildirim.
Diaz vs. Luna
Diaz wins this Puerto Rico vs. Dominican Republic contest with a clean kayo of Luna. Diaz was the better boxer and the harder puncher and he was on top whether the action was in close or at a distance. He stepped-up his attacks in the third finishing the round with a flourish landing a sequence of fast punches. In the fourth Luna was trying to turn things around with some aggression but a great left hook crashed onto the Dominicans’ chin. Somehow Luna did not go down but he was certainly out of the fight and it was stopped immediately. Diaz, 21, now has 9 wins by KO/TKO including 5 in his last 6 starts. Luna had lost to Tevin Farmer on points in April last year but had rebounded with a win over unbeaten Jose Lopez (15-0-1) so was a live test on paper.
Taylor vs. Acuna
Taylor beats down Nicaraguan southpaw Acuna and ends the fight in the sixth. The aim was to get “The Tranzformer” back in the winning column and that was something Acuna could not deny. Taylor was well on top most of the way and he dropped Acuna for the full count just before the end of the sixth round. Taylor had scored good wins over Ray Serrano and Victor Cayo to get to the fringes of the ratings. That turned to ashes when he lost 3 of his next 4 fights including high class opposition in Chris Algieri, Adrien Broner and Antonio Orozco. This was the 25-year-old from Maryland’s first fight since losing to Orozco in May so he will be looking to stay busy and get back into some quality fights. Acuna, 34, is 2-11 in his last 13 but was coming off an upset win over unbeaten Wilkins Santiago.
Anaheim, CA,USA: Feather: Leo Santa Cruz (32-0-1) W KO 5 Kiko Martinez (35-7). Super Bantam: Hugo Ruiz (36-3) W KO 1 Julio Ceja (30-2). Feather: Claudio Marrero (20-1) W PTS 6 Jonathan Arrellano (16-7-2). Cruiser: Mike Hunter (11-0) W KO 1 Phil Williams (15-8-2). Welter: Ceferino Rodriguez (21-1) W PTS 6 Edgar Riovalle (38-20-2). Super Bantam: Rey Vargas (26-0) W TKO 3 Christian Esquivel (28-9).
Santa Cruz vs. Martinez
Being shorter and with short arms Martinez had to get inside if he was to have any chance in the fight and he came right at Santa Cruz from the start. After less than 30 seconds as the Spaniard moved in a short chopping right to the left side of Martinez’s head saw him fall sideward’s to his knees. He was up immediately and after the eight count tried to take the fight to Santa Cruz but was forced duck and weave under a storm of punches. He saw out that storm and he was barrelling forward again pistoning out punches. However he was walking onto hooks and uppercuts and overhand rights and another one of those right to the head put Martinez down for a second time in the round. Once again Martinez was up quickly and had another 68 seconds of the round to survive. He was caught by right after right and left hooks as he made no attempt to hide or hold and actually landed two good rights of his own before Santa Cruz unloaded more rights and left hooks to the bell. It was an amazing show of sheer courage from Martinez that he lasted out those three minutes. Despite what had happened in the first round Martinez had no choice but to take the fight to Santa Cruz again . Santa Cruz went down from what looked like part punch and part loss of balance but no count was applied. A straight right sent Martinez back on his heels but he trundled forward just walking through hard punches from Santa Cruz scoring inside with little hooks and uppercuts. The champion must have been wondering how Martinez was not only still there but forcing Santa Cruz to the ropes for periods. The third was more of the same. Martinez just marched through a whole load of punishment with Santa Cruz being forced back around the ring. The Mexican was handing out a tremendous amount of punishment but Martinez never stopped throwing shots of his own many of which got through and giving Santa Cruz a nose bleed as a right sent blood flying onto the shoulder of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz spent almost all of the fourth round with his back to the ropes as Martinez tracked him around the perimeter of the ring however although Santa Cruz was still banging in counters Martinez was not throwing as many punches as he had earlier. In the fifth with Martinez still marching forward Santa Cruz fired off a succession of hard straight head punches forcing Martinez back into a corner. For the next 20 seconds Santa Cruz just piled in punch after punch with the sheer volume overwhelming Martinez and the referee stopped in to save the too brave Spaniard from any more punishment. The 27-year-old former IBF bantam and WBC super bantam champion was making the first defence of his WBA title. No one thought this would be a tough fight for Santa Cruz but there must have been times when Santa Cruz wondered what he would have to do to stop Martinez and the Spaniard was still on his feet at the finish. Santa Cruz now wants to move back down to super bantam to fight Carl Frampton but the WBA may insist he fights Jesus Cuellar the holder of their secondary title. Martinez, 29, the former IBF and European super bantam showed courage and determination beyond the call of duty but too many beatings like this can’t be good for him.
Ceja vs. Ruiz
This one is all over in less than a minute as Ruiz both wins the WBC title and revenge for a past defeat. The fight had hardly warmed-up when Ruiz tried a right cross. Ceja avoided it and backed towards the ropes. Ruiz fired another right over the top of Ceja’s left. It crashed into Ceja’s chin and sent him to the canvas on his right side. He fell heavily and it was obvious as he struggled to rise that he had injured his right ankle. The referee had a look at Ceja who said he wanted to continue but it was pointless. As Ruiz plunged forward throwing punches Ceja was trapped on the ropes and with no balance he could only try to cover up and Ruiz flailed away with punches until the referee stopped the fight. Post fight examinations showed that Ceja had suffered a fractured right ankle when he went down. Ruiz, 29, a former interim WBA champion gets a full title. He has 32 wins by KO/TKO and gets revenge for a stoppage loss to Ceja in August last year for the interim WBC title when both fighters were on the floor. Ceja was making the first defence of the full WBC title. He had lost a majority decision to Jamie McDonnell for the vacant IBF title in 2013. He was unlucky here but at 23 he will come again and win a title again.
Marrero vs. Arrellano
Just a keep busy fight for Dominican Marrero. He had Arrellano down in the third from a right but Arrellano got up and then seemed more intent on survival over the remaining rounds. Scores 60-53 from all three judges. The 26-year-old Dominican southpaw lost on points to Jesus Cuellar for the interim WBA title in 2013 and this is his sixth win in a row including a third round kayo of Rico Ramos in July. He is at No 5 with the WBA so some work to do to get another title shot. Arrellano, 28, has seen his career sink. He won his first 14 fights but is 3-7-1 in his last 11although coming off a win over Mike Oliver.
Hunter vs. Williams
Hunter feasts on overmatched Williams and gets his fourth one round win. Hunter blitzed Williams with a shower of punches and put him down. Williams made it to his feet but was finished and the referee stopped the fight. Hunter makes it 4 wins in a row and looks sharper down at cruiser . No serious tests yet but at 27 he has time. As an amateur he was twice US champion, a NGG champion and was tied with Artur Beterbiev at 10-10 each at the 2012 Olympics but lost on the judges vote. Williams. 38, gets his fifth loss by KO/TKO but was coming off an upset win over local rival Al Sands (15-1) in Minnesota in August.
Rodriguez vs. Riovalle
Spaniard Rodriguez wins in his US debut. The Sergio Martinez managed boxer won every round as he had superior skills to the experienced Mexican. Rodriguez went all out for a kayo in the last round but Riovalle has been in with some tough opposition and he made it safely to the final bell. Scores 60-54 from all three judges. “Ferino V”, 27, is a former undefeated Spanish and EU champion. After winning his first 18 fights he suffered an upset points defeat against French southpaw Mohamed Mimoune in April last year and this is his third win since then. He is No 7 with the EBU. Riovalle,27, is 2-6 in his last 8 fights but the opposition in the run includes Diego Magdaleno, Mercito Gesta and Anthony Peterson.
Vargas vs. Esquivel
Vargas gets another inside the distance win as he finishes Esquivel in three. Vargas had Esquivel under pressure in the first and put him down with a body punch in the second. Esquivel survive to the bell but a sustained attack from Vargas in the third saw Esquivel’s corner throwing in the towel and the fight was halted. The 25-year-old from Guadalajara is the WBC No 1 and a clash with the new champion Hugo Ruiz would match two big hitters with Vargas having 81% KO/TKO stat and Ruiz 82%. It should come off later this year although Vargas rated No 4(3) by the IBF was also talking up a fight with Carl Frampton. “Italiano” Esquivel is on the down slope. The 29-year-old Mexican, a former WBC Silver champion who lost to Shinsuke Yamanaka for the vacant WBC title in 2011, has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights.
Halle, Germany: Cruiser: Marco Huck (39-3-1) W RTD 10 Ola Afolabi (22-5-4). Super Middle: Dominik Britsch (32-2-1) W PTS 8 Slavisa Simeunovic (19-14). Super Welter: Besar Nimani (29-1) W TKO 3 Chris Herrmann (21-9-1). Super Middle: Semir Bajrovic (15-1-2) W RTD 4 Gary Abajyan (30-24-1).
Huck vs. Afolabi
Huck gets win when Afolabi is unable to continue due to an injury to the Londoner’s left eye. Huck looked quicker at the start as Afolabi could not seem to find the range for his punches. Huck was allowing Afolabi to come forward but Afolabi was not letting his hands go apart from some left jabs and Huck was blocking those and doing what scoring there was. The fight was bad tempered and untidy at times with Huck guilty of using his elbow and his head. Afolabi did some better work in the second and took that but in the third Huck scored with some heavy rights with Afolabi just too slow and static and just pawing with his jab. A problem had already appeared for Afolabi in a swelling by his left eye caused in a clash of heads. In the fourth Huck scored with rights and had Afolabi cornered and landed a series to head and body punches and had a good fifth round having Afolabi momentarily shaken with head punches. Afolabi came to life in the sixth and did enough to shade that round but at the half way point Huck was ahead on all three cards at 58-56 twice and 59-55. Despite his left eye being almost closed Afolabi seemed to take the seventh although all of the judges gave it to Huck. Afolabi made a good start to the eighth but Huck took over and scored with some heavy hooks when he trapped Afolabi on the ropes and later in the round with a series of punches from both hands. It was a similar pattern in the ninth with Afolabi starting the round well but Huck shaking him with a straight right and a two-handed series of punches. Huck launched another attack at the end of the round but in the series he landed one after the bell and the referee deducted a point for that infraction. Afolabi continued to come forward in the tenth and despite his left eye being totally closed he did enough to shade the round. However at the bell his corner retired Afolabi due to the restriction to his vision. Huck wins the IBO title and this was the first fight between these two where Afolabi went in as champion as Huck was 2-0-1 in three defences of his WBO title in their previous fights. The 31-year-old Huck now wants a return fight with Krzys Glowacki who knock Huck out in eleven rounds in August to lift the WBO title in what was Huck’s 15th defence. Afolabi was making the first defence of his IBO title which he had won with a kayo of Rakhim Chakhkiev in November. Despite looking a bit shop-worn at the end of the tenth Afolabi was still strong with two of the judges having him winning that round. At that point, with the deduction , two judges had it 95-93 for Huck so a strong finish from Afolabi could have resulted in a majority draw but the injury ruled that out.
Britsch vs. Simeunovic
Britsch eases to points win over Simeunovic. Britsch was always in command in this one scoring freely with his jab and, hooks and uppercuts but never looked like ending it early. Scores 80-73 from all three judges. German Britsch, 28, was 26-0 until fighting a draw and then being stopped by Spaniard Roberto Santos in 2012 which cost Britsch his EU title. He suffered an even bigger set back in April 2014 when he lost on points in a return fight against previous victim Italian-based Tunisian Soufiene Ouerghi (6-3). He was then inactive until returning with a win July last year. B & H fighter Simeunovic is in a rut. He is 5-6 in his last 11 bouts with the series going L/W/L/W etc.
Nimani vs. Herrmann
Nimani makes it 17 wins by KO/TKO as he blows away German Hermann inside three rounds. Hermann was competitive in the first but after that it was all Nimani. He floored Hermann in the second and ended it in the third. He scored with a combination to the head and then put Hermann down with a left hook to the body. Hermann got up but was put down by a left to the head and the referee stopped the fight. The 30-year-old German-based fighter from Kosovo won 18 in a row before the tough, experienced Frenchman Frank Haroche Horta came into Nimani’s home base last April and halted him in three rounds. Now three wins on the bounce since then for Nimani. Hermann is 2-5 in his last 7 fights including one round losses to Max Bursak and Matthew Macklin.
Bajrovic vs. Abajyan
Bajrovic gets inside the distance win due to injury suffered by Georgian Abajyan. The Georgian edged the first round scoring with quick jabs from behind a high guard. Bajrovic was boxing on the back foot and took the second countering the aggressive Abajyan. Bajrovic took the third and had the better of the early action in the fourth before Abajyan suffered an injury to his left shoulder and retired at the end of the round. Serbian Bajrovic, 24, is 7-0-1 in his last 8 fights but all against fighters with negative records. Abajyan, 42, a former WBU champion (German version) came in as a late selection.
Quilmes, Argentina: Middle: Claudio Abalos (30-14-3) W PTS 12 Noe Gonzalez Alcoba (30-5). Southpaw Abalos retains his South American title and gets revenge against Gonzalez with unanimous decision in an exciting incident filled battle. Abalos had the better technique and made a promising start as he floored Gonzalez in the second and then again in the sixth. He built a commanding lead and looked to be coasting to victory with the right eye of Gonzalez gradually swelling more and more until a dramatic ninth. Gonzalez, by far the harder puncher exploded and floored Abalos twice coming within a punch of victory. Abalos survived and took the tenth but then he was deducted a point in the eleventh but won the last. Scores 116-107 twice and 115-108 all for Abalos. It was the sixth defence of the South American title for Abalos. He won the title in 2008. He has also won and lost the Argentinian middle title and challenged unsuccessfully for the national super middle title since then. In his last fight in September last year he was knocked out in six rounds by Jorge Heiland Matthew Macklin’s conqueror and WBC No 1. Uruguayan Gonzalez, 36, lost to Felix Sturm for the WBA middle tile in 2007 and then scored 15 wins before being stopped in two rounds by Adonis Stevenson for the WBC Silver title in 2012. After that he suffered back-to-back losses inside the distance to Geroge Groves and Rocky Fielding. His loss to Rocky Fielding in July 2014 saw him inactive until this fight.
Darwin, Australia: Heavy: Peter Graham (11-3-1) W TEC DEC 6 Julius Long (17-20,1ND). Heavy: Willie Nasio (8-1) W Joel Clifton (4-1).
Graham vs. Long
Graham wins the vacant WBFound title with technical decision over New Zealand-based American Long. With Graham giving away 7” in height -6’6” 198cm x 7’1” 216cm-and as much in reach he was always going to be coming inside with Long not wanting him to work there. Heads clashed and Long was cut over his left eye but it was not serious enough for the fight to be stopped. Graham was doing the scoring and had built a good lead but he was cut later over his right eye and that was much worse and the fight was halted in the sixth and went to the score cards. Graham was in front 50-46 on two cards and 48-47 on the third. The 40-year-old from Sydney, already a world kickboxing champion in the past, turned pro in 2000 and lost his first three fights. He then went 6-0-1 before giving up boxing in 2002 and did not return to the ring until 2012. He was inactive in 2014 but won both the Australian and WBO Asia Pacific titles in 2015. Long, 38, was 2-11 going in but had won his last fight by outpointing unbeaten former Australian champion Justin Whitehead in November.
Nasio vs. Clifton
Nasio wins the Australian title vacated by Graham with knockout of Clifton. Nasio handed out heavy punishment which had Clinton bleeding heavily from the nose. A big right in the fourth put Clifton down and out. New Zealander Nasio very much sees himself as Australian now after leaning much of his fighting skills back in his original home on the streets of South Auckland. He is 5’11 ½” (182cm) but weighed in at 257lbs (116kgs) so needs to shed some weight. Clifton’s biggest fight has been outside the ring. He served with the Australian Army in Afghanistan and East Timor and three years ago there was doubt if he would ever walk again after two bouts of surgery to repair bone and muscle damage to his hip so the important things is that he won that battle.
Mississauga, Canada: Super Welter: Sam Vargas (24-2-1) W PTS 8 Edgar Ortega (16-4). Canadian-based Colombian Vargas moved to 8 wins in his last 9 fights with a points victory the taller Mexican Ortega. Scores 77-74 twice and 78-74. The 28-year-old Vargas has suffered losses to Pablo Munguia and Errol Spence but has rebounded from the Spence lost last April with 4 wins. “Nene” Ortega was also beaten by Munguia and last time out lost to highly touted prospect Alex Saucedo.
Nuremburg, Germany: Middle: Nuhu Lawal (22-0) W PTS 10 Soufiene Ouerghi (10-4).
German-based Nigerian Lawal wins decision over Italian-based Tunisian Ouerghi. The 33-year-old Lawal had Ouerghi down from a hard right and rocked on a few occasions but had to settle for a points win . The 33-year-old Nigerian holds the GBU world title and it is a pity he does not get higher profile fights. Ouerghi had won his last 5 fights including a win over Dominik Britsch (281-1-1).
Lilliendaal, Guyana: Bantam: Elton Dharry (20-5-1) W RTD 4 Felix Machado (10-7-1).Fly: Dexter Marques (15-2) W PTS 10 Freddy Beleno (26-11).
Dharry vs. Machado
“The Bull” extends his current winning run as he hunts and hurts Venezuelan oldie Machado enough for Machado retire at the end of the fourth round. Dharry was looking for an emphatic win in the hope it would open the door for him to challenge for the CBC title and despite slipping to the canvas four times due to a wet canvas at the outdoor fight he forced Machado out of the fight after four rounds. He had Machado on the back foot for the whole fight. From the second Dharry was landing solid rights with Machado just looking to survive. The New York-based Guyanese fight stepped up the pace in the third banging a right to the Venezuelan’s chin and by the end of the round Machado was complaining to his corner about pain in his jaw. Dharry continued the pounding in the fourth and Machado retired at the end of the round. The 30-year-old Dharry had a shaky start as a pro but has now won his last 17 fights, 12 by KO/TKO and is rated No 14 by the WBA. Machado, a former IBF super fly champion (2000) and WBA bantam title challenger (1997), was never in with a chance in this one. Apart from his age, 43, he was also a late substitute and this was only his second fight in almost six years.
Marques vs. Beleno
Marques made it a double for Guyanese fighters looking to boost their chances of a CBC title fight and also makes a double over Venezuelan visitors. The fight was very one-sided with Marques easily outscoring Bello and only the lack of punching power denied him a quick win. He floored Beleno with a right in the fourth and swept rounds five to eight before slowing the pace and avoided taking any chances as he cruised to the unanimous decision. Marques has lost only one of his last 12 fights and that was to Dharry in 2011. “El Indio” Beleno, 39 has now lost his last 8 fights.
Cebu City, Philippines: Super Bantam: Albert Pagara (26-0) W PTS 12 Yesner Talavera (15-4-1,2ND). Feather: Mark Magsayo (13-0) W PTS 10 Eduardo Montoya (17-5-1). Super Bantam: Jeo Santisima (9-2) W TKO 6 Marco Demecillo (21-4-1).
Pagara vs. Talavera
Pagara wins again but spends a frustrating evening trying to catch elusive Nicaraguan Talavera. The Nicaraguan bantam champion made a bright enough start showing some speed and agility but once Pagara brought some punishment to him Talavera was not looking to stand and trade. Pagara was able to catch up with Talavera when he could pin him to the ropes and work the body but he was never able to keep Talavera there long enough. The Nicaraguan was scoring with counter punches but had too little power. Pagara was in total control after that bright start for Talavera and a right put the Nicaraguan down in the seventh. Talavera has yet to lose by KO/TKO and he was only looking to stay out of trouble and despite the best efforts of Pagara he was still there at the final bell. Scores 119-108 twice and 120-107 all for Pagara. The 22-year-old Filipino , the WBO No 2 and GAB No 1,retains his WBO Inter-Continental title and probably realises he needs some more training on how to cope with runners like Talavera. The 21-year-old Nicaraguan suffers his first clear loss having previously only been beaten on a disqualification, a technical decision and majority verdict.
Magsayo vs. Montoya
“Magnifico” Magsayo looks like the next comer in the ranks of Filipino prospects. As with Pagara he found himself up against an opponent who after tasting some of Magsayo’s power early climbed on his bicycle and peddled backwards from then on. Again as with Pagara Magsayo had his opponent down in the seventh with body punches but Montoya made it to his feet and stayed out of trouble until the final bell. Scores 100-89, 98-90 and 97-93 all for Magsayo. The 20-year-old from the ALA team wins the vacant WBC Youth title to add to the IBF Youth title he also holds. Former Mexican super feather champion Montoya, 22, had won his last 3 fights
Santisima vs. Demecillo
Impressive win for young Santisima as he climbs off the canvas to halt experienced Demecillo. This was war from the outset with heated exchanges throughout the first round. In the second an uppercut put Santisima down. The young fighter survived and went right back to trading with Demecillo, and began to take over. He had Demecillo hurt with a hard combination late in the fifth and ended it in the sixth. Demecillo was still feeling the effects of the punishment in the fifth when Santisima landed a vicious left hook to the body that had Demecillo turning away in agony and the fight was stopped. After a 2-2 start to his career Santisima has now won 7 on the bounce by KO/TKO. The 19-year-old “Santino” had a good win over Jerry Nardo in December and is already at No 1 with the GAB. Demecillo, 25, is a former GAB super fly champion and this is only his second loss by KO/TKO. He was unbeaten in his first 19 fights which earned him a world rating but now falls to 3-5 in his last 8 fights as the opposition has been tougher.
Paranque City, Philippines: Feather: Randy Braga (18-1-1) W PTS 12 Danilo Pena (27-23-4). Braga retains his Philippines title for the first time with a unanimous decision over No 14 Pena. The champion had to climb off the floor for the win and Pena lived up to his “Pitbull” nickname in the fight. A southpaw left hook from Pena put Braga down in the second round but Braga was able to get up and use his superior skills to take control of the fight. Pena lost control of himself in the sixth and took a bite out of Braga’s right shoulder so the “Pitbull” lost a point for over-playing the nickname. From there Braga was never threatened again and boxed his way to the unanimous verdict. Braga’s only loss was a split decision to South African Macbute Sinyabi in April last year and this is the third win since then for the 28-year-old “Master”. Pena, 34, lucky to get a title shot as he was 1-9-2 in his previous 13 fights.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Super Feather: Evgeny Chuprakov (15-0) W PTS 12 Timur Akhundov (15-3-1). Feather: Mark Urvanov (6-1) W PTS 10 Alexey Shorokhov (7-8).
Chuprakov vs. Akhundov
“Happy Gilmore” Chuprakov retains the WBO European title with points win over Akhundov. Despite almost three years out of the ring Akhundov looked sharp over the first couple of rounds with Chuprakov choosing to let Akhundov do the pressing and countering the Ukrainian southpaw with quick accurate jabs and straight right. Akhundov was unable to block the quicker shots and by mid fight he had swelling around both eyes which hindered his work and allowed Chuprakov to coast over the last couple of rounds to victory. Scores 119-109, 118-109 and 116-111. The 25-year-old Russian was making the first defence of his WBO European title. Akhundov, 31, is a former undefeated WBFed world champion but how someone who has not fought for four years can fight for one of their “major” titles only the WBO and the promoter know. Typical WBO farce.
Urvanov vs. Shorokhov
Teenager Urvanov wins the vacant Russian title with points victory over Shorokhov. The 19-year-old “Canelo” was having his first fight scheduled for ten rounds. His previous 6 opponents had only 5 fights between them but you have to work with what you have so I guess there are not too many other Russians interested in the national title. Shorokhov, 33, had more than twice as many fights as all of the other of Urvanov’s opponents combined and had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Super Middle: Francis Cheka (32-9-2) W PTS 12 Geard Ajetovic (27-15-1). Light: Cosmas Cheka (16-5-4) W PTS 10 Mustafa Doto (14-11-3).
Cheka vs. Ajetovic
Cheka wins the vacant WBFed Inter-Continental title with controversial unanimous decision over Ajetovic and also gets revenge for a previous loss. It was almost a disastrous night for the local boxer as Ajetovic put Cheka down heavily in the first round. Cheka was up and took the mandatory count and was in deep trouble with only the bell saving him from defeat. Ajetovic also had the better of the second round before Cheka changed his tactics and began to avoid trading and used his skills to box on the outside. There was another worry when Cheka was cut over his left eye in a clash of heads but he had built a lead by the end of the eighth. Ajetovic had Cheka hurt and bleeding in the ninth and the last three rounds were close putting the result in doubt but the judges all went for Cheka. Scores 115-112 twice and 116-111. Cheka, 32, a former WBF super middle champion kept his record of never losing to a foreigner in Tanzania. Ajetovic had beaten Cheka over eight rounds in England in 2008. The 34-year-old Serb felt he won this one but on the road you don’t always get what you deserve.
Cheka vs. Doto
Cheka makes it a good night for the family as he outpoints Mohamed to win the WBF African title. The younger brother of Francis is a neat, quick little boxer. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-94 for Cheka. He was 4-3-2 in his first 9 fights but has gone 12-2-2 in his last 16. Doto was to have fought on the undercard but when Cheka’s opponent fell out Doto stepped in and made it a better fight than the original would probably have been.
Rovno, Ukraine: Welter: Valentyn Golovko (22-1,1ND) W TKO 3 Pavio Petrov (2-3).
Golovko makes a quick start to his reconstruction as he halts Petrov in three rounds to win the vacant national title. The 29-year-old “Sabre” suffered his first pro loss on 27 January when he was beaten on a majority decision by Jerry Belmontes, so back in action just four weeks later and looking for a couple of wins before heading to the US again. Second loss by KO/TKO for Russian-born Petrov.
London, England: Cruiser: Wadi Camacho (15-5) W TKO 5 Dan Woodgate (13-3). Welter: Tamuka Mucha (12-0) W PTS 10 Tommy Tear (11-1).
Camacho vs. Woodgate
Camacho wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with stoppage of Woodgate. The extra height of the 6’3” (191cm) Camacho proved decisive here as Woodgate had to take punishment as he tried to get inside and was caught time and again by Camacho’s southpaw jab. After hurting Woodgate with a body punch in the third Camacho already looked on his way to a win. In the fifth a hard combination put Woodgate down and also opened a cut over Woodgate’s right eye. The cut proved not to be a factor as Camacho unloaded on the still dazed Woodgate and the referee stopped the fight. Camacho, 30, makes it 9 wins by KO/TKO. He now has three wins in a row following a run of three losses in a row. Woodgate’s losses have both come in Southern Area title fights with the first try being at light heavy.
Mucha vs. Tear
Zimbabwean-born Mucha keeps his Southern Area title with points win over Tear in an exciting contest. The first two rounds were fairly even with Mucha getting his jab into gear and Tear, the taller man working hard inside. Mucha then took over continuing to work behind the jab but also varying his attacks. Tear remained competitive and there were plenty of entertaining exchanges but with Mucha doing most of the scoring and Tear countering hard but less often. Over the last two rounds Tear tired badly and it looked in the last as though Mucha might stop his challenger but Tear hung in there to the bell. Referee’s score 99-93 to Mucha. This was the first defence of his title for 23-year-old Mucha who had won the title with a stoppage of former British title challenger Erick Ochieng. First ten round fight for 27-year-old Tear and he made Mucha fight hard for his win.
Edgbaston, England: Super Bantam: Sean Davies (9-0) W PTS 10 Jason Booth (38-25). Light Troy James (17-2-1) W PTS 6 Youssef Al Hamidi (13-84-3).
Davies vs. Booth
Davies moves up to ten round fights and wins the vacant BBBof C English title with unanimous decision over veteran Booth. Davies, 26, had only one six round fight and one eight round fight but made the transition to the longer distance and a much higher standard of opposition and gets unanimous decision over Booth. Scores 97-94 from all three judges. Booth, 38 is a former IBO, CBC and British champion. He lost a majority verdict to Steve Molitor for the IBF super bantam in 2010 and remains a good test for up and coming fighters.
James vs. Al Hamidi
James gets expected win against journeyman Al Hamidi. James was a comfortable winner as the referee’s score of 60-53 indicates. The 32-year-old Welshman has won 8 of his last 9 fights. The loss in there was to current WBO champion Terry Flanagan with one judge seeing that just 96-94 to Flanagan. The real celebration on the night was for 38-year-old Syrian-born Yorkshire fighter Al Hamidi being fight No 100 for him.