Fight of the week (Significance): Mikey Garcia’s win over Jessie Vargas adds him to the list in a division that is tough at the top.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Bastien Ballesta vs. Renald Garrido, provided ten rounds of Gallic war with honourable mention to Julio Cesar Martinez vs. Jay Harris
Fighter of the week: Roman Gonzalez – great to see him back and winning a world title
Punch of the week: The body punches from Bilel Jkitou that finished Felice Moncelli and from Braian Suarez that destroyed Walter Sequeira were special but I go for the laser-guided right from Mike Garcia that floored Jessie Vargas that one stood out
Upset of the week: There is no way that Istvan Szili was supposed to beat world rated Australian Jayde Mitchell in his own back yard
Prospect watch: Only 17 but Puerto Rican Xander Zayas looks one for the future.
WORLDWIDE FIGHT REPORTS
Frisco, TX, USA: Welter: Mikey Garcia (40-1) W PTS 12 Jessie Vargas (29-2-2). Super Fly: Roman Gonzalez (49-2) W TKO 9 Khalid Yafai (26-1). Fly: Julio Martinez (16-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Jay Harris (17-1). Heavy: Joseph Parker (27-2) W TKO 5 Shawndell Winters (13-3). Super Welter: Israil Madrimov (5-0) W TKO 6 Charlie Navarro (29-10). Fly: Jesse Rodriguez (11-0) W TKO 8 Marco Sustaita (12-3-1). Middle: Diego Pacheco (9-0) W PTS 6 Oscar Riojas (21-12-1).
Garcia vs. Vargas
Garcia recovers from a slow start to floor Vargas and work his way to a unanimous decision.
A cautious opening by both fighters. The usual probing with jabs but not many were thrown. It livened up a bit later with Vargas scoring well with jabs to the body and a right to the head.
Score: 10-9 Vargas
Once again Vargas was jabbing well to head and body and was beginning to follow through with straight rights. Garcia was throwing too few punches and missing with those he did throw
Score: 10-9 Vargas Vargas 20-18
A better round by Garcia as he was now firing his jab and shooting right crosses. He found Vargas’ jaw with a good right. The best punch landed so far. Vargas continued to jab well to head and body and was also getting though with hooks. A stronger finish including a hard right to the head matching the one Garcia landed earlier just gave Vargas the edge.
Score: 10-9 Vargas Vargas 30-27
Vargas’ round. He was working the jab throughout the round. Garcia was just not throwing enough punches to be competitive in the scoring. He did let fly with some rights but Vargas was also on target with rights and was by far the busier and was doing a good job of ducking under Garcia’s shots.
Score: 10-9 Vargas Vargas 40-36
Garcia needed to do something to turn this fight around. He landed two hard rights early but Vargas shook them off and was again piling up the points with his jab. With about fifty seconds to go in the round Garcia connected with a chopping right to the head and Vargas was suddenly wobbling and stumbling. Garcia jumped on him and as Vargas staggered across the ring into a corner Garcia landed a vicious right to the head that dumped Vargas on his rump up against the ropes. He was up at seven with blood trickling from his nose. There were only thirty seconds left. Garcia had Vargas against the ropes and landed three heavy rights but the bell went.
Score: 10-8 Garcia Vargas 48-46
Garcia came out determined to build on the success of the last round and he was throwing right cross and connecting with them. He was also sharper with his jab. Vargas was more hesitant with his jab which had been his best punch. Garcia eased up in the middle of the round but was again landing heavily at the end.
Score; 10-9 Garcia Vargas 57-56
Garcia dialled back his work rate in this one and Vargas was the busier and more accurate. Garcia connected with some rights but looked to be handing the round to Vargas until he pinned Vargas to the ropes and pounded on him to the bell to just steal the round.
Score: 10-9 Garcia TIED 66-66
A clear round for Garcia. From the outset he was getting through with jabs and strong rights. The spring had gone out of Vargas’ step and the snap out of his punches. Garcia was quicker with the jab and he moved in front for the first time on my card. To add to his troubles Vargas now had swellings under both eyes.
Score: 10-9 Garcia Garcia 76-75
Garcia was back to his bad old ways as he was just not throwing enough punches. Vargas just kept sliding home jabs to head and body and connected with a strong right cross Garcia threw a few rights but not enough to earn the round.
Score: 10-9 Vargas TIED 85-85
Garcia’s round. He was using his jab and following in with straight rights and left hooks to the body. Vargas’ work rated dropped off and Garcia did enough over the first two minutes to mean he could dial it down late in the round and still win it.
Score: 10-9 Garcia Garcia 95-94
A close round as neither fighter did a lot of work. Garcia had a slight edge but over the last minute Vargas connected with five good punches and took the round.
Score: 10-9 Vargas TIED 104-104
Vargas round. He did the better work in the first minute only for Garcia to claw things back in the second minute. Over the last minute Garcia rocked Vargas with a hook but Vargas outworked him and connected flush with a right to the head and a left hook to the body as the bell went.
Score: 10-9 Vargas Vargas 114-113
Official Scores: Judge Cathy Leonard 116-111 Garcia, Judge Steve Morrow 116-112 Garcia, Judge David Sutherland 114-113 Garcia.
A huge and vital win for Garcia after his crushing defeat by Errol Spence in March last year. There was no title on the line here but winning was more important than any belt. It won’t get Garcia a chance to dance with Manny Pacquiao and with Spence and Terrence Crawford holding the IBF, WBC and WBO titles between them neither of those roads look tempting for Garcia but at 32 it was important he kept a seat at the table in case a chance came up. Vargas had a disappointing 2018 drawing with Adrien Broner and Thomas Dulorme and his victory over oldie Humberto Soto last April did nothing for his stature and he had dropped out of the ratings. This loss leaves him with a hill to climb if he is to get another title shot.
Gonzalez vs. Yafai
Gonzalez is back at the top. The four division champion breaks down champion Yafai with relentless pressure to win the WBA title
Yafai made a confident start using his longer reach and a strong jab to put Gonzalez on the retreat and scoring with some sharp head punches. Gonzalez was land plenty of left hooks to the body and put together some classy combinations over the second half of the round. Yafai was cut on the bridge of his nose.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez
More than a touch of the Gonzalez of the past in this one. He was putting his shots together in bunches. Hooks, straight rights uppercuts changing angles and piercing Yafai’s defence. Yafai was fighting back with jabs and hooks but was being outgunned and lost his mouthguard in one of the exchanges.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 20-18
A good round for Yafai. Once again he used his jab to force Gonzalez back. He was scoring well with hooks and some clubbing head shots. Gonzalez came on strong in the second half of the round but Yafai did a good job of blocking many of the challenger’s punches. A fast-paced, quality fight. Yafai lost his mouthguard again.
Score: 10-9 Yafai Gonzalez 29-28
A close round as Gonzalez matched Yafai’s habit of starting the strongly and Yafai copied Gonzalez strong finishes. Both threw lots of leather but Yafai was just a bit more accurate.
Score: 10-9 Yafai TIED 38-38
Official Scores: Official Scores: Judge Dave Moretti 38-38 Tied, Judge Rafael Ramos 40-36 Gonzalez, Judge Wilfredo Esperon38-38 Tied
A great round from Gonzalez. Yafai just could not match the volume or quality of punches delivered by Gonzalez. He was marching forward pumping out jabs hooks and uppercuts working to the body and never giving Yafai the space to use his jab.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 48-47
A closer round. Gonzalez ‘s work rate was threatening to overwhelm Yafai but Yafai was scoring well with his jab and hooks and his punches were more targeted than the stream of punches from Gonzalez but volume just won out over accuracy. Gonzalez was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads.
Scores: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 58-56
Gonzalez was pumping out punches for the whole three minutes. He was doubling and trebling his hooks firing short jabs and mixing in left uppercuts. Yafai was being swamped and could get no traction and looked unsteady by the end of the round.
Score: 10-9 Gonzalez Gonzalez 68-65
Gonzalez was maintaining his relentless pressure throwing punch after punch. Yafai was too busy trying to avoid the stream of punches and his own output had dropped. Gonzalez hounded Yafai at the end of the round until a straight left and a right to the head was enough to make Yafai drop to one knee. He was up immediately and the bell went just as the referee completed the eight count
Score; 10-8 Gonzalez Gonzalez 78-73
Judge Moretti 77-74 Gonzalez, Judge Ramos 80-71 Gonzalez, Judge Esperon 78-73 Gonzalez
Early in the round a lightning quick right cross dropped Yafai heavily and as he struggled to rise the referee waived the fight off.
The 32-year-old “Chocolatito” puts behind him two crushing losses to Srisaket. When he had just one fight in the two years following his second loss to Srisaket there was speculation as to whether his career at the top was over but he dispelled that speculation with an outstanding performance here. Yafai, 30, had held the title for just over four years and this was his sixth defence. He was competitive early but eventually just could not survive the unrelenting pressure from Gonzalez. He will regroup and be hoping land at shot at one of the other versions of the title or look to move up to bantamweight.
Martinez vs. Harris
Martinez retains the WBC title coming out the winner on all three cards as a late knockdown and strong finish gives him the verdict after a close hard-fought contest.
A worrying start for Harris as Martinez was beating him to the jab and unleashing multiple punch combinations with blinding speed. Harris did bit better over the last minute with his jab and a left hook but Martinez ended the round with another bunch of punches.
Score: 10-9 Martinez
A good round for Harris. He connected early with a couple of body punches then was quick and accurate with his jab. Martinez was waiting too long to fire his punches and it was Harris putting together the combinations. They both connected with good rights and Martinez pressed hard late but was unable to land any significant punches.
Score: 10-9 Harris TIED 19-19
Lovely boxing from Harris. He was sending jabs through the guard of Martinez and firing accurate straight rights. He connected with some choice body punches. Martinez was only fighting in short bursts and swinging wide hooks. Harris was getting there first with his punches and outworking Martinez.
Score: 10-9 Harris Harris 29-28
Martinez upped his output in this round. Again he was firing clusters of hooks but throwing more and with a greater accuracy. Harris stood and traded on occasion and landed some good short punches but was outworked.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Tied 38-38
Official Scores: Judge Jesse Reyes 38-38 Tied, Judge Fernando Barbosa 39-37 Martinez, Judge Herb Santos 39-37 Martinez
Martinez uses very little footwork and is almost static for much of a round but he can move quickly when he is throwing a stream of punches and he showed that here. Harris was working solidly with a jab/right cross approach but the eye-catching work was coming from Martinez when he blazed away with his combinations. Harris was cut over his left eye from a clash of heads.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 48-47
A good round for Harris. He worked solidly behind his jab and used good movement to frustrate Martinez’s attacks. Harris was getting his punches off and poor footwork meant Martinez stumbled a few times when he came forward. Martinez threw a lot but not accurately. Martinez had bruising under his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Harris Tied 57-57
Martinez piled into Harris at the start of the round with a sustained barrage of punches and Harris struggled to contain Martinez fire. The storm abated for a while and again Harris was finding gaps down the middle but Martinez was throwing more and landing more.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 67-66
Clever boxing by Harris in this one. After an early attack by Martinez Harris was working with his jab and straight rights as he moved around a static Martinez. He was mixing in left hooks to the body and using quick movement to get out of range when Martinez walked in with bursts of punches.
Score: 10-9 Harris TIED 76-76
Official Scores: Judge Reyes 76-76 Tied, Judge Barbosa 77-75 Martinez, Judge Santos 79-73 Martinez
A close round but one for Martinez. He pressed his attacks harder and tightened up his accuracy. Harris was willing to stand and trade punches and for spells they just stood and threw hooks and uppercuts with Martinez just having the edge.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 86-85
Early in the round a seminal moment saw Martinez drive forward throwing punches connecting with a left to the ribs and then a more powerful right to the body that sent Harris down on one knee. He was hurt but arose before the end of the eight count. From there it developed into a great round of action as first Martinez would drive Harris back and then Harris would force Martinez retreat. A great recovery by the Welsh fighter but an important round for Martinez.
Score: 10-8 Martinez Martinez 96-93
Things cooled a little in this round. Martinez was still punch8ing in bursts but Harris was boxing more and not looking to trade. Both had good spells but Martinez landed more.
Score: 10-9 Martinez Martinez 106-102
Harris clearly took this round. He was again accurate with his jabs and straight rights and used slick footwork to avoid the rushing attacks from Martinez. The highlight of the action was a blazing combination from Harris as he took a leaf out of Martinez’s book. They stood and battled away at the bell at the end of an entertain, quality fight. A round won by Harris but the battle lost.
Score: 10-9 Harris Martinez 115-112
Official Scores: Judge Reyes 115-112 Martinez, Judge Barbosa 116-111 Martinez, Judge Santos 118-109 Martinez.
Martinez retains the WBC title in his first defence. He won the vacant title in December stopping former champion Cristofer Rosales in nine rounds. In August he challenged then WBC champion Charlie Edwards and was initially declared the winner on a third round kayo but that was changed to a No Decision as it was ruled that Martinez had landed a punch when Edwards was down on one knee. His mandatory challenger is Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo but there are no really big fights to be had a flyweight right now. Welshman Harris, 29, a former Commonwealth and European champion, was coming off a fourth round kayo victory over Paddy Barnes. There is the possibility of some good domestic fights for Harris against Andrew Selby or Sunny Edwards but he is No 9 with the WBO so may prefer to try for another title fight.
Parker vs. Winters
Parker registers his third win since back-to-back losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte as he halts Winters in five rounds. In the first Parker used multiple jabs to put Winters on the back foot and did most of the scoring. The slower Winters flashed an occasional overhand right but missed and they traded punches freely at the bell. Parker dominated the second. Once again he was forcing Winters back with his jab then worked to the body inside. He had Winters pinned to the ropes and landed some clubbing shot. Winters’ only contribution was a big right cross the Parker shook off. Parker was well in control and was using his jab to set Winters up for right crosses. Late in the round Parker connected with a big right that sent Winters sliding along the ropes and down. He arose but the bell went before the action could resume so he survived. Far from being finished Winters had his best round of the fight in the fourth. Parker was outscoring him but Winters found the target regularly with his jab and landed a couple of heavy rights. In the fifth Winters absorbed a couple of rights to the head but a third one sent him crashing to the floor and almost out under the bottom rope. He managed to climb to his feet but was unsteady and the referee stopped the fight. The 28-year-old New Zealander is ranked No 2 behind Olek Usyk in the WBO ratings. It seems inevitable that the WBO will strip Joshua of the title at some stage and Parker therefore is well positioned to get a chance to regain his old title. Winters’ 39, was never in with a chance in this one. He has a very modest record with the one result that just about made this a reasonable match was his stoppage of unbeaten Olek Teslenko and that result probably said more about Teslenko than it did about Winters.
Madrimov vs. Navarro
Uzbek Madrimov stops veteran Navarro. Despite all of his experience Navarro just had no idea of how to cope with the unorthodox Madrimov. The Uzbek was perpetual movement. Arms, legs, head all going at once and often in different directions. Despite not being listed as a southpaw Madrimov proved quite happy to fight as southpaw or orthodox. He was connecting with different punches from different angles and a confused Navarro was almost frozen to inactivity as Madrimov would dart in with a punch to the body and then get out and on other occasions launch a sustained attack with Navarro pinned to the ropes. At times Madrimov was a crude swinger leaving himself wide open but Navarro never seemed able to take advantage of those errors. Navarro had some success counter punching in the fifth but Madrimov was connecting with some hard rights to the head. He wrestled a tiring Navarro to the canvas at the end of the round and Navarro seemed to have nothing left as he trudged back to his corner. Madrimov was pounding Navarro in the sixth with the Venezuelan unable to get off the ropes. Madrimov drove a rib-bending left to Navarro’s body which dropped Navarro to his knees. He made it to his feet slowly and when the fight resumed a couple of punches sent Navarro sprawling on the canvas and the fight was halted. Now five wins by KO/TKO for Madrimov. He has beaten four experience, creditable opponents but his No 2 ranking with the WBA is unsupportable. He will give any super welter problems in a division that is not very strong right now. Navarro has challenged for the both the interim and full WBA welterweight titles and was coming off a win over 22-0 Johan Gonzalez but looked every one of his 40 years in this fight.
Rodriguez vs. Sustaita
Texan southpaw Rodriguez makes it three inside the distance wins on the trot as he halts Californian Sustaita. The 5’4 flyweight from San Antonio won a silver medal at 46kg in the 2015 World Junior Championships and was US Under-17 champion twice. Second successive inside the distance loss for Sustaita following a kayo loss against prospect Ricardo Sandoval in July.
Pacheco vs. Riojas
Yet another teenage sensation continues unbeaten as Pacheco wins every round against seasoned pro Riojas. All three cards read 60-54 for Pacheco. The 18-year-old 6’4” fighter from Los Angeles had won his last six by KO/TKO, four of them first round finishes. He was US Silver Gloves champion twice and also US Junior champion. Southpaw Riojas has been well-travelled and faced some good quality opposition and has only lost three times by KO/TKO.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Light: Yomar Alamo (18-0-1) W PTS 10 Kendo Castaneda (17-1,1ND). Feather: Orlando Gonzalez (14-0) W KO 4 Charlie Serrano (16-6-2,1ND).
Alamo retains the WBO NABO title with a majority victory over Castaneda. From the opening bell Castaneda was storming forward applying pressure. Alamo is not a big puncher but he used smart movement and sharp, accurate counters to score on the ever advancing Castaneda. Castaneda did his best work when he could trap Alamo on the ropes and edged into the lead rocking Alamo with a right to the head in the fifth. Castaneda had set a fast pace throwing plenty of punches but Alamo had been finding gaps for his jab and right right counters and as Castaneda began to tire it was Alamo who had the edge. They both had good spells in the last but Alamo finished the stronger for a well deserved win. Scores 98-92 and 99-93 for Alamo and 95-95 but the first two scores were harsh on Castaneda. Puerto Rican “The Magic” Alamo, 24 was making the third defence of the WBO NABO title and is rated No 8 by them. Texan Castaneda, 26, has registered useful wins over Eudy Bernardo and Stan Martyniouk and this will prove just a bump in the road for him
Gonzalez vs. Serrano
Southpaw Gonzalez adds another inside the distance victory. He floored Serrano in the third with a series of hooks to head and body. Serrano dropped back down to rest on the ropes and the referee gave him a count. Gonzalez connected with more hooks and uppercuts and was unloading on Serrano with Serrano’s corner waiving the towel trying to get the referee to stop the fight which he belatedly did. The 24-year-old Puerto Rican, a former Pan American Youth champion, has ten inside the distance finishes. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Floridian
Worcester, MA, USA: Light; Jermaine Ortiz (13-0) W TKO 2 Luis Castillo (22-6). Feather: Irvin Gonzalez (14-2) W TKO 6 Yeuri Andujar (5-3).
Ortiz vs. Castillo
Worcester resident Ortiz halts Mexican Castillo in two. Ortiz outboxed the limited Castillo in the first and then put him down with a body shot in the second. Castillo just beat the count but was knocked down by a series of head punches. He got up very late and indicated he did not want to continue. Seventh win by KO/TKO for 23-year-old Ortiz. He turned pro after losses to Abraham Nova and Gary Antuanne Russell at the US Olympic Trials ended his hopes of going to the Games in Rio.Castillo, 21, went 19-1 at the start of his career but suffered four losses last year in tough challenges.
Gonzalez vs. Andujar
A double for Worcester as Gonzalez beats Andujar in six rounds. Andujar chose to take the fight to the harder punching Gonzalez and made it uncomfortable for the home town fighter for a while. Once Gonzalez settled into the fight his power dominated and he floored and halted Andujar in the sixth. Gonzalez, 23, gets his eleventh win by KO/TKO and collects the vacant WBC Youth belt. As with Ortiz Gonzalez came up short at the US Olympic Trials losing twice at the Trials to Ruben Villa. Dominican Andujar was 2-2 last year and this is his first inside the distance defeat.
Hanover, MD, USA: Super Middle: Demond Nicholson (23-3-1) W PTS 10 Mike Guy (12-5-1). Cruiser: Nick Kisner (22-5-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Sam Crossed (9-1).
Nicholson vs. Guy
With his edge in experience this did not seem a very testing fight for Nicholson but in the end he had to climb off the canvas to win a very tight split decision. Nicholson used his higher skills to outbox Guy early and built a good lead by the end of the fifth round. Guy battled his way into the fight in the sixth putting Nicholson down heavily with a right cross. Nicholson beat the count and survived the round. Building on that success Guy stepped up his attacks throwing plenty of punches. He was not always accurate. Nicholson did a good job of blocking many of Guy’s punches and did just enough to hold off Guy’s strong second half efforts. Score 95-94 twice for Nicholson and 96-93 for Guy.
Local fighter Nicholson’s losses were against Steve Rolls on a split decision and a seventh round stoppage by Jesse Hart but he has re-established himself with five wins in a row. Despite his lack of experience the 39-year-old Guy was coming off a career best win over Denis Douglin and showed here he could be a danger man.
Kisner vs. Crossed
Kisner takes unanimous decision over Crossed to win the Maryland State title. Crossed made the running over the early rounds taking the fight to Kisner who took time to settle into the fight. Crossed had never been in a fight scheduled for more than six rounds and that came into play over the second half of the fight. As Crossed tired “Slick” Kisner took control with some strong jabs and gradually ate into Crossed’s early lead and did enough to take the verdict. Scores 95-94 twice and 99-91 for Kisner. He had seen very little action in 2019 as a cut he suffered in the first round saw his fight with Otto Wallin ruled a No Decision and in his only other fight he stopped Danny Kelly in two rounds. Kisner is useful at this level but loses when he tries to climb any higher. This proved too much of a hike in opposition for Crossed who is saddled with the nickname of “The Vanilla Gorilla”.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Middle: Genc Pilana (8-1-1) W PTS 10 Kevin Newman (11-2-1) . Super Light; Keith Hunter (11-0) W PTS 10 Sanjarbek Rakhmanov (12-3-1).Light: Ladarius Miller (21-1) W PTS 10 Marcos Jimenez (24-10) . Super Light Richardson Hitchins (11-0) W PTS 10 W Nick DeLomba (16-3). Super Middle: Lanell Bellows (20-5-3,1ND) W KO 4 Malcolm Jones (15-2).
Pilana vs. Newman
Class doesn’t always tell as the awkward, ugly and at times wide-open style of Pilana wins out over the better technical skills of Newman in a close fight. Newman was taking the fight to Pilana but was being caught by punches from strange angles and not throwing enough himself. Despite that Newman was landing with some heavy punches and countering well when Pilana chose to come forward but it was not enough to offset the busier work from Pilana. At the half way mark Pilana looked to have be in front and they traded punches in plenty over the sixth and seventh. Newman had a good eighth and the last two rounds were close with Newman throwing more but Pilana being more accurate. Scores 96-94 for Pilana on the cards of the three judges. Kosovon-born Pilana had not shown impressive form before this so this was a good win for him. He has the nickname of “The Sexy Albanian” which is unlikely to fill any prospective foe with fear. Newman had won his last four fights and reversed his only loss but just came up short here.
Hunter vs. Rakhmanov
When these two clashed last April Hunter took a split decision with a 10-8 second round due to a knockdown saving him from defeat. This time Hunter left no room for doubt as he won clearly on all three cards. After being rocked by a couple of rights in the first round the 6’0” tall Hunter was able to box at distance and he was the busier fighter. As in the first fight Rakhmanov again hit the canvas going down in the third but he fought back hard. It was a back-end-forth battle with Hunter just having the edge but with Rakhmanov landing his share of punches in the exchanges. Just when Hunter looked to be taking complete control he suffered a hand injury in the seventh but outscored Rakhmanov over the eighth and ninth and landed the better shots in the tenth. Scores 98-91 twice and 97-92 for Hunter. The 27-year-old from Las Vegas is the son of the late Mike “The Bounty” Hunter and younger brother of rated heavyweight Michael. He has talent and will be hoping to kick on to bigger fights next year. Uzbek Rakhmanov drops to 2-3 in his last five fights.
Miller vs. Jimenez
Memphis southpaw Miller continues his good run with points decision over Dominican Jimenez. Scores 96-92 twice and 95-93 for Miller. He has put together a twelve-bout winning run including a split decision over former WBA super featherweight champion Jezzrel Corrales so is knocking on the doors of a world ranking. Jimenez has been on a bumpy ride in his most recent fights being 4-5. Unfortunately he has been winning the minor fights and losing the important ones.
Hitchins vs. DeLomba
Brooklyn’s Hitchins adds another win as he shuts out DeLomba winning every round. Tall, quick and slick Hutchins’ hand speed was just too much for DeLomba who struggled to get any sort of a toe-hold in the fight. DeLomba kept trying to walk Hitchins down but just was not throwing enough punches and not applying enough pressure. Even when Hitchins did decide to stand and exchange he was the one coming out on top. Hitchins is short on power so he did not turn his dominance into a stoppage victory but he easily outboxed DeLomba. Scores 100-90 for Hitchins on the three cards. The 22-year-old Hitchins failed to qualify for the US Team for the 2016 Olympics with Gary Antuanne Russell beating him twice. He has Haitian antecedents so he went to the World Olympic Qualifier representing Haiti getting a silver medal when losing to Britain’s Pat McCormack. That was good enough to get him to Rio where he lost to-Gary Antuanne Russell. DeLomba had won his last five fights but was outclassed here.
Bellows vs. Jones
The harder punching from Bellows decides this one although Bellows had to climb off the canvas for the win. Jones was taller and quicker to the punch than Bellows and outboxed him over the first round. Early in the second a left hook from Jones sent Bellows staggering back across the ring and sprawling on the canvas. He was up early and when the action resumed Jones connected with some more left hooks but just before the bell Bellows found the target with clubbing rights. Bellows landed a couple of heavy rights in the third and Jones looked unsteady. Bellows stepped in with another right and Jones fell forward to the floor. After the count Bellows tried to finish it but was wild although he shook Jones a couple more times. Jones was trying to box his way through the fourth. A right made his legs wobble but he held and it looked as though he would make it through the round until with about 15 seconds to go he chose to stand and trade punches and two huge rights saw him spread-eagled on the canvas with the fight being immediately waived off. It was some time before Jones was able to get up to sit on a stool. After a 0-3-1 run Bellows has turned things around with two inside the distance wins in succession. At 34 he is not going to stir things up at the top but he showed his power in this one. Jones showed plenty of skills and fast hands but trying to outpunch Bellows was a big mistake.
Huntington, NY, USA: Super Light: Cletus Seldin (25-1,1ND) W TKO 7 Luis Florez (25-16,1ND). Heavy: Carlos Takam (38-5-1) W PTS 10 Fabio Maldonado (26-4).
Seldin vs. Florez
Seldin wears down then breaks down experienced Colombian Florez. Seldin was pressing the fight from the first bell. Florez used his experience to survive Seldon’s attacks jabbing well and countering with strong rights. He was spending more and more time on the ropes and was already beginning to fade when a clash of heads opened a serious cut over the Colombian’s left eye in the sixth round. Seldin stormed into Florez in the seventh and Florez sought refuge in a corner but was trapped there and subjected to a bombardment of body punches until the referee came in and stopped the fight. First fight for “The Hebrew Hammer” Seldin since stopping Zab Judah in eleven rounds in June and the first defence of his WBA NABA title. His only defeat was against Yves Ulysse in 2017. He has 21 wins by KO/TKO and is ranked WBA 11/IBF 12. Florez sliding downhill, He is 1-7 in his last 8 contests with five of those losses by KO/TKO. He has one claim to fame and that is a 99 second stoppage of Miguel Berchelt in 2014. Berchelt’s only loss.
Takam vs. Maldonado
Ten rounds of routine work for Takam. A focused body attack from Takam made defence the sole priority for Maldonado. No stylist Takam just kept bludgeoning Maldonado with the body shots and mixing in some Takam trademark overhand rights. There was not a great deal coming back from Maldonado other than the occasional counter and he struggled to make it to the final bell. Scores 100-89 twice and 100-90 for the 39-year-old Cameroon-born Frenchman. After consecutive inside the distance losses to Anthony Joshua for the IBF, WBA and IBO titles and to Dereck Chisora he is trying to stay busy and net some wins over very modest opposition to keep himself in the frame for some big fights later in the year . Brazilian Maldonado, also 39, was coming off a stoppage loss to Michael Hunter in May, his only loss by KO/TKO.
Adge, France: Super Light: Bastien Ballesta (21-0-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Renald Garrido (25-27-3). Feather: Florian Montels (19-2-2,1ND) W PTS 10 Kevin Escanez (8-2-1).
Ballesta vs. Garrido
Ballesta retains the French title after an absolute war against the ever aggressive Garrido. The challenger knows only one way to fight and has only one gear –forward. Over the first three rounds Garrido was crowding taller southpaw Ballesta slinging hooks and forcing Ballesta to trade punches in some ferocious exchanges. Ballesta finally managed to manufacture some space and dominated the fourth and fifth but was having to work hard for the full three minutes of each round as Garrido continued to march forward throwing punches. The hot pace continued over the second half of the fight as Ballesta had to abandon his boxing and just stand and exchange punch after punch with Garrido. They pounded each other in the sixth and seventh. Garrido slowed a little in eighth. He was wild with most of his punches and was taking punishment but kept marching forward with the better boxer Ballesta lacking the power to keep him out. Over the last two rounds these two showered each other with a storm of punches that had the crowd on their feet. Scores 97-93,96-94 and 95-94 for Ballesta. A tough trial of strength for the 25-year-old champion in his third title defence. He has already bettered the achievements of his father Patrick who lost in challenges for the French and European titles. Right now a shot at the EU title is the most realistic scenario for Ballesta but his lack of punching power may be a drawback. Garrido is Garrido. He gives 100% every time and has never lost by KO/TKO. He could have been given the decision here and it would not have been out of place. He is 1-5 in French title fights and played a huge part in making this a candidate for French fight of the year.
Montels vs. Escanez
Home town fighter Montels win the WBC Francophone title with a wide unanimous decision over fellow-Frenchman Escanez. Despite the wide scoring Escanez was competitive throughout. The better technical skills of Montels plus his greater experience and his higher work rate gave him the edge but many rounds were close. Scores 99-91 for Montels on all three cards. Montels is now 9-0.1ND in his last 10 fights. Former undefeated French featherweight champion Escanez was unbeaten in his last nine fights. One of the judges was Ali Oubaali, the elder brother of WBC bantam champion Nordine. He was French champion and since retiring has refereed/judged at over 150 fights,
Saint Petersburg, Russia: Super Welter: Khuseyn Baysangurov (16-1) W TKO 2 Arman Torosyan (19-8-1). Baysangurov gets off the floor to stop Torosyan. A right from Torosyan in the first sent Baysangurov tumbling back and as his knees buckled Baysangurov put a glove on the canvas to steady himself. After the count Baysangurov pounded Torosyan who took a knee to stem the pressure. In the second Baysangurov continued his attacks until he connected with a double left hook to body then head and as Torosyan slid down in a corner Baysangurov helped him on the way down with another right. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old Kiev-based Russian as he rebuilds after a loss in 2018 to Armenian Aram Amirkhanyan. German-based Armenian Torosyan, 36 , has won a few bouts on the road but was stopped in four rounds by Martin Murray in 2017 and has lost his last three outings.
Norwich, England: Feather: Michael Walsh (13-0) W KO 2 Amani Bariki (10-2-2). Walsh halts Tanzanian Bariki in two rounds. The little visitor at 5’2” was giving away height and reach to local fighter Walsh. Bariki showed some spirit in the first bringing blood from the nose of Walsh with a nice punch. Walsh quickly ended it in the second with a blistering attack that had Bariki glancing pleadingly at his corner to chuck in the towel but before they could do that he slid to the canvas and was counted out. Wash, 35 turned pro back in 2008 after winning the ABA flyweight title. He was inactive for quite a while with this being only his second fight in almost five years. He has won all 13 of his fights by KO/TKO. His aim is to win a British title to emulate his brothers Liam and Ryan. First fight outside of Tanzania for Bariki who was way out of his depth
Phoenix, AZ, USA: Feather: Keenan Carbajal (20-2-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Carlson (24-7). Carbajal gets his biggest career win to date as he takes split verdict over Carlson. Scores 97-93 twice for Carbajal and 96-94 for Carlson. The 28-year-old from Phoenix is the nephew of former world champion Michael Carbajal and has a 15-bout winning streak running. Mexican Carlson is a former WBC bantamweight title challenger who has fallen on hard times with this being his sixth loss in his last eight fights.
Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico: Super Feather: Angel Aponte (8-0) W RTD 7 Irving Macias (7-1). Welter: Xander Zayas (4-0) W TKO 3 Marklin Bailey (6-7).
Aponte vs. Macias
The Tale of the Tape said these guys were both 5’9” tall which was obviously rubbish as Macias was 6’0” and had at least 4” over Aponte. The Mexican was raw with poor technique and was being caught with straight punches but fired back. All of the excitement in the opening round came in the last 30 seconds as both fighters were cut in a clash of heads and Aponte put Macias down with a body punch with the bell going as the eight count was completed. Aponte’s cut was the more severe and it bled for the rest if the fight. Although supposed to be right handed Aponte chose to fight southpaw. He was driving lefts into the face of Macias and by the third there was a steady drip of blood from the Mexican’s nose. Macias soaked up lots of punishment but kept fighting back hard but his nose was a mess and after a painful sixth round he did not come out for the seventh. Fourth win by KO/TKO for Aponte. He was a good level amateur before turning pro in 2011but a spell of four years in prison put him out of action until late 2018. Macias had guts but no technique and was never really a threat.
Zayas vs. Bailey
In his first fight in front of his home fans Zayas brushes aside overmatched Bailey. The taller Zayas was putting together some impressive combinations and tracking the retreating Bailey around the perimeter of the ring. He rocked Bailey with a right and Bailey fired back with a right of his own but Zayas shrugged it off and handed out some more punishment with Bailey already showing bruising beneath his right eye. In the second Zayas raked bailey with some classy combinations with Bailey never straying more than a few inches from the ropes. After another sequence of punches from Zayas the referee stopped the fight to have the doctor examine a bad cut over Bailey’s right eye. It was in the centre of the eyelid and it was obvious the cut was severe and the blood would run in Bailey’s eye but the doctor signalled that the fight should continue. Zayas then bombarded Bailey with punches to the bell. The doctor again cleared Bailey to continue before the start of the third. Zayas battered Bailey along the ropes to a corner and was unloading punches until the referee stopped the fight. There are huge expectations for the 17-year-old 5’10” Puerto Rican. He was US Under 17 champion in 2017 and 2018 and also won the US Under-19 title in 2018. He has a fluid, classy style with great movement and quick hands so he could fulfil those expectations. Six losses in a row for Bailey.
Pamplona, Spain: Super Welter: Kevin Lejarraga (30-2) W PTS 10 Jose de Jesus Macias (27-10-3). Super Welter: David Soria (9-0) WTKO 2 Ezequiel Gurria (13-1). Feather: Andoni Gago (23-3-3) W TKO 2 Carlos Arroyo (5-12-1). Super Middle: Cesar Nunez (17-2-1) W TKO 2 Alejandro Mostazo (4-6-2).
Lejarraga vs. Macias
Lejarraga floors Macias in the first but the Mexican survives and makes Lejarraga work hard for the win. A combination toppled Macias in the opening round but he defied Lejarraga’s attempts to end the fight early. Lejarraga scored heavily to the body in the second and shook Macias with a left hook in the third. Macias rode out the storm and had a good fourth and took the fifth as he fought in close scoring with hooks. Lejarraga’s jab put him back in charge in the sixth but despite a swollen right cheek Macias banged back with power punches in the seventh. Lejarraga took the eighth and just had the edge as they swapped punches over the ninth and tenth. Scores 100-90, 99-90 and 98-91 for Lejarraga. The 28-year-old “Revolver” from Bilbao has moved up to super welter after two inside the distance losses to David Avanesyan that cost him his European welterweight title. The scores were not a reflection of how hard Macias made this for Lejarraga. The Mexican gives value for money and does sometimes win on his travels being 3-1 in fights in Canada.
Soria vs. Gurria
Soria delights his home town fans as he blows away champion Gurria to win the National title. Soria was in the driver’s seat in the first. He was hunting Gurria down and the champion was not able to do much to keep Soria out. In the second Soria put Gurria on the floor with a left hook. When Gurria got up Soria nailed him with an uppercut that put him down for the second time and the fight was over. Important win for 25-year-old Soria but now it is back to his real job in the fish market until some bigger purses come along. Gurria was making the first defence of the Spanish title.
Gago vs. Arroyo
European champion Gago dismantles over-matched Nicaraguan Arroyo. Gago was looking to end this one in the first but Arroyo did enough to survive and no more. In the second a right to the head put Arroyo over and although he was up before the end of the eight count he dropped to the canvas again under a succession of punches from Gago and the fights was finished. Just a warm-up really for 34-year-old Gago who defends the European title against Gavin McDonnell in his home city of Bilbao on 9 May. First fight outside Nicaragua for Arroyo and the sixth inside the distance defeat in his career.
Nunez vs. Mostazo
Easy night for Pamplona’s Nunez. Fellow-Spaniard Mostazo was willing and able to swap punches inside with Nunez in the first but fell apart in the second. A left hook put him down heavily and when the fight restarted another left had Mostazo stunned and the referee halted the fight. Nunez, a former Spanish middleweight champion, had a 16-0-1 score at the start to his career but inside the distance losses in the second half of last year to Vincent Feigenbutz and Edgar Berlanga have severely lowered his ceiling. Second early times loss for 40-year-old Mostazo who did not turn pro until he was 37.
Lanus, Argentina: Light Fly: Augustin Gauto (15-0) W KO 2 Julio Mendoza (14-7-1). Light Heavy: Braian Suarez (12-0) W KO 1 Walter Sequeira (23-7).
Gauto vs. Mendoza
Gauto is rated one of the best prospects in Argentina and in front of his home fans he showed why. He had height and reach over Nicaraguan Mendoza so the visitor tried to bulldoze his way inside. Gauto forced Mendoza on to the defensive with some hurtful body punches and had him on the ropes and under fire as the first round ended. Mendoza tried his rushing tactics again in the second. Gauto used some brilliant upper body movement to frustrate Mendoza and had him hurt again with body punches. Just before the end of the round he had Mendoza trapped on the ropes. When Mendoza broke free a right to the chin turned his legs to rubber and he went crashing down against the ropes and was counted out. The 22-year-old “Aeroplane” ( he was given the nickname as he was seen as being as fast as a plane-a bit like Superman) has scored 10 victories by KO/TKO including 8 quick finishes in his last 9 contests and is rated No 2 by the WBO. He is quick and has power but has a bad habit of holding his left very low that could be a serious fault against better opposition. Mendoza went twelve rounds with Jose Argumedo in a challenge for the IBF minimumweight title in 2016 losing a wide points decision.
Suarez vs. Sequeira
Suarez takes out Sequeira with a body punch. Suarez made good use of his longer reach to keep popping his jab in Sequeira’s face. Sequeira was marching forward behind a high guard but not having much success and was hurt a couple of times by body punches. With the bell about to sound Suarez dug home a wicked left hook to the body. Sequeira retreated to the ropes in agony than dropped to one knee. He made it to his feet but then just dropped to his knees again and was counted out.
Suarez wins the vacant Argentinian title with his eleventh inside the distance finish. It was a classy showing from the former top amateur but he has yet to be really tested. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for former champion Sequeira including a fourth round stoppage defeat against Anthony Yarde.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Istvan Szili (24-2-2) W PTS 10 Jayde Mitchell (20-2). Szili tears up the script as he takes split decision over Mitchell in the Australian’s own back yard. Mitchell made a good start with Szili trying to throw him off his game plan with a number of infractions of the rules (otherwise known as fouls) which went unpunished. Szili built some confidence and came on strong over the middle rounds before Mitchell came back into the fight with a good seventh. The eighth and ninth were close but Mitchell carried the last shaking Szili with rights. Scores 96-94 twice for Szili and 97-93 for Mitchell. Hungarian Szili, a tough-chinned well-travelled fighter, wins the vacant WBO Oriental title which will probably get him a world ranking. Szili, 37, was 18-0-2 until being stopped in three rounds by Antoine Douglas in 2015. A subsequent inside the distance defeat against Nuhu Lawal saw his activity drop with just one fight in 2017 and one in 2018 but this win should get him plenty of offers. Mitchell, 34, said that he had a disrupted camp going into the fight and struggled to do the weight. He had won 15 in a row but this defeat will probably cost him his No 10 rating with the WBC.
Sao Paulo, Brazil: Super Middle: Esquiva Falcao (26-0) W RTD 4 Jorge Miranda (56-20,1ND). Super Feather: Eduardo Costa Do Nascimento (5-1) W TKO 2 Benedito Neto (8-2).
Falcao vs. Miranda
Falcao was hoping to entertain his fans on his return home but Miranda put up a pitiful showing. Falcao brutalised him over four one-sided round scoring a number of knockdowns and Miranda did not come out for the fifth. The 30-year-old Brazilian moves to 17 wins by KO/TKO. In the amateurs he won a bronze medal at the World Championships and a silver at the 2012 Olympics. In both tournaments he was beaten by Ryota Murata, the current holder of the WBA secondary title, but no sign of him getting a chance to revenge those losses yet. Argentinian Miranda’s chances were not helped by giving away lots of reach to Falcao but even with twice the reach he has he would still not have done much better. He had taken Falcao the full ten rounds in March last year.
Para vs. Neto
Do Nascimento shortens his name to Para for boxing and he won the vacant Brazilian title here with a stoppage of Neto. Para had no trouble getting past the longer reach of Neto and late in the second Neto’s corner threw in the towel. Third win by KO/TKO for Para. His only loss was on a very close verdict against unbeaten Estivan Falcao, the younger brother of Esquiva. Neto’s eight victims had only “amassed” eleven wins between them.
Levellois-Perret, France: Middle: Moughit El Moutaouakil (13-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Islam Teffahi (22-8-2). Cruiser: Herve Lofidi (14-3) W TKO 3 Elvis Smajlovic (11-10-2) ). Super Welter: Bilel Jkitou (14-0) W KO 1 Felice Moncelli (21-6-1). Super Welter: Zakaria Attou (30-7-2) W TKO 2 Karim Menasria (8-27-1).
El Moutaouakil vs. Teffahi
El Moutaouakil picks up the vacant WBC Francophone belt with unanimous decision over Belgian-based Tunisian Teffahi. Scores 97-92 twice and 96-93 for El Moutaouakil. The Moroccan-born El Moutaouakil has won his last four fights but does not have French citizenship so can’t contest the National title. Southpaw Teffahi was a useful 12-2-1 in his last 15 fights and is a former Francophone champion at super welter.
Lofidi vs. Smajlovic
Lofidi brushes aside Bosnian Smajlovic in three rounds. The 6’5” Lofidi has boosted his record with six wins in a row. Seven losses by KO/TKO for Smajlovic
Jkitou vs. Moncelli
The more experienced Moncelli was brought in as a test for Jkitou but was crushed inside a round. Moncelli and Jkitou stood and traded hooks inside until a right to the head made Moncelli step back. Jkitou then exploded a vicious left hook to the ribs and Moncelli dropped to the canvas. He was in too much pain to even think of getting up and was counted out. Neighbourhood favourite Jkitou, a former holder of the ABU and WBC Mediterranean middleweight titles, is now the owner of the previously vacant WBC Francophone title. Moncelli was expected to do better. The former undefeated Italian champion was 10-1 in his previous eleven fights with the loss being to current WBC No 2 super welter Sergio Garcia.
Attou vs. Menasria
Attou returns to the ring with a win as he forces the stoppage against Menasria in the second round. The 37-year-old former French, European Union and European champion put together an impressive eleven fight unbeaten run including victories over some of the best at his weight in Europe. His world title hopes crashed when he was floored and stopped in June by Erick Lubin. Two bicep tears have kept him out of the ring since then. At 37 he will be looking to quickly move up to bigger fights. No risks being taken in this one as the 41-year-old Menasria is 1-10 in his last 11 fights.
Rome, Italy: Super Feather: Michael Magnesi (17-0) W RTD 4 Breilor Teran (28-20-1). Former undefeated Italian champion Magnesi lifts his first International title as he wins over Venezuelan Teran. Magnesi made a studied start sizing up Teran over the first two rounds. In the third the Italian stepped up the pressure connecting with rapid combinations driving Teran onto the defensive. Magnesi continued his attacks in the fourth and a desperate Teran was deducted a point for various infractions of the rules. The visitor spent much of the round stuck against the ropes taking punishment and did not come out for the fifth. The 25-year-old collects the IBO Inter-Continental title. He has wins over experienced Ruddy Encarnacion and former Interim WBA champion Emanuel Lopez. He turned pro in 2015 but subsequent to that competed as a member of the Italia Thunder team in the World Series of Boxing. Sixth loss inside the distance for Teran who started out as a flyweight and lost in a challenge to David Sanchez for the interim WBA super fly title in 2014
General Santos City, Philippines: Welter: Al Rivera (21-4) W PTS 12 Rodel Wenceslao (14-19-2). Light: Romero Duno (22-2) W KO 1 Angelito Merin (10-13-3). Fly: Jayson Mama (15-0) W TKO 3 Reymark Taday (10-12-1). Super Bantam: Rolando Servania (11-0) W RTD 5 Rey Empic (7-6). Fly: Jerven Mama (12-0-1) W PTS 10 Arnold Garde (10-10-3). Bantam: Aston Palicte (26-4-1) W TKO 2 Jonathan Francisco (10-15-1). Light: Hermonito Dela Torre (22-3) W TKO 4 Richard Betos (21-27-2).
Rivera vs. Wenceslao
Rivera wins the vacant National title with a decision over Wenceslao in a close hard fought war. Over the opening rounds Rivera dominated the action with some southpaw jabs and lefts to the body. Outsider Wenceslao was on the retreat and tentative with his jab as if to avoid sparking Rivera in to action. Gradually the fight changed as Wenceslao grew in confidence. There was authority in his jab and it was Rivera on the back foot and looking sloppy in his work. Wenceslao had quicker hands and was more mobile. He was putting his punches together well whereas Rivera was throwing one big punch at a time. Wenceslao seemed to tire and Rivera was driving him back with long lefts then Wenceslao came back into it and they stood and traded fierce punches. Both were exhausted in the last and Wenceslao looked to have Rivera on the edge of defeat. Rivera was given the unanimous decision and the vacant Philippines title but it was so close that a draw would have been a fairer reflection. Former OPBF champion Rivera was having his first fight since suffering a first round kayo against unbeaten Malik Hawkins in Las Vegas in September. Rivera and Wenceslao had clashed in 2017 when Rivera knocked out Wenceslao in four rounds but Wenceslao performed way above the level here even though he has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights.
Duno vs. Merin
Duno stops Merin. In a hectic first round Merin came roaring out throwing punches with Duno content to bob and weave. Duno then began to let his hands go and drove Marin to the ropes. Merin actually perched on the third rope whilst under fire which should have resulted in a count. Merin drove off the ropes throwing punches but Duno fired back with uppercuts and a left from Duno looked to have resulted in the thumb of the glove catching Merin’s eye. He turned away and went down on a knee pawing at the eye and was counted out. Duno climbed into the world ratings on the back of a twelve bout winning streak but was flattened by Ryan Garcia in 98 seconds in Las Vegas in November. This fight was the start of his reconstruction project. Merlin really gave it a shot here but now finds himself 1-6 in his last 7 fights.
.Mama vs. Taday
Twenty-two-year-old General Santos fighter Mama much too good for regular loser Taday and stops him in the third round for his eighth victory by KO/TKO dropping poor Taday to his seventh loss in his last eight fights.
Servania vs. Empic
Servania pressures Empic to defeat. Servania was walking Empic down all the way. Over the early rounds Empic showed some movement and tried some counters but he just did not punch hard enough to get Servania’s respect. Servania persisted with wild over hand rights that missed badly but was much more effective with his body punches. By the fifth Empic was just looking to survive and after tasting some more body punches in the fifth he retired. In theory Servania, the younger brother of WBO featherweight title challenger Genisis, was moving up to ten rounds but instead adds another inside the distance win to go to five. Two loses in a row for Empic.
Mama vs. Garde
Jerven, the twin brother of Jayson, and the Philippines No 12, goes ten rounds for the first time but registers his seventh win in a row with unanimous verdict over very modest opponent Garde who has now lost 6 of his last 7 fights.
Palicte vs. Francisco
Palicte had a poor 2019 being halted in ten rounds by Kazuto Ioka in a fight for the vacant WBO super flyweight title and then being outpointed by fellow-Filipino Renz Rosia who was 1-4-1 going into their fight. His renovation was kicked off here with a second round stoppage of unrated Jonathan Francisco. Palicte is No 13 with the WBO so quite a way to go to get back to title challenging level. They were taking no chances on an upset with poor Francisco having lost his five previous fights four of them by KO/TKO.
Dela Torre vs. Betos
Dela Torre was being touted as one of the best prospects in the Philippines but he lost his way. Super safe matching for him here and he naturally won inside the distance halting Betos in the fourth. Dela Torre was 19-0 until he took on a little known Mongolian named Tugstsogt Nyambayar. He floored Nyambayar early but lost a wide points verdict and lost inside the distance in two of his next three fights. He had outpointed Betos in 2018 so did a bit better here with a fourth round stoppage but it is questionable whether he can rebuild his confidence. Betos is a more than dismal-in fact horrendous-1-21-1 is his tally with this one.