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Tim Tszyu survives scare, but Miguel Berchelt’s career hits crisis point

Tim Tszyu
Drama for Tim Tszyu and Miguel Berchelt in Eric Armit's international fight recap

MARCH 25
TROIS-RIVIERES, CANADA

Hard-punching Mexican CARLOS OCAMPO, 33-1 (21), floors local hero MIKAEL ZEWSKI, 35-3 (23), in the third and again in the ninth when the referee stops the fight. A super-lightweight contest saw Russian-born Canadian MOVLADDIN BIYARSLANOV, 10-0 (8), also score two knockdowns, these in the third and fourth rounds, as he halted Mexican ROBERTO VERDUGO, 10-4-1 (4), on the second knockdown. It was not a clean sweep for the locals as a rusty SEBASTIEN BOUCHARD, 19-2-1 (8), had to stage a strong finish to get a draw with Mexican RICARDO LARA, 22-9-1 (10), on scores of 97-93 to Lara, 96-94 to Bouchard and 95-95.

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA
Nicaraguan YOKASTA VALLE, 24-2 (9), retained her alphabet strawweight belt with a wide unanimous decision over Japan’s SANA HAZUKI, 8-6-1 (2). Valle had Hazuki on shaky legs in the ninth but had to settle for a points win with all three cards reading 100-90.

JUAREZ, MEXICO
In a dramatic super-lightweight contest unbeaten BRYAN FLORES, 21-0-1 (13), was down just 15 seconds into his fight with Argentinian NESTOR MAIDANA, 10-10-1 (7), and floored twice more. He survived and battled back to drop and stop Maidana with a body punch in the ninth.

MARCH 26
LAS VEGAS, USA

Namibian lightweight JEREMIAH NAKATHILA, 23-2 (19), springs a major upset as dominates from the first round against MIGUEL BERCHELT, 38-3 (34), who retires in his corner after the sixth round. Nakathila handed out a solid beating to Berchelt [inset]. He repeatedly snapped Berchelt’s head back with jabs and bombed him with booming rights. Berchelt took heavy punishment in the first two rounds and was floored by a stiff jab in the third. Berchelt had to absorb more rights but made it to the bell. Nakathila continued to score with blistering shots in the fourth and shook Berchelt early in the fifth, although the favourite attacked fiercely late in the round with Nakathila looking vulnerable for a while. The Namibian was back in control in the sixth. A jab loosened Berchelt’s mouthguard and a powerful right sent it flying across the ring. When it was replaced Nakathila hurled combinations at Berchelt’s head until the bell. Berchelt did not come out for the next round. In a featherweight contest EDUARDO BAEZ, 21-2-2 (7), won on a majority decision over JOSE DURANTES, 21-2 (11), on scores of 98-92, 96-94 and 95-95.

MINNEAPOLIS, USA
In his first fight in America, TIM TSZYU, 22-0 (15), climbs off the canvas to take a unanimous 12-round decision over TERRELL GAUSHA 22-3-1 (11). Tszyu was dropped by a right in the first round with the punch glancing off Tszyu’s chin and landing squarely on Tszyu’s shoulder which sent him down. Tszyu settled quickly after that. He took the fight to Gausha in every round scoring with quick combinations and body punches. Boxing on the back foot Gausha countered well but what looked like a knockdown by Tszyu in the fourth was ruled a slip. Tszyu had Gausha rocking with a right in the fifth and continued to take the fight to Gausha. Clever countering kept Gausha in the fight until he faded over the late rounds with Tszyu looking to have been more dominant than the 116-111, 115-112 and 114-113 scores indicated. Also on the show MICHEL RIVERA, 23-0 (14), outpointed JOSEPH ADORNO, 14-1-2 (12), with all three judges scoring it 97-93 for Rivera and super-lightweight prospect ELVIS RODRIGUEZ, 13-1-1 (12), scored a seventh knockout win over JUAN VELASCO, 23-3 (14). In a super-welterweight clash, BAKHRAM MURTAZALIEV, 20-1 (15), stopped AHMAD CHEIKHO, 18-8-2 (13), in the first round.

MONTREAL, CANADA
Another impressive performance saw France’s super-middleweight hope CHRISTIAN MBILLI, 21-0 (18), flatten experienced NADJIB MOHAMMEDEI, 44-9 (27), in the fifth. After winning the first three rounds Mbilli handed out serious punishment in the fourth before ending the fight in the fifth. A devastating left hook froze Mohammedi who toppled backwards to the canvas out cold. Canadian-based Russian super-welterweight ARTEM OGANESYAN, 13-0 (11), beat Holland’s STEPHEN DANYO, 20-5-3 (7). Danyo went into the fight with limited mobility but scored a knockdown in the first round. Oganesyan then found the injured Danyo an easy target and the doctor ordered the fight stopped early in the fifth round.

KEMPTON PARK, SOUTH AFRICA
KEVIN LERENA, 27-1 (14), continued his heavyweight campaign with a fourth round kayo of BOGDAN DINU, 20-4 (16), flooring Dinu twice in the fourth with Dinu being counted out.

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