Quingdao, China: Fly: Sho Kimura (17-1-2) W KO 6 Froilan Saludar (28-3-1). Minimumweight: Knockout CP Freshmart (18-0) W PTS 12 Chaozhong Xiong (27-8-1).
Kimura vs. Saludar
Kimura retains the WBO title as he grinds down a game Saludar with relentless pressure before dropping him for the count in the sixth. Saludar had a good opening round. As Kimura was pacing forward behind a high guard Saludar was threading jabs through the champions guard and landing some sharp counters and both landed heavy rights. Kimura was going to the body with left hooks but Saludar had done the better work. Kimura upped the pace in the second he was marching forward with purpose behind a tight guard and firing hooks. Saludar was still banging home counters but Kimura was walking through them and working to the body. Kimura had Saludar pinned to the ropes early in the third and pounded away to head and body until Saludar managed to punch his way out into the ring centre. Things looked bad for Saludar when he was again taking punishment on the ropes but he decided to go on the offensive. Now he was walking through Kimura’s punches and landing hard to the head. Kimura was on the back foot but also scoring with some neck-snapping rights. A great round. Kimura was waging a war of attrition. Saludar had some success at the start of the fourth but was being ground down and Kimura was landing hook after hook. Some were straying low but Saludar was slowing and tiring from the pressure. Kimura was forcing Saludar around the ring in the fifth. He was again using vicious left hooks to the body. A right to the head shook Saludar and then two left hooks to the body and another left to the body saw him kneel on the canvas. He was up at seven but was again shipping heavy punishment until the bell. In the sixth Kimura had Saludar in a corner and was bombarding Saludar with punches to head in body and a stoppage would have been justified. Instead Saludar punched his way out of the corner and turned Kimura onto the ropes and began to throw punches. It was a final fling and Kimura again put Saludar on the ropes and was landing some booming head punches and left hooks to the body and finally a gutsy Saludar slipped to the canvas and was counted out. The 29-year-old “Grassroots Champion” Kimura was making the second defence of the WBO title and has now won 10 of his last 11 fights by KO/TKO. Good work for a guy who had no amateur experience, and was a modest 5-1-2 in his first 8 fights. He beat Chinese idol Shiming Zou to win the title and somehow that made him an idol in China. He has even gone as far as giving up his job humping wine in a wine cellar. His style is simple just keep walking forward and keep punching and it is working well for him. Saludar, 29, suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO. The first came against Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo back in2014. He had won his last five fights mostly against very modest domestic opposition. If he had won this one he would have joined younger brother Vic who won the WBO minimumweight title two weeks ago making them the first pair of Filipino brothers to simultaneously hold a world title
CP Freshmart vs. Xiong
CP Freshmart takes points victory over Xiong in the fifth defence of his WBA title. Not a great fight. CP Freshmart (Thammanoon Niyomtrong) had a strong jab and used it well. Xiong found it hard to get past the jab and when he did CP Freshmart was either landing short countering hooks or stepping back quickly so that Xiang came up short. By the third CP Freshmart was beginning to move inside with chopping hooks and uppercuts. Xiang was showing some quick movement but when his counters did land they lacked power. The Thai is slow and one-paced and comes forward in a straight line and that allowed Xiang some success. There were no real highlights and although both scored with some good shots in the tenth over the closing rounds there was too much holding and too much swinging and missing. A poor clinch-filled twelfth just about summed up this fight. Scores 118-110 twice and 116-112 all for the champion. The 27-year-old CP Freshmart (life is too short to keep spelling out Thammanoon Niyomtrong) , a sergeant in the Thai army, was having his first fight outside Thailand. Xiong ,35, became China’s first world champion when he beat Javier Martinez in 2012 for the WBC minimumweight crown. He lost the title in 2014 to Oswaldo Novoa and lost a close decision to Hekkie Budler for the WBA title later in the same year. He was rated No 2 by the WBA going into this one.
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Light: Mikey Garcia (39-0) W PTS 12 Robert Easter (21-1). Garcia floors and outpoints a disappointing Easter. Garcia is already a four division champion and wins his first unification fight as he adds Robert Easter’s IBF title to the WBC title he already holds.
Both fighters were probing with their jabs in the first. Easter was on the front foot early and worked well with his jab. Garcia came forward over the second half of the round but was short with his punches.
Score 10-9 Easter
The second involved a similar pattern. Easter was using his height and long reach to work from distance and scored with a couple of good punches. Garcia was tracking the retreating Easter but not throwing much and he missed with a pair of rights.
Score 10-9 Easter Easter 20-18
Easter was working the jab well, he was shooting out his left to the head and body and following with occasional rights. Garcia had upped his pace but had not really landed anything until a right cross followed by a left hook to the chin put Easter down late in the round. Easter was up quickly and took the eight count but the bell went before Garcia could land another meaningful punch.
Score 10-8 Garcia Tied 28-28
Garcia took this one. Easter was no longer using his jab as he had before. Garcia was landing his own jab. He was also able to pin Easter to the ropes a couple of times and score with hooks around Easter’s guard.
Score 10-9 Garcia Garcia 38-37
Official scores: 38-37, 39-36 and 38-37 for Garcia
This was a much closer round. Easton went back to the jab and used it both to score and to make Garcia busy trying to block or dodge the punch. Easter also stayed off the ropes. Garcia got though with a couple of hooks but Easter just shaded the round.
Score 10-9 Easton Tied 47-47
Easter used his jab well again early in this round. Garcia was not cutting the ring off and Easter kept jabbing and moving. Garcia trapped Easter on the ropes and was able to score enough to just edge the round.
Score 10-9 Garcia Garcia 57-56
Another round where Easter worked well over the early stages with Garcia a prowling menace but not throwing punches. Garcia came to life and landed a shower of hard punches and with a few more combinations took the round.
Score 10-9 Garcia Garcia 67-65
This was turning out to be an interesting fight but not an exciting or entertaining one. There was not enough sustained action. Easter was looking to stay outside and jab and try an occasional right and Garcia was prowling after Easter but only attacking in spurts. Garcia took this one with another late burst of punches but it was again close.
Score 10-9 Garcia Garcia 77-74
Official scores: 77-74, 78-73 and 76-75 for Garcia
This was the best round in the fight so far. Easter decided to stand and trade punches with Garcia. Easter managed to land a few hooks and a straight right which was the best punch he had landed in the fight but he was fighting Garcia’s fight. Garcia was scoring inside with hooks to head and body and Easter looked tired. Garcia kept punching and Easter was very shaky at the bell.
Score 10-9 Garcia Garcia 87-83
Another round for Garcia. He started slowly but eventually was taking Easter to the ropes and unloading with hooks curving punches around Easter’s guard and banging rights through the middle. Easter had lost a lot of his movement and was hardly throwing any punches.
Score 10-9 Garcia Garcia 97-92
Garcia’s again. Easter was just circling the perimeter of the ring stabbing out a jab with no power behind it. Garcia was tracking him and springing in with quick attacks and scoring with hooks and straight rights. He scored with a hefty right but Easter took it and was not rocked.
Score 10-9 Garcia Garcia 107-101
No wild attacks from Garcia and no last round heroics from Easter. Garcia pressed for the whole three minutes and outworked Easter whose work rate had fallen over the late rounds. Garcia added this round to his already commanding lead.
Score 10-9 Garcia Garcia 117-110.
Official scores: 117-110, 118-109 and 116-111 for Garcia
This was not an exciting match but of course for the fighters what was at stake was more important than to be entertaining. Garcia pressed the fight but only fought in short bursts and even with the knockdown never really had Easter in serious trouble. Easter just did not have the punch to keep Garcia out and expended a lot of effort early trying to avoid Garcia’s attacks and faded badly over the late rounds. With the two titles in the bag Garcia is now looking to get Errol Spence into the ring so that he can become a five- division champion and as Spence was in the audience it could happen and is probable the best of the fights that can be made for both Garcia and Spence.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Super Feather: Masayuki Ito (24-1-1) W PTS 12 Chris Diaz (23-1). This fight was supposed to end with Diaz enthroned as WBO champion but un-heralded Ito spoilt the party by flooring and outpointing Diaz
Both fighters were trying to establish their jabs early. Ito was taller with a longer reach and he stabbed home his jab and landed some sharp rights. Diaz was less mobile and not as accurate.
Score 10-9 Ito
Diaz started to let his hands go in the second with lots of combinations and he landed a good right to the head. Ito was quicker and getting through with his jab and raking Diaz’s body with lefts and took the round.
Score 10-9 Ito Ito 20-18
Diaz took this round. He was getting through with left hooks and scored with a couple of straight rights. Ito was still finding gaps for some heavy punches but his jab was under used.
Score 10-9 Diaz Ito 29-28
Diaz had the better of the early exchanges with a series of punches to the body. He was getting past Ito’s jab to work inside. He made the mistake of standing in front of Ito and not punching and Ito crashed home a three-punch right/left/right combination to Diaz’s head and the Puerto Rican went down on his backside. He got up immediately and did not seem too badly shaken. After the eight count Ito was landing more rights to the head. Eventually Diaz began to fire back but it was a big round for Ito.
Score 10-8 Ito Ito 39-36
Official scores: 39-36, 39-36 and 39-36 Ito
Ito was throwing lots of punches in this one but Diaz was blocking most of them. The eye-catching punches were two head-rocking rights and a pair of left hooks from Diaz as he took the round.
Score 10-9 Diaz Ito 48-46
Diaz showed growing confidence in this round. His jab was sharp and he was effective with hooks from both hands. Ito was still dangerous with right crosses but was too often coming inside whereas his early success had come from bombing Diaz from distance.
Score 10-9 Diaz Ito 57-56
Ito brought his jab back into play in this round. He was using the jab to curb Diaz’s attacks and to set up Diaz for combinations of straight lefts and rights through the middle of Diaz’s guard.
Score 10-9 Ito Ito 67-65
Another round for Ito. Diaz could not get past Ito’s jab. He was stuck on the outside and Ito was again landing clubbing rights to the head and left hooks to the body. Diaz was just not throwing enough to be a threat.
Score 10-9 Ito Ito 77-74
Official scores: 77-74, 78-72 and 79-72
Diaz was in danger of fading out of this fight but he battled back in this round. Ito was still firing bunches of straight punches but Diaz doing a better job of blocking them. He scored with some eye-catching hooks and seemed to rock Ito with a left hook just before the bell.
Score 10-9 Diaz Ito 86-84
In a fiercely fought round Diaz opened up with some hurtful hooks and Ito fired back with straight punches from both hands. Ito cleverly walked Diaz onto some crisp counters and then let fly with more straight shots to the head. Diaz needed to win this round but after that bright start he let Ito take control.
Score 10-9 Ito Ito 96-93
Another big round for Ito. He just could not miss Diaz with big overhand rights. Twice Ito’s head banged into the face of Diaz but luckily there was no cut. Ito was warned but it just led to some more booming rights to the head of Diaz.
Score 10-9 Ito Ito 106-102
Diaz was throwing wild punches looking for the kayo he needed but all that was doing was leaving him wide open for counters from Ito. Again those straight punches were battering Diaz and he never looked like pulling this one out of the fire as Ito took the last.
Score 10-9 Ito Ito 116-111
Official scores; 118-109, 117-110 and 116-111 for Ito
Ito, 27. was something of a surprise package never having fought outside Japan or beaten a highly rated opponent but he outworked and outpunched Diaz. A product of the Japanese novice tournaments he was All-Japan Newcomer winner. He went on to build his pro record to16-0-1 before losing a majority decision to Rikki Naito in a challenge for the Japanese super feather title in 2015,. He bounced back from that to win seven in a row collecting the OPBF and WBO Asia Pacific titles along the way. “Smurf” Diaz, 23, had scored wins over Bryant Cruz and Braulio Rodriguez . He was competitive over the first six rounds but then faded badly with all three judges giving Ito five of the last six rounds. At 23 he can come again. Some sources have him born in Puerto Rico but he was born in Philadelphia and moved to Puerto Rico with his family when he was one month old.
Le Cannet, France: Middle: Christian Mbilli (11-0) W KO 5 Ramon Aguinaga (13-1). Welter: Jose Gomez (16-0) W PTS 8 Lupe Rosales (35-16). Super Middle: Louis Toutin (11-0 W TKO 2 Bosko Misic (16-9). Super Welter: Dylan Charrat (17-0) W PTS 8 Lyes Chaibi (15-12-3).
Mbilli vs. Aguinaga
Mbilli batters brave Mexican Aguinaga to defeat in five rounds and remains WBC Youth champion. Straight from the bell the aggressive French boxer was wading into Aguinaga. Mbilli was bobbing and weaving firing hooks, uppercuts and overhand shots from both hands like a mini-Tyson forcing Aguinaga back around the ring. Aguinaga was landing some hard counters but they had no effect on Mbilli. Aguinaga had no jab to speak off so he was forced to trade and was really just swinging punches with no power. A right uppercut late in the third staggered Aguinaga and he was on the ropes getting pounded to head and body when the referee stepped in and took Aguinaga to his corner to have a loose tape fixed and the bell went just as the repair was effected. Mbilli changed his approach in the fourth. Instead of using a high guard he walked forward with both hands down bobbing and weaving and leaving both hands free to firing heavy punches to the head and body of Aguinaga. Finally in the fifth he went to his knees following a clubbing shot to the head. He beat the count but a left to the ribs sent him down and he was counted out. The 23-year-old Cameroon-born Mbilli-he moved to France at the age of 11-gets win No 11 by KO/TKO. He splits his time between France and Montreal where he fights under Yvon Michelle’s banner. He is a former European Youth and European Union Championships gold medallist and also won gold at the European Olympic Qualifier and reached the quarter-finals in Rio. Aguinaga gave a typically brave Mexican performance but was brutalised by Mbilli.
Gomez vs. Rosales
In Mbilli had it easy Gomez most certainly did not and was very lucky to hold on to his unbeaten tag with a split verdict over Mexican veteran Rosales. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Gomez and 77-75 for Rosales. The 30-year-old from Toulon already holds the WBC Mediterranean and IBF International titles but this fight showed he could struggle when he moves up to tougher opposition. Rosales, 37, has come a long way from his 25-1 start as a pro and his job now is to school some good prospects.
Toutin vs. Misic
Toutin continues to impress as he obliterates Misic with four knockdowns before the fight is halted in the second round. The 20-year-old, a member of the French Traveller community, moves to ten wins by KO/TKO. He is a former French light heavy champion but he relinquished the title to move back down to super middle. Eighth loss by KO/TKO for Croatian-based Misic.
Charrat vs. Chaibi
Cannes youngster Charrat moves to 17 wins with unanimous verdict over fellow-Frenchman Chaibi. Charrat had no problem with the southpaw style of the more experienced Chaibi and won all the way. Scores 80-72 twice and 80-73 for Charrat. Charrat , 24, is not your typical boxing type. He has a degree in business management and spent time living and training in London so that he could learn English and read Shakespeare. On the boxing side he had 40 fights, winning the Provence Region title five times and representing France in various Youth Tournaments. Chaibi usually goes the distance but was stopped by Canadian Steven Butler and Scotland’s Josh Taylor.
East London, South Africa: Super Fly: Gideon Buthelezi (21-5) W PTS 12 Lucas Fernandez (12-2-1). Super Fly: Yanga Sigqibo (11-1-1) W PTS 12 Rene Dacquel (20-8-1). Super Fly: Ulises Lara (20-16-2) W KO 3 Nhlanhia Ngamntwini (14-2-1).
Buthelezi vs. Fernandez
Buthelezi returns after a year out of the ring and retains the IBO title with convincing victory over limited Fernandez. The little South African southpaw showed no rust and took over the fight from the opening round. Fernandez was not quick enough to put the required amount of pressure on Buthelezi who boxed on the back foot spearing Fernandez with jabs and left hand counters. Fernandez was just too slow to be a danger to Buthelezi but he just kept marching forward usually a step too slow and with no sign of a plan B. The challenger had one sniff of a chance in the last round when he nailed Buthelezi with a right but Buthelezi was smart enough to avoid any further trouble before the final bell. Scores 118-111, 117-111 and 116-112 for Buthelezi. Now 32, Buthelezi was making the fourth defence of the IBO super fly title. He is a three-division champion having previously held the IBO minimum and light flyweight titles. Argentinian Fernandez was 6-0-1 in his last 7 fights but not in the same class as Buthelezi and his No 28 rating with the IBO flattered him.
Sigqibo vs. Dacquel
Local fighter Sigqibo wins the vacant WBC International title with controversial split verdict over Filipino Dacquel. The scores varied wildly. Dacquel floored Sigqibo twice but came out on the wrong end of the decision. Scores 115-111 and 114-112 for Sigqibo and 117-109 for Dacquel so one judge had Sigqibo winning by four rounds and one had Dacquel winning by eight!! South African champion Sigqibo gets his eighth win in a row. “Commander” Dacquel, a former Philippines and OPBF champion, has now suffered two losses on the bounce having been outpointed by Andrew Moloney in February so he will probably lose his world rating having been rated IBF 8(7)/WBC 15.
Lara vs. Ngamntwini
Lara gets win as he flattens local fighter Ngamntwini in the third round. The more experienced Mexican “Little Mouse” landed a fearsome left hook that crashed into Ngamntwini’s chin. The South African went out like a light and it was a worryingly extended time before he was able to get to his feet. Twelve wins by KO/TKO for the former Mexican champion who lost to Juan Reveco in a challenge for the secondary WBA fly title in 2013. Lara was 6-2 against some good level opposition so this was a risky fight for the local fighter. Ngamntwini’s only other loss was to current IBO minimumweight champion Simphiwe Khonco and he was 5-0-1 since then.
Houghton-le-Spring, England: Super Bantam: Martin Patrick Ward (24-0) W PTS 10 Alvaro Rodriguez (8-2-1,1ND)
County Durham’s own Ward outclasses Spanish champion Rodriguez to win the vacant IBF European title. It was an easy night for Ward as he was too quick and too skilful for the pedestrian Rodriguez. Ward controlled the fight with his jab and constantly slotted straight rights through the Spaniard’s defence. Rodriguez was losing heart and Ward handed down a deal of punishment over the seventh, eighth and ninth with the referee looking poised to intervene. Rodriguez did not cave in and even had a good last round as Ward boxed his way to victory. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 all for Ward. The 24-year-old British champion is rated No 4 by the WBO and No 2 with the EBU and has good domestic victories over James Dickens and Sean Davis. Holding the IBF version of the European title will probably bar him from going for the EBU title. Rodriguez, 32, gets his second loss. It would have been his third but his defeat by Cristian Rodriguez for the Spanish title in 29016 was changed to a No Decision when the winner tested positive for a banned substance.
Hunrlingham, Argentina: Welter: Diego Ramirez (16-1) W TKO 8 Sergio Liendo (12-5,1ND). Ramirez wins this all-southpaw scrap with stoppage of Liendo. Ramirez put Liendo on the floor in the seventh and after two more knockdowns in the eighth the fight was stopped. The 23-year-old Argentinian No 1 was making the first defence of the interim WBO Latino title and makes it 14 wins in a row. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Liendo who had won his last two fights.
Quilmes, Argentina: Middle: Javier Maciel (33-6) W PTS 10 Davi Eliasquevici (14-6). Brazilian Eliasquevici proves no obstacle for “La Bestia” Maciel. The Argentinian won this won by a large margin on all three cards. After taking the first two rounds Maciel had some problems with Eliasquevici in the third but forced Eliasquevici to take standing counts in both the fourth and fifth. Eliasquevici did well to stay in the fight and some bruising around both of Maciel’s eyes showed he was competitive but never really a threat. Scores 100-88 twice and 99-89 for Maciel. Now three wins in a bounce for the former national champion as he puts some bricks back in the wall after three losses in a row. ”El Loco” Eliasquevici has won only two of his last eight fights.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Welter: Sam Soliman (46-14-1) W PTS 10 Tej Pratap Singh (13-5-2). Super Light: Czar Amonsot (35-4-3,1ND) W PTS 6 Phuenluang (52-5).
Soliman vs. Singh
Soliman takes Singh’s WBA Oceania title with a majority decision featuring some wildly varying scores. The fight was not one to set the pulses racing as the respective styles did not gel. Whilst southpaw Singh did enough to make this close he had trouble with the awkward approach of Soliman and the former IBF champion’s experience just gave him the edge. Scores 98-90 and 96-92 for Soliman and 94-94. Now 44 Soliman has said he is in his last year as an active fighter and he wants to fit in two more contests over the next five months. “Indian Warrior” Singh was making the first defence of the WBA Oceania title. He won the title with a good victory over Jake Carr in March and then won the Australian version of the Prizefighter Tournament in April.
Amonsot vs. Phuenluang
Amonsot returns to the ring with a split decision over Thai Phuenluang. Scores 58-56 twice for Amonsot and 58-56 for Phuenluang. The 32-year-old Filipino/Australian lost to Michael Katsidis for the interim WBO light title in 2007 and then went 16-0-2,1ND until suffering a shocking kayo loss against Paraguayan Carlos Padilla last October. Strange to see former WBO bantam champion Phuenluang in a six rounder miles away from home. This is his first fight since losing his WBO bantam title against Marlon Tapales in July 2016. As he was a bantam then he could not have been in top condition for this fight.
Northbridge, Australia: Super Light: Brandon Ogilvie (20-2-1) W PTS 6 Rusmin Kie Raha (15-16-3). Ogilvie gets a unanimous decision over Indonesian Kie Raha in a keep busy fight. The 24-year-old local has lost only one of his last sixteen fights and that was a tough match against George Kambosos. The promising indigenous boxer turned pro at 18 after failing to land a spot on the Australian team for the 2012 Olympics. Poor Kie Raha drops to 1-9-1 in his last 11 fights.
Quingdao, China: Super Light: Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (14-2-1) W PTS 12 Sonny Katiandagho (12-3).
Nasiyiwula vs. Katiandagho
“Destroyer” Nasiyiwula gives China a winner as he outpoints Filipino “Pinoy Hearns” Katiandagho. By taking the unanimous decision Nasiyiwula retains his WBA Asian title and wins the vacant WBC ABC title. In April Nasiyiwula lost on points to Frederic Lawson in the WBC welterweight tournament. Katiandagho, 25, had lost only one of his last eleven fights.
Barranquilla, Colombia: Fly: Jose Soto (8-0) W KO 2 Jose Jimenez (20-9-1). Feather: Luis Lebron (11-0-1) W Milner Marcano (14-4). Bantam: Jeyvier Cintron (7-0) W PTS 8 Gregory Vera (12-2).
This looked like too big a leap for the young Colombian hope but he came through with a kayo of fellow Colombian and former world title challenger Jimenez. Soto ended it in style landing a left hook followed by a straight right that put Jimenez down on his rump resting against the ropes and the referee counter Jimenez out. Soto, 20, wins the interim WBO Latino title with his fourth victory by KO/TKO. Jimenez, 35, lost to Jose Argumedo for the IBF minimum title in 2016 but is now 2-3 in fights since then.
Lebron vs. Marcano
“Popeye” Lebron stops Venezuelan Marcano in defence of his WBO Latino title. Lebron bossed the fight with a sharp jab and some crunching body shots but Marcano also showed some good skills. At the start of the third Lebron threw a right and in dodging it Marcano’s left leg flew out from under him as he slipped on water on the canvas and he went down heavily. It became very strange then as someone threw the referee a towel and someone else slid him a broom through the ropes and the referee proceeded to mop up the water (and women don’t think men can multi-task) before ordering the fighters to box on. Lebron landed three rights to put Marcano down and although Marcano got up and went back into the fight a body punch sent him to his knees. He again beat the count but when a couple of heads punches dropped him for the third time the referee waived the fight off. Puerto Rican Lebron now has six wins by KO/TKO and has victories over decent level opposition in 23-0-1 Manuel Botti and 19-3 Alan Guzman. Marcano 33 a former member of the Venezuelan national team as an amateur turned pro in 2009 and went 1-2 in his first three fights then took almost six years out but made up for lost time with nine wins last year.
Cintron vs. Vera
Cintron, one of the best Puerto Rican prospects was in a useful learning fight against Venezuelan southpaw Vera. Cintron showcased his considerable talents with rapid combinations and dazzling footwork. He nearly ended the fight in the eighth when he put Vera on the floor but had to settle for getting the decision. Scores 80-71 twice and 79-72. The 23-year-old “Little Dog” competed at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics making him the only Puerto Rican boxer to compete at two Olympic Games. He won gold medals at the Pan American Youth Championships and the Puerto Rican Championships and silver at the World Youth Championships. At 17 he twice beat the current IBF bantam champion Emmanuel Rodriguez. Vera did well to last the distance.
Fondi, Italy: Cruiser: Simone Federici (14-1-1) W PTS 12 Zura Mekereshvili 24-18). Italian “Tyson” Federici wins the vacant IBF Mediterranean title with wide unanimous verdict over substitute Mekereshvili. Federici was just too quick and too mobile for Mekereshvili. Federici controlled the action with his left jab and Mekereshvili relied upon rushing attacks featuring lots of wild punches. A right floored Mekereshvili in the fifth. The Georgian was not badly hurt and went back into the fight. There was one moment of concern for Federici when he was stopped in his tracks by a left from Mekereshvili in the eighth but after that he took no chances and boxed his way through the closing rounds. Scores 119-109, 118-110 and a too close 116-112 all for Federici. The Italian champion is now 7-0-1 in his last 8 fights. Mekereshvili is 2-7 in his last 9
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Shingo Wake (25-5-2) W TKO 10 Yusaku Kuga (16-3-1). Wake wins the national title with late stoppage of champion Kuga. Southpaw Wake used his longer reach to work on the outside and score with lefts to the body. Kuga tried to hustle Wake out of his stride in the second but was sent to the canvas by a left. Kuga made it out of the round but in the third attention from Wake’s jab had started a swelling under the left eye of Kuga. Despite being cut on the forehead in a clash of heads by the end of the fifth Wake was clearly in control with the scores at 49-45 twice and 48-45. Kuga tried hard to press the fight in the second half scoring with a good right hook in the seventh but Wake was still in command. Early in the tenth a left to the body had Kuga in trouble and the towel flew in from Kuga’s corner. An important victory for Wake as Kuga was rated in the top 15 by all four sanctioning bodies whereas the 31-year-old Wake’s only rating was IBF 8(7). Now 17 wins by KO/TKO for the former IBF super bantam title challenger. Kuga, 27, was defending the national title for the third time and suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Osaka, Japan: Super Bantam: Juiki Tatsuyoshi (9-0) W KO 5 Noldi Manakane (32-25-2). Local fast climber Tatsuyoshi gets another inside the distance win. Tatsuyoshi had height and reach over the tiny Manakane and initially used his jab to keep the Indonesian out. Gradually the home town fighter went onto the front foot and pressed hard with Manakane spending time in the third and fourth trapped on the ropes. Tatsuyoshi forced Manakane into a neutral corner in the fifth and finished the fight with a left hook to the body. Tatsuyoshi was moving up to ten rounds for the first time but he made that irrelevant with his sixth win by KO/TKO. The 21-year-old is the second son of Joichiro Tatsuyoshi who had two reigns as WBC bantam champion. Juiki started boxing whilst still in kindergarten but when he eventually graduated to gym he weight 85kg, and was told to lose 20kg and has gone down from there. He was put down in the first round of his sixth fight but got up to win. Manakane gets his fourth loss in a row and his twelfth loss by KO/TKO.
Mexico City, Mexico: Light Fly: Saul Juarez (24-8-2) DREW 10 Mario Andrade (13-7-5). Juarez holds on to his WBC Latino title with draw against Andrade. The fight fell into three phases. In the early rounds Andrade used his longer reach to build a lead and together with a point deduction suffered by Juarez for a butt after four rounds two of the judges had Andrade in front. In the second phase from rounds five to eight Juarez took over he was getting past the jab and scoring to the body and dominating the seventh and eighth. Now the position had changed with Juarez in front on all the cards at 75-73, 75-74 and 76-75. Knowing he was behind Andrade come storming out for the ninth and tenth. Suarez was happy to stand and swop hard punches over those final six minutes and Andrade did enough to earn the draw, Scores 96-93 for Juarez, 95-94 for Andrade and 95-95. Four hard fights in a row against Wanheng for the WBC minimumweight title, Leroy Estrada, Gilberto Pedroza and Abraham Rodriguez led to four losses for 27-year-old Juarez but he had scored a good win over useful Gilberto Parra in March and he was No 8 with the WBC. Andrade’s form leading up to this fight was the direct opposite as he had won six in a row but lost last out to unbeaten Junto Nakatani in April.
Valencia, Spain: Super Welter: Jorge Fortea (17-1-1) W PTS 10 Jose Clavero (12-13-1). Super Bantam: Sergio Gonzalez (10-9-4,3ND) W TKO 7 Aritz Pardal (12-3-1). Feather: Andoni Gago (20-3-3) W PTS 8 Arturo Lopez (5-4-3).
Fortea vs. Clavero
As expected Fortea proved much too skilful for defending champion Clavero and took the Spanish title by a wide margin on all cards. Local fighter Fortea used classy footwork and although Clavero was coming forward he was running into hard counters. Some of the champion’s aggression was eroded by the punishment he was taking. The fight was too one-sided to be entertaining as the pattern did not change. Fortea had big rounds in the fifth and seventh and Clavero’s corner were urging there man to stop throwing punches so wildly and pace himself. He ignored the advice and as a result tired badly and Fortea continued to ping him with quick accurate punches to the final bell. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for the fighter from Valencia. Fortea’s only loss came in a fight for the vacant Spanish welter title in 2015. He was out for almost two years after that loss and this is his fourth win as he rebuilds up at super welter. He is No 25 in the EU ratings. Clavero, 33, loses the national title in his first defence and is now 1-3 in his last 4 fights.
Gonzalez vs. Pardal
There is so little you can rely on in this life and another slice of uncertainty crept in here. In the past the words Nicaraguan based in Barcelona were always followed by the word lost and probably the letters TKO but not in this fight. For home town fighter Pardal this was supposed to be in a gentle few rounds of work to prepare him for his challenge for the EU title. Gonzalez was singing from a different hymn sheet and floored Pardal three times before the referee took pity on the Spaniard and stopped the fight. The danger sign was that the 30-year-old “Little Bull” had scored seven of his nine wins by KO/TKO including a first round kayo of Cristian Rodriguez in one round but this remains a shock. Pardal was the WBC Mediterranean champion and had won his last seven fights six of them by KO/TKO but he has probably blown his EU title shot.
Gago vs. Lopez
For a while there was the whiff of an upset in this one. Young Mexican Lopez gave EU champion Gago all the trouble he could handle. Gago was on the floor in the third but clawed his way back into the fight. He deserved the decision but was run very close by Lopez. Scores 79-73, 77-75 and 76-75 for Gago but the 79-73 was way out of line. Gago was put down in the first round of his fight with Lee Selby in March last year but got up and battled bravely until being stopped in the ninth round. Lopez, 22, was 0-2-2 in his previous four fights so was not expected to give Gago this much grief.
London, England: Heavy: Dillian Whyte (24-1) W PTS 12 Joseph Parker (24-2). Heavy: Dereck Chisora (29-8) W TKO 8 Carlos Takam (35-5-1). Light Heavy: Joshua Buatsi (7-0) W KO 1 Andrejs Pokumeiko (17-14-1). Welter: Connor Benn (13-0) W PTS 10 Cedrick Peynaud (6-6-3). Heavy: David Allen (14-4-2) W TKO 4 Nick Webb (12-1). Super Welter: Anthony Fowler (7-0) W TKO 6 Craig O’Brien (8-1). Light Heavy: Frank Buglioni (22-3-1) W RTD 6 Emmanuel Feuzeu (10-8-2).
Whyte vs. Parker
Whyte gets close unanimous decision over Parker in an exciting and dramatic fight which sees both fighters on the floor and Parker just seconds away from a last round victory. Parker made an impressive start. He was getting through with his jab and was quicker and more mobile. He caught Whyte with five hard right crosses in the round but Whyte absorbed them with looking shaken or stirred. Whyte was getting his own jab working in the second and this was already a fast-paced for heavyweights. Parker landed a couple of body shots but they had no effect on Whyte. Just before the bell they clashed and Whyte’s head crashed into the right side of Parker’s head. The New Zealander went down and the referee applied a count and although no punch had landed Parker did not dispute the decision. The bell went a split second after the eight count ended. A close third saw Whyte scoring with the heavier punches but Parker using his superior speed was scoring more so it depended on whether you went for power or accuracy in your scoring. Whyte upped the pace in the fourth almost wrestling Parker out of the ring over the top rope. Whyte was marching forward keeping in Parker’s face. Parker scored with a couple of punches with Whyte against the ropes but Whyte landing a few clubbing punches to have Parker looking worried. In the early part of the fifth round Parker scored with some crisp punches including a blistering left hook. Whyte was just walking through them and getting home with some heavy punches to the body with Parker being forced to the back foot. The sixth and seventh saw Whyte in control. He was out-jabbing Parker, scoring with thudding shots to the body and some wicked uppercuts. Parker seemed to be tired and was standing and trading which was allowing Whyte to clobber Parker with hooks. It was all Whyte in the eighth. He was controlling the action with a heavy jab. Parker’s work rate had dropped and he was just slinging punches with no snap. Both were tired from the pace of the fight. Parker was back to using his jab in the ninth and looking better than in the eighth until he was nailed by a left hook and went down hard. He rolled over and was up at four. After the eight count Whyte failed to capitalise on the knockdown and Parker had no trouble making it to the bell. Parker recovered well and outboxed Whyte in the tenth. The eleventh was another round for Parker. It saw both men hurt as they swung wild tired punches. Just seconds before the bell a right sent Whyte stumbling into the ropes clearly hurt but Parker was too tired to take advantage of the chance. They both found the energy to throw punches early in the twelfth until a big right from Parker landed on the chin of Whyte. He staggered back to the ropes with Parker pounding Whyte with punches. Whyte got off the ropes and two exhausted fighters were just swinging with the last of their strength. Another right form Parker saw Whyte slump to the canvas. He climbed to his feet at eight. Parker tried desperately to finish it but Whyte hugged the New Zealander tight and made it to the bell. Scores 115-110, 114-111 and 113-112 for Whyte. Parker started this fight well and finished it well but Whyte did enough over the middle rounds to be a worthy winner. The 30-year-old Jamaican-born fighter was making the second defence of his WBC Silver title and it will be disgraceful if the WBC fail to order Deontay Wilder to defend against him. He has been No 1 in the WBC ratings since November and watched the WBC allow drugs cheat Luis Ortiz, who was rated at No 3, a title shot and are said to be amenable to allowing Ortiz a return match. In the two years leading up to the Wilder fight Ortiz beat Malik Scott, David Allen and Daniel Martz . In his last three fights Whyte has beaten 25-1 Robert Helenius, 25-0 Lucas Browne and now 24-1 Joseph Parker. Where’s the justice in that? Parker lost this one but came close enough to winning it to be able to live with the disappointment. He is still a very good fighter and at 26 is a relative youngster in heavyweight terms and still has a part to play in the division.
Chisora vs. Takam
After taking punishment for seven rounds Chisora pulled this brutal fight out of the fire with two huge rights in the eighth. After a measured first minute of the opening round for the remaining two minute Takam had Chisora pinned to the ropes and was pounding away with hooks and uppercuts. Chisora was blocking a lot of them but some heavy ones got through. A brutal second round saw all of the action in the centre of the ring. Chisora plodded forward with Takam meeting him with jabs and huge rights to the head. Chisora was banging back with hooks but Takam was doing the more effective work. The third was a copy of the second and again Chisora was walking through some heavy rights to get close. For most of the fourth Chisora was still rolling forward but over the last 30 seconds he was again trapped on the ropes with Takam unloading booming rights. In the fifthTakam had Chisora up against the ropes whilst he pummelled the local fighter with hooks and uppercuts. It seemed that Chisora must fall but he was landing some meaty hooks to the body and not really looking in any trouble. Takam took Chisora to the ropes again in the sixth and a big right wobbled Chisora. Takam drove Chisora to a corner landed more big punches then took a step back and Chisora just stood against the ring post and casually spread his arms along the ropes to show he was not hurt. Takam jumped back in landed a series of punches with the referee looking ready to jump in and save Chisora but Del Boy” responded with some work of his own. So far Takam had won every round and the end seemed near when Chisora spent the whole three minutes of the seventh on the ropes as Takam pumped home punch after punch. Chisora was blocking many and kept firing back often enough to deter the referee from stopping the fight but with four more rounds to go it did not seem possible Chisora could go the distance. Despite all that had gone before in the eighth a huge right from Chisora landed on the side of Takam’s head and put Takam down on his back. He was up at seven and said he was OK but he wasn’t. He just walked forward and had not even lifted his left arm when a booming right to the chin put him down again and the referee waived the fight over. An amazing battle of attrition with a dramatic ending. It gives the 34-year-old “Del Boy” his 21st win by KO/TKO and along with it comes the WBA International title. He wants a return with Tyson Fury but if the win gives him a rating with the WBA then he would have a good chance of beating Manuel Charr who holds their secondary title. Takam at 37, and in his first fight since his tenth round loss to Anthony Joshua, might be wise to hang his gloves up. He has lost big fights to Alex Povetkin and Joseph Parker and has had an outstanding career.
Buatsi vs. Pokumeiko
Buatsi obliterates poor Latvian inside a round. Pokumeiko came out throwing jabs and looking to trade punches with Buatsi. Buatsi scored with a strong jab and a left hook . Pokumeiko continued to advance and he paid for that as Buatsi landed a quick right and a left hook that wobbled the legs of Pokumeiko. The Latvian tried to move inside but two rights sent him to the floor. He made it to his feet but when the eight count was over Buatsi jumped on him throwing wide wild punches until another left hook put Pokumeiko down and he was counted out. Olympic bronze medallist Buatsi gets his fifth win by KO/TKO. This was his first fight scheduled for ten rounds but scheduling a fight for ten rounds and then putting Buatsi in with a fighter such as Pokumeiko looked like an exercise in futility. On the credit side Pokumeiko had gone the distance with unbeaten Yoann Kongolo and world rated Enrico Koelling this year.
Benn vs. Peynaud
It isn’t always good tactics to over old ground but for his first ten round bout Benn faced Frenchman Peynaud for the second time and again came away with a victory. In their first fight Benn had to climb off the floor and score two knockdowns before winning their six rounder. Peynaud had shown himself a dangerous customer in that one and he tested Benn’s chin a few times in this one. They were swapping bombs from the off and Peynaud slammed home some good body shots in the second but then hit the floor. It looked like a slip but was counted as a knockdown. The action was fierce again in the third and fourth. The pattern changed after that with Benn settling down to box and work his openings. He scored a real knockdown with a right to the body in the seventh and scored another knockdown before a right from Peynaud in the last caused hearts to flutter but Benn was a good winner. Scores 98-90, 97-90 and 98-91 for Benn. He wins the vacant WBA Continental title, his first pro title. Although short on pro boxing experience Peynaud, 32, also competes at Muay Thai and kick boxing. He is a three-time French ISKA kick boxing champion and went on to be world champion in that discipline in 2011and also won titles at both Full Contact and K-1. Handy with his feet you might say.
Allen vs. Webb
Allen produces a booming right hand to win this one. Webb seemed in control as he took the first two rounds against a slower Allen. Webb also edged the third but the danger sign was there when he was rocked by a punch. Webb steadied himself and had the better of the fourth until late in the round Allen landed an overhand right and then a second bomb of a right sent Webb down heavily. He tried to make it to his feet but was in a bad way and the referee stopped the fight. The 26-year-old “White Rhino” from Yorkshire took Dillian Whyte the full ten rounds in losing to Whyte in 2016 but was a modest 4-3-1 going in with the losses being to Luis Ortiz, Lenroy Thomas and a tenth round stoppage by Tony Yoka on 23 June. Allen needed to win this one to stay in the domestic heavyweight picture and since it was a British title eliminator he is very much back in the frame for some good fights. Webb, 30, had won 5 of his last 6 fights by KO/TKO and was moving up to the ten round level for the first time so this is a serious set-back..
Fowler vs. O’Brien
Fowler marches on as he beats O’Brien finishing the fight with a great punch. Fowler pressed early going to the body. O’Brien was competitive over the first two rounds and landed some good counters. Fowler had O’Brien hurt with a body punch in the third but also suffered a small cut. Fowler switched his attacks to the head in the fourth and rocked O’Brien with a right. Fowler continued to press in the fifth. When they came out for the sixth Fowler immediately landed a booming left hook to the jaw that sent O’Brien down and out with his head resting on the bottom rope and the fight was stopped immediately. The 27-year-old from Liverpool collect a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games and a bronze at the World Championships. He competed at the Rio Olympics finally putting together a reputed 190-19 record as an amateur and is looking for tougher tests. Dubliner O’Brien, the Celtic and Irish champion, showed some good skills but could not withstand Fowler’s power.
Buglioni vs. Feuzeu
Buglioni gets the wins but has to come though some sticky patches against Feuzeu. Buglioni made a good start. He was on target with his jabs in the first and in the second he raked Feuzeu with some choice body punches before snapping his head back with a right uppercut. Feuzeu took Buglioni to the ropes early in the third and landed a couple of hefty swipes but Buglioni fought his way off the ropes and fired back with hooks and uppercuts. The fourth saw Feuzeu again take Buglioni to the ropes and he was landing some neck-snapping head punches. Buglioni got off the ropes but he was floundering. He steadied himself and they exchanged some eye-catching shots at the bell. Feuzeu Marched forward throwing wide sweeping punches in the fifth but the storm blew itself out and Buglioni was the one doing the scoring. In the sixth Buglioni landed a scorching right uppercut and Feuzeu was badly shaken and retired at the end of the round. First step on the road back for Buglioni after crushing loss to Callum Johnson for the British and Commonwealth titles in March. He was breaking Feuzeu down before the retirement but it was worrying to see him shaken a couple of times. Cameroon-born, Spanish-based Feuzeu drops to five losses by KO/TKO and to 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Garcia vs. Easton undercard
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Welter: Fabian Maidana (16-0) W KO 7 Andrey Klimov (20-5). Heavy: Luis Ortiz (29-1,1ND) W KO 2 Razvan Cojanu (16-4). Super Light: Mario Barrios (22-0) W RTD 8 Jose Roman (24-3-1). Light; Rey Perez (23-10) W TKO 8 Robert Marroquin (27-5-1).Maidana vs. Klimov
Argentinian Maidana forces Klimov out of the fight in the seventh round. Maidana was finding gaps and threading punches through Klimov’s defence in the first and by the end of the round Klimov was already showing a cut under his left eye. The Russian had good hand and foot speed but Maidana was boxing well and delivering some impressive power shots. Maidana dialled back his attacks from the fourth and it seemed he might have injured his right hand. With Klimov only looking to jab and move and not trade punches there was the odd boo from the crowd. Klimov kept popping his jab into the face of the ever advancing Maidana in the seventh. Again he was showing some smart footwork and looked comfortable. Late in the round Maidana exploded a left hook that clipped Klimov on the chin. In a delayed action the Russian took a couple of steps to the side and then pitched down face first to the canvas. He was up at four but as the referee counted Klimov just walked along the ropes making it clear he was finished and made his way to his corner. The 26-year-old “TNT”, the younger brother of Marcos, moves to twelve wins by KO/TKO and is rated No 9 welter by the WBA. Klimov, 36, lost to Jose Pedraza for the IBF super feather title in 2015. He is now 1-4 in his last five fights and the way he walked out of this fight makes retirement on the cards.
Ortiz vs. Cojanu
Ortiz crushes a very ordinary Cojanu. There was not a great deal of action in the first. Ortiz stayed in the centre of the ring and the 6’7 ½” Cojanu circled him occasionally poking out a jab. Cojanu finally fired some rights and Ortiz landed a long right to the body with Cojanu sneering at the punch. Ortiz stalked Cojanu in the second. He sent a couple punches past the chin of the Romanian and Cojanu mocked the big Cuban’s effort. He paid for that as Ortiz landed a right to the side of the head and a left hook to the chin that sent Cojanu down heavily. He tried to get up but slumped over and at the second attempt he toppled forward and down and the fight was over. There is now talk of the 39-year-old Cuban getting a return with Deontay Wilder. Apart from being tall Cojanu had little else going for him but he had gone the full twelve rounds in losing to Joseph Parker in a challenge for the WBO title in his last fight in May last year.
Barrios vs. Roman
Barrios takes another step closer to a title fight with win over useful Roman. Things did not start too well for Barrios when a punch from Roman opened a cut over his left eye and Roman also landed a good right to take the opening round. Barrios was better in the second as he battered Roman with successive left hooks. The third was closer but in the fourth Barrios staggered Roman early then put Roman down with a left. Although Roman beat the count he was rocked again by a right later in the round. Barrios dominated the next three rounds hammering away at Roman who was too busy looking to his defence to do much offence. Roman went down under a hail of punches in the eighth but managed to make it to his feet and survived to the bell and then his corner retired him. The 23-year-old “El Azteca” from San Antonio wins the vacant WBA Inter-Continental welterweight title. His is the WBA No 4at super light and he was only 1 ¼ lbs over the super light division here so he will probably stay there and wait to see how the WBSS works out. Californian Roman had put together a ten fight winning streak before losing to Wilberth Lopez in September last year so has now lost two in a row.
Perez vs. Marroquin
Another Marroquin revival hits the buffers as he is stopped by Perez with less than two minutes to go in their fight. It had been a fiercely contested fight with the scores so close at the end of the seventh-67-66 for Perez across the board- that the last round was going to be the decider. Marroquin had suffered a cut on the bridge of his nose in the seventh but that was never going to be much of a factor. What was a factor was a sizzling left hook from Perez that staggered Marroquin badly. Perez followed that success up with a few more hard shots leading to Marroquin’s corner calling for the referee to stop the fight. “Filipino Flash” Perez was already a fair way towards just being a scalp for promising youngsters to collect. He was 2-4 in his previous six fight with four of his victors being unbeaten when they fought him. This is unlikely to signal a U-Turn but is shows there still plenty of life in Perez. Since his loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux for the WBA super bantam in 2012 Marroquin has twice managed to score successive wins but in each occasion he has then gone on to a loss but at 28 there is no reason for him to do anything other than get back in the saddle (he’s a Texan).
Ito vs. Diaz undercard
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Welter: Gabriel Bracero (25-3-1) W TKO 5 Artemio Reyes (25-3). Middle: Esquiva Falcao ( 21-0) W TKO 1 Jonathan Tavira (17-6). Super Feather: Henry Lebron (5-0) W TKO 6 Luis Diaz (3-6). Bantam: Antonio Vargas (7-0) W PTS 6 Aaron Lopez (5-3). Super Feather: Vlad Nikitin (1-0) W PTS 6 Edward Kakembo (10-5).
Bracero vs. Reyes
Bracero comes in as a late substitute for the injured Carlos Adames and wins in five. Bracero outboxed Reyes all the way. Although their numbers were similar Bracero had met a much higher level of opposition and used that experience to win this one. Reyes was marching forward aimlessly and Bracero was confusing him with movement and punishing him with counters. After four one-sided rounds a wicked left hook to the body followed by a right to the head dropped Reyes to his knees and he was counted out. The 37-year-old from Brooklyn had been on a bit of a switchback ride with a loss to Felix Diaz, a win over Danny O’Connor, a loss to Paul Malignaggi and a draw with Thomas Lamanna. He had been working with Robert Easter for Easter’s fight with Mikey Garcia so despite the short notice he was in good shape. Reyes had won his last ten fights but was never in this one.
Falcao vs. Tavira
Too easy for Falcao as he finishes fellow southpaw Tavira in 98 seconds. Falcao was prowling after Tavira. He backed him to the ropes and delivered some hefty lefts to the head as he drove Tavira along the ropes. Falcao landed a hard left and Tavira pitched forward to the floor. He was up at four and after the eight count a cruel left to the body sent Tavira down and the referee stopped the fight. The 28-year-old Brazilian was supposed to be in his first ten round fight but with an opponent as poor as Tavira this fight was always going to be over early. Falcao was a bronze medallist at the World Championships and beat Brit Anthony Ogogo on the way to a silver medal in London in 2012. This is win No 15 by KO/TKO. He is rated WBA 9/WBC 14.Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Tavira
Lebron vs. Diaz
Puerto Rican Lebron makes it four wins by KO/TKO with sixth round stoppage of fellow Puerto Rican Diaz. The 20-year-old “Moncho” is one of the many rising young stars of the Top Rank team. He was a gold medal winner at the Pan American and Puerto Rican Youth Championships and lifted a bronze at the World Junior Championships. Diaz, 40, has lost five in a row, four of them to unbeaten fighters.
Vargas vs. Lopez
Kissimmee-based Texan Vargas wins every round over Mexican Lopez. Scores 60-54 for Vargas on the three cards. The 2016 Olympian was a gold medallist at the Pan American Games and at the US national Championships and those two achievements garnered him the US Elite Male Boxer of the Year in 2015. He made it to Rio despite losing at both the USA Trials and the World Qualifiers but was eliminated in the second series. His antecedents are Puerto Rican (on his father’s side) and Mexican (on his mother’s side). Lopez game but outclassed.
Nikitin vs. Kakembo
Olympian Nikitin turns pro with a win as he decisions Ugandan Kakembo. The Russian had Kakembo down twice but could not keep him there so had to go the full six rounds for his win. Scores 60-52 twice and 60-51. The 28-year-old Nikitin is now based in Oxnard. As an amateur he won a bronze medal at the 2013 European Championships, a silver at the World Championships and a bronze at the Olympics in Rio having to withdraw from the final due injuries received in his win over Michael Conlan . His win over Conlan was the one that saw Conlan give his very public opinion of the judging and I guess they could clash again as professionals. Five losses in a row for Kakembo.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Light: Matias Rueda (31-1) W KO 3 Cesar Antin (17-1). Bantam: Pablo Gomez (10-9-2) W PTS 12 Carlos Sardinez (12-1).
Rueda vs. Antin
Rueda overcomes a shaky three minutes before winning. The first round provided a shock. The usual aggressive opening by Rueda was brought up short when a tremendous right cross from Antin put him down on his back. He struggled to his feet but was badly shaken and only just made it to the bell. In the second life returned to normal and as they traded punches a sweet left hook from Rueda sent Antin crashing to the floor and he was counted out. Now 28 wins by KO/TKO for Rueda giving him an impressive 88% figure for inside the distance wins. His only loss was a two round stoppage against Oscar Valdez for the vacant WBO title in 2016. He wins the interim South American title with this victory. Antin certainly shook things up with that first round knockdown. With only seven wins by KO/TKO he is not a noted puncher.
Gomez vs. Sardinez
Minor upset as Gomez floors and outpoints unbeaten Sandez and takes Sandez’s South American title. A right to the chin floored Sandez in the first and he took a couple of rounds to shake of the effects giving Gomez a good lead. Sandez fought hard from there but was not able to make up the deficit and Gomez emerged a clear winner. Scores 116-111 ½ -111 ½, 117-114 ½, 116-115 ½ for Gomez who is really just a prelim fighter and had never gone past six rounds before. Sandez, the Argentinian No 2 was making the first defence of the South American title.
Brampton, Canada: Welter: Steve Claggett (27-5-1) W PTS 10 Petros Ananyan (13-1-2). Claggett gets off the floor to outpoint previously undefeated Ananyan and take Ananyan’s IBF International title. Claggett was put down by a left hook in the first but was not badly hurt and was soon working his jab to start getting back the couple of points the knockdown cost him. His jab and a higher work rate saw him claw his way back into the fight. Ananyan remained dangerous and shook Claggett in the fifth. The visitor fought hard all the way to the final bell making this a very close fight with the busier Claggett just doing enough to take the decision. Scores 95-94 for Claggett on all cards. It has been an up and down time for Claggett recently with an impressive win over Yves Ulysse and a ponts loss against Danny O’Connor. Russian-based Ananyan a former Russian champion was making the first defence of the title that he won with a technical victory over 30-1 Luca Giacon in October.
Deauville, France: Super Welter: Maxime Beaussire (27-1-1) W PTS 8 Cedric Pate (12-1-2). Beaussire gets eight rounds of useful practice against previously unbeaten fellow-Frenchman Pate. The red-headed Frenchman was cut in a clash of heads in the first round but he was never really bothered by the cut during the fight. He attacked hard banging to the body with both hands and Pate often looked on the point of folding but he kept going and Beaussire just did not have the power on the night to end things. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-73 for Beaussire. The 26-year-old form Caen, the European Union champion, suffered his only loss when he was beaten on a split decision by Zakaria Attou in April last year but he won the now vacant title with a victory over unbeaten Joffrey Jacob in November and made a successful defence by beating experienced Lenny Bottai in February. Pate lacked the power or experience to threaten Beaussire.
Rome, Italy: Super Middle: Giovanni De Carolis (26-9-1) W PTS 10 Roberto Cocco (20-16-1). Light: Davide Festosi (12-0) W TKO 3 Milan Savic (4-33-2).
De Carolis vs. Cocco
Fighting in front of his own fans De Carolis wins the vacant Italian title with points victory over former champion Cocco. Making good use of a strong left hook De Carolis controlled the fight. Cocco was never able to get a foothold but he took the punishment and kept fighting hard. A left hook from de Carolis floored Cocco in the seventh and he kept up the pressure in the eighth and ninth before easing up and allowing Cocco to have a good last round and go the distance. Scores 100-90, 100-89 and 99-90 all for De Carolis. The 33-year-old from Rome was flying high when he won the secondary WBA title with a victory over Vincent Feigenbutz and then retained it with a draw against Tyron Zeuge. A fight in which De Carolis looked the clear winner. He lost the title on a twelfth round kayo in a return with Zeuge and defeats against Viktor Polyakov and Bilal Akkawy have lowered his horizons somewhat. Cocco, 41, had won his last three fights but must be nearing retirement.
Festosi vs. Savic
Festosi stops Savic in a win-win night for the Italian hope. Festosi handed out punishment over the first two rounds staying inside and scoring with short punches. In the third he continued to force the smaller Savic back and then trapped him on the ropes. He showered the Serb with body punches and with nothing coming back the Serb’s team threw in the towel. “ Bazooka” Festosi 26, a former Italian amateur champion, has won his last five fights by KO/TKO. His second win on the night also came in the ring when his girlfriend accepted his proposal of marriage. I guess if they get married in the ring they could change the words to “in this ring I thee wed”. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Savic.
Tijuana, Mexico: Feather: Carlos Ornelas (20-0) W Jetro Pabustan (29-5-6).
Ornelas end this one early with stoppage of fellow-southpaw Pabustan. The first round was close with Filipino Pabustan letting go with some solid rights and Ornelas a little hesitant but scoring enough to make it an even round. Pabustan had a better second and landed a couple of hurtful shots at the end of the round. Pabustan was stabbing out his jab at the start of the third but fifteen seconds into the round Ornelas fired a thunderbolt of an overhand followed by a left that sent Pabustan crashing face down on the floor. He struggled to his feet and was in a bad way but the referee wrongly let the fight continue. After Ornelas landed a couple of rights to the head Pabustan slumped to a sitting position canvas propped up against the ropes and the referee immediately stopped the fight. The 23-year-old from Tijuana has twelve wins by KO/TKO and victories over former IBF super fly champion Juan Carlos Sanchez and Dennis Contreras. Pabustan, who lost to Pungluang in a challenge for the WBO bantam title, was 3-2 in fights since then
Managua, Nicaragua: Light Fly: Byron Rojas (25-3-3) W TKO 3 Daniel Mendoza (9-3). Bantam: Keyvin Lara (26-2-1) W PTS 6 Alex Taylor (17-23-2,1ND).
Rojas vs. Mendoza
Rojas massacres brave young Nicaraguan Mendoza with four knockdowns. Mendoza came out guns blazing in the first trying to catch Rojas cold. Rojas settled and then floored Mendoza with left hook to the head. Mendoza took the count and then marched back into Rojas and swapped punches. In the second with Mendoza still attacking a left hook to the body sent him down again. Mendoza did not learn the lesson from the first round and insisted on taking the fight to Rojas. It was over in the third as crunching rights from Rojas put Mendoza down twice more and the referee halted the fight. Rojas, a former WBA minimumweight champion lost his title to Knockout CP Freshmart on a very thin points decision in 2016 He has now won eight in a row as he waits for a promised return with the Thai probably in October. Mendoza just not in the same class but plenty of guts.
Lara vs. Taylor
Lara stays active with a unanimous decision over former victim Taylor. Scores 60-54 twice and 59-55. The 23-year-old Lara was knocked out in eleven rounds when challenging Kazuto Ioka for the secondary WBA title 2016. He has scored eight wins on the bounce. He is No 3 with the WBO and has an early career win over WBC flyweight champion Cristofer Rosales. Taylor usually last the full route but has won only one of his last six fights.