Brisbane, Australia: Cruiser: Jai Opetaia (16-0) W KO 2 Kurtis Pegoraro (11-4). Welter: Cameron Hammond (17-1) W TKO 2 Aphichat Koedchatturat (2-26-2).
Opetaia vs. Pegoraro
Just a keep busy fight for Opetaia as he finishes fellow-Australian Pegoraro in two rounds. In the first Opetaia was tracking Pegoraro around the ring just looking to land a big southpaw left. He landed a couple but Pegoraro kept moving and just occasionally diving in with an attack. In the second Opetaia landed a couple of lefts to the head and when Pegoraro tried another lunging attack Opetaia landed a left to the body that saw Pegoraro turn away and go down on one knee and he was counted out just as he got to his feet. The 22-year-old former Olympian wins the vacant IBF Pan Pacific title and keeps his WBO Asia Pacific title Now 13 wins by KO/TKO including eight on the bounce for the former World Junior champion. Pegoraro, 28, had won his last seven fights but was way out of his league here. In line with the madness of our sport Pegoraro holds the WBO Chinese National heavyweight title!
Hammond vs. Koedchatturat
Hammond returns with a win in a ridiculous mismatch. Hammond was the taller fighter and had a big edge in reach. He had a bit of rust to shed and for most of the first round he just poked out his left jab before opening up with a flurry of punches just before the bell. Koedchatturat tried a few lunging attacks in the second but when Hammond opened up he was overwhelmed. Hammond landed a series of left jab/straight right combinations and then drove a stumbling Koedchatturat along the ropes firing bunches of punches and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. First fight for Hammond since losing on points to Kris George for the vacant Commonwealth title in November 2016. The 2012 Olympian has a rebuilding job to do and this was an easy first step. Poor Queensland-based Thai Koedchatturat should not be in the ring with fighters such as Hammond. He is now 0-17-2 in his last 19 fights and the only good thing you can say is that he goes the distance-only three losses by KO/TKO-but 16-1 against 2-25-2 is not my idea of a fight.
Pamel-Roosdaal, Belgium: Cruiser; Ryad Merhy (25-1) W KO 6 Soso Abuladze (14-11-1). Middle: Kevin Vanderheyden (8-0) W PTS 8 Jamal Eddine Mahouti (1-6). Super Welter: Sandro Janjanidze (11-12-1) W PTS 8Sasha Yengoyan (41-4-1). Welter: Meriton Karaxha (20-5-1) W PTS 6 Houcine Chouchane (3-5).
Merhy vs. Abuladze
Merhy returns with a win but not an impressive one. In his first fight since losing to Arsen Goulamirian for the interim WBA in March Merhy looked flat. The early rounds featured very little action and the referee had to warn the fighters to put in more effort. Merhy finally came to life in the fifth and ended it in the sixth. The 25-year-old from the Ivory Coast, who moved to Belgium at the age of three, now has 21 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated No 10 by the WBA so can build his way back to another title shot. Georgian Abuladze is 1-4 in his last 5 fights.
Vanderheyden vs. Mahouti
Vanderheyden moves to eight wins with victory over Mahouti. Plenty of honest endeavour but not a great deal of skill on show here. Despite his poor record Mahouti put in a good effort and Vanderheyden had a harder than expected time in subduing Mahouti but was a clear winner. Scores 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 for Vanderheyden who was fighting at eight rounds for the first time, as was Mahouti.
Janjanidze vs. Yengoyan
What should have been a routine win for Yengoyan instead reveals the first sings that the Armenian is on the slippery down slope. Once labelled “The Beast from the East” Yengoyan had nothing going for him in this fight. He has never been a technically sound fighter but in the past he has made up for that with aggression and power. He showed neither here. Janjanidze is not a very good fighter. He has lost more than he has won but he worked well with his jab and was on the front foot most of the time. Yengoyan landed some rights but was ponderous and his punches lacked any snap. The last round had plenty of excitement with Janjanidze rocking Yengoyan badly only for Yengoyan to fire back and then Janjanidze finished the round strongly with Yengoyan in trouble on the ropes. Scores 58-56 twice for Janjanidze and 57-57 so a majority decision for Janjanidze. The 23-year-old Georgian had won only three of his last twelve contests and had lost in a fight for the Belgian title in May. At 33 it is difficult to say what is left for Yengoyan. He was 20-2 in his last 22 fights with losses to former IBF welter champion Jan Zaveck and to Frenchman Howard Cospolite. He was coming off a win over reasonable level opposition in Ayoub Nefzi so his next fight will be an important sign post.
Karaxha vs. Chouchane
Karaxha too strong for inexperienced and limited Tunisian Chouchane. From the first exchange of punches it was obvious that Karaxha was superior in power and technique and Chouchane quickly went into survival mode. Karaxha was unable to really hurt Chouchane so it went the distance. Scores 60-54 twice and 59-55 all for Karaxha. The 29-year-old “Mister TNT” is Albanian but is the Belgian welter champion. He has now won 9 of his last 10 fights but the opposition has been somewhat less than modest. Chouchane has yet to lose inside the distance but this is his fourth points defeat in a row.
San Francisco de Mostazal, Chile: Miguel Gonzalez (28-1) W PTS 11 Michell Banquez (14-1). Feather: Cristian Palma (28-10-1) W PTS 10 Andy Almendras (14-9-1). Super Bantam: Jose Velasquez (20-6-2) W TKO 4 Juan Pablo Sosa (11-4-2).
Gonzalez vs. Banquez
World rated Gonzalez much too good for Venezuelan. Banquez came out throwing punches trying to catch Gonzalez cold but once “The Needle” settled he took over. Gonzalez kept Banquez retreating and under pressure. He was too quick and accurate with his jab and worked Banquez over inside. The Venezuela occasionally managed to get off the ropes for an attack but Gonzalez soon had him trapped on there again handing out punishment and the only thing missing was a punch to end the fight early. Scores 108-103, 108 ½-103 ½ and 107-104 ½ for Gonzalez. He was making the fourth defence of his WBA Fedelatin title. His only defeat was a very wide unanimous decision against Paul Butler in 2013. He has won eleven fights since then but against modest opposition and his WBA No 4 rating flatters him. Banquez’s record also flatters him. Of his 14 victims nine had never won a fight and they had only eight wins between the fourteen of them.
Palma vs. Almendras
Palma outpoints Almendras but has a tougher fight than the scores show. Palma started strongly using a stiff jab and right crosses with Almendras dangerous with counters. Palma built an early lead but over the later rounds Almendras was marching forward scoring inside with hooks and uppercuts and finding gaps in Palma’s defence but the Bolivian just could not cancel out the home fighter’s better start. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 96-94 for “El Tigre” Palma. Eight wins in a row for the Chilean champion who retains the WBC South American title. Almendras is now 5-2 in his last 7 fights.
Velasquez vs. Sosa
Velasquez simply overpowers Argentinian Sosa. Velasquez is just 5’2 ½” (159cm) so he has to get inside. He was walking through Sosa’s right jab and banging away to the body and was all over Sosa with Sosa fighting with his back against the ropes for much of the fight. Finally at the end of the third Sosa’s was tiring from the pressure. In the fourth a wicked left to the body hurt Sosa and he went down. Velasquez started celebrating immediately with a somersault and leaning over the ropes waiving to his fans. Behind him Sosa had beaten the count so the celebration was slightly premature. When the action resumed Velasquez jumped on Sosa and sent him down again with a series of punches and the referee waived the fight over. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for Velazquez who was defending his WBO Latino title. Former Argentinian title challenger Sosa was 9-2-2 going in.
Cancun, Mexico: Welter: Rashidi Ellis (20-0) W PTS 10 Alberto Mosquera (25-4-2,2ND). Super Bantam: Francisco Horta (18-3-1) W PTS 8 David Reyes (17-4-1).
Ellis vs. Mosquera
Ellis lives up to his “Speedy” nickname and gets another win as he outpoints Panamanian southpaw Mosquera. Accuracy, fast hands and fast feet plus some slippery defensive work from Ellis were too much for the pedestrian Mosquera. The Panamanian took the fight to Ellis but was waiting too long to throw his punches. Ellis was slotting home jabs, finding the target with short hooks and constantly moving. Mosquera was generally chasing in vain and too often standing in front of Ellis and not letting his punches go. The Panamanian did land some head punches but he was eating a lot more than he was handing out and just could not cope with the speed and movement of Ellis. Ellis lost a point for a very low punch in the ninth and was lucky to get away with a couple of very borderline punches in the last but he was just too slick for Mosquera. Score 98-91 twice and 97-92 for Ellis. The 25-year-old Ellis, the WBA No 11, is a former National Police Athletic League champion (the National PAL sits just behind the US National Championships and the National Golden Gloves in prestige in US amateur boxing) and is the brother of unbeaten 15-0-2 Ronald Ellis. He is ready to move up to taking on rated fighters. Mosquera, 31, was world rated for a while after a 21-0-2,2 ND start to his career but that was the high point. A ninth round kayo by Charlie Navarro in 2014derailed any plan for a world title fight and he is now 4-3 since then.
Horta vs. Reyes
Fighting in his home town Horta gets unanimous decision over Reyes. These two went toe-to-toe for much of the eight rounds. Horta was the heavier puncher and the more accurate. Reyes did not help his case by losing a point in the fourth for a head butt. Horta had Reyes in trouble a few times but Reyes has yet to lose inside the distance and he was still there fighting hard at the end of the eight rounds. Scores 80-72, 79-72 and 78-73 for Horta. He is now 10-0-1 in his last 11 fights.
Singapore, Singapore: Feather: Muhamad Ridhwan (11-0) W TKO 2 Rivo Rengkung (36-26-6). Local boxer Ridhwan keeps on track for IBO title fight with stoppage of Indonesian Rengkung. “The 30-year-old “Chosen Wan” is aiming to move down to super bantam and is hoping to get a title shot in September. Ridhwan, a three-time bronze medal winner at the East Asian Games, is a Muslim and had to amend his training schedule as this fight followed the end of Ramadan. Rengkung now has eleven losses by KO/TKO.
Cape Town, South Africa: Heavy; Vlad Sirenko (8-0) W TKO 1 Knife Didier(6-4). Super Light: Antonio Mayala (5-3-1) DREW 10 Benoit Vela (12-0-2).
Sirenko vs. Didier
Ukrainian prospect Sirenko crushes Congolese fighter Didier inside a round to win the vacant WBFederation International title. After exchanging jabs Sirenko blasted Didier with a left hook to the head that sent Didier staggering into a corner. A couple more head punches put Didier down. He made it to his feet but was very unsteady and a few more head punches from Sirenko saw the fight stopped. The 23-year-old Ukrainian is a former Ukrainian Youth champion. He won a silver medal at the European Youth championships and a bronze at the Ukrainian Senior Championships. He has won seven fights by KO/TKO with all seven wins coming in the first round but against abysmal opposition. Second loss by KO/TKO for 39-year-old Didier.
Mayala vs. Vela
Mayala retains his WBFederation African title with draw against Vela. It was one of those fights where one fighter, Vela, took the early rounds and the other, Mayala finished strongly. It was close enough to have gone either way and a draw looked about right. One judge had it 96-94 for Mayala whilst another judge, his son, had it 96-94 for Veal and the third scored it 95-95. Angolan-born Mayala had done all of his fighting in South Africa and is now 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights. Vela had built a useful record back home in the Congo and this is his first fight outside the country. Strange but none of the four fighters in the main events were South African.
Ayutthaya, Thailand: Super Fly: Kongfah (23-1) W PTS 10 Ryoji Fukunaga (10-4). Kongfah (Jakkrawut Majoogoen) retains the OPBF Silver title with unanimous decision over Fukunaga. The visitor piled forward throughout the fight walking onto counters from Kongfah. He took an occasional round on effort alone. Kongfah outboxed and outworked the visitor and won a comfortable decision. Scores 97-93 for Kongfah from all three judges. Kongfah’s only loss is a seventh round kayo by Daigo Higa in 2015 with Higa going on to win the WBC flyweight title. Fukunaga nowhere in the Japanese ratings.
Valencia, Spain: Light: Vage Sarukhanyan (18-2-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Ignacio Mendoza (43-13-3). Super Feather: Jon Fernandez (16-0) W TKO 3 Henry Maldonado (20-7). Light Heavy: Tim Robin Lihaug (18-4) W KO 1Janne Forsman (22-10)
Sarukhanyan vs. Mendoza
Sarukhanyan gets back into the winners enclosure but has a tough time against “Natxo” Mendoza. The Colombian oldie put the Armenia-born Russian under pressure all the way. Sarukhanyan did not have the punch to keep Mendoza out but his better skills saw him through although the decision could have gone either way. Scores 77-75 and 76-75 for Sarukhanyan and 76-74 for Mendoza. Sarukhanyan scored victories over Gamaliel Diaz and Heidi Slimani in a nine-bout winning run but was knocked out in seven rounds by Hurricane Futa in February. Colombian-born Mendoza, 37, sometimes forgets the script and has scored wins over 24-0 Volodymyr Kravets and unbeaten Canadian David Theroux.
Fernandez vs. Maldonado
Hard-punching 22-year-old Fernandez gets a busy schedule underway with a stoppage of experienced Maldonado. The youngster from Bilbao took the opening round with some good work with his jab and then floored Maldonado with a right to the head in the second. Maldonado got up and saw out the round. In the third two body punches sent Maldonado down and the fight was stopped. The 5’11” (180cm) “Jonfer” has now scored 14 consecutive wins by KO/TKO. The EBU No 7 has been acting in films and on TV but this is supposed to be the first fight of a series of three in three months. Nicaraguan Maldonado, 30, lost only one of his first 18 fights before suffering back to back losses in 2013 to Julio Ceja and Jesse Magdaleno but took 25-0 Arthur Villanueva to a split verdict loss in 2014. This is his third loss in a row.
Lihaug vs. Forsman
A curious all-Scandinavian fight in Valencia does not last long as Norwegian Lihaug knocks out Finn Forsman inside a round. Lihaug went 15-1 before being stopped in eight rounds by Arthur Abraham in 2016. Since then he has gone to a modest 3-3. Forsman, 35, has had an even worse time recently having gone from 18-1 to 4-9 including six losses in a row.
Bensalem, PA, USA: Fly: Carlos Maldonado (11-2) W PTS 8 Miguel Cartagena (15-4-1). Maldonado ruins the homecoming for Cartagena as he takes split decision. The fight was close as both fighters had good spells .Cartagena finally seemed to edge ahead over the sixth and seventh but Maldonado floored Cartagena in the eighth and that proved the decisive moment. Scores 77-74 and 76-75 for Maldonado and 76-75 for Cartagena. Californian Maldonado had been in good form with 7 wins in his last 8 fights including 6 victories by KO/TKO and his punch came in handy here. Cartagena was an outstanding amateur winning the Philadelphia Golden Gloves eleven times and finishing with a claimed 156-13 record. He has had a stuttering pro career getting a big win over highly rated Filipino Jobert Alvarez but was halted in five rounds by Brian Viloria in his last fight in September. He is only 25 so a bit early to write him off.
Evian, France: Super Light; Massi Tachour (11-4,1ND) W TKO 8 Jean Moraiti (17-14-4,1ND). Tachour maintains his run of good form and retains the national title with stoppage of Moraiti. Tachour floored Moraiti in the fifth before forcing the stoppage in the eighth. The 27-year-old from Fontenay has turned his career around with eight wins in his last nine fights and was making the first defence of the title he won with a split decision over Renald Garrido in March, Moraiti, a former undefeated UBO world champion, has now lost three times in shots at the French title.
Grosseto, Italy: Super Feather: Michael Magnesi (12-0) W TKO 3 Francesco Invernizio (9-7-1). Magnesi wins the vacant Italian title with stoppage of Invernizio. Magnesi won this one in quick time. In the first round he forced Invernizio to the ropes with a combination and then dropped him with a right hook. Invernizio made it to his feet and saw out the round. Magnesi continued his attacks in the second with Invernizio under pressure and just looking to counter when he saw a gap. In the third Magnesi was pounding on Invernizio and finally the towel came in from Invernizio’s corner. The 23-year-old gets his fifth win by KO/TKO. A high level amateur he continues to fight for the Italia Thunder team in the WSB whilst fighting pro. Invernizio, 26, is 2-5 in his last 7 fights including an unsuccessful challenge for the vacant Italian lightweight title.
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Light: Pedro Campa (29-1) W TEC DEC 5 Domicio Rondon (15-4). Super Fly: Dewayne Beamon (15-0-1) W TKO 4 Joel Cordoba (6-4).
Campa vs. Rondon
Campa beats Rondon on a technical decision. Campa took the first three rounds subjecting the Venezuelan to a solid body battering. In the fourth a cut was opened on the left eyelid of Campa. The referee ruled it was caused by a head butt and deducted a point from Rondon. Campa continued to land heavily and although Rondon did not fold he looked close to the end in the fifth. However Campa’s injury had worsened and the ringside physician ruled the injury was too serious for the fight to continue and the decision was decided by the cards with all three judges having Campa in front 50-44. “La Roca” Campa had put together some good results with victories over Aaron Herrera, Jose Alfaro and Marvin Quintero but after 27 wins he suffered a shock inside the distance loss against Carlos Jimenez in October. He started his rebuilding with a win over Ivan Alvarez in February. Campa twice won gold medals at the Mexican National Olympiad tournament in a 96 fight campaign as an amateur. Venezuelan champion Rondon had won his last four fights.
Beamon vs. Cordoba
Beamon has no trouble in halting outclassed novice Cordoba. Beamon scored three knockdowns before finishing the fight in the fourth round. The 32-year-old Beamon hails from North Carolina and this is his fourth fight in Mexico. “Mr Stop Running” is a former undefeated UB Federation champion and has 11 wins by KO/TKO with his draw being in February against 17-1-1Angel Ramos. Local novice Cordoba gets his second loss by KO/TKO.
Budva, Montenegro: Super Middle: Nikola Sjekloca (34-5-1) W PTS 10 Farouk Daku (21-15-1). Light Heavy: Marko Nikolic (20-0) W TKO 4 Milos Jankovic (1-5-1).
Sjekloca vs. Daku
Sjekloca gets home win as he takes every round against Daku. The Serbian-born Montenegrin had a 5lbs weight advantage and had southpaw Daku cut and occasionally hurt but the Ugandan fought back hard to stay the distance. Scores 100-90 for Sjekloca from all three judges. The 39-year-old Sjekloca, he will be 40 on 10 July, lost to Sakio Bika in a WBC final eliminator and to Arthur Abrahams for the WBO title. He then lost big fights against Callum Smith and Tyron Zeuge before drawing with former champion Robert Stieglitz and losing to Anthony Yarde. Dutch-based Daku has lost 6 of his last 7.
Nikolic vs. Jankovic
A bit of rubbish match-making sees Nikolic floor poor Jankovic and win the first three rounds before stopping Jankovic in the fourth. The 29-year-old Serbian has ten wins by KO/TKO but has yet to face anything even close to resembling a test. Jankovic is 0-5-1 in his last 6 fights.
Barcelona, Spain: Super Light: Jonathan Alonso (16-0) W TKO 7 Giorgi Gviniashvili (15-12-1). Alonso gets rare inside the distance win. He ended a one-sided fight in the seventh. A body punch put Gviniashvili on the floor and although the Georgian beat the count he turned away and started back to his corner and the referee stopped the fight. The unbeaten 27-year-old Alonso was born in the Dominican Republic but moved to Spain when still a child. He represented Spain at the 2012 Olympics and the European Championships. Nine of his last eleven wins have been by decision. Unlike most Georgian boxers Gviniashvili was coming off a win outside Georgia having knocked out Frenchman Bryan Boussis in May.
Belfast, Northern Ireland: Feather: Michael Conlan (8-0) W PTS 8 Adeilson Dos Santos (19-5). Super Feather: Jono Carroll (16-0) W TKO 9 Declan Geraghty (17-3). Super Light: Jack Catterall (22-0) W PTS 10 Tyrone McKenna (16-1-1). Welter: Gary Corcoran (18-2) W TKO 5 Victor Ray Ankrah (8-3). Super Bantam: Tyrone McCullagh (11-0) W PTS 10 Joe Ham (14-1). Welter Johnny Coyle (19-0-1) W PTS 10 Lewis Benson (10-1).
Conlan vs. Dos Santos
Conlan celebrates his homecoming with a win. In fast-paced early rounds Conlan was getting though with his jab and trying some rights. Dos Santos was competitive but just a bit too slow. Conlan switched guards late in the first and stuck with that guard. He was showing excellent defensive work but reaching with his punches. Conlan switched guards a number of times in the third and fourth and let his hands go more scoring with rapid combinations. He dropped his guard and used great upper body movement to duck and weave under punches from Dos Santos. He landed some heavy head punches and for short spells stood and traded with Dos Santos. The Brazilian kept trying to find the target but was getting a boxing lesson. Over the fifth and sixth Conlan alternated between slotting home punches from distance and going toe-to-toe with Dos Santos. That allowed Dos Santos to score with some hooks and uppercuts inside but Conlan was bombarding him with speedy combinations. Dos Santos had his best round of the fight in the seventh. He pressed hard occasionally forcing Conlan to stand and exchange punches and he was scoring well with hooks. Conlan boxed on the back foot in the last round. Dos Santos kept striding forward and had some success but Conlan was doing most of the scoring with accurate counters. Referee’s score 79-73 for Conlan. The 26-year-old former Commonwealth, European and World amateur champion was having his first fight in his native Belfast since turning pro. It was a superb, at times dazzling performance from Conlan but too one-sided for it to be an entertaining fight for any neutrals. Conlan is ready for better opposition. Dos Santos was knocked out in two rounds by Jesse Magdaleno in a challenge for the WBO super bantam title in April last year and had lost to unbeaten Russian Evgeny Smirnov in April this year. He was a credible opponent for Conlan at this stage. There was considerable anger in the Arena with Conlan being shown to be fighting under a British flag when he represented Ireland as an amateur but since he was born in Belfast-part of the United Kingdom- the mistake was to a degree understandable but should not have happened.
Carroll vs. Geraghty
Carroll grinds down and halts fellow-southpaw Geraghty to get important win. Geraghty had the skill and to win Carroll had to pressure his fellow Dubliner and attack the body to slow the smarter boxer. Carroll did just that. Geraghty did enough to edge the first round and scored with some sharp counters in the second. Geraghty also made a smart start to the third but then Carroll connected with a series of head punches and Geraghty stumbled and put both gloves on the floor and was given a count. Carroll never looked back after that. Geraghty showed some smart movement and good defensive work but he did not have the power to keep out the rampaging Carroll. In the fifth Carroll hunted down Geraghty for the full three minutes with Geraghty unable to get any space and holding more than before. Carroll was relentless in the sixth and seventh and Geraghty was ducking lower and lower trying to hide his body from the meaty hooks of Carroll. He tried to fire back but Carroll was too strong and the fight was one-sided with the only question being how long Geraghty could last. He looked ready to go in the eighth but survived . Carroll switched to the head in the ninth landing clubbing hooks and then wrestled an exhausted Geraghty to the floor. Geraghty had nothing left and as Carroll was bulling him along the ropes the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Carroll retains the IBF Inter-Continental title. It is easy to dismiss it as a minor title but the way the sanctioning bodies work winning that title has been enough to get Carroll a No 7 rating within the IBF . The first two slots are vacant and No 3 and 4 Billy Dib and Tevin Farmer meet for the vacant title on 3 August. Nos. 5 and 6 are Guillame Frenois and Devis Boschiero both of whom are beatable by Carroll. He moved to Australia to find work and turned pro there. In his first fight in Ireland he beat Geraghty on a disqualification a fight that led to bad blood that was a feature of the build up to this fight. “Pretty Boy” Geraghty was an outstanding amateur winning Irish titles from Cadet to Senior and competing at the World and European Championships and this loss is a huge setback for him.
Catterall vs. McKenna
Catterall comes out on top in a gruelling all-southpaw war. McKenna had big advantages in height and reach but Catterall was getting past the jab and scoring with some good left crosses. In a dramatic second round McKenna was boxing well until, Catterall drove him to a corner and landed a cracking left. As McKenna slid to the canvas Catterall landed another left and another one when McKenna was sitting on the floor. The referee stopped the fight, sent Catterall to his corner and gave McKenna a good amount of time to recover and then deducted a point from Catterall. McKenna had been cut over his left eye when put down. When the referee restarted the fight Catterall jumped on McKenna drove him to the ropes and down for a legitimate knockdown. McKenna got up and the bell went when the eight count was completed. McKenna fought his way back into contention over the third and fourth with snappy jabs and two-handed flurries. Catterall came out firing in the fifth and landed a right to the body and a left to the head that saw McKenna drop to one knee. After the count Catterall pounded away at McKenna but McKenna did not just survive he fired back a hail of punches to the bell. McKenna was also cut over his right eye now. McKenna took the sixth as Catterall’s work rate dropped but Catterall was stronger in the seventh. Both were tired in the eighth but the heavier punching from Catterall took the round. Catterall was under pressure in the ninth and landed a very low right which brought a stern warning from the referee. They both had good spells in the round but McKenna looked to shade it. Catterall had that little bit more left in the last and again his heavier punching gave him the edge. Scores 94-93 twice and 95-91 for Catterall. A very tough night for the WBO No 5 where his power made the difference. McKenna gave everything here and it was a pity there had to be a loser.
Corcoran vs. Ankrah
“Hellraiser” Corcoran comes back down to earth with stoppage of Ghanaian Ankrah in five rounds. This was the Londoner’s first fight since losing to Jeff Horn for the WBO title in Brisbane in December. He moves to eight wins by KO/TKO. First fight outside of Ghana for Ankrah and first loss by KO./TKO.
McCullagh vs. Ham
Southpaw McCullagh gets off the floor to outpoint Ham. It was expected to be a close fight but in the end McCullagh’s superior skills saw him a clear winner. Ham forced the fight from bell to bell but McCullagh boxed cleverly on the retreat finding gaps for sharp, accurate counters. Late in the third Ham landed a hard right that deposited McCullagh on his rump. McCullagh was not badly hurt and he was soon back in control and boxed his way to victory. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-92 for McCullagh. The 27-year-old “White Chocolate” wins the vacant BBB of C Celtic title. Scottish champion Ham can come again.
Coyle vs. Benson
Essex southpaw Coyle wins this clash of unbeaten fighters by the narrowest of margins. Referee’s score 96-95 for Coyle. It was not a great fight but it was an important one for both fighters. Edinburgh “Kid Caramel” Benson, 26, a former Scottish and British amateur champion who competed at the World and Commonwealth Games deserves a return but he can learn and move on from this loss. Coyle, 25, will now look to land a spot in an eliminator to challenge Bradley Skeete for the British title or get a direct shot.
Birmingham, England: Super Welter: Sam Eggington (23-4) W TKO 4 Peter Kramer (8-1-1). “The Savage” Eggington wins the vacant IBO Continental title with stoppage of unbeaten Hungarian Kramer. Pressure and a focused body attack proved too much for the inexperienced Kramer to contend with and he was broken down and stopped in the fourth round. Impressive wins over Frankie Gavin, Paul Malignaggi and the 24-1 Ceferino Rodriguez put Eggington in sight of a world title fight but an upset loss to Mohamed Mimoune in October put that put of reach. Eggington is now up at super welter and gets his second win at the new weight. Kramer was coming off a creditable draw with experienced Peter McDonagh in May.
Sacramento, CA, USA: Feather: Ruben Villa (12-0) W KO 6 Ricardo Lopez (7-3-2). Heavy: Rodney Hernandez (11-7-2) W PTS 8 LaRon Mitchell (16-1).
Villa vs. Lopez
Villa halts Lopez in six. Southpaw Villa was boxing on the back foot and countering the advancing Lopez Near the end of the first Villa rocked Lopez with right and left to the head. Lopez continued to press the action in the second and managed to land some hooks inside opening a small cut over the left eye of Villa but again was being caught by straight lefts. In the third and fourth Villa was standing and trading more making the rounds closer but the accuracy and power were coming from Villa. Lopez lost a point in the fifth for hitting on the break and near the end of the round Villa landed some thumping lefts. Lopez kept trying to walk forward and scored with a couple of hooks but then two lefts to the head followed by a right hook sent Lopez sideways and down. He made it to his feet but more lefts to the head from Villa saw the fight stopped. The 21-year-old “RV4” has five wins by KO/TKO. Second loss on the bounce for Lopez.
Hernandez vs. Mitchell
Minor upset as former sparring partner Hernandez takes split decision over previously Mitchell. It was an untidy mauling fight which best suited the slightly smaller Hernandez. Mitchell did not make enough use of his southpaw jab letting Hernandez get inside and outwork him. Despite that Mitchell looked slightly in front after six rounds with Hernandez cut over his right eye but Mitchell was rocked in the seventh and outworked in the last. Scores 78-74 and 77-75 for Hernandez and 77-75 for Mitchell. Hernandez wins the NABF Junior title. He was 0-3-1 going into this one but the draw was a reasonable result against Joey Dawejko. Mitchell ,38, was having his first fight for ten months so there was some rust to shed but at 38 he has a limited future.
Uncasville, CN, USA: Light Heavy: Joe Smith (24-2) W KO 1 Melvin Russell (11-5-2). Smith blitzes overmatched Russell. Smith was walking Russell down and shook him with a right. Smith then landed a left hook to the body that sent Russell to his knees. Russell spat out his mouthguard so delayed the end by a few seconds. A couple more body punches from Smith and then an uppercut dropped Russell down on one knee and he was counted out.. All over in 105 seconds. Smith, the WBC No 3, was having his first fight since losing to Sullivan Barrera in July. This is win No 20 by KO/TKO. Now 4 losses in his last 5 fights for Russell.
Oklahoma City, OK, USA: Super Middle: Gilberto Ramirez (38-0) W PTS 12 Roamer Angulo (23-1). Super Light: Alex Saucedo (28-0) W TKO 7 Leonardo Zappavigna (37-4). Welter: Mike Alvarado (39-4) W RTD 9 Martin Martinez (18-15-1). Super Feather: Robinson Conceicao (8-0) W TKO 3 Gavino Guaman (5-3). Heavy: Trey Lippe (15-0) W TKO 3 Byron Polley (30-23-1).
Ramirez vs. Angulo
An easy one-sided defence for Ramirez against a one-dimensional Angulo who never got a foothold in the fight and was totally outclassed.
As in most of his fights southpaw Ramirez had height and reach over his challenger. Angulo had some success with rights. Ramirez was able to score from distance with his jab, occasionally led with his left and worked to the body.
Score 10-9 Ramirez
Angulo managed to pin Ramirez to the ropes at the start of the round but Ramirez soon escaped. The Mexican than took control with his right jab scoring with long lefts to head and body with Angulo relying on swiping wild punches with his head down.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 20-18
At distance or in close Ramirez was dominating the fight. Angulo had no answer to Ramirez’s right jab and although he had Ramirez retreating with a flurry of punches Ramirez steadied himself and scored heavily to the bell.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 30-27
Ramirez was scoring with some quick, accurate right hooks and kept working the jab. Angulo was trying to draw the lead and then spring forward to attack but Ramirez has such long legs that he was able to take two long, quick steps back leaving Angulo off balance with no target and open for counters.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 40-36
Official Scores: 40-36, 40-36, 40-36 for Ramirez
Total domination by Ramirez in this one. He was marching forward throwing more hooks and uppercuts than in the earlier rounds and they were all getting through. His faster footwork and faster hands were too much for Angulo who was knocked off balance by a combination late in the round.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 50-45
Ramirez was getting through at the start and the end of the round with straight lefts. Angulo was hiding behind a high guard waiting to counter but being too slow to do so. It was target practice for Ramirez.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 60-54
Angulo showed a bit more aggression early but it did not last. Ramirez was again pumping out the jab and firing quick straight lefts and hooks to the body. Angulo already looked a beaten fighter and let alone win the fight it was hard to see how he could win a round.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 70-63
Ramirez was able to work on the outside for much of this round. When Angulo did take the fight to Ramirez he scored a couple of strong hooks inside. After that Angulo was hiding behind his high guard as Ramirez pounded away and landed a hard straight right to the head.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 80-72
Official Scores: 80-72, 79-73, 80-72 Ramirez
Angulo came forward more in this one and managed to pin Ramirez to the ropes for a short period and land a couple of hooks. Over the remainder of the round once again Ramirez was slotting home his jabs and going to the body with hooks and uppercuts and finished the round strongly.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 90-81
The fight was too one-sided to be interesting. Angulo needed a plan B but since he had shown no trace of a viable Plan A that was not going to happen. Ramirez took a bit of a breather in this one but still easily outscored Angulo. The challenger just walked forward eating right jabs and although he put Ramirez back on his heels with a right it was Ramirez doing the scoring. Both fighters skidded on the Top Rank/ESPN banner on the ring canvas which unsettled them both.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 100-90
This was the first close round. Angulo pressed hard for three minutes getting inside and scoring with uppercuts from both hands. Ramirez did not have as much room and he stood and traded. He was more accurate and outscored Angulo. The Colombian was applying the pressure he should have applied from the start.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 110-99
Ramirez outboxed Angulo in the last. He was not looking to take any chances but he was slotting home accurate shots from both hands-+. Angulo rumbled forward but missed wildly with punches at a distance and Ramirez tied him up inside.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 120-108
Official Scores: 119-109, 119-109, 120-108 Ramirez.
Fourth defence of the WBO title for the boxer from Mazatlan and one of his easiest. If there is a criticism it is that with so much dominance over a very ordinary challenger it was disappointing that he was unable to stop the Colombian but then he has only won one of his last eight fights inside the distance.
Saucedo vs. Zappavigna
Saucedo scores big win in a brutal, bloody battle and has to come back from the brink of defeat to beat an incredibly courageous Zappavigna .These two got straight down to work. Both were firing jabs and swapping left hooks inside. Saucedo finished the round strongly scoring with left uppercuts and rights to the head. Saucedo sent Zappavigna back on his heels with a left hook straight right at the start of the second but Zappavigna went right back at Saucedo and they exchanged hooks and uppercuts on even terms until late in the round when again Saucedo had Zappavigna under pressure with some rib bending body punches. Saucedo’s jab already had Zappavigna’s face looking bruised and swollen and the Australian was also cut over his right eye. Zappavigna was on fire at the opening of the third scoring with a series of jabs and landing a left and a right to the head. Zappavigna was forcing Saucedo back until a short left hook put the Australian down. Zappavigna was up at six and after the eight Saucedo took Zappavigna to the ropes and unloaded hooks and uppercuts. Zappavigna covered well and then drove Saucedo back and by the end of the round it was Zappavigna who was handing out the punishment. Zappavigna was on top at the start of the fourth landing left hooks and overhand rights. A big right to the head sent Saucedo tumbling back into a corner and Zappavigna flailed away with a succession of punches. For a moment with Saucedo just covering up and not punching back a stoppage looked possible but Saucedo got off the ropes. Zappavigna stormed after Saucedo driving him around the ring landing lefts and rights to the head with Saucedo in deep trouble and again a stoppage was on the cards. Saucedo was taking a fearful beating and was cut over his right eye but Zappavigna had punched himself out and Saucedo survived. The fifth was a slower round. Both were bleeding from cuts and both had swelling under their left eye. Saucedo dominated the round with his jab and right crosses and staggered Zappavigna with a right to the head. Zappavigna was now cut around both eyes and his left eye was almost closed. Saucedo was also bleeding heavily but he was the stronger and Zappavigna was not fighting back as hard as he had been. The ringside physician examined the damage to both fighter but the fight continued. There is no way Zappavigna should have been allowed out of his corner for the seventh and although he tried to trade with Saucedo he was having trouble seeing the punches and after Saucedo land a couple of head punches Zappavigna’s corner threw in the towel. The 24-year-old Mexican Saucedo was fighting in his adopted home town and gets win No 18 by KO/TKO. He is No 1 with the WBO and rated No 2 by the WBA but won’t be fighting for the title any time soon as the facial damage he incurred here with take a long time to heal. Former IBO champion Zappavigna announced his retirement He came so close to a win in the fourth but also took too much punishment. It is a sensible decision after a long and successful career.
Alvarado vs. Martinez
Alvarado keeps faint hope of another shot at a world title alive with stoppage of Martinez. Alvarado never really took charge of this fight. He built a small lead in the early rounds but punches from Martinez had already started a swelling under Alvarado’s right eye. In the third a punch opened a cut over the left eye of Martinez. From the fifth Alvarado looked to be tiring and he was cut over his left eye in the in the sixth. Martinez survived a physician’s inspection of the cut over his left eye and then rocked Alvarado with a right just before the bell. In the interval Martinez’s corner pulled their man out of the fight. Now 37 this was the former WBO super lightweight champion’s first fight for ten months and he did not impress against a fighter with a very spotty record. “Archangel” Martinez has now lost 6 of his last 7 fights.
Conceicao vs. Guaman
Conceicao brutalises poor Ecuadorian Guaman. The Rio gold medal winner floored Guaman just before the bell at the end of the first round. Guaman came out for the second but probably realised quickly that was not a smart idea as Conceicao scored two more knockdowns. In the third a right put Guaman down for the fourth time and although he made it to his feet the fight was stopped. The 29-year-old Conceicao makes it five wins by KO/TKO but the opposition is still mediocre at best. Guaman way out of his league gets his second loss by KO/TKO/
Lippe vs. Polley
Lippe has no trouble beating Polley. Lippe twice forced Polley to take a knee in the first round. Another knockdown came in the second round from a right and Lippe finished the fight in the third. He floored Polley with a right and then put him down heavily with a left at which point the referee waived the fight over. The 28-year-old Lippe is the son of former WBO heavyweight champion the late Tommy Morrison. He has won all 15 fights by KO/TKO but the opposition has been the usual suspects on the Southern loser’s forum. Polley, 38, gets loss No 20 by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week: Jack Catterall vs. Tyrone McKenna and Alex Saucedo vs. Lenny Zappavigna. Can’t decide which both great scraps
Fighter of the week: Jono Carroll for his crushing win over Declan Geraghty
Punch of the week: The left from Jack Catterall which floored Tyrone McKenna in the third. It might have won him the fight if he had not been stupid and landed a punch when McKenna was down.
Upset of the week: Sandro Janjanidze (10-12-1) beating Sasha Yengoyan (41-3-1) in Belgium
One to watch: Spanish hope Jon Fernandez