THE WEEK IN BOXING — Check out Eric Armit’s comprehensive report below!
-Adonis Stevenson blows away Andrzej Fonfara inside two rounds
-Eleider Alvarez decisions Jean Pascal to set up fight with Stevenson
-French Olympian heavyweight gold medal winner Tony Yoka starts with a win
-French bantam Nordine Oubaali crashes the world scene with an impressive win over Alejandro Hernandez
-Thai Wanheng retains WBC minimumweight title and nears 50 wins
-Dmitry Kudryashov stops Olanrewaju in battle of top cruisers
-Lucas Browne returns with a win
-Bradley Skeete retains British title with stoppage of Shayne Singleton
Costa Mesa, CA, USA: Welter: Michael Farenas (42-5-4) W TKO 3 Martin Martinez (17-12-1).
Farenas eases his way back with stoppage of Mexican Martinez. The Filipino southpaw floored Martinez with a left in the first and pressed hard in the second before flooring Martinez again in the third and forcing the stoppage. The 32-year-old former WBA super feather title challenger was just over the super light division limit for his first fight since October 2015 but is aiming to campaign at lightweight. Unfortunately a clash of heads saw him cut over his right eye which will slow his comeback a little. Now 8 losses by KO/TKO for Martinez who is now 2-7 in his last 9 fights.
Paris, France: Heavy: Tony Yoka (1-0) W KO 2 Travis Clark (12-1). Bantam: Nordine Oubaali (12-0) W TKO 10 Alejandro Hernandez (31-13-2). Welter: Ahmed El Mousaoui (26-3-1) W PTS 8 Roman Seliverstov (16-11-1). Super Welter: Souleymane Cissokho (2-0) W TKO 3 Giorgi Kerdikoshvili (7-14-5).
Yoka vs. Clark
Olympic gold medal winner Yoka gets his pro career off to a start with stoppage of an overweight and crude Clark. Yoka looked nervous in the first round just prodding out his jab. Clark’s tactics fell into the pub brawler class just throwing himself forward head down slinging wild punches which Yoka easily evaded. The French hope did land a good right counter just before the bell. Early in the second a couple of right crosses jarred Clark and a left hook staggered him and he almost went down. Yoka did an Ali-type shuffle after landing the hook and when Clark got back to a steadier state Yoka landed a right to the body that saw Clark slumped in a corner on his rump. He easily beat the count and launched a couple of lunging attacks before being driven to a corner and put down by a chopping right. He beat the count but the referee stopped the fight. The 25-year-old 6’7” (201cm) Frenchman is a super star in France already because of Olympic medal but this fight really told us very little about how he will fare as a pro. He has the amateur credentials of a gold at the 1st Youth Olympic Tournament where he beat Joseph Parker 8-5 in the final and a gold at the World Championships to go with his Olympic medal. He is already signed up to present a French style version of “The Contender” but will need to stay focused on his boxing. In addition his partner Estelle Mossley, the first French woman to won an Olympic boxing gold medal, is expecting their first baby in August. The plan is for Yoka to fight in Britain in October. Clark, 38, was unbeaten but being unbeaten on the West Virginia circuit is about as prestigious as being an admiral in the Liechtenstein navy (yes it is landlocked).
Oubaali vs. Hernandez
It is understandable but a pity that all of the publicity was focussed on Yoka’s first pro fight and a great win by Oubaali almost passed unnoticed. The French southpaw won the vacant WBC Silver title with an impressive victory over the much more experienced Hernandez. Oubaali showed well early scoring with southpaw straight lefts. Hernandez scored with a straight right and then three lefts one after the other from Oubaali drove Hernandez back and he hit the canvas. Hernandez was up quickly and after the eight count used his experience to box his way to the bell. A punch from Oubaali opened a cut over the left eye of Hernandez early in the second round. Hernandez tried to attack the body but Oubaali was too quick for him and had Hernandez under fire at the end of the round with the Mexican showing a bruise building under his left eye.. Oubaali boxed beautifully in the third. He showed excellent defensive work and fired home hard lefts to the head of the slower Mexican. Hernandez knocked Oubaali back with a left/right combination but when he threw another right Oubaali ducked inside it and landed a right hook that sent Hernandez staggering back and down. He was up quickly and the bell went immediately the eight count was finished. Oubaali continued to outbox Hernandez. The Mexican kept trundling forward working the body when he could but Oubaali was too quick and too accurate to let Hernandez get a foot hold in the fight and was handing out a steady beating. With growing confidence he was forcing Hernandez onto the back foot and controlling the fight. The was a brief pause in the action in the sixth for the doctor to examine a cut high in the hair line of Hernandez which saw blood trickling down his face but it was not serious. Hernandez touched down briefly with his gloves on the canvas in the eighth and was given a count but it looked more of a stumble. A right from Oubaali had blood trickling from the cut over the left eye of Hernandez but he survived a doctor’s examination. He then ran onto counter after counter and the left side of his face was covered in blood at the bell. A right from Oubaali at the start of the tenth had blood streaming down the face of Hernandez and this time the doctor advised the fight be stopped and it was waived over. It was an exhilarating performance from Oubaali as he marked his arrival at the top table in impressive style with a win that should see him getting a high rating. The 30-year-old is of Moroccan descent and is the 13th of 18 children born to his parents-so he had a fight on his hands from the start. Winning the WBC Silver title and having beaten former WBO fly champion Julio Cesar Miranda in December should put him in line for a world title shot by next year. His hopes of an Olympic medal were ended by losses to gold medal winner Zou Shiming in both 2008 and 2012. Only the second loss inside the distance for the former WBO interim champion Hernandez with the other being a retirement due to a hand injury against Leo Santa Cruz. In 2014 he lost a split decision to Tomoki Kameda for the WBO title.
El Mousaoui vs. Seliverstov
El Mousaoui wins unanimous decision over Russian. A good run-out for El Mousaoui as he keeps busy whilst waiting for another shot at the European title. Scores 79-73, 79-73 and 78-74 all for El Mousaoui. The 27-year-old former European Union champion has lost only two of his last 19 fights. They were a unanimous decision loss against Jeff Horn in 2015 and a split verdict against Spaniard Ceferino Rodriguez for the vacant European title last December. He is No 2 with the EBU so in line for a shot at the winner of Sam Eggington’s defence against EU champion Mohamed Mimoune. Seliverstov, 40, has seen better days but he went the distance which is what was required.
Cissokho vs. Kerdikoshvili
Olympian Cissokho gets his second inside the distance win. The French fighter made slow start but began to cut loose with some impressive combinations in the second. Poor Kerdikoshvili was way out of his depth and in the third a series of uppercuts and a solid left hook to the head had the Georgian turning his back and walking away in surrender. The 25-year-old Senegal-born Cissokho was captain of the French boxing team at the 2016 Olympics and brought home a bronze medal. He has class. The 19-year-old Kerdikoshvili is 1-6-2 in his last 9 fights.
Brentwood, England: Welter: Bradley Skeete (26-1) W TKO 5 Shayne Singleton (23-2-1). Middle: Joe Mullender (10-2) W PTS 10 Lee Markham (17-4-1). Super Feather: Lewis Pettitt (20-2) W PTS 6 Simas Volosinas (7-60).
Skeete vs. Singleton
It is going to take a very good welterweight to separate Skeete from his British title. Singleton is a good fighter but was just not good enough. This was a fast-paced open fight. Skeete had advantages in height and reach but Singleton used good head movement to avoid the jab and scored with a good right in the opener. Singleton was getting past the jab at the start of the second but by the end of the round Skeete was finding his range and scored with a nice left hook. Singleton scored with some hard hooks early in third but then Skeete was timing Singleton’s rushes and a blazing combination ended with a right to the head that dropped Singleton on his rump. He was up immediately and the bell went. Skeete was scoring from distance with his jab in the fourth and countering Singleton when he rushed in. Singleton was given a warning about being careless with his head and the next time he rushed forward two huge rights shook him and another sent him to the floor. He was up at five and gustily tried to punch his way out of trouble but Skeete banged home a series of hard head punches at the bell. Skeete drove Singleton into a corner at the start of the fifth and just blasted away until the referee stepped in just as Singleton tried to throw a few punches back. Singleton protested but it was a good stoppage. The tall 29-year-old from South London was making the second defence of his British title and he gets win No 12 by KO/TKO. Skeete’s only loss was a close points decision to Frankie Gavin for the British and Commonwealth titles in 2014. Since then he has won eight in a row including victories over Brunet Zamora and Sam Eggington. He is rated WBO 4/IBF 6(5) but with Manny Pacquiao, Keith Thurman and Errol Spence as champion this one tough division. Singleton, 27, losses by KO/TKO for the second time having been halted in five rounds by Sam Eggington in 2015.
Mullender vs. Markham
Mullender wins the English title and gets revenge for a previous loss as he takes split decision over Markham. This was a war with both fighters knowing the strength and weaknesses of the other. Mullender was usually on the front foot taking the fight to Markham but Markham is known to like a fight so it was two-way action. Many rounds were close with both boxers looking to slow the opposition with body punches and both dealing out sharp left hooks. It was not an easy one to score but Mullender did enough in enough rounds to be the busier and he looked a deserving winner. Scores 97-93 and 97-94 for Mullender and 97-95 for Markham. Local fighter Mullender had been plagued by injuries and this is his first fight since losing for the English title to Markham in May last year. Markham broke through with a draw against world rated Frank Buglioni in May 2015 and then lost a very close verdict against Luke Blackledge for the Commonwealth title in October that year. He had rebounded with three wins last year and this one was close enough for them to go at it again.
Pettitt vs. Volosinas
The once world rated Pettitt continues to rebuild as he cruises past Lithuanian Volosinas. Pettitt dominated every round with Volosinas never really able to get in the fight and spending much of the time with pinned to the ropes. Pettitt tried hard to finish it early but of the Lithuanian’s 60 losses only seven have come by KO/TKO and he was still there at the final bell. Referee’s score 60-54. Pettitt’s climb to the top was derailed by a shock loss to Bobby Jenkinson for the Commonwealth title in 2015 and he eased to his third win in a row here. Volosinas does most of his fighting in Britain but has won only once here.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Light: Henry Lundy (28-6-1) W TKO 5 Daniel Evangelista (20-7-2). Lundy returns to his home city with a win. The former WBO super light title challenger was faced with a reasonable if unthreatening level opponent in Mexican Evangelista and won all the way. Lindy won each of the first four rounds before flooring and stopping Evangelista late in the fifth. First fight on home ground for “Hank” since 2009. After losing to Terrence Crawford for the WBO title in 2015 a knee injury kept Lundy out of action for ten months and this is his second win as he works his way back. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Evangelista.
Sydney, Australia: Heavy: Lucas Browne (25-0) W TKO 2 Matt Greer (16-21). Super Bantam: TJ Doheny (17-0) W TKO 1 Espinos Sabu (16-13-2).
Browne vs. Greer
Browne gets his career back on the rails as he overwhelms experienced loser Greer. “Big Daddy” floored Greer in the first and the fight was stopped after Browne scored another knockdown in the second. First fight since March last year for the former undefeated holder of the secondary WBA title after two suspensions served for giving positive tests. With Shannon Briggs also having recently given a positive test for a banned substance there is a window of opportunity there for the 38-year-old Australian. Now 10 losses in a row for 40-year-old Greer.
Doheny vs. Sabu
Doheny dismantles poor Indonesian inside a round. Doheny jumped on Sabu early and scored two knockdowns before the fight was halted just 2:15 into the round. The 30-year-old Irish southpaw gets his sixth win in a row by KO/TKO. He is rated IBF 4(2)/WBA 5. Sabu has now lost 7 of his last 8 fights but this is only his third loss by KO/TKO.
Brescia, Italy: Fly: Mohammed Obbadi (13-0) W KO 6 Sammy Reyes (20-15-1). Cruiser: Fabio Turchi (11-0) W TKO 4 Tamas Kozma (5-4-2).
Obbadi vs. Reyes
Promising young Obbadi outboxes and then knocks out game Reyes. The Moroccan-born Obbadi was just too quick for a willing Reyes. The Mexican kept trying to get inside to work but Obbadi was just too fast and too clever for him. A right hook put Reyes down in the third and another right floored the Mexican in the fifth. A right hook ended the fight in the sixth with Reyes down heavily and he needed assistance to recover. The 23-year-old Obbadi, the European Union champion, makes it ten wins by KO/TKO and collects the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title. He is the WBA No 15. Reyes is 7-2 in his last nine fights including a third round stoppage against world rated Cristofer Rosales in January.
Turchi vs. Kozma
“Stone Crusher” Turchi much too good for inexperienced Hungarian Kozma. The hard-punching Italian southpaw sent Kozma to the canvas with a left hook in the first round. Kozma survived that and survived a torrid time in the second. In the third a right uppercut had Kozma in deep trouble on the ropes and with Turchi unloading and nothing coming back the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Italian champion has 8 wins by KO/TKO. A former Italian amateur champion who won a gold medal at the Mediterranean Games and silver medals at the Youth Olympics and at the World Military Championships is preparing for a fight for the vacant WBC International Silver title next month. Kozma has lost 4 of his last 5 fights.
Illescas, Spain: Super Light: Luca Giacon (29-1) W KO 5 Andrea Carbonello (14-3-1). Super Middle: Adasat Rodriguez (16-6-2) W TEC DEC 8 Catalin Paraschiveanu (14-1).
Giacon vs. Carbonello
Despite an ongoing dispute with the Spanish Federation over his fitness the Spanish “Black Mamba” Giacon won this one early. Carbonello showed some nice moves in the first round but it went downhill fast for him after that. In the second round a couple of body punches had Carbonello hanging on the ropes and the referee gave him a standing count. Giacon again showed his well known power in the third flooring Carbonello with a straight right. Carbonello recovered in the fourth as Giacon seemed to be coasting but the Belgian also did enough holding to be deducted a point. The fight was ended in the fifth by a right to the body that put Carbonello down and out. Giacon lost his high world rating when he was beaten by Emiliano Marsili for the vacant European title in 2013 and his activity then fell away. He had only one fight in 2015 and then one in July last year so this was his first fight in almost a year. He has 25 wins by KO/TKO and is rated No 8 by the EBU. This win gives him the vacant IBF International title. Carbonello, 27, suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Rodriguez vs. Paraschiveanu
Spaniard Rodriguez wins the WBC Mediterranean title with controversial majority technical decision over Italian-based Romanian Paraschiveanu. Rodriguez bossed the early action with his more aggressive approach and had built a lead. The fight ended when Rodriguez suffered a bad cut over his left eye. The technical decision went to Rodriguez on score of 78-75 twice and 77-77. Paraschiveanu claimed that the cut was caused by a punch and that the cut was not serious enough for the fight to be stopped so they may make a formal protest. Canary Islander Rodriguez, 30, a former Spanish champion and European Union title challenger has won 5 of his last 6 fights. Southpaw Paraschiveanu was making the first defence of the Mediterranean title.
Montreal, Canada: Light Heavy: Adonis Stevenson (29-1) W TKO 2 Andrzej Fonfara (29-5,1ND). Light Heavy: Eleider Alvarez (23-0) W PTS 12. Jean Pascal (31-5-1,1ND). Super Welter: Mikael Zewski (28-1) W PTS 8 Fernando Silva (15-11-3,1 ND). Super Middle: Dario Bredicean (14-0) W PTS 8 Manuel Garcia (15-14-2,1ND). Middle: Christian Mbilli (4-0) W TKO 2 Cesar Ugarte (4-2).
Stevenson vs. Fonfara
Stevenson retains WBC title with stoppage of Fonfara and again shows his power. The Chicago-based Pole came forward at the start throwing jabs and moving in behind them with rights. Stevenson was on the back foot but finding gaps for his southpaw straight lefts. Fonfara over-committed himself coming forward and although he managed to score with a right as he came forward Stevenson clipped him on the right side of his head with a left. Fonfara stood stock still for a second and then his legs quivered and he dropped to the canvas on his hands and knees. He was up at two but as he walked to the ropes his legs were stiff and unsteady. After the eight count he tried to take the fight to Stevenson but Stevenson was on target with hard lefts. He twice drove Fonfara to the ropes. On the second occasion he bombarded Fonfara with a series of chopping lefts and with the referee watching carefully Stevenson was one punch away from victory when the bell saved Fonfara. In the second Stevenson hammered home three straight lefts that snapped Fonfara’s head back and sent him to the ropes. Stevenson landed another two lefts and the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Fonfara looked puzzled by the stoppage as he had his hands up ready to fight back but after the punishment Stevenson handed out at the end of the first round it could be that the referee having been on the point of stopping the fight then was determined to stop it if Fonfara absorbed any more head punches. The 39-year-old Stevenson was making the eighth defence of his WBC title and has 24 wins by KO/TKO. Having been put in the shadows by the upcoming return between Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev Stevenson was looking to make a statement and he did as Fonfara had taken him the distance in 2014. Now we need Stevenson vs. the winner of Ward vs. Kovalev to unify the four titles. Fonfara, 29, was slightly damaged goods having been stopped inside a round by Joe Smith in June last year but he had rebounded with a stoppage of Chad Dawson. He suffers his third loss by KO/TKO.
Alvarez vs. Pascal
Alvarez wins final eliminator on a majority decision to put himself in line for a shot at the WBC title held by stable mate Stevenson
Alvarez started out working his jab with Pascal on the back foot looking to counter. Pascal did little work until the last 30 seconds when he ducked under Alvarez’s jab and banged home a right to the chin then launched a furious attack and landed enough rights to take the round.
Score 10-9 Pascal
In the second Alvarez made use of his big reach advantage to tag Pascal with a huge right cross and followed that with three more punches on target that had Pascal hanging on. Alvarez tracked the retreating Pascal for the rest of the round but Pascal showed good defensive work.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 19-19
For all but the last 10 seconds Alvarez kept pushing out the jab with Pascal not throwing any punches. In the last 10 seconds Pascal went hog wild lunging forward head down throwing wild wide punches and enough landed to give Pascal the round.
Score 10-9 Pascal 28-29
After Alvarez bossed the action with his jab they both landed hard rights and their heads clashed sending both fighter stumbling. Alvarez got through with a left hook. and continued to score with his jab and also landed a hard right cross. The referee called a time-out and gave Pascal a severe warning about hitting to the back of the head.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 38-38
This was a quieter round. Alvarez worked on the outside using his longer reach to spear Pascal with jabs and landed a good combination then stepped back quickly to nullify Pascal’s usual mad finish to the round.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 48-47
Again in this round there were fewer exchanges with Alvarez content to slot home jabs and follow with the occasional right. Pascal was waiting and waiting and throwing too few punches. Mid way through the sixth the punch statistics showed Alvarez throwing a total of 215 punches and Pascal 114.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 58-56
Alvarez kept working the jab and right crosses. Eventually Pascal stepped up his pace and staged a strong finish trying to get back in the fight but again he was just not throwing enough punches and only fighting in short bursts.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 68-65
Alvarez kept his jab in Pascal’s face and scored with occasional long rights and left hooks to the body. Pascal came awake and launched some quick attacks scoring with hooks to the body from both hands. It was close but Pascal just edged it.
Score 10-9 Pascal 77-75
After what had mainly been a tactical battle with very few extended exchanges war finally broke out in this round a round that had three phases. At the start of the round Alvarez pinned Pascal in a corner and unloaded with hooks and uppercuts to head and body. Pascal managed to out of the corner but then Alvarez drove him to the ropes again and scored with a series of shots including a choice right uppercut. That fired up Pascal and he stormed forward banging to the body but the early work from Alvarez had taken the round.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 87-84
Alvarez stuck to the jab in this one. Again Pascal did very little work until the end. They both landed hard punches almost simultaneously Alvarez a right and Pascal a left. Pascal landed a clubbing right a few seconds later but Alvarez was sill picking up the points being busier and keeping the jab going.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 97-93
Another round for Alvarez. He was much quicker than Pascal scoring with his jab and sneaky rights whilst Pascal kept waiting for an opening that did not come.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 107-102
No coasting for Alvarez. He also took this round. He could not miss Pascal with his jab and was willing to stand and trade and came out of the exchanges and the fight ahead.
Score 10-9 Alvarez 117-111
Official Scores: 117-111 and 116-112 for Alvarez and 114-114
Alvarez retains the WBC Silver title and is now in line for a fight with Adonis Stevenson. Since Yvon Michele handles both fighters as he pointed out the WBC have now instruct him to negotiate with himself to put the fight on. For me Montreal-based Colombian Alvarez dominated this fight and with his commanding jab, reach and power will give Stevenson trouble. Pascal just did not do enough. He spent too long waiting to counter and threw too few punches. He can still be a player at light heavy but perhaps now just as a gate keeper.
Zewski vs. Silva
Zewski returns home and returns with a win as he outpoints tough Mexican Silva. It was a confident dominant display from the Canadian as he used superior speed a swift jab and some powerful combinations to garner every round. A strong left hook to the body floored Silva at the end of the fifth round but apart from that Silva was always competitive and was the right level of opponent for the slightly rusty Zewski. Scores 80-71 from all three judges for Zewski. The 28-year-old from Trois-Rivieres left the Canadian scene in early 2014 to seek his fortune in the USA but a wide decision defeat against Konstantin Ponomarev in May 2015 de-railed him. He had a win in October 2015 and was then inactive until this contest. It will be interesting to see how he fares from here. Silva was 4-0-1 in his last five fights and usually goes the distance.
Bredicean vs. Garcia
Chicago-based southpaw Bredicean remains unbeaten with an assured performance against Garcia winning every round. The 23-year-old Floridian made his professional start in Germany with the encouragement of former IBF heavyweight challenger Axel Schulz but he and his unbeaten brother Bruno are now based in Montreal. Garcia was in Canada in January when he was halted in seven rounds by Francis Lafreniere.
Mbilli vs. Ugarte
French Olympian Mbilli makes it four wins by KO/TKO as he floors Ugarte twice in the first round before Ugarte’s corner man throws in the towel just 47 seconds into the second round. The 24-year-old “Solide” was born in Cameroon but moved to France with his parents when he was 11. He was European Youth champion in 2013 and French champion in 2014. He earned his place at the 2016 Olympics by winning the European qualifier beating Anthony Fowler but lost in the quarter-finals in Rio to the eventual gold medallist Cuban Arlen Lopez. Mbilli Assomo-to give his full name-is scheduled to box again 15 June so a busy man, Second loss by KO/TKO for Ugarte.
Rostov, Russia: Cruiser: Dmitry Kudryashov (21-1) W TKO 5 Olanrewaju Durodola (25-4). Bantam: Vyacheslav Mirzaev (9-0) W PTS 10 Anthony Settoul (22-5). Super Middle: Geard Ajetovic (30-15-1) W PTS 10 Khaybula Madzhidov (9-9).
Kudryashov vs. Durodola
Kudryashov gains revenge for a crushing defeat and retains the WBC Silver title with stoppage of Durodola. A win which in theory guarantees him a shot at WBC champion Mairis Breidis although Briedis has signed up for the big tournament. Both fighters were letting their punches fly early. Durodola was piercing Kudryashov’s high guard with jabs and scoring with clubbing rights. Kudryashov just a little bit more cautious than usual but when he did open up was landing some scorching left hooks to the body and heavy rights. No way was this one going the distance. The war continued in the second with both fighters having periods where they had the other under fire. Kudryashov was very crude on occasions but landed hard body punches and a choice uppercut. Durodola had Kudryashov in trouble early in the third landing two big rights and he kept up the pressure. He was driving Kudryashov back and landing clubbing head punches. He was in total control until he was nailed with a left hook which sent his mouthguard flying and him staggering back into the ropes badly hurt. Kudryashov followed up landing a heavy right to the head but the bell went and saved Durodola. The Nigerian was on the attack early in the fourth until a huge right to the top of the head sent him tumbling back and down heavily. He got up but after the eighth count he was not by any means steady and in fact staggered back when the referee reached for his gloves to clean them. Despite that the fight continued. Kudryashov drove Durodola along the ropes landing hard punches from both hands but the Nigerian made it to the bell. A left hook put Durodola down again in the fifth. He beat the count and although he did not lift his arms when the referee asked him to the fight continued. Durodola tried to punch back but when another left hook had him stumbling back to the ropes the referee waived the fight over. The 31-year-old “Russian Hammer” had been stopped in two rounds by Durodola for the vacant WBC Silver title in 2015 but had returned with a couple of wins over modest opposition in 2016. He is immensely strong and a hard puncher but can be crude and his defence is very porous. Durodola, 36, lost the WBC Silver title when he was halted in nine rounds by Mairis Breidis in May last year and then scored three wins over mediocre opposition.
Mirzaev vs. Settoul
Russian southpaw Mirzaev outboxes Frenchman Settoul to retain his WBC International Silver title. The clever Russian was just too quick and too slick for the former European Union champion. Settoul was a promising 19-2 over his first 21 fights but as the opposition has got tougher he has struggled. His only hope of winning against Mirzaev was cutting down the ring and forcing the Russian to stand and trade. Mirzaev was never going to oblige and had little trouble in dominating the action with the only slight blimp being a point deducted in the last round for holding and hitting the Frenchman. Scores 99-90, 99-91 and 98-91 all for Mirzaev. The 28-year-old was fighting twelve round contests by his fifth pro fight and is making good progress. Settoul was 2-2 in his last 4 fights but the losses were to Nonito Donaire and unbeaten Ryan Burnett.
Ajetovic vs. Madzhidov
Youth does not always have to be served. Experienced traveller Ajetovic is just too seasoned for the very limited Russian. The Serb made a good start taking the first two rounds and then flooring Madzhidov with a left hook in the third. Fighting in his home town Madzhidov pushed hard but Ajetovic showed a solid defence and some clever moves and as Madzhidov tried to force the fight he was leaving openings and was never able to claw back the points he dropped over the early rounds. Scores 97-92 twice and 95-94 all for Ajetovic. The Serb was based in the UK for much of his early career and lost only one of his first 18 fights but then seemed to settle for the role of travelling “opponent”. Even then he was capable of scoring some startling upsets. Typical of his action was a 1-5 run fighting in 5 different countries but coming into this fight he had won his last two fights. He collects the vacant WBC CIS & Slovenian title. Madzhidov’s career had been the opposite, he started off by going 4-8 but had won his last 5 fights.
Thailand: Minimum: Wanheng (47-0) W PTS 12 Omari Kimweri (16-4). Bantam: Petch Sor Chitpattana (41-0) W TKO 4 Aswan (0-1).
Wanheng vs. Kimweri
Wanheng retains the WBC title with victory over Tanzanian Kimweri. A dramatic start to the fight saw Kimweri boxing well showing plenty of movement and quick hands. Wanheng was walking him down but finding Kimweri an elusive target. As they swapped punches their heads clashed with the left side of Kimweri’s head smacking into the left side of the champion’s. Wanheng walked away dabbing at his left eye and he was showing a bad on the eyelid with the blood seeping into his eye. The cut was not bad enough for the fight to be stopped but Kimweri was docked a point. When the action resumed he rushed at Wanheng and in trying to avoid the charge Wanheng fell backwards into the ropes and down. It was not a knockdown and the bell went when Wanheng got to his feet. It was a pity about the deduction as Kimweri seemed to win the round. The movement, constant switching of guards and hand speed of Kimweri continued to give Wanheng problems. On the downside there was no power in the Tanzanians punches and he was wild with his attacks. Wanheng continued to stalk Kimweri throwing less but being more accurate and by far the harder puncher. The sheer work rate of Kimweri won him a round here and there but although he was throwing lots the eye catching punches the harder shots were coming from Wanheng. After four rounds all three judges saw it 39-36 for Wanheng. Ominously for Kimweri Wanheng began to out jab the Tanzanian over the middle rounds. The fight got messy at times with too much holding but good refereeing kept that to a minimum and Kimweri did enough to steal a round. After eight the scores were 78-72 twice and 79-73 all for Wanheng. The champion had a big ninth striding forward landing hooks and uppercuts. Both were tired in the tenth but kept working. Wanheng’s cut was bleeding again in the tenth but the doctor had a look and passed him as fit to continue. The fighters battled through their tiredness to produce plenty of action over the last two rounds with Kimweri still there and still punching. Scores 118-109 twice and 117-110 all for 31-year-old Wanheng who was making the seventh defence of his WBC title and is closing in on 50 wins. Just 16 fights in almost ten years as a pro tells the story of how hard it has been for the 34-year-old Australian-based Kimweri to find fights. He has given away weight in almost all of his fights to get work and he showed here that he has good skills, and stamina. His performance here and his outstanding win last year over Randy Petalcorin (23-1-1) shows that he belongs in this class.
Sor Chitpattana vs. Aswan
Typical piece of dangerous rubbish that passes for a fight on some Thai undercards. The WBC No 3 plays with unknown novice Aswan before flooring him twice and stopping him in the fourth round. Disgraceful!!
Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Jayde Mitchell (14-1) W KO 5 Istvan Zeller (37-16). Bantam: Andrew Moloney (13-0) W TKO 3 Aramis Solis (16-5). Super Bantam: Jason Moloney (13-0) W TKO 5 Emanuel Armendariz (12-3-2).
Mitchell vs. Zeller
Mitchell makes it nine wins in a row as he halts poor Hungarian import Zeller. Mitchell floored Zeller in the third round and continued to land heavy punches until the referee stopped the fight with just one second left in the fifth. Mitchell, 31, gets his eighth win by KO/TKO in his second defence of his WBA Oceania title. Zeller falls to 12 losses by KO/TKO.
Moloney vs. Solis
Moloney much too good for Mexican Solis. Moloney controlled the fight from the first bell and was on top in third forcing the referee to halt the uneven contest with again just one second left in the round. The 26-year-old former Commonwealth gold medallist was making the third defence of his WBA Oceania title and is No 11 with the WBA. Solis had won 6 of his last 7 but against opposition who would be complimented if described as modest.
Moloney vs. Armendariz
Twin brother Jason was given five interesting rounds by young Mexican Armendariz. Moloney was too quick and hit too hard for the visitor but Armendariz gave a gutsy showing having some success of his own until the referee felt the Mexican had taken enough punishment and stopped the fight in the fifth. Moloney has good wins over Enrique Bernache and Marco Demecillo. Not first rank fighters but credible opposition at this stage of Moloney’s career. He has 11 wins by KO/TKO and was making the fourth defence of his WBA Oceania title. Strictly prelim level Armendariz was 6-1-1 in his last 8 fights.
Hamilton, Canada: Super Light: Steven Wilcox (17-2-1) W PTS 10 Oscar Arjona (13-6). Wilcox retains WBA-NABA title with wide unanimous decision as he outclasses and floors Arjona on the way to victory. Scores 100-88 from all three judges. Sweets revenge for Wilcox. He fought Arjona down in Mexico in December. It was a rainy night and the canvas was soaked and Wilcox was reluctant to fight. It was agreed that if he would agree to fight it would be registered as a No Decision. When it was over Arjona was declared the winner on a split decision! The local fighter is the Canadian No 1so in line for a shot at the vacant title. Arjona had won his last four fights.
Cancun, Mexico: Fly: Francisco Rodriguez (23-4-1) W KO 3 Hector Gusman (15-4). Light: Francisco Rojo (20-2) W KO 3 Jesus Velazco (13-10-2).
Rodriguez vs. Gusman
Rodriguez uses vicious body attack to fell Argentinian Gusman. Rodriguez came out throwing punches taking Gusman to the ropes and stunning him with a left/right to the head and followed that with another right. Gusman was hurt but banged back with a left to the head that stopped Rodriguez in his tracks, Rodriguez went back on the attack and for much of the round Gusman was under pressure and taking punishment. Heads clashed twice in the round but no damage done. Rodriguez tracked Gusman throughout the second. His punch of choice was a left hook to the body but he shook the Argentinian badly with a straight right and was firing away with fast punches at the bell. Rodriguez was landing heavily again in the third. Gusman decided to march forward and forced Rodriguez across the ring. Rodriguez turned off the ropes and banged home shots to head and body with a right to the body sending Gusman down half out under the bottom ropes and he was counted out. The 23-year-old former undefeated WBO and IBF minimumweight champion has rebounded well from consecutive losses in 2015 to Donnie Nietes for the WBO light fly title and to Moises Fuentes. This is his fifth win on the bounce and he is rated WBC 3/WBO4/IBF 8(6) so very much in the title picture. Gusman, 29, suffers his third loss by KO/TKO. He has lost 4 of his last 5 fights but two of those defeats were against world class fighters in Zhanat Zhakiyanov and Paul Butler. However his technique is badly flawed, he has a leaky defence and no real power.
Rojo vs. Velazco
Rojo makes it 7 wins in a row as he knocks out Velazco in three rounds. Only one loss in his last 15 fights for Rojo who crashed the world ratings with a fifth round kayo of Dante Jardon in February and is No 7 with the WBC. Velazco had won his last 8 fights but the opposition was weak.
Mashantucket, CT, USA: Light: Matt Remillard (25-1) W RTD 4 Fatiou Fassinou (27-6-3). Cruiser: Luis Garcia (15-0) W KO 1 Felipe Romero (19-14-1).
Remillard vs. Fassinou
Remillard continues his comeback with win over Benin southpaw Fassinou. After a slow first round Remillard took charge and floored Fassinou with a body punch late in the second. The Hartford “Sharp Shooter” was scoring well with fast counters in the third. Fassinou tried to stem the tide by frequent clinching but he was never able to halt the flow of Remillard’s punches for long. Remillard continued to hand out punishment in the fourth with Fassinou lacking the power to hold him off and the African retired at the end of the round. Second comeback win for Remillard whose promising career was derailed initially by a loss to Mikey Garcia in 2011 and then a five year jail sentence. Fassinou had lost only one of his last 15 fights in action in Africa but was outclassed here.
Garcia vs. Romero
Garcia marks his return to the ring by blasting out Mexican Romero in 108 seconds. The hard-punching Cuban put Romero down early and after shaking Romero with a big right the referee stopped the fight. The 29-year-old Cuban looked a hot prospect when he turned pro in 2008 and scored 9 KO/TKO wins in his first 12 fights .he was then inactive for four year before returning with a win in 2015 but then had only one fight in 2016. This is his first fight for a year. He is a former World Junior champion who defected after being left out of the Cuban team for 2008 Olympics. He could still make a big impact as a pro. Romero, a former Mexican super middle, cruiser and heavy champion suffers his tenth loss by KO/TKO but was a very late replacement here.
Fort Washington, MD, USA: Mykal Fox (14-0) W PTS 8 Daniel Sostre (13-13-1).
Local fighter Fox used his huge physical advantages to fight this fight his way. Puerto Rican Sostre just could not find a way past the jab of the 6’3 ½” (192cm) Fox and never really managed to get a foot or a toe hold in the fight. Scores 79-72 twice and 80-71 all for Fox. The 21-year-old “Professor” is being matched sensibly at this early stage of his career. Four losses in a row for Sostre.
Tacoma, WA, USA: Light Heavy: Mike Gavronski (23-2-1) W PTS 10 Quinton Rankin (12-4-2,1ND). Gavronski gets unanimous verdict over Rankin in a slow burner. Neither fighter wanted to commit too early so the fight took a while to come to life. Gavronski edged ahead by making good use of his jab and scoring well to Rankin’s body in the third and fourth. The fifth and sixth were close but Gavronski looked to edge them with Rankin probably doing enough to take the seventh. Gavronski had a big eighth slotting home sharp jabs and staggering Rankin with a series of punches late in the round. With both fighters tiring the ninth was close with Rankin clawing back the points dropped by Gavronski’s impressive eighth but Gavronski was the stronger in the last and had Rankin stuck against the ropes and taking punishment to ease his way to victory. Scores 97-93, 97-94 and 96-94 all for Gavronski. The 31-year-old local fighter is the main man for the Brian Holquist shows so they need him to keep winning and this is ninth win in his last ten fights. Southpaw Rankin had lost only one of his last twelve fights so it was a good match-up.
New Haven, CT, USA: Super Bantam: Luis Rosa (23-0,1ND) W TKO 6 Carlos Osorio (13-7). Rosa wins a mark-time fight with stoppage of Nicaraguan Osorio. The fight was one-sided with Rosa always on top. A focused body attack slowly broke Osorio down until the referee stopped the fight in the sixth of the eight rounds. The 26-year-old Puerto Rican-born Rosa now calls New Haven home and pleased his fans. He has good victories over Jorge Diaz, Luis Orlando Del Valle and veteran Giovanni Caro. Osorio had lost every round but lasted the distance in defeat against Brit Ben Jones in November.
Fight of the week: Dmitry Kudryashov vs. Olanrewaju Durodola as the knocked bits of each other with honorary mention to Eleider Alvarez vs. Jean Pascal
Fighter of the week: Adonis Stevenson for reminding us that the light heavy division is about more than Andre Ward vs. Sergey Kovalev and honourable mention to Nordine Oubaali for his crushing win over Alejandro Hernandez
Punch of the week: Left hook from Kudryashov that sent Durodola’s mouthguard into orbit
Upset of the week: None
One to watch: Has to be French heavyweight Tony Yoka