Check out Eric Armit’s comprehensive report in The Week In Boxing – July 5, 2017!
-Jeff Horn gets controversial unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao
-Robert Easter retains his IBF light title with wide unanimous decision over Denis Shafikov
-Brian Castano retains his interim WBA title with split decision over Michel Soro
-Alex Povetkin throws his hat back into the heavyweight ring with a win
-Karo Murat stops unbeaten Dominic Boesel to win vacant European title
-Jerwin Ancajas stopsTeiru Kinoshita to retain IBF super fly title
-Former IBF super light champion Eduardo Troyanovsky returns with a win
-Frank Buglioni retains British title in great scrap with Ricky Summers
Bethlehem, PA, USA: Welter: Miguel Cruz (16-0) W PTS 10 Alex Martin (13-2).
Cruz gets repeat win over Martin but needs a couple of knockdowns to get there. Just before the bell to end an even first round as they traded punches a straight left from Cruz put Martin down heavily. Martin survived but Cruz kept up the pressure in the second but pressed too hard in the third shoving Martin across the ring and down with the referee rightly not counting. In the fourth Cruz was again forcing the fight and put Martin down although the last punch landed on the back of Martin’s head. Martin finally started to roll from the fifth. He had Cruz down but from a very low left hook so no knockdown and some recovery time for Cruz but the fight had changed. Martin was still not using his speed and skill but was getting the better of the exchanges and took most of the closing round but could not make up for those two 10-8 rounds. Scores 96-92 for Cruz from all three judges. Ohio-born Cruz, 27, had beaten Martin on a split decision in January. For Martin, a former US National champion and twice a National Golden Gloves silver medal winner, he now has to recover from back-to-back losses.
Makati City, Philippines: Fly: Joebert Alvarez (17-2-1) W PTS 10 Roque Lauro (13-22-5). Bantam: Ivan Soriano (16-1-1) W RTD1 Bimbo Nacionales (14-14-1). Super Fly: Ardin Diale (33-11-4) W TKO 2 Wiljan Ugbaniel (13-5-1).
Alvarez vs. Lauro
Alvarez much too good for Lauro and wins by a substantial margin on all cards. The combination of Lauro’s awkward style and a cut on his left eyebrow from a head clash prevented southpaw Alvarez forcing hard enough to win inside the distance. Scores 99-91 for Alvarez from all three judges. The 27-year-old “Little Pacman” went 14-0-1 in his first 15 fights before losing on points to Juan Francisco Estrada in 2014. He was then inactive for 15 months before returning in March 2016 with a good win over Jonathan Gonzalez (18-1-1). In July he was totally derailed being floored twice and stopped inside a round by Miguel Cartagena. This year he has two wins over mediocre opposition. Now six losses in a row for “Fireman” Lauro.
Soriano vs. Nacionales
Nacionales came in 6lbs over the contract weight and had to use 10oz. gloves. It made little difference as Soriano handed him a beating and Soriano retired in his corner after one round. “Bomba” Soriano makes it 8 wins by KO/TKO and is 12-0-1 in his last 13 fights. Nacionales is 2-8 in his last 10 fights and has lost his last four fights failing to get past the second round in any of them.
Diale vs. Ugbaniel
Seasoned pro Diale gets win as southpaw Ugbaniel retires in the second round due to an arm injury. Diale turned pro at 17 and has won Philippines, OPBF and WBC titles. He lost to Julio Cesar Miranda for the WBO fly title in 2011 and in his last fight in February was beaten on points by Welshman Andrew Selby. Three losses in a row for Ugbaniel.
Moscow, Russia: Cruiser: Maksim Vlasov (39-2) W TKO 3 Mussa Ajibu (28-9-5).
Vlasov has little trouble in dismissing overmatched Malawian Ajibu. After a slow opening to the first round after Vlasov studied the unusual running and flapping style of Ajibu he then cut loose late in the round and floored the Malawian with a left and right to the head. Ajibu made it to his feet but was almost put down again just before the bell. Vlasov had Ajibu down with a straight right in the second and was really just playing with Ajibu. In the third Vlasov continued to chase the Malawian. Ajibu first slipped to the canvas on water in his own corner and the tumbled to the floor awkwardly from no discernible punch and the referee just waived the mismatch off Vlasov makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO. The tall 30-year-old Russian has lost only one of his last 19 fights and that was on points against Gilberto Ramirez in 2015. He has scored 9 wins since including climbing off the floor to garner inside the distance victories over Ismayl Sillah and Rakhim Chakhkiev. He is rated WBO 5/IBF 6(5)/WBA 9/WBC 11but like many other light heavies is waiting in the wings for the Andre Ward/Sergey Kovalev/Adonis Stevenson trilogy to play out. Ajibu was 11-1-2 at one time against mainly domestic and low level opposition and is now 6-8-3 in his last 17 fights.
Bangkok, Thailand: Fly: Stamp Kiatniwat (17-1) W PTS 12 Michael Enriquez (13-6-1). Stamp (Yutthana Kaensa) gets unanimous decision over Enriquez in a real war including an example of the advantage of fighting at home. This was a fast-paced gruelling battle fought with skill and guts. Both showed strong jabs and sharp combinations and neither was willing to retreat when punches were being swapped. Stamp was content for most of the fight to let Enriquez come forward and counter and both fighters were rocked time and again by overhand rights. Stamp seemed to be slightly the harder puncher and the busier but the rounds were close. In the seventh as they traded along the ropes Enriquez landed a perfect short left hook that sent Stamp crashing down. The Thai was up at four and after the count Enriquez battered away as Stamp tried to run and hold. He was trapped in a corner and taking heavy punishment when the bell went. The round had only gone 1 minute and 40 seconds instead of 3 minutes (I timed it three times) so the bell went 80 seconds early. The knockdown gave Enriquez considerable impetus but Stamp eventually recovered and over the late rounds both were rocked again with Stamp under heavy pressure at the final bell. Scores 115-112 twice and 116-112 all for Stamp who wins the WBA Asian title. The former WBA interim champion just deserved the decision but the short round was disgraceful. Enriquez’s team have protested and it is a protest that should be upheld
Toledo, Ohio: Light: Robert Easter (20-0) W PTS 12 Denis Shafikov (38-3-1). Welter: Jamontay Clark (12-0) W PTS 8 Ivan Golub (13-1). Super Welter: Julian Williams (23-1-1) W TKO 7 Joshua Conley (14-2-1).
Easter vs. Shafikov
Easter retains the IBF title with wide unanimous decision over little Russian terrier Shafikov who just can’t overcome the huge physical advantages of Easter
With his advantages in height and reach Easter boxed on the retreat constantly prodding out his jab and throwing long rights. Shafikov kept tracking Easter around the ring but when he did throw a punch he had to reach so far with it that it had lost its power by the time it arrived.
Score 10-9 Easter
Easter stood his ground and traded with Shafikov in the second. It gave Shafikov the chance to score with some hooks but Easter was banging home straight rights and an uppercut snapped back the head of Shafikov
Score 10-9 Easter 20-18
Once again Easter was standing in front of Shafikov and punching with him. Easter was only using the jab as a range finder for the jarring straight rights. Shafikov had some success with left hooks but a right from Easter stopped the Russian in his tracks.
Score 10-9 Easter 30-27
Easter choose to go head to head with Shafikov showing no footwork at all but just brawling. That allowed Shafikov to get through with left hooks and he did enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Shafikov 39-37
The fifth round was close. Easter had gone back to the jab and move then firing straight rights. He did not throw as many punches as in the earlier rounds but was more accurate. Shafikov kept marching forward throwing hooks but very few were landing.
Score 10-9 Easter 49-46
Easter started by jabbing and moving slotting home straight rights and the occasional left hook. Shafikov pressed hard and landed some leaping lefts and over the last minute as they stood head to head the Russian was able to score more. Easter was showing a bruise under his left eye
Score 10-9 Shafikov 58-56
Shafikov chased in vain in the seventh. He marched forward but straight into counters from Easter who again was firing and moving and tying Shafikov up inside.
Score 10-9 Easter 68-65
The eighth was a closer round. Shafikov upped his pace but Easter was still able to spear the challenger with jabs and combinations as he marched forward and tied him up when he got close.
Score 10-9 Easter 78-74
Another close round. After boxing and countering over the first two minutes Easter again elected to stand and brawl. Shafikov got through with some looping lefts but the accurate work was coming from Easter.
Score 10-9 Easter 88-83
Easter again decided to just stand and trade in this one. He was throwing some quick combinations but they were light punches and Shafikov either blocked them or ducked under them. Shafikov scored with hooks throughout the round and finished with a burst of punches just before the bell.
Score 10-9 Shafikov 97-93
It was jab and move again from Easter. He was spearing Shafikov with jabs and catching him with short rights and holding to prevent Shafikov working inside. Shafikov was swinging wildly looking for a punch to save the fight.
Score 10-9 Easter 107-102
Easter was not looking to engage in the last just dancing and moving. Shafikov kept coming and eventually Easter was forced to stand and that allowed Shafikov to fight inside. Easter was throwing quick light combination and Shafikov digging in with hooks and I could not separate them.
Score 10-10 Even 117-112
Official scores: 120-108 twice and 116-112 all for Easter
Fighting in his hometown the 26-year-old Easter was making the second defence of his IBF title. He again showed his speed and skill and handled the all-out aggression of the Russian well. In winning this fight he dispensed with his mandatory obligations so can look forward to a couple of voluntary fights. With Shafikov just 5’5” (165cm) against the 5’11” (180cm) Easter this was always going to literal be a tall task for the Russian. He stuck with it walking through everything in an attempt to win but the handicap was too much. He had lost on points to Miguel Vazquez for the same IBF title in 2014 and to Rances Barthelemy, another 5’11” fighter, for the vacant IBF title in 2015. If the 32-year-old Djingis Khan had hollow legs he would be a world champion at super bantam or feather and it remain to be seen whether he will ever get a fourth title chance.
Golub vs. Clark
Clark gets hotly disputed decision over Golub. Golub clearly took the first round. He was getting past the longer reach of Clark and scoring with straight lefts to the head and body. Clark was more aggressive in the second taking the fight to Golub and scoring with some good lefts. They both landed some heavy stuff in the third Clark was a bit wild with his punches and with his greater accuracy Golub took the round. The fourth was also Golub’s. Clarke took the fight to Golub early but some crisp shots inside had him on the back foot and just before the bell a right hook to the chin had Clark stumbling into the ropes on unsteady legs. Golub tried to capitalise on that but they got tangled and Clark fell to the canvas with the bell going at that point. Golub took the fifth. Clark was just looking to stay out of trouble but was getting nailed with hard lefts. Golub was throwing more and landing more in the sixth but Clarke rebounded to score with some good counters to take the seventh. Golub pursued Clarke throughout the eighth easily out-landing him and looking a clear winner. Scores 77-75 twice and 79-73 all for Clark! For me and much of the crowd Golub won the all-southpaw battle but it is what the judges say that matters. The 22-year-old local fighter won a gold medal at the National PAL Tournament and the US Elite Championships as well as representing the USA at the World Championships so he has good credentials but was lucky here. Brooklyn-based Ukrainian Golub, 28 loses his unbeaten tag but was unlucky to do so.
Williams vs. Conley
Williams returns with a win as he halts Conley in seven rounds. Williams came out firing looking to end this early and Conley was under pressure but showing a tight defence and countering when he saw the chance. Williams switched to southpaw in the second. He was still forcing the fight. Conley who also switched to southpaw was trading more but Williams was doing some serious body work. As the fight developed Williams was forcing the pace with Conley hitting back hard but spending more and more time fighting with his back to the ropes. Williams had Conley pinned to the ropes for most of the sixth only for Conley to fight back hard just before the bell. In the seventh a short right hook had Conley backing along the ropes and going down on one knee. It was a strange knockdown almost as though he had injured an eye. He got up and when the fight resumed Williams had Conley on the ropes and was unloading punches and Conley’s corner threw in the towel with everyone a little perplexed by the stoppage. First fight for “J Rock” Williams since being knocked out in five rounds by Jermall Charlo in a challenge for the IBF title in December. He will be looking to work his way back to another title shot. Conley’s other defeat was a split verdict against unbeaten Daquan Arnett in 2015 and he had scored three inside the distance wins since then.
Indio, CA, USA: Bantam: Oscar Negrete (17-0) W RTD 8 Sergio Frias (19-7-2). Light Ryan Martin (19-0) W PTS 10 Marcos Jimenez (22-8). Super Feather: Lamont Roach (14-0) W PTS 10 Jesus Valdez (20-3-1). Welter: Keandre Gibson (17-1-1) W PTS 8 Dennis Dauti (14-3).
Negrete vs. Frias
Negrete bludgeons Frias to defeat with relentless pressure. Negrete went after Frias from the start forcing him to fight with his back against the ropes for much of the fight. Negrete was using a high tight guard and working the body in close. Frias was countering when he could but his punches did not have the power or the accuracy to keep Negrete off. The relentless pressure was slowly breaking Frias up and he was throwing less and less with Negrete landing more and more. Short hooks and uppercuts inside followed by two rights to the head and a wicked left to the body floored Frias in the third. The fight continued to be one-sided. Nothing Frias could do was halting the march of Negrete who just kept digging to the body and landing chopping rights to the head. By the seventh Frias was finding it hard to hold his hands up and was in survival mode but not making a good job of it. He rallied but it was a last fling. Frias took a brutal beating in the eighth and the referee asked the doctor to examine him in the interval. Initially it was clear he was willing to allow Frias to continue but the fighter was finished and his corner pulled him out. Californian-based Colombian Negrete, 29, wins the NABF title and has 7 wins by KO/TKO. He has beaten some reasonable level opposition but no names so far. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Frias but in fairness this is only his second fight in the last 19 months.
Martin vs. Jimenez
Martin scores a shut-out against Jimenez. It was a very one-sided fight. Martin was too quick for the veteran and pressed hard in every round. Jimenez fought a defensive rear action with Martin dominating every round walking Jimenez down and scoring with heavy shots to head and body. In his frustration at not getting Jimenez to open up Martin tried standing in front of Jimenez and dropping his hands but that did not work. Although Martin pounded away Jimenez showed good punch resistance and was never in any real trouble. Scores 100-90 for Martin from all three judges. The 24-year-old Cleveland-based “Blue Chip” was coming off an impressive stoppage of Bryant Cruz (17-1) in March. The former US Under-19 champion is already rated IBF 11/WBO 15. Dominican Jimenez, 33, was 2-3 in his previous 5 fights with the losses being to Anthony Peterson, Jose Felix and Stephen Ormond.
Roach vs. Valdez
Roach retains the WBC Youth Silver title with win over Valdez. Roach had too much speed and skill for Valdez. He built his strategy around a sustained body attack with Valdez ready to stand and trade. In most rounds Roach was impressing with some blazing combinations but impressive inside work from Valdez, mainly some sharp uppercuts, allowed him to stay competitive until he tired badly over the late rounds. As he faded Roach turned up the heat looking to get an inside the distance win. But Valdez stayed there. Scores 100-90, 98-92 and 97-93 all for Roach who was making the first defence of his Youth title. The 21-year-old from Maryland, the 2013 National Golden Gloves champion, had knocked out former double world title challenger Alejandro Valdez in 101 seconds in January. Valdez, 24, did well to last the distance but his record is padded with some very poor opposition.
Gibson vs. Dalut
Gibson gets back into the winning column with unanimous decision over Swiss-based Greek Dalut. This was a tough, hard fought contest with both fighters willing to stand and exchange punches. Gibson had height and reach on his side and when he used those advantages he was in control. However he found Dalut a difficult opponent in what was a good learning fight for Gibson. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75 all for Gibson. After good wins over seasoned pro Hector Velazquez and Mahonry Montes Gibson took a big step up in opposition and was floored and halted by Antonio Orozco in four rounds in April. Dalut’s other two losses are close points decisions against good quality opposituion in Nicolas Gonzalez and Eddie Gomez
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Welter: Ray Robinson (24-2) W TEC DEC 7 Breidis Prescott (30-10). Feather: Luis Lebron (9-0-1) W PTS 10 Manuel Botti (22-1-1).
Robinson vs. Prescott
Robinson gets technical decision victory after a clash of heads leads to severe injury to Prescott. Robinson had outworked the fading Colombian and built a good lead winning each of the first six rounds clearly. In the seventh both lunged forward with a punch and their heads banged together hard. The impact sent Prescott back and down to the canvas causing some concern over the extent of his injury and he left the ring on a stretcher. The fight was stopped and it was left to the score cards to select the winner and all three judges had Robinson in front 70-63. Southpaw Robinson suffered consecutive losses to Brad Solomon in 2009 and Shawn Porter in 2010 but has won 13 on the bounce since then beating some creditable opposition on the way and is rated WBC 10/WBO 12/IBF 12(10). Prescott, 34, has fallen away badly and is now 4-7 in his last 11 fights.
Lebron vs. Botti
Lebron proves too strong and too fit for Dominican Botti. Over the early rounds Botti managed to stay in the fight with his work rate but there was no power in his punches. Lebron kept applying pressure. He was strong and punched harder. Botti tried to match him but in taking the fight to Lebron was getting caught time and again with hard punches from both hands. Botti kept pitching but was taking some serious punishment and did well to stay to the final bell. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 all for Lebron. The 23-year-old “Popeye” from Puerto Rico was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and collects the vacant WBA Fedelatin title. “El Zombie” Botti showed guts but was well beaten. His record is typical of so many fighters from the DR in that 11 of his victims had never won a fight and his last opponent was 1-21.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Super Feather: Pablo Ojeda (13-3) W KO 8 Daniel Brizuela (28-8-2,1ND). Ojeda continues his run of good form with kayo of more experienced Brizuela. Ojeda’s power was shown in the first when he put Brizuela down with a lefty hook to the body. Ojeda continued his assaults over the next three rounds but Brizuela found some spec and was more competitive over the fifth and sixth. Ojeda took over again in the seventh flooring Brizuela with a series of head punches. Brizuela made it out of the round but in the eighth another left hook to the body put Brizuela down and he was counted out. Ojeda, 26, the Argentinian No 9 feather, makes it 9 wins by KO/TKO and has won 6 of his last 7 fights. Brizuela, 31, was considered a hot prospect way back. He beat Mickey Bey in the Americas Olympic Qualifier for the 2004 Olympics and although failing to gain a medal at the Games he lost only one of his first 29 pro fights. From there it has been downhill most of the way and this is his sixth loss by KO/TKO including three in a row.
Niagara Falls, Canada: Super Welter: Phil Lo Greco (28-3) W PTS 8 Jesus Gurrola (24-12-3).
Lo Greco vs. Gurrola
Lo Greco gets by useful Mexican Gurrola by a majority decision in a sparkling contest. Lo Greco pressed Gurrola all the way and the fight was full of exciting exchanges as the two styles made for an excellent contest. It was close but Lo Greco just had the edge and deserved the win. Scores 79-73 and 77-75 for Lo Greco and 76-76. The 32-year-old “Italian Stallion”, he has dual Canadian/Italian nationality, is rebuilding after losses to Errol Spencer and Joe Elegele. Gurrola, 29, has gone down in tough fights against Antonio DeMarco, Thomas Dulorme and Ionut Dan Ion but would be welcome back on this showing. This was a Global Legacy Boxing & Lennox Lewis promotion and they intend to put on a series of shows at Niagara Falls,
Neukoelln, Germany: Cruiser: Tevel Pulev (4-0) W KO 2 Drazan Janjanin (17-16). Pulev towered over Janjanin and with Janjanin fighting in a crouch Pulev initially found it difficult to land anything heavy. He walked Janjanin down in the first but when under pressure Janjanin dived forward head down and held so was not in real trouble. Pulev began to land some left hooks to the body in the second. He drove Janjanin to the ropes with a series of left hooks and Janjanin went backwards through the middle ropes and off the ring apron and down to the floor. The referee went over to see where Janjanin had landed and as Janjanin was lying flat out on his back on the arena floor just waived the fight over. Worryingly there was no real sign of urgency in treating Janjanin who was still lying on the floor and the cameras focussed on Pulev and his team and followed them back to the dressing with no indication of whether Janjanin was up yet or not. The 34-year-old Pulev, the younger brother of Kubrat, won silver medals at the 2010 and 2011 European Championships and competed at three world championships and the 2012 Olympics where he won a bronze medal after losing to Olek Usyk in the semi-finals. All four of his wins have come by KO/TKO but at 34 time is not on his side. Now 8 losses by KO/TKO for Bosnian Janjanin.
Wandsbek, Germany: Middle: Ronny Mittag (30-2-1) W KO 5 Mihaly Donath (9-8-1). Super Welter: Angelo Frank (11-1) W TKO 6 Ericles Torres Marin (20-11-1). Cruiser: Nikola Milacic (18-1) W RTD 3 Raoul Mbetu (0-2). Super Welter: Uensal Arik (24-2) W Mazen Girke (15-83-4).
Mittag vs. Donath
Mittag wins a total mismatch over late substitute the diminutive Donath. Mittag had huge edges in height and reach and in the first Donath just went backwards around the ring pushing out an occasional jab. Mittag was not really putting in much of an effort but landed a few jabs and body punches. It was much the same in the second and third with Mittag walking down the little southpaw and looking to be taking the fight a bit more seriously but with Donath landing the occasional light left. Mittag’s frustration showed in the fourth as he was punching off the wrong foot and just letting punches go without a great deal of accuracy. Mittag ended it in the fifth with a right to the body that had Donath writhing in agony on the floor and counted out. Really just sparring and not very good sparring at that for the 28-year-old Mittag. He gets win No 15 by KO/TKO. He has lost only one of his last 29 fights, a split decision against Nuhu Lawal, and he showed he could fight with a split decision over Conrad Cummings in November. He is No 13 with the IBF. Donath, 21 a Romanian based in Hungary, gets his fourth loss in a row by KO/TKO.
Frank vs. Marin
Frank wins the vacant IBO International title with stoppage of Cuban oldie Marin. Frank controlled the fight from the start. Despite being much the smaller man he was able to work in close as Marin has only the most basic technique and no real skills. The Cuban was more dangerous with his head than his hands. His attacks were all head down and lunge forward and carless head work saw Frank suffer a deep cut over his left eye but his corner kept it under control. By the fifth Marin could hardly hold his hands up. He was given a standing count and also deducted a point for his head work. Rights to the head put Marin down twice in the sixth and although he made it to his feet after the second knockdown the referee stopped the fight. The 28-year old Frank makes it seven wins by KO/TKO. A circus performer he was at home here as the show was held in a circus tent. His loss was against Deniz Ilbay for the GBU world title in March and apart from that fight his opposition has been mediocre at best. The 40-year-old Hungarian-base Marin was poor and it is amazing he has found 20 opponents to beat.
Milacic vs. Mbetu
This was a disgraceful mismatch as Mbetu hardly even knew how to hold his hands up. He was floored by a right to the body in the first and Milacic was able to batter away at him in a fight that not only should have been stopped in the first round but never been allowed to happen. Mbetu was down again in the second and made it to the bell and skittered his way through the third and then retired. The 6’5” (195cm) German Milacic has 11 wins by KO/TKO and has won his last 14 fights. Mbetu came in as a late substitute but the “match” was a disgrace.
Arik vs. Girke
Arik returns to action with a split decision win over Girke. The pattern for this fight was set in the first round as Arik boxed on the retreat countering the oncoming Girke but was constantly under pressure. Occasionally Arik stood and fired home quick combinations but generally it was stick and move. Girke had a degree of success in each round when he managed to cut off the ring and he never stopped coming. Scores 58-56 and 58-57 for Arik and 58-56 for Girke. The 36-year-old Arik, a former GBU and WBU champion, was having his first fight since July last year. Arik is politically committed have staged protests against the current Turkish government at his fights and in writing and is also the official ambassador for the Kinderherz Foundation which is committed to supporting children with cancer. German Girke, 33, is listed as a southpaw in BoxRec but he boxed orthodox throughout this fight. He passed the 100 fight mark in April and is now 0-16-1 in his last 17 fights.
San Valetino Torio, Italy: Light: Gianluca Ceglia (14-3) W PTS 12 Eloy Iglesias (17-4-2). Hometown fighter Ceglia wins the vacant IBF International title with unanimous decision over Spanish champion Iglesias. It was the superior skill set that won this one for Ceglia. He moved well, picked his punches cleverly and was more accurate. Iglesias was the one forcing the fight most of the time but his careless headwork led to him being deducted a point. Both had good spells early in the fight with Ceglia moving ahead over the middle rounds and then taking the eleventh and twelfth to wrap up the decision. Scores 116-111 twice and 117-110 all for Ceglia. The 27-year-old former Italian champion makes it four wins in a row. Iglesias, 27, was 10-1-1 in his last 12 fights.
Durango, Mexico: Cruiser: Denton Daley (17-1) W KO 5 Felipe Romero (19-15-1). Canadian Daley turns up in Mexico and gets another win. The Canadian Commonwealth champion was a couple of classes above Romero and after five one-sided rounds the fight was over. The 35-year-old Daley gets his fifth win since losing to Youri Kayembre Kalenga for the interim WBA title in 2014. Seven losses in a row for Romero.
Tokyo, Japan: Welter: Daisuke Sakamoto (14-8-3) W PTs 10 Makoto Kawasaki (9-5-1). Super Light: Hiroki Okada (16-0) W PTS 10 Jheritz Chavez (7-2-2).
Sakamoto vs. Kawasaki
Sakamoto wins the vacant Japanese interim title with unanimous decision over Kawasaki. Sakamoto made the better start scoring with some hard combinations in the first. Kawasaki used his left hooks to edge the second and in the round a punch opened a cut over the right eye of Sakamoto. The third and fourth were close. After four rounds the scores were 49-46 twice for Sakamoto and 48-47 for Kawasaki. The fifth saw Sakamoto’s work rate drop but he came back in the sixth putting pressure on Kawasaki. In the seventh the doctor examined the cut but allowed Sakamoto to continue and he swept the late rounds as Kawasaki tired. Scores 97-93 twice and 97-94 all for Sakamoto. The new interim champion will have to defend his title against champion Takeo Arikawa who stepped down due to injury. Sakamoto, 35, is 7-0-2 in his last 9 fights. Kawasaki, the Japanese No 2 had won his last two fights. Both fighters were having their first ten round fight.
Okada vs. Chavez
Okada dominates fight with Filipino Chavez but can’t add to his inside the distance wins. The local fighter scored repeatedly with his jab and straight rights with Chavez scoring inside with some hard hooks. Despite a cut on his right eyelid coming from a clash of heads in the second round Okada continued to control the fight but had to survive a doctor’s inspection of the cut and recover from a hard right in the fourth that staggered him. As Chavez tired over the closing rounds Okada fought a controlled fight not wanting to take any chances with the cut and boxed his way to a comfortable victory. Scores 100-90, 100-91 and 99-93 all for Okada. The OPBF No 4 is a former undefeated Japanese champion. Chavez keeps his card clean of any inside the distance losses.
Windhoek, Namibia: Welter: Bethuel Ushona (36-5-1) W PTS 12 Roman Belaev (16-3). Middle: Lukas Ndafoluma (9-1, ND) W PTS 12 Barend van Rooyen (24-5-1).
Ushona vs. Belaev
Ushona retains his WBFederation title with clear victory over Russian Belaev. Ushona won this one mainly on the back foot. He used his superior speed and skill to outscore and frustrate Belaev. The Russian had periods of success when he was able to cut down space for Ushona and work on him against the ropes but that happened too rarely for Belaev to get a foothold in the fight. Ushona refused to be drawn into long exchanges moving, countering and showing excellent defensive work and emerged a deserving winner. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-110 all for Ushona. First defence of his WBFederation title for the 35-year-old Namibian. After winning his first 14 fights German-based Belaev lost to Ali Funeka for the IBO title in 2014, was inactive in 2015 and is now 2-2 in his last 4 fights.
Ndafoluma vs. van Rooyen
Ndafoluma wins the vacant IBO All-African title in a fight that was closer than the scores indicate. South African van Rooyen was the aggressor constantly taking the fight to Ndafoluma. The Namibian showed good skills to keep van Rooyen at bay for much of the fight but van Rooyen had his share of success when he managed to get past the strong jab of the local fighter. It made for a close exciting fight with the cleaner work of Ndafoluma just giving him the edge. Scores 117-112, 116-112 and 115-114 all for Ndafoluma but it was closer than the widest scores. The local fighter gets his fourth win in a row. After losing in shots at the South African light and super light title van Rooyen was inactive for almost 12 year before returning to the ring in 2015. He lost to Chris Buthelezi for the South African middle title in June last year.
Managua, Nicaragua: Melvin Lopez (11-0) W TKO 5 Greivin Lopez (10-3). Minimum: Byron Rojas (20-3-3) W PTS 8 Carlos Ortega (11-5-2).
Lopez vs. Lopez
Melvin L demolishes Costa Rican Ortega in five rounds. Melvin L nearly ended in the second when he landed a series of head punches which put Greivin L down. Greivin L beat the count and despite the best efforts of Melvin L made it to the bell. Melvin L seemed to go off the boil in the third and fourth letting Greivin L into the fight. Melvin L launched a big attack in the fifth landing hard to head and body and with Greivin L soaking up punishment the referee stopped the fight. Melvin blazed so brightly as an amateur there was talk of him being the next Roman Gonzalez but that talk has died away. This was his first defence of his WBC Latino title and his seventh win by KO/TKO. Greivin, 19, had won his first seven fights by KO/TKO but has fallen away since then.
Rojas vs. Ortega
Rojas only just squeezes past Ortega thanks to a deduction. Despite has greater experience Rojas let himself be dragged into a brawl with most of the action in close with both working the body. Neither man was managing to dominate with Ortega cut over his left eye but matching Rojas punch for punch. A stupid error saw Ortega come out of the corner for the fourth without his mouthguard. It was a minute before it was spotted and the referee deducted a point from Ortega for that infraction. Rojas tired over the last two rounds and that allowed Ortega to stage a strong finish. Scores 77-74, 78-76 and 76-75. Local fighter Rojas, a former WBA and IBO champion, had sprung a huge upset when he beat Hekkie Budler for those tiles in March last year but he dropped the IBO title and lost the WBA title in his first defence against Thai Knockout CP Freshmart just three months later. He is rated WBA 2/WBC 3/IBF 5(4) so another title chance should come his way soon. Panamanian “Little Spider” Ortega, a former WBC Silver champion, fought way above expectations here.
Panama City, Panama: Light Fly: Gilberto Pedroza (16-3-2) W TKO 4 Amrit Herrera (10-1). Pedroza gets his fifth win in a row as he stops Herrera in four rounds in an all-Panama clash. Pedroza took the fight to Herrera from the start looking for an early win. His power gave him the edge and in the fourth he floored Herrera three times with the referee stopping the fight after the third knock down. The 24-year-old Pedroza lifts the WBA Fecarbox title. He has eight wins by KO/TKO and five victories in a row as he battles his way back into the world ratings.”Kung Fu” Herrera, the WBC No 13, was making the second defence of his Fecarbox title.
Derby, England: Welter: Ryan Fields (11-3-1) W TKO 1 Dale Miles (15-4).
It was expected that this local derby would be a close contest with Miles perhaps a slight favourite. Fields, 25, blew that expectation away as he floored Miles twice and it was over in 103 seconds. Fields retains his BBB of C Midlands Area title and is now 9-1-1 in his last 11 fights and has five wins by KO/TKO. Southpaw Miles, 32, dropped out of boxing in 2013 after going 2-3 in five very tough fights but returned in March this year with a win.
Evien les Bains, France: Super Welter: Brian Castano (14-0) W PTS 12 Michel Soro (30-2-1). Cruiser: Arsen Goulamirian (21-0) W TKO 9 Mitch Williams (15-6-1). Super Middle: Mikael Diallo (16-0-2) W TKO 4 Bernard Donfack (23-15-3). Welter Mohammed Rabii (3-0) W KO 1 Temur Abuladze (7-2).
Castano vs. Soro
I got this one wrong. I underestimated Castano and thought Soro would beat him but the Argentinian went into the lion’s den and won a split decision and came away with his interim WBA title intact.
Castano made a confident start. Despite giving away height and reach he was getting through with his jab and advancing quickly throwing hooks with both hands. Soro just did not get untracked.
Score 10-9 Castano
Castano’s round again. Soro tried to get on the front foot and threw more punches but Castano was leaping in firing fast combinations to head and body and outscoring the local fighter.
Score 10-9 Castano 20-18
This round went in three phases. Initially Soro used his jab to control the action and scored with some straight rights. Over the middle period Castano again leapt in firing hooks only for Soro to get through with jabs and a long right just before the bell.
Score 10-9 Soro 29-28
Castano took this one. Soro was just not throwing enough punches. Castano was walking in and landing hooks and uppercuts and getting through with rights to the head
Score 10-9 Castano 39-37
Soro had a better round. He used his jab more effectively and let his hands go more. Castano tried to finish the round strongly but Soro countered him well.
Score 10-9 Soro 48-47
Soro was the one doing the hard work at the start of this round. He had Castano retreating and was scoring with straight rights and lefts hooks. Castano cut loose at the end of the round with overhand rights but Soro had just done enough.
Score 10-9 Soro 57-57
Soro’s round and the clearest so far. The French fighter kept stabbing out his jab with Castano on the back foot for the whole round and now it was Castano not throwing enough punches.
Score 10-9 Soro 66-67
Once again Soro’s round. He was slotting home his jab and straight rights. Castano was retreating for almost the entire round not attempting to attack. He is not a back foot fighter and Soro was able to get through with precise shots.
Score 10-9 Soro 75-77
Castano was letting his title slip away and he needed to do something. In this round he came out firing as he had over the early rounds. He was rumbling forward throwing hooks and uppercuts and just before the bell had Soro on the ropes under a series of overhand rights.
Score 10-9 Castano 85-86
Best round of the fight as they stood and traded punches more than at any time so far. Soro was picking and placing his punches better but Castano was busier and threw more. Very close but I just gave it to Castano
Score 10-9 Castano 95-95
This time Soro stood off more and threaded his punches through the guard of Castano. Castano was on the back foot for much of the round and did not pressure as much and Soro did the cleaner work.
Score 10-9 Soro 105-104
Both fighters just stood and threw punches in the last. Soro scored with some excellent counters but Castano often had the Frenchman pinned on the ropes throwing hooks and for me just edged the fight to hold on to his title.
Score 10-9 Castano 115-113
Official scores: 115-113 twice for Castano and 116-112 for Soro
There was an interminable delay before the scores were announced and Castano’s team found out what the result was and were celebrating with Soro’s team not having any information on the outcome. The problem was one of the judges had all of the scores under the right fighter and had Soro winning 116-112 but then wrote on his card “Winner Castano” and that seemed to require forever to sort out and I guess the fear was that he might have had the fighters mixed as happened in the Ryan Burnett vs. Lee Haskins fight, but eventually that was clarified and then the scores were announced officially. The 27-year-old Castano was making the first defence of his title and beating Soro in France was a much better achievement than winning the title over mediocre Emmanuel de Jesus. He showed here he belongs at this level. Ivory Coast-born Soro, 29, lost the fight due to his slow start but he can rebuild and get another chance.
Goulamirian vs. Williams
After a slow start Goulamirian finally ends the fight in the ninth. Goulamirian took two rounds to get going as he initially had trouble with the southpaw style of Williams. From the third he constantly raked Williams with punches from both with Williams never really in the fight again. In the ninth with Williams bleeding from a cut and under heavy bombardment the referee stopped the fight. The 29-year-old Armenian-born Goulamirian makes it 13 wins by KO/TKO including 7 inside the distance wins in his last 8 fights. He is a ridiculous No 2 with the WBA and based on the standard of his opposition his EBU No 13 is a better reflection. Michigan’s Williams, 36, suffers his second loss by KO/TKO and had lost on points to unbeaten Ryad Merhy in May.
Diallo vs. Donfack
Diallo extends his winning run to 12 with stoppage of Donfack. The Belgian-based Diallo had built a useful lead before a left hook to the body put Donfack on the floor in considerable pain and the fight was over. Diallo, known as “The Catalan Bomber” has scored 11 inside the distance wins in the 12 contest winning run. He was having his first fight since undergoing a nose operation. He is No 16 with the EBU. Cameroon-born, German-based Donfack, a former WBFederation world champion has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights.
Rabii vs. Abuladze
Olympian Rabii gets this one over quickly. Inside the first minute a left hook to the body put Georgian Abuladze down and he was counted out. The 23-year-old Moroccan has two wins by KO/TKO both of them coming in the first round, The World Champion and Olympic silver medallist has scored each of his wins in a different country. First fight outside of Georgia for Abuladze and first loss inside the distance.
Moscow, Russia: Heavy: Alex Povetkin (32-1) W PTS 12 Andriy Rudenko (31-3,1ND). Super Light: Eduard Troyanovsky (22-1) W KO 4 Michele Di Rocco (41-3-1). Feather: Valery Tretyakov (11-0) W PTS 10 Ruslan Berchuk (11-8).
Povetkin vs. Rudenko
Povetkin returns with a win as he outclasses the limited Rudenko. This one almost ended in farce. Povetkin took control in the first round forcing Rudenko back and landing some good left hooks to the body. Inside he landed two sharp right uppercuts and then swung a right that went past the left shoulder of Rudenko and landed on the back of his head. A couple of seconds later Rudenko stepped back indicating he had been hit on the back of the head. The referee stopped the action and sent Povetkin to a neutral corner. The referee, Rudenko’s seconds and a doctor all kneaded and pushed Rudenko’s neck and it certainly seemed as though the Ukrainian did not want to continue. After almost five minutes the referee made it plain he was not going to disqualify Povetkin leaving Rudenko to either retire or fight on. Rudenko decided to fight on. Povetkin again bossed the action in the second. Rudenko scored with a hard right to the head but once again Povetkin scored with right uppercuts and rocked the Ukrainian with a hard combination. Povetkin was scoring with hard punches to head and body in the third and fourth. Rudenko made an attempt at the start of the fifth to get on the front foot throwing lefts and rights but Povetkin double up his jab and scored well to the body to stop the drive from the Ukrainian. Rudenko got through with a hard right at the start of the seventh but Povetkin landed an even better one. In the eighth Rudenko complained twice about punches to the back of the head but the referee waived away his complaints and Rudenko had survived those neck jerking right uppercuts without any ill effect so his complaint seemed a bit false. Both fighters were showing signs of tiredness in the ninth and the pace of the fight slowed over the closing rounds with Povetkin doing all of the scoring. Scores 120-108 twice and 120-109. The 37-year-old Russian wins the vacant WBO International and WBA Continental titles. Two positive tests cost Povetkin a shot at Deontay Wilder for the WBC title and a fight with Bermane Stiverne in a final eliminator for the WBC title. With these two new titles he will now be rated by both the WBA and WBO and as much as I abhor cheats I believe he is capable of giving any top heavyweight a tough fight. He has real power-he Is a curious build a bit like a bull’s body on emu’s legs – and has a solid chin. Rudenko, 33, was rated WBO 11/IBF 13(12) he is strong but slow and limited. I found it curious that not only did Rudenko not sit down between rounds but he would wander along the ropes to the nearest corned and back.
Troyanovsky vs. Di Rocco
Troyanovsky starts to rebuild his career after the shocking loss of his IBF title in December. The fight got off to a lively start with both fighters letting their hands go. Di Rocco was coming in low and throwing right crosses with Troyanovsky stabbing with his jab and firing rights. Late in the round one of those rights landed to the head of Di Rocco who stumbled and then went down heavily. He was up at six and after the count Troyanovsky landed another right just as the bell sounded. Troyanovsky rocked Di Rocco a couple of times with his right cross in the second. Di Rocco landed some heavy rights of his own in the third but a short overhand right put him down on his back. He was up at six and saw out the 30 seconds remaining in the round. In the fourth two strong jabs sent Di Riocco reeling into the ropes when he managed to get off the ropes another jab had him staggering and a right had him weaving on his feet and then falling flat on his back. Again he beat the count but one more right saw Di Riocco slumped down against the ropes and the fight was stopped. The 37-year-old Russian was having his first fight since being knocked out in 40 seconds by Julius Indongo. Italian Di Riocco, 35, a former undefeated European super light champion, was stopped in eight rounds by Ricky Burns for the vacant WBA title in May 2016.
Tretyakov vs. Berchuk
Tretyakov wins unanimous decision over Berchuk. Tretyakov made a slow start which allowed Berchuk to work well with his jab and land short hooks. Once Tretyakov got rolling he pressed Berchuk harder and landed some hard left hooks. Berchuk started to fade out of the fight over the second half of the contest and Tretyakov was able to open a wide gap in the scoring and win comfortably in the end. Scores 99-91, 98-93 and 97-93 all for Tretyakov. The 26-year-old Russian’s career was interrupted when he was found guilty over a fatality following an altercation outside a night club. There were extenuating circumstances and he was punished with one year of restricted liberty and a fine. Berchuk has now lost to three unbeaten fighters in his last three fights.
Dresden, Germany: Light Heavy: Karo Murat (31-3-1) TKO 11 Dominic Boesel (24-1). Murat wins the vacant European title in epic able against previously unbeaten Boesel. From the start Murat was marching forward behind a high guard looking to take Boesel to the ropes and pound away to the body. Boesel was working behind a sharp jab and firing rapid combinations at the slower Murat. Boesel needed to stay off the ropes but over the first two rounds Murat kept forcing Boesel back and landing thumping hooks and heavy rights and looked to have shaken Boesel with a right in the second. As the fight developed Boesel continued to stab with his jab and rattle off speedy combinations. Murat opened his arms a couple of times to show they were not hurting him but they were scoring punches. Over the middle rounds Boesel moved more and stayed off the ropes more. Murat was willing to walk through Boesel’s punches which lacked the powerful leverage that Murat was getting. Murat was loading up on his punches particularly the left hooks to the body. Boesel had to keep jabbing and moving and he did enough of that to have a small lead. A left hook had Boesel hurt in the eighth. He fired back bravely with blazing combinations but by the end of the round Murat was pounding Boesel again and Boesel was dropping his hands after each punch he threw in a sure sign of exhaustion. In the ninth Boesel gave it one big last effort as he boxed on the outside spearing Murat with lefts and rights but he looked to be fading. He bounced back in the ninth jabbing and moving but in the tenth he was moving less, punching less and holding more. A right uppercut shook him and two left hooks had him in deep trouble at the bell. Early in the tenth a couple of punches had Murat stumbling but he was soon marching forward again driving Boesel along the ropes into a corner. A left that snapped Boesel’s head back almost had the referee stepping in and after two more head punches the fight was stopped. Great win for Armenian-born Murat. He lost to Bernard Hopkins in a dull fight for the IBF title in 2013 and a knockout loss to Sullivan Barrera in December 2015 put his future in doubt. This win puts him right back in the picture as Boesel was a ridiculously high No 2 with the WBO. Boesel had scored useful wins over Balazs Kelemen and Tony Averlant but his lack of power was evident. At 27 there is time to rebuild him but I can’t see him as a future world champion.
London, England: Light Heavy: Frank Buglioni (20-2-1) W PTS 12 Ricky Summers (13-1). Super Welter: Ted Cheeseman (9-0) W TKO Matthew Ryan (14-2). Feather: Reece Bellotti (10-0) W TKO 8 Jamie Speight (15-12).Cruiser: Lawrence Okolie (4-0) W KO 1 Russ Henshaw (7-6). Welter: Conor Benn (9-0) W TKO 3 Mike Cole (4-1-1). Light Heavy: Joshua Buatsi (1-0) W TKO 2 Carlos Mena (4-7).
Buglioni vs. Summers
Buglioni wins unanimous decision over Summers and retains the British title in an excellent competitive scrap. Both fighters had some success in a close first round and Buglioni took the second as he hurt Summers with a snappy body punch. The third and fourth also went to Buglioni. The third was his best round so far as a right badly shook Summers and took the fourth as he finished the round strongly. Summers came into the fight more in the fifth scoring with rights of his own and he also took the sixth as Buglioni’s work rate dropped. The seventh was close but Summers seemed to outwork Buglioni. The champion hurt Summers with a left in the eighth as both fighters were trading hard punches in an exciting contest and the fight was poised to go either way as Summers had a good ninth and the tenth was too close to call. From there Buglioni staged a strong finish. He staggered Summers with a hard combination in the eleventh and as the two tired battlers swapped punches in the last round a punch from Buglioni again staggered Summers and the champion took that round also. Scores 118-111, 116-113 and 115-114 all for Buglioni. The 28-year-old “Wise Guy” was making the first defence of the British title he won with an impressive victory over Hosea Burton in December. Since losing to Fedor Chudinov for the WBA super middle title September 2015 and moving up to light heavy he has been comfortable at the additional poundage and will be looking for an international title now. Summers was going past the eighth round for the first time and stepping up in the quality of his opposition but he fought hard for all twelve rounds and showed he belongs at this level.
Cheeseman vs. Ryan
Cheeseman just punches too hard for Ryan. Cheeseman was stalking Ryan throughout the first round. Ryan was circling the ring stabbing out his jab but Cheeseman was ducking under the jab leaving his hands free to score with hooks and uppercuts and he hurt Ryan with a hard left hook to the body. Ryan stayed off the ropes at the start of the second and did some good work with his jab and straight rights. Cheeseman landed a couple of crunching left hooks and was working Ryan over on the ropes at the bell. An overhand right and a couple of short hooks dropped Ryan early in the third. He was up quickly and tried to hold Cheeseman off with a good left hook but Cheeseman walked through that and drove Ryan to the ropes putting him down with a right/left combination. Ryan landed on his side and although he made it to his feet the referee rightly stopped the fight. An outstanding amateur the 21-year-old from Bermondsey was coming off an impressive stoppage of Lloyd Elliott (20-1). He wins the English title and makes it seven victories by KO/TKO. First loss by KO/TKO for Ryan who was making the first defence of his English title.
Bellotti vs. Speight
Bellotti batters brave Speight to defeat in eight rounds. Bellotti hunted down Speight early getting close and landing some hurtful body punches. Speight survived some brutal punishment in the second as he lacked the power to keep Bellotti out. Speight boxed well on the retreat and showed some good defensive work but Bellotti landed some heavy stuff in the fifth and sixth as Speight tired. Speight spent much of the seventh with his back against the ropes as Bellotti pounded away to his body and when a right to the head rocked Speight badly the end looked near. Bellotti hunted Speight down in the eighth. He pinned Speight on the ropes and landed two heavy head punches and the fight was halted. The “Watford Bomber” Bellotti, 26, wins the vacant WBC International Silver title and has nine wins by KO/TKO, Fifth loss by KO/TKO for BBB of C Southern Area champion Speight.
Okolie vs. Hanshaw
Okolie is yet to hear the bell ending the first round. This was another too easy job for him. Hanshaw’s tactics were to rush head down and grab Okolie. On one of his rushes Okolie caught him with a right to the body that sent Hanshaw down in agony. After the eight count he tried another rush which was again met by a right to the body from Okolie and Hanshaw was down again. When the action resumed a right to the head sent Hanshaw tottering back to the ropes and the fight was stopped. The 24-year-old 6’5” (196cm) former top amateur has won all four of his fights inside a round so they need to find him some stiffer opposition so that he gets some useful ring time. Henshaw gets his third loss by KO/TKO.
Benn vs. Cole
Cole certainly came to fight. He chased after Benn from the opening bell trying to land with his southpaw lefts. Benn was content to let Cole come and Benn then either showed some good defensive moves or cracked home rights to the head. An uppercut rocked Cole and Benn fired a burst of combinations but Cole kept trying to land punches of his own. Cole started the second at a frantic pace chasing a fleet Benn until a straight right from Benn put Cole down. Cole got up but then it was Benn doing the chasing. He landed some booming head punches one of which brought blood flowing from Cole’s nose but Cole was still trying to fight back at the bell. Benn cut loose in the third with a barrage of rights to the head and Cole went down. He made it to his feet and wanted to continue but the referee rightly stopped the fight. Injury meant this was the 28-year-old Destroyer’s first fight for six months and he really looks to be on his way to the top. Cole showed plenty of courage and determination but that was not enough against a puncher like Benn.
Buatsi vs. Mena
Buatsi gets his first pro win as he halts poor Mena. Buatsi dispensed with any handshaking before the action and went straight after Mena. The Olympian battered Mena around the ring landing hooks, uppercuts right crosses with Mena never knowing where the next thump was coming from. Mena tried to punch his way out of trouble but was rocked by a hard right. Buatsi settled down and began to pick his punches and a rib crunching left hook saw Mena down on one knee. Again he tried to punch his way out of trouble with wide wild swipes leaving himself open to heavy head shots from Buatsi but Mena was still there at the bell. A right to the head put Mena down early in the second. He made it to his feet but another body punch followed by a succession of head punches saw him drop to his knew to get out of the storm. When the count was over another left hook to the body saw the last vestige of Mena’s resistance crumble and the referee stepped in to stop the fight. The 24-year-old Ghanaian-born Olympic bronze medallist looked classy and powerful but it will need stiffer tests than this to judge how far he can go. He is an exciting prospect. Spanish-based Cuban Mena was a late selection and showed guts to keep getting up but has now lost his last 6 fights and this is his fifth defeat by KO/TKO.
Sacramento, CA, USA: Welter: Taras Shelestyuk (16-0) W TKO 3 Jesus Alvarez Rodriguez (15-3). Light: Jose Roman (24-1-1) W PTS 8 Miguel Mendoza (23-13-2). Feather: Ruben Villa (7-0) W PTS 4 Jonathan Alcantara (7-16-2).
Shelestyuk vs. Alvarez
Shelestyuk dismantles crude Alvarez. In the first round Shelestyuk had no problem in piercing Alvarez’s guard with long southpaw jabs and lefts to the body. He had even less problem dealing with the crude rushing attacks from Alvarez. Late in the round a straight left, a right and another straight left sent Alvarez back and down. He was up and took the count and although landing more lefts Shelestyuk ran out of time to finish it. Shelestyuk sent Alvarez staggering into a corner with a left in the second and landed plenty more lefts to the body. Alvarez fought back and managed to land some punches but he was taking more punishment at the bell. Alvarez came out swinging in the third and his sheer aggression put Shelestyuk on the back foot. Once the storm blew itself out a short right and a long left from Shelestyuk sent Alvarez stumbling back and down against the ropes and the referee immediately stopped the fight. The tall Ukrainian goes to ten wins by KO/TKO. As an amateur he won a gold medal at the World Championships and bronze medals at the 2012 Olympics and the 2010 European Championships. After 15 wins against low level opposition Alvarez suffered back-to-back inside the distance losses against Ruslan Provodnikov and unbeaten Sammy Valentin with the Valentin loss being a 70 second kayo defeat.
Roman vs. Mendoza
Roman gets his tenth win in a row as he outpoints Mendoza. The aggressive “El Gato” forced the fight with Mendoza willing to exchange but being outworked. Scores 79-74 twice and 78-74 all for Roman who is being sensibly matched-not too tough, not too easy. Now 5 losses in a row for Mendoza including defeats against Ray Beltran and Giovanni Santillan.
Villa vs. Alcantara
Villa remain unbeaten as he takes every round against Alcantara. Scores 60-54 from all three judges. The 20-year-old Thompson Boxing team fighter has to be worth watching. He was National Golden Gloves champion and scored two wins over Shakur Stevenson almost derailing Stevenson’s march to Rio. Villa just missed out on a berth and was Olympic Alternate. Alcantara drops to 7 losses in his last 8 fights.
Doncaster: England: Bantam: Josh Wale (24-9-2) W PTS 12 Jamie Wilson (10-2). Light: Lee Appleyard (11-3) W TKO 5 Steve Brogan (10-1-2). Super Feather: Samir Mouneimne (17-2-1) W PTS 10 Razaq Najib (6-2). Super bantam: Gavin McDonnell (17-1-2) W PTS 6 Simas Volosinas (7-62).
Wale vs. Wilson
Wale finally gets his reward as he wins the vacant British title but this one was a very close call with Wilson pushing the more experienced Wale all the way. Wale made the better start working on the outside finding space and slotting home accurate punches. After that Wilson closed the distance and pressed Wale harder and the rounds were much closer. Wale built an early lead but Wilson cut that down with effective inside work over the middle rounds. Even then the rounds were so close it was hard to separate the fighters and the outcome was in the balance to the last round. Wale had been twelve rounds five times and that experience helped him overcome a cut eye in the last to stage a slightly stronger finish and get the decision. There were many dissenters although Wale probably just deserved the nod. Scores 115-114 twice and 116-112 all for Wale. In challenges for British, English, Commonwealth and WBC International titles Wale was 0-5-2 in title fights so it was good to finally see him win this one. Wilson, 25, was bidding to become the first British champion from Dundee and he came so close. He had lost to Anthony Nelson for the vacant Commonwealth super flyweight title in 2015 and had never gone past eight rounds before. He showed here that he could go the distance and still be strong but more important he showed he belongs at this level and it would be nice to think he would get a return but if not then another title shots sometime in the future is a certainty.
Appleyard vs. Brogan
Appleyard wins the vacant English title with stoppage of Brogan. Both fighters were looking to establish control from the start leading to some fiery exchange. Pressure from Appleyard saw Brogan dipping and touching the floor with his glove resulting in a standing count. They continued to thrill the crowd as they traded punches in the subsequent rounds. Appleyard had a big fifth with Brogan again touching down briefly and having to take a count despite disputing the legitimacy of the knockdown. Now Appleyard was on top and had Brogan under bombardment for the rest of the round. In the sixth a right from Appleyard sent Brogan reeling into the ropes and as Appleyard was unloading punches the referee halted the fight. It is a case of third time lucky for Appleyard. He had lost previously in fights for both the BBB of C Central Area title and for the vacant Commonwealth title and this win gets him his first title. Brogan had drawn each of his last two fights and this was a step up for him in both distance and opponent.
Mouneimne vs. Najib
Once again the English title found a new owner as Mouneimne took a close unanimous decision over Najib. The furthest Najib had been in a fight before this was six rounds and he lost that one. Here he went ten rounds well and was competitive to the end, Mouneimne was the more experienced and the more skilful but he was pressed hard by Najib so hard that the decision could really have gone to either fighter with that little bit of experience just giving Mouneimne the edge. Scores 97-94, 97-95 and 96-95 all for Mouneimne. As with Appleyard the 30-year-old from Hull wins a title at the third attempt having lost to two world rated fighters Josh Warrington and Ryan Walsh in fights for the vacant Commonwealth and vacant British titles respectively. He will be looking to build on this win. Najib belied his lack of experience and on the basis of this performance with a few more fights he will be back fighting for a title.
McDonnell vs. Volosinas
Just a bit of paid sparring for McDonnell as he wins every round against late selection Volosinas. Referee’s score 60-54. The downside to this one was a cut he suffered in the last round something he could have done without. This is his first fight since losing to Rey Vargas for the vacant WBC title in February. Eleven losses in a row for Lithuanian Volosinas.
Villa Mercedes, Argentina: Super Bantam: Diego De La Hoya (19-0) W PTS 10 Alan Luques (21-7). Light: Fidel Ruiz (12-0) W TKO 5 Guillermo Soloppi (22-17-2). Claudio Echegaray (18-0-1) W KO 9 Diego Santillan (23-2). Bantam: Carlos Sanrdinez (10-0) W PTS 12 Daniel Coronel (5-5-1).
De La Hoya vs. Luques
De La Hoya tops the card at this new venue for boxing and remains unbeaten with a decision over experienced Argentinian Luques. The speed and accuracy of De La Hoya’s punches saw him gathering most of the rounds over the first half of the fight. Luques showed some good counter punching but was being outboxed and outscored. Over the second half of the fight Luques had more success as De La Hoya’s work rate dropped occasionally. Luques did enough to earn a couple of rounds but De La Hoya added another victory. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 all for De La Hoya. The 22-year-old Mexican was making the third defence of his WBC Youth title and was accompanied by cousin Oscar. Diego has useful wins over Jesus Ruiz and Luis Orlando del Valle and is rated IBF 6(4)/WBO11. Luques, a former Argentinian title challenger, had won 3 of his last 4 fights.
Ruiz vs. Soloppi
Good win for Ruiz as he halts experienced Soloppi. After a rocky start Ruiz took control of the fight. Soloppi played very rough in the first round unsettling the less experienced Ruiz and some carless head work by Soloppi saw Ruiz cut on his right eyebrow. After that Ruiz controlled the action. Soloppi finally lost a point in the sixth for a deliberate head butt as he tried to stem the attacks of Ruiz. That did not work and as Ruiz continued to land with heavy punches the referee gave Soloppi a standing count only for Soloppi’s corner to throw in the towel during the count. The 24-year-old “King Ruiz”, the Argentinian No 3. wins the vacant South American title and gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. Four losses in a row now for former South American super feather champion Soloppi.
Echegaray vs. Santillan
In his sternest test so far local lad Echegaray came through a tough fight with favoured Santillan to retain the interim WBC Latino title. It was a hard-fought close battle but southpaw Echegaray showed better skills using his longer reach to pile up the points and scoring with strong hooks to the body. It was those body punches that were the undoing of Santillan as left hook to the ribs put Santillan down in the ninth and he was counted out. The 27-year-old “Serpent”, the Argentinian No 4 feather, now has 10 wins by KO/TKO. First fight for Santillan since losing on a seventh round kayo against Shinsuke Yamanaka for the WBC bantam title in 2015.
Sardinez vs. Coronel
Sardinez wins the vacant South American title with a unanimous decision over Coronel in a battle of novices. Sardinez bossed this one all the way and despite a gutsy display Coronel was never really in with a chance of winning with Sardinez a wide points victor. Scores 119-109, 119 ½ -110 ½ and 119 ½ -111 ½. Sardinez had never been past six rounds before and Coronel never past eight.
Pomezia, Italy: Cruiser: Simone Federici (11-1-1) W PTS 10 Francesco Cataldo (6-3). Federici wins the vacant Italian title at the second attempt as he takes majority decision over Cataldo in a battle of local fighters. In this one it was whether you went for the more aggressive and busier Cataldo or the better skills and more accurate punches Federici. In the end the judges just came down on the side of Federici. Scores 96-94 and 96-95 for Federici and 95-95. The 23-year-old Federici, the No 6 in the Italian ratings, lost to Nicola Ciriani for this title in 2015 and is now 4-0-1 in subsequent fights. Cataldo, 35, had won his last 4 fights and was No 7 in the ratings.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Feather: Kenichi Ogawa (22-1) W TKO 2 Hirotsugu Yamamoto (20-13-3). Ogawa defends his title with ease as he blows away challenger Yamamoto inside two rounds. Ogawa almost ended it in the first. As Yamamoto stormed forward a left hook put him on the floor. He was up within the allotted ten seconds but was down again from a right and was saved by the bell. A batch of punches put Yamamoto on the canvas in the second and although he again made it to his feet he was under fire and the referee halted the uneven contest. Ogawa, 29, the WBC No 8, was making the fifth defence of his Japanese title. He has 17 wins by KO/TKO. From a child he practised Nippon Kenpo, a form of martial art, and some of the moves he learned there make him a difficult and unpredictable fighter to face. Yamamoto, 33, was knocked out in one round by Jhonny Gonzalez in a challenge for the WBC Silver title in September.
Gomez Palacio, Mexico: Welter: Roberto Ortiz (35-1-2) DRAW 12 Diego Cruz (17-5-2). The vacant WBC Fecarbox title remains vacant after these two fought to a unanimous draw in a bloody contest. Ortiz seemed to make the better start opening a cut on the right cheek of Cruz in the second and shaking him badly in the third. However Diaz fought had hard enough to make the first close and the fourth. After four rounds the judges had scored it 39-38 for Ortiz, 39-37 for Cruz and 38-38. They scrapped hard over the middle rounds trading punches and generally busting each other up with Ortiz getting the better of the exchanges. After eight it was still close with Ortiz 77-75 and 77-76 in front on two cards and the third standing at 77-77. Ortiz tired badly over the closing rounds. Cruz finished the stronger with a right causing a swelling on the left cheek of Ortiz and Cruz looked to have done enough to edge in front. Scores 114-114 twice and 113-113 for that rare thing a case where the three judges all scored the fight a draw. “Massa” Ortiz, 31, was unbeaten in his first 32 fights and won the WBC Silver title so was high in the ratings before being knocked out in two round by Lucas Matthysse in 2014. He is 4-0-1 since then against a reasonable but not outstanding level of opposition. Cruz, 23, had good wins over Jose Lopez and Ivan Cano before losing consecutive fights to Carlos Molina and unbeaten Alejandro Davila but he certainly re-established himself with this performance.
Guadalajara, Mexico: Super Bantam: Luis Cusolito (25-2) W TKO 6 Victor Proa (28-3-2). Argentinian Cusolito beats Proa in a match where both shed quite a bit of blood. In the first round a punch from Proa busted open the nose of Cusolito and he had problems breathing from then. Despite that early set-back Cusolito began to take control of the fight and soon Proa was bleeding from cuts. By the end of the fifth the Mexican’s right eye was completely closed and in the sixth his vision was too limited and when he was knocked down the fight was stopped. The 29-year-old Cusolito, the South American champion, wins the vacant WBC Latino title. He has lost only one of his last 12 fights and that was a last round stoppage against Moises Flores for the interim WBA title in 2015. Proa was unbeaten in his first 28 fights but then lost inside the distance to Raul Martinez and Joseph Diaz.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Fly: Jackson Chauke (13-1-1) W TKO 9 Sibusiso Twani (11-9-1). Chauke climbs back into the ring after almost two years away and gets a win. Twani was unrated and a not too demanding choice for a comeback but it took nine rounds for Chauke to get the win over Twani. The 32-year-old Chauke was a Commonwealth silver medallist and competed at the 2008 Olympics so he was expected to rise to the top quickly when he turned pro. All went well until he lost in a challenged against Lwandile Sityatha for the national title in 2013. After that he had just one more fight in 2013 and one in 2015 and seemed to have given the sport up so it will be interesting to see if he continues his comeback. Twani also had loads of rust to shed as this was his first fight since March 2015 and his first loss by KO/TKO.
Berne, Switzerland: Middle: Ramadan Hiseni (8-0) W PTS 10 Jacob Maganga (9-5-5). Super Middle: Mirzet Bajrektarevic (18-4) W KO 3 Bruno Tavares (10-1-1).
Hiseni vs. Maganga
Youngster Hiseni gets another win as he earns wide unanimous decision over Maganga. Hiseni dominated the fight with his superior skill set with Maganga never really in the fight but showing a good defence. Hiseni had Maganga down in the tenth but just could not find the punch to end things. Scores 100-89, 99-89 and 99-90 all for Hiseni. The 20-year-old Swiss-based Kosovon was up at ten rounds for the first time. Tanzanian Maganga is an experienced journeyman who was 3-0-1 in his last 4 fights.
Bajrektarevic vs. Tavares
Southpaw Bajrektarevic shows his power with stoppage of Tavares. The locally-based Tavares made the mistake of standing and punching with the dangerous Croatian and paid the price being knocked out in the third round. The 36-year-old Bajrektarevic makes it ten win by KO/TKO. He has won 7 of his last 8 fights with the loss being to Martin Murray in2015. For Tavares, who hails from Portugal, this is obviously a setback but he is good skilful boxer and at 26 has time to rebuild,
Paisley, Scotland: Feather: Declan Geraghty (15-2). W PTS 10 Michael Roberts (19-1-1). Super Feather: Jordan McCorry (13-3-1) W PTS 10 Jamie McGuire (8-2-1).
Geraghty vs. Roberts
This was a case of the substitute being better than the original opponent. Former Irish amateur stand out Geraghty answered a late call to come in as a substitute and the Dublin southpaw outboxed local fighter Roberts all the way to emerge the clear winner. Referee’s score 98-92 for Geraghty. “Pretty Boy” Geraghty had been stopped in four rounds by James Tennyson in a fight for the Irish super feather title in March so he needed a win and made sure he got it. He won Irish titles at every level from Cadet through Junior and Seniors, won a silver medal at the European Union Championships and competed at both the European and World Championships. The late change of opponent did not help the 30-year-old Glaswegian Roberts as he gets his first loss as a pro. As an amateur he was Scottish champion and a quarter-finalist at the Commonwealth Games now he has a rebuilding job to do.
McCorry vs. McGuire
McCorry wins the vacant BBB of C Scottish Area title with points decision over McGuire. Things started badly for McCorry as he was on the floor in the first round. He survived that scare and then dominated the fight to run out a clear winner. Referee’s score 98-93. McCorry, 26, has won 4 of his last 5 fights. McGuire, 28, was 3-0-1 in his last 4 fights.
Brisbane, Australia: Welter: Jeff Horn (17-0-1) W PTS 12 Manny Pacquiao (59-7-2). Super Fly: Jerwin Ancajas (27-1-1) W TKO 7 Teiru Kinoshita (25-2-1). Light Heavy: Damien Hooper (13-1) W PTS 10 Umar Salamov (19-1).Middle: David Toussaint (11-0) W PTS 8 Shane Mosley Jr (10-2). Feather: Michael Conlan (3-0) W TKO 3 Jarrett Owen (5-5-3)
Horn vs. Pacquiao
Horn stakes a claim to getting the best ever result for an Australian fighter as he get controversial unanimous decision over Pacquiao
Horn vs. Pacquiao
Horn made a positive start. He took the fight to Pacquiao and used his reach advantage to score with some jabs and had the Filipino rattled when he worked him over on the ropes a couple of times.
Score 10-9 Horn
Pacquiao tried to force the fight more he was throwing more and having more success but was also having difficulty landing cleanly with Horn showing quick movement. The Australian was cleverly side-stepping Pacquiao’s attacks but not landing enough.
Score 10-9 Pacquiao 19-19
Horn made a good positive start to this one coming forward and letting his hands go. and scoring with some sharp left hooks to the head. Pacquiao then took over and ended the round strongly timing his punches better and scoring with hooks.
Score 10-9 Pacquiao 28-29
Pacquiao was having trouble settling into any kind of rhythm as Horn was constantly moving. Pacquiao landed a couple of counters but Horn landed a leaping left hook through the champion’s guard and he outscored Pacquiao in this one.
Score 10-9 Horn 38-38
Pacquiao had a better round here. Horn forced the action but Pacquiao was moving slickly and showing his old hand speed and getting home with quick counters.
Score 10-9 Pacquiao 47-48
A clash of heads early in the round saw Pacquiao suffer a vertical cut in the hairline above his right eye and as is common with cuts to the head in bled freely but Pacquiao survived a doctor’s inspection and landed some sharp counters.
Score 10-9 Pacquiao 56-58
Pacquiao started the round well landing a sharp jab and catching Horn with some quick counters. Horn then drove forward and landed some good shots of his own. Once again heads clashed Pacquiao now had another cut again in his hairline but over his left eye. Horn had Pacquiao on the back foot and scored with some good rights to take the round.
Score 10-9 Horn 66-67
Pacquiao had a good round. He was quicker to the punch timing Horn’s attacks and countering and then quickly stepping back to avoid getting entangled with the bigger Australian. A clash of heads opened a cut over Horn’s right eye and he was thrown to the canvas but rightly it was not counted as a knockdown
Score 10-9 Pacquiao 75-77
A big round for Pacquiao. Horn made a promising start to the round but then Pacquiao shook Horn with a right/left combination and he drove the Australian around the ring with rights and lefts. Horn looked unsteady and very tired.
Score 10-9 Pacquiao 84-87
Horn came out with fresh legs for the tenth. He resumed his lunging attacks scoring with straight rights. Pacquiao got through with a couple of counters but he was outworked.
Score 10-9 Horn 94-96
Pacquiao showed his skills in this one. Horn drove forward but the Filipino was catching him with right jabs and straight lefts and edged the round
Score 10-9 Pacquiao 103-106
The action was frantic in the last with both fighters tired but trying to find the energy to get a decisive edge. Horn started the round strongly, Pacquiao countered well in the middle of the round but for me Horn just produced the stronger finish.
Score 10-9 Horn 113-115
Official scores: 115-113 twice and 117-111 all for Horn.
I thought Pacquiao just edged it but I have no problems with the judges who had it 115-113 for Horn. Apart from Pacquiao’s big ninth many of the rounds were close enough to have gone to either fighter. This was no robbery as some have claimed it was a close; hard fight all of the way. Horn fought an intelligent fight. He showed excellent side-to-side movement and used his strength to off-set the craft of Pacquiao and roughed the champion up in the clinches. His attacks were crude at times but effective. This was a disappointing performance for Pacquiao. With his huge extra experience, his much higher level of opposition and with Horn only having gone twelve rounds once this should have been a routine job for Pacquiao at his best but perhaps at 38 this is just the natural erosion of time on a great fighter. Horn wins the WBO title which is an impressive achievement for a fighter with only 17 fights. This is easily the biggest ever win by an Australian fighter and it was great to see the huge crowd for a sport that sometimes finds itself lucky to get any coverage in the Australian media. It also drew excellent cable figures for ESPN. Hopefully the 29-year-old local teacher’s win will give the sport a boost in Aussie land.
Ancajas vs. Kinoshita
Ancajas retains the IBF title with stoppage of fellow southpaw Kinoshita. In the opening round Ancajas was landing some nice straight right jabs and following with straight lefts with Kinoshita not throwing much at all. Ancajas was again getting through with his jab and scoring with left hooks to the body in the second. Kinoshita was not quick enough and a swelling and small cut opened around his right eye. Ancajas scored with a nice right to the body and left to the head. They stood and traded at the end of the round with Kinoshita getting home some hooks but being outpunched by Ancajas. The referee had the doctor examine the damage around the right eye of Kinoshita before the start of the third round but he ruled it was OK for the fight to continue. Ancajas outboxed Kinoshita in the third and fourth. He was getting through with his right jab/straight left combinations and scoring with clusters of punches with Kinoshita throwing too little and lacking power. Kinoshita had a better fifth as he took the fight to Ancajas and had some success with his own rights and lefts to the body. Kinoshita was also more competitive in the sixth scoring with his straight right and left hooks but Ancajas landed some strong straight lefts as the round ended. In the seventh Ancajas landed a couple of hooks to the head and a right to the body and Kinoshita went down on his knees. He made it to his feet but there was blood coming from his nose and his right was closed and despite his protests the referee stopped the fight. The 25-year-old Filipino “Pretty Boy” was making the second defence of his IBF title. He makes it 18 wins by KO/TKO and 14 wins on the bounce since losing a majority decision to Mark Anthony Geraldo in 2012. Kinoshita was having his second shot at this title having lost a clear decision to Zolani Tete for the vacant title in 2014.
Hooper vs. Salamov
Huge win for Australian Hooper as he gets points decision over WBO No 8 Salamov. An early cut over his left eye dictated that Hooper should curtail some of his usual aggression and box more on the back foot. The slow but strong Salamov had height and reach over Hooper and rocked Hooper badly in the eighth but the Australian battled back and provided a storming finish in the last to cement the close win. Scores 96-94 for Hooper from all three judges. The 25-year-old from Toowoomba is finally realising the promise he showed as an amateur. He won a gold medal at the Youth Olympics, silver at the World Youth Championships and going into the 2012 Olympics he was the No 2 rated in the world at 82kg. He beat Marcus Browne in London but was then eliminated by the eventual gold medallist Egor Mekhontsev. He won his first nine pro fights but then his career came badly off the rails. He was flattened in 21 seconds by unheralded Rob Powdrill and was then found guilty of an assault on a policeman-spitting was considered an assault- and then assaulted a guy who tried to stop Hooper berating Hooper’s partner and because of his earlier offence he was jailed. He was out of action for 15 months and is adamant his bad boy days are behind him. Russian Salamov had beaten reasonable level opposition in Doudou Ngumbu and Bob Ajisafe and at 23 can come again.
Toussaint vs. Mosley
Australian middleweight prospect David Toussaint remained undefeated, improving to 11-0 (8 KO) with a decision win over Shane Mosley Jr, who falls to 10-2 (7 KO). Scores were 77-75 Mosley and 77-76 twice for Toussaint.
Conlan vs. Owen
Easy work for Conlan. He was stalking Owen over the first two rounds starting orthodox then changing to southpaw from half way through the first round. Owen made some rushing attacks but they were ineffective and in the second after going back to orthodox Conlan shook Owen with a right to the head and scored with a hard body punch. In the third some rib benders had Owen badly hurt and a left/right had him rocking before another left hook to the body sent Owen back to the ropes in a half crouch. He was on his way to the canvas but Conlan was on to him too quickly for him to drop and Conlan unloaded some more hard punches looking for the referee to step in and he did. Now three wins by KO/TKO all ending in the third round for the 25-year-old from Belfast a former European, Commonwealth Games and World Champion
Fight of the week: Horn vs. Pacquiao was the biggest fight but for entertainment Brian Castano vs. Michel Soro was best with honourable mentions to Karo Murat vs. Dominic Boesel and Frank Buglioni vs. Ricky Summers
Fighter of the week: Has to be Jeff Horn
Punch of the week: The straight right from Eduard Troyanovsky that put Michele Di Riocco down in the first round
Upset of the week: Jeff Horn’s win over Manny Pacquiao
One to watch: Yet another British prospect Joshua Buatsi