Check out Eric Armit’s comprehensive report in The Week In Boxing – October 17, 2017!
-George Groves crushes Jamie Cox to retain his WBA title and move forward to a fight with Chris Eubank Jr
-Abner Mares and Leo Santa Cruz retain their titles with comfortable wins
-In the super welter card in New York Jarrett Hurd, Jermell Charlo and Erislandy Lara retain their tiles
-Omar Narvaez wins IBF eliminator and hopes to become a three division champion
-Karim Guerfi stops Stephane Jamoye to retain his European title
-Reece Bellotti and Liam Cameron win Commonwealth titles
-John Ryder knocks out WBA No 1 Patrick Nielsen
Perols, France: Bantam: Karim Guerfi (26-3,1ND) W TKO 8 Stephane Jamoye (32-8). Light: Yvan Mendy (39-4-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Florian Montels (10-2-2). Welter: Mohamed Kani (12-0) W PTS 8 Patrick Momene Mokamba (5-21-4). Light Heavy: Mathieu Bauderlique (13-1) W TKO 1 Giorgi Beroshvili (29-19-2), Middle: Christian Mbilli (6-0) W KO 3 Martin Owono (7-18-3).
Guerfi vs. Jamoye
Guerfi retains the European title with a repeat victory over Jamoye. Guerfi came out firing in this one. Usually aggression is Jamoye’s strong suit but in the first round Guerfi was already scoring with stinging shots from both hands as he showed impressive hand speed and accuracy. Jamoye took the second. He matched Guerfi punch for punch and sent the champion reeling with a left to the side of the head. In the third Jamoye continued to march forward forcing Guerfi to stand and trade but the Frenchman’s accuracy and the porous defence of Jamoye saw Guerfi take the round. Both fighters landed some cracking head punches in a frantic fourth but Guerfi started to take control in the fifth refusing to get into a brawl and snapping Jamoye’s head back with quick punches from both hands. Courage is a by-word in the Jamoye family and Jamoye kept trying to walk through everything and keep pumping out punches. However Guerfi was now scoring with some real head bangers singly and in bunches and even finding time for some showboating. By the end of the seventh the Belgian was being backed up taking a beating and looking tired with a small cut over his left eye and a swelling under the eye. Guerfi really cut loose in the eighth shaking Jamoye with head punches and when the towel came in from the Belgian’s corner it was the right decision. Guerfi, 30, has had one title shot losing a close decision to Juan Carlos Reveco for the interim WBA fly title in 2012. He may have to wait for another title chance as WBC champion Luis Nery is awaiting the decision on a positive test, Jamie McDonnell is under instruction to defend the secondary WBA title against Liborio Solis and both Zolani Tete and Ryan Burnett may be faced with mandatory defences. Jamoye announced his retirement at a boxing show in Herstal on Saturday night. As a former European and European Union champion and twice a challenger for the world title he has probably been one of the most successful Belgian boxers in recent years.
Mendy vs. Montels
Mendy wins a keep busy fight but fails to shine. The world rated Frenchman was thrown by a late replacement of opponent. According to the promoter the fight with Joseph Laryea fell through when the Ghanaian’s management demanded an increased purse before boarding a plane and the promoter looked elsewhere. Mendy won this one easily without ever getting out of second gear and admitted he had trouble getting motivated and took it easy against Montels in the late rounds as he felt that his inexperienced fellow countryman deserved to be allowed to go the distance for taking the fight at such short notice. Scores 100-90 from all three judges. The 32-year-old Mendy, the WBC Silver champion and their No 3, has had to watch Luke Campbell, who he outpointed in 2015 fly past him to a title shot and is hoping it will come his way next.
Kani vs. Mokamba
Montpellier boxer Kani gets unanimous decision over Mokamba after eight tough rounds. The French southpaw was a big favourite but Mokamba made him fight hard for the win. Scores 78-74 twice and 78-76 all for Kani. The 37-year-old Mokamba is 1-7-1 in his last 9 fights but has only lost once by KO/TKO.
Bauderlique vs. Beroshvili
Too easy for French Olympian Bauderlique here. Georgian Beroshvili looked much the bigger man and tried to force Bauderlique back. Bauderlique took Beroshvili to the ropes and landed a wicked left to the body and a left uppercut followed by a right as Beroshvili retreated along the ropes to a corner. Bauderlique then threw a right that missed but Beroshvili went down on one knee. He got up and began to walk across the ring to his corner with the referee following. Beroshvili’s second climbed into the ring and began to treat a vertical cut over the right eye of his fighter so the referee waived the fight over. No real value in this fight for the Olympic bronze medallist. He is rebuilding after over confidence saw him stopped inside a round by Romanian Dragan Leper in June. The 28-year-old southpaw needs better opposition than this. In fairness to Beroshvili he was a late replacement and the cut was bad. He is now 2-10 in his last 12 fights.
Mbilli vs. Owono
Canadian-based Mbilli makes it 6 out of 6 inside the distance Owono was willing to stand and trade hooks and uppercuts and looked competitive until a left to the head sent him down late in the first round. He made it his feet and fought back well to the bell. A left from Mbilli put Owono down again at the start of the second. Again Owono fought back but a right to the head dropped him to his knees. A tigerish Mbilli harried Owono to the bell but Owono survived and even landed a couple of nice counters of his own. Mbilli came out to finish it in the third and despite some gutsy resistance from Owono he finally dropped to his knees and just sat out the count. The 22-year-old Cameroon-born Mbilli represented France at the 2016 Olympics and came away with a bronze medal. He is signed with Yvon Michel and really looks to be an outstanding prospect. Owono has now won only one of his last twelve fights.
London, England; Feather Reece Bellotti (11-0) W TKO 6 Jason Cunningham (23-4). Super Fly: Charlie Edwards (12-1) W PTS 8 Craig Derbyshire (5-23-3).
Bellotti vs. Cunningham
Bellotti comes from behind to overpower champion Cunningham to win the Commonwealth title. Bellotti had the edge in power but clever boxing from Cunningham more than compensated for that. Bellotti set a fast pace from the start. He was throwing lots of punches but Cunningham was showing some good defensive moves and placing his punches better. Bellotti continued to press in the third scoring with rights and left hooks. Southpaw Cunningham was countering on the back foot with rights and lefts of his own. Cunningham had a strong fourth as Bellotti looked to be slowing from the frantic pace and the champion was boxing well in the fifth until a right hook from Bellotti put him down late in the round. Cunningham was badly shaken but got up and made it to the bell. He was still feeling the effects of that punch as Bellotti stormed forward in the sixth landing a succession of hard punches until the referee stepped in to save Cunningham. Bellotti, 26, makes it 10 wins by KO/TKO including his last 8 on the bounce and he is yet to have to go past seven rounds for victory. Cunningham, 28, was making the first defence of his Commonwealth title and is a former undefeated Commonwealth bantamweight champion and had won his last six fights.
Edwards vs. Derbyshire
Edwards keeps busy with routine points victory over experienced Derbyshire. Referee’s score 80-72 for Edwards. The 24-year-old former IBF flyweight title challenger has relinquished his British super flyweight title and is looking for bigger fights now. Derbyshire came in as a late replacement but went the distance as he usually does
Sheffield, England: Middle: Liam Cameron (20-5) TKO 8 Sam Sheedy (18-3).
Cameron becomes the Commonwealth champion at the third attempt as he halts a game Sheedy who fought hard to hold on to his title but had to give way to the power of Cameron in the end. As expected the flashing southpaw skills of Sheedy saw him build an early lead. Cameron was having to walk through some flak to get close enough to land with clubbing punches but Sheedy is not a big puncher so Cameron was slowly able to work the body. Sheedy was well in front after three rounds but the roof fell in the fourth. A left hook put Sheedy down for the first time and body punches had Sheedy on the floor twice more and although he beat the count each time he also lost a point for a deliberate butt in a disastrous round for Sheedy. The champion was not about to hand his title over and he produced some of his best work in the fifth and sixth to drag himself back into the fight and even look like a potential winner. That hope was washed away in the seventh as another body punch put Sheedy down and by the end of the round he was in deep trouble and was saved by a standing count. There was no way back from there as a left hook had Sheedy reeling in the eighth and a sustained barrage of punches saw the referee step in and stop the fight. Cameron had lost to Luke Blackledge and Zac Dunn both on points in two previous shots at the Commonwealth super middle title but now he has a belt of his own and a best career win. Sheedy had only lost on split decisions against Navid Mansouri for the English super welter title and Tommy Langford for the British middleweight title so he suffers his first loss by KO/TKO.
Indio, CA, USA: Super Light Ismael Barroso (20-1-2) W KO Fidel Maldonado (24-4-1,1ND). Super Light: Lopez (33-2-1) W KO 2 Pablo Cesar Cano (30-7-1,1ND) W Marcelino.
Barroso vs. Maldonado
In his first fight since losing to Anthony Crolla in a WBA title fight Barroso floors and halts Maldonado. The first two rounds were fairly even with both working their southpaw jab and firing occasional lefts but it was an untidy fight with Maldonado just the busier and more accurate in the first. Maldonado had the better of the action over most of the second. Barroso was looking to counter Maldonado as he came forward and near the end of the round he connected with a hard right to the head that momentarily shook Maldonado. In the third Maldonado was boxing nicely until an overhand left from Barroso crashed onto the side of his head. He stumbled a couple of steps then collapsed into the ropes and down on his knees. After the eight count he held, wrestled and stayed out of trouble to the bell but was showing an ugly bruise under his right eye. Maldonado was just trying to stay out of trouble in the fourth but stupidly worsened his situation by landing 6 or 7 patty-cake punches after being told to break and was deducted a point.. Maldonado seemed to get his confidence back early in the fifth again taking the fight to Barroso. Not good tactics and a series of lefts to the head from Barroso shook Maldonado and burst the swelling under Maldonado’s right eye which started to bleed and put Maldonado back on the retreat. The doctor examined the damage under Maldonado’s eye but let the fight continue. Barroso was dominating the sixth and dropped Maldonado with a left to the body and Maldonado took the full count on his knees. The 34-year-old Venezuelan had dropped out of the ratings but will be hoping to work his way back into contention and with 19 of his 20 wins by KO/TKO he is still a danger man .Maldonado was 5-0-1 in his last 6 fights.
Cano vs. Lopez
Lopez shocks Cano with crushing second round stoppage. Cano dominated the first putting Lopez on the back foot scoring with jabs and working him over on the ropes. By the end of the round both fighters were showing small cuts. Cano continued to outwork Lopez in the second but Lopez was throwing some hard rights which were just swishing past Cano’s chin. As they exchanged punches one of those rights a real hammer slammed into the side of Cano’s head. The punch stiffened Cano for a split second and then he went over and down on his back. He struggled to his feet only just making it but stumbled back into a corner and when the referee completed the eight count he waived the fight off. Lopez was unbeaten in his first 30 fights without really achieving much. He was inactive in 2016 and lost a split decision to Mike Perez in April this year so did not look a dangerous opponent. A big setback for former WBA interim WBA super light champion Cano. He badly needed a win after losing two of his last three fights.
Tampa, FL, USA: Bantam: Daniel Lozano (15-4) W PTS 10 Ricardo Rodriguez (16-5). Super Feather: Teo Lopez (7-0) W KO2 Josh Ross (3-6-4). Super Bantam: Antonio Vargas (4-0) W KO 2 Miguel Rebullosa (4-5). Heavy: Ivan Dychko (2-0) W KO 3 Rodriguez Cage (0-1).
Lozano vs. Rodriguez
Lozano cleans up another past defeat as he gets unanimous decision over Rodriguez. In a fight that made a slow start Lozano built an early lead and shook Rodriguez with a right in the fourth. Rodriguez was really rolling over the middle rounds but Lozano moved back into control and staged a strong finish to emerge the clear winner. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 all for Lozano The 27-year-old Floridian “Scorpion” lost three in a row in 2015 to David Carmona, Rodriguez and David Quijano. He was inactive in 2016 but this year has beaten both Carmona and Rodriguez. A run of four wins saw Rodriguez thrown in with Naoya Inoue in a WBO title fight in May but he was knocked out in three rounds.
Lopez vs. Ross
Lopez gets another inside the distance win as he floors Ross four times on the way to a second round stoppage. So far the 20-year-old Olympian has taken less than 20 rounds to register his wins. National Golden Gloves winner Lopez won the US Trials for the 2016 Olympics but there was no spot available in his division through that route so he entered the Americas’ Qualifiers representing his Honduran roots and won through that way and represented Honduras at the Olympics. Now three losses by KO/TKO for Ross.
Vargas vs. Rebullosa
Vargas was much too good for novice Rebullosa and put him down in the first with series of punches. Vargas was close to ending it in the first but a tumble to the floor gave Rebullosa some breathing space and he was still there at the bell-just. It was too easy for Vargas who did some showboating at the start of the second and then ended it with a few punches to the head. Rebullosa was up at eight but did not protest when the referee stopped the fight. The 21-year-old Vargas was US National champion and Pan American Games gold medal winner and USA Boxing Elite Male Athlete of The Year in 2015. He had a struggle to get to Rio as he suffered losses at both the US Olympic Trials and the Americas Qualifier but rebounded from those set backs to get to Rio. Rebullosa should try another sport.
Dychko vs. Cage
Former top amateur Dychko has no trouble in disposing of poor novice Cage. It was a surprise that Cage hung around for any time at all but in the third three brutal rights to the head sent Cage down and out. Dychko, 27, a Kazak based in Florida won bronze medals at both the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and collected two silver medals and a bronze medal at the World Championships. At 6’9” (206cm) he is an interesting addition to the pro ranks. He has won both of his fights by KO/TKO. First pro fight for Cage.
San Juan, Argentina: Super Light: Damian Yapur (15-7-3) W PTS 10 Mauro Godoy (29-2).
Big upset as Yapur outpoints champion Godoy to grab the national title on a split decision. Godoy was the favourite and he looked a likely winner over the first two rounds as he was the one coming forward. He was using his longer reach to keep Yapur on the back foot and scoring with rights to the body. The third and fourth were close but Yapur was lunging past the jab and scoring with left and right hooks. He dragged Godoy into a brawl in the fifth and was scoring with body punches inside. A clash of heads saw a lump developing over the right eye of Godoy. In the sixth Godoy went back to working his jab again and banging home hooks to the body to level things up. The seventh and eighth were very close with Yapur just edging them with his counters but Godoy went back to his jab to take the ninth. They both fought hard in the last but it was Yapur who outworked Godoy and emerged the winner. Scores 98-96 ½, and 97-93 for Yapur and 94-97 for Godoy. Yapur, the Argentinian No 7 lost a wide unanimous decision to Godoy for the South American title in March so sweet revenge. Godoy had a winning streak of 21 fight snapped by a first round loss to Xavier Luques Castillo but beat Castillo in a return on his way to an unbeaten run of ten bouts going into this one..
Melbourne, Australia: Light: George Kambosos Jr (13-0) W KO 9 Kaewfah Tor Buamas (25-3). Light Heavy: Blake Caparello (26-2-1) W KO 3 Fabiano Pena (15-9-1). Super Feather: Joel Brunker (32-2) W PTS 6 Tiger Tor Buamas (19-2). Super Middle: Jake Carr (15-1) W PTS 6 Quintin Carey (3-3).
Kambosos vs. Tor Buamas
Kambosos retains his WBA Oceania title and adds the vacant IBF Pan Pacific title to his collection with win over Thai Tor Buamas (Krai Setthaphon). Kambosos worked to his game plan slowly breaking the tough Thai down until he was ready to be taken. Kambosos put Tor Buamas down in the eighth and then three times in the ninth for the win. The 34-year-old from Sydney now has seven wins by KO/TKO. He was No 7 in the WBA ratings but will be hoping to move up although there are some big names above him. Kambosos was celebrating the recent birth of a daughter so a good time for him. Tor Buamas, 31, suffers his second loss by KO/TKO. He won his first 23 fights but against real opposition he is now 2-3.
Caparello vs. Pena
Caparello keeps busy with predictable win over Brazilian-based Mexican Pena. The 31-year-old southpaw was making the first defence of his WBA Oceania title. His losses have been against Sergey Kovalev for the WBO light heavy title in 2014 and on points to Andre Dirrell in April last year. He has won four on the bounce since losing to Dirrell and is No 15 with the WBA. Now eight losses by KO/TKO for Pena who loses inside the distance whenever he tries to move up
Brunker vs. Tor Buamas
Brunker easily his way through a time-filler as he wins every round on his way to a unanimous decision. Brunker needs to avoid British fighters and British shores as his two losses have been to Lee Selby and Josh Warrington. He has won four in a row now. He seems to like Oriental food as three of those victims were Thai and the other an Indonesia. Tor Buamas (Khamron Klaphaisan) has a misleadingly impressive record. Nine of his opponents had never had a fight and the rest have only been marginally better.
Carr vs. Carey
Like Caparello and Brunker former undefeated Australian champion Carr is also reconstructing his career. He had to overcome an early shock in this one when he was floored in the first round but Carey lacked the experience to capitalise on that. Carr took over the fight and floored Carey in the fourth and fifth rounds to take the unanimous decision. The 26-year-old local fighter was looking to further his career when he went to the USA but was given a very tough first fight and lost on a sixth round stoppage against Mike Gavronski. Carr has now won four in a row. Too much too soon for novice Carey.
Nadi, Fiji: Super Welter: Siliveni Nawai (8-0) W TKO 1 Jese Ravudi (6-3-1).
Nawai makes it two first round victories in a row as he halts Ravudi inside a round. The 23-year-old Nawai was fighting in his hometown and now has six wins by KO/TKO. Ravudi, whose father was Fijian light heavy champion has done most of his fighting in Australia and was expected to give Nawai a tough test.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Hidenori Otake (30-2-3) W PTS 12 Hinata Maruta (5-1). Fly: Keisuke Nakayama (10-2-2) DREW 12 Jobert Alvarez (17-2-2).
Otake vs. Maruta
Otake retains the OPBF title with unanimous decision over younger and less experienced Murata. The challenger made good use of his advantages in height and reach in the early rounds but Otake marched forward behind a high guard to get inside and work there. After four rounds the fight was evenly poised with two judges seeing it 38-38 and the third having Otake up 39-37. Over the middle rounds Otake took control. He closed down Murata’s attacking options constantly taking the challenger to the ropes and scoring well with hooks to head and body. After eight rounds Otake really had the fight won being 78-74 up on all three cards. Maruta made a big effort over those closing rounds but was unable to turn the fight around despite a strong finish and Otake was a clear winner. Scores 116-114 twice and 117-111 all for Otake. The 36-year-old was making the second defence of his title. He is rated IBF 9(7)/WBC 15. He has lost only one of his last twenty-six fights but that was an important wide decision defeat against Scott Quigg for the secondary WBA title in 2014. He has now won his last 8 fights but a title shot has to be a very distant hope. Murata, 20, won the WBC Youth title in only his third fight but had never gone past seven rounds and Otake was just too experienced for him.
Nakayama vs. Alvarez
Nakayama holds on to his OPBF title but looks lucky to do so. In this all-southpaw scrap it was Filipino Alvarez who made the better start scoring well with his right hooks and making good use of his better skills. Despite Alvarez’s good start after four rounds two of the judges had it even at 38-38 whilst a better indicator of the action to that point saw the third judge have Alvarez 40-37 in front. Nakayama stepped up his pace and scored well with rights to the body but Alvarez’s clever work saw him pull ahead although the fight was still close with the Filipino in front 77-75 twice and 77-76. Nakayama could see his title slipping away and he found another gear. Alvarez began to fade and those two factors saw the home fighter close the gap and hang on to his title. Scores 115-113 for Nakayama, 115-114 for Alvarez and 115-115. The 29-year-old Nakayama was making the first defence of the regional title but he is treading a thin line. He is 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights but three of his win have either been majority decisions or split decisions and this one follows that pattern. “Little Pacman” Alvarez, 27, has been on a roller coaster ride. He lost on points to Juan Francisco Estrada but rebounded with a kayo of Puerto Rican Jonathan Gonzalez and then went down again being stopped inside a round by Miguel Cartagena. He steadied things this year with two wins over modest opponents.
Nowy Dwor Mazowiecki, Poland: Super Middle: Norbert Dabrowski (21-7-2) DREW 10 Jordan Kulinski (5-1-1). This was a good, close fight and as in their first meeting it ended all even. Kulinski was the busier but the experienced Dabrowski showed a sound defence and landed some good punches. A left in the second from Dabrowski sent Kuliski’s mouthguard flying into the crowd but by the end of the round Kulinski was coming forward again. Kulinski continued to come forward and scored with some good rights in the fifth with Dabrowski countering well in the sixth landing lefts to the body. They fought hard on even terms over the next three rounds. With his greater experience Dabrowski paced the fight better and rocked Kulinski with a right to the head in the last. Scores 95-95 twice and 97-93 for Dabrowski. Dabrowski looked to have edged it but it was close. These two fought a six round draw in March last year which was only the second fight for the 23-year-old Kulinski.
London, England; Super Middle; George Groves (27-3) W KO 4 Jamie Cox (24-1).Super Middle: John Ryder (25-4) W KO 5 Patrick Nielsen (29-2).
Groves vs. Cox
Groves retains his WBA title, and moves on to meet Chris Eubank Jr in the semi-final of the WSSB as he finishes Cox with a devastating body punch.
After some early feeling out Groves was the one doing the scoring. He was drawing Cox on to some right counters and landing with hooks to the body. When Cox tried to force the fight late in the round Groves landed well with a left/right combination.
Score 10-9 Groves
Cox had thrown very little in the first but he made up for that in the second. He forced Groves to the ropes and unloaded with both hands. Groves did a good job of covering up and blocking most of the punches but it was a positive start from Cox. Over the second half of the round Groves was scoring with quick accurate rights and near the end of the round he looked to have staggered Cox with two rights.
Score 10-9 Groves 20-18
Groves was boxing cleverly in the third walking Cox on to right counter. Cox got through with a long left which was the best punch he landed so far. That sent Groves back to the ropes and Cox piled in looking to capitalise on that and he landed some heavy punches until Groves wrestled himself off the ropes. The fight got untidy for a short while with Groves being warned for wrestling Cox to the floor. Groves did some good work countering late in the round scoring with an eye-catching right uppercut and straight left. It was close but the greater accuracy gave it to Groves.
Score 10-9 Groves 30-27
Cox came marching forward in this one pressurising Groves hard and that was his downfall. As he followed Groves to the ropes Groves landed a left to the head and then rammed home a devastating right to the body. Cox took a step back and then collapsed to the floor in serious pain and was counted out.
Groves, 29, was making the first defence of the WBA title. It took him four challenges before he won the title but he boxed with real class here and the finisher was as good a body punch as you will see. Another great advertisement for the WSSB as who knows whether Groves and Eubank would have met if not for the lure of the prize in this tournament. Former undefeated Commonwealth champion Cox had prepared for this one with a burst of activity that saw him score three wins in two months but Groves was a huge step up in quality of opposition for Cox and the gap was too wide.
Ryder vs. Nielsen
Ryder gets big win as obliterates world rated Dane Nielsen in a contest between southpaws. Before the sound of the first bell had died away the Dane landed a hard straight left on Ryder. That had no effect on the British fighter. Nielsen looked to be more mobile and have quicker hands but a left uppercut on the inside from Ryder looked to have shaken him and although smaller with a shorter reach Ryder did good work with his jab as the round ended. Nielsen was all aggression at the start of the second throwing right jabs and right hooks and making good use of his hand speed and longer reach. Ryder was walking him down and just before the bell he landed a good combination and then a left to the body followed by thunderous right that sent the Dane’s mouthguard flying across the ring and dropped him to one knee. He got up bad was badly shaken. The bell went at the completion of the eight count and Ryder kindly pointed the way to his corner for the befuddled Dane who had blood dripping from his nose. Ryder was on the front foot in the third raking Nielsen with hurtful left uppercuts with Nielsen not able to stop Ryder getting inside and now the Dane was showing a growing bruise under his right eye. For me Nielsen took the fourth. He used good movement to stay off the ropes and slotted home right jabs. Nielsen was doing well in the fifth until just a few seconds left on the clock. As they traded punches Ryder landed a huge right hook. Nielsen took a couple of steps and then was motionless out on his feet with no defence and a left to the head and another right hook put him on the canvas flat on this back, The referee counted him out but should have immediately waived the fight over. Nielsen needed aid to get back to his corner and they administered some oxygen. A huge win for the 29-year-old “Gorilla” as Nielsen was rated No 1 by the WBA No 3 by the WBO, No 6 by the WBC and No 11(9) by the IBF. Losses in important fights against Nick Blackwell, Jack Arnfield and in his last fight in April to Rocky Fielding had put a question mark over Ryder’s future now he will have leap-frogged over them all and his reward could be a world title fight in 2018. It was a crushing loss for Nielsen. Yes it cost him his ratings but it was a particularly brutal knockout and who knows that effect that could have. His only previous defeat had been a points loss to Dmitry Chudinov for the interim WBA middle title in 2015. He had won seven fights since then but against very modest opposition.
Carson, CA, USA; Feather: Abner Mares (31-2-1) W TEC DEC 10 Andres Gutierrez (35-2-1). Feather: Leo Santa Cruz (34-1-1) W TKO 8 Chris Avalos (27-6-1). Super Light: Antonio DeMarco (33-6-1) W KO 1 Eddie Ramirez (17-1). Feather: Roberto Marroquin (27-4-1) W KO 5 Ruben Tamayo (26-11-4).
Mares vs. Gutierrez
Mares keeps his secondary WBA title with unanimous technical decision over Gutierrez when the fight is halted due to a bad cut over the challenger’s left with Mares already cruising to a comfortable win.
Mares made a fast start as he peppered a static Gutierrez with jabs and hooks with Gutierrez too slow to counter
Score 10-9 Mares
Gutierrez was letting his hands go more and pressing harder. Mares was comfortable on the back foot raking Gutierrez with jabs and fast combinations and outboxing the less experienced challenger and opening a cut over his left eye with a punch.
Score 10-9 Mares 20-18
Mares continued to score easily on the marching Gutierrez rattling punches off the challengers head. They were stinging hurtful shots but to his credit Gutierrez scored with some shots of his own late in the round.
Score 10-9 Mares 30-27
Mares stood and traded more in the fourth. That gave Gutierrez the chance to get home some hooks but it was still the fast hands of Mares that were doing the damage as he bombarded a wide open Gutierrez.
Score 10-9 Mares 40-36
It did not get any better for Gutierrez in the fifth. Mares continued to pump out counters although not as accurately as in the previous rounds. Gutierrez was sticking to his task marching forward throwing punches having some success but not enough.
Score 10-9 50-45
The doctor had a long look at Gutierrez before the start of the sixth as there was blood trickling from his left ear but he was allowed to continue and had a good round. Mares was not loading up on his punches and Gutierrez pressed harder getting inside and hooking to head and body and did enough to edge the round
Score 10-9 Gutierrez 59-55
Mares was scoring with flashing combinations in this one. Gutierrez had some success when he could take Mares to the ropes but it was a series of rights to the head from Mares that caught the eye and gave him the round.
Score 10-9 Mares 69-64
The pace dropped a little in the eighth but those right hands from Mares continued to land and now the cut over the left eye of Gutierrez was much worse with blood trickling down his face as Mares connected with more rights.
Score 109 Mares 79-73
Despite the blood Gutierrez kept marching forward hoping somehow to change the fight but Mares was on the back foot slotting counter after counter until Gutierrez’s face was a smeared with blood.
Score 10-9 Mares 89-82
For the first time in the fight Gutierrez was going backwards. Mares landed punch after punch to the left side of Gutierrez’s face which was looking a mess. After another couple of shots landed on the injury the referee stopped the fight and took Gutierrez over for the doctor to examine. The cut was much longer than earlier in the fight and the doctor advised the fight be stopped. Although the cut had been made by a punch some accidental fouling by Mares had worsened it so the fight went to the scorecards with the incomplete tenth round scored 10-9 to Mares 99-91
Official scores: 99-91 twice and 100-90 all for Mares
The 31-year-old three-division champion was making the first defence of the title he won on split decision against Jesus Cuellar in December. Any all-Mexican fight featuring any two out of Mares, Santa Cruz or WBO champion Oscar Valdez would be a huge attraction if they could be made but things are never that easy. The WBA have said they want one world champion in each division but if you think they are going to mandate a fight between their real champion Santa Cruz and the holder of their secondary title Mares then you don’t know the WBA. Jesus Rojas is their interim champion but there are allegations of a positive test for Rojas in his title winning fight and No 2 is Chinese fighter Can Xu who would be a hard sell and No 3 is Carl Frampton. Now that would be a big fight Mares vs. Frampton but we will just have to wait and see what develops. Gutierrez showed guts and determination but was out of his class. He walked forward in a straight line with a defence that had more leaks that gaggle of Welsh rugby supporters (yes I know it is spelt leek) and I don’t think he has it to move any further up in class.
Santa Cruz vs. Avalos
Santa Cruz retains the WBA title with stoppage of a courageous but limited and outclassed Avalos.
Santa Cruz was firing accurate jabs and catching Avalos with hooks and uppercuts. Avalos was standing and trading but his shots were mostly being blocked and those from Santa Cruz were landing
Score 10-9 Santa Cruz
Avalos tried to keep pressuring Santa Cruz but was constantly being knocked back by powerful jabs and rocked by right crosses and hooks inside and already the fight was looking one-sided.
Score 10-9 Santa Cruz 20-18
Avalos did a bit better in the third. He managed to get inside and work to the body. Despite that success Santa Cruz was still in control scoring with his jab and left hooks to the body and overhand rights.
Score 10-9 Santa Cruz 30-27
Avalos had his best spell of the fight early in this round. He slammed home a couple of jabs and a series of body punches momentarily putting Santa Cruz on the back foot. From there it was brutal. Santa Cruz marched forward landing booming head punches driving Avalos across the ring and shaking him badly. It looked as though the fight was over but Avalos refused to crumble. The stats showed Santa Cruz was landing 52% of the punches he threw!
Score 10-9 Santa Cruz 40-36
It seemed unlikely that Santa Cruz had punched himself out but It looked suspiciously as though he deliberately took his foot off the accelerator in this one. His work rate dropped and he was not loading up on his punches. Avalos also was less aggressive and Santa Cruz just did enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Santa Cruz 50-45
Again the pace in this one was much slower than over the first four rounds. Santa Cruz could not miss Avalos with his rights to the head. Avalos was able to get through with hooks to the body but the heavier shots were all coming from Santa Cruz-just fewer of them.
Score 10-9 Santa Cruz 60-54
There was more mauling than scoring early in this one. Santa Cruz was still landing heavy single punches but Avalos was able to work inside and be more competitive than before.
Score 10-9 Santa Cruz 70-63
Early in the round Avalos had Santa Cruz on the back foot but then Santa Cruz began to nail Avalos with rights to the head. Avalos was treading water and another brutal right to the head shook him and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight with Avalos protesting strongly. It was the right decision Avalos had no chance of winning and was only going to take more punishment.
The 29-year-old Santa Cruz was making the first defence of the WBA title he reclaimed from Carl Frampton in January. Hopefully it will lead to a return with Abner Mares who Santa Cruz beat on a majority decision in 2015 to win this WBA title. Avalos was fortunate to get a second title shot. After losing in five rounds to Carl Frampton for the IBF super bantam title in 2015 he lost consecutive fights inside the distance to Oscar Valdez and Mark Magsayo then when behind on all three cards he beat unrated Miguel Flores on a cut and a couple of months later suddenly appeared in the WBA ratings. No surprise there.
DeMarco vs. Ramirez
DeMarco proves he is not yet ready to just be a stepping-stone for up and coming younger fighters. Ramirez took the fight to DeMarco immediately forcing the former champion onto the back foot and to the ropes a couple of times and letting go with punches to the body. When he drove DeMarco to the ropes for the third time DeMarco uncorked a left uppercut that had Ramirez staggering back on unsteady legs. Ramirez tried to but time by retreating and holding but DeMarco cornered him and unleashed a series of head punches. A right to the chin sent Ramirez sliding along the ropes and when DeMarco raked him with more head punches the referee jumped in and stopped the fight. Ramirez complained bitterly but he was taking some heavy incoming fire and it was all over in two minutes. Former WBC light champion DeMarco, 31, lost three tough fights in a row to Jessie Vargas, Rances Barthelemy and Omar Figueroa then took 14 months out before returning with win over useful Luis Solis in February. A loss here would have been huge setback but instead he has a good win and victory No 24 by KO/TKO. Ramirez, 25, paid the price for not showing more respect to the former champion as DeMarco was a huge step up from his other opponents. No reason why he can’t come again.
Marroquin vs. Tamayo
Marroquin continues to rebuild with a stoppage of Tamayo. The tall fighter from Dallas took a couple of rounds to break Tamayo down but floored the Mexican in the third. He kept up the pressure and put Tamayo down again in the fourth and on the third knockdown in the fifth the referee stopped the fight. The 28-year-old won his first 19 fights before losing to Guillermo Rigondeaux in a too ambitious shot at the WBA super bantam title in 2012. A 3-2-1 spell was disappointing and he took 13 months out before returning in June with a win. Southpaw Tamayo has very brave management. He has now lost seven fights in a row against tough opposition such as Jesus Cuellar, Oscar Valdez, and Joseph Diaz. Going into this one his last six opponents had combined records of 128-2-2!
New York, NY, USA: Super Welter: Jarrett Hurd (21-0) W RTD 10 Austin Trout (30-4). Super Welter: Jermell Charlo (30-0) W KO 1 Erickson Lubin (18-1). Super Welter: Erislandy Lara (25-2-2) W PTS 12 Terrell Gausha (20-1). Middle: Tony Harrison (25-2) W PTS 8 Paul Valenzuela (20-6).
Hurd vs. Trout
Hurd beats Trout in ten rounds in defence of his IBF title in a super welter jamboree show but has to come from behind for the win.
It was difficult to split them in a close first round. Both landed some sharp jabs and both threw and missed some combinations with Trout’s greater accuracy giving him the edge.
Score 10-9 Trout
Trout showed some silky skills in the second. He was slotting home southpaw jabs at the advancing Hurd moving cleverly around Hurd and digging in some lefts. He turned Hurd into a corner and landed a couple of sharp uppercuts. Hurd had some success late in the round but it was Trout’s.
Score 10-9 Trout 18-20
Hurd turner the heat up in the third. He ploughed forward firing heavy punches and putting Trout under constant pressure. Despite that Trout was getting through with some classy counters including hooks and uppercuts that found the gaps in Hurd’s defence and for me he took the round
Score 10-9 Trout 27-30
Once again the quality work came from Trout. Hurd was marching forward and letting fly with some loaded punches but Trout was moving and countering accurately and had Hurd going back under a series of punches to the head from both hands.
Score 10-9 Trout 36-40
After four round the official scores from all three judges had Trout ahead 39-37
Once again Trout boxed with real class. Hurd was marching forward launching heavy punches but good movement from Trout was making Hurd look slow and crude and Trout was rattling punches off the head of Hurd. The problem was that he was winning rounds but could not stop the forward march of Hurd. Trout’s round
Score 10-9 Trout 45-50
Hurd had a much more successful round here. Trout was still penetrating Hurd’s guard with counters but Hurd was doing a better job of cutting off the ring and landing some heavy head shots. A punch sent Trout tottering back into the ropes as Hurd finished the round strongly
Score 10-9 Hurd 55-59
The sixth had given Hurd a boost and now the difference in power was exaggerated as Hurd just walked forward with both hand hanging loosely by his side. He used some good upper body movement to avoid punches from Trout and fired heavy head punches in reply. Trout was still landing some quality punches but they had no effect on Hurd and Trout looked to be tiring.
Score 10-9 Hurd 65-68
Hurd’s round. He was unloading some booming head punches. Trout was moving slower and throwing less with Hurd applying unrelenting pressure and again dropping both arms to stress the lack of power in the punches Trout did land. Trout had a swelling under his right eye that was looking as though it would close the eye soon.
Score 10-9 Hurd 75-77
Hurd did not press quite as hard in this round but he was continuing to break down Trout with clubbing head punches and Trout looked tired and like a man who knew he was on a loser.
Score 10-9 Hurd 85-86
The doctor examined Trout’s swelling face before nodding that it was all right for the fight to continue. Trout did not crumble. He tried to take the fight to Hurd but there was very little left in the tank. Trout’s right eye was closed now. Hurd banged home a series of rights to the head and a couple of times it looked as though Trout was about to go down. He made it to the bell but his corner pulled him out of the fight and if they hadn’t the doctor would have. 95-95
Official scores at the time of the stoppage: 96-94 twice and 97-93 all for Hurd.
Hurd was making the first defence of the IBF title he had won by stopping Tony Harrison in February. Again he showed his real power here and is a beast at this weight as he makes it 15 wins by KO/TKO. Trout showed classy skills early but in the end he had nothing to stop Hurd walking him down and finally overpowering him. Since he beat Miguel Cotto in 2012 it has been mostly downhill with losses to Saul Alvarez, Erislandy Lara and in May last year against Jermall Charlo for the IBF title. At 32 his future could be just a stepping stone for younger climbers-if that is what he wants.
Charlo vs. Lubin
Charlo retains his WBC title as he crushes Lubin in a fight that has come too early in Lubin’s career.
Both fighters started cautiously. Lubin was prodding out with his southpaw right jab and throwing a couple of rights. Charlo was even more cautious but the first real punch he was a right with made Lubin blink. After a couple more probing jabs from each fighter Charlo moved in quickly. He missed with a left jab but landed a right that put Lubin down heavily. He landed on his side waiving an arm and after starting the count the referee realised Lubin was never going to be able to beat the count and waived the fight off.
Charlo wins in just 2:41 of the first round in the second defence of his WBC title. The 27-year-old Texan now has 15 wins by KO/TKO Lubin, 22, was the WBC No 1 which was an overgenerous rating for beating Ivan Montero, Juan Ubaldo Cabrera and Jorge Cota. A brutal loss but at 22 he has plenty of time to get some more experience and will be back again.
Lara vs. Gausha
Lara has no trouble retaining his WBA title against a Gausha who put up a very disappointing performance and never looked remotely like winning. Lara floored Gausha in the fourth and won by wide margins on the cards.
As expected there was a cautious start to this one with both fighters probing with their jabs Lara speared Gausha with some long jabs to the body and a right and did what little scoring there was.
Score 10-9 Lara
Again there was lots of prodding and poking and very little action. Both fighters launched brief attacks throwing only 4 or 5 punches and then getting out so it was hard to score but again Lara seemed to be just that bit more accurate.
Score 10-9 Lara 20-18
Lara’s round clearly. There was still too little action but it was Lara’s southpaw left that found the target with Gausha just not throwing enough punches to be in the fight in any meaningful way
Score 10-9 Lara 30-27
Lara was doing the scoring again in this one. Gausha needed to get inside where the speed and elusiveness of Lara could be nullified but as he came forward in a crouch Lara clipped him on the top of the head with a short right and followed that with a straight left to the chin dumped Gausha on his rump. He was up quickly and did not look badly shaken. Lara did not try to capitalise on the knockdown and as the round ended Gausha actually scored with a straight right-the best punch he had landed so far.
Score 10-8 Lara 40-35
Official scores: 40-35, 40-35 and 39-36 for Lara
The knockdown seemed to wake Gausha up. He was coming forward taking Lara to the ropes and letting fly with both hands and getting through with hooks to the body. Lara hardly threw a punch and never landed one.
Score 10-9 Gausha 49-45
Having found out what he needed to do in the fifth Gausha forgot it again in the sixth. He was standing off allowing Lara to spear him with lefts to the body and tie him up inside. Ho hum back to the painfully unexciting lack of action.
Score 10-9 Lara 59-54
There was more missing than hitting in this one. However Gausha did come forward take Lara to the ropes and score with some punches. That was only in bursts and Lara was also scoring with lunging lefts but Gausha just about earned the nod.
Score 10-9 Gausha 68-64
This round was more like a fight. Both were letting their punches go. Gausha was lunging inside and scored with a few hooks but again it was the speed and accuracy of Lara’s southpaw lefts that were landing most and cleanest.
Score 10-9Lara 78-73
Official scores: 78-73, 78-73, and 77-74 all for Lara
Gausha did a bit more in this round and Lara a bit less making it a boring round. It was difficult to give it to either fighter as there were so few punches landed but Gausha just did enough to edge it.
Score 10-9 Gausha 87-83
Gausha must have known he was well behind on the cards but there was no indication of that in his approach. At the start of the round he showed some fire but Lara soon had him backing up again and was threading those lefts through Gausha’s defence. For such a highly skilled boxer it is strange but Lara hardly ever lands a right jab. He just tends to use it to befuddle the opposition and as a measure for his left.
Score 10-9 Lara 97-92
Gausha was never going to win the fight or a round going back but this is what he did here. He allowed Lara to get on the front foot and paid for it as Lara was able to slot home his straight lefts with nothing coming back.
Score 10-9 Lara 107-101
The last went to Lara. Gausha’s attacks were just head down lunge forward and sling hopefully. Lara was able to stand off and pierce the defence of Gausha with left after left as the fight dribbled to a conclusion.
Score 10-9 Lara 117-110
Official score: 117-110. 117-110 and 115-111 all for Lara.
The 34-year-old Cuban was making the fourth defence of his WBA title and has rarely had an easier one. His problem is that he is only a few steps away from being as uninteresting to watch as his fellow-countryman Guillermo Rigondeaux. So much talent but so little entertainment and it is that missing ingredient that makes him a high risk opponent and a low ticket seller. I can’t see Hurd or Charlo eager to call him out. Gausha never even got started in this one. He just could not handle the Cuban’s skill and hand speed and never looked like a fighter willing to put it all on the line to become champion and got the outcome he deserved.
Harrison vs. Valenzuela
Harrison eases his way back with a win in his first fight since being stopped in nine rounds by Jarrett Hurd for the vacant IBF title in February. Harrison was the aggressor throughout this one although Valenzuela fought hard enough to be competitive and deserved to go the distance. Harrison had Valenzuela in trouble in the seventh but just could not find that extra punch. Scores 78-73 twice and 80-72 all for Harrison. Harrison will be hoping to work his way back into contention and get another title shot next year. Valenzuela is too good for the low level fighters but just not good enough to beat the top quality.
Buenos Aires. Argentina: Bantam: Omar Narvaez (47-2-2) W RTD 7 Nikolai Potapov (17-1-1). Bantam: Diego Ruiz (15-2) W RTD 5 Silvio Arano (7-4-1).
Narvaez vs. Potapov
Narvaez wins WBO eliminator with victory over unbeaten Russian Potapov to put himself in line for a challenge to Zolani Tete. Potapov was taking the fight to Narvaez with a busy style using quick jabs and rights to the body. Narvaez was as usual employing rushing tactics with only limited success. Potapov continued to press in the second but Narvaez landed a good left at the bell. Potapov outboxed and outworked Narvaez in the third but Narvaez finally got rolling in the fourth with left hooks and took that one. Narvaez dominated the fifth and sixth. He was walking through Potapov’s punches and banging hooks to head and body with Potapov looking shaky. Narvaez pressurised him all the way scoring with hooks, uppercuts and clubbing lefts with Potapov finding no space to work and looking a tired man at the end of the sixth. Potapov took a hammering in the seventh. He hardly managed to get his back off the ropes for more than a few seconds. Narvaez had him under fire from a constant barrage of body punches and Potapov was ready to cave in under the pressure. At the bell; he walked back to his corner and they signalled to the referee that their man was finished. Narvaez was 42 on 7 October but it does not show as he maintains a prodigious work rate. The southpaw “Hurricane” is hoping to become a three division champion by beating Tete but the South African is a high class performer and has real power. Narvaez has never lost a fight in Argentina so for Tete’s sake I hope the title fight lands elsewhere. New York-based Russian Potapov.27 showed quickness and good skills but his lack of power cost him dearly in this one.
Ruiz vs. Arano
Ruiz keeps the national title with stoppage of Arano. The challenger took the first being a bit busier than Diaz Arano also scored with some sharp left uppercuts in the second and third but Diaz was taking charge with some choice left hooks to head and body and overhand rights with Arano walking onto some hefty counters. The fifth was a tough round for Arano. He tried to match Diaz punch for punch but whilst more coming in than going out might make for a good household budget it is not good for a fighter and that was what was happening for Arano as a constant stream of power punches from Diaz were landing in the shape of left hooks to the body and rights to the head. A straight right from Diaz at the start of the fifth saw Arano dip forward and touch both gloves on the canvas. He was ready to continue after the eight count but two left hooks and a right to the head staggered him. He tired to punch back but was driven to the ropes and after a right uppercut snapped his head back the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old Ruiz was making the second defence of the national title and is now 9-1 in his last 10 fights but might not be able to progress beyond domestic level. Arano fought hard but was outgunned and is 1-2-1 in his last 4 fights.
Brisbane, Australia: Super Welter: Dennis Hogan (26-1-1) W PTS 10 Yuki Nonaka (31-8-3). Super Middle: Rohan Murdock (20-1) W TKO 3 Said Mbwela (43-25-5,1ND). Heavy: Alex Leapai (31-7-3) W TKO 3 Thomas Peato (2-6).
Hogan vs. Nonaka
Irishman Hogan wins a bout touted as a WBO eliminator with wide unanimous decision over former Japanese champion Nonaka. The visitor made a good start scoring well with his southpaw left. From there it was Hogan’s fight as he continually found the target with his right. He had problems with the southpaw stance of Nonaka making the fight messy at times but he outboxed Nonaka outside and outfought him in close. The only problem for Hogan was a cut which worsened as the fight progressed but he was never in danger from it. Hogan began to rake Nonaka with powerful combinations over the closing rounds and made sure Nonaka was not able to land a big punch or provide a strong finish and ran out a clear winner. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 all for Hogan. The 32-year-old “Hurricane” from Kildare was making the second defence of his WBO Oriental title and gets his fourth win since losing a wide unanimous decision to Jack Culcay for the interim WBA title in 2015. With Hogan rated No 6 and Nonaka 7 by the WBO it was an important win. With the WBO champion Miguel Cotto saying he will retire after his December fight with Sadam Ali doors could open for the Irishman. Nonaka 39 had been feeding on a diet of reasonable but not outstanding domestic opposition and was 12-0-1 in his last 13 fights.
Murdock vs. Mbwela
Murdock has no trouble moving to 18 wins in a row as he stops Tanzanian Mbwela. It ended in the third with Mbwela under fire and not responding. Now 15 wins by KO/TKO for 25-year-old Murdock but he will need to face better opposition to break into the ratings. Now 11 losses by KO/TKO for 39-year-old Mbwela
Leapai vs. Peato
Leapai returns with a win as he batters inexperienced and overmatched New Zealander Peato. After Leapai floored Peato in the third the referee stopped the fight. First fight for the 37-year-old former world heavyweight title challenger from Samoa since losing on points against Manuel Charr in May 2015. He says he has unfinished business but the world has moved on in those two years and he may struggle. Four losses in a row for Peato and only his second fight in over two years.
Liege Belgium: Super Feather: Faroukh Kourbanov (15-0) W PTS 12 Hakim Ben Ali (19-5). Super Light: Steve Jamoye (23-4-1) W PTS 6 Felix Matamoros (9-13).
Kourbanov vs. Ben Ali
In a good scrap between two well matched fighters Kourbanov take unanimous decision to retain the EU title. It was a close fight with Kourbanov having a much tougher night than anticipated. The excellent defensive work from Kourbanov and his heavier punching off-set the higher work rate but lighter punching from Ben Ali. Lots of quality work from both boxers with the body work from Kourbanov an additional factor in his win. Scores 117-112, 116-113 and 115-113 all for the champion Kourbanov. The 25-year-old Kyrgyzstan-born Belgian licensed Kourbanov was making the first defence of his EU title. Ben Ali had won his last six fights and hopefully will get another shot at the title.
Jamoye vs. Matamoros
After a terrific losing battle against Jason Easton Jamoye was due a easier night. His aggression was too much for former victim Nicaraguan Matamoros. He had Matamoros down but could not keep him there but won every round. Scores 60-53 twice and 60-54. The 26-year-old former Belgian super light champion will be the torch bearer for the Jamoye family as his brother Stephane announced his retirement at this show, Matamoros had slipped back to Costa Rica to pad his record with a couple of wins but will be in demand again as a guaranteed loser..
Calgary, Canada: Super Middle; Albert Onolunose (21-1) W Janks Trotter (10-4-1,1ND). A once world rated Onolunose returns to the ring but has to settle for a draw against local fighter Trotter. The Nigerian-born Onolunose took some time to shake four years of rust which allowed Trotter to pocket the first two rounds. Onolunose began rolling in the third catching Trotter repeatedly with counters and looked close to a stoppage but Trotter survived and rebounded to finish strongly. Scores 76-76 twice and 78-74 for Trotter. Onolunose won his first 17 fights before suffering a shock kayo at the hands of the unpredictable Gary Brewer in 2009. He was then inactive in 2010 and had just one fight each in years 2011, 2012 and 2013 with the fight in May 2013 his last before this one. This was Trotters first fight since being blasted away inside a round by Steven Butler in October last year.
Cornwall, Canada: Light: Tony Luis (25-3) W PTS 10 Giovanni Straffon (14-3-1). Heavy: Olek Teslenko (11-0) W KO 2 Nick Guivas (14-9-2).
Luis vs. Straffon
Fighting in his own neighbourhood Luis gets another win but has to fight hard against Mexican southpaw Straffon. Luis set a high work rate and was much the busier letting go with flashing combinations and using his strength to march forward to have Straffon fighting on the back foot for much of the time. Straffon stayed competitive countering with short hooks but just being outgunned. Although Luis was winning the rounds they were close. Luis had a scare in the sixth when Straffon rocked him with a left hook that forced the Canadian to go back to the ropes. Straffon unloaded some heavy hooks but eventually Luis worked his way off the ropes and was on top again in the seventh and went on to take the decision. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 but the fight was more competitive than the scores indicate. Luis retains his WBA-NABA title. The 29-year-old Canadian came close to an upset when he came in as a substitute to fight Derry Mathews for the interim WBA light title and lost a paper-thin decision. This is the sixth win since then for Luis who is No 12 with the WBA. Straffon, 24, had won 8 of his last 9 fights and earned his money in this one.
Teslenko vs. Guivas
Rubbish match as Teslenko stalks and finishes poor Guivas in two rounds. The 6’4” (193cm) Ukrainian stalked the Kansas fighter looking to land big punches but the crowd were booing at the slow pace of the fight. Teslenko is strong but not fast. He finally ended it in the second by driving Guivas across the ring and along the ropes before knocking him down with a left to the head that opened a cut on the right cheek of Guivas and caused him to sit out the count. The 25-year-old Canadian-based Teslenko has won 8 of his last 9 by KO/TKO but the opposition has been distinctly low grade. Now 6 losses by KO/TKO for Guivas who is now 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Paris, France: Welter: Ahmed El Mausaoui (27-3-1) W PTS 10 Carlos Molina (28-8-2). Heavy: Tony Yoka (2-0) W PTS 6 Jonathan Rice (7-2-1). Super Welter: Souleymane Cissokho (3-0) W KO 1 Dmytro Semernin (13-4-1).
El Mausaoui vs. Molina
Although overshadowed by the second pro fight of Tony Yoka El Mausaoui gets an important win as he takes unanimous verdict over Carlos Molina. The taller Frenchman was using his longer reach to score on the outside but it was a left hook that gave him a boost at the start. The Frenchman landed his powerful hook in the second to put Molina down. It was an uphill struggle for Molina from there but he used his experience, good chin and body punching to stay in the fight. El Mausaoui shook Molina with that vaunted left hook a few more times but Molina has never lost by KO/TKO and despite that second round knockdown he never looked like losing that proud record although El Mausaoui emerged a clear winner. Scores 98-91, 98-93 and 96-93 all for El Mausaoui. The 27-year-old Morocco-born El Mausaoui lost only one of his first 24 fights winning the French and European Union titles and scoring a victory over Junior Witter. Unfortunately he has since lost big fights to Jeff Horn in 2015 and Ceferino Rodriguez for the vacant European title in December last year. He has won three times since then with the victory over Molina a career high so far. Former IBF super welter champion Molina has lost two in a row having been floored, also in the second round, by Carlos Adames in July.
Yoka vs. Rice
French Olympic gold medallist Yoka gets his second pro win but is far from impressive. Very few punches were thrown in a slow first round. Yoka scored with a three-punch combination and a couple of jabs but Rice hardly threw a punch just shadowing Yoka, The second was slightly better but not much. Yoka circled the perimeter of the ring jumping in with some quick punches and out again and apart from some wild swings which Yoka easily evaded again Rice did very little. Rice came to life in the third. He started using his jab and landing long rights to the head of Yoka and did enough to edge the round. They exchanged a bit more in the fourth and the better jabbing from Yoka provably earned a close round but a frustrated Rich taunted Yoka with a little dance to mimic Yoka’s perimeter shuffle. Rich shook Yoka at the start of the fifth with a right cross, the best punch in the fight so far. Although Yoka did some useful work with his jab he was caught too often with rights and Rich won the round. Yoka outworked Rich clearly in the last showing more fire than he had in any other round. Scores 58-56 twice and 60-54 all for Yoka. Over one million viewers tuned in for this. The 25-year-old French hope showed some good movement and accuracy but little else and it was safety first approach. He made hard work of this against an inexperienced Rich, 30, who is basically a four and six round prelim fighter. Strong but limited. They don’t want to rush Yoka and that would be a wise approach on this showing but he is better than this all he has to do is show that.
Cissokho vs. Semernin
Another quick win for the impressive Cissokho. The French Olympian was giving away lots of height and reach to the tall Ukrainian southpaw so boxed carefully looking for an opening. It came late in the first when he stepped inside a jab from Semernin and landed a fearsome body punch to the solar plexus which put Semernin down on his knees in pain and he was unable to get up. The 26-year-old Senegalese-born Cissokho won a bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics for France. He was French champion in 2011, 2013 and 2014, fought for the USA Knockouts and the Mexican Guerreros at the World Series of Boxing and qualified for Rio the hard way winning six bouts at the World Qualifier in Baku. He has won all three of his pro fights by KO/TKO. Second loss by KO/TKO for Semernin.
Unterschleißheim, Germany: Heavy: Kevin Johnson (32-8-1) W TKO 7 Francesco Pianeta (34-3-1). Super Middle: Vartan Avetisyan (15-0-1) W TEC DEC 5 Alejandro Falliga (30-12-5,1ND). Light: Howik Bebraham (11-0) W PTS 10 Franklin Mamani (22-4-1).
Pianeta vs. Johnson
Pianeta’s rebuilding proves fragile as he is stopped by Johnson. This was fought a funereal pace as neither fighter is known for their speed. Pianeta started well enough but a bad cut over his left eye and poor conditioning made it downhill from there. Pianeta who had not put in the hard work before the fight and paid the price. The only thing that helped him is that Johnson was in no better shape which allowed Pianeta to build a lead over the first six rounds. By the seventh Pianeta was gassed and went down from a body punch. He made it to his feet but was taking more punishment to the body and his corner threw in the towel to save him. Beaten by Vitali Klitschko for the WBC title and by Tyson Fury in a WBC eliminator the 38-year-old Johnson was 2-5 in his last seven fights so this was a welcome win that won him the vacant IBO International title and might land him a few more paydays, German-based Italian Pianeta, 33, was knocked out inside a round by Ruslan Chagaev in a fight for the secondary WBA title in 2015. He had dropped down a couple of levels to get three wins but his lack of condition cost him dearly here.
Avetisyan vs. Falliga
Avetisyan win the vacant IBO International title with technical verdict over Argentinian Falliga. After outboxing Falliga over the first two rounds Avetisyan was floored in the third. He rebounded to take the fourth and was winning the fifth but a bad cut suffered by Falliga in a clash of heads sent the result to be decided by the cards. Scores 48-46 for Avetisyan from all three judges. The 27-year-old Munich-based Armenian seems to have settled at super middle having once fought way up at 209lbs. Falliga, 35, had won his last six fights but the opposition has been substandard and he was not in the national ratings.
Bebraham vs. Mamani
German Bebraham successfully defends his IBO International title with unanimous decision over Bolivian Mamani. The visitor just could not handle the superior skills of Bebraham who was too quick and too clever. Mamani pressed hard enough to make it a good test for Bebraham and picked up a round here and there but generally it was a very frustrating night for Mamani. Luckily for the Bolivian Bebraham is not a hard puncher so he was never in any real trouble. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-92 all for Bebraham. The 28-yrat-old from Munich is making good progress. Last year the 30-year-old Mamani lost inside three rounds to Dejan Zlaticanin for the vacant WBC title.
Guadalajara, Mexico: Super Feather: Carlos Diaz R (25-0,1ND) W KO 6 Emanuel Lopez (27-8-1). Diaz finds the punch to end an otherwise dull fight. Diaz took the first round. He looked much the bigger and stronger fighter and ended the round with a clubbing right to the head and a left hook to the body. Diaz continued to stalk Lopez and dominated the second, third and fourth but was not able to land any big shots in a fight that saw Lopez not looking to engage and Diaz not sustaining his attacks. Lopez showed more fire in the fifth finally taking the fight to Diaz but it was still very low key. In the sixth Diaz produced a better finish than the fight deserved. As they traded punches a big left hook to the chin from Diaz sent Lopez sprawling on his back. He climbed to his feet but the referee had completed the ten count. Local fighter Diaz, 22, gets his twelfth win by KO/TKO. He has useful wins over Roberto Marroquin and Sergio Puente and is No 9 with the WBO. Only the second loss by KO/TKO for Lopez. He put together a run of seven wins before losing on points to Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov for the vacant IBO feather title in Russia last month.
Managua, Nicaragua: Light Fly: Felix Alvarado (30-2) W KO 3 Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr (32-6-1). Alvarado annihilates Fahlan in IBF eliminator. The Nicaraguan came out punching and had the Thai under pressure immediately. Fahlan was trapped on the ropes for much of the round as Alvarado dug in a series of body punches. Just before the bell Alvarado switched to the head and floored Fahlan with two right. Fahlan climbed to his feet but the bell went before Alvarado could do any more damage. Fahlan managed to get into the fight in the second round but Alvarado was still taking the fight to him and breaking down the Thai’s resistance. It was all over in the third as Alvarado again launched a series of body punches before switching upstairs and landing a right that out Fahlan down for the count. Alvarado, 28, suffered back-to-back losses to Kazuto Ioka and Juan Carlos Reveco in WBA title fights but is now on a 12 bout winning streak with 11 of those wins by KO/TKO. He was No 4 with the IBF and Fahlan No 5. The first two places are vacant but this win means that Alvarado is qualified to fill one of those spots as there is a requirement for a fighter to beat a rated fight to get there and No 3 Randy Petalcorin does not have that achievement. Fahlan, 24, has had two title shots losing a technical decision to Katsunari Takayama for the IBF minimumweight title and a very close decision to Milan Melindo for the interim IBF light fly title. This is his first loss by KO/TKO.
Fight of the week: Jarrett Hurd vs. Austin Trout the only major fight that was competitive-for a while.
Fighter of the week: George Groves for his classy and powerful display against Jamie Cox
Punch of the week: Plenty to chose from with the right from Marcelino Lopez that destroyed Pablo Cesar Cano just getting the nod but there so many more. The rights from John Ryder that put Patrick Nielsen down in both the second and fifth rounds, Reece Bellotti’s right that put Jason Cunningham down in the fifth the body punch from George Groves that finished Jamie Cox.
Upset of the week: Nothing stands out with the nearest being Damian Yapur (14-7-3) beating 29-1 Mauro Godoy
One to watch: Plenty here I go for Cameroon-born French Olympian Christian Mbilli 6-0 with honourable mention to his Olympic teammate Souleymane Cissokho 3-0