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Eric Armit’s Weekly Boxing Report: Luis Collazo, Danny Green, Chris Eubank Jr

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The Past Week In Action 7 February 2017

February 2

Tunica, MS, USA: Welter: Luis Collazo (37-7) W KO 6 Sammy Vasquez (21-2). Welter: Yordenis Ugas (18-3) W PTS 10 Levan Ghvamichava (17-2-1). Welter: Eddie Ramirez (16-0) W RTD 9 Ryan Karl (13-1). Welter: Jose Miguel Borrego (11-0) W KO 1Tomas Mendez (23-10).

Collazo vs. Vasquez

Veteran Collazo shows he still has the power as he flattens Vasquez in an all-southpaw match. In a cautious first round neither landed a punch of any consequence. Collazo was doing the pressing with Vasquez on the back foot. The fight heated-up in the last minute of the second round with Vasquez scoring with a series of hooks and Collazo throwing a lot of punches but lacking accuracy and Vasquez had taken both rounds. Vasquez was pressing hard in the third and throwing plenty of leather but leaving himself open to counters. Collazo landed a couple of overhand lefts but Vasquez forced him to the ropes only for Collazo to nail him with a perfect right to the chin. Vasquez was up and eight and made it to the bell. Collazo was showing a cut under his right eye at the end of the round. Vasquez attacked for the full thee minutes of the fourth round forcing Collazo back by the sheer volume of punches and rocking him with a big left. However again he was leaving himself open and Collazo was landing some head snapping counters and that earned him the round. Collazo’s experience came into play in the fifth as he outboxed Vasquez working with his right jab and keeping on the move until outslugging Vasquez over the last 40 seconds of the round but he was now cut over the right eye as well. Collazo was on top in the sixth. He landed a short left hook to the head and as Vasquez continued to come forward Collazo landed a crushing right to the chin that put Vasquez down. He landed on his side then turned onto his back and the referee halted the count as there was no way Vasquez was beating the count. The 35-year-old former WBA champion was having his first fight since losing on a seventh round retirement against Keith Thurman for the secondary WBA title in July. After winning his first 21 fights it is now consecutive losses for 30-year-old Vasquez, 30, having lost on points to Felix Diaz in July.

Ugas vs. Ghvamichava

Ugas gets his third win as he again tries to match up to expectations after a glittering amateur career. The Cuban had the better skill set and more variety in his work than Californian-based Georgian Ghvamichava. He made the better start and built a good lead before Ghvamichava began to find some impetus over the middle rounds. . Ugas had been warned a couple of times for low punches and when he landed another in the eighth the referee deducted a point. Ugas took control back with some tasty left hooks in the ninth and took the tenth to emerge a clear winner. Despite the strange scores. Two judges went for Ugas 99-90 and 97-94 with the third seeing Ghvamichava the winner by 95-94. As an amateur the 30-year-old Ugas dominated the 60kg division winning gold medals at the World Championships and Pan American Games and beating Terrence Crawford, Jose Pedraza, Francisco Vargas, Darleys Perez (3 times), Sadam Ali, Everton Lopes etc. but stumbled as a pro and was out of the ring from May 2014 until returning in August last year with wins over Jamal James (20-0) and unbeaten Bryant Perrella. Ghvamichava was coming off a win over Breidis Prescott

Ramirez vs. Karl

Ramirez wins the battle of unbeaten fighters as Karl retires at the end of the ninth round. After edging the first round Ramirez almost ended the fight in the second. He drove Karl into the rounds with a stiff left and then landed a cracking right cross. Later in the round Ramirez scored with left hooks to the body and then sent Karl stumbling across the ring and another right had Karl on wobbly legs. Karl did well to stay on his feet and then he banged back in the third shaking Ramirez with a left. Karl took the fight to Ramirez in the fourth and fifth but was being caught by hard counters and was on unsteady legs after absorbing a straight right in the seventh. Ramirez was now in control and hammered home a succession of head punches in the ninth and Karl retired at the end of the round. The 24-year-old “Scorpion from Illinois now has 11 wins by KO/TKO. He has victories over useful Osumanu Akaba and Jessie Roman (20-2) and in his last fight in September climbed off the floor to kayo unbeaten Kevin Watts. Texan “Cowboy” Karl was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and although he showed plenty of aggression and guts his defence leaked too much.

Borrego vs. Mendez

Mexican teenager Borrego is one to watch as he knocks out more experienced Mendez inside a round. The 18-year-old southpaw from Aguascalientes was a three-time national champion before turning pro at 17 and has won ten of his fights by KO/TKO, six in the first round. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Dominican Mendez.

February 3

Adelaide, Australia; Cruiser: Danny Green (36-5) W PTS 10** Anthony Mundine (47-7). Bantam: Andrew Moloney (12-0) W PTS 8 Renoel Pael (21-5-1). Jason Moloney (13-0) W PTS 8 Marco Demecillo (22-8-1). Cruiser: Trent Broadhurst (20-1) W TKO 3 Nader Hamdan (44-14-1). Middle: Tim Tszyu (2-0) W TKO 3 Mark Dalby (4-13).

Green vs. Mundine

Green gets hotly disputed majority verdict in disappointing contest between veterans. Green the natural bigger man had height and reach over Mundine but he came out throwing punches and taking the fight inside. There was controversy in the first minute. Green had Mundine trapped on the ropes and as the referee parted them Mundine was behind Green’s left shoulder and he hooked a left from behind Green onto his unguarded chin. The sneak punch didn’t look that strong but it sent Green tottering right across the ring and he slumped down against the ropes. Mundine walked over and gestured to Green to get up.  The fight was halted as Green got unsteadily to his feet and the referee called the doctor to examine Green and make sure he was able to continue and then took a point off Mundine for the foul. The rest of the round was a messy affair with neither scoring with anything of consequence and too much holding and wrestling which was to become a feature of the fight. The second round saw Mundine doing what clean work there was but it was an ugly fight and the referee twice called the fighters together to tell them to stop clinching and stop the punches to the back of the head which both were guilty of and the round was close enough to go either way. There was too much mauling and brawling again in the third with what clean work there was coming from Mundine. The fourth also looked to be Mundine’s round. He was working the jab well and although not throwing as many punches as Green was landing more. Again the referee handed out warnings to both fighters. After four rounds taking account of the point deduction the judges all had Green ahead 40-35 which was hard to understand. The fifth and sixth were close rounds. Again Green was throwing more punches landing some good counters with Mundine being sparing with his punches but was the more accurate. The fight opened out a bit more in the seventh with both landing heavy rights but in an important development the referee deducted a point from Green for a punch to the back of Mundine’s head. Mundine seemed to dominate the eighth. He was backing Green up and landed a series of head shots with Green on the ropes. After that round the judges now had Green in front a ridiculous 78-72, 78-74(somehow despite the point reduction in the seventh the judge had scored that round 10-10 which is impossible as the most Green could have scored was 9 points) and 76-73 so the fight was already beyond Mundine’s reach if it went the distance. Mundine took the ninth clearly. Again he had Green on the back foot and was landing with hooks from both hands and overhand rights and Green’s work rate dropped. Mundine also took the last as he outboxed and outscored a tiring Green. For me Mundine was the clear winner. Although some early rounds were close he dominated the second half of the fight but the judges saw it differently. Green was declared the winner on a majority decision. Scores a truly incredible 98-90 to Green, 94-94 and an incorrect 96-94 to Green which with the deduction should be 95-94 and perhaps even 94-94 as he gave Mundine 10 for the round. Perhaps he could argue it was going to be a 10-10 round but none of the judges gave 10-10 in any round. The judge and the supervisor should have spotted that. The “Green Machine” gets revenge for a loss to Mundine back in 2006 and retains his Australian title but he tired badly here and was lucky it was not a twelve round fight. At 43-he must be near the end of the road. At 41 the same can be said of Mundine but the former holder of the secondary WBA middle title showed he still has good skills and lasted the pace well considering he was having his first fight for 15 months, weighed a career highest 174 ¾ lbs and was 21lbs heavier than when losing to Charles Hatley for the WBC Silver title 15 months ago.

Moloney vs. Pael

The Moloney twins march on. Andrew moves to an even dozen wins with unanimous points victory over more experienced Filipino Pael. The 26-year-old Moloney is WBA Oceania champion and rated No 11 by the WBA. The former Commonwealth gold medal winner represented Australia at the 209, 2011 and 2013 World Championships so high class credentials there. Pael was 19-1-1 in his first 21 fights but has now lost 4 of his last 5 contests but the opposition has been good quality and he is No 8 in the Philippines ratings.

Moloney vs. Demecillo

Moloney makes it a family double as he faces his toughest test so far and gets a wide unanimous decision. Scores 80-69, 80-70 and 80-71. Moloney is getting in some useful ring time after winning 10 of his first 11 fights by KO/TKO. He is a former Australian amateur champion and a Commonwealth Games quarter-finalist. Demecillo is a former Philippines super fly champion and was looked on as a real prospect after going 18-0-1 in his first 19 fights and has met some good quality fighters but only failed to go the distance twice.

Broadhurst vs. Hamdan

The Slacks Creek boxer makes it 13 wins in a row as he halts oldie Hamdan in three rounds. He is No 12 (11) with the IBF but was just marking time here. Sad to see the 43-year-old Hamdan still fighting. He challenged twice for the super middle title losing to Anthony Mundine for the secondary WBA title and Robert Stieglitz for the WBO title but is now 2-8-1 in his last 11 fights.

Tszyu vs. Dalby

Tim, the son of the great Kostya gets his second pro win. He dominated the first two rounds and the referee stepped in to save Dalby in the third. The 22-year-old Australian was 33-1 as an amateur so is worth watching.

San Juan, Puerto Rico: Light: Felix Verdejo (23-0) W PTS 10 Oliver Flores (27-3-2). Super Feather: Christopher Diaz (20-0) W TKO 7 Efrain Esquivias (17-6-1).

Verdejo vs. Flores

Verdejo wins as he returns from an enforced period of inactivity. The fight was fast paced from the start with Vallejo a little out with his timing and Flores landing a few southpaw lefts. Verdejo began to throw more punches in the second and third finding the range with his jab and firing quick combinations and just took the rounds whilst boxing on the back foot with Flores pressing the fight. Verdejo did enough to take the fourth and fifth but his timing and accuracy were off and Flores continued to push forward having some success. Verdejo moved onto the front foot in the sixth and was taking the fight to Flores with hooks and uppercuts. Flores showed some good defence and with Verdejo standing and trading landed some good shots but again it was Verdejo’s round. There was plenty of back and forth action in the seventh with Verdejo banging home some left hooks to the body and straight rights and Flores getting through with lefts to the head. Flores took his first round as he pocketed the eighth. He stormed forward driving Verdejo back with straight lefts with the Puerto Rican under pressure and looking uncomfortable. Flores also had the better of the exchanges in the ninth. It was close but the little Nicaraguan was getting through with his southpaw lefts. Seconds into the tenth Flores landed a left to the chin and suddenly Verdejo was in trouble. His legs dipped and he backed onto the ropes. He held on desperately and as Flores tried to wrench free they both tumbled to the floor. That gave Verdejo some recovery time and although Flores pursued him for the rest of the round and had Verdejo on the ropes at the end he missed his chance for a huge win. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 96-94 with the last the most accurate for me. The 23-year-old Verdejo was making the sixth defence of his WBO Latino title. This was his first fight since being injured in a motorcycle accident in August and that plus eight months without a fight might explain his below standard performance. He needs to have at least one more warm-up before facing the winner of the Terry Flanagan vs. Petr Petrov WBO title contest. Flores came close to an upset. He was having his first fight since losing in three rounds against Takashi Uchiyama for the WBA super feather title 14 months ago so he also had a handicap. His other loss was a second round kayo against Miguel Berchelt in 2012.

Diaz vs. Esquivias

Diaz just punches too hard for Esquivias but makes the fight harder than it needed to be. Diaz was letting his hands go from the outset firing home left hooks to the body with Esquivias trying to work his jab but being too slow. In the second Diaz switched southpaw for a time which did nothing for him and he also seemed to be just looking to land one big punch. That gave Esquivias the chance to do some scoring of his own but another rib bending left had him backing off hurt. Diaz found that big punch in the third. A right to the chin saw Esquivias slump to the floor. He was up at four and was ready to continue after the eight count. Diaz trapped Esquivias on the ropes and unloaded with both hands but Esquivias showed some good defensive skills and Diaz just let him off the hook. A left to the head put Esquivias down at the start of the fourth. Again Diaz helped Esquivias survive as he stood behind a high guard letting the light-punching Esquivias throw hooks and uppercuts and only exploding occasionally with heavy shots. In the fifth Diaz only fought in spurts throwing huge shots but too often missing wildly as Esquivias pitter-pattered with light shots of his own. Diaz cut loose at the start of the sixth landing vicious hooks and uppercuts and yet again went back into his shell and let Esquivias work away with light punches. A big right in the seventh stunned Esquivias and sent him into the ropes. Diaz unleashed a volley of punches as Esquivias stumble off the ropes and across the ring. For a few seconds again Diaz stopped punching but when he opened up again the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The 22-year-old Puerto Rican makes it 12 wins by KO/TKO. There is no doubting his power, particularly with his left hooks, but he was wild at times, wide open at times and could have finished this much earlier. Californian Esquivias won his first 16 fights but is now 6-1-1 in his last eight. The win was a kayo of Rafael Marquez which ended the great Mexican two-division champion’s career.

Philadelphia, PA, USA: Welter: Ray Robinson (22-2) W KO 2 Edwin Palacios (12-5-1). Super Feather: Hairon Socarras (15-0-2) W PTS 6 German Meraz (55-41-1,1ND).

Robinson vs. Palacios

Robinson has no trouble in disposing of Nicaraguan prelim fighter Palacios. The local southpaw took control from the first with his right jab before putting Palacios down with an overhand left and the bell went when Palacios made it to his feet. In the second a left to the body had Palacios hurt and another left put him down and he was counted out. The 31-year-old Robinson suffered back-to-back losses to Brad Solomon and Shawn Porter but this is eleventh win since the 2010 loss to Porter. Second loss by KO/TKO for former Nicaraguan champion Palacios.

Socarras vs. Meraz

Cuban Socarras wins every round against very experienced Meraz. It looked as though Socarras might become the ninth man to stop Meraz when he floored the Mexican early in the first round but Meraz does not go out easily and he made it to the bell.  Socarras outpunched Meraz the rest of the way without ever looking as though he could end it inside the distance and won the decision. Scores 60-53 from all three judges. After an early career draw the 24-year-old Cuban had won ten on the bounce before being held to a draw by Marco Chable (6-13-2) which was a poor performance so he needed to do better here. Meraz should make it into the 100 fight club this year which is quite something for a 30-year-old. He has been in with Tomoki Kameda, Rau’shee Warren, Juan Carlos Payano, and Gervonta Davis and took them all the distance.

Pau, France: Welter: Karim Aliliche (9-6-2) W PTS 10 Steven Bloyer (16-19). Welter: Jordy Weiss (16-0) W PTS 6 Nelson Altamirano (10-13-2).

Aliliche vs. Bloyer

Aliliche wins vacant French title in front of his home crowd this despite the fact he was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and was 3-6 in his previous nine fights. He was able to use his advantages in height and reach to outbox Bloyer and take the unanimous decision on scores of 97-93 twice and 98-92. The 33-year-old is nicknamed the “Atlas Lion” in acknowledgement of his Moroccan roots. His hope is that this win will get him a fight with former European and WBA champion Souleymane M’Baye. Bloyer, 31, has now lost his last 8 fights.

Weiss vs. Altamirano

“Gipsy” Weiss keeps his 100% record with decision over Nicaraguan Altamirano. The 23-year-old former French Youth Championships silver medallist has good skills but no power. Altamirano now has seven losses in a row in the best tradition of the Barcelona-based Central Americans.

February 4

London, England: Super Middle: Chris Eubank Jr (24-1) W TKO 10 Renold Quinlan (11-2). Heavy: Christian Hammer (21-4) TKO 7 David Price (21-4). Fly: Andrew Selby (8-0) W PTS 10 Ardin Diale (32-11-4).Feather: Kid Galahad (22-0) W RTD 3 Leonel Hernandez (31-6). Super Middle: John Ryder (24-3) W PTS 12 Adam Etches (20-2).

Eubank vs. Quinlan

Eubank wins the IBO title with stoppage of Australian Quinlan. The opening round was a messy affair with more holding than hitting but with both boxing as southpaws. That was not strange from the unpredictable Eubank but why Quinlan chose to do so was a puzzle. Eubank boxing as a southpaw just that bit quicker with his jabs. Eubank continued to just get his punches off first in a quiet second round. The fight caught fire in the third with Eubank landing a crisp right and left hooks. Quinlan countered but by the end of the round the Australian was trapped on the ropes with Eubank unloading. The fourth saw Eubank score with a big right but the action dropped off until just before the bell when Eubank trapped Quinlan in a corner but the Australian showed clever upper body movement to slip the punches. The fifth was a more even round as Quinlan start aggressively but the only highlight was a hard left hook from Eubank at the end of the round. Up to now Eubank had just been firing short bunches of punches and not sustaining his attacks. The changed at the end of the sixth when a left uppercut shook Quinlan and a long right sent the IBO champion staggering along the ropes until he finally slumped in a corner. Again Quinlan showed some good defensive work and Eubank was unable to land another punch. Eubank seemed to go off the boil at the start of the seventh and Quinlan had a good spell landing a hard right to the chin. Eubank came to life late in the round and was firing off fast combinations. Eubank had won every round but Quinlan remained competitive. Eubank went to work in earnest in the eighth beating Quinlan to the jab and then firing home a succession of straight lefts and rights to the head. Quinlan tried to punch back but it was Eubank doing all of the scoring. Eubank came close to finishing the fight in the ninth. He drove Quinlan to the ropes and landed three vicious left uppercuts and then a series of head punches. It looked as though a stoppage might be imminent but Quinlan was not ready to go and fought his way off the ropes. Over the early part of the tenth Eubank was content just to swap jabs with Quinlan but then he broke loose and drove Quinlan across the ring. With the Australian trapped on the ropes a series of uppercuts and lefts and rights to the head from Eubank saw the referee jump in and stop the fight. This was the first fight for eight months for Eubank and win No 17 by KO/TKO in his last18 fights. The IBO title is not up there with that of the four main sanctioning bodies but it will make a bargaining counter, although not a big one, if the Eubanks start to be serious about challenging for one of the major titles but other than in Britain Eubank Jr is not a high enough profile PPV fighter so they need a dose of realism.

Hammer vs. Price

Hammer may just have put an end to Price’s career as he bludgeons the big Brit to defeat. Price towered over Hammer. That gave him advantages in height and reach but they worked against him whenever Hammer moved inside.  For most of the fight Price was able to box on the outside using his jab to set up some powerful uppercuts and hooks to the body and long rights to the head. When he was able to work inside Hammer was landing clubbing rights to the head. Price’s arms were too long for him to work effectively in close so he tended to hold and was warned a number of time for that infraction. Price was winning the rounds but Hammer was constantly trying to land big rights to the head. He was mostly inaccurate but dangerous. Price looked on the way to victory in the fifth. After Hammer had Price under pressure early in the round. They stood and traded heavy punches and a big right uppercut from Price put Hammer down heavily. The Romanian only just beat the count and luckily for him the bell went as the count was completed. Price dominated most of the sixth with a succession of hooks and uppercuts with Hammer just winging wide and wild punches but suddenly Price seemed to just run out of gas and he was on the ropes and in trouble at the bell. In the seventh Hammer drove Price to the ropes and was landing head punch after head punch. There was nothing coming back from a sold out Price. The referee broke the action but as Price staggered back to the ropes the referee decided that was enough and stopped the fight. Hammer, 29, retains his WBO European title and gets win No 12 by KO/TKO. He had a ten fight winning run snapped when he retired after eight rounds against Tyson Fury in 2015 but rebounded and won his WBO title with a points decision over Erkan Teper in October which saw him rated at No 6 by the WBO. At 33 it seems unlikely that Price can rebound from this loss. It was worrying that he was totally exhausted after just six rounds so that is a problem he needs to solve if he is to fight on.

Selby vs. Diale

A typical Selby performance combining great foot work snappy jabs fast combinations and ever on the move as he outclasses experienced Filipino Diale. Selby was flitting around Diale switching guards, changing angles throwing punches in bunches. Diale scored with occasional body punches when Selby stood and traded but was never able to land anything of consequence and was usually left swinging in mid air and getting a blast of hooks and uppercuts for his efforts.  Selby bossed the action in every round and changed in the blink of an eye from quick-footed defence into all out attack. If there was a down side it was that he was not sitting down on his punches so never really had Diale in any trouble, bemused and confused yes but neither shaken nor stirred. Diale had some success with rights in the sixth but only after he had suffered a barrage of shots from Selby. They Traded punches at the start of the seventh as Diale pressed hard but again and again Selby was threading jabs home and firing flashing combinations that Diale was just too slow to block or counter. Diale scored with a nice uppercut in the ninth and had a good spell but after being nailed on the ropes with a left to the chin for 30 seconds Selby blazed away at Diale with shots from both hands. Diale’s head was being snapped around and a lesser fighter might have gone under but the gutsy little Filipino fought his way off the ropes. Selby wrapped the fight up with a last round in which he avoided some last ditch punches from Diale and boxed and traded his way to the bell. Scores 100-90 for Selby from all three judges as he wins the important WBC International title. On sheer boxing skills the 28-year-old from Wales may just be the most talented boxer in Britain and he past an important test here. Diale never stopped trying. He stuck to his task but just could not get anywhere near the fleet Welshman. I can almost hear the mantra of those fighting Selby “Oh please just let me hit him hard on the chin once, just once please”. Diale was the biggest test Selby has faced so far. The 28-year-old Filipino was 9-1-1 in his last 11 fights. He lost to Julio Cesar Miranda in a fight for the WBO flyweight title in 2011 and crossed swords with Juan Francisco Estrada, Rodel Mayol and John Riel Casimero. He is a former OPBF champion and won all eight of his Philippines flyweight title fights so an experienced battler but a frustrated loser here.

Galahad vs. Hernandez

Galahad gets in a few rounds as he outclasses late replacement Hernandez. Galahad was too quick and too accurate for the plodding Nicaraguan. He was effortlessly switching guard, breaking through Hernandez defence with rapier like jabs from both hands and hooking to the body. The second was completely one-side as the punches were coming too fast and from too many angles for Hernandez to think of launching any offence of his own. The Nicaraguan was more aggressive at the start of the third but was soon being swamped by punches again and had his mouthguard knocked out. At the end of the round the Nicaraguan was showing an ugly swelling over his right eye that was affecting his vision and his corner retired him. The26-year-old Galahad had been lined up to face Joseph Agbeko but when that fell through Hernandez, who was scheduled to fight on the show anyway, stepped up to face Galahad. Third win for Galahad since returning from a lengthy ban for the use of a banned substance and it will need better fighters than Hernandez to help us find out just how far he can go. Poor Hernandez is now 1-12 in his last 13 fights.

Ryder vs. Etches

Ryder wins an important crossroads fight for both contestants. Etches made a promising start to the fight edging the first with some good jabs but Ryder bounced back in the second with some hard southpaw jabs and strong lefts. Ryder outscored Etches over the third and fourth and had a big fifth. He forced the fight getting through with some strong lefts and by the end of the round Etches was showing a lump under his left eye. Etches was tending to load up on his punches too much looking to turn the fight his way but it was Ryder who quicker to the punch doing the better work. The lump under Etches left eye continued to grow partly obstructing his vision. Despite that he kept pressing making good use of his jab and looking to get through with a big punch and his record showed he had that capability. It was not to be Ryder’s shots had Etches face a mess by the tenth and he continued to boss the fight to the final bell. Scores 118-109, 117-111and 116-112 all for Ryder. The 28-year-old Ryan lost a razor thin decision to Billy Joe Saunders for the British and Commonwealth middle titles in 2013 but then lost his way a bit with defeats against Nick Blackwell and Jack Arnfield. He looked strong at super middleweight weight so another name in the mix in a very tough division. Etches seemed to have lost some of his speed at super middle. He is an exciting fighter and a big puncher and can bounce back.

Kempton Park, South Africa: Light Fly: Hekkie Budler (31-2) W RTD 8 Joey Canoy (12-3-1). Light Heavy: Enrico Koelling (23-1) W PTS 10 Ryno Liebenberg (17-5). Cruiser: Kevin Lerena (17-1) W TKO 5 Vikapita Meroro (28-6). Welter: Thulani Mbenge (9-0) W TKO 3 Ntuthuko Memela (12-4-2).

Budler vs. Canoy

The “Hexecutioner” adds another title to his already burgeoning collection as he beats tough Filipino southpaw Canoy in a fight for the vacant IBO title a title he first held back in 2010. The little South African took three rounds to take control of the fight. Over those early rounds Canoy was very much in the fight. He was taking more than he was giving but he was giving too much for the comfort of his Budler’s corner. From the fourth Budler turned up the heat. He was pressing Canoy more and he was scoring with heavy punches to the body. Canoy kept fighting but the power edge was with Budler and slowly but surely the body attack was breaking Canoy down. Despite a cut over his right eye Budler really pasted Canoy in the seventh. The Filipino spent most of the round trapped on the ropes and was dropped. He made it to his feet but Budler continued to hammer away and at one point the South African seemed to be inviting the referee to step in and stop the fight. He declined to do so but Canoy’s corner did the right thing by pulling their man out at the end of the round. The 28-year-old from Johannesburg is also a former WBA and IBO champion at minimumweight and is 13-2 in his 15 world title fights. Next aim will be a unification fight but as three of the other title holders are Japanese that could mean an away match. Canoy, 23, gets only his second loss by KO/TKO. He is really a minimumweight where he is rated No 4in the Philippines but had won 4 of his last 5 fights.

Koelling vs. Liebenberg

Only the second time Koelling has fought outside Germany but he came away with a win and denied Liebenberg revenge for a split decision loss in October. It was a close hard fought battle which could have gone either way. As with many German-trained fighters Koelling boxed behind a high guard and it was a big factor in the fight that Liebenberg found it hard to break through. It was an interesting rather than an exciting fight as the two were so well matched and neither was able to dominate the action for any extended period. The German boxed that little bit better on the night and deserved the decision. Liebenberg was badly rocked by a right in the ninth but recovered well and with neither being a big puncher it was always going to be one for the judges to decided and they went for Koelling. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93. A sporting Liebenberg had no complaints about the verdict. The 26-year-old Koelling showed confidence in taking the fight in South Africa as a loss would have cost him his IBF 5/WBO 8/WBA10 ranking. In the amateurs he scored wins over current WBA super middle champion Tyrone Zeuge and unbeaten Avni Yildirim so now he will be hoping it is onwards and upwards. It is much less certain for Liebenberg. He is 33 and if he was younger the closeness of the decision would probably be something he would take in his stride. Now he will have to consider whether he wants to rebuild all over again.

Lerena vs. Meroro

Lerena gets win but Meroro provides no kind of opposition.  Southpaw Lerena put Meroro down with a left hook in the first and from then Meroro went into survival mode. He used his considerable experience to twiddle and fiddle his way through the fight. Lerena was sharp and on top form and once he focussed on the body he was hurting the Namibian and draining whatever will to fight he had. Lerena was so dominant that it looked unlikely that Meroro could go the distance. His fitness had to be questioned when he could not make the contract weight but it was surprising and disappointing that in the fifth round  he just threw his arms up and shook his head in abject surrender. It was a sad ending as the 24-year-old Lerena was coming off excellent wins over Roberto Bolonti and unbeaten Micki Nielsen and was hoping to keep the momentum going with another impressive win. Meroro cheated him out of that opportunity. Lerena had climbed into the ratings WBO 5/WBC 11/WBA 13 on the strength of those two wins and will now be looking for another big match to put him within range of a title shot. Meroro, 31, was expected to do better as he had gone the distance with Isaac Chilemba and Juergen Braehmer. He had only lost by KO/TKO once and that was against big punching Russian Dmitry Kudryashov. Promoter Rodney Berman was so disgusted by Meroro’s surrender that he lodged the fighter’s purse with Boxing South Africa so that they can decide whether to fine him for his poor showing.

Mbenge vs. Memela

Mbenge might just be the next South African star. The puncher from Eastern Cape has yet to have to trust to the judges in any of his nine fights. It was thought that former South African title challenger Memela might pose him some problems with his southpaw style. No way. Mbenge had Memela under pressure from the start and floored him in the second round. Memela tried to fight his way out of trouble but after another knockdown the fight was stopped early in the third round. His nine wins have taken Mbenge less than 15 rounds. As an amateur he actually won a silver medal in the South African Championships at bantamweight but then climbed through the weights competing at the 2011 World Championships at 64kg and getting bronze medals at the 2014 Commonwealth games and the All-African Championships. One to watch. Second loss by KO/TKO for Memela with the other being against world rated Thai Teerachai (28-0).

Magdeburg, Germany: Heavy: Agit Kabayel (16-0) W PTS 12 Herve Hubeaux (26-2). Fly: Mirco Martin (8-0) W TKO 8 Jozsef Ajtai (18-7).

Kabayel vs. Hubeaux

 Kabayel wins the vacant European heavyweight title with unanimous decision over Hubeaux. Physically these two were well matched but used different tactics. Kabayel was doing his scoring with clubbing rights to the head inside and crunching left hooks to the body but was tending to work in short bursts. Hubeaux was using his jab more and firing quick combinations. With plenty of trading it was an entertaining fight in the early stages. Kabayel looked to be getting on top as he clearly outscored Hubeaux in the fourth, fifth and sixth with Hubeaux tiring badly and looking arm weary. The Belgian needed to keep on the outside and use his jab but Kabayel was bulling him around the ring. Hubeaux was livelier in the seventh and eighth countering well with Kabayel also scoring with a series of rights to the head but  both fighters were now down to walking pace. Kabayel dominated the ninth and tenth. He was just too strong for the Belgian and added a series of sharp uppercuts in the tenth alongside his left hooks to the body. Kabayel was already confident of victory in the eleventh and twelfth. He was dancing on his toes, switching to southpaw and doing some showboating and Hubeaux was too exhausted to do anything about it. Scores 119-109, 117-111 and 117-112 all for Kabayel. The 24-year-old German had not really met any top quality opposition with his best win being over unbeaten Christian Lewandowski in June last year for the European Union title. He took his opportunity here. He looked strong and made good use of left hooks to the body to slow Hubeaux but his defence was not a strong point. He was lucky to escape without at least a point deduction as throughout the fight he leant on the back of Hubeaux’s head and forced him to the canvas. The referee warned him a number of times in the early rounds and then just gave up and ignored it. Hubeaux, 24, came in as a replacement after Mariusz Wach dropped out and was doing OK until he tired badly. He was on a15 bout winning streak going in but against opposition who would be flattered to be described as modest.

Martin vs. Ajtai

Martin make a successful first defence of his German International title with stoppage of Hungarian Ajtai. Martin showed some impressive combination punching but Ajtai stood up to the punishment well until it became one-sided and after Ajtai went down for the fourth time the referee halted the contest. The 24-year-old German, a silver medallist in the German Championships, gets his fourth win by KO/TKO. The flyweight division in Europe has some high quality fighters and Martin, who is the only flyweight in Germany, will struggle to make it to the top. Ajtai had gone the distance with Shiming Zou but Brits Andrew Selby (two rounds) and Khalid Yafai (one round) both blew the 20-year-old Hungarian away early.

Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Yusaku Kuga (14-2-1) W TKO 2 Yasutaka Ishimoto (29-9). Super Feather: Masaru Sueyoshi (14-1) W TKO 3 Allan Vallespin (9-1). Super Fly: Daigo Higa (12-0) W TKO 4 Diomal Diocos (10-2-3).

Kuga vs. Ishimoto

Kuga springs minor surprise as he blows away Ishimoto in two rounds to win the Japanese title and gets revenge for a close decision defeat in a fight for the vacant title in 2015. Kuga flew out of the gate punching and his pressure brought a knockdown in the first round although it looked more like a slip. Kuga continued his swarming attacks in the second and had Ishimoto in deep trouble when the towel came flying in from the champion’s corner. Kuga, 26, moved up to ten rounds for the first time when losing by the narrowest of margins against Ishimoto in their first fight but he re-established himself with a good win over Filipino Jonathan Baat in October. Ishimoto was making the third defence of the national title. He made a big splash when outpointing Wilfredo Vazquez Jr in 2013 but consecutive losses to Chris Avalos in an IBF eliminator and Yukinori Oguni for the vacant National title saw him drop back to domestic level.        .

Sueyoshi vs. Vallespin

Sueyoshi makes it 9 wins by KO/TKO as he halts unbeaten Filipino Vallespin. The visitor made an aggressive start and unsettled Sueyoshi in the first. In the second Sueyoshi worked behind the jab and started to dominate. He battered away at Vallespin in the third and although the Filipino did not go over the referee stopped the fight. Now 11 wins in a row for Sueyoshi who was in his first scheduled ten round fight. He is rated No 5 in Japan. The 22-year-old “El Matador” Vallespin won the Philippines title in December in only his eighth fight but was out-gunned here.

Higa vs. Diocos

Japanese prospect Higa makes it 12 out of 12 by KO/TKO. Filipino Diocos was competitive early with some good body punching but the power was with Higa and his fast, accurate jab and his body punches soon had Diocos in trouble. He punished Diocos in the third and put him down and out in the fourth. The 21-year-old is managed by Hall of Fame fighter Yoko Gushiken.  Higa is hoping Gushiken can get him a shot at the vacant WBC fly title before his 22nd birthday so that he can emulate his manager who won the WBC light fly title at the age of 2. But it took the great “Fierce Eagle” only nine fights to do that. First loss by KO/TKO for Diocos. He was 7-1-3 in his last 11 fights and No 7 in the Philippines ratings.

Cuautitlan, Mexico: Welter: Jaime Munguia (19-0) W KO 2 Juan Macias Montiel (19-3-1). Munguia blows away Montiel. From the opening bell the unbeaten Munguia exploded all over the much taller Montiel. For most of the round he had Montiel trapped on the ropes and under a ceaseless bombardment. Montiel was rocked time and again but somehow survived to the bell. Munguia continued to pound Montiel in the second and just before the bell a horrendous right put Montiel flat on the canvas out cold and he needed medical attention before recovering. The 20-year-old from Tijuana now has 17 wins by KO/TKO including 11 in a row. In theory Montiel should have been his toughest test so far. Montiel was 17-2 in his last 19 fights with the losses being split verdicts against Alejandro Barrera (26-2) and experienced Johnny Navarette but he had no chance here.

Cancun, Mexico: Light: Francisco Rojo (19-2) W TKO 5 Dante Jardon (30-6). Fly: Francisco Rodriguez (22-4-1) W TEC DEC 5 Hajime Nagai (14-8-2).

Rojo vs. Jardon

Rojas upsets the odds with win over Jardon. Rojo was coming forward behind his jab, pressing the fight with Jardon boxing cleverly on the retreat and focusing on body shots. The action was fairly even over four rounds with two judges having it 38-38 but the third seeing Jordan up 40-36. In the fifth Rojo forced Jardon back and floored him with a huge shot. Jardon made it to his feet but was put down twice more. Although he got up he was unsteady on his legs and despite his protests the referee decided he was not fit to continue. The 26-year-old Rojo continues his run of good form with only one loss in his last fifteen fights and seven wins in a row. He collects the WBC Latino title. In September he took a majority verdict over former IBF feather title challenger Eduardo Escobedo but this victory over Jardon is a step up from that. “Crazy” Jardon, 29, suffered successive losses to Takeshi Miura for the WBC super feather title and to Adrian Estrella but had rebounded with six wins including victories over Jairo Lopez, Juan Carlos Salgado and Nery Saguilan.

Rodriguez vs. Nagai

Rodriguez gets technical decision over Nagai which he hopes will open the door to a return fight with Roman Gonzalez. It was a one-sided fight with Rodriguez punching too hard for the Japanese fighter. Rodriguez came close to ending it in the second when he put Nagai down twice but Nagai survived and began to serve up some rough stuff. He was responsible for a clash of heads in the fifth round which left him with a cut that was too severe for him to continue. It went to the scorecards and Rodriguez was ahead 50-43 on all three cards. The 23-year-old former IBF and WBO minimumweight champion only losses to the best having been beaten by Roman Gonzalez, Donnie Nietes for the WBO light fly title and Moises Fuentes. He is rated No 3 flyweight by the WBO and No 11 (9) by the IBF so along way to go for a return with Gonzalez. Nagai, 33, really just a prelim fighter who was moving up to eight rounds for the first time.

Moscow, Russia: Light Heavy: Dmitri Chudinov (20-1-2) W TKO 1 Zoltan Papp (14-4-1). Easy night for Chudinov. The former interim WBA middle champion floored Hungarian Papp twice with second coming from a body punch which left Papp in agony and unable to continue. The 30-year-old Russian “Night Wolf” makes it six wins since losing his interim WBA title to Chris Eubank Jr and moving up to super middle. His brother Fedor is No 1 challenger to Tyrone Zeuge in the same division. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for 38-year-old Papp.

Bilbao, Spain: Feather: Andoni Gago (15-2-2) WE Lorenzo Parra (32-6-2).

Fighting in his home city Gago returns to the winning column with a unanimous decision over Venezuelan veteran Parra. The opening rounds were close as former WBA fly champion Parra used all his experience, a few tricks, a good jab and some head work to counter the Spaniard. Parra had a good fifth but other than that Gago was doing enough to take the close rounds and the decision. Scores 78-74, 77-74 and 77-75 all for Gago. The 31-year-old “El Macho”, a former undefeated Spanish champion, has won 10 of his last 11 fights with the loss being a close points verdict against Viorel Simion in Romania in October.  Parra, 38, won his first 28 fights before throwing his WBA fly title away when he failed to make the weight for a defence. He subsequently lost to Celestino Caballero for the secondary WBA super bantam title and to Anselmo Moreno for the real WBA bantam title but is now just a time server being used to pad out records.

Belfast, NI: Light: Paul Hyland Jr (14-0) W TKO 1 Karoly Gallovich (7-1). Super Feather: Ronnie Clark (18-4-2) W PTS 6 Rafael Castillo (14-30-3,2ND).

Hyland vs. Gallovich

Hyland overwhelms poor Hungarian and the fight, scheduled for ten rounds is all over in just 47 seconds. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 26-year-old from Belfast but a meaningless victory. In fairness Gallovich came in as a late replacement and is really just a 4 and 6 round novice.

Clark vs. Castillo

Scot Clark given six rounds of useful work by Nicaraguan. The 32-year-old Dundee southpaw was having his first fight since an epic but losing battle against Martin Joseph Ward for the British super featherweight title in November. Referee’s score 60-57. Clark will be hoping that a run of wins will get him another title shot after such a close fight with unbeaten Ward. Seven losses in a row for Castillo who did his job here.

Hurlingham, Argentina: Super Middle: Martin F Rios (21-10-4,1ND) W PTS 10 Ezequiel Maderna (24-4).  Rios won this one on a split decision and the blame mostly lay with Maderna who lost two points for infraction of the rules.  Rios was quicker to the punch at took the first but Maderna evened things up in the second with hooks to the body and a right to the head to take a close round. The third saw both scoring well with Maderna again looking to have just edged it. Rios was the one evening the fight in the fourth with some good body punches but again the round was close. Maderna lost his first point in the fifth for hitting on the break and with Rios outscoring him in the sixth and seventh Maderna was now well behind. The eight was close but in the ninth Maderna lost another point for holding and although he had a good last round it was not enough. Scores 96 ½-94 ½, twice for Rios and 95-93 for Maderna. Without the two deductions Maderna would have escaped with a majority draw but instead it was Rios who won the vacant national title. The 24-year-old “El Terrible” , a former Argentinian middle champion suffered losses in the UK to Jimmy Kilrain Kelly and Jamie Cox but is now 4-1-1 in his last six fights. Maderna, 30, a 2008 Olympian, loses to a fellow-Argentinian for the first time. His other losses have been on the road against Edwin Rodriguez, Thomas Oosthuizen and Artur Beterbiev and he would be favoured to beat Rios in a return.

Sint Truiden, Belgium: Light: Francesco Patera (17-2) W PTS 12 Pasquale Di Silvio (20-9-1). Patera wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean title with a close unanimous decision over Italian Di Silvio in a great little fight. It was very even over the first four rounds but all three judges had Patera clearly in front. They both fought hard over swapping toe-to-toe over the middle rounds with Di Silvio closing the gap on two cards to make it anyone’s fight going into the last four. Patera did enough in the ninth, tenth and eleventh to have a winning lead but in the twelfth Di Silvio landed a huge right. Patera was out on his feet but Di Silvio did not realise how badly Patera was hurt and let his chance slip away. Scores 116-112, 115-112 and 114-113 all for Patera. First step on the road to recovery for 23-year-old Patera. He won his first 15 fights but last year lost on points to world rated Yvon Mendy for the European Union title and a split verdict to Sean Dodd for the WBC International title so two losses but very creditable ones.  Former Italian champion Di Silvio, 37, lost to Dodd for the vacant WBC International title but has the experience of nine Italian title fights.

Ingelmunster, Belgium: Super Light: Ahmed El Hamwi (14-8-2) W PTS 10 Meriton Karaxha (11-4-1). El Hamwi retains his Belgian title and goes 2-1 up in his fights with Karaxha but it a very close call with El Hamwi getting a majority decision. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for El Hamwi and 95-95.The 31-year-old French-based fighter was making the first defence of the title he won with a victory over Karaxha in October but this was a much closer fight. Belgian-based Albanian Karaxha 24 will be hoping to get a return and make it third time lucky in title shots.

Ajaccio, France: Super Light: Mohamed Ayyad (17-1-1) W DISQ 7 Mikheil Avakyan (38-28-4). Neighbourhood fighter Ayyad wins the vacant WBFederation International title on a disqualification. This really was pub brawl standard stuff as both fighters had only the most basic technique just swung wild shots. Georgian Avakyan had height and reach over Ayyad but since it was just a head down and sling wildly fight that never came into play. Both were shaken occasionally but neither fighter was punching with power. Avakyan was given a number of warnings for pushing Ayyad back and over the top rope and in the seventh after three more warnings the referee disqualified the Georgian. Now nine wins in a row for 25-year-old Ayyad who was moving up to ten rounds for the first time. Russian-born Avakyan was 5-3 in 2016 but neither of these fighters will worry any top performers.

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