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Eric Armit’s Weekly Boxing Report: David Lemieux, Jamie Conlan, Duke Micah

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The Past Week In Action 15 March 2017

March 10

Belfast, Northern Ireland: Super Fly: Jamie Conlan (19-0) W PTS 12 Yader Cardoza (22-11-1). Super Feather: James Tennyson (18-2) W TKO 6 Declan Geraghty (14-2). Heavy: Sean Turner (10-0.1ND) W KO 2 Igor Mihaljevic (4-8,1ND). Super Light: Tyrone McKenna (13-0-1) W TKO 6 Jake Hanney (5-1). Heavy: Con Sheehan (5-0) W PTS 8 Ferenc Zsalek (19-56-6). Super Light: Marco McCullough (17-3) W PTS 8 Leonel Hernandez (10-19-2). Bantam: Paddy Barnes (2-0) W PTS 6 Adrian Garzon (10-22). Super Light: Phil Sutcliffe Jr (13-1) W TKO 4 Miguel Aguilar (11-32-1).

Conlan vs. Cardoza

Conlan gets split decision in a thrilling but tough fight with Cardoza. The first two rounds showed that this was going to be a fast-paced open fight. Conlan made good use of his jab and landed some overhand rights. Cardoza was forcing the action and throwing more punches but being a bit wild and finding Conlan a difficult target. Conlan continued to box behind the jab in the third with Cardoza stepping up the pace and throwing lots of leather. He had some success late in the round but with Conlan countering well. Those rounds had been close but Cardoza dominated the fourth. He was getting home with his jab and landing clubbing rights and left hooks to the body. Conlan boxed beautifully in the fifth popping out the jab slipping Cardoza’s wild punches and scoring with counter lefts. Cardoza got back into the fight in the sixth forcing the pace and getting through with rights. Both had good spells in the seventh with Conlan piercing the Nicaraguan’s guard with jabs and Cardoza pressing hard and scoring to the body and just edging it. The eighth was a big round for Cardoza. He was landing well early and then late in the round he forced Conlan back with a series of punches to the head and the Belfast man slumped down against the ropes. He was up at seven and when the action resumed tired to fight back but was shipping some more punches and was in trouble at the bell. Strangely in the ninth Cardoza did not try to capitalise on his success and allowed Conlan to dictate from the ring centre and take the round with some clever boxing. Cardoza turned up the heat again in the tenth taking the round by just chasing Conlan down and throwing a barrage of punches. At the end of the round Conlan was showing a cut on the eyelid of his left eye. I gave the eleventh to Cardoza. Conlan was boxing well but the blood running down from the cut was getting into his eye which made him more cautious and Cardoza landed the better punches. The last round did not produce any fireworks and it could have gone to either fighter but if pushed I would have given it to Cardoza which in my book would have seen him one point ahead. The judge’s scores were 115-113 and 114-113 for Conlan and 115-112 for Cardoza. It was such a close fight that I have no argument with any of those scores. Conlan, 30, wins the vacant WBC International title. He holds on to his No 2 slot with the WBO but this was a much tougher test than was good for him and the WBO champion Naoya Inoue  is a few levels at least above Cardoza. The Nicaraguan challenged for the WBC light flyweight title in 2013 losing on points to Adrian Hernandez. He has fought world title challenger Felix Alvarado three times and lost to another title challenger in Felipe Orucuta. He came to win and was a world away I quality and effort from the current Barcelona-based Nicaraguans who so often fill shows in Europe.

Tennyson vs. Geraghty

Tennyson’s power proves just too much in the end for Geraghty. Southpaw Geraghty was just that bit quicker in the first round and did enough to take it. Tennyson was in charge in the second scoring early with left hooks and then flooring Geraghty with a right. After the eight count Geraghty was willing to stand and trade punches with Tennyson but it was Tennyson who got the better of the exchanges with wicked hooks to the body and uppercuts. The third and fourth were closer with Tennyson pressing hard and Geraghty countering and showing some good defensive work. Geraghty outboxed Tennyson in the fifth. He was boxing beautifully on the retreat and banged home a peach of a straight left to the head and later a left to the body. Tennyson continued to press in the sixth and again was having to eat some counters but was chasing relentlessly. His pressure had Geraghty stumbling back along the ropes and Tennyson landed a right to the body and a left to the head that put Geraghty down.  He was up at seven. When the action restarted he tried to get inside but Tennyson landed a series of uppercuts which had Geraghty stumbling back and the referee stopped the fight. Geraghty protested but it looked about right. “The Assassin” Tennyson, 23, makes it 14 wins by KO/TKO and regains the Irish title. He has won 10 of his last 11 fights with the loss being to Ryan Walsh for the British title in April last year and this is a good rebound win. “Pretty Boy” Geraghty showcased his excellent southpaw skills. He had won his last eight fights with his only other loss being on a disqualification. He was a top class amateur and has the talent to come again.

Turner vs. Mihaljevic

Turner blows away substitute Mihaljevic. Turner clobbered the Croatian with a left late in the first and then put him down and out with a right followed by a left hook in the second. The 25-year-old Dublin “Big Sexy” moves to seven wins by KO/TKO. He is a former Irish Youth champion and won a silver medal at the Irish Senior’s Championships. Mihaljevic, 37 is 2-7 in his last 9 fights but one of those two wins was a second round stoppage of Tom Dallas.

McKenna vs. Hanney

McKenna outboxes and then stops Hanney. This was a war from the first bell but in the end it was the power and accuracy of McKenna that won the day. Hanney came out firing punches. Southpaw McKenna had big edges in height and reach and after shipping some good rights from Hanney he settled down and was scoring with good counters. A clash of heads in the second saw McKenna suffer a cut above his left eye which bled for the rest of the fight. Again Hanney was throwing himself into ferocious attacks but was getting caught time and again with hard counters from McKenna.  Over the third and fourth McKenna took control. Hanney fought hard but he was too often missing with his punches whilst McKenna was landing head snapping lefts and rights. The fifth was one-sided but Hanney made a fighting start in the sixth. It did not last and soon he was being driven to the ropes and McKenna was unloading with both hands when the referee stopped the fight. Hanney protested but it was a good stoppage. Fifth win by KO/TK0 for the tall 27-year-old from Belfast. The draw on his record was a technical one when he was also cut. Dublin-born Hanney turned pro in Australia and this is his second fight since returning to Ireland.

Sheehan vs. Zsalek

Easy night for Sheehan as he outpoints overweight Hungarian. Sheehan had huge edges in height and reach over the fleshy Zsalek. Sheehan was able to land jabs and clubbing rights to the head as Zsalek presented almost a static target. The fight was too one-sided to be entertaining as Sheehan was able to tee-off on the shorter but heavier Zsalek. Thudding body punches from Sheehan occasionally spurred Zsalek into lunging forward and throwing some hooks but he was too slow and too predictable as Sheehan won every round without really impressing. Referee’s score 80-72 for the 28-year-old 6’5 ½” (197cm) Californian-based Irish fighter. He was Irish champion in 2008/2009/2010/2011 and 2012, won a gold medal at the European Union Championships and competed at the World and European Championships. Zsalek, 31, no real test for Sheehan. He fought a NO Decision with Sean Turner when they were both thrown out for fighting after the bell.

McCullough vs. Hernandez

McCullough makes impressive start but finally has to settle for a points victory. In the first McCullough was banging home sharp rights and left hooks. Hernandez tried to get inside and was nailed by a right counter which put him down. The Nicaraguan is an experienced survivor and he took the fight to McCullough and although rocked again later in the round he made it to the bell. From there although McCullough continued to bang home hard jabs, hooks and uppercuts. Hernandez was never again in danger of being stopped. McCullough wound up the pressure in round after round and although he had Hernandez hurt by body shots the Nicaraguan was still there at the last bell. Referee’s score 80-71. The 27-year-old from Belfast gets his third win since being halted in eight rounds for the Commonwealth title by Isaac Lowe in February last year. He will challenge Ryan Walsh for the British title in May which will be a big fight for him. Hernandez drops to 13 losses in his last 14 fights.

Barnes vs. Garzon

Former amateur star Barnes gets his second win as he is several classed above Argentinian oldie Garzon. Barnes was just too quick for Garzon. The Argentinian had trouble mounting any significant attacks as Bares sped around him peppering him with flashing combinations. Garzon did stop Barnes in his track with a right counter in the first but that was all the success he had. Barnes showed impressive speed and accuracy mixing his punches to head and body. He had Garzon on unsteady legs in the fourth and it was a disappointment that he was unable to stop the older man but he is still learning the pro game and has talent to spare. Referee’s score 60-54 for Barnes. The 29-year-old from Belfast won gold and silver medals at the Commonwealth Games and a gold medal at the European Championships and won bronze medals at both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. It remains to be seen whether he has left it too late to turn pro.”Renegade” Garzon, 40, is now 1-12 in his last 13 fights.

Sutcliffe vs. Aguilar

Sutcliffe keeps busy with win over Nicaraguan. Aguilar looked dangerous briefly in the first but after that it was all Sutcliffe. The Dubliner slowly broke Aguilar down with a body attack and by the fourth Aguilar was effectively finished and shipping punishment when his corner threw in the towel. Sutcliffe’s only loss came on a majority decision against the now European champion Anthony Yigit in May last year. Sutcliffe showed then was in European class and in November scored a good win over Chris Jenkins to emphasise that so 2017 could be a big year for him. Barcelona-based Aguilar is a dismal 0-24-1 in his last 25 fights.

Tokyo, Japan: Feather: Tomoki Kameda (33-2) W PTS 10 MikeTawatchai  (42-10-1). Bantam: Ryo Akaho (30-2-2) W PTS 10 Yushi Tanaka (19-2-3).

Kameda vs. Tawatchai (Chaiporn)

Kameda continues on his road back to a title shot as he floors and outpoints Thai. Kameda was by far the faster and more skilful boxer. He was able to slot punches through Tawatchai’s guard and scored heavily to head and body. In the sixth a body punch put Tawatchai down and after he beat the count he launched a strong attack. Once that petered out Kameda was back in command and Tawatchai went into survival mode. Kameda tried hard for an inside the distance win but by running and holding Tawatchai frustrated his efforts and lasted to the final, bell. Scores 100-88, 100-90 and 99-90 all for Kameda. The former WBO bantam champion (he was the first Japanese fighter to win a WBO title) lost consecutive fights against Jamie McDonnell for the secondary WBA bantam title in 2015 and was inactive for 13 months before returning with a win in October last year. He is No 4 super bantam with the WBA so will be hoping to get another title shot this year. Thai Tawatchai had won 7 of his last 8 fights.

Akaho vs. Tanaka

Akaho wins the vacant Japanese title with decision over Tanaka. These two were at the top of the Japanese ratings so a good, close fight was anticipated. Akaho made a fast start which seemed to throw Tanaka out of his stride. Tanaka showed his skills to take the second but the Akaho took over and shook Tanaka badly with a left hook in the fifth. At that point Akaho was 49-46 in front on all three cards. A clash of heads in the sixth opened a cut over the left eye Akaho and that seemed to affect his form and the rest of the fight was mainly low key with Akaho looking sloppy at times. He was winning rounds but not impressing and Tanaka staged a strong finish but by then it was too late. Scores 98-92 for Akaho from all three judges. Akaho was knocked out in two rounds when he challenged Pungluang for the WBO title in 2015 but is slowly working his way back and has four wins now. Tanaka was having his second shot at the national title so it is back to square one for him.

Mexico City, Mexico: Welter: Patricio Moreno (20-2) W PTS 10 Mauricio Pintor (20-3-1). Fly: Joselito Velasquez (2-0) W TKO 3 Diego Guerrero (2-1).

Moreno vs. Pintor

Moreno springs a mild surprise as he takes split verdict over Pintor. Really this should have been a unanimous decision. Moreno out punched Pintor from the start and dominated the early rounds. At the end of the fourth he had built a good lead winning all four rounds on two cards at 40-36 with the other card, which would be out of step for the whole fight, had it even at 38-38. Knowing he was behind Pintor put in a  big effort over the next four rounds. He was particularly effective with uppercuts and won three of the four rounds to make it tight after eight rounds at 77-75 twice for Moreno with the third judge having Pintor in the lead a widely differing 78-74. Pintor was now two points behind on two cards so needed a stoppage. That played into the southpaw hands of Moreno who did not need to take chances and was able to use quick, accurate counters against Pintor’s desperate attacks and he staged the stronger finish. Scores 97-93 and 96-93 for Moreno and 97-92 for Pintor. The 21-year-old Moreno’s two losses have been against world rated Dante Jardon and against unbeaten Russian Manvel Sargsyan in Russia. Pintor, the nephew of Hall Of Fame great Lupe Pintor, was inactive from August 2013 until returning with a win in October last year so he is 1-1 since coming back..

Velasquez vs. Guerrero

Former amateur star Velasquez gets his second inside the distance win. He had too much class for novice Guerrero and ended it with a body punch in the third round. Guerrero protested that the punch was low but the referee disagreed. The 23-year-old Velasquez win a gold medal at both the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games being the only Mexican gold medallist at both championships. He also competed at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. One to watch.

Benidorm, Spain: Cruiser: Maksim Vlasov (38-2) W KO 2 Tamas Lodi (18-9-2). Super Welter: Silverio Ortiz (36-19) W PTS 10 Ramzan Baysarov (7-0). Super Feather: Sakhib Usarov (22-0) W PTS 8 Ruslan Berchuk (11-7).

Vlasov vs. Lodi

No sort of test at all for Vlasov as he scores kayo over Hungarian Lodi. Vlasov made a patient start in the first. He was walking Lodi around the ropes and landing some light punches. In the second he continued to pace after Lodi until he took him into a corner and landed a right uppercut that put Lodi face down half out under the ropes. Lodi managed to struggle to his feet but not quickly enough to beat the count. Vlasov has lost important fights against Isaac Chilemba and Gilberto Ramirez but since moving up to cruiser he has scored eight wins in a row. Three losses in a row for Hungarian Lodi.

Ortiz vs. Baysarov

The experience of Ortiz just gives him the edge over novice Baysarov. The Russian made a confident start striding forward behind a stiff jab. Ortiz showed some good defensive moves. He was also coming in under Baysarov’s guard with bursts of hooks and uppercuts before tying Baysarov up smothering his work. Baysarov had a good sixth trapping Ortiz on the ropes and working to the body. He also landed a good combination to the head but by the seventh two tired fighters were doing more holding than fighting with Ortiz doing most of the scoring. In the eighth as they came out of a clinch Baysarov landed a light tap on the back of Ortiz’s head. The Mexican dropped to his knees with his head on the canvas. Initially the referee sent Baysarov to a neutral corned and then bent over asking Ortiz if he was OK but then started to count. Ortiz leapt up immediately protesting about the punch but the speed of his recovery when he realised the referee was counting showed he still had springs in his old legs. Ortiz made Baysarov pay for that punch with a leaping left hook late in the round. Ortiz came near to ending it in the ninth as he shook the Russian with a right and poured on the pressure but Baysarov survived. The Russian was exhausted and holding on throughout the tenth but late in the round a volley of punches from Ortiz saw Baysarov drop to his knees. He was up quickly and the bell went just after the eight count was completed. Scores 98-92, 97-92 and 96-93 all for Ortiz. The 34-year-old Ortiz had lost 5 of his last 6 fights but had almost 400 rounds of experience to just 34 for Baysarov and that proved the difference here.

Usarov vs. Berchuk

Usarov wins unanimous decision over Berchuk in a slow paced fight. Usarov was fighting on the back foot firing right jabs and straight lefts through the defence of Berchuk. In round after round Berchuk was coming forward and was competitive but he lacked any power and the skilful defensive work of Usarov left him few openings. Things livened up over the late rounds as Usarov was on the front foot more and letting the straight lefts go but it was the aggression of Berchuk that made the fight interesting as he kept coming even if he had very little success. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72 for Usarov.  Tajikistan-born a former undefeated WBO European champion Usarov, was inactive in 2014 and 2015. This is his third win since return to the ring in September last year. Russian Berchuk is very much an in-and-out performer but he gave Usarov some useful ring time.

Los Angeles, CA, USA: Light: W Romero Duno (13-1) KO 2 Christian Gonzalez (16-1). Duno upsets the odds as he crushes Gonzalez in two rounds. Gonzalez made a confident start coming in behind his jab and throwing hooks to the body Duno was also making good use of his jab and countering with quick punches from both hands. Gonzalez continued to pressure Duno and scored with two good left hooks. He looked to have shaken Duno with a couple of head punches but as he walked forward he was nailed by a straight right counter which sent him down heavily. When he got up he was staggering on rubber legs and stumbled back to the ropes. The referee took a while to decide he was fit to continue-which he wasn’t- but with only five seconds left in the round the bell went before Duno could land another punch. Gonzalez took the fight to Duno in the second and was forcing Duno back and looked to shake him with a right to the head. As he moved in to try to capitalise Duno landed a short right hook which put Gonzalez down for the second time. He managed to stagger to his feet but was unsteady and as the referee waived the fight over Gonzalez fell back to the canvas again.  The 21-year-old Filipino gets his twelfth win by KO/TKO and wins the WBC Youth Inter-Continental title. He was not rated in the top 15 in the Philippines ratings so this was a big win for him. Gonzalez tried to just walk through everything Duno threw and his leaky defence caught him out.

Lemoore, CA, USA: Light: Andy Vences (18-0) W PTS 10 Angel Hernandez (13-8-1). Super Welter: Danny Valdivia (14-0) W KO 1 Douglas Ataide (16-3-1).

Vences vs. Hernandez

Vences had height and reach over Hernandez and made good use of those in the early rounds. He was snapping out the jab and landing long rights with Hernandez struggling to get in range and not throwing enough punches. From the second round onwards Hernandez worked much harder pressing the fight, using his own jab and throwing rights but Vences was boxing well on the back foot and outscoring Hernandez and took the first three rounds.  From the fourth the problem for Vences was that he just could not keep Hernandez out and at times was even being out jabbed by the smaller man and drawn into a brawl. Hernandez took the fourth and the fifth  Vences switched to southpaw briefly in the sixth but Hernandez kept up the pressure. Vences boxed better in the seventh and eighth  finding the advancing Hernandez time and again with counters and not getting dragged into trading. Vences took the ninth as Hernandez appeared to be tiring. Hernandez found the strength to advance in the tenth but Vences again was more accurate and outscored Hernandez to emerge a worthy winner. Scores 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Vences with the middle score looking about right. The 25-year-old “Shark” was coming off a career best win with a technical verdict over Casey Ramos (23-0) in November but had to work hard for this win. Hernandez had won 4 of his last 5 fights and has yet to lose inside the distance.

Valdivia vs. Ataide

Valdivia crushes Ataide in just 57 seconds. A right cross sent Ataide stumbling and he was still on unsteady legs when a right and a thunderous left hook propelled him back to the ropes and down. He was up quickly and after the eight count Valdivia walked forward and sent him down again with a clubbing right and the fight was halted without the need for a count. The 24-year-old Californian was making the second defence of his NABF Junior title and gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. Brazilian Ataide was 7-1-1 in his last 9 fights.

Neuquen, Argentina: Super Light: Mauro Godoy (28-1) W PTS 12 Damien Yapur (12-6-3). Godoy win the vacant South American title with wide unanimous decision over Yapur. The fight started badly for the local fighter when a clash of heads opened a cut on his left eyebrow. Despite this Godoy was pressing the fight all of the way with Yapur on the back foot and looking to counter. It was far from exciting as Godoy dominated and Yapur mainly focused on defence. Another clash of heads in the eleventh round saw Godoy’s cut worsen but he boxed his way to the title. Scores 119 ½-113, 119-114 ½ and 118 ½-113 ½ all for Godoy. The former Argentinian champion lost his unbeaten record and his national title when he was halted inside a round by Xavier Luques Castillo in 2015 but has now won nine on the bounce including a win over Luques Castillo. Yapur is now 1-5-1 in his last 7 fights.

Edmonton, Canada: Light Heavy: Ryan Ford (11-0) W RTD 5 Rob Nichols (11-4-1). Light Cam O’Connell (15-0-1) W KO 4 Oscar Grano (16-4-1).

Ford vs. Nichols

Ford just too strong for local rival Nichols in a catchweight contest. The powerful Ford used a mixture of hooks from both hands to break game Nichols down. Ford was too quick with his punches and handed out quite a bit of punishment although Nichols never stopped advancing. In the end his corner decided their man was never going to win the fight and was shipping too many punches and they agreed with the referee to retire their man at the end of the fifth round. Ford the 35-year-old “Real Deal” , and Canadian No 1,won the UBO world title in Singapore just three weeks ago and is due to return there in May to defend his UBO title against Australian Renold Quinlan. Nichols, the Canadian No 1 cruiser had won his last 5 fights but announced his retirement.

O’Connell vs. Grano

O’Connell makes it a good night for Alberta fighters as he finishes Mexican Grano in four rounds. The Red Deer fighter was in control from the start although he found the Mexican southpaw an awkward opponent. He put Grano down with an overhand right in the second and then ended the fight in the fourth with a body punch that put Grano out of commission. It was some time before Grano recovered. O’Connell is No 2 in Canada at lightweight and this is win No 10 by KO/TKO. Grano was 5-0-1 going into this one.

Temuco, Chile: Feather: Cristian Palma (24-10-1) W DISQ 2 Guillermo Soloppi (22-14-2). Chilean champion Palma gets win as Soloppi is disqualified in a non-title fight. Palma edged the first and also dodged some headwork from Soloppi. The Argentinian kept using his head as a third glove and was finally thrown out. The 31-year-old “El Tigre” is king at home but has lost some tough matches on his travels. South American super feather champion Soloppi, 31, had scored a win over unbeaten Hugo Santillan to collect the South American title in January.

Nuremberg, Germany: Super Welter: Nuhu Lawal (25-2) W PTS 8 Nikolozi Gviniashvili (17-8-4). Lawal beats Georgian Gviniashvili. Lawal was constantly on the front foot slotting jabs through the defence of Gviniashvili and following up with straight rights. The Georgian made good use of his own jab when under pressure and fired back often enough to be competitive. Lawal began to throw more combinations as the fight progressed but too often his right was delivered with the glove open reducing much of its power. That helped Gviniashvili stay in the fight and he made Lawal work hard for the unanimous decision. The 34-year-old German-based Nigerian lost big fights last year to Martin Murray and Michel Soro so has some reconstruction to do. Gviniashvili  showed reasonable level skills and plenty of determination. He has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights  but is a bit better than the standard travelling losers.

Detroit, MI, USA: Bantam: Nikolai Potapov (17-0-1) W PTS 10 Antonio Nieves (17-1-2). Potapov gets a career best win as he decisions Nieves in a clash of unbeaten fighters. The two were well matched physically and from a view of fighting skills. In the fight Nieves was the busier and Potapov the more accurate. It really could have been scored either way without any real reason for complaint with one round either way being enough to swing the fight to either man. In the end two of the judges favoured Potapov’s accuracy and the extra power punches he banged home and gave him their nod. Scores  96-94 twice for Potapov and 96-94 for Nieves. It was that close. The 27-year-old Russian fought a draw with unbeaten Stephon Young last year and is rated WBO 9/WBA 10/IBF 13(11). Big setback for 29-year-old Nievas who will now lose his WBO No 5 rating and have to rebuild.

March 11

Verona, NY, USA: Middle: David Lemieux (37-3) W KO 3 Curtis Stevens (29-6). Light: Yuriorkis Gamboa (26-1) W PTS 10 Rene Alvarado (24-8). Super Light: Yves Ulysse Jr (13-0) W RTD 7 Zachary Ochoa (16-1). Super bantam: Diego De La Hoya (17-0) W PTS 8 Roberto Pucheta (10-10-1). Super Middle: D’Mitrius Ballard (16-0,1ND) W TKO 4 Zoltan Sera (28-12).

Lemieux vs. Stevens

Lemieux puts himself right back in the picture with devastating kayo of Stevens. Both were throwing heavy leather from the start. Lemieux landed a couple of good rights to the head and was making good use of a stiff jab. Stevens forced Lemieux to the ropes and fired a few punches but Lemieux got off the ropes and then staggered Stevens with a right. He took Stevens to the ropes and worked him over until Stevens punched his way out and landed some punches of his own. Lemieux finished the round strongly again landing rights to the head and also some spectacular left hooks to the body. No way was this fight was going the distance. Lemieux started the second as he finished the first taking Stevens to the ropes and firing left hooks to the body. Stevens was hiding behind a high guard looking to explode from there with big counters but he was taking too much and not throwing enough of his own. Stevens let his punches go a little more but Lemieux was working all of the time stabbing out his jab and firing to the body and near the bell he landed a good left uppercut/straight right that rocked Stevens. In the third Stevens stopped using a high guard and instead punched out more. Lemieux drove him to the ropes and landed a hard straight right followed by a booming left hook that sent Stevens down flat on his back half out under the ropes out cold. A spectacular knockout. Stevens was taken from the ring n a stretcher straight to hospital but made a good recovery there. Former IBF champion Lemieux, 28, looked very sharp and again showed the power that has brought him 33 wins by KO/TKO. Stevens was No 2 and Lemieux No 3 in the WBC ratings so with Jorge Heiland No 1 but not the mandatory challenger, another fight with Gennady Golovkin is on the horizon for Lemieux so he must be hoping for a Danny Jacobs win as Golovkin vs. Lemieux II would be a hard sell. The Canadian would like to get a shot at Billy Joe Saunders but is only No 4 in the WBO ratings. This was a brutal knockout and it would probably be a wise move for the 32-year-old Stevens to retire but he probably won’t

Gamboa vs. Alvarado

Gamboa gets a win but not an impressive one. At one time Gamboa looked to be on his way to stardom but somehow he strayed from that road. This was his first fight under the Golden Boy banner but it was a fight that very rarely came to life and there was a degree of booing during the contest. When he let his hands go Gamboa showed some flashes of his early career form. But he is basically a counter puncher and Alvarado was aware of that and rarely lead off in action so there long periods of dullness. A hard right from Alvarado in the seventh briefly wobbled Gamboa but the Nicaraguan failed to follow up. In the ninth Gamboa landed some good shots and for a while Alvarado was shaky even going to the canvas but it was ruled a slip. Early in the last round Alvarado put Gamboa down. It was counted but Gamboa protested it was a slip and it did look like one. He was a clear winner but will have to do better than this if he wants to get back to the top. A fight with Vasyl Lomachenko does not look a viable project on this basis.Scores 97-92 twice and 97-93 all for Gamboa. The 35-year-old Cuban was having his first fight for 17 months and only his seventh fight in six years so there is some excuse for his dismal performance but time is running out for the Cuban. It has been a bumpy road for Alvarado recently as he went through a 3-5 sequence in fights. However he was coming off a useful win over Jayson Velez last July and has only lost once by KO/TKO

Ulysse vs. Ochoa

Ochoa gets some good exposure and shows he is a solid, strong fighter and it will be interesting to watch his progress. Ochoa showed some nice skills but it was obvious early that he had no real power. Ulysse was forcing the pace and doing most of the scoring. It was an open fast-paced fight with quick light punches from Ochoa and harder single punches from Ulysse. More of a technical fight than an exciting one. Ulysse was starting to dominate by the third with a large bruise forming under the right eye of Ochoa. The fourth saw Ochoa spending more time trapped on the ropes and when he moved off the ropes was being out jabbed by Ulysse. Ochoa had a better fifth and even did some showboating but Ulysse applied constant pressure in the sixth. Ulysse brutalised game Ochoa in the seventh. Ochoa spent most of the time trapped on the ropes and Ulysse was teeing off with huge head punches. On three or four occasions the referee seemed on the point of stopping the fight but each time Ochoa threw some punches back but by the end of the round he was in a bad way and walked back to his corner on wobbly legs with his corner immediately retiring their man. Ulysse wins the vacant NABF Junior title and gets his ninth win by KO/TKO. The 28-year-old from Montreal was Canadian amateur champion in 2011 and 2012. He was quarter-finalist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games beating Fred Lawson but losing to Bradley Saunders and he also competed at the World Championships in 2011 and 2013 and the 2013 Pan American Championships. Brooklyn’s Ochoa showed good skills but in the end came up short on power.

De La Hoya vs. Pucheta

De La Hoya gets wide unanimous verdict. He showcased his skills early but tired badly by the end. Pucheta was coming forward in the first with De La Hoya on the back foot. De La Hoya was happy to let Pucheta advance and when he did De La Hoya was firing rapid combinations and getting away before Pucheta could respond. De La Hoya was particularly effective with left hooks which were jerking Pucheta’s head back and at the end of the round a left hook that landed on Pucheta’s shoulder sent him stumbling back to the canvas. The bell went just as at the eight count was completed but Pucheta did not look hurt. De La Hoya continued to fire rapid combinations in bursts of 4,5,6 punches. Pucheta took the punishment but kept advancing and managed to land a few heavy swings of his own which saw a bump rising under the right eye of De La Hoya. Pucheta had no answer to the speed of De La Hoya and was soaking up punishment in each round and was too often left swinging at empty air. De La Hoya’s footwork left Pucheta stumbling and a brutal fifth saw De La Hoya banging home punch after punch but Pucheta never stopped going forward. De la Hoya’s work rate dropped dramatically in the sixth and seventh. There was no more fleet feet and flashing combinations as he stood and traded and Pucheta was finally able to do some good work inside. De La Hoya boxed his way through the eighth and outscored Pucheta but again the tiredness showed as he was throwing single punches. De La Hoya a clear winner but it was worrying how his work rate dropped over the last three rounds. Scores 80-71 from all three judges for De La Hoya. The 22-year-old Mexican is a huge talent and is being sensibly matched . He has gone ten rounds and  is ready for a higher level of opposition. Pucheta showed tremendous courage and determination but is very limited and has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights

Ballard vs. Sera

Ballard towered over the Hungarian and with Sera fighting out of a semi-crouch the difference was magnified. Ballard was puzzled by the forward leaning lunging style of Sera but after the Hungarian landed a right Ballard landed some rights of his own. Again in the second Ballard was the only one landing scoring punches but the wild antics the head down lunging attacks of Sera and his holding was making it hard for Ballard to do good or look good. At the start of the third Sera was deducted a point for holding. Ballard was able to land some heavy shots and despite the warning Sera continued to hold whenever under pressure. After absorbing some head punches Sera lurched forward grabbing Ballard around his waist and deliberately lifted Ballard up and threw him to the canvas for which he should have been disqualified. Ballard went out to finish it in the fourth and dumped Sera on the canvas with a series of punches. The Hungarian spit out his gumshield to get some extra recovery time. He tried to clown but Ballard just walked in and dumped him on his rump against the ropes. Sera got up but the referee stopped the fight. The 23-year-old from Maryland, a National Golden Gloves champion and three-time winner of the prestigious National PAL Tournament makes it 12 win by KO/TKO but will have learned nothing from this exercise. Nine losses by KO/TKO for Sera.

Ludwigshafen, Germany: Super Welter: Demetrius Andrade (24-0) W PTS 12 Jack Culcay (22-2). Super Middle: Leon Bauer (11-0) W PTS 10 Soso Abuladze (10-2-1). Super Bantam: Gamal Yafai (11-0) W PTS 6 Khvicha Gigolashvili (14-18).

Andrade vs. Culcay

Andrade wins the secondary WBA title with a split decision over Culcay although for me Andrade was a clear winner. Both fighters were ultra conservative at the start. Culcay was on the back foot and occasionally lunging forward throwing punches but neither fighter landed anything of consequence. Andrade clearly took the second. He was nullifying Culcay’s rushes either by countering him on the way in or taking a step back so that Culcay rushes came up short and then he countered the German. They clashed heads early in the third but luckily neither was hurt. After the clash the first spell of sustained action saw them stand and trade inside. Andrade was warned for a couple of low punches but a got the better of the exchanges to take the round.  The fourth was Andrade’s as well. Culcay was throwing nothing at range but totally relying on head down rushes to get inside where he would flail away wildly. .Andrade went down briefly but it was a slip. Andrade was warned again for low punches in the fifth. Culcay started the round well but over the last minute Andrade bossed the action and added another round to his tally. The sixth was a closer round with Culcay pressing harder and having some success. For me Andrade gave Culcay a boxing lesson in the seventh. He kept on the move slotting home southpaw right jabs and straight lefts that kept Culcay off balance and he hardly threw a punch in the second half of the round. Andrade dominated the eighth and ninth. He was boxing at a distance and scoring with his jab and Culcay’s rushing tactics were not working nor was the old trick of trying to throw lots of punches in the last 30 seconds of the round. Culcay threw more punches in the ninth but it would be a big stretch to see him winning the round. Culcay pressed hard in the tenth scoring with his best punch so far an overhand right which had Andrade dipping at the knees but Andrade threw more and landed more in the round. Andrade bulled Culcay around in the eleventh staying inside and working the body. Culcay flashed some combinations but was outscored. Culcay put in a big effort in the last. At one point he bundled Andrade through the ropes but Andrade did the better work. Scores 116-112 twice for Andrade and 115-114 for Culcay. Scoring in boxing is subjective and all about perception and my perception was the 116-112 scores were generous to Culcay who was comprehensively outboxed throughout the fight. Andrade wins the secondary WBA title but now he needs to be more active. He made a big mistake when he failed to defend his WBO title and allowed himself to lose the title without a fight. As a result he had just one fight in 2014, one in 2015 and just one, his last one, in June 2016. Now he has a title again but not a full one and right now it is hard to see where a big money fight will come for him. Culcay was promoted from interim champion to secondary title holder so this was his first defence of his title. At times there was a wide class gap and he did not seem to have a plan B once Andrade had figured out how to deal with his lunging attacks. He has strong backing so will come again.

Bauer vs. Abuladze

Teenager Bauer keeps his IBF Youth with wide unanimous decision over Georgian. Bauer outboxed Abuladze early and over the later rounds was scoring with hard rights. Abuladze’s work rate dropped as Bauer’s pressure increased and the young German high school pupil ran out an easy winner. Scores  99-91 twice and 100-90 all for Bauer. The 6’2” (188cm) 18-year-old Bauer is a difficult fighter to plan a route for because of his youth but he is talented and promising. Abuladze, 20, is really just a 4 & 6 round prelim fighter.

Yafai vs. Gigolashvili

Despite the one-sided scoring this was a good fight. Yafai was never in any danger of losing but Gigolashvili was willing to keep coming forward and with his awkward style he was always competitive and in some ways it was the most entertaining fight on the card and a useful outing for the talented Yafai. Scores 60-54 twice and 60-52. The 25-year-old “Beast” from Birmingham a former World Cadet silver medallist and European Championships bronze medallist could yet follow his elder brother Khalid to a world title. Five losses in a row for Gigolashvili.

Mexico City, Mexico: Super Fly: Juan Francisco Estrada (35-2) W TKO 5 Anuar Salas (20-4). Bantam: Luis Nery (23-0) W RTD 4 Jesus Martinez (23-2).

Estrada vs. Salas

Estrada wins the vacant WBC Silver title as body punches wear down and destroy Salas. Salas made a confident aggressive start but by the end of the first round Estrada was scoring with good short counters although Martinez looked to have just had the edge. Salas was quickly coming forward in the second but Estrada took over and pounded Salas to head and body. Salas had a better third as he finally started to use his longer reach to score with his jab with Estrada again coming on strong late with a series of left hooks to the body in a close round. Salas showed some good touches over the first minute of the fourth round but then a relentless body attack from Estrada slowed him and vicious left hooks had the Colombian almost bending double to stem the punishment. If the rounds only lasted one minute Salas would have won them all but after his usual promising start in the fifth Estrada let the punches fly again and a left hook to the body saw Salas drop to his knees. He was up at eight and when the action restarted two crunching body shots put Salas down on his hands and knees in agony and he was counted out. The 26-year-old former undefeated WBA and WBO flyweight champion is rated No 3 in his new division by both the WBC and WBA and a fight with his previous conqueror Roman Gonzalez would be a huge attraction. Salas had won his last six fights but is now 0-2 on trips to Mexico

Nery vs. Martinez

Nery wins WBC eliminator as he obliterates Martinez in four rounds in an all-southpaw contest. Nery made a fast start banging home jabs and trying to overwhelm Martinez with hooks and uppercuts and Martinez was too busy defending himself to be a threat. Martinez made a more promising start in the second but Nery took over again and was landing heavily to head and body and Martinez had a swelling under his left eye by the end of the round. Nery really cut loose in the third. Martinez was being blitzed with a barrage of jabs, hooks and uppercuts. He tried to fight back but a left hook staggered him and he looked ready to go just as the bell sounded. Nerys handed out a brutal beating to Martinez in the fourth. The Colombian showed guts to keep walking into punishment and trying to fire back but Nerys was loading up on his punches and an exhausted and battered Martinez collapsed to his knees just as the bell went. He got up and made it back to his corner and they pulled him out of the fight.  The Tijuana “Pantera” the WBC No 2 makes it 17 wins by KO/TKO. Martinez showed guts but little else as his record was mainly built against modest opposition back home and this is his first fight outside Colombia.

Hong Kong, China: Super Fly: Rex Tso (21-0) W TKO 8 Hirofumi Mukai (13-5-3). Bantam: Mark Anthony Geraldo (34-7-3) W PTS 10 Kenny Demecillo (12-4-2). Super Bantam: Rey Megrino (24-20-4) W KO 1 Yuki Kobayashi (10-7).

Tso vs. Mukai

Relentless pressure from Tso finally becomes too much for Game Mukai. These two set a fast pace from the start. Both southpaw they made excellent use of stiff jabs with Tso just being that bit more accurate. They were both landing some good punches and by the end of the first round Mukai was cut over his left eye and Tso had a bruising on the bridge of his nose. Tso took over the fight from the second. His work rate was phenomenal as he never stopped marching forward and pumping out punches. He was leaving himself wide open to counters but Mukai was just being overwhelmed. Tso continued the frantic attacks and was outlanding Mukai 5 or 6 to 1 but he was also paying a price for ignoring defence with the bruise on the bridge of his nose weeping blood and his face puffing around the eyes. Tso was fighting a war of attrition. It did not matter what Mukai threw and he threw and landed a lot, Tso just kept walking in landing heavy hooks and uppercuts. Exhaustion and a right to the chin put Mukai down in the sixth and although he continued to land shot after shot on Tso in the seventh Tso was firing a storm of punches and seemed to have limitless stamina. In the eighth Tso drove Mukai to the ropes with a right and then landed a straight left to the body. Mukai went down and rolled on the canvas in agony. Somehow he made it to his feet but the referee stopped the fight. Tso, 29 retains his WBC Asian Boxing Council, WBO Asia Pacific and WBO International titles and gets win No 13 by KO/TKO. He is No 1 with the WBO so mandatory challenger to Naoya Inoue. If work rate alone won fights Tso would be unbeatable but he was lucky here that he was up against a light puncher in Mukai. Naoya is a different proposition altogether. Mukai has had two world title shots fighting a technical draw with Pongsaklek for the WBC fly title in 2011 and being stopped in nine rounds by Srisaket for the WBC light fly title in 2013. This is his fourth loss by KO/TKO.

Geraldo vs. Demecillo

Geraldo revitalises his career with unanimous decision over fellow Filipino Demecillo. Geraldo was looking to fight on the outside and use his southpaw style to box his way to victory whereas Demecillo was determined to get inside and work the body. Whilst Demecillo had plenty of success it was the clever boxing and experience of Geraldo that won out. Demecillo’s body work did pay dividends late in the fight but Geraldo managed  to stay in front and ran out a worthy winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 96-4 all for Geraldo. The 25-year-old “General” wins the vacant WBO Oriental title. He had a nine bout winning run that included a victory over current IBF champion Jerwin Ancajas but a spell of three losses in five fight derailed him. Now he is hoping to work his way back into contention. “Big Heart” Demecillo, 24, was 4-0-1 in his last 5 fights.

Megrino vs. Kobayashi

Megrino continues his amazing streak of good form as he obliterates Kobayashi in just 23 seconds. After some preliminary sparring Megrino landed a thunderbolt of an overhand right that put Kobayashi down and out cold. It may not be quite as dramatic as Lemieux’s left hook but it was a great knockout punch. The 30-year-old Filipino has turned his career around at a very late stage. This is win No 21 by KO/TKO but the remarkable thing is that after a 3-9-1 run of results he is now 9-0-1 in his last 10 fights including a third round stoppage of former WBC flyweight great Pongsaklek and is now No 3 in the Philippines. Former OPBF title challenger Kobayashi never knew what hit him.

Accra, Ghana: Light: Richard Commey (25-2) W PTS 12 Hedi Slimani (26-3). Bantam: Duke Micah (20-0) W RTD 8 Jonathan Aguilar (17-5). Welter: Fredrick Lawson (25-1) W PTS 12 Sakima Mullings (19-3).

Commey vs. Slimani

In a big night for boxing in Ghana Richard Commey overcomes stiff resistance from Belgian-based Tunisian Slimani. In an entertaining, close fight Commey just had the edge but Slimani pressed him hard all the way. A stormy sixth saw Slimani get through with hard punches for his best round of the fight and he also opened a cut over the left eye of the Ghanaian. Commey paid him back with a strong seventh and by opening a cut under Slimani’s left eye. The fighter from Belgium remained competitive over the late rounds although Commey rocked him a few times and ran out a clear winner. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 all for Commey. He wins the WBC International Silver title as he rebuilds. The former undefeated Commonwealth champion suffered two losses in his last two fights. Both were split decisions both in the other guy’s back yard firstly against Robert Easter for the vacant IBF title and then to Denis Shafikov. He deserves another title shot and is one of the few lightweights who would jump at a chance to fight Mikey Garcia.  “Hell’s Bells” Slimani was never outclassed here and he showed that he can fight at top level. He has won both the WBC African Boxing Union and WBC Francophone titles and had won his last 18 fights.

Micah vs. Aguilar

Micah wins the vacant WBC International title with win over Mexican Aguilar. Micah generally controlled the fight and won every completed round. Aguilar did better than that would suggest and made Micah work hard. The local fight had built a winning lead being 80-72 up on all three cards after eight rounds at which point Aguilar’s team pulled their men out due to an arm injury. Micah, 25, “The baby Faced Terminator” is also Commonwealth champion. He was rated only by the WBO and then at No 13 but this win should see him well placed in the WBC rankings. Aguilar was a live opponent having won his last 11 fight 10 of them by KO/TKO.

Lawson vs. Mullings

Lawson returns to the ring with a win but this one did not go down to well with Mullings or even the locals. Perhaps a mixture of ring rust and memories of the broken jaw he received in his last fight affected Lawson but he made a slow, tentative start. Mullings looked to picking up rounds almost by default as Lawson fought way below his best and was very lucky to get the majority decision. Scores were a totally disgraceful 119-109 for Lawson and 116-113 which was also generous to the Chicago-based Lawson with the other judge scoring it 114-114. Lawson wins the vacant WBC International Silver title. He looked on his way to a world title fight until he lost to Kevin Bizier on a tenth round retirement in November 2015. This was his first fight since then. Jamaican Mullings, 34, felt he was robbed and naturally wants a return. He had lost only one of his last 16 fights and that was a split decision against Clive Atwell in Atwell’s home base so once again Mullings finds despite the words of a Frank Sinatra song it’s not so nice to go travelling. The WBC International/International Silver titles tend to be good competitive matches as they were here. The show was attended by both the current and past Presidents of Ghana and hopefully will give boxing a big boost in Ghana.

Charenton, LA. USA: Light: Mason Menard (33-2) W PTS 8 Carlos Cardenas (22-13-1). Middle: Antoine Douglas (20-1-1) W TKO 5 Pablo Munguia (21-12).

Menard vs. Cardenas

Menard returns to his home base as he rebuilds after loss to Ray Beltran. The local hero looked on the way to a quick win when in the first he banged home a left hook over the low guard of Cardenas. Cardenas climbed to his feet and seemed ready to be taken as Menard is a good finisher. However when the action resumed after the eight count Menard did not go after Cardenas as hard as expected and the Venezuelan made it to the bell. It transpired that Menard had injured his shoulder which limited his punch output. That allowed Cardenas to be more active and led to a more exciting and competitive fight.  Even with the injury “Rock Hard Might” Menard was still taking the rounds and ended up with a well deserved unanimous decision. It is tough running shows like this and a fit Menard is the big draw in the area so the sooner the injury heals the better. Cardenas has lost a few fights lately but against names such as Mickey Bey, Juan Diaz and Robert Easter so had a depth of experience behind him.

Douglas vs. Munguia

Douglas was also returning after a loss and he was a big favourite here. Mexican, Munguia, a former Mexican welter champion, has had a bumpy ride over the last two years being thrown in as a record padder for some climbing fighters. Both had some rust to shed. Douglas was having his first fight for a year and Munguia was having his first fight for ten month but he gave Douglas a good fight. Douglas was streets ahead in skill but Munguia had that Mexican macho approach and he kept rumbling forward whatever Douglas threw at him making it a good action fight. Douglas had the power and accuracy and when he really opened up in the fifth the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. First fight for the 24-year-old Douglas since losing to Avtandil Khurtsidze in March last year Wins over Thomas Lamanna, Istvan Szili and Les Sherrington had put Douglas high in the ratings now he needs to build himself back there. The 38-year-old Munguia has lost five in a row but past wins over then unbeaten Samuel Vargas (15-0-1),  Luis Grajeda (17-1-1) and Edgar Ortega (15-1) show that he comes to fight.

Chichinales, Argentina: Middle: Gaston Vega (27-11-1,1ND) W KO 8 Adonisio Reges (19-10,1ND). Middle: Billi Godoy (35-4) W TKO 7 Hector Santana (25-8).

Vega vs. Reges

Vega wins the vacant South American title with victory over Brazilian Reges. The Brazilian did enough to edge the first round but then Vega bounced back and built a good lead by the fifth. Despite his dominance the Argentinian was bleeding from both his mouth and nose. Reges got back into the fight by taking the fifth but from there it was Vega’s fight as he handed out punishment in the sixth and seven. In the eighth a right from Vega almost immediately closed the left eye of Reges. The Brazilian retreated and then went down on one knee and stayed there until the count was completed. Now eleven wins by KO/TKO for 33-year-old Vega. Reges, 39, has been largely inactive with just one fight ain 2015 and his only fight in 2016 was in July.

Godoy vs. Santana

Godoy batters Santana to defeat and wins the vacant interim WBC Latino title. After two close rounds a punch from Godoy in the third started a swelling over right eye of Santana and Godoy began to dominate the action. Godoy was by far the better technical boxer and by the fifth Santana was bleeding heavily from the nose as Godoy banged home left jabs. He was also weakening Santana with left hooks to the body. Santana never really got into the fight and was under pressure in the seventh when the referee stopped the fight. After winning his first 26 fights Godoy was high in the world ratings with a victory over Jorge Heiland and close to a title shot. A shock decision loss to Sergio Sanders in 2012 and inside the distance losses to Heiland, Martin Rios and Brit John Ryder saw him drop out of contention. He has rebuilt with four wins in domestic fights but his chance of a title shot is long a dead issue. Santana another fighter who is largely inactive and this was only his second fight in 21 months.

Newstead, Australia: Super Bantam: Jarrett Owen (5-4-3) DREW 10 Emanuel Micallef (2-14-4). The Australian title remains vacant after Owen and Micallef end up all square after ten exciting rounds. Owen had Micallef on the floor but could not keep him there and the Filipino fought back hard. Micallef had a slight edge in reach but as usual Owen piled in and they gave the crowd ten rounds of exciting action only for the judges to come up with a majority draw. Scores 97-94 for Owen and 95-95 twice. Disappointment for local fighter Owen who had outpointed Micallef in his last fight in August last year. Micallef snaps an six bout losing streak.

Toowoomba, Australia: Super Light: Michael Katsidis (32-7) W PTS 8 Josh King (20-5). Katsidis returns with a win after two years away. Wearing a Greek warrior’s helmet into the ring Katsidis looked in good condition. He won this one on work rate and relentless  body attacks. King fought well when he could find room but too often he had his back to the ropes whilst Katsidis banged away with body punches. Some of these punches slipped too low and he lost a point in the seventh but it did not affect the outcome. Scores 79-72, 78-73 and 78-74 all for Katsidis. The 36-year-old former interim WBO lightweight champion was having his first fight since March 2015 but looked sharp. King was also shedding rust as this was his first fight since his eleventh round kayo loss against Ricky Burns for the WBO International title in November 2015 and he showed that he can compete at the top in domestic action if he fights on.

Prague, Czech Republic: Super Welter: Stepan Horvath (18-5) W TKO 8 Arthur Hermann (17-3). Super Light: Josef Zahradnik (8-0) W PTS 10 Michal Dufek (22-15-1). Heavy: Tom Schwarz (18-0) W PTS 8 Ivica Bacurin (26-10-1). Super Welter: Mohammed Rabii (1-0) W TKO 1 Laszlo Kovacs (11-7).

Horvath vs. Hermann

Horvath wins the vacant WBO European title with stoppage of Hermann. The first round was mainly a feeling out process with Hermann using his height and reach to box on the outside and Horvath pressing hard. The action heated up in the second but a critical moment saw Hermann suffer a bad cut over his left eye. It was ruled as coming from a punch and the position of the cut meant that the blood continually ran into his eye affecting his vision and his confidence. Horvath took advantage of that and began to boss the exchanges from the third and despite a big effort from Hermann in the fifth had built a good lead. Hermann defended strongly at the start of the sixth but Horvath was getting through with some hard punches at the end of the round. Horvath kept up the pressure in the seventh. A right followed by a series of punches in the eighth saw the referee stop the fight with Hermann still on his feet. The 34-year-old Czech, a former interim WBO European champion, gets his first win over a British/British based fighter having lost to Frank Buglioni, Chris Eubank Jr and Liam Williams. He had won his last five fights but against very modest opposition. Hermann 29, a British-based Kazak, had won 6 of his last 7 fights with the loss being to unbeaten Pole Kamil Szeremeta in 2015.

Zahradnik vs. Dufek

Zahradnik wins Czech title with unanimous verdict over experienced champion Dufek. Zahradnik was the better boxer and too quick for Dufek. Dufek has plenty of guts and never gave up but was never really in the fight. Scores 99-88, 99-91 and 99-92 all for Zahradnik. The 30-year-old new champion did not turn pro until he was 29 so has some catching up to do. Dufek, 33, had won his last four fights.

Schwarz vs. Bacurin

Germany heavy hope Schwarz just squeezes out win over Croatian Bacurin. It was not an impressive performance against the much smaller Croat. Schwarz built a lead over the first half of the fight but then faded. Both fighters hit bumps. Schwarz survived a standing count and Bacurin lost a point for punches to the back of the head. Schwarz had done enough to deserve the win over those early rounds but should not have been run this close by Bacurin. Scores 77-74, 77-75 and 78-77 all for Schwarz. The 22-year-old 6’5 ½ (197cm) Schwarz was having his first fight in nine months so some rust was to be expected but he will have to improve on this. Bacurin, 34, loses the big fight having been beaten by Tony Bellew, Michael Wallisch and Dillian Whyte.

Rabii vs. Kovacs

Olympian Rabii makes his pro debut with quick stoppage of Hungarian Kovacs. Rabii had big physical advantages and was walking Kovacs down from the start. He finally cornered him and floored him with a right cross and the referee just waived the fight over. The 23-year-old Moroccan won a gold medal at the World Championships and a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics but his proposed first pro fight fell through when the show in Morocco was cancelled. Now five losses by KO/TKO for Kovacs.

Le Tremblay en France, France: Yazid Amghar (17-0) W TKO 6 Jean Moraiti (14-11-4,1ND). 19 Amghar makes successful first defence of his national title with stoppage of past victim Moraiti. Amghar had no real problems as he won every round before the stoppage. The 27-year-old Amghar had outpointed in March last year. He is No 17 with the European Boxing Union in a tough division. Moraiti is now 5-5 in his last ten fights and has picked up a couple of minor titles along the way.

Ransbach-Baumbach, Germany: Cruiser: Dennis Ronert (26-1) W KO 2 Said Mbwela (37-21-5,1ND). Heavy: Yakup Saglam (38-4.1ND) W RTD 4 Ishmael Altintas (3-25-4). 21

Ronert vs. Mbwela

Ronert has no trouble with overmatched Tanzanian and scores a kayo in the second round. The 24-year-old Rhine Bomber put Mbwela down and out half way through the second round. That gives him 18 wins by KO/TKO. His loss was a majority decision against veteran Kai Kurzawa in March 2015. He was inactive from October 2015 until returning with a low level win in November last year. Mbwela, 39, drops to nine losses by KO/TKO.

Saglam vs. Altintas

Another poor match sees Saglam win when Altintas retires after four rounds. The 40-year-old Turk makes it 35 wins by KO/TKO. He gets beaten whenever he steps up having lost to by KO/TKO against Manuel Charr, Odlanier Solis and Joseph Parker. German Altintas came in as a very late substitute and is now 0-2-23 in his last 25 fights. As if that is not bad enough Saglam is 6’4” (193cm) and Altintas is 5’7 ½” (171cm). If you think that is small for a cruiser/heavyweight you have to remember that Altintas was 211lbs for this fight and 146lbs in 2008.

Oristano, Italy: Alessandro Goddi (30-1-1) W KO 3 Roland Oroszlan (8-3).

Quick win for Goddi over Hungarian novice. He floored Goddi with a left hook in the second and finished the job with a shower of punches in the third. The 29-year-old Italian “Highlander” has 19 wins and a draw in his last 20 fights. Three losses by KO/TKO for Oroszlan.

Siena, Italy: Super Welter: Orlando Fiordigiglio (26-1) W TEC 9 Howard Cospolite (15-6-2). Cruiser; Fabio Turchi (10-0) W PTS 6 Isossa Mondo (7-12).

Fiordigiglio vs. Cospolite

Fiordigiglio retains his IBF Inter-Continental title with technical decision over Frenchman Cospolite. The home fighter made the better start as he was able to box on the outside. Over the second and third Cospolite moved inside which is where he wanted to be and outworked the Italian. Fiordigiglio was able to keep Cospolite out more in the fourth and took the round. In the fifth the fast pace began to tell on Cospolite and Fiordigiglio was able to use his skills to edge the round with Cospolite throwing plenty but with no real accuracy. The sixth saw Fiordigiglio working the body well but Cospolite shook Fiordigiglio with a right in the seventh before a clash of heads opens a bad cut on the right eyebrow of Fiordigiglio. The eighth was an even round as Cospolite again turned up the pressure but Fiordigiglio boxed well and scored with good counters. At the start of the ninth the referee asked the doctor to examine the cut over Fiordigiglio’s right eye and the doctor ruled that the cut was too severe for the fight to continue. All three judges had Fiordigiglio ahead by 77-75. Important win for 32-year-old Fiordigiglio. He was stopped in eleven rounds by Cedric Vitu for the vacant European title in 2015 and this is his sixth win in a row since then. He knows he will have to keep winning if he is to get another shot at the European title before it is too late. Cospolite, 34, was 5-1-1 going into this one with the loss to Ruben Diaz for the European Union title and the draw with Patrice Sou Toke for the WBC Francophone title both coming at middleweight.

Turchi vs. Mondo

Turchi gets unanimous decision over Mondo. The local prospect sealed the first round with a sharp left hook and he scored well in the second and third. Mondo had a better fourth as Turchi took a rest and showed some good defensive work. Turchi picked up the pace in the fifth and sixth looking for an inside the distance win but Mondo survived and was competitive to the end. The 23-year-old Turchi won a silver medal at the World Youth Olympics and a bronze medal at the World Youth  Championships. Mondo has now lost 5 of his last 6 fights.

Bilbao, Spain: Welter: Kerman Lejarraga (19-0) W Gabor Gorbics (23-5).

Lejarraga was on the front foot from the start with Gorbics circling the perimeter of the ring and stabbing out occasional jabs. Lejarraga was walking the Hungarian down not throwing much but it was obvious he had the bigger fire power. Gorbics was throwing small bursts of punches but Lejarraga was able to walk through them and continue to stalk the Hungarian and score with his strong jab and straight rights. When Lejarraga cut loose in the fourth Gorbics was put down early by a left hook. He beat the count and despite some hard rights and hooks to the body Gorbics made it to the bell. Gorbics was hurt early in the fifth by a right and a right/left combination put him down.  He started to rise at three but then dropped down on one knee and finally got up at eight. Lejarraga continued to pile on the punishment until two left hooks sent Gorbics down again. He arose and survived some more body punches to the bell and then retired. The 25-year-old Bilbao “Revolver”, the European No 5, has now won 13 of his last 15 fights by KO/TKO. He has wins over Denton Vassell and Kim Paulsen but his more recent opposition has not been strong. Gorbics, 29, gets only his second loss by KO/TKO having been halted in eight rounds by Liam Williams in November

Nottingham, England: Super Feather: Sam Bowen (10-0) W TKO 4 Juan Luis Gonzalez (9-5). Bowen gets in some rounds as he prepares to fight for the vacant English title. Bowen was targeting the body from the start and he finally caught up with Gonzalez in the fourth. A left to the body put Gonzalez down. He made it to his feet but Bowen landed another left to the body and Gonzalez went down for the second time. He again beat the count but his corner threw in the towel.  This almost counts as overtime for Bowen. The 24-year-old has now won six by KO/TKO on the bounce with none of the other five going past the second round. Second loss by KO/TKO for former Spanish title challenger Gonzalez.

Las Vegas, NV, USA: Feather: Rico Ramos (26-5) W Erik Ruiz (16-5-1).

Ramos continues to reconstruct his career with wide unanimous decision over Ruiz. Ramos had too much of everything for Ruiz who did his job by providing Ramos with some work as he waits for a big fight to arrive. Scores 100-900 twice and 98-92 all for Ramos. After winning his first 20 fights and the WBA super bantam title things went badly wrong for Ramos as he then went 5- 5 in his next 10 fights. He took eleven months out after losing to Claudio Marrero in July 2015 and this is his third win since returning to action. Ruiz was 2-4 in a tough run that included fights with Jesse Magdaleno and Daniel Roman but he rebounded last year with a draw against Horacio Garcia (30-1) and a win over Hanzel Martinez (23-2) so was in good form.

Fight of the week: Rex Tso vs. Hirofumi Mukai just a war with an honourable mention to Jamie Conlan vs. Yader Cardoza

Fighter of the week: Has to be David Lemieux who electrified the crowd in his destruction of Curtis Stevens

Punch of the week: Lemieux’s left hook that flattened Stevens

Upset of the week: Most fight went to the favourites so I guess Filipino Romero Duno’s win over Christian Gonzalez was as close to an upset as we got.

One to watch: Ghanaian Duke Micah with Mexican Joselito Velasquez and Leon Bauer making progress

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