Eric Armit’s Weekly Boxing Report: Nick Blackwell, Andre Ward, Kell Brook

Eric Armit

Eric is well known for his extensive weekly round-up of world boxing results, detailing key action, from the last seven days. Eric also writes weekly snips and snipes. Eric has a vast knowledge and in his spare time he is a boxing supervisor.

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The Past Week In Action 30 March 2016
March 25

Indio, CA, USA: Welter: Antonio Orozco (24-0) W KO 1 Miguel Acosta (29-9-2). Super Feather: Andrew Cancio (17-3-2) W KO 3 Hugo Cazares (40-9-2).Welter: Keandre Gibson (15-0-1) W KO 6 Hector Velazquez (). Middle: Jason Quigley (10-0) W KO 1 Freddy Lopez (9-4). Feather: Emilio Sanchez (11-0) W KO 2 Gustavo Molina (22-10).
Orozco vs. Acosta
Orozco crushes experienced former WBA secondary title holder Acosta. Orozco was taking the fight to Acosta from the start with the Venezuelan on the back foot and trying to stay of the ropes. Half way through the round Acosta chose to stand and trade and was nailed with a left hook to the chin which sent him staggering into the ropes and down on one knee. He was up quickly and when the fight resumed Orozco again trapped Acosta on the ropes and two left hooks put Acosta down for the second time. Acosta managed to get up slowly but after looking closely at him the referee abandoned the count and waived the fight off. The 28-year-old from San Diego now has 16 wins by KO/TKO and victories over Martin Honorio, Steve Forbes, Emmanuel Taylor and Humberto Soto and is rated IBF 4(2)/WBC 5/WBO 8 at super light. Venezuelan Acosta, 37, looked fleshy and not sharp. He suffers his fourth loss by KO/TKO and was having his first fight in 15 months.
Cancio vs. Cazares
Cancio took a bit longer for his win but was also impressive. Cazares, a former world champion at light fly and super fly found Cancio too big and strong. Cancio attacked from the start hurting Cazares with body punches and opening a cut over the Mexican’s right eye in the first round. Cancio continued to punish Cazares in the second and floored the veteran early in the third. Cazares beat the count but continued to take punishment and although the bell was just ten seconds away Cazares’s corner stepped up to get the fight stopped. The 27-year-old Californian lost only one of his first 16 fights but then went 3-2 in five tough assignments beating Rocky Juarez, Jerry Belmontes and Rene Alvarado and losing in that sequence to Roger Gonzalez and Ronny Rios. He was out for 20 months after the loss to Rios in 2014 but had rebounded with the Alvarado win last December. Cazares was 38 last Thursday and this was his first fight since being knocked out in two rounds by Carl Frampton in April 2014.
Gibson vs. Velazquez
Gibson given a good argument by veteran Velazquez who came in as a late choice. Gibson was always in command with his quicker movement and higher work rate. The experienced Velazquez had come in as a late substitute and eventually tired as the pressure from Gibson wore him down. In the sixth Velazquez had nothing left and with Gibson unloading power shots throughout the round Velazquez’s corner retired their man at the end of the round. The 26-year-old from St Louis now has 13 wins in a row and six wins by KO/TKO. A former US Junior champion he scored wins over Jesses Vargas and Hylon Williams as an amateur. The 41-year-old Mexican Velazquez, a former challenger for the WBC title at both light and super feather has now lost 7 of his last 8 fights
Quigley vs. Lopez
Irish hot prospect Quigley destroys poor Lopez in just over two minutes. Quigley rocked Lopez with a head punch and then put him down with a right to the body. Lopez made it his feet briefly only to be put down again by another body punch and was counted out. Quigley, 24, was World Amateur Champion and ended with a run of 32 consecutive wins before turning pro. He has won 9 fights by KO/TKO with only one opponent lasting to the end of the fourth round. He could turn out to be better than Andy Lee. Lopez was also a late substitute and this is his third loss in a row by KO/TKO.
Sanchez vs. Molina
Sanchez impresses as he disposes off Molina inside two rounds. After dominating the first round with some stiff jabbing Sanchez ended it in the second. A series of punches slammed through Molina’s guard and put him on the floor. He made it to his feet but was helpless under another barrage and the referee stopped the fight. The local 21-year-old makes it 8 wins by KO/TKO with 5 first round finishes and 3 second round. Mexican Molina gets his sixth loss by KO/TKO. He was halted in five rounds by Brit Paul Butler in July and went the distance with prospect Alexis Santiago in October.

Miami, OK, USA: Super Welter: Willie Nelson (25-2-1) W TKO 2 Jonathan Batista (15-9). Super Light: Regis Prograis (17-0) W KO 1 Aaron Herrera (29-5-1). Welter: Ivan Golub (11-0) W RTD 6 Marlon Aguas (9-1). Super Light: Ivan Baranchyk (10-0) W KO 1 Nicholas Givhan (16-1-1). Super Welter: Justin DeLoach (14-1) W KO 1 Dillon Cook (16-0).
Nelson vs. Batista
A mark-time fight for Nelson as he builds on his impressive win over Tony Harrison with second round stoppage of Dominican Batista. The tall 28-year-old from Cleveland lost a biggie when he was outpointed by Vanes Martirosyan in October 2014 but after being out of the ring for nine months he blasted back with a ninth round stoppage over unbeaten 21-0 Harrison in July . He is rated IBF 12(11)/WBC 13. Batista out of his league as he falls to 8 losses in his last 9 fights.
Prograis vs. Herrera
Prograis gets this one over quickly. The promising southpaw went to the body from the start and Herrera was unable to escape the bombardment. Just past the two minute mark he was hit with a left to the body and went down and could not beat the count. Prograis has won 10 of his last 11 fights by KO/TKO and was coming off a good win over unbeaten Abel Ramos. He is No 15 with the WBA. He turned pro after losing out at the US Olympic Trials for the 2012 Olympics. On paper Herrera was by a long way the toughest test so far for Prograis. The 27-year-old Mexican won his first 24 fights before moving up in class and losing to world rated Jason Pagara and Selcuk Aydin. He regrouped with four wins and a technical draw with Jorge Paez and had lost only once inside the distance.
Golub vs. Aguas
Golub was on the front foot from the start with Aguas circling the perimeter of the ring and stopping occasionally to fire rights. Golub was using his southpaw right jab and long lefts to score at distance. In the second the fight was messy. Aguas came inside and grabbed Golub around the head. The Ukrainian tried to get free to throw punches but Aguas went backwards to the ropes and down on one knee. It looked more as if he was wrestled to the floor and he protested the count. A few seconds later Aguas landed a short right inside which saw Golub fall sideways to the canvas. He was up quickly but his legs were definitely unsteady although by the end of the round he had recovered. After that excitement Aguas changed his tactics in the third and fourth and stayed away from the ropes and threw more rights. Golub was doing the better scoring with his jab and counter lefts. In the fifth Golub was cutting off the ring more effectively and over the last minute drove Aguas around with a series of head punches and had Aguas staggering. The hunt was on in earnest in the sixth and just before the bell a series of punches from Golub dropped Aguas who lay half outside the ropes. He made it to his feet just as the bell went and his corner retired him. The 27-year-old “The Volk” makes it nine wins by KO/TKO. Ecuadorian Aguas, a former undefeated South American champion, was having his first fight since November 2014.
Baranchyk vs. Givhan
Baranchyk gets yet another first round win as he knocks out Givhan with the first punch he landed. After a few seconds sparring the Russian leapt in with a left to the head which sent Givhan hurtling across the ring and down in a heap half under the bottom rope. Only ten seconds had elapsed when the punch landed. The referee counted to ten with Givhan on his back just clawing at the rope in an attempt to get up. Time was given as 21 seconds. The 23-year-old Russian “Beast” has won 9 of his fights by KO/TKO including six in the first round. He wins the WBC USNBC title. Givhan never had a chance to show anything before the bomb landed and could be seen in his corner asking “he knocked me out ?” The 30-year-old from Michigan had ten wins by KO/TKO himself.
DeLoach vs. Cook
DeLoach ends this well-match fight with a thunderous right. The first round was pretty even but DeLoach did enough to edge the second. The third was again fairly even although DeLoach seemed to let his work rate drop. The fourth saw DeLoach putting pressure on Cook who managed to score with a good counter. DeLoach backed Cook up and as Cook probed with a lazy left jab DeLoach stepped in with a short right cross that slammed into Cooks jaw and put him down. He was like a man praying as he was slumped on his knees leaning down with his head almost touching the canvas. He tried to rise but tumbled over and was counted out. The 22-year-old from Georgia, trained by former champion Paul Williams, had been halted in three rounds by modest Cesar Vila in February last year and then won three low level fights before this blast out.. Cook, 25, is young enough to come again even after such a loss. As an amateur he reached the finals of the NGG’s five times without winning a title.

See Also

San Nicholas, Argentina: Super Welter: Guido Pitto (21-3-1) W PTS 10 Dario Pucheta (20- ). Super Welter: Juan J Velasco (11-0) W PTS 9 Guillermo de Jesus Paz (25-28-4,1ND).
Pitto vs. Pucheta
Pitto gets unanimous decision over Pucheta. Over the early rounds Pitto edged in front using his much longer reach and looked to be getting into his stride with a good third round. Pucheta had some success over the middle rounds he was able to get inside and often catch Pitto on the ropes. That success was short-lived as Pitto took over again dominating the seventh and eighth rounds. Pitto was matching Pucheta inside and although there was never much between them Pitto was outscoring his rival. Pucheta made a desperate attempt in the last round and although he took that one it was not enough and Pitto emerged a clear winner. Scores 98-94, 98 ½-94 ½, 98 ½-96 ½ all for Pitto. The 28-year-old Argentinian No 5 impressed in fights in Europe where he halted Reda Zam Zam (27-1) and scored a win over then unbeaten current interim WBA champion Jack Culcay. The German got his revenge but only just with two judges giving it to Culcay 115-113. His last fight in Europe in 2014 saw him stopped in the twelfth round of a fight with Zaurbek Baysangurov for the vacant IBO title. He is now 3-0-1 since then. Pucheta, 29, also had a good win on his travels when he halted Namibian Bethuel Ushona in 2014 but was then inactive until last October when he was stopped in two rounds by Demetrius Andrade.
Velasco vs. Paz
Velasco wins the vacant WBA Fedebol title with wide decision over Paz. Velasco almost threw this one away. He was in control for most of the fight using plenty of body punches and floored southpaw Paz with a heavy right cross in the fourth. Paz used his extensive experience to survive but was way behind on points when after being shaken by a left uppercut Paz landed a hard left of his own that put Velasco down. Velasco got up and although Paz tried hard for a finish in the last round Velasco was a long way in front. Scores 88-81, 88-82 and 87-82 for Velasco. Former top amateur Velasco who represented the “Condors in the AIBA tournament, was going past the sixth round for the first time. Paz, 35, was 6-3-1 in his last 10 fights including good domestic wins over Gumersindo Carrasco and Xavier Luques Castillo.

San Francisco, Argentina: Light: Javier J Clavero (17-1) W PTS 12 Mauricio J Munoz (31-8). Clavero retains his South American title with a split decision over Munoz. It was a close hard fought contest and very even over the first four rounds. Over the middle rounds the youth and higher work rate just gave Clavero the edge over the more experienced Munoz who was better with his punch selection but not letting his punches go enough. Clavero had a good ninth but Munoz had paced the fight better and looked to have taken two of the last three rounds. Scores 118 ½-115 ½ and 117 ½-115 ½ for Clavero and 117-116 ½ for Munoz. The 22-year-old Clavero has now won 14 in a row and is FAB No 4. Munoz, 30, lost on points to Evgeny Gradovich for the IBF feather title and also to Brit Stephen Smith for the vacant WBC Silver title in 2014. He is now 3-3 since then including a good win over Daniel Brizuela which won him the South American super feather title.

Lagos, Nigeria: Middle: Abolaji Rasheed (7-2-1) W TKO 3 Daniel Adjei Sowah (14-5-2). Super Light: Olaide Fijabi (5-0) W TKO 6 Djamiou Ekekpo.
Rasheed vs. Sowah
“Afonja Warrior” Rasheed halts Ghanaian Sowah in three round is a fight for the vacant West African Boxing Union (WABU) title. Rasheed gets his third win by KO/TKO. He had moved up after failing to win the Nigerian title in December. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Sowah.
Fijabi vs. Ekekpo
Nigerian Fijabi lifts the vacant WABU title as he halts Benin fighter Ekekpo in six rounds. Fijabi won the national title in December with a fourth round kayo of unbeaten Sadiq Ahmed. No information on Ekekpo. Fijabi won the $5,000 prize as the best boxer on the show.

Bangkok, Thailand: Fly: Yodmongkol (39-3) W KO 8 Samuel Tehuayo (19-37-2).
Yodmongkol retains his PABA title with kayo of Indonesian Tehuayo. The Thai was walking Tehuayo down relentlessly. Both showed some sharp boxing, quick jabs and combination punching but slowly a diet of left hooks to the body and straight rights wore Tehuayo down. Many of Yodmongkol’s shots strayed low but not the one that finished the fight. In the eighth a series of straight rights followed by a hook to the body saw Tehuayo take a knee. He was up at six but was trapped on the ropes and a body punch put him on the canvas in agony and he was counted out. The 25-year-old Yodmongkol, a former interim WBA champion, now has 25 wins by KO/TKO. His only loss in his last 34 fights was a stoppage by Juan Carlos Reveco for the secondary WBA title in December 2014. Tehuayo, 26, has just one win in his last fifteen fights and this is his seventh loss by KO/TKO.

Thailand: Bantam: Saenganan (16-0) W PTS 12 Eric Panza (9-7-1).
Thai Saenganan win the vacant IBF Pan Pacific title with very close unanimous decision over Filipino Panza. Saenganan built an early lead and then had to hold on as Panza staged a strong finish. The little 16-year-old won on scores of 115-113 from all three judges. He turned pro at 13 but his opposition has been poor with nine of his victims never having had a traceable fight. Panza had also taken world rated Petch Sor Chitpattana the decision.

London. England: Super Welter: Gary Corcoran (15-0) W PTS 10 Danny Butler (25-6). Light Heavy: Tom Baker (13-0) W PTS 10 Jack Morris (14-3-1).
Corcoran vs. Butler
Corcoran wins the vacant WBO Inter-Continental title with wide unanimous verdict over Butler. Corcoran led from bell to bell constantly applying pressure and focusing on a body attack. Butler got into the fight briefly in the fourth but he was unable to get onto the front foot and was outworked an out-jabbed with Corcoran cruising to victory. Scores 100-89 twice and 99-90 all for Corcoran. The 25-year-old “Hellraiser” from Wembley has wins over Rick Godding (21-0-1) and unbeaten Rock Skelton and is rated No 18 in the EU ratings. Butler, 28, had a run of 4 losses in 5 fights including a stoppage by Darren Barker for the CBC and vacant British title when he came in at just a couple of days notice. He rebounded with six wins including victories in domestic action against Frankie Borg, Thomas Costello and Cell Renda and is better than he showed here.
Baker vs. Morris
Baker wins the vacant English title as he floors and outpoints Morris. It looked an even match on paper but the jabbing power, accuracy and movement of Baker saw him win all the way. He floored Morris in the third with a right/left /right combination. Morris made it to his feet and although unsteady made it to the bell. Morris recovered well and had a good patch at the start of the sixth but Baker finished the round strongly and then boxed his way to victory. Scores 100-90 from all three judges. Baker, twice a runner-up at the ABA Championships is a former unbeaten BBB of C Southern Area champion at super middle. Morris, 33, had lost only one of his last 16 fights going in but was well beaten here.

Aberdeen, Scotland: Heavy: Gary Cornish (22-1) W PTS 6 Kamil Sokolowski 1-5-1). Feather: Darren Traynor (12-1).
Cornish vs. Sokolowski
Cornish starts his rebuilding with points win over British-based Pole Sokolowski. The tall “Highlander” was unable to shake the Pole but outboxed him all the way and won every round. Referee’s score 60-54. The 6’7” (201 cm) Cornish, 28, was having his first fight since being stopped inside a round by Anthony Joshua for the vacant CBC title in September. Sokolowski, 29, has only lost once inside the distance and that was by Dillian Whyte.
Traynor vs. Volosinas
Traynor also rebuilding after a first pro loss. He had no trouble with travelling loser Volosinas and eased his way to taking every round. Referee’s score 60-54. The 29-year-old local fighter was halted by Ryan Walsh for the British title in January. Young Lithuanian Volosinas, 25, has lost his last 23 fights but has lost inside the distance only 5 times.

March 26

Sheffield, England: Welter: Kell Brook (36-0) W TKO 2 Kevin Bizier (25-3). Light: Luke Campbell (13-1) W TKO 2 Gary Sykes (28-5). Heavy: David Allen (9-0-1) W RTD 4 Jason Gavern (27-21-4). Super Feather: Andy Townend (16-3) W TKO 1 Craig Poxton (9-4). Feather: Leigh Wood (17-1) W KO 2 Lee Glover (9-4). Middle: Adam Etches (20-1) W TKO 4 Zoltan Sera (22-8). Super Feather: Jordan Gill (16-0) W PTS 6 Chris Adaway (4-13-2).
Brook vs. Bizier
Brook retains his IBF title in impressive style as he crushes Bizier inside two rounds. Bizier was coming forward right away with Brook on the back foot spearing the Canadian with jabs and showing plenty of movement. Brook scored with an uppercut inside and a right to the head that seemed to momentarily shake Bizier but the Canadian was quickly coming forward again. Brook was threading jabs through the defence of Bizier and for a short period switched to southpaw before ending the round by scoring with jabs and short rights. Brook started the second landing a series of jabs and rights to the head and Bizier was driven back to the ropes. The Canadian got off the ropes to ring centre and continued to march forward with Brook finding plenty of gaps for his jab. Bizier landed a couple of rights and was forcing the fight lunging forward and forcing Brook back. As he lunged in Brook took a step to his right and landed a chopping short right which sent Bizier staggering across the ring with Brook following and Bizier tumbled down against the ropes. He was up at six but looking very shaky and when the eight count was completed Brook landed a right to the side of the head, a left hook and a right uppercut which sent Bizier down for the second time. The Canadian was on his knees looking out to the crowd obviously finished and as the referee counted Bizier fell sideways to the canvas and the fight was stopped. Brook looked very sharp, was too quick for Bizier and that right that caused the first knockdown was obviously part of the fight plan as Brook had missed Bizier’s chin with the same punch just seconds before he executed the right that marked the beginning of the end. There are better fighters than Bizier out there but on this performance “The Chosen One” is up there with the best. Bizier was flattered by his No 1 rating from the IBF having twice lost close decisions to former Brook victim Ionut Dan Ion but winning a final eliminator against unbeaten Frederick Lawson earned him this fight but Brook was in a different class.
Campbell vs. Sykes
Campbell gets back in the winning column in style and collects the vacant CBC title. The Olympic gold medallist had height and reach over Sykes and made good use of his southpaw right jab to control the action. Sykes was launching attacks but Campbell’s jab was constantly in his face and when he did get inside Campbell was countering with sharp right hooks. Sykes was pressing hard again in the second and managed to score with a couple of rights. Again Campbell’s jab was forcing Sykes to take chances to close the distance. As he came in a left from Campbell landed high up on the right side of Sykes’s head. It did not look to have landed flush but Sykes staggered backwards and realising he had Sykes hurt Campbell followed through with two more punches. They were partially blocked but that initial punch had unhinged the legs of Sykes and he went down heavily on his side. He made it to his feet at six but when the eight count was over Campbell drove Sykes to the ropes and rained punches. At first they were arm punches that Sykes blocked but when he raised his head over his guard Campbell landed a series of head punches that saw the referee stop the fight just as the towel came in from Sykes’s corner. The 28-year-old Campbell looked back to his best. He had looked less than sharp in losing his unbeaten tag on a split decision against little Frenchman Yvon Mendy for the WBC International title in December now he has taken a first step back. Sykes, 32, a former British and English champion at super feather, gets only his second loss by KO/TKO.
Allen vs. Gavern
Allen takes care of late substitute Gavern. The American made a fast start and threw in a lot of verbal stuff as well as punches but Allen was not fazed. He boxed sensibly using his jab to control the action and slowly stepping up the pace. In the fourth he started landing heavy rights and Gavern looked in trouble and it was no real surprise when he retired at the end of the round. The 24-year-old 6’3” (191cm) “White Rhino” was moving up to eight rounds for the first time but did not need the extra rounds for victory as he gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. Gavern came in at very short notice and tired quickly. He was knocked out in three rounds by Anthony Joshua in April last year and then won a low level local fight in July.
Townend vs. Poxton
Townend retains his English title as he floors Poxton three times for quick win. Both started fast with plenty of movement and quick stabbing jabs. Just past the two minute mark Townend stepped in with a thunderous right uppercut which put Poxton down on his back. He was badly shaken but made it to his feet. After the count he tried to punch with Townend but a right cross put him down on one knee. He jumped to his feet immediately but was wobbling badly. When asked to walk forward his legs were unnaturally stiff and an attack by Townend punctuated by a hard right put him down again. He again got up quickly but the referee rightly stopped the fight. Nine wins in a row and 11 wins by KO/TKO for the 26-year-old “KO Kid” the EBU No 10. Poxton, 27, had lost a close decision to WBO title challenger George Jupp in December 2014 but just got nailed by a punch that would have most boxers down.
Wood vs. Glover
Wood shows real finishing power as he halts Glover to win the vacant BBB of C Midlands Area title. After taking the first round Wood hurt Glover early in the second. He then stalked forward confidently with his hands at waist level and landed a straight left that sent Glover staggering back against the ropes Wood then unleashed a series of head punches until a finishing left/right/left combination saw Glover go down. The referee started to count and Glover got up but then went straight back down again and the referee stopped the fight. Glover protested that he had realised he got up too early and had gone down to take the advantage of the remaining count but by going down without a punch he gave the referee no choice but to stop the fight. The 27-year-old “Leigh-thal” Wood gets his ninth win by KO/TKO. His only loss was a stoppage against current European and WBC Silver champion Gavin McDonnell in 2014. He has built impressively since then with 6 wins, 5 by KO/TKO. Glover was having only his second fight in 16 months. He fought only once in 2015 being knocked out by Andy Townend in seven rounds in September.
Etches vs. Sera
“The Sheffield Bomber” Etches takes another step along the road to putting his loss to Sergey Khomitsky behind him. The hard-punching local had Hungarian Sera down in the third and fourth rounds before the fight was stopped. The 25-year-old Etches lost his unbeaten tag by kayo against the dangerous Khomitsky almost exactly a year ago but has now scored two quick wins to take his total of victories by KO/TKO to 17. Sera is 0-3 in fights in the UK with all three losses by KO/TKO.
Gill vs. Adaway
Gill floors and outpoints the always competitive Adaway. He had Adaway on the canvas in the second round but then seemed to ease up letting Adaway into the fight. Despite that he had a big edge in skill and was never really in trouble as he eased to victory. Referee’s score 58-55 to Gill. The promising 21-year-old hails from Chatteris the same town as one of Britain’s most popular and exciting fighters Dave “Boy” Green so he has a lot to live up to. Adaway is 0-7-1 in his last 8 fights but he did his job well here making Gill work for his win.

Oakland, USA: Light Heavy: Andre Ward (29-0) W PTS 12 Sullivan Barrera (17-1). Feather: Joseph Diaz (20-0) W PTS 10 Jayson Velez (23-2-1). Super Light: Maurice Hooker (20-0-2) W KO 1 Wilfrido Buelvas (17-6). Heavy: Zhilei Zhang (8-0) W KO 3 Tyree Ortiz (5-3,1ND).
Ward vs. Barrera
Ward boxes his way to low key win over Barrera and showcases his old skills which are still there and will only get better with more ring time. The first round saw Barrera trying to walk Ward down and Ward scoring with quick jabs and body punches with one jab setting Barrera back on his heels. Barrera scored with a good right in the second but it was Ward who did most of the scoring with his jab, left hooks and quick combinations. Barrera looked the bigger man and was trying to bully Ward to the ropes but in the third he left an opening as he came forward and a left hook which landed on to top of his head knocked Barrera over. He was up quickly and although Ward fired some hard combinations Barrera was never again in trouble. Ward continued to outbox the much slower Cuban. He was slotting home his jab landing thudding hooks to the body and showing excellent movement. Barrera was willing and kept marching forward and had some success but he was too slow to present a real danger as Ward dictated the pace of the fight and did the better work inside and outside. Ward continued to pile up the points without ever looking likely to repeat the knockdown. Both scored well in the eighth. Ward rocked Barrera with a left hook and Barrera snapped Ward’s head back with a solid jab. Late in the round as Ward moved in he landed a low left hook. Barrera went down but to his credit did not make a fuss and got up quickly. The referee penalised Ward a point for that punch and the remainder of the round featured more wrestling than boxing. Ward continued to outbox Barrera over the closing rounds easily avoiding the Cuban’s efforts to land the big punch he needed to win the fight. Barrera had a good spell at the start of the eleventh trapping Ward on the ropes and landing some head shots and Ward was showing a small cut on his left eyelid but it was not a factor. In the last Ward was really just looking to stay out of trouble and holding a lot but the win was his. Scores 117-109 twice and 119-107. The 32-year-old “Son of God” Ward, had Sergey Kovalev watching in the arena and a fight between them later this year seems certain provided none of the three sanctioning bodies whose title Kovalev holds orders otherwise but that is the advantage of having three titles, two is more than enough. I feel Ward will want another fight before facing Kovalev. Barrera, 34, had scored wins against a very over the hill Jeff Lacy, Hakim Zoulikha and Karo Murat, hardly household names, and his slower, ponderous style was just right for Ward but more importantly for a reason only the IBF are aware of Barrera was their No 1 so Ward becomes the mandatory challenger for Kovalev’s IBF title.
Diaz vs. Velez
Diaz underlines his potential with one-sided win over talented Velez. Diaz won the first round being quicker and more accurate but Velez took something out of the round as he opened a cut under Diaz’s right eye. Velez had some success in the third and fourth but not enough to win the rounds. Southpaw Diaz was then scoring continually with his left to body and head. Velez was trying to get into the fight and be competitive standing and trading in the exchanges but Diaz had the speed and harder punch so it was literally a losing battle for Velez. Diaz tried hard to get a stoppage over the last two rounds but Velez was not about to crumble and he fought hard to the bell. Scores 100-91, 99-91 and 98-92 for “JoJo” Diaz who retains his WBC NABF title. As an amateur Diaz was NGG champion in 2010 and 2011, competed at the 2012 Olympics and was a quarter-finalist at the World Championships. He looks capable of fulfilling his promise. He is No 10 with the WBC and ready for more big fights. Despite this loss Velez is a world class fighter. He drew with Evgeny Gradovich for the IBF title in 2014 and lost a close decision to Ronny Rios for the vacant WBC Silver title in November.
Hooker vs. Buelvas
Hooker stays on course for some big fights as he blows away Buelvas inside a round. The hard punching Hooker was just too much for Buelvas. He was floored twice, the second time from a body punch, and was unable to beat the count. The 26-year-old “Mighty Mo” from Texas moves to 15 wins by KO/TKO. In his last fight in October he took a split verdict over Canadian hope Ghislain Maduma and is No 7 with the WBO. Colombian Buelvas, 27, was once 15-1 but has now gone 2-5 in his last 7 fights. There has been some stiff opposition including Humberto Soto, Aaron Herrera and Nery Saguilan in those five losses.
Zhang vs. Ortiz
Chinese heavy Zhang puts Ortiz down three times on his way to a third round kayo and his 5th win by KO/TKO. The 32-year-old 6’6” (198cm) Zhang was a silver medallist at the 2008 Olympics and twice won a bronze medal at the World Championship. He scored wins over Vyacheslav Glazkov and Joseph Parker. Third early knockout loss in a row for Ortiz.

London. England: Middle: Chris Eubank Jr (22-1) W TKO 10 Nick Blackwell (19-4-1) W . Heavy: Hughie Fury (19-0) W PTS 10 Dominick Guinn (35-11-1). Light Heavy: Frank Buglioni (18-2-1) W TKO 1 Olegs Fedotovs (21-25).
Eubank vs. Blackwell
As I write Nick Blackwell is still in an induced coma so I add my voice to all those who have hoped that Nick recovers and returns to good health. In this British title fight two punches won the fight for Eubank. Blackwell never found an answer to the left jab of Eubank and equally important seemed to have any defence against the Eubank uppercuts. Boxing on the retreat Eubank had that jab working early in the first round. Blackwell’s strategy was to walk forward behind a high guard trying to force Eubank to the ropes where his mobility would be less of a factor. It was also a long term strategy to make Eubank fight three minutes of every round and look for a late stoppage as Eubank tired. In that first round Eubank was able to slot his jab though the middle of Blackwell’s high guard and score with quick combinations to clearly take the round. In the second Blackwell had a bit more success with his own jab and although Eubank was already finding the target with his uppercuts it was a close round. In the third both landed jabs but Eubank showed his superior hand speed as he fired home a rapid combination of punches switching from head to body. Blackwell continued to stride forward and the pace of the fight was fast. He landed his best punch of the fight a left hook that momentarily staggered Eubank. By the end of the third round Blackwell was bleeding from the nose an injury which would plague him for the remainder of the fight. There was very little change in the pattern of the fight with Blackwell continuing to march forward and Eubank stabbing his jab though Blackwell’s guard and firing rapid combinations and scoring time and again with vicious uppercuts which snapped Blackwell’s head back. The blood continued to drip from Blackwell’s nose making his face a bloody mask and despite his best efforts he was losing the fight. In the seventh and eighth rounds Eubank started with fierce attacks trapping Blackwell on the ropes and unleashing a storm of punches. On each occasion with the referee watching the action closely and ready to step in Blackwell managed to launch timely punches of his own to show he was still capable of countering and rode out the storm In the ninth Eubank’s work rate dropped and he seemed to be arm weary from those ferocious attacking spells and for a short while it looked as though Blackwell’s long term strategy might work. In the tenth Eubank was back on the attack and standing and trading punch-for-punch with Blackwell. Once again Blackwell’s face was covered in his own blood but much more worrying was a big swelling that had emerged over Blackwell’s left eye. He also had a small cut on his left eyelid and the referee stopped the fight to have the ringside doctor examine the damage and the doctor advised the fight should be stopped. Eubank had showcased his remarkable skills his clever defensive work, his laser guided jab, fast hands and real power. Blackwell had shown strength, determination and courage-too much courage. After the fight was stopped there was no sign of the distress to follow. Blackwell was walking about the ring. He went to congratulate Eubank and was in conversation with his corner team so his collapse was totally unexpected. He quickly received medical attention before leaving the ring on a stretcher to go to hospital where it was determined he had suffered a bleed on the brain and was put in a coma. Certainly he took a lot of punishment but the referee was carefully monitoring the fight when Blackwell was under fire and on those occasions when Blackwell was on the ropes Blackwell always threw a few punches back to show he was still in the fight. Until the sudden swelling over Blackwell’s left eye it looked as though the fight would go the full twelve rounds as both fighters were tiring and without the benefit of hindsight I felt it was a well timed stoppage by an experienced referee.
Fury vs. Guinn
Fury has no trouble with aging Guinn who was giving away height, reach and 19 years to Fury. The bout lacked any real excitement as Fury was too quick and too mobile for the plodding Guinn and predictably won every minute of every round. He got some ring time and again shows progress. At 21 there is no need to rush him but he will learn very little from fights like this. Referee’s score 100-90 for Fury the EBU No 8. Guinn, 40, showed a good chin, which has helped avoid any losses by KO/TKO in his career, but was having his first fight 13 months and with that last fight being a win inside a round it means that he had less than three minutes ring time in the last 31 months.
Buglioni vs. Fedotovs
Buglioni makes good start as he moves up to light heavy. Latvian Fedotovs fired off some punches early but they were arm punches and gave Buglioni no problems. The Brit had scored with a couple of good punches then threw a jarring left jab and a right uppercut and Fedotovs was badly shaken. Buglioni came after him with head punches from both hands. Again Fedotovs threw some punches but Buglioni blocked them, drove Fedotovs to the ropes and blasted away until the referee stepped in to save the Latvian. In his first fight since losing on points to Fedor Chudinov for the secondary WBA super middle title Buglioni, 26, looked sharp and showed power but will need stronger tests before we can judge how much of a danger he will be in this new division. Fedotovs, 31, gets his eighth loss by KO/TKO and he is 2-7 in his last 9 fights with a points loss to Rocky Fielding over eight rounds and a first round loss to Callum Smith in those figures.

Mexico City, Mexico: Light: Dante Jardon (29-5) W PTS 12 Juan Carlos Salgado (26-6-1). Super Feather: Juan Jose Martinez (25-2) W PTS 10 Emanuel Lopez (19-5-1).
Jardon vs. Salgado
Jardon wins unanimous decision and retains his WBC International Silver title. Although the decision was unanimous this one was hot from first to last as local bragging rights were also involved. To win this one Salgado had to keep Jardon on the back foot and on the outside. That worked early but eventually the pressure told and Salgado was fighting Jardon’s fight as they swapped punches toe-to-toe. Jardon was scoring heavily to the body and had opened a small cut over Salgado’s right eye. Salgado stayed in the fight as they engaged in furious exchanges and broke a few rules along the way. Slowly but surely the strength and higher work rate of Jardon was tiring Salgado. Despite that Salgado still stood and traded and the tenth was a high excitement round with neither wanting to lose in front of their local fans. Salgado got a brief respite in the eleventh when an un-intentional low punch saw Jordan taking time to recover but over the end of that round and the last it was Jardon banging home stiff jabs and head shots with a big swelling over Salgado’s right eye a sign of how the fight had gone and with the crowd on their feet saluting n old fashioned Mexican war. Scores 116-112 twice and a wide of the mark 118-110 all for Jordan. “Crazy” Jordan, 28, is now hoping to get a shot at Jorge Linares for the WBC title. Back-to-back losses to Takashi Miura for the WBC super feather title and Adrian Estrella knocked Jardon back but five wins including victories over Jairo Lopez and Reyes Sanchez have helped him climb back and he is now No 9 with the WBC. Salgado, 31, a former WBA and IBF super feather champion, is sliding with five losses on the bounce. His 73 second kayo of Linares in 2009 must seem like a different life.
Martinez vs. Lopez
Martinez overcomes a slow start to outpoint Lopez. Early in the fight Lopez was landing some heavy combinations and had Martinez on shaky legs. Martinez changed his tactics and Lopez was forced to fight on the back foot scoring with counters but being outscored by the more skilful Martinez. Many rounds were close but Martinez just kept pressing and although Lopez kept looking for a big punch to regain control Martinez had built too much momentum and took the unanimous decision. Scores 98-92, 97-94 and 96-94 all for Martinez. The 29-year-old from Mexico City has lost only one of his last 24 fights and that was a technical decision against world rated Filipino Rey Bautista in 2014. This is his sixth win in a row mostly against reasonable level Mexican opposition. Lopez, a former undefeated interim WBA champion at super feather, was 6-1-1 in his last 8 fights going into this one.

Windhoek, Namibia: Super Light: Julius Indongo (19-0) W TKO 9 Allan Kamote (26-9-4). Middle: Walter Kuutondokwa (11-0) W KO 1 Felix Mwamaso (4-5-1)
Indongo vs. Kamote
Southpaw Indongo climbs off the floor to halt Kamote and retain his WBO African title. There was a hectic start to the fight with Indongo putting Kamote down in the first but also being down himself but that was ruled a slip. In the second Kamote landed a hard hook with Indongo slightly off balance. He brushed the canvas and had to take a standing eight count but then took over the fight. The Namibian slowly broke the Tanzanian down focusing on the body and landing hard punches in round after round until the referee halted the fight in the ninth with Kamote complaining of punches to the back of the head. The lanky “Blue Machine” now has 9 wins by KO/TKO and is rated No 6 with the WBO. Kamote, 33, beat Emilio Norfat in his last bout in July to collect the UBO world title.
Kuutondokwa vs. Mwamaso
“The Executioner” makes it nine wins by KO/TKO as he puts away Malawian Mwamaso inside a round. The 31-year-old Namibian now has 5 first round wins. Four losses in a row for Mwamaso.

Balashikha, Russia: Light: Roman Andreev (17-0) W TKO 2 Oskar Fiko (16-16)
Andreev returns with a win. In his first fight in 16 months Andreev floored Fiko in the first and halted him in the second. Andreev has 11 wins by KO/TKO but this is his first fight since November 2014. The 29-year-old Russian had 113 amateur fights but competition is tough in Russia and he never managed to win the national title. Fiko, 22, a Romanian based in Hungary now has 7 losses by KO/TKO.

Welter: Tamuka Mucha (13-0) WPTS 8 Innocent Anyanwu (22-14-3).
Southern Area champion remains unbeaten with decision over Dutch-based Nigerian Anyanwu. The locally-based Zimbabwean was in charge all the way and won every round. Referee’s score 80-72. He will be looking to go for the English title as a next natural step. The once promising Nigerian Anyanwu is now 1-14-1 in his last 16 fights.

Quilmes, Argentina: Super Middle: Cesar Reynoso (14-7-3) W TKO 6 Elio Trosch (11-5-1). “The Savage” wins the vacant WBC Latino Silver title with stoppage of Trosch. Not a great deal of entertainment in this one. Reynoso made the better start taking the first two rounds but in the third a right from Trosch had Reynoso on shaky legs and the referee gave him a standing count. Trosch remained on a high in the fourth but Reynoso recovered to take the fifth. It ended in the sixth when a left to the body hurt Trosch and a barrage of punches from Reynoso put him down. He made it to his feet but the referee called the fight off just as the towel came in. Third inside the distance win in a row for Reynoso. Trosch, a natural super middle had lost in a bout for the WBC Latino light heavy title in October.

Glasgow, Scotland: Light: Lewis Ritson (9-0) W PTS 10 Bence Molnar (15-7). Super Light: Craig Kelly (9-8-1) W PTS 10 Ally Black (5-3).
Ritson vs. Molnar
Newcastle’s Ritson wins the vacant WBC Youth title with points victory over young Hungarian. Ritson was a clear winner but Molnar did his job well. He withstood a concerted body attack from Ritson throughout the fight, fought hard and was there at the final bell. Ritson, 22, showed some classy boxing and paced his first ten round fight well. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Ritson. “Baby Face” Molnar, 20, has yet to lose inside the distance.
Kelly vs. Black
Kelly wins this all-Scottish brutal contest on a cut. Kelly himself was cut below his right eye but Black suffered a much worse cut over his eye and the fight was stopped in the last round. Local fighter Kelly is a former Scottish Area champion. Third loss in a row for Black from Kirkintilloch.

Gateshead, England: Cruiser: Jon-Lewis Dickinson (17-4) W PTS 6 Jiri Svacina (12-19). Dickinson returns to the ring with a win. The tall local fighter had little trouble with the Czech veteran. Dickinson established his dominance in the first round with a stiff jab and for a while it looked as though an early stoppage was on the cards however Svacina got in some licks of his own in the second although Dickinson never let his control slip. Over the last two rounds Svacina was very tired but despite Dickinson’s best efforts he was still there at the final bell. Referee’s scorecard 60-54 for Dickinson. The 29-year-old former British champion had a bad 2014 losing in two rounds against Ovill McKenzie which cost him his British title and then being floored twice when losing on points to veteran Courtney Fry. He stopped the rot with an impressive stoppage of unbeaten Stephen Simmons in April last year and this is his first fight since then. Svacina, 38, has been in with most of the top British cruiser and has only lost four times by KO/TKO.

Kumamoto, Japan: Minimum: Tatsuya Fukuhara (17-4-5) W PTS 10 Takumi Sakae (13-1).
Fukuhara retains the national title with unanimous decision over Sakae. Fukuhara had a big edge in experience and although Sakae made a fast start he eventually tired and Fukuhara was able to land with enough heavy punches over the late rounds to be a clear winner. Scores 97-93 twice and 98-94 all for Fukuhara. First defence for southpaw Fukuhara who is 5-0-2 in his last 7 fights. Sakae was going past the eighth round for the first time.

Ohangwena region, Namibia: Super Feather: Abraham Ndauendapo (15-2,1ND) W RTD 1 Netshamutshedzi Humbulani. Harry Simon (30-0) W TKO 2 Joseph Kaseba. Bantam: Joseph Hilongwa (14-1) W PTS 8 Tinashe Madziwana (1-12).
Ndauendapo vs. Humbulani
An all out attack from Ndauendapo in the first round proved too much for Humbulani who retired at the end of the round. Eight wins in a row for Ndauendapo. No trace of Humbulani.
Simon vs. Kaseba
Former WBO super welter and middle champion Simon halts poor opponent in two rounds. Body punches from Simon just proved too much for Kaseba who was floored and his corner threw in the towel. This is the first fight for the 41-year-old Simon since June 2013. He has made a number of efforts to rebuild his career after jail time after his car was in accident which killed some Belgian tourists.
Hilongwa vs. Madziwana
Hilongwa gets disputed decision over Zimbabwean Madziwana. The crowd did not like the decision for the local fighter and chanted Madziwana’s name but the judges saw Hilongwa as the winner. The 34-year-old Hilongwa, a former Namibian and Pan African fly champion, was having his first fight since losing on points to Immanuel Naidjala. First fight in two years for Mwadziwana.

Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania: Light Heavy: Said Mbwela (34-18-5,1ND) W PTS 10 Ibrahim Tamba (15-7-1).
Mbwela retains his Tanzanian Pugilistic Syndicate title (there is more than one, in fact more than two bodies in Tanzania) with unanimous decision over Tamba. Mbwela used his extra experience to pace the fight and ran out a comfortable winner. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 all for Mbwela. At 5’8” (173cm) the 38-year-old Mbwela is small for a light heavy but he tops the list in Tanzania. Tamba is 1-4-1 in his last 6 fights.

March 27

Phang Nga, Thailand: Bantam: Tepparith (34-3,1ND) W KO 5 Tommy Seran (26-8). Tepparith racks up another win as he halts experienced Seran. The Thai dominated this one with his jab. Seran just could not find a way past it. In the fifth Tepparith cut loose flooring Seran. The Indonesian was finished and although he got up he indicated no intent of continuing so was counted out. Since losing his title to Kohei Kono in 2012 the 27-year-old former WBA super fly champion has won 13 in a row against low level opposition. Seran, 32, is 3-7 in his last 10 fights.

Toulon, France: Heavy: Faisal Ibnel Arrami (18-5) W PTS 10 Eric Martel Bahoeli (11-6).
Arrami makes one of his rare ring appearances and outpoints Canadian Bahoeli to win the vacant WBC Francophone title. The 31-year-old former French cruiser champion was giving away a lot of weight but was a clear winner. Scores 119-107, 118-109 and 117-110. The Toulon fighter had just one fight in each of years 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 so he needs to be more active. Bahoeli, a former Canadian champion, has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights. As far as weights go, none were available but bearing in mind that Arrami is really al cruiser and Bahoeli was 259lbs in his last fight the difference must have been considerable.

Dar-ES-Salaam, Tanzania: Light Heavy: Abdallah Pazi (12-3) W TKO 2 Mada Maugo (19-15). Super Feather: Cosmas Cheka (16-5-5) DREW 10 Mohammed Matumla (13-4-4).
Pazi vs. Maugo
Both of these are reckoned to be hard punchers and they were both throwing bombs from the start. Pazi put Maugo down in the first round but Maugo got up and they continued to trade punches after the bell. They were again trading heavy punches in the second but Pazi proved the harder puncher and a combination put Maugo down and out. The 22-yerar-old Pazi wins the vacant UBO African title. All of his wins have come by KO/TKO and his loss was on points in a fight in Italy. Now three losses in a row for Maugo.
Cheka vs. Matumla
The UBO Inter-Continental title remains vacant after these two fought a disputed draw. The fight swung one way and then the other. Cheka won the early rounds with his slick boxing but Matumla was able to force Cheka to fight off the ropes in the middle rounds and built a small lead. Cheka clawed that back with a strong finish. Trouble broke out in the last round as Cheka floored Matumla but then landed another couple of punches whilst Matumla was down. This enraged Matumla’s father Rashid, a 70 + bout pro who tangled with Anthony Mundine and Paul Smith, jumped in the ring in protests but was ushered out and the fight ended tamely. Scores 98-92 for Cheka, 97-93 for Matumla and 95-95. Cheka, 26 failed to make the contract weight so could not have won the title. Matumla is now 2-3-2 in his last 7 fights.

March 29

Pasay City, Philippines: Light: Juan Martin Elorde (20-1-1) W PTS 10 Musa Letding (10-5-4). Feather: Juan Miguel Elorde (21-1) W PTS 10 Waldo Sabu (7-4). Fly: Giemel Magramo (16-0) W TKO 4 John Bajawa (11-14).
Elorde vs. Letding
Juan Martin, the grandson of the great Flash Elorde wins the vacant WBO Oriental title with unanimous decision over Letding. Elorde was able to comfortably outbox the wild swinging Indonesian and won a wide unanimous decision despite boxing for the second half of the fight with a bad cut over his left eye suffered in a clash of heads in the middle of the fight. The 31-year-old southpaw is now 8-0-1 in his last 9 fights. He was moving up from super feather where he held the WBO Asia Pacific title and is WBO No 7 in that division. Letding is now 6-2-2 in his last 10 fights.
Elorde vs. Sabu
Juan Miguel makes it a double for the grandsons as he decisions Indonesian Sabu. “The Boss” retains his WBO Asia Pacific title with a wide decision over game Sabu. Elorde was quicker, more accurate and carried more power with Sabu only showing in patches. Now 11 wins in a row for the 29-year-old Elorde is No 6 super bantam with the WBO. Sabu, the former Indonesian super fly and bantam champion never really got into this fight. Bajawa is 1-9 in his last 10 traceable fights.
Magramo vs. Bajawa
Prospect Magramo given an easy one as he halts poor Indonesian Bajawa in four rounds. The hard-punching 24-year-old member of the Elorde team has won his last 10 fights by KO/TKO and holds the WBC International title, Bajawa is 1-9 in his last 10 traceable fights.

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