The Past Week In Action 20 April 2016
Sarcelles, France: Super Bantam: Jeremy Parodi (38-3-1) W PTS 12 Emiliano Salvini (17-22-2). Bantam: Yoan Boyeaux (37-4,1ND) W PTS 6 Raymi Gregorian (6-3-2).
Parodi vs. Salvini
Parodi is now European Union champion as he takes wide unanimous decision over Salvini. The Toulon fighter was in charge almost all the way in this one as he was busier and more accurate than the older Italian who had a good second round but it was the only one he won. Parodi rebounds from loss to Brit Gavin McDonnell for the EBU title in October. One of the other two losses on Parodi’s record was against Carl Frampton, also for the EBU title. Scores 119-109 twice and 118-110. He was knocked out with a body punch against Frampton and lost a wide decision to McDonnell, but if McDonnell goes for a world title and the EBU title becomes vacant at EBU No 3 Parodi is in line for a shot at the vacant title. Italian Salvini, 37, has previously fought for both the EBU and EU titles and in October was halted in six rounds by Spaniard Abigail Medina for the EU title.
Boyeaux vs. Grigoryan
Rare home appearance for Argentinian-based “Yo Boy” Boyeaux as he comfortably outpoints Belgian. Scores 59-55 twice and 59-56. The 28-year-old former French champion is 27-0,1ND in his last 28 fights. Grigoryan lost back-to-back fights in 2013 to unbeaten fighters Gregory Beccu and Vincent Legrand and was then inactive until returning in September and had won his last two fights.
Tokyo, Japan: Feather: Ryo Takenaka (14-3-1) W TKO 6 Akira Shono (9-8-2). Light Fly: Ken Shiro (7-0) W TKO 1 Atsushi Nakatani (17-5-1). Super Light: Keita Obara (16-1-1) W TKO 1 Sin Maneesri (0-1).
Takenaka vs. Shono
Takenaka too good for Shono and preserves his OPBF title. After a cautious start Takenaka was landing good combinations particularly to the body and his punches had also opened two cuts near the left eye of Shono. At the end of the fourth round Takenaka was 40-36 up on two cards and 39-37 on the other. He floored Shono with a straight right in the fifth and the referee stopped the uneven contest in the sixth. The 30-year-old Takenaka was making the first defence of the OPBF title. He won the title with an impressive stoppage of Filipino Vinvin Rufino last August but suffered a hand injury in that fight which had kept him out of the ring for the past eight months. Shino, 35, the OPBF No 14, was fighting past the eight round distance for the first time and gets his third loss by KO/TKO.
Shiro vs. Nakatani
Shiro destroys challenger Nakatani as scores three knockdowns in the first round. The talented youngster exchanged hard rights with Nakatani but then put him down with a left hook. Nakatani got up but was put down twice more, once by a right uppercut and the last from another left hook. The 24-year-old local was making the first defence of his JBC title and has four wins by KO/TKO. He is the WBC Youth champion and is currently No 24 with them but already taking about a title shot by the end of the year. Kakutani,30, had Adrian Hernandez on the floor before being stopped in four rounds in a challenge for the WBC title in 2013 and had scored four inside the distance wins since then getting him the No 1 spot in the JBC ratings.
Obara vs. Maneesri
Obara scores scary kayo over poor Thai. The tall Japanese fighter landed a scorching body punch and followed that with a right uppercut and another right and Maneesri was flat on the canvas. The Thai was taken from the ring on a stretcher but no further information available at this time. The 29-year-old Obara lost his first paid fight so is now 16-0-1 in his last 17 with 15 wins by KO/TKO. The first two spots in the IBF ratings are vacant and Obara is No 3 and expecting a fight with champion Eduard Troyanovsky later in the year. Nothing to say about Thai Maneesri except that I hope he recovers safely
Los Angeles, CA, USA: Super Welter: Jesus Soto Karass (28-10-4,1ND) DREW 10 Yoshihiro Kamegai (26-3-2). Cruiser: Vyacheslav Shabranskyy (16-0) W RTD 3 Derrick Findley (23-19-1,1ND).
Karass vs. Kamegai
Karass and Kamegai provide plenty of entertainment with a draw the right result. Both fighters were looking to swap punches from the start Karass seemed to do enough to take the first round but Kamegai got into his stride and despite suffering a cut over his right eye edged the next two rounds. It was typical of the back-and-forth action that Karass got right back into the fight and took the fourth and fifth and then it was Kamegai taking the sixth and Karass the seventh. The Mexican looked to be on the way to victory by winning the eighth and ninth only for Kamegai to stage a strong finish in the last to earn the draw. Scores 97-93 for Karass, 96-94 for Kamegai and 95-95. Karass, 33, could not afford to lose. After good wins over Andre Berto and Selcuk Aydin which took him to the verge of a world title shot he suffered back-to-back losses to Keith Thurman and Devon Alexander and this was his first fight since losing to Alexander in June 2014. Kamegai,33, signalled his arrival with a great fight in losing to Robert Guerrero in 2014but then slipped with a points loss to Alfonso Gomez in March last year. This good result puts him back in the picture.
Shabranskyy vs. Findley
Shabranskyy gets another inside the distance win as Findley retires at the end of the third round. The tall Ukrainian was pressing from the start. He had big edges in height and reach and was able to score with plenty of left jabs and straight rights in the first. Findley was crouching as he tried to come inside but apart from one overhand right had no success. Shabranskyy had the jab working overtime in the second spearing Findley to head and body and mixing in hooks and uppercuts. In the third he was using the left hook more. He drove Findley to a corner and was unloading punches. Findley slid down but did not at first actually go to the canvas so Shabranskyy kept punching until Findley put a knee of the floor. He was up quickly and after the eight count there was not enough time left in the round for Shabranskyy to capitalise but Findley sensibly retired. Ukrainian Shabranskyy, 28, makes it 12 wins by KO/TKO and this was a much easier fight than his majority decision win over Yunieski Gonzalez in December. He is rated WBC 7/IBF 12. Findley, 31, never stood a chance in this one but this is only his third loss by KO/TKO. The match was ridiculous. I don’t understand how they can make a match between a guy 6’ 3 ½” (191cm) and a guy 5’6” (168cm) and think it might be competitive particularly as Findley is really just a super middle.
Hinckley, MN, USA: Middle: Rob Brant (20-0) W KO 1 Delray Raines (19-13-2,3ND). Super Welter: Dennis Hogan (23-1-1) W PTS 6 Angel Hernandez (17-18-1,1ND)
Brant vs. Raines
Brant pulverises Raines inside a minute. Initially Raines came out firing jabs but lunged forward awkwardly when trying to get inside. Brant used his own jab to put Raines on the back foot. Brant then landed three overhand rights to the head, a left hook to the body another right and a left hook that sent Raines flying back and down to the canvas on his knees. He knelt there for the ten count holding on to his right side. The 25-year-old “Bravo” Brant retains the WBA NABA title and has won 6 of his last 7 fights by KO/TKO. He was NGG champion in 2009 and 2010. As an amateur he scored wins over Thomas Williams and Marcus Browne and represented America at both the World Junior and World Championships but lost out at the US Olympic Trials. Raines way out of his league but he has done better in the past drawing with Carson Jones and George Tahdooahnippah.
Hogan vs. Hernandez
Hogan eases back with decision over wily Hernandez. The first two rounds saw Hernandez coming out firing only for Hogan to initially counter and then take over the action with power punches. In the third a right from Hogan sent Hernandez’s gumshield out into the crowd but Hernandez survived. There were plenty of exchanges in the fourth and fifth with Hernandez seeming to get the better of the fifth. Hogan finished strongly twice knocking Hernandez’s gumshield flying but Hernandez had fought hard all the way. Scores 59-55 from all three judges for Hogan. The 31-year-old Irish “Hurricane” was having his first fight since being outscored by Jack Culcay in a challenge for interim WBA title in December. Hernandez, 31,has lost 6 of his last 7 fights.
Verona, NY: Super Bantam: Nikolay Potapov (14-0-1) DREW 10 Stephon Young (14-0-3). Light: Mason Menard (31-1) W KO 3 Eudy Bernardo (21-1). Cruiser: Constantin Bejenaru (11-0,1ND) W PTS 8 Alexey Zubov (10-1). Middle: Nick Brunson (18-4-2) W TKO 1 Demetrius Walker (8-12-3).
Potapov vs. Young
Neither fighter was happy with a draw here but they both preserved their unbeaten records. They were almost too evenly matched with the result that neither was able to dominate or create a big chance of an early finish but they both fought hard with the fight swinging from one to the other. Potapov was in his stride early and edged the first two rounds. In the third the fight swung towards southpaw Young after he shook Potapov with a left and he took the next two rounds rocking the Russian in the sixth.. Potapov got back into the fight in the seventh and took the eighth. Another swing in the ninth saw Young come on late to outwork Potapov and he continued that impetus into the last to edge that one. Scores 95-95 twice and 96-94 for Potapov. The 25-year-old Potapov is getting back into the swing after ending an eleven month spell of inactivity with a win in October. Young, 27, had a draw with unbeaten Antonio Nieves in June and then had a win in August. A typical ShoBox well-match fight.
Menard vs. Bernardo
Menard makes big impression as he flattens Bernardo with one right hand. Menard was giving away a lot in height and reach to the Dominican but was pressing hard and getting inside. He gave a hint of things to come when he rocked Bernardo with a right in the second. In the third he backed Bernardo into a corner and as Bernardo tried to escape Menard landed a devastating right which sent Bernardo down heavily. He was out before he hit the canvas and was in a bad way. He was removed from the ring on a stretcher and taken to hospital but it was reported later that he had recovered and left the hospital. The 27-year-old “Rock Hard Mighty” Menard makes it 29 wins in a row and 23 by KO/TKO. This was only his second fight in the last 21 months but that did not show. Menard was relatively unknown outside Louisiana but I have to admit a bit of bias here. The oil business took briefly to Menard’s hometown of Rayne, his trainer Chad Broussard is a pal and mine and long time friend Beau Williford owns a gym in that area at which he does great work for youngsters and the community. He has a future star in young amateur Jesse Fletcher so watch for the name. Despite that I did not know whether Menard could make the jump from local fights to the very competitive ShoBox arena. He certainly did that so now on to the next good exposure fight.”AK47” Bernardo,29, was out-gunned here but as with Menard he was out of the ring for 12 months before returning with a win in February.
Bejenaru vs. Zubov
Bejenaru wins this contest between unbeaten East Europeans with clear verdict over Zubov. With Zubov having the height and longer reach the smaller, sturdy southpaw had to work his way inside but he did not find that a problem. Bejenaru was awkward with his attacks making for a messy fight at times but he was much busier then Zubov and did what clean scoring there was. The one highlight of the fight was a seventh round knockdown scored by Zubov as he put Bejenaru down with a right but he really needed a knockout and Bejenaru recovered and saw out the eight rounds comfortably. Scores 78-73 twice and 77-74 all for Bejenaru. The 31-year-old Moldovan will be hoping to kick on from here but he seems to lack power. Russian Zubov, 29, turned pro in California but then has done most of his boxing in Russia against modest opposition. It is claimed he was Russian amateur champion but that is not reflected anywhere in the Russian records.
Brinson vs. Walker
Brinson was having his first fight in eight months but he must have shed the rust in the dressing room. He came out firing hammering away at poor Walker until the referee stepped-in to stop the slaughter after 125 seconds. The 28-year-old from nearby Albany was 16-1-2 in his first 19 fights but moving up in class resulted in a 1-3 run with losses to Dominic Wade, Andre Dirrell and Ievgen Khytrov. He was having his first fight for 8 months and will be looking to rebuild. Walker is 1-9-1 in his last 11 fights.
Melbourne, Australia: Fly: Omari Kimweri (16-3) W PTS 12 Randy Petalcorin (23-2-1). Huge controversy as Kimweri gets unanimous decision over Filipino Petalcorin and wins the WBC Silver title. The controversy is centred on four occasions which it is claimed should have resulted in counts against Kimweri. The first incident happened in the first round. Kimweri was boxing well and looked to be edging the round but as they exchanged punches on the ropes Kimweri went back and down on the canvas. The referee ruled it a slip but it looked as though it was caused by a left from Petalcorin. There was no push from Petalcorin so it had to be the left but the referee did not see it that way so the judges had to be guided by that. Round two seemed about even with Kimweri boxing well to take the third and the fourth being close. The judges could not agree on what they were seeing with one having Kimweri well ahead, one going for Petalcorin and one had them equal. Petalcorin had a slightly better sixth and then the seventh saw the major controversy. The Filipino took Kimweri to the ropes and punched away. Kimweri slid down the ropes until he was resting on the bottom rope which was stopping him from going to the floor. Technically that is a knockdown but again the refereed decided otherwise. Kimweri was unsteady on his legs and Petalcorin promptly backed Kimweri into a corner and as he was unloading Kimweri briefly dropped down to the bottom rope and rebounded to his feet, so again it should have been counted but was not. That would probably, but necessarily have been a 10-7 round. Kimweri again fought back in the eighth at which point the three judges saw the fight 78-74, 75-73 and 77-75 all for Kimweri. The ninth could have gone either way but Petalcorin finally had something go his way when Kimweri finally had a point deducted in the tenth. Petalcorin knew he was behind and went all out in the last two rounds. In the twelfth the Filipino drove Kimweri back to the ropes and he dipped down onto the bottom rope and came straight back up. Again it could have been counted as a knockdown but it was the only questionable one of the four. Even without the knockdown one judge had Petalcorin winning 114-113 but the other two scored for Kimweri 115-112 making Tanzanian Kimweri the WBC Silver champion. Some fuss was made about one of the judges being the wife of the referee but that is irrelevant. After a storm of protest orchestrated by the Filipino team, with strong support from some of the fight scene in Australia, the WBC have said they will review the decision and so they should in view of the knockdowns. The referee in question is an experienced trusted referee but even the best make mistakes and the controversy should not reflect on boxing in Australia. “Lion Boy” Kimweri, 33, has had problems staying active in the past but has now lost only one of his last 15 fights with that loss being a split decision to Shin Ono in Japan in 2013. Southpaw Petalcorin, 24, a former undefeated interim WBA light fly champion was also on a good run being 18-0-1 in his last 19 fights. He was No 1 light fly with the WBA so this is a big blow which hopefully will be put right.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Welter: Carlos Adames (8-0) W TKO 4 Patrick Lopez (23-7). Welter: Juan Carlos Abreu (19-2-1,1ND) W TKO 1 Euri Gonzalez (24-5-1).
Adames vs. Lopez
This was a war from the start. Prospect Adames put Lopez down in the first but Lopez has a wealth of amateur and pro experience behind him and took the fight to Adames. They continued to trade in the second and third but by the fourth Lopez was bleeding from cuts which were too bad for the fight to continue. Adames adds the WBA Fedelatin title to his collection. The New York-based Dominican already holds the WBA Fedecaribe title and he has won his last 7 fights by KO/TKO. He represented the Republic at the 2013 World Championships. Lopes, 37, a two-time Olympian was 20-2 in his first 22 fights but is now 1-6 in his last 7 including a loss to Shane Mosley in December.
Abreu vs. Gonzalez
Abreu gets another inside the distance win as he stops fellow-Dominican Gonzalez inside a round. He has 18 wins by KO/TKO and his two losses have been to Humberto Soto over ten rounds and unbeaten Jamal James. The 37-year-old Gonzalez was twice Central American gold medallist and unbeaten in his first 18 fights before losing to Saul Alvarez in 2009. He is 7-5 in 12 fights since then.
Ancora, Italy: Light: Marco Siciliano (13-3) W TKO 1 Michele Focosi (20-5-2).
Siciliano wins vacant Italian title as he finishes local fighter Focosi inside a round. After some preliminary sparring a right hook to the chin floored Focosi. He got up but was still very unsteady and the referee stopped the fight after just 65 seconds. The 35-year-old Siciliano had lost in a previous shot at the national super light title. He makes it 6 wins in his last 7 fights and has 5 wins by KO/TKO. Focosi, 33, is 0-2-1 in three Italian title fight.
Panama City, Panama: Feather: Bryan De Gracia (18-0-1) W TKO 5 Tony Gomez (5-3-1). Super Feather: Jamie Arboleda (8-0) W KO 3 Jose Forero (12-5-1). Super Light: Ibrahimu Class (14-3) W PTS 8 Zapir Rasulov (30-1).
De Gracia vs. Gomez
Panamanian champion de Gracia use fast, accurate combination punching to wear down and stop Venezuelan Gomez. The 22-year-old “The Rock” has 14 wins by KO/TKO. He fought a draw in his first pro contest so now has 18 wins in a row and is No 6 win the WBA. One of the hottest prospect in Central America. First loss inside the distance for Gomez.
Arboleda vs. Forero
“Little James” Arboleda hits too hard for fellow-countryman Forero and gets a knockout early in the third. The 21-year-old has six wins by KO/TKO. Forero needed two attempts to make the weight. He was so far over that they finally agreed he could come in at 138lbs for super feather fight.
Rasulov vs. Class
Tanzanian Class springs a huge upset as he comprehensively outpoints previously unbeaten Rasulov. The Tanzanian simply outboxed Rasulov who never got into the fight. Class won on scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73. The 25-year-old Class suffered tough losses to world rated Julius Indongo and Charles Manyuchi in the other guy’s backyard. German-based Russian Rasulov, 29, has been a pro for 12 years and is WBA No 6 light but has never really broken through.
Mashantucket, CT, USA: Super Feather: Jose Pedraza (22-0) W PTS 12 Stephen Smith (23-2). Feather: Gary Russell (27-1) W TKO 2 Patrick Hyland (31-2). Light Heavy: Chad Dawson (34-4,2 ND) W TKO 4 Cornelius White (23-5). Feather: Ryan Kielczewski (25-1) W PTS 8 Mario Orozco (27-18).
Pedraza vs. Smith
Pedraza retains his title with unanimous decision over Smith in a close fight with both showing great skills. Pedraza just edged the first. He was jabbing to the body and scored with a quick left jab straight right with Smith doing some good work but not letting his punches go as much. It was noticeable that although there was very little between them in height Pedraza had a much longer reach and that together with a long step forward was enabling him to score with his jab. Having boxed cautiously in the first Pedroza was more aggressive in the second hurting Smith with a long right and then spent most of the round hunting Smith around the ring scoring with hooks to the body and head. Smith scored with some good counters but it was clearly Pedraza’s round. The third was close and Smith evened things up by taking the fourth and fifth scoring both going forward and when countering. Pedraza’s jab was falling short and late in the fourth he was on the canvas. The referee ruled it a slip but Smith had landed a left to the body which was low but the referee was unsighted so his slip judgement was wrong but if he had seen the punch land low he would not have counted it as a knockdown anyway. Pedraza was fighting out of a crouch and had lots of upper body movement but at this stage his punch output had dropped and his jab was coming up short. Pedraza took the sixth as he turned aggressor again and was landing with hooks to the body and long rights and also the seventh as he switched guards, had his jab on target again and landed a couple of heavy rights late in the round. The eighth was more even with both having some success but Smith edged it. The ninth was also even until after Smith had missed with a punch Pedraza landed a right to the side of Smith’s face. He twisted and dipped and grabbed Pedraza and although he did not go down his glove rested on the canvas to keep him upright and the referee ruled it a knock down and applied the eight count. Pedraza had Smith under pressure for the rest of the round. Smith tried hard to make up for the knockdown in the tenth but despite a strong effort at the end of the round Pedraza edged it with some good left hooks to the body and straight rights. Smith produced a great eleventh round as he showed plenty of aggression and got inside Pedraza’s reach to score with both hands. In a show of mutual respect these two did not just touch gloves at the start of the last round they also embraced. Pedraza finished the stronger and was the clear winner in an excellent contest. Scores116-112 twice and 117-110. Pedraza retains the IBF title. He showed good all round skills making good use of his edge in reach and landing long rights with regularity. The 26-year-old Puerto Rican “Sniper” restored some prestige after only getting past Edner Cherry on a split decision in his first defence in October. Smith was his mandatory challenger so he can choose his next opponent but any thoughts of a unification bout with any of the other champions will have to wait as they all have upcoming fights. His next highest rated challenger is another Brit Liam Walsh. Smith enhanced his reputation here. I had the fight even up to the ninth. He showed quickness, excellent skills boxing equally comfortable on the front foot or the back and there are plenty of good fights out there for him.
Russell vs. Hyland
Russell scores three knockdowns as he retains title with stoppage of Hyland. There was a lot of pawing and probing in the first with Hyland looking to land long rights on southpaw Russell and Russell showing his hand speed with quick combinations but getting a warning for a left the strayed low. Hyland was hyped up at the start of the second forcing the fight and scoring with a good right. As he moved in again Russell fired a left to the body that actually went low and then a short right hook to the chin that sent Hyland sideward’s and down on his knees. He was up at five and when the eight count was completed Russell unleashed a series of blazing combinations. Hyland tried to fire back but a left/right combination sent him staggering back into the ropes and he held onto to the ropes to stop himself going all the way down. He was given another eighth count and then Russell went forward firing punches from both hands and a thumping right to the head sent Hyland down for the third time. He fell down the ropes and ended out half under the bottom rope with the fight immediately being waived off. Hyland needed quite a bit of attention before recovering enough to get up. The 27-year-old from Washington was making the first defence of the title he won with a crushing victory over Jhonny Gonzalez in March last year. His only loss was a majority decision to Vasyl Lomachenko for the vacant WBO title in 2014 but he looked really impressive and a return with Lomachenko would be a 50/50 fight. Dubliner Hyland, 32, had fought well in losing on points to Javier Fortuna for the interim WBA title back in 2012. He was down at No 33 in the WBC ratings in December but without fighting had been elevated to No 15 by April so would not have been an acceptable challenger except for some manipulation of the ratings.
Dawson vs. White
Former WBC and IBF champion Dawson continues his comeback with impressive win over useful White. Initially it was White stabbing out his right as Dawson made a slow start. However Dawson came to life scoring with good combinations to take the round. In the second and third Dawson boxing on the back foot scored with a quick burst of punches to head and body. White was pushing out his jab but when he did he was over-reaching and Dawson made him pay with right hooks and straight southpaw lefts and again scored with a hard combination just before the bell in each round. White continued to walk forward in the fourth but was continually caught by counters from Dawson. White walked forward onto a straight left that had his legs wobbling. Dawson jumped on him and drove him across the ring to the ropes where he strangely then unloaded nine overhand rights not using his left at all. He rolled White into a corner and was then letting go with both hands. White was just covering but he complained when the referee stopped the fight. After winning his first 30fights and collecting the IBF, IBO and interim WBC titles he then lost his WBC and IBO titles to Jean Pascal. In his next three fights he beat Adrian Diaconu, had a No Decision and a points win over Bernard Hopkins in WBC title fights but then went 1-3 with losses to Andre Ward, Adonis Stevenson and a disappointing points loss in October 2014 to Tommy Karpency. Dawson, 33, was out until returning 14 months later with a win over Shujaa El Amin last December. He looked sharp and punched hard here and could still be a player if he can rediscover his old form. Texan White, 34, won 21 of his first 22 fights but stumbled badly losing to Sergey Kovalev, Thomas Williams and Marcus Brown but had done some rebuilding with two wins last year including a points victory against Marcus Oliveira (26-1-1) in October. He was IBF No 14 so has provided Dawson with a door into the ratings.
Kielczewski vs. Orozco
Kielczewski also did some minor rebuilding as he made it three wins in a row against modest opposition. The “Polish Prince” from Quincy Mass, was in charge all the way in this one against late substitute Orozco. He floored the experienced but limited Mexican in the sixth but could not get him out of there and settled for a wide unanimous decision. Scores 80-71 from all three judges. Kielczewski, 26, won his first 22 fights before dropping a split verdict to Danny Aquino in April. Orozco has lost 6 of his last 7 fights.
New York, NY, USA; Cruiser: Krzys Glowacki (26-0) W PTS 12 Steve Cunningham (28-8-1). Welter: Errol Spence (20-0) W TKO 5 Chris Algieri (21-3). Light Heavy: Marcus Browne (18-0) W PTS 8 Radivoje Kalajdzic (21-1). Super Feather: Mario Barrios (15-0) W PTS 8 Edgar Gabejan (27-33-6). Super Welter: Lukasz Maciec (23-3-1) W PTS 8 Jeremy Ramos (9-4).
Glowacki vs. Cunningham
Glowacki retains the WBO title with unanimous decision over former IBF champion Cunningham with four knockdowns on the way. Both were feeling things out in the first round with neither really landing anything of note. In the second as Cunningham walked in behind his jab Glowacki landed a left to the head which put the challenger down. Cunningham was up quickly but when the action recommenced another left from Glowacki clipped him on the top of his head and Cunningham went down again. Again he was up quickly and was wrestled to the floor by Glowacki which earned the Pole a warning then Cunningham boxed his way to the bell with Glowacki wild with his left as he tried to repeat his success. Cunningham had recovered by the third and over the third and fourth rounds used a sharp jab and faster hand speed to get on to the front foot and back into the fight. Glowacki was getting thought with his lefts in the fifth and sixth with Cunningham pressing and scoring with his jab in the seventh. Glowacki edged the eighth with his straight lefts. In the ninth both were landing hard punches with Glowacki getting a final warning over punches to the back of the head and Cunningham just edging it. Cunningham was again forcing the fight in the tenth but a short chopping right from Glowacki put him down for the third time. After the count Cunningham looked to have hurt Glowacki with a right to the body and turned up the heat with Glowacki not taking any chances knowing the knockdown had won him the round and the fight. Cunningham needed a knockout and he landed some good punches to take the eleventh. Cunningham walked forward in the twelfth landing body punches and shook a tiring Glowacki with a couple of rights but a left from Glowacki saw Cunningham slump to his knees. After the count there were only 20 seconds left and at the bell Glowacki was the clear winner. Scores 115-109 twice and 116-108 all for Glowacki. The 29-year-old Pole was making the first defence of the title he ripped out of Marco Huck’s hands in eleven rounds in August. Cunningham, 39, twice an IBF cruiser champion, who put Tyson Fury down in their fight in 2013, showed his skills are still there. The stats showed that he threw less but landed more punches but it was those knockdowns that did for him.
Spence vs. Algieri
Spence serves notice on the rest of the welterweights that the new boy on the block is for real. A cautious opening by both boxers. Southpaw Spence was looking to cut down the ring on Algieri who was showing some nifty footwork but not throwing or landing many punches. The second was all Spence as Algieri spent much of the round trapped on the ropes whilst Spence unloaded left hooks and rights to the head. Algieri was determined to not get forced to the ropes and over the early part of the third he was lunging in and had Spence on the back foot. However Spence was making him pay with solids left hook counters and although Algieri was more competitive than in the second by the end of the round he was back on the ropes with Spence unloading body punches. Spence was throwing bombs from the start in the fourth. He jumped on Algieri early and drove him back to the ropes and then into ring centre. Spence landed three left hooks with the third clipping Algieri on the chin causing Algieri to take a couple of steps back and go down on one knee. Algieri got up and after the eight count displayed some slick skills to stay out of trouble before pushing Spence back and bundling him over at the bell. At the start of the fifth as Algieri lunged in Spence landed a long left that sent Algieri tumbling back and down. After the count Spence drove Algieri from one side of the ring to the other. With Algieri against the ropes Spence landed a left hook to the body and two rights to the head and as Algieri slid to the canvas the referee stopped the fight. By stopping Algieri the 26-year-ol from Texas succeeded where both Manny Pacquiao and Amir Khan had failed. He was focused, always in command and throwing power shots in every round. This takes his total of inside the distance wins to 17. He is rated IBF 2/WBC 6/WBA 7/WBO 14 and has victories over Sammy Vargas, Phil Greco, Chris van Heerden and Alejandra Barrera but this win puts him on another plane. Algieri, 32, showed some nice skills but Spence had too much power for him.
Browne vs. Kalajdzic
Browne wins the vacant WBC USNBC title but looks fortunate to get the split decision. In the first Kalajdzic proved to have an awkward style but was taking the fight to Brown. Kalajdzic did go down but it was a case of him being off balance and no punch was landed but the referee applied a count giving Brown a head start despite complaints from Kalajdzic. Their styles did not mix well and there was too much holding and wrestling. Browne had trouble with the speed, long legs and lunging attacks of Kalajdzic. Browne seemed to shake Kalajdzic with a right in the third but in the fourth Kalajdzic had Browne unsteady after landing a left and made Browne’s lags buckle with a right. Browne had a sight lead going into the fifth but he was letting Kalajdzic push him around and was losing control of the fight. In the sixth a couple of chopping rights sent Browne down and after the count he was shaken again a couple of times before the bell. Brown managed to avoid trouble in the seventh. A clash of heads opened a cut over Kalajdzic left eye and the last two rounds were close but Kalajdzic looked to have done enough to edge his way to the verdict but no. Scores 76-74 and 76-75 for Brown and 76-74 for Kalajdzic. Olympian Browne, 25 never really figured out the best way to handle Kalajdzic but at least is still unbeaten. The 24-year-old from B & H, the IBF No 11 has a strange but effective style but one that is difficult to like.
Barrios vs. Gabejan
Barrios continues to look a real prospect. The tall Texan has skill and power. He put Filipino Gabejan down in the first but the gutsy Filipino got up and despite suffering a major amount of punishment battled to the final bell. Scores 80-71 from all three judges for Barrios. The 20-year-old “Golden Boy” is one to watch. Gabejan, 34, a former Philippines champion, has lost 4 of his last five fights now.
Maciec vs. Ramos
Polish hope Maciec rebounds from his loss to Hugo Centeno by boxing his way to a unanimous decision over Ramos. Scores 79-73 twice and 77-74 for Maciec. The 26-year-old Pole was unbeaten in his first 19 fights before losing to Gianluca Branco for the European Union title in 2013 and scored five more wins before being beaten by Centeno last September. Now three losses in a row for Ramos.
Leeds, England: Feather: Josh Warrington (23-0) W PTS 12 Hisashi Amagasa (30-6-2). Bantam: Stuart Hall (20-4-2) W PTS 12 Rodrigo Guerrero (24-6-1). Super Feather: Martin Joseph Ward (14-0-2) W PTS 10 Ruddy Encarnacion (36-25-4).
Warrington vs. Amagasa
Warrington boxes his way to unanimous decision over Amagasa in a thrilling contest. No sizing up here as Warrington went to work immediately. Despite the visitors edges in height and reach it was Warrington’s jab that dominated the first round as he continually forced Amagasa to the ropes and landed with short punches inside. Amagasa fired back with some left hooks to the body but he was swinging wide punches and not as accurate as Warrington. The second again saw Warrington continually forcing Amagasa to the ropes and he scored with a sharp right uppercut. Again Amagasa was always looking to fire back and did get though with some long straight shots but Warrington was thumping home to head and body and took the round. Amagasa started the third by landing a long uppercut through the guard of Warrington and tried to follow-up but Warrington took over forcing Amagasa to the ropes and landing lefts to the body and rights to the head to add another round to his tally. Amagasa edged the fourth but Warrington took the fifth. The fight changed in the sixth with Amagasa coming forward throwing lots of punches getting through with left hooks and straight rights with Warrington now on the back foot. The seventh and eighth went the same way with Amagasa even clowning a bit in the eighth. Warrington needed to get back in charge and he did in the ninth. Again his jab was sliding through Amagasa’s guard and he was scoring with left hooks to the body and clubbing rights. Amagasa was banging back but not with real power or accuracy. Amagasa had a good spell in the middle of the tenth but then Warrington landed a leaping left hook that snapped Amagasa’s head back and made his knees dip briefly. Warrington landed a clubbing right to the head and Amagasa was ducking and diving to avoid the punishment as Warrington took a vital round. Amagasa landed a big right at the start of the eleventh which seemed to shake Warrington and the Japanese fighter went forward throwing punches. Warrington recovered and suddenly it was Warrington landing big punches and Amagasa having to soak up hard rights and lefts and he looked a very tired fighter as Warrington drove him around the ring landing punches to head and body and almost cutting Amagasa in half with a vicious left hook. A clash of heads opened a cut over Amagasa’s right eye in the round. They both forgot defence in the last and just threw punch after punch. Both were rocked Amagasa landed a couple of lefts that had Warrington backing up but he came back and they swung away until the bell. Scores 120-107, 118-111 and 117-111all for Warrington the clear winner but the scores did not do justice to Amagasa with even the last score a bit harsh. Warrington, 25, retains his WBC International title. His skill speed and tactical nous were in evidence as he cemented his No 2 position with the WBC. Amagasa, 30, fought like a warrior. He had Guillermo Rigondeaux on the floor twice in the seventh round of their fight for the WBA/WBO super bantam title in 2014 but was finally stopped in the eleventh round. He failed to take advantage of his physical edges. He also needs to shorten his punches to get leverage and his defence was not too good but he gave Warrington twelve hard rounds.
Hall vs. Guerrero
Hall gets important win that should guarantee him a title shot. The first round saw Hall getting his jab into gear with Guerrero throwing overhand rights but mostly missing with Hall just doing enough to edge the round. In the second Guerrero switched guards a couple of times and threw shots to the body but Hall was bossing the fight with his jab and threading though good rights. A clash of heads early in the third saw Guerrero cut over his left eye. He dabbed away at it and the referee gave him a moment to recover. When the action restarted Guerrero marched forward throwing body punch after body punch with Hall blocking most and scoring with his more accurate jabs and straight rights. Guerreros’ corner complained about Hall’s head in the interval. The referee asked the doctor to examine the cut over Guerrero’s right eye before the start of the fourth. Over the fourth and fifth Guerrero was swarming forward throwing hooks to the body and trying to overwhelm Hall but the English fighter was covering well, scoring with good counters trying to make up with accuracy for the higher work rate of Guerrero but the Mexican edged both rounds . The problem for the Mexican is that he is used to fighters just standing in front of him and trading and too often when he was swinging wide hooks Hall was not there as a target and Hall did enough to at least share the sixth and be very slightly ahead at the half way mark. Hall had a great seventh. He kept on the move, kept his jab in the Mexican’s face and took Guerrero to the ropes and landed a neck-snapping right. Both were again warned about their heads bumping. Guerrero found a new lease of life in the eighth and ninth as he staged non-stop attacks but Hall was keeping on the move and countering well. Guerrero continued to press and press over the last three rounds with an admirable work rate and Hall continued to box slot home jabs and straight rights. It depended on whether you went for quality or quantity and in the end Hall’s quality won the decision. Scores 117-111 from all three judges for Hall. It looked harsh on Guerrero but only in the six points difference. Hall was rated No 4(2) by the IBF with Guerrero one spot in front of him and slots 1 and 2 vacant. The win over rated fighter Guerrero means Hall meets the IBF qualification rules for becoming a mandatory challenger (must have a win over a rated fighter). Guerrero, 28, a former IBF super fly champion, gave this fight everything with an amazing work rate but was simply outboxed by a smarter fighter.
Ward vs. Encarnacion
Ward makes successful third defence of his WBC International title with wide decision over experienced Encarnacion. Ward was much younger and much quicker than the former undefeated European Union champion. The Leeds fighter made a fast start firing quick jabs and combinations and adding in some hard rights in the third round. It was not one-sided with “The Black Wolf” scoring with counters but Ward was picking up the points. The local fighter’s work rate seemed to drop in the fifth but he shook Encarnacion badly with a straight right which had the Spanish-based Dominican-born Encarnacion clinging on tightly to last to the bell with the referee giving him a stern warning for holding. Ward was pressing in the seventh but it was an untidy round with a clash of heads leaving Ward with a cut high on his forehead. Ward continued to control the action over the last three rounds and was a comfortable winner. Scores 100-91, 99-91 and 98-92 all for Ward. The 24-year-old Ward fought a majority draw with useful Maxi Hughes in 2014 but cleared up that minor blemish with a retirement win over Hughes in April last year. He is No 5 with the EBU. At one time Encarnacion, 37, had a 13 bout unbeaten run which included a win over world rated Juli Giner but when he finally got a deserved chance to fight for the EBU title in December he lost on points to Oleg Yefimovych.
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Fly: Luis Nery (19-0) W PTS 10 Martin Casillas (15-7-1). Light: Jose Zepeda (25-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Pedro Navarrete (29-21-3).
Nery vs. Casillas
This was a fight between two fighters going in opposite direction with Casillas on the down slope and Nery climbing high. Casillas was pressing the fight but Nery had the harder punch and scored with hard counters. Nery got the perfect start flooring Casillas with a southpaw left in the first but Casillas got up and they indulged in some exciting trading. Nery put Casillas down again with a left in the fifth but Casillas again recovered and kept coming but Nery had an answer to everything Casillas tried and ran out the clear winner. Scores 100-99, 99-89 and 98-90 all for Nery. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for Nery who has useful victories over Carlos Fontes and Jether Oliva and is No 7 with the WBA. Casillas falls to 1-5-1 in his last 7 fights.
Zepeda vs. Navarrete
Zepeda has to go the full ten rounds for his win, an unusual occurrence. The hard punching Californian was given a tougher than expected time by the Mexican “Cowboy” who did enough to steal a round here and there. It looked as though Zepeda was going to add to his total of inside the distance wins when he put Navarrete down with a body punch in the last round but Navarrete got up and made it to the final bell. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-92 for Zepeda. He is No 1 with the WBO so will get a second shot at the title. His July fight for the vacant title against Terry Flanagan ended when Zepeda suffered a dislocated shoulder and had to retire at the end of the second round. In his next fight in October a clash of heads in the first round saw Zepeda suffer a bad cut so the fight was a No Decision after just three minutes. Navarrete is 1-7 in his last 8 fights with all of the losses to good class opposition.
Monterrey, Mexico: Light: Adrian Estrella (26-1) W PTS 12 DeMarcus Corley (44-27-1). Light: Jairo Lopez (19-6) W TKO 10 Edgar Puerta (23-8-1).
Estrella vs. Corley
Estrella nearly blows his world rating as he starts well, fades and is knocked down by veteran Corley and only gets by with a majority decision. Things went to plan over two thirds of the fight as Estrella put Corley over in the first round with a hard combination. Corley survived and issued a warning with a right that hurt Estrella in the second but Estrella was younger and quicker and looked to be on the way to either winning on points or getting yet another KO/TKO win. Corley managed to stay in the fight using his considerable experience to block or dodge Estrella bombs, but he was a long way behind on points going into the ninth. Estrella’s work rate had dropped and Corley shocked Estrella and the local fans when he landed a thunderous right to the chin that put Estrella down heavily. He was badly shaken but managed to clinch and last to the bell. Now Corley was the hunter as he needed a knockout to close the big gap Estrella had built and despite the strong finish by Corley he came up short. Scores 117-110 and 116-111 for Estrella and 114-114. The 24-year-old “Diamante” can certainly punch but his defence is porous as was shown in his loss to Eden Sonsona in two rounds last May. Corley may be 41 but on his night the former WBO champion can still teach the youngsters a few things as he showed when halting unbeaten Dane Osama Hadifi in February.
Lopez vs. Puerta
Lopez gets an important win as a cut forces the end of this fight in the last round. This one featured lots of furious exchanges with Puerta throwing more and focusing on the body but Lopez landing the heavier punches and being the more accurate. A punch from Lopez opened a bad cut over Puerta’s right eye but Puerta was still willing to stand and trade. Lopez was given a recovery time after a low punch from Puerta and in the seventh he had Puerta shaken with a right and the ninth saw the exact same low punch Puerta heavy hit from Lopez circumstances repeated. They continued to trade in the tenth but the referee was concerned over Puerta’s cut which was bleeding heavily and when the doctor examined the cut he said the fight should be stopped. The “Doberman” had scored impressive wins over Juan Carlos Salgado and Fermin De los Santos in early 2015 but then lost three in a row so could not afford a defeat here. Puerta, 33, was also coming off three losses to top flight fighters in Takashi Miura for the WBC title and Miguel Roman and Juan Jose Martinez. He needs a rest before he can try to rebound.
San Juan, Puerto Rico: Light: Felix Verdejo (21-0) W PTS 10 Jose Luis Rodriguez (18-9). Feather: Chris Diaz (16-0) W PTS 8 Ray Ximenez (13-1)
Verdejo vs. Rodriguez
Verdejo gets wide unanimous decision but fails to sparkle and even has to put up with some discontent from his home fans. After a slow first round Verdejo landed a good straight right and followed that with left hook which had the Mexican hurt. However Verdejo was not as accurate as he has been and Rodriguez battled back. The Puerto Rican got the better of the exchanges in the third and fourth and spent the fifth working to the body. Despite losing the rounds Rodriguez was not in any trouble and pressed his own attacks. With Rodriguez soaking up the punishment and still coming forward and scoring with punches of his own Verdejo was forced on to the back foot and countering. Verdejo increased his pace in the ninth trying to get the inside the distance win the crowd wanted but Rodriguez was unmoved and in the last he landed a big left hook that rocked Verdejo. He tried to capitalise on it but Verdejo hit back strongly to the bell. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92. A clear win for the 22-year-old Verdejo but he has set such a high standard that just beating a tough opponent such as Rodriguez is not enough and he was missing some of his sparkle here. Verdejo was making the fourth defence of his WBO Latino title. He is rated WBA 2/WBO 3/IBF 5(3)/ WBC 11 with the last rating a better reflection of the standard of his opposition. Rodriguez, 29, was on a good run with 9 wins in his last 10 fights but all against poor to moderate opposition
Diaz vs. Ximenez
“Smurf” Diaz wins again but Texan Ximenez makes him fight hard. Diaz had the better of the exchanges in the first two rounds being faster and more accurate in the exchanges. He hurt Ximenez in the third with a straight right and then a couple of left hooks. Both had some success in the trading in the fourth with Ximenez landing some good counters and in the fifth he was able to press Diaz to the ropes and work well to the body. Diaz banged back to take the sixth with some good hooks to the body but both fighters seemed to be tiring. Diaz was going for the kayo early in the seventh shaking Ximenez with an overhand right but Ximenez stayed on his feet and some showboating from Diaz did not please the crowd. They just stood centre ring and exchanged punches in the last. Scores 80-72, 78-74 and 77-75 for Diaz with the first score too wide and the last too close. The 21-year-old Puerto Rican gets eight good testing rounds. Ximenez, 23, was taking a big step up in class and fought hard although well beaten.
Bilbao, Spain: Feather: Andoni Gago (14-1-2) W KO 1 Robert Laki (12-1-1)
Local fighter “El Macho” Gago puts away Hungarian inside the first round. Laki made a good start. A fleshy looking Gago was coming forward but the visitor looked sharper firing quick combinations and body punches. It looked as though it was going to be a competitive fight but suddenly a right to the side of the head had Laki staggering back three paces and then going down on his hands and knees in a corner looking out into the crowd and he stayed there for the full ten count. Gago wins the vacant IBF International title. He had relinquished his national title to chase more international exposure. Five wins by KO/TKO and eight wins in a row for Gago. Hungarian champion Laki had built his record against low level local opposition and this was his first fight outside Hungary.
London, England: Middle: Alan Higgins (10-0) W TKO 1 Simone Lucas (8-30-5). Super Welter: Arthur Hermann (17-2) W PTS 10 Asinia Byfield (9-1).
Higgins vs. Lucas
Higgins lives up to his “Avalanche” nickname as he rolls over Lucas in one round. He drove Lucas to the ropes and then landed a series of lefts and rights to head and body until the referee stopped the fight. The 27-year-old from Kentish Town makes it five wins by KO/TKO. Lucas, 37, gets his seventh loss by KO/TKO.
Hermann vs. Byfield
Hermann wins the vacant BBB of C Southern Area title with a very close decision over Byfield. It was a fighter vs. boxer contest that produced plenty of excitement and could have gone either way. Hermann was looking for a close quarters battle but Byfield wanted to use his longer reach, speed and skill to keep Hermann out and score with heavy counters. Both hard periods of dominance and scored with good punches as the fight swung back and forth and it was a pity there had to be a loser. Referee’s score 97-96 for Hermann. The 28-year-old London-based Kazak fighter has now won 6 of his last 7 fights with the loss being to unbeaten Pole Kamil Szeremeta in Poland. Byfield was stepping up to ten rounds for the first time and a return would again be an exciting match.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Welter: Chris van Heerden (24-2-1) W PTS 10 Steve Claggett (23-4-1). Van Heerden fights his way back into the winning column with majority verdict over Canadian. They were well matched and there were plenty of good exchanges with neither really opening a wide gap. The tactics were largely dictated by van Heerden having edges in height and reach. He did his best work on the outside with Claggett getting inside whenever he could. There were plenty of exchanges in an entertaining fight with van Heerden just the busier and more accurate. Scores 97-93 twice for van Heerden and 95-95. The 28-year-old South African southpaw, a former undefeated IBO champion, was 23-1-1 until losing to Errol Spence in eight rounds in his last fight in September. Canadian champion Claggett. 26, had won 8 of 9 going in with the loss being a controversial one to Konstantin Ponomarev in January last year
Hameenlinna, Finland: Middle: Timo Laine (12-6,1ND) W TEC DEC 8 Sergei Melis (26-22). Light Heavy: Sami Enbom (12-0) W PTS 6 Robert Halas (7-16). Light Heavy: Janne Forsman (22-4) W TKO 2 Bojan Zarkov (4-13).
Laine vs. Melis
Laine given eight hard rounds by Estonian but wins deserved close decision. Laine was in control over the early rounds with his superior skills but Melis fought back hard over the second half of the fight. Melis pressed hard and there were plenty of good exchanges, but he just did not do enough to overcome Laine’s lead and the Finn won on scores of 78-75, 78-76 and 77-75. Laine, 31, lost a unanimous decision to Paul Klemetti for the Finnish title in October but the result was changed to a No Decision after Klemetti tested positive for a banned substance. He then lost to Pavel Semjonov in Estonia but has now won his last two fights. “Baltic King” Melis, 33, was a good level amateur but has settled for the role of travelling loser and is 1-5 in his last 6 fights.
Enbom vs. Halas
“Boom Boom” Enbon had too much skill for limited Halas and had no trouble outboxing the Serb. The fight was one-sided and Halas did well to last the distance. Although he was close to being stopped at the end. Scores 60-54 for Enbom from all three judges. The 28-year-old Finnish southpaw was Finnish amateur champion in 2011 up at 91kg and should soon be ready for a test at 10 rounds. Halas, 34, is 2-6 in his last 8 fights.
Forsman vs. Zarkov
Forsman gets back into the winning column with stoppage of Serb Zarkov. Forsman did not get off too lightly as he was cut over his right eye in the first. However he handed out steady punishment until the referee stepped-in to save Zarkov. The 33-year-old Finn gets win No 14 by KO/TKO. He has had a bad nine months losing inside the distance to Ovill McKenzie, Avni Yildirim and Sean Monaghan. Zarkov has now lost 9 of his last 10 fights.
Saintes, France: Middle: Davy Armand (21-4-2) W PTS 10 Laurent Ferra (19-25-4). Armand retains French title with unanimous decision over Ferra. Armand landed some heavy punches in the exchanges in the first round but he is not a puncher and he then settled down to outbox the aggressive Ferra. He was able to keep Ferra outside for most of the fight but was cut over his left eye in the fifth. Southpaw Ferra knowing he was behind piled on the pressure in the eighth and ninth but was wild with his attacks and Armand finished the stronger with Ferra exhausted and almost out on his feet. Scores of 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Armand. First defence of his national title for the 31-year-old local fighter who is 10-1-1 in his last 12 fights and goes in front 2-1 in his fights with Ferra. He is No 26 in the EU ratings. Ferra, 30 came in at very short notice, After three fights in less than three months Ferra was taking a holiday in Spain when he was called in at short notice so did well to last the distance.
Saint-Malo, France: Welter: Damien Martin (25-8-4) W PTS 12 Mouhamed Sder (10-3-2). Light Heavy: Kevin Thomas Cojean (19-7-1) W TKO 10 Mohamed Merah (13-4-4).
Martin vs. Sder
Martin wins the WBC Francophone title with very close unanimous decision over the champion Belgian “ Mystery Man” Sder. Using a high guard and some good defensive work Martin edged ahead and after four rounds was in front on all cards at 39-37, 39-38 and a bit too wide at 40-36. With Martin outboxing Sder in the fifth the champion knew he had work to do and he upped his pace pressing more, but Martin was scoring well with counters. After eight rounds Sder had not really managed to eat into Martin’s lead as the Frenchman was ahead 77-75 on two cards and 78-75 on the third. Being behind in the scoring Sder was having to come forward taking chances but his hopes were dented badly when after a number of warning the referee deducted a point from Sder in the eleventh. Sder put everything into the last round but it was not enough. Scores 115-112, 115-113 and 114-113 showing how close this one was. The 29-year-old Saint-Malo fighter is in good form. The former French champion is 15-1-2 in his last 18 fights and reversed that lone loss. He is No 17 in the EU ratings. Sder, also 29, was making the first defence of his title and was 5-1-2 in his last 8 fights.
Cojean vs. Merah
Cojean retains his French title with late stoppage of Merah. The challenger had the better technique and was busier. Cojean was throwing fewer punches but was more accurate. He was also pacing himself and from the mid-point of the fight as Merah showed signs of tiring Cojean took over. He scored heavily in the eighth and ninth and a sustained attack in the last round saw an exhausted Merah saved by the referee. Second defence of his national title for Cojean as he gets win No 7 by KO/TKO. He has improved his record by going 7-2 in his last 9 fights . The two losses in that run were down a super middle where he was beaten by Juergen Doberstein and Schiller Hyppolite in Germany and Canada respectively. He is No 13 with the EBU. Merah, has won a number of minor sanctioning body titles but is now 1-3-1in his last 5 fights.
Issoudun, France: Cruiser: Arsen Goulamirian (16-0) W TKO 5 David Radeff (6-11-2). Long the “Champion in Waiting” Goulamirian wins the French title. Radeff acted more like the challenger than the champion storming forward throwing punches. Normally that is Goulamirian’s game but now he was on the back foot countering. From the second round Goulamirian was getting through with right uppercuts on the advancing Radeff. Goulamirian dominated the third and fourth rounds and Radeff was struggling and under fire in the fifth when the fight was stopped. The 28-year-old Armenian-born Goulamirian now has 10 wins by KO/TKO including 6 in his last 7 fight. He won the WBA International title with a stoppage of 40-year-old Lobos Suda and that gets him a No 9 rating with the WBA. Looking at the strength of his opposition the EBU rate him No 9. He is worth watching for the future. Radeff was making the first defence of his French title and gets his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Budapest, Hungary: Cruiser: Gyula Bozai (15-8-4) DREW 10 Tamas Toth (7-4-4). Cruiser: Imre Szello (12-0) W PTS 10 Carlos Nascimento (12-3).
Bozai vs. Toth
The Hungarian title remains vacant as Bozai and Toth fight to a draw for the second time. It was a hard fought close fight with neither fighter really dominating and the draw seemed a fair result. Scores 96-94 for Bozai, 96-94 for Toth and 95-95. They had fought to a split draw in an eight round fight in October. A third fight is going to be needed. Bozai, 40, a former interim Hungarian champion is now 0-2-1 in challenges for the full national title. Toth, 32, was having his first title shot and is 2-1-2 in his last 5 fights.
Szello vs. Nascimento
Szello is by a long way the best cruiser in Hungary but did not turn pro until he was 30. He had no trouble with the inexperienced Brazilian and won every minute of every round but looked a bit stale and should have been able to win this one inside the distance. Scores 100-90 from all three judges. “Imo”, 32, was an outstanding amateur winning a silver medal at the World Juniors, gold and bronze at the European Union Championships and competing at the 2007/09/11 and 2013 World championships and had a win over Artur Beterbiev so it is a pity he has turned pro so late. Nascimento was stopped in two rounds by Mateusz Masternak in his last fight in September.
Sulysap, Hungary: Super Light: Daniel Mehesz (5-0) W PTS 10 Gabor Kovacs (16-6). Light Heavy: Norbert Nemesapati (20-2) W PTS 6 Przemyslaw Pikulik (3-5). Heavy: Zsolt Bogdan (10-0) W TKO 1 Igor Mihaljevic (2-5)
Mehesz vs. Kovacs
Inexperienced teenager wins the vacant WBC Youth title with wide unanimous victory over fellow-teenager Kovacs. Mehesz outboxed and outscored a game Kovacs although the loser had his moments in the fight. Scores 98-92 twice and 98-91 for Mehesz. The 16-year-old winner only turned pro in January and was jumping from four rounds up to ten. Kovacs, 19, turned pro at 17 and has been busy with 11 fights in 2015. He was 8-1 in his last nine fights going into this one.
Nemesapati vs. Pikulik
Nemesapati seems ancient by comparison to the above pair but the 20-year-old is the GBU world champion. He had a vast experience edge. He was much too good for Pole Pikulik and won comfortably by scores of 60-54 twice and 58-56. The Hungarian “Noble” turned pro at 16 and won his first 14 fights before losing to Jason Escalera in Nevada and Schiller Hyppolite in Montreal in 2014. He won his four fights in 2015. Pikulik, 21, is strictly a 4 and 6 round fighter.
Bogdan vs. Mihaljevic
The local fighter gets this over early. After battering Croatian Mihaljevic in the first three knockdowns and it is over in the second. The Romanian-born Hungarian has 7 wins by KO/TKO and was having his first fight since beating former European cruiser champion Jean Marc Monrose in May. Four losses in a row for Mihaljevic. Bogdan had a 50lbs weight advantage. He is a heavy heavy carrying about 280lbs (127kg) on a 6’2” (188cm) frame so no Slim Jim.
Pomezia, Italy: Super Middle: Valerio Ranaldi (10-1) W PTS 10 Roberto Cocco (17-14-1). Ranaldi hold on to his national title despite late surge by Cocco. The first five rounds were largely one-sided as Ranaldi kept the fight open using his longer reach doubling up on his jabs and scoring with hard counters. Although Ranaldi also took the fifth by the sixth Cocco was working inside with Ranaldi seeming to fade. Cocco continued his aggression in the seventh and eighth often able to trap Ranaldi on the ropes but with Ranaldi still getting through with counters. There was a big moment in the fight in the ninth when although Cocco looked to be winning the round he was deducted a point for ducking too low. Cocco threw everything at Ranaldi in the last. After a series of body punches from Cocco it looked as though Ranaldi’s glove briefly touched the canvas but there was no count and although Cocco had Ranaldi in serious trouble before the final bell the decision went to the champion. Scores 97-94, 96-94 and 96-95 all for Ranaldi. The 28-year-old from Rome was making his first defence of his title and gets his sixth win on the bounce. Cocco, 38, has twice been Italian champion winning the title at the fourth attempt. He came close to regaining the crown here.
Kyoto, Japan: Light: Nihito Arakawa (27-6-1) W PTS 10 Kota Tokunaga (17-3). Bantam: Shohei Omori (16-1) W KO 4 Espinos Sabu (15-9-2).
Arakawa vs. Tokunaga
Arakawa, a former Japanese and OPBF champion, regains the national title with a close unanimous verdict over champion Tokunaga. Southpaw Arakawa built a lead over the first half of the fight. He floored Tokunaga in the first round with a right and put him on the floor again in the fifth with a combination to the head. In the second, third and fourth rounds Tokunaga had put in some good work but at the end of the fifth Arakawa was in front on all three cards 48-45, 48-46 and 47-46. Over the second half of the fight Tokunaga was finding the target with straight rights but Arakawa used his experience to match the younger fighters efforts and held on to advantage to take the unanimous decision. Scores 96-92, 96-94 and 95-93 all for Arakawa. The 34-year-old from Tokyo climbed the world ratings as he went 23-1-1 in his first 25 fights but then lost big fights to Daniel Estrada for the WBC Silver title, Omar Figueroa for the interim WBC title and Jorge Linares in a WBC eliminator. He then went 2-2 in domestic fights but will be hoping this win leads to bigger things. Tokunaga was making the third defence of his title and this loss broke a nine-bout winning streak
Omori vs. Sabu
Omori gets back to winning ways with knockout of Indonesian. The tall Japanese southpaw did not hurry the job putting in some good work against Sabu and scoring with hard straight rights. In the fourth a left to the body and a straight left put Sabu down and he was counted out. The 23-year-old local fighter, a former undefeated JBC champion, has 11 wins by KO/TKO. He was close to a title shot but was stopped in two rounds in a WBA eliminator in December by Filipino Marlon Tapales. First loss inside the distance for Indonesian fly champion Sabu.
Dangjin, South Korea: Light: Yong Soo Choi (30-4-1) W TKO 8 Kazuya Nakano (9-6-1). Former WBA champion Choi makes a comeback after 13 years away. Choi picked a relatively safe choice in Japanese prelim fighter Nakano. The southpaw visitor was very much in the fight over the first four rounds as Choi shook off the rust. A right put Nakano down in the fifth and another right had the Japanese fighter on the floor in the seventh. A sustained attack in the eighth saw the referee stop the fight. The 43-year-old Choi was a good WBA super feather champion making seven defences before losing it. He continued to fight winning five fights by KO/TKO over modest opposition but then retired in 2003 after losing to Thai Sirimongkol. I can’t see this ending well for the Korean veteran. Nakano strictly a prelim fighter who has not gone past eight rounds in any fight and gets his fifth loss by KO/TKO.