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Eric Armit’s Weekly Boxing Report: Andre Ward, Rob Brant

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 9 August 2016

August 4

Hamburg, Germany: Heavy: Odlanier Solis (21-3) W KO 2 Milos Dovedan (2-26)

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This piece of rubbish did not last long. If there had been a prize for the least fit boxer Dovedan would have won that although Solis ran him very close. As for the fight Dovedan came out throwing long slow punches some of which got home as Solis was just ignoring them. The Cuban landed a few rights to the body and a couple of right uppercuts and Dovedan was looking tired after less than two minutes. A left hook to his ample body put Dovedan down early in the second. He got up and after the eight count he continued but was too tired to hold his arms up and another right to the body saw him go down on one knee shaking his head and he stayed there for the full count. The 36-year-old Cuban Solis gets a win in his first fight since quitting against Tony Thompson in February 2015 but this was awful. Poor Serb Dovedon, 35, has now lost his last 16 fights in a row, 13 of them by KO/TKO. I know it was the Cuban first fight for 18 months but this was inexcusable and a disgrace.

August 5

Gauteng, South Africa: Super Feather: Malcolm Klassen (33-6-2) W PTS 12 Jack Asis (35-19-5). Feather: Macbute Sinyabi (29-4) W PTS 12 Rivo Rengkung (34-23-6). Super Bantam: Jhon Gemino (15-7-1) W KO 9 Toto Helebe (17-7).Super Bantam: Bongani Mahlangu (20-7) W TKO 7 Unathi Gqokoma (20-8-2).

Klassen vs. Asis

Klassen wins the IBO title with points victory over champion Asis. Klassen had an edge in skills and needed it as Asis kept pressing. Klassen made good use of his jab and managed to smother the inside work of the Aussie-based Filipino. Klassen piled up the points against slow-starter Asis and it looked as though Klassen was going to box his way comfortably to victory. However, although both are at the veteran stage, from the eighth Klassen began to tire and Asis just kept coming. By the end Asis had almost close the gap but ran out of rounds and Klassen took the unanimous decision. Scores 117-111, 117-112 and 116-112 all for Klassen but it looked a bit closer than that. The 34-year-old “Stone” a former two-time IBF champion is on a good run with 9 wins in his last 10 fights including a victory in Namibia over Paulus Moses. The loss was in the 9-1 sequence was in  Australia against Will Tomlinson for this same title and it still rankled with Klassen. He had vowed to put things right and he did so here. He is No 11 with the WBA. Asis, 33, was unbeaten in his last 15 fights so in good form but he just came up short in this first defence of his title. The fight had been delayed by a week after Asis demanded that the IBO appoint neutral officials.

Sinyabi vs. Rengkung

South African feather champion Sinyabi retains the IBO Inter-Continental title with unanimous decision over Indonesian Rengkung. The 29-year-old “Macman” a former South African super bantam champion lost on a fifth round stoppage against fellow South African Lusanda Komanisi for this same title in 2014. This is his sixth win since then including victories over unbeaten Randy Braga and Oscar Chauke. “El Matador” Rengkung, 32, proved limited but durable. He had won his last two fights against low level domestic opposition but was knocked out in one round by Asis in 2014.

Gemino vs. Helebe

Gemino gets the win but not the title as he fails to make the weight. His pressure and strength told against local fighter Helebe. Gemino had Helebe hurt in the first round but Helebe survived and did better to build a lead but was put down and out by Gemino in the ninth. The 24-year-old “Baki Disaster”, the Philippines champion, needed a win as he was 1-4 in his last 5 fights. Helebe, the former South African bantam champion is now 3-4 in his last 7 fights.

Mahlangu vs. Gqokoma

Local southpaw Mahlangu, the South African champion, beat fellow South African Gqokoma to win the vacant IBF International title. The 36-year-old Dancing Shoes” has won 8 of his last 9 fights including a victory over Helebe. Gqokoma, also a southpaw and a former South African super fly champion, gets his second loss by KO/TKO and falls to 1-3-1 in his last 5 fights.

Los Angeles, CA, USA: Feather: Joet Gonzalez (14-0) W PTS 10 Sergio Lopez (20-11-1). Super Feather: Carlos Morales (14-1-3) W PTS 10 Luis Franco (14-2-1).

Gonzalez vs. Lopez

Gonzalez gets another win as he takes wide unanimous verdict over experienced Lopez. Over the first couple of rounds Lopez forced the fight hard but Gonzalez made him pay with accurate counters, particularly with the left hook. As the fight progressed Gonzalez dominated more and more with Lopez only scoring with occasionally counters and the odd bit of illegal head work but he showed a surprisingly good chin for a fighter who has lost seven times by KO/TKO. Over the late rounds Gonzalez had Lopez in deep water again and again and had a big ninth round but could not find the punch to put him away and had to settle for a points win. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 all for Gonzalez. The 22-year-old Californian, a former US Junior champion and US national championships silver medal winner, continues to make good progress.  Mexican “Mickey “ Lopez , 30, had halted unbeaten Victor Betancourt and taken a decision over useful Joksan Hernandez  but is his last two outings had lost inside the distance to Alejandro Luna and Toka Kahn Clary.

Morales vs. Franco

Morales continues his winning run with unanimous decision although the three judges all see a different fight. Franco had the better skills but Morales was the bigger man and used that physical edge well. Neither is a big puncher. Franco had quicker hands but Morales had the reach and also scored better inside. The fight was untidy with few highlights making the rounds hard to score. Morales suffered a cut over his left eye from a clash of heads in the last round but it was too late to be a factor and he staged the stronger finish and deservedly took the decision. Scores 100-90, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Morales. The 26-year-old Californian-based Mexican “Solution” wins the vacant WBA-NABA title in his second ten round fight. He was 0-1-3 in his first 4 fights so now has 14 wins on the bounce including a useful victory over Omar Tienda. Cuban Franco, 34, a former Olympian, blew his big chance when he lost a split decision to Mauricio Javier Munoz in an IBF eliminator in 2012. He rebounded in 2013 with a draw against Javier Fortuna but was then inactive until returning in February last year and had three low level wins before this fight.

Temecula, CA, USA: Middle: Rob Brant (21-0) W TKO 3 Chris Fitzpatrick (15-5,1ND). “Bravo” Brant could certainly be a player in the middleweight ranks. He brushed aside Fitzpatrick with ease. The St. Paul fighter showed good skills and power. After taking the first round he floored Fitzpatrick with an uppercut in the second. Fitzpatrick did well to last out the round. In the third Brant put Fitzpatrick down again and this time there was no escape clause and  the fight was over. The 25-year-old Brant is a former US Under-19 champion and twice won gold medals at the NGG’s and a silver at the US Championships but lost out at the Olympic Trials. Having done most of his fighting in Minnesota he has largely run under the radar but is now No 4 with the WBA and is No 7 with the WBO and is drawing some attention. He has 13 wins by KO/TKO including 7 of them in his last 8 fight. “The Irish Ghost” Fitzpatrick from Cleveland retired after five rounds against Daniel Jacobs in 2012 and was then inactive until last March when he lost a split decision to Scott Sigmon.

Philadelphia, PA, USA: Light: Alejandro Luna (21-0) W PTS 10 Naim Nelson (13-2,1ND). Super Middle: David Benavidez (16-0) W TKO 10 Denis Douglin (20-5). Super Welter: Ty Brunson (23-6-1) W TKO 4 Carlos Garcia (10-17-1).

Luna vs. Nelson

Luna gets unanimous decision but late replacement Nelson does well under the circumstances. Over the first three rounds although absorbing some heavy counters Nelson was much in the fight as he pressed Luna and caused some damage under Luna’s right eye. From the fourth Luna took over the fight completely as Nelson understandably started to flag. Luna collected all of the middle rounds and inflicted a cut up on Nelson’s forehead as he boxed his way to the decision. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for Luna. The 24-year-old “El Charro” had to adjust to a very late change of opponent and was given ten rounds of good work. Nelson came in at 24 hours notice after Stephen Ormond reportedly came in 4 ½ lbs over the contract weight, so he deserves praise for saving the show. He is 1-2,1ND in his last 4 fights..

Benavidez vs. Douglin
Teenager Benavidez marches on with late stoppage of Douglin in his biggest test so far. It took Benavidez a round to adjust to the southpaw style of Douglin but he did better in the second which he edged. In the third he began to dominate using his strength to push Douglin back, occasionally switching to southpaw himself  and landing good rights. Douglin was throwing lots of punches but most were either blocked or they missed and a series of rights had Douglin stumbling at the bell. Benavidez handed out steady punishment in the fourth with Douglin being on the back foot and looking uncomfortable. Douglin outworked Benavidez in the fifth but he stumbled badly under attack from Benavidez at the end of the round. Benavidez poured it on again in the sixth and Douglin was reeling on the ropes when he “lost” his mouthguard getting a needed break but by the end of the round he was pinned in a corner and reeling from a series of punches from Benavidez. Douglin went on the offensive in the seventh getting inside and smothering Benavidez work but the action had to stop when Douglin pushed Benavidez into the ropes and a turnbuckle gave way. When the action resumed again it was Douglin pushing Benavidez back and working inside. Benavidez used his left jab and a series of hooks from both hands to break Douglin down in the eighth. Douglin started the ninth by swarming forward but in the last thirty seconds a series of left hooks put him down. He made it to his feet and the bell went as the eight count was completed. Benavidez ended it early in the tenth as he punched Douglin to the ropes and was unloading head punches when the referee stopped the fight.  The 19-year-old 6’ 2” (188cm) “Red Flag”, the younger brother of former undefeated WBA interim champion Jose, turned pro at 16. He has 14 wins by KO/TKO and was coming off a good win over unbeaten Francy Ntetu. He  is rated No 10 by the WBA. He is still a work in progress as he rarely used his physical advantages which could have made things easier for him here. Douglin, 28, had won 6 of his last 7 fights with the loss being a seventh round stoppage defeat against George Groves.

Brunson vs. Garcia

Brunson either wins inside the distance-or he loses. This was one of the winning times. It looked to be over when Brunson, who holds the record for the most first round wins at the start of a career, almost ended this one in the first as he put Puerto Rican Garcia down with a right. Garcia survived and in the second as Brunson was looking to finish it Garcia put Brunson down twice and only the bell robbed Garcia of victory. Garcia was still on top in the third but in the fourth a left to the body put Garcia down and he could not beat the count. After suffering 6 losses in his last 7 fights Brunson could not afford another loss. The 31-year-old from Philadelphia won all of his first 19 fights inside a round and 22 of his 23 wins have come by KO/TKO. Most of the losses he has suffered have been to quality opposition but a loss to the 10-16-1 Garcia would have probably ended his career. Garcia is better than his record indicates. In his last three fights he had halted highly touted former top amateur Patrick Day inside a round in November, lost a split decision to unbeaten Ismael Garcia in March and lost a points decision to Kermit Cintron last month.

August 6

Bedford, Canada: Super Bantam: Tyson Cave (29-3) W TKO 7 Javier Franco (25-19-4).Heavy: Dillon Carman (10-2) W TKO 1 Julien Collette (8-5). Heavy: Olek Teslenko (6-0) W TKO 1 Javier Lardapide (8-3-1).

Cave vs. Franco

Cave dominates all the way before ending this in the seventh. As Franco tried to move inside Cave landed a short southpaw right hook which put Franco down on one knee and he just sat out the count. The 34-year-old “Prince of Hali” moves to twelve wins by KO/TKO. He has lost only one of his last 15 fights and that was a split decision against Oscar Escandon for the interim WBA title in 2014. Mexican Franco is 3-6-1 in his last 10 fights but did fight a majority draw with Sebastien Gauthier in a previous visit to Canada.

Carman vs. Collette

Carman much too good for fellow Canadian Collette and halts him inside a round. The 30-year-old 6’5” (196cm) “Big Country” has now won 8 of his last 9 fights and reversed the loss. He is scheduled to fight Scot Gary Cornish for the vacant Commonwealth title in Toronto on 9 September. Strangely enough he is a former Texas Golden Gloves champion. Only his second fight in three years for Collette and his second first round loss in a row.

Teslenko vs. Lardapide

Ontario-based Ukrainian Teslenko halted Lardapide just before the bell at the end of the first round. The 24-year-old 6’5” (196cm) Teslenko has 5 wins by KO/TKO and a disqualification victory with all six fights ending inside two rounds. Could be worth watching. Argentinian Lardapide, 39, no sort of test and he was knocked out in one round by Australian Kane Watts in May.

Puntarenas, Costa Rica: Light Fly: Cristian Flores (16-6-1) W TKO 1 Abraham Irias (5-20). Heavy: Carl Davis Drummond (30-4) W KO 1 Ambar Loboa (5-10).

Flores vs. Irias

Flores gets quick win. Nicaraguan Luna came out fast but Flores blocked his early attempts and then ended the fight with a body punch which put Luna down and the fight was stopped after just 100 seconds. “Little Mouse” Flores, 30, a Nicaraguan based in Costa Rica has won 8 of his last 9 fights 6 by KO/TKO. Nicaraguan Irias needs to lose his gloves this was his first fight for two years and he has now lost his last 18 fights.

Davis vs. Loboa

Davis was even quicker than Flores. The former WBA title challenger needed just 40 seconds. He landed two body punches and Loboa suffered an injury to his right leg in trying to escape the shots. Now 41, Costa Rican Davis won his first 26 fights before losing on a technical decision against Ruslan Chagaev for the secondary WBA title in 2009. He then suffered successive losses to Derric Rossy and Odlanier Solis. After three low level wins in Costa Rica he was stopped in four rounds by Luis Pineda in June 2013 in Panama and this is his first fight since then. Colombian Loboa was having only his second fight in almost 8 years and his first since July 2010. He goes to 9 losses by KO/TKO.

Accra, Ghana: Bantam: Duke Micah (18-0) W RTD 8 Yaqub Kareem (14-5-1). Welter: Isaac Aryee (24-8) W PTS 12 Ben Ankrah (17-18,1ND). Welter: Kpakpo Allotey (9-0) W PTS 10 Abdul Aziz Quartey (9-2).

Micah vs. Kareem

Micah retains his WBO African title as Kareem retires after the eighth round. This was Micah’s fight all the way. He blitzed the experienced Nigerian with combinations in the first round and had Kareem on shaky legs at the end of the second. It looked all over for Kareem when he was floored with a right in the third. He got up and despite shipping more punishment made it to the bell. Micah was on top in the middle rounds with Kareem rocked time and again. The Nigerian rallied briefly in the eighth but was then put down by a right. He made it to his feet but was floored by another right. Once again he gamely rose and survived to the bell but his corner then retired him.  Former Olympian Micah has 16 wins by KO/TKO. He is talented and can punch as he showed in two fights in England earlier this year. In his statistics that needs to be balanced against his first 9 opponents having combined records of 17-62 with 7 of those wins credited to one of his victims. Former Commonwealth super fly champion Kareem was beaten inside the distance by Paul Butler and Khalid Yafai in Commonwealth title fights and this was his first fight for almost a year.

Aryee vs. Ankrah

Aryee makes a successful first defence of his national title as he outpoints oldie Ankrah. Aryee had height, reach and power on his side and made a fast start. Ankrah showed his experience and after a slow start did well in the middle rounds only for Aryee to use his longer reach a and superior hand speed to pull away and win the unanimous decision. Scores 120-108 twice and a too close 116-112. Aryee, 23, has won 6 of his last 7 fights by KO/TKO. The loss in that run was to Brit ‘Jimmy’ Kilrain Kelly for the vacant WBC Youth title in Manchester in June last year and this is Aryee fourth win in a row since then. Ankrah, 36, a former Ghanaian light and welter champion has now lost 7 fights on the bounce facing tough opposition such as Thomas Dulorme, Sammy Vasquez and Dusty Hernandez Henderson.

Allotey vs. Quartey

Allotey beats Quartey for the second time but again has to go the full distance. He made a great start flooring Quartey in the first and rocking him with a left in the second. Quartey fought back over the fourth and hurt Allotey with a left in the fifth but Allotey never surrender control of the fight and won a wide unanimous decision. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93. The 22-year-old Allotey took a split decision over Quartey in December the only fight up to this one that he had not won by KO/TKO. Quartey had won four in a row by KO/TKO since losing to Allotey in December.

Mexico City, Mexico: Light: Dante Jordan (30-5) W KO 10 Nery Saguilan (37-7-1). Jordan gets big domestic win as he stops Saguilan. As usual Saguilan provided some colour wearing shorts that were almost bikini size but he also made the better start getting inside and scoring with hooks to the body. Jardon began to use his jab more in the second and third rounds and did enough to edge both rounds. Saguilan rebounded to take the fourth. Jardon landed a good right to the head but Saguilan was throwing more leather. He could not resist his usual spell of clowning dropping both hands and walking Jardon down whilst sticking his tongue out. Jardon got a severe warning for a very low left hook. In the fifth Jardon went back to the jab again and was also getting home with clubbing rights. Saguilan was trying to make it a close-quarters fight but Jardon was not going to go down that route anymore. Jardon is a slow, flat-footed fighter but over the sixth, seventh and eighth rounds he was able to slot his jabs through Saguilan’s guard and bang home left hooks and rights to the head with Saguilan not able to get into the fight.  Jordan had won every round from the fifth on and Saguilan needed a kayo. He started the ninth with pressure but then lost a point for landing a punch on the back of Jordan’s head. Jardon then began to back Saguilan with a series of jabs and rights and rocked him with a left hook at the bell. Saguilan tried to follow Jardon back to his corner but was pulled away by the referee. The tenth had comedy and drama. Jardon battered Saguilan into the ropes with lefts and rights. Saguilan slipped sideways then grabbed Jardon and they both tumbled to the floor in a tangle. When that was sorted out Jardon again had Saguilan on the ropes and when the referee moved in to split them somehow Jardon managed to fall over with no one near him. When the action resumed Jardon bludgeoned Saguilan to the canvas with rights to the head. Saguilan was up at four and after the eight count Jardon again drove him to the ropes and landed three left hooks to the head that saw Saguilan fall to the canvas on his side and the referee immediately stopped the fight. The 28-year-old “Crazy” Jordan was making the fourth defence of his WBC International Silver title. Consecutive losses to Takashi Miura for the WBC super feather title and to Adrien Estrella knocked him back but a run of six wins has seen him climb to No 2 with the WBC. “Pantera” Saguilan, also 28, had climbed into the ratings with ten wins in a row but a loss to Marcos Villasana Jr in May hit his prestige hard and this defeat will push him even further down.

Windhoek, Namibia: Light: Paulus Moses (37-3,1ND) W PTS 12 Thompson Mokwana (21-11-1,1ND). Bantam: Immanuel Naidjala (23-2-1) W PTS 12 Fadhili Majiha (18-7-4).Middle: Walter Kuutondokwa (12-0) W TKO 1 Walter Dlamini (12-2-3). Super Feather: Jeremiah Nakathila (11-0) W TKO 8 Jasper Seroka (26-7). Super Light: Julius Indongo (20-0) W TKO 1 Fabian Lyimo (17-6-1).

Moses vs. Mokwana

Moses wins the vacant WBO African title with unanimous decision over South African Mokwana. Moses started the first round well but late in the round Mokwana shook Moses with a left hook. Moses then began utilising his better skill set to build a lead. Mokwana was always competitive. He took a deal of punishment in the sixth but fired back to again hurt Moses with a left hook in the seventh. Although they both tired they fought hard over the closing rounds with Moses pressing and Mokwana countering well but the Namibian was a clear winner. Scores 117-112, 117-113 and 116-112 all for Moses. The 38-year-old former secondary WBA light title holder is now 9-1,1ND since tasting defeat against Ricky Burns for the WBO light title in 2012. The loss in that run was to Malcolm Klassen in March last year. The No Decision was against Mokwana in June when a clash of heads in the first round left Mokwana cut too badly to continue. Former South African champion and Commonwealth title challenger Mokwana has a good chin and has only lost once by KO/TKO and that was against world rated Richard Commey for the Commonwealth title in March last year.

Naidjala vs. Majiha

“Prince” Naidjala retains his WBO Inter-Continental but this one was much closer than the scores indicate. Naidjala had height and reach on his side but made little use of them. The Namibian was too inaccurate to be effective but was throwing more punches. There was too much clinching but Majiha was working the body inside and had a big tenth round landing hooks and uppercuts. Naidjala finally began to use his jab over the last two rounds but Majiha looked to deserve a draw for his efforts. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 all for Naidjala. He lost to Tomoki Kameda for the WBO Bantam title in 2013 and dropped a split verdict to Gideon Buthelezi in 2014 but won his three fights in 2015. Tanzanian Majiha, 23, lost his three fights in 2014 but the opposition was Marlon Tapales, Pungluang and Jerwin Ancajas. He had won three since then including a useful victory over experienced Francis Miyeyusho.

Kuutondokwa vs. Dlamini

“Executioner” Kuutondokwa continues to blow away the opposition. The hard-punching Namibian landed a big left hook that put Dlamini down on his back under the bottom rope. Dlamini beat the count but a series of hooks saw the referee jump in a stop the fight. The 31-year-old Kuutondokwa, a former Namibian amateur champion, wins the vacant WBO Africa title and now has 11 victories by KO/TKO. South African Dlamini lost a split decision to Gideon Buthelezi for the national title in 2014 but his three fight since that had all ended in a draw.

Nakathila vs. Seroka

Nakathila gets his best win so far as he stops Seroka in eight rounds. Seroka had a big edge in experience as Nakathila was moving up from six rounds to twelve rounds for the first time. Nakathila was forcing the fight with Seroka using his experience to avoid or block most of the local fighters punches. Nakathila built a lead over the first three rounds but Seroka was taking the fight to Nakathila in the fourth and had a good sixth round. The fight was in the balance but Nakathila started getting through with hooks in the seventh and in the eighth he continued to land hooks and put Seroka down. He made it to his feet but was finished and the fight was stopped.  “No Respect” Nakathila wins the vacant interim WBO Africa title and has seven wins by KO/TKO. Going into this one he had registered three first round victories in his last three fights. Seroka had two spells as South African champion but this is his third loss in a row.

Indongo vs. Lyimo

Tall Namibian southpaw Indongo wasted no time here. A left hook floored Tanzanian Lyimo and although he managed to get to his feet he was unable to continue and the fight was halted. The 33-year-old Indongo was making the third defence of his WBO Africa title and has 10 wins by KO/TKO. He has solid wins over Kaizer Mabuza and Zolani Marali. Lyimo, also a southpaw, had won 8 of his last 9 fights but against low level domestic opposition.

Catano, Puerto Rico: Super Feather: Alberto Machado (15-0) W KO 2 Yardley Suarez (17-5). Fly: Angel Acosta (14-0) W KO 1 Juan Guzman (22-6). Super Fly: Jose Martinez (18-0) W TKO 1 Juan Palacios (29-7-2,1ND). Super Fly: Carlos Narvaez (15-0) W PTS 8 Juan Carlos Herrera (14-10).

Machado vs. Suarez

Machado lives up to his “El Explosivo” nickname as he crushes Suarez inside two rounds. He came close to ending it even earlier when he floored Suarez with a left hook in the first round. Suarez got up and after the eight count was tried to fight back but was on wobbly legs. He got a painful respite when Machado landed a low punch but after the enforced break a right from Machado had Suarez teetering but he was saved by the bell. Machado went straight after Suarez in the second. He curled a right around the high guard to the chin of Suarez that knocked him into the ropes. Machado then landed a straight left and followed that with right uppercut that deposited Suarez on the floor propped up by the ropes and he was counted out just 43 seconds into the round. Machado now has 13 wins by KO/TKO. Suarez lasted longer than his last 5 opponents none of whom were able to stay around to hear the bell to end the first round. At 5’10” (178cm) the 25-year-old Machado is tall for a super feather. He fights southpaw although he is naturally right handed and was a Puerto Rican champion at Junior, Cadet and Senior level. He lost to Argentinian Alberto Melian at the American Qualifiers for the 2010 Olympics and turned pro. Suarez, also a southpaw, gets his second loss by KO/TKO and is 4-4 in his last 8 fights.

Acosta vs. Guzman

“Tito” Acosta did an even quicker job on Dominican Guzman. The former top amateur jolted Guzman early with an uppercut and kept punching until a right put Guzman on the deck. He was unable to get up and the fight was over in 84 seconds. Acosta, 25, has won all of his 14 fights by KO/TKO. He was Puerto Rican national champion and a gold medallist at the Central American and Caribbean championships but a loss in the semi-finals of the national championships in 2011 ended his chances of qualifying for the Pan American Games and he went over to the pro ranks. Guzman now has two losses by KO/TKO. The other was in his last fight in February 2015 when he was stopped in five rounds by the current IBF super bantam champion Jonathan Guzman.

Martinez vs. Palacios

Martinez shatters former champion Palacios inside a round. The young Puerto Rican brushed aside the attempts by Palacios to box and counter. He walked through the punches trapped Palacios on the ropes and kept hammering away. Only the fact he was sitting on a rope kept Palacios from going down and as he was throwing nothing back the referee stopped the fight. Palacios protested but the stoppage was justified. Now 11 wins by KO/TKO for 23-year-old Martinez. Nicaraguan Palacios, 35, a former interim WBA minimumweight champion, is definitely on the down slope. He lost his interim title on the scales in 2011 and had more weight problems after that. He has gone 0-4-2 against very modest opposition since losing his title.

Narvaez vs. Herrera

Narvaez remained unbeaten but had to go the full eight rounds for his win. It was a hard fought competitive bout with the only real difference being that Narvaez was just the busier fighter. As a puncher the 27-year-old former double Puerto Rican amateur champion is not in the class of the more explosive fighters on this show with 9 of his last 10 wins coming on points. Fellow Puerto Rican Herrera had won his last 4 fights and has yet to lose by KO/TKO.

Tucson, AZ, USA: Super Light: Juan Diaz (42-4) W TKO 8 Cesar Vazquez (27-4). Light Heavy: Trevor McCumby (23-0) W RTD 4 Dion Savage (12-10). Light Heavy: Egor Mekhontsev (12-0-1) DREW 8 Alex Johnson (16-4-1). Super Welter: Alex Besputin (4-0) W KO 1 Kevin Womack (7-12-3).

Diaz vs. Vazquez

Diaz grinds down plucky Vazquez as he gets his second win on his comeback. Vazquez had height and reach but Diaz was bustling forward forcing Vazquez to stand and exchange. Vazquez was scoring with jabs and hooks but they lacked the power to keep Diaz out and even in the first Diaz was scoring with hard hooks to the head and left hooks to the body. Vazquez was throwing more punches but Diaz was blocking most and ignoring the rest and again landing hooks and uppercuts which rocked Vazquez. It was perpetual aggression from Diaz and Vazquez got no respite. He was making it difficult for himself by sticking and standing instead of sticking and moving and at times Diaz was even out-jabbing him. Vazquez was able to get on the front foot at times in the fifth and sixth but his defence was missing and late in the eighth he was rocked by left hooks and was trapped on the ropes and fading fast when the bell saved him. Vazquez came out in the eighth trying to punch his way out of trouble but a right uppercut unhinged his legs and he retreated to a corner. Diaz landed left and rights to the head  and although Vazquez was rocking badly the last three punches before the referee stopped the fight were three right hooks from Vazquez.! Having said that he had soaked up a lot of punishment and had nothing left. The 32-year-old “Baby Bull” from Houston registered his 16th year as a pro but this is only his second fight in almost two years and he has a long way to go to get into a position to challenge for one of his old titles. Mexican Vazquez, 30, won his first 25 fights then loss three in a row. He was inactive until returning with two wins in 2015.

McCumby vs. Savage

McCumby just punched too hard for Savage (Savage also goes by the name of Shujaa El Amin) and Savage’s corner retired there man at the end of the fourth. McCumby handed out serious punishment through all four rounds with Savage showing plenty of guts to soak it all up. He lost a point in the fourth for a series of low blows and at the end of the round his handlers pulled him out of the fight. The 23-year-old Chicago-born McCumby now has 18 wins by KO/TKO. He was USA Under-19 champion before turning pro in 2010 at the age of 17. Now 7 losses in a row for Savage but he took Chad Dawson the full ten rounds in a losing fight in December

Mekhontsev vs. Johnson

Mekhontsev gets disappoint draw against Johnson. The former amateur star had trouble with the southpaw style and accurate jab of Johnson but he managed to get past the jab often enough to edge the first two rounds. In the third Johnson landed a cracking right that looked to have Mekhontsev in trouble but the Russian survived. Mekhontsev seemed to have done enough to deserve the decision but it was a close fight and Johnson had a good last round to salvage a draw. Scores 76-76 twice and 78-74 for Mekhontsev. The 31-year-old Russian southpaw won everything as an amateur getting a gold medal at the Olympic Games, the World Championships and twice at the European Championships but this performance has put a question mark over whether he left it too late to turn pro. Johnson, 34, was no pushover. He has wins over Farah Ennis and Henry Buchanan and had lost on points to unbeaten fighters Luis Garcia and Eleider Alvarez. The downside is that he was stopped in seven rounds by Artur Beterbiev in 2015 and lost to novice Todd Unthank May in March.

Besputin vs. Womack

Besputin is one who has not left it late to turn pro. The former Russian champion put Womack down with a left hook to the body and he was unable to beat the count. The 25-year-old Oxnard-based Besputin has won his four pro fights by KO/TKO. He won gold medals at both the European Youth and Senior levels and is one to follow. Seven losses in a row for Womack.

Oakland, CA, USA: Light Heavy: Andre Ward (30-0) W PTS 12 Alex Brand (25-2). Super Light: Maurice Hooker (21-0-2) W TKO 1 Ty Barnett (23-5-1).

Ward vs. Brand

Ward gets a win but Brand makes it impossible for Ward to shine.This fight started slowly and never really caught fire. In the first round Ward was stalking Brand around the ring but not doing much of a job of cutting Brand off and no punches on any consequence was landed by either fighter. Brand was a bit livelier in the second and third. Ward either blocked or avoided his punches but was not letting his own punches go and a couple of jabs and some glancing rights were all he had to show for his efforts after three rounds. Ward stepped up the pace in the fourth letting a few right hands go but again he was being frustrated by the back-peddling awkward Brand. Ward did better fifth and sixth landing some rights but he also switched to southpaw looking for another way to unlock the negative Brand. Ward went southpaw again for much of the seventh but showed frustration at the holding tactics of Brand. Ward was losing his cool reaching too much with his punches and missing too often. He was winning the fight but it was a poor fight. Ward had his best round to that point in the eighth as he had his jab working well and scored with some right crosses but again Brand was proving elusive. Ward was again letting his punches go in the ninth. Brand was on the canvas but only because he missed with a wild left and spun himself off balance. At the end of the ninth the stats showed that Ward had landed 126 punches and Brand 35 but those figures seemed generous to both fighters. In the tenth Brand was tiring and that was helping Ward’s pursuit. He landed a hard right cross but then switched to southpaw and lost that momentum as he looked clumsy that way round. Brand actually took the fight to Ward for some of the eleventh round but he paid for it as Ward banged home some right crosses but none of the punches had any effect on Brand. The twelfth produced no fireworks as a poor fight petered out. Scores 120-108 from all three judges for Ward who wins the vacant WBO International title but very few new fans. The 32-year-old “Son Of God” found Brand an elusive, frustrating opponent and never really had 39-year-old Brand in any kind of trouble. Kovalev will be a different matter all together. Brand’s only other loss was a split verdict to Badou Jack in 2012. He was not looking to win here but just to survive. He did that but like Ward on this performance he also made no new fans.

Hooker vs. Barnett

Hooker wipes out Barnett inside a round. A left hook floored Barnett and he was in a bad way. When he got up Hooker blasted away until the referee halted the fight. The 26-year-old “Mighty Mo” from Dallas makes it 9 wins on the bounce and  16 wins by KO/TKO. He retains WBO NABO title but as Barnett was 2lbs over the division weight Barnett could not have won the title. Barnett, 33, was inactive for 21 months after losing to Cosme Rivera in May 2014 until returning with a win in February this year over veteran  Daniel Attah.

Miami, FL: Super Middle: Roamer Alexis Angulo (19-0) W KO 1 Zoltan Papp (11-3-1). Light Heavy: Yunieski Gonzalez (16-2) W TKO 1 Jackson Junior (21-7,1ND).

Angulo vs. Papp

Too easy for Colombian Angulo against overmatched Hungarian. Two hard rights floored Papp and he was unable to beat the count. The 32-year-old Angulo, a former South American Games silver medallist, has 16 wins by KO/TKO. His opposition has not been strong but he has travelled well with victories in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Germany, Turkey, Argentina and the USA. Papp  gets his third loss by KO/TKO.

Gonzalez vs. Junior

After two questionable losses Gonzalez was looking to find someone to take his frustration out on and poor Junior (Dos Santos) was the man in the frame. Gonzalez put Junior down three times and it was over. The 31-year-old Cuban “Monster” looked unlucky to lose to Jean Pascal in July last year and in dropping a majority verdict to Vyacheslav Shabranskyy in December. Junior was 15-0,1ND in his first 16 bouts but is 6-7 in his last 13.

Bristol, PA, Heavy: Chazz Witherspoon (35-3) W TKO 2 Mike Marrone (21-6). Super Light: Emmanuel Taylor (20-4) W KO 3 Carlos Aguilera (10-18,1ND).

Witherspoon vs. Marrone

In his first fight for a year Witherspoon steamrollers Marrone inside two rounds. Witherspoon nearly ended it in the first. An innocuous right put Marrone down. He made it to the vertical but another right put him down again and only the bell saved him. In the second an overhand right from Witherspoon put Marrone down heavily. Marrone again made it to his feet and looked ready to continue but Marrone’s corner called for the fight to be stopped. The 34-year-old Witherspoon, “The Gentleman” , has 27 wins by KO/TKO. This is his fifth win since being floored and halted inside three rounds by Seth Mitchell in 2012. Marrone, 30, looked a prospect for a while after winning his first 18 fights against carefully vetted opposition. Then in 2008 he surprisingly went over to Italy to fight unbeaten Francesco Pianeta and was stopped in two rounds. He was picked as an easy opponent for Guillermo Jones in a WBA cruiser title fight in 2011 even though he had never fought at the weight and was halted in six rounds. His last fight before this one was a second round kayo loss against Shannon Briggs in September last year.

Taylor vs. Aguilera

Taylor gets his second win this year by knockout. Aguilera was way out of his depth and had neither the skill nor the power to be competitive. Taylor took his time walking Aguilera down before landing a cruel left hook to the body that put Aguilera on the floor in agony and he stayed there throughout the count. Taylor, 25, made it into the world ratings with wins over Ray Serrano and Victor Cayo but losses to Chris Algieri, Adrien Broner and Antonio Orozco derailed him before he returned in February with a win. Aguilera, 34, a Mexican-based Nicaraguan southpaw has now lost three in a row by KO/TKO.

August 7

Penglai, China: Heavy: Jun Long Zhang (14-0) W TKO 2 Julio Cesar Dos Santos (30-7). Zhang retains the WBA Oceania title with second round stoppage of Brazilian Dos Santos. The 34-year-old “Dragon King” is 6’ 3 ½” (192cm), but was a career highest of 282lbs (128kgs) for this one. Not all of his fights have made it to the books and his claimed record is 22 wins by KO/TKO in 22 fights. Dos Santos, 38, was giving away over 60lbs and he was just 197lbs when losing to Tony Bellew in 2014.

Osaka, Japan: Light Fly: Ken Shiro (8-0) W PTS 12 Toshimasa Ouchi (20-9-3).

Shiro retains the national title and wins the vacant OPBF title with wide unanimous decision over Ouchi. No feeling out here as they went at it hard from the start. Shiro was quicker and focused his attacks on the body. Ouchi was being out-punched but fired back with enough rights to stay competitive. After four rounds Shiro was up on all three cards by 39-37 twice and a close 39-38.  Ouchi did well in the fifth although Shiro looked to have scored a knockdown as Ouchi’s glove touched the floor but it was not counted. The sixth and seventh rounds were close but in the eighth a right from Shiro floored Ouchi. He beat the count and tried to fight back over the remaining rounds but Shiro was the one landing the big punches as he tried for a knockout and he closed the fight by dominating the twelfth. Scores 119-108, 119-109 and 117-111all for Shiro. The 24-year-old winner, the IBF No 15(13), was making the third defence of his Japanese title. He made a bit of history as it is the first time a father and son have won OPBF titles. Dad Hisashi Terachi was undefeated OPBF light Heavy champion from 1996 to 2000 and had a 20-1-3 record. Ouchi, 30, the OPBF No 2, was having his second shot at winning a Japanese title having boxed a draw against Masayuki Kuroda in 2012.

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