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Eric Armit’s Weekly Boxing Report: Tony Bellew, Keith Thurman, Jayson Velez

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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Weekly Boxing Results 8 March 2017

March 1

Chonburi, Thailand: Knockout CP Freshmart (15-0) W KO 5 Go Odaira (13-6-3). Fly: Noknoi (62-4) W TKO 6 Kaenpetch (8-5). Fly: Yodmongkol (45-3) W TKO 2 Xusanbov Abdullayev (-0-2).Super Bantam: Oleydong (64-1-1) W PTS 6 Davidson Baison (0-1).

See Also

CP Freshmart vs. Odaira

CP punches too hard for Japanese challenger.  Odaira was flitting around the ring from the start throwing light punches with CP shadowing him and letting fly punches with bad intent landing straight rights and a peach of a left uppercut. Odaira traded more in the second and third and paid the price. CP scored with hooks to the body, straight rights and uppercuts and hurt Odaira with a left hook late in the second and again in the third. Odaira was landing good punches of his own but lacked power. CP landed seven consecutive body punches in the fourth and then half punched half wrestled Odaira to the floor. Odaira got up and the bell went. Early in the fifth a left and right to the head sent Odaira down. He slumped to his side then up on to his knees but was kneeling facing the canvas as he was counted out. Third defence of the full WBA title for 26-year-old CP (I know that name sounds silly but his real name is Thammanoon Niyomtrong so I will stick with the silly one). He won the interim title in his ninth fight and has been in scheduled ten round bouts from the start so presumably has background in Muay Thai. Odaira, 32, the former Japanese champion, showed plenty of guts but just did not have the power to keep CP out. Odaira challenged for the WBC title in March last year but was stopped in five rounds by Wanheng.

Noknoi vs. Kaenpetch

Some really awful “matching” here. Noknoi just keeps busy with stoppage of Thai novice Kaenpetch. Now 61 wins in a row for WBA No 2 Noknoi and 38 wins by KO/TKO. This against a 40-year-old guy who was having his first fight in almost three years.

Yodmongkol vs. Abdullayev

This one almost as bad. Former interim WBA fly champion Yodmongkol (real name Sirichai Thaiyen) stops one fight novice Abdullaev from Uzbekistan. Only one loss in his last 40 fights for WBA No 1Yodmongkol and that was to Juan Carlos Reveco for the secondary WBA fly title in 2014.

Oleydong vs. Baison

Probably the worst of a bad lot as former WBC minimum champion Oleydong (real name Kittipong Jaigrajang) outpoints unknown from parts unknown Baison. Now 29 wins in a row for Oleydong rated WBC 4/WBA 5. Disgraceful “fights”.

March 2

Tokyo, Japan: Bantam: Shinsuke Yamanaka (27-0-2) W TKO 7 Carlos Carlson (22-2). Super Feather: Kenichi Ogawa (21-1) W PTS 10 Satoru Sugita (12-3-1). Super Fly: Brian Viloria (36-5) W PTS 8 Ruben Montoya (14-4-1). Feather: Ryosuke Iwasa (23-2) W TKO 3 Glenn Medura (8-2-1).

Yamanaka vs. Carlson

Yamanaka retains WBC title as he halts overmatched Carlson. Yamanaka boxed in a relaxed, cool fashion in the first finding plenty of gaps for his strong southpaw lefts and tying Carlson up on the inside. The champion shook Carlson with a right /left combination early in the second and Carlson kept walking into counter after counter and Yamanaka could not seem to miss him with his straight lefts. Carlson did a bit better early in the third landing a left jab and long right but Yamanaka again shook the challenger with a left just before the bell. The fourth was a bit messy with Yamanaka pushing Carson to the floor twice. Carlson landed a good right late in the round but Yamanaka landed the better punches. After four rounds all three judges had Yamanaka in front. Two had it 40-36 and the other 39-37. Early in the fifth Carlson walked onto another straight left and this one dumped him on his rump. He beat the count but was trapped on the ropes and put down again by a cluster of glancing punches. With half the round to go it looked bad for Carlson but he grittily went forward behind a more solid guard. By cutting down Yamanaka’s space he was able to avoid any more punishment and actually landed a right that sent Yamanaka stumbling back across the ring just before the gong. Both were showing facial damage of a similar nature. Carlson was bruised and cut under his left eye and Yamanaka had a swelling under his left eye and a small cut to the side of the eye. Carlson came out aggressively for the sixth but two lefts to the head floored him. He was up quickly and after the obligatory eight count again fought his way out of trouble by taking the fight to Yamanaka and he landed a good right just before the bell. In the seventh the first punch Yamanaka threw was a straight left to the chin which sent Carlson stumbling back into the ropes and another left put him down. This time he took his time getting up and a swelling had almost closed his left eye. He was not looking to take the fight to Yamanaka but just stood against the ropes with both gloves in front of his face. He quickly went down from another left and the referee waived the fight over. Yamanaka, 34, was making the twelfth defence of his WBC title and this is win No 19 by KO/TKO. Carlson (for some reason his trunks bore the name Carson) had won his last 22 fights but against low grade opposition and was out of his depth here.

Ogawa vs. Sugita

Ogawa retains the national title with majority decision over No 1 challenger Sugita. It was a tougher than expected fight for Ogawa. They fought on even terms over the early rounds with a punch from Sugita opening a cut over left eye of the champion in the third round with Ogawa battling back over the fourth and fifth. At the half way point two judges had Ogawa in front 48-47 but the third went heavily for Sugita at 49-46. Ogawa came on strong over the sixth, seventh and eighth. He tired and spit out his mouthguard twice in the ninth but took the last and the decision. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Ogawa and 95-95. The 29-year-old IBF 4/WBO 5/WBC No 12 was making the fourth defence of his national title. Sugita was making a second attempt at winning the national title having been knocked out in nine rounds by Ogawa in April last year.

Viloria vs. Ruben Montoya

Viloria gets back into action and takes a hard-fought unanimous decision over Mexican Montoya. The “Hawaiian Punch” had some rust to shed and found Montoya a willing participant in some toe-to-toe action. Viloria scored with heavy punches to head and body and Montoya was willing to stand and trade and landed some good punches of his own. Scores 78-74, 78-75 and 77-75 all for Viloria. The 36-year-old former IBF and WBC light fly and WBA & WBO flyweight champion was having his first fight since being stopped in nine rounds by Roman Gonzalez for the WBC fight fly title in 2015. We will have to wait to see him against stiffer opposition to find out how much he has left. Montoya has been matched tough with losses to Brit Paul Butler and former WBC light fly champion Pedro Guevara on his record.

Iwasa vs. Medura

Predictable win for Iwasa. Filipino novice Medura showed some power but not enough. Iwasa landed a thunderous right hook in the third and the fight was stopped. The 27-year-old Japanese southpaw lost on a sixth round stoppage against Lee Haskins for the interim IBF bantam title in 2015. Despite that he is rated No 3 super bantam by the IBF but effectively No 1 as the first two posts are vacant. Iwasa has not beaten a top 15 fighter in the IBF ratings so cannot be rated No 1 or No 2-but No 3 is OK! Medura, 21, lost and drew in his first two pro fights then won eight on the bounce but was unrated in the Philippines.

March 3

Melbourne, Australia: Super Welter: Anthony Buttigieg (13-0) W PTS 12 Rocky Jerkic (15-1). Buttigieg wins the vacant Commonwealth title with split decision over Jerkic in a close exciting contest. To some extent the physical difference between the fighters dictated the tactics. Buttigieg was giving away lots of height and reach to Jerkic so to have any chance of winning he had to get past Jerkic’s jab and work inside. With Jerkic being the Australian champion and having won 10 of his last11 fights by KO/TKO he was the favourite here. He showed his power with some heavy head punches in the first but Buttigieg just kept coming and slowly but surely Jerkic was making less use of his physical advantages and being drawn into a brawl. Jerkic was making Buttigieg pay on the way in and landing some hard body punches and chopping rights. Buttigieg was wading forward ignoring whatever Jerkic threw and getting in close where he banged away with hooks and uppercuts. It was war in every round and it was difficult to separate them with each fighter having good spells in every round but as the judges saw it the inside work from Buttigieg just gave him the edge and he became the new Commonwealth champion on scores of 115-113 and 114-113 for Buttigieg and 115-113 for Jerkic. The 28-year-old local boxer, the Australian No 2, had not been past the eighth round before but showed great stamina to fight at the pace of the contest for twelve rounds. Jerkic’s Australian title was not on the line and it was also new territory for him as he had never been past the tenth round. Although it was close and he was disappointed by the decision he sportingly did not question the result and it was close enough to justify a return fight perhaps with both the Commonwealth and Australian titles on the line.

Saint-Quentin, France: Super Feather: Guillame Frenois (43-1) W PTS 12 Vyacheslav Gusev (22-4). Light Heavy: Tony Averlant (25-9-2) W RTD 6 Mikheil Khutsishvili (41-32-6).

Frenois vs. Gusev

Frenois makes comfortable first defence of his European title,. The hometown boxer just had too much speed and skill for the Russian challenger. Frenois used his longer reach and strong southpaw jab to keep Gusev out for much of the fight and after four rounds was up 40-36 on two cards and 39-37 on the other. Gusev, although a good technical boxer, lacked the speed or power to be a real threat. A clash of heads saw Gusev cut over his left eye in the sixth which did not help his efforts. Frenois was occasionally letting Gusev come forward onto counters and scoring with sharp uppercuts and straight rights and Gusev did enough pressing to pick up a round here and there but Frenois took no chances and stuck to his boxing. After eight rounds he had already put the fight beyond the reach of Gusev being in front on all cards at 79-73, 78-74 and 80-72. Although his corner urged him to try for an inside the distance win over the closing rounds Frenois is not a puncher and settled for boxing his way to a wide decision victory. L’Expert” Frenois had done his homework and knew what Gusev brought to the table and had the perfect tactics so it all went to plan. Scores 120-108, 118-110 and 116-112 all for Frenois. The 33-year-old Frenchman was working his way to a world title shot until he lost to Devis Boschiero in 2013 in a challenge for the same European title. He has now won 12 fights in a row and is hoping for a that world title chance but his current rating IBF 14 and WBC 21 leave him very much an outsider. Gusev, 31, was floored and lost every round against a pre-champion Gary Russell in 2013. He was inactive in 2014 and had two low level wins in 2015. He was lucky to get the title shot as the EBU set strict standards on activity and without a fight since December 2015 he fell outside these.

Averlant vs. Khutsishvili

Averlant returns with a win. The Frenchman forced Georgian to retire at the end of the sixth round. First fight for the 33-year-old Averlant, a former European Union and WBFederation world champion, since losing to unbeaten German Dominic Boesel in September. Six losses in a row for Khutsishvili.

Crotone, Italy: Welter: Tobia Giuseppe Loriga (29-7-2) W TEC DEC 5 Michele Esposito (9-3-1). Veteran local Loriga wins the Italian title as Esposito is cut in a clash of heads and when it goes to the scorecards two of the judges go for Loriga. The 40-year-old Loriga, a former Italian super welter champion, was 1-5 in his last six fights but has announced his retirement so goes out on a high. Esposito was making the first defence of the national title.

 Mexico City: Super Light: Antonio Moran (21-2) W TKO 1 Richard Zamora (14-2) **.

Moran wins the vacant WBC Latino title with quick stoppage of Zamora. Moran is tall for the weight at 6’1” so he had height and reach over Zamora.  Moran used his jab to force Zamora onto the back foot and scored with some long rights. Zamora was falling short with his own punches. Moran took Zamora to the ropes and unloaded a series of punches. Zamora got off the ropes but looked shaky. Moran kept advancing and shook Zamora with a chopping right which sent Zamora into the ropes. Zamora threw a wild looping right but Moran threw his own right on an inside track and it landed first flush on Zamora’s jaw. Zamora went down and after starting the count the referee abandoned it and waived the fight over. All over in 92 seconds. Supposedly this fight was to be for the WBC Latino Silver title but when both fighters failed to make the lightweight limit it was then agreed to be for the vacant super light title. Moran makes it 14 wins by KO/TKO. Zamora had won his last 11 fights but was nailed early here. **Before the fight his record was given as 18-1 with 11 wins by KO/TKO.

 Belfast, Northern Ireland: Light: Stephen Ormond (24-3) W TKO 1 Norwin Galo (7-8). Middle: Alfredo Meli (13-0-1) W PTS 6 Laszlo Fazekas (30-27-1).

Ormond vs. Galo

Early night for Ormond. After a few seconds of study the Dublin fighter banged home two left hooks to the body which dumped Galo on his rear. The Nicaraguan was badly hurt and although he made it to his feet at the count of nine he was finished and the referee stopped the fight. The 33-year-old Ormond makes it 13 wins by KO/TKO. The former WBO European champion has won 7 of his last 8 fights and revenged the loss in that run.  Galo, 35, is 2-8 in his last 10 fights.

Meli vs. Fazekas

Unbeaten Meli gets in some ring time against experienced Fazekas. Southpaw Meli, a fast starter, hurt Fazekas in the first and shook him with a couple of punches in the second. The Hungarian is a seasoned survivor and despite further punishment in the third and fourth was competitive. The paced slowed in the fifth but they let their punches go in an exciting last round. Referee’s score 60-54 for Meli. A good level amateur Meli drew with the unbeaten Conrad Cummings in a battle royal for the vacant BBB of C Celtic title in 2015. Fazekas has only lost three times by KO/TKO.

Paisley, Scotland: Welter: Sam Ball (8-0) W KO 3 Craig Kelly (9-10-1). Super Welter: Kieran Smith (9-0) W TKO 1 Marcin Cybulski (8-16-2).

Ball vs. Kelly

Ball wins the vacant BBB of C Scottish Area title with kayo of Kelly, The 21-year-old from Greenock was giving away a huge amount in height and reach (5’0” -152cm vs. 5’10” -178cm) but he overcame that to get his fourth win by KO/TKO. Former champion Kelly gets his fourth loss by KO/TKO

Smith vs. Cybulski

Smith gets another first round win as he halts poor Pole Cybulski. The 23-year-old 6’2” (188cm) Scot has now won his last three fights by KO/TKO in the first round. Cybulski, 31, now has 13 losses in a row.

Motherwell, Scotland: Super Light: Stephen Carroll (6-0) W PTS 8 Eddie Doyle (18-4). Dubliner Carroll comes in as a late replacement and retains his Celtic Nation title with close victory over local fighter Doyle. In a tight fight a knockdown scored by Carroll in the first proved to be the factor that determined the winner as the referee scored the fight 78-77 for Carroll. The Irishman was to have fought in a supporting bout and Doyle was to have defended his BBB of C Scottish Area title. However when Doyle’s opponent fell out Carroll move up to the main event. He could not fight for the Scottish title so it was changed to a fight for Carroll’s Celtic title. The 24-year-old Carroll was a top level amateur and this is a big win for him. Former Commonwealth title challenger Doyle , 32, had overcome a couple of bad losses to win his last four fights.

March 4

 London, England: Heavy: Tony Bellew (29-2-1) W TKO 9 David Haye (28-3). Welter: Sam Eggington (20-3) W KO 9 Paul Malignaggi (36-8). Super Light Ohara Davies (15-0) W TKO 3 Derry Mathews (38-12-2). Feather: Lee Selby (24-1) W TKO 9 Andoni Gago (16-3-2).

Bellew vs. Haye

Bellew stops Haye in a fight where both fighters suffer injury. Haye was taking the fight to Bellew in the first probing with his jab and being wild with some rights. Bellew boxed mainly on the back foot but landed two good left hooks at the end of the round. Haye continued to press the fight in the second with Bellew looking to counter. Haye scored with two good long rights but generally both threw hard punches and both missed by a mile. Haye continued to walk Bellew down in the third with Bellew rarely moving off the ropes. There was very little action in a slow round. Haye had a good fourth landing a hard right/left combination that sent Bellew scurrying back but he was unable to land anything else of substance. Pre fight predictions gave Bellew’s best chance of a win coming if he could take Haye into the late rounds and that seemed to be the plan. Bellew changed tactics in the fifth. He took centre ring, threw more punches and put Haye on the back foot but it was Haye’s round as he made good use of his jab and landed a hard right to the head. Haye bundled Bellew over in the sixth but in doing so seemed to suffer an injury to his right leg. When Bellew got up he sensed Haye had a problem and went for broke. He forced Haye back and landed a whole series of hard punches. Haye slipped to the canvas twice due to his injury. After Bellew landed some more head punches Haye went down  and this time it was counted. He easily beat the count but Ballew had him trapped on the ropes and looked just a couple of punches from victory when the bell went. With his very limited mobility Haye spent the seventh on the ropes where Bellew teed off with clubbing lefts and rights. Haye tried to counter but could not set himself to throw punches and took solid punishment throughout the round. Haye tried to come forward in the eighth and did land a couple of punches but he then backed to the ropes and spent the rest of the round there. Bellew kept backing off trying to lure Haye out into the ring where Haye’s  mobility problem would give  Bellew a big advantage but even on the ropes Haye was unable to slip many of the clubbing punches from Bellew. Haye did a bit better in the ninth throwing himself forward and punching but that spell passed and it was back to the ropes with Bellew scoring with chopping rights. Late on the round Haye seemed to shake Bellew with a right but a following left hook landed low and Bellew was given time to recover. In the interval Haye’s corner wrapped tape around his right ankle to try to give him some support. Bellew tried to finish it in the tenth. He tracked Haye around the perimeter of the ring scoring with lefts and right. He hampered his own efforts by landing a low punch and hitting on the break and Haye saw out the round. Haye made a brave effort in the eleventh. He scored with a good right and tried to come forward but missed with a punch and fell through the ropes. Haye continue to try to come forward but Bellew drove him to the ropes and threw a bunch of punches. Most missed but in trying to duck under them Haye felt through the lower ropes out on to the ring apron. He only just managed to get back inside the ring before the end of the count but the towel came in from Haye’s corner. Huge win for Bellew.  He was talking of possibly retiring but that does not seem likely to me. He has plenty of lucrative options  with both Deontay Wilder and Joseph Parker interested in fighting him and the possibility he could go back down to cruiser and defend his WBC title. The 34-year-old from Liverpool injured his hand early in the fight but it did not show. For Haye this is a huge set back. He is only two years older than Bellew but has been much less active. For Haye it is a case of what might have been. After five rounds I had him 49-46 in front but after the Achilles tendon rupture he was fighting at huge disadvantage. His only chance of winning was one big punch and without being able to use his right foot to provide the leverage that was a very slim chance. He showed real guts to fight on with that injury. He now faces a long layoff whilst he recovers from the surgery on his Achilles and then he needs to decide whether he retires or gives boxing one more shot.

Eggington vs. Malignaggi

Eggington gets career best win as he stops Malignaggi. Eggington had big edges in height and reach and Malignaggi had difficulty getting past the jab and also had to ship some straight rights before ending the opening round with a cluster of sharp, accurate jabs. Malignaggi started the second with a series of quick light jabs but Eggington was pressing hard. He landed a hard right/left right combination and was out jabbing Malignaggi by the end of the round. Malignaggi showed some of his old skills in the third and fourth being too quick and outworking Eggington who continued to press hard. The fifth was Eggington’s round as he had success with his jab and found the target with straight rights on a slowing Malignaggi. The sixth was a normal round for all except the last ten seconds. Eggington’s strength was telling and Malignaggi was warned for holding. In the last ten seconds Malignaggi went mad just wind milling light punches at Eggington. Some got through but were so light that at one point Eggington just dropped his hands because there was no power in the punches and in the end Malignaggi just wasted energy. Eggington took the seventh staying on top of Malignaggi and scoring with his strong jab and straight rights. Eggington had Malignaggi hurt early in the eighth and then dropped him with a wicked left hook to the body. Malignaggi was able to get to his knees but was bent double with his head on the canvas and he was still kneeing when the referee completed the count. Huge win for the 23-year-old “Savage” from the West Midlands. He lost his British and Commonwealth titles to Bradley Skeete in March last year but recovered quickly with a stoppage of Frankie Gavin in October. He is the official challenger for the European title and WBC No 14 and should get a ratings boost from this win. “Magic Man” Malignaggi, now 36, has had a great career winning the IBF super light and secondary WBA welter titles and losing only to the best. He had won his last three fights but announce his retirement.

Davies vs. Mathews

Davies just too quick and powerful for Mathews and retains his WBC Silver title with stoppage. The fight began with the usual cautious exchange of jabs. Davies seemed to have quicker hands and did most of the scoring but Mathews landed a good right to the head. Davies fired back with one of his own as the round ended. Having let Mathews come forward in the first Davies put himself on the front foot in the second. He was letting his punches go, particularly with the right and Mathews needed some clever defensive work to avoid running into trouble. They were both looking to land rights but neither had any real success. Mathews was coming forward in the third with Davies focusing on overhand rights and he was getting through with them. They suddenly decided to stand and trade winging punches from both hands until Davies landed a long right to the head and an uppercut to the chin which sent Mathews stumbling across the ring to the ropes on rubbery legs. Davies came over to capitalise on that but Mathews dropped down without another punch being thrown. He was up at seven and when the fight restarted Davies blitzed Mathews with a series of head punches sending Mathews down again. Mathews beat the count and indicated he was OK but a couple more punches from Davies saw him sag into the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. “Two Tanks” Davis, 25, was making the first defence of his WBC Silver title and makes it 12 wins by KO/TKO. He is rated EBU 6/IBF 9(8)/WBC 14. He is a compact, powerful fighter who is a real threat in this division. Mathews announced his retirement. The 33-year-old from Liverpool won British, Commonwealth and WBA interim titles. That seemed impossible when he had a run of four losses by KO/TKO in five fights back in 2008-2009 but he was not discouraged and came back to compete at the highest level and win titles.

Selby vs. Gago

Selby sheds some rust with the help of Spaniard Gago. The visitor tried hard to take the fight to Selby but the IBF champion was too quick. Selby knocked Gago down in the first with a punch that seemed to land on the back of the Spaniards head but Gago made it to his feet and saw out the round. From the second Selby  was slotting home southpaw jabs and straight lefts on the advancing Spaniard. Gago kept coming behind a high guard but when he tried to unload Selby was not there. The pattern of the fight didn’t really change much. Gago’s perseverance brought him some success with hooks when he managed to get inside but that did not happen often. Selby was getting in some ring time and not really loading up on his punches. Selby finally opened up in the eighth unloading hooks and uppercuts. He continued the pressure in the ninth and with Gago’ ducking and diving under a shower of punches the referee stopped the fight. The Spaniard was not badly hurt but the fight was one-sided. With his title defence against Jonathan Barros falling through Selby had not fought since April last year so this was a ring time exercise and Gago, who had won 9 of his last 10 fights gave him just what he needed.

New York, NY, USA: Welter: Keith Thurman (28-0) W PTS 12 Danny Garcia (33-1). Super Welter: Erickson Lubin (18-0) W TKO 4 Jorge Cota (25-2). Light Heavy: Andrzej Fonfara (29-4,1ND) W TKO 10 Chad Dawson (34-5,2ND).Light: Mario Barrios (18-0) W TKO 6 Yardley Suarez (20-7). Welter: Sergey Lipinets (12-0) W TKO 7 Clarence Booth (14-3).

Thurman vs. Garcia

Thurman retains his WBA title and collects Garcia’s WBC crown as he win unification bout on a split decision. Thurman came out firing taking the fight to Garcia. He shook Garcia late in the round with an overhand right and clearly won the round. Garcia took the second although it was closer. He was looking to counter and throwing more and Thurman was wild with his overhand rights. The third was also close but Thurman probably just edged and also took the fourth getting his punches off first and scoring with a sharp combination near the end of the fourth. The pace of the fight was fast and the offensive/defensive work shown by both boxers was of the highest level. After four rounds two of the judges saw it even at 38-38 with the third having Thurman up 39-37.Thurman got the better of the fifth with sharp counters but again it was a close one to call as they fired off punches at the end of the round. In the sixth Garcia was doing most of the pressing and was more accurate scoring with some quick burst of punches to make it his round. Thurman was consistently throwing more punches in each round but was missing with more. Thurman was quicker and more accurate in the seventh. Garcia was warned for two low punches and again they blasted away at the bell. Thurman had a good eighth. He was on the front foot for much of the round out jabbing Garcia and scoring with quick combinations. Garcia landed a good right late in the round but it was not enough to take the points. At this point the fight still could have gone either way with Thurman up 77-75 and 78-74 with the third having them level at 76-76. The pace was hectic in the ninth with Garcia on the front foot and scoring with his jab and straight rights and Thurman banging back and finishing the round with some lovely counters. I had Thurman comfortably in the lead so for me Garcia needed to take the tenth and he did. He was spearing Thurman with his jab and with short hooks inside. Thurman scored with a good right uppercut but did not work hard enough. Garcia continued to force the fight in the eleventh. Thurman fought as though he was confident he was ahead and was not looking to engage and probably gave the round away. In the last Garcia was walking Thurman down with Thurman constantly on the move and then lunging in with quick punches Garcia pressed hard and may have edged the round but it was not enough. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 for Thurman and 115-113 for Garcia. The 28-year-old “One Time” Thurman was making the first defence of his title after the WBA moved him up from secondary to real champion so this could be a unification fight. There are plenty of opportunities out there for Thurman now and like almost everyone else around his weight Manny Pacquiao is the preferred one. Garcia, 28, was also making the first defence of his title. He thought he had won this one but despite being the more accurate puncher the sheer volume of Thurman’s punches were enough to swing the verdict. Garcia’s father is talking of his son retiring but that would be stupid as Garcia is still a “name” fighter with options.

Lubin vs. Cota

Lubin blows away limited Mexican. Lubin made a confident start and did what scoring there was in the first round. Cota had a strange sideways on style with his feet at right angles to Lubin which meant that when moved forward he was very slow. In the second Cota was pumping out light punches with Lubin landing less but harder punches. The third saw Lubin open up and blast away with head punches at Cota. He kept the pressure up for most of the round and Cota was straightening up at times allowing Lubin to use his left more. In the fourth as Cota retreated to the ropes Lubin did a strange knee dip and then lunged in with a left that put Cota down. The Mexican had difficulty getting up and although he beat the count he did not step forward when asked to do so and the referee stopped the fight. Now 13 wins by KO/TKO for the 21-year-old southpaw. No big names on his record yet but he is already rated WBC4/WBA8/WBO 10 and his last three opponents have had combined records of 68-3. Cota’s only other loss was a seventh round stoppage by Marco Antonio Rubio in 2012 but he had scored a big win by beating Cuban Yudel Johnson in August 2015. The downside is that it was his last fight so this was his first ring effort for 19 months.

Fonfara vs. Dawson

Fonfara leaves it late as he comes from behind to stop Dawson. The early rounds were close but over the middle rounds the superior skills of Dawson saw him building what looked to be a winning lead. Fonfara, the younger man, seemed to be off his game. He was not pressing hard enough and not throwing enough punches. Dawson found plenty of gaps for his southpaw left and showed he still had the skills which had won him the WBC and IBF light heavy titles but he was putting in a lot of effort to stay in front. He showed signs of tiring in the ninth and a right to the head from Fonfara put him down. He was up and beat the count but Fonfara was sensing blood. Fonfara needed a knockout if he was going to win this one and he ended it early in the last round. He hurt Dawson with a body punch and then blasted him with a huge right. That sent Dawson stumbling backwards and Fonfara rained punches until the referee stepped in to save Dawson. The 29-year-old Chicago-based Pole badly needed a win after losing inside a round to Joe Smith Jr in his last fight in June last year. He lost on pints against Adonis Stevenson for the WBC title in 2014 but wins over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Nathan Cleverly had put him in line for another title shot until he was blown away by Smith. This win keeps those hopes of another title fight alive. Dawson had seen his rating nose dive after losing to Tommy Karpency in 2014. He beat Dion Savage in his only fight in 2015 and in June last year halted Cornelius White but this loss puts a question mark over his future.

Barrios vs. Suarez

Barrios marches on. The young Texan took a while to break down Suarez but a consistent body attack chipped away at Suarez’s resistance and a series of unanswered punches in the sixth brought the referee’s intervention. The 21-year-old from San Antonio makes it 10 wins by KO/TKO. He displayed maturity in his twelve rounds points win over former European champion and WBC title challenger Devis Boschiero in July and is making good progress. He is No 2 super feather with the IBF but weighed just inside the super light limit for this fight. Suarez is now 3-3 in his last 6 fights with the three losses all against unbeaten fighters.

Lipinets vs. Booth

Really just a keep busy fight for Booth. The Kazak “Samurai” was winning all the way but just when it looked as though the fight might go the distance Lipinets floored Booth and poured on the punches to end the fight in the seventh. His relative lack of pro experience covers up the fact that he was a world champion full contact kickboxing champion and did have some amateur fights in Kazakhstan. Wins over Haskell Rhodes and Lenny Zappavigna have seen the IBF put him at No 1 in their ratings so he is in line to fight the winner of the Ricky Burns vs. Julius Indongo unification match. Booth’s losses have been against unbeaten fighters and this is the first time he has lost by KO/TKO.

Bangkok, Thailand: Fly: Juan Hernandez (34-2) W TKO 3 Nawaphon (36-1).

Mexican Hernandez wins the vacant WBC title with stoppage of Nawaphon. The Thai was coming forward in the first throwing long rights. Hernandez was boxing on the outside constantly switching guards and firing quick, accurate combinations which easily pierced the Thai’s guard. Nawaphon stepped up the pace in the second and landed a couple of rights. Hernandez had the quicker hands. He was circling the perimeter of the ring changing guards constantly and again slotting home fast combinations.  Nawaphon continued to walk Hernandez down in the third but was too slow and predictable and Hernandez was scoring with uppercuts and hooks on the advancing Thai. Nawaphon was becoming frustrated and carelessly walked onto a beautiful left uppercut. The Thai staggered back on unsteady legs. Hernandez leapt after Nawaphon who tried to punch his way out of trouble but a series of hard punches finished off by a left hook sent him tumbling to the floor. Nawaphon was up quickly and when the eight count was completed Hernandez drove Nawaphon into the ropes and from there to a corner landing head punches from both hands. Nawaphon was trying to punch back but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. Nawaphon disputed the stoppage but it was right. Hernandez, 30, wins a title at the second attempt. He had lost on points to Kazuto Ioka for the WBC minimum title in 2011 but since then had 15 wins, 11 by KO/TKO, over good level opposition.  Nawaphon, 25, had won 7 of his last 8 fights by KO/TKO and was No 1 with the WBC which shows the strength of numbers over quality as he has never faced a rated opponent at any time in his career.

Malvinas Argentinas, Argentina: Super Welter: Hector Saldivia (46-4) W PTS 10 Guido Pitto (23-4-1). Saldivia holds on to his national title with split decision over Pitto but looked a clear winner. The first round was a close one with Saldivia just a little busier and he took the second by a clear margin. Pitto then got into the fight using clever counters and probably just doing enough to take the third, fourth and fifth. From there Saldivia took over as he staggered Pitto with a right in the sixth and forced the fight the rest of the way with Pitto spending much of the time trapped on the ropes. Scores 98-93 ½ and 97 ½-95 for Saldivia and 96 ½ -95 ½ for Pitto. The 33-year-old “El Tigre” was making the first defence of his Argentinian title. He has not lost to a domestic rival since 2007 but on the road has suffered inside the distance defeats against Sai Ouali, Kell Brook and Michel Soro. Pitto, 29, lost to Zaurbek Baysangurov for the vacant IBO title but has a win over WBA secondary title holder Jack Culcay and only lost on a very close decision( two cards read 113-115) to Culcay in a return. He was 5-0-1 in domestic action going into this one

Sydney, Australia: Middle: Mark Lucas (8-0) W PTS 10 Samuel Colomban (24-9-1). Lucas gets hard fought slit decision win over more experienced Colomban. Scores 97-93 and 97-94 for Lucas and a very different 98-92 for Colomban. Australian No 6  “2 Sharp” Lucas reportedly wins the OPBF Silver title. Cameroon-born Colomban, a former WBFoundation world champion and Commonwealth title challenger has no luck when a fight is close and he has had three losses and a draw on split verdicts in his last 11 fights.

Saint Lo, France: Light Heavy: Hugo Kasperski (29-7-1) W PTS 10 Gabriel Lecrosnier (19-40-4). Kasperski regains his old title as he gets split decision over local fighter Lecrosnier for the vacant French title. Kasperski took the first two rounds with his better skills but Lecrosnier then presses hard and put on plenty of pressure. Kasperski looked to be having the better of the exchanges but Lecrosnier was always dangerous making it a tense high action fight to the end. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Kasperski and 97-93 for Lecrosnier. Split decision but Kasperski looked the clear winner. He is now 2-0-1in three fights with Lecrosnier. Kasperski has tended to lose the big fights but has an outside chance of getting a fight for the European or European Union title. Probably the last chance to win national title for Lecrosnier who is 1-10 in his last 11 fights.

Wingmen imp Algae, Germany: Welter: Timo Schwarzkopf (17-1) W TKO 3 Artem Haroyan (13-1). Heavy: Senad Gashi (15-0) W TKO 2 Davit Gorgiladze (11-4). Super Middle: David Radovan (2-0) W TKO 4 Ondrej Marvan (4-3). Middle: Araik Marutjan (1-0) W TEC Dec 4 Serhii Ksendov (1-3). Super Middle: Anatoli Muratov (16-2) W TKO 2 Renato Goman (7-4).

Schwarzkopf vs. Haroyan

Schwarzkopf won this battle of undefeated fighters as he halted Armenian Haroyan. These two went at it from the start. Schwarzkopf was setting a fast pace and although Haroyan matched him over the first two rounds the German got on top and a big right in the third put Haroyan down and the fight was over. The 25-year-old Kosovo-born Schwarzkopf gets win No 10 by KO/TKO. His only loss was on points against unbeaten Swede Anthony Yigit in March 2015 and this is his third win since then. Spanish-based Haroyan found the step up in class too much for him.

Gashi vs. Gorgiladze

Gashi keeps busy with stoppage of Georgian. The Global Boxing Union world champion keeps his 100% record of wins inside the distance. He has nine first round wins so I guess this counts as overtime for him. Four fights outside Georgia for Gorgiladze and four losses by KO/TKO.

Radovan vs. Marvan

Former top amateur Radovan gets his second pro win as he halts Czech Marvan. Body punches undid Marvan. He was put down in the fourth but beat the count only to be under heavy fire when the referee stopped the fight. The 24-year-old recent Sauerland signing was a multi-time German amateur champion and won a silver medal at the European Under-22 Championships. He is trained by Juergen Brahmer and big things are expected from him. Second loss by KO/TKO for Marvan in German rings.

Marutjan vs. Ksendov

Another Sauerland prospects gets a win here but an expensive one. David Haye was not the only fighter to suffer an Achilles tendon injury.  After giving Ksendov a solid beating for three rounds Marutjan was well on his way to victory. It looked as though he was about to finish thing in the fourth when he sudden shouted in pain and turned away from the action. He had ruptured his Achilles tendon and was unable to continue. Since the fight was ended on an injury it went to the score cards and Marutjan was a unanimous points winner. The 24-year-old Armenian-born German was a bronze medallist at the European Junior and Under-22 Championships, won a silver medal at the European Championships and a bronze medal at the World Championships but failed to medal in Rio. A good prospect but he will be of action for quite some time. Ukrainian Ksendov out of his league.

Hangelsberg, Germany: Middle: Giuseppe Lauri (56-19) W TKO 6 Denny Lehmann (12-6-2). Italian Lauri proves that youth will not always be served. The seasoned old performer wins the Global Boxing Council Inter-Continental title with stoppage of German Lehmann. The 40-year-ol former European Union and WBC International super light champion is way past his sell by date. He is no longer licensed in his native Italy and this was only his third win in his last thirteen fights but a win is a win and his next fight will be for the Interim GBC title. Lehmann was 11-1-1 in his last 13 fights but against very low level opposition.

Korbach, Germany: Middle: Mario Jassmann (9-0) W PTS 10 Giorgi Gujejiani (7-3-2). Cruiser: Ilja Mezencev (14-1) W TKO 2 Hamza Wandera (19-13-3,1ND).

Jassmann vs. Gujejiani

Easy win for hometown fighter Jassmann. He was in charge all the way. He floored the Georgian with a left hook in the third but could not finish the fight. The crude, awkward Georgian was dangerous with his head and tried to rough Jassmann up but the local fight stuck to his boxing and was a clear winner. Scores 100-87 twice and 99-88 all for 29-year-old Jassmann who had a good amateur record but did not turn pro until he was 27. Gujejiani is 1-3-1 in his last 5 fights.

Mezencev vs. Wandera

Puncher Mezencev has yet to go the distance in a fight and he easily overpowered Ugandan Wandera late in the second round to force the stoppage. The 21-year-old Kazak-born Mezencev lost on a seventh round kayo against unbeaten German hope Tom Schwartz in 2015 but has won four in a row since then to make up his total of 14 wins by KO/TKO. Wandera, 33, a former Ugandan super middle champion now has nine losses by KO/TKO.

Dachau, Germany: Light: Howik Bebraham (7-0) W PTS 8 Mzonke Fana (38-11). Heavy: Serge Michel (1-0) W KO 2 Slavisa Simeunovic (26-21). Heavy: Goran Delic (31-1) W KO 4 Balasz Horvath (29-21). Light Heavy Toni Kraft (10-0-1) DREW 8 Viktor Polyakov (11-1-1). Light Heavy: James Kraft (11-0) W PTS 8 Aro Schwartz (13-3).

Bebraham vs. Fana

Bebraham takes a big step up in quality of opposition and outpoints South African Fana. Bebraham was in charge all the way in this one and rattled Fana a few times with left hooks but Fana used his experience to prevent the younger fighter from capitalising on those shots and he lasted the full distance. German champion (BDB version) Bebraham was a national level amateur and this was a good win considering that two fights ago Fana was challenging Terry Flanagan for the WBO title. Fana, 43, a former IBF super fly champion, looks to be on the way to becoming a travelling name for young fighters to beat.

Michel vs. Simeunovic

Former Johnny Nelson victim Alex Petkovic has being doing a great job of putting ion smaller shows in Germany but what he needed was a “name” fighter. In signing “The Bavarian Sniper” Michel he may have signed a young fighter with the potential to be that missing piece. Michel floored Simeunovic in the first before finishing him with a body punch in the second. Michel was voted AIBA “Boxer of the Year” in Germany last year after some good performances in the WBS. He also competed at the World Championships and the Rio Olympics. His is a story of the good boxing can do. An immigrant from Russia after having some success as a junior Michel got into trouble with the police and spent a period in jail. He continued to train whilst in jail and turned his life around by going back to boxing when he was released. Now 17 losses by KO/TKO for Bosnian Simeunovic

Delic vs. Horvath

The words a big fish in very small pool apply here. Delic gets win No 7 by KO/TKO. The 43-year-old Bosnia southpaw has made a living out of beating very mediocre opposition. He poked his head above the parapet in 2014 and was stopped in five rounds by Juan Carlos Gomez. Since then it has been seven wins against mediocrity again. Hungarian Horvath makes his living out of being a popular loser. He had 14 fights last year and this loss takes his career total to 19 losses by KO/TKO.

Kraft vs. Polyakov

Kraft losses his 100% record as he is held to a draw by Polyakov. The change of opponent did not help Kraft as Polyakov was a tougher opponent than the original one. A good learning fight for the 23-year-old German who is the WBC Youth champion and No 40 in their ratings. Russian Polyakov, 35, did most of his early fighting in the USA and in 2012 outpointed Derrick Findley to win the USBO title but was then inactive before returning to action last month.

Kraft vs. Schwartz

Younger brother James makes it a family double as he gets wide unanimous decision over Schwartz. There was some bad blood at the weigh-in which raised the tension somewhat. When it came to the fight Kraft floored and outpointed Schwartz to keep his 100% record alive. The 20-year-old Kraft is the WBC Youth champion. Schwartz, 22, is the German International champion.

Tokyo, Japan: Light: Kazuhiro Nishitani (17-4-1) W TKO 8 Shuhei Tsuchiya (22-5). Super Light: Hiroki Okada (15-0) W TKO 7 Rodel Wenceslao (11-14-1).

Nishitani springs minor upset as he halts champion Tsuchiya. Nishitani got into his stride early and did enough to take the first round. That spurred the big punching Tsuchiya to turn up the heat in the second and Nishitani was forced to stand and trade. Over the third and fourth Nishitani was able to get back to his boxing but the power of Tsuchiya manifested itself in the fifth as he again forced Nishitani to exchange punches and dropped the challenger with a right. Nishitani recovered well and was back in the fight before the end of the round.  At that point all three judges had scored the fight 47-47. The pace dropped a little in the sixth and seventh with Tsuchiya largely dominating the action. With the fight slipping away from him Nishitani switch to southpaw in the eighth and put Tsuchiya on his rump with a devastating left uppercut. Tsuchiya made it to his feet but was a spent force and after the eight count Nishitani scored another knockdown and the fight was stopped. The 29-year-old Nishitani gets win No 9 by KO/TKO. He was having his second shot at this title having lost to previous champion Kota Tokunaga in December 2015. Tsuchiya was making the first defence of the national title. He had won his last six fights.

Okada vs.Wenceslao

Okada makes heavy work of beating lightly held Filipino Wenceslao. The visitor came to win and was competitive from the start. Okada looked to have taken the first round but an aggressive Wenceslao landed some good overhand rights and earned at least a share of the second, third and fourth rounds. Okada finally woke up in the fifth and began to attack the body of Wenceslao and slowly broke down the game Filipino. Wenceslao hit back well in the sixth but in the seventh a rib crunching body punch put Wenceslao down. He beat the count but was put down again by body punches and the fight was stopped. Eleven wins by KO/TKO for the former undefeated Japanese super light champion Okada. He relinquished the national title to go after a shot at the OPBF title. He is rated WBO 7/WBC15. Three losses in a row for former Philippine’s title challenger Wenceslao.

Guadalajara, Mexico: Feather: Horacio Garcia (31-2-1) W KO 5 Josue Veraza (18-8-2) Garcia starts his rebuilding with kayo of Veraza. The big punching “Violento” did not have things all his own way against a game Veraza. Over the first three rounds Veraza was very competitive. He suffered a cut over his left eye early and a bruising under the eye affected his vision. Despite those handicaps he shook Garcia with a right in the second. Garcia took over late in the third and landed some heavy shots in the fourth before delivering a left hook in the fifth that put Veraza down. He made it to his feet but was on wobbly pins and the referee stopped the fight. Garcia, 26, had great start to his career winning his first 29 fights 22 by KO/TKO. His express was derailed in 2015 when he lost a wide unanimous verdict to Hozumi Hasegawa and last year he was held to split draw by Erik Ruiz (15-5) and lost every round against Joseph Diaz in December. Veraza had scored two good level wins going in but now has 6 losses by KO/TKO

Dzierzoniow, Poland: Cruiser: Mateusz Masternak (38-4) W PTS 8 Alexander Kubich (9-3). Masternak puts in a workman-like if uninspired performance in outpointing Kubich. The local fighter found the Russian an awkward opponent who was mainly focused on survival. Masternak had difficulty landing cleanly and Kubich was happy to put his back to the ropes and cover up. Masternak was doing what clean scoring there was but at times Kubich would get into a clinch and half turn his back to Masternak denying toe Pole a target. Too much holding saw Kubich lose a point in the fifth but he briefly came to life in the sixth and seventh before staying out of trouble in the last. Scores 80-71 twice and 78-73 all for Masternak. Former European champion Masternak lost a very close decision Tony Bellew for the vacant European cruiser title in December but had only one fight last year. That was a win over Eric Fields in April so his was his first fight for 11 months. He is rated WBA 4/WBC 10/IBF 6(4) and on the basis of his strong showing against Bellew would be a good match for any version of the cruiser title. Kubich, 30, won his first nine fights but last year suffered defeat in back-to-back bouts against unbeaten fighters Michal Cieslak and Yves Ngabu.

Gurabo, Puerto Rico: Super Feather: Jayson Velez (24-4-1) W PTS 10 Alberto Mercado (13-1-1) W. Fly: Jonathan Gonzalez (19-2-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Sammy Gutierrez (16-14).

Velez vs. Mercado

Velez wins the WBC Fecarbox and Latino titles with unanimous decision over champion Mercado. The first round was an even one but Mercado took the second. He made good use of his southpaw jab and scored with lefts to the body with Velez being short with his punches. Velez gradually managed to close the distance and work inside with body punches of his own. From the half way mark Velez kept getting stronger and he put Mercado down twice once in the seventh and once in the ninth and used a focused body attack to run out a clear winner. Scores 97-91 twice and 97-92 for Velez. The 28-year-old “La Maravilla” badly needed a win. He had lost four really testing fights in a row to Ronny Rios, Joseph Diaz, Rene Alvarado and Alfredo Santiago. Mercado, 29, a Hartford-based Puerto Rican, was making the third defence of his WBC Fecarbox title and first defence of his WBC Latino title. He had been riding his luck with a split draw and a split decision win in his last two fights.

Gonzalez vs. Gutierrez

Southpaw Gonzalez gets unanimous decision over late replacement Gutierrez. Gonzalez looked comfortable as he outboxed Gutierrez over the first five rounds but Gonzalez was hurt and under pressure in the last. First fight for 25-year-old “La Bomba” since a shock kayo loss to Filipino Joebert Alvarez in March last year. Mexican Gutierrez, a former WBC Fecarbox super fly champion, came in as a late pick and drops to 2-5-1 in his last 8 fights.

Balashikha, Russia: Light: Roman Andreev (19-0) W PTS 12 Abraham Ndauendapo (15-4,1ND). Cruiser: Alek Papin (6-0) W TKO 1 Sergio Alberto Anjel (12-2-1).

Andreev vs. Ndauendapo

Andreev retains the WBO Inter-Continental title with unanimous decision over Ndauendapo to remain undefeated. The hometown fighter won on a unanimous decision. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 116-112. First defence of his title for 30-year-old Andreev who is rated WBO 10/IBF 11(10). Namibian Ndauendapo had a nine bout winning streak snapped when he lost to South African Oscar Chauke in his last fight in June.

Papin vs. Anjel

Papin wipes out Argentinian Anjel inside a round. The powerful Russian forced the stoppage just past the two minute mark of the first round. The 29-year-old Papin was a World, European and Russian champion a Low-Kick rules kickboxing before deciding to try boxing. He turned pro in November 2015 and has five wins by KO/TKO. Anjel 36 turned pro back in 1999 but was inactive from 2008 until 2015 and had scored six victories since returning.

Doncaster, England: Light: Robbie Barrett  (14-2-1) W PTS 10 Kevin Hooper (19-5). Bantam: Josh Wale (23-9-2) W PTS 10 Ramesh Ahmadi (5-2-1). Super Feather: Lee Appleyard (10-2) W PTS 10 Adam Hague (10-1). Super Welter: Evaldas Korsakas (5-5-2) W TKO 2  Aston Jolly (8-3-1). Bantam: Jason Cunningham (21-3) W PTS 10 Jamie Speight (14-11)

Barrett vs. Hooper

On a great small hall show local southpaw Barrett retains his English title and puts himself in line for a shot at the British title with unanimous decision over Hooper. Barrett’s southpaw style and quick footwork proved just too much for Hooper. The visitor tried hard but Barrett was too elusive and was able to get his punches home and either get out of range or move in and smother Hooper’s response. Scores 99-92, 98-92 and 97-93 all for Barrett. First defence of his English title for the 22-year-old Barrett and tenth win on the bounce. “Super” Hooper, 32, is a former English champion. He was 6-2 in his last 8 fights going in with the losses being to world rated fighters Liam Walsh and Scott Cardle.

Wale vs. Ahmadi

Wale wins the vacant English title but Ahmadi shows good skills and competitiveness which belies his comparative lack of experience. It was an open fast-paced fight with plenty of frantic exchanges. At time heads bumped and Ahmadi was cut over his right eye in the fourth and Wale in the ninth was cut over his left eye. Wale looked bigger and stronger but Ahmadi was quick and used a good body attack. It was a close fight with Wale’s greater experience seeing him pace the fight well and emerge with the decision. Scores 98-93 and 97-94 for Wale and 96-95 for Ahmadi. Wale had been 0-5-2 in title fights going into this one so celebrated his win with great emotion. He is rated No 5 by the EBU so he may look to go that way. Afghan-born Ahmadi, 22, put in a great performance here considering he had only once gone past four rounds and never past six. If anything he raised his profile here in making it such a close fight against experienced Wale.

Appleyard vs. Hague

Appleyard continues his good run with points victory over Hague and gets revenge for a defeat in 2015. These were well matched. Appleyard an upright stylist had the edge in height and reach and made good use of a stiff jab and slotted home straight rights with Hague fighting out of a semi-crouch showing a quick left jab of his own and some good body punching. Appleyard was at his best in ring centre with Hague doing good work when he could take Appleyard to the ropes. The rounds were close with Appleyard eventually building a lead. He was well on top in the eighth scoring with clubbing rights as Hague looked to be tiring. In the ninth Appleyard scored with two clubbing rights and then put Hague down with a left hook. He beat the count but was in deep trouble. He shipped a lot of punishment but kept trying to fight back until a right uppercut put him down again. He again beat the count and the bell went before there was any more action. Hague took the fight to Appleyard in the last. He had to ship more punishment but was still fighting back at the bell. Referee’s score 97-92 for Appleyard. He has now won 7 of his last 8 fights and hopes to go on to fight for the English title. Hague was going past the sixth round for the first time and tired but put up a fighting performance.

Korsakas vs. Jolly

These two southpaws were both letting their hands go early and it did not look like a fight that would go the distance. Korsakas had the better of the exchanges in the first. He continued to look dangerous in the second and put Jolly down with a left counter to the chin. He was up at four and after the eight count Korsakas rushed in driving Jolly to the ropes and exploded a series of body punches. Jolly was not fighting back and the fight was stopped. Korsakas, a Lithuanian based in Hull, was 3-5-1 in his first 9 fights but in October fought a draw with Shayne Singleton (23-1) so was in good form. Jolly has now lost 3 of his last 4 fights.

Cunningham vs. Speight

Southpaw Cunningham was tracking Speight around the ring in most rounds with Speight showing some good defensive work but he lacked the power to keep Cunningham out. At times the fight was one-sided but when he could move into the ring centre Speight found the target for sharp counters and stayed competitive. Too often he had his back to the ropes with Cunningham banging home rights to the body and straight lefts to run out a clear winner. Referee’s score 98-94 for Cunningham. The 27-yerar-old local fighter, a former undefeated Commonwealth champion, has lost only one of his last eight fights and that was on points against the current WBA super fly champion Khalid Yafai for the British title in 2015. This is his fourth win since then. Speight showed some good defence but lacked the power to keep Cunningham out and has lost 4 of his last 5 fights.

Houghton-le-Spring, England: Super Feather:  Thomas Patrick Ward (20-0) W PTS 6 Simas Volosinas (7-56). Super Bantam: Martin Ward (25-3-1) W PTS 6 Dmitrijs Gutmans (4-14-1).

Ward vs. Volosinas

Ward gets useful rounds in against Lithuanian Volosinas. The visitor made a lively start but the local southpaw was always boxing well inside himself and took every round. Referee’s score 60-54 for Ward. The 22-year-old local, the European No 4, was using this as a warm-up for a tough task when he challenges James Dickens for the British title in May. Poor Volosinas has managed only one win in his last 36 fights.

Ward vs. Gutmans

Elder brother Martin also has a fight coming up and he too was looking for some ring time as he had not fought since July last year. As with Tommy he was an easy winner as he used a sharp southpaw jab to control the fight and as he shook off some rust put on a show over the last two rounds without going into top gear. Referee’s score 60-54 for Ward. He had the bad luck to suffer a cut in his challenge to Stuart Hall for the IBF bantam title in 2014 with the bout ending early leading to a technical draw. A split decision loss to James Dickens for the British super bantam title in 2015 was a set-back but he is now the mandatory challenger to Spain’s European champion Abigail Medina with purse offers for the fight due later this month. Latvian Gutmans was 1-6 going into this one but was coming off a stoppage win in England last month.

Tlalpan, Mexico: Super Feather: Emanuel Lopez (23-6-1) W PTS 10 Jesus Quijada (12-4-1). Lopez overcomes tough Quijada. After spending the first round exchanging jabs these two spent the second and third rounds exchanging hooks to the body with Lopez just having the edge. Quijada had height a d reach over Lopez but was looking to go head to head rather than use those edges. Quijada had a good fourth forcing his way inside and working the body but Lopez was on top in the fifth and looked close to a win in both the sixth and the seventh as he pounded away at Quijada’s body. Quijada was tiring and Lopez was in control in the eighth and ninth. Quijada tried to find something in the tenth but the big punches were coming from Lopez who was a clear winner. Scores 99-91 twice and 97-94 all for Lopez. The former interim WBA champion lost hard fights last year to Juan Jose Martinez and Edgar Puente but closed the year with good wins over Sergio Puente (24-3) and Antonio Moran (20-1). Quijada was 6-0-1 in his last 7 fights including a first round win over experienced Leonilo Miranda.

Windhoek, Namibia: Super Welter: Anthony Jarmann (14-1-1) W PTS 12 Geroge Mdluli (8-4-1). Feather: Onesmus Nekundi (8-3-2) W PTS 10 Costa Nilo Frans (3-3-1).

Jarmann vs. Mdluli

Jarmann retains his WBA Pan African title with wide unanimous verdict over South African Mdluli. This was a one-sided affair with Mdluli down five times but managing to survive. Jarmann floored Mdluli in the third but Mdluli was saved by the bell. Jarmann registered two more knockdowns from hooks in the fourth. Mdluli was really just looking to survive by now. He was down twice more in the eighth and lost a point in the ninth for holding and was still there at the end. Scores 120-105, 118-105 and 117-106 all for Jarmann. The Namibian has now won seven on the bounce. Mdluli, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial champion has lost 3 of his last 4 fights and is 0-2 in bouts in Namibia.

Nekundi vs. Frans

Nekundi retains his national title with comfortable win over Frans. Nekundi put Frans down in the first but could not finish things. There was a slight delay in the third when a clash of heads monetarily stunned Frans who stopped fighting but was told to fight on. The fight continued but Frans was really in survival mode all the way. Scores 100-89 twice and 98-91 all for Nekundi who is 7-1-2 in his last 10 fights. Frans really just a prelim fighter who was going past the sixth round for the first time

Fight of the week: Keith Thurman vs. Danny Garcia with honourable mention to Anthony Buttigieg vs. Rocky Jerkic

Fighter of the week: Keith Thurman

Punch of the week: The leaping left from Erick Lubin which effectively ended his fight with Jorge Cota

Upset of the week: No huge upsets. Tony Bellew’s win over David Haye and Sam Eggington’s win over Paul Malignaggi were fights in which the eventual winner was always given a good chance of coming out on top

One to watch: Texan Mario Barrios 18-0

Special mention to Paul Malignaggi and Derry Mathews who both announced their retirement. Both fighters won big titles, were always entertaining and gave full value for money. I wish them both well.

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Kubrat Pulev promises to give Anthony Joshua a rematch once…

Kubrat Pulev promises to give Anthony Joshua a rematch once he beats him

IBF number one contender Kubrat Pulev 28-1 (14) is ready to put a beating on unified heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua 23-1 (21) before offering him a rematch. That’s the word from the rugged Bulgarian’s manager Ivaylo Gotsev. WBA, WBO and IB…

Manny Pacquiao could face Gennadiy Golovkin, says Freddie Roach

Manny Pacquiao could face Gennadiy Golovkin, says Freddie Roach

Freddie Roach has revealed that Manny Pacquiao 62-7-2 (39) would like to face Gennadiy Golovkin 40-1-1 (35) despite admitting that the eight-division world champion would be unlikely to fight at 160-pounds. The 41-year-old Filipino phenom has not …

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