The Past Week in Action 22 March 2017
Gennady Golovkin gets close unanimous decision over Daniel Jacobs
Srisaket gets highly controversial shock points win over Roman Gonzalez
Dave Brophy wins Commonwealth title with stoppage of Zac Dunn
Robert Stieglitz retains European title in draw with Nikola Sjekloca and says he is retiring
Amir Mansour outpoints Travis Kauffman
Alex Dimitrenko knocks out unbeaten Adrian Granat in one round
Andy Lee returns to action with a win
Horacio Cabral snaps unbeaten streak of Logan McGuinness at 26
Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Dave Brophy (19-1-1) W TKO 7 Zac Dunn (23-1). Super Light: Czar Amonsot (34-3-3) W TKO 3 Zsigmond Vass (12-5). Super Feather: Joel Brunker (31-2) W TKO 2 Jason Butar Butar (24-22-1).
Brophy vs. Dunn
Brophy upset the odds and Dunn’s world title plans as he stops the Australian in seven rounds to win the Commonwealth title. After a couple of even rounds where Brophy did most of the pressing his tactics of attacking the body started to pay off as Dunn was visibly hurt in the third. Brophy’s team had felt that Dunn left himself open to body punches and Brophy followed the plan firing hooks and uppercuts inside. Dunn tried to reverse the trend with a fighting fifth round but Brophy took over again in the sixth and again it was body punches that did the damage. A left hook to the body in the seventh floored Dunn. He made it to his feet but Brophy fired a series of punches and the towel came in from Dunn’s corner. There was nothing to suggest this result was possible or probable. The 26-year-old Scot had scored only two wins by KO/TKO and in his only other big fight had been knocked out in four rounds by George Groves in April last year. He had scored two wins since then against domestic/European opposition which was not good enough to get him into the European ratings but now he will be crashing into the world ratings. Huge setback for former undefeated IBO champion Dunn in the first defence of his Commonwealth title. He was rated IBF 5(4)/WBC 5/WBO 5. He had beaten Max Bursak, Les Sherrington and Liam Cameron and must have been hoping for a title shot either late 2017 or in 2018. He has a good team around him so is quite capable of rebounding.
Amonsot vs. Vass
Filipino Amonsot extends his unbeaten run with stoppage of Hungarian Vass. The 31-year-old southpaw was making the first defence of his interim WBA Oceania title. He is No 5 with the WBA and is 16-0-2 in his last 18 fights with a total of 22 wins by KO/TKO. Vass suffered his third loss by KO/TKO.
Brunker vs. Butar
After losing big fights against Lee Selby and Josh Warrington Brunker had a better 2016 with two wins and he put one more brick in the wall here with win No 18 by KO/TKO. Now ten losses by KO/TKO for Butar Butar.
New York, NY, USA: Alex Saucedo (24-0) W TKO 2 Johnny Garcia (19-5-1). Super Feather: Robson Conceicao (3-0) W TKO 2 Aaron Hollis (3-5). Super Bantam: Michael Conlan (1-0) W TKO 3 Tim Ibarra (4-5).
Saucedo vs. Garcia
Saucedo impresses as he overwhelms Garcia inside two rounds. Saucedo was letting his punches go from the off. He hurt Garcia early with a right and then banged home some left hooks to the body. Garcia was stuck with his back to the ropes as Saucedo tracked him around the ring before putting Garcia down with a stiff left jab. Garcia got up and made it to the bell under pressure all the way. The doctor examined Garcia at the start of the second to make sure he was all right to continue. Saucedo was forcing Garcia around the ring in the second dominating with his jab and firing left hooks to the body. With Garcia on the ropes and Saucedo landing head jarring punches the referee stopped the fight. Impressive show from the 22-year-old Mexican as he gets win No 15 by KO/TKO. He has real snap in his jab and hits hard with both hands. He has a win over Ray Serrano. He is No 14 with the WBO and has the power to go much higher. Garcia, 34, gets his third loss by KO/TKO. He is on the slide being 0-4-1 now in his last 5 fights.
Conceicao vs. Hollis
Brazilian Olympian gold medal winner Conceicao blows away Hollis. Hollis made a fast start but a couple of hard combinations from Conceicao soon changed that as the Brazilian rocked Hollis early. The Brazilian continued to let his punches go and took Hollis to a corner and punched away until Hollis slumped to the floor. He got up quickly and the bell went after the eight count before Conceicao could do any more damage. Conceicao came out in the second just throwing wild punches driving Hollis to the ropes and then he kept throwing punches until the referee stopped the fight. The 28-year-old Conceicao makes it two wins by KO/TKO. It is early in his pro career but he needs to take a more studied approach as he just blasts away with no thought of defence and that won’t work at a higher level. Now four losses in a row for Hollis.
Conlan vs. Ibarra
Conlan turns pro with a win inside the distance. The Belfast prospect had Ibarra on the defensive from the start. Holding his hands low Conlan was hammering away at the body and landing heavy overhand rights. Hollis did well to survive into the third round but he was taking punishment on the ropes without firing back and the referee stopped the fight. The 26-year-old Conlan won gold medals at the World Championships, the European Championships and the Commonwealth Games and hit the headlines with expletive laced comments about the officials after his elimination at the Rio Olympics. He will make it to the top. Now three losses by KO/TKO for Ibarra.
Reading, PA, USA: Heavy: Amir Mansour (23-2-1) W PTS 12 Travis Kauffman (31-2,1ND). Super Welter: Kermit Cintron (39-5-3) TEC DRAW 5 David Grayton (15-1-1). Cruiser: Steve Cunningham (29-8-1) W PTS 6 Felipe Romero (19-12-1)
Mansour vs. Kauffman
In an important fight for both contestants Mansour just edges past Kauffman on a majority decision to win the vacant WBC United States title. Mansour had a good first round looking quicker than Kauffman and landing what good punches there were. From there Kauffman decide to switch to southpaw and that seemed to work for him although he switched back at times. Kauffman had probably built a small lead by the seventh but then Mansour took over. He was making good use of a strong jab to set up his shots and rocked Kauffman with a right in the eighth. That jab was in evidence again in the ninth before he banged home a heavy left. With both fighters tiring over the closing rounds there were plenty of heavy exchanges as they went toe-to-toe and although Kauffman had a strong last round Mansour looked a clear winner. Scores 117-111 and 115-113 for Mansour and 114-114. “Hardcore” Mansour is 44 now so could not afford a setback. His chances of getting back in contention had suffered a blow when after drawing with Gerald Washington in 2015 he was forced to retire with an injury against Dominic Breazeale in January 2016. Breazeale went on to fight Anthony Joshua and Mansour was out of the ring for 15 months. Local fighter Kauffman has been a pro for 11 years now and spent too long fighting opponents who would be complimented if called moderate. His No Decision was a loss to Chris Arreola which was changed when Arreola tested positive for a banned substance. Kauffman can’t afford the time to go back to low level opposition again.
Cintron vs. Grayton
A clash of heads ends this one just as it is getting warmed up and Cintron and Grayton have to settle for technical draw. Grayton set a fast early pace trying to shake Cintron out of his comfort zone and give him a rough time. Cintron kept his boxing together but only just. Grayton looked to be taking over when he floored Cintron with a left in the fifth but after the eighth count a clash of heads saw Cintron suffer a bad cut over his right eye and the fight was stopped and the score cards brought to bear. One judge had it 49-46 for Cintron which seemed strange considering the knockdown and the other two judges each had it 47-47. Former IBF welter champion Cintron, 37, had only one fight in 2014 and was inactive in 2015 but showed he was serious with four wins in 2016. Grayton, 29, is building his way back after a second round stoppage loss against Bryant Perrella in June and he took his first step with a win in August.
Cunningham vs. Romero
Former IBF cruiser champion Cunningham eases himself back with points win over Mexican Romero. Just six rounds of paid sparring really as Cunningham has far too much skill and knowledge to be troubled by Romero. All three judges gave it to Cunningham by 60-54. Al Haymon has promised Cunningham a shot at a title but in Cunningham’s last fight in April last year he was floored four times and lost a wide decision to Krzys Glowacki in a challenge for the WBO cruiser title so he has a hill to climb. Romero, 32, has now lost four on the bounce three of them to unbeaten fighters.
Quilmes, Argentina: Welter: Fabian Maidana (12-0) W TKO 2 Elias Vallejos (20-7-1). Maidana again shows his power as he annihilates Vallejos inside two rounds. Maidana took charge from the start using a strong jab to put Vallejos on the back foot before putting him down with a right. Vallejos was up and ready to continue after the mandatory eight count but another hard right had him in trouble. The referee intervened to give Vallejos a standing count and Vallejos made it to the bell. In the second a fierce right to the body put Vallejos on the floor again. He beat the count but was being punished to head and body when his corner threw in the towel. The 24-year-old “TNT”, the younger brother of Marcos Maidana, makes it 9 win by KO/TKO. He won a silver medal at the World Youth Championships and a bronze medal at the Youth Olympics. Local fighter Vallejos, a former Argentinian title challenger, drops to four losses by KO/TKO.
Perth, Australia: Middle: Wes Capper (17-2) W PTS Dan Nazareno (22-14).
Former undefeated Australian champion Capper extends his current run to six with unanimous decision over Filipino Nazareno. The 28-year-old Perth fighter is No 4 in the Australian ratings. Nazareno, 27, a former undefeated Philippines welterweight champion and currently No 3 in the Philippines ratings is 4-4 in his last 8 fights with all four losses on the road.
Accra, Ghana: Feather: Felix Williams (24-1) W PTS 12 Ray Commey (17-5). Super Feather: Rafael Mensah (29-0) W PTS 8 Fatiou Fassinou (27-5-3). Cruiser: Olanrewaju Durodola (25-3) W TKO 5 Mussa Ajibu (27-8-5). Light: Patrick Okine (17-3-1) W TKO 5 Michael Ansah (12-7-2). Super Light: Robert Quaye (15-0) W PTS 12 Abdul Aziz Quartey (13-3). Super Middle: Habib Ahmed (24-0-1) W TKO 11 Philip Kotey (30-11-2). Bantam: Prince Dzanie (16-0) W TKO 5 Theo Tetteh (17-8-2).
Williams vs. Commey
Williams outclasses Commey in Commonwealth title eliminator and with this victory makes it seven wins in a row. Scores 100-90 for Williams from all three judges Commey was 15-2 in his last 17 fights with the two losses coming on the road against Xiaojun Qiu and Albert Pagara.
Mensah vs. Fassinou
Mensah extends his winning record to 29 fights with wide unanimous points win over useful Fassinou. Mensah had won 8 of his last 9 fights by KO/TKO. Scores 80-73, 79-74 and 77-75. Fassinou, from Benin, had lost only one of his last 13 fights and has only failed to last the distance once and that was back in 2006. He does most of his fighting in Ghana.
Durodola vs. Ajibu
Durodola wins the vacant WBO African title with stoppage of Malawian Ajibu. The US based Nigerian, the WBC No 5, makes it 23 wins by KO/TKO. Ajibu suffers his second loss by KO/TKO.
Okine vs. Ansah
Okine’s nickname is “The Mallet” so you could say he lived up to the by hammering Ansah in five rounds. The Maryland-based fighter moves to 15 wins by KO/TKO. He is 6-1 in 7 fights since losing to Lee Selby for the Commonwealth title in 2012. Third loss by KO/TKO for former Ghanaian title challenger Ansah.
Quaye vs. Quartey
Quaye wins the vacant Ghanaian title with unanimous decision over Quartey and also gets a nice cash bonus. Quaye won on scores of 118-110, 117-110 and 117-111 and was given a cash reward of $1,000 for his victory. He is now under instructions to defend his title against Kpakpo Allotey within sixty days. Quartey keeps his record of not losing inside the distance.
Ahmed vs. Kotey
Ahmed wins the vacant WBO African title with stoppage of Kotey. Ahmed now has 16 wins by KOTKO but his opposition has been moderate at best with Kotey constituting a step up in class of opposition. Southpaw Kotey, 35, is 2-5 in his last 7 fights
Dzanie vs. Tetteh
Dzanie makes it seven wins in a row by KO/TKO with stoppage of Tetteh. The “Octopus” has only had to go the distance twice for victory but again the level of opposition has not been high. Tetteh had won 8 of his last 9 fights but had only one fight each year in 2014 and 2015 and this was his first fight for 17 months.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Hidenori Otake (28-2-3) W PTS 12 Jelbirt Gomera (12-2). Otake wins the vacant OPBF title with decision over Filipino Gomera. Southpaw Gomera showed some early skills but Otake cancelled that out by dropping the visitor in the third with a right hook. Gomera was badly shaken but managed to survive to the bell and his good work made it close after four rounds with all three judges having it 38-37for Otake. Over the fifth and sixth Otake increased his lead with Gomera having to withstand some rough handling but the Filipino did not cave in and remained competitive over the seventh and eighth but had fallen behind on all three cards at 78-73, 77-74 and 76-75. Gomera landed some good body punches in the ninth and tenth and in the last an uppercut had Otake in deep trouble but he survived to win. Scores 115-112 twice and 116-112 all for Otake. The 35-year-old from Tokyo has lost only one of his last 23 fights and is rated No 10(9) at featherweight by the IBF. Gomera, 24, is the Philippines Boxing Federation champion which is not the full Philippines title.
Pasay City, Philippines: Super Light: Jheritz Chavez (6-1-2) W Jonel Gadapan (12-8-2). Chavez wins the vacant Philippines title with stoppage of Gadapan. After losing his unbeaten tag on points against Vage Sarukhanyan in Moscow in March last year Chavez scored a career best victory by halting 25-2-1 Al Sabaupan in November. That landed him the No 2 spot in the Philippines ratings and this title shot. Gadapan, the Philippines No 7 was 4-1-1 in his last 6 fights.
Moscow, Russia: Super Light: Aik Shakhnazaryan (20-2) W PTS 12 Al Rivera (17-2). Super Light: Manvel Sargsyan (16-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Evgeny Pavko (15-1-1). Light: Vage Sarukhanyan (16-1-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Giovanni Straffon (13-2-1).
Shakhnazaryan vs. Rivera
Shakhnazaryan wins the vacant WBC International title with unanimous decision over Filipino Rivera. Shakhnazaryan was giving away a lot in height and reach to Rivera who looked a couple of divisions bigger. The Armenian relied on his speed of hand and foot to offset those advantages of Rivera. The Filipino made a slow start which gifted Shakhnazaryan a couple of the early rounds. Southpaw Rivera was waiting too long to let his punches go and was having problems finding the target when Shakhnazaryan ducked low. Despite that Rivera never stopped pressing and Shakhnazaryan was giving away some rounds because he was too focused on movement and not enough on punching. With Shakhnazaryan not wanting to stand and punch with Rivera and the Filipino too slow to cut down the ring for long enough periods the action tended to come in short bursts. Shakhnazaryan would leap in with four or five punches and get out before Rivera could respond and Rivera would manage to land some heavy hooks to the body when he could trap Shakhnazaryan on the ropes. It was a difficult fight to score but Rivera had enough success to make the fight very close. Scores 116-113 twice and 115-114 all for Shakhnazaryan. The Armenian won his first 15 fights but then suffered consecutive losses in 2015 against Abner Lopez and against Eduard Troyanovsky for the IOBO title. This is his fifth win since then and the WBC International title should give him a big boost. OPBF champion Rivera had won his last 7 fights.
Sargsyan vs. Pavko
Sargsyan survives some rocky moments to win the WBC International Silver title. The fight did not start well for either fighter. A clash of heads in the first round saw a cut opened over the right eye of Sargsyan and when they bumped heads again in the second Pavko lost a point for a butt. Despite being shaken by a punch in the fourth some good boxing and that deduction saw Sargsyan 39-36 in front on all three cards after four rounds. Sargsyan again boxed well over the fifth and sixth but Pavko’s power showed again in the seventh when he again seemed to hurt Sargsyan but Sargsyan kept his boxing together and at the end of the eighth round he was still ahead on all cards at 78-73 twice and 77-74. Pavko staged a strong finish and the decision could have gone either way after Sargsyan lost a point in the tenth for holding but he had just done enough to get the decision. Scores 95-93 twice and 96-92 all for Sargsyan. The 26-year-old Armenian southpaw has a couple of good wins but he only just got out of this one with his unbeaten record intact. Russian Pavko, 26, a former undefeated Russian champion had won his last four fights by KO/TKO.
Sarukhanyan vs. Straffon
Sarukhanyan made it good night for Armenian-born fighters as he won the unanimous verdict over Mexican Straffon. Scores 80-72 twice and 80-73. Sarukhanyan, the EBU No 17 goes to eight wins in a row including a points victory over former WBC champion Gamaliel Diaz. Southpaw Straffon, a former Mexican super feather champion, had won his last seven fights.
London, England: Feather: Reece Bellotti (9-0) W KO 3 Dai Davies (14-25-2). Super Middle: Craig Richards (8-0) W PTS 10 Alan Higgins (12-1). Light: Paul Hyland Jr (15-0) W PTS 8 Peter Cope (14-4).
Bellotti vs. Davies
Bellotti blast his way to victory over experienced Davies. Bellotti kept Davies on the back foot over the first two rounds raking the Welshman with hurtful hooks to the body. Davies showed some good defensive work but was on borrowed time. In the third time ran out for Davies in a big way. A devastating left/right combination put Davies face down on the canvas and he could not beat the count. The 26-year-old “Bomber” Bellotti will now go on to fight for the British title and as he has won his last six fights by KO/TKO has a puncher’s chance. Davies, 32, suffers loss No 12 by KO/TKO but had been on a good runs of 5 wins in his last 6 fights.
Richards vs. Higgins
Richards wins the BBBof C Southern Area title with close decision over challenger Higgins. There was a contrast in styles here with Richards looking to use height and reach advantages and his better skills to box on the outside and Higgins all aggression and trying to cut down the ring and force Richards to the ropes where he could work inside. Richards built an early lead by taking the first two rounds only for Higgins to reply strong in the third and fourth as this exciting match swung one way and then the other. Richards found room to work with his jab in the fifth and sixth but Higgins battled back early in a close seventh only for Richards to come on strong at the end of the round. Higgins looked to have edged the eighth but despite a big effort from him the cleaner work from Richards probably earned him the ninth. They both put in a lot of work in the last and like many other rounds it was hard to score but the referee saw Richards a narrow winner scoring the fight 97-95. The 26-year-old “Spider” from Crystal Palace was having his first ten round fight and showed he is ready for more at that distance. “Avalanche” Higgins can come again.
Hyland vs. Cope
Hyland remains unbeaten as he takes close decision over Cope. It was another excellent small hall match. Cope got off to a good start with quick accurate punching from his southpaw stance. Hyland battled back in the third with some fierce pressure but Cope had his jab working well in the fourth to edge into the lead. From the fifth the pace began to tell on Cope and the ceaseless attacks from Hyland first drew the Belfast fighter level and then allowed him to stage a fight-winning final push. Referee’s score 78-76 for Hyland. The 26-year-old Belfast prospect had won 3 of his last 4 fights by KO/TKO but Cope made him work hard for this one. Cope 25 had won his last three fights and showed good skills and plenty of determination.
New York, NY, USA: Middle: Gennady Golovkin (37-0) W PTS 12 Daniel Jacobs (32-2). Super Fly: Srisaket (42-4-1) W PTS 12 Roman Gonzalez (46-1). Super Fly: Carlos Cuadras (36-1-1) W PTS 10 David Carmona (20-4-5). Light: Ryan Martin (18-0) W TKO 8 Bryant Cruz (17-2). Middle; Andy Lee (35-3-1) W PTS 8 KeAndrae Leatherwood (19-4-1).
Golovkin vs. Jacobs
Golovkin does not show his usually all-out attacking approach but does enough to get deserved decision over an impressive Jacobs. Golovkin just edged a cautious and therefore close first round with Jacobs doing enough to take the second with both fighters working their jab but neither committing themselves too much. In the third Jacobs was letting some power punches go but a disciplined Golovkin was working the jab to good effect. It was still very much a tactical battle with no real fireworks. Early in the fourth Golovkin bundled his way inside behind a hard jab and landed a couple of heavy head punches which saw Jacobs slide along the ropes and down on his rear. Jacobs was up at two and did not look too badly shaken but Golovkin began to let his hands go. He was banging his jab home time and again and scoring with hooks and uppercuts inside. Jacobs fought back hard at the bell but it was a big round for Golovkin. The scores after four rounds were 39-36 twice and 38-36 all for Golovkin. Jacobs switched to southpaw and was fully recovered in the fifth but Golovkin was again making excellent use of his jab and throwing more combinations and took the round clearly. Jacobs took the sixth just as clearly. He was finally beating Golovkin to the jab and firing quick combinations to head and body with a right to the head being the best punch he had landed to date. There was plenty of action in the seventh with both fighters landing some heavy hits. Jacobs kept switching guards and Golovkin kept pressing and it could have gone to either fighter but I felt Jacobs had probably just down enough to take the round. Jacobs started the eighth well forcing Golovkin to back up but a strong finish marked by a right to the head saw Golovkin turn on the power to make it his round. After eight rounds the scores were 78-73, 77-74 and 76-74 all for Golovkin so Jacobs was down five points on one card and three in another with only four rounds to go. Jacobs needed a big ninth but instead Golovkin again used his jab well, scored with a peach of a right uppercut and pressurised Jacobs to clearly take the round. Jacobs outboxed Golovkin in the tenth. He kept moving kept slotting home jabs and getting his punches off first and hurt Golovkin with a right/left combination. Both fighters were tired in the eleventh but Jacobs seem to have more energy left and he did enough punching in bursts and landed a head jerking combination to make it a close round that could be marked as his. Two tired fighters somehow found the energy to throw punches in the last which for me the greater accuracy came from Golovkin. After the bell Jacobs collapsed to his knee holding himself up by gripping the top rope. The picture of a man who had given everything. Judges scores 115-112 twice and 114-113 all for Golovkin. He retains his WBA/WBC/IBO and IBF titles but Jacobs did not go through with the second weigh in as mandated by the IBF so Jacobs could not have won the IBF title. With Golovkin having blown away his last 23 opponents his failure to do this to Jacobs drew some questions on how great he is but perhaps Jacobs deserves a lot of respect and credit for running Golovkin so close. He also deserves a return but perhaps Golovkin not stopping Jacobs might give Saul Alvarez a feeling he could beat GGG-hopefully and Billy Joe Saunders is also calling for a fight with GGG. Jacobs fought an intelligent fight but just did not throw enough punches. He is a top class boxer and a match for any fighter in the division including Golovkin.
Gonzalez vs. Srisaket
Srisaket springs major surprise as he floors and outpoints Gonzalez. After a cautious start both were letting their punches go in the first. Srisaket was throwing southpaw left hooks and straight right with Gonzalez landing a straight right and a left hook. They were swapping punches when a right to the chest from Srisaket put Gonzalez down. He arose to one knee and took the full eight count before getting up and Srisaket was unable to land anything else as the round closed. A 10-8 round for the Thai challenger. Srisaket carried that impetus into the second round. He had Gonzalez pinned on the ropes and was throwing lots of power punches. Gonzalez had been getting through with some good counters and eventually he got off the ropes and then scored with some heavy punches of his own in a close round. Srisaket was again forcing the fight in the third throwing plenty of straight lefts. The referee told both to watch their heads and seconds later as Srisaket lifted his head it crashed into the right side of Gonzales’s head. Gonzalez immediately stepped bad pawing at his right eye and it was obvious he had suffered a cut in the clash. The cut was more to the side of the right eyebrow and the blood immediately started to trickle down his face. The referee called a time out but did not ask for the cut to be examined. When the action resumed Srisaket initially began to score with lefts but although having to keep wiping at the blood Gonzalez took over and landed a selection of hooks and uppercuts to take the round. Being naturally the bigger man Srisaket was bulling Gonzalez around in the fourth and they traded punches for the whole three minutes. The harder and more accurate punching was coming from Gonzalez but there was another clash of heads at the end of the round. At that stage all three judges had Srisaket in front 38-37. The referee went over to Srisaket’s corner and warned him again about his head. Gonzalez had a great fifth. He took some heavy lefts from Srisaket early in the round but was blocking and dodging many. It was not the same in the other direction as Gonzalez banged home punch after punch with Srisaket backing up under the power and accuracy of Gonzalez’s attacks. It was the same in the sixth with Srisaket’s guard being pierced time and again by sharp, accurate punches from Gonzalez. Yet again the heads banged. The referee stopped the fight and gave Srisaket a stern warning. Gonzalez continued to land punishing punches with Srisaket unable to match the firepower of the champion but once again the heads bang together. This time the referee deducted a point from Srisaket but Gonzalez face was covered in blood. Since Gonzalez was winning the round it made it a 10-8 round for him. Srisaket banged his way back into the fight in the seventh. Gonzalez’s work rate dropped and another clash of heads late in the round seemed to throw him and Srisaket ended the round strongly. Gonzalez now had a cut in the hairline above his right eye. Gonzalez was back in top gear in the eighth. Again it was war from bell to bell but Gonzalez was outpunching and outscoring Srisaket. After eight rounds the judges saw it 75-75 twice and 76-74 for Gonzalez with two judges giving the eighth to Srisaket despite the punch stats showing Gonzalez had outscored Srisaket on jabs and power punches and landed more than twice the number of total punches. Both were pumping out punches in the ninth. First Srisaket and then Gonzalez would be on top and despite the blood from the cut on his hairline merging with the blood from the cut on his eyebrow the accuracy gave Gonzalez the edge. Again although the punch stats showed that dominance the perception from the judge’s point of view was that it was Srisaket’s round. There seemed to be a divergence of reality and perception kicking in. That gap got wider still in the tenth. Srisaket had been landing hard punches in round after round but Gonzalez was throwing more and landing more and although the tenth was a slightly better round for Srisaket for me Gonzalez took it and all three judges gave it to Srisaket. The Thai had a much better eleventh. He boxed more and countered better and took the round clearly. Two exhausted warriors threw everything into the last round. Gonzalez did enough over the early part of the round to take it but Srisaket finished with a hail of punches to the bell. It was a great fight a real war between two warriors. Scores 114-112 twice for Srisaket and 113-113with the majority decision making Srisaket the new champion as he regains the title he lost to Carlos Cuadras on a technical decision in 2014. Gonzalez has his unbeaten record broken and with it the big fight against Cuadras. CompuBox stats show that Gonzalez landed over 50% more punches than Srisaket including almost ten times more jabs and almost 100 more power punches but those are not the scores that matter. The judges are there to make that decision and they called it as they saw it.
Cuadras vs. Carmona
Cuadras wins but looks flat and jaded. A close first round saw both fighters having some success with Carmona getting through early and Cuadras finishing the round well with a bunch of left hooks. Cuadras was using a strong jab to pick up points and rattled Carmona with a right to the head in the second. Although he was building a lead Cuadras was not in top form and Carmona was making good use of his jab and landing with quick hooks and buzzed Cuadras with a left to the head in the third in a fast-paced fight. Cuadras was just that bit quicker to the punch with Carmona mainly on the back foot. Carmona started the seventh missing with a wild punch and sending himself to the canvas. Later in the round after Cuadras had scored with a couple of jabs and a sharp left hook to the head Carmona landed a vicious left hook to the body and suddenly Cuadras was hurt and backing off. It could have been serious for Cuadras but as Carmona moved in he landed a couple of low punches. They did not look too hard but Cuadras turned away and the referee stopped the action and warned Carmona. The recovery time helped Cuadras but he was on the retreat and holding and every time Carmona threw a body punch Cuadras was wincing. Carmona looked to have shaken Cuadras with a right to the head just before the bell and Cuadras was showing a cut just under his right eyebrow. Carmona was fired up in the eighth and outworked Cuadras scoring with a head-snapping right uppercut but was again warned for some low punches. Carmona also took the ninth looking much sharper with Cuadras lunging with his punches and his work was ragged. Cuadras staged a storming last round outpunching Carmona and clearly winning the round. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 all for Cuadras with the last score being the way I saw it. It was a disappointing performance and if Cuadras is to regain the WBC title he will have to do better than this. Carmona has had shots at the WBO super fly title losing in seven rounds against Omar Narvaez in 2013 and to Naoya Inoue in his last fight in May last year. If he landed that body punch earlier than the seventh he might even have pulled off an upset here.
Martin vs. Cruz
Martin halts Cruz and retains his WBC Continental Americas title. Martin made a fast start and stayed in charge all of the way. Although under pressure Cruz and often fighting with his back against the ropes Cruz managed to stay competitive. Martin had Cruz shaky in the sixth and seventh rounds and had him cornered and was unloading with unanswered shots in the eighth when the referee stopped the fight. The 24-year-old “Blue Chip” was moving up to ten rounds for the first time but did not need that many rounds as he gets win No 11 by KO/TKO. Cruz was having his second fight since losing his unbeaten record on a seventh round retirement against Dardan Zenunaj in December 2015.
Lee vs. Leatherwood
Former WBO champion Lee eases his way back with unanimous decision over Leatherwood. From what he knew of Leatherwood Lee was expecting to start on the back foot and score with counters. In the end Leatherwood settled for a more cautious approach and with Lee having some rust to shed that allowed Leatherwood to make a couple of the early rounds close. Lee really began to roll over the fourth and fifth as he found his range and had Leatherwood under pressure. Leatherwood went into survival mode and as Lee needed the ring time he settled for boxing over the last two rounds to take the decision. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 all for Lee. The man from Limerick was having his first fight since losing on a majority verdict against Billy Joe Saunders in an attempt to win back his WBO title in December 2015. He is now 33 and has said he will only fight for about another year and would like to close with a fight against Gennady Golovkin but that would be a hard sell. Leatherwood had won his last five fights.
Leipzig, Germany: Light Heavy: Robert Stieglitz (50-5-2) DREW 12 Nikola Sjekloca (32-4-1). Light Heavy: Dominic Boesel (24-0) W TKO 6 Sami Enbon (14-1). Heavy: Mariusz Wach (33-2) W PTS 12 Erkan Teper (16-1). Welter: Phillip Nsingi (7-0) W PTS 10 Kasim Gashi (9-0).
Stieglitz vs. Sjekloca
Stieglitz is lucky to retain his European title as he needs a late surge to gain a draw with Sjekloca. The challenger from Montenegro made a very good start scoring freely with Stieglitz having difficulty finding his range and struggling to get into the fight. He found Sjekloca an awkward and quick opponent. From the middle rounds Stieglitz finally began to get some momentum and despite being deducted a point in the tenth for continually pushing Sjekloca’s head down he finished strongly over the last four rounds to save his title. After the last bell and before the decision was announced it was Sjekloca celebrating with Stieglitz just walking back to his corner like a fighter who thought he had lost. Scores 115-113 for Stieglitz, 114-113 for Sjekloca and 114-114. The 35-year-old Russian was disappointed enough with his showing to announce his retirement but he may rethink that. Serbian-born Sjekloca, 38, has suffered losses in four big fights to Sakio Bika in a WBC eliminator, to Arthur Abraham for the WBO title and to Callum Smith and Tyrone Zeuge. He had won his last four fights and will be hoping to get another shot at the title.
Boesel vs. Enbon
Boesel employs a focused body attack to wear down and halt Finn Enbon. Boesel was quicker and utilised some bursts of combination punches over the first two rounds. Southpaw Enbon matched him well and had good rounds in the third and fourth. In the fifth Boesel began that breaking down process with body punches. which weakened Enbon. In the sixth a left to the head put Enbon down. He made it to his feet but when the action restarted Boesel scored two more knockdowns and the fight was stopped. The unbeaten 27-year-old German was defending his WBO Inter-Continental and WBA Continental titles and has nine wins by KO/TKO. His best wins are over Balasz Kelemen and Tony Averlant but somehow the WBO have him at No 2 behind Sergey Kovalev. That does him no favours as he is not in the class of fighters such as Kovalev, Andre Ward and Adonis Stevenson and is largely untested. First real test for Enbon who showed some skills but was well beaten.
Wach vs. Teper
Although there was not much of a height/reach difference on paper Wach was able to use his jab to keep Teper on the outside. Wach kept prodding out the jab in round after round and looked quicker than Teper when he added left hooks to the body and straight rights. Teper was forced to lunge in with his attacks. When he did get inside he was firing hooks to the body and overhand rights. Wach’s jab was not particularly strong but he used it as a measuring stick for straight rights and was able to counter Teper’s rushes with uppercuts. Teper was dangerous at times with clubbing rights to the head but at times presented a static target for Wach. The tall Pole is not a power punches but he was throwing a lot more punches than Teper. As Wach tired Teper came into the fight more and ate into the lead Wach had built but just did not do enough to close the gap. Scores 115-113 twice and 116-112 all for Wach. The last score seemed the most accurate for me. The 37-year-old 6’7 ½” (202cm) Wach wins the vacant IBF East/West European title (yipeeee). His two losses have been against Wlad Klitschko for the IBF/WBA/WBO/IBO titles and to Alex Povetkin for the WBC Silver title in November 2015. This is only his second fight in 15 months and despite his size he is slow and lacks the power to worry any of the current champions. Despite two positive tests Teper continues to fight but has now lost two in a row having been outpointed by Christian Hammer in October.
Nsingi vs. Gashi
“Team Germany” member Nsingi wins this clash of unbeaten fighters with a wide unanimous decision over Gashi. Nsingi put Gashi down in the first round with a right and although he could not finish it then he always had this one comfortably in hand as he was a much better technician and was able to dominate. Gashi never stopped trying but was never really in the fight. Scores 99-90, 98-91 and 97-92 all for Nsingi who was moving up to ten rounds for the first time. He wins the vacant German International title and also gets his third win over an unbeaten opponent. Kosovon Gashi holds the GBA version of the German title and had been ten rounds before but was well beaten here.
Malmo, Sweden: Heavy: Alex Dimitrenko (40-3) W KO 1 Adrian Granat (14-1). Light Heavy: Igor Mikhalkin (19-1) W PTS 8 Yevgeni Makhteienko (8-7). Light: Heavy: Sven Fornling (12-1) W PTS 10 Arijan Sherifi (13-1).
Dimitrenko vs. Granat
Dimitrenko revitalises his career with first round kayo of Granat. The Swede made a confident start scoring with a stiff jab and firing some hooks to the body putting Dimitrenko on the back foot. As Granat moved in Dimitrenko threw a straight right to Granat’s chin which put the Swede down heavily. He was up at four on shaky legs and the fight should have been stopped then. After the eight count Granat backed away and Dimitrenko drove him to the ropes landing a whole series of head punches until Granat collapsed to the canvas again. He took the full ten count on his knees but did not seem to know what was happening and he was helped to his feet whilst Dimitrenko and his team celebrated. Dimitrenko, 34, makes it 26 wins by KO/TKO. He has tended to lose whenever he faces top level opposition having been outpointed by Eddie Chambers and knocked out by Kubrat Pulev and Joseph Parker. This win gets him the IBF International title and some more work. Granat, 25 got nailed by a punch that would have put most heavyweights down and that was made worse by the referee failing to see that Granat was finished after the first knockdown. The result is bad for Swedish boxing which would have been given a boost by a big successful heavyweight, Granat is only 25 so has time to come again and can do if he learns the lesson from this crushing defeat.
Mikhalkin vs. Makhteienko
Mikhalkin returns to the ring after a suspension from the EBU for a positive test which cost him his European title. The Russian southpaw was given eight useful rounds of work by Makhteienko. He had to be careful with Makhteienko being a better fighter than his record indicates and a strong puncher. Mikhalkin boxed cleverly but is not a power puncher and it always looked as though this would go the distance. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 78-74 all for Mikhalkin. The 31-year-old former undefeated European champion had run up some good wins in title defences but will now have to work hard to make up for that lost year. Three losses in a row for Czech-based Ukrainian Makhteienko but the other two losses were to Karo Murat and Dmitry Bivol so a tough schedule and he had scored wins in Poland and Germany so he comes to fight.
Fornling vs. Sherifi
Fighting in his home neighbourhood Fornling wins the IBF Baltic title with points victory over Sherifi. After a slow start Furling overcame a couple of cuts and a rocky ninth round to emerge as a clear winner. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 all for Fornling. He had lost his unbeaten tag when he was stopped in five rounds by Makhteienko in June. He recovered well with an upset points victory over former amateur star Naim Terbunja, a former Olympian who won the National Golden Gloves and beat fighters such as James DeGale, Tureano Johnson and J’Leon Love in the amateurs so he had that good win to boost his confidence. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92.
Brampton, Canada: Light: Horacio Cabral (18-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Logan McGuinness (25-1-1) W. Welter: Samuel Vargas (25-3-1) W Armando Robles (31-5-2,1ND). Super Light: Steven Wilcox (16-2-1) W PTS 8 Jorge Luis Rodriguez (21-14-1,1ND).
Cabral vs. McGuinness
Cabral gets upset win over previously unbeaten McGuinness to win the WBC International Silver title. The Argentinian outboxed McGuinness being just too quick for the local fighter. Some of the rounds were close but Cabral used a high work rate and that his superior speed to emerge a clear winner. Scores 98-92 for Cabral from all three judges. The 27-year-old Cabral looked a reasonable choice of opponent. After being unbeaten in his first 17 fights he was knocked out in nine rounds by unbeaten German Benitez in March last year and had only one six round fight since then. He is very much the product of a fighting family as back in 1979 uncle Alfredo Cabral had beaten former WBA super welter champion Miguel Castellini on an eighth round stoppage and wiped out South African Elijah Makhathini inside a round to make a world title fight a possibility but he died in a car crash just one week after beating Makhathini. He was just 23 and had a 35-2-4 record. Another uncle Ruben Dario was South American and Argentinian champion and his brother and other uncles also fought as pros. Huge setback for McGuinness. Injuries and contract problems led to him having two long spells of 18 months and 17 months out of action but he had returned in late 2016 with a couple of useful wins. At 29 he still has time to recover from this.
Vargas vs. Robles
Back to the day job for Vargas as he goes from fighting Danny Garcia to tackling Mexican oldie Robles. Vargas was in top condition and set a fast pace with plenty of movement and plenty of combinations. Former Mexican champion Robles has only lost once by KO/TKO and he proved a durable and testing opponent overcoming a few shaky moments to go the full distance. Scores 99-91, 98-892 and 97-93 all for Vargas. The 27-year-old Colombian-born Vargas was making the first defence of his WBA-NABA title. He was stopped by Errol Spence in 2015 and that plus the Garcia fight in November are his only losses in his last 13 contests. Southpaw Robles, 39, was 25-1-1 at one point in his career but is now 7-5-1ND in his last 13 fights. His only loss inside the distance was a 44 second wipe out by big puncher Jesus Zepeda in the fight before Zepeda fought Terry Flanagan for the vacant WBO light title.
Wilcox vs. Rodriguez
Neighbourhood favourite Wilcox easy gets win over Argentinian Rodriguez. Wilcox was on top in this one from bell to bell and took a wide unanimous decision. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72. The 26-year-old from Hamilton is shown as having lost to Oscar Arjona in Merida in December but my understanding, not from Wilcox’s management, is that the canvas was so wet that it was agreed that the fight would go on but be a no decision fight. Despite the agreement the locals decided otherwise without telling Wilcox’s management. Wilcox was 7-0-1 before that fight. Rodriguez is now 4-5 in his last 9 fights.
Aarhus, Denmark: Feather: Dennis Ceylan (18-0-2) TECH DRAW Isaac Lowe (13-0-2). A much anticipated European title fight ends in unsatisfactory manner as Ceylan is cut badly in a clash of heads. Ceylan made a good start working his jab well and following through with some straight rights. Lowe stepped up his pace early in the second but Ceylan finished the round strongly. The Dane also looked to have a slight edge in the third and all three judges scored it 30-27 at that point. In the fourth a clash of heads saw Ceylan suffer a bad cut and since the fourth round had not been completed it was a technical draw. Ceylan, 28 was making the first defence of the European title he won with a close decision over Ryan Walsh in October. Lowe, 23, the Commonwealth and English champion, will be hoping the EBU mandate the two to fight each other again.
Cordoba, Argentina: Super Bantam: Alan Luques Castillo (20-6) W TKO 3 Felipe Orozco (27-6-3). Light: Felix Ruiz Diaz (11-0) W TKO 9 Mauricio Munoz
Castillo vs. Orozco
Luques Castillo overwhelms and halts experienced Orozco inside three rounds. Luques Castillo blitzed Orozco in the first round putting him down with a right. He continued to pound Orozco in the second. In the third Orozco was floored again and then forced to take two standing counts before a right to the head shook him again and the referee stopped the fight. Luques Castillo, 25, now has nine wins by KO/TKO and he collects the vacant WBO Latino title. Former Argentinian champion Orozco now has four losses by KO/TKO.
Ruiz vs. Munoz
“King” Ruiz gets best win in his career to date as he forces a standing count and then the stoppage against experienced Munoz in nine rounds. The 24-year-old Argentinian was moving up from six rounds and impressed as he gets his ninth win by KO/TKO. Now four losses in a row for former IBF featherweight title challenger Munoz
Hobart, Australia: Super Feather: Luke Jackson (14-0) W RTD 6 Mohammed Kamburuta (13-2). Home-town fighter Jackson given a good test by Tanzanian Kamburuta. Jackson worked his way past the longer reach of Kamburuta. He kept trying to put Kamburuta on the back foot but the Tanzanian held his own in the early action. Jackson nailed Kamburuta with a left hook late in the fifth but the bell came to Kamburuta rescue. Jackson continued to land heavily in the sixth and Kamburuta’s corner retired their man at the end of the round. Jackson was captain of the Australian team at the Commonwealth Games and the 2012 Olympics and was Australian champion three times but at 32 time is against him as a pro. Kamburuta lacked experience at this level but had won his last two fights.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Jayde Mitchell (12-1) W TKO 4 Les Sherrington (35-10). Feather: Ibrahim Balla (11-1) W PTS 10 Virgil Puton (16-8). Light: Qamil Balla (11-0-1) W KO 1 Rodolfo Puente (18-3-2).
Mitchell vs. Sherrington
Mitchell halts Sherrington to retain his interim WBA title. OPBF champion Mitchell,31, did not turn pro until he was 28 and is making up for lost time as it is now seven wins on the bounce and six wins by KO/TKO. First fight for eleven months for Sherrington and following inside the distance losses to Antoine Douglas and Zac Dunn it is now three losses in a row by TKO/KO.
Balla vs. Puton
Balla continues working his way back after shock loss to Filipino Neil John Tabanao. The former undefeated Australian champion and 2012 Olympian took the unanimous decision. He is the younger brother of Qamil and is No 4 in Australia. Puton was having his first fight in eleven months and is yet to lose inside the distance.
Balla vs. Puente
Balla wins the vacant interim WBA Oceania title with first round kayo of Colombian Puente. The visitor came with a puncher’s reputation but Balla got there first. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the Australian No 5. Former Colombian feather champion Puente lost only one of his first 19 fights but the opposition was poor.
Rome. Italy: Super Middle: Valerio Ranaldi (13-1) W TKO 10 Alessandro Sinacore (13-3). Ranaldi retains his national title, improves on a former victory and wins the battle for local bragging rights with late stoppage of Sinacore. After a slow first round southpaw Sinacore outscored Ranaldi in the second. From the third the champion took command. He upped his work rate and took the fight inside where he was getting through with his right hooks and was outscoring the challenger. In the tenth Ranaldi put Sinacore down with a right. Sinacore beat the count but was shipping some hard hooks and not fighting back and the referee stopped the fight. Third defence of the Italian title for Ranaldi and eighth win in a row. He had successfully defended his title against Sinacore with a majority verdict in July. Sinacore’s only other defeat was on a majority decision against Lolenga Mock in December 2015.
Auckland, New Zealand: Heavy: Junior Fa (11-0) W PTS 10 Daniel Tai (22-10-4).
Fa gets the vacant New Zealand and a reality check against Tai. This was expected to be an easy fight for Fa but veteran Tai decided otherwise. Fa had huge physical advantages at 6’5” (196cm) to Tai’s 5’7” (170cm) and also had a 47lbs weight over Tai. Despite this Fa was rocked a couple of times and had to fight hard all the way to get the majority decision. The judges came up with wildly different scores at 100-90 and 98-94 for Fa and 95-95. The 27-year-old Fa, who beat Joseph Parker twice in the amateurs, had never gone past the sixth round before. Former New Zealand champion Tai, 39, had been inactive for almost six year before returning to the ring in February last year
Istanbul, Turkey: Cruiser: Firat Arslan (39-8-2) W RTD 2 GezimTahiri (13-3). Heavy: Umut Camkiran (7-0) W KO 1 Zoltan Csala (10-10).
Arslan vs. Tahiri
Arslan looks to get in some useful work but fellow southpaw Tahiri retires after two rounds claiming and arm injury. Arslan just walked forward behind a high guard with the tentative looking Tahiri just prodding out a weak southpaw jab. Arslan continued to walk Tahiri down being able to ignore the light punches of Tahiri but Arslan probably threw no more than 8 or 10 punches of his own. Arslan threw a few more punches in the second landing some right hooks to the body and lefts to the head but they did no noticeable damage. Tahiti was warned twice for using a stiff arm to hold Arslan out. After the bell to end the second round Tahiri indicated he had hurt his right shoulder and retired much to the disgust of Arslan. Arslan, 46, a former holder of the secondary WBA title and the WBO European title, has won his last four fights and is still a top level performer. Austrian-based Kosovon Tahiri showed nothing
Camkiran vs. Csala
“The Anatolian Lion “ wipes out poor Csala inside a round. Camkiran was moving forward bobbing and weaving with Csala backing up. Camkiran landed a couple of hooks and Csala went down. Csala got up but a clubbing right to the head put him on the floor again and he was counted out. The 28-year-old German has won all of his fights by KO/TKO and with 5 first round wins it has taken less than nine rounds for the seven victories. Hungarian Csala,39, has lost 7 of his last 8 fights.
London, England: Super Bantam: Josh Kennedy (9-0) W PTS 10 Michael Ramabeletsa (15-16). Welter: John O’Donnell (32-2) W PTS 10 Erick Ochieng (16-7-1). Cruiser: Wadi Camacho (17-6) W TKO 5 Karl Wheeler (14-7-1).
Kennedy vs. Ramabeletsa
Yet another great small hall fight on an outstanding show sees Kennedy win the vacant English title with a split verdict over South African Ramabeletsa. The first two rounds saw both fighters taking a cautious approach but the action heated up from the third. Kennedy was throwing more but good defensive work from Ramabeletsa was nullifying that. Kennedy continued to press and eventually as the South Africa slowed he had to stand and trade more. Ramabeletsa had a good eighth with Kennedy resorting to a southpaw stance and fighting back hard in the ninth. The tenth was close as was the decision. Scores 96-94 and 95-94 for Kennedy and 96-93 for Ramabeletsa but with so many close rounds the decision could have gone either way. Kennedy, 25, the Southern Area feather champion, will now be looking to stay busy and hope for a British title shot. Ramabeletsa had won his last three fights and came close here.
O’Donnell vs. Ochieng
Former undefeated Commonwealth champion O’Donnell wins vacant English title with split decision over Ochieng. O’Donnell started on the back foot countering with Ochieng forcing the fight. A clash if heads in the fourth saw both fighters cut over their right eye. Ochieng was strong over the fifth and sixth and it looked as though O’Donnell was tiring but he fired back over the seventh and eighth and seemed stronger in the ninth then boxed his way through the tenth. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for O’Donnell and 96-94 for Ochieng. The 31-year-old Irish southpaw is getting back into his stride after being inactive in 2014 and then being inactive from December 2015 until returning with a win in October last year. Now he will be looking to go for the British title. Ochieng, 29, is 2-6-1 in his last 9 fights but he showed here he is far from on the slide.
Camacho vs. Wheeler
Camacho wins the vacant Southern Area title with stoppage of Wheeler. Southpaw Camacho had the better of the first three rounds as he was busier and more accurate than Wheeler. In the fourth Wheeler made a good start but then Camacho forced him to the ropes and had Wheeler in trouble before the bell. Camacho continued his assault in the fifth and floored Wheeler with a body punch. Wheeler managed to get up but the referee stopped the fight. Now 11 wins by KO/TKO for Camacho. Camacho has rebounded from a run of three losses and is now 5-1 in his last six fights. Wheeler had won his last four fights.
Boston, MA, USA: Super Welter: Mark DeLuca (18-0) W KO 8 Travis Scott (19-3,1ND). Welter: Danny O’Connor (28-3) W PTS 8 Michael McLaughlin (12-2-1,1ND). Middle: Gary O’Sullivan (24-2) W RTD 3 Ronald Montes (17-6). Heavy: Niall Kennedy (8-0) W KO 8 Jesses Barboza (11-4-1). Welter: Ray Moylette (2-0) W PTS 4 Matt Probin (2-3).
DeLuca vs. Scott
DeLuca halts Scott but is made to fight hard for the victory. Scott had edges in height and reach but the local southpaw used speed and good movement to cancel out those handicaps. Scott showed good boxing skills and was competitive most of the way having a good fifth round punctuated by some hard left hooks before finally tiring. A series of punches in the seventh put Scott down. He made it to the eighth round but then a combination of body punches dropped Scott and he was counted out. The 29-year-old “The Bazooka” DeLuca, a former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, gets win No 12 by KO/TKO. After losing a year to injuries he has now won five fights in ten months. Scott, 36, has also suffered periods of inactivity but fought well here.
O’Connor vs. McLaughlin
O’Connor gets majority decision over McLaughlin in all-southpaw battle. O’Connor used his better skill set to get in front but McLaughlin was always dangerous. O’Connor had a big edge in experience but could never relax. McLaughlin looked to be tiring in the sixth but with O’Connor willing to stand and trade punches McLaughlin showed power by rocking O’Connor and then getting home with some heavy hooks as they both banged away to the bell. O’Connor had a big seventh but McLaughlin was not finished and he shook O’Connor but was then deducted a point for losing his gumshield for the third time. They fought frantically in the last but O’Connor looked a clear winner. Scores 79-72 twice for O’Connor and 76-76. After an early career loss to Gabe Bracero “Danny O” won 12 of his next 13 fights. He then made the mistake of fighting Bracero again and suffered a 40 second brutal knockout. Two wins since then for popular 31-year-old. Irishman McLaughlin, 32, was 10-0-0 1ND in his last 11 fights all of them in the New England area.
O’Sullivan vs. Montes
O’Sullivan hits too hard for Colombian Montes and forces a third round retirement. In only his second fight since losing to Chris Eubank Jr in December 2015 O’Sullivan took a round to get rolling. After that it was only going to end one way. O’Sullivan raked Montes with some vicious body punches in the second and by the third Montes was taking some rib bending shots-literally- as he reported at the end of the third that he had an injured rib and was retiring from the fight. The 32-year-old “Spike” from Cork again shows his power as he moves to 16 wins by KO/TKO. His other loss was on points against Billy Joe Saunders in 2013 so he has only lost to world champions. Montes definitely on the slide with 6 losses in his last 7 fights.
Kennedy vs. Barboza
Kennedy gets kayo win in a slow paced but entertaining heavyweight fight. Kennedy was just that little bit quicker than Barboza and had the local fighter hurt occasionally with clubbing rights to the head and left hooks to the body. Barboza did his best work with his jab but was unable to keep Kennedy out. Barboza tried to come forward more in the sixth and seventh but as he tired his work rate dropped. In the eighth a big right from Kennedy sent Barboza down where he sat on the third rope. Another right sent him half way out balanced on the third and bottom rope. He tried to lever himself up but just could not get any firm base to balance on and was counted out. Former Elite level Irish amateur Kennedy was moving up to eight rounds for the first time and makes it five wins by KO/TKO. After going 11-1-1 in his first 13 fights Barboza is now 0-3 with two of those losses by KO/TKO.
Moylette vs. Probin
Moylette gets his second pro win as he floors and outpoints Probin. In the first Probin started by marching forward but that ended when he was shaken by an uppercut from Moylette and then floored by a further series of punches. Probin beat the count and made it out of the round. Although Moylette could not floor Probin again he dominated the rest of the fight and looked impressive. Scores 40-36 from all three judges. The 26-year-old Irishman has been rather overshadowed by Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes turning pro but he has some good amateur credentials of his own. He was Irish champion at Cadet, Junior and Senior level and won gold medals at the World Youth Championships, where he was the first Irish winner to get a gold medal at that level, and European Championships. Probin did well to last the distance.
Tacoma, WA, USA; Middle: Aaron Coley (14-1-1) W PTS 10 Dashon Johnson (22-21-3,1ND) .Coley gets unanimous decision over Johnson. Coley just edged a slow first round only for Johnson to outscore him in the second. There was too much holding inside for it to be an exciting fight but it was always close. Coley used his slight reach advantage to take the third and fourth but Johnson shook Coley with a right in the fifth and collected the points for that round. The sixth saw them working in close but again there was too much holding. Coley used some good rights to take the seventh. Johnson had a good eighth but was just not throwing enough punches. Both fighters had good spells in the ninth Coley scoring with a scorching uppercut only for Johnson to fire back strongly later in the round and Johnson pierced Coley’s guard with body punches in the tenth. Scores 97-93 twice and 96-94 all for Coley. He gets his fifth win in a row. His loss was on points against unbeaten Ukrainian Ievgen Khytrov and Coley is one of only two fighters to have taken Khytrov the distance in his 14 fights. Road warrior “Fly Boy” Johnson had won on each of the last three contests he had in Tacoma now it will probably be back to the road against guys such as Jesse Hart and J’Leon Love.
Jiqulipico, Mexico: Super Fly: Geraldo Castillo (18-0) W TKO 6 Josue Vega (24-23). Fighting in front of his home fans Castillo makes it 10 wins by KO/TKO with stoppage of Vega. Castillo floored Vega late in the fifth round with a hard combination. Vega beat the count and was saved by the bell. Castillo launched a furious attack from the start of the sixth and the referee stopped the fight. Local sources say Castillo is 19-0. Now 16 losses by KO/TKO for Vega.
Cebu City, Philippines: Super Bantam: Jack Tepora (20-0) W KO 1 Yon Armed (14-8). Light Fly: Christian Araneta (14-0) W KO 1 Demsi Manufoe (11-7).
Tepora vs. Armed
Tepora pulverises Armed. Southpaw Tepora came out firing and nailed Armed early with a body punch and then sent him down with another body shot and it was all over in 76 seconds. The 23-year-old southpaw from Cebu City, the WBO No 11, was making the first defence of his WBO Oriental title. He has 15 wins by KO/TKO including 10 in his last 11 fights. Indonesian Armed falls to five losses by KO/TKO.
Araneta vs. Manufoe
Araneta took just a little longer to win the vacant WBO Oriental title. A counter uppercut put Manufoe down and out after 101 seconds. The 22-year-old southpaw, the Philippines No 1, like Tepora has won 10 of his last 11 fights by KO/TKO. For Manufoe it is two visits to the Philippines and two first round losses. He did a bit better this time as he only lasted 37 second on his first visit.
Santa Ponza, Baleares Islands, Spain: Welter: Jose Del Rio (24-6) W PTS 10 Adil Anwar (22-7). With both fighters looking to counter punch this was not a very entertaining fight. There was also too much holding and Anwar lost a point for low punches. The unanimous decision went to southpaw Del Rio on scores of 98-92, 98-95 and 96-94 with the last one being a truer reflection of the fight. Spanish fans are hoping the Del Rio, who has won his last six fights, will put his national title on the line against unbeaten Kerman Lejarraga. Leeds fighter Anwar lost only one of his first twenty fights but is now 3-6 in his last 9.
Fight of the week: Srisaket vs. Roman Gonzalez I did not like the decision but it was a war.
Fighter of the week: Roman Gonzalez. Loser or not he fought like a lion despite his face being a mask of blood for much of the fight.
Punch of the week: The right from Alex Dimitrenko that put unbeaten Adrian Granat down.
Upset of the week: Has to be Srisaket beating Gonzalez but Dave Brophy beating Zac Dunn was a biggie too and Argentinian Horacio Cabral shocked Canadian fans by beating Logan McGuinness.
One to watch: Alex Saucedo 24-0