The Past Week in Boxing Action May 1 2017
-Joshua climbs off the floor and unifies IBF and WBA titles with late stoppage of Klitschko
-Donnie Nietes wins the vacant IBF flyweight title to join fellow Filipinos Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire as a three-division champion
-Claudio Marrero blows away champion Carlos Zambrano to win the interim WBA and vacant IBO titles
-Chavez beats Alvarez as Omar stops Ramon to give the Chavez family a boost before Julio Cesar Jr faces Saul
Sofia, Bulgaria: Heavy Kubrat Pulev (25-1) W PTS 12 Kevin Johnson (30-8-1). Cruiser: Tervel Pulev (3-0) W TKO 3 Jakub Wojcik (8-19-2). Cruiser: Kai Robin Havnaa (10-0) W TKO 5 Laszlo Ivanyi (6-4).
Pulev vs. Johnson
Pulev gets a win but in a slow and very predictable fight without highlights. The pattern rarely changed in the whole of the fight. It was one where you could slip into the kitchen for a cup of coffee in the middle of a round and not have to rush as you knew nothing would happen when you were away. Pulev dominated the action. He used his jab merely to measure Johnson for his right crosses and Johnson spent most of the fight with his back to the ropes. Pulev was so one-dimensional that Johnson could spot the right coming and then bend to his right so that the punch either went over the top of his head or much too often on the back of his head something for which Pulev should have at least been warned if not lost a point. Pulev did much better when he mixed in left hooks. Johnson must have lost his compass for a while as he spent much of the sixth and seventh rounds in the centre of the ring and twice scored with good rights. Pulev was managing to get through with many of his rights and left hooks and was winning every round but Johnson was doing so little that Pulev was almost winning the rounds by default. There was never any doubt who would win the fight. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109 for Pulev. The 35-year-old “Cobra” looked slow and very predictable and never really varied his tactics. He is doing his bit for the earning of heavyweight pensioners with 4 of his last 5 opponents being over 36 and the fifth being 33-year-old Dereck Chisora who he beat on a split decision. He is No 2 with the IBF but can’t move to No 1 as he has not beaten a fighter in the IBF ratings. He is also No 3 with the WBC, No 5 with the WBO and No 9 with the WBA. Johnson, 37, is now 2-7 in his last 9 fights.
Pulev vs. Wojcik
Tervel makes it a good night for the family as he halts Wojcik. Tervel is much faster both in movement and hand speed than older brother Kubrat and he quickly went to work on the tall Wojcik. A straight right in the first put Wojcik down. He arose at eight but was unsteady at the bell. In the second Pulev was banging straight rights through Wojcik’s defence and pounding him to the body with left hooks. In the third a right put Wojcik down again. He looked unsteady and the referee made him walk forward and sideways quite a bit before letting the fight continue. A series of head punches had Wojcik under pressure and the referee stopped the fight. The 34-year-old Pulev was a successful amateur winning a silver medal at the European Championships and a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. He also competed for Bulgaria at the 2005, 2009 and 2011 World Championships. He may have left it too late to turn pro but he has power and looks immensely strong. Hungarian Wojcik is 2-9 in his last 11 fights but usually goes the distance.
Havnaa vs. Ivanyi
Norwegian Havnaa also comes from a boxing family being the son of former WBO cruiser champion Magne Havnaa. A fairly easy win for Havnaa as he stops Hungarian Ivanyi in five rounds. The big Norwegian has won his last nine fights by KO/TKO and this is the first time he has had to go past the fourth round for a win. First loss by KO/TKO for Ivanyi.
Johannesburg, South Africa: Fly: Moruti Mthalane (33-2) W KO 4 Genisis Libranza (11-1). Mthalane has little trouble with Filipino challenger as he makes third defence of his IBO title. The little South African was scoring with quick combinations over the first three rounds with Libranza not able to be competitive. In the fourth a booming body punch put Libranza down and he was counted out whilst on his knees in agony. The 34-year-old “Babyface”, a former undefeated IBF champion, makes it 10 wins since losing to Nonito Donaire in 2008. He now has 22 wins by KO/TKO. Mthalane dedicated his win to his former trained the late Nick Durandt. He had been with Durandt for 12 years before Durandt retired. The “Filipino Cobra” Libranza was No 1 in the Philippine ratings but out of class against Mthalane.
Roubaix, France: Super Light: Yazid Amghar (18-0) W PTS 10 Daouda Sow (19-2). Light: Maidin Elgarni (10-0) W TKO 5 Dame Sek (10-16-2).
Amghar vs. Sow
Amghar retains his French for the third time and gets his best win to date as he takes close unanimous decision over former Olympic silver medallist Sow. This was close over the early rounds as Amghar had difficulty adjusting to Sow’s southpaw stance. Sow was warned for various infractions in the fourth and Amghar had a good sixth before coming close to victory in the seventh. He had Sow in trouble on the ropes and it took all of Sow’s skills to avoid the stoppage. Sow fought back well over the closing rounds to make the fight tight. Scores 97-94, 96-94 and 96-95 all for Amghar. The 27-year-old local fighter is No 16 with the EBU and his next aim will be a challenge for the EU title. Sow, 34, won his silver in Beijing where he beat Jose Pedraza on the way to his medal. He has popped back into the amateur ranks now and then but is not going to make it as a pro.
Elgarni vs. Sek
In front of his home town fans Elgarni makes successful second defence of the national title with stoppage of Sek. Elgarni took control of the fight early firing home a barrage of hooks. Sek never really found a way to combat Elgarni inside and was forced to take a count in the fourth and only just made it to the bell. Elgarni was unloading on Sek in the fifth when the referee stopped the fight. Still unrated Elgami is making steady progress. Now five losses in a row for Seki.
Sheffield, England: Middle: Sam Sheedy (18-2) W PTS 12 Abolaji Rasheed (8-3-1). Local southpaw Sheedy wins the vacant Commonwealth title with unanimous verdict over strong Nigerian Rasheed. Sheedy is a clever elusive opponent and with Rasheed making a slow start it look as though Sheedy would be too quick for Rasheed. Sheedy’s speed of foot and hand and his unconventional approach meant he was happiest when he could fight at a distance but the Nigerian just kept pressing and pressing and forced Sheedy to stand and trade more than he wanted to. Rasheed showed good punch resistance and had some power of his own. He had Sheedy badly shaken by an uppercut in the eighth and Sheedy admitted later that he was out on his feet for a few seconds. That scare made Sheedy a bit more cautious and he was never really in trouble again. Rasheed just kept coming and made this a much harder fight than expected. However, Sheedy was firing quick accurate punches from all angles constantly spinning away from the Nigerian’s attacks and changing angles with Rasheed just too slow to counter. Rasheed had a bad swelling under his left eye but was pressing hard in the last round with Sheedy, despite a promise he had made to his fans, doing some extravagant showboating. Scores116-113 twice and 117-111 all for Sheedy. Both losses suffered by the 24-year-old from Sheffield have been split decisions in title bouts. He lost to Navid Mansouri for the English title and in November to Tommy Langford for the vacant British title. First fight outside Nigeria for the “Afonja Warrior” Rasheed the Nigerian champion and he acquitted himself well here.
Burbank, CA, USA: Light: Casey Ramos (24-1) W PTS 10 Miguel Beltran Jr (31-6,1ND). Light: Erick De Leon (16-0) W TKO 3 Daulis Prescott (31-5,3ND). Welter: Arnold Barboza (16-0) W TKO 5 Markus Morris (10-3).
Ramos vs. Beltran
Ramos gets back in the win column with hard-fought points victory over experienced Beltran. It was Beltran who made the better start. He edged the first and then rocked Ramos with a left in the second although Ramos fired back with a left of his own and was boxing cleverly. As they exchanged heavy punches in the fifth a punch from Beltran open a cut over the right eye of Ramos. After his slow start Ramos had ground to make up. The Texan scored well in the seventh and had a big eighth. Beltran was punching harder but Ramos stepped up his work rate and in the ninth opened a cut over Beltran’s left eye. With Beltran fighting back hard they stood toe-to-toe and traded to the final bell with the crowd giving them a standing ovation. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 all for Ramos. The 27-year-old Ramos had lost his unbeaten tag against Andy Vance in November and this a useful brick in the wall of his rebuilding. Mexican Beltran had bad luck in two title shots. His first against Juan Carlos Salgado for the IBF title ended when a cut resulted in No Decision and against Roman Martinez for the WBO title that one ended on a controversial split decision. He has slipped lately being 4-4 in his last eight fights and this is his second loss in a row.
De Leon vs. Prescott
De Leon impresses but the ending is disappointing. De Leon went straight after Prescott from the opening ball. He turned that pressure into a knockdown with a pair of southpaw right hooks late in the second. In the third De Leon was pressing again and as they swapped punches Prescott collapsed to the floor. Prescott got up but indicated he had injured his left arm and could not continue. A doctor examined the injury and the fight was stopped. The 25-year-old De Leon won a bunch of titles as an amateur and scored wins over Jose Ramirez, Toka Kahn-Clary, Kenneth Sims, Raynell Williams, Amir Imam and others in collect three national Golden Gloves titles but fell short at the US Olympic Trials for the 2012 Olympics. Prescott is his biggest win so far as he progresses towards ten round level. Colombian Prescott, 30, lost to Nichols Walters for the vacant secondary WBA title in 2012 but has struggled recently.
Barboza vs. Morris
Barboza much too good for Morris and dominated the first two rounds. Although normally a counter puncher against the taller Morris he took the offensive. After winning the first two rounds he really began to let his hands go in the third. Despite suffering a cut over his left eye in a clash of heads in that third round he forced Morris to go down on one knee twice in the fourth. It was all over in the fifth when he brutalised Morris with heavy punches moving the referee to stop the fight. Morris had won his last four fights and this is his first loss inside the distance.
London, England: Heavy: Anthony Joshua (19-0) W TKO 11 Wlad Klitschko (64-5). Light: Luke Campbell (17-1) W TKO 9 Darleys Perez (33-3-2). Feather: Scott Quigg (33-1-2) W PTS 12 Viorel Simion (21-2). Super Feather: Joe Cordina (2-0) W TKO 1 Sergej Vib (7-8).
Joshua vs. Klitschko
Joshua stops Klitschko in a fight that brings back excitement to the heavyweight division as both fighters climb off the floor on the way to the dramatic finale in the eleventh round. He unifies the IBF and WBA titles in this battle of two former Olympic gold medal winners.
Both were probing with their jabs. Klitschko looked lithe and quick and was looking to come forward. Despite that he did not really let any leather fly. Joshua settled quickest and scored with a few good punches to edge the round
Score 10-9 Joshua
Klitschko came out fast in the second and immediately scored with a long right cross to the head of Joshua. After that he seemed to show too much respect to the power of Joshua and was just stabbing his jab short looking to land another right but not really finding the opportunity. Joshua was showing a strong jab and was more positive when coming forward. Joshua landed a right to the head of his own but neither really threw many punches.
Score 10-9 Joshua 20-18
Joshua picked up the pace at the start of the third coming forward behind a stiff jab and letting his hands go. Klitschko was not really trying to land his jab. He was just keeping it in Joshua’s face whilst he lined up his right but if you took out those non-landing jabs Klitschko was only throwing 4 or 5 punches in a round.
Score 10-9 Joshua 30-27
This one was close with neither man really having an edge. Klitschko let his big right go a couple of times but Joshua ducked under it. Klitschko kept just prodding his jab and looking to get home with the right and did enough to put that one in his pocket.
Score 10-9 Klitschko 39-37
So far it had been an interesting fight with both wary of the others power and neither over committing himself. That changed in a dramatic fifth. Joshua came out punching going forward and landing to the head as Klitschko stumbled back caught by surprise by the fast start. Joshua was landing hooks from both hands with Klitschko ducking and diving trying to stem the attacks. Joshua landed a wicked left hook and Klitschko slid forward and down to the canvas trying to hold on to Joshua. He was up quickly and the referee applied the eight count. After that war broke out and there was no more probing. Klitschko let his hands go firing left hooks and rights to the head. Suddenly Joshua looked exhausted as if he had punched himself out. He was trapped on the ropes with Klitschko looking just one punch away from a knockout. Klitschko now had a cut over his left eye. What a round. A candidate for Round of the Year. Normally a knockdown results in a 10-8 but no way was this a 10-8 round and since I am scoring this one I had it even.
Score 10-10 Even 49-47
Klitschko was brimming with confidence. Joshua lost his mouthguard and there was a short break whilst that was replaced. Joshua was less confident and tentative with his jab. Klitschko was able to come forward and landed a huge right cross to the head of Joshua who stumbled a couple of steps and then went down to the canvas on his back. He arose to his knees and then to his feet just as the referee reached eight. He looked unsteady. Klitschko tried hard to finish it. You felt he just needed one more big right but it never came. He fired plenty but Joshua was ducking under them and survived.
Score 10-8 Klitschko 57-57
Klitschko had the initiative and you felt that Joshua was just looking to regroup and stay out of trouble. Klitschko was scoring with his jab and some left hooks but could not find a home for his right. Joshua was talking to Klitschko but the big Ukrainian just ignored it and by the end of the round Joshua seemed to be some confidence back.
Score 10-9 Klitschko 66-67
It was a fight balanced on a knife’s edge with Klitschko seeming beginning to dominate. Joshua had regained some of his confidence. He was coming forward more and getting some snap into his jab. Klitschko fired one big right but it missed but he out-jabbed Joshua for much of the round.
Scores 10-9 Klitschko 75-77
Joshua had his confidence back in this one. He was jabbing well and letting his right hand go. Klitschko was wasting energy by dancing on his toes and we saw some of the old Klitschko as he clinched more and tried leaning on Joshua.
Score 10-9 Joshua 85-86
Joshua was outworking Klitschko in this one. He was getting snap back into his jab and now it was him pitching the rights. Klitschko tried one big right but it missed and he did not throw enough punches to have any chance of taking the round
Score 10-9 Joshua 95-95
Joshua was on the front foot forcing Klitschko back with his jab and throwing rights. As they came out of a clinch a massive right uppercut saw Klitschko’s legs shaking. For a second Joshua seemed not have notice the effect of the punch but when he did he landed a couple of hooks to the head that dropped Klitschko to his knees. He made it to his feet but was still unsteady after the eight count. Joshua took him to the ropes and a series of head punches saw Klitschko go down on his back. He again got up and backed around the ring until Joshua trapped him on the ropes and after Joshua landed some head punches the referee stepped in and made a good stoppage.
Joshua wins by TKO in 11th
What a fight. We knew Joshua had power but did not know how well he could take a punch. The right from Klitschko in the sixth would have put any heavyweight down. It was a driving right to the head and Joshua was badly hurt but got up and survived. More surprising was the way he almost fell apart after flooring Klitschko in the fifth. He was nearer to defeat then than in the sixth. He survived both of those crises and came back to win by crushing Klitschko in the eleventh. Deontay Wilder, Tyson Fury and other potential challengers will have taken heart from seeing Joshua close to defeat twice and will forget that he survived and had the power to beat Klitschko inside the distance. A feat no fighter had achieved for 13 years. With all due respect to Wilder and Fury this was a fight with world-wide appeal and the biggest heavyweight event since Lennox Lewis’s fights with Mike Tyson and Vitali Klitschko back in 2002 and 2003 respectively. Vitali and Wlad were so much better than the opposition that they left no room for excitement. Fury’s victory over Klitschko, though quite brilliant, was a triumph of tactics and mind games and the quality of Wilder’s opposition has precluded his fights being exciting but this fight returned heavyweights to the top of the list for excitement and Joshua is still only 27 and has had less than 20 fights. Let’s not forget Klitschko. He played a major part in making this such a thrilling encounter. Although 41 he was dancing around like a 20-year-old and showed yet again the power that has brought him 53 wins by KO/TKO. He showed in the lead-up to the fight and its aftermath that he is a great fighter and a great man. There is talk of a return match but the WBA will be pushing their No 1 Luis Ortiz. There is no mandatory IBF challenger as their No 1 slot is vacant. Kubrat Pulev is No 2(he can’t go to No 1 as he has not beaten a fighter currently in the IBF ratings. The is a rule that goes back to the days when the IBF was put under Federal control after being caught manipulating their ratings for money) They may decide to mandate a Joshua vs. Pulev fight anyway but there was nothing about Pulev’s performance against Kevin Johnson to make that a concern for Joshua. I was unable to attend the fight, could not raise enough by selling the house and the car to afford a ticket on line. From watching at home the atmosphere seemed something special and I missed it. I find myself bitterly misquoting Henry V by saying “And gentlemen now a-bed shall think themselves accursed they were not here”.
Campbell vs. Perez
Campbell gets important win as Perez pulls out of the fight in the ninth round due to injury. Perez failed to make the contract weight.
Perez was coming forward early with Campbell finding gaps for counters late in the round but Perez had just done enough to take the points edge.
Score 10-9 Perez
Campbell was working his right jab and firing quick straight lefts with Perez just too late to land his own counters until just before the bell but it was Campbell’s round
Score 10-9 Campbell 19-19
Perez had a better third. He was boxing cleverly blocking Campbell’s punches and scoring with long rights and this time the Venezuelan was just a little quicker and more accurate.
Score 10-9 Perez 28-29
After a cautious start Campbell drove home a straight left that had Perez staggering back. Campbell leapt on him and got though with a couple of lefts and they then both threw wild shots, mostly missing, with Perez scoring with a couple of straight rights at the end of the round but it was Campbell’s round
Score 10-9 Campbell 38-38
Perez scored with a couple of rights early in the round but after that Campbell was getting through with straight lefts one of which knocked Perez off balance. Campbell took this round but so they had all been close.
Score 10-9 Campbell 48-47
This was yet another close round. Campbell increased his work rate and was getting through with right jabs and straight lefts. Perez was showing his experience with sneaky counters but was outworked.
Score 10-9 Campbell 58-56
Campbell began to take control in the seventh. He was piercing Perez’s guard with straight lefts mainly to the head but also the body. He landed a strong right/ left combination to the body and a left to the head and Perez was shaken. He signalled for Campbell to bring it on which is never a good sign. Perez managed to land a couple of counters but Campbell banged home more lefts.
Score 10-9 Campbell 68-65
Campbell was now the one pressing the fight. He was scoring with good body punches and again Perez signalled for Campbell to try some more. Campbell obliged with a left to the head that momentarily staggered Perez and he repeated the dose almost immediately. The Venezuelan’s work rate had dropped and he was throwing tired looking punches.
Score 10-9 Campbell 78-74
Campbell was on the front foot and in control in the ninth when Perez suddenly pulled back indicating he had injured his left arm. The referee stopped the action and asked Perez if he wanted to continue. Perez said he did but after another attack from Campbell he walked away holding his arm and the referee waived the fight over.
Campbell wins TKO 9
The 29-year-old former Olympic gold medal winner gets his third win over a former world champion having beaten Argenis Mendez, Derry Mathews and now Perez. Although the finish was due to an injury Campbell had taken control of the fight and Perez was fading. This was supposed to be some kind of eliminator to find the No 1 challenger for some title. Campbell was WBC 2/WBA 8/IBF 9 but Perez was not rated by any of the four leading sanctioning bodies. Well at least he was not in the WBA lightweight ratings of 17 March. He was No 6 at super light. By some coincidence by 10 April he dropped down to lightweight and was at No 1 so hence a WBA eliminator. What a farce. Putting that to one side the 33-year-old Colombian is a former holder of the secondary WBA title. He drew and lost against Anthony Crolla but rebounded with a win over Maurice Hooker. He is still a very experienced and skilful fighter and posed Campbell some problems so it was an excellent learning fight.
Quigg vs. Simion
Quigg makes successful return to action and takes unanimous decision over Simion but makes heavy weather of it. This was a fast-paced gruelling fight with Simion making a good start but the youth and strength of Quigg being the deciding factor over the late rounds. In the first and second rounds the fight was mainly fought inside and Simion seemed to prefer that. He was having to take some hurtful punches but was finding more gaps for his own than Quigg could have been happy with. A right from Quigg in the third shook Simion and although he banged back Quigg was able to convincingly take the round. It was still toe-to-toe stuff but over the fourth and fifth Quigg outscored the Romanian. Simion battled hard and was doing enough to pick up some rounds and make this fight closer than anticipated with Quigg getting hit too often for comfort until body punches from earlier in the fight began to slow Simion. Despite this the Romanian had a good eleventh round and landed well to the body in the last but again Quigg was throwing more and landing more. Scores 117-111 twice and 115-113 all for Quigg. The 28-year-old former WBA super bantam champion was having his first fight with Freddie Roach as his trainer and his second since losing a split decision against Carl Frampton in February last year. He was a clear winner but his face was marked and he took more punches than is normal for him in a fight. He is now looking to get a shot at IBF champion Lee Selby. Selby’s next opponent Jonathan Barros is No 1 with the IBF. The No 2 spot is vacant, Carl Frampton is No 3, Simion was No 4 and Quigg No 5 so if Selby gets past Barros, and he should, then a defence against Quigg would be a big draw. Former Olympian Simion, 35, gave Selby a good fight when losing his WBC International title to the Welshman in 2013 and he fought hard here and can still be a force at European level.
Cordina vs. Vib
Too easy for Welsh hope Cordina as he crushes Russian Vib. Cordina went to work early and put Vib down. The Russian got up but only briefly and after a second knockdown coming from a left to the body the fight was stopped. Second win in a week for Cordina who will be in action again this month (May). Vib came in as a late replacement and fell to six losses by KO/TKO.
Cebu, City, Philippines: Fly: Donnie Nietes (40-1-4) W PTS 12 Komgrich (22-4). Feather: Mark Magsayo (16-0) W TKO 1 Issa Nampepeche (24-7-4). Super Bantam: Jeo Santisima (13-2) W PTS 10 Master Suro (11-9-1).
Nietes vs. Komgrich
Nietes wins unanimous decision over teak hard Komgrich to collect the vacant IBF title and to join Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire as the only three-division champions from the Philippines. Komgrich made Nietes fight hard all the way.
Nietes vs. Komgrich
The first round was fast paced with both fighters immediately getting down to business. Komgrich scored with a good left/right combination and got through with some hooks to the body. Nietes was scoring repeatedly with his jab and getting home body punches and a chopping right staggered Komgrich just before the bell.
Score 10-9 Nietes
Nietes began the round with some right hooks and was showing good upper body movement to slip the punches from the Thai challenger. They traded shots throughout an open round. Again Komgrich was getting home with quick hooks to the body but Nietes movement made him a hard target and the champion was scoring with some choice uppercuts. Again he finished the round impressively by landing a left to the body and a right to the head
Score 10-9 Nietes 20-18
Nietes was fighting out of a semi-crouch getting under Komgrich’s punches and inside his guard with uppercuts and the scoring with rights to the head. Komgrich had a good spell in the middle of the round raking Nietes with long punches but Nietes finished strongly driving Komgrich back with a right to the head and a series of shots to the body.
Score 10-9 Nietes 30-27
As they traded at the start of the round a short right from Nietes saw Komgrich pitch forward and put both gloves on the canvas. The referee administered an eight count with Komgrich protesting seeing it as a slip. The Thai withstood efforts from Nietes to capitalise on the knockdown and then fought back hard. He had Nietes retreating and having to absorb punches to head and body until the champion once again finished the round strongly.
Score 10-8 Nietes 40-36
All of the rounds had been close but this one was totally dominated by Komgrich. He stormed forward relentlessly firing hooks and uppercuts to the body and banging home rights to the head. Nietes was able to counter occasionally but had to soak up quite a bit of punishment.
Score 10-9 Komgrich 49-46
This was also Komgrich’s round. Again he was storming forward attacking the body and getting home clubbing rights to the head. Nietes was constantly on the back foot and unable to find punching space to counter the Thai.
Score 10-9 Komgrich 58-56
Once again it was Komgrich’s round. They were head to head like a couple of rutting stags each trying to force the other back. Komgrich was looking stronger and on top of Nietes for the whole round scoring with hooks and uppercuts. Both strayed low with Komgrich getting a severe warning but he looked to have taken control of the fight.
Score 10-9 Komgrich 67-66
Nietes had to find a way back into the fight and he did. He was moving more and creating space to counter Komgrich on the way in. The Thai kept storming forward but was suddenly rocked by a series of head punches. Nietes bombarded him with both hands until Komgrich fought his way off the ropes. He kept ploughing forward but was shaken twice more in the round. A big one for Nietes which he acknowledged by holding his arms aloft on the way back to his corner.
Score 10-9 Nietes 77-75
Nietes bossed the early action in this round. He was constantly moving and slotting home counters on the advancing Thai. Over the last minute of the round the sheer pressure exerted by Komgrich and the amazing volume of punches he was throwing had Nietes looking tired but his early work just earned him the points.
Score 10-9 Nietes 87-84
Having already been warned about low punches Komgrich landed two in succession early in the round and the referee indicated to the judges to deduct a point. Nietes was boxing on the back foot peppering Komgrich with jabs and shots from both hands. Komgrich just walked through everything and had Nietes under heavy pressure at the end but Nietes had done enough early to earn the round.
Score 10-8 Nietes (1 point deduction against Komgrich) 97-92
This one went to Komgrich. Nietes started the round well and landed some hard rights but the Thai was putting Nietes under unrelenting pressure. He was pumping out punch after punch with the sheer aggression shutting down the output from Nietes who was looking tired and arm weary.
Score 10-9 Komgrich 106-102 Round 12
Nietes boxing cleverly in the last. He kept moving and showed great defensive work. Over most of the round he was getting through with his jab and counters and the cleaner punching was coming from the champion. Komgrich was strong to the end but his punches lacked power or direction.
Score 10-9 Nietes 116-111
Official scores: 117-111 twice and 115-113 all for Nietes
The 34-year-old “Ahas” stretches his unbeaten run to 32 fights and this is his 16th world title fight. With this also brining him his third division world title it adds up to a truly remarkable set of achievements and yet to be honest he needs a career defining fight and has yet to make a title defence outside of the Philippines. The other flyweight title holders are Zou Shiming (WBO), Kazuto Ioka (WBA and Juan Hernandez (WBC) and it would be good to see Nietes go against any of these in a unification fight. Komgrich had won his last 15 fights but all against opposition who have never graced the ratings. Having said that he was an incredible little tank who rumbled forward and seemed to be armoured plated as the punches bounced off him. His work rate was phenomenal and CompuBox would have needed an IBM supercomputer to register the punches. He would give any flyweight a tough night and it is a reflection of the talent of Nietes that he was able to come out a winner.
Magsayo vs. Nampepeche
Magsayo annihilates Tanzanian inside a round. The young Filipino prospect caught Nampepeche coming in with a short hook. Nampepeche got up but a series of hooks put him down for the second time and the referee stopped the fight without a count. The 21-year-old “ Magnifico” has 12 wins by KO/TKO. He climbed off the floor to stop Chris Avalos last year and is No 4 with the WBO. Nampepeche, 22, has lost 3 of his last 4 fights and never had a remote chance of winning this one.
Santisima v. Suro
Santisima has a ten bout streak of wins by KO/TKO snapped as Suro climbs off the floor and stays to the final bell. The young Filipino was trying to extend that kayo streak early but Suro proved durable. A right put Suro down in the sixth but he survived. As it became apparent that Suro was not going to fold Santisima settled for boxing his way to victory and winning ever round. Scores 100-89 from all three judges. The 20-year-old was 2-2 in his first four fights and then built his ten KO/TKO wins. This is the first time he has gone past the sixth round so some good work experience for him. Only one loss by KO/TKO for Suro who did his job.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Feather: Claudio Marrero (22-1) W KO 1 Carlos Zambrano (26-1). Middle: Nat Gillimore (18-1-1) W TKO 6 Jeison Rosario (12-1). Super Middle: Ronald Gavril (17-1) W Decarlo Perez (16-5-1).
Marrero vs. Zambrano
Marrero wins the interim WBA title at the second attempt as he blows away champion Zambrano in 90 seconds. Zambrano was having his first fight for 20 months and was caught cold. Marrero started by throwing a pair of quick hooks. Zambrano scored with a right through the southpaw guard of Marrero. Zambrano was on the back foot looking to counter and Marrero missed with a wild left. They both just sent out probing jabs with Zambrano retreating to the ropes. Suddenly Marrero leapt forward and landed a light right and then a thudding left that put Zambrano down and out. The Dominican southpaw had lost a close decision to Jesus Cuellar for this title in 2013 and this is his eighth win since then. Marrero also wins the vacant IBO title and now has 16 wins by KO/TKO. Peruvian Zambrano was making the second defence of his interim title. He had been carefully matched and this is his first fight outside of Peru.
Gillimore vs. Rosario
Gillimore overcomes a rocky first round to stop Rosario. In an eventful opener after some light sparring. Gillimore was making god use of his longer reach until Rosario shook him with a left to the head that sent Gillimore back to the ropes. A right wobbled Gillimore’s legs. He was shaken by another right but survived helped by Rosario getting a warning for hitting on the break and two for low punches before the end of the round. Rosario started the second with a ferocious attack but by the end of the round Gillimore was forcing him back and scoring with left jabs and rights to the head. Both fighters landed heavy stuff over the next three rounds with Gillimore having the better of the exchanges. In the sixth Gillimore clipped Rosario with a punch to the temple. Rosario took a couple of stepped back then went down on his knees. After the eight count he was still on shaky pins and a right uppercut put him down for the second time. Rosario jumped up and down to show he was OK but two more head punches put him down and the referee stopped the fight. Gillimore, a 28-year-old from Jamaica has 15 wins by KO/TKO. His only loss is a split decision against Lithuanian Virgilijus Stapulionis in June last year and he was won five on the bounce by KO/TKO since then. Rosario was having his first fight outside of the Dominican republic where he has scored a couple of useful wins.
Gavril vs. Perez
Gavril keeps busy with win over Perez. The 30-year-old Romanian extends his streak of wins by KO/TKO to 5 as he continues to face a reasonable level of opposition. His loss came against experienced Elvin Ayala in 2015. Perez has lost 3 of his last 4 fights.
Chihuahua, Mexico: Super Welter: Omar Chavez (36-3-1) W TKO 2 Ramon Alvarez (24-6-2,1ND).Welter: Jamie Munguia (23-0) W PTS 10 Johnny Navarette (33-9-1).
Chavez vs. Alvarez
Score one for the Chavez family as younger brother Omar (of Julio Jnr.) beats elder brother Ramon (Saul). It was Alvarez who made the confident start. He was coming forward firing hooks from both hands. Chavez was on the back foot for much of the first round. He started to throw some hard punches late in the round but Alvarez ended the round in charge. Early in the second Alvarez was out-jabbing Chavez and landed a stinging straight right. Chavez responded with a great left hook flush on the jaw of Alvarez. Chavez forced Alvarez back to the ropes and as they traded he landed a left to Alvarez’s temple. That put Alvarez back on the ropes again and Chavez banged home four overhand rights in succession. Alvarez staggered off the ropes but only onto another set of ropes. He was badly shaken and two brutal left hooks from Chavez saw the referee leap in and stop the fight. The 27-year-old Chavez had won 8 of his last 9 fights going in with the loss being a close decision to Alvarez in 2014. He was inactive from June 2015 until returning with a win last December and this win, No 24 by KO/TKO, was a big one for him. Alvarez, 30, had a 9-0,1ND decision run of results before losing a split decision to Antonio Margarito in August. He had scored a win in December and this is only his second loss by KO/TKO.
Munguia vs. Navarette
Munguia comes through his first real test as he takes wide unanimous decision over tough and experienced Navarette. Over the first three rounds Navarette was giving Munguia a boxing lesson. He was constantly slotting jabs through the porous defence of Munguia and scoring with fast but light combinations. Munguia was just walking through the punches and scoring with scything hooks to the body and clubbing rights to the head. The lack of power in Navarette’s punches allowed Munguia to apply more and more pressure. He was loading up on every punch and getting caught time and again by counters but was slowly beating down the resistance of Navarette. From the seventh Navarette had slowed considerably and went into survival mode. Munguia was missing wildly with some punches but those that landed had real power and Navarette was well beaten by the finish. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 all for Munguia. The 20-year-old from Tijuana has power but is one dimensional and heeds to greatly improve his defence. “Cowboy” Navarette was 16-2 in his last 18 fights including a win over Jorge Paez Jr so this was a good scalp for Munguia.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Feather: Tevin Farmer (24-4-1) W Arturo Santos Reyes (19-7). Farmer extends his winning run to 18 as he gets unanimous decision over Mexican Santos. The fight was made that bit tougher for Farmer as he suffered a torn right bicep early in the fight. He continued with the fight but was not at 100%. That allowed Santos more scope and his aggression gave southpaw Farmer a much harder fight than expected but he boxed his way to victory. Scores 98-94, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Farmer. That winning streak includes victories over Daulis Prescott and Ivan Redkach and has seen Farmer climb in the ratings. He is WBC 3/IBF 6/WBO 10 but he may be out of commission for a while with the injury. Santos, 31, was a good class amateur representing Mexico at both tine Olympic Games and the World Championships. He looked to have a chance of making it as a pro when he only lost to Fernando Montiel on a split decision in his 13th fight but now it is 5 losses in his last 6 fights.
Kanazawa, Japan: Feather: Genesis Servania (29-0) W TKO 2 Ralph Jhon Lulu (12-2-2). Servania crushes fellow Filipino Lulu inside two rounds. Servania scored well with both hands in the first. In the second a straight right put Lulu down. He made it to his feet but a further series of punches from Servania saw the referee step in to save Lulu. The 25-year-old “Azukat” wins the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title. He now has 12 victories by KO/TKO. He is No 4 super bantam with the WBO but had only one fight last year so needs to be more active. Inexperienced Lulu has now lost his last two fights.
Fight of the week: Anthony Joshua vs. Wlad Klitschko a heavyweight classic. Honourable mention to Donnie Nietes vs. Komgrich a war form first to last
Fighter of the week: Anthony Joshua
Punch of the week: Joshua’s right uppercut in the eleventh that was the beginning of the end for Klitschko. Honourable mention to the left from Claudio Marrero which flattened Carlos Zambrano
Upset of the week: None !
One to watch: Erick De Leon 17-0