The Past Week in Action 15 November 2017
-Artur Beterbiev wins vacant IBF light heavy title
-Daniel Jacobs outclasses Luis Arias to show he is still a very potent force
-Liam Smith gets majority verdict over Liam Williams in another quality fight
-Scot Josh Taylor becomes the first to kayo former IBF champion Miguel Vazquez
Jarrell Miller beat Mariusz Wach and hopes for a title shot
-Thomas Patrick Ward retains the British title with win over Sean Davis
-Juan Carlos Ramirez and Amir Imam both win to set up fight for vacant WBC super light title
Cleveland, OH, USA: Feather: Yuandale Evans (20-1) W PTS 10 Luis Rosa (23-1,2ND). Heavy: Junior Fa (13-0) W TKO 1 Fred Latham (9-1-2,1ND). Welter: Radzhab Butaev (8-0) W PTS 8 Janer Gonzalez (19-1-1). Super Welter: Charles Conwell (6-0) W PTS 6 Roque Zapata (4-2-3).
Evans vs. Rosa
Fighting in his home town Evans gets a well deserved split decision over Rosa in a tremendous slugfest. This one took about 30 seconds to burst into flames. Suddenly the two were standing toe-to-toe and firing punches as if it was the last round and that’s pretty well how things continued. Evans had an edge in reach but not enough to be significant and Rosa was able to get inside and trade. The sheer ferocity of Rosa’s attacks had Evans on the back foot but both were landing piles of hooks and uppercuts and working the body well. Evans did the cleaner work in the first but Rosa did enough to take the second. Evans tried to use his jab to create some space but Rosa was rolling forward all the time. Evans made him pay on the way in with hooks and uppercuts and inside Rosa was digging to the body. Rosa tried to use some clever upper body movement to neutralise Evan’s jab but generally it was a case of attack being the best defence. The better work from Evans over the third and fourth saw him edge those but every round was close. Evan’s had the edge on skill but was not getting the chance to make it count as much as it should as Rosa was on top of him constantly. Evans had a good fifth showing some slick moves and countering Rosa on the way in and perhaps just doing enough but
still the rounds were close and there was still some needle there as they started each other down at the end of the round. Evans taunted Rosa and did some showboating in the sixth but not for long as Rosa kept up the ceaseless pressure. The pace slowed a little in the seventh with Evans on the front foot more and this time it was Rosa doing some clever stuff and showboating. The eighth was a tremendous round. Evans rocked Rosa early with a couple of head punches but then Rosa fired back with shots to head and body. Rosa began to take over driving Evans back scoring with a cluster of punches he took Evans to a corner and was banging away only for Evans to uncork a couple of rights that had Rosa badly shaken. Evans was able to land a number of hard head shots with Rosa stumbling under the storm to the bell. The again confronted each other before returning to their corners. What a war. They were a couple of tired fighters brawling away in the ninth with Evans just seeming to have a little bit more left. They still had the energy to fight hard for the last three minutes of a great scrap. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Evans and 96-94 for Rosa. “Money Shot” Evans, 28, wins the vacant WBC Continental America’s title. He
had drifted away from activity after losing on a first round stoppage against Javier Fortuna in 2012. He was inactive for three years as he felt his career had not been well handled but coming into this one he had scored a good win over Australian Billel Dib in April. Puerto Rican Rosa had scored good wins over Jorge Diaz and Luis Orlando Del Valle and can rebound from this.
Butaev vs. Gonzalez
Butaev wins a battle of punchers-on points. The Russian fighting out of a crouching style with a low held left outworked a strangely subdued Gonzalez. It seemed that Gonzalez had no answer to the style and hand speed of Butaev. The Russian was getting inside landing quick punches and getting out before Gonzalez could counter and Butaev was throwing more and landing more than Gonzalez. Over the fifth and sixth Gonzalez seemed to come to life and let his hands go more but could not do enough to make up for his slow start with Butaev emerging a clear winner. Scores 80-72, 79-73 and 77-75 all for Butaev. The 23-year-old Russian is a former Russian Youth and Senior amateur champion who fought in the WSB where he was 8-1 including wins over Roniel Iglesias and Denys Berinchyk. Colombian Gonzalez had a couple of wins against experienced opposition but disappointed here.
Fa vs. Latham
New Zealander Fa gets his second win in the USA. Fa made a confident start banging out his jab and letting his rights fly putting Latham on the back foot. Fa took Latham to the ropes and bombarded Latham with hooks and uppercuts. Latham started to try to punch back but then he folded under the barrage and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. The 28-year-old 6’5” (196cm) New Zealander gets his eighth win by KO/TKO. As an amateur he twice beat the current WBO champion Joseph Parker including a victory that cost Parker his chance of fighting at the 2012 Olympics. Latham was coming off a reasonable result drawing with more experienced Alonzo Butler in December but never got into the fight.
Conwell vs. Zapata
Conwell was in charge from the outset using strong jabs to head and body to put Zapata on the defensive and by the end of the opening round was adding left hooks and overhand rights to the mix. Zapata was more positive in the second. Conwell landed hard counters with Zapata getting through with a combination late in the round. Conwell put Zapata down early in the third with a right to the chin. Zapata was up at nine and tried to punch his way out of trouble. He caught Conwell with a right but Conwell responded with a left hook to the body and another to the head. And Zapata went down. Once again Zapata was up at nine and again tried to fight his way out of trouble and landed some good punches. Conwell landed better ones and at the bell Zapata went to a neutral corner instead of his own. Conwell dominated the fourth and put Zapata down with a left hook to the body in the fifth. He tried hard to end it in the sixth scoring with hooks and uppercuts but Zapata remained competitive to the bell. Conwell wins on scores of 60-51 twice and 60-53. The 20-year-oold 2016 Olympian had won his first five fight by KO/TKO so some good right time for him here. USA-based Panamanian Zapata showed guts and got in some good whack of his own but Conwell had too much class and power for him.
Coronel Moldes, Argentina. Super Bantam: Claudio Echegaray (20-0-1) W PTS 10 Jeremias Ulibarre (7-5-1). Light: Javier Clavero (22-3) W PTS 6 Emanuel Godoy (4-10).
Echegaray vs. Ulibarre
Echegaray retains the WBC Latino title with comfortable win over Ulibarre. Echegaray took charge of the action from the first round. He had a big reach advantage and made good use of that plus southpaw lefts to the body. Ulibarre spent a lot of the fight circling the perimeter of the ring and launching occasional lunging attacks. Ulibarre became a little more aggressive as the fight progressed but that only resulted in his running onto more right counters from Echegaray. An exciting fifth saw Echegaray land a succession of lefts only to walk onto a right that rocked him. He punched back and an even hard right rocked him badly but he fought his way out of trouble. Echegaray was back in control in the sixth then dominated the rest of the action. Scores 99-91 for Echegaray from all three judges. The 28-year-old local “Serpent”, the Argentinian No 2, was making the second defence of his WBC Latino title and has won 13 in a row. “El Gaucho” Ulibarre had won 5 of his last 6 contests but is just a prelim level fighter.
Clavero vs. Chaves
Argentinian champion Clavero keeps busy with points win over poor Godoy. Clavero was rolling forward in the first landing some clumping rights but Godoy found gaps for heavy counters making it a close round. The second again saw Clavero on top trapping Godoy on the ropes and rocking him with hard rights and left hooks. Clavero had Godoy trapped on the ropes again in the third and unloaded hooks and uppercuts with the referee stepping in and giving Godoy a standing count. Another series of head punches saw the referee give Godoy a second standing count but he survived the round by gamely standing and trading with Clavero to the bell. Although Clavero continued to attack hard in every round Godoy did not crumble and fought back enough to make it an entertaining scrap. Scores 60-52.60-52 ½, 60-53 ½. . Just 2 losses in his last 22 fights for 24-year-old Clavero but his lack of power showed here. Now 8 losses in a row for Godoy.
Sydney, Australia: Light: Kye MacKenzie (18-1) W PTS 10 Nort Beauchamp (15-2). Local fighter MacKenzie picks up a win and two interim titles with points victory over Beauchamp. Although the two records looked similar there was a big difference in standard of opponent and overall experience. MacKenzie had no problems in dealing with the southpaw stance of Beauchamp and dominated the fight winning by wide margins on all three cards. Scores 100-91 twice and 100-90. The 25-year-old “Mr Frenzy”, the Australian champion, wins the interim WBO Asia Pacific and WBA Oceania titles. His only loss is to Jack Asis for the vacant IBO title in 2015 and this is his fourth win since then. New Zealander Beauchamp had won his last 9 fights but his victims had only managed 15 wins between them, and 11 had never won a fight.
Melbourne, Australia: Light Fly: Randy Petalcorin (28-2-1) W KO 1 Oscar Raknafa (13-16). Super Light: Terry Tzouramanis (19-3-1) W PTS 8 Kerra (3-2).
Petalcorin vs. Raknafa
A poor match ends with a predictable result. Filipino Petalcorin had Raknafa under pressure from the start until a searing left hook to the body put Raknafa down and he was counted out with just one second left in the round. Raknafa needing extended aid before he was able to make it to his feet. The 25-year-old Filipino southpaw a former undefeated WBA interim champion makes it 21 wins by KO/TKO. Petalcorin is No 3 with the IBF but with the first two slots vacant effectively he is the top rated light fly in the IBF ratings. The IBF champion Milan Melindo has been ordered to give Hekkie Budler a return so that will go ahead with Petalcorin waiting in the wings for the winner. His only loss in his last 24 fights was a split decision against Omar Kimweri for the WBC Silver title in April last year. Ninth loss by KO/TKO for Indonesian Raknafa who is now 1-13 in his last 14 fights so a very poor match.
Tzouramanis vs. Kerra
Tzouramanis retains the Victoria State title but given a tougher night than expected and only edges novice Kerra on a majority decision. Now 7 wins in his last 8 fights for the 32-year-old Tzouramanis. First time past four rounds for southpaw Kerra so a good performance.
Osorno, Chile: Super Bantam: Robinson Lavinaza (13-4-1) W KO 9 Ramon Contreras (14-6). Lavinaza retains the Chilean title as he gets off the floor to score a spectacular kayo of Contreras. Lavinaza took the fight to the challenger from the start. Southpaw Contreras refused to buckle and launched some successful counter attacks focusing on the body. That paid off as Lavinaza started to tire and Contreras was turning the fight his way. A right to the chin floored Lavinaza in the eighth and Contreras threw a pile of punches put could not put Lavinaza down again. In the ninth it was apparent that Contreras had punched himself out and Lavinaza put Contreras down with a stunning combination. Contreras beat the count but Lavinaza walked in and landed a left and two rings which saw Contreras collapse on his side and be counted out. The 29-year-old hometown fighter goes to five wins by KO/TKO. He had stopped Contreras in nine rounds in 2015 to win the title and this is his second defence. Contreras, 32, had won his last three fights.
Calais, France: Super Welter: Maxime Beaussire (25-1-1) W KO 2 Joffrey Jacob (16-1-1) W. Middle: Anderson Prestot (18-1) W TKO 5 Martin Owono (7-19-2).
Beaussire vs. Jacob
Beaussire wins the vacant EU title at the second attempt as he kayos local fighter Jacob. Beaussire followed his usual tactics of trying to steamroller his opponent so they were trading punches early. Beaussire was swarming forward digging hooks and uppercuts inside. To win Jacob needed space to use his skills but was forced to brawl. He was countering Beaussire with hooks of his own but Beaussire was remorseless. A clash of heads saw Jacob suffer a slight cut on his right eyebrow in the frantic exchanges. Beaussire continued his forward march in the second round and just 15 seconds into the round he hammered home a succession of punches with at least two looking low. Jacobs stared to back out of the exchange but was nailed by a right to the chin which put him down on his back. He tried to rise, got half way up and then collapsed into the ropes and ended face down on the canvas being counted out. The 26-year-old “Conqueror” from Normandy (named after William the Conqueror of battle of Hastings fame) gets his ninth win by KO/TKO. The only loss on his record was to fellow-Frenchman Zakaria Attou on a split decision in April for this same title. Jacob, 26, is a member of the Jacob dynasty which has between them have produced a world champion in Thierry, three European champions, a World Boxing Federation champion, an EU champion and some French champions with granddad/dad being the only one not to have won a title. Jacob is a fine boxer but lacks power. He can come again but is unlikely to get beyond EU status.
Prestot vs. Owono
Prestot continues his successful return to the ring with stoppage of Owono. Prestot used his longer reach to dictate the early action. He was landing short punches from both hands with Owono willing to take punches to get close and also showing some clever upper body movement. Prestot scored well early in the second but Owono closed the round strongly. He was down from a punch that landed on the back of his head and knocked him off balance but it was not counted as a knockdown. Prestot took the third and fourth. He was scoring at distance with his jab and countering Owono’s attacks with hooks and uppercuts but Owono kept coming. Owono looked to have rocked Prestot with a right in the fifth but Prestot fired back with a couple of uppercuts that stunned Owono and then followed that with a succession of rights to the head that saw Owono drops to his knees and the referee waived the fight over. The tall 26-year-old Prestot lost to Frank Haroche for the French middleweight title in January 2015 and did not fight again until April this year. Owono is 1-11-1 in his last 13 fights but is better than those figures suggest.
Solgotarjan, Hungary: Cruiser; Imre Szello (19-0) W TKO 9 Robert Hall (11-1). Light Heavy: Mate Kis (10-0-2) W KO 8 Richard Baranyi (19-2) W. Super Welter: Balazs Bacskai (2-0) W Joseph Sinkala (13-10-1).
Szello vs. Hall
Szello comes through to halt Hall in a good match. Szello made an impressive start nailing Hall with a straight right in the first round that wobbled the visitor. Hall spent the rest of the round up against the ropes but he was letting go with some useful counters. Szello continued to press with Hall spending much of the time on the defence against the ropes. Szello was scoring with overhand rights and left hooks but Hall showed an excellent jab and countered well enough to make Szello cautious. Hall was still spending too long on the ropes with the ring centre being a forgotten land for him as he allowed Szello to control the pace. Hall was a bit more adventurous in the sixth taking the fight to ring centre and trading punches but not for long as he was noticeably tiring. Szello stepped up his attacks in the eighth with clubbing rights and looked to have shaken Hall with a left hook just before the
bell. Hall started the ninth by catching Szello with a straight right but later in the round Szello landed a left hook that had Hall staggering back across the ring. He flowed up with another series of punches and Hall went down face first on the canvas. The referee counted to three and then waived the fight over at which point Hall suddenly revived and started to jump up but the fight was over. Szello, 34, retains his WBO Inter-Continental title and gets win No 12 by KO/TKO. With the WBO’s policy of over-rewarding fighters for winning their lesser title Szello is rated No 7 by them even though he has yet to fight anyone remotely near a rating. Time is running out for “Imo” to make a significant move. Hall, 25, showed some good skills but lacked the power to hold out against Szello.
Kis vs. Baranyi
Minor upset as Kis wins vacant Hungarian title with victory over Baranyi. Kis attacked from the start taking the fight to Baranyi and forcing Baranyi to fight a defence battle. Because of his much greater experience it was felt that the longer the fight went the more likely that Baranyi would win by pacing himself better. Kis was still going strong in the eighth and as they traded some heavy punches Kis drove a left into the ribs of Baranyi who immediately dropped to his knees and was counted out. Huge domestic win for 24-year-old Kis who had no real success as an amateur but with this sixth win by KO/TKO he is Hungarian champion something he never achieved as an amateur. Baranyi held this title back in 2015 and won the WBO European title in 2016 but lost his WBO European title and was destroyed inside two rounds by Anthony Yarde in July this year.
Bacskai vs. Sinkala
Bacskai, one of the most successful Hungarian amateurs in modern times gets six rounds of work from game Tanzanian Sinkala. Bacskai was drilling Sinkala with wicked lefts and rights to the body in every round. Sinkala showed good conditioning to stand up to the punishment and had Bacskai covering up occasionally as he fought back hard but Bacskai took every round and the decision. The 29-year-old Bacskai won gold medals at both the World and European Youth Championships and then won gold medals at the European and European Championships. He was Hungarian champion eight times in a row from 2009 to 2016 inclusive but as with Szello it is a case of whether he has left it too late to turn pro. Sinkala in now 2-5 in his last 7 fights.
Hermosillo, Mexico: Super Fly: Roberto Sanchez (17-1) W KO 3 Mauro Loreto (15-5-2). “Little Tornado” Sanchez finishes Loreto in the third with a body punch. Sanchez had the better of the exchanges over the first two rounds. In the third two left hooks to the body had Loreto down on his hands and knees in pain and he was counted out. The 22-year-old Sanchez wins the vacant WBC Youth Inter-Continental trinket and makes it 11 wins by KO/TKO. Southpaw Loreto had lost only one of his last 17 fights.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Welter: Takeshi Inoue (12-0-1) W TKO 8 Niwat Kongkan (9-4). Fly: Masayuki Kuroda (28-7-3) W TKO 7 Mako Matsuyama (8-13-2).
Inoue vs. Kongkan
Inoue wins the OPBF title and collects the vacant WBO Asia Pacific title with stoppage of Thai Kongkan. The local fighter attacked straight away with his ferocious assault seeing him build a lead over the first four rounds with the cards reading 40-35 twice and 39-37 for Inoue. He continued the pressure in the fifth with Kongkan fighting back hard but beginning to fade under the hail of punches. Inoue was forcing the fight again in the sixth but Kongkan got momentary respite after being hurt by a low punch from Inoue. Kongkan put in a big effort in the seventh to try to turn the fight but a left to the body put him down in the eighth. He made it to his feet but was cornered and after another body punch put him down the fight was stopped. The 27-year-old Inoue makes it 7 wins by KO/TKO and after a draw in his first pro fight he has won twelve on the bounce. Kongkan was making the second defence of the OPBF title.
Kuroda vs. Matsuyama
This one looked a poor match and that’s how it played out. Matsuyama fought hard but the power and accuracy of the national champion Kuroda proved too much for the challenger to overcome. Kuroda was scoring to head and body and slowly undermining Matsuyama’s resistance and the challenger looked to be on the point of caving in the fifth but just made it to the bell. The open scoring had Kuroda in front 50-45 twice and 50-46. Matsuyama only just survived the sixth and late in the seventh his corner threw in the towel to save their man. Kuroda, 31, a former challenger for the secondary WBA title was making the second defence of his national title. He is rated No 4 by the WBA and with Kazuto Ioka having recently relinquished the title he will be hoping to be in the mix to contests the vacant title. Poor Matsuyama is 1-6-1 in his last 8 fight.
Manchester, England: Middle: Lukas Ndafoluma (11-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Craig Cunningham (19-2). Super Feather: Jordan McCrory (15-3-1) W PTS 10 Abraham Ndauendapo (17-4,1ND).Light: Joe Murray (23-2) W TKO 8 Nkululeko Venganayi (10-5).
Ndafoluma vs. Cunningham
Yet another good quality Namibian fighter emerges as Ndafoluma decisions Cunningham. The British fighter forced the fight hard but Ndafoluma had height and reach and was making Cunningham pay for his aggression and outscoring Cunningham on the outside. It developed into a tough contest but one that Ndafoluma always had control over and he was a deserving winner. Referee’s score 97-94 for “Demolisher” Ndafoluma. The Namibian has now won his last six fights and this is by far his best result. Southpaw Cunningham had scored a trio of good domestic wins beating Ryan Aston, Jason Welborn and Anthony Ogogo with his only previous loss being in one of the Prizefighter Tournaments. This fight was to be a Commonwealth Boxing Council eliminator but visa issues did not allow enough time for the 72 hour check weight procedure so it could not be an eliminator. The show was a UK vs. Africa contest televised throughout Africa and the organisers are to stage 14 shows a year with a return of UK vs. Africa next year.
Murray vs. Venganayi
Murray, who captained the UK team, proves too strong, too sharp and too experienced for Zimbabwean Venganayi. The visitor showed lots of guts but Murray slowly broke him down and Venganayi was trapped in a corner shipping punishment when the referee stopped the fight. Murray, 30, registers his tenth win by KO/TKO. His only losses were both against Liam Walsh in Commonwealth title fights. He has now won eight on the bounce and is naturally looking to challenge for the British title. As an amateur Murray took a bronze medal at the World Championships scoring a comfortable victory over Carlos Cuadras on his way to the medal and he also competed at the 2008 Olympics. South African based Venganayi with his lack of experience performed much better than expected.
McCrory vs., Ndauendapo
McCrory given a tough night by unsung Namibian, McCrory took many of the early rounds. He was helped by a knockdown in the second round. Over the second half of the fight Ndauendapo began to press hard and managed to cut back much of McCrory’s lead and this time it was Ndauendapo getting some help in the shape of a point deduction suffered by McCrory in the ninth round. In the end Ndauendapo just came up short. Referee’s score 95-93 for McCrory. The 26-year-old Scottish champion has now won 6 of his last 7 fights. Ndauendapo, 34, was 10-2 in his last 12 fights with the losses coming on a split decision against Oscar Chauke in South Africa and again on points to unbeaten Russian Roman Andreev in Russia. This was also to be a Commonwealth title eliminator but with the problem over the visas/weigh-in timing that also cancelled that status.
Fresno, CA, USA: Light Heavy: Artur Beterbiev (12-0) W KO 12 Enrico Koelling (23-2). Super Light: Juan Carlos Ramirez (21-0) W KO 2 Mike Reed (23-1).Super Light: Alex Saucedo (26-0) W KO 3 Gustav Vittori (20-3-1). Amir Imam (21-1) W RTD 4 Johnny Garcia (19-6-1). Alex Besputin (8-0) W TKO 7 Juan Ruiz (20-1). Max Dadashev (9-0) W KO 4 Clarence Booth (15-4). Andy Vences (20-0) W KO 2 Jairo Ochoa (18-13)
Beterbiev vs. Koelling
Beterbiev wins the vacant IBF title with late stoppage of Koelling. This was a poor title fight being too one-sided to generate any real excitement. Beterbiev was having his first fight for almost eleven months but any rust was immaterial as Koelling never really posed any threat. The fight started at a slow pace and did not really quicken up. Beterbiev was marching forward behind a strong jab forcing Koelling onto the back foot and to the ropes where he could work away to the body. The pattern rarely varied with Koelling just doing enough to survive. The slow action drew boos from the crowd early in the fight and those boos continued spasmodically all the way through. Beterbiev kept pressing but it was not one of his best efforts and he only rarely showed the power which had allowed him to win all of his previous fights inside seven rounds. Koelling could at least say he took Beterbiev further than anyone else but this negative performance showed how false his No 3 rating by the IBF, two positions above Sergey Kovalev, was. It looked as though Beterbiev was going to end it in the eleventh when he shook Koelling with a right but Koelling survived. In the twelfth Beterbiev forced Koelling to the ropes and landed some clubbing punches to the head and Koelling dropped to the floor. He was up quite quickly but after the mandatory count Beterbiev drove Koelling around the ropes before landing a right to the side of the head and when Koelling dropped to his knees the referee just waived the fight over. The 32-year-old Russian keeps his 100% record of wins inside the distance but this fight was too one-sided for him to be able to look good. A fight with Adonis Stevenson, Sergey Kovalev or even the emerging Dmitry Bivol would be big fights for him if they can be made. The punch stats tell the story for Koelling as he landed only 64 punches in the eleven and a bit rounds. No matter what praise might be heaped on him for taking Beterbiev further than anyone else that figure show the negative tactics he used to stay in the fight. At 27 he has the time and the backing to come again but he will want to forget his poor performance on the big stage.
Ramirez vs. Reed
Ramirez blows away unbeaten Reed to protect his proposed match with Amir Imam for the WBC version of the super light title relinquished by Terrence Crawford. Ramirez went after Reed from the start and Reed obliged by standing and trading when he might have been better to box. It made for an exciting first round but Ramirez ended it in the next. Ramirez sent Reed to the ropes with a right and then unloaded a series of punches with Reed dropping to his knees. Reed was up but after the eight count Ramirez trapped him on the ropes and was landing hard shots to head and body and with Reed not punching back the referee stopped the fight. This was supposed to be a big test for the former Olympian but instead it turned out to be win No 16 by KO/TKO as he made the fourth defence of his WBC Continental Americas title. Reed protested the stoppage but it looked well timed. The 24-year-old from Maryland has plenty of time to rebound from this.
Saucedo vs. Vittori
Saucedo’s power too much for the light punching Vittori. Southpaw Vittori made a positive start throwing long lefts and then went onto the back foot showing good movement and quick hands but little power and with Saucedo landing a good right to the body at the end of the round. Vittorio also made a fast start to the second taking the fight to Saucedo and landing straight lefts. Saucedo was still not really letting his hands go but in the last ten seconds of the round he landed a long right and a powerful combination. Saucedo went to work at the start of the third sending Vittori staggering back to the ropes with a left to the body and then landed a left to the head that saw Vittori drop to one knee. He took the eight count but was then caught with a right to the chin that dropped him again. He beat the count but a left hook to the chin put him down for the third time and the fight was waived off. Saucedo, 23, a Mexican based in Oklahoma City goes to 16 wins by KO/TKO. He has a good win over Ray Serrano and is rated WBO 7/WBA 10, This wins garnered him the vacant WBA-NABA and WBO NABO titles. Vittori, the Argentinian No 3, was 7-0-1 in his last 8 fights.
Imam vs. Garcia
A predictable but important win for Imam. He was streets ahead of Garcia in skill and power and it showed. Imam dominated the fight from start to finish Garcia had no answer to the solid jab of Imam and was hurt repeatedly by body punches. After three one-sided rounds Imam put Garcia down in the fourth with a hard right. Garcia did well to beat the count but took more punishment and he retired before the start of the fifth. The 27-year-old from Albany goes to 18 wins by KO/TKO. Imam has done nothing since losing inside the distance to Adrian Granados in November 2015 when he dropped to No 10 in the WBC ratings but somehow for beating Wilfredo Acuna (16-19 and 2-12 in his last 14 fights before facing Imam) and Jose Vidal Soto (26-23-2 and 2-16 in his last 18 fights before facing Imam) Imam is No 1 with the WBC and will fight Jose Ramirez for the vacant WBC title in a fight mandated by the WBC at their last Convention. The Don King magic carpet express still working I see. Garcia was chosen for Imam because he actually floored Ramirez when losing on points to him in December 2015. He was then inactive for 15 months before being stopped by Alex Saucedo in March this year.
Besputin vs. Ruiz
Besputin faces his toughest examination so far but comes through in the end. There were plenty of hectic exchanges in the is one. A onetime it looked as though Besputin may have been floored but it was ruled a slip. Gradually the superior power and skill of Besputin became the deciding factors and although Ruiz fought hard he was finished by the seventh. A brutal shot from Besputin floored Ruiz and although he beat the count he was finished and the fight was stopped. The 26-year-old Russian looks a class performer and is being matched accordingly having floored and won every round against Breidis Prescott in his last fight. He is a former European Youth and European Senior Championships gold medallist, won a silver medal at the European Games and won his fights at the WSB. Ruiz, a Venezuelan based in Tijuana has a one round win over Fernando Carcamo who was a finalist at the ESPN Boxcino Tournament
Dadashev vs. Booth
Oxnard-based Russian Dadashev impresses as he powers past Booth. The unbeaten Russian just had too much of everything but particularly power. The relentless pressure saw Dadashev come close to flooring Booth late in the second. A tiring Booth spat out his mouthguard in the fourth which cost him a point. That proved immaterial as the next attack from Dadashev had Booth talking more punishment and the referee stopped the fight. The 27-year-old from Leningrad was a Russian Youth gold medallist and took a silver medal at the World Youth games before moving up to the Seniors and competing in the WSB. He has eight wins by KO/TKO including five in his last five fights. Booth was stopped in four rounds by Sergey Lipinets but went the distance in losing to Alex Saucedo.
Vences vs. Ochoa
Vences keeps busy with win over Ochoa. Vences was looking for an early finish throughout the first round. He didn’t get it but a brutal right in the second floored Ochoa so heavily that no count was required. The 26-year-old “The Shark” from San Jose scored a technical decision victory over unbeaten 23-0 Casey Ramos in November and this is his third win this year. Mexican Ochoa usually goes the distance but not this time.
Uniondale, NY, USA: Middle: Daniel Jacobs (33-2) W PTS 12 Luis Arias (18-1). Heavy: Jarrell Miller (20-0-1) W TKO 9 Mariusz Wach (33-3). Super Light: Cletus Seldin (21-0,1ND) W TKO 3 Roberto Ortiz (35-2-2). Welter: Connor Benn (10-0) W KO 2 Brandon Sanudo (7-7).
Jacobs vs. Arias
Jacobs shows he is still very much a force in the middleweight division as he outclasses unbeaten Arias. Jacobs showed from the start that he was going to dominate this fight. He landed a chopping right to the head and was walking Arias down with Arias already looking apprehensive. In the second and third he controlled the fight from the ring centre. Arias tried to get his jab going and was more aggressive but Jacobs had the harder jab and was again landing rights. Jacobs took the fourth and fifth as he used his jab to keep Arias on the back foot and Arias was only able to score occasionally when he got inside. Jacobs was boxing a patient controlled fight. The threat of his power and the pressure he was exerting was making Arias almost reluctant to throw a punch. Hand speed and movement were useful tools for Arias but he was constantly on the back foot. It was more of a tactical battle than warfare and Arias had limited options and limited success. He did score with a sharp combination in the sixth but even then Jacobs banged back harder and had Arias ducking, diving and holding on. Jacobs went looking for an inside the distance win over the late rounds. He sustained his attacks whereas earlier he had been just letting go with the jab and then throwing a couple of power punches. Arias had nothing that could get him a toehold in this fight let alone win it and really it was case of whether Jacobs could close the fight out. He didn’t but he won by huge margins on all three cards. Scores 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109 all for Jacobs. First fight for Jacobs since his loss to Gennady Golovkin in March. The 30-year-old “Miracle Man” obviously would want a return with Golovkin and a Saul Alvarez vs. Jacobs fight would be a big attraction but I guess he would settle for a fight with the winner of Billy Joe Saunders vs. David Lemieux and would start a favourite against either. Arias had good looking numbers but there is no big name on his
record and this was too big a leap in class for him.
Miller vs. Wach
Miller is on the way to victory when Wach pulls out with an injury. Miller was able to roll forward getting past the ineffectual jab of the taller Wach. Miller kept coming making Wach fight at a higher pace than he wanted and constantly found the target with overhand rights. Wach tried to create some space with counters but he lacked the firepower to do that. As a result Wach rapidly tired but he was also hampered by a hand injury from the fifth. He mentioned it to his corner and then the doctor examined him but Wach wanted to continue. Miller kept up the pressure. He is not quick but he is strong and now he was able to press even harder. Wach got though a painful seventh but with the injury he was at too big a disadvantage and he was pulled out of the fight in the middle of the eighth round. Now nine wins in a row for the 6’4”(193cm) from Brooklyn but he showed nothing special here. He is rated IBF 5(3)/WBO 5/WBA 7and with Wach a very flattering No 6 with the WBC he can expect to get a top 15 rating from them as well but getting a title shot is a different matter. It is to his advantage that he beat Wach as that gives him a win over an IBF rated fighter which would qualify him to move to the No 1 spot. Wach 37 was coming off a win over the banned drugs cheat Erkan Teper-Wach himself has had a positive test brushed aside-and he has gone about as far as he can go,.
Seldin vs. Ortiz
Seldin crushes Ortiz in three rounds. Seldin came out throwing bombs and in the first 15 seconds he landed a heavy right to the top of the head that floored Ortiz. The Mexican was up quickly and did not seem to be too badly shaken. After the eight count Seldin hunted Ortiz down and just kept punching until Ortiz went down on one knee. Ortiz complained that he had been hit on the back of the head but he was given a count . He then managed to get his jab working and scored with some right counters and was in no more trouble to the bell but was showing a cut on the bridge of his nose. The doctor examined the cut before the start of the second but let the fight continue. There was nothing fancy about Seldin in the second. He walked forward throwing scything hooks and uppercuts. A clash of heads had blood running down Ortiz face from the bridge of his nose and Seldin landed some heavy rights which opened a cut above the Mexican’s left eye and his face was now liberally smeared with blood. Again he passed a doctor’s inspection but really it should have been stopped. Ortiz boxed his way to the bell. Seldin hunted Ortiz down in the third. By some jabbing and movement Ortiz managed to get through most of the round but then he dropped to one knee complaining the Seldin had landed a forearm smash. Ortiz’s face was covered in blood and when the doctor took a look he advised the fight be stopped. The 31-year-old Seldin has now won 7 of his last 8 fights by KO/TKO but he needs to be more active with just two fights each in years 2015 and 2016 and only two this year. Ortiz, also 31, was unbeaten in his fist 32 fights before losing a big fight to Lucas Matthysse for the WBC Silver title in 2014. He was 4-0-1 since then but had not impressed and he never recovered from that first round hammering here.
Benn vs. Sanudo
Benn impresses in his first fight in the US with stoppage of Sanudo. Benn established control early with stiff jabs and then went to the body. Sanudo tried to launch some attacks of his own but Benn was too quick and punched too hard. In the second Benn continued to crowd Sanudo and as the Mexican backed towards the ropes a vicious left to the ribs dropped him to his knees in agony and the referee waived the fight off without completing the count. The 21-year-old “Destroyer” has eight wins by KO/TKO and has taken less than 23 rounds for his 10 victories. No tests yet but no rush either. Sanudo just a prelim fighter and he is now 1-4 in his last 5 fights.
Newcastle, England: Super Welter: Liam Smith (26-1-1) W PTS 12 Liam Williams (16-2-1). Super Bantam: Thomas Patrick Ward (22-0) W PTS 12 Sean Davis (13-2). Super Light: Josh Leather (13-0) W PTS 12 Glenn Foot (21-3). Heavy: Nathan Gorman (11-0) W TKO 5 Mohamed Soltby (13-1). Super Middle: Mark Heffron (18-0) W TKO 7 Lewis Taylor (19-5-1). Super Light: Jeff Saunders (12-0) W PTS 10 Steven Lewis (14-1).
Smith vs. Williams
Smith takes a well deserved majority decision over Williams in a WBO eliminator. It was unlikely that this effort could provide the same excitement and controversy of their first fight when Smith came from behind to stop Williams on a cut. However with these two it was also always going to be an interesting and competitive fight. Williams started on the front foot. He has a strong jab and Smith was on the back foot but firing in his trademark left hooks to the body. Smith had started too slowly in the first fight but here he picked up the pace in the second and was showing a good jab of his own. Williams had his jab working and they both landed some quality punches in an excellent round of box/fighting. The third again saw Smith using his jab well and Williams was constantly pressing with each man landing hurtful hooks and uppercuts. It was punch for punch over the fourth with Smith probably a bit sounder in defence and more accurate but Williams took the fifth with some hefty combinations. Williams had a good spell at the start of the sixth but Smith came back with a vengeance landing hefty hooks and straight rights to take the round. Smith also took the seventh as he boxed behind his jab and scored with straight rights and hooks to the body. They both put in some excellent work in the eighth which Smith looked to have edged but Williams fired back in the ninth and tenth. Smith clearly took the eleventh. He was now the one on the front foot and was scoring with thudding jabs and rights and lefts to head and body and he carried that momentum over into the last round and took that one as well. Scores 117-111 and 116-112 for Smith and 114-114. The 29-year-old “Beefy”, a former WBO champion showed boxing smarts here to fight a more controlled fight than the first time. His only loss was a ninth round kayo by Saul Alvarez in September last year that cost him his WBO title. His hope is a fight with Miguel Cotto if Cotto beats Sadam Ali next month and decides to continue fighting. If Cotto wins but retires then Smith will be in the mix for the vacant title. Welshman Williams has only heightened his profile with his showing in the two fights with Smith and could still end up fighting for a title next year-perhaps against Smith again.
Ward vs. Davis
Ward shows classic boxing skills to decision the aggressive and determined Davis. Ward boxed much of the fight on the back foot using a stabbing jab, quick footwork and some classy left hooks. Davis tried to establish his own jab but he needed to crowd the quicker champion and get him trapped on the ropes. Davis was not having much success in that and Ward was picking him off with some hooks and uppercut from distance and skipping put of the when Davis tried to close the distance. Ward was picking his punches and firing long rights but there was no way he could keep Davis out for the whole twelve rounds and Davis did some good work when he did get inside. The fight was fought at a very fast pace with Davis looking to work the body to slow Ward over the late rounds. Ward was boxing with real class scoring with eye-catching straight right/ left hook combinations but his lack of power meant that Davis was always able to walk through the punches. Ward had built a
big lead but by the sixth he was showing a cut over his right eye and standing and trading a bit more. Davis continued his relentless pressure over the middle rounds but was also showing a small nick outside his right eye. He was able to land with his right more often and catch Ward on the ropes. Ward was back in charge in the ninth staying off the ropes and scoring with accurate jabs and short, quick counters as even Davis was finding the pace hot. Davis found the energy to step up the pace in the tenth and eleventh but the skills of Ward were giving him the rounds. Before the start of the last round the referee and the crowd applauded both boxers for the quality of the fight they had put on. Davis tried desperately to find a big punch in the last but Ward boxed his way to victory. Scores 118-112 twice and 117-112 all for Ward. The 23-year-old from County Durham was making the first defence of the British title and showcased his outstanding skills. The cut over his right eye needed 15 stitches after the fight which was a testament to some high quality work in Ward’s corner. He is No 12 with the WBO and No 3 with the EBU. Former English and WBC International champion Davis played a big part in making this such an entertaining fight. His only other loss was a stoppage against unbeaten Gamal Yafai in May which cost Davis his WBC International title.
Leather vs. Foot
This was one of the best fights on a night of good quality action as Leather wins the IBF East/West Europe title. Foot took charge early crowding Leather in the first with Leather looking a bit off with his timing. These two had to be separated at a press conference before the fight and they squared up to each other again at the end of the first round. The referee had to warn them again early in the second to behave themselves. Foot had scored with some good rights in the round and he looked to have finished the fight in the second round. He drove home a right that was reminiscent of the one Dmitry Bivol used on Trent Broadhurst and it put Leather down on his back. Somehow Leather got up and did not look too badly shaken and despite Foot’s best efforts he made it the bell without any further scares. After that early drama it turned into a hard fought close contest. Leather had the longer reach and quicker movement and was firing jabs constantly and landing right hand as Foot moved in. Foot was launching rapid raids getting past the jab and scoring with hooks inside. He was also looking to get home that right again and was dangerous all the way and he never stopped pressing. A left jab from Leather knocked out Foot’s mouthguard in the sixth and in the same round the referee deducted a point from Foot for hitting on the break. When hostilities restarted Foot pressed harder trying to compensate for that point deduction. Foot had a strong ninth as he was able to get inside and bang away at Leather’s body to move into a slender lead and the needle was still there as they again had a face off after the bell. The referee again warned them to behave themselves at the start of the tenth and a Leather punch again dislodged Foot’s mouthguard. There were some exciting exchanges in the round with Leather just having the edge but he got a bonus point as Foot lost his mouthguard again and this time the referee deducted a point making it effectively a 10-8 round for Leather. Despite the fast pace they both put everything into the last two rounds which could have been scored either way. Scores 115-110, 114-111and 113-112 all to Leather. Leather, 25, was coming off a good win over Phil Sutcliffe Jr and will be looking to go for another title as he progresses. Former English champion Foot lost his title to Akeem Ennis Brown in July but both fights were so close that Foot could have walked away as the winner in both and will be looking to rebound.
Gorman vs. Soltby
Gorman gets another win in an untidy fight against Soltby. Gorman was showing good hand speed and movement and had Soltby backing up from the start. Soltby tended to leap in with his attacks and hold when inside which led to too many clinches. Gorman was doing the better work but being frustrated by the tactics of Soltby but he also was also tending to hold rather than work inside. Soltby was a little more positive in the fourth but not much. It was still Gorman forcing the fight and doing the cleaner work but his frustration was showing in some wild swipes. Gorman pressed even harder in the fifth. He had Soltby trapped on the ropes but Soltby escaped and Gorman followed him across the ring. Soltby had turned his back so Gorman threw a couple of left hooks that curved around the fleeing German and Soltby fell across the top rope and then went down on one knee. After the eight count Soltby tried to survive by holding but Gorman got through with some hooks to the head and with Soltby not punching back the referee stopped the fight. The 21-year-old 6’3” (191cm) Gorman, who is trained by Ricky Hatton, wins the vacant WBC International Silver title and has now won of his last 8 fights by KO/TKO. He is far from being one of the sculptured heavyweights but he is strong and has good hand speed. German-based Russian Soltby was facing his first real test and found Gorman much too good for him.
Heffron vs. Taylor
Heffron was also facing a tough test in Taylor. The former top amateur made it a double for
Ricky Hatton fighters as he slowly broke Taylor down. The fight was competitive early but soon Heffron was in total control and floored Taylor with a body punch in the fifth. Heffron continued to press looking to be the first man to stopTaylor inside the distance. He reached that goal in the seventh round with a right uppercut that put Taylor down and brought the stoppage. The 25-year-old “Kid Dynamite” who turned pro at 18 now has 14 wins by KO/TKO Between 2013 and 2016 due to contract problems he had a spell of just three fights in three years but this is his sixth fight in the last 12 months. As an amateur he won a silver medal at the European Schoolboys Championships and a silver at the European Juniors and a gold at the British Youth Championships, he is one to watch. Taylor, a former English champion and Commonwealth title challenger has gone the distance with Eamonn O’Kane losing a majority decision and to Tommy Langford and a technical decision to Jamie Cox.
Saunders vs. Lewis
Saunders outpoints Lewis in a British title eliminator. Both were letting their punches go from the first round. Both had good jabs and were looking to impose themselves. Saunders had the higher work rate and was more accurate. He was scoring well at distance with straight rights and left hooks and using more combinations than Lewis. It was a bit untidy at times with too much clinching. Lewis was generally the one pressing the fight and he had success when he could work inside and score with left hooks to the body but he was waiting too long to get his punches off and not throwing enough. Saunders built a lead early but Lewis came back to take the sixth and have a strong seventh. Lewis was on the floor but it was a result of a shoulder charge and not a punch. Both had good spells in the eighth with Saunders probably just edging it and they both fought like tired man in the ninth before Saunders outlanded Lewis in the tenth. Scores 98-93 twice and 96-94 all for Saunders The 26-year from County Durham, the brother of former Olympian Bradley Saunders,. will now be hoping to get a shot at British champion Jack Catterall. Lewis failed to make the weight for the fight so blew his chance of a British title challenge for a while but he will be back.
Edinburgh, Scotland: Super Light: Josh Taylor (11-0) W KO 9 Miguel Vazquez (39-6).Super Light: Jason Easton (11-0) W PTS 12 Josef Zahradnik (9-1). Heavy: Martin Ilunga (10-0) W KO 1 Ali Baghouz (10-1-1).
Taylor vs. Vazquez
A couple of firsts here as Taylor becomes the first man to beat Vazquez inside the distance and gets his first experience of fighting with a serious cut. From the start Vazquez showed his experience as he slotted quick ,light punches through the Scot’s guard and slipped and blocked many of Taylor’s punches. The Scottish southpaw was trying to land his trade mark body punches but Vazquez showed some clever defensive work to blunt those attacks. In the second round a clash of heads saw Taylor suffer a bad cut over his left eye which silenced the patriotic crowd. Taylor then tried to force the pace almost too much leaving gaps for Vazquez to work on. The Mexican was not throwing hard punches but he was getting through with quick short hooks in bursts which saw him edge into the lead. Good work in the corner prevented the cut from becoming a problem and Taylor continued to press and work the body. Slowly Vazquez’s work rate dropped as he was forced onto the defensive with Taylor taking over the fight with his focused body attack. In the eighth Taylor was in control with Vazquez spending more time with his back to the ropes and unable to keep Taylor out. In the ninth Taylor hurt Vazquez early with body punches and kept throwing them as Vazquez wheeled away trying to escape until a rib bending right sent Vazquez down to his knees and he had no chance of recovering and was counted out. The 26-year-old “Tartan Terror” , the Commonwealth champion was making the first defence of his WBC Silver title and he now has 10 wins by KO/TKO. The suggestion is that he might chase a shot at the European title and he would start a favourite against the current champion the unbeaten Swede Anthony Yigit. He is No 7 with the WBC and No 11(10) with the IBF. The super light division is wide open with Terrence Crawford moving up. and other than Mikey Garcia, if he moves up, Taylor looks a match for any of the other pretenders. Vazquez, 30, was a very good IBF light champion making seven defences of the title and he had won his last four fights.
Easton vs. Zahradnik
Easton continues his progress with impressive win over unbeaten Czech. Zahradnik managed to be competitive over the first three rounds but once Easton got into his stride Zahradnik was strictly second best. The unbeaten Scot bossed the fight with his jab and was slotting jarring rights through Zahradnik’s guard. The only downside was a clash of heads in the fifth which saw Easton suffer a bad cut over his left eye but it did not derail him. At times it seemed as though the Czech had to crumble under the punishment but he didn’t and took Easton into the twelfth round for the first time. Scores 120-108,118-110 and 117-111 all for Easton. The 26-year-old from Edinburgh was making the first defence of his IBO Inter-Continental and is improving all the time. Czech champion Zahradnik did his job here.
Ilunga vs. Baghouz
Ilunga gets this one over in the first. After using a strong jab to put Baghouz on the back foot he continued to back Baghouz up into a corner. Once there Ilunga fired home a body punch that put Baghouz down and the fight was over. The DRC-born Ilunga, the younger brother of Ilunga Makabu who lost to Tony Bellew for the vacant WBC cruiser title, has seven wins by KO/TKO. He has fought in four different countries but he is now trained by Billy Nelson and his last five fights have all be in the UK. Baghouz’s record has been built on some very poor opposition and he was out of his class here.
Montigny-le-Bretonneux, France: Super Middle: Hadillah Mohoumadi (23-4-1) W PTS 12 Christopher Rebrasse (25-6-3). Light Heavy: Nadjib Mohammedi (39-5) W PTS 10 Hakim Zoulikha (24-10). Heavy: Raphael Troche (9-0) W PTS 10 Cyril Leonet (12-9-3).
Mohoumadi vs. Rebrasse
Mohoumadi proves he is still too good for his domestic opposition as he retains the European title with unanimous verdict over fellow Frenchman Rebrasse. Aggression is Mohoumadi trade mark and that did not change here as he stormed forward from the first bell. Rebrasse was forced onto the back foot and too often caught on the ropes as Mohoumadi raked him with jabs and hooks to the body. Rebrasse suffered a cut over his left eye in the second and Mohoumadi took the third. Rebrasse managed to get into the fight in the fourth but already had some catching up to do. After four rounds the champion was up 40-36 and 39-37 with the third judge having them even. Mohoumadi was back in charge in the fifth and sixth. However the frantic pace he had set started to affect him and he slowed and was leaving gaps in his defence with Rebrasse taking advantage to win the seventh round but again Mohoumadi battled back to edge the eighth. Mohoumadi was now in front on all three cards at 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75. Rebrasse changed tactics and started to stand and trade with Mohoumadi and neither fighter was willing to take a step back. They fought hard over the closing rounds with Rebrasse coming on strong to take the tenth and eleventh but Mohoumadi getting his second wind in the last and although still inaccurate he was throwing more and landing more and he took a well deserved decision. Scores 117-111 twice and 115-113 all for 37-year-old Mohoumadi. He was making the first defence of the European title in his second spell as champion. He is 9-1 in his last 10 fights with the loss being a first round stoppage by Callum Smith in April last year. It is his only loss inside the distance and it cost him his European title. He regained it in May with a win over Mariano Hilario. . Rebrasse, 32, a former French and EU champion was 3-3 going into this one with the losses being points defeats against George Groves, Callum Smith and Rocky Fielding. That perfidious Albion again (it means you can’t trust the English).
Mohammedi vs. Zoulikha
Mohammedi put on the best show of the night as outboxed the dangerous Zoulikha. The former undefeated French champion gave a master class to the more aggressive Zoulikha. Mohammedi showcased his collection of skills with Zoulikha struggling to pin him down and avoid the fast accurate punches coming his way. The class gap was highlighted in the fourth round where Mohammedi stayed in the pocket slipping and blocking Zoulikha’s punches and slotting home hooks and uppercuts from both hands .Zoulikha stuck to his task and landed enough to win a round but he was never in the hunt and clearly outclassed. Scores 100-91, 99-92 and 98-92 for Mohammedi. The 32-year-old Mohammedi lost to Nathan Cleverly for the interim WBO title in 2010 and was knocked out by Sergey Kovalev for the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in 2015. A worse defeat was his second round kayo loss against Olek Gvozdyk last year but he had bounced back with a good win over Roman Shkarupa in his last fight in October 2016. Inactivity cost him a place in the EBU ratings but with Zoulikha No 6 he should be back in the mix. Zoulikha,31, a former French and European Union champion has had some tough fights lately and is now 3-6 in his last 9 fights.
Troche vs. Leonet
Minor upset as Troche wins the French title with victory over champion Leonet. This was not a classic but it was a close hard fought scrap where strength played a bigger part than skill. Leonet set the scene with a couple of good left hooks in the first and over the early round crowded Troche by marching forward behind a high guard and built a good lead. Troche was having his first fight for almost 13 moths and the rust slowed him but he changed tactics and increased his work rate from the fifth. Troche was scoring with the tried and trusted left jab/right cross combination and Leonet was finding himself fighting off the ropes more and having to clinch to blunt Troche’s attacks. Leonet recovered to take the tenth with a big effort but it was not enough. Scores 96-94 twice and 97-93 all for Troche. The 28-year-old Troche, a former undefeated WBC Mediterranean champion, will be hoping to move up to get a shot at the EU title but this was close enough for Leonet to have a good case for a return fight. Leonet was making the fifth defence of the French title and had turned his career around with a 6-0-1 run in his last 7 fights.
Chihuahua, Mexico: Welter: Carlos Ocampo (22-0) W TKO 7 Dario Ferman (14-4). Super Bantam: Jose Quirino (16-2-2) W PTS 8 Victor Olivo (14-2-1).
Ocampo vs. Ferman
Ocampo was in charge from the start. He was catching Ferman with stiff jabs and firing lefts hooks to the body with Ferman too slow to respond. Ocampo stepped up the pressure in the second. Ferman was often trapped on the ropes as Ocampo scored with hurtful combinations. Ocampo had Ferman in a corner and was firing punches when Ferman went down. He was up immediately and claimed it was a slip but the referee gave him a count. Ocampo handed out punishment in the third and in the fourth he had Ferman in a corner again and Ferman went down. This one looked like a slip but the referee gave him another count. Ocampo rocked Ferman with a straight right in the fifth but Ferman got through with a couple of rights of his own as they worked inside. In the sixth Ocampo was teeing off on Ferman with jabs, straight rights and left hooks to the body and Ferman was fading fast under the punishment . At the end of the round Ferman was shaking his right hand as if he had a problem. Early in the seventh Ferman threw a right and then retreated into a corner grasping his right arm and bending over in pain. The referee stopped the fight whilst he established if Ferman could continue and then waived the fight over. Ensenada’s Ocampo now has 13 wins by KO/TKO. He has useful wins over Jorge Paez jr, Charlie Navarro and Daniel Echevarria and is the top rated welter with the IBF at No 3. He will now meet Konstantin Ponomarev in an IBF final eliminator to decide who gets a shot at Errol Spence. Ferman has now lost 4 of his last 5 fights.
Quirino vs. Olivo
Southpaw Quirino gets past Olivo in a very competitive fight. It was close all the way with the stronger finish from Quirino just getting the nod from the judges. Scores 77-75 for Quirino from all three judges. The Tijuana boxer is now 11-0-1 in his last 12 fights including a draw with former WBA champion Herman Marquez. Olivo, 21, has no luck when the fight is close as he dropped a split decision to Milan Melindo in 2015.
Belem, Brazil: Light Welter: Acelino Freitas (40-2) W Gabriel Martinez (29-10-1). A very plump Freitas still showed flashes of his old skills as he outpointed Mexican Martinez, Although Martinez had the longer reach Freitas timing and accuracy saw him scoring well with his jab and countering Martinez with short hooks. If anything Martinez probably showed Frietas too much respect in the first round as he just did not throw enough punches, but at the end of the second he did put together a good combination. Freitas ducked under a left but was caught by a right which dislodged his mouthguard and put him down. He was up at six and the bell went when the eight count was completed. That boosted the Mexican’s confidence and from there it was a much better fight. For me Martinez bossed the action over the remaining rounds. He constantly forced Freitas to the ropes and although Freitas showed some excellent defensive work Martinez was outscoring him. He had Freitas in trouble late in the sixth trapping him on the ropes and keeping him there for a whole minute as he rained punches on Freitas but he would have done better to gone for power instead of quantity. Ridiculously before a punch had even been thrown in the eighth the referee deducted a point from Martinez for a punch to the back of the head! Freitas boxed cleverly in the eighth but was staggered by a left hook and Martinez finished the fight strongly. This was supposed to be a ten round fight and as late as the eighth it was still being shown that way on the broadcast but it only went eight rounds. Scores 75-74 twice and 76-73 for Freitas but for me Martinez won this one. Hopefully the 42-year-old former champion will now put his gloves away. Martinez had won his last two fights against low level opposition but that came after a run of nine losses in a row and this was his first fight since March 2015.
Brampton, Canada: Welter: Samuel Vargas (29-3-1) W PTS 10 Jussi Koivula (23-5-1). Super Feather: Alex Dilmaghani (16-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Tuomo Eronen (19-5). 14
Vargas vs. Koivula
Vargas gets controversial split decision over Finn Koivula. Vargas worked well to the body early but was given a first warning for being dangerous with his head. Both were landing good punches but also using some questionable tactics and they were both warned by the referee to clean up their act and cut down on the holding. Koivula was forcing the fight with Vargas countering well. The incidents continued with Vargas floored and Koivula losing a point only for Vargas to lose one as well. In between the incidents it was a good close fight with Vargas scoring well to the body and Koivula coming on strong at the end with the fight in the balance. Scores reflect an incident packed fight at 97-90 and 95-92 for Vargas and 94-93 for Koivula. Vargas, 28, a Colombian based in Toronto has lost to Danny Garcia and Errol Spence but in August took a majority verdict over former IBO champion Ali Funeka. Koivula, 33, has had shots at both the European and European Union titles and had won 4 of his last 5 fights and looked worth at least a draw here.
Dilmaghani vs. Eronen
Dilmaghani outboxes Finn Eronen and takes every round to improve to 11-0,1ND in his last twelve fights. Dilmaghani was particularly effective with hooks to the body but Eronen stood up to the punishment well in a fight fought mostly on the inside. Scores 80-72 for Dilmaghani from all three judges. The British-born Dilmaghani is based in Mexico and has useful wins over reasonable level opposition in Cecilio Santos, and Miguel Angel Gonzalez. Southpaw Eronen, 36, came in with five wins in a row,
Gaillard, France: Heavy: Newfel Ouatah (15-1) W PTS 6 Jakov Gospic (17-18).
Frenchman Ouatah returns with a win as he takes unanimous decision over Croat Gospic. The former undefeated French champion was having his first fight for 22 months. The only loss for the 32-year-old 6’6 ½” (200cm) Ouatah was against Erkan Teper for the vacant EBU title in June 2014 and he will be looking to regain his national title and go on to get another shot at the EU or EBU titles. Gospic was having his first fight for 11 months and is 2-9 in his last eleven bouts.
Neukoelln, Germany: Cruiser: Tervel Pulev (5-0) W TKO 3 Artem Redko (21-9-3). Pulev makes it five by KO/TKO/ The Bulgarian was already landing clubbing rights and left hooks early in the first. Redko tried to keep Pulev out with his jab but it was too weak to be effective. Redko tried some showboating and switched to southpaw in the second but was promptly nailed by three rights that sent him staggering to the ropes. Redko had some success with his jab but was then back to eating jabs and booming rights from Pulev. In the third Pulev was again landing thumping shots to head and body and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight just as Redko slid to the floor. The 34-year-old younger brother of Kubrat has won his five pro fights in a total of less than 12 rounds but the opposition has been carefully selected. As an amateur he was twice a silver medallist at the European Championships and won a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympics. Ukrainian Redko, 35,is 1-7-2 in his last ten fights and this is his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Tokyo, Japan: Minimumweight: Tsubasa Koura (12-0) W PTS 12 Masataka Taniguchi (8-2). Koura retains the OPBF title but only just. Both champion and challenger had good spells over the first four rounds. Taniguchi scoring with straight lefts and then Koura coming back with some tasty left hooks. The scores at that stage showed how tight it was at 39-37, 39-38 for Koura and 38-38. Taniguchi had a big fifth where he had Koura in trouble with a thudding left and over the next three rounds both fought more cautiously with Taniguchi putting on the stronger show to cancel out the small lead Koura had enjoyed earlier with two judges now having it even and the third with Taniguchi 77-76 in front. They fought furiously over the last four rounds with Koura just doing enough to claw his way in front and retain his title but it was might close. Scores 115-113 and 115-114 for Koura and 114-114. The 23-year-old from Yokohama was making the first defence of the OPBF title but had never been past the fifth round before so showed maturity in pacing the fight. He is rated WBC 11/WBA 12 and IBF 13(11) so some distance from a world title shot. Taniguchi’s other loss was a majority decision against unbeaten Reiya Konishi for the vacant Japanese title in April and he must be hoping for another shot at Koura.
Irapuato. Mexico: Super Bantam: Aaron Alameda (21-0) W TKO 2 Juan Jimenez (25-13). Alameda punches too hard for experienced Jimenez. Despite giving away height and reach it was southpaw Alameda who was coming in behind his jab a firing lefts to the body. Jimenez allowed himself to be taken to the ropes and then fired a flurry of quick right hooks which led to both fighters trading hooks and uppercuts to the bell with Alameda landing enough to take the round. Alameda was forcing Jimenez back with the jab again in the second. Jimenez let fly some hooks but Alameda suddenly unleashed a volley of left hooks that shook Jimenez. He continued to bang home punches snapping Jimenez head with uppercuts and drove Jimenez along the ropes landing more damaging hooks and uppercuts. Jimenez dropped to one knee to escape the punishment The referee studied Jimenez for a few seconds without taking up the count and then signalled the fight was over. The 24-year-old from Nogales now has 11 wins by KO/TKO. He is yet to move up from eight rounds but has beaten a few experienced fighters and should move soon. Jimenez was 3-3 in his last six fights with two losses to Filipino Arthur Villanueva and one to Felipe Orucuta.
Bilbao, Spain: Welter: Kerman Lejarraga (24-0) W PTS 10 Jose del Rio (26-7).
Lejarraga wins national title as anticipated but despite what the scores might indicate del Rio fought hard to defend his title. Although both fighters boxed cautiously over the first two rounds this turned into a fast, open fight with hardly a clinch in the ten rounds. Lejarraga had the power and del Rio the speed and by the fourth Lejarraga was showing bruising by his left eye. Despite that he was getting through with strong jabs and heavy punches from both hands and in the fourth del Rio looked to be badly shaken but survived the round. Lejarraga was again scoring heavily in the fifth but in the sixth a clash of heads opened a cut over Lejarraga’s left eye. He survived a doctor’s inspection and the referee deducted a point from del Rio. Lejarraga also had a swelling under his left eye. He was winning the rounds with his power and del Rio was trying to get in and land a couple of punches and get out because of Lejarraga’s heavy hands. Lejarraga was looking to finish this inside the distance but del Rio showed excellent defensive work until the last when he stood and traded in the centre of the ring as the fought fiercely to the bell. Scores 99-90, 99-91 and 98-92 all for Lejarraga. The new national champion was fighting in his home city and it is a mark of his growing popularity that a crowd of around 11,000 turned out for this fight. Lejarraga is promoted in the US by DiBella so his future will probably lie there. If he wants it there is a good ,local fight to be had against EBU No 4 Ceferino Rodriguez (24-2) or a challenge to European champion Mohamed Mimoune who beat world rated Sam Eggington for the European title last month. Whatever he decides the amazing 11,000 crowd shows what an impact a winning and exciting fighter like the “Basque Revolver” can have. He is No 5 with the EBU and No 6 with the WBA. Southpaw Del Rio had won his last 8 fights and is still a quality fighter who has some good domestic and European fights in him if he chooses to continue.
Portland, ME, USA: Middle: John Thompson (18-3) W PTS 8 Russell Lamour (15-3,1ND). Thompson ruins the hopes of the home fans as he takes deserved split decision over neighbourhood fighter Lamour. Despite giving away height and reach the speed and accuracy of Thompson’s jab enabled him to get out in front over the early rounds. Lamour was able to put on more pressure over the second half of the fight but Thompson finished strongly to protect that early lead. Scores 79-73 and 78-74 for Thompson and 77-75 for Lamour. Newark’s Thompson was coming off consecutive losses to Liam Smith and Willie Monroe Jr. Lamour was 3-0,1ND in his last four bouts.
Rinconde Milberg, Argentina: Cruiser: Jose Ulrich (17-0,1ND) W DISQ 9 Marcos Aumada (17-6). Ulrich keeps his WBC Latino title with disqualification win over Aumada. The fight was a poor one ruined by too much clinching. It was fairly even early with neither fighter performing well and neither really dominating the action. Southpaw Aumada was slightly ahead after six rounds but was tiring. He had the better of the seventh but ruined his work and after he spat out his mouthguard a couple of times the referee deducted a point. The eighth was a close round that could have gone to Aumada but this time he was holding too much and lost another point. The referee finally tired of Aumada’s infractions and disqualified him in the ninth. Ulrich, 25, the Argentinian champion, was making the fourth defence of his WBC Latino title but he is yet to face any real tests even in domestic fights. Aumada falls to 3-5 in his last 8 fights. When Aumada challenged for the national title in 2014 he was disqualified for simulating a low blow.
Fight of the week: Yuandale Evans vs. Luis Rosa for excitement with honourable mention to three fights on the excellent Newcastle show in Liam Smith vs. Liam Williams, Thomas Ward vs. Sean Davis and Josh Leather vs. Glenn Foot quality fights on a quality show
Fighter of the week: Juan Carlos Ramirez for brushing aside unbeaten Mike Reed with honourable mention to Liam Smith and Josh Taylor
Punch of the week: .The first round right from Cletus Seldin that put Roberto Ortiz down and honourable mention to the Andy Vance right that ended Jairo Ochoa’s interest for the night
Upset of the week: Unsung Namibian Lukas Ndafoluma for his win over Craig Cunningham
One to watch: Russian Alex Besputin 8-0