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The Past Week in Action 26 February 2019

Eric Armit

Eric is well known for his extensive weekly round-up of world boxing results, detailing key action, from the last seven days. Eric also writes weekly snips and snipes. Eric has a vast knowledge and in his spare time he is a boxing supervisor.

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Highlights:

-Oleg Gvozdyk makes first defence of WBC light heavyweight title but disappointing end sees challenger Doudou Ngumbu forced out of the fight with a calf injury

-Angel Acosta halts Ganigan Lopez and retains WBO light flyweight belt

See Also

– Uzbek fighter Kudratillo Abdukakhorov outpoints Keita Obara in IBF welterweight eliminator

-WBO No 1 welterweight Egidijus Kavaliauskas is held to a draw by Ray Robinson

Mexican hot shot Eduardo makes it 28 wins25 by KO/TKO as he halts overmatched Ibrahim Class in two rounds

-David Avanesyan shocks Bilbao fans with stoppage of unbeaten local Kerman Lejarraga to win the European title

-On big Liverpool show Liam Smith starts on road to another world title shot with inside the distance victory over Sam Eggington, Robbie Davies unifies the European and British super lightweight titles with victory over European champion Joe Hughes , Philip Bowes retains Commonwealth super lightweight title with decision over Tom Farrell and Sean Fitzgerald decision wins split decision over Anthony Fowler in clash of unbeaten British super welterweight prospects.

-Highly touted Ryan Garcia impresses as he crushes Jose Lopez

-British heavyweight Kash Ali is disqualified for taking a bite out of David Price

 

WORLD TITLE SHOWS

 

March 30

 

Philadelphia, PA, USA: Light Heavy: Olek Gvozdyk (17-0) W TKO 5 Doudou Ngumbu (38-9). Welter: Kudartillo Abdukakhorov (16-0) W PTS 12 Keita Obara (20-4-1). Welter: Ray Robinson (24-3) DREW  10 Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-0-1). Welter: Juan Ruiz (21-4,1ND) W TKO 4 Frederick Lawson (27-2). Middle: Christian Mbilli (14-0) W PTS 8 Humberto Gutierrez (33-8-2).

Gvozdyk vs. Ngumbu

Gvozdyk retains the WBC title in his first defence when challenger Ngumbu is forced to retire with a calf injury.

Round 1

Very little action in the round. Both were posing and probing but falling short. Gvozdyk was tracking Ngumbu who was circling the perimeter of the ring and not looking to take any risks. A right cross and a left hook from Gvozdyk were enough to give him the round.

Score: 10-9 Gvozdyk

Round 2

Plenty of movement in this round but to little purpose. Again what good work there was came from Gvozdyk but he was not pressing hard enough. Sensibly Ngumbu was still on the back foot not looking to stand and trade but not throwing many punches.

Score: 10-9 Gvozdyk                        Gvozdyk 20-18

Round 3

Ngumbu showed much more aggression at the start of the third rolling forward throwing hooks from both hands. Gvozdyk did drive home a hard straight right but never really settled into the round and the busier Ngumbu just did enough to edge it.

Score: 10-9 Ngumbu                        Gvozdyk 29-28

Round 4

Teddy Atlas gave Gvozdyk a strong telling off before of this round and it worked. Gvozdyk stepped up the pace and finally began to let his hands go. He was dangerous with some overhand rights but the tricky Ngumbu was still an elusive target and even threw in some showboating. The referee followed Ngumbu to his corner gave him a warning about holding.

Score 10-9 Gvozdyk                        Gvozdyk 39-37

Official Scores: 40-36 from Judge Steve Weisfeld,39-37 form Judge Mike Ross and 40-36 from Judge John McKale all for Gvozdyk.

Round 5

The fight ended in disappointing fashion. After just one minute as Ngumbu stepped back from a Gvozdyk attack he suddenly collapsed against the top rope in pain from an injury to his right calf. He was unable to continue so the fight was stopped with Gvozdyk the victor. The champion had hardly even got into his stride before the finish and his corner were unhappy with his lack of fire. Ngumbu was not a strong challenger. He had had only one fight in the last 15 months and that was a majority decision victory over an 11-0 fighter. Can’t see anyone shouting for a return and Gvozdyk’s mandatory defence against Marcus Brown will give him a much tougher test.  At 37 the Congolese/French Ngumbu is unlikely to get another title shot.

Abdukakhorov vs. Obara

Uzbek fighter Abdukakhorov wins an IBF eliminator to book his place in the queue for a shot at Errol Spence. Although Abdukakhorov was in charge over the late rounds some good early work from Obara and some close rounds led to very differing scores. The Uzbek ramped up the pressure in round after round and although leaving himself open to counters he outworked and outlanded Obara. The pressure almost paid off in the tenth when Obara seemed on the edge of defeat but he battled on to last the distance. Scores 118-110, 117-111 and 115-113 all for Abdukakhorov. Although born in Uzbekistan Abdukakhorov , 25, is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and has good wins over Charles Manyuchi and Dmitry Mikhaylenko but those two victories hardly seem enough to warrant a No 4 position with the IBF-in fact he is their second highest rated welterweight as the No’s 1 and 2 spots are vacant. He is young and unbeaten with an entertaining, aggressive style but a challenge against Errol Spencer would be a hard sell as he is relatively unknown. Obara, a former IBF lightweight title challenger, showed plenty of guts but was lucky to be in an eliminator as he had done nothing of note since being knocked out by Eduard Troyanovsky in 2016.

Kavaliauskas vs. Robinson

Disappointing result and disappointing performance from WBO No 1 Kavaliauskas but having said that he looked very unlucky not to get the decision. He was the stronger fighter and southpaw Robinson spent much of the fight with his back to the ropes as Kavaliauskas pressed inside and raked Robinson with body punches. Robinson was landing plenty of accurate jabs and counters and tried switching guards but was being outworked by the unbeaten Lithuanian. Kavaliauskas looked to have rattled Robinson badly in the eighth but other than that he never really looked like ending it early. Perhaps the local crowd lifted Philadelphian Robinson and convinced the judges that he was doing better than he was as one judge saw Robinson the winner. With shot at Terrence Crawford a distinct possibility later this year for Kavaliauskas he needed to be more impressive than he was here. Scores 95-95 twice and 97-93 for Robinson. Kavaliauskas, 30, retains the NABF title. Robinson steadies his career after a seventh round stoppage loss to Yordenis Ugas in February last year.

Ruiz vs. Lawson

Big setback for Lawson who had rebuilt steadily after a loss to Kevin Bizier in 2015. This was good kittle scrap that was really just catching fire when it ended in the fourth. As they came together Ruiz landed a right cross to Lawson’s head and they also banged heads. Lawson went down heavily on his back. The referee decided it was not the punch that put Lawson down and Lawson very unsteadily pulled himself up using the ropes and was visibly unsteady. After examining Lawson the referee signalled for the fight to continue despite Lawson still looking shaky. Ruiz rushed across to where Lawson was leaning on the ropes and fired off a series of light punches. With Lawson just covering up the referee stopped the fight. Mexican-based Venezuelan Ruiz was 20-0, 1ND before being stopped by Alex Besputin in 2017. He had lost 3 of his last 4 fights but with all of the losses being to unbeaten fighters. Ghanaian Lawson will have to start again.

Mbilli vs. Gutierrez

Montreal-based French hope Mbilli is taken the distance for the first time after thirteen inside the distance victories. Having his first pro fight in the USA may have affected him as he looked a bit one-paced over the first four rounds. He fought with more fire over the second half of the fight and despite never really having southpaw Gutierrez in any trouble he dominated the action. Scores 79-73 twice and 80-72. The 23-year-old Cameroon born “Siolide” is a former European Union Youth, French Senior and European Union Championships champion and was a quarter-finalist at the 2016 Olympics. He is still improving. Mexican Gutierrez is a former interim WBC super featherweight champion and was carrying 30lbs more than his super feather days so not too tough a test for Mbilli.

 

Indio, CA, USA: Light Fly: Angel Acosta (20-1) W KO 8 Ganigan Lopez (35-9). Super Feather: Eduardo Hernandez (28-0) W KO 2 Ibrahim Class (22-6). Feather: Joet Gonzalez (22-0) W KO 5 Rodrigo Guerrero (26-8-2). Super Light: Antonio Orozco (28-1) W PTS 10 Jose Rodriguez (25-13-1). Light: Ryan Garcia (18-0) W RTD 2 Jose Lopez (20-4-1).

Acosta vs. Lopez

Acosta proves too young, quick and hard punching for seasoned ex-champion Lopez and retains his WBO title for the third time.

Round 1

Acosta made a fast start. He had Lopez on the retreat and was scoring with sharp rights and left hooks. He continued to hunt down the experienced Mexican southpaw firing quick flurries of hooks from both hands and dominated the round.

Score 10-9 Acosta

Round 2

Lopez did better in this one. He was able to land long lefts to the body but again it was the flashing combinations from Acosta getting through and keeping him in control.

Score 10-9 Acosta                        Acosta 20-18

Round 3

Acosta was hardly using his jab. He was darting in behind a left hook and then unleashing bursts of hooks and uppercuts. Many were missing but many were landing. Acosta’s hand speed was too much for Lopez but he fought back hard at the end of the round.

Score10-9 Acosta                        Acosta 30-27

Round 4

A closer round. Lopez scored well early with his lefts to the body and Acosta was not as busy as he had been. However again the volume of punches by Acosta was enough to give him a slight advantage.

Score 10-9 Acosta                        Acosta 40-36

Official Scores Judge Robert Hoyle 40-36, Judge Lou Moret 40-36 and Judge Pat Russell 40-36 all for Acosta

Round 5

Acosta took this one. He was darting in behind straight rights firing a series of hooks and uppercuts and getting out before Lopez could counter effectively. Lopez was just too slow but also looked to be trying to slow the fast pace Acosta was setting.

Score 10-9 Acosta                        Acosta 50-45

Round 6

In the early action Lopez used his experience and a strong right jab to stave off Acosta’s attacks. Over the last minute Acosta moved up a gear and was landing with left hooks to the head with Lopez under lots of pressure. Acosta wastes a lot of punches but with such a high output he is always connecting with some of them.

Score: 10-9 Acosta                        Acosta 60-54

Round 7

Acosta made a strong start and took Lopez to the ropes. He threw  a couple of body punches and Lopez dropped to the floor but it was rightly ruled a slip so no count. Acosta continued to throw hooks but Lopez was able to come forward and land some lefts to the body as Acosta’s early fire faded but he had still landed more with Lopez firing one punch at a time.

Score 10-9 Acosta                        Acosta 70-63

Round 8

Acosta changed to counter-punching at the start of this round. That encouraged Lopez to go forward looking to land lefts to the body. As they traded punches Lopez moved into the path of a short left hook from Acosta and was rocked badly by the punch. Acosta leapt forward throwing hooks as Lopez staggered back to the ropes. Lopez pitched forward grabbing Acosta around the waist and then dropping to his hands and knees as Acosta shook him loose. The referee counted Lopez out. With his flashing fists Acosta notches up win No 20 by KO/TKO but will face a much tougher task when he clashes with his No 1 contender Jonathan Taconing. Former WBC champion Lopez looked an old man on the night and it may be time to find a nail for his gloves.

Hernandez vs. Class

Hernandez obliterates overmatched Class in under five minutes. Hernandez patiently stalked a retreating Class through the first and connected with a few shots to soften the Tanzanian up. In the second “Rocky” put Class over with a brutal left hook. Class only just struggled to his feet at nine but Hernandez chased him into a corner and connected with some meaty hooks before connecting with a stunning right uppercut sending Class down and out. The 21-year-old from Mexico has 25 wins by KO/TKO giving him an 89% kayo ratio and has only once had to go past the fifth round for victory. Some reasonable opposition in his list of victims but no real high quality there yet but he is No 2 with the WBC so in theory should challenge for their title later this year. Class a good domestic level fighter had won 8 of his last 9 but was coming off a stoppage loss against unbeaten South African Azinga Fuzile in December

Gonzalez vs. Guerrero

Gonzalez overwhelms southpaw Guerrero. Gonzalez, a strong feather was just too much for the experienced southpaw Guerrero a former IBF super flyweight champion who was coming off a loss in an eight rounder in his last fight in April 2018. Gonzalez was pounding Guerrero from the outset. He floored and bloodied Guerrero’s nose in the first but Guerrero banged back. Despite that Gonzalez was in control and continued to punish Guerrero scoring another knockdown in the fourth and handing out enough punishment in the fifth to convince the referee that Guerrero needed to be rescued.  The 25-year-old Gonzalez retains the WBO-NABO title. He has 13 wins by KO/TKO and is No 4 with the WBO but has been very carefully matched so far. Guerrero, 31, suffers his first loss by KO/TKO. This was his first fight since losing an eight rounder in April last year.

Orozco vs. Rodriguez

Orozco eases his way back with a good ten round points victory over a competitive Rodriguez. Scores 97-93 twice and 99-91 for Orozco. This is his first outing since hitting the floor a couple of times when losing a wide unanimous decision to Jose Carlos Ramirez in a challenge for the WBC title in September. He will be aiming to work his way to another title shot but like a few other super lights will have to wait to see how the WBSS tournament ends. Rodriguez a good choice for Orozco. The Mexican was 3-1-1 going in with the loss being to Jose Pedraza and the draw coming in February against unbeaten Bakhtiyar Eyubov.

Garcia vs. Lopez

Another outstanding display from youngster Garcia as he floors Lopez who stays in his corner after the second round. Lopez was rolling forward trying to hustle the composed Garcia out of his stride. He was forcing Garcia to the ropes and pitching hooks from both hands. Garcia seemed content to be on the back foot and firing fast, accurate jabs. That changed just before the bell when Garcia suddenly exploded with a series of lightning hooks of his own and a right to the head staggered Lopez. In the second Lopez was hustling again but Garcia was dropping in rights to the head on the advancing Lopez. As in the first Garcia suddenly exploded marching forward bombarding Lopes with punch after punch. Lopez tried to duck and weave but was being caught with heavy head punches and went down. He made it to his feet with the referee giving him a hard examination before indication for the fight to resume just as the bell went. Lopez was finished and retired in his corner. Fifteenth win by KO/TKO for the 20-year-old who already has wins over Jayson Velez, Carlos Morales and Braulio Rodriguez . Puerto Rican Lopez, 25, was 15-0-1 at one time but is now 5-4 in his last nine but with wins over Orlando Cruz and Miguel Angel Gonzalez in there.

 

March 28

 

Lille, France: Light Heavy: Matthieu Bauderlique (17-1) W RTD 8 Mustafa Chadlioui (12-5-2). Light: Yvan Mendy (42-5-1,1ND) W TKO 8 Hakim Ben Ali (21-7),

Bauderlique vs. Chadlioui

Sparkling display from Bauderlique as he outboxes dangerous Chadlioui early and then breaks him down to force the Moroccan’s retirement. The French hope used his right jab to control the early action. Chadlioui was storming forward trying to get inside and paying for the tactics as Bauderlique landed strong counters to head and body. Chadlioui looked to have shaken Bauderlique late in the sixth but Bauderlique upped the pace scoring with four and five punch combinations. Bauderlique continued to punish Chadlioui in the seventh and eighth and the Moroccan retired at the end of the eighth round. Bauderlique wins the vacant WBA Inter-Continental title with his ninth win by KO/TKO. He was in front 79-72 twice and 80-71 at the finish. The son of a former pro boxer he won a bronze medal in Rio and is a former AIBA Pro champion. Spanish-based Chadlioui, 35, suffers his second loss by KO/TKO.

Mendy vs. Ben Ali

Mandy keeps busy with stoppage of Ben Ali in a clash for the vacant WBA International title. Mendy put Ben Ali down four times before the referee halted proceedings. After a knockdown in the second Ben Ali went into survival mode and Mendy had problems prising open the Belgian’s defence. Mendy struggled to impress with his corner constantly urging him to show more fire. Without ever really getting out of second gear Mendy floored Ben Ali again in the fifth and sixth and when a left hook put Ben Ali down in the eighth the referee had seen enough and halted the fight. At 33 time is against the “Lion”. he was unable to translate his upset victory over Luke Campbell in 2015 into a world title shot despite a run of good victories and his loss to Campbell in September last year was a huge blow. He is No 8 with the WBC and would be good challenger for any of the lightweight champions but it looks unlikely that he will get a title shot. Ben Ali lost tough asks against unbeaten fighters Faroukh Kurbanov and Joe Cordina but had won his last two fights.

 

Bangkok, Thailand: Feather: Nop Kratingdaenggym (23-1) W KO 2 JR Magboo (17-3-2). Nop (real name Anurak Thisa) collects the vacant WBA Asia title with victory over Filipino Magboo. Nop went to the body immediately and it paid off. Early in the second a left hook to the body sent Magboo down and he was unable to beat the count. The 27-year-old Nop lost on a third round kayo against Nehomar Cermeno for the secondary WBA super bantam title in 2016 and he is hoping a run of six wins might get him into the ratings again. Second loss by KO/TKO for former Filipino super bantam champion Magboo.

 

San Antonio, TX, USA: Super Light: Kendo Castaneda (16-0,1ND) W PTS 10 Eudy Bernardo (24-4). San Antonio’s Castaneda remains unbeaten with unanimous points victory over Dominican Bernardo. It was not one of Castaneda’s most impressive showings. He was trying too hard for the knockout and Bernardo used his experience garnered against some tough opposition to stay in the fight and stay competitive. Castaneda was a clear winner but will have better nights. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for Castaneda. The 25-year-old former National Golden Gloves bronze medallist is making steady progress. The No Decision was a fight he won in 2016 with the result being changed when Castaneda tested positive for a banned substance. Bernardo 32 was 21-0 at one time but times have been harder since then.

 

March 29

 

Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico: Light: Roman Martinez (30-3-3,1ND) W KO 8 William Gonzalez (30-11). Super Fly: Jeyvier Cintron (10-0) W KO 1 Eliecer Quezada (22-9-3,1ND). Super Bantam: Luis Lebron (16-0-1) W TKO 3 Jose Flores (6-9). Heavy: German Garcia (5-1) W KO 3 Clayton Laurent (3-1).

Martinez vs. Gonzalez

Martinez struggles early but finishes well. Martinez made a cautious start against an aggressive Gonzalez who was taking the fight to Martinez in the first. Martinez began to roll in the second coming forward firing hooks and Gonzalez stood and punched with him in a lively round. They brawled throughout the third. Gonzalez was busier throwing more punches and finding the target too easily. Martinez had the power but Gonzalez had him pinned to the ropes as they worked inside at the end of the round with Martinez showing a swelling around his left eye and Gonzalez cut over his right eye. The fourth was a hard round. Gonzalez was trying to come forward but by the end of the round Martinez was beginning to score with strong rights. The fifth was brutal as they traded punches for the whole three minutes with Gonzalez soaking up some heavy punches but forcing Martinez on to the back foot and outworking him inside. Despite swellings under both eyes Gonzalez continued to walk forward in the six with Martinez constantly under pressure but landing some stiff right counters. More pressure from Gonzalez in the seventh as he kept Martinez pinned to the ropes and worked inside. Martine looked tired but again he was throwing less but heavier shots. Gonzalez tried to come forward in the eighth but was constantly dabbing at the blood running into his eye from a cut over his left eye. Martinez refused to retreat  and as Gonzalez came forward Martinez clipped him with a right to the chin. Gonzalez legs wobbled and Martinez drove forward punching Gonzalez across the ring. Gonzalez reached the ropes and then pitched forward and down on his knees and the fight was stopped. “Rocky “Martinez got the win but he was being given a whole load of trouble by the 38-year-old Nicaraguan and it was not an impressive showing. The 36-year-old Puerto Rican had three spells as WBO super feather champion and this is his first fight since a fifth round kayo loss to Vasyl Lomachenko in June 2016. He has said this will be his last year as a boxer and wants one more title fight but he will have to improve on this showing. Gonzalez came to win but instead gets his fifth loss in a row so should not have been this much of a problem for Martinez.

Cintron vs. Quezada

Despite supposedly being orthodox both fighters started out as southpaws and stayed that way for the brief time the fight lasted. After some early sparring Cintron trapped the more experienced Quezada on the ropes and cut loose with a succession of hooks from both hands. Quezada worked his way of the ropes but when Cintron again put together a fierce combinations Quezada stood and tried to match the young Puerto Rican. A big mistake as Cintron nailed him with explosive right hook that put Quezada on his back and he was counted out. Only ten fights but already the 24-year-old Cintron is rated WBO 8/IBF 12(11). The son of a former pro of the same name Cintron is the only Puerto Rican to have competed at two Olympics, the 2012 and 2016 and twice beat current unbeaten IBF champion Emmanuel Rodriguez. This his fifth win by KO/TKO. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Quezada who in better days had gone the distance with Cristofer Rosales and current IBF light flyweight champion Felix Alvarado.

Lebron vs. Flores

Easy night for Lebron as he halts Flores inside three rounds. “Popeye” Lebron had height and reach over Mexican Flores and had Flores under pressure from the start. Lebron was piling forward with Flores lacking the skill or the power to keep the Puerto Rican out and there is no way this was going to go ten rounds. In the second Lebron cornered Flores and landed a series of hooks with Flores dropping to his knees. He beat the count and tried to take the fight to Lebron before going down on his knees again from a left hook. After the count he was down for third time but the referee ruled that Lebron’s punch had landed on the back of Flores head so no count. Some more hooks and uppercuts floored Flores at the bell. Flores tried to come forward in the third but when he was dropped by a left hook the referee stopped the fight. Tenth win in a row for the 24-year-old Lebron. Flores was a very late substitute and is no 2-7 in his last 9 fights.

Garcia vs. Laurent

Upset here as Mexican Garcia flattens highly favoured Laurent in the third. Laurent had height and weight over Garcia with Laurent being 6’5 ½” and 287lbs and southpaw Garcia 6’2” and 221lbs. Laurent was rumbling forward in the first using his physical advantages to force Garcia back. Mexican Garcia was quicker and finding Laurent an easy target with neither fighter showing much in the way of defence. The second was a brawl with Garcia looking dangerous with rights and Laurent looking to be getting on top as the round closed. Laurent was trying to walk through Garcia’s punches in the third but as he threw a right Garcia landed with a right to the forehead of his own. Laurent’s legs stiffened and then he dropped to the floor on his back. He tried to rise but actually finished up face down and was counted out. In his last fight in March 2018 Garcia, 30, had been stopped in two rounds by a fighter having his first pro fight but his four wins had all come by way of KO/TKO. US Virgin Islander Laurent, 28, had competed at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games and the 2016 Olympics so with that background looked a sure winner.

 

Belfast, Northern Ireland: Middle: Luke Keeler (16-2-1) W PTS 10 Conrad Cummings (16-3-1). Light Heavy: Steven Ward (10-0) W PTS 8 Josip Perkovic (5-9-1).Welter: Tyrone McKenna (18-1-1) W PTS 6 Oscar Amador (10-16).

Keeler vs. Cummings

Keeler regains the WBO European title with comprehensive victory over Cummings in a heated return fight. Keeler set a fast pace outpunching Cummings in the first but it was much closer in the second. In the third Keeler’s strong jabbing put Cummings on the back foot. A left hook opened a cut by Cummings right eye and they traded heavy punches to the bell. Keeler’s jab gave him the edge in the fourth but Cummings banged back with hooks in the fifth. Keeler’s jab was proving decisive and he was picking up the points in the sixth and seventh with that punch and some hurtful hooks and uppercuts. Cummings started the eighth strongly and this time his jab was doing the better work but Keeler scored with a hard right counter that sent Cummings onto the retreat. Keeler outboxed Cummings in the ninth and with the fight won he skated through the tenth piercing Cumming’s guard with quick light shots from both hands. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for Keeler. The Dublin fighter had scored a wide points victory over Cummings for the title in April last year but had then had to relinquish the title. Cummings had won the vacant title with a victory over Hungarian novice Ferenc Berki in December so was making his first defence. The 31-year-old Keeler will now be looking to build on this to land some big fights. The future is less certain for 27-year-old Cummings but he is a popular entertaining fighter with a big following so he will regroup and come back.

Ward vs. Perkovic

Just a marking time fight for Ward as he decisions late choice opponent Perkovic. “The Quiet Man” worked away to the body of the Croat fighter and was slowly breaking him down. Ward had Perkovic in deep trouble in the sixth with those body punches but was not able to close the fight out. Perkovic made it out of the round and some of the fire seemed to go out of the fight in the last two rounds as Ward boxed his way to victory. Referee’s score 79-73 for Ward. The tall Belfast fighter won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games at 91kg but is looking comfortable at light heavy in the pros. He is ready to step up. Perkovic usually goes the distance which has made him a popular loser and he has fought in eight different countries in his 15 contests.

McKenna vs. Amador

Paid sparring for southpaw McKenna as he gets a welcome easy night after three hard ten round fights in 2018. He had no real trouble decisioning the perennial loser from Nicaragua but Amador was busy enough to keep the fight interesting and McKenna took the chance to get in six rounds of work with an important fight against Ohara Davies looking likely later this year. Referee’s card 60-54 for McKenna. Ninth loss on the bounce for Barcelona-based Amador.

 

Toronto, Canada: Heavy: Olek Teslenko (16-0) W PTS 10 Fabio Maldonado (26-2). Welter: Custio Clayton (16-0) W KO 6 DeMarcus Corley (51-33-1). Super Welter: Stanyslav Skorokhod (18-2) W KO 2 Jose Zuniga (16-6-1). Middle: Patrice Volny (14-0) W RTD 2 Nicolas Holcapfel (10-1).

Teslenko vs. Maldonado

Ukrainian Teslenko outpoints Brazilian oldie Maldonado. Teslenko went looking for a quick win and handed out some fierce punishment in the first and second rounds. Maldonado is an experienced survivor and managed to get through those early attacks and stay in the fight. Teslenko seemed to run out of ideas when Maldonado did not fold and although winning by a wide margin on the cards never really had Maldonado in any serious trouble. It had been some time since Teslenko had to go past six rounds for a win and his failure to pace the fight, too much holding and a low work rate from Teslenko saw Maldonado strong at the end. Scores 98-92 for Teslenko from all three judges. The right decision but the scores were a little unkind to Maldonado. Teslenko wins the vacant WBA-NABA title. The 26-year-old 6’4” Canadian champion Teslenko has a University degree and is a former member of the Ukrainian Army. He has built a big following in Toronto and is making good progress. Maldonado, 39, has a deceptive record as his first 20 victims only had nine wins between them and the other six were not much better but he went the full ten rounds against big punching Oscar Rivas in December

Clayton vs. Corley

Another impressive performance from Clayton as he beats former WBO champion Corley. Clayton was in charge from the start. Corley has a wealth of experience and that allowed him to survive over the early rounds. Clayton gradually wound up the pressure rocking Corley in the fifth and finishing him in the sixth. He pinned Corley to the ropes and unleashed a ferocious attack that was too much for Corley who went down and was counted out. A top amateur Clayton was Canadian champion three times and competed at the 2012 Olympics and 2014 Commonwealth Games. This victory makes it eleven by KO/TKO and he is rated WBO 7/IBF 11(9). Now 44 Corley suffers his eighth loss by KO/TKO .

Skorokhod vs. Zuniga

Puncher Skorokhod starts his rebuilding with spectacular kayo of Mexican Zuniga. The Ukrainian was returning after losing a split verdict to unbeaten Aram Amirkhanyan in Kiev in June . Skorokhod moves to 15 wins by KO/TKO. His other loss was also a split decision that one against John Thompson in the semi-finals of the 2015 Boxcino Tournament . Zuniga had won 9 of his last 10 with the loss being a second round stoppage against unbeaten Brit Josh Kelly.

Volny vs. Holcapfel

Volny gets his ninth inside the distance victory as he forces second round retirement by Slovakian teenager Holcapfel. After edging the first a body punch in the second had Holcapfel down and in pain and it was no surprise when his corner pulled him out at the end of the round. Following his good win over Albert Onolunose Volny is now No 13(12) with the IBF. Holcapfel, 18, in way over his head.

 

Quilmes, Argentina: Super Fly: Fernando Martinez (9-0) W KO 7 Carlos Farias (13-17-3). “Little Lion” Martinez much too good for Farias in a non-title bout. The Argentinian champion dominated the fight with his superior skills and harder punching. Farias was never really able to get into the fight before it ended in the seventh. Martinez landed a series of left hooks then drove Farias to a corner and unloaded with hard punches from both hands. The referee stepped in and gave Farias a standing count . When the action resumed Martinez walked forward and landed a lethal left hook that sent Farias down, He made it to the vertical but was swaying badly and the referee stopped the fight. An elite level amateur Martinez represented Argentina at the 2009, 2011 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. In addition he was a member of the Los Angeles Matadors and Argentinian Condors in the WSB. Eighth loss in a row for poor Farias

 

Massy, France: Middle: Anderson Prestot (22-1) W Jose Fandino (13-5). Prestot adds another belt to his collection as he halts Spaniard Fandino to win the vacant WBC Mediterranean title. Fighting in his home town Prestot built a lead over the opening three rounds but Fandino took the punishment and connected with some solid hooks as Prestot’s work rate dropped. The Frenchman has had problems of this nature in the past but he is a better tactician now and settled to boxing behind a quick, accurate jab and used some sharp uppercuts to blunt Fandino’s attacks. Fandino only just survived the eighth but some heavy hits by Prestot in the ninth saw the referee give Fandino a standing count and when the Spaniard went down again the fight was stopped. Prestot is European Union champion so will be hoping for a shot at the European title this year. A member of the French Traveller community he was French champion but on the eve of a title defence he received a call saying one of his son’s had been badly burned in a domestic accident so instead of fighting he headed off to find how serious the injuries were and so relinquished the national title. His son has now recovered. Fandino fought hard in this one. It was his second fight in seven weeks having lost on  a split decision for the vacant Spanish title in February.

 

Rome, Italy: Light: Gianluca Ceglia (15-3-1) W TKO 7 Pasquale Di Silvio (21-10-3). Ceglia wins the vacant European Union title with stoppage of seasoned pro Di Silvio in a dramatic all-Italian contest.  The drama started in the opening round with Di Silvio finding himself on the floor. He beat the count but had to use all of his experience to make it to the bell. Ceglia continued to hunt Di Silvio down in the second and third pinning him to the ropes and pounding away to head and body. In the fourth a heavy counter from Di Silvio suddenly had Ceglia’s legs wobbling and in the fifth a three-punch combination floored Ceglia. He survived but in the sixth was cut in a clash of heads and things looked to be going Di Silvio’s way.  Ceglia changed that and won the title in the seventh. A right to the head saw Di Silvio dip at the knees and a left put him on the canvas and the fight was stopped. A great title fight. Hopefully winning the EU title will make the 29-year-old former undefeated Italian champion Ceglia more active. He had only one fight in 2016, one in 2017 and fought a split draw with Di Silvio in April last year-his only fight of the year. Local hero Di Silvio, 39, is also a former Italian champion who was 4-5-1 in 10 Italian title fights.

 

Dzierzoniow, Poland: Welter: Lukasz Wierzbicki (18-0) W KO 9 Mykola Vovk (15-4). Welter: Michal Lesniak (10-1-1) W TKO 7 Vladyslav Gela (9-1).

Wierzbicki vs. Vovk

Tall southpaw Wierzbicki retains the  Polish title with kayo of Ukrainian Vovk. As expected Vovk took the fight to the taller Wierzbicki with the Pole using some good movement and counters. Vovk stepped up the pace in the second and third trying to hustle Wierzbicki out of his stride and roughing the Pole up somewhat. In the fourth a right hook from Wierzbicki dumped Vovk on the boards but he was only shaken and went back to pressurising the local fighter. Vovk was warned for low punches in the sixth but had a strong seventh and looked to have Wierzbicki in trouble until he landed another low punch which gave Wierzbicki some valuable recovery time. Pressure from Vovk had Wierzbicki on the back foot in the eighth but he was looking steadier and slotting home some sharp counters. Vovk continued to march forward in the ninth but  an explosive right hook to the chin put him down on his back under the ropes. He climbed to his feet but just too late and the fight was over. Sixth win by KO/TKO for 28-year-old Wierzbicki but time for him to step up to higher quality opposition if he is to improve of his No 22 ranking in the EU lists. First loss by KO/TKO for Vovk.

Lesniak vs. Gela

Lesniak wins the vacant Polish International title with stoppage of Ukrainian Gela.  Lesniak was bigger and stronger and although Gela was able to match Lesniak in the early rounds Lesniak gradually took control. He hurt Gela on a number of occasions with body punches and that was how the fight ended. A wicked left hook to the body had Gela backing away. He did not go down but stood still and then bent in half in agony. The referee stopped the action to establish the Ukrainian’s ability to continue but he could not straighten up and the referee had to waive the fight over. Lesniak was moving up to welter having drawn in a previous attempt to win the Polish super light title. Gela, just 19, was having his first fight outside of the Ukraine and his first fight scheduled for ten rounds.

 

Melrose, MA, USA: Super Welter: Greg Vendetti (21-3-1) W PTS 10 Alan Zavala (15-4). Light: Ryan Kielczewski (30-4) W PTS 8 Nick Otieno (31-16). Super Light: Luis Arcon (6-0) W TKO 2 Zack Ramsey (8-7).

Vendetti vs. Zavala

Vendetti gets back to winning ways with points verdict over Mexican Zavala. Offence is Vendetti’s default position and he needed to be that way here. Zavala was much taller with a longer reach so Vendetti had to take the fight to Zavala. He was able to duck past the jab and work with short punches inside with Zavala doing his best work at distance. It was a busy, fast paced contest and Zavala was not looking to run or hide and did some good work with his jab and straight rights. Vendetti’s movement, aggression and hand speed gave him the edge and he was also that bit busier but Zavala was competitive until he tired late in the fight. The Mexican was a short-notice substitute  and slowed in the ninth still punching but dropping his arms repeatedly. Vendetti pressed hard and a right sent Zavala into the ropes. Vendetti attacked strongly but an exhausted Zavala fought back hard. A clash of heads early in the tenth saw Zavala cut on his left eyelid but he survived a doctor’s inspection and connected with a left uppercut that was probably the best punch in the fight. Both finished strongly with Vendetti a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for “The Villain” . Vendetti lost on a second round stoppage in December against world class French fighter Michel Soro and that is the only loss for Vendetti in his last 18 fights. The 28-year-old local will be looking to build back to that level. Zavala, 25, was coming off a loss to unbeaten Travell Mazion in September but before that had won twelve in a row eleven by KO/TKO.

Kielczewski vs. Otieno

Kielczewski takes unanimous decision over Kenyan oldie Otieno. Kielczewski was too young and too quick for Otieno. He was able to score well with his jab and drop in some right hands. Otieno is really too small to be fighting lightweights but he showed some clever moves and kept trying to get inside and work with hooks and uppercuts. Kielczewski seemed to rock Otieno with a right in the third but other than that Otieno was never in any real trouble. Kielczewski was working the jab well and with neither man being a big puncher it provided Kielczewski with eight rounds of useful work at low risk and provided Otieno with a pay day. Scores 80-72, 79-72 and 79-73 all for Kielczewski. The 29-year-old “Polish Prince” is 4-2 in his last 6 fights with the losses being to good quality opponents in Frankie de Alba and Tommy Coyle. There were high hopes for him when he went 22-0 at the start of his career but he may now have found his ceiling. Otieno, 45, is now 0-5 in his fights in the USA but has only failed to last the distance twice in his 47 bout career.

Arcon vs. Ramsey

Former top amateur Arcon makes it six out of six by KO/TKO with stoppage of Ramsey. In the first Arcon, a fighter with a very upright stance, opened up early bombing Ramsey with long hooks and uppercuts. Arcon trapped Ramsey in a corner and scored with a series of punches to head and body. Ramsay slumped to his knees and Arcon was lucky to get away with a right to the head that landed whilst Ramsey was on one knee. The referee considered a couple of Arcon’s hooks had landed low and did not apply a count . Just before the bell a volley of punches from Arcon forced Ramsey to go down on one knee and this time the referee did count. In the second Arcon tracked Ramsey around the ring  then shook Ramsey with a left hook and a right to the head before connecting with a couple of left hooks that dropped Ramsey to his hands and knees at the two minute mark of the round. Although the referee started the count he could see Ramsey was finished and waived the fight off. The lanky 26-year-old Venezuelan won a silver medal at the South American championships and a bronze at the PanAmerican Games. He beat Gary Russell in the Americas qualifier for Rio but did not get past the preliminary round at the Olympics. Sixth loss in a row for Ramsey.

 

March 30

 

Liverpool, England: Super Welter: Liam Smith (27-2-1) W TKO 5 Sam Eggington (24-6). Super Light: Robbie Davies Jr (17-1) W PTS 12 Joe Hughes (17-4-1). Super Light: Philip Bowes (20-3) W PTS 12 Tom Farrell (16-2). Super Welter: Scott Fitzgerald (13-0) W PTS 10 Anthony Fowler (9-1).Heavy: David Price (24-6) W DISQ 5 Kash Ali (15-1). Super bantam: Paul Butler (28-2) W PTS 6 Fadhili Majiha (23-12-4).

Smith vs. Eggington

Smith returns to winning ways as he proves too strong for a game and competitive Eggington and picks up the vacant WBC Silver title. Smith made a strong start with Eggington spending most of the opening round with his back against the ropes as Smith unloaded with left hooks and uppercuts. Eggington was countering but with much less power. Eggington did much better in the second. He stayed off the ropes for most of the round slotting jabs throught Smith’s guard and connecting with quick combination. Over the last thirty seconds Smith forced Eggington into a corner and connected with punches to Eggington’s head. In the third and fourth Eggington threw more punches and landed more but the power shot were coming from Smith particularly some of his trade mark left hooks to the body and thudding rights to the head. A left hook and straight right had Eggington hurt in the fifth and a relentless Smith raked him with hooks, uppercuts and straight rights until with very little coming back from Eggington the referee stepped in and stopped the contest. First fight for Smith since his points defeat against Jaime Munguia for the WBO title last July. He showed he is still a force in this division and will be looking to put in another title challenge later this year. Former European welterweight champion Eggington is rebuilding after a shock stoppage loss against Tanzanian Hassan Mwakinyo in September. Here lacked the power to match Smith.

Davies vs. Hughes

There were two titles at stake here with Davies putting his British title on the line and Hughes risking his European title. In the end it was Davies who walked away with two belts with a unanimous decision that was not unanimous with the fans. Hughes made a confident start. Davies was switching guards but Hughes focused on his task and by the end of the round he had taken the points and given Davies a bloody nose.  In the second and third despite his nose still bleeding strongly Davies did some good work inside but Hughes pressed hard in two close rounds and just had a small lead. He extended that lead over the fourth and fifth doing useful work inside and rocking Davies with a left hook in the fifth. There was a danger that Davies was letting the fight get away but he was sharper than Hughes in the sixth and outboxed him in the seventh as he made some space to work on the outside. The eighth saw plenty of trading and was close and the pace dropped as they both tired in the ninth. Davies was again able to box on the outside in the tenth and was countering the advancing Hughes with quick accurate punches .He kept that impetus into the eleventh but Hughes worked hard and it was a round that could have been scored either way. I had Hughes slightly ahead but Davies had more left in the last and despite Hughes best efforts to try to get Davies to stand and trade Davies finished the round stronger. Scores 118-110, 115-113 and 115-114 all for Davies. We call them as we see them but the 118-110 looked very hash on Hughes with some seeing him as the winner. Davies, 29, will be hoping that this win will push him up the WBA ratings where he was No 9. This was a voluntary defence of the European title for Hughes so Davies should now meet the mandatory challenger Sandor Martin. Hughes deserves a return but he will have to wait for that and meanwhile may look for some domestic opposition.

Bowes vs. Farrell

Bowes returns to action after just a one month break and outpoints Farrell to retain the Commonwealth title he won with a victory over Benson Nyilawila on 2nd February. Farrell had won his last three fights but against opposition who would be flattered to be described as modest. Southpaw Bowes simply never let the local boxer get into the fight. He was quicker and more varied in his work with Farrell pressing the fight for much of the time but without success. Bowes swept the first five rounds with Farrell taking the sixth but not being able to build on that as Bowes was even confident enough to stand and trade with the harder puncher. He put the fight beyond Farrell’s reach by outscoring the challenger over the seventh, eighth and ninth. Farrell rallied over the tenth and eleventh as Bowes slowed but Bowes boxed his way confidently enough in the last to emerge a comfortable winner. Scores 118-110, 118-111 and 117-112 for Bowes. The 34-year-old from East London is now 11-1 in his last 12 fights. Farrell’s other loss was a stoppage against Ohara Davies in 2017.

Fitzgerald vs. Fowler

In a fast-paced skilful clash of unbeaten prospects a last round knockdown by Fitzgerald is all the separates them after ten entertaining rounds with Fitzgerald taking a split decision. Both were looking to get their jab working early and each was looking to dominate the centre of the ring. Fowler was just that bit sharper with his jabs but the first two rounds were very close and if one fighter landed a good punch then the other was looking to bang back immediately. Fowler had the better of the third. He was circling Fitzgerald and using his longer reach to spear Fitzgerald who was replying with some quick hooks to the body. Neither fighter was looking to clinch and the referee might as well have sat in the front row for all the work he was required to do. If Fowler had edged in front then Fitzgerald began to eat into the lead in the fourth as he connected with some good right crosses, The fifth was close but perhaps was just edged by Fowler although he suffered a cut over his left eye but Fitzgerald captured the sixth and seventh again with some sharp right hands and edged the eighth. Fowler cut loose in a hectic ninth. He was driving Fitzgerald around the ring with hooks and uppercuts. Fowler almost seemed to have punched himself out but he was still the one doing most of the scoring but he looked a very tired man at the end of the round. For me Fowler was one point in front going into the tenth. Fowler had the better of the early exchanges but then Fitzgerald stepped in with three left hooks that sent Fowler back and down. He was up at five but the look on his face said he knew how important that knockdown was to his chances and the fight ended without any more fireworks. Scores 95-94 twice for Fitzgerald and 96-95 for Fowler.  The 27-year-old Fitzgerald wins the vacant WBA International title and will now probably go on to challenge Ted Cheeseman for the British title. Setback for Fowler but more of a bump in his career than a derailment and he will be back and winning again soon.

Price vs. Ali

Farcical ending to this one with Ali thrown out for biting. Price had huge advantages in height and reach and over the first two rounds Ali tried to come in under Price’s jab and Price tried to measure Ali for chopping rights but neither had much success. Price began to find the target in the third and things got rough with Price showing a red mark on that shoulder complaining of a bite from Ali and Ali losing a point for a punch to the back of the head. Price was in charge in the fourth using his jab well and connecting with strong uppercuts. Both fighters had some success in the fifth until Price looked to have shaken Ali with a right. Ali then leaned heavily on Price so that they tumbled to the canvas with Ali on top. When the referee managed to prise Ali off Price it was obvious that Ali had bitten Price just below his left ribs and the referee immediately disqualified Ali. Madness. A win for Price but he struggled against a very ordinary Ali and he shows no signs of improvement. Ali has had his licence suspended by the British Board of Control.

Butler vs. Majiha

Butler gets six rounds of work against Tanzanian Majiha but has to work for his win as Majiha put in a good effort and was competitive enough to make it closer than expected. Referee’s score 58-56 for Butler as he marks time awaiting the outcome of the WBSS bantamweight Tournament. Three points losses in a row in British rings for Majiha.

 

Bilbao, Spain: Welter: David Avanesyan (24-3-1) W TKO 9 Kerman Lejarraga (27-1).  Avanesyan breaks Basque hearts as he stops local hero Lejarraga. In the first local Lejarraga looked much the bigger man and strode forward using a strong jab and straight rights. Avanesyan settled into the counter puncher role showing lots of movement and hand speed and digging in some sharp left hooks and uppercuts. Lejarraga continued to walk forward in the second starting to let fly with straight rights to the head. Avanesyan was boxing cleverly landing some quick punches but not staying to exchange shots. Lejarraga looked to be getting on top in the third as he connected with straight rights and left hooks to the body. Avanesyan was on the back foot constantly switching guards and slotting home counters that already had Lejarraga’s face flushed red. Lejarraga was storming forward in the fourth but was caught with a right hook to the head and went down on his knees. He was up immediately and did not look badly hurt but had to take an eight count. He went after Avanesyan with clubbing shots to the body but Avanesyan was showing some great movement and sharp if lighter punching and looked to have shaken Lejarraga with a left just before the bell. Lejarraga pressed hard in the fifth landing some trade mark thudding rights with Avanesyan’s work rate dropping a little. Avanesyan was in total control in the sixth. He was again switching guards and sending flashing lefts and rights through the guard of a static Lejarraga punctuated by a sparkling three punch combination with all three punches landing flush on the face of a too slow Lejarraga. Avanesyan was giving Lejarraga a boxing lesson. In the seventh with the speed and accuracy of his punches and clever defensive work Avanesyan had built confidence to a stage where he was willing to stand in front of Lejarraga and fire hooks and uppercuts with Lejarraga not knowing where the next punch was coming from. Lejarraga need to do something to change the pattern of the fight and he put in a huge effort in the eighth. He had Avanesyan pinned to the ropes for much of the first two minutes of the round connecting with heavy left hooks to the body and right uppercuts. It looked as though he was going to take control but left himself open and a right uppercut staggered him. He again moved forward but it was Avanesyan who was now doing the scoring. Lejarraga’s early work may have given him the round but it took a lot out of him. With 10,000 supporters cheering him on Lejarraga was taking the fight to Avanesyan at the start of the ninth until a short right hook to the head saw him badly shaken. Avanesyan then piled on the punches driving Lejarraga across the ring and hammering him with a series of head shots that had Lejarraga defenceless and the referee stopped the fight. A great win for the UK based Russian a former interim WBA champion. Perhaps a stoppage loss to  Egidijus Kavaliauskas in February 2018 and a year of inactivity made Lejarraga’s team think this was a low risk fight but they were wrong. Lejarraga was high in the ratings of all four sanctioning bodies at WBC 2/IBF 5(3)/WBA 5 and WBO 5 so after this win another world title fight could be there for Avanesyan. Lejarraga was making the second defence of the EBU title and had won 22 of his fights by KO/TKO but after the fourth round he was hardly in this fight and has a reconstruction job on his hands but has said there was a return clause in the contract and he wants revenge. Once again this shows just how difficult it can be to win or hold on to an EBU title.

 

Tres Arroyos, Argentina: Welter: Gustavo Lemos (21-0) W TKO 2 Jorge Paez Jr (40-13-2). Big win for home town fighter “El Electrico” as he destroys a sliding Paez inside two rounds. Lemos confidently took the fight to Paez in the first scoring with some crisp left hooks to the body and a couple of clubbing rights to the head. Paez tried to get inside in the second. He walked forward and Lemos nailed him with a straight right. Paez stumbled and Lemos cracked him with a series of hooks to the head rounded off by a right and a tremendous left hook which sent the Mexican flying back and down. He struggled to his feet but the referee decided he was in no condition to continue and the fight was over. Now eleven wins by KO/TKO for the 23-year-old Argentinian No 1. Paez, 31, has won only one of his last eight fights and will only go downhill from here.

 

Sydney, Australia: Bantam: Jason Moloney (18-1) W TKO 5 Cris Paulino (19-4). Super Feather: Billel Dib (23-3) W TKO 8 Roy Juntilla (23-8-5).

Moloney vs. Paulino

Moloney was facing a southpaw for the first time in his career but that did not faze the New South Wales fighter as he ground Filipino Paulino down until the referee halted the fight in the fifth. First outing for “The Smooth One” since losing a split decision against Emmanuel Rodriguez in a challenge for the IBF bantam title in a WBSS tournament bout. Moloney retained the WBA Oceania title here and will now be hoping for another title shot later this year. Paulino had won his last five fights, four by KO/TKO, but Moloney was just too good for him.

Dib vs. Juntilla

Dib also scored a win over Filipino opposition as he stopped experienced Rey Juntilla in eight rounds. Dib dominated the action against the small Filipino and was on his way to a points win when the Filipino’s team pulled their man out of the fight during the eighth round. Dib was up 69-64 on two cards and 70-63 on the other. Dib was also defending the WBA Oceania title as he gets his second win in a row after previously suffering back-to back losses. After the fight in a nice gesture Dib paid tribute to the New Zealand victims of the recent shooting. Fourth loss by KO/TKO for Juntilla.

 

Brisbane, Australia: Welter: Ben Kite (14-4-1) W PTS 10 Michael Whitehead (6-2-1). Kite wins the vacant Australian title with points victory over Whitehead in a battle between two Brisbane fighters. A strong finish earned the win for Kite against a tough but less experienced Whitehead. Kite had gone ten rounds and twelve rounds in previous fights whereas Whitehead had never been past the sixth and that was a factor as the fight went into the later rounds. Scores 99-91, 97-94 and 96-94 all for the 28-year-old Kite who gets his eighth win on the bounce. Two loses in a row for Whitehead.

 

Shanghai, China: Super Light: Yusuke Konno (15-4) W TKO 11 Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-3-1). Fly: Wulan Tuolehazi (11-3-1) W PTS 12 Ryota Yamauchi (4-1). Fly: Sho Kimura (18-2-2) W TKO 3 Pigmy Kokietgym (60-1012).

Konno vs. Nasiyiwula

Konno scores late stoppage to beat Nasiyiwula in a night of China vs. Japan contests. Japanese No 2 Konno made the perfect start flooring Nasiyiwula in the first round. He failed to capitalise on that early success and Nasiyiwula gradually worked his way back into the fight and looked to have built a lead by the end of the tenth. His aggression had taken him to that position but he was leaving openings and in the eleventh a right counter from Konno put Nasiyiwula down. He struggled to rise but was too late and was counted out . Big surprise as Konno, 34, had spent his career fighting in supporting bouts with his only ten round fight ending on a last round knockout loss. However this is his sixth win in his last seven fights and he collects the WBA Asia title and may inherit Nasiyiwula’s WBA No 15 rating. Nasiyiwula had lost on points to Frederick Lawson in April last year in the now vanished WBC welterweight tournament but was coming off two wins.

Tuolehazi vs. Yamauchi

Tuolehazi evens things up for China with a unanimous decision over Yamauchi but some controversy over the scoring. Plenty of action in this one all the way. Tuolehazi moved ahead early after putting an overconfident Yamauchi on the floor with a big right in the third. Yamauchi beat the count but was in deep trouble and rocked a couple of more times before the bell. The Japanese fight steadied the ship over the fourth and fifth and paid Tuolehazi back in kind putting him down with a left hook to the body in the sixth. It was a close hotly contested fight over the second half with Yamauchi looking to have just done enough to take a close verdict. The scores said otherwise with a unanimous verdict to Tuolehazi on scores of 117-109 twice and 115-112. The Chinese fighter wins the vacant WBA International title. After going 2-3 in his first 5 fights  Tuolehazi is now 8-0-1 in nine. Although having had only four pro fights and being down at No 11 in the Japanese ratings Yamauchi was 53-15 in his time as an amateur.

Kimura vs. Kokietgym

More of a massacre than a contest here as Kimura hammers out experienced Thai veteran Kokietgym in three rounds. Kimura worked patiently with his jab over the first two rounds and then put Kokietgym down three times in the third to force the stoppage. Kokietgym wanted to continue but the referee did the right thing. First fight for the 30-year-old Kimura since losing his WBO fly title on a majority decision to Kosei Tanaka in September. He wins the vacant OPBF Silver title. Pigmy (real name Wicha Phulaikhao) has been a pro for 19 years and had shots at the IBF and WBA minimum titles but is on the down slope at 3-4 in his last 7 fights. He failed to make the weight so could not have won the title anyway.

 

Toulon, France: Welter: Jose Gomez (18-0) W PTS 10 Nahuel Galessi (13-5-1). Gomez remains undefeated and retains the IBF International title with unanimous decision over Argentinian Galessi. Without ever looking likely to win Galessi performed well making Gomez fight hard for victory. Scores 97-93 twice and a harsh 99-91 for Gomez . After 18 wins Gomez is still down at No 19 in the EU ratings and No 4 in the French list so he will need to step up the quality of his opposition. Galessi had won 5 of his last 6 fights. He is trained by former WBO Featherweight champion Juan Pablo Chacon.

 

Sassari, Ital: Cruiser: Salvatore Erittu (30-3,1ND 1ND) W Maurizio Lovaglio (22-16). Erittu retains the Italian title in a tight hard fought contest against his former conqueror Lovaglio. After two close rounds in a decisive third a right from Erittu floored Lovaglio who was up quickly and in no real trouble but it was a 10-8 round for Erittu and in the end that was the deciding factor in the scores. Lovaglio battled back to rock Erittu in the fourth and as they traded punches in the sixth a cut was opened over the left eye of Erittu, They blazed away over the closing rounds with very little between them but in the end it was Erittu who took the split decision. Scores 97-93 and 95-94 for Erittu and 94-93 for Lovaglio.  Erittu, a 38-year-old Sardinian, is a former Italian heavyweight champion. He challenged the then champion Lovaglio for this title in 2014 and was knocked in just 36 seconds so sweet revenge. Erittu is now 6-1,1ND in his last 8 fights. Lovaglio, 37, has been going in the opposite direction and is 2-6 in his last 8 fights but deserves a return.

 

Vladimir, Russia: Welter: Vaghinak Tamrazyan (15-4) W PTS 12 Eric Kapia Mukadi (22-3-2,1ND). Super Bantam: Arnold Khegai (15-0-1 ) W RTD 8 Haidari Mchanjo (10-6-4). Bantam: Nikolai Potapov (20-1-1) W RTD 3 Adam Mbega (9-2). Welter: Batyr Akhmedov (6-0) W RTD 6 Viktor Plotnykov (33-5).

Tamrazyan vs. Mukadi

Tamrazyan takes unanimous decision over South African based Congolese fighter Mukadi. Scores 119-108, 117-110 and 116-111. The 33-year-old Armenian-born former Russian  champion is a modest 5-4 in his last 9 fights but has won the last three. Mukadi/Kapia was 18-0-1 in fights in the DRC but better opposition has injected some realism into his record.

Khegai vs. Mchanjo

Philadelphia-based Ukrainian Khegai makes it ten wins in a row as he wins every round before Tanzanian Mchanjo decides to retire at the end of the eighth. The 27-year-old has wins in the USA over Adam Lopez and Jorge Diaz. He switched to boxing after snapping his cruciate ligaments in training for Kickboxing where he had been a World, European and Ukrainian champion. The over-matched 20-year-old Mchanjo is 0-2-2 in his last four outings.

Potapov vs. Mbega

World rated Potapov fed an easy one as he gets a three round win over Tanzanian novice Mbega. After three rounds under fire Mbega retired. Abysmal excuse for a match with Potapov taking on a 19-year-old prelim fighter. In his only defeat so far Potapov, the WBO No 7, was the one to quit as he retired after seven rounds against Omar Narvaez in 2017.

Akhmedov vs. Plotnykov

Everyone seemed to be retiring on this show. Akhmedov, probably the best fighter on the card, made it six wins when Ukrainian veteran Plotnykov quit after six rounds. No real surprise as Akhmedov had stormed past the longer reach of the tall Ukrainian and won the six completed rounds. Going into this one Akhmedov was already rated No 2 by the WBA partially for a ninth round kayo of former interim WBA light champion Ismael Barroso but mostly for winning the minor WBA Inter-Continental title. Akhmedov has impressive credentials from before turning pro in 2017 but you need a bloodhound to track them down. Born in Uzbekistan but of Crimea Tartar antecedents he moved the Crimea and was runner-up in the Ukrainian Championships. He then transferred his allegiance to Turkey and under the name Batuhan Gozgec won the Turkish Championship and represented Turkey at the 2016 Olympics reaching the quarter-finals. Akhmedov is his birth name so let’s hope he sticks with it. Plotnykov, now 41, made it to the world ratings when he was 27-1,1ND but this is his first fight for 16 months so no real test for Akhmedov.

 

Fight of the week (Significance): With Olek Gvozdyk and Angel Acosta retaining their titles none of the big fights proved significant

Fight of the week (Entertainment): Roman Martinez vs. William Gonzalez was a war all the way and Scott Fitzgerald vs. Anthony Fowler provided quality and entertainment

Fighter of the week: David Avanesyan’s performance in beating Kerman Lejarraga was outstanding

Punch of the week: The right from Jeyvier Cintron that flattened Eliecer Quezada was special and the peach of a punch from Gustavo Lemos the floored Jorge Paez Jr was a wow!

Upset of the week: Again Avanesyan was expected to lose against 27-0 Lejarraga and German Garcia was not even expected to last the distance against unbeaten Clayton Laurent.

Prospect watch: French Olympian Matthieu Bauderlique at 17-1 is progressing well.

 

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