The Past Week in Action 17 December 2019
-Teo Lopez wins the IBF lightweight title as he stops champion Richard Commey in two rounds
-Terrence Crawford halts Egidijus Kavaliauskas in nine rounds in WBO title defence
-Vergil Ortiz impresses as he foes to 15-0 15 wins by KO/TKO with stoppage of Brad Solomon
-Sandor Martin and David Avanesyan retain their European titles in Barcelona
-Yves Mendy wins the WBA Gold title with stoppage of Jaider Parra and Elie Konki wins the European bantamweight title by outpointing champion Sebastian Perez
-Michael Conlan gets win over Vlad Nikitin to exact some revenge for the controversial decision for the Russian the ruined Conlan’s chance of a gold medal in Rio
-Diego De La Hoya returns with a win but fails to impress
-Fedor Chudinov decisions Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam in Russia
WORLD TITLE SHOWS
New York, NY, USA: Welter: Terrence Crawford (36-0) W TKO 9 Egidijus Kavaliauskas (21-1-1). Light: Teo Lopez (15-0) W TKO 2 Richard Commey (29-3). ). Feather: Michael Conlan (13-0) W PTS 10 Vlad Nikitin (3-1). Light: George Kambosos (18-0) W PTS 10 Mickey Bey (23-3-1,1ND). Super Light: Josue Vargas (16-1) W PTS 10 Noel Murphy (14-2-1. Super Middle: Edgar Berlanga (13-0) W TKO 1 Cesar Nunez (16-2-1). Super Light: Julian Rodriguez (19-0) W PTS 8 Manuel Mendez (16-7-3) .
Crawford vs. Kavaliauskas
After a slow start Crawford gets into his stride and then ruthlessly cuts down Kavaliauskas
Not much in the way of commitment from either fighter. Crawford looked just a little sharper with his jab whereas Kavaliauskas seemed to be reluctant to let his hands go. Close but I gave it to Crawford.
Score: 10-9 Crawford
Kavaliauskas took this one. Crawford scored with a body punch early but Kavaliauskas made better use of his jab and connected with a hard left and followed that with a right that stopped Crawford in his tracks. He also did a good job of deflecting Crawford’s punches.
Score: 10-9 Kavaliauskas TIED 19-19
After a cautious start Kavaliauskas jumped inside scoring with a hard right to the head and threw a bunch of punches. As Crawford ducked under the punches he dropped to one knee but it was no knockdown. They both connected with punches in a brief exchange and just before the bell Kavaliauskas again got through with a left and a right.
Score: 10-9 Kavaliauskas Kavaliauskas 29-28
Crawford changed his tactics in this one. He had been standing a couple of steps away and firing punches from distance. Now he climbed into the box with Kavaliauskas crowding the challenger and throwing a lot more punches. He scored with jabs and rights and although Kavaliauskas connected with some hard rights the sudden change of pace from Crawford seemed to throw Kavaliauskas out of his stride and it was Crawford’s round although he was showing a swelling by his right eye.
Score: 10-9 Crawford TIED 38-38
Crawford again dominated the action in this round. He was much quicker with his jab and was putting together some combinations and firing fast, accurate lefts. Kavaliauskas had been matching Crawford with his jab early but now he was tending to get caught by punches and firing wildly and too late with his counters
Score: 10-9 Crawford Crawford 48-47
A close round with very little action. Crawford was not pressing as hard or throwing as many punches. That allowed Kavaliauskas to get his jab working again and try some rights as Crawford effectively gave away the round.
Score: 10-9 Kavaliauskas TIED 57-57
This round provided plenty of action. Crawford was inside the box again and they traded some hard punches with Kavaliauskas scoring with a cracking right. Crawford switched to orthodox and landed a left hook that shook Kavaliauskas. The challenger fired back but could not keep Crawford out and late in the round a right to the head saw Kavaliauskas turn away and drop .to the canvas on his hands and knees. Kavaliauskas was up at four and after the eight count Crawford chased Kavaliauskas across the ring but Kavaliauskas ducked and dodged and made it to the bell.
Score: 10-8 Crawford Crawford 67-65
For much of the early part of this round Crawford just stood in front of Kavaliauskas behind a high guard letting Kavaliauskas try to pierce the guard. When Crawford opened up he landed some heavy rights to the head. He had Kavaliauskas trapped on the ropes at the end of the round and unleashed a barrage of punches that had Kavaliauskas reeling and holding to survive.
Score: 10-9 Crawford Crawford 77-74
In the first exchange in the round Crawford took Kavaliauskas to the ropes and snapped his head back with a right uppercut. Kavaliauskas managed to get off the ropes but was driven back by some right before an fearsome right uppercut dropped him to his hands and knees. When the count was finished Crawford walked over and floored Kavaliauskas with a right to the head and as he went down the referee ended the fight.
Kavaliauskas was competitive early but once Crawford upped his pace it was only a matter of how long Kavaliauskas could survive against the power and speed of arguably the best pound for pound fighter out there right now. Crawford, 32, is a three-division champion and is 14-0 in title fights with eleven inside the distance victories in those title fights. Hopefully we will get Crawford vs. Errol Spence sometime in 2020 and not have that match put off until it is too late in the way the Mayweather and Pacquiao worked out. Lithuanian Kavaliauskas showed good technical skills and landed some testing punches but in the end he was just beaten down by superior skill and power.
Lopez vs. Commey
Lopez blasts out Commey in hugely impressive style to win the IBF title
After some early probing with jabs Commey landed a sharp right to the head. They then both connected with rights to the head with Commey adding another head punch Lopez got through with a left hook but Commey’s strong jabbing just gave him the edge.
Score: 10-9 Commey
Lopez rocked Commey back on his heels with a left hook and then exploded a straight right on the head of Commey. The champion went down on his haunches then as he tried to rise toppled sideways and down. He was up quickly but was unsteady. After the eight count Lopez chased Commey to the ropes and pounded him with punches. Commey bobbed and weaved but could not get off the ropes and with Lopez landing with a series of head punches the referee jumped in and stopped the fight.
Towering display of power from Lopez to effectively finish Commey with one punch as the Ghanaian has a very good chin. The 22-year-old from Brooklyn must be on his way to a clash with Vasyl Lomachenko with the great Ukrainian making a passing remark about seeing Lopez in April. What a fight that could turn out to be. Commey will come again. He has the style and tools to be a champion again but with Devin Haney relinquishing the WBC title and Luke Campbell and Javier Fortuna likely to contests the vacant title and Lomachenko the WBA and WBO champion it may be a long road back for Commey.
Conlan vs. Nikitin
Conlan takes a wide unanimous decision over Russian Nikitin in revenge for a very questionable loss to Nikitin in the Rio Olympics. In a cagey first Conlan was looking to find the range with his jab and Nikitin was looking for chances to dive inside with some quick punches. The fight came to life in the second with Conlan using his longer reach to pop Nikitin with southpaw jabs and counter the Russian’s charges with hooks. Nikitin had brief success when he trapped Conlan in a corner but Conlan quickly slid out of the trap. Nikitin went down in the third from what looked like a left hook from Conlan but the referee decided the Russian had been pushed down so no count. Conlan was again scoring well with his jab and punishing Nikitin on the way in. Conlan controlled the action over the fifth and sixth . Nikitin managed to connect with some straight rights and put Conlan under pressure in the seventh as they traded punches over the late part of the round. Conlan landed a very low right hook on the eighth which paused the action for a brief spell and the referee spoke to both fighters about some rough stuff inside. For the rest of the round Conlan forgot his boxing and stood and exchanged punches toe-to-toe with Nikitin and paid the price in the form of a cut by his right eye. Conlan outboxed Nikitin in the ninth and tenth handing out some severe punishment in the last. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Conlan. So a measure of revenge for Conlan but not really enough to compensate for a bad decision against Nikitin which cost Conlan a chance at a gold medal in Rio. The 28-year-old from Belfast is rated WBO 1/WBA 3/IBF 9(7)/WBC 14 although the WBO No 1 looks over generous on the basis of his opposition to date. With Shakur Stevenson the WBO champion also being with Top Rank that is a fight that could be made but that might not be the fight Top Rank are aiming Conlan at although the other champions, Josh Warrington, Gary Russell and Leo Santa Cruz would be tough asks for Conlan at this stage. Despite his success as an amateur Nikitin has not impressed as a pro and I can’t see him making much progress.
Kambosos vs. Bey
Kambosos gets split verdict over Bey in a close-fought competitive match with plenty of quality work from both fighters. Kambosos all-out aggression and harder punching gave him a slight edge, Bey has a great jab and he was doubling and tripling the punch with impressive accuracy. Kambosos landed some heavy rights in the third and fourth but Bey was doing outstanding work in every round with his jab and featuring some very clever defensive work. Most of the rounds were close and although Kambosos had a slight lead going into the last the fight was there for the taking as far as both fighters were concerned. Kambosos nailed down the victory by flooring Bey with a right uppercut in the tenth. Scores 97-92 and 96-93 for Kambosos and 95-94 for Bey. Australian Kambosos has been one of Manny Pacquiao’s main sparring partners and has good domestic wins over Brandon Ogilvie and Qamil Balla. He is rated IBF 3(2)/WBO 5 so will be looking to advance to a title fight next year. Bey, 36, is a former IBF lightweight champion who relinquished the title without defending it. He lost a split decision to Rances Barthelemy in a challenge for the IBF title in 2016 and between that loss and the Kambosos contest had only one fight in over three years. A great pity as he is a slick boxer with great skills.
Vargas vs. Murphy
Vargas puts on another classy display to outpoint Murphy. Southpaw Vargas quickly established that he was much quicker than Murphy and had a more varied attack. He was sliding jabs past the Irishman’s guard and slipping inside to score with short, quick punches. The speed of movement from Vargas too often lefty Murphy prodding air. Vargas was buzzing around Murphy connecting with rapid combinations and dominating the action. Vargas landed a punch way south of the border in the third but Murphy quickly recovered. Although not listed as a southpaw Murphy was fight out of a southpaw stance and barely using his left. On occasion he shaped to throw a left but didn’t which made me wonder if he was carrying an injury because if it was a tactical decision it was not working. Vargas rocked Murphy with a left late in the fourth and had him bleeding from the nose and under heavy pressure at the end of the seventh. Murphy managed to score with enough rights to have a nasty bump develop under the left eye of Vargas and marched bravely through some heavy punches doing enough to deserve at least a share in a couple of rounds. In the end with just one usable arm and after being rocked in the tenth Murphy did well to last the distance. Scores 98-92 for Vargas on the cards of the three judges. He was going ten rounds for the first time and wins the vacant IBF North American title. His lone loss was on a disqualification. Murphy’s only previous loss was on a narrow points decision against Mike LesPierre who challenged Maurice Hooker for the WBO title in his next fight .
Berlanga vs. Nunez
Thirteen fights into his career and Berlanga has yet to hear the bell for the second round. The explosive puncher from New York blows away Cesar Nunez for another quick ending. Inside the first fifteen seconds as Nunez barrelled forward taking the fight to Berlanga he was clipped by a left to the top of his head and dropped to his knees. He was up quickly not looking shaken. After the count he again marched towards Berlanga but was caught by a chopping right and a left hook. Berlanga landed some more rights then one that landed on the back of Nunez’s head. He went down but the referee did not treat it as a knockdown. More head down rushes from Nunez were met with heavy rights from Berlanga then a left to the body that had Nunez backing off before another right put him down and the referee did not bother with a count. Nunez was just fifteen seconds from being the first fighter to take Berlanga into the second round. Thirteen one round wins but against some very modest opposition so no real way yet to know how far he can go. He did not win gold at any major tournament as an amateur and was eliminated at the quarter-finals of the US Olympic Trials for Rio but he has certainly shown some power. He had said that he was determined to finish this latest fight inside the first round in honour of his cousin Anthony Santana who was murdered whilst Berlanga was training for this fight. Second inside the distance loss for Spaniard Nunez with the other loss being an eight round stoppage against German Vincent Feigenbutz for the GBU world title in August.
Rodriguez vs. Mendez
After the usual exchange of probing jabs Rodriguez stepped in with a left hook to the body and a left and right to the head which dropped Mendez on his rear. After the count Rodriguez took Mendez to then ropes and fired a barrage of punches with a stoppage looking possible but Mendez held and moved and made it to the bell. Rodriguez was in charge the rest of the way. He shook Mendez with left uppercuts in the second and third and outscored Mendez the rest of the way. To his credit Mendez kept trying to walk through Rodriguez’s punches and was always willing to trade scoring with some shots of his own but the quality and quantity were coming from Rodriguez. The judges scored this one 80-72 twice and 79-72 for Rodriguez. A shoulder injury saw Rodriguez out of the ring for almost two years before returning to action in July this year and this is his third win since returning. Five defeats in a row for Mendez but all on points and all against good level opposition.
Barcelona, Spain: Super Light: Sandor Martin (36-2) W PTS 12 Joe Hughes (17-5-1). Welter: David Avanesyan (26-3-1) W KO 1 Jose Del Rio (29-9-1). Super Light: Jonathan Alonso (19-1) W PTS 10 Samuel Gonzalez (22-6). Light: Samuel Molina (14-0) W TKO 6 Ivan Tomas (9-2-1).
Martin vs. Hughes
Local; hero Martin outpoints Hughes in the first defence of his European title. Martin had height and reach over Hughes and also quicker hands. In the first two rounds he was getting his right jab over Hughes left landing to the head. He was firing lefts to the body and snapped Hughes head back with a left cross. Hughes pressed hard but had little success until the third when he cracked Martin with a couple of good rights. He then hustled Martin hard over the fourth and fifth but Martin was landing stiff counters and the rounds were close. Hughes forced Martin to trade in the sixth but Martin did some good defensive work and was more accurate. From the seventh Martin was in control. He was getting his punches off first then blocking or avoiding the counters from Hughes. Martin handed out some severe punishment in the eleventh with hard shots from both hands and attacked fiercely in the last for a clear victory. Scores 119-109 twice and 117-111 all for Martin. The 26-year-old from Barcelona is 20-1 in his last 21 contests with the loss coming on points against Anthony Yigit in 2017in a challenge for this same European title. Third time but not lucky for Hughes who has lost to Yigit and Robbie Davies in previous title shots.
Avanesyan vs. Del Rio
In a European title defence English-based Russian Avanesyan blows away Spanish challenger Del Rio in two rounds. In the first Avanesyan tracked an apprehensive Del Rio and sent him stumbling with a left hook. Del Rio, a southpaw, fired some lefts trying to keep Avanesyan off but was rocked badly by a right to the chin and an uppercut followed by two hooks to the body forced him to drop to his knees and then slump face down on the canvas and he was counted out. After his stoppage of Kevin Lejarraga in September that makes it two defences of the EBU title and two first round victories for Avanesyan. The 31-year-old former interim WBA champion looks to be in terrific form. He is ranked WBC 5/IBF 6(5)/WBA 10/WBO 12. Del Rio was a very sub-standard challenger and had already lost to Jordy Weiss for the EU title.
Alonso vs. Gonzalez
Alonso gets his career back on track with a decision over Gonzalez. Alonso needed all of his skills as the Italian-based Venezuelan pressured hard scoring well with uppercuts. Alonso’s accuracy and work rate gave him most of the early rounds but pressure paid off for Gonzalez over the middle rounds as he began to get through with hooks. Over the last three rounds Alonso was moving and scoring again and he held off a late burst from Gonzalez to emerge the winner. Scores 98-92, 98-93 and 97-94 for Alonso. The Dominican-born Alonso has been resident in Spain for 20 years and is a big favourite there. In his last fight in July he lost a decision against unbeaten Dominican Albert Puello for the interim WBA super light title. Gonzalez had won his last seven fights six of them in his new base of Italy.
Molina vs. Tomas
Molina retains the Spanish title by turning back the challenge of Tomas. After pocketing the points in the first round Molina floored Tomas in the second. He continued to boss the fight and with Tomas taking heavy punishment the referee halted proceedings in the sixth round. Sixth inside the distance victory for the 21-year-old fighter from Malaga who holds wins over 28-2-1 Ezequiel Fernandez and faded former WBA super fly champion Alex Munoz. Second shot at the title for Tomas who had drawn with Frank Urquiaga in February.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Bantam: Hiroaki Teshigawara (21-2-2) W KO 5 Shohei Kawashima (18-4-2). Champion Teshigawara too good for challenger Kawashima and puts him down and out in the fifth. Teshigawara was on Kawashima’s case from the opening bell using his jab to open Kawashima up and then putting together some solid combinations. At the end of the fourth the champion was in front 39-37 on two cards and 40-36 on the other. In the fifth Kawashima went for broke throwing rights but a left hook from Teshigawara knocked him over and he could not beat the count. Teshigawara retains the OPBF title for the second time with his fourteenth win by KO/TKO. A run of ten wins has seen him climb to No 7 (5) in the IBF ratings. Kawashima once put together a 16 bout unbeaten streak but is now 4-4 in his last eight outings.
Geneva, Switzerland: Super Feather: Patrick Kinigamazi (32-2) W PTS 12 Bongani Mahlangu (22-8). Successful fourth defence of the WBFederation title for Kinigamazi as he takes majority decision over veteran South African Mahlangu. The southpaw challenger lived up to his “Dancing Shoes” nickname as he led Kinigamazi a merry dance particularly over the early rounds. Kinigamazi just kept pressing and pressing and eventually the 40-year-old Mahlangu tired allowing Kinigamazi to dominate and get through with some heavy punches to emerge a deserved winner. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 114-114. Now fourteen wins in a row for Kinigamazi but at 36 the Rwandan-born boxer is unlikely to progress further. This is only the second fight in over two years for Mahlangu a former South African super bantamweight champion.
Indio, CA, USA: Welter: Vergil Ortiz (15-0) W KO 5 Brad Solomon (28-2). Super Middle: Bektemir Melikuziev (4-0) W PTS 10Vaughn Alexander (15-3). Light: Alberto Machado (22-2) W KO 2 Luis Porozo (14-2). Welter: Alexis Rocha (15-0) W RTD 5 Roberto Valenzuela (17-2). Super Light: Luis Feliciano (14-0) W PTS 10 Herbert Acevedo (16-3-1). Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (24-0) W KO 3 Saul Roman (45-14). Super Welter: Serhii Bohachuk (17-0) W KO 5 Carlos Galvan (17-10-1).
Ortiz vs. Solomon
Ortiz hounds experienced Solomon to defeat with a display of relentless pressure and punching power. Aware of Ortiz’s power Solomon was dancing and throwing light jabs in the first with Ortiz tracking him and having some success when he was able to pin Solomon against the ropes. Solomon fired occasional bursts of punches but was then quickly on the move again. Ortiz launched a series of ferocious attacks in the second and third. Solomon was pelting Ortiz with punches as he came forward but he had nothing in his arsenal to deter the young Texan. Solomon ducked, weaved , moved and fired back when he could but Ortiz was landing hard and often. Ortiz stepped up the pace in the fourth. He connected with a blazing combination and a straight right. Solomon took them without crumbling until a stiff left jab sat him down on his rump. He was shaken but easily beat the count. Ortiz was chasing and trying to land a finishing punch. Instead he landed a left hook well below the belt. Solomon took a couple of steps back expecting the referee to step in but with the referee making no move to do so Ortiz continued his attack until the bell. After an early burst of attacks from Solomon in the fifth Ortiz took over. He hounded Solomon around the ring banging home heavy shots to head and body. He connected with a couple of rights to the head which unhinged Solomon’s legs and another right saw Solomon go down on one knee. He was up at six but when the eight count was completed he looked as though he was inviting Ortiz to end the fight and as Ortiz was starting to let his punches fly Solomon caved in and just dropped to a knee in surrender and the referee halted the fight. Still only 21 Ortiz has the power and hand speed to be a world title challenger in 2020. He fights with a savage intensity that has brought him 15 wins by KO/TKO including respectable opposition in Mauricio Herrera and Antonio Orozco in his list of victims. He holds the WBA Gold title which he was defending here and would certainly be in with a good chance of winning against both the WBA champion Manny Pacquiao and WBA secondary champion Alex Besputin. Solomon, 36, has a great set of skills but no real power and is now a very rare sight in a boxing ring having had only one fight in 2017 and with his last fight being in April 2018.
Melikuziev vs. Alexander
Former top amateur Melikuziev wins his first pro title in only his fourth fight as he outpoints Alexander to pick up the vacant WBA Continental Americas belt. From the opening round the Uzbek southpaw dictated the fight with his right jabs that kept Alexander on the back foot. Melikuziev showed clever movement changing angles to find gaps for his left hooks. Alexander managed to get on the front foot in the middle rounds but just could not apply enough pressure to worry Melikuziev and simply did not throw enough punches. Melikuziev outscored Alexander in every round with his only concern being a cut over his left eye caused by a clash of heads in the seventh but that was never a factor. Scores 100-90 for Melikuziev from all three judges. The 23-year-old Uzbek won gold medals at the World Youth and Youth Olympics. He collected a silver medal at the 2015 World Championships and a bronze at the 2017 Championships as well as taking a silver at the 2016 Olympics. Alexander, 34, whose career was interrupted by an eleven year term in prison is 3-4 in his seven most recent contests
Machado vs. Porozo
Machado overwhelms Ecuadorian Porozo in two rounds. Machado took a round to figure out the awkward lunging style of Porozo. Early in the second Porozo landed a good right that unbalanced Machado but Machado looked to have scored a knockdown as he landed a couple of punches before Porozo went down on his knees. The referee did not apply a count then but he did on three other occasions all from body punches and Porozo was counted out. “El Explosivo” Machado, a former holder of the secondary WBA title super feather title, was having his first fight since consecutive inside the distance losses to Andrew Cancio. Porozo’s other loss was against unbeaten 16-0 Giovanni Mioletti. In his amateur days he competed at the 2008 Olympics and the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.
Rocha vs. Valenzuela
Rocha forces Valenzuela out of the fight on a fifth round retirement. Despite Valenzuela’s impressive looking 16 wins by KO/TKO in the end it was Rocha’s power that won the fight. Valenzuela was boring in from the start taking the fight inside. He stormed through the second showering Rocha with punches with Rocha rocked and almost swamped. Valenzuela had punched himself out and by the fourth Rocha was in control and he was driving Valenzuela back with Valenzuela seriously hurt by body punches and flagging. A right to the ribs saw Valenzuela sag and hold to survive but he retired at the end of the round. The 22-year-old southpaw from Santa Ana gets his tenth inside the distance victory in a successful third defence of WBC Continental Americas belt. Mexican Valenzuela, 20, has built his record on wins over sub-standard opponents and was found out here.
Feliciano vs. Acevedo
Feliciano takes wide majority decision over Acevedo. Both landed some good shots over the first two rounds with Feliciano’s jab just giving him the edge. The third was a big round for Feliciano. He shook Acevedo with a left to the head and then nailed him with a right that buckled Acevedo’s legs and he toppled to the floor. He was up at nine and had to soak up some more heavy shots but then traded punch for punch with Feliciano to the bell. To add to Acevedo’s woes he was also cut over the right eye by a punch. Acevedo walked through punishment to swap punches in the fourth and fifth and although his cut opened again to even things up a clash of heads saw Feliciano cut. They continued to wage war and eventually both fighters were cut over both eyes as they battled over the late rounds with the accuracy of Feliciano making the difference. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 97-92 for the 26-year-old from Milwaukee. He was US Under-19 champion and US National Champion but lost at both the US Final Qualifiers for the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. He retains the NABF title. Acevedo fought with guts in his first ten round contest.
Bazinyan vs. Roman
Armenian-born Canadian Bazinyan crushes Roman in three rounds. In the first Bazinyan was too quick for veteran Roman beating the Mexican to the jab and testing his chin with straight rights. Bazinyan went to work again in the second connecting with some sharp left hooks. A clash of heads saw Roam given a short break whilst he recovered. Bazinyan landed moor rights to the head and lefts to the body until heads clashed again. No cuts so the action continued with Bazinyan blasting Roman with those straight rights and lefts to the body and heads clashed again just before the bell. It was all over in the third in spectacular style. As Roman led with a weak jab Bazinyan came over the top with a right cross to the chin that put Roman on the floor on his back and the referee just waived the fight over. Now 18 wins inside the distance for 24-year-old Bazinyan. He is No 1 with the WBO which seems too rich a reward for beating David Zegarra and Francy Ntetu. He was sharp, accurate and punched hard here but the 39-year-old Roman looked his age.
Bohachuk vs. Galvan
Ukrainian Bohachuk floors Galvan three times in the fifth round to end this contest. The 24-year-old already has 17 wins by KO/TKO including victories over Freddy Hernandez and Tyrone Brunson. Colombian Galvan did well to last into the fifth.
Levallois-Perret, France: Light: Yves Mendy (44-5-1,1ND) W KO 6 Jaider Parra (33-3-1). Light Heavy: Mathieu Bauderlique (19-1) W TKO 5 Hugo Kasperski (33-10-1). Bantam: Elie Konki (9-0) W PTS 12 Sebastian Perez (12-1-1). Super Middle: Christian Mbilli (16-0) W TKO 8 KeAndrae Leatherwood (22-7-1).
Mendy vs. Parra
Mendy wins the vacant WBA Gold title with victory over Parra. An early night looked on the cards when in the opening round Mendy connected with a left jab and threw a right that just looked to have scraped past Parra’s body but sent Parra to the floor. It seemed more a case of Parra’s bad footwork opening himself up to a punch when he was off balance but he did seem hurt so it looked ominous for the Venezuelan oldie. He easily beat the count and saw out the round. The fight did not kick on from there. Mendy seemed over cautious at times as Parra showed he still had some power. Mendy got his act together and ended in style in the sixth. As Mendy came forward Parra landed a left hook to the body. Mendy countered with a right uppercut and a left hook and Parra stepped back and then went down heavily landing on his back and was counted out. The 34-year-old “French Lion” is 14-1 in his last fifteen fights with the loss being in a return match with his former victim Luke Campbell. Venezuelan Parra, 37, had won five in a row against very sub standard opposition but in January outpointed unbeaten 16-0 Fabian Maidana which probably said more about Maidana than it did about Parra.
Bauderlique vs. Kasperski
Southpaw Bauderlique adds another short route victory with stoppage of Kasperski. Bauderlique took the first two rounds with some heavy jabs and impressive power shots. In the third a four-punch combination to head and body dropped Kasperski to his knees and although he survived that he again had to take on board some more punishment in the fourth. Kasperski tried to take the fight to Bauderlique in the fifth but two rights to the head had him retreating under fire and as Bauderlique scored with more head punches the referee halted the fight. Seven inside the distance wins on the trot for the 30-year-old Olympic bronze medallist Bauderlique who was defending the WBA Inter-Continental title. He is ranked 13 by the WBA. Only the second inside the distance defeat for former French champion Kasperski.
Konki vs. Perez
Frenchman Konki boxes his way to the European title. Konki has no punch worth mentioning but he is tall for the weight at 5’7” has a long reach and highly developed defence skills. Perez just did not have the speed to match Konki but he pressed Konki all the way. He had a good third round when he briefly caught up with Konki but the challenger was quickly on the move again. Konki built a good lead but Perez managed to run him down often enough to make some rounds close. Perez landed with some heavy hooks in the ninth but Konki was constantly threading punches through the guard of Perez and took a deserved unanimous decision on scores of 117-111, 116-113 and 115-113 . “The Spider” a former elite level amateur in the French team was national champion four times and competed at the 2016 Olympics. Perez, 23, was defending the EU title for the first time after winning it in October last year.
Mbilli vs. Leatherwood
Mbilli scores devastating eighth round stoppage of Leatherwood. In his normal style Mbilli drove forward throwing big punches. Leatherwood was under pressure from bell to bell. He could not match Mbilli for power but used his experience to block or dodge the incoming shells. He made it into the last round but was backed into a corner. When tried to move out he was met with a fierce right that sent him back to the ropes then nailed with a clubbing right that had him out on his feet. Mbilli managed to land two more powerful rights to the head as the referee leapt in to stop the fight with Mbilli still trying to land rights even with the referee between them. The 24-year-old Montreal-based “Solide” has only had to go the distance once as a pro. He looks an animal but how far he can go will only become clear when he fights higher quality opposition. Leatherwood is 3-4 in his seven most recent contests.
Manezh, Russia: Super Middle: Fedor Chudinov (22-2) W PTS 12 Hassan N’Dam N’Jikam (37-5). Chudinov gets wide unanimous points win over N’Jikam. The strong Russian just kept walking down the fleet-footed N’Jikam who constantly circled the ring before divining in quickly with a burst of punches before going back to his circuits. As the fight progressed N’Jikam tired and spent more time and more time on the ropes and clinching. Chudinov kept banging to the body and N’Jikam looked in trouble a couple of times late in the fight but used his considerable experience-and some more clinching to go the distance. Scores 120-108 twice and 119-109 for Chudinov. The 32-year-old former WBA champion is No 1 with the WBA so in theory is the mandatory challenger for Callum Smith but Smith will be looking for a bigger fight than a defence against Chudinov perhaps an all-British clash with Billy Joe Saunders. Second loss in a row for N’Jikam having been stopped in three rounds by Smith in June
Miramar, FL, USA: Welter: Harold Calderon (22-0) W TKO 2 Krisztian Santa (16-14-2). Honduran southpaw Calderon blows away Hungarian Santa in two rounds. Fifteen wins by KO/TKO for 32-year-old Calderon. Poor Santa is 1-6 in his last 7 fights with all of his loses coming inside three rounds.
Brentwood, England: Light Heavy: Hosea Burton (25-1) W PTS 10 Bob Ajisafe (19-4). Light Heavy: Ricards Bolotniks (15-6-1) W TKO 1 Steve Ward (12-1). Light Heavy: Liam Conroy (18-5-1) W PTS 10 Andre Sterling (10-2). Light Heavy: Serge Michel (10-1) W PTS 10 Tommy Philbin (13-1) . Light Heavy: Dan Azeez (11-0) W PTS 10 Lawrence Osueke (9-1-1).
Burton vs. Ajisafe
Burton outpoints Ajisafe in a fight in the MTG Golden Contract tournament. It looked like a sensationally early finish as a right from Burton dumped Ajisafe on the floor after just six seconds. Ajisafe recovered to go the full route, He is an awkward opponent and although Burton was dangerous with rights he never really had Ajisafe in trouble again. Ajisafe came into the fight more over the second half but Burton outboxed him to take a well deserved unanimous decision. Scores 99-90, 98-91 and 99-92 for former British light heavy champion Burton who must now the favourite to win the tournament. Former undefeated British and Commonwealth champion Ajisafe only just counts as active with only one fight in each of years 2016,2017 and 2018 but was coming off a win in August.
Ward vs. Bolotniks
Bolotniks provides the surprise of the night as he blasts out unbeaten Ward inside a round. Bolotniks landed a long left late in the round that sent Ward down. He was up in plenty of time but Bolotniks took him to the ropes and a barrage of punches saw Ward drop to rest on the bottom rope for another count . After a right floored him for the third time the referee stopped the fight. Bolotniks proceeds to the semi-finals and wins the WBO European title held by Ward. The Belfast fighter will have to regroup after this shock loss.
Conroy vs. Sterling
Cumbrian Conroy boxes his way into the semi-finals with a unanimous decision over Londoner Sterling. The more experienced Conroy was pushed hard by Sterling but paced the fight well and opened a vital gap in the scoring by putting Sterling on the canvas in the seventh and had enough left in the tank stage a strong finish. All three judges had Conroy the winner but the scores varied at 98-91, 97-92 and 96-94. Former English champion Conroy was crushed in three rounds by Joshua Buatsi in a fight for the vacant British light heavyweight title in March and was defeated in June on a very close technical decision by Steven Ward . Former Southern Area champion Sterling gave a creditable performance in losing a unanimous decision to Craig Richards in June.
Michel vs. Philbin
This was another quarter final that featured a first round knockdown. The strong Michel, a former top amateur, put Scot Philbin down with a body punch in the opening round . The Scot took a while to get over that early shock but once he did he took the fight to Michel. The German boxed well within himself despite the pressure from Philbin and had a big lead going into the last. In the tenth a right from Michel floored Philbin for the second time just to punctuate Michel’s superiority. Scores 99-90 twice and 98-90 all for Michel. The Russian-born Michel , a former German amateur champion, competed at the 2016 Olympics and in the WSB. His only loss was a surprise stoppage against Canadian Ryan Ford in April. Philbin has fought as low as super middle and moved up from super middle for this tournament.
Azeez vs. Osueke
In a non-tournament fight Azeez wins the vacant English title with victory over Osueke. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 98-93 for Southern Area champion Azeez.. Big set-back for Osueke who was an outstanding amateur winning the British title three times but did not turn pro until 2018 at the age of 30.
Mexicali, Mexico: Feather: Diego De La Hoya (22-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Renson Robles (16-7). Super Feather: Roger Gutierrez (24-3-1) W PTS 10 Andres Tapia (16-8-3). Light: Luis Lopez (20-2) W TKO 5 Cristian Baez (18-1). Light: William Zepeda (20-0) W TKO 3 Jampier Oses (16-6-1).
De La Hoya vs. Robles
De La Hoya gets a win as he returns to the ring for the first time since losing his unbeaten record against Ronny Rios in July. De La Hoya had big physical advantages again a combative but limited Robles. De La Hoya built an early lead flooring Robles in the third and benefitting from the Venezuelan losing two points for low pinches but he showed signs of tiring late. Robles then took the opportunity to get into the fight more and upped his pace. De La Hoya was exhausted and holding through much of the tenth and lucky not to lose a point but he did enough to just take that round and the decision. Scores 99-89, 98-89 and 97-94 for De La Hoya who stated that he had injured his left hand in the second round. Not an impressive showing from De La Hoya. Robles had won his last three fights but over opponents with combined records of 1-7.
Gutierrez vs. Tapia
Venezuelan Gutierrez outpoints a durable Tapia for his fifth win in a row. Gutierrez was much the bigger man and handed out a one-sided beating to the gutsy local fighter who fought hard all the w\ay. Gutierrez was able to use his longer reach to score on the outside dominating the fight with relentless pressure with Tapia too busy defending himself to build and attacking momentum. Gutierrez dropped Tapia with a right in the seventh but Tapia saw out the round and lasted to the final bell fighting all the way. Scores 98-91 on all three cards for Gutierrez. He made a spectacular entry to the world ratings with a first round stoppage of Eduardo Hernandez in July snapping Hernandez’s unbeaten record after 28 victories. Tapia had scored victories in his last five fights but was in over his head here.
Lopez vs. Baez
Lopez gains revenge for Mexicali as he stops unbeaten Venezuelan Baez. Baez, rated No 7 by the WBA, seemed to have everything going for him- an unbeaten record with 17 of his 18 wins by KO.TKO, being taller at 5’8” to the 5’4” Lopez and with an 9cm edge in reach. Baez really did not make use of his physical advantages allowing Lopez to drag him into close quarter’s action where the more accurate work gave Lopez the edge. Lopez was also much quicker and was able to pierce Baez’s guard regularly. In the fifth Lopez exploded sending Baez down with a left hook and scoring two more knockdowns to finish the fight. Lopez is now 8-1 in his last 9 fights including a victory over 18-1 Ray Ximenez and giving unbeaten prospect Ruben Villa a good test before losing a close decision. Baez had scored wins in Panama and Colombia as well as Venezuela but as with many fighters from Venezuela there is some heavy padding in his record.
Zepeda vs. Oses
Mexican southpaw Zepeda records yet another inside the distance victory with third round win over Venezuelan Oses. There were plenty of fireworks in the opening round as Zepeda landed heavily to the body and Oses stepped back and knelt on the canvas. Zepeda was marching forward trying to get a quick win and landed two right hooks to the head only to be dropped himself by a left from Oses. Zepeda was up quickly and went back on the attack. He continued to take the fight to Oses in the second and floored Oses in the third with a body punch. Oses made it to his feet but was back on the canvas after a series of punches from Zepeda and was counted out. The 23-year-old Zepeda has 18 wins by KO/TKO including ten in his last ten fights. Not a great deal of quality in his victims but a couple of experienced fighter. Third inside the distance defeat for Oses.
Melbourne, Australia: Cruiser: Jason Whateley (7-0) W TKO 1 Daniel Russell (7-2-2).
Flashy Whatley floors champion Russell twice in first round to win the Australian title. Dancing with his hands down the showy Whateley had a big reach advantage which meant Russell had to lunge forward trying to get close. Whateley simply side-stepped Russell’s attack and then stepped forward with a right to the head which sent Russell sprawling on the canvas. He was quickly on his feet and threw himself at Whateley who danced and dodged then connected with a couple of rights to the head and backed to the ropes. When Russell again lunged forward Whateley again dodged resulting in Russell leaning on the ropes looking out into the crowd and whilst Russell was in that position with his back to him Whateley curved a right around Russell which landed on the side of Russell’s head and sent him down on his back. Russell grasped the ropes trying to get up but the towel came in from Russell’s corner. The excessive arrogance and showmanship of Whateley (he makes Tyson Fury look conventional) will not be to everyone’s taste. The 29-year-old 6’5” Whateley has six wins by KO/TKO. He is a former Australian national champion and he represented Australia at the 2013 and 2015 World Championships as well as the 2016 Olympics-he raised money by crowd funding to cover his training costs for Rio- but did not medal in those competitions. Russell was making the first defence of the national title.
Plovdiv, Bulgaria: Cruiser: Tervel Pulev (15-0) W PTS 10 DeShon Webster (12-3-2). Heavy: Bogdan Dinu (19-2) W TKO 4 Osborn Machimana (23-14-2). Light Heavy: Spas Genov (12-0) W PTS 8 Levan Shonia (15-18).
Pulev vs. Webster
Pulev takes decision over Webster in a dull one-sided contest. This was mainly a battle of the jabs early but Pulev had Webster hurt with a powerful left hook to the body in the second. That was about it for excitement. Pulev had the stronger jab but he was really only using it to set Webster up for right crosses. Webster changed his tactic s from trying to box with Pulev to rushing in head down. When he did manage to get inside he was either holding or finding his head trapped under Pulev’s arm. The pattern did not change and it was a boring contests with no highlights. Scores 118-110 twice and 120-108 for Pulev. He wins the vacant WBA International title and in the crazy world of the WBA beating Webster for that title will get him a world rating. Never mind the quality look at the lovely shiny title belt! And don’t forget to send the sanctioning fee. In the amateurs Pulev, 36, won a gold and two silver medals at the European Championships and took bronze at the London Olympics losing to Oleg Usyk in the semi-finals. He had older brother Kubrat in his corner for this fight. Webster had a couple of reasonable performance this year in outpointing Marcus Oliveira and drawing with Al Sands but he certainly underperformed in this one.
Dinu vs. Machimana
Romanian Dinu stops South African Machimana in four rounds but this was just one obscene farce. Although Dinu was 2” taller than Machimana the South African at 323lbs was 75lbs heavier and most of it was around his middle. Dinu spent three rounds beating on the ponderous Machimana who absorbed the punches without throwing much back. In the fourth Dinu was again beating on Machimana who was propped up on the ropes. Dinu backed off and Machimana took a few steps forward but after a couple more punches the towel came in from Machimana’s corner which was strange timing. Other than putting some money in his pocket this farce will have done nothing towards rebuilding Dinu after consecutive losses to Jarrell Miller and Kubrat Pulev. Machimana had been knocked out in one round in a fight in September. Why anyone puts the obese Machimana on their show is a mystery to me.
Genov vs. Shonia
Genov makes one of his rare appearances and outpoints Georgian Shonia. Scores 79-73 twice and 79-74. Now 38 Genov won a trunk full of gold medals at some of the most prestigious tournaments on the European circuit but has had just 12 fights in 11 years as a pro. Poor Shonia is 1-12 in his last 13 outings.
Ensenada, Mexico: Super Welter: Carlos Ocampo (27-1) W RTD 4 Adolfo Moreschi (11-5). Super Welter: Omar Aguilar (16-0) W KO 3 Francisco Hernandez (12-2-1).
Ocampo continues his campaign to pad his record with easy wins as he beats down Argentinian novice Moreschi. From the first bell Ocampo bossed the fight connecting with accurate shots to the body. Moreschi did his best to counter but he just did not have the power or the experience to deal with Ocampo. After four one-sided rounds Moreschi stayed in his corner and did not come out for the fifth. Since his first round kayo loss against Errol Spencer for the IBF title in June last year Ocampo had fed on five relative novices. Moreschi was 1-3 in four domestic fights going into this one.
Aguilar vs. Hernandez
Angular was to have faced his first test of any kind against a fighter with a 16-0-1 record but somehow that was changed late and he had an easier job on his hands against Hernandez. Having said that he made it harder than it should have been. He put Hernandez down in the second and then down again and out in the third. The 20-year-old local showed the power that had seen him score eight first round victories in his first eight fights but also showed his defensive weaknesses as Hernandez was able to score with his jabs and some hard uppercuts before succumbing in the third.
Bogo, Philippines: Super Bantam: Jeo Santisima (19-2) W RTD 3 Rene Dacquel (20-10-1). Too easy for Santisima as he pounds on a faded Dacquel for three rounds before Dacquel retires in his corner. Twenty-three-year-old Santisima has won his last 17 fights 15 of them inside the distance. Former OPBF super fly champion Dacquel had lost his last three fights but those losses include going the distance with Andrew Moloney and only being defeated on a split decision by South African Yanga Sigqibo in a fight for the vacant WBC International title but he was poor in this one.
Manila, Philippines: Super Fly: Cris Paulino (21-4) W PTS 12 Mateo Handig (15-21). Super Feather: Dave Penalosa (16-1) W TKO 1 Virgil Puton (18-14-2). Bantam: Rey Gaballo (23-0) W TKO 6 Kongfah (32-3).
Paulino vs. Handig
Paulino wins the vacant Philippines title with decision over Handig. The 26-year-old southpaw has won 7 of his last 8 fight losing only to Jason Moloney in that sequence. Fellow southpaw Handig suffers his fifth loss in a row.
Penalosa vs. Puton
Penalosa blasts out a gutsy Puton in the first. Penalosa softened Puton up with a succession of body punches that forced Puton to the canvas. He looked very unsteady but was allowed to continue. Penalosa sunk more vicious hooks into the body of Puton who tried to punch with Penalosa. As Penalosa piled on the punches Puton looked to be out on his feet but somehow still pushed out punches and refused to go down and the referee stepped in to save him. First fight for southpaw Penalosa since losing on points to Lerato Dlamini for the WBC Silver title in July. Puton is 1-6-2 in his last 9 fights and needs protecting from himself.
Gaballo vs. Kongfah
Former undefeated interim WBA bantam champion batters Thai Kongfah to defeat in six rounds. Gaballo wound up the pressure round by round slowly breaking down the Thai. In the sixth a right to the head sent Kongfah back into a corner spread-eagled against the ring post. The fight should have been stopped then but instead Gaballo continued to land rights as poor Kongfah stumbled to-and-fro along the ropes with no defence and out on his feet. Finally the fight was stopped six or seven punches later than it should have been. The 23-year-old General Santos City “Assassin” goes to 20 wins by KO/TKO . The bantamweight is a tough division but Gaballo looks a danger man. First inside the distance defeat for Kongfah (Chaiwat Buatkrathok) .
Koscierzyna, Poland: Cruiser: Nikodem Jezewski (18-0-1,1ND) W PTS 8 Tamas Lodi (20-13-1). Fighting in his home town Jezewski celebrates being designated official challenger for the vacant European Union title with victory over Hungarian Lodi. Jezewski put Lodi down in the seventh but was unable to put him away and had to settle for a points win. Scores 80-72 twice and 79-71 for Jezewski. The 6’3”, 28-year-old Jezewski is waiting to find out who his opponent will be for the EU title fight. Lodi drops to 2-7 in his last 9 fights.
Cape Town, South Africa: Heavy: Thembani Mbangatha (11-0) W TKO 2 Aphiwe Masengwana (8-4). Feather : Abdul Aziz Kunert (10-0) W TKO 1 Mfusi Maxhayi (14-8-1).
Mbangatha vs. Masengwana
Former WBFederation African champion Mbangatha floors Masengwana in the first and repeats the feat in the second to stop Masengwana. Five wins by KO/TKO for “Baby Jake” the South African No 5. Masengwana the South African No 2 had won 3 of his last 4 fights
Kunert v. Maxhayi
Local prospect Kunert crashes the national rankings with first round stoppage of more experienced Maxhayi. Only the second inside the distance win for the 25-year-old Kunert. Southpaw Maxhayi a former South African super bantamweight title challenger was ranked No 3 and had won his last three fights. Kunert and Mbangatha will probably meet next year to settle local bragging rights. South African heavyweight champion Ruann Visser was to have been in the main event on this show but whilst waiting in the ring for the introductions he leant back against the ropes as boxers often do but the ropes collapsed and he fell out of the ring and after being examined by a doctor it was decided he should not fight.
Zaragoza, Spain: Super Welter: Ezequiel Gurria (12-0) W Jony Vina (9-4). Neighbourhood fighter Gurria collects the vacant Spanish title with points victory over Vina. Gurria had the better skills and floored Vina early in the third with a left hook. Vina managed to beat the count but was never really in the fight to any significant degree and Gurria was a comfortable winner. All three judges gave him the decision on scores of 98-91. He will now be looking to make his first defence against David Soria early in 2020. Former Spanish welterweight title challenger Vina had won his last two fights and only quality punchers Josh Kelly and Aitor Nieto have beaten him inside the distance.
Fribourg, Switzerland: Cruiser: Benoit Huber (6-1) W Seid Dzemaili (8-0) Huber comes from behind to win the vacant national cruiser title with late stoppage of Dzemaili. Huber attacked hard early with Dzemaili under a lot of pressure but staying cool and collected. Huber’s defence is not too sound and Dzemaili began to find gaps and connect with some heavy punches. Huber fought back but was behind on two cards at the start of the tenth. He turned things around by shaking Dzemaili and then putting him down with a left hook with the referee stopping the fight with less than one minute remaining. Five wins by KO/TKO now for the 32-year-old new champion who did not turn pro until he was 31. Southpaw Dzemaili will be hoping for a return match next year.
Fight of the week (Significance): Shared between Terrence Crawford’s win over Egidijus Kavaliauskas and Teo Lopez’s victory over Richard Commey. Both have some big fights out there for them
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Nothing stood out for sheer action from bell to bell
Fighter of the week: Teo Lopez for his crushing win over a never before stopped tough Richard Commey
Punch of the week: So many to chose from. I go for the right that Lopez drilled Commey with but the right uppercut from Crawford that unhinged the legs of challenger Kavaliauskas and the right cross from Erik Bazinyan that ended any interest Saul Roman had in their fight were special
Upset of the week: No biggies although Ricards Bolotniks stopping Steve Ward inside a round was something of a surprise
Prospect watch: Uzbek Bektemir Melikuziev , 23,a silver medal winner in Rio won his first pro title in his fourth fight so could go far.
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