The Past Week in Action 11 February 2020
-Gary Russell decisions Tugstsogt Nyambayar to retain WBC featherweight title
-Guillermo Rigondeaux wins vacant secondary WBA bantamweight title outpointing Liborio Solis
-Kid Galahad stops Claudio Marrero and Kell Brook knocks out Mark DeLuca in a British winning double
-Artem Dalakian outpoints Josber Perez and holds on to WBA flyweight belt
-Wilfredo Mendez halts Gabriel Mendoza in WBO minimumweight title defence
-Kevin Lerena retains IBO cruiser title with stoppage of Firat Arslan
-Daniel Matellon wins the vacant WBA interim flyweight title with majority decision over Erik Lopez
-Luis Concepcion wins the vacant WBA interim flyweight title with stoppage of Rober Barrera
WORLD TITLE/ MAJOR SHOWS
Panama City, Panama: Light Fly: Daniel Matellon (11-0-2) W PTS 12 Erik Lopez (14-5-1). Fly: Luis Concepcion (39-8) W TKO 11 Rober Barrera (23-3). Minimumweight: Leyman Benavides (17-6-1) W PTS 12 Carlos Ortega (14-6-3) . Bantam: Leosdan Nunez (11-0) W TKO 1 Javier Martinez (12-4). Super Feather: Pablo Vicente (16-1,1ND) W TKO 4 Eder Espitia (11-3-4). Feather: Bryan De Gracia (26-2-1) W TKO 3 Freddy Lainez (5-2).
Matellon vs. Lopez
Cuban Matellon wins the vacant interim WBA title with majority decision over Mexican Lopez. In the first round Matellon was finding gaps for his left jab but Lopez set him back on his heels with a left hook. Matellon responded by staggering Lopez with left hook and a right cross. Matellon had big edges in height and reach and was scoring at distant before moving in to fire impressive combinations. Lopez looked to be in over his head. Matellon had no trouble outboxing Lopez over the third and fourth. Lopez finally got into the fight from the fifth. Sometimes he was storming past Matellon’s jab forcing the Cuban to the ropes and firing body punches and on other occasions backing to the ropes inviting Matellon in and then countering. Lopez continued to vary his tactics and was taunting Matellon at times and outpunching him as he took the sixth. Matellon landed enough to take the seventh but it was no longer a one-sided fight and fierce attacks from Lopez made the eighth close. These two obviously believed that attack was the best form of defence as for twelve rounds they went toe-toe with neither fighter willing to take a step back. Matellon reasserted himself in the ninth as Lopez was throwing punches that had people on the street outside ducking and although Lopez showed more restraint in the tenth Matellon was now using his superior skills to outbox Lopez instead of punching with him and the Cuban looked to have taken control again. He was cruising in the eleven until Lopez sent him staggering along the ropes with a right to the head and then twice pinned Matellon in a corner and pounded him with punches with Matellon in real trouble at the bell. Matellon came out punching in the last until a left hook from Lopez sent him back on his heels and he spent the rest of the round running and holding. Scores 116-112 twice for Matellon and 114-114 although Matellon looked a clear winner. The 32-year-old Cuban showed the classy skills and hand speed we have come to expect from Cuban fighters but he has never come close to facing a real test and he certainly flagged late in this one. Lopez tried hard and set Matellon some problems but he was far too small and crude to win other by a knockout and that never came.
Concepcion vs. Barrera
Concepcion breathes some life back into his career as he stops Barrera in eleven rounds to win the WBA interim title. Barrera boxed well in the first spearing Concepcion with sharp right jabs and mixing in left crosses. Concepcion was hunting Barrera down but The Colombian showed good defensive work. Concepcion upped the pressure in the second . He was walking forward into some great shots from Barrera and firing punches of his own until a series of head punches saw Barrera go down on his knees. He was up quickly indicating he had slipped but it was a 10-8 round for Concepcion. Barrera outboxed Concepcion in the third and landed a series of lefts to the body but Concepcion again upped the pace to take the fourth. The fifth was fairly even but the accuracy from Barrera just gave him the edge. He had a big sixth connecting time and again with lefts to the head and had Concepion’s head snapping back with jabs. The seventh was close but Conception took it. Concepcion pressed hard again in the eight and although Barrera looked to be tiring he was landing constantly on a wide-open Concepcion but his punch output had dropped and there was no longer any snap in his punches. Although in front on the cards Barrera just could not keep Concepcion out in the ninth. Barrera switched to orthodox for much of the tenth and continued to find the target but his punches were just bouncing off Concepcion and two rights almost drove Barrera out through the ropes. Concepcion ended it in the eleventh. A right to the head sent Barrera stumbling back and down in a corner. He was up at six and was unsteady but the referee let the fight continue and two more right sent Barrera back to the ropes and the referee stopped the fight. Concepcion qualified to fight for the interim title by losing to Andrew Moloney and Alex Marin neither of whom are anywhere in the WBA ratings. Once again the 34-year-old Panamanian’s punch proves decisive. Barrera’s other losses have come against Carlos Canizales, the current holder of the secondary WBA light fly title and Ryoichi Taguchi for the same title.
Benavides vs., Ortega
Benavides floors and decisions Ortega. These two obviously believed that attack was the best form of defence as for twelve rounds they went toe-toe with neither fighter willing to take a step back. Hardly a jab in sight as neither had the punching room to fire one. Benavides had the edge in that he was targeting his shots whereas Ortega was often just pumping out punches with his head down. The only time the referee came into the fight was when a right followed by a left hook from Benavides dumped Ortega in a corner. In a move typical of the fight Ortega got up and proceeded to drive Benavides back under a storm of punches. A great fight. Scores 117-110 twice and 118-109 for Nicaraguan Benavides who has scored seven wins in his last eight fights including a victory over current WBO champion Wilfredo Mendez. Local fighter Ortega is a former WBC Silver champion and was 3-0-1 before this one.
Nunez vs. Martinez
Nunez obliterates Martine. Nunez put Martinez down and almost out through the bottom rope with a succession of brutal left hooks and rights to the head. Martinez made it to his feet and after a long look the referee decided to let the fight continue. Nunez jumped on Martinez crashing home a couple of rights and the referee quickly came in and stopped the .fight after just 94 seconds. Fifth win by KO/TKO for the 25-year-old Cuban. He is No 9 with the WBA and retains the WBA Fedelatin belt. He won silver and bronze in the Cuban championships but never gold. Fourth time Colombian Martinez has failed to last the distance.
Vincent vs. Espitia
Cuban Vincent defends his WBA Fedelatin belt with stoppage of Espitia. The 26-year-old Panama-based Vincent has 14 wins by KO/TKO with his only defeat being a controversial split decision against Marcos Villasana Jr in 2018. Venezuelan Espitia is now 5-2-3 in his last 10.
De Gracia vs. Lainez
Just a night out with the boys for De Gracia as he halts Lines in three rounds and collects the vacant WBA Fedecentro title.”The Rock” the WBA No 6, has 22 wins by KO/TKO . Novice Lainez really just a prelim fighter but still good enough for the WBA to get a sanction fee out of.
Allentown, PA, USA: Feather: Gary Russell Jr. (31-1) W PTS 12 Tugstsogt Nyambayar (11-1). Bantam: Guillermo Rigondeaux (20-1) W PTS 12 Liborio Solis (30-6-1). Super Feather: Jaime Arboleda (16-1) W PTS 12 Jayson Velez (29-6-1). Super Light: Gary Antuanne Russell (13-0) W KO 1 Jose Marrufo (12-10-2). Super Welter: Jamontay Clark (15-1-1) W PTS 8 Anthony Lenk (16-7). Bantam: Gary Antonio Russell (17-0) W DISQ 6 Jesus Martinez (27-11)
Russell vs. Nyambayar
Fifth defence of the WBC title for Russell and he proves too quick and too clever for the challenger and wins comfortably.
Classy boxing from Russell. He was shooting his right jab through Nyambayar’s defence following with quick rights and using fleet footwork to get away. When Nyambayar did throw punches Russell countered him with short hooks.
Score: 10-9 Russell
Another master class from Russell. His jab was darting out and finding the target and he was also connecting with left leads. Nyambayar was just plodding after Russell and bemused by Russell’s movement he was freezing on his punches and throwing very little.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 20-18
Nyambayar did a lot of clever bobbing and weaving but was still not throwing enough punches. Russell continued to pick up the points with his jab and occasional bursts of punches. Nyambayar pressed harder than in the first two rounds but was still not landing anything of note.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 30-27
A closer round as Russell did not throw as many punches and was short with his jab for much of the time. Nyambayar landed a couple of body punches but the jabs Russell did land and some quick flurries with both hands give him the round.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 40-36
Official Scores: Judge David Bilocerkowec 40-36 Russell Judge Glenn Feldman 40-36 Russell, Judge John McKaie 40-36 Russell
Finally a round for Nyambayar. He pressed harder connected with some jabs and straight rights and landed to the body when he caught Russell on the ropes. He was also blocking or ducking Russell’s jabs and Russell was not using his left.
Score: 10-9 Nyambayar Russell 49-46
A close round as Russell chose to stand and trade a couple of times. Russell was sneaking home jabs but also short with many and Nyambayar had some success when they traded and landing his own jabs and just took the round.
Score: 10-9 Nyambayar Russell 58-56
Russell regained control as he changed his tactics a couple of times in the round. He started by taking the fight to Nyambayar and punched with Nyambayar. His superior hand speed and better defence won those exchanges. He then went on the back foot which allowed Nyambayar a toe-hold in the round but then Russell again took the fight to Nyambayar scoring with blazing combinations before backing off again.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 68-65
Russell was back in the groove. Nothing spectacular just on target jabs, quick bursts of punches and dodging and diving around the slower Nyambayar. The challenger was holding back looking to land single big punches but Russell was too elusive to present Nyambayar with a chance.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 78-74
Official Scores: Judge Bilocerkowec 79-73 Russell, Judge Feldman 78-74 Russell, Judge McKaie 78-74 Russell
Russell made this a good round for Nyambayar. For much of the round he stood in front of the Mongolian throwing punches. That meant that Nyambayar wasn’t having to chase down Russell or wait to throw his punches. As a result Nyambayar was throwing more and having more success with strong jabs, straight rights and body shots. Russell was getting through with his punches but not enough.
Score: 10-9 Nyambayar Russell 87-84
Despite that success Nyambayar was running out of rounds so the tenth was critical and Russell captured it. There was no standing and exchanging punches. Russell was jabbing, moving and changing angles. He scored well with lead rights and although Nyambayar had some success when he could pin Russell down he had no answer to the speed and accuracy of the champions punches.
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 97-93
Another change of tactics from Russell. For the whole three minutes he walked forward taking the fight inside and outworking Nyambayar. He kept pumping out punches to the body and denying Nyambayar any punching room. Nyambayar did manage to land some seriously good body punches but the quality and the quantity came from Russell
Score: 10-9 Russell Russell 107-102
No heroics in the final round. It was close but for me Nyambayar worked harder and just outscored Russell.
Score: 10-9 Nyambayar Russell 116-112
Comprehensive victory for Russell. He was too quick and too clever for Nyambayar and made th4 Mongolian look pedestrian at times. I can’t see Russell getting a chance to reverse his loss to Vasyl Lomachenko now that Lomachenko is campaigning at lightweight. If Russell is to leave a substantial legacy he is going to have to fight more often. Just one fight a year 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 won’t cut it and the big fights for him out there are against Leo Santa Cruz, Josh Warrington or Shakur Stevenson but none of those fights are on the horizon. This was Nyambayar’s first fight for almost thirteen months so he was lucky to still be No 1 with the WBC. He really was just too slow and predictable but he could fight his way into another title shot down the line.
Rigondeaux vs. Solis
After a slow start Rigondeaux floors Solis in the seventh and then sweeps the late rounds to win the secondary WBA title on a split decision over Solis but it is a fight very low on entertainment value.
Wow! Solis came tearing out of his corner throwing punches. He was in close firing hooks from both hands working hard to the body. Rigondeaux was caught by surprise but he landed a couple of strong straight lefts in the middle of the round before Solis again moved inside flailing away to Rigondeaux’s body.
Score: 10-9 Solis
What a contrast. Hardly a punch thrown in anger in this round. They just probed and tapped gloves with the few punches that were thrown and landed came from Solis but you could count them on one hand and still have enough fingers to make a rude gesture.
Score: 10-9 Solis Solis 20-18
Again more probing than punching. Solis was tracking Rigondeaux but just not able to trap the crafty Cuban. Of the punches landed the pick was a lightning quick straight left from Rigondeaux which sent Solis back on his heels, but another poor round as they snarled at each other but did not back up their words.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Solis 29-28
Another round of posing with very little punching. Solis was the one forcing the fight but Rigondeaux was not giving him many openings. The Cuban looked dangerous when he threw his left but he was rationing himself to one a round. They both mocked each other but didn’t make any attempt to mug each other. Few punches with Solis just landing one or two more than Rigondeaux and the scores reflected how difficult it was to score such a low punch output fight,.
Score: 10-9 Solis Solis 39-37
Official Scores: Judge Don Ackerman 40-36 Solis, Judge Ron McNair 39-37 Rigondeaux, Judge Kevin Morgan 38-38
After a slow start they finally began to throw punches. Solis was still coming forward but just could not nail down Rigondeaux and the Cuban fired some fierce straight lefts that stopped Solis in his tracks, Solis threw his arms open taunting the constantly retreating Rigondeaux who paid him back with a quality left before doing a dance. Not the sort of entertainment the fans were paying for.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Solis 48-47
Not difficult to sort out who won this one. Solis threw about ten rights and landed with half of them and whilst Rigondeaux put on a brilliant display of defensive movement he threw less than five punches.
Score: 10-9 Solis Solis 58-56
Rigondeaux had looked dangerous when he threw the left with purpose and he started this round by connecting with two. A third one blasted into the body of Solis and froze him to the spot for a second. Seeing he was hurt Rigondeaux leapt forward knocking Solis into the ropes with two rights. Solis slid down the ropes which were holding him up and as the referee came forward Rigondeaux landed another left . The referee stepped in and gave a standing count to Solis. After the count Rigondeaux landed two more lefts and Solis looked shaky but then Rigondeaux stopped punching and hardly threw another blow in the round.
Score: 10-8 Rigondeaux TIED 66-66
Solis hunted Rigondeaux in vain. The Cuban was too quick and too slippery. Again he was parsimonious with his punches but he was landing an occasional snappy jab and countering Solis on the way in to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Rigondeaux 76-75
Official Scores: Judge Ackerman 77-74 Solis, Judge McNair 78-73 Rigondeaux, Judge Morgan 76-75 Solis
A repeat of round eight except that Rigondeaux landed a couple of laser-like lefts late in the round. Solis chased but just could not find the elusive Rigondeaux and was again being caught with an occasional counter.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Rigondeaux 86-84
The tenth was going the same way until Solis lunged at Rigondeaux against the ropes. Rigondeaux spun off the ropes and blasted Solis with a left to the head that badly staggered Solis. Rigondeaux landed a couple more lefts but then Solis steadied himself and fought his way off the ropes. Rigondeaux did not press his attack but landed some more lefts before the bell.
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Rigondeaux 96-93
Rigondeaux was serious for the first minute poking Solis with right jabs and a few lefts then he decided to showboat instead and spent the rest of the round doing little dances around Solis who was just lunging forward trying to land a punch but could not lay a glove on Rigondeaux,
Score: 10-9 Rigondeaux Rigondeaux 106-102
Rigondeaux danced and clowned his way through the last . He threw and landed a few jabs, a very few, and Solis chased shadows but did land some jabs and a couple of rights to take the round.
Score: 10-9 Solis Rigondeaux 115-112
Official Scores: Judge Ackerman 115-112 Solis, Judge McNair 116-111 Rigondeaux, Judge Morgan 115-112 Rigondeaux
Rigondeaux wins the vacant secondary WBA title (Naoya Inoue is the real champion). The 39-year-old Cuban southpaw is a master of defence but as in this fight sees no need to entertain or take chances. He has impressive speed and power in his left but uses it sparingly and often frustrates both his opponent and the fans. It’s like saying he is a great cook but the food is awful. His ability might give Inoue nightmares and there not that many good fights out there for him other than Inoue (or John Riel Casimero of course). Former WBA super fly champion Solis is 37 and it is difficult to see where goes from here and he can only hope he gets a chance as a voluntary challenger but it will have to happen soon.
Arboleda vs. Velez
Arboleda gets split decision verdict over Velez but has to survive a desperate last round in an outstanding back-and-forth contest . The early rounds were close with both landing some heavy shots but with Velez having the edge and moving into the lead. Arboleda broke through in the fourth and fifth rocking Velez with a left hook in the fourth and clobbering him with a right in the fifth, Arboleda built on that success to outpunch Velez through the middle rounds but Velez had a good eighth. A clash of heads opened a cut over Velez’s right in the ninth which was a good round for Arboleda and by the end of the eleventh he had built a winning lead on two cards. That nearly counted for nothing in the last as Velez landed a succession of head punches including a right to the head that sent Arboleda reeling back and down. He was up quickly and when the action resumed Velez bombarded him with punches staggering him a couple more times but Arboleda punched back just enough for the referee to let him continue and he made it to the final bell. Scores 114-113 twice for Arboleda and 115-112 for Velez. Five inside the distance wins have brought Arboleda a No 10 position with the WBA but with Velez at No 3 this was recognised as an eliminator so could lead to a shot at real WBA champion Leo Santa Cruz or secondary champion Rene Alvarado. Velez, 31, had rebounded from a beating handed to him by Ryan Garcia with victories over Orlando Cruz and Victor Terrazas but this loss will scupper whatever hopes he had of a title shot.
Russell vs. Marrufo
Another quick win for Russell as he maintains his 100% record of inside the distance finishes. An over ambitious Marrufo decided to take the fight to Russell and was doing that until a right from Russell knocked him down and out at the 2:12 mark of the opening round. The 23-year-old Antuanne has taken less 23 rounds for his 13 inside the distance wins and has yet to go past the fourth round. As with his brother he is right-handed but fights as a southpaws . A former National Golden Gloves champion he beat Jaron Ennis twice in the US Olympic Trials but in Rio lost 2-1 in the quarter-finals to the eventual gold medallist Fazliddin Gaibnazarov. He is ready for much better opposition. Phoenix-based Mexican Marrufo with five losses by KO/TKO no sort of test for Russell.
Clark vs. Lenk
Clark gets unanimous decision over Lenk. He has struggled to impress in recent fights but had too much talent for Lenk. Clark made good use of his 6” advantage in height and longer reach and also found the target regularly with southpaw lefts to the head. Lenk fired briefly in the fourth staggering Clark with a right but other than that Clark was a comfortable winner. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74. Clark’s only loss a wide unanimous verdict against the now IBF super welter champion Jeison Rosales in 2018 but he has been unimpressive in his outings since then. Fellow-southpaw Lenk has won only two of his last eight fights.
Russell vs. Martinez
Russell gets disqualification win as Martinez is thrown out. The middle of the three Russell brothers on the card Gary Antonio was well on his way to victory after taking the first five rounds when the referee lost patience with the low blows and holding from Martinez and disqualified him in the sixth. The 27-year-old is a former National Golden Gloves champion. Colombian Martinez, 39, was 23-1 until losing to Luis Nery in 2017 so it has been a long downward slope since then.
Panama City, Panama: Minimumweight: Wilfredo Mendez (16-1) W TKO 9 Gabriel Mendoza (30-7-2). Super Bantam: Jose Estrada (11-2-1 W PTS 10 Luis Lebron (17-2-1). Feather: Jose Nunez (10-0-1) W PTS 8 Francisco Ramirez (10-2). Bantam: Orlando Penalba (10-0) W PTS 10 Keiver Fernandez (20-1-1) .
Mendez vs. Mendoza
Puerto Rican Mendez batters a game Mendoza to defeat in the second defence of the WBO title.“Bambito” Mendez was 17 years younger and taller with a longer reach and he started out boxing on the back foot spearing Mendoza with southpaw jabs and easily evading the challengers attacks. Mendoza kept padding forward in the second but was constantly caught on the end of Mendez’s jab and if he got past that then Mendez clobbered him with straight lefts. Mendoza was lunging and lurching forward in the third and Mendez was starting to double up on his jab and put some combinations together. They banged heads early in the fourth but luckily no damage was done and Mendoza had some success with body punches as he continued to march forward. Mendez began to load-up on his punches more in the fifth and was digging in plenty of body shots with Mendoza starting to tire. Mendoza had slowed completely in the sixth and as Mendez continued to land hooks to the body and add in flashing straight lefts Mendoza was wilting. It was one-way traffic in the seventh as Mendez was now the one coming forward raking Mendoza with hooks and uppercuts and a cut had opened over the right eye of Mendoza. More punishment from Mendez in the eighth and the referee had the doctor examine Mendoza’s cut but he was allowed to continue. Mendez was connecting with heavy head punches and the blood was affecting Mendoza’s vision so the end was near. Mendoza tried to take the fight to Mendez in the ninth but a succession of lefts to the head staggered Mendoza and the referee stepped in to save him. The 23-year-old from Trujillo Alto gets his sixth inside the distance victory but there will be tougher tests that this with the 40-year-old Mendoza being slipped into the ratings at No 14 for this fight.
Estrada vs. Lebron
The strength and tenacity of Estrada overcomes the classier boxing of Lebron as he walks away with a unanimous decision in a spirited contest. Lebron seemed comfortably in charge over the opening rounds moving well countering the advancing Estrada with jabs and left hooks to the body and by the third Estrada was heavily bruised under both eyes. Lebron was outboxing Estrada but the problem was that he could not stop the Mexican marching forward. Estrada was connecting with vicious body punches which slowed Lebron and he floored Lebron in the seventh with a thunderous right uppercut .Lebron boxed and held to the bell but he was under pressure from the Mexican over the closing rounds and although Estrada’s face looked that of the loser his power had given him a well deserved upset win and the vacant WBO Latino title. Scores 96-92 for Estrada on all cards. Seven wins in a row for the former Mexican champion but only the second fight in fifteen months. Puerto Rican Lebron goes from 16 straight wins to 1-2 in his last three fights.
Nunez vs. Ramirez
Local prospect “Magnifico” Nunez decisions Ramirez in a youthful contest. Nunez put Ramirez down in the fourth and had him in trouble on other occasions in the fight to emerge a clear winner. Scores 80-71 twice and 78-73 for the 21-year-old southpaw who collects the WBO Youth belt. Ramirez, 19, was on a five-bout winning run before this fight.
Penalba vs. Fernandez
Local fighter Penalba takes split decision over an unlucky Fernandez. Venezuelan Fernandez had the longer reach and the greater experience and he forced the fight from the first bell to the last. Penalba countered well but Fernandez was outscoring him in a competitive and entertaining fight. Fernandez was harshly deducted a point in the fifth and the seventh for low blows which cost him the decision. Scores 94-93 twice for Penalba and a more reflective 95-92 for Fernandez. Penalba, 23, a former Panamanian amateur champion, lifts the vacant WBO Latino title in his first ten round fight . Impressive looking record for Fernandez but his last eight victims had amassed only three wins between them so lots of padding in there.
Kiev, Ukraine: Fly: Artem Dalakian (20-0) W PTS 12 Josber Perez (17-3).
Dalakian vs. Perez
Dalakian has no trouble retaining the WBA title with wide unanimous decision over Perez in an unspectacular fight that features too much holding.
Dalakian was content to box on the back foot and let Perez come to him then spearing the Venezuelan with jabs and stepping in with a cluster of punches before Perez could counter. Perez was coming forward in a straight line and slowly which suited Dalakian.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian
The second was a closer round as Perez upped his pace and connected with a couple of rights to the head. Dalakian continued to pierce Perez’s guard with quick jabs and step in quickly with a little flurry of punches and just edge the round.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 20-18
Dalakian was on the front foot more in the third. He was slotting jabs through the guard of Perez and scoring well inside. A combination of two jabs and two hooks to the body were typical of his work and he was tying Perez up and holding inside.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 30-27
Dalakian opened this one with a series of jabs and some body punches. Perez was trying to get into the fight but Dalakian fists and footwork were too quick for him. When he did get close Dalakian was just grabbing and holding and getting away with it.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 40-36
After Dalakian opened the round with another series of jabs Perez managed to trap him on the ropes and the first real exchanged of punches ensued, Perez was able to landed some good hooks but Dalakian had the better of the exchange and scored with more jabs and hooks later in the round.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 50-45
Dalakian continued to throw quick jabs and a couple of quick hooks. Perez just tried to walk through them but when he did Dalakian just grabbed and held until the referee prised them apart. Perez had brief success with some hooks but Dalakian kept finding gaps for his jabs.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 60-54
No way into the fight for Perez. Dalakian’s hands were too quick and his footwork was too slick. Dalakian was bouncing jabs off Perez then firing typical quick bursts and then typically holding and holding to prevent Perez doing any work inside. It was effective but not exactly entertaining. My nightmare would be Dalakian vs. Rigondeaux.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 70-63
A round for Perez. He pressed hard closing the distance quickly and doing some work inside before Dalakian grabbed him and held. He kept hustling Dalakian with the champion not able to use his jab quickly enough and what scoring there was came from Perez . Weak refereeing was allowing Dalakian to continually hold.
Score: 10-9 Perez Dalakian 79-73
Dalakian was in control again. Perez did not show as much aggression and Dalakian was able to score with his jab and some straight rights. He was darting in with a punch and then holding and Perez was just not able to do any work inside or at distance.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 89-82
Dalakian’s round. He was shooting his jab home and leaping in with rights to the head. He drove Perez across the ring with a series of jabs and his speed and movement were too much for Perez to land anything useful.
Score:10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 99-91
Not a great round but what little clean work there was came in very short spells from Dalakian. On four occasions Perez threw his arms wide to show he was not holding but no action from the referee- Kiev being Dalakian’s home. Having said that he was just too mobile for Perez.
Score: 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 109-100
Dalakian outboxed Perez early in the round and then attacked strongly with hooks and uppercuts late to take the round.
Score. 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 119-109
Official Scores: 117-111, 117-111 and 118-110 for Dalakian
The 32-year-old Azeri-born Ukrainian was making the fourth defence of the WBA title. He was much too good for Perez and has a style that will give anyone problems but also one that won’t find too many fans outside of Ukraine. There are very few big fights to be had at flyweight so Dalakian could rule for quite some time. Perez was down at No 12 in the WBA rankings and that looked to flatter him on this showing.
Sheffield, England: Feather: Kid Galahad (27-1) W RTD 8 Claudio Marrero (24-4). Super Welter: Kell Brook (39-2) W KO 7 Mark DeLuca (24-2). Super Feather: Martin Joseph Ward (24-1-2) W PTS 10 Jesus Amparan (16-2). Welter: Anthony Tomlinson (12-0) W TKO 9 Stewart Burt (13-2-1). Super Middle: John Docherty (8-0) W TKO 1 Pablo Mendoza (9-4). Heavy: David Allen (18-5-2) W KO 3 Dorian Darch (12-11-1). ).
Galahad vs. Marrero
Galahad rebounds in impressive style from his loss to Josh Warrington with an inside the distance wins over WBC No 4 Marrero who also holds the WBA Gold title. Galahad took the first two rounds. The action was a bit untidy but Galahad was able to land jabs from both hands and get through to the body and was constantly changing guards and forcing Marrero back. Marrero tried to up his pace in the third but he wasn’t showing much or throwing much and Galahad was darting in with three or four punches and getting out before Marrero could counter. Marrero had a better fourth. He was getting close scoring with rights jabs and some straight lefts but still had no answer to Galahad’s hand speed which had him eating jabs and getting caught with quick stabs to the body. Galahad started the fifth round by pinning Marrero to the ropes and firing a bunch of punches. When Marrero moved off the ropes Galahad then pierced his guard consistently with jabs and the round ended with Marrero against the ropes again and he had a swelling under his left eye. Galahad outboxed Marrero in the sixth. He was able to land jab after jab changing angles and connect with quick combinations . Marrero kept advancing but he was throwing too few punches and only one at a time-and missing. Huge round for Galahad. After raking Marrero with punches early in the seventh a straight right sent Marrero staggering back to the ropes. Galahad bombarded Marrero with punches until Marrero fought his way off the ropes. Just a few seconds later Galahad forced Marrero to the ropes again and unloaded. Marrero seemed angry at himself for getting into trouble and punched back fiercely cornering Galahad but was unable to land anything of consequence. In the interval Marrero’s team asked him if he wanted to continue and he said he did. He gave it a shot but when a fast, accurate jab smacked into his face the fight went out of him and Galahad had him under pressure from that point to the bell after which Marrero retired. Galahad is No 3 with the WBC and with Russell having just beaten No 1 Tugstsogt Nyambayar Galahad will rise to No 2 behind Jesse Magdaleno. He is also No 4 with the IBF behind No 3 James Dickens but positions 1 and 2 are vacant. That does not help Galahad as it means that Warrington does not have a mandatory challenger so there is no pressure on him. Dominican Marrero, a former interim WBA and IBO champion, had a mixed time in 2019 losing a close unanimous verdict to Nyambayar but outpointing former IBF title challenger 22-1-3 Mexican Eduardo Ramirez. He was outclassed here in losing inside the distance for the second time in his career.
Brook vs. DeLuca
After a slow start Brook turns on the power to floor DeLuca twice on the way to a seventh round kayo victory. Brook’s timing and distance were a bit off in the first round. DeLuca spent most of the round circling the perimeter of the ring than lunging forward swinging punches and connected with some southpaw lefts to the body. Brook fought southpaw for much of the second as he began to find the range with his jab but with his high guard and crouching style DeLuca was not an easy target. Brook found the range in the third. As DeLuca bulled forward Brook met him with two heavy rights that shook DeLuca badly and then a succession of head punches forced DeLuca to go down on one knee. He got up and survived. In the fourth Brook was starting to string together some impressive combinations and had DeLuca under pressure but DeLuca took the punishment well. DeLuca traded punches with Brook in the fifth a round in which the pace dropped and Brook did not sustain his attacks as he had in the fourth. Brook savaged DeLuca in the sixth bombarding him with hooks and uppercuts pinning him to the ropes at times as he unloaded. A gutsy DeLuca took the punishment and although by then end of the round it looked as though he was finished he kept trying to punch back. As they fought against the ropes in the seventh DeLuca went out through the ropes sitting on the apron but was pulled back in. Just seconds later as he came forward he was met with a blistering short left that put him down on his back. He struggled to his feet but was counted out just he achieved the vertical. First fight for fourteen months for Brook so some rust showed but not for long and he certainly finished in style. Despite the fourteen months without a fight he is still No 10 with the WBC but he will want at least another fighter or two before he goes looking for another world title chance. First inside the distance loss for DeLuca who had scored wins over some reasonable level opposition. He was strong, awkward and crude at times but he was tough and made Brook work hard for his victory which was just what Brook needed after his long absence.
Ward vs. Amparan
Ward gets in ten useful rounds of work against a brave but outclassed Amparan. The Mexican had a slight edge in reach but Ward’s movement and hand speed more than cancelled that out as he was quicker to the punch with a strong jab. Ward dominated from the centre of the ring and staggered Amparan with a left in the second round. He continually changed the angle of his attacks and his movement left Amparan punching to where Ward had been not where he was. Amparan marched forward trying to put pressure on Ward but Ward was raking Amparan with jabs and a variety of hooks and uppercuts and was putting on a master class of offence and defence. Amparan had some success inside but not much and he was down late in the seventh from a right to the body but he made it to the bell. Amparan got respite in the eighth after a low punch from Ward and the visitor then attacked hard but Ward ended the round by rattling punches off Amparan. Ward buzzed around Amparan in the ninth showering him with punches but Amparan did knock Ward back with a right to the head, the best punch he had landed in the fight. Another body punch dropped Amparan in the tenth but despite Ward’s best efforts he survived the round. Scores 100-88 on all three cards for Ward. Masterful display of boxing by Ward. He lost his European and Commonwealth titles when he was halted in five rounds in a shoot out against puncher James Tennyson in 2018 with Tennyson going on to challenge Tevin Farmer. Ward is rated IBF 7(5) so has a way to go before getting a title chance. Amparan did his job well but never threatened Ward in any way.
Tomlinson vs. Burt
Neighbourhood fighter Tomlinson gets late stoppage in a competitive fight. Tomlinson made a strong start attacking the body well in the early rounds with Burt often on the back foot using some smart jabbing to stay in the fight. Tomlinson was well ahead after five rounds but was rocked by a punch from Burt in the sixth. Tomlinson shook that off and increased the pressure over the seventh and eighth and although Burt still fought back hard he was being worn down and a fierce attack from Tomlinson had him in trouble in the ninth when the referee stepped in. Fifth inside the distance victory in a row for the Central Area and IBO Continental champion. Scottish Area champion Black had won his last three fights.
Docherty vs. Mendoza
Scottish prospect Docherty notches up another quick victory as he floors and stops late replacement Mendoza at the end of the opening round. The 22-year-old southpaw has six short route wins and this is the fourth of his first round finishes. A former Scottish, British and Commonwealth Youth champion and Commonwealth Games silver medallist he is one of the best young prospects in Scotland. Mendoza is a member of the team of Spanish-based Nicaraguan’s who are always available at short notice but usually last a few more rounds than this.
Allen vs. Darch
After a crushing defeat against David Price in July an undismayed Allen returns with a win. The Dave Allen we know was nowhere in sight in the first two rounds as he danced like Muhammad Ali, bobbed and weaved like Nicolino Locche and landed only a few pitty-patty punches on a bemused Darch. No “White Rhino” here. Darch had managed to land some right crosses in the second but in the third Allen came out punching and put Darch down with a left hook. Darch lay on his back until the count reached six and then was up at eight. Allen landed a series of punches ending with two hooks to the head and Darch went down on his back again. He sat up and then with refreshing honesty just shook his head to say he had had enough and lay down again until the count was completed. Allen always provides entertainment and is very popular but he seems to have gone as far as he is going. Welshman Darch suffers a depressing seventh inside the distance loss on the bounce.
Geoppingen, Germany: Cruiser: Kevin Lerena (25-1) W TKO 6 Firat Arslan (47-9-3). Super Middle: Davide Faraci (15-0) W PTS 8 Emre Cukur (14-0) W . Cruiser: Huseyin Cinkara (14-0) W PTS 8 Dzemal Bosnjak (4-2). Super Middle: Osleys Iglesias (3-0) W TKO 2 Bernard Donfack (23-24-4). Heavy: Viktor Vykhryst (1-0) W TKO 1 Andrei Mazanik (13-11). Super Light: Fatih Keles (12-1-1,1ND) W TKO 1 Ivan Njegac (12-14. Heavy: Erkan Teper (21-3) W PTS 4 Mykyta Nesterenko (1-3).
Lerena vs. Arslan
Lerena retains the IBO title with sixth round stoppage that crushes Arslan and his dream of winning a world title at 49. In the first Arslan tried to walk forward behind the high guard so favoured by German boxers but Lerena constantly pierced his guard with right jabs and found the target with straight left and body punches. More of the same in the second. Lerena was stabbing home jabs firing hooks to the body and curving punches around Arslan’s high guard with Arslan on the back foot and only tossing a few jabs. It was target practice for Lerena in the third as he teed-off on a static Arslan connecting with clubbing punches from both hands with Arslan indulging in the occasional jab and actually landing one good uppercut. Arslan did much better in the fourth, He was finally throwing punches and putting together some combinations. Lerena was still landing with his jab and thudding body shots but Arslan did enough to at least share the round. Lerena was back in charge in the fifth. He speared Arslan with a whole series of jabs and then began to unload heavy shots rocking Arslan and driving him back to the ropes and then pounding him some more and Arslan was under fire at the bell. Lerena jabbed Arslan persistently in the sixth before connecting with a booming left to the head that sent Arslan staggering back across the ring. Lerena chased him to the ropes and was pummelling him with punches when the referee stepped in and stopped the fight just as the towel came in from Arslan’s corner. Arslan was not happy with his corner but it was the right decision. The 27-year-old from Johannesburg was making the sixth defence of the IBO title with his thirteenth win in a row. He was No 2 with the WBA going into this one and since none of their myriad of champions are involved in the WSSB that may be a route for him. He is No 3 with the IBF with the No 2 spot vacant so he could be in line to face the winner of the Yuniel Dorticos vs. Mairis Breidis final so there are options for him to test himself against the best. Arslan’s age caught up with him and he fought like an old man whose best days are way past.
Faraci vs. Cukur
Faraci wins clash of unbeaten fighters with unanimous decision over
Cukur. It was a tight, close fight in the first round. Faraci was coming forward strongly with southpaw Cukur counter punching effectively. Faraci had the better of the exchanges at the start of the second but was put down by a left later in the round. The pace slowed in the third and fourth but Faraci’s speed and accuracy saw him dominate the fifth and Cukur went down in the sixth but it was ruled a slip. Faraci continued to boss the fight in the seventh and then sealed his win by flooring Cukor twice in the last to take the decision. The 28-year-old Faraci is Swiss-born and the Italian champion and has dual nationality. Best career wins so far for Faraci a former three-time Swiss amateur champion and European Under 22 bronze medallist. Cukur was the official challenger for the vacant European title and an Italian promoter had won the bidding for Cukur to fight veteran Giovanni De Carolis so Faraci will probably now be looking to replace Cukur as the official challenger. Unexpected and expensive set-back for Cukur but a good leaning fight and at 26 he has time to develop further.
Cinkara vs. Bosnjak
Cinkara decisions inexperienced Montenegrin-born Bosnjak. Cinkara was able to use his considerably edge in height and reach to come out a winner on all three cards. Scores 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75.The 35-year-old Cinkara has acted as a sparring partner for Marat Gassiev and Oleg Usyk in the past and had won his last seven fights by KO/TKO.
Iglesias vs., Donfack
Yet another former elite level Cuban is campaigning in Europe. Berlin-based southpaw Iglesias was far too good for aging loser Donfack. He was showering Donfack with sizzling combinations though out the first and dropped him twice in the second to force the stoppage. You can’t blame Iglesias for leaving Cuba, He won the silver medal at the Cuban Championships in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018-all against Pan American, World and Olympic champion Arlen Lopez. His three pro wins have been achieved in less than five rounds. Cameroon-born Donfack, 39, is now a sorrowful 0-10-1 in his last eleven fights.
Vykhryst vs. Mazanik
Vykhryst wins his first pro fight with quick finish. Mazanik tried a couple of overhand rights looking for a sensational win but none of them connected. Vykhryst, who is very Klitschko-ish in style and stature, was stabbing out his jab and then shook Mazanik with a straight right and put him down heavily with another . As the referee started the count the towel came in from Mazanik’s corner but the referee did not see it and counted Mazanik out. All over in 55 seconds. The 6’5” Vykhryst was Ukrainian Champion three times and European Champion in 2017 and 2019. Too early to get over-excited but Belarusian Mazanik had gone the distance with Peter Kadiru and Ali Eren Demirezen in his last two fights.
Keles vs. Njegac
Quick win for Keles as he blows away Njegac inside a round with three knockdowns. The 30-year-old Turk is a former European Championships gold medallist who also competed at the 2012 Olympics and World Championships, He has struggled so far as a pro but his only loss is a points verdict against world rated Liam Paro in Australia for the WBO Global title.. Four losses in a row for Njegac a late choice as an opponent
Teper vs. Nesterenko
Pretty disgraceful match really as Teper decisions Ukrainian novice Nesterenko. Teper,37, took the unanimous decision. Scores 40-36 twice and 39-37. Second win for Teper as he tries to get back on track after kayo loss to Robert Helenius in 2018. Nesterenko, 22, way out of his depth.
Indio, CA, USA: Bantam: Oscar Negrete (19-2-2) W PTS 10 Alberto Melian (6-2). Super Fly: Ricardo Sandoval (18-1) W KO 7 Ray Tabugon (22-12-1). Super Bantam: Leon Baez (18-2,1ND) W PTS 8 Moises Flores (25-3,2ND).
Negrete vs. Melian
Negrete pulls away in the second half of an entertaining scrap to take a unanimous verdict. Melian started by out jabbing the smaller Negrete in the first and second rounds. A punch opened a cut over Melian’s right eye but the aggression from Melian was stifling Negrete’s attacks in the third and Melian dominated the fourth. He was forcing Negrete back throughout the round pinning him to the ropes and unloading with left hooks to head and body and straight rights. Negrete punched back but the referee checked on him at the end of the round. Melian landed more in the fifth to put himself narrowly in front. Melian made a strong start in the sixth but Negrete slowly took control and by the bell was driving a tiring Melian back. Negrete took the seventh as Melian’s attacks seemed to run out of steam. The Argentinian rallied during the eighth but he was allowing Negrete too much space and Negrete’s accuracy won him the ninth and tenth rounds. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Negrete. The 32-year-old Colombian, a former WBC super bantam title challenger, needed a win after going 0-1-2 in consecutive fights against Joshua Franco. Melian was looking for revenge after losing to Negrete in the South American Championships back in 2010. When Melian turned pro he did so in a blaze of publicity after representing Argentina at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and starring for Condors in the WSB but after a loss to Leonard Baez in July he is a very ordinary 1-2 in his last three fights.
Sandoval vs. Tabugon
Sandoval wars down and stops Tabugon. In the opener Sandoval showed he carried the heavier power as he opened with some strong jabs and then hurt Tabugon with a right to the head and a wicked left hook to the body. The Filipino was undeterred and was looking to trade punches in the second when a left hook knocked him off balance and he went down on one knee. He was not badly hurt and took the fight to Sandoval for the rest of the round. Sandoval handed out punishment in the third, fourth and fifth connecting with rights to the head and left to the body and Tabugon was rocked a couple of times. Tabugon managed to land some rights to the head as Sandoval came forward but he was spending more and more time trying to fend off left hooks from Sandoval. At the end of the sixth Saldivar had Tabugon pinned to the ropes and was pounding on Tabugon and he continued those attacks in the seventh until the referee came in to stop the punishment. Now 14 wins on the trot for the 21-year-old Californian. Tabugon is 2-5 in recent action including inside the distance losses to Andrew Moloney and Angel Acosta.
Baez vs. Flores
Baez wins every round against former interim WBA and IBO champion Flores. Plenty of action from the start as Baez was getting past Flores’ jab and whacking left hooks to the body. Flores was following his jab with straight rights and as they traded punches inside. Baez just had the edge. He started to add left uppercuts with Flores slinging punches without much accuracy. A clash of heads in the third saw Baez cut over his left eye but he continued to outscore Flores. Over the late rounds Baez kept landing those hurtful body punches and Flores was reduced to just lunging and inaccurate shots and getting caught with counters when he made a mistake. Flores put in a big effort in the seventh but there was still more incoming than outgoing and Baez took the last to sweep the board. Scores 80-72 for Baez from the three judges. Now seven consecutive wins for the 24-year-old from Mexicali. Flores in a rocky period. A first round kayo loss to Guillermo Rigondeaux in a fight for the full WBA title was changed to No Decision as it was ruled the knockout punch landed after the bell. He then failed to make the weight and was outpointed by Daniel Roman for the secondary WBA belt and in his most recent fight in January last year he was stopped in three rounds by Brandon Figueroa. At 33 he looked an old fighter here
Lautaro, Chile: Feather: Cristian Palma (31-10-1) W Kevin Acevedo (19-3-2). Chilean Palma holds on to the South American title but only just as the judges come up with a split draw. The smaller Acevedo was a little tiger constantly walking in getting past the jab of Palma and working inside. Palma was able to score at distance with his jab and connected with hooks and upper cuts as Acevedo marched forward and it was action all the way with the rounds difficult to score but Acevedo just seemed to have outfought the local fighter. Scores 96-94 Palma, 96-94 Acevedo and 96-95. After losing to Michell Smith in London in 2015 Palma had scored eleven consecutive contests including a points victory over Acevedo in 2017. Second shot at the South American title for Acevedo who had won 4 of his last 5 bouts.
Madrid, Spain: Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (19-1) W TKO 2 Diego Ramirez (4-49-3). A curious bit of paid sparring for Yarde in a small hall in Spain where the real purpose was to position Yarde for a shot at the WBC title by meeting the stipulation that a fighter cannot challenge for the WBC title if he is coming off a loss-or so it is said. Ramirez went into reverse gear from the opening seconds and rarely took a step forward. Yarde walked him down with jab and rights to the body. Ramirez was better in the second and although he was usually throwing wide sweeping punches he was also standing and urging Yarde to do his worst. A left hook to the body put Ramirez down and when he went down later in the round under a Yarde attack the referee stopped the fight. First outing for Yarde since his eleventh round stoppage loss to Sergey Kovalev in August. Heads clashed a few times in this bout and it would have been silly for Yarde to risk a bad cut in such a nothing fight. Sixth loss in a row for Spanish-based Colombian Ramirez.
Bilbao, Spain: Light: Jon Fernandez (20-1) W Aristides Perez (31-13-2). Fernandez sweeps aside late substitute Perez. The local boy put Perez down with a barrage of punches finished off with a left hook to the body. Perez made it to his feet but went down again from another barrage. He dragged himself up at nine but the referee waived the fight over. The 24-year-old Fernandez lost his unbeaten label when he was outpointed by O’Shaquie Foster in 2018 and has rebuilt with five wins. Colombian Perez, 38, was a substitute for a substitute. Back in 2009 he lost in two rounds when challenging Humberto Soto for the WBC super feather title but this is his first fight for seventeen months and his third inside the distance loss in a row,
Vienna, VA, USA: Super Middle: Dusty Hernandez Harrison (34-0-1) W KO 2 Les Sherrington (38-15). Heavy: Mike Balogun (16-0) W KO 1 Adnan Buharalija (32-25-2).
Harrison vs. Sherrington
Harrison dismantles Australian veteran Sherrington in two rounds. Harrison floored Sherrington in the first with a straight left and had Sherrington hurt again at the bell. Harrison brought down the curtain in the second flooring Sherrington twice with lefts the second of which saw Sherrington counted out. Harrison is working his way back after a number of factors saw him inactive in 2017 and 2018. He had three wins last year and is looking to get back in the ratings. Five losses on the trot for 37-year-old Sherrington.
Balogun vs. Buharalija
Balogun moves to 16 wins, 12 by KO/TKO, with first round stoppage of Buharalija. All of his opposition have been mediocre at best. The 35-year-old Maryland southpaw did not turn pro until he was 31 after playing for short periods in American football for the 49ers, Redskins, Cowboys, Buccaneers, Bills and Colts. Georgia-based Bosnia Buharalija falls to 3-7 in recent action.
Fight of the week (Significance): Gary Russell’s win over Tugstsogt Nyambayar could lead to some good fights at featherweight
Fight of the week (Entertainment): Leyman Benavides vs. Carlos Ortega was war, war and more war
Fighter of the week: Gary Russell with both Kid Galahad and Kell Brook worthy of honourable mention
Punch of the week: The right uppercut from José Estrada that almost lifted Luis Lebron off his feet was spectacular and you don’t often find a left jab getting a mention but Kell Brook’s one that floored Mark DeLuca for the second time did the job
Upset of the week: Estrada beating Lebron was unexpected
Prospect watch: May be too early but I am going to go with 1-0 Ukrainian heavyweight Viktor Vykhryst .
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