Home Boxing News Eric Armit’s The Past Week in Action 27 June 2023 – Japan,...

Eric Armit’s The Past Week in Action 27 June 2023 – Japan, USA, Germany & more

Photo credit: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom Boxing

Highlights:

-Kazuto Ioka wins the vacant WBA super fly title as he outpoints former champion Joshua Franco who lost the title for not making the weight

-Carlos Adames retains the WBC middle title with ninth round stoppage of Julian Williams

-Fernando Martinez stops Jade Bornea in 11 rounds in IBF super flyweight title defence and there are wins for Erickson Lubin and Jerwin Ancajas but light-heavy novice Burley Brooks outpoints former IBF super middle champion Caleb Truax

-Edgar Berlanga floors Jason Quigley four times on the way to retaining the WBO NABO Super middle title

-Joe Cusumano stops Adam Kownacki in the eighth round of their heavyweight clash

-Former IBF super feather title holder Tevin Farmer returns with a points win in Philadelphia,

World Title/Major Shows

JUNE 24

Tokyo, Japan: Super Fly: Kazuto Ioka (29-2-1) W PTS 12 Joshua Franco (18-2-3, ND). Bantam: Diago Higa (20-2-1) W KO 4 Yodmongkol “Sirichai Thaiyen” (65-5). Super Feather: Musashi Mori (14-1-1) W PTS 12 Takuya Watanabe (39-12-2).

Franco vs. Ioka

Ioka wins the vacant WBA title with a unanimous decision over Franco. Ioka had relinquished the WBO title and Franco lost his WBA title when he came in 6.7lbs over the 115lbs limit. He was given two hours to lose as much weight as possible but was still 121 ¼ lbs so lost the title. Ioka accepted the fight despite the weight difference.

Round 1

Franco opened up with a steady stream of probing jabs and landed a nice left hook to the body. Ioka started to work his jab over the second half of the round and landed some solid rights to the body. Franco fired a sharp left hook to the head. Ioka finished the round with a series of punches scoring with some rights to the head to just edged the round.

Score: 10-9 Ioka

Round 2

Again, Franco began with a series of light jabs just keeping busy but there was no power behind them. As they trade shots Ioka landed a heavy left hook that set Franco back on his heels and Ioka came forward landing to the head before Franco fired back with another series of jabs and a couple of left hooks. They went toe-to-toe with Franco going for quantity and Ioka for power banging home hooks to the body but Franco had done enough early to take the round.

Score: 10-9 Franco                      TIED 19-19

Round 3

Franco was coming forward behind light jabs with Ioka letting him come and then driving left hooks to the body and overhand rights. They stood in the centre of the ring swapping punches with Ioka throwing less but with more accuracy and power.

Score:  10-9 Ioka                         Ioka 29-28

Round 4

Franco was letting fly with both hands mixing more hooks and uppercuts into his work rather than just straight shots. Ioka continued to invest in a body attack and as Ioka banged hard to the body Franco decided not to stand and trade but to circle Ioka and slot home jabs and combinations. The sheer volume of punches had Ioka backing up as Franco put together bursts of six or seven shots at a time. It had developed into a fast-paced, open fight without a single clinch

Score: 10-9 Franco                      TIED 38-38

Official Scores: Judge Guillermo Perez 38-38 TIED, Judge Pawel Kardyni 38-38 TIED, Judge Giuseppe Quartarone 39-37 Ioka

Round 5

Ioka launched a ferocious attack firing eight or ten left hooks in succession and then again going to the body. When that storm blew itself out it was again punch for punch in the centre of the ring with both landing quality punches. Franco had a good spell but Ioka finished the round strongly ramming home punches to the body.

Score: 10-9 Ioka                          Ioka 48-47

Round 6

The quantity and variety of punches from Franco was impressive as he showered Ioka and was only lacking power. Ioka waited out the early storm again and then strode forward banging away to Franco’s body and bludgeoning him with head shots with Ioka almost running after a retreating Franco.

Score: 10-9 Ioka                          Ioka 58-56

Round 7

Clever boxing from Franco. Instead of standing inside he was   landing jabs and stepping out before Ioka could counter and repeating the sequence using his superior hand speed and footwork to keep Ioka reaching with his punches and coming up short.

Score: 10-9 Franco                      Ioka 67-66

Round 8

Classy display of boxing from Franco. He was slotting jabs though Ioka’s defence then plastering him with bursts of punches switching smoothly from head to body. Ioka’s output dropped and Franco stifled his attempts to launch a strong attack at the bell.

Score: 10-9 Franco                      TIED 76-76

Official Scores: Judge Guillermo Perez 76-76 TIED, Judge Pawel Kardyni 76-76 TIED, Judge Giuseppe Quartarone 77-75 Ioka

Round 9

Franco slowed and his output dropped. He was not moving as much or as quickly. Ioka was now getting home with left hooks to the body and rapping Franco with right uppercuts. Franco was too often swishing empty air as Ioka ducked under his punches. Franco was cut over his right eye.

Score: 10-9 Ioka                         Ioka 86-85

Round 10

Franco had a spring in his step again and moved more but whereas he had been firing bursts of five or six it was now two or three and he was less accurate. Ioka was finding the target with strong  jabs, still digging home body punches and shook Franco with as right. A close round but another one for Ioka

Score: 10-9 Ioka                          Ioka 96-94

Round 11

Ioka was still looking strong and still digging to the body with left hooks. Franco was more on his heels than his toes but was throwing plenty with many being blocked or with no snap and no power. It was Ioka firing bunches as he launched a succession of uppercuts.

Score: 10-9 Ioka                         Ioka 106-103

Round 12

Franco tried to find something to stage a strong last round rally but there was nothing there. His weight making problems and the focused body attack from Ioka had drained him. Ioka was shaking off Franco’s punches and finding the target with hooks to head and body and won the round and the fight.

Score: 10-9 Ioka                         Ioka 116-112

It would be accurate to say Ioka is now a four-division champion having won the WBC minimum, WBA minimum, WBA light fly, WBA fly and WBO super fly belts. However, that is misleading as he only held the secondary versions of the WBA light-fly and fly. He is now looking for a unification fight with WBC champion Juan Francisco Estrada.

Franco retired after the fight. It was a disgrace that he came in so far over the weight and his teams claim that that came about because of uncertainty whether the fight would go ahead is a pretty weak excuse.

Higa vs. Yodmongkol

An impressive Higa crushes experienced Yodmongkol in four rounds. Higa was much quicker than Yodmongkol circling the Thai spearing him with quick jabs and then moving inside and scoring with left hooks and uppercuts and a slashing attack at then saw Yodmongkol shaken by an uppercut. Higa continued to circle the advancing Yodmongkol in the second before exploding with a series of clubbing rights to the head. Yodmongkol shook off the punches and continued to walk forward until a right stopped him in his tracks and a right followed by a left hook to the head sent him crashing to the floor. He was up at six and after the count Higa bombarded him with punches until a left sent Yodmongkol down again and he arose with the bell going as the eight count was completed. Yodmongkol was boxing more cautiously in the third blocking or moving away from Higa’s attacks until late in the round when a vicious right to the body sent him to the canvas writhing in agony. Somehow he just rolled up easily beating the count and survived a battering for the remaining twenty seconds of the round. It looked as though Yodmongkol might make it through the fourth as he boxed on the retreat soaking up punches without looking too hurt but a devastating driven right to the solar plexus sent him down and he wisely kneeled whilst the referee completed the count. A former WBC flyweight champion Higa lost his title when he failed to make the weight for a defence against Cristofer Rosales in April 2018 and was stopped in nine rounds by Rosales. He was severely criticised for that in Japan and was inactive for almost two years. His form dropped off and he lost to promising novice Ryosuke Nishida in April 2021. He was again out of the ring for a year before scoring two wins in 2022. “Yodmongkol” , 32,-real name Sirichai Thaiyen-lost to Juan Carlos Reveco and Artem Dalakian in flyweight title fights.

Mori vs. Watanabe

Southpaw Mori wins the vacant OPBF title with unanimous decision over seasoned pro Watanabe. Mori had a winning lead going into the last round being in front on two cards 107-102 and 107-100 on the third. He floored an exhausted Watanabe early in the twelfth but Watanabe survived and Mori won on scores of 117-110 from the three judges. These two had fought to a draw in March.

Minneapolis, MN, USA: Middle: Carlos Adames (22-1) W TKO 9 Julian Williams (28-4-1). Super Fly: Fernando Martinez (16-0) W TKO 11 Jade Bornea (18-1). Super Welter: Erickson Lubin (25-2) W KO 5 Luis Arias (20-4-1). Light Heavy: Burley Brooks (7-2-1) W PTS 10 Caleb Truax (31-6-2,1ND). Super Bantam Jerwin Ancajas (34-3-2) W TKO 5 Wilner Soto (22-13).

Adames vs. Williams

Adames retains the interim WBC belt with a stoppage of former title holder Williams. Both were firing bombs from the start with southpaw Adames busier and more accurate. Adames had a big second round almost overwhelming Williams and landing a series of body punches. Williams bounced back at the end of the round but had taken plenty of punishment. Williams took the third scoring well with his jab to the body, staggering Adames with a right to the head and landing counter hooks as Adames came forward. This time Adames ended the round with a strong attack but it was Williams round. Adames was back in control in the fourth. He pinned Williams against the ropes and unloaded on him with solid shots to head and body. When Rodrigez manage to get off the ropes Adames then drove him around the ring and a stoppage looked on the cards as a stumbling Williams held desperately to survive. At the end of the fourth Adames was in front on all three cards with scores of 40-36, 39-37 and 39-36 with the score from the last judge having the fourth a 10-8 round. The fifth was brutal as despite the punishment he took in the fourth Williams went toe-to-toe with Adames exchanging both hurtful hooks to the body and clubbing head shots with Adames just coming out ahead. Adames had been scoring heavily to the body and he did so again in this sixth round with Williams fighting inside but taking some serious punishment and Adames was also finding the target with rights to the head. The seventh was another big round for Adames. Williams was still determined to fight inside and Adames was banging home hooks and uppercuts with very little coming back from Williams and the referee again looking closely to assess how much punishment Williams was taking. Williams made a good start to the eighth as he boxed more stabbing out stiff jabs and landing long range rights to the head. Adames came on strong over the second half of the round again scoring with spiteful lefts to the body that had Williams backing up. After eight rounds Adames was up 80-72, 78-74 and 77-74 on the cards. Williams walked forward slinging hooks at the start of the ninth but ran into a blizzard of punches from Adames and for the second half of the round Adames was driving Williams around the ropes landing head punches and with Williams not punching back the referee made a good stoppage with just fifteen seconds remaining in the round. Adames was making the first defence of the interim title. He lost to Patrick Teixeira for the WBO interim super welter title in 2019 with the scores so close that a seventh round knockdown cost Adames the decision. This is his fifth win since then. Williams , a former holder of the IBF, IBO and WBA super welter belts, had hardly been active after losing his title to Jeison Rosario in January 2020 with just one fight in 2021 (a loss to Vladimir Hernandez) and one low level win in 2022. This was a brutal fight and it may be time for Williams to retire.

Martinez vs. Bornea

Martinez successfully defends the IBF title with an eleventh round stoppage of unbeaten Filipino Bornea.

Round 1

As expected Martinez was looking to drive forward to work inside with Bornea boxing mainly on the back foot and firing plenty of right jabs. Martinez scored well when he took Bornea to the ropes and he just had the edge in a tight first round,

Score: 10-9 Martinez

Round 2

Bornea made a lively start coming forward behind his jab and straight lefts to put Martinez on the back foot. It took a little while for Martinez to get into the round but when he did his aggression had Bornea on the defensive and Martinez scored inside with hooks and landed some sharp left jabs to take another close round.

Score: 10-9 Martinez                   Martinez 20-18

Round 3

A good round from Bornea. He used his right jab to keep Martinez off balance and stepped back quickly and countered when Martinez dived in. He also put together some quick combinations. Martinez was finding it hard to get past Bornea’s jab and was being caught by straight lefts.

Score: 10-9 Bornea                      Martinez 29-28

Round 4

Martinez’s round. Bornea’s jab was not as effective and Martinez was able to get past it and drive Bornea to the ropes and belabour him with shots from both hands, Martinez was also doing a good job of ducking away from Bornea’s attacks and then darting in with counters. Bornea was already showing a swelling under his left eye from Martinez’s left hooks.

Score: 10-9 Martinez                   Martinez 39-37

Official Scores: Mike Fitzgerald 39-37 Martinez, Judge Jerry Jakubco  39-37 Martinez, Judge Zachary Young 39-37 Martinez

Round 5

Nice boxing from Bornea at the start as he fired jabs and then moved forward with straight lefts. Martinez was being forced onto the back foot by the persistent jabbing from Bornea. He showed some nice defensive work and staged one fierce attack but other than that Bornea outworked him and was more accurate

Score: 10-9 Bornea                     Martinez 48-47

Round 6

A similar round to the last. Bornea was using his jab to set up two-fisted attacks and also to keep Martinez off balance. Martinez was forced to back off to make some space for his darting attacks but Bornea kept on top of him and Martinez only drove forward a couple of times and was mainly ineffective.

Score: 10-9 Bornea                     TIED 57-57

Round 7

A reversal in tactics in this one. Martinez flew out of his corner hunting down Bornea and giving Bornea no time to settle. Martinez kept driving forward connecting with hooks and uppercuts with Bornea forced onto the defensive. Martinez dialled back his activity over the last minute but even then Bornea had only modest success.

Score: 10-9 Martinez                   Martinez 67-66

Round 8

Martinez was all aggression in this one constantly pouring forward forcing Bornea back and then bombarding him with body punches. Bornea’s output dropped and he seemed to be finally suffering from the fast pace Martinez was setting and Martinez was chasing Bornea down with Bornea under pressure and unable to keep Martinez off.

Score: 10-9 Martinez                   Martinez 77-75

Official Scores: Official Scores: Mike Fitzgerald 77-75 Martinez, Judge Jerry Jakubco 78-74 Martinez, Judge Zachary Young 77-75 Martinez

Round 9

At the start of the round as Martinez surged forward throwing punches he landed a left to the side of Bornea’s head and blood spurted out from Bornea’s era. Martinez then battered Bornea around the ring with Bornea under heavy pressure and with blood still seeping from his ear. Bornea tried to box his way out of trouble but Martinez was  brushing aside Bornea’s punches and continued his onslaught landing with some scything hooks to the head which with the blood coming from his ear mut have caused Bornea additional concern.

Score: 10-9 Martinez                   Martinez 87-84

Round 10

Bornea’s ear continued to drip blood and he immediately went on the back foot with Martinez hustling and harrying him. Bornea managed to hold off Martinez for a while but soon Martinez was landing clubbing head punches and was able to force Bornea back to the ropes and bombard him with punches as he worked along the ropes with Bornea only looking to survive.

Score: 10-9 Martinez                  Martinez 97-93

Round 11

Martinez attacked from the start forcing Bornea back and scoring with a hooks. He pinned Bornea against the ropes and after a left and a right from Martinez the referee hesitated for a second and then stepped in and stopped the fight. With no knockdown it looked premature but Bornea was fading fast so a bit early but inevitable.

Argentinian Martinez was making the second defence of the IBF title having won it from Jerwin Ancajas in February last year and had beaten Ancajas again in a title defence in October. Bornea was Martinez’s mandatory challenger so his dance card is empty but there are no really big names in the division who are not already committed so he will probably look to take a couple of voluntary defences. Bornea, 28, was very much in this fight before the ear injury and hopefully he will regroup and come again.

Lubin vs. Arias

Lubin returns with a win. He had too much of everything for a fading Arias. From the first he was popping Arias with right jabs and driving home long lefts. Arias tried to exert some pressure but Lubin had no problem sliding away from the attacks of Arias and countering. A desperate Arias tried to rough up Lubin inside but Lubin was stronger and bossed the fight inside as well. Lubin started to step up his attacks putting together some heavy combinations shaking Arias with an uppercut in the fourth. Lubin ended it in the fifth backing Arias to the ropes and landing two overhand lefts that sent Arias staggering across the ring and down. Arias watched the count whilst on one knee and it looked as though he just made it to his feet in time but the referee counted him out. First fight for 14 months for Lubin as he starts his rebuilding process after a ninth round retirement loss against Sebastian Fundora in April last year. First inside the distance loss for Arias who looked to be siding after a 1-3-3 sequence.

Brooks vs. Truax

Brooks pulls off an upset as he outpoints former IBF super middleweight champion Truax in front of Truax’s home supporters. Truax was taking the fight to the slightly taller Brooks and outworked Brooks over the first two rounds. The occasion might have affected Brooks as he had only previously fought over four and six rounds in front of small crowds. He seemed to settle over the third and fourth and the fifth and sixth were close rounds. Truax began to slow over the closing rounds and although Brooks lost a point in the ninth for his mouthguard coming out once too often he had done enough to deserve the unanimous decision. Scores 96-93 twice and 98-91. A big win for Brooks who was having his first fight since August 2021 and was 0-2-1 after that August 2021 fight. Truax last fight had been a points loss against Caleb Plant for the IBF super-middle title in January 2021 and he was 11lbs heavier for this fight. At 39 retirement would seem to be on the cards.

Ancajas vs. Soto

Former IBF super fly champion Ancajas returns to action with stoppage of Colombian Soto. This was a poor match with Soto having lost his last six fights. It was really just a non-threatening run out for Ancajas as he shifted some ring rust. From the first Ancajas was finding Soto an easy target and hurting the Colombian with body punches. Ancajas put Soto down in the fourth and again in the fifth with the referee then stopping the fight. After his two losses to Martinez Ancajas is trying his luck at bantamweight or even super bantam.

New York, NY, USA: Super Middle: Edgar Berlanga (21-0) W PTS 12 Jason Quigley (20-3). Heavy: Joe Cusumano (22-4) W TKO 8 Adam Kownacki (20-4). Super Light: Reshat Mati (14-0) W TKO 9 Dakota Linger (13-6-3). Fly: Yankiel Rivera (4-0) W PTS 8 Christian Robles (8-1). Light Heavy: Khalil Coe (6-0-1 W TKO 7 Buneet Bisla ((7-1).

Berlanga vs. Quigley

Berlanga scores four knockdown in taking a wide unanimous decision. Quigley made a fast start coming out taking the fight to Berlanga and although Berlanga had some success of his own it was Quigley’s round. Both had some good spots in the second and the third was in the balance until Berlanga caught Quigley in a corner and sent him down with a left hook and a chopping right. Quigley got up and the bell went before another punch was thrown. Berlanga carried the impetus of that into the fourth and was credited with a questionable knockdown in the fifth as Quigley tripped over his own feet when escaping from a corner. The pattern of the middle rounds was of Berlanga pursuing and Quigley boxing on the back foot frustrating Berlanga’s attacks and countering the oncoming Berlanga with the aggression of Berlanga giving him the edge. The knockdowns meant Berlanga was in front and Quigley looked to be tiring but to put the decision beyond doubt Berlanga scored two knockdowns in the twelfth. The first came from a right to the head that had Quigley pitching forward and down and later in the round  two clubbing rights sent Quigley scampering to the ropes and dropping to one knee. He was up at nine and made it through the remaining seconds to the bell. Scores 116-108 twice and 118-106 for Berlanga. After his run of 18 first round wins Berlanga has now won five in a row on points. He was defending the WBO NABO belt and is rated No 5 by that body. The IBF have him at No 3 and the WBC at No 11 but somehow the WBA don’t even have in their top 15. Quigley was stopped in two rounds by Demetrius Andrade in a challenge for the WBO middleweight title in November 2021 and was then inactive until registering a points victory over perennial loser Gabor Gorbics in April this year. On this showing Quigley still has plenty of fights left in him.

Cusumano vs. Kownacki

Cusumano ruins Kownacki’s comeback plans with an eighth round stoppage. They traded jabs in the first until a booming right from Cusumano sent Kownacki sprawling on the canvas. He made it to his feet but was wobbling. When the eight count was over Cusumano landed another right just as the bell went. The knockdown was a heavy one and the ringside doctor examined Kownacki before the start of the second. Cusumano shook Kownacki again in the second but Kownacki banged back hard and rocked Cusumano with a right in the third. Kownacki was cut over his right eye in the fourth and they slugged their way through the next two rounds. The seventh was wild with first Kownacki and then Cusumano landing solid shots and both being staggered multiple times. They were both exhausted and arm weary at the bell. In the eighth they clashed heads just as a right from Cusumano had Kownacki staggering back to the ropes. Cusumano unloaded on Kownacki with head punches and the doctor climbed to the ring apron to stop the fight just as the towel came in from Kownacki’s corner. Big win for Cusumano who had been stopped in the first round by Daniel Dubois in 2021. He rebounded with two wins in 2022 and should be in line for some good paydays. Fourth consecutive loss for Kownacki. He was riding high when he scored wins over Charles Martin and Gerald Washington but with his wide-open defence he has taken too much punishment and looked a shot fighter. He really needs to retire for the good of his health.

Mati vs. Llnger

Mati stops Linger in the ninth round. Linger piled forward throughout the fight but he found Mati an elusive target. Mati used his quicker hands and some slick movement to thwart Linger’s crude rushes and punished him with sharp counters. Linger was still driving forward in the ninth when Mati connected with an uppercut and a left hook that rocked Linger. Mati then exploded with a burst of punches that bounced off Linger’s head and the referee jumped in to save Linger. Eighth win by KO/TKO for Mati a former National Golden Gloves and New York Golden Gloves gold medallist. Linger was coming off a second round stoppage win over 20-2 Josue Vargas.

Rivera vs. Robles

Puerto Rican Olympian Rivera given a good test by Robles. Rivera’s superior southpaw skills saw him outbox Robles and a fourth round knockdown widened the gap. The knockdown was a classic left hook counter to the oncoming Robles. Although a clear loser Robles picked up a couple of rounds but Rivera won on scores of 79-72, 78-73 and 77-74.

Coe vs. Bisla

Coe stops Bisla in the seventh. Coe floored Bisla with a strong jab in the first. Bisla was up quickly and under fore. Coe hunted him down and connected with a big right to the head that sent Bisla down but at the same time Bisla landed a left and Coe went down with his left knee touching the canvas. The referee gave Bisla a second count but he could just as easily treated it as a double knockdown and given both fighters a count. Bisla survived and paid Coe back with a right in the second that shook Coe. Gradually Coe slowed the more mobile Bisla and ended the fight in the seventh. He connected with a series of rights and when a pair of left hooks sent Bisla tumbling into a corner the referee stopped the fight. Fourth win by KO/TKO for Coe. Canadian Bisla just could not match Coe’s power.

JUNE 22

Paris, France: Super Welter: Bakary Samake (13-0) W PTS 10 Mariel Bustamante (9-2-1).

Samake successfully defends the IBF Youth belt with points win over Mexican Bustamante. Samake showcased his exquisite defensive skills with great footwork and upper body movement but too often allowed Bustamante to force him to the ropes where he was content to bob, weave or block Bustamante’s punches. Both switched guards at times and on the offensive Bakary showed real hand speed putting Bustamante down with a right in the eighth but he did not sustain his attacks and seemed in the end to be happy to cruise to the unanimous decision. Scores 99-90 twice and 98-91. The 19-year-old Frenchman has class but not too sure about his power. Bustamante had been boxing in six and eight rounds and this was his first ten rounds fight. He showed plenty of aggression but limited technique.

Paris, France: Bantam: Eli Konki (14-1) W PTS 10 Sebastian Castillo (7-3-1). Feather: Christ Esabe (14-0) W PTS 8 Jose Valdes (12-9-1).

Konki vs. Castillo

An unimpressive Konki gets a majority verdict over strong Argentinian Castillo. Konki boxed and moved and speared Castill with straight rights. Castillo just kept coming able to pile forward through Konki’s punches. In the fourth Koki drove forward grabbing Castillo around the waist and sending them both tumbling to the floor for which Konki was warned but he shook Castillo with a right in the fifth. Castillo landed heavily in the seventh with a desperate Konki wrestling them both to the canvas and as Castillo got up a still on the floor Konki grabbed Castillo’s leg and threw him to the canvas getting another warning. Castillo had Konki under pressure over those closing rounds but better early work from Konki just saw him get the decision on scores of 78-74 and 77-75 with the third card reading 76-76. Konki is the mandatory challenger to European bantamweight champion Thomas Essomba. Castillo was beaten in a challenge for the vacant Argentinian super fly title in June last year

Esabe vs. Valdes

Esabe boxes his way to a unanimous decision over Valdes. Esabe used his longer reach and some hooking to head and body to counter the aggressive attacks of Valdes. He was cleverly blocking the punches of Valdes and turning off the ropes to avoid being trapped. He sent Valdes staggering with a right in the seventh and scored heavily in the eighth but Valdez was never really in trouble. Esabe won on scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73. Esabe, 22, was French amateur champion in 2019 and won the French pro featherweight title in his fourth fight in October 2019 making him the first French boxer to be champion of the amateurs and pros in the same year. Only three wins by KO/TKO so again power might be a problem. Ironic as Esabe’s nickname is “Little T” with the “T” being for Tyson. Valdez reasonably experienced but no real threat.

Moscow, Russia: Cruiser: Yury Kashinsky (22-3) W PTS 10 Timur Sakulin (12-1).

Kashinsky overcomes a slow start to outpoint Sakulin. The first round went to Sakulin as he got past Kashinsky’s jab to score inside. Kashinsky was more accurate in the second but Sakulin’s higher work rate saw him pocket the third, fourth and fifth. From there Sakulin slowed and Kashinsky took over. A tiring Sakulin lost his mouthguard in both the sixth and seventh rounds and was deducted a point. Sakulin did enough to make the rounds close but was being outworked and he lost his mouthguard again in the eighth and tenth with no deduction as Kashinsky finished strongly to take the decision on scores of 97-92, 96-93 and 95-94, After back-to-back losses in 2021 the 37-year-old Kashinsky was inactive in 2022 but this is now his second win in 2023.A set-back for Azeri-born Sakulin who had been making good progress.

JUNE 23

Bilbao, Spain: Bantam: Fran Mendoza (17-0) W PTS 8 Jonathan Santana (9-5-1).

Spanish-based Colombian Mendoza overcame a slow start to get a unanimous decision over Spaniard Santana on scores of 78-74 twice and 79-73. Mendoza had outpointed Santana over the same distance in 2019. Santana had lost on points against British prospect Hopey Price in December.

Ontario, CA, USA: Super Light: Jesus Saracho (13-1-1) DREW 10 Tarik Zaina (12-0-1). Welter: Angel Beltran (17-1) W RTD 1 Abraham Afful (12-5-1).

Saracho vs. Zaina

Saracho and Zaina fight to a majority draw. These two were well matched with the aggression of southpaw Saracho just giving him the edge. Saracho took the fight to Zaina firing hooks and uppercuts to the body with Zaina trying to create some space to make use of his longer reach. It was only over the middle rounds that Zania had real success coming forward and scoring heavily over the fifth and sixth and bringing blood from Saracho’s nose. Saracho was motoring again in the seventh and the eighth was close. Saracho led off the ninth with a series of left hooks that had Zaina backing up and losing his mouthguard. When it was replaced Zania landed a series of rights but was the forced back and rocked by a left hook and Saracho then drove him along the ropes with hooks to the body. Zania had success with a right to the head at the start of the tenth and then dominated the round with his jab and straight rights. I felt Saracho had done enough to win but two judges scored it 95-95 with the third seeing it 96-94 for Saracho. That makes it 3-0-1 for Saracho since a loss to unbeaten Deonte Brown in March last year. Moroccan-born, Tijuana-based Britisher Zaina now has a ten round fight under his belt.

Beltran vs. Afful

Beltran beats Afful on a retirement. Mexican Beltran spent the first half of the opening round just walking forward behind his right jab with Afful backing up and pawing with an occasional jab. From there Beltran then exploded driving Afful around the ring under a hail of hooks, uppercuts and overhand lefts with nothing coming back from Afful who did not come out for the second round. Tenth inside then distance win for Beltran. Second fight in the US for Ghanaian Afful and second inside the distance loss. His twelve victims in Ghana had “amassed” eight wins between them.

JUNE 24

Phoenix, AZ, USA: Super Trevor McCumby (27-0) W KO 1 Rodolfo Martinez (44-11-3,1ND). Super Light: Trini Ochoa (15-0) W PTS 8 Nicolas Demario (16-8-3).

McCumby vs. Martinez

Unbeaten super-middleweight McCumby gets his second inside the distance win in seven weeks as he puts Argentinian Martinez down and out in the first round. After parting with Top Rank McCumby was out of the ring for over four years before returning with a win in May. This is win No 21 by KO/TKO for McCumby. First fight in two years for former IBF welter title challenger Martinez

Ochoa vs. Demarion

Locally based Ochoa pitches a near shut out against  Demarion winning on scores of 80-72 twice and 79-73. The 24-year-old Ochoa is being matched sensibly against experienced opposition in good leaning fights. Argentinian Demario is 1-4-1 in his last six outings but his only inside the distance loss came back in 2016.

Philadelphia, PA, USA: Light: Tevin Farmer (31-5-11ND) W PTS 10 Avery Sparrow (11-5,1ND).

Former IBF super-featherweight title holder Tevin Farmer struggled on his return to action as he needed a knockdown to grind out a win against Avery Sparrow. The scores were 95-94 twice and 97-92 so without the knockdown Farmer would have lost. Farmer has indicated that he may go back down to super feather. Now only one win in his last five fights for Sparrow but the losses have been against good quality opposition and the win was over 20-2 Matt Conway.

Helibronn, Germany: Middle: Vincent Feigenbutz (36-3) W KO 4 Marcos Cornejo (19-8). Super Welter:  Slawa Spomer (18-0) W TKO 8 Felice Moncelli (24-8-1). Middle: Anatoli Muratov (26-2-2) W TKO 6 Siarhei Huliakevich (45-22-3).

Feigenbutz vs. Cornejo

Just a bit of ring time for Feigenbutz as he disposes of elderly Argentinian Cornejo in four rounds. Feigenbutz shook Cornejo with an uppercut in the first and hunted down Cornejo in the second and third. He finished it in the fourth putting Cornejo down and out with a body punch. First fight nine months for Feigenbutz and seventh loss in a row for 41-year-old Conejo

Spomer vs. Moncelli

Home town fighter Spomer beats Italian Moncelli in a WBO Global title defence. After a tight competitive match Spomer floored Moncelli in the seventh and then put Moncelli down and out in the eighth. Spomer was defending the Global title for the first time. Moncelli is a former Italian champion

Muratov vs. Huliakevich

Kazak-born German Muratov beats Huliakevich on a stoppage in the sixth round. A bad cut over Huliakevich’s left eye forced the end late in the last round. Muratov is 18-0-2 in his last 20 fights. He was held to a draw by Huliakevich in 2020 and in his last fight before this one fought a draw with 18-28-1 Ondrej Budera so a very deceptive record. Twelfth loss by KO/TKO for 42-year-old Belarusian Huliakevich

Ludwigsburg, Germany: Heavy: Daniel Dietz (11-0) W TKO 1 Anil Can Yildiz (11-2). Minimum: Sarah Bormann (17-0) W PTS 10 Peria Perez (6-8-1).

Dietz vs. Yildiz

Just another record padding fight for the 6’8 ½” Dietz. The 5’11 ½” Yildez came out throwing wild punches and then crumbled when Dietz hit back with the referee stepping in to save poor Yildiz. Dietz has taken less than twelve rounds for his eleven wins but he will learn nothing from fights like this. Both of Yildiz’s losses have come by way of a first round stoppage.

Bormann vs. Perez

Bormann,32, is forced to work hard by the smaller Perez. The Mexican drove forward throughout the fight and Bormann made only limited use of her physical edges choosing to fight in close but she had the superior skills and won the unanimous decision on scores of 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94. Bormann retains the interim WBO belt and wins the vacant interim IBF belt. Perez had won her last six fights but this was her first title fight.

Rostock, Germany: Feather: Nina Meinke (17-3) W PTS 10 Kimika Miyoshi (17-14-2). Heavy: Marios Kollas (11-2-1) W TKO 3 Felix Langberg (12-1). Super Middle: Simon Zachenhuber (21-0) W TKO 5 Armen Yepremyan (14-4-2). Peter Kadiru (16-1) W RTD 2 Yassine Khedim (10-3-1). Super Middle: Petro Ivanov (17-0-2) W KO 12 Gino Kanters (10-5-3). Super Welter: Araik Marutjan (14-1) W RTD 5 Jan Meiser (15-2-1). Heavy: Viktor Jurk (5-0) W PTS 6 Christian Demaj (4-2).

Meinke vs. Miyoshi

German southpaw Meinke won the vacant WBA Gold title with a unanimous decision over Japanese champion Miyoshi. Meinke won the wide unanimous decision on scores of 99-91 twice and 100-90. Meinke lost on a seventh round stoppage against Katie Taylor in 2017.

Kollas vs. Langberg

Swedish-based Greek Kollas breaks the heart of the home supporters as he stops unbeaten Langberg in the third round. Kolas highlighted the defensive weaknesses of Langberg who kept trying to walk through the Greek’s punches. In the third as Langberg threw a weak left jab Kollas came over the top with a right to the head that stopped Langberg in his tracks and forced him to back up. Kollas then landed a series of head punches that had Langberg reeling and defenceless and the referee stopped the fight. Sixth inside the distance win in a row for Kollas. The 6’5” Langberg had won 11of his 12 fights by KO/TKO.

Zachenhuber vs. Yepremyan

German southpaw “Matador” Zachenhuber kept his slate clean as he stopped Armenian “The Gorilla “Yepremyan in the fifth round. Zachenhuber at 6’0” had a five inch height advantage a longer reach and better skills. Now fourteen wins by KO/TKO for Zachenhuber but he will have to face tougher tests if he wants to be considered a serious threat in the division. Zachenhuber wins the IBF European middleweight title.

Kadiru vs. Khedim

Kadiru continues his low level rebuilding project as he beats Frenchman Khedim who retired at the end of the second round.  No risks being taken after Kadiru was knocked out in 56 seconds by Argentinian Marcos Aumada in November.

Ivanov vs. Kanters

Ukrainian Ivanov successfully defends his IBF International title with a last round kayo of Dutchman Kanters. This was one-way traffic from the start. The over matched Kanters took a serious amount of punishment but hung on in there and looked to have a chance of going the distance after the end of the eleventh round. He almost made it but two knockdowns saw the fight end with just four seconds left to the final bell. Now eight straight wins for Ivanov. Kanters had shown himself durable with only one previous inside the distance defeat.

Marutjan vs. Meiser

Armenian-born Marutjan wins the vacant German International title with a retirement victory over Meiser. Marutjan’s only defeat came in Belfast in 2019 when he lost a very close decision to 16-0-1 Alfredo Meli. He has won his last six fights. Kazak-born Meiser was inactive for six years before returning with a win in April.

Jurk vs. Demaj

German giant the 23-year-old 6’8 ½” Jurk almost doubles his ring time as he has to go past the first round for a win taking the unanimous verdict over Albanian Demaj. One of Jurk’s victims lasted only fifteen seconds. Second points loss for Demaj.

Basel, Switzerland: Heavy: Arnold Gjergjaj (36-3) W KO 4 Kristaps Zutis (7-4-2,1ND).

Gjergjaj was looking to end this early but he was over eager and Latvian Zutis frustrated the big Kosovan-born Swiss. Gjergjaj settled and then found then target with a right in the fourth that put Zutis down on his back to finish the fight. The 6’5” thirty-eight-year old Gjergjaj makes an impressive looking record with 27 wins by KO/TKO but both David Haye and Sean Turner beat him inside the distance. He was defending the WBFederation Intercontinental belt. Third loss in a row for Zutis.

Tortuguitas, Argentina: Welter: Leandro Fonseca (17-1-1) W TKO 9 Cristian Reggiardo (9-5).

Fonseca retains the South American belt with ninth round win over Reggiardo. Fonseca dominated from the start. He owned the centre of the ring and handed out steady punishment with Reggiardo having no answer to the relentless attacks of Fonseca with his corner throwing in the towel after the bell to start the ninth round. Second defence of the South American belt for “Hurricane” Fonseca. Third loss by KO/TKO for Reggiardo

Liege, Belgium: Super Light: Jessy Petit Jean (19-0) W KO 4 Viorel Simion (23-11).

Belgian Petit Jean, 33, keeps his 100% record with fourth round kayo of grizzled veteran Simion. Hopefully Petit Jean will be more active with just one fight in 2020 inactive in 2021 and one fight in 2022. This is his ninth inside the distance finish. Romanian Simion on the way down with only one win in his last nine fights.

Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic: Light Heavy: Tomas Adamek (32-22-2) W Viktor Agatelijan (11-3).

Adamek outpoints an injured Agatelijan in Czech title defence. The fight was fairly even over the first two rounds but Agatelijan suffered a torn bicep in the third and fought the rest of the way carrying that injury. Despite the handicap he made it a close fight with two judges seeing Adamek the winner at 97-93 and 96-94 with the other judge seeing it 96-94 for Agatelijan  and the third voting for Agatelijan. The fight took place on Adamek’s 43rd birthday. Armenian-born Agatelijan holds the Czech middleweight title.

Kolding, Denmark: Super Middle: Jacob Bank (10-0) W PTS 10 Ralfs Vilcans (15-1).

Home town hope Bank, 22, easily outboxes an over-hyped Latvian Vilcans to win the vacant WBO European belt. Vilcans attacked hard but with limited success as Bank kept him at arm’s length and pounded Vilcans with an assortment of head and body punches and won every round with the only question whether Vilcans could last the distance. He did but Bank won on scores of 100-89 twice and 100-90. Winning the WBO European belt will get him a rating although he is No 44 with BoxRec. Not much substance in the record of Vilcans.

Toulouse, France: Middle: Ismael Seck (11-7-2) W KO 8 Anas El Abid (12-1). Light: Alain Sangue (14-9-2) W PTS 10 Anthony Riviere (12-5-1).

Seck vs. El Abid

Seck comes from behind to kayo El Abid. Over the first six rounds, although some of them were close and despite Seck’s longer reach, El Abid looked to have pocketed them all. Seck had been pressing hard and it started to pay-off in the seventh as El Abid looked exhausted and was shaken by a right. El Abid had nothing left in the eighth and was pinned against the ropes and taking a beating when the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. Serck, 6’3”, was beaten on points by England’s River Wilson Bent in April last year but has gone 5-0-1since then. Setback for 25-year-old German El Abid but he just judged the pace wrongly

Sangue vs. Riviere

Sangue gets his revenge with a split decision over Riviere in a close fight to relieve Riviere of the IBO Continental title. Sangue was busier early and built a useful lead. Riviere bounced back over the middle rounds but Sangue took the ninth and that proved crucial as Riviere won the tenth but just came up short. Scores 96-94 twice for Sangue and 96-94 for Riviere. After a 0-5-1 run Sangue gets his second win in a row.  and picks up the IBO Continental belt. Riviere had been 5-1-1 including a loss against Juan Felix Gomez for the EU title and a win over Sangue in March.

Fight of the Week (Significance) A three-way tie here as the wins for Ioka, Adames and Berlanga will all lead to major matches.

Fight of the week (Entertainment): Adames vs. Williams was blood and thunder but I go for Ioka vs. Franco. Twelve rounds of quality boxing and twelve rounds without a single clinch-not too often that happens. Honourable mention to Fernando Martinez vs. Jade Bornea for a compelling  mix of styles

Fighter of the week: Adames for his crushing victory over Williams

Punch of the week: The body punch from Higa that finished Yodmongkol. It looked as though his fist almost buried itself in  the Thai’s spine.

Upset of the week: Burley Brooks (6-2-1) outpointing former IBF super middleweight champion Caleb Truax was a big surprise.

Prospect watch: Puerto Rican Olympian Yankiel Rivera 4-0 has class and style and could make a big impact at flyweight

Observations

Rosette: To those keeping boxing alive with BoxRec showing 61 shows in their schedule for last Saturday

Red Card: Joshua Franco and his team as he came in 6.7lbs over the 115lbs limit

 -German boxer Sarah Bormann is just greedy she has won the following titles;
German flyweight

Global Boxing Union light fly and minimum

WBIF light fly and minimum

World Boxing Federation light fly and minimum

WBC Minimumweight Silver

IBO minimum

WBC and IBF minimum interim

-Joshua Franco might have been careless over his weight due to boredom as he seemed to specialise in return matches. Over the past three years he has fought Oscar Negrete three times, Andrew Moloney three times and Kazuto Ioka twice. Variety is the spice of life Joshua

– Bolivian heavyweights Saul Farah and Rosendo Mercado must be every bit as bored. There are not too many heavyweights in Bolivia so Farah and Mercado have fought each other eight times with the Bolivian title on the line in six times and Farah 7-1 ahead in their series. With his 101 fights Farah must be the most active heavyweight in recent times.