Home Breaking Boxing News The Past Week in Action 4 September 2023 – UK, Denmark, Japan...

The Past Week in Action 4 September 2023 – UK, Denmark, Japan & more

Chris Eubank Jr. Photo credit: Matt McNulty/Getty Images

Highlights:

-Chris Eubank stops Liam Smith inn the tenth round to gain revenge for his loss in January

-Frazer Clarke, Adam Azim, Florian Marku and Lauren Price all remain unbeaten with wins and Mikaela Mayer is victorious

-WBO bantamweight champion Dina Thorslund outpoints WBC champion Yuliahn Luna to unify the titles

-Ricardo Malajika outpoints Kevin Munoz to win the IBO super fly title

-Jack Cullen stops Mark Heffron to win the British and Commonwealth super middle weight titles

-Lyndon Arthur comes off the floor to kayo Bryan Suarez to win the vacant IBO light heavyweight title

-Ricky Burna stops Willie Limond in a battle of Scottish legends

 World Title/Major Shows

 SEPTEMBER 2

Manchester, England: Middle: Chris Eubank Jr W TKO 10 Liam Smith (33-4-1). Super  Light: Adam Azim (9-0) W PTS 10 Aram Fanyan (23-2). Heavy: Frazer Clarke (8-0) W RTD 6 Dave Allen (21-6-2).Super Middle: Jack Cullen (22-4-1) W TKO 3 Mark Heffron (29-3-1). Super Light: Mikaela Mayer (19-1) W PTS 10 Silvia Bortot (11-3-1). Welter: Florian Marku (13-0-1) W TKO 1 Dylan Moran (18-2). Welter: Lauren Price (5-0) W TEC DEC 6 Lolita Muzeya (18-2).

Eubank vs. Smith

Eubank gets revenge for his only inside the distance loss as he wins every round before flooring and stopping Smith in the tenth. The opening round saw Eubank firing a jab and then darting inside and holding or scoring with light nuisance punches. The referee already issued a warning about holding. Smith was not quick enough to score at distance and it was Eubank’s round. Eubank was quickest again in the second. His tactics of landing a jab and then diving inside were not pretty but he was able to stifle Smith’s attacks. Eubank continued to land his jab and Smith was just not throwing enough punches and Eubank pushed him to the cabas at the end of the round. In the third Smith was walking forward behind a high guard waiting to get inside before releasing his punches. Eubank kept piercing Smith’s guard then firing a little bust of punches and either moving out of range of Smith’s shots or darting inside and holding. A static Smith allowed Eubank to twice  fire a burst of unanswered punches and then tie him up inside. Early in the fourth as Smith moved inside Eubank met him with a right hook and Smith dropped to one knee. He was up quickly and given a count and there was a further delay as Smith’s mouthguard had to be put back in. Eubank threw series after series of jabs and uppercuts with Smith on the retreat. For almost the first minute of the fifth Eubank had Smith against the ropes bombarding him with punches. Smith bobbed and weaved and fired back often enough to convince the referee he was not in trouble. Smith was not as positive with his attacks and Eubank was jabbing at distance and wrestling inside. Eubank kept feeding Smith jabs in the sixth and then scoring with bursts of hooks and uppercuts. The jabs were forcing Smith back when he needed to be going forward but he seemed to have suffered an ankle injury which might explain his inability to close Eubank down. It was all Eubank in the seventh and eighth. He was stabbing home jab after jab. Smith hardly threw a punch and when he did it was a wild, frustrated swipe and he looked a beaten fighter. The ninth was another one-sided round. Smith looked livelier at the start but that soon faded and he was once again being caught with jabs and hooks from Eubank. Rights from Eubank had Smith stumbling in the tenth and he dropped to his knees under a deluge of punches. He was up at eight but driven to the ropes again and with Eubank bombarding Smith with punches the referee stopped the fight. A brilliant display from Eubank. Not sure where Smith goes from here but he will be back. He was No 2 with the WBO so this win will put Eubank in line for a shot at champion Janibek Alimkhanuly. Smith was No 3 and Eubank No 5 with the WBC but the Alvarez vs. Charlo fight complicates things there.

Azim vs. Fanyan (Faniian)

Azim takes the unanimous decision over Ukrainian Fanyan to win the WBA Continental title. Azim was jabbing well from the start but Fanyan seemed to shake him with a left in the first. Azim soon settled into the fight and worked his jab hard. He did enough to edge the third and fourth but again Fanyan looked dangerous with lefts.  Azim was more aggressive in the fifth connecting with good rights with Fanyan off target with his shots. Aziz kept working the jab in the sixth and also landed a good left hook and a right to then head with Fanyan not doing much. Aziz totally dominated the seventh forcing Fanyan to a corner and scoring with right hooks. Azim had a fading Fanyan under fire throughout the eighth scoring with both hands to head and body in his best round so far and with Fanyan now just looking to survive. Azim shook Fanyan in the ninth and tenth but could not find the punch to finish the job. Azim won on scores of 100-90,99-91 and 98-92. A workmanlike rather than sparkling performance by 21-year-old Azim. The more experienced Fanyan had won his last ten fights.

Clarke vs. Allen

Clarke has two points deducted for low punches but beats Allen on a sixth round retirement. Clarke did enough to take a slow opening round and then landed the heavier punches in a sedate second. Neither fighter is quick so the pattern would change little. Clarke worked well to the body in the third but a punch went low. Allen connected with an overhand right only for Clarke to bang back with two hefty hooks. Allen tried to work inside in the fourth but Clake was again low with a body punch and then connected with uppercuts before Allen fired back with rights. The pace remained pedestrian and Clarke, although dominating the action, went low twice in the fifth and had two points deducted when he continued to land low in the sixth. A hard right at the end of the round looked to have Allen hurt and he did not come out for the seventh due to what was revealed to be a perforated eardrum. Sixth inside the distance win for Olympic bronze medallist Clarke but he needs to cure himself of low blow syndrome before it costs him a fight. Retirement waits again for Allen as he has gone as far as he can and is in danger of becoming a stepping stone for younger and better fighters.

Cullen vs. Heffron

Cullen scores stunning win as he destroys Heffron with a left hook in the third round. Both were tentative over the first round with Cullen using his edges in height and reach to score with jabs over Heffron who usually starts slowly. The action picked up in the second as they traded hard punches with

Heffron briefly rocked by a right from Cullen. In the third Heffron missed with a couple of rights and then backed up to reset himself. Cullen came forward and landed a left hook that dropped Heffron to his hands and knees. He immediately climbed to his feet but was very shaky and as he stood holding onto the ropes the referee was counting but Heffron collapsed to the canvas and the referee immediately stopped the fight.

Cullen wins the British and Commonwealth titles. After inside the distance losses to Kevin Lele Sadjo and Diego Pacheco this was a must win situation for Cullen. Heffron was defending the titles for the first time.

Mayer vs. Bortot

No problems for Mayer as she wins every round against Italian Bortot. Mayer was quick and accurate with her jabs and scored well to the body. When Mayer chose to stand and swop punches she was sharper with her hooks and kept her guard tight to block Bortot’s punches. Bortot did connect with hooks in the second but Mayer landed a series of punches in response. Bortot came forward throughout the fight but was walking onto jabs and right counters with Mayer then putting together some flashing combinations. The mobility and hand speed of Mayer were just too much for Bortot and although she made Mayer work she was never in the fight in any meaningful way. The referee scored it 100-90 for Mayer. Californian Mayer lost a controversial split decision against Alycia Baumgardner in October with Mayer’s IBF and WBO super featherweight titles  on the line along with Baumgardner’s IBO and WBC titles. She won the WBC interim lightweight title with a victory over Lucy Wildheart in April but now wants to fight for a major title again. Former European title holder Bortot  had lost in a fight for the vacant European super light title in May.

Marku vs. Moran

Marku blasts out Moran in this clash of southpaws. Moran was sticking out his jab looking to use his longer teach to score at distance. Marku suddenly leaped forward and clipped Moran with a left to the head that shook him and sent him back to the ropes. Marku dived in after Moran driving him across the ring and unloading punches.  Moran tried unsuccessfully to cover up and he looked on the point of going down when the referee came in a made a good stoppage. Eighth victory by KO/TKO for the British-based Albanian. Moran had won his last eight fights but both of his losses have come by early stoppage.

Price vs. Muzeya

British welterweight champion Price won a technical decision over Zambian Muzeya. Southpaw Price floored Muzeya and had won every round before Muzeya was cut in a clash of heads in the fifth and was unable to continue. The referee’s card read 60-53 for Price. The former Olympic and Commonwealth champion will be fighting for sanctioning body titles in 2024 for sure. Muzeya was 16-0 before losing on a second round stoppage against Savannah Marshall for the WBO middleweight title in October 2021.

SEPTEMBER 1

Bolton, England: Light Heavy: Lyndon Arthur (23-1) W KO 10 Brian Suarez (18-2). Super Welter: Samuel Antwin (17-2) W KO 10 Mason Cartwright (19-4-1).

Arthur vs. Suarez

Arthur wins the vacant IBO title as he comes from behind to finish Suarez with a body punch in the tenth. Suarez made a positive start coming forward in the first behind a high guard and letting fly with long rights. Arthur was on the back foot trying to use his longer reach but Suarez was getting past the jab. Both scored with good rights. Suarez continued to come forward in the second throwing lots of controlled punches with Arthur on the back foot initially just pushing out single jabs. As the round progressed Arthur had success with his jab and twice complained about punches to the back of the head. Arthur had a good third working almost exclusively with his jab. Suarez stepped up the pressure in the fourth jabbing strongly and coming in behind the jab with rights. He was given a severe warning about punches to the back of the head but with just seconds remaining in the round landed a right to the head that saw Arthur drop to one knee. Arthur was up at seven and the bell had already rung so no time for Suarez to capitalise on the knockdown. Suarez launched big attacks in the fifth and sixth and with Arthur still very much on the defensive Suarez was able to force Arthur to the ropes and unload punches. Suarez also took the seventh and eighth scoring with scorching body punches and rights to the head with Arthur under fire not throwing enough punches and holding more. The pace slowed in the ninth. Arthur did some good work with his jab and an occasional uppercut but again Suarez was pressing hard with Arthur spending too much time just covering up against the ropes. Arthur connected with a couple of rights at the start of the tenth. Surez was still rolling forward but not pressing as hard as he had been and he looking to be tiring. As they traded shots late in the round Arthur banged home a left hook to the body. For a second Suarez did not react but then came the pain and he dropped to his hands and knees and was counted out. Fourth win for Arthur since his inside the distance loss to Anthoy Yarde in December 2021 and the IBO title might get him some good paydays but this was a good ending to a disappointing performance. Suarez will rebound from this and try to work his way to a title shot as he is too good for his domestic opposition.

Antwin vs. Cartwright

Antwi wins the vacant British title with a dramatic last round stoppage. Antwi boxed well over the first two rounds keeping Cartwright out and landing straight rights. When Cartwright did get past Antwi’s jab he scored with some good left hooks. Cartwright managed to close the distance in the third as he dragged Antwi into toe-to-toe exchanges and edged the round. Antwi was back in charge in the third. The pace had been frantic but Antwi boxed more landing well at distance with Cartwright not able to exert enough pressure as Antwi looked to have swept the fourth, fifth and sixth. Cartwright had a better seventh as his pressure looked to be paying off but Antwi finished the round strongly. A confident Antwi was switching guards in the eighth and scoring with good counters on the ever advancing Cartwright but Antwi slowed in the ninth and Cartwright came through with some useful hooks and uppercuts. Cartwright built on the good ninth rocking Antwi a couple of times to take the tenth and edging the eleventh. Antwi was still in front going into the last round but Cartwright was closing the gap. Antwin ended it in real style. A right froze Cartwright and a destructive left hook sent him crashing to the canvas with the referee rushing to Cartwright’s aid and immediately stopping the fight. Antwi had lost a close decision to Ekow in a challenge for the British and Commonwealth title and this spectacular victory might pave the way to a return. Cartwright had lost on points against Troy Williamson for the British title in March 2022.

Holstebro, Denmark: Bantam: Dina Thorslund (20-0) W PTS 10 Yuliahn Luna (25-4-1). Super Middle: Hebert Conceicao (5-0) W TKO 2 Robert Talarek (27-22-3). Super Middle: Jacob Bank (11-0) W TKO 2 Almir Skrijelj (18-6). Super Light: Steven Cairns (6-0) W TKO 2 Marian Wesolowski (3-8-1)

Thorslund vs. Luna

WBO champion Thorslund outpoints WBC  champion Luna to unify the two versions of the bantamweight title. Thorslund made a good start using her height and longer reach to edge in front. Luna shook Thorslund late in the second but Thorslund steadied and put Luna under strong pressure. Luna remained competitive but Thorslund was stronger and won a wide unanimous decision on scores of 99-91 , 98-92 and 97-73. Thorslund a good winner but it looked a bit closer than the two widest scores indicate. Thorslund will now be looking to unify a third version of the title. Luna was making the third defence of the WBC belt.

Conceicao vs. Talarek

Tokyo gold medallist Conceicao dismisses Pole Talarek in two rounds. Conceicao scored well to head and body raking Talarek with left crosses with Talarek throwing plenty of punches but with no accuracy. A right put Talarek down early in the second. Talarek beat the count but a straight right and a body shot sent him down again and the fight weas stopped. Brazilian Conceicao, 25, a surprise winner in Tokyo, gets his third win by KO/TKO. Talarek, 40, has lost his last seven fights.

Bank vs. Skrijelj

Dane Bank marches on with second round stoppage of Skrijelj. Bank outboxed Skrijelj in the first and floored him twice with rights in the second. Fifth inside the distance victory for 22-year-old Bank. Montenegrin Skrijelj had won his last three bouts.

Cairns vs. Wieslowski

Irish hope Cairns halts Pole Wieslowski in two. After a fairly even first Cairns blasted Wieslowski into the ropes and down in the second. The referee gave Wieslowski a count and then stopped the fight. The 21-year-old from Cork was Irish Cadet and Junior champion and scored a win over hot prospect Adam Azim in the amateurs. Third defeat in a row for Wieslowski.

Guetersloh, Germany: Super Welter: Milan Prat (20-0,1ND) W PTS 8 Melbyn Hernandez (7-7-2). Light: Heavy: Kambis Rahmani (13-1-1) W PTS 10 Lukas Simek (4-1-1). Welter: Ilyas Kali (10-0) W KO 2 Jose Balcedo (11-). Light: Natalie Zimmermann (11-0) W PTS 10 Edina Kiss (16-18).

Prat vs. Hernandez

European champion Prat stays busy with a points win over Venezuelan southpaw Hernandez and revenge a loss in the amateurs. It was a largely one-sided fight. Prat took the first round and then upped his pace and the pressure. Prat shook Hernandez in the third but Hernandez banged back in some good action. Prat’s work rate was just too high for Hernandez but the Venezuelan soaked up the punishment and although he tired badly he took Prat the distance. Prat won 80-72 on the three cards. A highly anticipated fight will see Prat make a voluntary defence against Abass Baraou on 7 October. Hernandez had decisioned Prat in the preliminary rounds of the Youth World championships in 2016 but his recent form is 0-6-1.

Rahmani vs. Simek

Rahmani gets highly questionable unanimous decision over Czech southpaw Simek. Rahmani just edged the first two rounds and Simek won the third but was deducted a point for a low blow. Simek then seemed to pick up the fourth, fifth and sixth. Rahmani rallied and took the seventh and the eighth was close. Simek lost another point in the ninth, this time for a butt, but a low punch from Rahmani went unpunished. Simek made the stronger finish but it was in vain as the judges scored it 98-88, 95-92 and 95-93 for German Rahmani. Fifth win in a row for Rahmani. Simek was going past the sixth round for the first time.

Kali vs. Balcedo

German Kali flattens Argentinian Balcedo in spectacular style. Kali was much the bigger man and had Balcedo retreating over the opening three minutes. In the second Kali missed with a right and then landed a right that put Balcedo down face first on the canvas. The referee insisted on counting out the stricken Balcedo which incensed Balcedo’s team. Eighth win by KO/TKO for Kali who wins the World Boxing Federation International title. All five of Balcedo’s losses have come inside the distance.

Zimmermann vs. Kiss

Zimmermann racks up another win for the home team as she scores a unanimous decision over Hungarian Kis to win the WIBF title. Kis won the first round and the last but in between those she had very little success. Zimmermann was just too quick and too skilful for Kis and was never really under any pressure. She eased up in the last round and won on scores of 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92. Zimmermann at 40 is unlikely to progress much further. Ninth defeat in her last ten fights for Kis.

Glasgow, Scotland: Welter: Ricky Burns (45-8-1) W TKO 8 Willie Limond (42-6-1). Super Light: Martin Crossan (8-0) W TKO 1 Andres Smart (6-2). Feather: Andy Tham (5-1) W TKO 6 Jack Turner (6-1). Super: Charlie Doig (5-0) W PTS 8 Clayton Bricknell (4-1).

Burns vs. Limond

Burns stops Limond in a clash of two Scots who in recent years have fought for and won titles at the highest level. From the start it was obvious that Burns had a big edges in speed and skill. Limond drove forward trying to put Burns under pressure but accurate punching from Burns had Limond bleeding heavily from the nose as early as the second round. Limond continued to march forward but Burns was too sharp and dealt out punishment in the third before connecting with a vicious uppercut in the fourth that did further damage to Limond’s nose. There was more punishment for Limond in the fifth and an uppercut in the sixth just added to the punishment. Limond refused to give in and kept trying to get in range for one big punch that might turn the fight his way but by the end of the eighth his face was a mess and his was a lost cause. As he walked back to his corner the referee followed him and indicated the fight was over. Burns, 40, won the WBO super feather and lightweight titles and the secondary WBO super light title. Limond,44, won British, Commonwealth and European Union belts  and they both did Scotland proud. Burns has hinted he might fight again if the right fight comes along but Limond retired again.

Crossan vs. Smart

Crossan is still the Scottish area champion. In the first round of his defence against Smart he nailed Smart with a crushing right cross and Smart went down heavily. He somehow made it to his feet but Crossan stepped in and finished the job. First defence and first win by KO/TKO for Crossan. Smart had lost in a challenge for the Scottish Area welter title in March

Tham vs. Turner

Tham wins the vacant Scottish area title with a stoppage of Turner. Turner was cut early and dropped in the third round. When a punch sent Turner falling into the ropes in the sixth the referee stopped the fight. Third win in a row for Tham and he also scored his first win by KO/TKO.

Doig vs. Bricknell

Dundee’s Doig was to have fought for the Scottish Area title but that fight fell though so he faced substitute Bricknell. Doig went eight rounds for the first time so took on board some useful experience with the referee scoring the bout 78-74 for Doig. Bricknell has yet to lose inside the distance.

Juarez, Mexico: Light:  Miguel Roman (66-14,1ND) W PTS 10 Carlos Cordoba (16-11,2 ND). Bryan Flores (25-0-1 W TKO 3  Eleazar Valenzuela (25-27-6. 1 ND). Super Light:  Pedro Campa (35-3-1) W RTD 4 Javier Franco (36-26-6). Super Fly: Diana Fernandez (28-4-1) W PTS 10 Eloisa Martinez (5-15-4)

Roman vs. Cordoba

Local hero Roman gets a points victory over Argentinian Cordoba who is floored and deducted points and lucky not to get disqualified. There had been bad blood before the fight and things soon turned nasty. In the second Cordoba lost a point for a low blow and was floored. It was Roman losing a point for a low punch in the third as tempers remained hot. Both calmed down a bit over the next three rounds with Roman scoring well to the body and Cordoba dangerous with his left hook. Cordoba lost yet another point in the seventh but why was unclear. Cordoba was competitive until late in the eighth when he went down from a body punch and he was down again in the ninth. An exhausted Cordoba made it through the tenth and in fact they continued to scrap after the bell which was no surprise. Roman was seeking win No 50 by KO/TKO but he had to go the distance and won on scores of 98-88 twice and 99-87. Now 37 Roman has had shots at the WBC light and super feather and the secondary WBA secondary feather titles. Former undefeated Argentinian title holder Cordoba is 1-4 in recent fights on the road.

Flores vs. Valenzuela

Flores makes it 21 wins in a row with the stoppage of Valenzuela. Valenzuela strode forward over the first two rounds  walking onto jabs, straight rights and left hooks to the body. Despite that a determined Valenzuela was willing to take the punches to land some hooks of his own inside. Flores hardly wasted a punch and he stiffened Valenzuela’s legs with a left hook in the second and then pounded him to the bell. In the third Flores pinned Valenzuela against the ropes and landed punch after punch snapping Valenzuela’s head on his shoulders until Valenzuela’s corner threw in the towel. Included in those 21 wins for Flores is a useful points victory over 20-1-1 Shinard Bunch. Fourteenth inside the distance loss for Valenzuela

Campa vs. Franco

Campa returns to the winners enclosure as he beats Franco on a fourth round retirement. Franco made a good start and won the opening round but it was downhill from there. Campa was scoring with jabs and letting fly with swinging hooks from both hands with Franco forced to back up and doing very little attacking. By the third Franco was holding to stem Campa’s attacks and was trapped against the ropes for much of the round and taking plenty of punishment. A punch knocked Franc’s mouthguard out in the fourth and he again had to absorb some heavy shots. Over the last ten seconds Franco drove forward forcing Campa to the ropes and throwing clubbing shots. It was a last fling as Franco retired at the end of the round, Campa was coming off consecutive losses against Teo Lopez and Brandun Lee so needed a win. Franco, has been a pro for thirteen years and this is defeat No 16 by KO/TKO.

Fernandez vs. Martinez

Local fighter Fernandez much too good for a game Martinez. Fernandez went in front from the start and Martinez showed courage in taking the punishment and not crumbling. Fernandez dropped her work rate a bit in the eighth and ninth but had a strong tenth and won on scores of 100-90 twice and 98-92. Fernandez has come up short in challenges for the IBF super fly and WBC bantam and super fly titles but with six wins in a row she has hopes of the fourth title shot. Martinez has not risen beyond domestic level but was coming in on the back of two quick inside the distance wins over acceptable quality rivals.

SEPTEMBER 2

Kempton Park, South Africa: Super Fly: Ricardo Malajika (12-2) W PTS 12 Kevin Munoz (16-2,1ND). Super Welter: Shervantaigh Koopman (12-0) W RTD 8 Brando Thysse (15-4-1). Super Welter: Roarke Knapp (17-1-1) W TKO 5 Przemyslaw Zysk (18-2).

Malajika vs. Munoz

Malajika wins the vacant IBO title. Munoz tried to overwhelm Malajika with a storming start but although Malajika went down in the first it was ruled a slip and Munoz was warned for hitting Malajika when he was down. From there Malajika comprehensively won the war of jabs to take control of the fight. He was quicker than Munoz and busier with his switching of guards confusing Munoz. Excellent defensive work made it hard for Munoz to land anything of consequence and he could not get away from Malaika’s jab and accurate straight right counters. If Munoz made  a mistake Malajika made him pay. The pace was fast and both tired and although Munoz had some success late generally the longer the fight went on the more dominant Malajika was. Malajika was a good winner. Scores 120-108, 118-110 and 117-111. Malajika had won his last three fights by KO/TKO but he showcased his skills here. Argentinian Munoz had won his last four fights but Malajika was a much higher standard of opponent.

Koopman vs. Thysse

Koopman retains the South African title with an eighth round retirement win over Thysse. There were some fierce exchanges from the start in this fight. Both were letting their hands go in the first round. That continued into an exciting second with Koopman dropping Thysse with a left hook. Thysse was very shaky but he made it to the bell and Koopman built on that knockdown to win the third. Thysse got back into the fight in the fourth but spoiled his good work by losing a point for a low punch. There were plenty of hefty exchanges in the fifth and sixth before Koopman just had the better of the exchanges in the seventh as he boxed at distance. A right counter put Thysse down hard in the eighth and again he beat the count. Koopman tried hard to finish and shook Thysse with a neck-snapping right but Thysse survived to the end of the round with his team then wisely pulling him out of the fight. Ninth victory by KO/TKO for Koopman and second defence of the national title. Thysse had won five of his last six fights but suffers his second inside the distance defeat.

Knapp vs. Zysk

Knapp stops Pole Zysk in the fifth. Despite giving away height and reach Knapp out jabbed Zysk and also used a focused body attack to slow the Polish fighter. Knapp continued to boss the exchanges switching his attacks from head to body and using his superior strength to put Zysk on the back foot. Knapp rocked Zysk in the third and fourth and although Zysk fought back hard Knapp continued to dominate. Knapp floored Zysk in the fifth. Zysk made it to his feet but after the count he was pinned against the ropes shipping heavy punishment until the  referee belatedly stopped the fight. Eighth win in a row for Roarke who has reversed his only loss and he scored a points win over experienced Dante Jordan in December. Zysk has benefited from some very careful matching and had lost a wide decision against Sam Eggington for the vacant IBO super welter belt in his last fight in June.

Villa Dominico, Argentina: Bantam: Maximiliano Maidana (10-0-1) W TKO 1 Sebastian Castillo (7-4-1).Heavy: Victor Ramirez (30-4-1) W DISQ 8 Esteban Lopez (10-10-1).

Maidana vs. Castillo

It was bombs away from the start as theses two stood and traded punches. Maidana landed a good left hook to the body that had Castillo backing off and then drove home a straight right to the head that sent Castillo crashing to the floor hitting his head on the bottom rope. The referee started to count but then waived the fight over. Maidana was making the second defence of the South American title.

Ramirez vs. Lopez

Ramirez wins on an eighth round disqualification over Lopez. Ramirez dominated the action marching forward against the portly Lopez scoring with shots to the head. Lopez fired back enough to give Ramirez some uncomfortable moments. In the third, when under fire, Lopez spat out his mouthguard three times and was deducted a point. He lost another point in the fourth for the same triple offence but on one of those occasions as he had Ramirez trapped in a corner and was throwing punches his mouthguard dropped out rather than his spitting it out. His mouthguard popped out again in the fourth round to lose another point. Lopez competed hard over the sixth and seventh but when he lost his mouthguard again in the eighth the referee disqualified him. Ramirez 39, a former interim IBF and WBO cruiser champion, had ballooned up as high as 282lbs  but was down to 220 ½ lbs for this fight. Lopez, 37, was in his first fight scheduled for ten rounds.

Melbourne, Australia: Welter: Joel Taylor (10-1) W PTS 10 Cesur Afacan (5-1-1). Super Middle: Max Reeves (9-0-1) W KO 4 Joel Corner (6-3-1).

Taylor vs. Afacan

Taylor retains the national title with a split decision over Afacan. Taylor, 23, put Afacan down with a potent left hook but Afacan recovered and made this one close. Scores 97-92 twice for Taylor and 95-94 for Afacan. Taylor was defending the title for the first time.

Reeves vs. Corner

Reeves power shines through again as he knocks out Corner to win the vacant Australian title. A right followed by a left hook sent Corner down for the count in the fourth, The 23-year-old from Brisbane makes it seven wins by KO/TKO and had stopped Jayde Mitchell in May. Tasmanian Corner was 2-0-1 in his last three bouts.

Tokyo, Japan: Super Feather: Kenichi Ogawa (28-2-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Marvin Esquierdo (17-3-1,1ND). Welter: Shoki Sakai (28-13-3) W PTS 10 Hiroya Nojima (11-1-1).

Ogawa vs. Esquierdo

Ogawa wins a comfortable unanimous decision over Filipino Esquierdo. With his faster hands Ogawa was able to get through with his jabs and straight rights whilst effectively blocking or dodging those of Esquierdo. As the rounds progressed Esquierdo relied more and more on boxing on the back foot presenting Ogawa with less of a target but not showing a great deal in the way of offence. Scores 99-91 twice and 98-92 for Ogawa. Second fight for Ogawa since losing his IBF title on a second round kayo by Joe Cordina in June last year. Esquierdo had been 10-0,1ND in his last 11 fights.

Sakai vs. Nojima

Sakai much too experienced for Nojima (Noshima in the Japanese reports). Sakai was chasing down the retreating Nojima getting past Nojima’s longer reach to score inside and shook Nojima with a right in the third. After five rounds Sakai was ahead 49-46 on two cards and 48-47 on the third. Over the second half of the fight Sakai worked inside with Nojima battling hard and making the eighth and ninth close but Sakai won 98-92 on the three cards. Sakai, 32, was defending the Japanese title for the first time. He has spent much of his career campaigning in Mexico and the USA. Nojima, somehow rated No 15 middleweight by the WBO, was coming off an eight round draw with 5-2-2 Hiroto Hoshi.

Landgasthof, Switzerland : Heavy: Arnold Gjergjaj (37-3) W PTS 12 Bilal Laggoune (26-4-2).

Gjergjaj wins the vacant WBFederation title with a split decision over Belgian Laggoune. The 6’5” Gjergjaj had big advantages in height and reach and used them well to outpoint a vastly overweight Laggoune. The fight was very slow paced with neither being fleet of foot. Gjergjaj mainly stuck to his jab circling the ring and popping the marching Laggoune with lefts and occasional rights. Laggoune had been stopped in three rounds by Jack Massey in a fight for the IBO cruiser title in November 21. He was 199 ½ lbs for that fight and 254lbs here which says everything about his fitness. Despite that he kept Gjergjaj under pressure and did enough to make the fight close and was stronger than Gjergjaj over the closing rounds. Gjergjaj won on scores of 115-113 twice with one score 115-113 for Laggoune. Kosovan-born Gjergjaj, 37, has lost whenever he has met serious opposition but has a title for his efforts.  With Laggoune, 30, having put on 55lbs in under two  years  and only four fights in a similar period not sure if he has a future.

Volketswil, Switzerland: Middle: Ramadan Hiseni (16-1-1) W PTS 8 Dustin Ammann (10-12). Middle: Egzon Maliqaj (13-1-1) W PTS 8 Omir Rodriguez (13-9-1).

Hiseni vs. Amman

Hiseni gets back into the winners column with comfortable points win over German Ammann on scores of 80-71, 80-72 and 78-74. Hiseni disappointingly surrendered his unbeaten tag when losing a unanimous decision against 9-7-2 Ismael Seck in Berne in December. Ammann is 1-4 in his last 5 bouts.

Maliqaj vs. Rodriguez

Switzerland’s Maliqaj wins a unanimous decision over Rodriguez but has to climb off the floor for victory. Rodriguez scored a knockdown in the fourth but Maliqaj recovered and went on to win a split decision. The judges saw it 77-74 twice for Maliqaj and 76-76. Maliqaj lost his unbeaten record when he was outpointed by 16-0 German Slawa Spomer for the WBO Global belt in December. Panamanian Rodriguez is now 0-5 in fights since leaving Panama.

San Isidro, Philippines: Jino Rodrigo (11-3-2) W TKO 3 Alvius Maufani (7-7-2).

Rodrigo too fast for Indonesian Maufani and floors and stops him in the third. After dancing around the plodding Maufani in the first he dropped him with a booming left hook. Maufani made it to his feet but then Rodrigo switched guards and floored Maufani with a right. Maufani again arose and Rodrigo just kept switching guards pushing out punches and not looking to end it early. Maufani was down early in the second and given a count although it looked like he slipped but he was then floored by a right and the bell went when the count was completed. When Rodrigo put Maufani on the floor again in the third the referee waived the fight over. Sixth win in his last seven fights for Rodrigo and ninth victory by KO/TKO. Fourth inside the distance loss for the hapless Maufani

Fight of the week: (Significance): Chris Eubank Jr’s win over Liam Smith puts him back in line for a title shot

Fight of the week: (Entertainment): Shervantaigh Koopman vs. Brando Thysse was a war all the way

Fighter of the week: Chris Eubank Jr proving those who wrote him off were wrong

Punch of the week: Really difficult to pick one as Maximiliano Maidana, Ilyas Kali, Shervantaigh Koopman, Samuel Antwi and Jack Cullen all had dynamite in their gloves this week

Upset of the Week: None unless you count Eubank proving the experts wrong.

Prospect watch: Super lightweight Bryan Flores 25-0-1 14 wins by KO/TKO looks good

Observations

Rosette: To promoter Ben Shalom for putting on the only major fight card of the week

Red Card: To whoever fitted Argentinian heavyweight Esteban Lopez for his mouthguard. It popped out seven times costing him two points deductions and a disqualification. On most of the occasions it popped out it did not look deliberate. I am not going to that guy when I need false teeth I would be frightened to cough

-Most frightening moment of the weekend came when Germany heavyweight Vincenzo Anzalone with a record of 0-17-1 won his first fight with a kayo of 1-3 Eugenio Milazzo. Never having won before Anzalone stood there not knowing how to celebrate a win. I was terrified he might remember seeing how other fighters did it and decide to run to a corner and jump up the ropes-and why not. He just happens to weigh 300lbs (or 21stone or 136kilos) and I had visions of the ring and perhaps the whole building coming down.

– As an example of how the sanctioning bodies have bastardised any principles of ratings by awarding a high spots for winning a title irrespective of the quality of the fighters fighting for that title. Japanese boxer Hiroya Nojima is No 15 middleweight with the WBO. He “earned” that honour by winning the WBO Asia Pacific belt with a win over a 45 year old opponent rated No 229 by Box Rec and defended with a win over a fighter with a 6-2-2 record then showed how worthy he was of such a high ranking by drawing with a fighter with a 5-2-2 record-and at the weekend lost 98-92 on all three cards in a challenge for the Japanese welterweight title. Box Rec now have him at No 101-the WBO have him at No 15!!!!!! And these bodies really delude themselves into thinking they are good for boxing.