Check out Eric Armit’s comprehensive report in The Week In Boxing – February 20, 2018!
-Srisaket retains the WBC super fly title with majority decision over Juan Estrada
-Donnie Nietes proves too good for Argentinian Juan Reveco and halts him to keep his WBO fly title
-Artem Dalakian wins the vacant WBA fly title with win over Brian Viloria
-McWilliams Arroyo scores upset victory over Carlos Cuadras
-Callum Smith moves on to the super middle final in the WBSS tournament with victory over substitute Nieky Holzken
-Joseph Diaz goes to 26-0 with kayo of former WBC champion Victor Terrazas
-Anthony Yarde destroys game Tony Averlant
– Jason Moloney wins the vacant Commonwealth title to join twin brother as a Commonwealth title holder
Indio CA, USA: Feather: Joseph Diaz (26-0) W KO 3 Victor Terrazas (38-5-2). Super Light: Vergil Ortiz (9-0) W KO 3 Jesus Alvarez (15-4). Light: Rey Perez (22-9) W PTS 8 Christian Gonzalez (18-2).
Diaz vs. Terrazas
Diaz takes less than three rounds to brush aside former WBC super bantam champion Terrazas. After an early session of probing with jabs southpaw Diaz staggers Terrazas with a right followed by a left. Terrazas tries to move inside but Diaz sinks home a short left to the body and Terrazas goes down on one knee. He is clearly hurt but beats the count but when he tries to move inside a left to the head puts him down again. He is up at eight and with only 30 seconds to go to the bell he throws a series of rights and Diaz is unable to nail him before the bell. Terrazas stays busy in the second. Diaz goes for the body with left hooks and clips Terrazas with lefts to the head but Terrazas gets through the round without too much grief. The veteran marches forward throughout the third coming in low trying to minimise the danger from Diaz’s body punches but late in the round Diaz hammers home a left to the body and Terrazas goes down on his knees and is counted out. The 25-year-old “JoJo” a member of the US team at the 2012 Olympics, retains his WBC NABF and WBO NABO titles and now has 14 wins by KO/TKO. He is No 1 with the WBC and is calling out Gary Russell and should get his title shot this year. Terrazas, 35, took three years out after losing his WBC title to Leo Santa Cruz in 2013 and when he returned in 2016 was knocked out by unbeaten Eduardo Hernandez and is now seriously considering retirement.
Ortiz vs. Alvarez
Ortiz gives another display of his power as he knocks out Alvarez in three rounds, Ortiz already has six first round wins and it looked as though he might make it seven when he floored Alvarez with a right. Alvarez made it to his feet and managed to last to the bell. Ortiz continued to hand out punishment in the second. He used a strong jab to open the door for right uppercuts and left hooks with Alvarez stuck on the back foot. Alvarez tried to get a toe-hold in the fight early in the third but late in the round Ortiz drove him to the ropes with a right and then unloaded with head punches until the referee stepped in and halted the fight. Texan Ortiz, 19, wins the vacant NABF junior title, He has won all nine of his fights by KO/TKO but the opposition so far has been modest at best. Mexican Alvarez has now lost four on the bounce by TKO/TKO all ending inside four rounds.
Perez vs. Gonzalez
Despite some poor recent form Perez shows he is not yet ready to roll over for every new young prospect as he outboxes and outscores young Gonzalez. Perez was taking the fight to Gonzalez from the start and worked hard for eighth rounds never letting Gonzalez into the fight. The experienced Filipino worked his jab hard and found gaps for his rights and a cut caused by a clash of heads did not help Gonzalez. Perez won clearly on all three cards. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 all for Perez. The former Philippines super fly champion was 4-7 in his last 11 fights in tough matches mainly against world rated fighters or hot prospects, The 22-year-old Gonzalez was 16-0 at the start of his career before being knocked out on two rounds by Filipino Romero Duro in March last year. He had recorded a win over former WBC champion Gamaliel Diaz in October so a big setback for him here.
Entre Rios, Argentina: Super Feather: Raul Centeno (22-4-1) W PTS 10 Ezequiel Fernandez (28-2-1). Centeno was a slight outsider in this one but he came through with a deserved win. In the fourth Centeno ignored the instruction to step back at the break call and instead landed a body punch that put Fernandez down. The referee counted over Fernandez and after Fernandez made it to his feet he then deducted a point from Centeno for hitting on the break so cancelling out any advantage from the knockdown. Apart from that moment of controversy Centeno controlled the action and was a good winner. Scores 97-91, 97-92 and 95-94 for Centeno. He wins the interim WBO Latino title. Former undefeated Argentinian champion Fernandez was 11-0-1 in his last 12 fights.
Rome, Italy: Middle: Kamil Szeremeta (17-0) W TKO 2 Alessandro Goddi (33-3-1). Light: Emiliano Marsili (36-0-1 W TEC DEC 7 Victor Betancourt (22-13,1ND). Super Middle: Andrea Di Luisa (19-4) W PTS 6 Djordje Markovic (3-7-1)> Feather: Carmine Tommasone (18-0) W PTS 6 Milan Savic (4-26-2).Super Feather: Devis Boschiero (45-5-1) W PTS 6 Edwin Tellez (12-37-5).
Szeremeta vs. Goddi
Pole Szeremeta springs big surprise as he shows unexpected power and halts Goddi in two rounds to win the vacant European title. Even in a close first round Szeremeta was finding gaps for some choice counters on the more aggressive Goddi. In the second Szeremeta took advantage of Goddi holding his left too low and landed a right to the head that sent Goddi down. The Italian made it to his feet but was still shaky and another put him down for the second time. Again he made it to the vertical but as the referee was assessing whether Goddi could continue the towel was flying in from his corner. The 28-year-old new champion had only two wins by KO/TKO prior to this fight and Goddi had never been stopped so not the expected outcome.”Highlander” Goddi, was having his second shot at the European title and had lost only one of his last 24 fights
Marsili vs. Betancourt
Oldie Marsili wins technical decision over Mexican Betancourt for something described as the WBC Peace title. The Italian southpaw had much better skills than Betancourt who was crude but strong. In the opening round a clash of heads saw Marsili cut under his right eyebrow and in accordance with the WBC rule the referee deducted a point from Betancourt. The pattern of the fight did not vary much. Betancourt was barrelling forward with Marsili slotting home jabs and counters. The Italian was picking up the points with his greater accuracy but Betancourt was dangerous with hooks. Marsili decided to stand and trade in the seventh but his cut had worsened and the referee asked the ringside physician to examine the cut. The physician recommend the fight be stopped so it went to the cards. Scores 70-62, 69-64 and 68-64 for Marsili. The 41-year-old Marsili has been a pro for 15 years and has collected the IBO, European and WBC Silver titles with wins over Derry Mathews, Luca Giacon and Gamaliel Diaz but is unlikely to get a world title shot now. Betancourt’s record mainly built against low level opposition.
Di Luisa vs. Markovic
Di Luisa gets win but makes hard work of beating the inexperienced Serb. All four of Di Luisa’s losses have come inside the distance and he was rocked badly early and struggled after that. He probably just did enough to win but it was a poor performance by the local fighter. The former Italian and EU title holder lost big fights to Lucien Bute and George Groves and is really just domestic level now. Markovic keeps his slate clean of any inside the distance losses.
Tommasone vs. Savic
With a big fight coming up in May Tommasone gets in some ring time in unanimous decision over Serb Savic. It was a comfortable six rounds for the Italian to prepare for his fight with Pole Kamil Laszczyk for the vacant EU title as he tries to get revenge for Goddi’s loss. The 33-year-old Italian, a former undefeated EU champion, took advantage of the AIBA decision to allow pros in the Olympics and competed in Rio but did not medal. Savic now 1-13-1 in his last 15 fights.
Boschiero vs. Tellez
Routine pay day for former world title challenger Boschiero who could also be challenging for the EU title in May. Rather than simply outboxing the limited Nicaraguan Tellez Boschiero chose to fight Tellez on the inside making for a more entertaining and competitive fight. Boschiero’s body punching and wicked uppercuts kept him on top as he took every round. The 36-year-old Italian lost a split decision to Takahiro Ao for the WBC title in 2011 but subsequent defeats against Romain Jacob, Stephen Smith and Mario Barrios have reduced his options and he is now waiting for the date for a challenge against Frenchman Farouk Kourbanov for the EU title. Tellez with typical figures for one of the squad of Barcelona-base4d Nicaraguans at 1-14 in his last 15 fights
Gurgliasco. Italy: Feather: Francesco Grandelli (91-1) W PTS 10 Emiliano Salvini (18-26-2). Grandelli wins the vacant Italian title with unanimous decision over old warrior Salvini. The veteran fought hard over the early rounds forcing the fight with Grandelli boxing on the back foot. The fast pace eventually told on Salvini and by the seventh Grandelli was in control and as he stepped up his attacks Salvini was the one under pressure as Grandelli wrapped up the victory. Scores 99-91, 99-92 and 98-93 for 23-year-old Grandelli who is 6-0-1 in his last 7 outings. The 39-year-old Salvini a former Italian super bantam champion is now 2-12-1 in fights for various Italian and EU titles.
Chinandega, Nicaragua: Bantam: Keyvin Lara (24-2-1) W PTS 6 Bryan Perez (11-5-1,1ND). Super Fly: Alex Taylor (17-21-2) W PTS 6 Elton Lara (16-3,2ND).
Lara vs. Perez
Big brother Keyvin gets a win on a mixed night for the Lara family in their home town. Keyvin was a heavy favourite to overcome fellow Nicaraguan Perez. Lara took the first two rounds with some good work countering the attacks of Perez but Perez got through with some heavy punches in the third. Lara swept the last three rounds with Perez flirting with disqualification with some careless head work as Lara stood and traded to the bell. Scores 59-55 for Lara. The WBO No 6 flyweight makes it five wins in a row since his eleven round kayo loss against Kazuto Ioka for the secondary WBA title in 2016. Perez, 21, just lacked the skill and experience to threaten Lara.
Taylor vs. Lara
Taylor gats a needed win as he upsets younger Lara brother Elton. Taylor was 2-7 going in but upset the odds. Lara had lost only one of his last fourteen fights but it was not his night.
Vanderbijlpark, South Africa: Heavy: Ruann Visser (13-1,1ND) W KO 7 Osborne Machimana (23-11-2). Visser wears down and kayos Machimana to win the South African title. Visser had a huge advantage in height and it was not a handicap. Machimana at 319lbs was 65lbs heavier and since most of it was around his waist that was certainly a handicap for him. “The Giant King” Visser is 6’9 ½” (207cm) and that allowed him to score with jabs from distance and he found an easy target for his punches to the body of champion Machimana. A left to the body floored Machimana in the third but he survived and his experience helped him stay in the fight. However he slowed considerably and a right put him down in the seventh and he was counted out. The 27-year-old Visser, also the ABU champion, gets his eighth win in a row and his twelfth win by KO/TKO. He literally came to boxing by accident. He was seriously injured in a game of rugby and as part of his rehabilitation in the gym they added boxing to his fitness programme. He had no real amateur experience but had his first five fights in Texas before returning to South Africa to continue his career. His opposition back home has been dismal with his 9 opponents before the Machimana win only having 17 victories between them so very little real experience. Machimana, 39, has been a pro for 17 years and was in his third spell as national champion. He was knocked out in three rounds by David Price for the Commonwealth title in 2011. When he turned pro he weighed 244lbs and it was an indication of the abysmal state of heavyweight boxing in South Africa that fighter such as Machimana has ruled the roost for so long. He did kayo Corrie Saunders in one round but Saunders, who stopped Wlad Klitschko in two rounds, was 42 at the time. Ironically when Machimana was having financial problems in 2016 it was Visser who subsidised him.
Kissimmee, FL, USA: Fly: Jonathan Gonzalez (20-2-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Ricardo Rodriguez (16-6). Feather: Hairon Socarras (16-0-3) W PTS 6 Luis Diaz (3-4). Bantam: Jeyvier Cintron (3-0) W PTS 6 Edson Neri (2-2). Bantam: Antonio Vargas (60-0) W PTS 6 Luis Saavedra (7-5).
Gonzalez vs. Rodriguez
Puerto Rican “Bomba” Gonzalez continues his rebuilding process but looks lucky to get split decision over Rodriguez. After a quite first round the fight developed generally along the lines of Rodriguez coming forward looking to land big single punches and Gonzalez aiming to blunt those attacks with good movement and clever counters. A significant piece of action in the third saw Rodriguez off balance and put one knee on the canvas which was counted as a knockdown. Rodriguez kept up his pressure and put Gonzalez on the floor for a genuine knockdown in the seventh. That was enough to make it a very close fight but it was Gonzalez who took the decision. Scores 96-93 and 95-94 for Gonzalez and 95-94 for Rodriguez. The 25-year-old Bronx-born Gonzalez was unbeaten in his first 13 fights but then got over-ambitious and was knocked out in four rounds by former champion Giovani Segura in 2013. He took almost a year out and then went 5-0-1until being knocked out in six rounds by Filipino Jobert Alvarez in 2016 which led to another year out. This win nets him the WBO NABO title and as he is Puerto Rican will lead to a good rating by the Puerto Rican based outfit. Good wins over Miguel Cartagena and David Carmona in 2016 earned Rodriguez a shot as WBO super fly champion Naoya Inoue in May last year but he was kayoed in three rounds. In his last fight in October he lost to former victim Daniel Lozano so it is now three losses in a row.
Socarras vs. Diaz
Socarras was to have faced a reasonable test in experienced William Gonzalez but Gonzalez had problems with his medical tests and Puerto Rican Diaz stepped in a very short notice. Socarras took the unanimous decision to stay unbeaten. He was coming off a poor showing in only getting a majority draw in his last fight so missed a chance to make up for that. Diaz is 40 and did not turn pro until he was 39 so no tests at all.
Cintron vs. Neri
Cintron gets in some work as he wins every round against Mexican novice Neri. Scores 60-54 all for Cintron. The 23-year-old is the only Puerto Rican boxer to have competed at two Olympics having participated in 2012 and 2016. He won a silver medal at the World Youth Championships and twice scored wins over the current WBC No 2 Emmanuel Rodriguez. His father Javier was a pro and faced world champions Danny Romero, Victor Rabanales and Will Grigsby. Neri just a prelim fighter.
Vargas vs. Saavedra
Vargas makes it a double for Olympians as he outpoints Mexican Saavedra. The young Mexican made Vargas work but did not have the power or skill to seriously inconvenience the rising young star. Scores 60-54 twice and 60-59 for Vargas. A deeply religious 21-year-old Vargas was USA Boxing Elite Male Boxer of the Year in 2015 when he won gold at both the US National Championships and the PanAmerican Games where he beat Cintron but did not medal in Rio. Three losses in a row for Saavedra against unbeaten fighters and he keeps his slate clean as far as losing inside the distance goes.
Villa Carlos Paz, Argentina: Feather: Alan Luques (24-7) W TKO 7 Matias Iriarte (7-4-1). Feather: Hector Sarmiento (18-0) W KO 1 Jose Alfaro (6-2-1).
Luques vs. Iriarte
South American champion Luques keeps busy with a win over Iriarte. Luques dominate most of the fight. He had no problems with the southpaw style of Iriarte but too often found himself tied up in clinches with a defensive minded Iriarte. Luques ended it the seventh with a left hook to the body. Ten wins by KO/TKO now for Luques. He has won 5 of his last 6 fights with the loss being against Diego De La Hoya when De La Hoya came down to Argentina for a fight. Iriarte no sort of test for Luques.
Sarmiento vs. Alfaro
Sarmiento overwhelms inexperienced Venezuelan in the first. The “Little Bird” Sarmiento, the Argentinian champion, put Alfaro down in the middle of the round and although Alfaro beat the count a pair of hooks to the body and a series of head punches floored him for the second time and he was counted out. Now 12 wins by KO/TKO for the 24-year-old Sarmiento the WBA No 14. Second loss inside the distance for Alfaro.
Sydney, Australia: Super Middle: Bilal Akkawy (17-0-1) W PTS 10 Giovanni De Carolis (25-9-1). Important win for Akkawy as he outclasses Italian De Carolis a former holder of the secondary WBA title. Akkawy took centre ring from the opener and dominated the fight from there. His strong jab was something De Carolis could not match and the Italian was often short with his own punches and relied more on hooks than jabs but did not have much luck with either. Akkway’s aggression had De Carolis trying to smother the Australian’s attacks by clinching and as early as the fourth round the referee was tired of warning him and deducted a point. Akkawy, 24, continued to boss the fight all of the way in what was on paper a tough test and he turned an impressive performance to retain the WBA Oceania title for the first time. Scores 99-90 twice and 100-89. He is No 3 in the Australian ratings in a division in which Aussie land is strong but this win will get him a world rating from the WBA. The 33-year-old de Carolis had a purple patch in 2016 when he beat Vincent Feigenbutz to win the secondary WBA title and then retained the title in a draw with Tyron Zeuge but consecutive losses to Zeuge and Viktor Polyakov had seen him drop out of the ratings.
Newstead, Australia: Bantam: Robert Trigg (3-1-1) W TKO 4 Jarrett Owen (6-6-3). Trigg retains the Australian title with stoppage of local fighter Owen. Over the first two rounds Owen was able to use his jab to compete with the aggression of Trigg but Trigg kept coming and eventually overpowered Owen scoring two knockdowns before the fight was stopped. First defence of the national title and first win by KO/TKO for Trigg. Fifth loss inside the distance for Owen. There are only five active fighters below the super bantam division in Australia which is why two such inexperienced fighters can contest the title and both Trigg and Owen had previously failed in shots at the national super bantam title.
St Kilda, Australia: Bantam: Jason Moloney (16-0) W TKO 3 Immanuel Naidjala (23-5-1). Super Fly: Andrew Moloney (16-0) W PTS 12 Rene Dacquel (20-7-1).
Moloney vs. Naidjala
Another good night for the Moloney twins as they both register important and impressive wins. Jason joins Andrew as a Commonwealth title holder as he halts former world title challenger Namibian Naidjala. Although giving away a bit in height and reach Moloney had his jab working well in the first and stepped up a gear in the second pressing hard with Naidjala having difficulty getting off the ropes to find any space. It was apparent that Moloney had the power and in the third he again took Naidjala to the ropes and landed a crushing right to the head which had Naidjala floundering and with Moloney battered him with a series of unanswered punches the referee stopped the fight. Apart from winning the prestigious Commonwealth title Moloney also retains his WBA Oceania title. The 27-year-old Australian won titles at every level in Australian amateur boxing and was a quarter-finalist at the Commonwealth Games. He now has 13 wins by KO/TKO and is already rated WBA 9/IBF 12(14). “Prince” Naidjala, 33, lost on points to Tomoki Kameda for the WBO title in 2013 but was coming off back-to-back losses to South Africans Siboniso Goya and Mzuvukile Magwaca.
Moloney vs. Dacquel
Andrew faces his toughest test so far and comes through with a dominant display as he wins the OPBF title and retains the WBA Oceania title. After a close first round it was really all Moloney. He took control behind a hurtful jab and wore Dacquel down with a focused body attack. Dacquel managed to stay competitive but his successes were few as Moloney raked the Filipino with hooks and uppercuts inside. Dacquel did enough to make one or two of the early rounds close but eventually the resistance began to seep out of Dacquel. He did put in a big effort in the eleventh but it was too late for him to swing the fight his way and Moloney cruised through the last to victory. Scores 119-109, 118-111 and 117-111 confirming the dominance of the Australia. Andrew also won various Australian titles and took the gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He is also the Commonwealth champion and is rated WBA 6/IBF 9. Former Philippines champion Dacquel was No 5 with the IBF. He was making the fourth defence of the OPBF title and had won his last five fights and gave Moloney a good test which he came through with impressive ease.
Quellon, Chile: Super Bantam: Ramon Contreras (15-6) W KO 2 Aldimar Silva (20-13). Contreras crushes Brazilian inside two rounds. Contreras almost finished it with two knockdowns in the first and when he put Silva down early in the second the Brazilian was counted out. The 32-year-old local southpaw was making the first defence of his WBA Fedebol title and gets his sixth win by KO/TKO. Silva heading in the opposite direction as he suffers his eighth loss by KO/TKO.
Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic: Bantam: Junior Almonte (8-0) W KO 1 Rafael Rodriguez (11-2). Super Feather: Juan Alberto Garcia (8-0) W TKO 8 Joan Orbin Medina (16-1).
Almonte vs. Rodriguez
Neighbourhood hope Almonte wins inside the distance and collects two titles. The former Dominican Youth champion blitzed Rodriguez with a series of thumps to head and body sending Rodriguez down and out after just 111 seconds. “Bombita” wins both the vacant Dominican and vacant WBC Fecarbox titles with his sixth victory by KO/TKO. Second quick time loss in a row for Rodriguez.
Garcia vs. Medina
Garcia springs surprise as he outpunches champion Medina to win the national title. Garcia just punched too hard for the favoured Medina flooring him in the second and again in the eighth to force the stoppage. The 21-year-old Garcia now has seven wins by KO/TKO and this was the first time he has had to go past the fourth round for victory. Medina was making the first defence of the Dominican title and had won his last 14 fights.
Caen, France: Super Welter: Maxime Beaussire (26-1-1) W TKO 7 Lenny Bottai (26-5). Beaussire retains the EU title with stoppage of Italian veteran Bottai. The local fighter got down to business straight away opening up with a left hook to the body-right cross-uppercut sequence that immediately puts Bottai on the defensive. The challenger manages to stand and swop punches for a period in the second but Beaussire is showing his work with his trainer Franck Nicotra, a former European champion, is paying dividends as he is changing the angles of his attacks and his hooks and uppercuts are getting through. A punch from Beaussire opens a cut on the bridge of Bottai’s nose in the third and the Italian has his head snapped back by an uppercut in the fourth. Bottai is taking punishment but showing real courage by trying to stay with Beaussire and stay competitive. In the sixth a left hook slashes open a cut over the right eye of Bottai and Beaussire rocks him with right hook with the bell saving Bottai. In the seventh the injury over Bottai’s right worsens and the referee asks the ringside physician to examine the injury and he advises the fight be stopping giving Beaussire victory. The 26-year-old “Conqueror” lost a split decision to fellow-Frenchman Zakaria Attou in a fight for this EU title in April last year but then won the vacant title with a victory over unbeaten Joffrey Jacob in November and will probably look to make another defence and then shoot for the European title. The 40-year-old former undefeated Italian champion Bottai was knocked out in three rounds by Jermall Charlo back in 2014 and it may be time to call it a day.
Nuremburg, Germany: Super Middle: Callum Smith (24-0) W PTS 12 Nieky Holzken (13-1). Heavy: Filip Hrgovic (4-0) W PTS 8 Sean Turner (12-2). Middle: Wanik Awdijan (24-1) W PTS 8 Florian Wildenhof (27-5-1). Super Middle: Dmitri Chudinov (21-2-2) W PTS 8 Siarhei Khamitski (31-16-3).
Smith vs. Holzken
Smith moves on to the final of the WBSDS tournament with points victory over late substitute Holzken. With height, reach, power and experience all on his side this was never going to be a risky job for Smith and that’s how he treated it. He did not come out all, guns blazing but used his reach to box on the outside. This was understandable as Holzken was an unknown-even to people in his own country- so Smith took some time to study the Dutchman. Smith easily took the first four rounds and built a good lead. Holzken finally began to get into the fight from the fifth and despite being rocked by uppercuts in the sixth he increased his pressure and was able to cut down the ring and work inside. Although he did not have the punch to match Smith he took a shot well and proved a better opponent than expected. The second half of the fight was more competitive as Holzken gained confidence from having some success. He was willing to take punishment to get close and Smith gave him plenty of that particularly with some vicious uppercuts, despite his pressure Holzken never really threatened and Smith seemed focused on just getting the win without undue risk with the big prize of a fight with George Groves there for the taking and he controlled the fight most of the way. Scores 117-111 twice and 118-111for Smith. The 27-year-old from Liverpool will be a totally different challenge to Groves to that presented by Chris Eubank Jr and a Groves vs. Smith fight was always the likeliest outcome of the tournament. We now have to hope it proves to be a great fight. Holzken, a former kickboxing champion, came in as a substitute when Juergen Brahmer had to pull out with illness and he performed well under the handicap of such a short notice and may get some good paydays as a result.
Hrgovic vs. Turner
Hrgovic had taken less the six rounds to win his first three fights so Dublin’s Turner gave him his first real test. Hrgovic had huge advantages in height and reach so was able to box on the outside. Turner was forced both to come inside and reach with his punches. Despite that once Hrgovic got past six rounds he lost some of his edge and Turner was able to get inside and do some scoring testing Hrgovic’s defence and his stamina. The big Croat fighter stood up to both tests but could never put a dent in Turner’s armour so it remains to be seen whether he has the power to succeed at a higher level but at 25 he is still young for a heavyweight. Turner , 26,was a sensible opponent for Hrgovic at this stage as “Big Sexy” had gone to Switzerland in December and knocked out the 30-1 Arnold Gjergjaj.
Awdijan vs. Wildenhof
Promising youngster Awdijan gets hard fought victory over useful Wildenhof. Awdijan suffered a nasty cut in the very first round which was a handicap but he was able to box his way to victory without the wound worsening and took the majority decision. The 6’2” Armenian-born fighter turned pro at 17 and suffered an early loss against the more experienced Frenchman Kevin Thomas Cojean but has won 17 in a row. This is his third fight of the year as he makes up time for a couple of operations last year which saw him inactive for six months. German Wildenhof was 10-1-1 in his last 12 fights.
Chudinov vs. Khamitski
Chudinov gets the win but has to battle hard all the way. He was to have faced Nieky Holzken but with the Dutchman being moved up to fight Callum Smith Khamitski came in as a late replacement. In many ways the 43-year-old Minsk-based “Ghost” was probably a tougher opponent but as a late replacement he was not on top fitness and Chudinov deservedly took the verdict by 78-73 on all cards. The 31-year-old Russian “Night Wolf” , a former interim WBA champion who lost his title to Chris Eubank Jr in 2015, was coming off a defeat against Lolenga Mock so could not afford to slip up here. Khamitski is better known as Khomitsky who did serious damaged to British super middles by beating Frank Buglioni, Adam Etches and is still a force.
Naples, Italy: Super Light: Jeremias Ponce (15-0) W TKO 9 Francesco Lomasto (13-2). Ponce proves a surprise package as he halts Neapolitan Lomasto. Ponce is tall for a super light and had superior power. Lomasto had to survive a stormy second round and lost a point for holding in the fourth and was never really in contention. Ponce scored regularly with combinations switching from head to body. The body punches had their effect with Lomatso slowing in the seventh and eighth. He took a risk in the ninth going after Ponce to try to swing things his way but was nailed by a right and went down heavily. He beat the count but was pinned on the ropes and taking punishment when the referee stopped the fight. The 21-year-old Argentinian wins the vacant IBF Inter-Continental title with his tenth win by KO/TKO. Last year he was a candidate for the Firpo awards in from boxing journalists in Argentina in the “Revelation of the Year” category. First loss by KO/TKO for Italian champion Lomasto
Osaka, Japan: Light: Masayoshi Nakatani (16-0) W KO 6 Pharanpetch (22-3). Super Fly: Sho Ishida (24-1) W KO 3 Ratachanon (12-2).
Nakatani vs. Pharanpetch
Nakatani remains OPBF champion after inside the distance win over Thai Pharanpetch. From the outset Nakatani the taller fighter controlled the fight with his jab. He mixed in some vicious body punches quickly breaking Pharanpetch down and flooring the Thai in the fifth. Pharanpetch made it into the sixth but a right to the body put Pharanpetch down again in agony and he was counted out. The 28-year-old from Osaka, the WBC No 6, was making the ninth defence of his OPBF title and gets his tenth win by KO/TKO. Thai lightweight champion Pharanpetch has lost in each of his three trips outside Thailand having been beaten by Billy Dib and Brandon Ogilvie in Australia.
Ishida vs. Ratachanon
Ishida eases back with a third round kayo of overmatched Thai. Body punches did the damage with Ratachanon counted out in the third. First fight for Ishida since losing to Khalid Yafai in a challenge for the WBA super fly title in October. Ratachanon’s other loss was a ninth round stoppage against Filipino Rene Dacquel in 2014. All of his wins are by KO/TKO but against novices
Merida, Mexico: Middle: Elias Espadas (17-3) W KO 3 Felipe Santos (15-4). Heavy: Tyrone Spong (11-0) W TKO 5 Carlos Nascimento (16-6). Super Middle: Roamer Angulo (23-0) W KO 1 Evert Bravo (24-8-1).
Espadas vs. Santos
Espadas disposes of Brazilian Santos inside three rounds. The Merida fighter went to work immediately with fast accurate punches and swept the first two rounds. In the third Espadas drove Santos into a corner and landed a series of shots with the last, a sickening left hook to the body which dropped Santos to his knees and he was counted out. The 27-year-old Espadas wins the vacant WBO Latino title. He has won his last eight fights, seven of them by KO/TKO. Santos is 2-3 in his last 5 fights now and was stopped in four rounds by Ryota Murata in 2016.
Spong vs. Nascimento
Spong simply punches too hard for Brazilian. Spong was walking down the tall Brazilian throughout the first round loading up on every punch and landing thumping left hooks to the body and rights to the head. There was no power in Nascimento’s counters to dissuade Spong. Nascimento did better in the second and third. He was still circling the perimeter of the ring but was throwing more jabs and firing the occasional combination with Spong not able to cut the ring off as well as he had in the first. Spong was landing heavy body punches in the fourth and when he switched to the head an unbalanced Nascimento momentarily touch the floor with his glove resulting in a count and Spong landed some lefts to the head at the bell. Early in the fifth Spong cornered Nascimento and unloaded with head punches from both hands. Nascimento’s head was jarred badly a couple of times and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight. The 32-year-old Spong from Surinam has won all of his fights by KO/TKO. He is a very solidly built heavyweight strong with real power but his opposition has been very mediocre, he won 74 of his 83 kickboxing contests but it needs better opposition to assess his potential. He wins the vacant WBO Latino title and retains the WBC Latino title. Nascimento wins at home and losses away and this is his fifth inside the distance loss.
Angulo vs. Bravo
Angulo obliterates fellow Colombian Bravo. Angulo pressed Bravo early and clobbered him with a right to the head that put him down. Bravo beat the count and wanted to continue but wobbled badly and the referee stopped the fight at the two minute mark. The 33-year-old Angulo was defending his WBO Latino title but this was a poor match. Then IBF No 14 (12) has won 20 of his contests by KO/TKO but only one or two of victims have been of average ability and the rest way below that standard. Bravo had gone the eight round distance with Sean Monaghan in November.
Zgorzelec, Poland: Welter: Lukasz Wierzbicki (15-0) W PTS 10 Anderson Clayton (41-12-2). Light: Damian Wrzesinski (13-1-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Marek Laskowski (9-9-2).
Wierzbicki vs. Clayton
Useful win for Polish southpaw Wierzbicki as he widely outpoints experienced Brazilian Clayton. The Pole was quicker and more mobile than the veteran “Panther” who tried to force the fight all the way. Wierzbicki scored well with his jab and straight rights with Clayton having some success when he could keep Wierzbicki against the ropes. Then Pole started to fade a little from the sixth allowing Clayton into the fight but he was still doing most of the scoring and was a comfortable winner. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Wierzbicki. The 27-year-old Wierzbicki is Polish champion and with this victory adds the Polish International title. The 39-year-old Clayton was having his first fight since October 2016. He has travelled far and wide in his career of almost 17 years with his peak achievement being winning the World Boxing Federation title and then defending three times against good level opposition.
Wrzesinski vs. Laskowski
Wrzesinski wins the vacant Polish title with points victory over Laskowski. These two had fought each other in November with a clash of heads leading to a No Decision. The fight was entertaining over the first six rounds and then stalled. Wrzesinski took charge early flooring southpaw Laskowski in the second with a right cross. He took the third with a series of left hooks but after there was too much holding and not enough fighting. Laskowski had his big moment in the seventh when he stunned Wrzesinski with a right but he failed to follow up and missed his chance and Wrzesinski had a good ninth as he eased his way to the title. Scores 97-92 for Wrzesinski from all three judges. Wrzesinski only loss is a majority verdict against Jean-Pierre Bauwens in Belgium. The two fights with Wrzesinski are the only fights that the Aberdeen-based Laskowski has had outside of Britain.
Kiev, Ukraine: Super Light: Mishiko Beselia (18-0) W PTS 10 Vlad Melnyk (5-1).
Beselia wins the vacant Ukraine title as he just squeezes by inexperienced Melnyk. The 25-year-old Georgian-born Beselia took the decision on scores of 96-94 from all three judges but he had to come from behind after Melnyk built an early lead. Melnyk, 19, had never been past four rounds before so understandably tired late.
Portsmouth, England: Light Heavy: Joel McIntyre (17-2) W PTS 8 Tayar Mehmed (7-29-2). Fighting in front of his home fans McIntyre returns with a win as he takes every round against Bulgarian Mehmed. Referee’s score 80-72. The 30-year-old “Toro” lost his English title to Liam Conroy on a second round stoppage in September so this is step one as he rebuilds. Mehmed is 2-11 in his last 13 fights and usually goes the full term.
London, England: Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (15-0) W RTD 7 Tony Averlant (26-10-2). Super Feather: Ronnie Clark (21-4-2) W PTS 12 Zelfa Barrett (19-1). Heavy: Daniel Dubois (7-0) W TKO 3 DL Jones (8-1-1). Heavy: Norman Gorman (12-0) W TKO 2 Morgan Dessaux (4-2).
Yarde vs. Averlant
Yarde retains the WBO European and WBO Inter-Continental titles as he batters a gutsy Averlant until the Frenchman’s corner pulls their man out. In the first round Yarde had the taller Averlant on the retreat as he padded after the Frenchman landing heavy punches downstairs from both hands. Averlant stopped occasionally to throw a right counter but Yarde was able to walk through them. A right from Yarde at the start of the second sent Averlant onto the retreat again and he had to absorb some wicked uppercuts however he did stand and trade occasionally and when he did he was landing right crosses to the chin of Yarde but luckily Averlant is not a heavy puncher. Averlant had Yarde pinned to the ropes for a short while in the third but for most of the round it was Yarde walking Averlant down pounding his ribs and jerking his head with uppercuts and it was the same pattern in the fourth with a Yarde punch bringing blood from the Frenchman’s nose. Averlant launched a furious attack at the start of the fifth but some power punches from Yarde again had Averlant on the run. However Yarde had slowed and his work rate dropped as this was the first time he had gone past four rounds and he seemed to run out of ideas. In the sixth Averlant again had Yarde on the ropes and finding some gaps but then Yarde landed a wicked left to the body. Averlant turned away and went down writhing with pain. He got to his knees but it seemed he was finished but no he was up at eight only for another body punch to put him down. He again beat the count and despite soaking up some more body punches and uppercuts he made it to the bell. It was a gutsy showing by Averlant who was also bleeding from both his nose and his mouth. The seventh was brutal with Yarde landing hurtful lefts to the body and crunching uppercuts with Averlant just looking to survive but taking more punishment than he should be allowed to take and it was a relief when his corner retired their man. The 26-year-old Yarde now has 14 wins by KO/TKO including 12 in his last 12 fights. He is already rated No 3 by the WBO but with less than 35 rounds of action behind him any talk of a world title fight would be very premature. Former EU and WBFederation champion Averlant, 33, gets only his third loss by KO/TKO. He only has five wins by KO/TKO and just had nothing to stop Yarde marching forward and paid the price.
Clark vs. Barrett
Clark derails the Barrett bus as he battles to an outstanding win over the unbeaten prospect. The fight was a contrast in styles with Barrett the classy skilful boxer and Clark the storming aggressor and it led to an exciting and close match. Although Barrett has won more than half of his fights inside the distance he was having trouble keeping Clark out. Some good body punching and greater accuracy probably saw Barrett build an early lead. He rocked Clark with a left hook in the sixth and looked to be taking charge but Clark is a bit of a puncher himself and his pressure paid off in the seventh when he floored Barrett with a booming right uppercut. Barrett beat the count but had to survive a torrid time as Clark tried desperately to get home with the one more punch that could have been the finisher. Barrett recovered well and went back to his boxing and again landed well to the body. Clark just kept coming and was forcing Barrett to stand and trade more than was good for the unbeaten fighter who lost his mouthguard a couple of times. The rounds were close swinging one way and then the other and the last two rounds were open warfare as they went toe-to-toe trading shots to the bell of an exciting contest. Scores 116-111 twice for Clark and 114-114. The 33-year-old Dundee southpaw wins the vacant IBF East/West Europe title and hopefully has put himself in line for some big domestic fights. His only loss in his last nine fights was a very close decision to unbeaten Martin Joseph Ward for the British title and Ward is now the European champion. Barrett will learn a lot from this fight and at 24 he has time to regroup and come through again.
Dubois vs. Jones
Dubois marches on with stoppage of Jones. The start of the fight was untidy with Jones barrelling in head down and swinging wildly and then Dubois tying him up inside so not much clean work by either boxer. When Dubois did find some room he was landing thudding body punches. There was too much wrestling again in the second with the referee telling them both to cut out the rough stuff. Dubois was landing uppercuts to counter the head down tactics and crude rushes of Jones. In the third Dubois knocked Jones to the ropes with a right and then kept him trapped there whilst he battered away with hooks and uppercuts. An uppercut followed by some heavy rights to the head saw Jones slump down to his hands and knees and the referee waived the fight over. Dubois wins his first title- the BBB of C Southern Area. The 20-year-old Londoner has taken less than twelve rounds to score his seven wins but he not yet faced anyone who looked remotely likely to test him. Jones, 36, had drawn last time out with Dorian Darch who Dubois stopped in less than four minutes.
Gorman vs. Dessaux
Gorman overpowers Dessaux and shows he could be a force to be reckoned with in the heavyweights. Gorman was letting his punches go from the off firing out jabs and hooks. Dessaux was under pressure but trying to bang back. Gorman continued to get home with meaty hooks but Dessaux came to fight and drove Gorman back across the ring. Unfortunately Dessaux’s punches lacked any bite and a couple of clumping head punches from Gorman dropped him to his knees. He was up at eight but taking punishment on the ropes until the bell went. Dessaux started the second throwing punches but some hooks from Gorman forced him to the ropes. He was pinned there for almost a minute and although he did escape it was temporary a thudding right had him going back to the ropes and some more uppercuts from Gorman convinced the referee to halt the action. The 21-year-old Ricky Hatton trained Gorman has won ten of his fight by KO/TKO. At 6’3” (191cm) and around 250lbs he is big enough to compete with today’s heavyweight but may find his short reach a drawback. He has previously shown he can go ten rounds and there would plenty of interest for a Gorman vs. Dubois fight. Frenchman really just a prelim fighter and although he had won his last four fights inside the distance he did not have the power to be competitive.
Aberdeen, Scotland: Super Light: Darren Traynor (15-2) W TKO 7 Eddie Doyle (19-5). Traynor gets off the floor and wins his third Scottish Area title in separate divisions with gutsy victory over Doyle in a bloody scrap. No love lost between these two going back to their days as part of the Scottish amateur set-up. They went to war from the start. Doyle floored Traynor in the third and a clash of heads saw the local fighter also cut over his left eye. The “Trayn Wreck” fought back hard and as they exchanged hard shots Traynor’s left eye was being affected by a swelling and Doyle was also cut. Victory for the Aberdeen fighter came in the seventh when a straight right from had Doyle in deep water and the fight was stopped. The 31-year-old Traynor has previously held Scottish titles at featherweight and lightweight with his losses being to Ryan Walsh for the British title and in his last fight in October when he was stopped by James Tennyson at super feather so this was a big step up to super light for him now he is hoping for some big matches. Former Commonwealth title challenger Doyle had won 4 of his last 5 fights.
Phoenix, AZ, USA: Super Bantam: Carlos Castro (20-0) W TKO 10 Alexis Santiago (21-6-1). Feather: Francisco De Vaca (18-0) W KO 6 Christian Esquivel (30-13-1).
Castro vs. Santiago
Castro moves to 20 wins with late stoppage of Santiago in fight for bragging rights in Phoenix. Castro boxed well in this one. Santiago was trying to turn the fight into a brawl but Castro used a sharp jab to keep Santiago in check and scored throughout with sharp left hooks thrown in bunches. Castro was easing his way to victory in the last and was again using left hooks on the advancing Santiago. Knowing he was behind Santiago was taking chances and Castro banged home a success of head punches. Both fighters were still trading punches when suddenly Santiago’s corner decided their man had taken enough and threw the towel into the ring which surprised both boxers and the referee. The 23-year-old Castro was going ten rounds for the first time and had paced the fight well. He wins the vacant WBC USNBC title with his ninth win by KO/TKO. The more experienced Santiago suffers his first inside the distance loss and has now lost three in a row after defeats by Jose Cayetano and Juan Carlos Payano.
De Vaca vs. Esquivel
Phoenix-based Mexican De Vaca gets a rare inside the distance win as he puts veteran Esquivel down for the count in the sixth. This was a close quarter’s battle all the way with both fighters going to the body. The much younger De Vaca was getting the better of the exchanges with a very worn looking Esquivel just not able to match De Vaca’s work rate. In the sixth De Vaca was warned for some low punches but after the warning he dug in another series of body punches, A couple landed low but the important things was that the last couple did not. Esqivel went down on one knee and never looked like getting up. The 23-year-old De Vaca has been matched with a good but not over-taxing level of opposition and now has six wins by KO/TKO. Former WBC title challenger Esquivel is looking very shop-worn and is 3-9-1 in his last 13 fights.
Inglewood, CA, USA: Srisaket (45-4-1) W PTS 12 Juan Francisco Estrada (36-3). Fly: Donnie Nietes (41-1-4) W KO 7 Juan Carlos Reveco (39-4). Fly: Artem Dalakian (16-0) W PTS 12 Brian Viloria (38-6). Super Fly: McWilliams Arroyo (17-3) W PTS 10 Carlos Cuadras (36-3-1).
Srisaket vs. Estrada
Srisaket retains the WBC title with majority verdict over Estrada in a hard-fought close fight. The Thai should now be due a voluntary defence and could go for Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo who beat Carlos Cuadras on the show or Donnie Nietes who impressed but the WBC could order an immediate return with Espadas but whichever way it goes Srisaket is the man in the chair and a hero back home.
An interesting opening round saw Estrada work well with his jab from range and land some sharp rights with Srisaket trying some southpaw lefts but he was generally out of range.
Score 10-9 Estrada
Estrada’s round. He was not looking to fight inside but stabbing his jab and when Srisaket came forward instead of blocking he was taking one or two steps back leaving Srisaket probing air and then countering. Estrada finished the round strongly scoring with three consecutive rights to Srisaket’s head.
Score 10-9 Estrada 18-20
Srisaket did the scoring early in this one banging home a couple of hard lefts. He stepped up the pace and was getting through with his left with Estrada standing and trading a bit more and although he was landing an occasional right he was being caught with punches he had dodged in the second round.
Score 10-9 Srisaket 28-29
For the first time in the fight they both stood in close and swopped punches. Srisaket got the better of the first exchange but Estrada scored better in the second. It was a close round with Estrada just having the edge until Srisaket attacked strongly just before the bell and landed some strong lefts to swing it his way.
Score 10-9 Srisaket 38-38
Official scores: 38-38, 38-38 39-37 Srisaket
A few stumbles and staggers here as they both had balance problems but no knockdowns. Once again Estrada did his best work early with his left jab and quick right crosses but Srisaket dominated the last part of the round getting through with lefts and rights to the body. Close but the Thai’s round
Score 10-9 Srisaket 48-47
Estrada scored the best punch of the round in a long right cross but Srisaket continued to find the target with his lefts to head and body and had his best round so far. Although a southpaw Srisaket throws a straight left of the wrong foot more often than he jabs with his right and he is very quick with the left and so far it has been his best scoring punch.
Score 10-9 Srisaket 58-56
Estrada picked his punches well at the start of this one slotting home a couple of quick counters and showing slick skills. However the pattern was then the same as the last few rounds with Srisaket getting through repeatedly with his lead lefts and some hard rights. The rounds were close but Srisaket was pocketing them.
Score 10-9 Srisaket 68-65
Estrada’s best round so far. He was banging home his jab and getting through with rights to the head. He showed great footwork to avoid Srisaket’s rushing attacks and although getting caught with some lefts to the head this time he finished the round strongly
Scores 10-9 Estrada. 77-75
Official scores: 78-74, 78-74, 77-75 all for Srisaket
Estrada boxed with class in this one. He was first to the punch, moving slickly and bringing his right into play more. Srisaket did manage to score with some lefts but the speed of movement and accurate punching saw Estrada take it.
Score 10-9 Estrada 86-85
Another good round for Estrada. He was quicker and more accurate with Srisaket not working as hard as he had over the middle rounds. He closed the round strongly but the early work with his jabs and straight rights just gave Estrada the edge.
Score 10-9 Estrada 95-95
Srisaket got back on track in this one. He was finding the target again with his lefts and outscoring Estrada. The Mexican was quick and scored with some good combinations but Srisaket was the one getting home the harder punches.
Score 10-9 Srisaket 105-104
Estrada’s round. For most of the round it was a case of stand and fight for both men. Estrada was landing more. Even when the action was hot he was finding the target whereas Srisaket was wild at times,
Score 10-9 Estrada 114-114
Official scores 117-111 and 115-113 for Srisaket and 114-114
Srisaket retains the WBC title and extends his winning run to 18 in a row. The plan here was for the winner to fight Carlos Cuadras but that plan was sabotaged as Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo defeated Cuadras on the show. A return with Estrada might be next for Srisaket or there could be a case for Arroyo as Cuadras was No 2 behind Estrada in the WBC ratings. Estrada thought he won as did many Mexicans in the crowd. However the three judges only came up with the same winner in six of the twelve rounds and in each of those cases they all scored for Srisaket and there was not a single round where they all had Estrada winning. Former WBA and WBO champion Estrada will get a return even if he has to let Srisaket get in a voluntary defence and it will again be a hard fight to call.
Nietes vs. Reveco
First real outing on the big stage for Nietes and he impresses showing real boxing craftsmanship as he outboxed and then obliterated Reveco to retain the IBF title
Nietes boxed behind a tight guard finding gaps for a strong jab and landing some heavy rights to the head. Reveco was throwing wide, quick hooks but they lacked power and were being blocked by Nietes.
Score 10-9 Nietes
Nietes was already controlling the fight with his jab. He was powering it through Reveco’s guard and building on that with rights to the head and left hooks to the body. Again Reveco’s response was a bundle of hooks some of which got through but made no impression on the cool Nietes.
Score 10-9 Nietes 20-18
The pace quickened here with Reveco letting his hands fly early with hooks from both hands. His good early work was cancelled out at the end of the round as Nietes landed four rights to the head in succession
Score 10-9 Nietes 30-27
Nietes started bringing his right into the flight and he scored with a couple of big head punches. Reveco boxed more making good use of his jab instead of just throwing hooks and he had Nietes on the back foot for a while and just did enough to take the round
Score 10-9 Reveco 39-37
Nietes had the jab working again in this one and was going to the body a lot more. Reveco was busy throwing lots of punches but Nietes was showing a solid defence and landing some heavy shots.
Score 10-9 Nietes 49-46
Reveco’s work rate is remarkable but his accuracy and power are not up to the same standard. Nietes is really dishing out punishment with hooks and uppercuts and at the bell a right counter from Nietes staggered Reveco and he stumbled back not knowing where his corner. He ended up half way along the ropes looking out into the crowd and his second has to get him and lead him to his corner.
Score 10-9 59-55
Reveco comes out for this one but his legs are uncoordinated and a right to the head has him stumbling backwards to the ropes. Nietes drives in after him unleashing a series of punches and Reveco tumbles down to the canvas on his back. Reveco somehow makes it to his feet and insists he is okay but the towel has already come in from his corner.
The 35-year-old “Ahas” is now 16-0-1 in 17 world title fights and unbeaten in his last 33 contests. It is a pity that he has not had more high profile fights as he is a class act. He showed power in his jabs, hooks and uppercuts, hardly wasted a punch and has a tight defence. Reveco was his mandatory challenger so he can choose where he goes next and there is no doubt he would love to take on Srisaket and get the chance to become a four division champion to put his name up there beside Manny Pacquiao and Nonito Donaire. Reveco, 34, was quick and brave but just did not have the power to match the champion. His losses have all come in world title fights against Brahim Asloum for the WBA light fly title and twice against Kazuto Ioka for the secondary WBA title and he sits alongside Omar Narvaez as one of the best Argentinian lower division fighters in recent years.
Dalakian vs. Viloria
Dalakian wins the vacant WEBA fly title with wide unanimous verdict against Viloria. The younger, quicker man won this one. Boxing in hands down style Dalakian used fast hands to get his punches home and good movement to both frustrate and confuse Viloria. Dalakian was throwing barrages of hooks and uppercuts and was out of range when Viloria looked to counter. Viloria landed a good right in the second that hurt Dalakian but the Ukrainian was doing most of the scoring in every round and it was his turn in the third as he pierced Viloria’s guard with a left-right combination to the head, Dalakian was warned for some rough stuff in the fourth. Viloria kept pacing forward but Dalakian was quick enough to land two or three punches and get away. Viloria’s corner were telling him to work the body but he was not able to get close enough often enough for that to be possible. Dalakian’s hand and foot speed left Viloria struggling to get into the fight and Dalakian was now hands down all the time just using upper body movement and footwork to dodge Viloria’s punches. He was leaping in with a series of punches and occasionally standing and trading which is when Viloria did manage to connect. Dalakian almost paid for his overconfidence in the seventh when he stood in front of Viloria and was clobbered by a right which had his knees shaking as he tumbled sideward but he had the mobility to stay out of trouble until he recovered, Dalakian had been pushing Viloria’s head down in the early rounds and he did it once too often and was deducted a point in the ninth. Dalakian slowed a little over the last three rounds but even then was still too quick for Viloria who suffered a bad cut on his forehead in the eleventh. The blood was running down his face and affecting his vision and with that added handicap he was unable to stop Dalakian from running out an easy winner, Scores 118-109 for Dalakian on all three cards. The 30-year-old Azeri-born Dalakian is a quick, slippery customer but up until this fight had never faced an opponent anywhere in sight of the ratings. It remains to be seen how he will cope with younger stronger fighters. At 37 it is perhaps time for the “Hawaiian Punch”, who has dual USA/Filipino nationality, to put the gloves away. He has had a great career winning both the WBC and IBF light flyweight titles and the WBA and WBO flyweight titles.
Arroyo vs. Cuadras
This was not in the plan. Cuadras was supposed to win but Arroyo came out on top with a majority verdict in a fast-paced fight that for me was close all the way.
Cuadras made a fast start in the first stabbing out jabs to head and body but then Arroyo came to life and it was his jabs hitting home and he was banging through hooks to the body. He closed the first with a series of head punches that had Cuadras floundering. Cuadras took the second. He was quicker, throwing more and moving more. He staggered Arroyo with a big right and the Puerto Rican looked badly hurt but he banged back only to be stopped in his tracks by a solid left. The third was close. They both had good spells and both landed some accurate punches with Arroyo again looking to go to the body with left hooks but Cuadras rights just giving him the edge. Cuadras took the fourth. He outworked Arroyo spearing the Puerto Rican throughout the round with jabs and firing fast combinations. Cuadras again worked hard at the start of the fifth nailing Arroyo with a big right but Arroyo was strong and he had the better of the exchanges later to pocket the round. The sixth was Arroyo’s. He was now picking and placing his punches better. Cuadras was throwing a lot but not landing much. Arroyo switched to southpaw and it confused Cuadras and Arroyo was able to finish the round strongly. Arroyo had a good seventh. He looked to have rocked Cuadras early and he had the Mexican under pressure scoring with short hooks with Cuadra looking to be tiring and untidy in his work. Cuadras had his jab working early in the eighth but over the last minute Arroyo was scoring with his own jab and landing quick combinations to make it a hard round to call. The ninth was similar with Cuadras again working better at the start and Arroyo looking stronger and doing most of the scoring late in the round. The last was Arroyo’s. Cuadras was swinging wildly whereas Arroyo jabbed and hooked and countered the Mexican’s rushes and clearly outscored Cuadras. Scores 98-92 and 97-93 for Arroyo and 95-95. For me the first two were too wide and I saw more as 95-94 for Arroyo. Huge win for Arroyo and he also collects the vacant WBC Silver title. A former World Amateur champion great things were expected from him but it was his twin brother McJoe who won a world title in the pros. Arroyo got his shot but lost a split decision to Amnat Ruenroeng for the IBF fly title in 2014. He had just one fight in 2015 and in his only fight in 2016 lost on points to Roman Gonzalez for the WBC fly title. When he did not fight at all in 2017 there were questions over where he was going with his career and with this win it could be to another world title chance. For former WBC super fly champion Cuadras the wheels have certainly come off as this is his third loss in his last four fights-admittedly against the very best. He was lined up to fight the winner of Srisaket vs. Estrada but now he has a reconstruct project ahead of him.
Uncasville, CT, USA: Light Heavy: Charles Foster (15-0) W PTS 10 Justin Thomas (19-4). Heavy: Niall Kennedy (11-0) WKO 3 Aaron Chavers (8-4-1)
Foster vs. Thomas
Foster impresses as he floors and outpoints useful Thomas. The New Haven fighter floored Thomas in the second and continued to control the fight winning every round. Scores 100-89 for Foster from the three judges. He wins the vacant WBA-NABA title in his first ten round fight. Thomas has lost 3 of his last 4 fights but the losses have all been against unbeaten prospects and his loss to Mike Lee was only on a majority decision.
Kennedy vs. Chavers
Kennedy much too good for oldie Chavers. As a fight it was a farce. Kennedy kept marching forward stabbing out his jab and landing thumping body punches. Chavers hardly threw a punch and only rarely took a forward step. He tried switching to southpaw which made no difference as he was not using either hand. In the third Kennedy took him to a corner and Chavers just stood behind his high guard letting Kennedy bang away to the body and with Chavers not throwing anything back the fight was stopped. At 33 Kennedy does not have time to waste which what fighting guys like Chavers amounts to. A poor match but not Kennedy’s fault as he did his part and gets his seventh win by KO/TKO. Chavers, 37, had little ability and no inclination.
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Welter: Thomas Lamanna (25-2-1) DREW 10 Gabriel Bracero (24-3-1). –This one ended all even and that was the right result. Lamanna had big advantages in height and reach but Bracero has more depth to his experience and used that knowledge to find his way inside to work the body of the taller fighter. Neither fighter could afford to lose this one and they traded hard over the last three rounds but the judges were very split on what fight they had seen and the scores were all over the place. One judge gave it to Lamanna by 98-92 and another to Bracero 97-93. The third- well he had it 95-95 so no big plus for either fighter but no big minus either. “Cornflake” Lamanna, 26, was looking to extend his winning sequence having score four victories since losing to Dusty Hernandez Harrison in 2016 and is now 10-1-1 in his last 12 fights. Brooklyn-born Puerto Rican Bracero, 37, was having his first fight since losing to Paul Malignaggi in July 2016 so will aim to be more active.
Manchester: Light: Lewis Ritson (14-0) W TKO 1 Joe Murray (23-3). Feather: Jordan Gill (19-0) W PTS 10 Jason Cunningham (23-5).Light Heavy: Hosea Burton (21-1) W PTS 8 Josip Perkovic (4-4-1).
Ritson vs. Murray
Ritson took the fight to Murray immediately. He had Murray backing up with a stiff jab and some quick rights. Murray was countering with his own jab but a right to the head from Ritson wobbled him. Murray recovered quickly and was the one getting through with fast accurate punches as Ritson just walked in behind a high guard. Ritson then landed a vicious left hook to the ribs and Murray went down writhing in agony. He made it to his feet at nine but looked unsteady. Ritson took him to the ropes and landed a series of punches to head and body and Murray went down on his knees. He was up at nine but when the action restarted he was again pinned to the ropes and taking punishment and the fight was stopped. An impressive powerful display by Ritson as he retains the British title and makes it five wins by KO/TKO on the bounce. Following from his win over useful Robbie Barrett in October to win the title he looks ready for some international fights. Murray, 31, had won eight in a row since losing to Liam Walsh for the British super feather title in 2015 and may rethink his career options.
Gill vs. Cunningham
Gill takes a big step up in level of opposition and does so successfully. After three close rounds Gill put Cunningham down with an uppercut but Cunningham got up and fought back hard having a good fifth. Gill had another big round in the sixth flooring Cunningham with a right. This time Gill really cut loose trying for the stoppage but Cunningham survived and resisted strongly and was the one forcing the fight with Gill having to survive the last as an bad cut appeared but he did survive and the two knockdowns and some good early work saw him a clear winner. Scores 98-90, 98-91 and 97-92 for Gill. The 23-year-old was in his first ten round fight and facing only the second opponent so far with a positive record but he showed he belongs up here and could soon be fighting for the British title. Southpaw Cunningham, a double Commonwealth champion, lost in six rounds to Reece Bellotti for the British title in October.
Burton vs. Perkovic
Former British light heavy champion Burton given a good fight by import Perkovic. It looked as though it might be over early when Burton crashed home a left in the first but Perkovic managed to get to the bell. From there he trundled forward and made Burton work hard for his win. Burton was able to make good use of his longer reach but Perkovic had enough good periods in the fight to make it close. Referee’s score 78-75 for Burton who is keeping busy waiting for a return with Frank Buglioni who stopped Burton in the twelfth round of their fight in 2016 which cost Burton his British title. Perkovic has yet to lose inside the distance and has already fought in six different countries.
Fight of the week: Ronnie Clark vs. Zelfa Barrett a war all the way
Fighter of the week: Donnie Nietes a class performer
Punch of the week: The body punch from Anthony Yarde that put Tony Averlant down for the first time with honourable mention to the body punch from Lewis Ritson that virtually ended his fight with Joe Murray
Upset of the week: McWilliams Arroyo beating Carlos Cuadras
One to watch: The Moloney twins Andrew and Jason look the goods