Check out Eric Armit’s comprehensive fight report in The Week in Boxing – October 17, 2018
-Terrence Crawford halts Jose Benavidez in the last round in WBO title defence
-Zolani Tete outpoints Mikhail Aloyan in defence of his WBO title and moves into the semi-final of the WBSS Tournament
-Angel Acosta destroys Abraham Rodriguez in the second round with a stunning left hook in defence of his WBO light fly title
-Andrew Tabiti outpoints Russian Ruslan Fayer in second WBSS cruisers Tournament
Robbie Davies wins British and Commonwealth titles with victory over Glenn Foot but Francesco Patera upsets unbeaten Lewis Ritson to become European lightweight champion
-Lee McGregor wins the vacant Commonwealth flyweight title in his fifth pro fight with twelfth round stoppage of Thomas Essomba
-Russian hope Vlad Shishkin impresses with stoppage of world rated Nadjib Mohammedi
-Prospect Shakur Stevenson wipes out Romanian Viorel Simion inside a round and Mike Alvarado continues his comeback with stoppage of Robbie Cannon
WORLD TITLE FIGHT SHOWS:
Omaha, NE, USA: Welter: Terrence Crawford (34-0) W TKO 12 Jose Benavidez Jr (27-1). Feather: Shakur Stevenson (9-0) W TKO 1 Viorel Simion (21-3). Super Welter: Carlos Adames (15-0) W TKO 2 Joshua Conley (14-3-1). Welter: Mike Alvarado (40-4) W TKO 2 Robbie Cannon (16-14-3). Light: Ismail Muwendo (20-1) W PTS 6 Andre Wilson (15-12-1). Light Heavy: Steven Nelson (12-0) W TKO 4 Oscar Riojas (17-11-1).
Crawford vs. Benavidez
Crawford retains his WBO title and hands unbeaten Benavidez a boxing master class before flooring and halting Benavidez just 18 seconds before the final bell.
Crawford was on the back foot in the first letting the taller Benavidez come forward and then darting in with quick southpaw jabs. Benavidez dropped his hands a few times trying to lure Crawford into range but Crawford used his quicker hands to do what scoring there was in the round.
Score 10-9 Crawford.
Another round for Crawford very much as in the first. Crawford was circling Benavidez slotting home jabs and moving. Benavidez was prowling and posing but not throwing punches. Crawford scored with a good three-punch combination. There was a brief exchange just before the bell but neither fighter landed anything of significance.
Score 10-9 Crawford Crawford 20-18
Both fighters let their hands go in this round. Crawford was on the front foot more and scored early with a quick combination. Benavidez scored with a couple of rights but as single punches and Crawford came back with a bunch of four quick shots which all landed. Crawford was on the front foot and getting through with quick punches with Benavidez too slow to block or counter them.
Score 10-9 Crawford Crawford 30-27
Benavidez did a bit better in this round. He was still throwing one punch at a t time but landing a few. He got through with a right to the body early and unbalanced Crawford with another late in the round. Crawford was busier and throwing more but Benavidez just did enough to take this one but only just.
Score 10-9 Benavidez Crawford 39-37
Official scores: 40-36 Crawford, 38-38 and 39-37 Crawford
A close round but Crawford’s. his hand speed was proving too much for Benavidez who was slow in letting his punches go. Crawford was coming inside and trading more which offered Benavidez a target and he scored with some body punches but Crawford ended the round with a flourish banging home to head and body.
Score 10-9 Crawford Crawford 49-46
Whilst Benavidez was posing Crawford was punching. Benavidez seemed happy to just throw one punch and then admire his work. Crawford was buzzing around slotting home jabs and firing clusters of punches. Benavidez indicated he was not hurt by the punches but Crawford was going for quality and accuracy.
Scores 10-9 Crawford Crawford 59-55
Crawford was buzzing around a static Benavidez and sticking him with fast right jabs and some heavier straight lefts. Crawford was constantly on the move changing direction, changing angles. To have any chance Benavidez needed to do a better job of cutting off the ring and get Crawford against the ropes but he was too slow.
Score 10-9 Crawford Crawford 69-64
Easily Crawford’s round. He was taking the fight to Benavidez more and standing close and landing with a series of punches and getting out with Benavidez unable to land any counters. A flashing 5/6 punch combination saw Benavidez open his arms to say he wasn’t hurt but you don’t win fights by taking a punch you have to land them and he was not doing that.
Score 10-9 Crawford 79-73
Official scores: 80-72 Crawford 77-75 Crawford and 78-74 Crawford
Crawford gave Benavidez a boxing lesson in this one. The champion was enjoying himself able to pop Benavidez with single jabs or move inside with a volley of shots to head and body. After once flashing combination from Crawford Benavidez backed to the ropes opening his arms and inviting Crawford to bring it on but Crawford was in charge so he just sneered at Benavidez forcing Benavidez to come to him and to more punishment.
Scores 10-9 Crawford Crawford 89-82
This was a better round as Benavidez threw some good rights early before going to the ropes and just letting Crawford bang away at him. He was hoping to walk Crawford onto a counter but instead Crawford picked his spots and found gaps to head and body. Benavidez tried the ropes trick again later in the round and paid for it as Crawford banged home some hefty punches on a stationary Benavidez. That fired Benavidez into a furious attack but Crawford was scoring with accurate counters to take the round. At least Benavidez had shown some fire.
Score 10-9 Crawford Crawford 99-91
Benavidez made a furious start throwing wild rights but then counters from Crawford soon scotched that as a strategy. Crawford was now loading up on his punches more and twice knocked Benavidez off balance. Benavidez flared into action again late in the round but was leaving gaps and Crawford was finding them.
Scores 10-9 Crawford Crawford109-100
Benavidez was lunging in with his attacks in the last but was rocked by a right from Crawford. He continued to press forward but a couple of lightning quick head punches saw Benavidez back across the ring to the ropes and this time it was because he was hurt. He got off the ropes but as they traded punches a booming right uppercut to the chin put Benavidez down. He was up at six but badly dazed and when the action resumed Crawford pounced on him trapping him on the ropes and scoring with a series of head punches that brought the referee jumping in to save Benavidez.
Scores at stoppage: 110-99, 107-102 and 108-101 all for Crawford.
The 31-year-old home town hero is now 12-0 in world title fights over three weight divisions and against top level fighters has won 8 of his last 9 fights by KO/TKO which is the sign of a true world class fighter. The talk now is of a fight with Errol Spence which would be yet another huge fight if it can be made. Another important measure is that the market rating for this fight turned in the highest viewing figures for any boxing telecast across all broadcast and cable networks this year so a smart deal by Top rank and ESPN which is already delivering on its promise to be a big event for boxing. Benavidez was never allowed a foothold in the fight. He showed little sign of a workable Plan A and no Plan B. he is only 26 so is can still be a player but not against Crawford.
Stevenson vs. Simion
Stevenson blows away experienced Romanian with three knockdowns in the first round. Simion launched an early attack but the first punches landed were a couple to the body from Stevenson. Simion continued to take the fight to Stevenson but was nailed by a straight southpaw left that stopped him in his tracks and he then dropped to his knees. He was up quickly but his legs wobbled. After the eight count Stevenson came forward throwing punches to the head. Simion threw a counter and missed badly swinging himself off balance and down. He was given a count but protested strongly, Simion tried to punch with Stevenson but was rocked by a couple of left hook s and was fighting on very stiff legs and a left hook followed by a big right sent him into the ropes and down. He made it to his feet but the referee had seen enough and despite protests from Simion it was a good decision. The 21-year-old Olympic silver medallist gets his fifth win by KO/TKO and collects the WBC Continental Americas title. Simion, 36, also an outstanding amateur, suffers his first loss inside the distance. His other two losses were on points against Brits Lee Selby and Scott Quigg. Stevenson was calling out Selby after the fight.
Adames vs. Conley
Adames demolishes Conley in two rounds. The Dominican prospect put Conley down in the first with a body punch which looked to have strayed low. It was over in the second as Adames put Conley on the floor with a series of punches and although Conley beat the count another batch of shots floored him. Conley just made it to his feet but the fight was halted. The 24-year-old Adames wins the vacant NABF title. He has 12 wins by KO/TKO having beaten Carlos Molina and other good level opposition. He won a pile of medals as an amateur including tournaments such as the Jose Aponte, Copa Romano and Bolivarian Games and competed at the 2013 World Championships. Conley was halted in seven rounds by world rated Julian Williams in his last fight in June 2017.
Alvarado vs. Cannon
Alvarado blasts out overmatched Cannon in two rounds. After edging the first round Alvarado put Cannon down in the second with a heavy right. Cannon beat the count but was still badly shaken and another right put him on the canvas and the fight was stopped. The 38-year-old “Mile High” Mike has won six on the bounce now but whether there is the chance of another title shot is questionable. Poor Cannon is now 1-6-1 in his last 8 fights.
Muwendo vs. Wilson
Muwendo starts his rebuilding with a points victory over Wilson. Scores 59-55 for Muwendo on all cards. The 30-year-old “Sharp Shooter” from Kampala lost his unbeaten tag when he was floored and outpointed by useful Filipino John Vincent Moralde in May. Muwendo, who represented Uganda at the 2007 World Championships, is now based in Minneapolis. Wilson a safe choice as he was 2-5 in his last 7 fights.
Nelson vs. Riojas
Nelson gets his tenth win by KO/TKO as he halts Mexican Riojas. The Mexican usually goes the distance but not this time. After trying hard for the finish over the first three rounds Nelson ended it in the fourth. He put Riojas over with a left hook and after Riojas beat the count he was on the floor later in the round from a left and the fight was over. The 30-year-old local fighter, a former US Armed Forces, All-Army and US National champion, has won 6 of his last 7 by KO/TKO. Third loss by KO/TKO for Riojas who had taken both Ronald Ellis and Derrick Webster the distance in previous fights.
Ekaterinburg, Russia: Bantam: Zolani Tete (28-3) W PTS 12 Mikhail Aloyan (4-1). Cruiser: Andrew Tabiti (17-0) W PTS 12 Ruslan Fayfer (23-1). Super Middle: Vlad Shishkin (8-0) W TKO 10 Nadjib Mohammedi (40-7). Cruiser: Yury Kashinsky (17-0) W KO 3 Juan Basualdo (11-2-1). Heavy: Andrey Fedosov (31-3) W PTS 10 Joey Dawejko (19-6-4). Super Welter: Magomed Kurbanov (16-0) W PTS 10 Juan Rodriguez (15-1). Bantam: Zafar Parpiev (6-1) W PTS 10 Jack Bornea (14-3). Heavy: Evgeny Tischenko (2-0) W PTS 6 Artush Sarkisyan (4-7).
Tete vs. Aloyan
Tete outpoints Aloyan in a scrappy fight that opens the way for the South African to progress to the next round of the WBSS
Tete came out throwing southpaw left jabs and rights to the body. The smaller Aloyan, also a southpaw, was ducking under the lefts but the right jabs to the body were getting through. At the end of the round Tete landed a left to the head and then knocked Aloyan off balance with a right. Aloyan toppled back putting both gloves on the canvas to avoid going down and the referee gave him an eight count and the bell sounded at the end of the count.
Score 10-8 Tete
Tete was controlling the action with his right jab. Aloyan was giving away lots of height and had to lunge forward to get past the jab and as he did soTete was landing counters with a right shaking Aloyan in the closing action
Score 10-9 Tete Tete 20-17
Aloyan’s problem was clearly shown at the start of the round. As he bustled in right counters from Tete were landing to the Russian’s head and between those and Tete’s right jab Aloyan was taking but not giving. The rest of the round saw both boxers missing more than landing but the early success gave the round to Tete.
Score 10-9 Tete Tete 30-26
A close round mainly because neither fighter managed to land many punches. Tete was short with his jabs allowing Aloyan to jump in with counters and the Russian just did enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Aloyan Tete 39-36
Official scores; 39-36, 38-37 and 39-36 for Tete
Tete was busier in this one. He was firing his jab again and landed a right hook early. Aloyan had some success with leaping attacks but Tete showed some good defensive work and just edged the round.
Score 10-9 Tete Tete 49-45
The fight was deteriorating with too much wrestling and too little punching. Aloyan wrestled Tete to the floor and when the action was inside they were both holding rather than working. Again there were very few punches landed and again Aloyan did just enough to take the round with some hooks.
Score 10-9 Aloyan Tete 58-55
Tete came back to life in this one. He was firing his jabs with a purpose that had been missing over the last three rounds and also scored with some stinging lefts. He was on the front foot more and when Aloyan rushed forward with his much longer legs Tete was able to take a couple of big steps back leaving Aloyan without a target and open for counters.
Score 10-9 Tete Tete 68-64
Another round for Tete. He was again on the front foot firing jabs and long lefts. He was using slick footwork to avoid Aloyan’s rushes and banging home quick counters and lefts to the body. A frustrated Aloyan again wrestled Tete to the floor but failed to find the target in the round.
Score 10-9 Tete Tete 78-73
Official scores: 78-73, 77-74 and 78-73 for Tete
A messy, untidy round which suited Aloyan. He was managing to block or evade Tete’s jab and leaping inside with right hooks. He bustled Tete out of his stride and held and wrestled inside with Tete’s work largely ineffective.
Score 10-9 Aloyan Tete 87-83
Tete was going to the body with hooks from both hands in this one. Both fighters had been holding inside from the opening round and both were at fault but the referee decided that Tete was the guilty party in this round and deducted a point from the South African. Tete continued to score with his jab and right hooks and in a clash of heads Aloyan was cut over his right eye. It was clearly Tete’s round but the point deduction cancelled that out.
Score 9-9 Tied Tete 96-92
Once again Tete was digging in right hooks to the body. For once they were trading punches in close but Aloyan was again holding and trying to wrestle Tete to the canvas. This time the referee deducted a point from the home fighter. Aloyan attacked furiously trying to at least win the round to compensate for the deduction but he was wild and Tete’s early work took the round which with the deduction made a two point round for Tete.
Score 10-8 Tete Tete 106-100
Aloyan launched furious attacks but the fight was already way out of his grasp. Tete kept jabbing and moving and Aloyan just could not find a big punch instead having to settle for short burst of harmless hooks. Enough to give him the round but not the victory.
Score 10-9 Aloyan Tete 115-110
Official scores: 114-111, 114-111 and 115-110 for Tete.
A disappointing fight as their styles clashed and led to too much holding but the result was what was important. Tete retains the WBO title and moves into the semi-finals of the WBSS Tournament where he will meet the winner of the November 2 fight in Glasgow between Ryan Burnett and Nonito Donaire. The South African “Last Born” has now won his last twelve fights. Aloyan never really solved the puzzle of how to beat the much taller and more skilful champion and his crude rushing attacks showed a surprising lack of technique for a fighter with such a long medal strewn career as an amateur.
Tabiti vs. Fayfer
Tabiti outpoints Fayfer in opening bout of WBSS second cruiserweight tournament in a disappointing fight marred by crude tactics from the Russian. Tabiti was mainly on the back foot in the first using his jab with Fayfer lunging forward trying to get inside. Neither fighter was accurate but Fayfer was doing the attacking. In the second Tabiti was taking the fight to Fayfer but both were falling short with their punches and there were too many clinches. Tabiti had a better third bringing his right in to the action. He scored with a right to the head and slotted jabs home. The fourth and fifth were close but there were too many clinches for the fight to flow. Fayfer had a better sixth coming in behind his jab and scoring with rights but there was not a lot of sustained action and too often Fayfer’s bull-like rushes ended up with the Russian grabbing and holding Tabiti. The American’s better skills and hand speed began to put him in control in the seventh and eighth and he scored with some good counters as Fayfer threw himself forward. The referee was letting Fayfer hold too much. Tabiti outboxed Fayer in the ninth and tenth but that was not difficult as Fayfer’s tactics were just to rush forward head down throwing one punch and then clinch. Tabiti was countering Fayer on the way in and was doing all the clean work. Tabiti took the eleventh landing three rights to the head and the referee finally issued Fayfer with a warning which was long overdue. Tabiti rocked Fayer with a right in the twelfth and finally about ten rounds too late the referee deducted a point from Fayer but not for holding but for pushing, and Fayfer went back to pushing until the final bell. Scores 116-111, 115-112 and 114-113 all for Tabiti but the scores were far too generous to Fayer. This was a poor fight but for Tabiti the result puts him into the semi-finals of the WBSS cruiserweight Tournament where he will fight the winner of the Yunier Dorticos vs. Mateusz Masternak bout. The WBC No 5 is better than he was able to show here. Fayer was awful and his position as top rated fighter in the IBF ratings would be a joke if it wasn’t such a serious misrepresentation of Fayfer’s ability. He is probably much better than he showed and had a bad night.
Shishkin vs. Mohammedi
Big win for Shishkin as he halts world rated Mohammedi. Shishkin made good use of his longer reach to outbox Mohammedi in the opening two rounds and also slid home some good rights. Mohammedi showed his experience over the next two rounds using good movement to offset the reach advantage of Shishkin and a left in the fourth started a swelling under the right eye of the Russian. Shishkin’s hopes were not helped by a clash of heads in the fifth which opened a cut on his forehead but things were levelled up in the sixth when a punch from Shishkin resulted in a deep cut on Mohammedi’s nose. Shishkin began to take charge of the fight as Mohammedi tired from the fast pace he had set and a chopping right to the head staggered Mohammedi in the eighth. Shishkin had mixed fortunes in the ninth. He again had Mohammedi in trouble with a chopping right. Another two rights saw Mohammedi slide to the canvas but as he was there Shishkin landed a hard left hook that he only started on its way after Mohammedi was already down. Mohammedi was up early and at the end of the eight count the referee deducted a point from Shishkin who was lucky not to be disqualified for such a blatant foul. Shishkin chased Mohammedi landing more rights but Mohammedi boxed his way to the bell. In the tenth another right had Mohammedi badly shaken and another couple of punches, the last which again landed as Mohammedi was almost on the floor, put the Frenchman down. When the action resumed Mohammedi slipped to the floor trying to duck under Shishkin’s punches and was given another count. Mohammedi looked to have recovered but he was staggered by two more rights and then a thunderous right to the head put him flat on his back on the canvas and the referee stopped the fight without a count. The 27-year-old Russian was defending his WBA Continental title and is rated No 15 by that body. He has five wins by KO/TKO. He is a big strong fighter with real power in his right but he should have been thrown out for that punch in the ninth. At 33 the effects of a long, hard career are catching up with Mohammedi but he is still a difficult opponent for inexperienced fighters such as Shishkin. He lost to Sergey Kovalev for the IBF, WBA and WBO titles in 2015 and was knocked out in two rounds by Olek Gvozdyk in 2016. He rebounded well with three good wins but then was blatantly robbed when losing a split decision to Fedor Chudinov in July this year.
Kashinsky vs. Basualdo
Kashinsky makes it eight wins in a row by KO/TKO as he halts Argentinian southpaw Basualdo in three rounds. Kashinsky ended this by taking Basualdo to the ropes and pounding him with rights until the Argentinian collapse face down on the floor with the referee immediately stopping the fight. No big names yet but useful stoppage of veteran Valery Brudov and second round kayo of Al sands. He has only been taken the distance once and is rated IBF 4(5)/WBO 7/WBA 11/WBC 13. Basualdo suffers his first loss inside the distance and was coming off a good domestic win over 17-1 Jose Ulrich in March.
Fedosov vs. Dawejko
Fedosov wins unanimous decision over Dawejko. The height and reach edges that Fedosov had were just too much for Dawejko to overcome. Fedosov took the first two rounds clearly but then Dawejko got in the fight. He had some success with hooks inside but it was still Fedosov doing most of the scoring. He was just too quick and too accurate for Dawejko. He gave Dawejko a torrid time in the ninth but Dawejko took the punishment and banged back hard in the last the only round he might have won. Scores 100-90 twice and 98-92. Since losing to Bryant Jennings in 2013 Fedosov has run up seven wins with the sturdy Dawejko the only fighter in those seven to last the full distance. In there are wins over Lenroy Thomas and Donovan Dennis but inactivity between June 2016 and June this year have seen him dropped out of the ratings. Dawejko had a 5-0-2 spell until also losing to Jennings.
Kurbanov vs. Rodriguez
Kurbanov too strong for the crude Rodriguez but the Venezuela climbs off the floor three times to go the distance. Kurbanov used a strong jab to score on the Venezuelan who tried to get within range by coming forward behind a high guard. Kurbanov was able to find gaps for his jab and land heavy straight rights. Rodriquez tended to be very wild with his punches missing by wide margins but occasionally scoring with some swinging shots. Kurbanov scored with a solid body punch in the second but Rodriguez was unmoved. When he was not throwing wild punches Rodriguez was doing some good work inside with left hooks but his guard was far from sound and Kurbanov was scoring with hard punches to head and body. Rodriguez continued to march forward and Kurbanov continued to spear him with jabs and clubbing rights. The Venezuelan had fought southpaw over the opening six rounds but then switched to orthodox for a few rounds and switched back again but he was still too slow and being outscored. Kurbanov piled on the punishment in the eighth as Rodriguez tired. A kidney punch from Kurbanov in the ninth brought a complaint from Rodriguez and a brief recovery time. A series of rights to the head saw Rodriguez drop to one knee. He was up at six and when the action resumed went down again from head punches a couple of which landed on the back of the Venezuelan’s head. He was up at six and the bell went after the eight was reached. In the last a barrage of hooks and uppercuts dropped Rodriguez again. He beat the count and a lost mouthguard. That gave him some respite and together with some guts saw him make it to the bell. Scores 99-88 twice and 100-87 for Kurbanov. The 23-year-old “Black Lion” outpointed world rated Charles Manyuchi in August. The IBF have him at No 4 and the WBA at No 6 but he is No 8 with the EBU. Rodriguez was gutsy but crude and limited. Of his 15 victims 5 had never previously had a fight, 7 had never won a fight and the other three had just 5 wins between them.
Parpiev vs. Bornea
Parpiev wins the vacant IBF Asian title with wide points victory over Filipino Bornea. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for southpaw Parpiev. The seeming lack of experience for Tajik-born Russian Parpiev is misleading. He collected medals at many International Tournaments over ten years as an amateur including bronze medals at both the Russian Championships and the World Cup of Petroleum Countries Tournament. Bornea, 23, was stopped in seven rounds by Andrew Selby in 2016 but had scored three wins since then. He is the twin brother of unbeaten Jade Bornea and also had success as an amateur taking a gold medal at the Philippines National Games.
Tischenko vs. Sarkisyan
Rio gold medal winner Tischenko has no real trouble with poor Sarkisyan and wins every round on all three cards. Apart from the Rio gold Tischenko took gold at the 2015 and 2017 European Championships and the 2015 World Championships. The 6’5” Russian will now head off to the USA for training. Sarkisyan has been beaten in 5 of his last 6 fights
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light Fly: Angel Acosta (19-1) W KO 2 Abraham Rodriguez (23-2). Super Welter: Bakhram Murtazaliev (14-0) W PTS 10 Norberto Gonzalez (23-12). Welter: Rashidi Ellis (21-0) W TKO Saul Corral (28-13).
Acosta vs. Abraham Rodriguez
“Tito” Acosta obliterates Rodriguez inside two rounds with a tremendous left hook to retain the WBO title.
In a fast-paced round Acosta had Rodrigues a on the back foot and was trailing him around the ring looking to land his right. He landed a couple of hooks and easily avoided the lunging attacks of the challenger
Score 10-9 Acosta
Acosta landed a right counter early in the second but it was a left hook that ended the fight. Acosta stepped inside a right from Rodriguez and exploded a left hook to the Mexican’s chin putting him on the canvas flat on his back and the referee immediately waived the fight over. In his second title defence the 28-year-old Puerto Rican keeps his 100% record of 19 wins by KO/TKO in 19 fights. .His only loss is a points decision over him by Kosei Tanaka when Acosta challenged for the WBO title in May last year. Tanaka relinquished the title and moved up to win the WBO flyweight title. How Rodriguez qualified for the title fight only the WBO and the promoter know. He lost on a fifth round retirement against 6-2 novice Alejandro Hernandez in March and then beat a 4-9 Jorge Hernandez over six rounds in July-disgraceful that he then fights for a world title in his next fight.
Murtazaliev vs. Gonzalez
Murtazaliev wins the vacant WBC United States title with decision over Mexican Gonzalez. This was a one-sided affair with Murtazaliev too strong for the fleshy Gonzalez. He was able to bull Gonzalez around the ring scoring with thumping left hooks to the body and stiff jabs. Gonzalez came to life occasionally but spent much of the fight on the back foot in survival mode. A clash of heads in the third saw Gonzalez cut over his left eye but his corner did a good job on controlling it. Murtazaliev walked Gonzalez down for the whole fight but Gonzalez threw occasional bursts of punches to let the referee know he was still active but hardly ever took a forward step and never looked like winning a round. Scores 100-90 from all three judges for the Russian. A run of nine inside the distance wins have see Murtazaliev rated WBO 9/IBF 10(9) and he is even the interim World Boxing Association champion. Gonzalez, 37, does not get given easy fights and this is his fourth loss in a row to very good level opponents.
Ellis vs. Corral
Ellis stops late stand-in Corral. Ellis was in charge of this one from the outset. His hand speed and clever movement were just too much for Corral. The Mexican fired back often enough to stay in the fight but that was all. Two rights to the head in the third saw Corral drop to one knee but he bounced up immediately and avoided further trouble in the round. Corral tried to take the fight to Ellis but when he did he was getting caught with sharp counters and then Ellis would unleash flashy combinations. A barrage of punches in the sixth shook a bemused Corral with the punches coming too fast for Corral to block. As the round ended Ellis was pounding Corral with hooks and uppercuts and with blood dripping from his nose Corral was just soaking up punishment. At the start of the seventh two rights to the head sent Corral sprawling and both gloves touched the canvas resulting in a count. Ellis then drove Corral along the ropes with a finishing left sending the Mexican down on his back. He was quickly up but the referee stopped the fight. Ellis, 25, was making the second defence of the IBF North American title and has14 wins by KO/TKO. He has impressive wins in a first round kayo of 19-1 Eddie Gomez and a wide unanimous decision over Albert Mosquera. He is coming in under the radar as he rarely gets headlines. He sits at No 8(7) with the IBF, No 12 with the WBO and No 33 with the WBC so some way to go before his name starts to get mentioned for a title shot in a tough division. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Corral who has been in with names such as Mike Alvarado and Sadam Ali.
Orleans, France: Light Heavy: Mathieu Bauderlique (15-1) W PTS 10 Yann Binagang (10-3-1). Middle: Diego Natchoo (16-1-4,1ND) W TKO 7 Michel Mothmora (29-27-2). Middle: Christian Mbilli (12-0) W KO 2 Luis Fernando Pina (20-2).
Bauderlique vs. Binagang
French champion Bauderlique wins the vacant WBC Francophone title with decision over Binagang. The Gabonese boxer made a good start doing well enough to at least share the first round but from there Bauderlique dominated. He worked plenty of openings for his strong southpaw jab and showed good movement and plenty of variety in his work changing angles and working to head and body. Binagang kept pressing and the action slowed after the fifth. Bauderlique came strongly over the next three rounds but with Binagang showing no sign of folding Bauderlique settled for boxing his way through the last two rounds. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90. The 29-year-old Olympic bronze medallist was able to give his injured left hand a good test. He is not currently in the EBU ratings (13 listed) but is No 14 in the EU rankings so will probable relinquish his National title and try for the EU title. French-based Binagang was 7-1-1 in his last 9.
Natchoo vs. Mothmora
If at first you don’t succeed try, try and try again. Good advice but sometimes things are just not meant to be as seasoned pro Mothmora fails in his sixth attempt to win a Nation title in what will probably be his last chance. Mothmora was to have challenged the incumbent champion Anderson Prestot but after the weight-in Prestot learned that his son had suffered burns in an accident so he relinquished the title and headed for the hospital. Natchoo who was preparing for a fight in early November was brought in as a substitute and won the vacant title. Mothmora attacked strongly in the first focusing on the body. In the second a counter from Natchoo put Mothmora down. Mothmora was up quickly and seemed okay but a right put him down for the second time. Natchoo let his chance for a quick win slip and almost paid the price when he was stunned by a right from Mothmora in the fourth. Natchoo was back in control in the fifth and floored Mothmora twice more in the seventh to force the stoppage and win the title. The Algerian-born Natchoo, the French No 5, gets his sixth win by KO/TKO and is now 6-0-1 in his last 7 fights. Mothmora, 38, a former WBFederation champion might now consider retirement.
Mbilli vs. Pina
Mbilli obliterates poor Pina. The visitor bravely but foolishly took the fight to Mbilli. Fighting with a fierce intensity and loading up on every punch Mbilli just walked through Pina’s punches. In the second he battered Pina around the ring and then ended the fight in a brutal manner. He forced Pina to the ropes with two head punches and then landed a right to the body and with almost no leverage turned that into a sickening right uppercut to the chin. Pina was out and on his way down when Mbilli landed a left to the head and the Mexican was counted out. The 23-year-old Cameroon-born “Solide” has won all of his fights by KO/TKO taking less than 35 rounds for his twelve wins. He is a French citizen having moved to France with his family at the age of 11.He was European Youth and European Union champion and won a gold medal at the European Olympic Qualifier for Rio beating Anthony Fowler on the way. He competed for France at the 2016 Olympics losing to Cuban Arlen Lopez in the quarter-final and boxed for the Puerto Rican Hurricanes in the WSB. Second loss by KO/TKO for Pina who has a heavily padded record.
Tokyo, Japan: Super Light: Rikki Naito (21-2) W PTS 12 Daishi Nagata (11-2-1). Super Bantam: Hiroaki Teshigawara (18-2-2) W KO 5 Glenn Suminguit ( 21-4).
Naito vs. Nagata
Naito retains the OPBF title in all-southpaw, all-Japanese clash. This was a battle between the speed of Naito and the power of Nagata and was a close fight all the way. Nagata went in front over the first two rounds but then Naito had his jab working and scored some good shots to close the gap and the judges all had it 38-38 after four rounds. It was a similar picture over the middle rounds. Again Nagata attacked strongly in the fifth then Naito came on strong over the next three rounds. After eight two judges had them even with the third having Naito in front 77-75, It was difficult to split them in the ninth but Nagata had a big tenth flooring Naito with a left. Naito fought back and before the bell for the last the judges all had it 104-104. They both poured everything into the twelfth but Naito just did enough to retain his title. Scores 114-113 twice for Naito and 114-114.Naito was making the second defence of the OPBF title and gets his sixth win in a row. No one expected the Japanese No 5 Nagata to make it as close as he was having his first ten round fight.
Teshigawara vs. Suminguit
Teshigawara wins the vacant OPBF title with kayo of Filipino Suminguit. Teshigawara just punched too hard for the Philippines champion. He floored Suminguit in the first and third rounds and ended it in the fifth with a brutal right uppercut. Teshigawara is now 15-1 in his last 16 fights and has 11 wins by KO/TKO. Suminguit was 9-1 in his previous 10 fights and this is his second loss by KO/TKO.
Santiago de Chile, Chile: Super Middle: Julio Alamos (11-0) W PTS 11 Facundo Galovar (10-4-1). Fighting in his home city Alamos keeps his 100% record and lifts the vacant WBA Latino title with wide unanimous verdict over very modest Argentinian Galovar. Alamos won every round but also showed a very leaky defence. Galovar was able to stay competitive with counters and against a better level of opposition Alamos could have hit real trouble. Scores 110-100 twice and 109-103 all for Alamos. The former Chilean amateur champion boxed at 81kgs before turning pro and made the change to the pro ranks after failing to win his way through the Americas Olympic Qualifier for Rio. Galovar had won 6 of his last 7 fights.
Accra, Ghana: Super Welter: John Akulugu (15-5) W PTS 12 Daniel Lartey (13-2-1). Super Middle: Delali Miledzi (10-0) W PTS 12 Iddrisa Amadu (10-3).
Akulugu vs. Lartey
In the first show ushering in a revived Boxing League Akulugu outpoints Lartey for the vacant Ghanaian title but the title remains vacant as Akulugu failed to make the weight. He used his longer reach to control the fight with Lartey having no answer to the jab of “Fire Stone”. Lartey’s corner gave him a slapping after the seventh which seemed to work as Lartey was more competitive from there but by then Akulugu had already built a winning lead. Scores 120-108, 119-109 and 117-115 all for Akulugu.
Miledzi vs. Amadu
Miledzi wins the vacant National title with split verdict over Amadu. It was Amadu who made the better start and looked to have taken the first three rounds. Miledzi increased his work rate from the fourth and fought his way in front. Neither fighter was able to control the action which featured plenty of fiery exchanges but Miledzi had done enough to take the decision. Scores 117-112 and 115-114 for Miledzi and 117-111 for Amadu.
Salgotarjan, Hungary: Cruiser: Josef Darmos (11-2-3) DREW 10 Tomas Toth (9-6-5). Cruiser: Imre Szello (22-0) W PTS 6 Gusmyr Perdomo (25-9). Super Feather: Zoltan Kovacs (22-5-1) W TEC DEC 7 Rafael Hernandez (28-11-2,1ND).
Darmos vs. Toth
The Hungarian title is still vacant after Darmos and Toth ended up even on a technical decision. Darmos was a regular fixture in the Hungarian amateur team but despite being Hungarian champion eight times and winning bronze medals at two European Union Championships he has struggled as a pro. He started well enough here building an early lead and looking comfortable. After the fifth round Toth started to roll and by the eighth he was the one who looked on the way to victory. Early in the ninth a clash of heads saw both fighters suffers cuts which were too bad for the fight to continue so it went to the cards. Scores 86-86 twice and 87-85 for Toth making it a majority draw. Darmos “The Gladiator” is 33 and looks unlikely to get passed domestic level. “Barbarian” Toth (they had those Gladiator and Barbarian nicknames way before this fight), a former national champion had lost his last two fights.
Szello vs. Perdomo
Szello wins but in an untidy match. Szello was having problems with the awkward southpaw style of the veteran Venezuelan and for much of the fight the referee was the busiest man. Szello gradually broke down Perdomo’s resistance and after rocking Perdomo with a head-snapping right in the seventh he took Perdomo to the ropes and another right had Perdomo sliding down the ropes and the referee stepped in and halted the fight. The 35-year-old “Imo” has 13 wins by KO/TKO. He was one of the most successful of all Hungarian amateurs and is rated WBO 4/IBF 9(8)/WBC 16 but the EBU has him at No 11 in their ratings. His only chance of landing a title shot is if Oleg Usyk relinquishes the four titles. Perdomo, 41,and 16 years a pro, lost to Mikkel Kessler for the WBA super middle title in 2009 but last year he beat the 20-2 Haitian Azea Augustama in Haiti.
Kovacs vs. Hernandez
Cuts also brought this fight to a premature end. A clash of heads saw Kovacs suffer a cut early in the fight. His corner did a good job on it but for a couple of rounds the blood was affecting Kovac’s vision. He settled and was winning the rounds but the cut opened again and it was impossible for Kovac’s to continue so again it was decided on the cards. Scores 70-63, 69-64 and 69-65 for Kovac’s. The 26-year-old “Caramel” was 3-4 in his first 7 fights but is now 19-1-1in his last 20. Venezuelan Hernandez, a former interim WBA super bantam title challenger, had won 6 of his last 7 fights with the six wins all coming by KO/TKO.
Alta Valle Intelvi, Italy: Super Bantam: Iuliano Gallo (9-2) W PTS 10 Daniele Limone (16-8-1). Gallo holds on to his National title with a split decision over more experienced Limone. Gallo rocked Limone badly with a right in the first round but Limone recovered and they fought on equal terms. Over the fifth and six Limone was finding gaps in the southpaw defence of Gallo. The seventh was a close round but in the eighth and ninth Gallo outworked Limone on the inside. Both tiring fighters put everything into a frantic last three minutes with Gallo coming out on top. Scores 95-94 twice for Gallo and 95-94 for Limone. This was the first defence of the title for Gallo who won the crown at the second attempt. Former feather champion Limone had lost 3 of his last 4 fights including defeats in fights for the national super feather and European Union super bantam titles.
Mdantsane, South Africa: Fly: Ulises Lara (21-16-2) W PTS 12 Thembalani Nxoshe (19-8-2) Mexico’s “Little Mouse” Lara makes it two wins in two fights in South Africa as he collects the vacant WBC International title. Pressure and power won this one for Lara. He exerted nonstop pressure on local fighter Nxoshe who lacked the power to keep Lara out. Lara was going for quantity rather than quality in his work and leaving plenty of gaps for Nxoshe to score but the visitor came out on top in the exchanges despite a good effort from Nxoshe and Lara was a clear winner. Scores 117-111, 116-112 and 116-114 all for Lara. The Mexican had knocked out good level South African Nhlanhia Ngamntwini in July. He has a stoppage win over former IBF light fly champion Javier Mendoza and won and lost in fights with former WBO minimumweight champion Moises Fuentes so this was a big ask for former South African champion Nxoshe.
Torremolinos, Spain: Super Middle: Ronny Landaeta (16-0) W PTS 12 Anatoli Hunanyan (8-3-1). Super Welter: Navid Mansouri (18-1-2) W TKO 2 Bogdan Mitic (21-11).
Landaeta vs. Hunanyan
Predictable win for Landaeta against late substitute Hunanyan in clash for the vacant European Union title. Landaeta dominated the fight all the way but Hunanyan fought hard enough to make it an entertaining twelve rounds. Both fighters were handicapped by a damp, slippery canvas that made it difficult to get a good platform to throw their punches. Scores 118-110 twice and 117-111 for Landaeta. Venezuelan-born Landaeta will now be hoping to challenge for the EBU title next year. Armenian-born Hunanyan came in as a late substitute after Spanish middleweight champion 15-0 Cesar Nunez was injured. Hunanyan was not up to the usual EBU standard as a challenger but he saved the show and did his job well in going ten rounds with big puncher Landaeta.
Mansouri vs. Mitic
Rotherham’s Mansouri extends his unbeaten run to 12 with stoppage of Mitic. The former undefeated English champion is now 11-0, 1 technical draw including a victory over then unbeaten Sam Sheedy. After only one fight in almost three years he is now fighting in Spain and this is his third win this years. Serbian Mitic suffered his fourth loss by KO/TKO.
Rangsit, Thailand: Super Flyweight: Kongfah (24-1) W PTS 10 Mateo Handig (15-17
8A Kongfah keeps his OPBF title after unanimous decision over useful Filipino southpaw Handig. Scores 97-93 for Kongfah on all cards but Handig gave Kongfah plenty of problems along the way. Kongfah’s only loss was a seventh round knockout in 2015 to future WBC champion Daigo Higa. He has won ten fights since then but against very carefully selected opponents so the figures are meaningless. Way back Handig fought in an IBF eliminator but he has slipped away. He had a spell of eleven consecutive losses but had won twice against domestic opposition this year.
Sheffield, England: Super Fly: Tommy Frank (9-0) W PTS 10 Adam Yahaya (18-3-1). Bantam: Nasibu Ramadhan (25-12-2) W TKO 5 Loua Nassa (11-2).
Frank vs. Yahaya
In a night of mixed fortunes for local fighters Frank comprehensively outpointed tiny Tanzanian Yahaya. Frank was much taller, 5’7” to the 5’1” of Yahaya, and also had a big edge in technical ability and was able to use a strong jab to control the fight against the southpaw visitor. He also worked hard to the body with Yahaya eventually tiring under the pressure. Frank staggered Yahaya with a right hook in the sixth and had him in trouble in the eighth with a left hook but Yahaya stayed the distance. Referee’s score 100-90 for Frank. The BBB of C Central Area champion will now be hoping for a shot at the Commonwealth title. First fight outside of Tanzania for Yahaya who was unbeaten in his last 16 fights but against very modest domestic opposition.
Ramadhan vs. Nassa
This one came out as a win for the away fighter. Nassa had lots of height over Ramadhan but the little Tanzanian southpaw just walked forward punching and giving Nassa no chance to use his better skills. A tiring Nassa was shaken by a couple of punches in the seventh spitting out his mouthguard to get some recovery time and then held and wrestled his way to the bell. It was only a temporary reprieve and a series of punches from Ramadhan in the seventh had Nassa in trouble and the referee stopped the fight. The 26-year-old Ramadhan gets win No 13 by KO/TKO. He had lost 3 of his last 4 fights but the opposition had been very strong including a points defeat against former WBO bantam champion Paulus Ambunda. This is the second inside the distance loss in his last three fights for 22-year-old Nassa
Newcastle, England: Super Light: Robbie Davies (17-1) W PTS 12 Glenn Foot (23-4). Light: Francesco Patera (20-3) W PTS 12 Lewis Ritson (17-1). Light Heavy: Joshua Buatsi (8-0) W TKO 1 Tony Averlant (26-11-2). Heavy: David Allen (15-4-2) W TKO 1 Samir Nebo (10-3-1). Cruiser: Craig Glover (9-1) TKO 8 Simon Vallily (13-2-1). Super welter: Antony Fowler (8-0) W TKO 5 Gabor Gorbics (26-13). Super Bantam Thomas Patrick Ward (25-0) W KO 1 Tom Tran (6-2). Light Heavy: Lawrence Osueke (6-0) W PTS 6 Charles Adamu (32-11). Light Heavy: Hosea Burton (22-1) W TKO 1 Saidou Sall (10-9-2).
Davies vs. Foot
Davies outpoints local fighter Foot to take Foot’s Commonwealth title and win the vacant British title. This one saw a lot of blood shed as both boxers were cut. Davies took the lead early with some snappy jabs and accurate counters on the oncoming Foot. Davies took the first two rounds but the second saw the Liverpool fighter showing blood on his nose but then more seriously he was cut over his left eye. Foot was trying to drag the better boxer into a brawl and was not always too careful with his head. As the cut worsened in the third Foot came into the fight more as he was rolling inside and work well to the body. Davies took over again in the fourth and fifth jabbing strongly and landing counters on the marching Foot. There was no way Foot was going to let his Commonwealth title go easily and there had also been some bed feeling before the fight. Foot put the pressure on again in the sixth to keep the fight close but he was also cut under his left eye. Despite Foot’s best efforts from the half way mark Davies began to pull away. He was managing to stay on the outside for much of the time and catching Foot with jolting counters. The rounds were close but Davies was doing enough to win them and although Foot never stopped marching in and pressing the fight the better skills of Davies were giving the Liverpool fighter dominance and he ended up a clear winner. Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-112 all for the new champion Davies. Having reversed his only loss in emphatic style with a stoppage of Pole Michal Syrowatka Davies will be looking for big fights in 2019. He has now relinquished the Commonwealth title he won here so it may be he will go for defences of his British title or for the European title. Foot was making the first defence of the Commonwealth title that he won in a war against Jason Easton in March but now he has to regroup and decided which path to follow next.
Patera vs. Ritson
Belgian Patera shocks the local fans and quite a few boxing pundits by outpointing Ritson to win the vacant European title. Ritson had blown away a number of very useful British fighters and he started out looking to get rid of Patera in the same fashion. His strong jab was jerking Patera’s head back and he had Patera on the retreat. Ritson was marching forward letting fly with hooks and uppercuts to the body. Patera showed some clever defensive work and scored with rapid body punches but it was assumed that he would go when Ritson really connected. In the third it was still a case of Ritson pressing but Patera was beginning to put together bunches of hooks and uppercuts whilst still on the back foot. Ritson did enough to take the fourth but Patera was standing and trading more and the scores at that point were 40-36 and 39-37 for Ritson but with the third judge seeing it 39-37 for Patera. The Belgian really came to life in the fifth. He was firing multi-punch cluster of hooks and uppercuts, He was finding plenty of gaps in Ritson’s defence and giving the local fighter a torrid time. Ritson had a better sixth scoring with his own jab and with thumping body punches but was again wide open to counters. Patera was still mostly on the back foot but in the seventh he again peppered Ritson with bunches of punches. Patera is not a big puncher but he was landing a lot more than Ritson and he took the eighth with thumping body punches. After eight the scores were 78-74 Ritson, 76-76 and 78-74 Patera. Ritson had a better ninth on the front foot scoring with left hooks and being able to walk through the lighter punches from Patera. The fight was poised to go either way and it went Patera’s way. Over the last three rounds he was sending flashing rights and lefts through Ritson’s defence and the British fighter had no answer to the Belgian’s hand speed, movement and accuracy and Patera swept the last three rounds. Scores 116-112 Ritson, 116-112 for Patera and 116-112 for Patera. The 25-year-old Patera proved a clever boxing resilient fighter with great hand speed. He had his tactics right in seeing out early pressure from Ritson and slowly upping his work rate to be strong over the championship rounds. He had lost a very close split decision to Sean Dodd in his only previous fight in Britain. He turned in an impressive performance in taking a split verdict over Edis Tatli in Finland to win this European title but was well beaten by Tatli in the return fight. For Ritson it was a case of don’t change what works but you better have a Plan B if doesn’t but he did not seem to have a Plan B. He had rolled over top level opposition but had no answer to the clever movement and fast, accurate combinations from Patera. He did not become a bad fighter overnight and at 25 he will have plenty of chances to get back to the top if he takes the right lessons from this loss.
Buatsi vs. Averlant
Impressive power show from Buatsi as he stops seasoned French campaigner Averlant. The tall Frenchman tried to use his longer reach to box on the outside but could not keep Buatsi away. Buatsi put Averlant down twice. The second knockdown came from a thudding left hook to the body. Averlant went down on one knee then half rose and went down again. He tried for a second time and was up but then dropped again and the referee stopped the fight. The 25-year-old Ghanaian born British Olympic bronze medallist has finished six of his fights by KO/TKO and was making the first defence of his WBA International title. Averlant, a former WBFederation champion, is now 2-3 in his last 5 fights losing on points to world rated Dominic Boesel and retiring after seven rounds against Anthony Yarde.
Allen vs. Nebo
The “White Rhino” tramples all over poor Nebo ending this one in 65 seconds. Allen landed a couple of body punches in the first few seconds of the fight and quickly had Nebo on the retreat. He took him to the ropes and dug in some more shots to the body. Nebo fired some punches in return but then backed to the ropes and Allen struck with a right and then a left hook to the body. Nebo dropped to one knee and was counted out. Second inside the distance win in a row for Allen following his crushing kayo of unbeaten Nick Webb in July. Allen has been brave enough to go up against Dillian White, Luis Ortiz and Tony Yoka but is sensibly now getting some less arduous fights before taking a leap up to the top level again. Syrian-born Nebo lost his first fight on a first round kayo but then went 10-0-1 in his next eleven before being stopped by unbeaten German hope Tom Schwarz in four rounds in February.
Glover vs. Vallily
Glover moves to seven inside the distance wins on the bounce as he stops Vallily in the eighth. It looked as though this would be over quickly as Glover floored Vallily with a right in the first. Vallily made it to his feet and to the bell but he had been badly hurt. Glover had Vallily rocking with a left hook in the second. Glover continued to boss the fight despite suffering a cut by his right eye. It continued downhill for Vallily when he lost a point in the fifth for a butt and shipped punishment in the sixth and seventh. In the eighth when a strong combination from Glover had Vallily floundering the fight was stopped. Impressive show from the Liverpool fighter who will be looking to challenge for the British title in 2019. Vallily’s only other loss was a stoppage against Mario Breidis and last time out in June he drew with unbeaten Arfan Iqbal for the English title making this an even more impressive results for Glover.
Fowler vs. Gorbics
Fowler takes a few rounds to catch up with the survival minded Gorbics but then ends it quickly. Fowler found a way past the high, tight guard of Gorbics and bombarded Gorbics who dropped under the barrage. He did get up but the referee halted the contest. Seventh win by KO/TKO for the Liverpool boxer. He has considerable amateur achievements behind him including twice winning the British Championships, getting gold at the Commonwealth Games, a bronze medal at the World Championships and competing at the Rio Olympics. He is ready to step up to stiffer domestic opposition. Hungarian Gorbics is 0-4 in fights in the UK.
Ward vs. Tran
This was just a keep ticking over fight for unbeaten Ward but he made it a waste of time. Instead of getting a few rounds of work the County Durham fighter ended it early. He dropped Tran with a right bringing blood leaking from Tran’s nose and followed that with a second knockdown from a left to the body and Tran was counted out. Ward, 24, has good domestic wins over James Dickens and Sean Davis and is No 4with the WBO so will be hoping to get a title shot in 2019. German Tran in way over his head.
Osueke vs. Adamu
Osueke is still finding his feet as a pro and Adamu had enough experience to get through six rounds. Osueke had a considerable reach advantage and a far superior skill set than the Ghanaian veteran. Osueke was able to slot home his jab and dealt easily with the crude rushing attacks and wild swings of Adamu on his way to winning every round. Referee’s score 60-54. As an amateur he was a three-time British champion and competed at the European Championships. Ghanaian Adamu competed at the Olympics way back in 2000 when he beat Britain’s Courtney Fry. A former Commonwealth champion at 41 he is okay against domestic opposition but is not good enough to test fighters such as Osueke
Burton vs. Sall
Burton made it a good family night. He is the uncle of Osueke and he got his job done in just in just 29 seconds finishing poor Sall with a body punch. The 6’4” 30-year-old former British champion moves to four wins on the road back after losing his title to Frank Buglioni in 2016. Fourth loss in a row for Frenchman Sall including a six rounds points loss to Joshua Buatsi in October.
London, England: Bantam: Lee McGregor (5-0) W TKO 12 Thomas Essomba (8-5). Heavy: Michael Hunter (15-1) W TKO 10 Martin Bakole Ilunga (11-1).Light Heavy: Chris Billam Smith (7-0) W RTD 5 Robin Dupre (13-2).
McGregor vs. Essomba
McGregor wins the vacant Commonwealth title in only his fifth fight as little Essomba shows him how tough the pro game can be. McGregor had huge physical advantages and used his jab well in the first but Essomba was quick-handed and scored with a sharp left hook. The pace in this one was hot as both were looked to take control. Essomba hustled and bustled in the second with McGregor digging to the body with left hooks. McGregor chose to go inside in this round and they both cracked home uppercuts and hooks. McGregor’s cleaner work had him in front but in the fourth he went over and was given a count. He protested that he had tripped over Essomba’s right leg when avoiding a punch. The video showed that was what happened but it was understandable that the referee thought it had been caused by a punch and it was a 10-8 round for Essomba. The fight was a bit untidy in the fifth but again the hooks to the body from McGregor were connecting. It was close quarters stuff again in the sixth and seventh in what was an entertaining clash of styles. McGregor went inside again in the eighth and ninth but Essomba was scoring well with hooks and landed a couple of crisp uppercuts. McGregor had clawed back the 10-8 round and was in front but could not subdue the little Cameroon’s fighter. The tenth was a brutal round as they just stayed in the pocket and swapped punches. McGregor was getting the better of the exchanges and Essomba was showing signs of tiring but was still willing to stand and trade punches. In the last a fierce uppercut from McGregor saw Essomba stagger and then go down as McGregor landed a coupled more punches. The game Essomba was finished and just could not lift himself to beat the count. A great little fight that will have done McGregor a great deal of good for the questions it posed and the answers he gave. His other four fights had lasted less than nine rounds in total so this fight was a big step in his pro education. Former champion Essomba fought his heart out. Too often he has given away weight or taken short notice jobs to get fights and he showed here he is a flyweight who must be respected.
Hunter vs. Ilunga
Scots-based DRC fighter Ilunga loses his unbeaten tag as he is stopped by Hunter. Ilunga towered over Hunter and had a 43lbs weight advantage-or disadvantage as it turned out. Hunter was more mobile and quicker with his punches. He was buzzing around Ilunga and finding it was easy to hit the bigger man with jabs and straight rights. However his punches just bounced off Ilunga and Ilunga’s clubbing shots seemed to rock Hunter every time they landed. Hunter had to get inside score and get out again as their respective power was heavily in Ilunga’s favour. Ilunga was also tiring Hunter by leaning on him in the clinches and although Hunter was clearly outscoring Ilunga you felt that one big punch from Ilunga could end things. It came close to happening when a hefty left hook in the seventh had Hunter badly shaken with the bell coming just in time for the American. By the eighth Hunter was also cut over his right eye. A punch from Ilunga sent Hunter’s mouthguard flying in the ninth but Ilunga was looking exhausted and had now suffered an injury to his right shoulder. Hunter piled on the punches in the tenth and Ilunga was unable to hold him off. Hunter bombarded Ilunga with punches with the DRC fighter trying to punch back but only able to use his left. He did land one right hook but Hunter landed a booming right to the head and drove Ilunga stumbling to the ropes with a stream of head punches. As he pounded on Ilunga and with nothing coming back the referee stopped in and stopped the fight. The 32-year-old Hunter, the son of Mike “The Bounty” Hunter is really a cruiserweight. His only loss was on points against Oleg Usyk for the WBO title in April 2017 after which he moved up to heavyweight. In the 2012 Olympics he only lost on countback to Artur Beterbiev and he scored wins in amateur action over Andrew Tabiti, Oscar Rivas and Andy Ruiz. In his fight in June he knocked out 26-2 Igor Kiladze so this was a very risky choice of opponent for the inexperienced Ilunga. The Scottish-based Ilunga had less than 36 rounds as a pro behind him and it showed here. The brother of Ilunga Makabu Ilunga came over to Britain with his brother to act as a sparring partner for Ilunga’s fight against Tony Bellew and decided to stay. He is powerful and a big puncher but slow.
Smith vs. Dupre
Prospect Smith gets a useful stoppage win over former Commonwealth title challenger Dupree. The 6’3” Smith has an impressive build whereas Dupree looks nothing like a boxer is supposed to look. He is fleshy and looks soft-but isn’t. Smith used his reach well and boxed behind a strong jab. Dupree proved faster than he looks and showed he takes a punch well. A Smith jab staggered Dupree in the second and he was also hurt by a left hook late in the round. However he was finding gaps and scoring with some sharp counters. Smith worked the jab well again in the third with Dupree constantly on the back foot but surprising Smith some jabs and rights. A right uppercut brought blood from Dupree’s nose in the fourth as Smith upped his pace looking for a stoppage. Smith connected with heavy rights and lefts in the fifth and at the end of the round with blood dripping from his nose Dupree retired. Sixth win by KO/TKO for 28-year-old Smith who is ready for some stiffer tests. This was billed as a Commonwealth eliminator but it was not. Dupre came in as a late choice as he gets his second loss by KO.TKO.
Mexico City, Mexico: Super Feather: Eduardo Hernandez (27-0) W TKO 2 Luis Diaz (23-4-1). Is Hernandez the next Munguia? He is certainly knocking over the opposition in the same manner that Jaime Munguia did. The youngster from Mexico City dismantled Colombian Diaz scoring three knockdowns before the fight was stopped. In the first Hernandez was pressing Diaz looking for an opening. That came late in the round when a left to the body and a right to the head sent Diaz tumbling to the floor. He got up and the bell saved him from disaster-for a short while. In the second Diaz was retreating behind his jab but when his back touched the ropes there was nowhere to go and two clubbing rights to the head put him over. He climbed to his feet but then went down on his hands and knees from a series of head punches and the referee immediately stopped the fight. The 20-year-old “Rocky” has amassed 21 wins in a row by KO/TKO. This was the fifth defence of his WBC Youth title. He is No 3 with the WBC but probably needs some sterner tests before fighting for the title, but that’s what people thought about Munguia when he came in against Sadam Ali. Diaz has a heavily padded record with his last six victims having only sixteen wins between them so no test for Hernandez here.
Montreal, Canada: Super Light: Mathieu Germain (16-0) W PTS 10 Carlos Jimenez (14-9-1). Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (21-0) W TKO 6 Francy Ntetu (17-3). Welter: Ghislain Maduma (20-3) W PTS 8 Diego Luque (21-6-1).
Germain vs. Jimenez
Germain gets his toughest test to date and has to settle for a split decision over Mexican Jimenez. The local fighter made a hesitant start under the pressure from Jimenez who looked to be in front after the first three round. A damaging left uppercut in the third sparked Germain into action and he swept the next three rounds with Jimenez’s work rate dropping. Jimenez came back to life in the eighth getting through with some sharp shots. Then it was Germain’s turn to rally and he was strong enough over the last two rounds to take the decision. Scores 99-91 and 98-92 for Germain and 96-94 for Jimenez with the first two scores looking harsh on Jimenez and the last looking too generous for Jimenez. “G-Time Germain, 29, holds on to his IBF North American title. Jimenez had won his last four fights including an upset victory over 27-0 Pedro Campa in October.
Bazinyan vs. Ntetu
Bazinyan continues on his winning way with stoppage of Ntetu. Bazinyan was forcing the fight hard over the first two rounds with Ntetu doing a lot of holding to ease the pressure. In the third it looked as though Ntetu was going to turn the fight his way as they traded punches in an exciting round. Bazinyan steadied things in the fourth when a combination took a lot of the fire out of Ntetu. From there Ntetu was too often finding himself on the ropes and taking punishment. Bazinyan pounded Ntetu in the fifth and with Ntetu trapped on the ropes floored him with an array of punches in the sixth. Ntetu made it to the vertical but was again on the ropes and sliding down under a succession of head punches when the referee stopped the fight. The Armenian-born Bazinyan, 23, was making the first defence of his WBO NABO title and wins the vacant WBA-NABA trifle. He has 16 wins by KO/TKO. A former Canadian Golden Gloves champion, Bazinyan’s parents brought him to Canada when he was 16 to avoid compulsory Army service and it is proving a wise decision. He is now No 6 with the WBO. Ntetu from the DRC won his first 16 fights but was brought down to earth by inside the distance defeats against David Bermudez and Marcus Browne.
Maduma vs. Luque
Maduma saves the night for DRC boxers as he takes a comfortable victory over Argentinian Luque. Maduma was by far the quicker with hands and feet and won every round. He had Luque in deep water in the fourth but the Argentinian did not fold. From the seventh the pace slackened with Maduma still in control and Luque not in any further bother. Scores 80-72 for Maduma on all three cards. Maduma lost two important fight against Kevin Mitchell in an IBF Eliminator in 2014 followed by a split decision defeat to Maurice Hooker in 2015, a result that looks a lot better now than it did at the time. He had two fights in 2016 but was then away from the ring for 20 months before returning with a win in June. Luque is a road loser now with overseas losses to Jack Catterall and in Canada in May to Mike Zewski on points.
Salinas, CA, USA: Super Feather: Ruben Villa (14-0) W PTS 8 Miguel Carrizoza (10-4). Another solid performance from unbeaten former top amateur Villa as he wins in front of his home town fans. He outboxed a willing but limited Carrizoza all the way and won every round. Carrizoza tried hard but he just did not have the tools to match the classy southpaw boxing of Villa. Scores 80-72 from all three judges. As an amateur the 21-year-old Villa was National Golden Gloves champion in 2014 and 2015 and came close to derailing the Olympic hopes of Shakur Stevenson but instead Stevenson reversed a previous loss with victory in the final Trial. Villa was the designated alternate if Stevenson had been unable to box in Rio. Three losses in a row for Carrizoza all against unbeaten fighters.
Villa Domenico, Argentina: Light: Gustavo Lemos (19-0) W PTS 10 Uriel Perez (17-4). “El Electrico” Lemos outpoints Perez in an entertaining ten rounder and is still IBF Latino champion. The local fighter set a fast pace and landed plenty of punches but without real power behind them. Perez was making the early rounds close but lost a point in the fourth for a low punch. The Mexican was on fire over the middle rounds eating into the lead Lemos had built but Lemos found his second wind and did enough to take the last three rounds and the decision. Scores 99-90, 98-91 ½ and 96-93. The 22-year-old Lemos was making the third defence of his IBF title. Perez had been in good form being 10-1 in his previous 11 fights with the loss being a split decision against useful Carlos Jimenez
Brisbane, Australia: Super Light: Liam Paro (15-0) W RTD 7 Robert Tlatlik (22-2). Heavy: Demsey McKean (12-0) W TKO 6 Victor Oganov (32-6).
Paro vs. Tlatlik
Brisbane southpaw Paro shines in his best win and toughest test so far. Paro was in charge all the way scoring constantly with stiff southpaw jabs and landing heavy lefts. He slowly broke Tlatlik’s resistance until Tlatlik’s corner pulled their man out of the fight at the end of the seventh round. The 22-year-old WBO No 7 has won ten of his last eleven fights inside the distance. German-based Pole Tlatlik loses inside the distance for the first time.
Demsey vs. Oganov
Australian champion Demsey (I keep wanting to put a P after the M) stops oldie Oganov in a very uneven match. Demsey won every round and dealt out considerable punishment but could not put Oganov down with the fight being stopped half way through the sixth round. Demsey makes it six wins by KO/TKO but at 6’6” to Oganov’s 5’9” and a 44lbs weight advantage it was difficult to see how the 41-year-old Russian-born one-time IBO super middle title challenger was ever going to stand a chance in this one.
Vienna, Austria: Middle: Marcos Nader (20-1-1) W PTS 10 Dejan Milicevic (14-4). Nader breezes past Slovenian Milicevic to win the vacant Austrian title. Milicevic was knocked down a few times and rocked continually by right crosses from Nader. He managed to stay there to the bell even staggering Nader with a right during the contest. All three cards had Nader the winner at 100-89. After losing his European Union title to Emanuele Blandamura in 2014 the 28-year-old Spanish-born Nader competed with no success in the AIBA pro contests in 2015 going 0-2 and was then inactive until returning with a win last April. Three losses in a row for Milicevic,
Herstal, Belgium: Super Feather: Faroukh Kourbanov (16-1) W PTS 8 Sylvain Chapelle (17-26-2). Kourbanov given eight good working rounds by French veteran Chapelle. The visitor fought hard but Kourbanov won clearly in the end. Chapelle kept walking Kourbanov down but the hand speed and movement of Kourbanov meant he was having to take punishment before he could work inside. Chapelle did well with uppercut and hooks when he did close on Kourbanov but he was being peppered with quick combinations in every round. Kourbanov does not have a big punch and that allowed Chapelle both to have some success and to last the distance. Scores 80-74, 78-74 and 77-75 for Kourbanov. The only loss suffered by the 26-year-old from Kyrgyzstan was a close verdict against experienced former WBC title challenger Devis Boschiero for the European Union title in May. He is No 6 with the EBU so could get another title shot next year. All of Chapelle’s 45 fights have gone the distance so he now has exactly 300 rounds of experience behind him. Chapelle did well when he could cut the ring off and on those occasions he was banging well to the body.
Wolfhagen, Germany: Middle: Mario Jassmann (16-0) W TKO 6 Paata Varduashvili (34-17-2). Jassmann makes a successful second defence of his German International title with stoppage of Georgian Varduashvili. After three competitive and close rounds with the Georgian getting home some choice uppercuts Jassmann upped the pace and began to land some strong shots to the body. In the sixth he floored .Varduashvili and although the Georgian beat the count after a few more punches from Jassmann the referee halted the contest. Twelfth win by KO/TKO for the home town fighter but his opposition has been modest to less than modest and he is down at No 23 in the EU ratings. Of the 17 losses suffered by Varduashvili fifteen have been by KO/TKO.
Accra, Ghana: Super Bantam: Wasiru Mohammed (9-0) W TKO 3 Isaac Sackey (22–1). Disgraceful scenes followed a controversial ending to this fight. Mohammed, much the bigger fighter was in control from the start. He was walking down southpaw Sackey who hardly ventured away from the ropes. Mohammed was doing all of the scoring with Sackey constantly holding and lucky not to be disqualified. On one occasion as he slid to the floor under and attack from Mohammed he clung on to Muhammed’s leg refusing to let go with Mohammed dragging him along the canvas trying to shake him loose. Mohamed was looking to nail Sackey with rights and he finally succeeded in the third. He drove Sackey to a corner and hammered home a right and left to the body and then landed a powerful right that knocked Sackey off his feet and down. It was a heavy knockdown but despite that Sackey immediately grabbed the ropes and pulled himself to his feet only to see the referee waiving the fight over. It was a ridiculously hurried action as the referee did not even wait to see what condition Sackey was in. Sackey’s corner men and supporters climbed into the ring. Some just to mouthed their objections but some to attack the referee who it was reported was struck by a chair. Muhammed’s supports also got in the ring to protect their man and the trouble rapidly spread to the crowd in a small scale riot. Disgraceful. It remains to be seen where the result will stand but there is no doubt that Mohammed was on his way to a win.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): McGregor vs. Essomba a great little scrap
Fight of the week (Significance): Zolani Tete’s win over Mikhail Aloyan puts the South African into the semi-finals of the WBSS Tournament and some big money fights. Terrence Crawford cleared the way for a huge fight with Errol Spence if it can be made
Fighter of the week: Terrence Crawford a master at work
Punch of the week: Plenty of these. The straight right from Shakur Stevenson that put Viorel Simion over was special as was the left hook from Angel Acosta that flattened Abraham Rodriguez but I go for the fearsome uppercut from Christian Mbilli which shattered Luis Pina.
Upset of the week: Francesco Patera’s win over Lewis Ritson certainly shocked British fans and Mike Hunter was not expected to beat Martin Bakole Ilunga.
Prospect watch: Evgeny Tischenko certainly has an impressive list of amateur titles so has to be watched and Rashidi Ellis looked brilliant in beating Saul Corral.