Check out Eric Armit’s comprehensive report in The Week in Boxing – August 6, 2018!
-Eleider Alvarez stops Sergey Kovalev in seven to win WBO light heavyweight title
-Tevin Farmer outpoints Billy Dib for vacant IBF super feather title
-Dmitry Bivol decisions Isaac Chilemba in defence of secondary WBC light heavyweight title
-Andre Berto comes from behind to outpoint Devon Alexander in clash of former world welterweight champions
-Luis Collazo, Peter Quillin, Richard Commey and Marcus Browne score wins
-Joe Cordina outpoints Sean Dodd to take the vacant Commonwealth title in only his eighth fight
World Title Fights. Full IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO only
Sydney, Australia: Super Feather: Tevin Farmer (26-4-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Billy Dib (43-5).
Farmer outclasses a faded Dib and wins the vacant IBF title at the second attempt. Southpaw Farmer was too quick and skilful for the local fighter but Dib never stopped trying to turn the fight his way. Farmer scored well with southpaw lefts and took the first round. In the second Dib was able to get inside and rough Farmer up but Farmer outscored the Australian. Dib came back to have a good round in the third. Dib had to get inside and as the fight developed there was just a little too much clinching and rough stuff. Farmer’s superior speed and movement saw him take the fourth and at that stage the official scores were all 40-36 for Farmer. In the fifth Farmer caught Dib with some serious counters on the way in but Dib did enough to make it close. Dib had a better sixth getting through with rights but Farmer was getting the best of the exchanges in the seventh and also in a hard fought eighth. The scores after eight were 79-73,80-72 and 79-73 for Farmer with Dib needing a knockout or a big finish to win this one. In the ninth a left hook to the head from Farmer put Dib down. He made it to his feet but Farmer was all over him landing a succession of punches. Dib was in deep trouble and it looked as though his trainer Jeff Fenech was ready throw in the towel but Dib fought back to the bell. Farmer tried hard for a knockout over the final three rounds but Dib refused to cave in and was still there at the last bell. Scores 120-107, 119-108 and 118-109 all for Farmer. Philadelphian Farmer has had to overcome a bad start to his career and a near career ending injury to get to the IBF title. He was not an outstanding amateur having a 12-4 record, and when he launched his career in 2011he lost his first fight inside the distance and after twelve fights was a very ordinary 7-4-1. However two of the losses were against strong opposition in Pole Kamil Laszczyk who was 7-0 then and is now 24-0 and Jose Pedraza who was on his way to winning the IBF super feather title. Farmer has gone 19-01ND since the Pedraza loss but was lucky to be able to box after he was shot in the left hand last year. He was at his niece’s birthday party when a family fight saw someone with a gun firing some shots and Farmer was wounded trying to disarm the man. He fought for the vacant IBF title in December and lost a split decision to Kenichi Ogawa but the Japanese fighter tested positive for the banned substance androstanediol so the title remained vacant until now. Farmer resents the way some fighters showed no interest in fighting him when he did not have a title and has now put out a challenge to WBA champion Gervonta Davis. Dib, 32, announced his retirement. He was IBF featherweight champion losing the title in his third defence and lost to Takashi Miura in a challenge for the WBC super feather title in 2015 and has been one of the most successful Australian fighters over the past few years.
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Light Heavy: Eleider Alvarez (24-0) W TKO 7 Sergey Kovalev (32-3-1).
Alvarez vs. Kovalev
The biter bit or should I say the Krusher crushed. Kovalev was in front on all three cards until a huge right in the seventh from underdog Alvarez led to three knockdowns and the WBO title passing to Alvarez.
In a fast-paced start Kovalev did most of the scoring with his left jab. Both were wary of the others power and Kovalev was just stabbing home his jab and getting back out of range. Alvarez did very little.
Score 10-9 Kovalev
Alvarez was more active in the second landing a strong jab and a right to the head of Kovalev. After that Kovalev was the one pressing the fight. He was letting his hands go more than in the first round but neither fighter was committing himself and Alvarez’s early work just gave him the edge.
Score 10-9 Alvarez Tied 19-19
This round was Kovalev’s. They both scored with thudding jabs but Kovalev increased his work rate. He was making more use of left hooks landing to head and body and getting through with some clubbing rights.
Score 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 29-28
Things suddenly heated up in this one. Alvarez came out and quickly fired a series of hooks. Kovalev forced the Colombian onto the back foot and began to march forward throwing and landing with left hooks and right crosses and Alvarez was under heavy pressure. Alvarez threw a dangerous right at the end of the round but Kovalev was throwing more and landing more.
Score 10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 39-37
Official scores: 39-37, 39-37 and 39-37 all for Kovalev
This was a close one. Once again Alvarez was sharpest at the start firing hooks with Kovalev looking only to throw single punches. Kovalev picked up the pace late in the round but Alvarez looked to have nicked it.
Score 10-9 Alvarez Kovalev 48-47
Kovalev’s round. He was taking to fight to Alvarez scoring with left hooks to the body and rights to the head with very little coming back from Alvarez. Kovalev kept up the pressure and bounced a couple of hard right off Alvarez’s head.
Score10-9 Kovalev Kovalev 58-56
Alvarez changed tactics in this round. Instead of backing up he was standing in front of Kovalev and punching with him. Kovalev was more accurate and Alvarez missed with a huge swinging right. Kovalev scored with a couple of jabs but as he backed up with his left held low Alvarez landed a booming right cross to the side of Kovalev’s head. Kovalev staggered back a couple of steps and then went down heavily on his rump. He got up immediately and after the eight count Alvarez jarred his head with a jab and landed a hard right. Kovalev tried a couple of jabs and landed a good right but Alvarez walked through them and landed a left and a right to the head of Kovalev and he went down landing on his side. He was up quickly and the referee had a long look at him and tested him with the sideways walking before letting the fight continue. Kovalev took a couple of steps forward and Alvarez landed a huge right and a left hook that put Kovalev down again and the fight was waived off.
Official scores at the time of the stoppage were 59-55 twice and 58-56 all for Kovalev.
Alvarez, a 34-year-old Colombian based in Montreal had spent 14 months waiting for the WBC to order a fight with Adonis Stevenson so switched his attention to Kovalev. The 14 month lay-off might explain his hesitant start but after five points wins in his last six fights he found the power here to overwhelm Kovalev and take the WBO title. The idea of having Dmitry Bivol on this same show was as a taster for Kovalev vs. Bivol but that is now history and it may be that Alvarez will look towards Artur Beterbiev if that can be worked. Ironically Beterbiev went to court to try to cut his ties with Yvon Michel and lost and Alvarez is with Michel. At 35 perhaps time has caught up with Kovalev but he was careless and overconfident and left himself open to this crushing loss. He was doing well until the bomb landed so it is much too early to write him off.
Farmer Dib undercard:
Super Welter: Tim Tszyu (10-0) W KO 1 Steve Ferdinandus (27-16-1,1ND). Bantam: Brock Jarvis (14-0) W KO 1 Yotchanchai Yakaeo (26-12,1ND).
Tszyu vs. Ferdinandus
Young Tszyu does not need farcical fights like this. The talented son of Kostya put away Indonesian oldie Ferdinandus in 74 seconds. A right that seemed to brush past the Indonesians head saw Ferdinandus go down and get counted out. Eighth win by KO/TKO for the Sydney 23-year-old and second defence of his WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental title but the WBC will not be happy to be associated with this rubbish. The 37-year-old Ferdinandus falls to nine losses by KO/TKO.
Jarvis v. Yakaeo
Jarvis also got this one over early. Jarvis towered over the 5’ 3 ½ Thai and put him down early with body punches. Yakaeo beat the count but was flattened by a left hook. The 20-year-old Jarvis has won 13 of his 14 fights by KO/TKO seven of them in the first round. No real tests yet but he has done what he has been asked to do. He is trained by Jeff Fenech. The way that came about was that his uncle, who played one test for the Australian cricket team, played a big part in getting a young Fenech off the streets and into a gym for the first time so when Brock’s father took him to Fenech the former world champion gave the kid a try and was so impressed he agreed to take over training him. Sixth loss by KO/TKO for little Yakaeo.
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Light: Ladarius Miller (17-1) W PTS 10 Dennis Galarza (16-4). Super Light: Juan Heraldez (14-0) W PTS 10 Kevin Watts (12-3). Light: Sharif Bogere (32-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Oscar Bravo (22-8). Super Feather: Omar Douglas (19-2) W PTS 8 Lydell Rhodes (26-3-1).
Miller vs. Galarza
Miller marches on and moves to eight wins in a row with unanimous decision over Galarza. It was a fight that rarely caught fire and was a bit untidy at times. Southpaw Miller’s extra speed and some crisp left hooks were enough to give him the edge. The fight took a couple of rounds to warm up with neither fighter really in control but with Miller having the edge in some close rounds. There was more action over the middle rounds. Miller rocked Galarza with a left in the sixth but Galarza and was just the busier fighter. Miller was down in the ninth but it was correctly ruled a slip but it unsettled Miller and Galarza had Miller hurt late in the round. Miller boxed carefully in the last which probably went to Galarza. Scores 99-91, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Miller. The 25-year-old from Memphis is part of Floyd Mayweather Jr’s team and this is his eighth win on the bounce. He was going ten rounds for the first time. Miller competed at the US national Championships and the Police Athletic League Tournament but failed to get through the last chance qualifiers for the US Team for the 2012 Olympics. Two tough fights and two losses for Brooklyn’s Galarza .He lost a unanimous decision to Edner Cherry in April with two judges seeing it a 96-94 for Cherry so very close.
Heraldez vs. Watts
Heraldez must have been hoping for an early night when he floored Watts with a left in the first round but Watts made it out of the round and went the distance so Heraldez had to settle for the unanimous verdict. Watts tried hard to claw back those two points from the 10-8 round perhaps too hard as Heraldez was able to score effectively with counters. Despite his efforts Watts never really managed to get a foothold in the fight. He landed occasional left hooks but was outboxed and outscored by Heraldez. Scores 98-91 twice and 100-89 for Heraldez. He is making good progress with wins over decent level opponents Reyes Sanchez and unbeaten Jose Borrego. Californian “Playboy” Watts has had mixed results. He beat useful Pole Michal Chudecki but then lost successive fights against Eddie Ramirez and Borrego only to rebound with a win over 15-1 Ryan Karl.
Bogere vs. Bravo
Ugandan Bogere is a couple of levels about Chilean Bravo. Bogere hurt Bravo early and then dominated him from there. The Ugandan was too quick and punished Bravo from the outside. By the end of the third Bravo was cut over his left eye and that side of his face also began to swell. Bravo put in a big effort over the middle rounds but his cut had worsened and Bogere’s lead was never threatened and he ran out a clear winner. Scores 98-91 twice and 100-90; The 29-year-old “Lion” lost to Richar Abril for the vacant WBA light title in 2013 and although he is now 9-0,1ND against some good level opposition he is not in the ratings so no title shot on the horizon. Brave Bravo is 1-5 in his last 6 but the losses have all been in tough matches including opponents such as Diego Magdaleno, Mason Menard and Saul Rodriguez.
Douglas vs. Rhodes
Douglas takes a successful second step on his climb back to the top level with unanimous decision over Rhodes. Scores 79-73 for Douglas on all three cards.. The 27-year-old from Delaware won his first 17 fights before suffering back-to-back losses to Javier Fortuna and Edner Cherry in close fights. Rhodes was also rebuilding after back-to-back losses. His were to Sergey Lipinets and Cherry but neither fight was close, He scored a couple of wins in 2016 but was inactive until returning with a win in April this year.
Melbourne, Australia: Super Welter: Dwight Ritchie (18-1) W PTS 10 Joel Camilleri (15-451). Former Australian and OPBF champion Ritchie gets a win but Camilleri makes him fight hard for it. Ritchie had built a winning lead and although he was -cut over left eye from a clash of heads in the ninth he was able to box his way to victory. Scores 97-94 twice and 96-94 for Ritchie. The 26-year-old “Fighting Cowboy” had his first four wins wiped off his record when it was found he had turned pro at 17 below the allowed age for a pro. He wins the vacant IBF Australasian title and is currently Australian No 1. Fellow Australian Camilleri was 6-0-1 in his last 7 and his profile received a boost from his display here.
Mexico City, Mexico: Bantam: Victor Lopez (14-6-1) W TKO 2 Antonio Tostado (22-7). Lopez wins the vacant WBC Latino title with victory over former victim Tostado. Lopez was always in control here. He landed some hard jabs and body blows in the first and ended it in the second. An overhand right shook Tostado and forced him to the ropes. Lopez landed a couple of hooks to the body and then continued to batter at Tostado until the referee stopped the fight. Sixth win by KO/TKO for Lopez and sixth win in his last seven fights. He outpointed Tostado over six rounds in December 2013 although it does not show on his record. Tostado had won his last seven fights
Swakopmund, Namibia: Middle: Lukas Ndafoluma (12-1) W RTD 3 Ebenestus Kaangundue (6-3). Super Feather: Jeremiah Nakathila (16-1) W KO 4 Wilson Masamba (29-11-1). Super Feather: Onesmus Nekundi (9-5-2) W PTS 10 Abraham Ndauendapo (16-7).
Ndafoluma vs. Kaangundue
An all-Namibian contest sees “The Demolisher” Ndafoluma beat Kaangundue after three rounds. Ndafoluma just punched too hard for Kaangundue and put him down in the third. Kaangundue climbed off the floor and survived to the bell but then retired. Ndafoluma wins the vacant WBFederation Inter-Continental title. This is his fourth win by KO/TKO,. He has won his last seven fights including an impressive win in November beating 19-1 Craig Cunningham in Manchester. First loss by KO/TKOfor former National title challenger Kaangundue.
Nakathila vs. Masamba
“ Low Key” Nakathila gets another inside the distance win with kayo of Malawian Masamba. This was never going to last long as Nakathila was finding gaps for some sharp punches from the first round. He put Masamba down in the third but just failed to end the fight. No problem in the fourth as a left hook put Masamba down and out. Fourth defence of his WBO African title and twelfth win by KO/TKO. His only loss is a majority decision in Russia against the current WBO No 3 Evgeny Chuprakov so he can fight. Fourth inside the distance loss for Masamba. At 5’3” Masamba is too small to be completive against a fighter such as Nakathila.
Nekundi vs. Ndauendapo
In another all-Namibian match a mild upset sees Nekundi take the split decision against home town fighter Ndauendapo. Nekundi built an early lead before Ndauendapo staged a strong finish and came close to bridging the gap but not quite. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 to Nekundi and 96-94 to Ndauendapo. Nekundi, a former Namibian featherweight champion, wins to vacant WBFederation African title. Ndauendapo continues a poor run and is 1-5 in his last 6 fights.
Alvarez vs. Kovalev undercard
Atlantic City, NJ, USA: Light Heavy: Dmitry Bivol (14-0) W PTS 12 Isaac Chilemba (25-5-2). Middle: Denis Douglin (21-6) W PTS 10 Vaughan Alexander (12-1). Super Welter: Bakhram Murtazaliev (13-0) W KO 1 Fernando Carcamo (23-9). Super Welter: Frank Galarza (20-2-2) W KO 2 Alex Duarte (13-6-1).Light; Karl Dargan (18-1) W PTS 6 Jonathan Perez (37-22).
Bivol vs. Chilemba
Bivol retains the secondary WBA title with unanimous decision over experienced Chilemba. As expected Bivol proved too quick, too clever and too accurate for Chilemba.. The Russian dominated the first half of the fight scoring with string of precisely placed jabs and strong rights. Although physically the bigger man Chilemba was constantly forced onto the back foot by the jab but kept firing punches. He had some success with his own jab but anything harder was usually blocked or dodged. Bivol was going for power and accuracy not quantity and Chilemba was actually throwing more but missing more. Bivol was aiming to get an impressive win to nail down a fight with Kovalev but to really make a statement he needed to beat Chilemba inside the distance. Chilemba has only failed to go the distance once and that was on a retirement when he suffered a broken hand against Olek Gvozdyk in 2016. Bivol had a big lead after four rounds with all three judges seeing it 40-36 for the Champion With his dominance over the first six rounds it was possible that Bivol might get that inside the distance win but Chilemba has a good chin and proved too resilient and the crowd became restless over Bivol’s failure to provide enough excitement. After eight rounds Bivol was 80-72 in front on two cards and 79-73 on the other so still totally in control but again there were a few boos from those disappointed that Bivol was not showing the power that had wiped out eleven of his victims. Bivol seemed to dial back his attacks leading to the suspicion he may have injured his right hand and Chilemba whilst not winning rounds was more competitive. There was some good action in the ninth and tenth but no real excitement as Bivol boxed his way to the win. Scores 120-108 twice and 116-112 for Bivol with the last judge generously giving Chilemba three of the last four rounds. Second defence of the secondary title for the 27-year-old Kyrgyzstan-born Russian. He can do a lot better than this and will have to if he hopes to win a full title. South African-based Malawian Chilemba, 31, drew with Tony Bellew back in 2013 and lost on a majority decision to Eleider Alvarez in 2015. He was beaten on points by Kovalev for the IBF,WBA and WBO titles in 2016 and lost on that injury retirement against Gvozdyk later the same year. He was then inactive for fourteen months before putting himself back in the picture in March with close points victory over Blake Caparello to win the vacant WBC International title.
Douglin vs. Alexander
Douglin snaps a two-bout losing streak with wide unanimous decision over Alexander. Southpaw Douglin had the superior skill set and outboxed Alexander. He was able to outscore and outwork Alexander and use his experience against a higher level of opposition to make this an easier than expected fight for him. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Douglin. The “Momma’s Boy” from St Louis has been a loser in tough fights against Jermell Charlo and George Groves and in his last two fights against David Benavidez and Anthony Dirrell so a much needed and valuable win for him. Alexander, 32, is the older brother of Devon. He turned pro in 2004 but after five wins he was jailed for armed robbery and served eleven years before his release and return to the ring in 2016.
Murtazaliev vs. Carcamo
Hard-punching Murtazaliev pulverises Carcamo putting him down and out in 41 seconds. The Russian jumped on Carcamo immediately getting through with some quick accurate jabs and then put him down and out with a blistering right. Carcamo tried to get up bit was counted out. The 25-year-old from Grozny gets his ninth win in a row by KO/TKO and retains the interim IBA title. He is ready for better opposition. Mexican Carcamo lost in the final of the ESPN Boxcino lightweight Tournament in 2014 and was 6-2 in his last eight fights but he is a long way from being a lightweight now.
Galarza vs. Duarte
Galarza also gets an early night but takes a bit longer than Murtazaliev. After taking the first round Galarza put Duarte on the canvas with a right to the body. Duarte beat the count but was still in pain and another body punch proved too much for him and he went down for the full count. After starting his career with a 17-0-2 unbeaten run Galarza was stopped in six rounds by Jarrett Hurd and then lost a majority decision to Ishe Smith. The 31-year-old from Brooklyn then took two years out before returning with a win in November last year and has now added two more wins. New York-based Brazilian Duarte has lost five in a row.
Dargan vs. Perez
Dargan eases his way back into the active ranks with comfortable win over Colombian loser Perez. Scores 60-54 for Dargan from all three judges. Now 33 Dargan looked a cert to make waves in the paid ranks when he first turned pro in 2007. He had been US National champion twice and won a gold medal at the 2007 Pan American Games. He regularly sparred with Bernard Hopkins and top trainer Naazim Richardson was his uncle. He won his early pro bouts but did not entertain or impress and although he ran up eighteen victories he drifted away after being floored and outpointed by Canadian Tony Luis in January 2015. He married and went into reality TV but seems to have decided to give boxing another shot but it is likely to be too late for him to make it to the top. Perez is now 1-7 in his last 8 fights,
Uniondale, NY, USA: Welter: Andre Berto (32-5) W PTS 12 Devon Alexander (27-5-1). Welter; Luis Collazo (38-7) W PTS 10 Bryant Perrella (15-2). Super Middle; Peter Quillin (34-1-1) W PTS 10 J’Leon Love (24-2-11ND). Welter: Sergey Lipinets (14-1) W PTS 10 Erick Bone (20-6), Light Heavy: Marcus Browne (22-0) W PTS 10 Lenin Castillo (18-2-1). Light: Richard Commey (27-2) W TKO 2 Yardley Armenta (24-11,1ND). Super bantam: Brandon Figueroa (16-0) W TKO 1 Luis Suarez (13-0). Super Light: Gary Antuanne Russell (7-0) W KO 1 Jose Esquivel (10-8).
Berto vs. Alexander
Berto comes from behind and from a third round knockdown to take a split decision over Alexander in a vital fight for both former champions. Over the first two rounds southpaw Alexander was using his superior hand speed to score on the outside. Berto needed to get inside to be effective but Alexander was tying him up and there was too much clinching and some ungentlemanly conduct going on. Just ten seconds into the third round Alexander landed a hard left hook and as Berto turned away Alexander landed three punches to the back of Berto’s head and swung Berto to the floor. The left had been a good punch but the referee ignored the foul blows that followed and gave Berto a count. He was not hurt but Alexander continued to be first to the punch over the next four rounds and with the 10-8 in the third was way out in front but it was a nasty ugly fight. The fight changed in the seventh. Now Alexander’s jab was less effective and he was moving less. Berto was able to get in close and score with clubbing shots to head and body. Berto suffered an equipment malfunction in the seventh as his protector cup dropped out of the bottom of his shorts which left him a little vulnerable for a while. He continued to bully Alexander now his strength rather than any skill was putting him in control. Alexander was still getting home with some jabs and left hooks but Berto was winning the rounds and the only question was whether he had done enough to overtake Alexander’s big early lead. Two judges thought so. Scores 115-112 twice for Berto and 114-113 for Alexander. The 34-year-old Berto, a former IBF and WBC welter champion, looked on the slide with back-to-back losses to Robert Guerrero in 2012 and a stoppage by Jesus Soto Karass in 2013. He was given a chance to challenge Floyd Mayweather Jr for the WBA and WBC title in 2015 but was outclassed. It has been up-and-down for him since then as he knocked out Victor Ortiz in 2016 and was stopped in nine rounds by Shawn Porter in April 2017 his last fight before this. His loss to Porter and his inactivity had seen him drop out of the ratings but he must hope that this win will get him back in the ratings with an outside chance of one more title shot. Alexander, 31, suffered back-to-back losses to Amir Khan and Aaron Martinez and was then inactive for two years until returning with a win in November last year. He had drawn with Victor Ortiz in another clash of former welterweight champions in February and was rated No 5(4|) by the IBF but his chance of a title fight has gone with this loss.
Collazo vs. Perrella
Age seems no barrier to Brooklyn southpaw Collazo as he shakes off the rust from 18 months of inactivity to take a majority verdict over the younger Perrella. Collazo was taking the fight to Perrella from the outset. Getting in close and denying Perrella punching room. Perrella has won thirteen of his fights by KO/TKO but his power never troubled Collazo who kept rolling forward and scoring inside. Perrella had some good spells and made the fight close but he was being outworked and hustled out of stride by the more experienced Collazo. Perrella was effective at distance but just never had enough room with Collazo in his face for the whole fight and the former holder of the secondary welterweight title looked a clear winner but had to settle for a majority decision. Scores 98-92 and 96-94 for Collazo and 95-95. Now 37 Collazo had been inactive due to an injury to his left arm. His last fight before the time off was a sixth round kayo of 21-1 Sammy Vasquez so Collazo still has a part to play at welterweight. Perrella was highly rated after being 14-0 with 13 wins by KO/TKO but was derailed by a fourth round stoppage loss to Yordenis Ugas in 2016. He was inactive for 15 months before scoring a win over Alex Martin in December.
Quillin vs. Love
Quillin continues to fight his way back into contention with a win over Love. Now up at super middle he impressed with comfortable victory over rated Love. It was a cool composed performance by Quillin. He used a strong jab to get on the front foot and did all of the pressing. Love just seemed content to let Quillin set the pace and he rarely looked threatening. After a few rounds Quillin used the jab less realising he could come forward without any danger and he began to throw more hooks and uppercuts. Quillin put in a big effort in the eighth with a furious attack that had Love pinned to the ropes for the early part of the round. The attack seemed to wake Love and he launched an attack of his own showing real fire for the first time in the fight . It was only a brief flame soon extinguished and after ten rounds Quillin had won by a wide margin but had not really been tested. Scores 98-92 twice and 99-91 for Quillin. The 35-year-old Quillin, a former undefeated WBO champion, was obliterated inside a round by Daniel Jacobs in a fight for the secondary WBA title in December 2015. Following that he was inactive and struggled with depression before returning 21 months later with a win over Dashon Johnson in September. With this win over Love, who was rated IBF 6(5) and WBO 9, if all goes well in his next couple of fights he could land a title shot. After a shock kayo loss to Rogelio Medina in 2014 Love had gradually rebuilt with six wins over moderate level opposition and a technical draw with Abraham Han but he performed poorly here so is back to square one.
Lipinets vs. Bone
Lipinets moves up to welterweight with a win but not a sparkling performance and he has to settle for a majority decision. Lipinets made a slow start but in the end his better boxing and harder punch made the difference. Once he was untracked Lipinets began to do some damage and Bone’s nose was pouring blood for much of the fight. Neither fighter’s work rate was high and many of the rounds were close which led to some widely divergent scores on the cards which came out at 99-91 and 98-92 for Lipinets and 95-95. The Kazak “Samurai” was having his first fight since being floored and losing his IBF super light title to Mikey Garcia on a unanimous decision in March. He will have to do better than this if he is to make his mark at welter. Ecuadorian Bone lost four in a row to Shawn Porter, Chris Algieri, Miguel Vazquez and Eddie Ramirez but had done a measure of reconstruction with wins in four fights against moderate opposition.
Browne vs. Castillo
Browne keeps bust whilst waiting for the situation in the light heavyweight division to become less murky and hopefully land a title shot. He took the unanimous decision but suffered a knockdown in the fifth. Browne had speed, skill and accuracy over Dominican Castillo. Browne used a strong, quick jab to both score and break up Castillo’s attacks. He might have been able to turn that supremacy in to a stoppage win but he fought in spurts and did not press his attacks hard enough. Browne looked to have swept the first four rounds but in the fifth as they exchanged punches Browne went down. It looked partially to be a slip but it was counted so a 10-8 round for Castillo. Browne was back in control in the sixth and Castillo was unable to replicate his fifth round success and was outboxed by Brown the rest of the way. Scores 98-91 twice and 97-92 for Browne. The 27-year-old New York southpaw, a 2012 Olympian, is rated No 2 by the WBA, WBC and WBO. He was in line for a fight with Sergey Kovalev but was pushed aside after his arrest over a domestic matter. Hopefully he will get the chance at a title later this year or early next. Castillo’s only defeat came in an eight round fight with Thomas Williams in February last year when he lost a majority verdict.
Commey vs. Armenta
Commey uses Armenta as target practice as he stays in shape and ready for a fight with Mikey Garcia. The talented Ghanaian floored Armenta in the first and had him stunned and floundering in the second when the referee halted the fight. The 31-year-old Commey is in line for a shot at Garcia. As part of the agreement to the Mike Garcia vs. Robert Easter unification match the IBF stipulated that the winner had to fight the highest available challenger and Commey is the IBF No 1. It is likely that the WBC title would also therefore be on the line. Commey lost a hotly disputed split decision to Easter for the IBF title in 2016 so deserves his chance. Armenta has been in some tough matches and this is his eighth loss by KO/TKO.
Figueroa vs. Suarez
Texan Figueroa took longer to get to the ring than he did to end this fight as he put Suarez down and out after just 49 seconds. The 21-year-old “Heartbreaker” has ten wins by KO/TKO. No names on his record yet but in his last four fights he has beaten experienced opposition and an unbeaten Suarez.
Russell vs. Esquivel
Russell makes it seven from seven by KO/TKO and five in the first round. If you blinked you missed this one. Russell came out fast and landed a right hook to the head and a left hook to the body and the fight was over after just 25 seconds. The 22-year-old is the younger brother of WBC featherweight champion Gary Junior. He and Gary were both selected to represented the US at the Olympics, Gary Jr in 2008 and Gary Antuanne in Rio but Gary Jr did not get the chance to box in Beijing as he fainted prior to his fight so was not allowed to compete. Two other members of the family also box and they are the only family to have had four members win National Golden Gloves titles. Life would be easier for those writing about them if their father had not named them all Gary! Mexican Esquivel is 1-7 in his last 8 fight but this his first loss by KO/TKO.
Cardiff, Wales: light: Joe Cordina (8-0) W PTS 12 Sean Dodd (15-4-1).Welter: Daniyar Yeleussinov (3-0) W PTS 6 Gabor Gorbics (24-12). Feather: Jordan Gill (21-0) W TKO 1 David Berna (16-5). Bantam: Sean McGoldrick (7-0) W PTS 8 Dylan McDonagh (3-1). Super Bantam: Gamal Yafai (15-1) W TKO 3 Jose Aguilar (16-51-4). Light: Scott Cardle (23-2-1) W PTS 6 Michael Mooney (8-52-1). Light Heavy: Anthony Sims (15-0) W TKO 4 Stanislav Eschner (10-10-1).
Cordina vs. Dodd
Cordina returns to his home city and outpoints Dodd to win the vacant Commonwealth title and defend the WBA International title. Cordina was in charge from the first bell. He had edges in height and reach, exaggerated by Dodd fighting out of a crouch, greater hand speed quicker foot work and a fluid style. He kept Dodd on the back foot stabbing out his jab and throwing long rights. Dodd was boxing cautiously not taking any chances and probably planning for a long fight which might give Cordina problems as the former amateur star had only eighteen rounds behind him as a pro and had not yet gone past the fourth round for a win. Dodd showed a good jab and had some success when he could get in close or take Cordina to the ropes. Cordina worked the body well with hooks from both hands and landed flashing combinations. Dodd pressed more the longer the fight went on and managed to drag Cordina into a brawl on occasion. He also tested Cordina’s chin a few times but with only three wins by KO/TKO he is not classed as a heavy puncher.. Cordina showcased some sparkling skills although occasionally handing the initiative to Dodd and showing some excellent reflexes and good defensive work. Dodd worked hard and made Cordina work hard. In the end it was Dodd who showed signs of tiring over the late rounds but for all of his dominance Cordina never totally subdued Dodd or looked likely to stop him. Cordina won clearly and and importantly showed in only his eighth fight that he can go twelve rounds. Scores 120-109, 119-119 and 117-112 all for Cordina. The 26-year-old Welshman has glittering amateur credentials winning a gold medal at the European Championships, a bronze at the Commonwealth Championships and a silver medal at the World Combat Games as well as representing Wales at the 2011, 2013 and 2015 World Championships and the 2016 Olympics. He has lots of talent and this fight shows he is being managed sensibly and could go far. Dodd, 34, a former Commonwealth and WBC International champion had beaten Gary Buckland, drawn with Scott Cardle and beaten Thomas Stalker but lost his Commonwealth title in April when he was stopped by Tommy Coyle.
Yeleussinov vs. Gorbics
Yeleussinov outclasses travelling loser Gorbics. The Rio gold medal winner looked to be heading for a quick finish when he dazed Gorbics in the second with a right and raked Gorbics with an array of punches in the third and fourth. Despite the punishment and a bloodied and swollen face Gorbics did not cave in and lasted to the final bell. Referee’s score 60-54 for Yeleussinov. That failure to stop Gorbics was disappointing but the Kazak southpaw is still adjusting to the pro ranks and is an outstanding talent. Hungarian Gorbics falls to 1-7 in his last 8 fights but usually goes the distance.
Gill vs. Berna
Gill gets a rare inside the distance win as he stops Berna in the first round. Gill peppered Berna with jabs and a right to the temple put the Hungarian down. He was up in time to beat the count but was unsteady on his pins. Gill bundled him to the ropes and as it seemed Berna was going down he stepped away. Berna managed to avoid going down but then he did go down under Gill’s next attack and the referee stopped the fight. Most of Gill’s opposition has been passable at best but he took a big step up in February with a win over former Commonwealth champion Jason Cunningham and a shot at the British title is the next logical step. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Berna.
McGoldrick vs. McDonagh
McGoldrick moves up to eight rounds and gets a win but is pushed all the way by Irish novice McDonagh before getting the referee’s decision on a score of 78-76. The former Commonwealth gold medal winner was fighting in his native Wales for the first time as a pro and this proved a tougher test than expected but McDonagh was a good level amateur so not a complete novice.
Yafai vs. Aguilar
Yafai gets a few rounds of work from perennial loser Aguilar. The Nicaraguan stood up well to the punishment and is an experienced survivor callable of spoiling his way to survival but Yafai did not let him stay around long. In the third a wicked left to the body saw Aguilar turn away and go down on one knee in agony and the fight was stopped.. The 26-year-old “Birmingham Beast” , a former undefeated Commonwealth champion., suffered his only loss on a unanimous decision against Gavin McDonnell in March but that will be only a temporary setback for the talented younger brother of WBA super fly champion Khalid. It is now 35 losses in a row for Aguilar.
Cardle vs. Mooney
As with Yafai Cardle is also on the rebound and as with Yafai he was facing an experienced loser/survivor. Cardle punished Mooney all the way and won every round. The referee scored this one 60-54 for Cardle. The former British champion had his 20-bout winning streak ruined when he lost his National title on a majority decision against Robbie Barrett in April last year. He suffered a second set-back when he was halted by Lewis Ritson in two rounds in March. Only three losses by KO/TKO for Mooney but he is 0-40-1 in his last 41 fights.
Sims vs. Eschner
Sims gets his career back on the road with stoppage of Czech Eschner. After a slow start Sims put Eschner down in the second with a series of punches. Eschner survived and got though the third but in the fourth a left hook unhinged Eschner’s legs and when Sims landed a heavy right the referee stopped the fight. Sims, 23,a cousin of Floyd Mayweather Jr. won his first pro fight on points but has won his fourteen subsequent fights by KO/TKO. He competed at the World Youth Championships and won a silver medal at the US National Championships losing to Marcus Browne in the final. He signed with Don King in 2016 but that has not worked for him and this is his first fight since February 2017. He is now signed to Matchroom.
Marbella, Spain: Welter: Kerman Lejarraga (25-0) W TKO 6 Jhonny Navarrete (31-14-20). Super Welter: Navid Mansouri (18-1-2) W PTS 6 Mamadou Goita (5-10-2). Bantam Ryan Farrag (19-3) W TKO 5 Jefferson Vargas (5-10).
Lejarraga vs. Navarrete
European champion Lejarraga gets inside the distance win over late substitute Navarette. Lejarraga was stalking after the Mexican and landing heavy left hooks to the body. Navarrete kept prodding out his left jab and then changing guard but there was no power in the punches. A hard combination hurt Navarrete in the second and he stood and traded punches but could not halt the march of Lejarraga. The Spaniard was walking through Navarrete’s punches and breaking down his resistance. In the sixth a left to the body forced Navarrete to go down on one knee. He was up at seven and bravely tried to punch his way out of trouble but another body punch dropped him to his knees. He beat the count but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight. The 26-year-old “Revolver” makes it 21 wins by KO/TKO as he gets in some work prior to defending his European title against Frankie Gavin in November. “Cowboy” Navarrete came in at just a couple of days notice as a replacement for Italian Michele Di Rocco. He is one of only five fighters to have taken Jaime Munguia the distance.
Mansouri vs. Goita
Mansouri continues his current unbeaten run with unanimous decision over Spanish based Malian Goita. The fight was too one-side to entertain but Mansouri is now 10-0-1 in his last 11 fights including an important win over unbeaten San Sheedy for the English title last year. Goita is 1-4-2 in his last 7 fights.
Farrag vs. Vargas
Former European bantam champion Farrag grinds out a win over Ecuadorian Vargas. The Liverpool fighter put together a run of 11 wins and lifted the European title before losses to Kamil Guerfi and Ryan Burnett. This is his third win as he climbs back. Vargas has already lost to Paul Butler and Joe Ham and his job is to hang around as long as he can and lose .
Fight of the week: Sorry to say nothing really stood out
Fighter of the week: Eleider Alvarez for his crushing win over Sergey Kovalev
Punch of the week: That first big right from Alvarez that effectively ended the fight
Upset of the week: Alvarez beating odds on favourite Kovalev
One to watch: Gary Antuanne Russell 7-0 7 wins by KO/TKO with honourable mention to Bakhram Murtazaliev 13-0 11 wins by KO/TKO