Check out Eric Armit’s comprehensive report in The Week in Boxing – June 26, 2018!
-Miguel Berchelt has no trouble brushing aside Argentinian Jonathan Barros to retain the WBC super feather title
-Josh Taylor decisions Viktor Postol in WBC final eliminator
– Olympic gold medal winner Tony Yoka halts Brit David Allen to remain undefeated and French prospect Souleymane beats former IBF champion Carlos Molina
-Miguel Roman stays in shape with a win as he awaits his shot at Miguel Berchelt
-Thulani Mbenge halts Diego Chaves to win vacant IBO welter title
-Ohara Davies, Martin Murray, Anthony Yarde and Daniel Dubois score wins in London
-Unsung Roberto Ramirez crushes for WBC champion Dejan Zlaticanin
-Canadian hope Steven Butler moves up to middleweight and stops Carson Jones
WORLD TITLE FIGHTS
Merida, Mexico: Super Feather: Miguel Berchelt (34-1) W TKO 3 Jonathan Barros (41-6-1).
Berchelt vs. Barros
Berchelt destroys Barros in a title match that looked poor on paper with the Argentinian faded and jaded and way out of his depth.
Barros made a bright start with plenty of movement and some snappy jabs. Berchelt went to work over the second half of the round chasing Barros down pinning him to the ropes and pounding him with hooks to the body.
Score 10-9 Berchelt
It had been obvious in the first that Barros lacked the fire power to keep Berchelt out and the champion was able to force Barros to the ropes again. The Argentinian showed some skill and some fire but Berchelt walked through his punches. Berchelt landed a left hook, right hook, left hook combination at the end of the round which saw Barros slump to the canvas. He climbed to his feet and at the end of the count the bell sounded.
Score 10-8 Berchelt Berchelt 20-17
Barros tried to take the fight to Berchelt but was soon on the back foot and on the ropes. A right from Berchelt unbalanced Barros who touched the canvas with both gloves to steady himself which counted as a knockdown. On the resumption Berchelt pounded away at Barros on the ropes and as Barros tried to escape Berchelt punched and pushed him over. The referee had started the count but looked bemused when one of the Argentinian’s corner men appeared at his shoulder indicating they were pulling their man out of the fight. Barros was angry at his corner for stopping the fight but the deed was done. Third defence of the WBC title for 26-year-old Berchelt. He gets win No 30 by KO/TKO and has now won 12 of his last 13 fights by that route. Although only 34 Barros a former holder of the secondary WBA title at featherweight looked a spent force. It is difficult to see how he earned a title shot as he had had only one fight in the past eighteen months and that was a loss by 7, 7 and 11 points against Lee Selby for the IBF title feather title twelve months ago.
For undercard fight Nunez vs. Torres see under date.
New York, NY, USA: Welter: Mikkel LesPierre (20-0-1) W TKO 7 Gustavo Vittori (20-4-1). Light: Roberto Ramirez (18-2-1) W TKO 2 Dejan Zlaticanin (23-2).
LesPierre vs. Vittorio
LesPierre much too good for Argentinian Vittori and floors him three times on the way to a seventh round stoppage. The Trinidad & Tobago born LesPierre boxed on the outside early using his jab to blunt the attacks of the aggressive southpaw Vittori. He was banging home counters as Vittori tried to get inside and a right to the body put the Argentinian on the canvas in the second. He beat the count and continued to march forward presenting LesPierre with an easy target. In the sixth a left hook sent Vittori to the floor again. The Argentinian got up and made it to the bell but in the next round a series of punches drove Vittori down on his knees and the referee stopped the fight. LesPierre, 33, moved to the USA at the age of six and competed at the finals of the National Golden Gloves and National PAL Tournament. This victory gives him nine wins by KO/TKO including victories over useful opposition in Mario Beltre and unbeaten Noel Murphy. Second fight in the US for Vittori who was knocked out in three rounds by Alex Saucedo in November.
Zlaticanin vs. Ramirez
Huge shock as former WBC champion and current No 8 Zlaticanin is crushed in two rounds.. The little Montenegrin only knows one way to fight and that is with a swarming attacking aimed at overwhelming the little known Ramirez. In doing so in the first he left himself open and was stunned early by an uppercut but continued with his open aggression. Early in the second as he marched forward Ramirez nailed him with another uppercut and a right to the head and Zlaticanin went down. After getting up Zlaticanin fired back and rocked Ramirez with a left hook. The exchanges continued and a couple of rights floored Zlaticanin heavily and the referee stopped the fight with the Montenegrin suffering a suspected fractured jaw and broken nose. Mexican “Rifle” Ramirez, 25, lost a split decision to Errol Spence victim Carlos Ocampo in 2013 and was stopped in two rounds by then unbeaten Abel Ramos in 2015 in his only other fight in the US. With 13 wins by KO/TKO he obviously had some power. Zlaticanin, 34, was having the second fight since a brutal kayo loss to Mikey Garcia in January last year which cost him his WBC title.
Ontario, CA, USA: Super Light: Manuel Mendez (16-2-3) W PTS 8 Gilberto Espinoza (9-1). Feather: Isaac Zarate (15-3-3) W PTS 8 Ramiro Robles (15-8-2).
Mendez vs. Espinoza
With a loss and a draw in his last two fights Mendez needed a win and he achieved it with a unanimous decision over previously unbeaten Espinoza. Pressure won the fight for Mendez. Espinoza boxed intelligently scoring with clever combinations when he found the space but Mendez constantly closed him down and worked him over on the ropes. Espinoza landed enough combinations to make it close but Mendez was stronger over the last two rounds and did enough to earn the decision. Scores 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 for Mendez. The 27-year-old Mendez built a 17 fight unbeaten run before suffering an upset inside the distance loss to 9-5 Mohammed Rodriguez in June last year. Tijuana’s “Little Golden Boy” Espinoza was having his first fight outside Mexico and this was his first eight round fight which worked against him.
Zarate vs. Robles
Zarate gets close unanimous decision over Robles in an all-southpaw contest. Zarate had the better skills but too often decided to stand and trade punches with the aggressive Robles. Punches from Robles opened a small cut over the right eye of Zarate and also raised a swelling under the right eye of Zarate which almost closed the eye. Zarate fought hard despite the handicap and he created enough space to just give him the edge over Robles on the way to the decision. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74 for Zarate. The 26-year-old Californian suffered two split decision losses in a row but is now 3-0-1 in his last 4 including a win over former WBC title challenger Carlos Carlson. Mexican Robles, 25, is 3-4 in his last 7 fights but two of the losses have been to Daniel Roman and Alberto Guevara.
Detroit, MI, USA: Light Heavy: Umar Salamov (21-1) W TKO 9 Brian Howard (13-2). Welter: Bakhtiyar Eyubov (14-0,1ND) W TKO 7 Nicholas Givhan (21-2-1). Heavy: Apti Davtaev (15-0-1) W TKO 2 Cory Phelps (16-11-1).
Salamov vs. Howard
Salamov wins in his US debut but will have to better if he wants to attract more notice. Against the much older Howard he never really took control of the fight and showed a vulnerability to right hands. He did enough to win the first round and landed a good right in the second only for Howard to fire back with a harder right that shook Salamov. Salamov recovered well from that and landed some hard rights to the body in the third and fourth but the fight was slow with sparse action. Salamov was winning the rounds by being more active than the sluggish Howard but Howard was dangerous with occasional rights including one in the seventh which hurt Salamov. The fight looked to be going to drag its way to the final bell but in the ninth a right from Salamov sent Howard back into a corner and another right put him down and the fight was over. The tall 24-year-old Russian who trains at the Kronk Gym had his unbeaten run snapped when he lost on points to Damien Hooper on the undercard of the Jeff Horn vs. Manny Pacquiao fight last July and he did not impress here. Howard, 38, was having his first fight for eight months and only the fourth in almost six years.
Eyubov vs. Givhan
Eyubov gets another win inside the distance with stoppage of Givhan. Eyubov pressed Givhan all the way never allowing him punching room and slowly breaking the Michigan fighter down. The Kazak lost a point for hitting on the break but by the seventh the referee had seen enough and stopped the contest. The 31-year-old Houston-based “Bakha Bullet” Eyubov has twelve wins by KO/TKO including a victory over useful Karim Mayfield. For 32-year-old Givhan is two fights against East European fighters and two losses by KO/TKO
Davtaev vs. Phelps
Davtaev demolishes Phelps inside two rounds. The big Russian floored Phelps in the first and after two more knockdowns in the second the fight was halted. The 6’5” (196cm) Russian “The Storm of the Caucasus” hails from Chechnya and has 14 wins by KO/TKO but so far only against modest level opposition. Five losses in a row by KO/TKO for Phelps who was inactive in 2016 and had only one fight in 2017 in December.
Blagnac, France: Welter: Sirak Hakobyan (16-3-1) W PTS 10 Romain Nemery (7-8-3). Super Feather: Samir Ziani (28-3-1) W PTS 8 Michal Dufek (24-18-2).
Hakobyan vs. Nemery
Fighting in his adopted home town Armenian-born Hakobyan wins the vacant WBC Mediterranean title with majority verdict over Nemery. Scores 97-93 and 96-94 for Hakobyan and 95-95. Eight wins in a row now for the 22-year-old Hakobyan who is a cousin of interim WBA cruiser champion Arsen Goulamirian. This was in his first ten round fight. Former French champion Nemery falls to 3-2-1 in his last six fights.
Ziani vs. Dufek
Southpaw Ziani gets eight rounds of work as he decisions Czech Dufek. The 27-year-old local was keeping busy whilst waiting to learn the date of his challenge to James Tennyson for the European title. Ziani has won 10 of his last 11 fights with the defeat being against fellow-Frenchman Guillame Frenois for the European title in 2016.
Corneliano d’Alba, Italy: Light Heavy: Stefano Abatangelo (21-6-1) W TEC DEC 6 Vigan Mustafa (19-4). Abatangelo finally regains the national title with technical decision over champion Mustafa. Abatangelo made an aggressive start but Mustafa countered well. Things were even in the third but a clash of heads saw Mustafa suffer a cut on his right eyebrow. Abatangelo stepped up his attacks outscoring Mustafa. In the sixth it was ruled that Mustafa’s cut was too serious for the fight to continue and the score cards were consulted with Abatangelo getting the decision. The 36-year-old from Turin regains a title he held back in 2013. He had lost in shots at the vacant title in 2015 and 2017 so third time lucky. Mustafa a Kosovon based in Florence was making the first defence of his title.
Auckland, New Zealand: Super Welter: Bowyn Morgan (17-1,1ND) W PTS 10 Shay Brock (12-2-1). Heavy: Junior Fa (15-0) W PTS 10 Luis Pascual (13-2).
Morgan vs. Brock
Morgan moves up to super welter and gets his second national title with victory over champion Brock. This was a tough, gruelling contest with neither fighter wanting to take a step back. Morgan had the higher work rate and pounded away to Brock’s body for ten rounds. Brock took the punishment and fought back hard. Morgan had to deal with a cut over his left eye but kept the pressure on all the way. The seventh was an exciting round with first Brock and then Morgan on top but Morgan was stronger and won well. Scores 98-91 twice and 99-90 for Morgan. The 29-year-old from Christchurch was stopped in three rounds by Kris George in 2016 but now has ten wins on the bounce. As an amateur he was New Zealand champion in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and competed at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Brock was fighting in front of his home supporters. He lost his unbeaten tag when outpointed by Australian Dwight Ritchie in December so now two losses in a row.
Fa vs. Pascual
Fa wins the vacant WBO Oriental title with points decision over Mexican Pascual. Although Fa was a clear winner it was a slow, disappointing fight lacking highlights. Pascual was giving away a considerable amount of height and reach. He tried to switch guards regularly but that made no difference and he did not press hard so Fa was able to control the fight but never raised his own pace. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91 for Fa. The 6’5” 28-year-old Fa keeps his 100% record but will have to improve on this performance. Incredibly Pascual weighed less than 175lbs when he turned pro in 2012 but was 252lbs here. An additional 77lbs. Perhaps he grew two more legs!
Barcelona, Spain: Super Bantam: Abigail Medina (19-3-2) W TKO 1 Anthony Settoul (23-7). Light: Frank Urquiaga (11-0) W Nikoloz Nakashidze (7-2). Super Feather: Juli Giner (23-3-1) W PTS 8 Darren Traynor (15-3). Super Welter: Isaac Real (19-3-1) W KO 4 Felix Matamoros (9-20).
Medina vs. Settoul
Medina destroys Settoul inside two minutes in his second European title defence. Settoul was not a high quality challenger and after just 35 seconds a right to the body dropped him to his knees. He beat the count but Medina jumped on him driving him along the ropes and down again with the referee immediately waiving the fight off. Medina is very much a dark horse in this division even though he is WBC No 1.Born in the Dominican Republic but now based in Barcelona this is the 29-year-old Medina’s tenth win in a row and his tenth win by KO/TKO but with his only significant wins being over Jeremy Parodi and Martin Ward the No 1 spot flatters him. Frenchman Settoul, 31, a former French and EU champion, is now 4-5 in his last 9 fights including losses to Nonito Donaire and Ryan Burnett.
Urquiaga vs. Nakashidze
Urquiaga, the official challenger for the Spanish title, keeps his 100% record. Over the early rounds Urquiaga had trouble with the inexperienced Georgian but he gradually took control with his better skills and won the unanimous decision. The 31-year-old Peruvian based in Barcelona is No 9 with the EBU. Now three fights outside of Georgia in a row for Nakashidze and three losses in a row.
Giner vs. Traynor
Former European champion Giner outpoints Scot Traynor. In his first fight outside the UK Traynor made a positive start using his edges in height and reach with Giner countering with right crosses and left hooks. Traynor made good use of his jab and straight rights with Giner being a bit more varied in his approach. Traynor had a good fourth with Giner suffering a cut but the local fighter was outscoring the Scot and built a handy lead with Traynor having a strong eighth but showing the effects of the power and accuracy of Giner’s punches as the Spaniard won the decision. The 34-year-old “Rock” has lost tough fights against Miguel Roman and Martin Joseph Ward and is No 3 with the EBU. Aberdonian Traynor, 31, the Scottish Area champion, has also come up short in very tough domestic fights against Ryan Walsh and James Tennyson.
Real vs. Matamoros
Just a gentle run out for Real against one of the team of reliable losers from Nicaragua now based in Barcelona. Matamoros tried hard but was never in the fight. After taking the first two rounds Real floored the Nicaraguan late in the third and was dishing out punishment in the fourth when the towel came in from the Nicaragua’s corner. The 36-year-old former European super welter champion suffered points defeats last year against Cedric Vitu and Sergio Garcia, He is No 8 with the EBU and now has two wins as he tries to stay in the title picture. As might be expected Matamoros has lost his last eight fights.
Glasgow, Scotland: Super Light: Josh Taylor (13-0) W PTS 12 Viktor Postol (29-2). Bantam: Lee McGregor (4-0) W TKO 4 Goodluck Mrema (22-2). Heavy: Martin Bakole Ilunga (11-0) W TKO 1 DL Jones (8-2-1),
Taylor vs. Postol
Huge win for the “Tartan Tornado” as Taylor takes a wide unanimous decision over Postol but the wide margin in the scores did not accurately reflect what had been a hard fought contest between two excellent technical and tactical fighters. Although both fighters are tall for the weight Postol has a remarkably long reach. In the first round the Los Angeles-based Ukrainian was using his longer reach to put Taylor on the back foot and then launching straight rights. Taylor was coming in low seeking to get past the jab and work to the body. Postol just had the edge in the first round but in the second Taylor broke through with a right hook and a left to the body and at the bell Postol was showing a cut over his right eye. Postol banged back with a big left hook in the third which hurt Taylor and with Taylor not looking as sharp as in the past Postol was picking up points. This was a fast-paced battle with the rounds close but after six rounds Postol looked to have just edged in front. In the seventh Postol scored heavily with two left hooks which shook Taylor. In past fights such as those against Ohara Davies and Miguel Vazquez Taylor has shown the ability to make adjustments to his tactics and he did so here. He increased the pressure from the eighth and in the ninth it was his turn to shake Postol which he did with some solid lefts and a heavy right and he had a big round in the tenth. After dominating the round he put the Ukrainian down with blistering left hook. Postol was badly hurt but beat the count and survived to the bell. Postol fought` back hard in the tenth but the impetus was with Taylor and he provided a strong finish to emerge the clear winner. Scores 119-108, 118-110 and 117-110. A lot of rounds were close and the fight was much tougher than those cards indicate. For the 27-year-old Taylor this win paves the way for shot at WBC champion Jose Ramirez a fight that will be a very tough assignment but also one that is very winnable for Taylor. Postol was No 1 and Taylor No 2 so the Scot has earned his title shot the hard way. Postol did not have a high profile and certainly not as high a profile as he deserved. After 28 victories including a kayo of 26-2 Selcuk Aydin he knocked out Argentinian Luca Matthysse in ten rounds to win the vacant WBC title. That is the only time Matthysse has lost inside the distance and it was a count out not a technical stoppage. Matthysse is now WBA welterweight champion and fights Manny Pacquiao on 15 July. Postol lost his WBC title on points against Terrence Crawford in July 2016 and Crawford is now a three-division champion.
McGregor vs., Mrema
Edinburgh prospect wins his first title in his fourth fight with stoppage of Tanzanian Mrema. McGregor was much the bigger and worked well with his jab in the first. In the second McGregor constantly switched guards and Mrema stormed forward throwing lots of punches. McGregor went to work in the third with straight rights and left hooks. A gutsy Mrema tried to fire back but was wild. In the fourth a left to the head sent Mrema staggering across the ring and a couple of rights sent him along the ropes and down with his head resting on the bottom rope and the fight was stopped. The 20-year-old Scot has been a very successful amateur. He won Scottish and British titles at Youth level and at Senior level he was Scottish and British champion in both 2016 and 2017 and represented Scotland at the World and European Championships. He was affected by family deaths in 2017. His mother died when he was winning the British title and his grandmother died when he was competing at the European Championships. He has won all four of his fights by KO/TKO. Mrema, 23, has lost his three fights outside of Tanzania,
Ilunga vs. Jones
Scottish-based DCR fighter Ilunga wipes out Jones in 62 seconds. At the bell Jones piled forward forcing Ilunga into a corner but was caught by a short left to the temple. His legs went in different directions and he went down. He beat the count but Ilunga pounded home head punches until Jones dropped again. He got up but on completion of the count the referee waived the fight off. The 26-year-old big man, reported to be the brother of world rated Ilunga Makabu, has eight wins by KO/TKO and was making the first defence of the IBO Continental title. Jones was stopped in three rounds by Daniel Dubois in February.
London, England: Super Light: Ohara Davies (18-1) W KO 2 Paul Kamanga (21-2). Middle: Martin Murray (37-4-1) W PTS 12 Roberto Garcia (41-4,1ND). Light Heavy: Anthony Yarde (16-0) W TKO 7 Dariusz Sek (27-4-3). Heavy: Daniel Dubois (8-0) W TKO 5 Tom Little (10-6). Welter: Johnny Garton (22-1-1) W TKO 3 Nelson Altamirano (10-18-2).
Davies vs. Kamanga
Davies obliterates Kamanga with a huge right in the second. A cautious first round saw Davies try a couple of rights early and then settle on the back foot letting Kamanga come forward. Neither fighter landed anything of note with both coming up short with jabs. In the second Kamanga was coming in low trying to get under the jab of Davies and Davies was looking to nail him with a chopping right as he came in. After just missing with five or six of those punches Davies finally landed a thunderous one to the head of Kamanga who went face down on the canvas. He managed to get to his knees but was never going to get any further and was counted out. Davies, 26, wins the WBC International title and has 14 wins by KO/TKO. He showed real power in that right. Two asides-not sure about his blonde rinse and can’t understand why he was allowed to have his shorts and protector pulled so high they could have been used as a bra! Lithuanian based DCR fighter Kamanga had a couple of useful wins on his record but was given no chance to show how real his record was.
Murray vs. Garcia
Murray too good for the limited Garcia and comes away with a well deserved wide unanimous decision in a gruelling contest. Murray started on the back foot with Garcia marching forward. Murray was getting his punches off first and Garcia was too slow to counter. Garcia was trying to rough Murray up in the second and was warned for going low with his punches and when he repeated the offence was deducted a point. Garcia stepped up the pace in the third and was hunting Murray down and landing hooks to the body. The fourth was close with Garcia constantly stabbing his jab through Murray’s defence and Murray also jabbing strongly and working to the body .Murray had a good sixth still working with his strong jab but mixing his punches with short hooks and uppercuts Garcia pressed hard in the seventh and eighth although he was straying low with his shots. Murray has spent his career fighting at middleweight and super middleweight whereas Garcia has boxed at welterweight and super welterweight and Murray’s strength began to tell. Garcia was guilty of going low and hitting on the break in the ninth but eventually it was for a punch to the back of the head that he lost another point. Garcia tried hard over the last three rounds to find a way to win but Murray took no chances and boxed his way through to the last bell for a clear victory. Scores 118-108, 118-109 and 116-112 all for Murray as he takes the WBC Silver title from Garcia. At 35 the man from St Helens is just looking for one last title shot. He was unlucky to only get a draw against Felix Sturm for the WBA middle title in 2011, won the interim WBA title in 2012, had Sergio Martinez down when losing a controversial decision in a challenge for the WBC title in 2013, was stopped in eleven rounds by Gennady Golovkin for the WBA title in 2015.and lost a controversial split decision to Arthur Abraham for the WBO super middle title also in 2015. He was going to get another shot on this show until Billy Joe Saunders pulled out of their fight with an injury. He is still in the top ten with the WBO and IBF and his win over WBC No 6 Garcia will put him in their ratings but it remains to be seen whether another chance comes his way. Garcia, 38, had lost only one of his last 28 fights and that was against Antonio Margarito in 2010 and had won his last 14 including a decision over Omar Chavez which won him the WBC Silver title.
Yarde vs. Sek
Yarde batters and breaks down Pole Sek in seven one-sided rounds. Sek, a 6’2” southpaw started the first pawing with his jab and not looking to let Yarde get inside. Yarde took his time looking for an opening and late in the round he landed a left hook to the head that sent Sek stumbling off balance and down. Sek was more shaken than hurt and after the count landed a good straight left. Sek tried to get on the front foot in the second but Yarde landed some powerful rights to head and body and Sek looked to have suffered a nose injury from one of them. Yarde hunted Sek down in the third and fourth letting fly with left and right hooks to the body with Sek’s jab too light to keep Yarde out. Yarde upped the pressure in the fifth and Sek was constantly under fire. Yarde was loading up on every punch and Sek could do nothing to change the fight. Sek tried to keep moving and poked out his right jab and landed an occasional straight left but was being driven back by big rights from Yarde and was shaken by a left to the head in the sixth. In the seventh Yarde was landing rib cracking body punches with Sek fading fast. The referee was having a close look at the punishment Sek was taking and after a series of clubbing head punches from Yarde he made a well-timed stoppage. The 26-year-old Yarde was making the fourth defence of the WBO European title and the third of the of his WBO Inter-Continental title. He is No 2 with the WBO which bears no relation to the level of opposition he has been meeting but those rated below him are in very much the same position. The difficulty for Yarde is that after an 11-1 amateur record he is still learning and yet at No 2 could find himself forced to fight Kovalev before he is ready, This is his 15th win by KO/TKO and his 14th in a row and he is yet to be taken past the seventh round. Sek suffers his first loss by KO/TKO. He was a top level amateur but going into this one was 1-1-2 against very modest opposition.
Dubois vs. Little
Dubois bludgeons Little to defeat to win the vacant English title. Dubois was walking Little down from the start. Little tried to use his jab to keep Dubois out but lacked the power. He had to absorb some thumping shots in the second and third rounds but landed a couple of rights of his own. Dubois was untroubled by those and in the fourth a right to the head floored Little. He was up quickly and after the count held and boxed his way to the bell. Dubois pounded on Little in the fifth before throwing Little to the floor. When Little got up Dubois continued to landed heavy hooks and uppercuts and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight over protests from Little. Dubois, 20, has won all eight of his fights by KO/TKO and this is the first time he has been taken past the third round. He showed improving maturity working more with his jab. He is still a relative novice but with his size and power it is difficult to match him and there is no need to hurry him. Third loss by KO/TKO for Little who was stopped in four rounds by Croatian prospect Filip Hrgovic in his last fight in January.
Garton vs. Altamirano
Garton continues his good run with a stoppage of specialist loser Altamirano. Garton ended the fight with a body punch with Altamirano unable to continue. “Pexican” Garton-he comes from Peckham in London-was a small halls favourite but is now a regular on big shows which is just reward for his entertaining style. He is 11-0-1 in his last 12 fights and always gives full value. Nicaraguan Altamirano has now lost his last 12 fights.
Kempton Park, South Africa: Welter: Thulani Mbenge (14-0) W TKO 7 Diego Chaves (26-4-1). Cruiser: Thabiso Mchunu (19-4) W TKO 6 Ricards Bolotniks (11-5-1). Middle: Rowan Campbell (7-0) W TKO 8 Malkhaz Sujashvili (10-2).
Mbenge vs. Chaves
Mbenge wins the vacant IBO title to add to his already impressive list of titles. In a superb performance “Tulz” Mbenge was too quick and punched too hard for Chaves. The experienced Argentinian was never able to get into the fight. Mbenge found Chaves an easy target mixing his punches well landing with fast, hard combinations to head and body. Chaves tried hard to get into the fight rolling forward at times but rarely getting past the excellent jab of Mbenge. Frustration set in early with Chaves incredibly taking a bite out of Mbenge in the third round which disgusted the spectators and angered Mbenge. Chaves paid for the foul in the sixth when a hard right from Mbenge put him down. The Argentinian survived but only for a short time and just 36 seconds into the seventh a blistering right put Chaves down again and the fight was over. Mbenge, who will be 27 next month, has eleven wins by KO/TKO and has already won the South African and WBC International titles and is destined for bigger things. Chaves,32, a former interim WBA champion fought a split draw with Tim Bradley but lost his interim title to Keith Thurman and was knocked out by 21-1 Jamal James in December.
Mchunu vs. Bolotniks
Mchunu returns with a win as he halts tough but limited Latvian Bolotniks. The visitor tried to bull and brawl his way to victory but once Mchunu found his range there was only going to be one winner. The South Africa southpaw raked the advancing Bolotniks with punches slotting home jabs and firing lefts to the body. A punch to the ribs hurt Bolotniks in the fourth and although he continued to rumble forward he slowed. Shortly after the start of the sixth a crunching left uppercut almost knocked Bolotniks out of his socks but somehow he beat the count only to be put down again by a right and the fight was halted. The 30-year-old “Rock” went 16-1 in his first 17 fights and was high in the world ratings with victories over Eddie Chambers and Olan Durodola but lost a big fight against Ilunga Makabu in 2015 and an even bigger one against Olek Usyk for the WBO title in 2016. He recovered to outpoint Johnny Mueller for the vacant South African and ABU titles in June last year but was floored and beaten by Constantin Bejenaru in November. Now he is in action again and looking to get back in the title picture. Bolotniks, 28, was 7-1 in his last 8 fights with the loss being a split decision against the 24-1 Micki Nielsen the IBF No 9(8) in January.
Campbell vs. Sujashvili
Unbeaten Campbell gets in some very useful work as he halts Georgian Sujashvili in the last round of their eight round fight. Sujashvili was competitive early with some nice work with his jab and good counters. Gradually Campbell stepped up the pressure and although Sujashvili fought hard from the fourth it was Campbell’s fight. He was pressing hard in the eighth when Sujashvili suddenly signalled he had had enough and the referee stopped the fight. The local hope Campbell has six wins by KO/TKO and will now go on to challenge national champion Renson Hobyane. Campbell was being nicknamed “The Tartan Terror” and wore kilted shorts for this fight so as a Scot I am naturally unbiased-not. Two fight outside of Georgia in a row and two losses for Sujashvili.
Paris, France: Heavy: Tony Yoka (5-0) W TKO 10 David Allen (13-4-2). Super Welter: Souleymane Cissokho (7-0) W PTS 10 Carlos Molina (28-10-2). Welter: Ahmed El Mousaoui (29-3-1) W PTS 8 Alexey Evchenko (16-11-1).
Yoka vs. Allen
Yoka faces his biggest test to date and comes through with a late stoppage of Allen. The 6’7” Yoka made good use of his jab and superior footwork to land stiff jabs straight rights and left hooks. Allen was walking through the punches trying to get close and throwing looping rights with Yoka pinging him from the outside with fast but light jabs. Allen worked the body when he did manage to get past the jab with Yoka holding or moving and not wanting to get drawn into a brawl. Despite that Allen had a good fifth as Yoka seemed to slow and was not using his jab enough. Allen was able to bull him around for a while. Not having gone past six rounds as a pro Yoka had to pace himself. He was winning the rounds but Allen was able to keep marching forward and landing some clubbing body punches. Yoka went back to the jab in the seventh and rocked Allen with a right cross. He landed a great combination in the eighth and indulged in some showboating but too often was just standing in front of Allen hiding behind a high guard instead of punching. Allen scored with a couple of good rights in the ninth but Yoka was still outscoring him with his jab and a mixture of straight rights and hooks. The jab and short hooks had been enough for Yoka to take every round but both fighters looked tired at the start of the tenth. Yoka came out throwing punches. He landed a series of rights to the head as he drove Allen into a corner. A right had Allen lurching forward holding desperately and as he tried to fight back he was rocked time and again by clubbing head shots and the referee stepped in and stopped the fight with Allen protesting that he was not badly hurt. The 26-year-old Rio gold medal winner showed he could go ten rounds with a tough opponent but there are harder fights ahead and on 4 July he will find out whether he will be suspended for missing three test dates. Allen was too small and too slow to pose a real threat to Yoka but he certainly tested the French stars stamina. Allen’s only other loss inside the distance was a seventh round stoppage by Luis Ortiz and he had gone the full ten rounds with Dillian Whyte but was down at No 18 in the EBU ratings.
Cissokho vs. Molina
Another impressive performance from Rio bronze medallist Cissokho. The Senegal-born Cissokho was too big, strong and young for Molina. Boxing a more studied fight Cissokho used a strong jab to keep Molina on the back foot and scored with some neck-snapping uppercuts inside. Cissokho had height and power on his side and Molina had experience on his. Cissokho boxed with a lot more caution than is usual for him and Molina made good use of his jab and scored with the occasional quick flurry of punches but did not have the power to trade with Cissokho. The Frenchman cut out the clowning and hands down stuff and looked to have Molina in trouble a couple of times but Molina still has some of his skills and has never lost by KO/TKO so Cissokho had to settle for going the distance in a good learning fight. Scores 100-90 twice and 100-91.The 26-year-old Cissokho was French amateur champion in 2011, 2013 and 2014 but lost to the eventual gold medal winner Daniyar Yeleussinov at the 2016 Olympics and was also beaten by Yeleussinov in the World Championships. He fought for the USA Knockouts and the Mexico Guerreros in the World Series of boxing and beat Josh Kelly in the Olympic Qualifiers. Former IBF super welter champion Molina, 35, is on the slide with four losses in a row and he looks to be heading for the ranks of the “nice scalp to have on your belt” brigade.
El Mousaoui vs. Evchenko
This was intended as a nice easy win for El Mousaoui just to stay busy but Evchenko had other ideas and in the end El Mousaoui only just escaped with a very close decision. In the early action they stuck to the script with El Mousaoui outboxing Evchenko but gradually the Russian came into the fight more as he crowded and pressurised El Mousaoui. In the end the superior skills of El Mousaoui helped him out of a hole but if it had been a ten round fight he might have been the subject of an upset. Scores 78-75, 77-75 and 77-76 for El Mousaoui. After an early career loss El Mousaoui progressed to a 22-1-1 record winning the French and EU titles before losing to Jeff Horn in 2015 and suffering another setback in 2016 losing to Ceferino Rodriguez for the European welterweight title. This is his fifth win since then including a points victory over Molina in October. Russian Evchenko had won his last seven fights.
Montreal, Canada: Middle: Steven Butler (24-1-1) W TKO 7 Carson Jones (40-14-3,2ND). Super Light: Mathieu Germain (15-0) W PTS 10 Christian Uruzquieta (17-4-1). Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (20-0) W TKO 4 David Zegarra (32-3). Welter Ghislain Maduma (19-3) W PTS 8 Jhnoy Navarrete (31-13-2).
Butler moves up to middleweight and slowly takes experienced Jones apart before stopping him in the seventh. It was a more mature performance by “BANG BANG” as he used his advantages in height and reach and worked his jab early creating openings and not leaving many openings for Jones. He put Jones down with a right to the head in the fifth but kept cool and opened Jones up in the sixth before landing a left to the body that floored Jones for the second time. Butler stormed forward in the seventh taking Jones to the ropes and landing a couple of rights to the head. As he continued the attack Jones was knocked off balance slid along the ropes trying to stay upright but the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight, a decision that had Jones protesting strongly. Now 21 wins by KO/TKO for the 22-year-old from Montreal and his sixth inside the distance win since losing to Brandon Cook in January last year. Jones, 31, turned in some good performances in Britain losing a majority decision to Kell Brook and halting Brian Rose in one round but he had lost to Antonio Margarito and British newcomer Ted Cheeseman in his last two fights.
Germain vs. Uruzquieta
Germain picks up his first title as he decisions useful Mexican Uruzquieta. The fight was fast-paced with Uruzquieta rumbling forward and Germain countering with quick, accurate rights. Uruzquieta walked through the punishment and had some success inside and when he could take Germain to the ropes. The rights were Germain’s best weapon and although Uruzquieta was caught time and again he never seemed able to dodge those rights as Germain boxed his way to a wide unanimous decision. Scores 98-92 twice and 97-93 for Germain. The 28-year-old “G-Time” wins the vacant IBF North American title. He scored an impressive stoppage victory over Cam O’Connell in February and is rated No11 by the WBO. Uruzquieta,27, is 2-2 in fights in Canada. He scored wins over Steven Wilcox and Roody Pierre Paul but lost to Tony Luis and now Germain.
Bazinyan vs. Zegarra
Despite his impressive looking record Peruvian Zegarra was no match for Armenian-born Canadian Bazinyan. After a close first round Bazinyan had his jab working well in the second and took charge of the fight. He buckled Zegarra’s legs late in the third and ended it in the fourth. A left saw Zegarra go down but it looked partially due to a slip but a genuine knockdown saw the fight stopped, The 23-year-old prospect wins the vacant WBO NABO title and registers his 15th win by KO/TKO. Zegarra, 33, was 30-0 on fights in Peru but in his first fight away from Peru he was outpointed in Copenhagen by Lolenga Mock and in July last year knocked out in eleven rounds by Serbian Shefat Isufi.
Maduma vs. Navarrete
Maduma returns to the ring, moves up to welterweight and gets a win. The DRC-born Canadian quickly shed any rust and boxed a clever conservative fight letting the aggressive Mexican do the chasing and countering him hard. Maduma was just too slick and quick and Navarrete willing but slow and although he made the fight interesting he lost every round. Score 80-72 for Maduma from all three judges. The 33-year-old Maduma was highly rated after winning his first 16 fights but then a loss to Kevin Mitchell in an IBF final eliminator and subsequent defeats against Maurice Hooker on a split decision and Filipino Ricky Sismundo in October 2016 led him to retire. Navarrete is now 0-5-1 in his last 6 fights but two of those five losses were to Jamie Munguia and he was also beaten by Custio Clayton and drew and lost to Ramon Alvarez. A very tough sequence.
Juarez, Mexico: Super Feather: Miguel Roman (60-12) W KO 2 Michel Marcano (17-1-1). This one drew a crowd of over 7,000 to see if Roman could continue his great run. There were plenty of fireworks in the first round. Marcano was much taller and fired quick jabs and landed two straight rights. Roman was tracking the Venezuelan around the ring but not throwing much. Just before the bell Roman final unleashed an attack landing hooks to the body. Roman took Marcano to the ropes at the start of the second and kept Marcano pinned to the ropes as he punished the Venezuelan with hooks to the body. Marcano managed to get off the ropes but a left hook to the body saw him collapse to the canvas in agony and he was counted out. Now just one loss in his last 23 fights for “Mickey” and win No 47 by KO/TKO. He was defending his WBC Fecarbox title and more importantly his No 1 position with the WBC guaranteeing him an all-Mexican clash with Berchelt hopefully later this year. Marcano’s impressive looking figures were very deceptive with 14 of his victims never having won a fight and the 17 men he had beaten had managed only six wins between them.
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic: Super Middle: Robert Racz (20-0) W PTS 10 Marek Prochazka (8-2-1). Heavy: Pavel Sour (9-1) W PTS 10 Vaclav Pejsar (12-7). Cruiser: Vasil Ducar (7-0) DREW 10 Vladimir Reznicek ((8-2-2). Light Heavy: Tomas Adamek(27-16-2) W PTS 10 Ondrej Budera (6-7-1). Middle: Anatoli Hunanyan (8-3-1) W PTS 10 Tomas Bezvoda (6-2).
Racz vs. Prochazka
Slovakian Racz wins the vacant Czech title with unanimous decision over local fighter Prochazka. Racz was much too good and much too experienced for Prochazka and had the Czech down twice on the way to victory. Scores 100-88, 99-89 and 99-90 for Racz. The 22-year-old Racz has so far met only modest opposition but at 22 there is no rush. Prochazka was fighting over ten rounds for the first time.
Sour vs. Pejsar
Sour gets second win over fellow Czech Pejsar and retains the Czech title in his first defence. When they met in December Sour had to overcome a hand injury and with a lot of blood flowing from both boxer the fight had to be stopped and it was decided on the scores with Sour winning and taking the vacant national title. At 6’5 ½” (197cm) Sour had huge physical advantages over the 6’1 ½” (187cm) Pejsar and made good use of them to outscore the smaller man but it was a very competitive fight and Sour had a bloody swelling under his left eye at the finish. Scores 97-92, 97-93 and 97-95 for Sour. The only loss suffered by the 35-year-old was a first round kayo by Filip Hrgovic in October and this is his third win since then. Apart from the two losses to Sour Pejsar’s losses have all come on the road including a stoppage by David Price in 2016 but it was not all bad on the night for Pejsar as he proposed to his girlfriend in the ring after the fight and she accepted.
Ducar vs. Reznicek
The Czech title remains vacant after this split draw between two local fighters. Reznicek built a good lead over the first half of the fight with Ducar coming on strong over the late rounds. He didn’t seem to have done enough but a knockdown in the last round allowed him to salvage a draw. Scores 95-94 Ducar, 96-94Reznicek and 95-95. The still unbeaten Ducar,28, scored a win in the UK when he knocked out unbeaten Nick Parpa in two rounds in London. Reznicek is now 4-0-2 in his last six and he too fought in the UK losing on points to Tommy McCarthy in Blackpool in 2015
Adamek vs. Budera
A predictable ending here as the vastly more experienced Adamek outpoints Budera in an all-Czech contest for the vacant national title. Budera tried hard and did enough to steal a round or two but he was outboxed by Adamek. Scores 99-92, 98-93 and 97-94 for Adamek. The 38-year-old from Prague has taken his gloves around most of Europe boxing in Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Ukraine and occasionally has caused an upset. Budera, 24, has also been a traveller and was knocked out in four rounds by current English champion Arfan Iqbal in 2016.
Hunanyan vs. Bezvoda
Armenian-born Hunanyan just does enough to edge past Czech Bezvoda to take the decision, to get revenge for an earlier loss and to lift the vacant Czech title; Bezvoda had outpointed Hunanyan in November 2016 but was then inactive for 15 months due to illness. Bezvoda had taken only three rounds to win his two fights since returning and the rust showed as Hunanyan was stronger over the late rounds and won the decision. Scores 97-93, 97-95 and 96-94 for Hunanyan. The 35-year-old Hunanyan won his first seven fights but was 0-3-1 going into this one so needed a win. Bezvoda, 31, had scored a first round kayo over an unbeaten German novice last month.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Super Fly: Norberto Jimenez (29-8-4) W PTS 10 Renson Robles (12-4). Super Bantam: William Encarnacion (17-0) W PTS 10 Eliecer Aquino (19-3-1). Super Light: Julio De Jesus (27-1) W PTS 8 Francisco Aguero (13-4). Light: Yomar Medina (21-0) W TKO 4 Mario Beltre (17-5). Super Feather: Hector Garcia (7-0,1ND) W KO 6 Rafael Hernandez (26-10-2).
Jimenez vs. Robles
Jimenez too quick and slick and outpoints previous victim Robles. Jimenez was spearing Robles with jabs and firing combinations to head and body over the first two rounds. Robles banged back in the third landing some head punches and putting Jimenez on the back foot. Jimenez stepped up the pace over the next three rounds out punching Robles on the inside and the outside and landing some sharp hooks and uppercuts. Jimenez came close to ending the fight when he floored Robles in the sixth but Robles survived that and later also survived an examination by the ringside physician when he was cut over the left eye. Over the last couple of rounds Jimenez was battering away at a tiring Robles but could not stop him. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Jimenez. The WBA No 2 was 2-8-1 in his first 11contests so is now unbeaten in 30 fights. He drew with Kohei Kono for the WBA super fly title in 2014but is still waiting for a second title shot. Robles has yet to lose by KO/TKO.
Encarnacion vs. Aquino
Encarnacion decisions fellow-Dominican Aquino. Encarnacion was looking to box but Aquino is a strong, crude bustling fighter. Encarnacion is a fast flashy boxer and gradually he slowed Aquino by popping him with jabs and countering his charges with hooks and uppercuts. Aquino kept bulling forward and too often Encarnacion just stood and traded with him making life harder than it needed to be. Encarnacion constantly switched guards and did some showboating but they both tired over the late rounds and the fight became untidy. Aquino was still rolling forward at the end but Encarnacion had won every round. The 29-year-old Dominican, who competed at the 2012 Olympics, wins the vacant WBC Latino title. He has yet to fight outside of the Dominican Republic and yet to be tested. Aquino, 31, lost to unbeaten fighters Adam Lopez and Emmanuel Rodriguez in 2015 and this was his first fight since December 2016.
De Jesus vs. Aguero
Easy win for De Jesus. He had height and reach over Aguero who rarely managed to get off the ropes. De Jesus kept tracking Aguero and landing with heavy body punches. He came close to ending the fight when he put Aguero down twice in the first round but he was also leaving himself open and it was De Jesus who was down in the second. After that scare De Jesus boxed his way to victory. The 35-year-old De Jesus lost inside the distance to Victor Cayo in 2012 and has 12 wins since then including a stoppage of Aguero in July last year.
Medina vs. Beltre
Medina adds another inside the distance victory as he stops Beltre in four rounds. Medina was fast and accurate with his punches. He had the longer reach and Beltre had trouble getting past the jab. He was tracking Medina but Medina was too quick and too clever and was getting his punches off and getting away before Beltre could counter. In the third Medina landed two heavy rights to the head that floored Beltre. He beat the count and got a breather as his mouthguard had to be found and put back in but he was floored again and when he got up he was stumbling around the ring but the fight was allowed to go on to the bell. At the start of the fourth Medina drilled Beltre with a perfect left hook that put him on his rump. He struggled up but the referee waived the fight off. Medina, 24, has 18 wins by KO/TKO but his opposition has been very substandard. Beltre is 2-4 in his last 6 fights but the other losses have been against Joel Diaz, Javier Fortuna and Mikkel LesPierre and all five of his losses have come by KO/TKO.
Garcia vs. Hernandez
Garcia flattens Hernandez with a left in the sixth round of an all-southpaw contest. Venezuelan Hernandez was able to use his reach advantage to score outside but Garcia pressed hard all the way. The fight was in the balance until Garcia scored with some heavy lefts in the fifth that shook Hernandez. Garcia was storming into Hernandez in the sixth and as Hernandez took a step inside a thunderbolt of a right to the chin put him down flat on his back and his corner immediately threw the towel in. Five wins by KO/TKO for the local fighter. Sixth loss by KO/TKO for Hernandez.
Merida, Mexico: Super Feather: Ricardo Nunez (20-2) W KO 1 Elvis Torres (19-1-2).
Nunez vs. Torres
On the Berchelt vs. Barros undercard this looked a risky fight on paper for local fighter Torres and it proved a mistake. The taller Panamanian used a fast jab to put the much smaller local southpaw on the retreat and worked him over with some choice uppercuts. Torres managed to get off the ropes and they traded punches. Nunez landed some strong hooks to the body and then landed two more the second oh which, a right, saw Torres drop to his knees and be counted out. The 24-year-old from Panama moves to 18 wins by KO/TKO including eight in his last nine fights. Torres, 21, had scored useful wins over Adrian Young and Miguel Angel Gonzalez but he was blitzed here by Nunez.
Madrid, Spain: Super Light: Sandor Martin (31-2) W KO 4 Jorge Moreno (9-8-1).
Former EU champion Martin keeps sharp whilst waiting for another chance at the European title or some other big fight. After two rounds of “sparring” the Spanish southpaw went to work and had Moreno unsteady with a series of fast combinations. In the fourth a right to the body was enough to finish the fight with the Nicaraguan going down and being unable to beat the count. The 24-year-old from Barcelona has won 17 of his last 18 fights but the loss was in a big fight against Anthony Yigit in Sweden for the European title. Three losses in a row for Moreno a recent addition to the Barcelona-based collection of Nicaraguan no hopers.
Bang Phun, Thailand: Light Fly: Pongsaklek (16-5-1) W PTS 12 Kompayak (59-6). Super Fly: Petchbarngborn (44-8-1) W PTS 8 Rakniran Muadransarakam (13-2).
Pongsaklek vs. Kompayak
These two met in March with Kompayak (Suriyan Satorn) getting a hotly disputed split decision that cost Pongsaklek (Siridech Deebok) his WBC ABC title. This time the younger Pongsaklek came out on top but again it was very close. The contest was fought on even terms early but past the mid-point Pongsaklek had Kompayak hurt a few times and his stronger finish looked to make him the clear winner but the scores did not reflect that. The cards read 115-113 twice and 115-114 for Pongsaklek 25, who regains the WBC ABC title. Former WBC light flyweight title challenger and interim WBA flyweight champion Kompayak, 36, had won his last nine fights
Petchbarngborn vs. Muadransarakam
Former WBO super fly champion Petchbarngborn needed all of his experience to handle the attacks of his much less experienced fellow-countryman Muadransarakam (Nirundon Thata) and take a close unanimous decision. Muadransarakam was no respecter of reputation and took the fight to Petchbarngborn but the more experienced Petchbarngborn kept cool and used a strong jab and accurate counters to just edge out Muadransarakam. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74. Petchbarngborn is 22-1 in his last 23 fights with the loss being a tenth round kayo defeat against Naoya Inoue for the WBO super fly title in January last year. Muadransarakam lost his unbeaten tag in 2016 when he was defeated on a technical decision by Shota Kawaguchi.
Kiev, Ukraine: Super Welter: Aram Amirkhanyan (11-0-1) W PTS 10 Stanyslav Skorokhod (17-2). Light: Denys Berinchyk (9-0) W RTD 5 Jose Luis Prieto (26-5). Feather: Oleg Malynovskyi (23-0) W RTD 5 Wallington Orobio (19-4).
Amirkhanyan vs. Skorokhod
Minor upset as Amirkhanyan outpoints Ukrainian Skorokhod to win the vacant WBO International title. This was a close one but the tall Russian southpaw just did enough to edge out Skorokhod. Scores 96-94 twice for Amirkhanyan and 96-94 for Skorokhod.
Berinchyk vs. Prieto
Berinchyk just too aggressive and hard punching for Prieto. Berinchyk forced the pace in the first switching guards and quickly taking Prieto to the ropes and landing to head and body. Berinchyk continued to press hard in the second. Prieto did some clowning and mocking but Berinchyk stuck to his task and again Prieto spent time on the ropes absorbing hooks and uppercuts. Prieto landed a couple of hard rights early in the third and then it was back to Berinchyk chasing and scoring with hooks and uppercuts. More pressure in the fourth with Prieto having a growing bruise under his left eye and spitting out his mouthguard to get out of trouble. Prieto sent Berinchyk stumbling back with a right in the fifth as Prieto again took a beating and at the end of the round he was now showing a cut on his left eye lid and retired from the fight. It is curious that Berinchyk, 30, a native of Kiev has not tried to move to a bigger stage. He beat Jeff Horn and Anthony Yigit on the way to a silver medal in London and outscored Cuban star Roniel Iglesias when winning a silver medal at the World Championships. Colombian Prieto 33 had won his last 13 fights but they had all been home fights and 11 of his victims had negative records.
Malynovskyi vs. Orobio
Kiev southpaw Malynovskyi gets another win with stoppage of Colombian Orobio due to injury. Seventh win by KO/TKO for the WBO No 4 Orobio gets his third loss by KO/TKO.
Gilford, NH, USA: Super Welter: Walter Wright (17-4) W PTS 12 Mark DeLuca (21-0). Heavy: Niall Kennedy (11-0-1) DREW 8 Joel Caudle (7-1-2, ND). Light: Ray Moylette (11-0) W PTS 8 Daniel Sostre (13-18-1). 18
Wright vs. DeLuca
Wright enters DeLuca’s backyard and walks away win a win and DeLuca’s IBA world and WBO NABO titles. In this one the boxer came out on top. Wright showed plenty of slick movement and fired home quick accurate jabs. DeLuca pressed hard all the way so it was a good competitive match with the styles producing plenty of action and entertainment. His better boxing saw Wright move in front early but the stronger DeLuca was desperate to keep his titles and his unbeaten tag and came on strong over the middle rounds. A good ninth cemented Wright’s lead but DeLuca was far from finished and he continued to roll forward landing clubbing punches to edge the last two rounds to put the result in the balance. Scores 116-112 and 115-112 for Wright and 116-112 for DeLuca. Wright, 37, was a top level amateur back at the start of the decade with a 90-12 record. He won a silver medal at the 2001 US Championships beating Andre Berto on the way to his medal and was a quarter finalist in both the 2002 National Championships and the National Golden Gloves. On the downside he has dipped in and out of boxing with a three year spell away followed by a five year break that only ended when he returned to the ring in January this year. Now he is a world champion (IBA) and hopefully will stay active. DeLuca could have been given the decision in this one as it was very close but he accepted the result and will move on.
Kennedy vs. Caudle
First dent in Kennedy’s record as he fights a draw with modest Caudle in a fast-paced heavyweight match. Kennedy had the better of the first two rounds. Caudle was taking the fight to the Irishman but Kennedy was meeting him with some hard counters. Caudle landed the heavier stuff in the third in the shape of a couple of rights late in the round and Kennedy went down heavily at the start of the fourth. It was ruled he had been pushed over but it gave Caudle an edge and he took the round. Caudle had been able to score regularly with his right crosses and he shook Kennedy late in the fifth with a right. Kennedy was scoring well with his left hooks but had probably dropped behind. Kennedy produced the stronger finish over the closing two rounds to make it very close. Score 76-76 twice and 76-74 for Kennedy. The fight showed the big Irishman’s strengths and his weaknesses and at 32 and if he can’t beat mediocre opposition such as Caudle he will struggle to climb much higher. Caudle, who was much the smaller man, was a modest 0-1-2,1ND in his last 4 fights. The No Decision result was a loss for Caudle which was reversed when his opponent tested positive for a banned substance
Moylette vs. Sostre
Moylette outboxes Puerto Rican Sostre. The former World Youth and European Championships gold medallist. Went eight rounds for the first time and he handled the distance easily. He was too quick and clever for willing Sostre and was a clear victor. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74 for Moylette. He will soon be ready to move up to tougher tests. Nine losses in a row for Sostre.
Fight of the week: Josh Taylor vs. Viktor Postol was a high quality contest between two well matched fighters with honourable mention to Bowyn Morgan vs. Shay Brock
Fighter of the week: Taylor’s win just gives him the edge over Thabiso Mbenge, Martin Murray and Ohara Davies who scored impressive wins
Punch of the week: Quite a few this week. Ohara Davies overhand right that finished Paul Kamanga, Umar Salamov’s right that put paid to Brian Howard but the best was the left uppercut from Thabiso Mchunu that lifted Ricards Bolotniks off the floor before putting on the floor.
Upset of the week: Robert Ramirez’s crushing win over former WBC champion Dejan Zlaticanin
One to watch: Scot Lee McGregor 4-0 4 wins by KO/TKO.