Check out Eric Armit’s comprehensive report in The Week in Boxing – May 15, 2018!
-Vasyl Lomachenko destroys Jorge Linares with a rib-bender to win the WBA lightweight title and become a three-division champion after just twelve fights
-Mexican Jaime Munguia comes in as a late substitute and obliterates Sadam Ali in four rounds to win the WBO super welterweight title
Rey Vargas decisions Azat Hovhannisyan to retain the WBC super bantamweight title
-Tony Harrison decisions Ishe Smith to keep his hopes of a title shot alive
-Hughie Fury wins the British heavyweight title with victory over Sam Sexton
-Imre Szello. Devin Haney, Brandon Cook, Avni Yildirim. Krzys Glowacki, Carlos Adames and Michael Conlan score wins
Las Vegas, NV, USA: Super Welter: Tony Harrison (27-2) W PTS 10 Ishe Smith (29-10). Welter: Erick Bone (20-5) W PTS 10 Cameron Krael (13-13-3). Cruiser: Andrew Tabiti (16-0) W KO 6 Lateef Kayode (21-3,2ND). Light Heavy: Lanell Bellows (17-2-2,1ND) DREW 8 Naim Terbunja (10-2-1). Light: Ladarius Miller (16-1) W PTS 8 Jose Marruto (10-8-2).
Harrison vs. Smith
Harrison keeps on track for another world title shot as he wins majority decision over Smith although Harrison looked to have done enough to have won clearly. Both fighters boxed cautiously over the first two rounds. In the third a right cross, a punch that gave Smith problems throughout the fight, caused Smith to dip at the knees and it was counted as a knockdown although it was questionable whether Smith’s knees actually touched the canvas, Smith recovered well but Harrison carried the impetus from that success into the fourth which he took with some jolting combinations. Smith had a better fifth as he rattled Harrison with a left only for Harrison to bang back and rock Smith in the sixth and it looked as though he might stop Smith but the veteran survived. The seventh saw Smith outwork Harrison only for Harrison to again swing things his way by scoring heavily in the eighth. Smith was the busier fighter in the ninth but in the last the younger fighter had more left and he took that round and the decision. Scores 97-92 and 96-93 for Harrison and 95-95. An important win for Harrison as he works his way back into contention looking for another title shot after a crushing loss to Jarrett Hurd for the Vacant IBF title in February last year. His only current ratings places are WBC 10 and IBF 11(9) so he has a way to go yet. For 39-year-old former IBF champion “Sugar Shay” Smith time is running out. He was always in the fight here but he is now 4-5 in his last 9 fights with all 5 losses being in important fights.
Bone vs. Krael
Bone gets split decision over Krael after ten entertaining rounds. Bone was off the mark quicker and scoring with eye-catching combinations to build a lead over the first three rounds. The fight caught alight and provided plenty of furious exchanges. Krael looked to be taking over the fight in the fourth and fifth but he only just survived a rocky sixth being in deep trouble at the bell. He steadied the ship with a good seventh and over the later rounds he seemed to have more in the tank and pressed hard eating into Bone’s lead connecting with some heavy punches. It proved a case of close but not quite as the decision went to Bone. Scores 96-94 and 95-94 for Bone and 95-94 for Krael. A run of four losses to Shawn Porter, Chris Algieri, Miguel Vazquez and Eddie Ramirez saw Bone return home to Ecuador where he scored three wins over very ordinary opposition before return to the US for this fight. After a run of five losses Krael was 5-0-1 in his last six fights.
Tabiti vs. Kayode
Tabiti wins an ugly fight with kayo of Kayode. The styles did not mesh well and there was too much clinching and wrestling as Tabiti wanted to keep working at a distance and Kayode wanted to get inside, Tabiti looked to have the edge but the finish was sudden. Tabiti had backed Kayode to the ropes and as they worked inside he clobbered Kayode with a booming uppercut that dropped Kayode to his knees and he was counted out. Tabiti, the 28-year-old Chicago “Beast” makes it 13 wins by KO/TKO. With wins over the 17-0 Keith Tapia and former champion Steve Cunningham he is stealthily creeping in under the radar and is already the WBC No 4. He missed out on the big prizes as an amateur getting a silver at the US Championships and a bronze at the National Golden Gloves. Losses to Mike Hunter and Joseph Williams at the US Olympic Trials ended his hopes of an appearance at the London Olympics. US-based Nigerian Kayode, 35, drew with Antonio Tarver and was stopped inside a round by Luis Ortiz with both verdict changed to No Decision when Tarver and Ortiz tested positive for a banned substance. He was stopped in eight rounds by Denis Lebedev for the WBA title in 2015 and his chance has passed him by.
Bellows vs. Terbunja
Unfortunate ending to a good even match. It was close all the way with Terbunja just having a slight edge. In the fifth a clash of heads saw Bellows cut. The cut worsened over the sixth and seven due to punches and after one minute of the eighth and last round the fight was halted as the cut was too severe for Bellows to continue. The scorecards at the stoppage read 76-76 twice and 77-75 for Terbunja so a technical majority draw.Disappointing outcome for 34-year-old Kosovon-born Swede Terbunja as he was re-launching his career after 17 months of inactivity. He was an outstanding amateur being a seven-time Swedish champion who won a gold at the US National Golden Gloves beating J’Leon Love and Luis Arias in the tournament. Bellows 32 fighting in his home city was 11-1,1ND in his previous 12 fights.
Miller vs. Marruto
Southpaw Miller continues to progress with a unanimous decision over Mexican Marruto. Scores 79-71, 78-72 and 77-74 for Miller. Miller made a good start taking the first and then flooring Marruto in the second. From there Marruto showed he was not about to crumble and although a clear winner Miller had a fight on his hands to the final bell. Scores 79-71, 78-72 and 77-74 for Miller. The 24-year-old from Memphis has won his last seven fights including victories over Jamal Herring and Carlos Padilla. Phoenix-based Marruto has lost his last three fights.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Light: Devin Haney (19-0) W RTD 9 Mason Menard (33-3). Super Bantam: Joshua Greer (17-1-1) W TKO 8 Glenn Dezurn (9-2-1). Super Bantam: Adam Lopez (16-2-2) W Arnold Khegai (11-0-1). Light Heavy: Charles Foster (16-0) W PTS 8 Alvin Varmall (15-1-1,1ND).
Haney vs. Menard
Haney outclasses experienced Menard. The talented young Haney was just too fast of hand and foot for Menard. From the outset Haney was slotting home jabs and firing quick combinations. Menard tried to cut off the ring to work inside but the lateral movement of Haney and that sharp penetrating jab were just too much for Menard to deal with. Haney slowly wound up his attacks adding more combinations into the exchanges. Menard tried to walk through the punches to get a foothold in the fight but he never came close. As Haney added more power to the mix Menard was having to take some heavy punishment and although he was not in deep trouble he never looked likely to land the big punch he needed and his corner made a sensible decision and pulled him out of the fight at the end of the ninth round. “ The Dream” from San Francisco is still only 19. He turned pro at 16 and because of his age he had to go down to Mexico to fight until he was given dispensation to fight in the US. At the age of 17 in his first fight in the US he appeared on the undercard of Manny Pacquiao vs. Tim Bradley III at the MGM. He is trained by former world champion Mike McCallum and must be considered one of the best prospects in boxing right now. Menard, 29, had a breakthrough year in 2016 when he knocked out both 21-0 Eudy Bernardo and 19-2 Bahodir Mamadjonov but the year ended badly when he was knocked out in seven rounds by Ray Beltran in December with Beltran going on to win the WBO title three fights later.
Greer vs. Dezurn
Greer punches too hard for Dezurn. After a close first round Greer rocked Dezurn late in the second with a right. Dezurn recovered from that and from another right in the third. He fought back to just edge the fourth only to be shaken again in the fifth. Dezurn continued to be competitive and rebounded with a strong seventh to keep himself in the fight. It proved a vain effort for in the eighth a big right from Greer literally stopped Dezurn in his tracks and sent him face down on the canvas. Somehow he made it to his feet and convinced the referee he was able to continue but the follow-up attack from Greer had him in trouble and the referee stopped the fight. Chicago’s Greer continues his impressive run. He has now won 14 in a row and ended six of his last seven fights by KO/TKO. Dezurn falls to 0-2-1 in his last three fights.
Khegai vs. Lopez
Ukrainian Khegai wins in his first fight in the US as he takes unanimous verdict over the more experienced Lopez. The opening round looked about even but Khegai stunned Lopez with a perfectly timed counter late in the second. Lopez was taking the fight to Khegai but after that early success with a counter the Ukrainian had found a winning strategy and it was his counter punching that gave him the edge. Things got a little rough inside in some rounds and Khegai lost a point in the sixth for a punch to the back of the head. Khegai tired a bit over the sixth and seventh but produced another hard accurate right in the last to put the seal on his victory. Scores 77-74 twice and 78-73 for Khegai. He moves to seven wins in a row. He had about 30 Muay Thai fights and won versions of the World and European titles before moving over the boxing. This is his first fight outside Russia. Texan Lopez, 27, won his first 15 fights but is now 1-3-2 in his last six but the other two losses were to the now WBA super bantam champion Daniel Roman and to Jorge Diaz.
Foster vs. Varmall
Foster comes out on top in the contest between two unbeaten boxers. Foster had the better skill set with Varmall being the aggressor, pressing hard but not always being tidy or accurate in his work. With his longer reach Foster managed to box on the outside but Varmall, the harder puncher, kept it close. From the fifth Foster had worked out what he needed to do and from there he bossed the fight. He outboxed and outworked Varmall and constantly caught Varmall with counters. Varmall tried desperately to find a winning punch in the last but left himself open and Foster eased his way to victory. Scores 79-73, 78-74 and 77-75 for Foster. Two useful wins in a row for the 27-year-old from New Haven who was coming off a victory over 19-3 Justin Thomas in February. “Iron Majik” Varmall from Louisiana had won 5 of his last 7 fights inside two rounds but was well beaten here.
Philadelphia, PA, USA: Super Light: Mykal Fox (18-0) W PTS 8 Anthony Mercado (11-4). “The Professor” adds another wins as Fox scores unanimous decision over Puerto Rican Mercado. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-74. The 6’3 ½” (192cm) Fox is going to be a difficult opponent for any super light and at 22 could yet finish up a couple of divisions higher. If there is a weakness it is in his lack of punch power with just four wins by KO/TKO. Mercado, 23, at 5’11” (180cm) is also tall for the weight. This is his third loss in his last four fights.
Ontario, CA, USA: Welter: Roberto Arriaza (17-0) W PTS 10 Juan Ruiz (20-2). Feather: Erick Ituarte (20-1-1) W PTS 8 Carlos Carlson (22-4). Super Feather: Michael Dutchover (9-0) W KO 3 Mike Fowler (6-15)
Arriaza vs. Ruiz
Arriaza gets the win but without the expected fireworks. Last time out the Californian-based Nicaraguan had blown away useful Sammy Valentine in just 20 seconds but Ruiz was a cagier proposition and Arriaza had to box his way to victory. The first half of the fight saw Arriaza stalking but not being able to pin down Ruiz. There were some exchanges but neither fighter landed anything of consequence. Arriaza stepped on the gas in the seventh but Ruiz managed to stay out of trouble and rebounded to have a useful ninth. Arriaza already had the fight won but he finished with a dominant tenth and was a clear winner. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 all for Arriaza. A win for Arriaza but his run of three first round finishes on the bounce and nine overall led the crowd to hope for more. Two losses in a row for Venezuelan Ruiz having been stopped in seven rounds by unbeaten Alex Besputin in November.
Ituarte vs. Carlson
Ituarte extends his winning run with unanimous decision over former WBC title challenger Carson in an exciting contest. Both were looking to dominate and willing to trade punches to try to impose themselves on the fight. The rounds were close with both having good periods but Ituarte built a lead by just getting the better of some furious exchanges from the fourth to the seventh but there was not much in it as they battled to the bell in the eighth. Scores 77-75 twice and 78-74 all for “All American Boy” Ituarte. The 23-year-old from Gomez Palacio, Mexico grew up and is now based in Santa Ana. He is No 12 with the WBO. He has wins over some reasonable level opposition but Carson is his biggest scalp so far. Carlson . a 27-year-old from Tijuana, had put together a run of 22 wins until losing to Shinsuke Yamanaka in seven rounds for the WBC bantam title in March last year but lost an eight round fight to Isaac Zarate in his last fight in July.
Dutchover vs. Fowler
Texan Dutchover uses a focused body attack to halt Fowler. Body punches accounted for two knockdowns scored by Dutchover with the second one ending the fight in the third round. The 20-year-old Dutchover makes it six wins by KO/TKO. He won a number of Regional title and turner pro in 2016 after finishing as runner-up in the 2016 National Golden Gloves . Now six losses by KO/TKO for Fowler.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Super Middle: Sebastian Papeschi (13-1) W TEC DEC 9 Tomas Reynoso (12-3-1). Super Light: Juan Velasco (20-0) W TKO 2 Jorge Garcia (12-6-1)
Papeschi vs. Reynoso
A bad night all round for Reynoso as he is floored twice and deducted a point in losing a technical decision and his interim WBC Latino title. Southpaw Papeschi took control early flooring Reynoso with a straight left in the second and later flooring him with a right in the sixth. Reynoso got into the fight by taking the seventh but his was a lost cause after he was docked a point in the eighth for holding. Reynoso was doing some good work in the ninth but Papeschi had been cut over his left eye earlier and survived four inspections by the ringside physician but in the ninth it was ruled that the cut was too bad for the fight to continue and it went to the cards with Papeschi winning on scores of 86-82 twice and 87-82. The 26-year-old Papeschi, the Argentinian No 4, lost to Reynoso in December when he was disqualified for head butts. Reynoso, the Argentinian No 2 had won 5 of his last 6 fights.
Velasco vs. Garcia
Velasco, a favourite of the local fans gets early win. Velasco landed some jarring punches in the first. Southpaw Garcia came out aggressively in the second taking the fight to Velasco, The local fighter used good footwork to avoid the rushes and then landed two body punches followed by a short left hook to the head that floored Garcia. He made it to his feet but the referee ruled he was in no condition to continue and stopped the fight. The 31-year-old “Pitbull”, the Argentinian No 4 moves to twelve wins by KO/TKO. Garcia had won his last three but this is his fifth loss by KO/TKO.
Szentes, Hungary: Cruiser: Imre Szello (21-0) W TKO 2 Williams Ocando (18-6). Middle: Renato Egedi (13-1-2) W PTS 8 Giorgi Gujejiani (10-10-2). Super Feather: Zoltan Kovacs (21-5-1) W TKO 3 Achiko Odikadze (18-8-1)
Szello vs. Ocando
Szello has no trouble getting rid of Venezuelan Ocando. “Imo” put Ocando down late in the first with the bell saving Ocando. Szello ended it with another knockdown in the second and the referee stopped the fight. The 34-year-old former top amateur is rated WBO 4/IBF 10(8) making the highest ranked Hungarian fighter but he is nowhere near landing a title bout at this time. Fifth loss by KO/TKO for Ocando.
Egedi vs. Gujejiani
Southpaw Egedi keeps his good form going as he wins every round against Georgian Gujejiani. Egedi dominated the fight with Gujejiani handicapped by a cut over his left eye and never being in the fight. Scores 80-72 from all three judges. The 23-year-old Hungarian champion is 10-0-2 in his last 12 fights. Gujejiani drops to 4 losses in his last 5 fights.
Kovacs vs. Odikadze
Kovacs return with a win. The former undefeated WBO European champion was having his first fight in eleven months but was given an easy ride as he bounced the Georgian teenager Odikadze on the floor four times before the fight was halted in the third round. The 25-year-old “Caramel” is 9-0-1 in his last ten fights. Six losses by KO/TKO for the 18-year-old Odikadze
Rome, Italy: Middle: Mirko Geografo (11-1-1) W TKO 6 Domenico Spada (43-7).
Veteran Spada may have reached the end of the line as he surrenders his Italian title in a controversial manner again the relatively inexperienced Geografo. As usual Spada drove forward from the bell taking the fight to Geografo. The ferocity of his attacks had Geografo on the defensive over the first two rounds but he used some good movement and continually switched guards to stem Spada’s attacks. Again as usual with Spada the fight was turning ugly but it was Spada who suffered as a punch opened a cut on his left cheekbone. Spada continued to lunge forward in the third and fourth leaving himself open to counters and soon he had a swelling over his left eye. In the fifth just as the referee was about to break the fighters from a clinch Geografo landed a heavy right to the head of Spada who staggered on unsteady legs. There was some confusion as Spada stopped to protest that it was a butt and not a punch but the referee signalled for the fight to continue and Geografo landed a series of hard shots just before the bell. In the sixth Spada attacked desperately but then protested again about Geografo using his head and when his protest was ignored he walked back to his corner indicating he was not going to continue. The 26-year-old new champion had not gone past six rounds before but is now 6-0-1 in his last 7 fights. The 37-year-old “Vulcano” Spada, a former WBC International and WBC Silver champion, lost twice to Sebastian Zbik and also to Marco Rubio shots at the interim WBC title
Malaga. Spain: Super Middle: Ronny Landaeta (15-0) W KO 7 Bruno Tavares (12-2-1). Light: Samuel Molina (7-0) W PTS 8 Giuseppe Carafa (9-2-1). Middle: Catalin Paraschiveanu (17-1) W PTS 6 Mamadou Goita (5-8-1).
Landaeta vs. Tavares
Spanish champion Landaeta remains unbeaten and holds on to the IBF International title with kayo of Tavares. Over the early rounds Tavares was able to use his longer reach to make life difficult for Landaeta. By the fourth round Landaeta was cut and having difficulty pinning Tavares down. Landaeta stepped up the pace and Tavares started to tire, In the seventh Landaeta took Tavares to the ropes and landed a heavy right that put Tavares down and out and it was a few minutes before Tavares recovered. The 35-year-old Venezuelan-born Landaeta, a former MMA competitor, has 10 wins by KO/TKO. He will contest the vacant EU title with Italian Valerio Rinaldi on 7 July in Malaga. Tavares, 27, a Swiss-based Portuguese showed some good skills. He had won his last two fights but now has a second loss by KO/TKO.
Molina vs. Carafa
In his first eight round fight local hope Molina marches on as he wins unanimous decision over Italian Carafa. Molina controlled the fight most of the way but had to get through a tricky time in the fourth round. He was back on track in the fifth and boxed his way to victory. Scores 78-72 for Molina from all three judges. Still only 19 he shows promise. Second loss in a row for Carafa
Paraschiveanu vs. Goita
Not an impressive performance from Spanish-based Romanian Paraschiveanu. He had problems with the height and reach of Mali-born Goita and had to settle for a majority decision. Third win for the 27-year-old Italian-based Paraschiveanu since losing his WBC Mediterranean title to Adasat Rodriguez in June last year. Goita is 2-5-1 in his last 8 fights
Oviedo, Spain: Welter: Aitor Nieto (22-5-1) W TKO 2 Jony Vina (7-4). Welter: Jose Del Rio (28-7) W PTS 8 Igor Faniyan (15-15-3). Super Welter: Sergio Garcia (27-0) W PTS 8 Giorgi Kerdikoshvili (10-19-5).
Nieto vs. Vina
Fighting in his home town Nieto wins the vacant Spanish title with stoppage of overmatched Vina. Nieto had too much power for Vina and scored two knockdowns. Although Vina beat the count on the second knockdown Nieto hammed home head punches that had Vina reeling and the referee stopped the fight just as the towel came in from Vina’s corner. The tall 24-year-old Nieto has lost in two shots at the European Union title both against tough opposition but is now looking to set up a domestic clash against Ceferino Rodriguez which will be a big attraction. Second loss by KO/TKO for Vina.
Del Rio vs. Faniyan
This was supposed to be an easy night for Del Rio but in the end the EBU No 11 was given eight tough rounds by Faniyan before getting the unanimous decision. The 32-year-old from Palma, a former Spanish welterweight champion, had an eight bout winning streak snapped when he lost his national title to Kevin Lejarraga in November. This is his second win this year. Armenian Faniyan has now lost six fights in a row with the fights taking place in five different countries.
Garcia vs. Kerdikoshvili
“El Nino” Garcia gets eight rounds of work as he prepares for a challenge for the European title. It was one-way traffic as the tall Garcia was able to use his height and reach to force Georgian Kerdikoshvili on to the back foot. Garcia landed right crosses throughout the fight and Kerdikoshvili soaked up a lot of punishment and did well to last the distance without ever coming near to even sharing a round. The 25-year-old Garcia will have to travel to France to challenge the European champion Zakaria Attou but will be looking to join Kevin Lejarraga, Mark Vidal and Abigail Medina as European champion giving Spain its fourth champion. Kerdikoshvili, who turned pro at 16, has managed to win one fight outside Georgia-but only one.
Pathum Thaani, Thailand: Bantam: Saenganan (20-1) W PTS 12 Vikash Dahiya (5-1).Super Fly: Petchbarngborn (43-8-1) W PTS 6 Nirun Baonok (5-14).
Saenganan vs. Dahiya
Teenager Saenganan (Thiranan Matsali) gets back into the winning column with unanimous decision over Indian novice Dahiya. Saenganan’s greater experience saw him win this one as after some close early rounds the Thai was stronger over the second half of the fight and he emerged the clear winner. Scores 116-112 twice and 117-111 for Saenganan. The 18-year-old, who turned pro at 13, won his first 19 fights before losing in an upset to journeyman Edison Berwela in January. This victory gets him the vacant WBC Asian Boxing Council title. Dahiya, 25, was having his first fight outside India, was jumping from eighth rounds to twelve and also facing a much higher level of opposition than he has met previously so did well here.
Petchbarngborn vs. Baonok
Petchbarngborn (Karoon Jarupianlerd) gets in some paid sparring as he outpoints poor fellow-Thai Baonok. Petchbarngborn took things easy over the first three rounds but then floored Baonok in the fourth and punishment him mightily in the fifth but Baonok survived and went the distance. After a 4-5-1 start to his career Petchbarngborn improved and he has won 21 of his last 22 fights with the loss being a tenth round kayo defeat against Naoya Inoue for the WBO super fly title in 2016. Nothing to say about Baonok who filled the other corner-someone had to.
New York, NY, USA: Light: Vasyl Lomachenko (11-1) W TKO 10 Jorge Linares (44-4). Welter: Carlos Adames (14-0) W PTS 10 Alejandro Barrera (29-5). Light: Teo Lopez (9-0) W KO 1 Vitor Freitas (14-2,1ND). Feather: Michael Conlan (7-0) W PTS 8 Ibon Larringa (10-2). Super Light: Fazliddin Gaibnazarov (4-0) W TKO 4 Jesus Silveira (8-6-2). Light: Jamal Herring (17-2) W TKO 5 Juan Pablo Sanchez (30-16,1ND).
Lomachenko vs. Linares
In a fight of the highest quality between two master boxers Lomachenko climbs off the canvas to end the fight with a body punch and become a three-division champion after only twelve fights.
Tactical start by both men Lomachenko working his right jab and mostly taking the fight to Linares with the Venezuelan using his longer reach to score with his jab and having a very slight edge.
Score 10-9 Linares
The pace quickened in this one as Linares came out aggressively and scored with some long jabs and body punches. Lomachenko ended the round strongly and scored with a couple of class right uppercuts to take the round
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 19-19
A great exhibition of skill from Lomachenko in this one. He took the fight to Linares and was getting past the jab scoring with long lefts to the body and quick hooks moving around changing angles. Apart from a sharp left hook late in the round Linares was totally outboxed.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 28-29
Another brilliant round from Lomachenko. Linares did a bit better but Lomachenko was setting a fast pace outworking Linares firing quick bunches of hooks and digging to the body. Again he kept changing the angle of his attacks and his hand speed was just too quick for Linares.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 37-39
Official Scores: 39-37 Lomachenko , 39-37 Lomachenko, 38-38
Lomachenko continued where he left off in the fourth. His movement, hand speed and accuracy were creating gaps in the defence of Linares. The champion was firing back more and landed some good counters but just before the bell was left befuddled and wildered by a flashing combination from Lomachenko.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 46-49
There was quality punches from both fighters in the sixth. Once again Lomachenko’s work rate was higher and he scored with some hard lefts to the body. Linares fired off a rapid combination and landed with hard lefts to the body. Lomachenko was on his way to winning the round when with just 30 seconds left Linares drilled him with a straight right that sent the Ukrainian down on his rump. He was up immediately and did not look badly shaken and he stayed out of trouble to the bell.
Score 10-8 Linares 56-57
With his confidence boosted by the knockdown Linares went on the offensive in this one. He worked the jab well and scored with a couple of flashing combinations. Lomachenko stayed busy but the better punches came from Linares.
Score 10-9 Linares 66-66
Lomachenko was back on top in the eighth. His speed and movement kept Linares off balance and although he was not loading up with his punches Lomachenko was getting past the jab and landing right jabs and hooks. Linares was constantly looking to get home with that straight right again but had no success although he scored well with his jab and some left hooks to the body.
Score 10-9 Lomachenko 75-76
Official Scores: 76-75 Lomachenko, 76-75 Lomachenko, 76-75 Linares
This time it was Linares putting on a master class. He was on the front foot for most of the round banging home his jab, switching to body and drawing Lomachenko onto counters. He landed a couple of classy combinations and although Lomachenko worked hard the round belonged to Linares.
Score 10-9 Linares ` 85-85
Linares had taken three of the last four rounds and things seemed to be turning his way and he came out firing in the tenth and then Lomachenko got into the groove and they stood and exchanged high quality shots. Lomachenko seemed to have Linares hurt and although Linares banged back Lomachenko stood in close and landed left hook to the head , a left uppercut followed by a series of short hooks and then a vicious rib bending left hook to the body that sent Linares back and down. He made it to his feet but could not straighten up and the referee stopped the fight. The 30-year-ol Lomachenko adds the WBA lightweight title to his collection and scores his eighth win in a row by KO/TKO. A remarkable record for a remarkable fighter who has to be the No 1 pound-for-pound fighter today. It is a sign of the quality of Linares that the 32-year-old Venezuelan was neck-and –neck with Lomachenko before that body punch that finished the fight. Not bad for a guy who was being written off in 2012 after being floored and stopped by Sergio Thompson. He rebounded from that set-back with thirteen wins in a row, collecting two world titles and going 7-0 in world title fights. He deserves a return and it could be another classic.
Adames vs. Barrera
Adames gets his first win under the Top Rank banner with unanimous verdict over Barrera. The Dominican established a lead with a good first round. Barrera scored well early in the second before being rocked by a hard right and a left hook from Adames late in the round. The third was a fairly even round with Barrera working away to the body and Adames landing powerful rights. Adames scored with some eye-catching shots in the fourth but Barrera fired back as they traded just before the bell. The fifth again saw Adames landing heavy rights in a dominant round but Barrera did better in the sixth when Adames needlessly switch to southpaw, Adames pressed hard in the seventh pounding away to the head and body of Barrera who scored with a thudding left as the round ended. The eighth saw Barrera doing the pressing. But he lacked the power to really trouble Adames. Barrera also had a good ninth until a clash of heads opened a cut by Barrera’s right eye. Adames ended the stronger dominating the last as he looked for a knockout win. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 for Adames. The 24-year-old Dominican already has wins over useful opposition in Ivan Alvarez, Jean Carlos Prada and former IBF champion Carlos Molina. As an amateur he was Dominican and Pan American Youth champion and collected gold medals at a number of major tournaments. Mexican Barrera was 25-1 in his first 26 fights but is now 4-4 in his last eight including a loss to Errol Spence but he also scored a good win over 20-2 Eddie Gomez.
Lopez vs. Freitas
Lopez gets this one over in 64 seconds. After some early sparring as Freitas lunged in Lopez landed a pulverising right that sent Freitas crashing to the canvas and the fight was stopped immediately. Seventh win by KO/TKO for the Brooklyn-born 20-year-old Olympian. He is a former National Golden Gloves champion who competed in Rio but did not medal. He actually won the US Olympic Trials but because the spots at his weight had already been allocated he had to fight under the banner of his parents country of Honduras and he qualified by finish runner-up in one of the Americas qualifies. Brazilian Freitas falls to his second first round loss in his last three fights.
Conlan vs. Larringa
Conlan outscores Spaniard Larringa. Conlan was dictating the fight from the bell. His quick, clever movement and fast hands had Larringa on the back foot as Conlan tracked him down and landed some speedy combinations. Larringa showed some nice defensive work in the second but Conlan was the one doing the scoring with a series of hooks to the body, A right to the head staggered Larringa at the start of the third but the Spaniard stood and traded punches for a short spell before some rib rattlers from Conlan had him backing off. Conlan landed a couple of rights to the head in the fourth that had Larringa holding on desperately and Conlan threw him off and down to the floor. Larringa was up and moving again and frustrating Conlan’s attempts to pin him down. Conlan was landing left hooks to the body and rights to the head in the fifth with Larringa just trying to survive. Conlan pressed hard over the last three rounds but the fleet-footed Larringa managed to avoid any serious trouble and was there at the bell in what had been a frustrating fight for Conlan. Scores 80-72 from all three judges for Conlan. It is still early days for the 26-year-old from Belfast and going eight rounds for the first time is all part of the learning curve. Larringa, a former WBC Mediterranean champion, had been stopped in two rounds by fellow Spaniard Artiz Pardal so did better than expected by extending Conlan.
-Gaibnazarov vs. Silveira
Uzbek southpaw Gaibnazarov halts Mexican Silveira in four rounds. Gaibnazarov landed some hefty lefts over the first two rounds but despite being cut Silveira hung in there and had a good third. Gaibnazarov floored Silveria in the fourth and then ended things with a left hook putting Silveira on the floor with the referee stopping the fight on the second knockdown. Second victory by KO/TKO for the 26-year-old Rio gold medal winner. First loss by KO/TKO for Silveria.
Herring vs. Sanchez
Herring stops Sanchez but has to survive a physician’s inspection on the way. After taking the first round a clash of heads in the second saw southpaw Herring emerge with a cut by his right eye A collision of heads early in the third worsened the cut and the referee had the ringside physician inspect the injury. Herring was allowed to continue and he upped the pace trying to get the fight over before the cut caused a stoppage. He bombarded Sanchez with punches over the fourth round and was landing heavily in the fifth and with Sanchez not punching back the fight was stopped. The 32-year-old Herring turned pro in 2012 after failing to medal at the London Olympics. He won his first 15 fights before being stopped by Denis Shafikov in 2016. He recovered from that with a win over Art Hovhannisyan but then lost to Ladarius Miller in August. He has now signed with Top Rank and this was his first fight for them. Sanchez had lost on points to Teo Lopez in February and this is his ninth loss by KO/TKO.
Verona, NY, USA; Super Welter: Jamie Munguia (29-0) W TKO 4 Sadam Ali (26-2). Super Bantam: Rey Vargas (32-0) W PTS 12 Azat Hovhannisyan (14-3).
Munguia vs. Ali
In a huge upset Ali losses his WBO title in his first defence as he is destroyed inside four rounds by late substitute and relatively unknown Mexican Munguia.
Munguia looked a couple of divisions bigger than Ali but the champion showed lots of movement and threw a fast but light combination. Munguia just stalked Ali. Munguia did a good job of cutting the ring off and with less than a minute gone he crashed home a right to the body and a crunching left hook to the head and Ali went down heavily on his back. he rolled up and took the count on his knees getting up at seven. After the count Munguia went after Ali and landed another couple of punches that had Ali stumbling and hanging on. Ali tried to stay out of trouble but another couple of chopping rights to the head sent him sprawling to the canvas. He was up quickly but was on shaky legs. When the action resumed Munguia was throwing big punches looking to finish things but he was too wild.
Score 10-7 Munguia
Munguia was stalking Ali and landing more hard rights. Ali kept moving and countering but Munguia was too strong and was getting through with hooks and uppercuts. He landed two big rights to the head that unhinged Ali’s legs and landed a couple of cuffing lefts as Ali tumbled forward to the floor. He was up quickly and with the bell having gone he went back to his corner after the eight count.
Score 10-8 Munguia 15-20
The referee went to Ali’s corner in the interval Ali was grazed above his left eye and there was a swelling over his right but Ali was allowed to continue. Munguia was on the prowl again in the third and looked to have shaken Ali with a right to the head early in the round. Ali was moving and just trying to stay out of trouble and buy some recovery time. For a while he got his act together and scored with hooks and uppercuts but at the end of the round he was under pressure again and on wobbly legs before Munguia wrestled him to the floor. There was no count but again Ali looked hurt.
Score 10-9 Munguia 24-30
Ali had pleaded to be given one more round and this time there was an even more intense scrutiny of Ali by the referee and ringside physician. After the bell went to start the round the physician was still in the ring getting Ali to walk ahead and sideways before being satisfied the fight should continue. Munguia was loading up on every punch but in the end it was a stiff left jab that sent Ali down and although he was getting up immediately the referee rightly waived the fight over.
Massive upset as Munguia came in as a very late substitute after Liam Smith had to pull out due to illness. He is just 21 and was having only his second fight outside Mexico. He had not met any fighters anywhere near the ratings, however he had won 18 of his last 19 fights by KO/TKO so the danger was there. How quickly things can change. In December Ali had won the WBO title with a victory over Miguel Cotto and five months later his career is in tatters after this crushing defeat.
Vargas vs. Hovhannisyan
Vargas retains WBC title with unanimous decision over Hovhannisyan in a blood splattered matador vs. bull confrontation with an interesting sidelines tactical contest between Hall of Fame trainers with Vargas having Nacho Beristan in his corner and Hovhannisyan working with Freddy Roach.
Vargas had huge reach and height advantages and managed to keep Hovhannisyan out for the first minute but then the Armenian began to live up to his “Crazy|” nickname throwing himself forward winging wide punches. He did better when he fired a straight right to the head and Vargas buckled at the knees clearly hurt and Hovhannisyan chased him trying to build on that. Vargas did plenty of good work with his jab and straight rights but the round went to Hovhannisyan and Vargas was showing a small cut on his nose from that Hovhannisyan right.
Score 10-9 Hovhannisyan
A much better round for Vargas. He used plenty of movement to avoid Hovhannisyan’s lunging attacks and scored regularly from distance with his jab and rights. He was getting his punches off and getting away before Hovhannisyan could land anything but over the last minute he was under pressure from storming attacks from Hovhannisyan.
Score 19-9 Vargas 19-19
This was a closer round as Hovhannisyan hustled and harassed Vargas with the champion still doing the scoring at distance and catching Hovhannisyan with counters. The cleaner work was still coming from Vargas and he took the round.
Score 10-9 Vargas 29-28
Vargas was landing his jab at distance, countering Hovhannisyan’s rushes and scoring with quick bursts of punches. Hovhannisyan just kept coming and was dangerous with some of his wild swing and pumped home short punches inside but Vargas outscored him.
Score 10-9 Vargas 39-37
Official Scores: 40-36 Vargas, 39-37 Vargas, 38-38
Hovhannisyan’s pressure paid off in this one. Vargas managed to probe and counter early. Hovhannisyan began to get through with hooks from both hands and seemed to momentarily shake Vargas with a couple of head-snapping left hooks just before the bell.
Scores 10-9 Hovhannisyan. 48-47
Vargas was back in control. He was landing jabs straight rights and lots of hooks to the body. He was staying off the ropes and getting his punches off and getting away before Hovhannisyan could counter. Hovhannisyan was showing a bruising and swelling under his right eye from the right crosses of Vargas
Score 10-9 Vargas 58-56
A closer round. Hovhannisyan managed to get through with some hard left hooks and was roughing Vargas up inside. Vargas was landing hard punches to the body and was more accurate with his work and continually beckoning for Hovhannisyan to come forward but for the last thirty seconds “Crazy” Hovhannisyan strolled around the ropes refusing to be drawn onto counters.
Score 10-9 Vargas 68-65
Another round for Vargas. Hovhannisyan was becoming wilder and wilder with his attacks and after he missed with a right his head crashed into the right side of Vargas face and opened a cut on the champions eyelid. Vargas was having no trouble dodging Hovhannisyan’s attacks and was slotting home jabs and landing left hooks to the ribs of Hovhannisyan. A right to the body unbalanced Vargas but he was soon back to peppering Hovhannisyan with punches.
Score 10-9 Vargas 78-74
Official Scores 78-74 Vargas, 78-74 Vargas, 76-76
The cut was serious for Vargas and his corner were unable to stem the bleeding before the round started. Hovhannisyan was also cut on his right eyelid but it was a smaller cut a much lesser problem. The cut fired Vargas up and he went looking for Hovhannisyan banging home bunches of hooks to the body and getting the better of the exchanges.
Score 10-9 Vargas 88-83
Vargas was timing Hovhannisyan’s lunges and taking a couple of steps back and then firing counters. Hovhannisyan kept pressing and was still dangerous but Vargas was able to land left hooks and uppercuts and was not letting Hovhannisyan work inside.
Score 10-9 Vargas 98-92
Hovhannisyan continued to lunge in with furious attacks with Vargas firing home quick combinations. and moving with Hovhannisyan swishing empty air. Vargas was not able to stop Hovhannisyan charging but he was making him pay the price in counter punches.
Score 10-9 Vargas 108-101
About one minute into the round another clash of heads saw Vargas cut over his right eye and this too was a serious one. The referee stopped the action so that the ringside physician could inspect this second cut but the fight was allowed to continue. Hovhannisyan launched big punch after big punching looking for a knockout and Vargas with blood streaming down both sides of his face took no chances and just stayed out of trouble.
Score 10-9 Hovhannisyan 117-111
Official scores: 18-110, 117-111 and 116-112 all for Vargas
Vargas was making the third defence of the WBC title. Fellow Mexican Jorge Ceja is his No 1 challenger but it will be some time before the cuts he suffered in this fight heal. Armenian Hovhannisyan had won his last eight fights but his only “name” opponent was his last victim Ronny Rios who had lost on points to Vargas in his first defence in August last year. Hovhannisyan proved strong and dangerous but limited and once Vargas had worked out how to deal with Hovhannisyan’s rushing attacks the Armenian had no plan B.
Bolton, England: Heavy: Hughie Fury (21-1) W TKO 5 Sam Sexton (24-3). Super Middle: Reece Cartwright (21-1) W KO 3 Juan Monzon (8-2-3).
Fury vs. Sexton
Fury outboxes and then stops Sexton to win the British title. Fury had height, reach and speed on his side and Sexton never really managed to make an impact. Fury was content to box on the back foot slotting jabs through the guard of Sexton and then hammering straight rights through the centre and on to Sexton’s head. Sexton shadowed Fury but never really upped his pace enough to really threaten. On the occasions when Sexton did pin Fury to the ropes he landed a few head punches but Fury had very little trouble in avoiding any traps and he continually landed his jabs and banged home hard rights. Once Fury started to really load up on his rights Sexton was in trouble. A big right in the fourth sent Sexton sideward’s into the ropes and he was already starting to drop when Fury landed anther right. Sexton was up quickly and the bell went just as the eight count was completed. Sexton marched forward in the fifth trying to get inside. Fury unloaded some more heavy rights but Sexton kept coming. With Fury on the ropes Sexton moved inside and Fury landed a thunderbolt of a right which floored Sexton. He made it to his feet but the referee waived the fight over despite protests from Sexton that he was able to continue. Still only 23 the 6’6” (198cm) Fury was having his first fight since losing a majority decision to Joseph Parker in September. In the stupid and cynical way the WBO works Fury went from No 1 to unrated for losing a majority decision to the champion! Sexton was making the first defence of his British title and suffers his fourth loss by KO/TKO. His other losses were to Dereck Chisora twice and David Price but he had won his last nine fights.
Cartwright vs. Monzon
As usual Cartwright towered over his Argentinian opponent. He was able to use a strong accurate jab to dominate the action. He scored with some long right crosses in the first with Monzon trying to fight back but not really getting past the jab and missing with some wild swings. Monzon used plenty of upper body movement to try to get close in the second but Cartwright stabbed home the jab and raked Monzon with straight rights. Early in the third Cartwright landed a booming right that sent Monzon down. He managed to get to his knees but no further . The 23-year-old 6’3” (191cm) now has 12 wins by KO/TKO. His loss was a shock first stoppage by the dangerous but erratic Rafael Chiruta in July last year. Two losses on the bounce for Monzon who was stopped in six rounds by Jake Carr in Australia in December.
Hurth, Germany: Super Middle: Avni Yildirim (18-1) W PTS 12 Ryan Ford (14-3).Light Heavy: Serge Michel (6-0) W TKO 3 Attila Tibor Nagy (11-33-1). Super Middle: Yusuf Kanguel (16-2-1) W RTD 5 Dionisio Miranda (22-17-2).
Yildirim vs. Ford
Yildirim retains the WBC International title with unanimous points win over Canadian Ford in a tough, gruelling contest that was a credit to the strength and determination of both men and another good quality WBC International contest. Yildirim was rolling forward from the start with Ford meeting him and looking to stand and trade Yildirim was digging heavy left hooks to the body with a double hook catching Ford’s attention in the first. Yildirim was setting a high pace and was throwing more and landing more than Ford but the Canadian was not backing down and landed his share of clubbing punches. You could have dispensed with the ropes as these two stayed in ring centre each landing clubbing head and body shots. Ford impressed with some of his combinations mixing hooks, uppercuts and short rights. The referee was also under used as they were both looking to outland the other and not looking to clinch until late in the fight when they both tired. Yildirim had the better jab and the greater strength and that told in the closing rounds as he finally had Ford backing up and Ford’s work rate dropped. Somehow they both found the energy to stand and exchange punches for the last three minutes. Scores 117-112, 116-112 and 117-113 all for Yildirim. The 26-year-old Turk was making the second defence of his WBC International title and this had to be one of his toughest fights as he rebuilds after his loss to Chris Eubank Jr in October. He is No 5 with the WBC and No 7 with the WBA and if he keeps winning he could be in line for a title shots by early 2019. The 36-year-old “Real Deal” Ford (he does resemble the great Evander) has now lost three decisions in a row but this is one tough fighter and all three losses have been on the road.
Michel vs. Nagy
Olympian Michel gets an inside the distance win with stoppage of Nagy. Michel landed some hard stuff over the first two rounds and then floored Nagy three times in the third to force the stoppage. The Russian-born “Bavarian Sniper” makes it five wins by KO/TKO. As an amateur he was German champion and competed at the 2016 Olympics. He was eliminated at the European Qualifier by Joshua Buatsi but he won through to Rio at the World Qualifier in Baku but failed to medal in Rio. He spent time in both Juvenile detention and prison but has stayed out of trouble since taking up boxing seriously, Nagy is now 1-11 in his last 12 fights.
Kanguel vs. Miranda
Kanguel extends his winning run to nine as Miranda retires after five rounds. Despite Miranda having the longer reach Kanguel was able to dominate the centre of the ring forcing Miranda on to the back foot. The Colombian veteran had a good second round being able to use his reach to outscore Kanguel. The third and fourth went to Kanguel with Miranda cut in a clash of heads. Kanguel took a fiercely competitive fifth before breaking through at the end of the round to land a series of hard punches and Miranda did not come out for the sixth. Tenth win by KO/TKO for the 34-year-old WBC Mediterranean champion. Miranda, 35, has now lost his last nine fights and this is just his second outing in the last two years.
Mississauga, Canada: Super Welter: Brandon Cook (20-1) W KO 4 Miguel Suarez (15-2). Light: Josh O’Reilly (12-0) W RTD 4 Omar Valenzuela (10-7-2).
Cook vs. Suarez
Cook simply overwhelms Suarez who spent most of the fight with his back against the ropes as Cook pounded him with punches. Cook was shadowing the taller Argentinian around the ring with Suarez sticking to the perimeter. Suarez threw some overhand rights but Cook dodged them and scored well to the body, Cook kept Suarez pinned to the ropes for most of the second round. Again Suarez was throwing big overhand rights but Cook was avoiding them and going hard to the body. With Suarez trapped in a corner Cook landed a left hook and then a right and Suarez dropped to his knees. He beat the count but a ferocious attack from Cook saw Suarez down on his knees again. He got up but only just and the bell went before Cook could do any more damage. Cook battered Suarez along the ropes in the third and after a series of left hooks and rights to the head Suarez went down again and was counted out. The 31-year-old “ Bad Boy “Cook makes it thirteen wins by KO/TKO. He had a mixed 2017 stopping the 18-0-1Steven Butler in January but being halted in nine rounds in September by unbeaten Kanat Islam before closing the year with a second round kayo of Argentinian Hector Santana. Cook is rated WBO 5/WBA 9/IBF 14 (12). Two losses in a row by KO/TKO for Suarez who was stopped in two rounds by Marcos Reyes in March
O’Reilly vs. Valenzuela
O’Reilly and Valenzuela provided plenty of entertainment as they both were looking to trade punches and neither wanted to take a step back. Valenzuela looked to take the second by staying on top of O’Reilly. The third was more even as although Valenzuela kept attacking he was beginning to tire. O’Reilly was landing heavily with hooks to the body in the fourth and when O’Reilly dug in a left to the body Valenzuela fell to his knees. He beat the count and tried to punch his way out of trouble but a right to the head and a left to the body sent him to his knees again. He got up and was allowed to continue and took the fight to O’Reilly but after the round ended he stayed in his corner. O’Reilly, the Canadian No 3, has won 4 of his last 5 fights by KO/TKO. Mexican Valenzuela was fighting in Canada for the fourth time in successive contests and is now 1-3 in those four fights.
Cartagena, Colombia: Super Light: Placido Ramirez (11-1) W KO 1 Brayam Rico (9-2). Feather: Miguel Marriaga (26-3) W TKO 4 Derlinson Buriel (7-5-1). Feather: Belmar Preciado (18-1-1) W KO 3 Jose Alfaro (6-3-1). Light: Andres Figueroa (9-2) W PTS 10 Luis Diaz (2-7-1)
Ramirez vs. Rico
Lanky local Ramirez wins the vacant national title at super light as he knocks out Rico with a short right to the chin after just sixty seconds. Ramirez, who also holds the national light title gets win No 8 by KO/TKO. This is his first fight since losing his unbeaten tag against 17-0 Sonny Ferguson in November. Rico had won his last three fights.
Marriaga vs. Buriel
After a bad 2017 which saw him lose to both Oscar Valdez and Vasyl Lomachenko in title fights Marriaga eases back with a stoppage of overmatched Venezuelan Buriel. No knockdowns but Buriel was shipping heavy punches when the fight was stopped. Marriaga has dropped out of the ratings but all of his losses have been in world title fights so is aiming to rebuild and land another title fight. Second loss by KO/TKO for Buriel.
Preciado vs. Alfaro
A bad night for visitors from Venezuela as Preciado halts Alfaro in three rounds. Again the visitor was overmatched and was never really in the fight before it was stopped. Eleven wins by KO/TKO for Preciado with Alfaro now 2-3-1 in his last six fights.
Figueroa vs. Diaz
In an all-Colombian battle Figueroa wins the WBC Fecarbox title with majority decision over Luis Diaz. Going into this one Diaz had lost his last four fights by KO/TKO all inside three rounds but Figueroa made heavy work of this and only just edged Diaz out,. Scores 96-94 and 96-95 for Figueroa and 95-95. Figueroa has won 3 of his last 4 but is strictly domestic level. Now five losses in a row for Diaz.
Florence, Italy: Fly: Mohammed Obbadi (16-1) W PTS 12 Aramis Torres (7-1-1).
Obbadi regains the European Union title with decision over inexperienced but gutsy Spaniard Torres. It looked as though it might be an early night when Obbadi dropped Torres to his knees in the first but Torres beat the count and was never really in trouble after that. The fight turned into a tactical battle which Obbadi controlled with his superior skills and good movement. Torres was focusing on the body and had some success. Obbadi’s corner told him to up the pace from the seventh and Obbadi swept that round and the eighth. Torres had a good ninth but Obbadi finished strongly to take the decision. Scores 119-110, 118-109 and116-111 for Obbadi. The 24-year-old Moroccan-born Obbadi had previous relinquished this title but his hopes of a world title shot suffered a set-back when he was beaten in seven rounds by the now WBC champion Cristofer Rosales. In his last fight Torres, 22, had fought a draw for the vacant Spanish title but this was too big a task for him here.
Riga, Latvia: Light: Isa Chaniev (13-1) W PTS 12 Ismael Barroso (20-2-2). Middle: Artur Akavov (19-2) W PTS 10 Gonzalo Coria (12-2). Super Welter: Konstantin Ponomarev (34-0) W PTS 8 Ambrosi Sutidze (11-14-5).
Chaniev vs. Barroso
Chaniev outpoints Barroso in defence of his WBO and IBF Inter-Continental titles. Venezuelan southpaw Barroso had height and reach over Chaniev who tried to work his way inside fighting from a crouch. Barroso scored with a chopping left and later with some straight lefts as Chaniev tried to get inside. Barroso was forcing Chaniev back in the second but the Russian showed some quick footwork and constantly changed guards although having problems getting close enough to work. In the third Chaniev was boxing southpaw and darting in with scoring punches and Barroso was too slow to counter. As Chaniev leapt in for another attack a right from Barroso sent him stumbling sideward’s and his glove touched the canvas as he tumbled into the ropes. He did not go down but the referee rightly applied a count over Chaniev’s protests. Chaniev was credited with a knockdown later in the round when Barroso seemed to trip over Chaniev’s leg. Chaniev is a quick, aggressive little fighter who can change guard in a split second. Part of the reason for that is that his stance is so square which allows for the quick change but also presents a bigger target. For that reason Barroso was able to land strong lefts throughout the fight but Chaniev’s speed was the determining factor as the fight progressed. He alternated between dancing around the ring and sudden attacks with quick bursts of punches and a frustrated Barroso had difficulty pinning the Russia down. Barroso was able to land some shots but not enough and he tired over the later rounds as Chaniev continued to buzz around the ring launching attacks from every angle. Chaniev was the clear winner and also benefited from a point deduction against Barroso in the ninth for a low punch. Scores 117-109, 116-108 and 115-112 all for Chaniev. Chaniev, 25, has wins over Jean Pierre Bauwens and Juan Martin Elorde and is No 5 with the WBO. His eccentric, unorthodox style is such that it is almost impossible to look good against him so it is the type of fight you only take if the money is good. Barroso, 35, a former interim WBO champion stopped Kevin Mitchell but was beaten by Anthony Crolla. Barroso was inactive for 17 months after losing to Crolla but had returned with a useful win in October over Fidel Maldonado.
Akavov vs. Coria
Former WBO title challenger Akavov gets a close unanimous decision over Argentinian Coria. The fight started well for southpaw Akavov as he dropped Coria in the first. Coria didn’t cave in but fought back strongly. Both fighters had good spells in a very competitive match and Coria clawed back the two points the knockdown cost him and looked as though he was going to win this one until his work rate dropped over the last two rounds. Scores 96-93, 96-95 and 95-94 for Akavov showing that without the knockdown the visitor was worth at least a draw. The 32-year-old Californian-based Russian Akavov wins the vacant WBO International title. He gave Billy Joe Saunders a lot of trouble in his challenge for the WBO title in 2016. He came in as a late substitute with the WBO suddenly jumping him into their ratings at No 10 before the fight and then dropping him completely for losing a decision to Saunders. Coria, the Argentinian No 3 at super welter and also a southpaw, had won his last nine fights. He was both moving up from eight rounds and having his first fight outside Argentina and made a good impression.
Ponomarev vs. Sutidze
Just a keep busy fight for the unbeaten young Russian. Facing a poor opponent who came in as a late substitute he obviously found it hard to get excited about this one and put in an adequate but pedestrian performance winning easily but not impressing. Scores 80-73 twice and 78-74 for Ponomarev. “Talant” Ponomarev is rated IBF 9(7) and WBC 9 at welter. He is just 25 but with victories over Mike Zewski, Ramases Agaton, Brad Solomon and Ed Paredes he should be fighting better opposition than this. Sutidze is now 0-8-1 in his last nine fights but usually goes the distance.
Managua, Nicaragua: Bantam: Alex Espinoza (16-1-2) W PTS 10 Yader Cardoza (23-13-1). Super Light: Julio Laguna (14-0) W TKO 6 David Bency (12-9-1,1ND).
Espinoza vs. Cardoza
After a poor start Espinoza eventually takes over the fight and wins the verdict. Cardoza made a strong start scoring with right hooks and had Espinoza on rubber legs with a combination in the third. Espinoza survived by clinching and the chance had gone for Cardoza. Espinoza made good use of his longer reach and landed heavily with shots to head and body. Illegal punches cost Espinoza a point in the seventh but that was evened out when Cardoza was docked a point for a low punch in the ninth and Espinoza’s stronger finishes saw him take the decision. Scores 97-91 twice and a more representative 95-93 all for Espinoza. The 25-year-old “Supernova” suffered his only loss when being beaten by Russian Mikhail Aloyan in February. Espinoza was an elite level amateur winning the national title and collecting a bronze and silver at the Central American championships. The experienced Cardoza lost to Adrian Hernandez for the WBC light flyweight title in 2013 but more recently he gave the then unbeaten 18-0 Jamie Conlan a scare flooring and cut the Belfast fighter when losing a split decision in March last year.
Laguna vs. Bency
Laguna wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox title and gets his second victory in consecutive fights over Bency. When these two fought in November it was for the vacant WBA Fedecentro title and Laguna’s win was controversial. This time he bossed the fight from the outset flooring Bency in the second and winning every round until a cut on Bency’s left eyebrow caused by a punch was ruled too serious for the fight to continue. Laguna is another fighter with good amateur credentials dominating the national scene and winning a gold medal at both the Central American Games and the Central American Championships. Bency was 2-2 in his last 4 fights with the losses being against Brad Solomon and Laguna.
Walcz, Poland: Cruiser: Krzys Glowacki (30-1) W TKO 1 Santander Silgado (28-5). Fighting in his home town there was no slow start for Glowacki. He came out throwing southpaw lefts with Silgado having trouble getting off the ropes. When he did move to the centre of the ring they both threw some wild shots Silgado landed a punch that brought a bruise under the left eye of Glowacki but he then missed with one and a counter from Glowacki landed on the top of Silgado’s head with the inside of the glove. Silgado went over face down on the canvas and the referee stopped the fight. It did not look a convincing ending because of the way the punch landed but it is win No 19 by KO/TKO for the 31-year-old former WBO champion who is rated No 3 by both the WBC and WBO. Once the WBBS final is out of the way he could land a title shot. Colombian Silgado was knocked out inside a round by Dmitry Kudryashov in December 2016 so this ending was no surprise
Cidra, Puerto Rico: Super Light: Abner Cotto (23-3) W TKO 4 Samuel Santana (11-12-3).Cotto returns to action with stoppage win. Although he did not look to be in top condition Cotto was still too good for fellow-Puerto Rican Santana. Cotto took a while to shed some rust with Santana being competitive over the opening three rounds. In the fourth with Santana on the ropes Cotton unleashed a series of head punches before sending Santana down with a clubbing shot to the head. Santana beat the count but Cotto had him under fire again and reeling on unsteady legs when the referee stopped the fight. Cotto, 30, wins the vacant WBC Fecarbox title with his twelfth victory by KO/TKO. He has lost important fights to Omar Figueroa, Francisco Vargas and Javier Fortuna but this victory in his first fight for exactly nine months is his fifth in a row. Santana was coming off four wins over sub-standard opposition. and this is his fourth career loss by KO/TKO.
Gloucester, England: Super Light: Akeem Ennis Brown (11-0) W TEC DEC 5 Chris Jenkins (19-3-1). Brown wins the vacant WBC Youth title with technical decision over Chris Jenkins. This was a much anticipated fight with the tall unbeaten Brown against the much more experienced Jenkins. Brown went into the lead early but the rounds were close. In the third a clash of heads saw Jenkins cut over his left eye. The cut worsened and the fight was stopped in the fifth and went to the judges who did not score the uncompleted round. Scores 40-36, 39-37 and 39-38 for Brown. The 22-year-old local Brown already has a points win over the current Commonwealth champion Glenn Foot and looks a good prospect. He was 25-6 as an amateur without winning any major tournaments but is progressing well as a pro. Jenkins drew and lost to Tyrone Nurse in two fights for the vacant British title in 2015 and lost on points to unbeaten Philip Sutcliffe Jr in 2016 but had scored three wins in 2017.
Villa Angela, Argentina: Super Bantam: Diego Ruiz (18-2) W PTS 10 Victor Garcia (16-8-1). “The Prophet “Ruiz wins the vacant WBC Latino title with wide points decision over the much smaller Garcia. Ruiz was in control for most of the fight and floored Garcia in the sixth. It did not look as though Garcia was going to get up but he made the effort. He was in deep trouble but Ruiz missed his chance to end it early. Ruiz already had the fight won when he was penalised in the ninth for a low punch and he ran out a clear winner. Scores 97-91 twice and 99-89 for Ruiz. The Argentinian champion has now won his last seven fights. Mexican Garcia was 7-1-1 going into this one but was moving up to ten rounds for the first time.
Ostend, Belgium: Cruiser: Joel Tambwe Djeko (13-2-1) W PTS 10 Mariano Gudino (12-1). Middle: Landry Kore (8-0,1ND) W KO 5 Armen Ypremyan (8-1-2)
Djeko vs. Gudino
“Big Joe” Djeko wins the vacant IBO Continental title with win over Argentinian Gudino. It was a unanimous decision but Gudino made Djeko fight hard for the win. Scores 96-93 twice and 98-91. Djeko is 10-1-1 in his last 12 fights. He has an early carer draw with EBU rated Bilal Laggoune and his only loss in those 12 fights was a very close decision against then unbeaten Craig Kennedy when he had Kennedy on the floor twice. First fight outside Argentina and first loss for Argentinian No 3 Gudino.
Kore vs. Ypremyan
Danish based Kore wins battle of unbeaten fighters. After taking the first round Kore had to fight hard in the second as Ypremyan battled back and it turned into an entertaining fight. Kore hurt Ypremyan in the fifth and went on to finish the fight and collect the vacant IBO Mediterranean title. The Ivory Coast fighter remains unbeaten. He lost on a disqualification in an incident filled fight 2016 but the Danish Federation changed that to a No Decision. French-based Ypremyan had won his last seven fights.
Fight of the week: Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Jorge Linares
Fighter of the week: Vasyl Lomachenko a three-division champion after just twelve fights
Punch of the week: The body punch from Lomachenko which finished Jorge Linares. The first round left hook from Jaime Munguia that put Ali down was special
Upset of the week: Late substitute Jaime Munguia dethroning Sadam Ali
One to watch: Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov 4-0 and a gold medal winner in Rio