Check out Eric Armit’s comprehensive fight report in The Week in Boxing – December 19, 2018:
-Saul Alvarez destroys Rocky Fielding in three rounds to win the secondary WBA super middle title
-Gilberto Ramirez retains the WBO super middle title with points win over Jesse Hart
-Tevin Farmer decision Francisco Fonseca in defence of his IBF super featherweight title
Artem Dalakian defends the WBA flyweight title with stoppage of Gregorio Lebron
-Joseph Parker closes out the year with an inside the distance win over Alex Flores
-Swede Sven Fornling wins the IBO title with victory over Karo Murat
-Former champion Sadam Ali returns with a win in his first fight since losing his WBO title to Jamie Munguia in May
-A sight you don’t see often as Germany heavyweight Michael Wallisch gets counted out twice when losing to Christen Hammer
WORLD TITLE FIGHTS IBF, WBA, WBC and WBO
Corpus Christi, TX, USA: Super Middle: Gilberto Ramirez (39-0) W PTS 12 Jesse Hart (25-2). Super Bantam: Joshua Greer (19-1-1) W RTD 7 Daniel Lozano (15-6). Super Light Arnold Barboza (20-0) W PTS 10 Manuel Lopez (14-3-1).Super Feather: Jamel Herring (19-2) W PTS 8 Adeilson Dos Santos (19-6).
Ramirez vs. Hart
Ramirez retains the WBO title with majority verdict over Hart in a fight of three phases. The first seven rounds see Ramirez dominant. Rounds eight to eleven are Hart’s due an injury suffered by Ramirez. Then phase three sees the outcome of the fight decided in a dramatic last round.
Hart was sharp at the outset and scored with a couple of neat hooks. Ramirez was the one forcing the fight with Hart circling the perimeter of the ring and jumping in with quick attacks. Ramirez really let his hands go late in the round scoring with some strong lefts and taking the round.
Score 10-9 Ramirez
Another round where Hart had a good opening spell sending Ramirez backwards with some sharp right uppercuts and connecting with his jab and some combinations. Ramirez then took control. He was scoring with flashing hooks to the body and hard southpaw lefts to the head.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 20-18
A closer round but still Ramirez’s. Hart was boxing nicely on the back foot with plenty of jabs but Ramirez was using some clever upper body movement to dodge those and then hunting Hart down and scoring with hooks and uppercuts
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 30-27
Dominant round for Ramirez. From bell to bell he was hustling Hart around the ring pinning him to the ropes and connecting with hooks, uppercuts and sweeping lefts to the head. There was very little coming back from Hart.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 40-36
Official scores: 39-37, 40-36 and 40-36 for Ramirez
A very close round with the best exchanges so far. Hart stayed on the front foot more and put his punches together well with some sharp hooks and uppercuts. Ramirez was scoring well to the body and fired some impressive combinations but with Hart ending the round with a flurry of punches which just gave him the edge.
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 49-46
This round was close until the half way point then Ramirez took over. He was landing long lefts to the body and head with a tired looking Hart was throwing very little in the return. A long left snapped Hart’s head back as Ramirez piled on the pressure.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 59-55
A close one and a quieter one. Both did good work with their jabs . Hart landed some sharp left hooks and Ramirez got through with his left and just outworked Hart.
Scores 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 69-64
A complete change around in the eighth round. Hart was storming forward firing hooks and uppercuts to the body and forcing Ramirez back. He kept Ramirez against the ropes for much of the round. Ramirez’s punch output slumped and he was warned for a sneaky punch on the break
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 78-74
Official scores: 77-74, 78-74, 78-74 Ramirez
What had changed in the eighth was that Ramirez had injured his left elbow and Hart was able to take advantage of that. He stayed on top of Ramirez landing with short punches inside as the fight became more of a brawl. Ramirez used both hands to fire some combinations but Hart was getting the better of the exchanges and buckled Ramirez legs with a right.
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 87-84
Neither fighter did much in this round. Over the first two minutes Ramirez tried to avoid trading punches and Hart did not force the fight enough. Late in the round Hart came to life raking Ramirez with hooks inside. When they clinched Hart made sure he had a claim on Ramirez’s right which was the only one had he had to worry about and a comfortable win had turned into a struggle for survival for Ramirez
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 96-94
A brutal three minutes as Hart worked Ramirez over. He had Ramirez pinned to the ropes for most of the round and was scoring inside with hooks. Ramirez tried to punch with Hart but without full power in his left he was at a disadvantage and Hart was winning the exchanges.
Score 10-9 Hart Ramirez 105-104
In a dramatic last round Ramirez staggered Hart early with a right hook and turned Hart onto the ropes and connected with five consecutive right hooks with Hart looking to be in trouble. Even when Hart moved off the ropes Ramirez landed with another series of hooks. Hart was pushing Ramirez back but had to soak up more right hooks. Hart was exhausted stumbling and just leaning on Ramirez and not throwing punches until with just twenty seconds remaining in the round he landed a right uppercut. Now it was Ramirez on the ropes and Hart hammering home punches rocking Ramirez head but Ramirez stayed on his feet and was trying to punch back at the bell and his early work in the round gave him the edge.
Score 10-9 Ramirez Ramirez 115-113
Official scores. 114-114 and 115-113,115-113 for Ramirez.
Gutsy win by the 27-year-old from Mazatlan in the fifth defence of his WBO title. Ramirez controlled the fight before his injury and looked on his way to at least a wide points victory if not a late stoppage. No real grounds for a third fight and in any case Ramirez is already looking to move up to light heavyweight. Hart will still be a major force at super middle and if Ramirez does move up he would be favourite to beat either Shefat Isufi or Vincent Feigenbutz who are Nos 2 and 3 with the WBO.
Greer vs. Lozano
Greer continues his impressive run with win over Lozano. Greer has made a habit of beating up the opposition to a point where the just quit. He did that in this fight. He controlled the fight and handed out some stiff punishment before dropping Lozano in the seventh and Lozano’s team pulled him out at the end of the round. The 24-year-old from Chicago has won 16 in a row including six inside the distance finishes in his last six fights. He wins the vacant WBC Continental Americas title. Floridian Lozano was 2-4 going into this one but had reversed two of those losses against David Carmona and Ricardo Rodriguez.
Barboza vs. Lopez
Barboza boxes his way to win over Lopez taking every round on all three cards. Barboza used a sharp jab to set up some crisp body punches. With no chance of outboxing Barboza Lopez tried to drag Barboza into a brawl but the unbeaten Californian would not cooperate. He kept finding gaps for his jab and the frequency and accuracy of Barboza’s work slowly had Lopez fading further and further out of the fight. Barboza put in a big effort in the ninth trying to get Lopez out of there but Lopez stayed to the final bell. Scores 100-90 for Barboza from the three judges. The 27-year-old Californian already has impressive wins over Mike Reed and Luis Solis and will continue to build in 2019. Lopez had lost only one of his last eleven fights.
Herring vs. Dos Santos
Southpaw Herring continues his restoration with a points victory over Brazilian Dos Santos. Herring had early success when he floored Dos Santos in the first and second rounds. Dos Santos survived those shocks and was competitive without actually doing enough to win a round and Herring got eight rounds of work under his belt. Scores 80-70 from the three wise men. The 33-year-old former US Marine was US Armed Forces champion and US National champion in 2012 and competed at the 2012 Olympics. He won his first 15 pro fights before suffering losses against Denis Shafikov and Ladarius Miller. He has had a good 2018 beating experienced Juan Pablo Sanchez and 20-1 Filipino John Vincent Moralde. Dos Santos is now 1-4 in his last 5 fights but that includes losses to Jessie Magdaleno and Michael Conlan.
New York, NY, USA: Super Middle: Saul Alvarez (51-1-2 W TKO 3 Rocky Fielding (27-1). Super Feather: Tevin Farmer (28-4-1,1ND) W PTS 12 Francisco Fonseca (22-2-1).Welter: Sadam Ali (27-2) W PTS 10 Mauricio Herrera (24-8). Super Feather: Ryan Garcia (17-0) W KO 5 Braulio Rodriguez (19-4). Super Feather: Lamont Roach (18-0-1) W PTS 10 Alberto Mercado (15-2-1). Super Middle: Bilal Akkawy (19-0-1) W TKO 7 Victor Fonseca (17-9-1). Super Light: Yves Ulysse (17-1) W PTS 8 Maximiliano Becerra (16-3-2).
Alvarez vs. Fielding
Very predictable outcome as Alvarez too strong for Fielding and scores four knockdowns before the fight is stopped.
Strong opening from Alvarez. After a few jabs from Fielding Alvarez was connecting with left hooks to the body and slotting home his jab. Fielding fired a quick burst of punches but was already on the back foot and short, quick left to the body saw him take a couple of steps back and drop to one knee. Fielding was up at seven and despite more body punches made it though the one minute remaining in the round although he was rocked by a right at the bell.
Score 10-8 Alvarez
Alvarez was forcing Fielding back and landing hooks to the body from both hands. Fielding was jabbing and throwing quick hooks but did not have the power to stop Alvarez coming forward. A left to the ribs had Fielding backing off. Despite that Fielding was getting through with his jab and landing some hooks of his own until another left to the ribs sent him down on one knee near the end of the round. Fielding was up at seven and after the eight count the bell went.
Score 10-8 Alvarez Alvarez 20-16
Alvarez pressed forward looking for the finish. He was still landing with crunching left hooks to the body but now also adding right uppercuts. Fielding fought back with hooks but was driven to the ropes and a clubbing right to the side of the head dropped him to one knee again. Fielding climbed up at seven but when the action resumed another left hook to the body again saw Fielding take a knee and the referee stopped the fight.
Now 35 wins by KO/TKO for Alvarez. Some will see him as a three-division world champion but Fielding’s title was the secondary WBA one so questionable as to whether it qualifies. There are fights for Alvarez at super middle if he wants them with WBC champion David Benavidez already issuing a challenge. It is also, possible that the WBC may insist that Alvarez defends their middleweight title against interim champion Jermall Charlo which would a good fight. Fielding, 31, was a huge outsider when he was offered a fight with Tyron Zeuge but he took the chance and it led to a title and from there to the biggest purse of his career. He will box on and the super middleweight division is rich in high quality fighters so there is more money to be made.
Farmer vs. Fonseca
Farmer makes the second defence of his IBF title in just seven weeks and convincingly outpoints Costa Rican Fonseca.
Farmer was into the groove quickly. He had faster hands and kept slotting right jabs past Fonseca’s defence and lading long lefts. Fonseca manage to get thought with a couple of rights but it was the champions round.
Score 10-9 Farmer
More of the same in the second. Farmer was throwing left leads and using his quicker reflexes to stand close and dodge or block Fonseca’s punches and counter. He finished the round with a strong attack connecting with three straight lefts.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 20-18
Fonseca did a bit better in this round. He was walking in behind his jab and landing to the body. Farmer’s hand speed was still just too quick and Farmer was switching between head and body and Fonseca was too slow to block the punches.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 30-27
Farmer chose to go toe-to-toe with Fonseca in this one turning the action into a close-quarters maul. He was still doing most of the scoring with short hooks and uppercuts but those tactics also allowed Fonseca to land more punches than he had earlier.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 40-36
Official scores 40-36, 39-37 and 40-36 for Farmer
Fonseca’s round. He pressed hard for the whole three minutes. He landed some body shots and kept pumping out the punches. Farmer connected with some hard counters but was more on the defensive and not throwing as many punches.
Score 10-9 Fonseca Farmer 49-46
Farmer took this one inside again. He was on top of Fonseca forcing Fonseca back around the ring. He scored throughout the round with left uppercuts and added some clubbing rights to the head. Fonseca was also landing with rights to the head but tricky upper body movement from Farmer meant Fonseca was often swishing air.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 59-55
Farmer spent the first two minutes again forcing Fonseca back and fighting inside. He was landing hooks and uppercuts with Fonseca not able to shake himself loose enough to counter. Over the last third of the round Farmer decided to put on an exhibition of defensive work letting Fonseca come forward but Fonseca just could not find the target.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 69-54
Fonesca outworked Farmer in this one. He was able to march forward scoring with stabbing jabs and connecting with short clubbing hooks. Farmer was just not throwing enough punches and although he opened up later Fonseca had already done enough to take the round.
Score 10-9 Fonseca Farmer 78-74
Official scores: 78-74, 77-75, 78-74
Farmer started by boxing on the back foot slotting home jabs and then stopping to fire a burst of punches through Fonseca’s guard. He then switched to fighting inside where Fonesca had a bit more success before Farmer went back to his boxing shooting jabs and uppercuts home.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 88-83
Brawl time again from Farmer. He was constantly pushing Fonseca back. He was getting home with short cuffing hooks and occasional rights to the head but was making the fight harder than it needed to be. With Farmer right there in front of him Fonseca did enough to make it a close round.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 98-92
A round for Fonseca. He was able to march forward scoring with stiff jabs and landed a flush left hook. He had more success with the jabs and landed a straight right. Farmer moved in close but stayed there without punching and Fonseca scored with a burst of punches.
Score 10-9 Fonseca Farmer 107-102
Farmer outboxed Fonesca he was constantly moving then jumping in with two or three punches then off again before Fonseca could counter. When Fonseca did corner Farmer he held and then was off again and he closed the fight with a flurry of punches.
Score 10-9 Farmer Farmer 117-111
Official scores: 117-111, 117-111 and 117-111 for Farmer.
Not a difficult defence for Farmer against the strong but limited Fonseca. Since the final eliminator between Guillame Frenois and Jonno Carroll ended in a draw Farmer does not have a mandatory challenger but it could be that Carroll will get the title shot. It seems very strange that the 28-year-old from Philadelphia went a modest 7-4-1 at the start of his career and has since registered 20 wins and one No Decision. The No Decision was a loss to Kenichi Ogawa in December 2017 for the vacant IBF title but that loss was changed to a No Decision when Ogawa tested positive for a banned substance. Fonseca was knocked out in eight rounds by Gervonta Davis in a fight for this same vacant title in 2017 and was never in the fight here.
Ali vs. Herrera
Ali climbs back onto the saddle after being violently thrown off by Jamie Munguia in May. The “World Kid” took a good level opponent in Herrera an experienced fighter but who is on the cusp of a slide. Ali was quicker and busier if a bit sloppy at times. He did some good work to the body early and Herrera improved once he had shed seven months of rust but Ali never really relinquished control of the fight. He looked to hurt Herrera with a body punch in the seventh but other than that never looked likely to win inside the distance. Scores 100-90, 99-91 and 98-92 for Ali. It has been a crazy eighteen months for Ali beating Miguel Cotta in July 2017 and then getting blown away by Munguia in May so he will be aiming for a defeat-free 2019.Californian Herrera, 38, a former interim WBA champion, had won his two fights in 2017 but this was his first fight sixteen months.
Garcia vs. Rodriguez
Garcia continues to climb and to impress. In a lively opening round they exchanged punches until a left hook from Garcia deposited Rodriguez on his rump. He beat the count and saw out the round but Garcia continued to land regularly in the second. A low punch from Garcia gave Rodriguez a break in the third but later in the round a right from Garcia powered Rodriguez into the ropes and it could be argued that he should have been given a count as it looked as though the ropes were holding him up. The fourth was another painful round for Rodriguez and after he was floored by a right to the head in the fifth the referee stopped the fight. The 20-year-old “The Flash” turned pro at 17 and already has wins over credible opposition in Jayson Velez and Carlos Morales. This is his fourteenth win by KO/TKO and he is No 4 with the WBO. Dominican Rodriguez suffers only his second loss by KO/TKO having been stopped in four rounds by WBO title challenger Chris Diaz in March.
Roach vs. Mercado
Roach outboxes Mercado in the third defence of his WBO International title. Southpaw Mercado made an aggressive start and was competitive over the first three rounds. From there Roach controlled the fight with his superior skill set and harder punch. As Roach picked up the pace and scored with slick counters Mercado began to fade out of the fight. Roach increased his punch output and took the fight to Mercado over the closing rounds. Mercado rallied in the last but it was far too late for him to affect the outcome. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-93 for Roach. He is No 5 with the WBO. The draw on his record was against former WBO lightweight title challenger Orlando Cruz. Puerto Rican Mercado was 13-0-1 in his first 14 fights before losing to Jayson Velez last year but had outscored useful Jose Nieves in March this year.
Akkawy vs. Fonseca
Australian hope Akkawy overpowers Fonseca for a late stoppage. This one was mainly a close-quarters battle with the boxers willing to stand and exchange punches with very little footwork on show. Akkawy was stronger and had the harder punch. Fonseca did not back away but was slowly being ground down. Akkawy shrugged off Fonseca’s punches and was landing more and heavier shots. Fonseca fought hard but he was throwing less and absorbing more and the refereed decided he had taken enough and halted the fight in the seventh. Akkawy,25, the WBA No 8, has nine consecutive wins behind him now including victories over Kerry Hope and former holder of the secondary WBA title Giovanni De Carolis. Mexican Fonseca, also 25, had won his last eight fights.
Ulysse vs. Becerra
Canadian Ulysse floors Becerra twice on the way to a wide unanimous victory. The first two rounds were fairly even with Becerra working well with his jab and Ulysse quicker and showing good movement. From the third Ulysse stepped-up his pace and was connecting with hard punches to head and body rocking Becerra with a left hook in the fourth. He continued to ramp up the pressure and dropped Becerra to a knee in the sixth, the first time Becerra had been down in his career. Another knockdown followed in the seventh but Ulysse just could not find the punch to close the fight early and had to settle for a points victory. Scores 78-72 twice and 79-71 for Ulysse. The slick 30-year-old from Montreal lost his unbeaten tag when being outpointed by Steve Claggett on a split decision in October last year but in his last two fights had beaten 21-0 Cletus Seldin and 25-0-1 Ernesto Espana which garnered for him the WBC No 6 spot, No 11 (9) with the IBF and No 12 with the WBO. Californian Becerra had won his last eight fights.
Kiev, Ukraine: Fly: Artem Dalakian (18-0) W TKO 6 Gregorio Lebron (21-5). Dalakian stops Lebron to retain his WBA title after an untidy, ugly fight with a controversial; ending.
Lebron was trying to take the fight to the champion but Dalakian was too quick for him skipping away from Lebron’s punches and darting in quickly and landing a couple of punches. Lebron who finally landed a solid right hook before the bell.
Score 10-9 Dalakian
Lebron was stalking Dalakian for much of the second round. Lebron landed a right and a left to the body but Dalakian was coming up short with his punches. As Lebron came forward again Dalakian met him with a short right hook and Lebron went down. It was not a heavy knockdown and Lebron bounced up immediately and after the eight count drove forward throwing punches. Dalakian danced out of the way before landing a sharp uppercut.
Score 10-8 Dalakian Dalakian 20-17
This really was a terrible fight. Dalakian would leap in land a punch and then hold until prised off Lebron then do the same thing again. Dalakian wrestled Lebron to the floor three times in the round and Lebron was swinging wild wide punches in his frustration with the few punches Dalakian landed giving him the round
Score 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 30-26
Another poor round. Dalakian is very quick and very slippery and Lebron just could not pin him down. Every Lebron attack finished with him missing the target and Dalakian clinching until the referee prised him off. He landed a couple of punches but no more and wrestled Lebron to the floor twice more.
Score 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 40-35
Another round of Lebron swinging wildly in frustration and Dalakian just too mobile and too tricky for him. Dalakian was doing what little scoring there was but again there was more clinching than punching
Score 10-9 Dalakian Dalakian 50-44
Lebron rushed in again at the start of the round and a half punch half push sent him down and he was given count. Lebron protested and after the count he tried to fling himself at Dalakian who grabbed his arm swung him around off balance and threw him to the floor. No count and no warning for Dalakian. When Lebron tried another rush Dalakian nailed him with a right counter and another right which sent Lebron to his knees. He was hurt but up quickly. He went after Dalakian who trapped Lebron’s arm and twisted and threw him down yet again. Next time Lebron plunged forward Dalakian landed a sharp counter. Lebron went backwards but put his gloves down to avoid going down and pushed himself straight back up. As usual Lebron walked away during the count but turned back to face the referee only for the referee to continue to count to eight and then waive the fight over. Lebron was not in any real trouble and the referee did not even ask him to show he was steady on his feet-which he was. If it was because of the three knockdowns then the fight should have been stopped when Lebron went down. Even Dalakian looked puzzled by the stoppage. Dalakian retains the WBA title for the second time. He was streets ahead of Lebron in skill and would probably stopped Lebron in another two or three rounds but this was a bizarre decision by the referee. The 31-year-old Azeri-born Dalakian’s style is not an entertaining one. He buzzes around leaping in with one or two punches and then holds as he did on numerous occasions in this fight and often wrestles his man down. Great skills but you would have to be an Azeri, a Ukrainian or a relative to enjoy his fights. Lebron, 36 was a weak challenger. He had not faced a rated fighter for more than two years but was No 3 with the WBA. He lacked the speed to pose any threat to Dalakian
December 14Melbourne, Australia: Super Middle: Jayde Mitchell (18-1) W PTS 10 Kim Poulsen (28-5): Middle: Tej Pratap Singh (14-4-2,1ND) W TKO 4 Jason Leuken (7-1).
Mitchell vs. Poulsen
Mitchell much too good for visitor Poulsen and wins wide unanimous decision. Scores 100-90 twice and 99-91. Mitchell tried hard to walk the Dane down but Poulsen seemed bent on survival and was no sort of test for Mitchell. Now 13 wins in a row for 32-year-old Mitchell who is No 10 with the WBA and the WBC. He will be hoping to get a title fight in 2019. In the crazy world of the WBA Mitchell was making the fifth defence of the WBA Oceania “interim” title. Perhaps the WBA don’t have an English dictionary to explain what interim means but they are reportedly solving that problem by dropping the interim world titles and replacing it with Gold titles. Now that they don’t have to invent a reason for having an interim title and they can now quickly get another 17 Gold titles. Poulsen, 31, was 26-1 in his first 27 fights before losing to Anthony Yigit in 2015 but is now 2-3 since then. He said that he suffered a broken thumb in this fight but had no complaints at all about the result.
Singh vs. Leuken
Southpaw Singh wins the vacant Australian title with fourth round stoppage of Leuken. He gets his eighth win by KO/TKO and is now 5-0,1ND in his last six fights. Leuken was moving up to ten rounds for the first time and had won his last two fights.
Edmonton, Canada: Super Middle: Erik Bazinyan (22-0) W TKO 5 Adrian Luna (21-6-1). Bazinyan rolls on as he turns over Luna in five rounds. The 23-year-old Armenian-born Bazinyan punished Luna heavily over the first three rounds and then put him down three times in the fourth. Luna came out for the fifth but strong, accurate punches from Bazinyan had him in trouble again and the referee stopped the fight. Bazinyan retains the WBA-NABA and WBO-NABO titles and now has 17 wins by KO/TKO. He moved to Quebec with his family when he was 16 and won the Canadian Golden Gloves title in 2013. He is rated WBO 4/WBA 12 with his best wins so far being over Francy Ntetu and 32-2 David Zegarra. Luna suffers his second loss by KO/TKO but has gone the distance with Ryota Murata and unbeaten D’Mitrius Ballard
Budapest, Hungary: Super Welter: Balazs Bacskai (9-0) W KO 3 Islam Teffahi (21-6-2,1ND). Super Feather: Zoltan Kovacs (23-5-1) W PTS 8 Levani Tsiklauri (11-6-1).
Bacskai vs. Teffahi
Bacskai finds southpaw Teffahi a slippery opponent in the first round as the Tunisian ducked and dived and kept moving with Bacskai having difficulty in finding the target. He began to get through with some heavy punches in the second flooring Teffahi. The visitor kept out of trouble for the rest of the round but was ready to go in the third. Bacskai was forcing him along the ropes with Teffahi stabbing out trying to get off the ropes but Bacskai stayed on top of him. In the end it was a capitulation. Bacskai landed a series of head punches and Teffahi purposefully edged his way along the ropes to a corner and then dropped and sat out the count. With not having turned pro until he was 29 Bacskai is on borrowed time. He was an outstanding amateur being Hungarian champion eight years in a row. He was also a World Youth champion and won gold medals at the European Union and European Championships but did not hand in his vest until after the 2016 Olympics. Teffahi is better than he showed here. He had a run of ten wins and a draw through to October 2016 and this was his first fight since then.
Kovacs vs. Tsiklauri
Kovacs has a tougher time than anticipated against Georgian Tsiklauri. “Caramel” Kovacs was busier and had a sounder defence than Tsiklauri but never took control of the fight and needed a strong finish as it was close going into the last two rounds. Scores77-75 twice and 78-74 for Kovacs. The last defeat Kovacs suffered was a points loss to Mitchell Smith in 2014. Since then he is 12-0-1. Tsiklauri has been a busy boy and is now 4-5-1 in his ten fights in 2018.
Rome, Italy: Super Middle: Giovanni De Carolis (26-9-1) W Dragan Lepei 16-1-2). Experience won this one as De Carolis outpoints Lepei to win the vacant WBC International title. De Carolis floored Lepei with a left hook in the second round and that meant Lepei was in catch-up mode after that. Lepei forced the fight and had the harder punch but the clever movement and range of punches from De Carolis always kept the veteran in front. Lepei’s success came when he could pin De Carolis to the ropes and he managed that often enough to make the fight close but De Carolis found the target continually with his jab and used it also keep Lepei off balance. Scores 116-111, 115-112 and 115-113. De Carolis looked to have won clearly with perhaps the first score the best reflection of the fight but Lepei was always pressing and always dangerous. Now 34. De Carolis is a former holder of the secondary WBA title and enjoyed a purple patch when he stopped Vincent Feigenbutz and drew with Tyron Zeuge in fights for the secondary WBA title in 2016. He has fallen away since then going 1-3 in his next four fights. He has rebounded this year by winning the Italian title and now the prestigious WBC International title. Italian-based Romanian Lepei won the Italian title after De Carolis relinquished it and had won his last eight fights.
Krasnodar, Russia: Light: Aik Shakhnazaryan (23-2) W PTS 12 Fedor Papazov (21-3).Welter: Shohjahon Ergashev (15-0) W KO 1 Nazareno Gaston Ruiz (32-18,1ND). Light Heavy: Sergei Ekimov (18-0) W PTS 8 Stanislav Kashtanov (36-4).
Shakhnazaryan vs. Papazov
Shakhnazaryan takes split verdict over Papazov in an entertaining close fight. Papazov was aggressive from the start against the taller Shakhnazaryan. He was using a high guard and blocking many of the quick bursts of punches from Papazov and also showed some smart footwork. It was quantity vs. quality as Papazov kept firing punches with most being picked off by Shakhnazaryan who was throwing less but was much more accurate. Shakhnazaryan increased his punch output as the fight progressed and he was much quicker getting through with jabs and hooks and getting out before Papazov could counter. It was a fast-paced very open fight with both looking to get their punches off and neither looking to clinch. Papazov continued to roll forward but the pace was telling on him and Shakhnazaryan was standing and trading more. Papazov launched some ferocious attacks in the tenth but was wild with some of his punches. The pace dropped in the eleventh but Shakhnazaryan scored with a couple of wicked left hooks to the body and then beckoned for Papazov to stand and fight. Papazov chased hard in the last landing some good rights but Shakhnazaryan was again the one landing the quality shots. Scores 116-112 and 115-113 Shakhnazaryan and 115-113 for Papazov. Shakhnazaryan wins the vacant IBF International and WBA Continental titles but this had been a close fight all the way with every round strongly contested. Armenian-born Russian Shakhnazaryan, 25, was 15-0 until he suffered consecutive losses in 2015 against Abner Lopez and then against Eduard Troyanovsky for the vacant IBO super light title. He has now won eight in a row with useful victories over Javier Clavero, Al Rivera and DeMarcus Corley and was WBC No 12 at super light. Papazov, 33, had lost to Petr Petrov and Miguel Angel Gonzalez but had won his last five fights going into this one.
Ergashev vs. Ruiz
Ergashev blitzes poor Ruiz and puts him down twice and out in just 18 seconds. Ergashev rushed across the ring pinned Ruiz to the ropes and landed a bust of punches that put Ruiz down just six seconds into the fight. Ruiz beat the count but was driven into a corner and another series of punches saw him pitch face first down to the canvas with the referee just waiving the fight off at the 18 second mark. The 27-year-old Uzbek southpaw now has 14 wins by KO/TKO with nine first round finishes. Former Argentinian lightweight champion Ruiz loses inside the distance for only the third time.
Ekimov vs. Kashtanov
Ekimov wins the Russian title with points victory over Kashtanov. Ekimov was the busier with Kashtanov tending to throw just one punch at a time. Ekimov forced the fight for much of the time putting Kashtanov on the back foot with strong jabs. Kashtanov increased his work rate in the third and was having a good round until after just one minute into the round two lefts to the body dropped him to his knees. He was up at nine with Ekimov pounding away at him until Ekimov punched himself out and Kashtanov made it to the bell. From there Kashtanov was taking the fight to Ekimov and it was Ekimov who spent much of the time on the back foot. Kashtanov pressed to the end and made the fight close.. Scores 78-73 and 78-74 for Ekimov and 77-75 for Kashtanov.
London, England: Super Light: Akeem Ennis Brown (12-0) W PTS 10 Darragh Foley (15-3-1). Welter: Larry Ekundayo (15-1) W PTS 10 Louis Greene (9-0).
Brown vs. Foley
Brown takes a big step up in quality of opposition and gets unanimous decision over Foley. This fight was not a thing of beauty as their respective styles did not mesh. Brown was taller with a big edge in reach and used that advantage well over the first couple of rounds. Folley had his first real success with a southpaw left in the third but Brown was shaken but not stirred and stuck to his boxing despite Foley’s attempts to get under his skin. As the action heated up a punch from Foley dislodged Brown’s mouthguard in the fourth and he continued to take the fight to Brown. Brown showed maturity in continuing to work with his jab and counters. The fight was untidy at times with too much wrestling. Brown continued to land cleanly and although Brown is not a big puncher Foley’s face was swollen with the punishment. The Irishman attacked strongly over the closing rounds but Brown was more composed and accurate and was a clear winner. Scores 98-92, 97-93 and 96-94 all for Brown. The 23-year-old from Gloucester, already a former undefeated English champion, wins the vacant IBF European title. He has wins over former Commonwealth champion Glenn Foot and useful Chris Jenkins and with Foley No 5 with the WBA should now find himself in the world rating. Kent-born Foley turned pro in Australia winning the Australian and OPBF titles as well as some other localised sanctioning body baubles. Things have not gone well for him since fighting in Britain as he has had a technical draw and this loss but he took the Brown fight at just five weeks notice so will hope to gets some wins in 2019.
Ekundayo vs. Greene
Ekundayo boxes his way to victory over an aggressive but less skilled Greene. Nigerian-born Ekundayo was more accurate and much quicker. Greene came to win and piled forward looking dangerous with heavy rights but Ekundayo controlled the action with a steady stream of jabs and some hurtful left hooks. Ekundayo was cut over his right eye in a clash of heads in the third and Greene lost a point for some dangerous head work in the fourth. Greene’s aggression saw him edge a couple of rounds but other than that it was Ekundayo’s fight. Scores 100-89, 99-90 and 98-91 for Ekundayo who retains his IBF European title. The 36-year-old Londoner lost an important fight when dropping a split decision to Gary Corcoran in July last year with Corcoran then getting a big money fight with Jeff Horn. This is Ekundayo’s third fight since then. Greene, the BBB of C Southern Area champion just found Ekundayo a step too far.
Villa de Maria del Rico Seco, Argentina: Welter: Jorge Barrios (51-4-1) W TKO 8 Adailton De Jesus (31-9). Former WBO super feather champion Barrios returns to the ring with a win. Both fighters had been out of the ring for a long time but Barrios was sharper than De Jesus. After winning the first two rounds Barrios floored De Jesus in the third. Both fighters were slow and missing more than they were landing. Barrios took the fourth and fifth and a body punch in the sixth saw De Jesus go down on one knee. Barrios tried hard to finish it in the seventh but he was inaccurate with his punches and De Jesus made it into the eighth. It was a strange ending. Barrios landed a couple of body punches then a left hook that rocked De Jesus back on his heels and although he was not taking a great deal of punishment the referee just decided it was too one-sided and stopped the fight. This was the first fight in ten years for Barrios. Whilst driving and texting he ran down and killed a 20-year-old pregnant woman and left the scene of the accident. He was jailed in 2012 but was out on bail just three weeks later and it was not until 2014 he was finally sent to jail and then for less than four years. At 42 I can’t see him making any impression and I have no sympathy for him. De Jesus, 41, was having his first fight since November 2013.
Hamburg, Germany: Light Heavy: Sven Fornling (15-1) W PTS 12 Karo Murat (32-4-1).Super Welter: Sebastian Formella (20-0) W PTS 10 Bethuel Ushona (36-7-1).Heavy: Christian Hammer (24-5) W KO 5 Michael Wallisch (19-1). Super Middle: Juergen Braehmer (50-3) W TKO 5 Pablo Zamora (33-17-1).
Fornling vs. Murat
Swede Fornling scores an upset win over WBA/WBC No 3 Murat to become the IBO champion. Fornling was boxing smoothly from the start. He had height and reach over Murat and used a sharp accurate jab and some crisp rights to counter the advancing Murat. One of those right counters fired with laser-like accuracy put Murat down in the first round. He was up quickly and crowded Fornling who continued to pump out the jab and fire straight rights. Just before the bell Murat landed a punch on the break that floored Fornling and he was given a stern warning. Murat turned things around completely in the second connecting with hooks and uppercuts and driving Fornling around the ring. The Swede looked in trouble at times but was still there at the bell. Fornling took the third and fourth with some clever boxing on the back foot with Murat unable to cut off the ring but Murat managed to land some heavy hooks in the fifth. Fornling dominated the sixth. Still on the back foot he was threading jabs through Murat’s defence and scoring with quick bursts of punches. Murat seemed to have a problem with his left shoulder. He closed the distance more in the seventh but Fornling kept finding gaps and simply outboxed Murat in the eighth and bounced punch after punch of Murat’s head in the ninth and tenth with Murat just too slow to be a threat but again there were signs he had injured his left shoulder. Murat put in a big effort in the eleventh and had Fornling reeling from heavy rights but a punch to the back of the Swede’s head cost him a point deduction. He continued to pound Fornling landing some big head punches that had Fornling in trouble but his attack was interrupted by the bell. Murat launched a furious attack in the twelfth firing punches with both hands and a right sent a retreating Fornling to the floor. The Swede was up quickly and although a one-armed Murat literally chased him around the ring it was a lost cause. Scores 115-110 twice and 116-109 all for Fornling. Un upset but the Swede showed good skills and speed and accuracy. He is an arm puncher with no real leverage but showed with the first round knockdown that he has some power. After that second round blitz when he had Fornling in deep trouble Murat just fell away. As the rounds went by he was using his left less and less and that contributed to his poor performance.
Formella vs. Ushona
Formella outpoints veteran Ushona. Formella was younger and quicker than Ushona. He used plenty of movement stabbing home strong jabs. Ushona showed some good defensive work and was dangerous with counters. Formella shook Ushona a couple of times in the second and set a very fast pace. He was hunting Ushona around the ring and Ushona spent more time against the ropers as the fight progressed. Formella landed some big rights in the ninth and tenth as he looked to try to finish a tiring Ushona but the Namibian absorbed them and landed some good counters of his own. Formella also put in a big effort in the eleventh and twelfth but Ushona used his experience to duck and weave his way out of trouble and even stopped Formella in his tracks with a strong uppercut in the eleventh. Scores 119-110 twice and 117-111. The WBO No 8 Formella has yet to meet a real test but he showed some smart skills. Ushona, 36, is now 2-4 in his last six fights.
Hammer vs. Wallisch
Hammer wins the vacant WBO European title under bizarre circumstance having Wallisch counted out twice in the fight. The 6’5” Wallisch tried to use his longer reach to keep Hammer out in the first but Hammer was rumbling forward getting inside with clubbing hooks. Wallisch just did not have the power to keep Hammer out in the second and Hammer was roughing Wallisch up on the inside and thumping him with more hooks. Wallisch finally decided to just stand and trade punches at the end of the third and they both landed heavy shots but Wallisch looked unsteady at the bell. In the fourth as they both bent forward to throw a punch their heads collided. Wallisch dropped to his knees and Hammer walked away holding and shaking his head. The referee proceeded to count Wallisch out and Hammer started celebrating with people entering the ring. Wallisch’s corner protested that it was wrong that their man should lose from a clash of heads and after much discussion it was agreed that the ring would be cleared and the fight would restart at the fourth round again. In the “new” fourth Hammer continued to roll forward and he staggered Wallisch with an uppercut but the bell went before he could build on that but Wallisch looked a beaten fighter as he returned to his corner. In the fifth Hammer drove Wallisch along the ropes. Wallisch bent over trying to avoid the punches. Hammer then pushed him further down and with Wallisch bent in half with both gloves almost touching the canvas Hammer landed a right uppercut. Wallisch stood up with his arms wide protesting the punch and as Hammer moved in again Wallisch dropped to sit on his haunches propped up against the ropes and just watched the referee count to ten. Romanian Hammer has beaten both David Price and Erkan Teper but lost a wide decision against Alex Povetkin. This win will put him in the WBO ratings. Wallisch was exposed. He has very little power and has been fed a diet of the usual suspects. He simply folded here.
Braehmer vs. Zamora
Just a gentle bit of sparring for Braehmer. He was in a totally different league to the Argentinian. Zamora hardly took a forward step. He was hounded around the ring for round after round. He showed guts to soak up the punishment but he was too slow and it was really just paid sparring for Braehmer. Zamora’s corner mercifully threw in the towel in the fifth round. Braehmer, now 40, is the mandatory challenger to European super middle champion Robin Krasniqi. He beat Krasniqi when they were both light heavies. First Krasniqi has a voluntary defence against Stefan Haertel then the winner has to face Braehmer. Four losses by KO/TKO for 37-year-old Zamora in his last five fights.
Christchurch, New Zealand: Heavy: Joseph Parker (25-2) W KO 3 Alex Flores (17-2-1). Heavy: Junior Fa (16-0) W TKO 1 Rogelio Rossi (20-7-1). Welter: Bowyn Morgan (19-1,1ND) W TKO 3 Sebastian Singh (11-3-1).Cruiser: David Light (11-0) W TKO 2 Lance Bryant (12-6).
Parker vs. Flores
Parker ends a disappointing year with a win .Parker was taking the fight to Flores from the opening bell. He was forcing Flores to the ropes and throwing lefts and rights to the head. Flores showed a useful jab and tried some right crosses but Parker did enough to win the round. Parker took Flores to a corner at the start of the second and threw plenty of punches. Some got through, some were blocked and some were low. Flores moved to the centre of the ring and stood and traded with Parker with the New Zealander scoring with some heavy rights. Parker continued to force Flores back and scored with a couple of heavy rights to the head but again some of his other punches slipped low. Another low punch just before the bell saw Flores given some very brief recovery time. Parker pinned Flores to the ropes at the start of the third. Again he landed a couple of good head punches but also a low left hook. This time the referee issued Parker with a warning. Flores did some good work with his jab until Parker took him to the ropes. Parker landed two low punches and then a big right to the head that dropped Flores to his knees. He made it to his feet but with Flores on the ropes Parker landed seven consecutive head punches which dropped Flores on his back under the bottom rope and half way out of the ring. A devastating finish but a controversial one due to the number of low punches from Parker. After his losses to Anthony Joshua and Dillian Whyte in 2018 Parker will be looking to rebuild over the next twelve months in some big fights and at 26 he has time to do just that. Flores showed a useful jab but was never really in the fight. This was only his second fight in 22 months but there is plenty of work around for heavyweights now.
Fa vs. Rossi
Fa wipes out Rossi inside a round. Rossi was down very early in the round but it was ruled a slip. From there Fa backed Rossi into a corner and landed a wicked right which dumped Rossi on the floor and the referee immediately stopped the fight. All finished in 86 seconds. Fa beat Parker twice in the amateurs with one of those losses ruining Parker’s chance of getting to the London Olympics. Parker has been trying to get a chance at revenge but Fa is looking towards more fights in the USA. The 6’5”, 250lbs Fa, 29, has nine wins by KO/TKO. Rossi suffers his sixth loss by KO/TKO. He was knocked by Marco Huck in a challenge for the WBO cruiser title in 2011but is now 3-5 in his last 8 fights.
Morgan vs. Singh
Morgan much too talented for Singh and gets the stoppage in the third. Against southpaw Singh Morgan made good use of his jab in the first with Singh looking to land single heavier punches. Morgan found another gear in the second. He was switching guards to confuse Singh and put him on the back foot. Morgan dropped Singh with a series of punches and although Singh beat the count he was swamped by a hail of punches and the fight was stopped. This was to have been a defence of Morgan’s New Zealand title but Singh was overweight. Morgan, 29, has now won his last 12 fights and has nine wins by KO/TKO. He was New Zealand amateur champion and competed at both the Commonwealth Championships and Commonwealth Games. Fijian Singh was 5-0-1 going into this fight.
Light vs. Bryant
Former top amateur Light registers another inside the distance win. After being cut in a head clash in the first round Light staggered Bryant with a right in the second. He then continued to pound Bryant almost driving out of the ring until the referee halted the fight. Eighth win by KO/TKO for 27-year-old Light. He was New Zealand amateur champion in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and won a silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Third loss in a row for fellow New Zealander Bryant
Brisbane, Australia: Super Welter: Dennis Hogan (27-1-1) W Jamie Weetch (12-2). Super Middle: Rohan Murdock (23-1) W Rolando Mansilla (14-5-1).
Hogan vs. Weetch
Hogan stays busy as he waits for a shot at Jamie Munguia. The Australian-based Irishman was cementing his No 1 spot with the WBO by defending their Oriental title for the fourth time. Despite his relative lack of experience Weetch made a confident start landing some good rights early. In the third a right from Weetch had Hogan in some discomfort and that sounded a wake-up call for the Irishman. He began to unload some heavy punches to head and body and a right to the body had Weetch in trouble in the fifth. Hogan continued to score heavily over the next four rounds. Weetch came back into the fight in the tenth and eleventh but knowing he had the fight won Hogan settled for boxing his way through the twelfth. Scores 119-109, 118-110 and 117-111 for Hogan. Since losing to Jack Culcay for the interim WBA title in 2015 Hogan has won six on the bounce by decision but whether he has the power to match Munguia remains to be seen. The Welsh-born Perth-based Weetch lost his IBF Pan Pacific title in this fight and had a ten-bout winning streak snapped.
Murdock vs. Mansilla
Murdock outpoints Argentinian Mansilla in an entreating fight. Mansilla had a good first round as he showed he intended to stand and fight against the aggressive Murdock. The Australian outworked Mansilla over the next three rounds and although Mansilla looked dangerous with counters he was not able to match the punch or pace of Murdock. Mansilla’s output decreased considerably over the second half of the fight but with the open aggressive style of Murdock he was able to land some decent punches of his own but Murdock kept up the pressure and took the wide unanimous decision. Scores 99-91 twice and 100-90 for Murdock who collects the vacant WBO Oriental title and his 21st win in a row. The 26-year-old Australian is rated WBO 5/IBF 15(14). Mansilla drops to 3-5 in his last 8 contests.
Brentwood, England: Super Fly: Sunny Edwards (10-0) W PTS 10 Junior Granados (16-6-1). Welter: Diego Ramirez (17-2) W TKO 2 Bradley Skeete (28-3).
Edwards vs. Granados
Edwards continues to impress. The South London prospect had an early shock when he found himself on the floor in the second round of his fight against Mexican Granados. It was the first time Edwards had been down as an amateur or a professional but he quickly shrugged that off. Edwards comprehensively out boxed Granados from there and was never really in any trouble again. Scores 99-91, 98-92 and 97-91 for the 22-year-old Edwards who wins the vacant WBO International title. He is the brother of former world title challenger Charlie Edwards. In the amateurs he was English and British Youth champion and won a gold medal at the ABA Elite Championships. Granados was a risky choice. He had floored world rated Jamie Conlan twice before losing a close decision and outpointed tough Filipino Aston Palicte who drew with Donnie Nietes for the vacant WBO super fly title in September.
Ramirez vs. Skeete
Second disaster in a terrible year for Bradley Skeete. He was facing a late substitute who although he had good looking statistics had won only four fights inside the distance. Skeete boxed comfortably in the first and seemed to be doing the same in the second when he was nailed by a thumping left hook from the Argentinian southpaw. He hit the canvas on his back but managed to climb to his feet. He was on wobbly legs but allowed to continue. Ramirez jumped on him driving Skeete across the ring with Skeete trying desperate to hold on. He finished up with his head out through the ropes and when he straightened up was still unsteady and the fight was stopped. When the year started Skeete was world rated and British champion with only one loss in his 28 fights and wins over top flight domestic opposition. April saw him knocked out in two rounds by Kerman Lejarraga for the vacant European title. That could be explained away as Lejarraga was a world rated opponent. Ramirez was No 5 in Argentina but was coming off a points loss against 9-1 Demian Fernandez. Huge shock and a huge blow for Skeete. Ramirez will hope to get some attractive matches after the high profile win.
Charleroi, Belgium: Cruiser: Ryad Merhy (27-1) W KO 4 Samuel Clarkson (21-5). Light: Abraham Nova (14-0) W PTS 8 Brian Pelaez (8-3). Light Heavy: Timur Nikarkhoev (19-2) W RTD 4 Guillermo Andino (13-6).
Merhy vs. Clarkson
Merhy makes it three wins in a row since losing to Arsen Goulamirian for the interim WBA title in March with stoppage of Clarkson. Marhy took the first two rounds although Clarkson did enough to make them close. Clarkson threw plenty of punches at the start of the third. Merhy had no trouble avoiding them. Clarkson bundled Marhy to the ropes but a quick right to the body put Clarkson down on his back. He did not move until the count reached five but then got up quickly and the fight continued. Merhy cornered Clarkson and put him down for the second time with a couple of head punches. Clarkson again beat the count and moved and punched back enough to hold off Merhy to the bell. In the fourth Merhy landed a couple of body punches then put Clarkson over with a right. Clarkson managed to get up but the referee stopped the fight. The Ivory Coast born Merhy, 26, now has 22 wins by KO/TKO and is No 3 with the WBA so could figure in a world title challenge in 2019. Texan southpaw Clarkson was a very useful 12-1 in his last 13 fights with the loss being against Dmitry Bivol for the interim WBA title in 2017.
Nova vs. Pelaez
Highly-touted Puerto Rican prospect “El Super” Nova collects a unanimous points victory over Spaniard Pelaez. Nova forced the fight all the way and handed out some serious punishment. Pelaez was only rarely able to get off the ropes. He absorbed some damaging shots but kept firing back. Scores 79-73 twice and 78-75. The 24-year-old Nova is a former New York Golden Gloves and US National champion. He won numerous International Tournaments but just lost out to Gary Russell for a spot on the US Team for Rio. He comes from a boxing family as four of his brothers and his father all boxed. One to note. Pelaez had won his last seven fights.
Nikarkhoev vs. Andino
Belgian-based Russian Nikarkhoev moves to 9-1 in his last 10 fights after halting Argentinian Andino in four rounds. Nikarkhoev dominated the action with the fleshy looking Andino just doing enough to stay in the fight. He took some serious punishment throughout the fourth and retired at the end of the round. Fourteenth win by KO/TKO for Nikarkhoev third loss this year for Andino.
Toronto, Canada: Welter: Samuel Vargas (30-4-2) W PTS 10 Gabriel Pereiro (27-1). Middle: Steve Rolls (19-0) W PTS 10 KeAndrae Leatherwood (21-6-1). Super Light: Dierry Jean (31-2-1) W TKO 1 Noe Nunez (18-7-2). Super Light: Movladdin Biyarslanov (1-0) W KO 1 Ernesto Sanchez (3-6)
Vargas vs. Pereiro
Canadian-based Colombian Vargas returns to the ring for the first time since his loss to Amir Khan and outclasses Argentinian Pereiro in a fight where the rules were occasionally left in the corners. Vargas won this one all the way. Pereiro did some clowning in the first and was warned for punches to the back of the head. Vargas floored Pereiro with a right in the second and continued to pound Pereiro. The Argentinian actually bit Vargas twice and had a point deducted in both the seventh and ninth rounds for holding. Both complained about low punches from the other in a nasty fight but Vargas was a clear winner even without the two deductions. Scores 99-88 twice and 100-87 for Vargas. He was making the second defence of his NABA title and is No 13 with the WBA. Although losing to Khan by flooring the former champion Vargas boosted his profile and he will be looking for some big fights in 2019. Pereiro, 40, finally has a real fight and against a live opponent-and loses.
Rolls vs. Leatherwood
Leatherwood was certainly a live opponent for Rolls but the Toronto fighter kept rolling forward with a unanimous points victory which garnered for him the vacant IBF-USBA title. Scores 99-91 twice and 96-94. Rolls is already No 15 with the IBF so this should boost his rating. He has wins over Damian Bonelli and Demond Nicholson. Rolls, 34, was twice Canadian amateur champion and represented Canada at the World Championships in 2009 but lost to Vijender Singh in the third series. When he handed in his amateur vest he had a 83-14 record. Leatherwood has met some good quality opposition taking Andy Lee the distance and losing also to Caleb Truax.
Jean vs. Nunez
Jean continues his comeback with a quick win. He floored Nunez late in the second and although Nunez got up his legs were wobbling and it was all over. After losing to Terrence Crawford for the WBO super light title in 2015 and drawing with Ricky Sismundo in May 2016 Jean did not fight again until halting Abraham Gomez in September this year. The 36-year-old Haitian-born Canadian makes it 22 wins by KO/TKO. Nunez is now 0-3 in fights in Canada.
Biyarslanov vs. Sanchez
Biyarslanov, one of the best amateurs in Canada over the last few years, turns pro and wipes out poor Sanchez inside a round. “The Chechen Wolf” briefly studied Sanchez and then cornered the Mexican. He softened him up with a left to the ribs and then put him down and out with a right to the head. The 23-year-old southpaw was born in Chechen but moved with his family first to Azerbaijan and then at the age of ten to Canada. As an amateur he was three-time Canadian champion, competed at the World Youth Championships, competed at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, won a gold medal at the 2015 PanAmerican Games and was the only Canadian boxer to qualify for the 2016 Games in Rio but did not medal there. Certainly one of the brightest prospect in Canadian boxing. Second loss by KO/TKO for Sanchez.
Yubei, China: Super Light: Baishanbo Nasiyiwula (15-2-1) W TKO 7 Ernesto Espana (26-2-1). After an incident filled first round Nasiyiwula goes on to win a technical decision. Early in the opening round Espana put Nasiyiwula on the floor but when the action restarted a clash of heads saw Espana badly cut over his right eye. He managed to pass a doctor’s inspection but was then floored by a left from Nasiyiwula. From the start of the second Nasiyiwula went on the back foot letting Espana bring the fight to him and countering. It was very negative and did not make for an entertaining fight. Espana’s cut was inspected again in the fourth but he was allowed to continue until another doctor’s review in the eighth saw the fight stopped and go to the cards with Nasiyiwula winning on scores of 68-64 twice and 68-63. The “Chinese Destroyer” wins the vacant WBC International title. Espana, 37, was 25-0-1 but is now 1-2 in his last 3 fights.
Ponferrada, Spain: Super Feather: Jon Fernandez (17-1) W RTD 3 Michael Marcano (17-2-1). After losing his unbeaten tag in a defeat by O’Shaquie Foster in Oklahoma Fernandez ended the year with a win. He floored Venezuelan Marcano with a right in the first but Marcano beat the count and was saved by the bell. Fernandez landed some heavy body punches in the second and floored Marcano again in the fourth with Marcano retiring at the end of the round. The tall 23-year-old from Bilbao has 15 wins by KO/TKO. His loss to Forster was a big disappointment for his Basque fans so he is hoping to get back on the winning track and look for a shot at title in 2019. Marcano’s other loss was a second round kayo by Miguel Roman in June. Marcano’s numbers look good but they hide some atrocious opposition with the 17guys he has beaten having only six wins between them.
Buenos Aires: Light: Jose Romero (20-0) W PTS 10 Gustavo Pereyra (11-11-4). An injury led to the main event falling though so Argentinian champion Romero was moved to the top fight on the show. Romero delivered in style here. Pereyra staggered Roman early with a left hook but Romero was connecting with left hooks to the body and in the second round a series of those punches saw Pereyra stagger and almost go down. The referee gave him a standing count and Pereyra was able to fight on. Romero had the harder punch and faster hands and was well on his way to a victory and wrapped it up when he staggered Pereyra with a straight right and landed another two body punches with the referee giving Pereyra another standing count. Pereyra made it the bell but Romero won on scores of 99-90, 98-90and 98-91 ¼ and keeps his 100% record intact. Poor Pereyra has lost six of his last seven.
Fight of the week (Entertainment): The fight between Aik Shakhnazaryan provide plenty of action
Fight of the week (Significance): Saul Alvarez win over Rocky Fielding opens plenty of avenues for the Mexican star.
Fighter of the week: Gilberto Ramirez for his one-armed victory over Jesse Hart
Punch of the week: The thunderbolt left from Diego Ramirez the floored Bradley Skeete
Upset of the week: Sven Fornling beating world rated Karo Murat and Diego Ramirez stopping Bradley Skeete were unexpected
Prospect watch: Puerto Rican Abraham Nova 14-0 Nova